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December 1979

Vol. 121 | No. 921

The Burlington Magazine

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Editorial

Government and the Arts 1979

The announcement in September that a National Heritage Fund, under independent trustees, is to be set up on 1st April 1980 looks like the most important government decision affecting the arts, this year. The proposals are closely related to those of the last government's White Paper (Cmnd 7428 of February 1979), which in turn followed the recommendations of the National Expenditure Committee of the House of Commons in the report on the National Land Fund (2nd March 1977). The existence of the new Fund is likely to diminish the number of last-minute emergencies, when what are now termed 'heritage objects' are in danger of export, and may obviate the kind of confusion in official circles which prevailed during the Mentmore episode. The initial capital is to be £15 1/2 million (i.e. what is left in the Land Fund); it will be topped up annually by £5 1/2 million. There is, however, one snag, which is still being debated.  

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  • Front Matter

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  • The Bed of Pierfrancesco Borgherini

    By Allan Braham

    IN several chapters of the Vite Vasari refers with evident enthusiasm to the furniture, designed by Bacio d'Agnolo and decorated with paintings by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Granacci and Bacchiacca, which Salvi Borgherini commissioned in honour of the marriage of his son, Pierfrancesco, to Margherita Accaiuoli in 1515. Carved in walnut, the furniture consisted of panelling, cassoni, chairs and a marriage bed with inset paintings illustrating the story of Joseph. The decoration soon established one of the most famous and covetable works of early sixteenth-century art in Florence, distinguished above all for the contribution of Pontormo, and at the time of the siege of Florence, as recorded by Vasari, an attempt was made to confiscate the paintings and add them to the presents being offered by the short-lived Republic to French King, Francois I, whose support the Florentines were anxious to enlist against the Medici. 

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  • On the Destruction of Pontormo's Frescoes at S. Lorenzo and the Possibility That Parts Remain

    By Elena Ciletti

    EVEN a cursory perusal of the literature on Pontormo reveals fundamental confusion on the question of destruction of his last work, the visionary frescoes in the choir of S. Lorenzo in Florence. One most commonly meets with the uncertain opinions that either in 1738 or 1742 the much maligned paintings were either callously torn down or whitewashed. It is now possible, with the assistance of a variety of documents, to describe the unfortunate episode in some detail and to begin to untangle the knot of contradictions and misunderstandings surrounding it. As we shall see, there ate reasons to believe that parts of the frescoes may still exist. 

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  • A Note on Michelangelo's Façade for a Palace for Julius III in Rome: New Documents for the Model

    By Henry A. Millon

    IN August 1969, in the Archive of the Reverenda Fabrica of San Pietro, the archivist, Don Cipriano Cipriani, OSB Olivetani, generously directed my attention to a small fascicule of six pages in volume 33 of the Fourth Series. The fascicule (appended to this note) contains an account of receipts and payments for 'il modello di N. Sre,' with dates from 30th October 1551 to 10th February 1552. The receipts, lump sum disbursements from the papal treasury, have been published before, first by B. Podesta, then by K. Frey. 

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  • A Note on Two Frescoes in the Sistine Chapel

    By Francesco Stastny

    AMONG the frescoes that decorate the Sistine Chapel are two which, being the work of minor artists of the sixteenth century, have escaped detailed investigation of their date and origin. They represent the Resurrection of Christ and the more unusual subject of the Quarrel of the Archangel Michael with the Devil over the body of Moses. Both of them are placed opposite the Last Judgement of Michelangelo, on the entrance wall to the Chapel, as they are the last scenes of the cycles of the Life of Christ and the Life of Moses which reach their conclusion at that point. 

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  • Maria de' Medici and the Decoration of the Luxembourg Palace

    By Deborah Marrow

    DURING the 1620s the major artistic project of Maria de' Medici, Queen Mother of France, was the construction and decoration of the Luxembourg Palace. While much has been written about the palace architecture and Peter Paul Rubens's paintings for the two large galleries, less is known about the rest of the interior decoration and the Queen's precise role in overseeing the project. The Queen never wrote in detail about her commissions, instead communicating indirectly through her advisers and agents. No contemporary descriptions of the smaller rooms survive, and the first guidebooks to Paris which mention the Luxembourg date from the 1640s, when its ownership was transferred to Maria's second son, Gaston d'Orleans.

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  • Back Matter

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  • Eklektizismus und Originalitat im Werk des Petrus Christus

    By Lorne Campbell
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  • Insular Manuscripts: The 6th to the 9th Century

    By Janet Backhouse
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  • Borromini

    By Kerry Downes
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  • La Real Cappella del Tesoro di S. Gennaro: Documenti inediti

    By Fred Brauen
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  • Felice Giani Un maestro nella civilta figurativa faentina

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  • John Flaxman at the Royal Academy

    By Nicholas Penny
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  • Thirties, Hayward Gallery

    By Richard Calvocoressi
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  • The Century of Rubens and Rembrandt: Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Pierpont Morgan Library. British Museum. Ingres: Drawings from the Musée Ingres, Montauban and Other Collections. Victoria and Albert Museum

    By Neil (N. M.) MacGregor
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  • The History of Glass; Recent Exhibitions

    By R. J. Charleston
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  • Christopher Dresser, at the Camden Arts Centre

    By Shirley Bury
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  • London, ICA. Narrative Paintings. Figurative Art of Two Generations

    By Anna Gruetzner Robins
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  • Drawings by Architects, National Gallery of Scotland

    By A. A. Tait
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  • La Dation Picasso. Paris - Grand Palais

    By Richard Shone
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  • Paris. Art from Spain at the Grand Palais

    By Philip Conisbee
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  • L'Arte del Settecento Emiliano: Exhibitions at Bologna, Parma and Faenza

    By Pierre Rosenberg
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  • Treasures from Chatsworth at Richmond, Virginia

    By John T. Spike
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  • Baltimore Museum of Art

    By John T. Spike
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  • Worcester, Massachusetts: Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting

    By Christopher Brown
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  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Arts Gallery, Baltimore

    By Gertrud Seidmann
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