L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Half a circle and a window - the fresco of Vertumnus and Pomona by Jacopo Pontormo at Poggio a Caiano, circa 1519-21


The country villa of Poggio a Caiano is located in the comune of the same name in Tuscany. Also called Ambra, it is one of the most famous Medici villas and perhaps the best example of architecture commissioned by Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, il Magnifico. The villa, located in the middle of a hilltop at the foot of the Montalbano mountains, was designed by Giuliano da Sangallo. Construction began in 1485, with work continuing for decades, long past the deaths of Lorenzo de' Medici and his architect. And its decoration, adaptations, restorations would continue for centuries. Today, state owned, it remains a priceless record of Renaissance art and architecture.

The salone

The decoration of the salone was only begun after 1513, in the time of Lorenzo's son Giovanni, by then Pope Leo X. The frescoes were created by the greatest Florentine masters of the time; along with Pontormo, they included Andrea del Sarto and Franciabigio. (They were finally completed some fifty years later by Alessandro Allori.) Pontormo's lunette has traditionally been described as representing the classical myth of Vertumnus and Pomona, a tale taken from Ovid's Metamorphosis. The identification goes back to Vasari, who reported that Pontormo was asked to depict Vertumnus along with other figures. But Vasari's text does not give an actual description of the work. So it's possible that the fresco tells a different story; one theory is that it's a portrayal of Bacchus and Ceres with personifications of the Four Seasons.

No comments:

Post a Comment