Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Daniele da Volterra (1509 - 1566)

Trinità dei Monti

It is sad to think that Daniele da Volterra is often only remembered as il Braghettone (the Breeches Maker) – the man who painted fig-leaves and underwear on Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.
Daniele da Volterra was a Mannerist painter and sculptor. He was born in Volterra and it is thought that he studied with il Sodoma and Baldassare Peruzzi in Siena. Around 1535 he was documented working with Perino del Vega in Rome. He met and became friends with Michelangelo who assisted in gaining him commissions from the papacy and Volterra based many of his paintings on his sketches and designs.
In the 1540s he was commissioned to work on the Orsini chapel in the Trinità dei Monti where he painted the Deposition and another lost work. In the 1550s he returned to decorate the Rovere chapel with the Assumption of the Virgin, the Massacre of the Innocents and the Presentation of the Virgin.
In 1555 he began his commission in the Ricci chapel in San Pietro in Montorio with scenes of John the Baptist. It was completed after his death by his assistants in 1568.
It was towards the end of Volterra's life, and during the Catholic church's Counter-Reformation, when Paul IV commissioned him to over-paint drapery and fig-leaves on the nude figures on the Last Judgement.

Daniele da Volterra Art in Rome
Trinità dei Monti
The Assumption of the Virgin
Massacre of the Innocents
The Presentation of the Virgin
Galleria Doria Pamphilj
Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist
San Marcello al Corso
San Pietro in Montorio
The Vatican – Sala Regia
Palazzo Farnese

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These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.