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P.22 III South: Death of Adonis and the Funeral of Hector

P.22 III South: The Death of Adonis

The central fresco: c. 1.67 x c. 2.57 m.

Fig.P.22, III S a bw, whole wall
Fig.P.22, III S b whole wall
Fig.P.22, III S c left side
Fig.P.22, III S d right side
Fig.P.22, III S e Adonis
Fig.P.22, III S f bw, left stucco
Fig.P.22, III S g bw, right stucco
Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, a full tapestry
Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, b bw, full tapestry
Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, c bw, central scene
Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, d bw, detail of Adonis
Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, e bw, left stucco/painting
Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, f bw, left painting
Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, g bw, right painting

The highest small piece of stucco above the central salamander does not appear in the Vienna tapestry where, also, the two large volutes of strapwork in stucco at the left and right of the salamander are the same while they are slightly different in the gallery.  In both of these details the tapestry would seem to indicate what originally appeared in the gallery.  In the medallion under the right stucco relief there was an “F”, instead of the “I” that is there now, which was found under the salamander that was removed during the recent restoration.  Pressouyre, “Restaurations,” 1972, 32, pointed out that this and the other three medallions on a blue ground are modern frescoes that copy more or less the medallions of the Vienna tapestries.  The substitution of the “I” would most likely come from this source.  The upper medallions differ considerably from what appears in the tapestry although the scenes are of the same kind.  It would seem that earlier restorers studied the tapestry in Vienna from which they made sketches to use when doing their work in the gallery.

In Carroll, 1987, 242-244, it is suggested that initially the Funeral of Hector (see below) was planned for this wall.

The Funeral of Hector

PREPARATORY DRAWING: D.58A, B.  Montpellier, Musée Fabre, no. 3180 (Fig.D.58A).  Weimar, Goethe-Nationalmuseum, Schuchardt, 1848, I, 244, no. 117 (Fig.D.58B).  These drawings, of which the Montpellier sheet may be a copy of the other, are derived from a lost drawing by Rosso the full composition of which is represented by Fantuzzi’s reversed etching (see below).  They show the schematized architecture and bald heads that are characteristic of some of Rosso’s drawings.  The copies do not show the architecture behind the group of figures at the right that appears in Fantuzzi’s print and this is very possibly an omission of the copyists, for the drawings, especially the intact Weimar drawing, show other details that are almost certainly modifications from Rosso’s original composition, on which see D.58.

PRINT: E.72.  Fantuzzi, The Funeral of Hector.  This etching is in reverse of the Montpellier and Weimar drawings.  In the etching there are architectural details not found in the drawings, the figure seen from the back has hair, and one piece of wood is different.  There are also none of the large puffs of smoke in the print that seem not to be part of Rosso’s original conception.  Fantuzzi may have worked from the drawing from which the copies are derived.  But it is possible that he worked from a slightly later lost drawing by Rosso that resembled the print even more in the fuller definition of some details, although these elaborations could have been added by the etcher.

The Death of Adonis

PREPARATORY DRAWING: D.63A, B.  Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Art Museums, Fogg Museum, no. 446.1333 (Fig.D.63A); and Dresden (formerly), Gasch, Acherman Sale, no. 132, (Fig.D.63B).

These two pen and ink line drawings, of which the Fogg example is somewhat finer and better preserved, describe identical images except for the cross-bar of the legs of Adonis’s couch, which it would seem was simply mistakenly copied by the draughtsman of the Dresden drawing.  Both go back to a lost drawing by Rosso which probably also had washes and perhaps white highlights as well.  The fresco shows exactly the same composition except for the difference of the design of the wheel of Venus’s chariot and of the leg of Adonis’s couch.  These small changes were probably made in the cartoon.

PRINT: E.76.  Fantuzzi, The Death of Adonis.  This etching, in reverse of the fresco in the gallery, would seem to be based upon the lost drawing by Rosso of which two copies are recorded above, or upon a very similar lost drawing.  The print shows the same two small differences from the fresco that appear in the drawings.  There are a few other very small differences in the etching: the omission of the balance from the top of Fortune’s head, the slight extension of Venus’s chariot so that more of the back wheel is shown than in the fresco (this second wheel is cut-off in both drawings), a single rosette on the front of the chariot instead of two discs, and the fleeing woman at the right is nude from the waist up.  There is also a hole in the band at Venus’s back that does not show in the drawings.

COPIES, DRAWINGS: Paris, Louvre, Inv. 1581.  Orgy of Votaries of Cybele (Fig.P.22Copy, Paris, 1581).  Pen and ink and wash, heightened with white over black chalk, 54 x 38 (several sheets of paper pasted together).  Certain parts of the drawing are missing, filled in, and re-drawn in pencil: the left hand of the piper and his bagpipe, and part of the right foot of the figure held upside down. LITERATURE: Kusenberg, 1931, 149, no. 16, as from Rosso’s studio, and as corresponding to the stucco scene at the right of the Death of Adonis.  Béguin and Pressouyre, 1972, 130, 131, Fig. 190, as a copy of the stucco relief.  Carroll, 1987, 249, n. 6, under no. 77, as a cartoon for the tapestry.  Scailliérez, 1992, 132, no. 57B, 133, Fig.B, as without doubt a studio “modello” for the stucco at the right of the Death of Adonis.

This large drawing was not made for the stucco at the right of the Death of Adonis, as is indicated by the hair of the upside down figure who is bald in the relief.  However, the drawing is identical to the scene in the Vienna tapestry that shows this figure with hair and also with his right arm in exactly the same position which is slightly different in the relief.  The drawing is the same size as the scene in the tapestry and presumably the same size as the stucco relief so that it would seem to be a cartoon for one or the other.  But as it coincides most particularly with the tapestry it would seem to have been used to make it, and not the stucco in the gallery.  It is, therefore, probable that the drawing was made as the cartoon for the tapestry but not directly from the stucco in the gallery, but from a drawing that had been used to make the cartoon for the stucco.  However, this scene was woven in color, although actually more with touches of color in an otherwise generally tan and gray picture.  This could mean that originally it was to be woven in gray and white to imitate the stucco relief and then given color by the weavers, unless color indications were given from some other source or model.

Formerly J.P. Morgan Collection.  Design for a Grotto and Fountain.  Pen and ink (Fig.Grotto).  Inscribed in ink in lower left corner: 37.  A photograph of this drawing in the Witt Library in London bears an attribution to Primaticcio.  The two reclining nude youths with legs intertwined which are set in front of a cave-like structure and at either side of a grotesque mask spouting water are distantly related to the nudes at the upper left of the Death of Adonis wall.  This drawing was kindly brought to my attention by Janet Cox-Rearick.

Geneviève Viollet-le-Duc Collection.  Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, Copy of the right side of the wall (Fig.Viollet-le-Duc drawing 2).  Drawing done in 1834.  Lossky, 1970, 203-208, Fig. 1.  Lossky, “Cinq dessins,” 1970, 151, Pl. XX, 3.  The drawing shows the beam at the top of the wall lower than it appears in the Vienna tapestry but this may be because the tapestry describes a smooth undersurface for all the beams while they are actually coffered in the gallery.  The mouldings of the coffering could have lowered the appearance of the beams.  The drawing also shows in the roundel under the relief what may be the (somewhat effaced?) salamander painted there in a previous restoration over the initial I that appears there now, itself a replacement of the original F.  A painted garland appears at the bottom of the wall instead of the nude male with a fox that is painted in the gallery.  This last change in the drawing is strange because the draughtsman did copy the two painted female nudes above.  No other evidence indicates that the nude and the fox had ever been painted out and replaced by a garland. The garland might then be a fanciful substitution by Viollet-le-Duc.

TAPESTRY: Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, CV/2, 330 x 640 (for media, see below).  The tapestry (Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, a; Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, bFig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, c, Fig.P.22,III S,Tapestry,d; Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, e; Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry, f; Fig.P.22, III S,Tapestry g) reproduces the decoration of this wall with few changes.  In the central picture the drapery and landscape have been slightly elaborated.  The heads of the nudes above overlap the lateral beam, and the reliefs are shown as colored pictures.  At the left the stucco girl has been changed to a boy who points at the peeing boy farther to the left.  Above them the compositions of the circular blue and white scenes are very slightly different (on which, see above), and below at the right the “F” has been replaced by an “I,” which then became the model for the restoration of this roundel in the gallery in the mid-nineteenth century.  The outer garlands are illusionistic.

In the central picture the dark blond flying putto at the upper left has grayish flesh with a tan and brown wing, light and dark green at the top.  He carries a garment that goes from gray to orange to peach becoming very bleached in the light and grayish in the shadows.  The woman beneath him fleeing to the left has light brown hair with gray ribbons; her dress is dark green becoming yellow-green in the light.  In the lower left corner the crouching winged figure wears a dress light green shot with gold threads at the top and blue under the arm; where this garment blows out to the left and turns back it is yellow with red in the shadows.  The garment has pink fringe.  Her cloak blowing out to the left is similar in color to the garment carried by the putto at the upper left.  There are pink and blue ribbons in her blond hair.  Her wing is blue, green, yellow-tan, and red with gold threads at the right and above.  The winged standing figure to the right, to the immediate left of Adonis, has similar ribbons in her hair and her wings are also similar but somewhat more green.  Her upper garment is tan and gray going red in the shadows; her lower garment shifts from dark blue to tan to gold.  Adonis’s body is tan and gray in the shadows going to pink.  His hair is reddish blond.  Behind him a winged figure holds a dark green garment shot with yellow green that is visible just left of his head and at his side.  The blue pillow with a pattern on which he sits has pink drapery placed around it.  That winged figure behind him has tan and dark green wings with touches of dark red; she has green and pink ribbons in her blond hair.  Her blue upper garment is shot with gold and has green fringe; her skirt is the same color as that of the garment carried by the putto at the upper left.  The first standing putto to the right of Adonis has tan wings, the second green blue.  The reclining putto is blond with ochre and pink wings with touches of light blue; his drapery is peach.

Venus has light brown hair with one pink ribbon and other green ribbons at the back.  The part of her garment fastened at her shoulders is light pink while her dress is tan and dark wine-red in the shadows, with a blue sash and green skirt.  Cupid has blond hair, light green wings, and a red quiver.  Fortune with a wheel and a balance on her head has brown hair and wears a red cap with a green ribbon.  Her green dress is worn over a gray blouse with a gold border.  Tribulation carrying the hammers has gray hair with a yellow ribbon and wears a a blue cap; her cloak is tan and dull green.  There is pink fringe on the Venus’s chariot.

The clouds are gray with touches of blue and gold.  The town is also gray, the mountains white, and the sky blue with gold light at the horizon.  The grasses and plants are green.

At the lower right of the wall the large male nude has blond hair.  The band across his forehead and the drapery behind him are green; blue drapery falls from his shoulder and can be seen behind his left arm.  The woman at the lower left is also blond.  There is peach drapery behind her.  She rest against a blue pillow with a pattern in gold.  The putto holds a brown bearded mask; his drapery is blue.  At the top of the wall the vegetable garlands show greens and blues, with some red.  The garlands at the far left and right are similarly colored.  The four medallions at the sides of the center picture are blue.  The “stucco” parts are gray with some gold ornament.  The salamander at the top and the monsters beneath the side pictures are tan and gold.  Those pictures are largely tan and gray, with blue sky, and with a few details in red, pink, blue, and yellow.

DRAWING: Paris, Louvre, Inv. 1531.  Orgy of Votaries of Cybele.  On this drawing, which seems to be the cartoon for the small picture at the right, see above.