Perino Del Vaga for Michelangelo
The Spalliera of the Last Judgment in the Galleria Spada
La Grande Officina
2021, 168 pp., 43 ill. a colori
€ 28,00 € 26,60
When Perino del Vaga, court artist to Pope Paul III, was asked to provide the model for a tapestry that was meant to complete the decoration of the wall behind the altar in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo had just finished the fresco of the Last Judgment. The project was not fulfilled, presumably because of the increasing censorship in the years preceding the Council of Trent. What remains of it is the canvas now in the Galleria Spada in Rome, which provides a testimony to the elaborate decorative apparatus that was conceived by Perino, in accordance with Michelangelo, in order to match the terribilità of his frescoes. By reconsidering the lifelong relationship of Perino, one of Raphael’s pupils, with Michelangelo, through this important and yet neglected episode, this volume, edited by Barbara Agosti and Silvia Ginzburg, investigates the history of the model provided by the artist, reconstructing its fortunes through the various copies that were executed through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, until the spectacular display in Palazzo Spada, arranged in the 1630s. At this time, the canvas was replicated and transformed into a frieze, with a radical change of function; it was hung in the studiolo of Cardinal Bernardino, with a theatrical effect that was possibly conceived by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. An appendix with the documents on Perino’s life and works, 1537–1547, completes the book.