Кат. 26. Фра Анжелико: Царь Давид, играющий на псалтерионе
First described by Berenson as "the only drawing by Fra Angelico which leaves no ground for doubt,"(*1) the British Museum David is unanimously recognized by scholars as one of the artist's small-scale masterpieces.
Кат. 26. Фра Анжелико. Царь Давид, играющий на псалтерионе
(вырезка из псалтыри)
19,7 х 17,9 см. (7 3/4 x 7 дюймов)
Британский музей, Лондон (1895-9-15-437)
Against the creamy white parchment preparation is the exquisitely elegant figure of the prophet King David dressed in royal armor, his face turned upward to God as his fingers move nimbly along the strings of a psaltery. He is seated on an impressively carved stone seat raised on a platform. The figure is identified by a Latin inscription, possibly added at a later date: PROPHAETA. DAVID. A delicately applied purple wash, now par tially faded, highlights the prophet's hair and the deep folds of his mantle, and articulates the architectural details of the stone seat.
Although sometimes placed in the category of model-book drawings, and believed by Popham and Pouncey to have been executed on "a piece of waste parchment,"(*2) the British Museum's David was correctly identified by Berenson as a cutting from a psalter, or Book of Psalms. On the reverse of the image, the original recto of the folio (fig. 72), is the continuation of the missing volume's index,(*3) containing the list of hymns and Psalms to be recited at the appropriate times of day, followed by the incipit: "In Christi nomine amen. Incipit psalterium secundum morem et consuetudimen romane curiae" ("In the name of Christ. Amen. Here begins the psalter according to the customs and usage of the Roman curia").
Рис. 72. Оборотная сторона Кат. 26.
Below this text is the rubric:"Ad nocturnum. Psahnus David" ("At nocturns.The Psalm of David"). Fra Angelico's illustration, which takes up virtually the entire space on the verso, presumably faced the text of Psalm 1, located on the following leaf of the same volume. In most medieval and Early Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, Psalm i,"Beati. vir" ("Blessed is the man"), opens with a historiated initial B containing an image of King David, traditionally believed to have been the author of the Psalms. One such example also excised from a psalter is the initial B with David looking up to God, by Zanobi Strozzi (cat. 46), included in the present exhibition. Fra Angelico's illustration, on the other hand, is more typical of the so-called prefatory full-page miniatures, showing the seated prophet as a musician, which appear in the introductory pages of early medieval psalters.(*4)
Кат. 46. Заноби Строцци. Молящийся Царь Давид в инициале B
14,2 х 13,5 см. (5 5/8 x 5 1/8 дюймов)
Музей Искусств Метрополтиен, Нью-Йорк
Коллекция Роберта Лемана, 1975 (1975.1.2470)
Most authors have concurred in dating the British Museum David to about 1430 or only slightly later.(*5) In fact, the lucidly articulated structure of the prophet's seat finds a close precedent in other works produced by the artist during this period, such as the remarkable series of predella panels centered around the Philadelphia Burial of the Virgin, which are here dated around 1429 (cat. 25 C).
Кат. 25.C. Фра Анжелико. Успение Богородицы
Общий размер 26.2 x 52.5 см (10 5/16 x 20 5/8 дюймов)
Размер изображения 24.5 x 48.2 см (9 5/8 x 19 дюймов)
Музей искусств, Филадельфия,
Коллекция Джона Д. Джонсона (no. 15)
Like the drawing, these works are distinguished above all by the artist's confident display of his absolute mastery of one-point perpective and of the classically inspired, Early Renaissance architectural idiom developed by Brunelleschi and Masaccio. In terms of its figural style, however, the drawing reflects a slightly more mature phase in the artist's career than this predella, anticipating the formal vocabulary of such images as the Louvre Coronation of the Virgin, from about 1432-34. This would confirm a date for Angelico's intervention in the decoration of the psalter between 1430 and 1432.
If the British Museum David is to be viewed within the context of Fra Angelico's activity as an illuminator rather than as an independent drawing, it may be worth speculating on the possible circumstance of its commission. While it is tempting to associate the original psalter with the same Florentine Dominican establishments that sponsored the production of other liturgical books decorated by the artist, the fact that it was written according to the Use of Rome, as stated in the incipit, would seem to preclude a monastic provenance. Like privately owned Books of Hours, whose function the psalter sometimes replaced, the volume may have been commissioned by a powerful cleric or Florentine aristocrat, perhaps with ties to the Dominican order.(*6)
(*1). Berenson 1903, p. 4.
(*2). Popham and Pouncey 1950, no. 2, p. 2.
(*3). From the top of the leaf, the full text on the torso (the original recto) reads as follows: "[pa]ter piissime patrique co[m]par uni / ce cum sp[irit] uparaclito regna[n]s / per omne seculu[m]. Amen. / [rub.] [...]tem seque[n]s hymnus.s. Nocte surge[n]tes [rub.] Dicit[ur] ad noct[urnum] in d[omi]ni / cis diebus ab octava[va] pentecoste[m] / usq[ue] ad Kl. octobris. hymnus. / ad nocturnum. / Nocte sugentes vigilemus / om[ne]s semper in psalimis meditem[ur] / atque viribus totis domino cana/mus dulciter hymnos. Ut pio / regi pariter canantes cu[m] suis / sanctis meramur aulam in / gredi caeli simul et beatam du / cere vitam. Prestet hoc no / bis deitas beata p[at]ris ac nati / pariterque sancti sp[iritu]s cuius ro / boat in omni gl[ori]a mundo / amen. [rub.] In prima nocturno. / de adventu. / Venite ecce. [rub.] Ps. Beatus vir / [...] / [rub.] Sub qua dominicis per usque. ad. Ps. / Conserva me. / In christi nomine amen. Incipit / psalterium s[e]c[un]d[u]m morem / et consuetudinem roma / nae curiae. / [rub.] Ad noct[untiom]. Psalmus david."
(*4). Corrigan 1996, pp. 87-95.
(*5). Degenhart and Schmitt (1968, pp. 446-48), followed by Bonsanti (1998), suggest a date of about 1430. For Pope-Hennessy (1974, p. 235),"the architecture of the seat is consistent with a dating ca. 1433."
(*6). Rosemary Muir Wright (2000, p. 6) aptly notes that "some of the most famous illuminated psalters were made for lay people of high status."