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On the Edge of Raphael

Notes on the Neoclassical Frame of the Sposalizio della Vergine

Matteo Ceriana    



With the evidence of contemporary documents it is possible to prove that the frame of the Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael in the Pinacoteca of Brera in Milan, a masterpiece of Neoclassical wood carving and plaster modelling, was prepared soon after the arrival of the painting in Milan. An engraving by Gaetano Riboldi (1810) depicts the painting with the actual frame yet. The style of the grotesque decoration of the frame and the extremely ingenious quality of the carving suggest an attribution of the composition to Giocondo Albertolli, the outstanding specialist in decoration of his time and teacher at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Brera. Documentary research shows how in the middle of the 19th century the director of the Pinacoteca was inclined to replace the frame with a new one in a more accurately Renaissance style; but his renewal never took place and the old frame was restored.

July 1, 2015

Keywords: FrameMuseumNeoclassicismRaphaelGiocondo Albertolli

Copyright: © 2015 Matteo Ceriana. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.