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Фра Анджéлико
содержание
музей Искусств Метрополитен
Нью-Йорк, 2005



Предисловие

Здесь представлена один из разделов пятой главы каталога, сопровождавшего выставку работ художника эпохи Возрождения Фра Анджелико (15 век) в Музее искусств Метрополитен в Нью-Йорке в 2005 году. Каталог составлен кураторами этой выставки Лоуренсом Кантером и Пиа Палладино.

Лоуренс Кантер
Кат. 30. Фра Анджелико: Панели алтаря из Перуджи

Среди всех работ Фра Анджелико, учитывая все этапы его карьеры, одной из самых прекрасных и хорошо сохранившихся(*1) является алтарь, написанный им для капеллы Гуидалотти в церкви Святого Доминика города Перуджа. На главных панелях этого величественного алтаря (сейчас он находится в Национальной галерее Умбрии, Перуджа) представлены Богоматерь с Младенцем на троне с четырьмя ангелами, святыми Домиником, Николаем, Иоанном Крестителем и Екатериной Александрийской.

Триптих из Перуджи
Рис. 87. Мадонна с Младенцем на троне, с четырьмя ангелами и Святыми Домиником,
Николаем, Иоанном Крестителем и Екатериной Александрийской

(Алтарь Гуидотти)

Темпера, дерево.
Около 1437
Национальная галерея Умбрии, Перуджа

Капелла, в которой этот алтарь изначально находился(*2), была посвящена Святому Николаю из Бари. Отсюда и особое расположение этого святого на алтаре - в главном регистре, рядом с Богоматерью справа от неё, и на трех панелях пределлы в нижней части алтаря - в семи сценах, представляющих его жизнеописание.

На первой панели (рис. 88), слева, показано чудесное рождение Святого Николая в греческом городе Патера - согласно легенде, в первый же день после рождения, при его омовении, младенец Николай уже мог сам стоять в умывальной лохани.

Фра Анджелико. Сцены из жизни Святого Николая
Рис. 88. Фра Анджелико. Сцены из жизни Святого Николая

Около 1437
Пинакотека, Ватикан

В центральной сцене этой панели юный святой, игнорируя игры и суетность своих друзей, внимательно слушает епископа, проповедующего перед церковью. Сцена справа представляет известный сюжет "Милосердие святого Николая": узнав о бедственном положении бедняка, который не мог устроить брак своих трех дочерей из-за отсутствия достаточного приданого, Николай решил спасти девушек от неизбежной судьбы стать продажными женщинами, тайком ночью бросив через решетку окна мешочки с золотом для них, по одному каждой девушке. Благодаря известности этого сюжета мешок или золотой шар стали стандартным атрибутом святого Николая, поэтому Анджелико у ног святого на главной панели алтаря изобразил три свернутых и перевязанных мешочка с золотом.

Эта панель, также как и вторая панель пределлы, отделена от алтаря. Обе они входят в коллекцию Пинакотеки Ватикана.

На второй панели пределлы (Кат. 30.A) представлены еще две сцены из легенды о Святом Николае.

Фра Анджелико. Святой Николай успокаивает бурю
Кат. 30.А. Фра Анджелико. Святой Николай успокаивает бурю на море
и чудо сохранности количества зерна

Темпера, дерево
35 x 61.5 см (13 3/4 x 24 1/4 дюймов)
Пинакотека, Ватикан

Избранный епископом Миры, святой Николай быстро стал известен своей святостью и милосердием. Справа на этой второй панели изображена лодка, полная моряков, молящихся о спасении от жестокого шторма на море; святой Николай является им в видении, успокаивает ветер и ведет их лодку в безопасное место. В сцене слева святой Николай подходит к другой группе моряков, которые везут из Александрии в Рим зерно для императора. Николай просит у них сто мер зерна, чтобы спасти от голода его пострадавший от засухи город, но ему отвечают, что зерно тщательно измерено и в императорские зернохранилища непременно должно прибыть полное его количество. После того, как Николай заверяет моряков, что разделение их хлеба не уменьшит доли императора, они отмеряют ему сто мешков зерна для его города. И когда корабли впоследствии достигли места назначения в Риме, все запасы зерна на борту чудесным образом оказались нетронутыми.

Фра Анджелико. Успение Святого Николая
Кат. 30.B. Фра Анджелико. Святой Николай спасает трёх невиновных, приговоренных к казни
и Успение Святого Николая

Темпера, дерево
34 x 60.1 см (13 3/8 x 24 5/8 дюймов)
Национальная галерея Умбрии, Перуджа

На последней панели пределлы (Кат. 30.B) - единственной, сохранившей свое первоначальное место в алтарной структуре - Святой Николай в присутствии трех князей Священной Римской Империи останавливает казнь трех невиновных, приговоренных к смерти коррумпированным префектом. Сцена справа изображает смерть святого: тело Николая, в окружении скорбящих служителей и паломников, возложено на носилки, покрытые почетным красно-золотым полотном, а наверху четыре ангела возносят на небо его душу.

Выполненный в традиционном формате полиптиха, где на отполированном золотом фоне изображенные в полный рост святые стоят под стрельчатыми арками, по двое слева и справа от центральной панели с Богородицей и ангелами, общий дизайн этого алтаря не сильно отличается от дизайна Высокого алтаря Сан-Доменико из Фьезоле (кат. 10), триптиха Святого Петра Мученика (кат. 13) или францисканского алтаря 1428-29 гг. (кат. 24). Однако в алтаре Гуидотти для создания ощущения единого живописного пространства художник приложил значительно больше изобретательности и усилий, чем в любой из этих более ранних работ. В дополнение к обычному изображению простирающейся по переднему плану ярко окрашенной мраморной плитки пола, он продолжил от центральной к боковым панелям выступающие углы помоста, на котором покоится трон Девы, и добавил позади святых задрапированную тканью низкую золотую скамью во всю ширину боковых панелей. Эта скамья служит пространственным якорем для всей композиции, ограничивая глубину мозаичного пола с обеих сторон и помещая его в точно отмеренное соотношение с углублением помоста на центральной панели. Анджелико использовал эту скамью также как возможность усилить богатство изображенных им световых эффектов - в частности, свечения отраженных бликов и теней, деликатно впечатанных и поблескивающих вдоль складок покрывающей её ткани, - и усилить ощущение исключительной достоверности, в других отношениях создаваемой тактильным иллюзионизмом расписных драпировок, служащих опорой для митры Святого Николая, которая вскользь опирается на них, а не на ноги святого. И как еще одно нарушение ограничений готического подхода к алтарному изображению, в соответствии с которым он был должен (или он решил) работать, Анджелико изобразил отбрасываемую рамой алтаря тень, которая тянется на левой панели по мозаичному полу за фигуру Святого Доминика.

Completing the painted portion of the altarpiece was the decoration of its original frame. The present frame is a neo-Gothic structure designed and carved for the altarpiece in 1915. Although it has been criticized for the inappropriate arrangement on a single plane of twelve small figures of saints in niche-like spaces that once filled the front and lateral faces of two buttressing pilasters — one at either end of the altarpiece — it is highly plausible in its overall form, following a convention of frame design and carpentry popular in Florence through the 1430s and into the decade of the 1440s. Recent studies of the wood grain of the twelve pilaster saints have established their grouping in four columns of three saints each,(*3) but the arrangement of these columns has not yet been correctly determined. Based on compositional observations — principally, on the orientation of the stance and the direction of each saint's gaze — and, to a lesser extent, on iconographic arguments, it is possible to suggest that the left pilaster contained paintings of Saints John the Evangelist, Benedict, and Mary of Egypt (from top to bottom) on its front face, and of Saints Peter, Costanzo (?), and Peter Martyr on its outer face, while on the right pilaster were images of Saints Stephen and Lawrence with the Blessed Catherine of Siena (front face) and Saints Paul, erome, and Thomas Aquinas (on the outer face). Finally, the spandrels over the pairs of saints on the lateral panels of the altarpiece were filled by roundels portraying the Annunciatory Angel and theVirgin Annunciate, again following the format of Angelico's earlier San Pier Martire and Franciscan altarpieces.

The original frame of the Guidalotti altarpiece appears to have remained intact through its various changes of location within the church of San Domenico until 1812, when it was dismantled for shipment to Rome as part of the Napoleonic secularization of church property and the formation of the Capitoline Museum as a major public monument in the new Kingdom of Italy.(*4) Until that date, references to the altarpiece mention the three predella panels separated from it — one of which was sent to Paris and ultimately returned to Perugia, and the others sent to Rome but never recovered — yet they describe the main panels as a single unit representing the Virgin and Child with angels and saints. In the event, the altarpiece never actually left Perugia; it was retained as the property of a church still used for officiation of the cult, but after 1814 the pilaster saints and the roundels with the Annunciation are specifically referred to as distinct objects. It has not previously been noticed that another fragment must have been excised when the frame was dismantled, one not accounted for in subsequent inventories in Perugia.The central pinnacle of the altarpiece as it is now reconstructed is inappropriately designed to be the same height as the lateral pinnacles, but it originally must have been proportionately taller. Mario Salmi suggested that the decorative medallion that presently occupies its center, or one like it, might originally have contained a painted image, either of God the Father or of the Crucifixion.(*5) Although this proposal has met with little comment in studies of the altarpiece, it is undoubtedly correct.

That the center pinnacle was, indeed, once filled with an image of God the Father is indicated by closer observation of the Annunciation roundels in the lateral pinnacles. The Angel Gabriel, in the left roundel, kneels on a bank of clouds holding a palm branch in his left hand;(*6) he gazes directly across at the Virgin and raises his right hand to communicate his message of blessing. The Virgin, in the right roundel, seated humbly on a red cushion with a book open on her lap, places her hands together in prayer but looks neither across at the angel nor down, in modesty; instead, her eyes are directed upward toward the source of grace. Furthermore, she is lit from the left, as is every other figure and scene in the altarpiece except the Annunciatory Angel, on whom the light falls from the right. The only explanation for this anomaly is that the angel is not illuminated by the natural light of the chapel but by the radiance emanating from a figure of God the Father or of the Blessing Redeemer in the missing central roundel. Two independent images of God the Father by Fra Angelico survive that have been excised from Annunciation groups on altarpieces. One of these, somewhat earlier in date than the Guidalotti altarpiece and, in addition, with a Florentine provenance, is now in the collection of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, on loan to the National Gallery, London; it is discussed in catalogue 25 as part of the proposed reconstruction of the Saint Lucy altarpiece of about 1430.

Фра Анджелико. Искупитель Благословляющий
Кат. 30.C. Фра Анджелико. Искупитель Благословляющий

Темпера, дерево
Диаметр 12 см (4 3/4 дюйма)
Лувр, Париж (D.L. 1973-22)

The other (C), a small roundel (12 centimeters in diameter) in the collection of the Fondation de France, on permanent deposit at the Musee du Louvre, is generally regarded as an early work by Fra Angelico,(*7) but the dramatic three-quarter profile view of the figure di sotto in su and the foreshortening of his hands and halo argue, instead, for a date not earlier than the mid-1430s. Considerations of subject and style make this panel an excellent candidate for the missing central pinnacle of the Guidalotti altarpiece.

Even more than its reconstruction, perhaps the most controversial aspect of this altarpiece has been its dating. Traditionally associated with a notice in a sixteenth-century Dominican chronicle recording its commissioning in 1437,(*8) the altarpiece was long considered to be a fixture in assessing the chronology of Angelico's development in the fourth decade of the century. Recently, however, Andrea De Marchi, following an earlier suggestion advanced by Ulrich Middeldorf, proposed a signficantly later date for the complex, after — not before — the high altarpiece and the frescoes for San Marco in Florence, and, specifically, after Nicholas V — whose crypto-portrait he identified in the figure of Saint Nicholas — ascended to the papacy in 1447.(*9) Although this proposal has been widely accepted, it appears to be groundless. The few known or presumed portraits of NicholasV bear no demonstrable resemblance to the figure of Saint Nicholas in Angelico's altarpiece — which, in turn, is not markedly different in type from similar episcopal figures in other paintings by Angelico. The particularization of the features, adduced in favor of an interpretation of the image as a portrait, is actually typical of all of Angelico's portrayals of non-Apostolic saints in this period. Equally characteristic of his style in the 1430s is the sophisticated treatment of cast shadows throughout the panels of the Guidalotti altarpiece, while the warmer, heavier atmospheric effects found in his paintings of the following decade are absent. Additionally, the compositional structure of the narrative scenes in the predella is developed from experiments with oblique angles of vision first explored in the predella to the Louvre Coronation altarpiece (about 1432-34) and the Linaiuoli tabernacle (1433-35), and ultimately resolved with more insistent symmetry and greater geometrical rigor in the predella to the San Marco high altarpiece of about 1440-42 (see cat. 29, 34). The composition of the Birth of Saint Nicholas (fig. 88) is nearly identical in structure to that of the Preaching of Saint Peter from the Linaiuoli predella. It is impossible to imagine the former work separated from the latter by the artist's experience designing the scenes of the San Marco predella, just as it is impossible to conceive of the earlier style of the Guidalotti predella interrupting the progression from the San Marco predella to the Annunziata Silver Chest.(*10)

Several further observations may be made in favor of the traditional dating of the Guidalotti altarpiece. Although it is frequently argued that Angelico was constrained by his provincial (Umbrian) patrons, the Dominicans of Perugia, to perpetuate an outdated, Gothic-type polyptych, what physical evidence remains to be gleaned from the disassembled panels of the altarpiece itself suggests that it was probably constructed and painted in Florence. While it is possible nonetheless that Angelico was not free to choose his own format, such an assumption cannot be sustained a priori, and a date in the mid-1430s is not incompatible with the form of the Guidalotti altarpiece.(*11) In addition, it has frequently been contended that Angelico relied on assistants to paint the Guidalotti altarpiece, although no consensus exists in assigning specific passages or sections of the work to hands other than the master's. Comparison of the engraved and glazed feathers of the wings of the angels on either side of the Virgin's throne in the center panel makes clear that assistants were, indeed, employed — at least in a minor capacity — in carrying out the decorative details of this work; the feathers of the right-hand angel's wing are carefully individualized and brilliantly foreshortened along its "muscular" top ridge, while the feathers of the left-hand angel's wing are approximate, not entirely competent, imitations of them, merely filling in the form rather than modeling it. However, one assistant was allowed a freer, more independent hand elsewhere in the altarpiece in painting the figures of Saints Paul, Jerome, Stephen, and Lawrence in their entirety on the pilasters, as well as most of the central panel of the predella.(*12) This assistant clearly was Zanobi Strozzi,(*13) and the style of these passages is consistent with his work of the late 1430s.

Documentation of the patronage of the Guidalotti chapel has not uncovered any more reliable clues to the date or circumstances of the commissioning of the altarpiece. Elisabetta Guidalotti provided for the endowment and, apparently, for the decoration of the chapel, in which she had erected a tomb monument to her brother Benedetto Guidalotti (d. 1429), the bishop, successively, of Valva and Sulmona, Teramo, and Recanati.(*14) Apparently, though, she was not the only member of the Guidalotti family to enjoy patronage rights to the chapel, or to have set aside funds for its embellishment: there exist notices relating to previous generations of Guidalotti, including a member of a collateral branch of the family, Francesco di Ugolino di Lippo Guidalotti, who left two hun-dred florins in his will of 1434 for the maintenance of the chapel.(*15) The fact that none of the many figures in the altarpiece makes overt allusion to Elisabetta Guidalotti as its patron, and that possible references to Benedetto Guidalotti are at best equivocal — Saint Benedict is among the twelve saints on the pilasters, but, as the father of Western monasticism, he is frequently depicted in major Dominican altarpieces — it is possible that the two did not exercise any direct control over the provision of liturgical furnishings for their chapel. The presence of the Guidalotti coat of arms on the altarpiece frame, recorded in early sources, implies only that they were called upon to finance its production but not that they were given authority to change the preexisting dedications of the chapel. Certainly, it is most unlikely that Elisabetta Guidalotti personally intervened through the extended Florentine family of her husband, Bartolomeo di Onofrio Bartolini, to engage the services of Fra Angelico, as has been suggested.(*16) It is far more plausible to assume that the artist was selected by the Perugian Dominicans themselves, and furthermore that his documented residence at San Domenico, Cortona, in 1438, may have been occasioned in part by the need to travel to Perugia to install the recently completed altarpiece there.

Л.К.


Сноски:

(*1). The discreet areas of paint loss that affect the various panels comprising this altarpiece are documented in Fusetti and Virilli 1998, pp. 126-35, but the picture surface otherwise is remarkably free of abrasion.

(*2). V. Garibaldi (1998, pp. 121-25) presents a detailed chronicle of the fate of most parts of this altarpiece from the seventeenth century onward. It had been removed from the Chapel of Saint Nicholas and separated from its predella by 1683 and possibly as early as 1614, when part of the vaulting of San Domenico collapsed.

(*3). Fusetti and Virilli 1998, p. 130.

(*4). Garibaldi 1998, pp. 121-23; Rossi 1876, pp. 326, 332, 349, and Rossi 1877, esp. pp. 11, 102, 104.

(*5). Salmi 1958, p. 30.

(*6). The iconography of the Annunciation of the birth of Christ, as opposed to the death of the Virgin, in which the angel bears a palm branch instead of a lily, is discussed in Braunfels 1949, p. xiii; Zucker 1975, pp. 193-95; Liebrich 1997, pp. 79-80.

(*7). Longhi 1968, p. 44; Cole Ahl 1984, pp. 19-20; Bonsanti 1998, pp. 120-21; Briere 2002.

(*8). Timoteo Bottonio, O.P (about 1578), Biblioteca Comunale di Perugia, ms. 1151 (no. 102), vol. B c. 42r (sub datum 1437): "La tavola de l'altar di San Nic.o ne la capella de Guidalotti fu data questo anno a dipignere a F. Giovanni da Fiesole Pre. S.mo et famosiss.o pittore de l'ord.e nro.," cited in Garibaldi 1998, p. 24.

(*9). De Marchi 1985, pp. 53-57; Middeldorf 1955, pp. 188-89.

(*10). Among the few recent scholars to dispute a later dating for the Guidalotti altarpiece, G. Bonsanti (2003, p. 49) adduces the evidence of Sano di Pietro's Gesuati altarpiece of 1444, which includes a figure of Saint Jerome that is a visual quotation of the depiction of Saint Nicholas reading, in Angelico's altarpiece.

(*11). The first sacra conversazione planned by Angelico as a pala quadrata is the San Marco high altarpiece of 1440-42. The Annalena altarpiece, sometimes discussed as a work of 1434 or earlier, is later in date — certainly designed after 1440 and possibly as late as 1452-53 — and executed by Angelico's workshop. The Cortona polyptych, also occasionally discussed as a work of about 1430, is a loose replica of the Guidalotti altarpiece, its predella a reprise of that below the Louvre Coronation; it, too, is likely to have been painted in the 1440s, and is certainly a product of Angelico's studio.

(*12). Five figures at the extreme left of the composition are by Angelico, but all the rest and the entire background are by another hand. Nowhere else does the altarpiece reveal significant intervention by anyone other than Angelico himself.

(*13). The contention (Berti 1967, p. 9) that the center predella panel was painted by Giovanni di Consalvo is correct insofar as that name is understood to signify the author of the frescoes in the Orange Cloister at the Badia Fiorentina. It is argued below (pp. 291-93) that these frescoes are collaborative works, in large part by Zanobi Strozzi, some of them executed over sinopie drawn by Fra Angelico.

(*14). Biganti 1998, pp. 503-19.

(*15). Ibid., p. 106.

(*16). Ibid., pp. 102-10; Strehlke 1999, pp. 477-79.



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