Research Publications

Carlo Cesare Malvasia’s Felsina pittrice: Lives of the Bolognese Painters
Volume 13, Lives of Domenichino and Francesco Gessi

Critical edition by Lorenzo Pericolo; translation by Anne Summerscale; essay by Elizabeth Cropper; historical notes by Anne Summerscale, Alexandra Hoare, Lorenzo Pericolo, and Elizabeth Cropper, 2013

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This critical edition and English translation of Malvasia’s lives of Domenichino and Francesco Gessi from his Felsina pittrice offer access to the life and work of two great masters of seventeenth-century Bologna. Domenichino’s life plays a seminal role in Malvasia’s definition of the "fourth age" of painting in Italy. From the very beginning, Malvasia pits against each other Guido Reni and Domenichino, the two champions of the vanguard style that emerged from the Carracci reform of painting. If Guido becomes the idol of the Lombard and Bolognese school, "more attuned to tenderness and audacity," Domenichino embodies an ideal of perfection more in keeping with the Florentine and Roman school, "fond of finish and diligence."

Malvasia reports that he did not know Domenichino, and his reconstruction of the career of the master as he moved among Rome, Naples, and Bologna stands in stark contrast to Giovan Pietro Bellori’s more sympathetic account, published in 1672. If, to redeem the supremacy of the Bolognese school, Malvasia downplays the problem of Domenichino’s "erudition" and "fertility" of invention, he does so with hesitation and among unresolvable contradictions. His assimilation of Domenichino’s art to the Roman and Tuscan canon is, then, profoundly polemical. In this light, Malvasia’s life of Domenichino can be defined as the most tormented and ultimately unsuccessful eulogy in the Felsina pittrice: a great piece of art-historical criticism about an artist whose greatness Malvasia could not deny.

Malvasia’s assessment of the artistic personality of Francesco Gessi turns upon the painter’s rivalry with his master, Guido Reni, whose perfection in painting nevertheless remains unmatchable. In relating how Domenichino snatched away the highly talented Giovan Battista Ruggeri from his previous master, Francesco Gessi, Malvasia turns the conflicts inherent in Domenichino’s life into a generational struggle between artistic factions. In the process, Malvasia provides important biographical information about Giovan Giacomo Sementi, another of Guido’s disciples and Gessi’s lifelong rival. Copublished by the National Gallery of Art and Harvey Miller Publishers. Publication announcement (PDF 845KB)

Carlo Cesare Malvasia’s Felsina pittrice: Lives of the Bolognese Painters
Volume 1, Early Bolognese Painting

Critical Edition by Lorenzo Pericolo; Introduction and Translation by Elizabeth Cropper; Bibliographical Essay by Carlo Alberto Girotto; Historical Notes by Elizabeth Cropper, Lorenzo Pericolo, Giancarla Periti, and Jessica Richardson, assisted by Alexandra Hoare

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Count Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Felsina pittrice, or Lives of the Bolognese Painters, first published in two volumes in Bologna in 1678, is one of the most important sources for the history and criticism of painting in Italy. This richly illustrated volume provides a translation and critical edition of the opening part of the Felsina pittrice, which focuses on the art of late medieval Bologna. The text is unusual in the context of the Felsina pittrice as a whole in that it seeks to record what survives in the city, rather than focusing on individual artists. In response to Vasari’s account of the Renaissance of painting in Florence, Malvasia offers a colorful and valuable portrait of Trecento painting in Bologna, noting the location and condition of destroyed or whitewashed frescoes, dismantled polyptychs, and paintings for which no other record survives. Malvasia provides crucial information on works by important fourteenth-century painters such as Lippo di Dalmasio, Simone dei Crocefissi, and Vitale da Bologna. Included in the volume are historical notes to the text and to the transcriptions of Malvasia’s preparatory notes, the Scritti originali, published here in their entirety for the first time. The notes enrich our understanding of individual works and identify the sources Malvasia used. Elizabeth Cropper’s introductory essay serves to establish the significance of Malvasia as a historian of art, while Carlo Alberto Girotto’s bibliographical essay analyzes the production and reception of the Felsina pittrice as a whole. Copublished by the National Gallery of Art and Harvey Miller Publishers. Publication announcement (PDF 845KB)

Keywords in American Landscape Design, 1600–1850
Edited by Therese O'Malley, with contributions by Elizabeth Kryder-Reid and Anne L. Helmreich, 2010

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Winner of the 2011 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, sponsored by the Foundation for Landscape Studies

Winner of the 2011 Award for a Significant Work in Botanical or Horticultural Literature, in the Technical Category, presented by the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

This beautifully illustrated historical dictionary of landscape design vocabulary used in North America from the 17th to the mid-19th century defines a selection of one hundred terms and concepts used in garden planning and landscape architecture. Ranging from alcovearbor, and arch to verandawilderness, and wood, each term presents a wealth of documentation, textual sources, and imagery. The broad geographic scope of the texts reveals patterns of regional usage, while the chronological range provides evidence of changing design practice and landscape vocabulary over time. Drawing upon a wealth of newly compiled documentation and accompanied by more than one thousand images, this dictionary forms the most complete published reference to date on the history of American garden design and reveals landscape history as integral to the study of American cultural history. Published by the National Gallery of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

The Accademia Seminars: The Accademia di San Luca in Rome, 1590–1635
Seminar Papers, Volume 2
Edited by Peter M. Lukehart, 2009

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This volume reexamines the establishment and early history of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, one of the most important centers of governance, education, and theory in the arts for the early modern period and the model for all subsequent academies of art worldwide. Eleven essays by an international group of historians, archivists, and art historians provide the most comprehensive history of the Accademia to be published in more than forty years, and the first in nearly two hundred years to be based almost entirely on primary and documentary material. The authors examine the institution’s founding and development through unpublished documents as well as reinterpretation of technical materials and theoretical treatises. In so doing, they also provide new means for following the progress of the most significant artists—in addition to a host of lesser-known painters, sculptors, and architects—who were working in Rome in the early seventeenth century. Published by the National Gallery of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

Guide to Documentary Sources for Andean Studies, 1530–1900
Volumes 1, 2, and 3
Edited by Joanne Pillsbury, 2008

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This reference work for research on the pre-Hispanic, viceregal, and early republican periods of the Andean region of South America is the outcome of a project directed by Joanne Pillsbury, formerly assistant dean of CASVA and now Andrall E. Pearson Curator in the department of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The work is intended for scholars in anthropology, history, archaeology, art history, and related disciplines. It includes twenty-nine thematic essays and 186 biographical and bibliographical entries reflecting contributions from 125 scholars in nineteen countries. The guide addresses key texts of the sixteenth through the nineteenth century concerning the region defined by the extent of the Inca Empire (modern Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and parts of Colombia, Argentina, and Chile). Copublished by the National Gallery of Art and the University of Oklahoma Press. A Spanish translation is in preparation.

A Guide to the Description of Architectural Drawings
By Vicki Porter and Robin Thornes, 1994

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In 1983 CASVA convened an international group of architectural drawings specialists, the Architectural Drawings Advisory Group (ADAG), to build consensus concerning cataloguing standards for architectural drawings in both electronic and printed form. In 1986 the Foundation for Documents of Architecture (FDA) was established to promote ADAG’s recommendations in an automated cataloguing environment and to translate ADAG’s recommended standards into published guidelines. These initiatives resulted in guidelines originally published in print and now available online. Published by G. K. Hall & Company on behalf of the Getty Art History Information Program