Arte e musei

Catalogo della mostra, Roma, Villa Borghese, 30.10.2019-2.2.2020

• Febbraio 2020

Valadier. Splendore nella Roma del Settecento

Autore: Autori vari

Editore: Officina Libraria

Lingue di traduzione: da italiano a inglese

Traduttori: Jeremy Carden per Il Nuovo Traduttore Letterario

Catalogo della grande mostra tenutasi nella prestigiosa cornice di Villa Borghese e dedicata a Luigi Valadier, il più celebrato ebanista, fonditore e orafo italiano della sua epoca e uno dei protagonisti del clima culturale sviluppatosi a Roma alla metà del Settecento.

Il volume comprende una serie di saggi di importanti storici dell’arte e schede illustrative di pregiate opere d’arte esposte in mostra. La traduzione di questo tipo di progetto richiede un traduttore specializzato nel linguaggio storico-artistico e un notevole lavoro di ricerca. Per darvene un’idea, riportiamo un brano estratto dal catalogo delle opere d’arte.

Luigi Valadier

Columns with Festoon and Bucrane Decoration, 1780

Granite, macrocrystalline white marble, gilded, embossed, and chased bronze; 83.5 cm (h)
Rome, Galleria Borghese, inv. CCVa, CCXIIIa, CCLVIIa, CCLXIVa

(by Marina Minozzi)

The four column shafts are topped by a cymatium in white marble, decorated with a gilt bronze festoon. The upper band and the base, also in white marble, are separated from the shaft by convex molding consisting of embossed gilt metal lamina applied onto mortar. The upper one has an ovule motif, while the one next to the join with the base is embellished by a ribbon entwined around a slender rod and punctuated at intervals by a small punctiform relief. The applied frieze in the upper band comprises a festoon held by ribbons tied to the horn of a bucrane and passing through three elegant pateras, recalling the ancient symbolic value linking the two elements to ancient sacrificial rites. The pateras are applied in such as way as to cover the fixing points of the three sections in which the column was made. The flowers and fruits are in high relief: pomegranates, pears, lemons, interspersed with irregular leaves, alternate, and are treated differently to achieve surface textures with varying degrees of roughness. In the central position is the bucrane, from which a pleated ribbon runs all along the festoon. As a whole the modelling recalls the one applied to the fireplace realized by Luigi Valadier and Carlo Albacini for Penrice Castle (c.1773), with the exception of the bucrane motif, which recurs frequently in the artist’s works.

In 1780 a substantial payment of four hundred scudi was made to Valadier as “the sum thereby agreed with His Excellency the Master for gilt metal trimming and ornaments placed on 16 small granite columns, which serve as pedestals for the marble busts situated in the gallery of the palazzo of His Excellency in Villa Pinciana” (González-Palacios 1993a, I, pp. 219, 250, no. 13). According to the project prepared by Antonio Asprucci, twelve busts were placed around the so-called Gallery of the Emperors on “towers of rare blackish Oriental granite,” as they are described in the Sculture del palazzo della villa Borghese detta Pinciana (Visconti 1796, I, p. 22) and depicted in the drawing that Charles Percier did of the room around 1790 (see the essay by Coliva, fig. 10).