Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Design of a Candlestick with Winged Figures at Base Surrounding Scenic Medallion

Artist:
Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) (Italian, Florence 1501–1547 Rome)
Date:
1501–47
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, brown and gray wash
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1950
Accession Number:
50.605.30
Not on view
Although he received commissions for numerous monumental
fresco cycles throughout his thirty-year career, it was as a
designer of small-scale decorative objects that Perino’s artistic
imagination took flight. This lavish design for a bronze
candlestick brimming with ornament is a veritable
advertisement for his prodigious powers of invention. In a
seamless synthesis of the sacred and profane that epitomizes
the cultural ethos of Renaissance Rome, classicizing
swags, acanthus leaves, and grotteschi frame a medallion—
presumably an engraved rock crystal—illustrating an
episode of the Passion. The Christian imagery—both the
narrative scene and the saint standing in a niche at the
top—indicates that the candlestick was intended for an altar
rather than a secular domestic context. Nothing about the
patron or the intended setting are known, but according to
the biographer Giorgio Vasari, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese
commissioned Perino to design rock-crystal plaques to
ornament two altar candlesticks. Conceivably, the present
sheet relates to that project, as do two studies by Perino
in the Museum's collection.
Dr. Max A. Goldstein, St. Louis (American, 1870–1941 St. Louis, Missouri); János Scholz (American (born Hungary), Sopron 1903–1993 New York); Vendor: János Scholz (American (born Hungary), Sopron 1903–1993 New York)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Perino del Vaga in New York Collections," September 27, 2011–February 5, 2012.

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