The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0396 Wednesday, 11 February 2004
Date: Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 17:49:19 -0500
Subject: 15.0380 Giulio Romano
Comment: Re: SHK 15.0380 Giulio Romano
>Of course, I suppose Shakespeare
>could have mixed up the two artists, especially if he had seen the work
Bill Godshalk implies the most important question, although too
narrowly. The question is, How did Shakespeare come into contact with
the name and perhaps the work of this artist? Here are some possible
answers. (1) He traveled to Italy and enjoyed first-hand experience
of paintings or sculptures by Gian Cristoforo or Giulio. (2) He saw
their work in collections in England or France or the Low Countries.
(3) He saw engravings made after the work of one or another of these
artists. (4) He read references to them in Vasari or some other
published source. (5) He got the idea from something somebody else said
to him. I am not the first person to think (3) and (5) the most likely.
If we plump for (3), it pushes us strongly toward Giulio rather than
Gian, because although a good many engravings of Guilio's work survive,
including some that show strongly sculptural figures, as far as I can
determine there are no surviving C16 engravings after any of Gian
Cristoforo's much less extensive oeuvre. The same argument also works
for (5), on the general supposition that prints are more probable than
first-hand experience as means by which most early modern Britons
encountered Italian Renaissance art.
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