Contents

P.13 Marriage of the Virgin

P.13 Marriage of the Virgin

1523

Florence, San Lorenzo, Ginori Chapel.

Panel, 325 x 250.1 Signed and dated on the step beneath the priest: RVBEVS A S MDXXIII, and on the right page of the book held by St. Apollonia: Rvbevs Florentino; the other writing in the book is not legible.  The priest’s miter is inscribed: TETPAGRAM[M]ATON.2

Fig.P.13a
Fig.P.13b bw
Fig.P.13c priest
Fig.P.13d priest miter
Fig.P.13e saint with book
Fig.P.13f bw book
Fig.P.13g Rosso’s signature

Judging largely from the bottom half of the picture it appears to be in good condition.  Franklin, 1994, 280, n. 75, notes that “the edges of the panel are splintering, suggesting that it was roughly trimmed to fit the new frame,” on which, see below.  The minor cracks along parts of the seams between the boards of the panel have probably been discreetly retouched.  A few lines of writing in the book held by St. Apollonia are rubbed and there are several very small pitted areas along the bottom of the panel.  Incisions in the gesso ground are visible marking the edges of the steps.  From a photograph the dark upper part of the picture shows some surface irregularities; incised lines in the gesso for the background architecture can also be seen.  A plaque still in the chapel indicates that the Ginori Chapel was restored in 1738 (mentioned by Richa, V, 1757, 24–25); this could have included the restoration of the altarpiece.  Milanesi, in his edition of Vasari, V, 1878–85, 159, n. 1, speaks of it as somewhat damaged. The imitation pietra serena wooden frame belongs to a nineteenth century restoration, according to Franklin, 1992, 180, and 1994, 107, 280, n. 75, citing P. Roselli and G. Superchi, L’Edificazione della Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence, 1980, 145.  Gamba, 1910, 146, refers to the altarpiece as a little yellowed and restored.  In May 1984 many areas of the painting were covered with squares of paper apparently to secure flaking paint; these had been removed by April 1985. The surface of the picture appears only slightly discolored by darkened varnish.

The priest wears a white miter with a yellow-tan decorative band inscribed with red letters (see above).  His mantle is dark brown with a lavender cast; its lower border is a light, and perhaps a slightly reddish, brown, including the bells.  The undergarment, visible on his left shoulder and at his wrist, is gray white; over his legs it has a greenish cast. The Virgin wears a white headscarf. Her overgarment is light blue, the underside of which, slightly visible at her right shoulder and fully exposed over her left leg and hip, is bluish green. Tan border at the neck.  Pale pink upper sleeves, yellow from elbow to wrist.  St. Joseph wears a light blue-green tunic over a white shirt visible at his neck and chest and at his elbow; two yellow-gold clasps on the front opening of his tunic. His sandal is orange-tan, red-orange, and very dark blue-green.  The stalk of his blooming rod, olive green; its flower, white.  The woman standing behind the Virgin has brown hair decorated with green and gray ribbons; her dress is bright pale yellow, becoming rose-pink in the shadows. Behind Joseph the young man has blond hair and wears a pink-lavender garment, white around his right elbow.  The kneeling woman with a child at the left has blond hair decorated with green ribbons and strands of white pearls and red coral beads.  Her blouse shifts between very light blue-green and light pink-lavender; a blue-green band around her right arm. The sash around her waist is pink-lavender.  St. Vincent Ferrer at the right has brown hair and wears a white habit and black cowl and cape of the Dominican order. His book is black. Saint Anne, seated at the lower left, wears a gray-white turban and shawl over her shoulders.  Her dress is yellowish tan, becoming almost wholly white in the light; her belt is red-orange.  The drapery over her legs is a rich light brown. St. Apollonia at the lower right has dark blond hair covered with blue-green drapery at the back.  Her dress is light blue-green, white in the highlights and with a pinkish cast; the sleeves are a darker blue-green becoming yellow-green in the light. The drapery over her left leg is red-orange.  The book she holds has white pages with black letters; the edges of the pages are tan and the barely visible cover is red.  The background of the painting has warm, reddish flesh tones, with details largely of dark greens, reds, and violet, all increasingly submerged in warm reddish-brown to dark brown to almost black shadow.  The steps in the foreground are dark gray.

DOCUMENTS: Three payments to Rosso on 20 December 1522, 29 February 1523 (modern style), and 8 November 1523, totaling 22 gold ducats are recorded in Florence, Archivio Ginori Lisci. III.7.30, Libro di Debitori e Creditori Bianco, segnato F, di Filippo e Carlo di Leonardo Ginori e Compagni Battilori, 1518–1533, fol. 154 left side:

+ Yesus MDXXII

Charlo di Leonardo Ginori, nostro maggiore, conto proprio, de’dare…E ad dì XX Dicembre [1522], ducati sei d’oro larghi, per noi da Carlo Ginori e Compagni del biancho, quali si dettono al dipintore che dipigne la tavola per [sic] in Sancto Lorenzo, portò detti Ginori del bancho, avere in questo c.143– ducati VI-

E fino ad dì XXVIIII di Febraio [1522 (modern 1523)], ducati sei d’oro, per noi da Carlo Ginori e Compagni, avere in questo, per dare al Rosso, dipintore, c.159– ducati VI-

E fino ad dì VIII di November [1523] ducati X d’oro larghi, per noi da Carlo Ginori e Compagni, per dare al decto, porto detti, avere [in] questo c.159– ducati X-3

That Rosso had a contract and “has had part of the money” for his altar piece is also recorded in Carlo Ginori’s third will of 6 April 1523: A.S.F., Notarile Antecosimiano, 18276, ex–R292, R292, Bartolommeo di Giovanni di Vittoria del Rosso, Testamenti, 1504–1523, fol. 339v:

Item dixe decto testatore havere ordinato di fare una tavola all’altare della cappella per lui ordinata et facia in decto chiesa di Sancto Lorenzo di Firenze di facta [?] se n’è facto una conventione [written over “una scritta”] con Rosso dipintore che ha havuto parte di danari, come appare per ricordo a libro del banco di decto Carlo et Compagni ricordanze et cambi segnato H. Però volse che in caso non fussi finita decta tavola col sua debiti fornimenti et ornamenti, che infra anni dua almeno dal dì della sua morte si debba fare et finire a spese di decti et infrascitti sua heredi.4

PREPARATORY DRAWING?: There is some possibility that the Seated Male Nude in the Uffizi, 6489F (D.9) is a study for an early version of this altarpiece.  The pointing gesture of the figure suggests a narrative context either like that of the suitors or of the background figures in Rosso’s picture or of the seated Dominican saint.  However, the light in the drawing is from the other direction.

LITERATURE:

Vasari, 1550, 797–798 (Vasari-Ricci, IV, 244) and somewhat expanded as follows in Vasari, 1568, II, 206 (Vasari-Milanesi, V, 159): “Fece in San Lorenzo la tavola di Carlo Ginori, dello sponsalizio di N. Donna, tenuto cosa bellissima.  Et in vero in quella sua facilità del fare non è mai stato chi di pratica, ò di de destrezza l’abbi potuto vincere, ne a gran lu[n]ga accostarseli; p[er] esser egli stato nel colorito si dolce, e con tanta grazia cangiato i pan[n]i, che il diletto, che per tale arte prese, lo fe sempre tenere lodatissimo, e mirabile, come chi guarderà tale opera conoscerà tutto questo, ch’io scrivo esser verissimo, considerando gl’ignudi, che sono benissimo intesi, e con tutte l’avverte[n]ze della Notomia.  Sono le feminine graziosissme, a l’acconciature de’panni bizarre, a capricciose. Similmente ebbe le considerazioni, che si deono havere, sì nelle teste de’vecchi co[n] cere bizarre: come in quelle delle don[n]e, e dei putti, co[n] arie dolci, e piacevoli.  Era anco tanto ricco d’invenzioni, che non gl’avanzava mai niente di campo nelle tavole, e tutto conduceva con tanta facilità, e grazia, che era una maraviglia.”

Borghini, 1584, 112–113, 194–195, 434–435, where first Rosso is criticized for having included a monk in a scene of an event having taken place before the establishment of religious orders, and then praised in terms largely borrowed from Vasari; S. Apollonia’s fingers are pointed out as a little too large.

Bocchi, 1591, 257–258, praises the picture and mentions St. Joseph as “in giovenile età.”

Bocchi-Cinelli, 1677, 6.

Del Migliore, 1684, 163.

Richa, V, 1757, 24–25, identifies the Dominican saint at the right as St. Vincent Ferrer and finds his place here inappropriate to the truth of the story that is depicted. He also finds reprehensible the youthfulness of St. Joseph.

L’Etruria pittrice, 1791, pages following Pl. XXXXVII, mentioned.

Moreni, in Cianfogni, 1804, I, 9, n., mistakenly identifies the artist as Paolo Rossi (from Ginori Conti, 1940, 74–75).

Moreni, I, 1816, 11, 12 (from Paatz, II, 1941, 557, n. 170).

Berenson, 1896, 129.

Gamba, 1910, 146.

Goldschmidt, 1911, 20, speaks of the synthesis of the stylistic tendencies of the Dei Altarpiece and the Volterra Deposition, and of the influence of Sarto’s Disputation on the Trinity on the two seated figures in the foreground.

Phillips, 1911–1912, 145, notices the unorthodox and possibly heretical appearance of St. Joseph.

Voss, 1920, 32, 186, sees the Sposalizio as the logical continuation of the style of the Dei Altarpiece and as a refined extension of Sarto’s art beyond which the Florentine tradition can scarcely go. According to Friedlaender, 1925, 72, Fig. 9, 73 (1957, 29, Fig. 9), it clearly reveals the tendencies of the new anticlassical art in the massing of the figures, in their elongation, and in the pictures luministic effects.

Pevsner, 1928, 29, as less expressive than the Volterra Deposition and as formally closer to Sarto.

Kusenberg, 1931, 21–22, 186, ns. 48–50, sees the picture as evolving from the S. Maria Nuova and Dei Altarpieces.  He suggests that the type of head that is St. Apollonia’s (mistakenly named St. Catherine) may have been influenced by Sarto’s Lucretia del Fede in the Prado.  He identifies the male saint wrongly as St. Francis.

Venturi, IX, 5, 1932, 195, 210–213, Fig. 119, 230, comments upon the rich use of shot colors, derived from Sarto, and of light and shadow.

Medea, 1932, 70, n. 1, relates Caraglio’s engraving of Parmigianino’s Sposalizio to Rosso’s painting.

Kusenberg, 1935, 62.

Ginori Conti, 1940, 74–75, 88–90, 275ff.

Mostra del Cinquecento, 1940, 66.

Salmi, 1940, 80, as showing a composition entirely of figures with an echo of Raphael.

For Sabatini, 1941, 424, Rosso arrives here to the full mastery of his expressive means and creates a scenographic vision different and newer than that of Beccafumi’s late works.

Becherucci, 1944, 28–29, speaks of the possible influence of Michelangelo’s and Raphael’s Roman art through prints after Raphael and the appearance of Perino del Vaga in Florence in 1523.  She identifies the male saint simply as a Dominican.

Freedberg, 1950, 65, as influential on Parmigianino’s composition of the same subject engraved by Caraglio, either because Parmigianino saw Rosso’s painting in Florence, or because Rosso gave him a drawing for it in Rome.

Barocchi, 1950, 46–51, 246, relates its complex composition to Raphael’s Roman works and relates the old saint at the lower left, whom she identifies as St. Anne, to the St. Anne in Raphael’s Madonna dell’Impannata; also inspired by Raphael are the two youthful heads at either side of the priest.  She mentions Dürer in relation to the priest’s miter and connects Dürer’s engraving, The Dream (B.76), with the head of the old man in red to the right of the priest.  She identifies the male saint as St. Dominic.

Hartt, 1952, 65, identified the male servant as Dominic.

Baldini, in Mostra del Pontormo, 1956, 130–132, no. 164.

Oertel, 1956, 217.

Shearman, 1957, I, 237ff.

Becherucci, 1958 (1968, 455).

Briganti, 1961, 26, 34, Color Pl. 14 of S. Apollonia (1962, 24, 31, Color Pl. 14), comments upon its painterly intentions as distinct from the formal intensity of the Volterra Deposition.

Berenson, 1963, 195.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), I, Bk. I, 98–99, Bk. II, 128, P. 17, 222–223, under D. 13, III, Fig. 28.

Borea, 1965, Pl. XIII, suggests the influence of Raphaelesque ideas through Perino’s presence in Florence in 1523, but she also recognizes the origins of its traditional conception in the art of Fra Bartolommeo.

Shearman, 1966, 161, also recognizes the influence of Perino’s new Roman maniera when he was in Florence in 1522–23.

Freedberg, 1966, 583.

Carroll, 1967, 297–299, 301–302, Fig. 2, mentions the relation to works by Franciabigio, Pontormo, and Lappoli.

Freedberg, 1971, 128–129, 484, n. 26, as expressive of Rosso’s individuality and yet with a deeper relation to classicism than the Dei Altarpiece; he recognizes a reference to contemporary Michelangelo through his drawings for the Medici Chapel, and discounts the influence of Perino del Vaga.

Del Conde, 1975, 126, mentioned.

Smith, 1976, 24–30 (see below, n. 8).

Nyholm, 1977, 152–153, 154, Fig. 82, its color in part analogous to what appears in Uccello’s paintings.

Carroll, 1978, 39, Fig. 23.

Barolsky, 1978, 107, recognizes a mocking character in the picture and refers to the pointing gesture of the male saint as indicating St. Joseph’s sexual excitement reflecting the attitude of the artist and possibly of the patron.

Hall, 1979, 51, discusses Borghini’s criticism of the picture.

Antonio Paolucci, in La comunità cristiana fiorentina e toscana nella dialettica reliaiosa del Cinquecento, Firenze e la Toscana dei Medici nell’Europa del Cinquecento, Florence, 1980, 206, Color Pl., 208, no. 5, cites references to Raphael, and notes how “il Rosso, con una trasgressione iconografica ben significativa delle irrequietudini intelletuali del tempo, abbia raffigurato it S. Giuseppe, contro la tradizione che lo vuole vecchio, nei panni di un atletico vigoroso ventenne.”

Butters and Elam, 1980, 361.

Chastel, 1983, 163, 165, Fig. 82b, 274, n. 42, comments on its relation to Caraglio’s Sposalizio after Parmigianino.

Darragon, 1983, 19, 23, 37, 67, 71, n. 44, sees here the beginning of Rosso’s gracious style; he identified the male saint as St. Vincent Ferrer and pointed out the black man in the background.  This is the figure to the left of the door dressed in a black and white chevron pattern and playing a flute.

Berti, 1984, 153, as indebted to Raphael’s School of Athens and the male saint identified as Dominic.

Wilmes, 1985, 64–65, 67, 69, 70, 74, 77, 81–82, 125–128, 133, 155, 158, 161, 163–164, 174, Fig.22.

Franklin, 1986, 27–58, 76–87, Documents 8–11.

Paolucci, Pittura, Cinquecento, 1987, I, 300–301, 310, Fig. 462 (color), pointed out its Raphaelesque beauty and its young Joseph.

Carroll, 1987, 20, 21, 34, ns. 47–48, 39, as done in one period in 1523.

Costamagna, 1987 (1984–1985), 18, Pl. 12, noted the use of St. Apollonia for St. Catherine in Portelli’s Trinity and Saints of 1543 in Santa Felicità, Florence.

Caron, 1988, 365, 367, Fig. 6, 368, discussed the color of the painting.

Hirst, 1988, 109, mentioned the influence of Michelangelo’s “teste divine” drawings made for Perini.

Franklin, 1988, 324, as deeply affected by the up-to-date Roman style of Perino del Vega’s Martyrdom of the Ten-Thousand.

A. Giovanetti, in Pittura, Cinquecento, 1988, II, 825–826, its composition on stairs going back to Pontormo’s Visitation but articulated with influence of Perino del Vega’s Romana maniera brought to Florence in 1522.

Leone de Castris, 1988, 39, 47, the Chatsworth drawing by Parmigianino derived from Rosso’s painting through a drawing or sketch by Rosso seen in Rome.

Costamagna, 1991, 53, the head of seated saint at lower right showing the influence of Michlangelo’s “teste divine” made for Perini.

Ciardi and Mugnaini, 1991, 28, 83, 86, 94–99, no. 16, with 4 Color Pls., 150, as referring to Ghiberti’s Solomon and Sheba panel of the Gates of Paradise and as reflecting a trip to Rome in 1519–1520 rather than the influence of Perino in Florence in 1522–1523.

Hall, 1992, 153, Fig. 50, as showing Sartesque sfumato.

Franklin, 1992, published all the known documents for the altarpiece and for the Ginori Chapel in S. Lorenzo in which it hangs.

Franklin, 1994, 85, 94–109, 113, 117, 119, 121, 146, 161, 168, 177, 197, 221, 249, 266, 303–305, DOCUMENTS 2–7, 316, Pl. 71, Color Pls. 70, 72–73, 77, as showing a new style and no major debt to previous representations of this event, the youth of St. Joseph undoubtedly Rosso’s decision, and understood as a visual metaphor for the confidence and divine significance of his action, symbolically and practically, with references to the Milanesi Dominican Isidor de Isolani, St. Vincent Ferrer and the Dominican desire to enhance the status of St. Joseph, the composition ultimately going back to Ghiberti’s Solomon and Queen of Sheba panel and the exterior setting showing an awareness of what Rosso’s contemporaries were doing in Rome.

Brilli, 1994, 25, 52, 53, Color Pl.

Costamagna, 1994, 26, 40, Fig. 23, 42, 64, 116, under Cat. 13, 165, under Cat. 39, Rosso’s first work to evoke the term mannerism, showing the imprint of Michelangelo’s color of the Sistine Ceiling and of his teste divine; its color as influential on Pontormo’s frescoes at the Certosa; also mentions the antique source of the drapery revealing the belly of the figure in a sensual manner.

Falciani, 1994, argues that Ginori was guided by Savonarola in artistic matters, including the selection of Rosso; the youth of St. Joseph connected to the writings of the Dominican St. Vincent Ferrer, Isidoro de Isolani, Jean Jerson (Gerson), and Lefèvre d’Étaples, with reference to his protection of the Mary and the Child on the Flight into Egypt; Joseph’s purity as the fruit of Grace, and his representation of the ‘popolo fedele’; also in the priest a connection to the cabalist Cornelius Agrippa, and through Pico, to cabalistic interpretations of the mystical union of male and female principles and unveiled truths in the Tetragramma JHVH.

Falciani, in Gnocchi and Falciani, 1994, 16, 59–60, 61, Color Figs. (details).

Haitovsky, 1994, 114, 118, 119, 120, Fig. 12, notes the obscene gesture of the figure pointing to the ceremony.

Jaffé, 1994, B and E. 244, under no. 677 (339), as influential on Parmigianino’s Roman drawing of the same subject but only after an initial conception that was very asymetrical as known from a copy owned by D. Ekserdjian.

Marchetti Letta, 1994, 66–68, 70–71, Figs. 94–96, notes groups of figures from Pontormo’s Visitation at the Annunziata.

Mugnaini, 1994, 101, 103, 123, recognized the sexual role of the strong St. Joseph whose pubic area is put in evidence by St. Vincent Ferrer’s gesture.

Ciardi, 1994, 25, 36, 37, Fig., 47, 50, 53, 66, 94, ns. 94 and 110, as influenced by Franciabigio’s and Pontormo’s frescoes at the Annunziata, and by Raphael’s stanze frescoes, thus indicating a trip to Rome rather than influence through Perino del Vaga’s trip to Florence; notes the erotic allusion in St. Vincent Ferrer’s gesture.

Jollet, 1994, 80, noted the pointing finger of the saint in relation to Joseph’s body “come pour ancre l’événement représenté dans une réalité physique qui n’est jamais oubliée.”

The Marriage of the Virgin, signed and dated 1523 and in the Ginori Chapel in San Lorenzo, is certainly the altarpiece of the “sponsalizio” described by Vasari as having been done after the Dei altarpiece.  Franklin, 1992, 183–184, and 1994, 98, noted that the account book marked with the letter “H” mentioned in Ginori’s third will of 6 April 1523 (Franklin, 1994, 305, Appendix D, DOCUMENTS 7a–e, extracts) cannot be the one in which the payments of 1522 and 1523 appear which is marked with the letter “F.”  Hence he thought that the payments total of twenty-two gold ducats would seem to be incomplete, suggesting that “Rosso may have been occupied on the altarpiece longer than the ten-and-a-half months period covered by them.”  It is likely that Rosso did not begin the Marriage of the Virgin until he had completed the Dei altarpiece which, dated 1522, would have been finished after March 25 of that year. As Rosso painted two pictures in Volterra dated 1521 it is probable that the Dei altarpiece was not begun in that year, or at the earliest very late in 1521.  Vasari stated that Rosso’s Moses (P.14) and  Rebecca and Eliezer paintings (P.15) were done after the Ginori altarpiece. Rosso probably left Florence for Rome early in 1524 arriving there, after a stop in Arezzo, sometime before 24 April when the contract for the Cesi Chapel decoration was made (P.17). Hence while Rosso may have worked on the Marriage of the Virgin for a period greater than is indicated by the documents we know, it is probable that the time span was not much longer.

The chapel for which the altarpiece was made and in which it still hangs was transferred to Carlo Ginori on 18 October 1520 from the Masi family with a dedication to the Virgin Mary.5  The first known references to its new dedication to the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph appear in documents of 7 and 9 April 1522 which set out the terms of a chaplaincy for Carlo Ginori’s chapel.6 The subject of Rosso’s altarpiece is dependent upon this new dedication.

The appearance of St. Anne and St. Apollonia in the altarpiece goes back to a decision made by Carlo Ginori in his second will of 6 June 1516, almost four years before Ginori acquired a chapel for himself.7 He requested that the altarpeice for this chapel in S. Lorenzo be “di mano di buon maestro nella quale si spenda almeno fiorini cinquanta d’oro in oro” and that it contain “per la propria figura una sancta Anna colla vergine maria in grembo et una sancta appolonia a mana diritta.”8 The Dominican saint behind Joseph was already identified correctly by Richa as St. Vincent Ferrer .9

In 1550 Vasari referred to the picture as showing the “sponsalizio di N. Donna” even if more precisely it shows the Virgin’s betrothal.  The difference does not seem to bear much on the meaning of the altarpiece, nor on the significance of St. Joseph, although the sexual implication of St. Vincent Ferrer’s gesture and the general beauty of the scene do, including the vestments of the priest and the inscription on his mitre.

As pointed out several times Parmigianino’s Roman drawing of the same subject at Chatsworth and the engraving of the same scene made by Caraglio in Rome betray a knowledge of Rosso composition. Although Parmiginino may have stopped in Florence on his was to Rome, the similarity of his composition to Rosso’s may require that he had a drawing of it in Rome, and rather than a copy that he made on an undocumented trip to Florence, a drawing by Rosso himself that he brought to Rome. That they knew each other is also suggested by the fact that Caraglio also engraved drawings by Rosso.

COPIES: Florence, Uffizi, no. 6501F, Copy of the figure of St. Apollonia (Fig.P.13Copy, Florence, 6501F), red chalk, 33.9 x 21.5; in the upper left corner, in ink: 6501; verso: very light and indecipherable red chalk lines; watermark, a fish in a circle.  LITERATURE: Ferri, 1890, 125, as Rosso.  Berenson, 1903, no. 2430, as Rosso.  Ferri, 1917, no. 15, as Rosso.  Kusenberg, 1931, 141, no. 35, as Rosso.  Berenson, 1938, no. 2430, as Rosso.  Mostra del Cinquecento, 1940, 57, as Rosso.  Barocchi, 1950, 198–199, Fig. 168, as Rosso.  Longhi, 1951, 59 (1976, 99), as not by Rosso.  Bertini, BdA, 1952, 312, as not by Rosso.  Berenson, 1961, no. 2430, as Rosso.  Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. II, 471–472, F. 21., Bk. III, Fig. 168, as a copy after Rosso’s figure.  The draughtsmanship of the drawing is not related to that of any drawing certain to be by Rosso.  Given the date of the altarpiece a drawing of such a figure for it could be expected to resemble Rosso’s Seated Woman in a Niche of 1524 in the Uffizi (D.11).  But the crisp clarity of that drawing is wholly missing from the drawing related to the Sposalizio.  Its closeness to the painted figure, its soft shading and vague contours, and the manner in which it “corrects” the abstraction of Rosso’s figure indicate that it is a copy.

Florence, Uffizi, no. 20763F, Copy of the entire altarpiece (Fig P.13Copy, Florence, 20763F), pen and ink and wash, 26.3 x 17.4; inscribed in ink in the upper left corner: 20763, and at the bottom: Il Rosso fece; very foxed.  PROVENANCE: Milan, Genoulhiac Collection.  LITERATURE:  Berenson, 1903, no. 2448, as Rosso.  Gustavo Frizzoni, “L’Arte Toscana studiata nei disegni dei maestri antichi, a proposito della publicazione di Bernardo Berenson,” Rassegna d’Arte, IV, 8, 1904, 115f., Fig. 10, as Rosso.  Kusenberg, 1931, 143, no. 58, as Rosso.  Berenson, 1938, II, no. 2439A, III, Fig. 997, as Rosso.  Barocchi, 1950, 223, as a copy after Rosso’s picture probably by Jacopo da Empoli.  Berenson, 1961, II, no. 2439A, III, Fig. 996, as Rosso.  Forlani, 1963, 91, 152, no. 161, as a copy by Boscoli.  Pouncey, 1964, 291, as Boscoli.  Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. II, 484–485, F. 27, Bk. III, Fig. 178, as a copy by Andrea Boscoli.

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 62.190, Copy of the head, shoulders, and hands of St. Anne (Fig.P.13Copy, New York), black chalk, with smudged heightening in white, 20 x 14.3, silhouetted against a background painted a dull gray; inscribed in ink in lower margin of old mount, in Jonathan Richardson’s hand: Fra Bartolomeo di S. Marco. PROVENANCE: Jonathan Richardson, Sr. (Lugt 2184, 2984, 2995); Sale, London, Christie’s, 17 Feb. 1959, part of Lot 71; sold to London, Colnaghi’s (information from Christie’s); purchased in New York in 1962.  LITERATURE:  Smith, 1976, 26, 28, Fig. 4, 29, n. 11, as by Rosso.  Bean, 1982, 228, no. 227, as Rosso?  The drawing was brought to my attention in 1959 by Philip Pouncey who related it to the head in Rosso’s altarpiece and thought it might be by Rosso or a copy after his figure.  In 1968 Jacob Bean suggested that if by Rosso it might have been part of a small cartoon for the painting. The drawing is in such poor condition that it is impossible to see what its original draughtsmanship would have been.  What can be seen bears no close relation to any autograph drawing by Rosso.  Its size is also unusual for Rosso, and I know of no intermediate size cartoons, or parts of them, by Rosso with which this drawing could be associated.  It is probably a few small areas of parallel shading, at the eye, the chin, and the throat, that have suggested a relationship to Rosso’s drawings, but these patches are not enough to warrant attributing the drawing to him when the whole remainder of it is unlike anything by him.  The figure looks almost exactly like the one in the altarpiece which is also uncharacteristic of the few studies that survive of figures in paintings by Rosso.  It is difficult to conclude that the drawing is anything else but a copy after Rosso’s picture.

Paris, Louvre, Inv. 1592, Copy of the entire altarpiece (Fig.P.13Copy, Paris, 1592), pen and ink over black chalk, 27.5 x 20.7 (upper right edge and corner missing).  LITERATURE: Berenson, 1903, no. 2455, as Rosso.  Kusenberg, 1931, 145, no. 72, Pl. XIV, as Rosso.  Mez, 1932, 157, as a copy after Rosso’s painting.  Kusenberg, 1933, 164, n. 1, as a copy. Berenson, 1938, no. 2455, as Rosso.  Barocchi, 1950, 46, n. 3 (wrongly as Louvre, no. 1686), Fig. 214, as Rosso.  L. Marcucci, “Appunti per Mirabello Cavalori disegnatore,” Rivista d’Arte, XXVIII, 1953, 93, n. 30, as a copy perhaps by Cavalori.  Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. II, 509–511, F. 50, Bk. III, Fig. 204, as a copy.  The rough draughtsmanship of this sketch has nothing to do with Rosso’s.  This drawing is a schematic copy after the altarpiece.

Paris, Louvre, Inv. 1719, Copy of the figure of St. Anne (Fig.P.13Copy, Paris, 1719), 29 x 21.7, black chalk.  LITERATURE: Reiset, 1866, 18, no. 54, as attributed to Sarto.  Freedberg, 1963, II, 258, as a copy, not by Sarto, of Rosso’s figure; he thought it was related to Louvre inv. no. 1721r, Turbaned Female Head, in Profile to Right.

Paris, Louvre, Inv. 2742, Copy of the entire altarpiece (Fig.P.13Copy, Paris, 2742), pen and ink and wash heightened with white on tan paper, 32 x 26.1 (the upper left corner missing).  LITERATURE: Kusenberg, 1931, 150, no. 22, as a copy after Rosso’s picture.

Windsor Castle, no. 5037, Salviati?, Marriage of the Virgin (Fig.P.13Copy, Windsor), pen and brown ink and wash on blue paper, heightened with white, 13.8 x 16.6.  LITERATURE: Popham, in Popham and Wilde, 1949, 328, no. 901, as related to Rosso’s altarpiece, showing the peculiarities of Salviati, if not necessarily an original drawing by him.  Mortari, 1992, 280, no. 571, and Fig., as a copy after a drawing by Salviati.  The drawing shows the three central figures in positions that reflect those in Rosso’s picture, the costume and glance of the priest also related to it.

On a possible self-portrait in the Ginori collection that Rosso would have done in Florence, see L.14B.


1 See Mostra del Cinquecento, 1940, 66; Paolucci, in La communità cristiano fiorentina…, 1980, 208 (see below), gives 325 x 247, as does Franklin, 1992, 180, n. 1, and 1994, 94, caption to Color Pl. 70.  The width of the panel is wrongly givers as 150 cm. by Kusenberg, 1931, 127, 186, n. 48, by Barocchi, 1950, 246, and by Baldini, in Mostra del Pontormo, 1956, 130, no. 164.

2 I should like to thank Professor Dario Covi for his help in reading and interpreting this inscription. He informs me that this Greek word is written with the Gamma inscribed in the form of the Latin “G,” and the second M probably implied through a comma sign above the first M, and with the third A joined to the M.  The first R looks like a P and is joined to the following A. The inscription means “the word of four letters,” that is, the sacred Hebrew name JHWH (or Jahweh), the unuttered name of the Supreme Being.

3 Franklin, 1992, 197–198, Doc. 6, and 1994, 305, Appendix D, DOCUMENT 6, from which this text was taken.

4 This document also appears in Franklin, 1986, 84, 1992, 199, Document 7f, and 1994, 305, Appendix D, DOCUMENT 7e, from which this text was taken.  On copies of it, see Franklin, 1992, 158, n. 15, and 1994, 260, n. 46.  Franklin, 1992, 184, and 1994, 98, stated that this will mentions a contract, that does not survive in the Ginori archive, in the form of a “scritta” suggesting a written private agreement in Italian signed by both parties, which rules out the existence of a notorial instrument.  In the will the contract is referred to as “una conventione,” the words “una scritta” having been cancelled.  Franklin did not explain this change of wording, which, I suppose, could mean that the contract was not a “scritta.”

5 See Franklin, 1992, 182, 194–195, Doc. 3; see also Franklin, 1994, 97, 297, n. 41, and Ginori Conti, 1940, 88–90, 275–277.  Ginori’s wish for a chapel in the upper church of S. Lorenzo and a tomb in the lower church goes back to his will of 13 November 1510 and codicil of 22 April 1516 (see Franklin, 1992, 181, 192–193, Docs. 1a–b, and 1994, 96, 279, n. 31, 303, Appendix D, DOCUMENTS 2a–b. See also Ginori’s second will of 6 June 1516 (Franklin, 1994, 96–98, 279, n. 33, 303, Appendix D, DOCUMENTS 3a–e, extracts.

6 See Franklin, 1986, 32, 37, 79–82, Doc. 9 (a–b), Franklin, 1992, 185, 195–197, Docs. 4a–b, and Franklin, 1994, 97, 279, n. 42, 303–304, Appendix D, DOCUMENTS 4a–b.

7 See Franklin, 1986, 29, 79, Doc. 8(e), Franklin, 1992, 181, 193, Doc. 2c, and Franklin, 1994, 96–97, 303, Appendix D, DOCUMENT 3c.

8 See Franklin, 1992, 182, 194, Doc. 2f, and Franklin, 1994, 96–97, 303, Appendix D, DOCUMENT 3e.

9 The identification of the saint is based on his habit and on the appearance within his halo of God with two trumpeting angels indicating the Last Judgment (see Fra Bartolommeo’s St. Vincent Ferrer in the Museo di San Marco, Florence, and the small roundel showing God in Judgment with Two Trumpeting Angels, in the Casa Vasari, Arezzo, to which he once pointed when it was inserted in the frame of the picture in San Marco; see Fischer, 1999, 198–201, and Fig. 113, under no.51, and Berti, 1955, 17, no.1, and Pl. III. On the identification as St. Vicent Ferrer, see also Franklin, 1992, 180, 186, 190–191, and 1994, 102, 104–105.

Smith, 1976, 24–30, accepted Richa’s identification of the Dominican saint as St. Vincent Ferrer.  He also recognized the saint as a portrait of Carlo Ginori who commissioned the altarpiece. Because of this identification and because Smith felt that the saint looks like an insertion into the picture, and because Ginori obtained the chapel in San Lorenzo in 1520 through the agency of Cardinal Giulio de’Medici, who became Clement VII on 18 November 1523, and further because St. Vincent Ferrer had, in the late fourteenth century, supported the French papal candidate who took the name Clement VII, Smith concluded that the painting was begun before the death of Leo X, that occurred on 1 December 1521, lay dormant during the reign of Hadrian VI, and was then altered and completed in the first months of Clement VII’s reign, after the middle of November 1523.  To receive the date 1523 it would have to have been finished before March 25, 1524, the first day of the new year in Florence.

The saint does not really look much like the portrait of Carlo Ginori that Smith illustrates.  One might also ask how appropriate it would be to have a man named Carlo depicted as a Saint named Vincent.  And one might wonder if the saint looks forty-nine years old, Ginori’s age in 1523.  Furthermore, it seems unlikely that Rosso could have received this commission before Leo X’s death on 1 December 1521 and sufficiently before this time to have carried the picture forward to any extent within this period.  Around 1520 Rosso seems to have gone to Piombino to work for Jacopo V d’Appiano.  In 1521 Rosso was in Volterra where he executed two altarpieces.  As the year began on March 25, he would have to have painted these two dated works in a very short time indeed to arrive back in Florence well enough before 1 December of that year to do any significant amount of work on a picture for Carlo Ginori before he began work on the Dei altarpiece that is dated 1522.  Smith’s suggestion seems unlikely also because the Sposalizio does not itself show any sure signs of having been worked on in two periods.  It is not necessary to see the Dominican saint as an insertion that disrupts a strict symmetry that it is supposed the composition originally had.  His placement is certainly contained within the formality of the composition of the completed altarpiece, and his black and white garments, glance, and gesture only serve to heighten his role to assist the spectator at arriving at an understanding of the significance of the event about which he seems to be making some kind of declaration. In spite of the interesting information that Smith has brought together, not all of it seems to hear upon the making of this picture which, following Vasari, would have been wholly done after the Dei Altarpiece of 1522 and before the Moses of 1523–1524.  Franklin, 1992, 190, n. 59, and 1554, 280, n. 65, did not support Smith’s identification of St. Vincent as a likeness of Carlo Cinori.