Photographer's Note

Madonna and Child with Saints Gerolamo, Nicol da Tolentino, Caterina, Brizio

Fresco commissioned to Spain by Pietro Ridolfi who was governor of Spoleto from 1514 to 1516. The fresco comes from the Rocca Albornoziana in Spoleto and was placed, as evidenced by some fragments still in situ, at the top of the staircase leading to the upper loggia overlooking the courtyard of honor. The so-called "Madonna delle scale" was detached in 1799 in order to preserve it from the damage caused by time and neglect. It has the shape of an ancon: the panel depicts the Virgin and Child surrounded by Saints Girolamo, Nicola da Tolentino, Catherine of Alexandria and Brizio, recognizable by their attributes. The coat of arms of the Florentine Pietro di Niccol Ridolfi, who commissioned the work, is painted on the lunette. Ridolfi, son-in-law of Lorenzo the Magnificent, was appointed governor of Spoleto by Pope Leo X from 1514 to 1516. Since the coat of arms does not show the variants that were introduced by the family in 1515, it is possible to place the work in the two-year period 1514 - 1515. The composition shows the influence of Raphael's Perugian activity on Spain: the idea of arranging the saints in a circle with their heads turned to the right and left derives from the upper part of the fresco painted by Santi in the chapel of San Severo in Perugia (1505 ), while the face of the Virgin is inspired by the Ansidei Altarpiece (1504-1505, now London, National Gallery). In 1799 the fresco was removed with a solid detachment, which involves the detachment of the mural painting together with the supporting masonry behind, an unusual technique for large works like this one, given the considerable weight of the walls. The operation did not involve the predella which was replaced by a long inscription composed by Francesco and Amedeo Sergardi.
The date and place of birth of Giovanni di Pietro, known as Spain, are not known; it is certain only the first name, the patronymic and the Spanish origin, attested by the adjective Hispanus and the nickname Spagna.
The fact that he, since the documented beginnings of his activity, has worked in Umbria and that in his work there is no perceived influence of contemporary Spanish painting suggests that Spain was formed entirely in an Italian environment.

pierrefonds, ChrisJ, ikeharel, Fis2, mcmtanyel, COSTANTINO has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 20080 W: 130 N: 42381] (223027)
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  • Date Taken: 2022-06-04
  • Exposure: f/0.1, 30
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  • Date Submitted: 2022-06-13 6:05
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Points: 30
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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 20080 W: 130 N: 42381] (223027)
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