Pietro Bembo by Raphael, c. 1504, Szépmûvesti Museum (Photo credit: Web Gallery of Art)
Portrait of Pietro Bembo
Oil on wood, 54 x 69 cm
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest
(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)http://www.wga.hu/html_m/r/raphael/1early/08bembo.html Web Gallery of Art
When I turned on my computer this morning, there were several entries on Pietro Bembo and several portraits and other images associated our Cardinal. I am glad my short post generated a search for portraits of Pietro Bembo. The internet’s search engines are very powerful and bloggers may be more useful than they seem.
Baldassare Castiglione by Raphael, Louvre Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pietro Bembo is mentioned in Wikipeda’s entry on Baldassare Castiglioni. As for the “Portrait of a Man” it remains unidentified, but according to Britannica, Giovanni Bellini did produce a painting of Cardinal Pietro Bembo, named “Portrait of a YoungMan.” Bellini also painted an identified portrait of the Doge Leonardo Loredan.
His [Giovanni Bellini’s] Doge Leonardo Loredan in the National Gallery, London, has all the wise and kindly firmness of the perfect head of state, and his Portrait of a Young Man (c. 1505; thought to be a likeness of the Venetian writer and humanist Pietro Bembo) in the British royal collection portrays all the sensitivity of a poet (Britannica).
Pietro Bembo by Raphael, c. 1504, Szépmûvészti Museum (Web Gallery of Art)
Portrait of a Man by Giovanni Bellini (Web Gallery of Art)
At the moment, we have three identified portraits of Pietro Bembo: Titian’s, Bassano’s and Raphael’s. Bellini’s “Portrait of a Man” or “Portrait of a Young Man,” shows a young man resembling Pietro Bembo, which is inconclusive. Given that Raphael, Titian, Bassano and Giovanni Bellini made a portrait of the Cardinal, it seems, however, that he was a prominent figure during his lifetime.
The book I am writing, on Molière, includes discussions of l’honnête homme. I am also revisiting préciosité and the querelle des femmes. Women met in salons.
It appears the portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo (20 May 1470 – 18 January 1547) published in a post dated 27 January 2016 is not by Titian (1488/1490 – 27 August 1576). It is by Jacopo Bassano (1510 – 14 February 1592) and it was painted in c. 1545, a few years after Titian painted his portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo. Bassano’s cardinal is not given a name by the Szépmûvészeti Museum, but I suspect it is a portrait Cardinal Pietro Bembo.
Wikipedia’s entry on Pietro Bembo shows the above painting but it is attributed to Titian, However, the same painting is featured in Wikipedia’s entry on Jacopo Bassano. It is one of the paintings that forms part of a gallery located at the foot of the entry on Jacopo Bassano. The cardinal shown in Wikipedia’s entry on Bassano is not named, nor is the cardinal whose portrait, by Jacopo Bassano, is housed in Budapest’s Szépmûvészeti. It is the “Portrait of a Cardinal.”
Budapest’s Szépmûvészeti Múzeum is closed at the moment, but one may browse its collections online. Budapest’s “Portrait of a Cardinal” is attributed to Jacopo Bassano.
There is a third portrait of Cardinal Bembo. It was painted by Giovanni Bellini. I believe it is a portrait of a young man, but…
Titian (Titiano Vecelli)
As noted above, Titian did make a portrait of Pietro Bembo, which I presume explains the kerfuffle. Titian’s portrait is a more formal of Cardinal Bembo and it is dated c. 1540. It did occur to me that the portrait held at the Szépmûvészeti was wrongly attributed to Jacopo Bassano, but I doubt it very much.
Jacopo Bassano was a great artist.
Pietro Bembo by Titian, 1540 (WikiArt)
Pietro Bembo by Jacopo Bassano, 1545 (Wikipedia)
About Pietro Bembo
The use of the vernacular as a literary language was the subject matter of the post I published on 27 January 2016. In Italy, the vernacular started to replace Latin relatively early and it was called the Petrarchan Movement. Bembo’s “way of making direct imitations of Petrarch was widely influential and became known as bembismo.” According to Pietro Bembo, Petrarch’s use of Italian was a model for the modern Italian language. Petrarch lived in the 14th century (20 July 1304 – 19 July 1374).
Other models were Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 21 December 1375) and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 – 1321). (See Pietro Bembo, Wikipedia.) In the Italian states, the vernacular, Italian, started to be used as a literary language at the beginning of the 14th century, which is an early date. It precedes the Renaissance which began when the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks, in 1453. However, the scholars who fled to Italy were Greek scholars.
The LastSupper by Jacopo Bassano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Entry into Jerusalem by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1320, Assisi Frescoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Compianto (lament) by Pietro Lorenzetti, Basilica inferiore di Assisi, 1310-1329 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the Quebec of my childhood, Holy Week was very precious. It justified a rather long holiday that brought grief and joy. Jesus of Nazareth is a tragic figure. “He was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (See Man of Sorrows, Isaiah 53.)
But there was a holiday and Easter brought Eastertide; it brought spring. I do not remember on which day classes ended, but we were not in class on Holy Thursday (Maundy [washing of the feet] Thursday) and Good Friday. To the best of my recollection, it was a four-day holiday which started on Holy Thursday and ended on the day Easter was celebrated. I do not think it included Easter Monday. At the moment, in Quebec, Holy Thursday and Good Friday are not holidays or fériés (feasts), and Easter Monday is a holiday, a legal holiday.
The week started on Palm Sunday. Branches were woven into fine decorations. We could purchase these at church and take them home. We used them from Easter to Easter. In Quebec, these were not made of palm leaves, but they were boughs, desrameaux. Holy Thursday and Good Friday were devoted to devotional practices. We attended mass and, on Good Friday, we walked from one station of the Cross to another. There were six stations on each side of the church, a total of twelve. (See Stations of the Cross, Wikipedia).
Jesus had been betrayed by one of his twelve apostles, Judas Iscariot. After the Last Supper, a Passover observance and the institution of the Eucharist (Mass), Christ and his disciples went to Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. His apostles could not remain awake and stand vigil with him.
Mass and the Divine Hours
Mass, the Eucharist, commemorates the Last Supper. But the Divine Hours, kept by Cenobite monks, monks living together, commemorate Jesus’ vigil at the Mount of Olives. Books of Hours find their origin in the eight (originally seven) Canonical Hours, or Divine Hours.
Jesus was arrested and condemned. He was flogged (la flagellation), crowned mockingly, a crown of thorns, and carried the Cross on which he was crucified. Crucifixions are a form of torture leading to death. They are still carried out. Isil crucifies some of its victims.
On Good Friday, at three in the afternoon we had to be quiet. We were told that Christ had died at that hour of the day.
the Easter Vigil
the secular celebration
The Easter Vigil was a particularly significant and beautiful celebration. A Paschal candle was lit at the back of the church and carried to the front. Everyone was given a candle. The priest stopped at each row to light one candle and the flame was passed on to everyone occupying that row.
Easter was a lovely celebration. We had many visitors. We ate chocolate, but we did not look for eggs. Then came Easter Dinner, called Supper in Quebec, my mother usually made ham, which was also the case in other households. We did not drink wine.
The Vernal Equinox
The Passover (Pesach)
The Eastern Church (the Julian Calendar)
The Western Church (the Gregorian Calendar)
As you know, Easter is a moveable feast, celebrated near the spring equinox. You may remember that the Gregorian Calendar (Pope Gregory XIII) was adopted because Christmas was celebrated later and later every year and, by the same token, so was Easter. The Eastern Church retained the Julian Calendar (old style: O. S.). This year the vernal equinox, for the northern hemisphere, equal day and night, occurred on 20 March and, in the Western Church, Easter will be celebrated on the 27th of March. In the Eastern Church, Easter will be celebrated on the 1st of May. Easter is rooted in the Hebrew Passover, which will be observed on the 23rd of April.
It appears “Jewish Christians, the first to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, timed the observance in relation to Passover.” (See Easter, Wikipedia.) Passover commemorates the Jewish Exodus from slavery into Egypt. The date on which Easter is celebrated and the links between Passover and Easter, in both the Western Church and the Eastern Church, have been a subject of controversy, beginning with the Council of Nicaea (325 CE). Such matters are best discussed by theologians.
For Christians, Easter is the most important religious feasts of the year. However, Jesus did not found a Church and he was not recognized as their Christ by the Jews. Moreover, he did not leave a sacred text. He was a prophet in Islam: al-Masih (the Messiah, le Messie). (See Jesus in Islam, Wikipedia.)
There came a point when Préciosité went too far. Playing shepherds and shepherdesses in a salon could not last forever. So by the time Molière, born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, presented his Précieusesridicules, préciosité had become what Jean-Claude Tournand[i]terms “une fuite poétique,”(a poetical flight).
However, it would be unfortunate to trivialise préciosité and especially salons. For one thing, they did have a civilising influence on members of Paris’ affluent upper middle-class and on aristocrats, many of whom made a point of becoming honnêtes hommes, in the worldly acceptation of honnêteté.
Molière‘s Précieuses ridicules were played for the first time on 18 November 1659. It is a farce and therefore resembles the Italian commedia dell’arteone-act or short improvised plays. These featured characters such as Pantalone, Dottore Gratiano, Il Capitano (mostly jealous characters), the occasional miles gloriosus (braggart-soldier), Arlecchino, Brighella, Pierrot, Pulcinella: lazzi, zanni (clever servants who help the lovers) vecchi (old and jealous characters), inamorate and inamorati (lover, lovers).
The plot of Les Précieuses ridicules shows the typical reversal of farces, that of the trompeur trompé (or deceiver deceived). Cathos and Magdelon have just moved to Paris and dream of becoming part of the beau monde (the elegant world, that of salons). However, Gorgibus, Cathos’s father and Magdelon’s uncle has different ideas concerning the fate of his daughter and his niece. He wants them to marry sensible and well-to-do young men, in which case “all [would be] well that ends well,” the final outcome of comedies.
Two perfectly suitable young men, Du Croisy and La Grange, come a-courting but they are immediately rejected by Cathos and Madgelon. They are not précieux and call a chair a chair rather than a commodité de la conversation (what is useful to conversation). In their attempt to give the French language a purer taste, the précieuses had indeed renamed many objects.
So the young men are shown the door, which infuriates Gorgibus. He pays a visit on his daughter and his niece as they are “greasing-up” their faces (se graisser le museau [muzzle]). They tell Gorgibus that courting should be as in the country of Tendre, the map of courting featured in Mademoiselle de Scudéry’s Clélie. They name the villages of Tendre: Billets-Doux (love letters), Petits-Soins (tender loving care), Jolis-Vers (pretty or lovely poems). Moreover, they complain because the young men did not wear feathered hats and designer clothes: “de la bonne faiseuse” (from the right maker or designer clothes). They then announce that they are changing their names. Cathos, Gorgibus’s daughter, wants to be called Polixène and her cousin Magdelon, Aminthe.
So the stage is set for a reversal: the deceiver deceived. The young men both decide that they will each clothe their laquais, or men servant, into garments worn in salons and send them to court our would-be salonnières.
Cathos and Magdelon are so blinded by their own wishes, that Mascarille’s entrance in a chair carried by porteurs is not viewed as inappropriate and ridiculous. Mascarille (played by Molière) is a marquis. He recites an inferior poem, an impromptu, he has written, pausing frequently to comment on the ingenuous manner in which he has worded his poem.
As for the other laquais, Jodelet (played by Jodelet FR), he plays the part of a vicomte and arrives later in the play (Scene xi). Jodelet is a famous but older French actor playing himself, a valet. His face is white because it is covered with flour (enfariné). The marquis and the vicomte start boasting about their life in various salons and about their abilities as poets and dancers.
The spectators are in stitches, but Cathos and Magdelon so wish to be précieuses that they admire the disguised laquais. A few unacceptable words and references are used, but Cathos and Madgelon do not know the difference. They are totally deceived.
The fantasy comes to an end during a dance. Violinists had been hired, etc. Du Croisy and La Grange come back and undress their valets so they can be seen for what they are. Earlier (Scene iv) Cathos had remarked that the thought of sleeping next to a naked man was repulsive.
Gorgibus returns and the violinists demand to be paid for their services. Gorgibus starts beating them up in the harmless fashion of comedy. So the farce has been played out to its bitter end, bitter for the would-be précieuses and salonnières, and bitter for Gorgibus.
This article was posted in 2011.To my knowledge, it is new to most if not all of you.
With kind regards to all of you. ♥
[i] Jean-Claude Tournand, Introduction à la vie littéraire du XVIIe siècle (Paris : Armand Colin, 1984 ), pp. 47-75.
Les Précieuses ridicules de Molière
avec : M-M Lozac’h à la mise en scène et dans le rôle de magdelon Marie Moriette dans cathos – François Floris dans Mascarille
M-M Losac’h: Magdelon & producer
Marie Moriette: Cathos
François Floris: Mascarille
I deleted the post in which I told you about my wish to write a book on Molière. Although posts are not read widely and details were not given, I should not have written about the circumstances that prevented me from writing my book.
As I indicated, I am at my desk working and may produce a book, hence my not writing posts on a regular basis.
The only rule to the Blogger Recognition award is to nominate colleages. However, if doing so is problematical, please accept this nomination for what it is, a Blogger Recognition Award. You need not acknowledge this nomination except by telling you received it.
Sofonisba was the oldest of seven children, six daughters and a son, born to Amilcare Anguissola and Bianca Ponzone. Sofonisba’s father was an aristocrat. Britannica describes him as wealthy and Wikipedia, as impoverished. It is not a contradiction. It simply means that Sofonisba lived comfortably but that her father could not provide six dowries to marry his daughters. He therefore decided that his daughters would be in a position to earn an income and bring some wealth to a potential spouse. Amilcare was centuries ahead of his times and both a realistic and responsible father. The Anguissola sisters therefore received a “well-rounded” education which included the fine arts. Lucia, the most promising of the Anguissola sisters, died at a young age. One sister entered a convent. The others married.
Sofonisba and her sister Elena apprenticed to Bernardino Campi (1522–1591), at his home for three years. She also apprenticed to Bernardino Gatti, il Sojaro (1495-96 – 22 February 1576). This was a precedent. Other families emulated the Anguissola family. Sofonisba’s sisters, Lucia, Minerva, Europa and Anna Maria apprenticed to Sofonisba. Sofonisba then travelled to Rome where she met Michelangelo (March 1475 – 18 February 1564) for whom she executed a drawing he liked. She also travelled to Milan and painted the Duke of Alba.
In short, Sofonisba had a privileged and happy upbringing and the future bode well for her, as her father wished. Moreover, Italy is where the scholars, who fled Byzantium in 1453, had settled. The Renaissance began in Italy. It follows that Italy was the right milieu for artists. As for Sofonisba, she had the privilege of being born to enlightened parents. She therefore spent a lifetime doing what she loved.
Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma, c. 1561 (Pinterest) Élisabethde Valois(Photo credit: Wikipedia) Marquess Massimiliano Stampa (courtesy: The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore) Sofonisba Anguissola by Anthony Van Dyck(Photo credit: Wikipedia) (7) The Double Portrait, Bernardino Campi and Sofonisba (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (8)
Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma
Élisabeth de Valois, Queen of Spain
Marquess Massimiliano Stampa(courtesy: The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore)
Madrid : 1559
The Duke of Alba, whom she painted, recommended her to no less than Spain’s most prominent monarch, King Philip II (Felipe II). Philip II had married French princess Élisabeth de Valois (2 April 1545 – 3 October 1568) whom he was very fond of and who enjoyed painting. Hence his recruiting Sofonisba who earned the rank of lady-in-waiting to the Queen consort. She was also an attendant to the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia. Germaine Greer writes that in Sofonisba’s days, “painting was a craft practiced by menials,”which mayexplain why Sofonisba was named attendant to the Infanta. However, Sofonisba was employed and young Élisabeth, very pleased with her artist lady-in-waiting, with whom she spent the remainder of her brief life. Moreover, Sofonisba was a court painter.
At the court of Spain, Sofonisba Anguissolla was a portraitist mainly. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “Anguissola’s paintings of this period are no longer extant, having burned in a fire in the Prado in the 17th century.”
Marriages: the Dowry
Accounts vary as to dates, so I will simplify matters by saying that after the Queen died, at the age of 24 after a miscarriage, Felipe II provided Sofonisba with a dowry and married her to an aristocrat, Sicilian nobleman Fabrizio de Moncadas. After Fabrizio’s death, Sofonisba met Orazio Lomellino, the captain of the ship taking her to Cremona and she married him. Sofonisba and her husband lived in Genoa where Sofonisba continued to work as a portraitist, but also executed religious works. She died in 1625, at the age of ninety-three. Anthony Van Dyck visited her when she was in her 90s. He found her mentally alert and made a portrait of her. By then, Sofonisba, who was wealthy, had become of patron of the arts.