Page 1

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L.

p.

Master

Armorer

.

.

of

the

Renaissance

S T E P H E N V. G R A N C S A Y Curator Emeritus of ArmsandArmor

Contents

Y COMPARI S O N with the immense fameenjoyedby the painters, sculptors, and architects of the Renaissance, relativelylittleis knownof theircontemporaries in the appliedanddecorative arts.Duringthefifteenthandsixteenthcenturies, theenormousIRONWORK production of picturesandstatuesandbuildings wasparalleled by a similarburstof LucioPiccinino, Masfer creativeenergyin thefashioning of textiles,ceramics, glass,andallkindsof metalwork;Armorerof theRenaissance but theartisans whoworkedwithsuchskillandtalentin thesefieldsall too oftengo STEPHEN V. GRANCSAY 257 unsung-theirhandiwork unsigned, theirnamesunrecorded. Asa result,the references to suchcraftsmen in Iron thatdo appearin contemporary docu- PreciousObiecEs mentsareall the morevaluablein establishing theiridentityandin recognizing their CLARE VINCENT 272 work.Thechiefsourceof information, forexample, aboutoneof thegreatarmorers of thesixteenthcentury,whosedistinctive creations graceseveralmuseums in theworld, is a fewsentences in anobscurebookpublished in I 595, La Nobzltadi Mzlano,collected biographies of thelocallyillustrious by onePaoloMorigia.In it he describes a family of armorers namedPiccinino: the father,Antonio,andoneson,Federigo, werebladeF R ON T I S P I E CE : smiths;a youngerson,Lucio,wasanarmorer who,saidMorigia, "inhisornamentation Detail of the breastplate of ironin reliefwith figures,animals,andgrotesquemasks,etc., andlikewisein his shownin FiguresZ and4 damascene work,produced masterpieces thatarethemostchoiceandprecious." Lucio Piccinino wouldnonetheless belittlemorethana tantalizing name,wereit not forthe ON THE COVER: further,fortuitous remarkby Morigiathatamongthenotablepiecesexecutedby him Sconce,one of a pair. French, was"armorof greatvalueforHis GraceAlessandro Farnese,dukeof Parma."With .frst half of the XVIII century. thisclueandMorigia's fleetingdescription of Piccinino's styleit hasbeenpossibleto Widths7 inches.Dict Fund, identifywithcertaintythissuit (Figure2), whichoncebelongedto oneof the most 57.I37.4s notablesoldiers of thetime.It isnowin theWaffensammlung inVienna; richlyembassed Blactsmithsassembling afoliated anddamascened, andso elaborately crest.Detail of decorated thatthedukecouldhavehadno other ornamental likeit, thisharness canonlybe theonehepresented in I579 to Archduke Ferdinand of PlateXII, datedz 7s7,from the du Serrurier (Paris,z 767). theTyrol,whoplacedit in hiscollection of thearmorof famouspersonages in Castle ARrt Engraring.Dimensionsof whole Ambras. Themostimportant of thesepieces,includingtheFarnese armor,weretrans- z oS x z 6 inches.TheLibrary ferredto Viennain I806, andtheretheystillremain. of theMetropolitan Museum

B

257

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s. Half-armorof FernandoSlvarezde Toledo,dute of Allba,by LucioPiccinino(about 1535afters595), Italian(Milan). Xbout 1570. Gift of WilliamH. Riggs,14.25.7l4

THE METROPOLITAN VOLUME

XXII,

MUS EUM OF ART

NUMBER

8

Bulletin APRIL

I 964

Copyright(D)1964 PublishedmonthlyfromOctoberto JuneandquarterlyfromJulyto September. 10028.Second N.Y. York, New Street, 82nd and Avenue Fifth Art, of Museum by TheMetropolitan $5.00a year.Singlecopiesfiftycents.Sentfreeto classpostagepaidat NewYork,N.Y. Subscriptions on microBackissuesavailable Fourweeks'noticerequiredforchangeof address. MuseumMembers. Jr.; Editor:GrayWilliams, 313N. FirstStreet,AnnArbor,Michigan. filmfromUniversityMicrofilms, Designer: Boorsch; R. Suzanne Assistant: Stoddert; B. H. Katharine and Preuss Anne Editors: Assistant PeterOldenburg. 258


Fromsuchstrongthoughslenderevidence hangsa considerable sequenceof furtherattribution;Piccinino'scraftsmanship was so superlative and his use of decorativemotifs so individualthat a numberof otherworks havebeenassigned to himby theirstrongresemblance to theFarnese armor.Amongthese area half-suitoncebelongingto AlfonsoII, dukeof Ferrara, andnowin theWallace Col- 2. Afrmor of Aflessandro Farnese,dukeof Parma,by LucioPiccinino.AfboutI570. lectioninLondon; another, thatoncebelonged Wafensammlung, Vienna to PrincePhilip(laterPhilipIII)of Spain,in the RoyalArmoryof Madrid;a breastplate fora youth,in the VictoriaandAlbertMuseum;anda cuirassin the Louvre.At least twoworksby Piccinino, amplyillustrating his diversetalents,arein theMetropolitan: a pair of gauntlets(FiguresI3 and I9) fromPrince Philip'ssuit,anda half-suit(FigureI) that belongedto FernandoAlvarezde Toledo, dukeof Alba. Piccinino's masterpieces arerepresentative of the last greatdevelopment in the art of makingbodyarmor:the highlyornamented "dress"or "parade" harnesses that were a specialproductof the Renaissance. About the turnof the sixteenthcenturyan important changeoccurredin the armorer's craft. Throughmostof the fifteenthcenturythe principal emphasis hadbeenuponstructural strengthandsimplicity of contour,withform dependent upondefensive functionevenwhen thepiecewasdesignedessentially fordisplay. SuchGothicarmorwasoftenextensively decorated,but withpaintor with embroidered clothor leathercoverings thatdidnot affect theformof themetal.Therevivalof classical artandthought,however,broughtwithit an interestin everyaspectof antiqueculture, includingarmor- particularlythe splendid decorative armor,described in ancientliteratllreandshownin ancientsculpture, wornby victoriousgeneralsin triumphal processions. Thisinterestdid not manifestitselfimmediatelyin actualarmor;it wasfirstexpressed in the vigorousthoughoften fancifuladaptations that appearedin paintings,sculpture, andprints(Figure3). Not until the end of the fifteenthcenturydid the armorers begin to followwheretheseartistshadled,andto


3. St. George,by CarloCrivelli (activeby I457 - afterI495), Italian(Venice). Temperaon wood, gold ground.38 x s3H inches.RogersFund,05.4I.2

OP P O S I T E :

4. Breastplate of the Aflba armor. HeightI 6 iZlC^es

createa style in whichthe surfaceof the metal the job, such as the MantuanGiorgioGhisi, itselfprovidedthe mediumfor complexorna- who was a painter, draughtsman,engraver, mentation. armorer,embosser,and damascener all in one. This new style requireda new kind of A paradeshieldin the BritishMuseumbears craftsmanship, in which the talentsof several hissignature,andhisprintsareknownto have artisanswere required,among them the ar- inspiredother worksin armor.Even in the morer, to fashionthe contoursof the piece, case of Piccinino,who, it seems certain,dethe ornamentdesigner,to plan the patternof pendeduponother artistsfor designsand the decoration,and the goldsmith,to executethe executionof details,the workis so consistent design.Renaissancegoldsmithswere not sim- andindividualin style that hispersonalsuperply craftsmenin preciousmetal; their trade visionat every stagecannotbe doubted. was considaredthe epitomeof all the arts of The Piccinino pieces in the Museum all metalwork,for it necessitateda knowledgeof comefromcollectionsin Spain,and it is more painting,sculpture,and every kind of design. than coincidencethat so much of the fine The goldsmith was expected to fulfill any ornamentalarmorof the sixteenth century commissionin fine metalwork;he modeled was in Spanishhands. The Spanishroyalty and cast medals,carved sword mounts, and and nobility were about the best customers embossedarmor- just as he would fashiona the armorersof this period had; their taste necklaceor chalice-and workedin gold, sil- for the pompand pageantryof formalprocesver, copper,or iron with equal facility. Fur- sionswaswell-nighinsatiable,and they squanthermore,Renaissance goldsmithswereclosely dered much of their Mexicanand Peruvian allied with artists in other fields, and their gold on ceremonialdress-of which fancy arshops were often the training grounds for mor was the most elaborateand costly form. painters,sculptors,and printmakers,among In reality,inflationand the drainof disastrous themGhiberti,Donatello,Pollaiuolo,Verroc- warfarekept Spainconstantlyimpoverished, chio, and Botticelli. These pupils frequently and the extravaganceof ceremonywasa luxcontinued to produce metalworkor metal- ury the country could ill afford.This, howwork designsafter completingtheir appren- ever, did not preventkings,nobles,and cities ticeship.Pollaiuolo,for instance,in addition alike from vying with each other in making to painting, ran a thriving establishmentin pageantsand state entries as magnificentas Florencethat producedprintsand metalwork possible,orfrompresentingdistinguished leadof variouskinds (one of his commissionswas ers with speciallycommissionedhelmetsand for a silver helmet presentedby the city to shieldson importantoccasions.The Spaniards the Duke of Urbino in I472). To show his were particularlyfond of the richly sculpmasteryof both crafts, FrancescoRaibolini, tured, classicallyinspiredarmorproducedin generallyknown as Francia,signed some of the Lombardprovincesof northernItaly, of hispaintings"FranciaAurifex,"andhismetal- which Bresciaand Milanwere the chief centers. Milanwasin fact a politicaldependency work"FranciaPictor." It was thereforenaturalthat as the art of of Spain for much of the sixteenthcentury, armordevelopedfrom the shapingof contour and exerteda good dealof influenceon Spanto the embellishmentof surface,the functions ish culture throughtrade,gifts, and the exof armorerand goldsmithshould blend. In changeof artisans.At any rate, the periodof many casesthis wasa matterof collaboration, greatestbrilliancein northItalianarmorcoinfor the different crafts involved were com- cidedalmostexactlywith the periodof Spain's plex, difficult,and time-consuming.It could greatestpower,and declinedwith the waning well take a year to make a completesuit of of Spain'shegemonytowardthe end of the decoratedarmor,even when severalmasters sixteenthcentury. The armorof the Duke of Alba (Figure I) were cooperating.Sometimesone man would have the ability to carryout every aspectof representsthe ornate Milanesestyle at its

260


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best.Theoriginalownerwasoneof themost in a trunk,wrappedin clothsthatabsorbed famoussoldiersof his day-one of the two moistureandallowedthe slowerbut no less reallyablegeneralswhofoughtfor Spainin destructiveoxidationof rustto eat into its Mr.Riggsnevertheless recognized the its lamentablewars againstthe rebellious surface. Netherlands (theother,incidentally, wasthe qualityof theworkevenfromthesedismemfragments, andknowDuke of Parma).The suit remainedin the beredanddisintegrating cup-hilted familyfor almostthreehundredyears,and ingof hishost'sinterestin Spanish hesuggested a trade:attractive rapiers thenwasrescuedfromneglectby the famous rapiers, AmericancollectorWilliamH. Riggs,who fromhis own collectionin exchangefor the armor. providedan oral accountof its acquisition damaged Thesedetailsarerecorded ina letterof I925 when he gave it to the Museumin I9I3. curatorBashford Deanto Sometime betweenI 855andI 865hehadbeen fromtheMuseum's of the dukewho madethe shownpiecesof it, in a sadstateof disrepair, the descendant of the accountdeduringoneof hisvisitsto the Albapalaceof trade.The continuation Liriain Madrid.Therewasa familytradition servesquotationin full: "In time the valet witha seriesof chamthatit hadbeendamaged in a fire,although [ofMr.Riggs]appeared it ismorelikelythatit wassimplystoredaway pagnebaskets packedwithrapiers. Thesewere 262


OP POSITE :

5. Back of the leftpauldron(shoulderdefense) of theAMlba armor.Widthas shownI2 inches

6. Designforthefrontof theleftpauldronof the Farnesearmor.Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

7. Satyrmast on theleftpauldronof the Alba armor.Height5 inches

unpacked in thehallat Liria,andat thesame timeMr.Riggs,whowithhisgreatcollecting instincthadlearnedthat yourforebearhad takengreatinterestin a certainprizesaddle horsethenonsalein Madrid,causedthehorse to be marchedinto the courtyard. The fine horseandthebunchof cup-hilted rapiers producedsucha favorable constellation, thatthe exchange wasmadethenandthere,Mr.Riggs usingthe samechampagne basketsin which to carrytheembossed armoroutof thepalace. I haveno doubtthatmanyof the cup-hilted rapiers whicharenowin yourgreathallthere, andwhichI remember sopleasantly seeingon my earlyvisitwithyou,aredoubtless partof thisplunder." Cleaningand repairhave helpedrestore 263


8. Lionmastontheleftelbowof the Alba armor.Height2 inches

for the grotesque someof theoriginalmagnificence of thissuit, motifsbetraya fascination of the mannerist phase andasidefroma few restorations the whole that is characteristic Theorganization of these ensembleis original.Thisis of no little sig- of the Renaissance. is by no meanshaphazard; they nificance,sinceso manysupposedsuitsare decorations in symmetrical, "composed" (to use the professional euphe- areforthemostpartarranged mism)frommiscellaneous elements.Further- verticalbands,joinedby festoonsof fruitor fromwhichmasksandbunches more,thewholeharness wasoriginally so en- by strapwork richedwith decorationthat what remains of fruitare suspended(Figure4). This sysitsformality givingclargivessubstantial evidenceof its maker'sskill tematicarrangement, ity and additionalemphasisto the fanciful andworkingmethods. Everyelement-evenin areasthat would motifs,is so similarto that on the Farnese to Piccinino ordinarily be coveredup by the overlapping armorandotherworksattributed of theplates- is decorated withluxuriant de- that thereis virtuallyno chanceof coincisignsinrelief,drawnfromtheclassical reperto- dence.Togetherwith the motifsthemselves, ry(Frontispiece andFigures4, 5,7, 8, IO, and andthemannerof usingraisedbeadsof silver theframing strapwork (FrontisI2). Thesefeature Medusas, satyrs,sphinxes, to accentuate a signature putti,boundcaptives,anthropomorphic lion piece),it canalmostbe considered work. 9. Designfor theleftarmdefenseof masks,andfiguresof MarsandVictory-all of Piccinino's theFarnesearmor.KunsthisThisfamilyresemblance becomesparticuderived,or ratheradapted,fromantiqueart, anarmdefense torisches Museum,Vienna for both the choiceand executionof these larlyclearwhenonecompares


and pauldron(shoulderdefense)of the Alba armor(Figures5, 7, 8, and IO) with drawings for the same elementsof the Farnesearmor (Figures6 and9), whichstillexistandarenow Museumin Vienna. in the Kunsthistorisches The Alba pieces are, as it were, variations upon the theme of the Farnesedesigns,with certain modificationsin the subjects used but a remarkablehomogeneityin the overall scheme.Thesedrawingswerean intermediate stepin planningthe decoration.It is probable that Piccininohimselfdid not conceive the basicmotifs;like manyof the armorersof the time he seemsto have obtainedthem chiefly from prints- especially the ubiquitous en-

gravingsof MarcantonioRaimondiand his so. Leftarmdefenseof theAflbaarnumerousfollowers(FigureI I), whoprovided mor.Lengthas shown20 inches all Europewith the decorativevocabularyof But the choice,combination, the Renaissance. and placementof these motifswereprobably carriedout by Piccinino or a draughtsman under his supervision,and mapped out on drawingsfromwhichtheactualworkwasdone. Once the elementswere shaped,and the decorativeschemedecided,the embossingof the relief was begun. The art of embossing -raising ornamentsupon a metal plate by hammeringfrom beneath-was known from antiquity,but wasraisedto new standardsby Renaissancemetalworkers.In this technique, 265


OPPOSITE:

ss. Ornament print,afterAgostinoVeneziano(about s4go-about I540), Italian(Venice).Engraving.9h x 7?4inches.Dict f;und,24.IO.I5

I2.

Detail of thechindefenseof theAflbaarmor,showingpreserved damascening.A!boutactualsize

the metal is treatedas a plasticsubstanceto be shapedto the desiredform;iron and even steel are far from being the rigid, unyielding materialsthey seem,for given suicient pressure or tension they may be stretched or moldedalmostindefinitely.To embossarmor, the designwas firstdrawnon the face of the element,and the essentialoutlineswerehammered lightly with a blunt punch so they would show on the back.The plate was embeddedface down in a yieldingmediumsuch as asphalt,and the relief hammeredinto it. The platewasthen reversedand re-embedded face up, and the backgroundwas hammered down, the two stepsbeing repeateduntil the desired height of relief was achieved. Fine detailswere then renderedby chasing- that is, chiseling- whichgives the impressionthat the designhas been carvedout of the metal, whereasin fact the embossingprocessis essentially one of modeling. Embossingwasnot the only methodof embellishingthe surface.Areasmight be mercury-gildedor chemicallybluedto createcontrastsof metal color, and flat surfacescould be intricatelydamascenedto producea similar result on a finer scale. The processof damascening,or inlaying fine wires into incisedpatterns,wasintroducedto Europefrom the Near East in the MiddleAges,but in the sixteenthcenturybecamethe specialprovince of Italianarmorers.The unembossedsections of the Albaarmorwereonce entirelycovered with graceful damascening,which now remains only on isolatedparts that were protected from rust (Figure I2). The surfaceof the element was scribed with the pattern desired,and the design either crosshatched or cut with burrededges to hold the inlay. Fine wire, usuallyof gold or silver,was then workedinto the pattern,and hammeredand burnishedflushwith the background,creating a lacy effect of greatdelicacy. If the ravagesof time have ruinedmuchof the surfaceof the Alba armor,the beauty of Piccinino's damasceningis evident on the gauntlets (Figures I3 and I9) for Prince Philip's armor.In the unembossedareasof the cuffs and acrosseach of the plates that forma protectionfor the backof the handare 266


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characteristic sj suits igauntlets -sm |least cause ! harnesses items auction i of with was they the in- the for which house royal I839. comparatlvely wereboys disappearance palace, not in they These of exhibited London securely Piccinino's belonged. turned across easy and of in the up fastened aseveral were tosingle at court Ofremove Christie's auctioned style. thirteen from hundred gallery to bethe the :

accentedby lavishpatternsof damascening, rowsof the raisedsilverbeadingthatareso work.The fingersare typicalof Piccinino's missing,but a portraitof Philipwearingthis suit (FiguresI4 and I5) showshow they howthe longcentral looked.It alsoindicates cartoucheon the cuff,with its flankingfestoonsof fruit,continuesand completesthe designon the arm-again formal,rhythmical

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These gauntletsbecameseparatedfrom their matchingharness(FigureI6) under in the nineteenth mysteriouscircumstances century.Thecollectionof the RoyalArmory of Madrid,foundedin I565 by PhilipII in onorof his father,CharlesV, hassuffered not the overthe centuries; severalcalamitles

andprivatecoloff,mainlyto Englishdealers I ctors.Amongthepieceswereseveralpairsof

4

andit onlyonestillhasits gauntlets, armory, thatgauntletsin othermuis not surprising

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of _ Philip ofPrince armor a suitofembossed ofa pairmadefor gauntlet . Right Length lacting. Abouts590.Fingers III),byLucioPiccinino. (Philip Spain 0 _ Fund,19.128.1 Rogers 7S inches.

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aswornbyPhilip oneof thegauntlets 15,showing s4. DetailofFigure 268

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s5. Allegoryof the Educationof PhilipIII, by JustusTiel, Flemish.About1594. Museodel Prado

I 6.

Half-armorof PrincePhilip,to whichthegauntletsshown in Figures13 and /9 belonged.RoyalArmory,Madrid

269


seumsandcollectionsareoften identifiedwith this group.In the caseof the Museum'spair there can be no doubt: even if the technical and stylistic relationshipwith the suit of Philip III were not so strong, the portrait wouldprovideabsoluteconfirmation. The Museumpossessesstill anotherpairof gauntlets(FiguresI7 and I8) that canbe associated with this group-and with Piccinino as well,althoughthey have neverbeenattributed to him. They were unquestionablypart of the Christie'ssalein I839, describedas "A Pair of Page'sGauntlets,the right-handfingers of chain, chasedand engravedwith figures."On these gauntlets,overlappingscales suchas thoseshownin PrincePhilip'sportrait areusedon the left hand,but are replacedon the rightby bandsof mail,whichwereapparently substitutedfor scalesat some time beforethe Christiesale.Thisdifferenceis suchan unusualfeaturethat it makesthe pairunique. Thereis anotherportraitof Philip III, showing him in the suit that matchesthesegauntlets- but without any gauntlets! There is some circumstantialevidence to link thesegauntletsto Piccinino.The suit to which they belongedis known to have been given to Philip, as was the suit of embossed armor,by the Duke of Terranova,governor of Milan.It does not seemfarfetchedto suppose that both harnesseswere commissioned fromthe finestMilanesearmorerof his generation.The strongestevidenceof all, however, comesfromdirectcomparisonof the two pairs

270


graphs skill. It 9. Detail is ofaWepTiel's of know, ty anthat embossed portrait however, Lucio gauntlet, of Piccinino that Philipthefamily theIII; had mateno Javier to- trawhich f ,: t-f-0 ; is f shown ;; X X- in_ Figure i_;

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of gauntlets themselves. Although therelief ;A;00000 ttt;00^ 25t0WX _ decoratton of thepairwithfingers is simply !;S;;;;i;; ;i--;? :jtt>:i: -? i fi i chiseled ratherthanembossed, theconstruc- >400000000;0_ ttonanddamascen1ng areverysim1lar, and j.0f;0-WiR?;*i4w? thearmedclassical warriors on thecuffsare 0 ;:y0f4-<$iS i almostexactlyalike.Thesamecharacteristic t-; _ silverbeading alsoappears on bothpalrs.If f0V;j---t<--w _ nottheworkofPiccinino himself, thechiseled l;000<Sit jQ4 w gauntletsmustbe fromanotherMilanese t$-0 :3&XLi

scattered plecesremaln as testlmony to his

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ditionof craftsmanship didnotdieoutwith ; ;::;:;; i _ him.ThereisintheMuseum a Milanese cup- lQ^ t0;0 htltedrapier of theseventeenth century, one : 0 ::0X; ';-;? < _ ofthefinestinexistence, itshiltmagnificently ; r00;t >0* _ chiseled in relief;on theexteriorofthecup, 0000-Xvr>neartheopening fortheblade, isthesignature 0i; . CarloPicc1nino. ;; 0i;;::::

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NOTE: I should liketo thankJoseGudiol, t -t __ directorof the InstitutoAmatller de Arte i;000--iisiR:sR*RXtR24;iB&riE0|0t?&-__ HispanicoinBarcelona,forprovidingphoto^w;

t?^ri5S,:0S,;fff',,>::,,,,,,,,;,,,

Cortes, former director of theRoyalArmory in Madrid, forfacilitating thestudyof the princes' armor; andthe Dukeof Alba,for supplying a photograph of ancestral armor. Themajor monograph onPiccinino isAugust Grosz's "Vorlagen derWerkstatte desLucio Piccinino," published inJahrbuchderKunst-

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historischen Sammlungen in Wien36 (I925),

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18. Pairof gauntletsmadefor a suit of chiseledarmorof PrincePhilip. Italian(Milan). About 1590. The mailedJingerson the right hand are a restoration. Length9 inches.RogersFund.o4.3.34-3s

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27I


Precious

Objects

in

Iron:

wroughtiron,like otherappliedarts,sharedin the development and growthof the stylesprevailing at variousperiodsamongthe finearts.Becauseof the relativeintractability of the medium,a wrought-iron objectrarelyexistedas an end in itself,yet it oftenwasmadeto delighttheeyeaswellasto servea practical purpose. A numberof examples of well-wrought andbeautifully ornamented ironwork, including twentygrillsandscreensfromthe collectionof WilliamRandolph Hearstandmore thanseventypiecesfromthecollection of SamuelYellin,havecometo theMuseum in recentyears.Rangingin datefromthe Renaissance to theeighteenth century,andin sizefroma small,delicatelychiseledkey designedby the Frenchmannerist Jacques AndrouetDucerceau to the majestic,fifty-two-foot choirscreenfromthe Cathedral of Valladolid, theseobjectsforma representative selectionof someof the bestEuropeanartlstryln lron. In Italy,wheretherevivalof theartof classical antiquitywasof centralimportance, EUROPEAN

.

.

.


Two

Collections

of

European

Smithing

C L A R E V I N C E N T Curatorial Assistant,Department of Western EuropeanArts

the Renaissance smithwasapparently somewhatlimitedby the absenceof classical modelsfordecorative ironwork. Inthefifteenthandearlysixteenth centuries, therefore, Italiansmithstendedto continueto uselatemedieval formsasthebasisof theirdesigns, gradually adaptingthemto newaestheticstandards. In contrastto Florentine workof the sameperiod(whichis oftencomposed of motifspatterned afterarchitectural elements,suchascolumns andcornices), ironwork in theTuscancityof Sienareflectsthe newRenaissance interestin sculptural form,butretainsthemedievaltradition of preservingtheidentityof theironbarfromwhichit wasworked. Anirondoorknocker in theshapeofa dragon(Figure3) wasprobably madein Siena, forit is mostcloselyrelatedto sucha prizedaccessory of the Sienesepalazzoas the s. griffin-shaped bannerholderon the PalazzoGrisoli(Figure2). The dragonis in all likelihoodnot muchlaterthanthe firstquarterof the sixteenthcentury,sincein knockers madelaterin thatcenturythespontaneity of the earlierSieneseworkseems

Balconygrill.SouthGermanor Swiss,secondhayof thexvIs century.WidthZofeet 934inches. Dict Fund,57.I37.57


to have been lost. Both dragonand griffin partsof a churchfromothers.Spanishchapel werealready proportions of ambitious froman iron bar,rapidly screens wereconstructed bent into shapewhilehot from the forge. being made duringthe last yearsof the in Separatepiecesforwingsandfeet werethen fifteenth century,but the Renaissance beganearlyin thesixteenth ironwork heated,drawnout, andattachedto the bar Spanish withironrivets.Finally,hammerandpunch centurywhenthe smithreplacedthe square wereusedto supplythe identifyingfeatures or twistedironbarwiththeslender,rounded of the of the animalsandto createa satisfyingsur- ironspindle,a sortof ironadaptation reja Renaissance The baluster. stone Italian pattern the example, for as, facedecoration, spindles, of tiers or three of two composed was that body dragon's the on of hammerblows fromsolidironin thelightest,most suggestsits scales.Thesevivaciouscreatures hammered with of formsandcold-chiseled demonstratethe strengthand livelinessof symmetrical divided were tiers formof the bestworkof the TuscanRenais- decorativefoliation.The bandsofembossed andcrestedwithhorizontal sanceblacksmiths. decoratedwith Renaissance In the courseof the sixteenthcentury,the ironelaborately with vertically idealscultivatedin Italianart motifs,andtheywereaccented Renaissance sheathedin ironembossed graduallyreplacedthe late Gothic in the woodenpilasters, grotesques. northand west.In Spain,France,and the withItalianate a soluTheseearlyrejas provedsosatisfying felt ironworkers up-to-date regions, Germanic of the newtasteandreactedin tion to the screeningof Spanishchoirsand the influence themodelsforthe chapelsthattheyremained var1etyof ways. a surpr1s1ng century. ap- rejero untilwellintotheseventeenth andornament architecture Renaissance howcentury, sixteenth the of end the Toward wealth the when time at a Spain pearedin restrained, more became ornament the ever, provided empire of the Spanishoverseas styleof theEsarchitecturalwhentheseverearchitectural formagnificent thewherewithal Bautistade Juan by I563 in begun corial, sharedfrom ironworker TheSpanish projects. Herrerain de Juan by the firstin the floweringof the new style, Toledoand finished provided also Herrera In I 585 elementsas I 584, prevailed. ornamental adoptingRenaissance of Spanishar- a mostambitiousplanfor the Cathedral readilyas did the contemporary wasbegunin I589 The cathedral chitects.In addition,the Spanishsmiths,in Valladolid. in I668, althoughonlya part cen- andconsecrated contrastto the Italiansof the preceding commis- of the originalplanwasactuallycarriedout. tury,wereprovidedwithnumerous showthatin thelatter archives werethe Thecathedral sions,of whichthe mostimportant PedroJuanwaspaidfor usedto dividecertain yearthe ironmaster rejas, or ironscreens the makingof the choirscreen.The cresting and gildingwere not, however,completed until I764. by The tiereddesignof spindles,separated ironbands,linksthisreja, nowin horizontal Museum(Figure4), dithe Metropolitan Renaislineof Spanish rectlyto theillustrious useof But the restrained sancemasterworks. of therhythandtheintensification decoration achievedby the of thespindles micrepetition of pilastersin favorof accenting suppression 2. Bannerholderon thePalazzo spindles,slightlythickerin sectionand disGrisoli.Italian(Siena), xv centwistsat theirbases,combine playingbaroque - Afrt AMlinari tury.Photograph: that to give thescreena formalmagnificence Bureau Reference influenceof Herrera. reflectsthe intervening .

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SeveralsmallSpanishgrillsshow the applicationof the severestyle on a lessmagnificent scale.One of these(Figure5), bearinga panel workedwith the ironmaster'sname, Francus Gozales(probablya Latinizedabbreviationof FranciscoGonzales),illustratesa curiousdisintereston the part of the smith for any element but the spindles,which are beautifully finished by applying thin gold leaf to the surfaceso that the pleasinglywroughttexture of the iron remainsvisible.In its relianceon the decorativeeffectof the repetitionof spindles of highly sophisticatedproportions,the grill is relatedto a smallconfessionalgrill in the Museumthat is inscribedwith the date I629. The repeatedcherubheadsthat hover betweenthe spindlesof the Gonzalesgrillfurther indicatea seventeenthcenturydate, for they have been cast in bronze and gilded ratherthan individuallyembossedin iron, as they almost certainlywould have been in a fine exampleof the precedingcentury. When the Renaissancearrivedin sixteenth centuryFrance,two groupsof metalworkers, the armorersand the locksmiths,especially flourished.The work of the latter is representedby a gildedkey decoratedwith French manneristornament(Figure7). The key belongsto the veryold traditionof chefsd'oeurre, or "masterpieces," test pieces made by apprenticesseekingadmissionto the locksmiths' guild.As earlyas I 393, Parisapprenticeswere expectedto produceone or moreexamplesof their proficiencyafter an apprenticeshipof seven to eight years, and this requirement, with certainexceptions,lastedthroughoutthe subsequenthistory of French locksmithing. The French were renownedfor these test pieces,whichusuallyconsistedof one or more varietiesof lockandkey. They areoften magnificentexamplesof cold-chiselediron,carved like sculpturefromsolidmetal,and the finest of them, decoratedin whateverstyle of ornament was current, were often pierced and gildedas well. 3. Door tnockerin theshapeof a dragon. Italian(probablySiena),late xv or early XVI century. Heights434inches.Dict Fund, 57Ri37I27


It is generallydifficult to prove that any bookof HenriIII for I580 indicatesthat they OPPOSITE: specificlock or key was madeas a test piece did exist: it recordsthe paymentof seventy Choirscreen from the Cathedral and not by a masterlocksmithas part of his crownsfor "sixty-sixouncesof wide ribbon of Valladolid,Spain,executedin Z668 by theironmasterPedro day's work.Unusualevidence,however,sug- of silverand silk, of white, orange,and dove geststhat the Museum'skey wasindeedmade color,to serveto suspendthekeysof thegentils- Juan. Thegildingand cresting of the King'sChamber."In werecompleteda centurylater. as a masterpiece. In a book of designsfor hommesordinaires metalwork, known as "Modeles de Serru- I 585, for the firsttimein Frenchhistory,a set Heights2feet.Giftof TheHearst rerie," by the architect and ornamentalist of regulationsstrictly governing the moveFoundation, 56.234.s JacquesAndrouetDucerceauthe Elder, ap- ments and privilegesof the courtiersin the pearsan engravingof four designsfor keys royalpalaceswaspublishedby HenriIII. Enlabeled"Pourclefsde chedoeuure"(Figure6), tranceto the royalapartmentswasforbidden andone of theselooksvery muchlike ourkey. to nearlyall the old nobilitywhohadformerly Mostof the majorelementsof the designhave claimedthatprivilege,andeven the admission been followed:the scrolledbrackets,the fe- to the king'saudiencechamberswas severely maleterms,the grotesqueheads,and the rest- restricted.Thusa courtier'spossessionof such less miniaturestatue of the male nude set a key musthaveheld specialsignificanceafter within the architecturalfrontispiece.Ducer- I585, and specialcare must have been taken Keys of this sort,howceau'sbookseemsto havebeenpublisheddur- in theirworkmanship. ing the thirdquarterof the sixteenthcentury, ever, were alreadyconsideredmarvelsof anGrillbearingthe name"Francus and it is in this periodthat the key wasprob- otherage in I627 whenMathurinJousseillusGozales."Spanish,XVII century. tratedfourof them (Figure9), includingtwo ably made. Height43 inches.Gift of AnothersixteenthcenturyFrenchkey (Fig- that stronglyresemblethe ones here and in TheHearstFoundation, ure 8) representsa quite differenttradition: the Victoriaand Albert,in his FidelleOurera56a234.I2 the most extensive the key as a symbolof favoror office.It be- turede l'Art de Serrurier, longs to a groupof keys comparablein struc- treatiseon French locksmithingbefore the ture and design,such as one in the Victoria eighteenthcentury. Jousse,whose authority and Albert Museum.Both have a carefully wasstill beingcited by the eighteenthcentury filed, comblikebit attached to a hollow col- encyclopedists,commentsin his chapteron umnorpipe,whichis surmountedby a capital. antiquelocksmithingthatsuchdecorationwas The bowsconsistof pierceddesignsof winged, accomplished"selonla capacite'des ouuriers addorsedfiguresand animalor humanheads tellementque cela est long a dificile a'faire supportingbrokenarchitraves,whichin turn commeonpeutroirdansles4. Clefssuiuantes" 2supportsmallurnsflankedby tiny dolphins. ("accordingto the ability of the artisans,to Trrr A small ring on the top of the urn on the such an extent that the makingis long and Victoriaand Albert'skey providesthe means difficult,as can be seen in the four following by which the key can be suspended.The keys"). piercedfinialon the urnof the Metropolitan's In sixteenthcenturyItaly the techniqueof key once undoubtedlysecureda similarring, cold-chiseling sculpturesque subjectsremained and the cover of the urn itself is made to primarilythe provinceof the armorer.Sculpswivel,allowingthe key to hang freely. This turesqueornamentextendedeven to the tools whole group of keys is distinguishedfor the of the armorer'scraft.The jawsof an ironvise exquisiteuse of cold chiseling,which renders (FigureI0) aredecoratedwith a mermaidand themasfinelyfinishedasanygoldsmith'sprod- a merman,whileanothermermanadornsthe uct. Indeed,they wereprobablydisplayedas back.The vise is inscribedwith the date I588 proudlyas gold pendantswould have been. and the nameof its maker,Jacopoda Ferrara, These highly ornamentedkeys were prob- aboutwhomnothingfurtheris known,though ably made during the last third of the six- his name suggestshe had left Ferrarawhen teenth century for French royal courtiers. thispiecewasmade.Althoughthe threecreaThoughno contemporary descriptions of them tures of chiselediron are less finely finished have come to light, an entry in the account than many of those of the sixteenthcentury

9l,

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Afbore: 6. Fourdesignsformaster-piece keysbyJacques Afndrouet DucerceautheElder(abouts5z oaboutIs84),froma bookknown as "Modeles de Serrurerie." French,thirdquarterof the XVI century.Engraring. 3h x 6h8inches. Dict Fund,32.55.s 7. Key madeas a testpiecefor admissionto the loctsmiths'guild. French,probablythird quarterof the XVI century.Height3% inches.Dict Fund,58.z 6.2 Below: 8. Courtier's key. French,about I580-I589. Height5%6 inches.Dict Fund,58.z 6.3 9. Fourkeys.PlateIfrom the FidelleOureraturede lArtde Serrurier by Mathurin Jousse,publishedby GeorgesGriveau(La Fleche,z 627). Engraring.7M2x zsh inches. Dict Fund,26.6.3

so. Armorer's vise,byJacopoda Ferrara. Italian,dateds588. Heightso3/6inches. Dict Fund,58.s6.5


for Mafeo Loct andkeymade BarberiniPopeUrbanVlll. Italian(Rome),Z623-s644. Widthof loct 2s inches,height of key6S inches.Dict Fund, 57eI37.44a-c

Milanesearmorers,who were world famous for the beautyanddelicacyof theirsculptured ornament,they arefarmorelively in conception. In the taut, powerfulanatomiesof the mermaidandmermanbracedagainsteachjaw of the vise, Jacopowasable to expressall the strainingpowerof the mechanismthey adorn. Anothertechniquefor ornamentingmetalwork,and one in which the Italiansexcelled, was damascening,a processof inlayingmetal with patternsof thin silver, gold, or copper wire. The decorationof an Italian lock and key (Figure I I) of the secondquarterof the seventeenthcenturywasappliedby this difficult anddelicateprocess.The lock,nearlytwo feet wide, was probablyplacedon the inner side of a door,wherethe bolt and springmechanismcould be left exposed.These functional elements of polished iron have been visually contrastedto the rest of the metalwork, which has been lightenedin effect by The the ornamentationof silverdamascening. simplediaperpatternof the massivesupporting plate, which is borderedon three sides 280

with a damascenedtorusmolding, is further contrastedto the swirlingfoliationson the plates that guide the bolt and protect the mechanism.The centralplate also bearsthe threegoldenbeesof the Barberinifamilysurmountedby thepapaltiara,thearmsof Maffeo Barberini,Pope UrbanVIII,forwhoma number of architecturalprojectswere carriedout in Rome during the yearsof his pontificate, to I644. One of these projectswas unI623 doubtedly the originalsite of the Museum's lock. In the Germanicregions,smithscontinued to employelaboratelate Gothic designsuntil long pastthe middleof the sixteenthcentury. When such motifs were at last abandoned, they werereplacedby essentiallyflatpatterns of flowing,interlacedcurves. In contrastto the sculptural,manneristdesignsof theFrench and Italiancold-chiseledironworkof the same period,these Germanicarabesqueswere produced from hammerediron beaten thin and interthreaded,then decoratedwith floraland foliateforms.For the next centurysuch pat-


I2.

Detailof thebalconygrillshownin Figurez

terns were used on well canopies,window grills,signbrackets,andasapplieddecorations on locksand doorfittings.Towardthe middle of the seventeenthcentury the intersecting arabesquesbecame even more two-dimensional,and the matter-of-factfloralandfoliate elementswere replacedby fancifullittle grotesquesworkedinto the structureitself. The incredibleairinessof such ironworkis demonstratedby a balcony grill (Figures I and I2) of the secondhalf of the seventeenth century. The examplesclosest in style and executionto thispiecearefoundin the region of Switzerlandand the southwesternGerman state of Baden, such as the semicircularstair railin the Cathedralof Constance(FigureI3). A close examinationof the Museum'sgrill (FigureI2) showsthat the smithhas reduced theironrodsto theminimumthicknessneeded to carrythe weightof the material.His technicalsophisticationcan be seenin the skillful assemblageof these countlessrodsand in the incised,attenuatedfoliations,whichnot only disguisethe weldingof the rodsbut also emphasizethe rhythmof the curves.The structure has been furtherlightenedby the mortising of the majorintersectionsand by the welding,ratherthan rivetingor collaring,of the rest of the joints. A whimsicaltouch has been added by transformingone of the two foliateornamentsat eachend of the grill into a grotesquemask. The last twenty years of the seventeenth centurymarkedthe floweringof baroqueironwork in Italy, France,and England.French engravers,architects,and blacksmithsled the way in this development,publishingan unprecedentednumberof designbooksforblacksmithsand locksmithsthat weredisseminated throughoutEurope.JeanLepautre,Jeanand DanielMarot,and JeanBerainareamongthe most illustriouswho includedideasfor ironz3. Stairrailfromthe Cathedral of Constance. SouthGerman,secondhalf of the XVII century.(Plate25from DeutscheSchmiedeeisentunst,II, by FerdinandStutzmann)


s4. Designfor a co;ferloct, showingthe mechanism.PlateXXVI, dateds7Z6, (Paris,s767). Engraring.s°?4 x s6 inches.The from the Jrt du Serrurier Museum Libraryof theMetropolitan

282

workamongtheirbooksof ornament,but lessermensuchas NicolasGuerardand the smithMichelHastecontributedgreatlyto the wealthof publisheddesigns.FoliatedSwereusedin endlesscomscrollsandC-scrolls andtheybegan byFrenchdesigners, binations to appearon a widevarietyof metalobjects. Irongrills,locks,andmetalinlaysfor furnimanner. in thebaroque tureallweredecorated of the iS a survival I5) A cofferlock(Figure lockwiththreecatches,a typede^ traditional scribedby MathurinJoussemorethanhalfa centurybefore,but decoratedwith pierced Itskey patterns. designsin thenewestscrolled use of only by the decorative is modernized on its bow;otherwise heavybaroqueS-scrolls it is deriveddirectlyfromearliermodelslike witha delicatelyfiled thoseJousseillustrated, section,and bit, a hollowpipeof triangular a chiseledcapitalandbow. Thiskindof locklastedwellintotheeightwasillustrated, eenthcentury.Itsmechanism for instance,in the Afrt dfu Serrurier (Paris, fromthe enthe volumeon ironwork I767), des Arts et cyclopedicseries"Description of the undertheauspices published Metiers," asanoffiof Sciences FrenchRoyalAcademy ciallyapprovedalternativeto the politically edited by Diunorthodox"Encyclopedie" derot.This engraving(FigureI4), froma designby a smithnamedBretez,wasapparently preparedover fifty yearsbeforethe of the book,for it, like several publication othersin the volume,is datedI7I6. In the the academician chapterson locksmithing, lock thatsucha coffier commented Reaumur of only threecatcheswasa relativelysimple and that, for the moredifficult mechanism cofferlocksmadeasmasterpieces,it wasusufor the apprenticeto demonally necessary a greaternumber stratehisskillby providing of catches. Vignetteson otherplatesfromthe same treatise,thesedatedI7I7, showblacksmiths foliatedscrollsfor the crestof an fashioning were irongrill(Cover).The sametechniques usedto createthe gracefulironworkof the designs. Frenchrococowithits asymmetrical A pairof sconces(CoverandFigureI6) proof rococo vide smallbut delightfulexamples


iron.Their repeatedscrollswerefashionedon a form, or pattern,in the mannerdescribed in the 24rtdu Serrurier: the smith heated an iron bar, which he had drawnout from an ingot, until it waswhite-hotat one end. Using a hammerandvise,he startedthe innercurves of the scrollfreehand.He then clampedthe iron bar to the pattern and, little by little, hammeredthe baralongits exact curve.The smallerrevolutionsof the scrollwerecustomarilyfinishedby diminishingthe thicknessof the iron with chiseland file, impartinga ribbonlike lightnessto the work. Some of the scrollendsof the Museum'ssconceswerefinishedin this manner,while otherswere hammeredinto dot shapesknownas "snubends." The scrollswere then weldedor mortisedtogetherto format once the structureanddecoration of the sconces.The final test of the blacksmith'sskill came, however,in the cutting and shapingof the variousleaf formsto be weldedto appropriatepointson the scrolls. Accordingto the 24rzdu Serrurier, the ability to imparta naturallook to the formandplacement of the leavesdemonstrates"allthe taste andskillof the craftsman,talentsthat one can acquireonly by long practice." s5. CoXerlocaandtey. French,aboutI680-I700. Heightof lock6o/6inches,height By the middle of the eighteenthcentury, Of key 55 inches-DickFund,57. I37.7 a-b rococodesignprevailedthroughoutEurope. Even such objects as the Venetiangondola prows or dfel;fni("dolphins,"as they were Z6. Sconce,oneof a pair. French, J2rsthalf of thexvlss cent?wry. Widthz 7 inches. fancifullycalledby the Venetians),of which Dict F?wnd, 57.I37.40 two arenowin ourcollectionsandwhichwere the productof a long, local evolution, bore tracesof rococoornament.Oneof theseprows, a raresurvivalfrom the mid-eighteenthcentury (FigureI7), displaysa typically asymmetricalrocococartoucheset amongthe more traditionalItalian engraved arabesquesand grotesques.The arms enclosed in this cartoucheand surmountedby the cap of office, or corno,of the doge are thoseof the Delfini family. Like other Venetianaristocratswho counteddogesamongtheirancestors,the DelSni recordedthe honoron theirfamilycrest. Indeed, the silhouetteof the flat iron blade itself is an allusionto the corno.Below the blade there are four small teeth facing forward, two of which securedthe prow to the gondola.Graduallysix becamethe standard


number,giving rise to the legend that they in use;as HoratioBrown,authorof Life on OPPOSITE AND BELOW: the Lagoons,commented: "Theyusedto be z 7. Gondolaprowmadefor the symbolizedthe six districtsof Venice. iron,lightandpliant, The earliestreferenceto iron gondolafit- madeof hand-wrought Delginifamily.Italian tingsdatesfrom the late fifteenthcentury.A thatwouldbendandnot breakif theycame (Venice),mid-xvlll century. deed of I485 speaksof a gondola "sinedel- in contactwitha bridge.Now the newferri Longestdimension56% inches. arecastin moulds,andareheavy phini,"or "withoutdolphins,"but thesecould [ironprows] Dzct Fund,S8.Z6.so will,verylikely, not yet have been common,for they never andbrittle.Agoodgondolier possess an oldferro, whichmayhavebeenan appear on the little black gondolas with in hisfamilyformanyyears,forthe pointed ends in the contemporarynarrative heirloom caredforandnot allowedto paintingsof Gentile Belliniand VittoreCar- ferri if properly paccio. Small, clublike delJ#ni,attached to s8. Sixteenthcenturygondolaswith each end of the flat-bottomedgondolasby delfni at bow and stern. meansof projectingpins, were clearlyin use Pages22from De gli habiti when CesareVecellio'scharmingaccount of antichie modernidi diverse fashions,De gli habiti antichiet modernide partidel mondoby Cesare diverse partidel mondo,was pllblishedin VenVecellio,publishedby Damian ice in I590 (Figure I8). The book describes Zenaro(Venice,I590). Woodthe delMni as "thoseironsat the sternand bow cut. 4H8x 6S inches.Rogers that, due to their gleamingcondition,seem Fund,2Z.36.s46 to be of silver." No fixeddate can be assignedto the abandonmentof the delJinoat the stern and the evolutionof the prowinto the gracefulplaque that we know today. The changehadalready takenplace,however,when the gondolahull evolved into the present-dayasymmetrical, flat-bottomedshell with the long axis to one sideof the center,allowingthe narrowside to oSset the weight of the gondolieron the crossaxis,while the prowbalanceshis weight on the longaxis.If the accurateeyesof the Venetianartistscan be trusted,the finalchange took placesometimebetween I725 and I740, ;; a for in the paintingsof Marieschiand Canaletto of this periodthe gondolasare pictured with the singleironand the characteristic tilt rust . . . will outlive many gondolas."The of the asymmetricalhull. The mooredvessels Delfini prow has indeedoutlived many gonin the detail from a Marieschiengraving dolas,and, like the other iron objectsin our shown in Figure I9 provideexcellentexam- collections,provesthat utility need not preples of the finalappearanceof the sleek,effi- clude beauty. cient little craft. The presenceof the rococo cartoucheon NOTE: I shouldlike to expressmy thanksto the Delfini prow establishesit as well within the Museum'sDepartmentof Printsfor aidthe final evolutionof the gondolaprow as a ing my extensivestudy of their materialin counterweightto the gondolier.The prow's preparingthis article. In addition, I should silhouetteand its engravedfamilyarmsset it like to thank JuanJose Martin Gonzalesof apartfrom the more standarddesignsof the the Seminariode Estudiosde Arte y Arqueperiodand indicatethat it was used only on ologiaof the Universityof Valladolidfor his a familygondola. searchingof the Valladolidcathedralarchives. As lateas I 894, century-oldprowswerestill The informationrelating to the reign of 285


HenriIII was takenfrom the Comptesde vided the technicalsourcesfor both lockDepensesde Henri III: s580-Z588and the smithing andblacksmithing. Ensuyrentles ReglemensFaictspar le Roy le premierjour de janvier mil cinq cens quatre- REFERENCES vingtcinq,volumeIO in the firstseriesof the ArthurByne and MildredStapley,Spanish de l'Histoirede France" Ironwort(The HispanicSocietyof Amer"Archives Curieuses (Paris,I836), editedby M. L. Cimber.That camefrom relatingto guild apprenticeship

ica, I 9 I 5) * GinoDamerini,La Gondola(Venice,I957). de la Villede Paris Les Me'tiers et Corporations Ironwort,3 vols.(London, J.StarkieGardner, andFranocois (Paris,I 879) by ReneLespinasse I 896). GeneBonnardot, volume2 of the "Histoire (Camde l'Afrt EdgarFrank, Old FrenchIronwort ralede Paris."La FidelleOuverature bridge, I950). du Serrurier(LaFleche,I627) by Mathurin AugustoPedrini,II Ferrobattuto,sbalzato,e Jousseandthe Afrtdu Serrurier(Paris,I767) cesellatonell' arte Italiana (Milan,I929). by HenriLouisDuhameldu Monceauand Stuttmann,Deutsche SchmiedeFerdinand deReaumur (volume ReneAntoineFerchault 5 vols.(Munich, I927). eisentunst, prodesArtset Metiers") I6 of "Description

Z9.

Eighteenth centurygondolaswithdelflniat prows.Detailof TemplumS. MariaeSalutisby Dimensions of wholeZ85S MicheleMarieschi(s696-I743), Italian(Venice).Engraving. 5g.508.84 Collection, inches.TheElishaWhittelsey x

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The Trusteesfor Orphansin Afmsterdam, by Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy(I590/9I-I654/56), Dutch. Dated s628. Oil on canvas.70 x 9IM inches.Lentby the Cityof Amsterdam throughthe courtesyof theRziksmuseum On the occasionof the New York World's Fair,the City of Amsterdamis lendingto the MetropolitanMuseumone of the most exclusivelyDutch typesof painting:a seventeenth centurygroupportrait.For the firstfewweeks it will hangin the front hall, and laterit will find its place among paintingsof the same periodin our galleries,adding to the Museum's rich representation of singleDutch portraitsa missingand thereforemost welcome aspectof Holland'sheritage. The Dutch group portrait presupposesa corporationwhosememberscoordinatetheir individualityfor a practicalpurposeand a civic service.No other countryhas ever produced this type of portraiture-nor appreciated it. Rarely have such paintingsfound their way outside of Holland, while there they still aboundin museums,town halls,and guild rooms,testimonyto socialorganization and civic pride. Family portraits,picturesof friends gathered together (as cultivated in England),representations of religiousconfraternitieswerepaintedalmosteverywhere;but groupsof unrelated,usuallyelderlyand dignified,men or women joined for the benefit of their communitywere portrayedin Hol-

landonly. Thisodd speciesof paintingsaw its startin the sixteenthcenturyand flour- NoDes ished prodigiously all throughthe seventeenth,especially in Amsterdam. Firstcame theSchutters-Stukken, portraits ofmilitary clubs readyto defendtheirhometownin caseof need,but doinga greatdealof eatingand drinkingin the meantime.Thoseby Frans Halsarebrilliant examples, whileRembrandt's "NightWatch"is the mostfamous.Toward theendof thesixteenthcenturytheRegentenstukken becameequallypopular,representing governors or trusteesof workhouses, guilds, hospitals, or, here,of the city'sorphans. This groupportrait,paintedin I628 by NicolaesEliasz.Pickenoy,represents the college of trusteesfor the orphansof the city of Amsterdam, togetherwith their senior beadle.The orphantrustees,or Weesmeesters as they werecalled,held one of the most respectedthoughnon-political publicpositionsin the complexcity government. Composedof ex-burgomasters and otherhonorables,they rankedhighin the city'sofficial hierarchy. Appointedas a seniorcollegein thefifteenthcentury,theysuperintended the estatesof orphansand watchedover their 287

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financialinterests,somewhatas an orphans' courtdoestoday.In the accountsof the Weesmeesterswe find, for example,repeatedmention of Titus, Rembrandt'sson and heir to the estateof his deceasedmotherSaskia;after Rembrandt'sbankruptcyand insolvency,the steppedin andappointedguardWeesmeesters ians to protectTitus'sinheritance. For a numberof years this portraitmust havehungin the chamberof the old townhall wherethe trusteesfor orphansmet. But after the old andovercrowdedbuildingburntdown in I652, the picture does not seem to have to the splendidroomallotted been transferred to the trusteesin the magnificentnew town hall. Instead,it is first recorded,in I784, as hangingin the regents'roomof the "spinning house," the house of correctionfor women, and thereforehas been thought to represent the trusteesof that institution.Recent Dutch scholarship,however, has found the clue to the picture'sidentity in the scenedepictedin the paintinghangingbehindthe men. There fourofficialsstandbehinda long counterwith severalmen and women and a little boy in front.Thispicturehardlyrelatesto a women's prison; instead, the presence of the child makesthe meaningclear:he is an orphan,and his relativesor guardianshave come to account for his estate. In our portrait the four Weesmeesters, seated solemnlybehind a table, are listening to suchan account.A questionhasbeenasked and the spectatorfindshimselfin the placeof the interrogated.The eyes of all the officials are fixed on him. There is a moment of intense, arrestedattention, and we expect the men to move againas soon as the answeris given, to pay out some guildersand to enter the decisioninto the ledger. Old recordstell us the namesof the four trustees in I 628: Reinier Adriaensz.Pauw Pieter Jansz.Reael (I569-I643), (I564-I636), Dirk de Vlaming van Oudtshoorn (I 574and Harmenvan de Poll (I599-I634) I643), or Pieter Matthiisz.,called Schrijver(I557who succeededPoll in I628. Of these I634), only Pauw can be identifiedwith certainty, on the groundsof another portrait, as the man on the left. Burgomasterof Amsterdam for seventeenyears,directorof the East India 288

Company,leaderof the Calvinistparty, he wasthe most prominentof the fourand head of the college- whichis indicatedby the gesture of the beadle,who handshim a note. A link with the New Worldis establishedby his son Michiel Pauw, after whom, in I629, the Dutch settlementof Pavoniawasnamed- still the nameof a townnearCamden,New Jersey. The othersare difficultto identify because of theirsameness,all elderlyand bearded,clad in somberblackandwearingimmaculateruffs and broad-brimmedhats, effectively reflecting the gravity of their office.It is probably largely the painter'sfault that in trying to flatterand ennoblethem he leavesthem lacking in individualcharacterization.And yet this row of single portraits,united just by space and time and varied only slightly by posedgestures,expressesthe democraticequality that is the essenceof Dutch group portraits.This sacredtraditionwasviolatedonly once:by Rembrandt's"NightWatch,"where the action is tumultuous,the actors (though they all paid for their portraits)hardlyvisible, and the light dramatic-equality subordinatedto the artist's vision. Rembrandt laterreturnedto the foldandin his "Syndics" conformedto the rules,but imbued the old formulawith the mostpenetratingandpowerful characterization. Pickenoywasan ablepainter,not a genius. His familycame,perhaps,froma villageof a similarnamein FrenchPicardy,whichwould explainhis name.His wife'sgood connections andhishonestskillensureda successfulcareer. He was one of Amsterdam'smost fashionable portraitists,andmanyof hispleasantportraits are still attributed to better-knownnames. This one is initialedNEP at the left and dated I628 at the right (the last digit is now illegible), makingit a key picture in Pickenoy's oeuvre.It puts beforeus now a faithfuldocument of the citizens' integrity and public responsibilitythat madeseventeenthcentury Amsterdamproud and powerful.It also reflects the spirit of the Dutch settlersof our city, and thus is a meaningfulloan to New Amsterdam. CLAUS

VIRCH,

AssociateCuratorof EuropeanPaintings


T H E M E T R O P O L I TAN

M U S E U M OF A RT

BOARD

OF TRUSTEES Roland L. Redmond Prcsident Robert Lehman Vicc-Prcsident Walter C. Baker Vicc-Prcsident EX OFFICIO Robert F. Wagner Mayor of thcCityofNcwXork Newbold Mcorris Commissioncr ^ Dcpartmcntof Parks of thc AbrahamD. Beame Comptroller ofthcCityofAcwXork Edgar I. Wilvlliams Prcsident of tficJS ational Academy ELECTIVE Malcolm P. Aldrich John 'W. Gardnerr Henry S. Morgan ArthurHays Sulzberger Henry C. Alexander WaltezrS. Gifford1 Mrs. CharlesS. Payson Irwin Untermyer ShermanBaldu7in Roswfell L. Gilpa ,tric Richard S. Perkins Stephen FrancisVoorhees Cleo FrankCraig Jamess M. Hester Mrs. Ogden Reid ArthurK. Watson Daniel P. Davison Arthulr A. Hough ton, Jr. FrancisDay Rogers Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse J. RichardsonDilworth Deverreux C. Jose phs Elihu Root, Jr. Arnold Whitridge Mrs.James W. Fosburgh Henryy R. Luce ,JamesJ. Rorimer CharlesB. Wrightsman HONORARY Dwight D. Eisenhower Nelson A. Rockefeller C. Do luglas Dillon JamesJ. Rorimer Director

STA FF J. Kenneth Loughry Trcasurcr

Dudley T. Easbyy, Jr. Sccrctary GENERAL

Joseph V. Noble OperatingAdministrator

ADMINISTRATION

Cecily B. Kerr Executirc Assistantto thcDirector Harry S. ParkerIII Administratirc Assistant Arthur Klein Supervisor of PlansandConstruction David A. Knickel Managerof Dcvelopmcnt andPromotion

Robert Chapman BuildingSuperintendent Walter Cadette Captainof Attendants C. David Blake Associate DisplayManager TheodoreWard Purchasing Agent William F. Pons Manager,Photograph Studio Eloise Bruce Restaurant Manager Betsy Mason Managerof OfficeService

WarrenC. Powers AssistantTrcasurcr Controller Maurice K. Viertel Auditor Robert A. Pierson ChiefAccountant James 0. Grimes CityLiaison Jessie L. Morrow Supervisor of Pcrsonncl

AdelaideA. Cahill Assistant for Archiues MildredS. McGill Assistant for Loans

CURATORIAL

Robert Beverly Hale, Curator.Albert TenEyckGardnerand Henry Geldzahler,Associatc Curators American Wing: James Biddle, Curator.Mary C. Glaze, Assistant Curator Ancient Near Eastern Art: Vaughn E. Crawford,AssociatcCurator in Chargc.PrudenceOliver Harper, AssistantCurator Arms and Armor: Randolph Bullock, AssociatcCuratorin Chargc. Helmut Nickel and Norma Wolf,AssistantCurators. Leonard Heinrich, Armorcr The Costume Institute: PolaireWeissman,ExecutircDirector.Stella Blum, Mavis Dalton, and AngelinaM. Firelli, AssistantCurators Drawings: Jacob Bean, Curator Egyptian: Henry G. Fischer, AssociatcCuratorin Charge.Nora E. Scott, Associatc Curator. Eric Young, AssistantCurator European Paintings: Theodore Rousseau, Curator.Claus Virch, AssociatcCurator.Margaretta M. Salinger, AssociatcRcscarchCurator. Elizabeth E. Gardner, AssistantCurator. Hubert F. von Sonnenburg, Conscrvator of Paintings.GerhardWedekind,Associatc Conscrvator Far Eastern: AschwinLippe, Associatc Curator in Chargc. Jean Mailey, Associatc Curator. Fong Chow, AssistantCurator American Paintings and Sculpture:

DEPARTMENTS Greek and Roman:

Dietrich von Bothmer,Curator. Brian F. Cook,

AssistantCurator Islamic Art: ErnstJ. Grube, Associate Curator in Charge

Margaret B. Freeman, Curator oJ TheCloisters. William H. Forsyth, AssociakCurator of MedievalArt. Thomas P. F. Hoving, Associate Curator of TheCloisters. Vera K. Ostoia, AssociateResearchCurator.Carmen Gomez-Moreno,AssistantCurator Medieval Art and The Cloisters:

Emanuel Winternitz, Curator.Gerald F. Warburg,Associate in Music Musical Instruments:

A. Hyatt Mayor, Curator. Janet S. Byrne, AssociateCurator. Caroline Karpinski, John J. McKendry, and Susanne Udell, AssistantCurators

Prints:

John GoJdsmithPhillips, Curator.Carl ChristianDauterman,Associate Curator, Ceramics, Glass,andMetalwork. James Parker, AssociateCurator,Furnitureand Woodwork. Edith A. Standen, AssociateCurator,Textiles.Yvonne Hackenbroch, Associate ResearchCurator,Goldsmiths'Work.Olga Raggio, AssociateResearch Curator,Renaissanse Art.Jessie McNab Dennis, AssistantCurator Curators Emeriti: Stephen V. Grancsay,ArmsandArmor.CharlesK. Wilkinson,NcarEastcrnArt Western European Arts:

__

Auditorium Events: William Kolodney, Consultant Bookshop and Reproductions: Bradford D. Kelleher, SalesMan-

ager.MargueriteNorthrup,Gcncral Supervisor, and MargaretS. Kelly, Associatc Supervisor, ArtandBookShop Conservation: MurrayPease, Conscrvator. Kate C. Lefferts, Assistant Conservator DevelopmentandMembership: Martha D. Baldwin, Assistant Manager,Dcvelopmcnt. SuzanneGauthier,AssistantManager,Mcmbership Education: Thomas M. Folds, Dcan. Louise Condit, AssistantDcan in Chargcof thcunior Muscum.Stuart M. Shaw, ScniorStaffLcsturer. Blanche R. Brown,Beatrice Farwell, and Angela B. Watson, Scnior Lcsturers

Public Relations: Lillian Green, Manager. Eleanor D. Falcon, Associatc Manager.Joan Stack, Information Scrvicc Publications: Gray Williams,Jr., Editor.Jean Leonard and Leon Wilson, Associatc Editors. Anne Preussand KatharineH. B. Stoddert, AssistantS:ditors

William D. Wilkinson, Rcgistrar.Marcia C. Harty, Supervisor of thcCatalogac andAssistantRcgistrar

Registrar and Catalogue:

INFORM ATION The Cloisters:

Open weekdays 10-5; Sundays and holidays 1-5. Telephone:TRafalgar 9-5500. The Restaurantis open weekdays 11:30-2:30; Sundays 12-3; closed holidays. Coffee hours: Saturdays 3-4:30; Sundays3:30-4:30.

The Main Building:

James Humphry III, ChiefLibrarian.MargaretP. Nolan, Chief, Photograph and Slidc Library.Elizabeth R. Usher, Chief, Art Rcfcrcnsc Library Library:

Open weekdays, except Mondays, 10-5; Sundays and holidays 1-5 (May-September,Sundays 1-6). Telephone:WAdsworth 3-3700. Membership: Informationwill be mailed on request.

Incomefrom endowmentis the Museum'smajor sourceof revenue.Gifts and bequestsare tax deductible within the limits allowed by law. For furtherinformationcall the Officeof DevelopmentandMembership.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve, and extend access to The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin ÂŽ www.jstor.org


Ironwork the metropolitan museum of art bulletin v 22 no 8 april 1964  
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