P.22 V South: Cleobis and Biton

P.22 V South: Cleobis and Biton

The central fresco: c. 1.675 x c. 2.545 m.

Fig.P.22, V S a whole wall
Fig.P.22, V S b bw, whole wall
Fig.P.22, V S c bw, stucco relief, Caritas
Fig.P.22, V S d stucco detail
Fig.P.22, V S e bw, round stucco left
Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, a whole tapestry
Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, b bw, whole tapestry
Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, c bw, round picture left
Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, d bw, round picture right
Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, e bw, Charity stucco

Instead of the ovals, each with an “F,” beneath the beams there were originally circular disks with feigned marble centers resembling those in the Vienna tapestry (see below).  One disk is dimly visible in Guesdon’s lithographic view of the gallery (Fig.Guesdon).  There is a patch in the tapestry above the salamander suggesting the removal of a motif which could originally have also been in the gallery.  At the lower left and right there may originally have been rams’ heads as in the Vienna tapestry.

PRINTS: E.143.  Anonymous, Caritas Romana (Cimon and Pero) (E.143).  This engraving is related to the stucco relief under the Cleobis and Biton and is in the same direction.  It is not, however, copied from this relief which shows several differences, the two most important being the absence of a figure running to the left in the background behind the child held by Pero and the posture of the nude just right of center who is seen behind a pier and from the front in the stucco and in front of the pier and from the back in the engraving.  As both of these figures in the print look very much like Rosso’s inventions it is very likely that the etcher worked from a lost drawing by Rosso.  The relief is slightly less long than the etching which would seem to account for the two changes although they have been restored in the Vienna tapestry.  But there the bars of the window are not shown.  The engraving is very slightly higher than the relief and the straight upper edge of the window seems to be the addition of the etcher for it is out of line with the perspective of the bars and probably with the steps in front of the window.  The principal central figures in this etching are reproduced in reverse in an anonymous print (E.144).

E.87.  Fantuzzi, Frame (E.87).  Judging from the posture of the putto with his hands at his genitals this etching shows the right stucco panel of this wall, without a scene in the round frame, reproduced on either side of a vertical landscape.  Considering only the stucco panel its reproduction in the etching does not show the armless female statuettes in the openings of the curved side slabs and shows lions’ heads and putti’s heads set under volutes below instead of winged putti’s heads set on four scrolls and masks.  Alone these differences and the varied posture of the winged seated putto above, could signify that Fantuzzi was working from a drawing by Rosso, although these changes could have been wrought by the etcher.  This would seem all the more probable because of the dissimilarity of the rest of the design of the etching from what appears in the gallery.  The stucco motifs at the upper left and right and the two disks above the seated putti resemble what was executed in stucco (although the disks are no longer there) but the four romping putti above and the reclining young female and male below are not painted on this wall.  The romping putti do, however, resemble the two at the upper left of the Vienna tapestry related to this wall (see below) but they do not actually copy the latter or show their heads above the upper limit of the decorated area.  These putti are bald in the etching but not in the tapestry.  The etching also has horned animals’ heads at the lower left and right that resemble those in the tapestry but are not found in the gallery.  There is no other evidence to indicate that they were originally there.  There is some possibility that in these details the etching reflects a lost drawing by Rosso the composition of which was altered when the final design of this wall was made and then used when the tapestry cartoon was designed.  It could also be argued that Fantuzzi used a drawing made in preparation for the tapestry cartoon but such a drawing would not account for the posture of the seated putti which do not resemble those in the tapestry.  The reclining nudes below could possibly also go back to Rosso – the male is similar to the nymph in his Vertumnus and Pomona (D.46; E.62) – although Fantuzzi was certainly capable of inventing such figures in a Rossoesque manner.  It needs only to be kept in mind that an etching of this kind may preserve certain motifs that were invented by Rosso and that are not preserved in any other work.

E.145.  Anonymous, Frame (E.145).  This etching is related, but with variations, to the left side of the wall, but without the central stucco, and shows this side in the original direction at the right and in reverse at the left, on either side of a draped woman holding a book standing in a vertical frame.  These left and right parts of this print may have been derived from a lost drawing for the left section of this wall.

TAPESTRY: Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, CV/4.  332 x 635 (for media, see below).  Although this tapestry (Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, a; Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, b; Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, c; Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, d; Fig.P.22, V S,Tapestry, e) basically reproduces what appears in the gallery it has been highly elaborated and altered in many details.  The round stucco reliefs are shown as colored paintings as are the two stucco putti seated above them.  Two more “painted” putti are added at the upper left and at the upper right playing among the garlands.  Their heads overlap the feigned lateral beam above as the heads of the putti below the round lateral scenes overlap the stucco decoration above them; this does not (and cannot) occur in the gallery.  In the relief of Cimon and Pero beneath the central picture, the figures appear as in the anonymous engraving of this scene and not as in the actual relief in the gallery.  Alongside this “relief” there are two rectangular and framed marble panels that do not appear in the gallery.  The small armless female statuettes in the gallery alongside the round reliefs are male and female herms in the tapestry.  Some of the differences in the tapestry appear to go back to early designs by Rosso for the wall itself.  There is a repair above the salamander suggesting that something has been removed (Pressouyre suggested a crown), although nothing appears here in the gallery.

In the center picture the statue in the temple is white with gray shadows and is set on a gold base.  The paired columns of the temple are red, green, and blue veined with gold grapevines and shells; the base of the temple is gray veined with light blue, green, pink, and white.  The old priestess in the chariot has white drapery, black in the shadows, streaming back from her head.  Around her forehead is a light green band.  Her dress is tan with green at the collar and cuffs; the sash around her waist is also green.  Two red bands with pink tassels fall from her  shoulders.  The sides of her chariot have an interlace pattern of gold on a red ground; the flaps at the bottom are blue.  There are large blue oval disks at the corners of the chariot, the fully visible one at the front looking like veined marble.  The first son farthest to the left wears a wine red tunic with tan fringe; a dark green sash is thrown around his body.  The second son wears a pink tunic over a gray shirt; there is a yellow, green, and blue sash around his waist.

The putti at the bottom of the tapestry have, beginning at the left, light green, wine-red, yellow green, and tan drapery, the latter the same color as the dress of the priestess.