From Filippo Lippi to Piero della Francesca: Fra Carnevale and the Making of a Renaissance Master

Christiansen, Keith, ed., with essays by Emanuela Daffra, Keith Christiansen, Andrea De Marchi, Matteo Ceriana, Andrea Di Lorenzo, Matteo Mazzalupi, Livia Carloni, Roberto Bellucci, Cecilia Frosinini, Ciro Castelli, and George Bisacca (2005)

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From Filippo Lippi to Piero della Francesca: Fra Carnevale and the Making of the Renaissance Master

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.

This Shakespearean conundrum, famously posed by Juliet, is of special significance for this exhibition, organized around two of the most fascinating works of the fifteenth century: paintings acquired from the celebrated Barberini Collection in Rome by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1935 and 1937, respectively. Scholars have puzzled over these works for more than a century, and if we are now able to identify their author as Giovanni di Bartolomeo Corradini, the quasi-mythical painter from Urbino, also known as Fra Carnevale, it is only because of recent documentary discoveries.

The biography of this remarkable artist takes us from Medicean Florence to Urbino, in the Marches, ruled by the great soldier-patron Federigo da Montefeltro. It involves some of the great names of quattrocento art: Filippo Lippi, Domenico Veneziano, Luca Della Robbia, Donatello, Michelozzo, and Piero della Francesca. And it embraces such key issues as: what we know about workshop practice; what we mean by artistic influence; andmost importanthow fifteenth-century painters created an artistic identity and used that identity to assert their claims to the emerging concept of creative genius....