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Constantine’s Triumphal Entry in Rome
Codazzi, Viviano; Gargiulo, Domenico
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Codazzi, Viviano
Bergamo, 1604 - Rome, 1670
Gargiulo, Domenico
Naples, 1609, 1675

Constantine’s Triumphal Entry in Rome

1636 - 1638. Oil on canvas

This work and Vespasian’s Triumphal Entry in Rome (P237) are among the earliest examples of the collaboration between Domenico Gargiulo (also known as Micco Spadaro) and Viviano Codazzi, in which the former painted the figures and the latter, the architectural backgrounds. These two paintings were part of a group that also included Lanfranco’s depiction of an emperor’s triumphal entry into Rome: Triumph of a Roman Emperor with two Captive Kings (Patrimonio Nacional, Inv. 100113395). That ceremony began with the general’s declamation to his troops and a sacrifice to the gods, both of which appear in works that Lanfranco painted for the Buen Retiro Palace (P236 and P2943). This was followed by the parade itself, which included the presence of the emperor, his troops, the defeated forces, trumpeters, the spoils, and so on. While the paintings from this series generally avoid identifying specific historical figures, here the traditional titles have been kept. Their references to emperors Constantine (P238) and Vespasian (P237) are explained, in the first case, because a group of angels carrying a cross constitute an unmistakable reference to that figure, and in the second, because two emperors appear. In the latter work, the emperor in the foreground to the right may be Vespasian, while his son Tito could be the figure that appears further back, in front of the architecture. As in other paintings from the same series, their figures are arranged in a manner that recalls friezes, with a markedly processional character that suggests these two paintings may have been intended to hang across from each other.

Viviano Codazzi employed an architectural repertory that combines classical elements such as the Coliseum or the Arch of Constantine with others from the Renaissance, such as the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Capitolio, or the dome of Saint Peter’s. These last two elements were not a part of his customary vocabulary. There are no indications that he modeled these works after classical friezes, and it seems much more likely that he drew on Giacomo Lauro’s antiquarian prints (which organize the fore and backgrounds in a similar fashion), or those by Antonie Lafréry, whose compact groups of figures with a stylized canon and an elegant air have sometimes been compared to those of Agostino Tassi.

In recent decades, efforts have been made to establish the existence of a series of paintings related to the History of Rome -including the present work- that Philip IV’s representatives would have commissioned in that city and in Naples around 1634 for the Buen Retiro Palace. Today, twenty-eight extant works can be related to this project (most in the Museo del Prado or Patrimonio Nacional), along with another six mentioned in Charles II’s will but now lost or destroyed. This total of thirty-four paintings constitutes the largest group from the Retiro, including the Hall of Realms. The only larger group consists of mythological scenes that the king’s brother, Cardinal-Infante don Fernando, commissioned Rubens to paint for the Torre de la Parada. The size of the Roman group is the first indication of its importance in the new palace (Text drawn from Úbeda de los Cobos, A. in: El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2005, pp. 169-170; 190-191).

Technical data

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Inventory number
P000238
Author
Codazzi, Viviano; Gargiulo, Domenico
Title
Constantine’s Triumphal Entry in Rome
Date
1636 - 1638
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 155 cm.; Width: 355 cm.
Series
Historia de Roma Antigua, Palacio del Buen Retiro
Provenance
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Longhi, Roberto, Viviano Codazzi e l' invenzione della veduta realistica, Paragone, 71, 1955, pp. 40-47.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del S. XVII en España, Universidad Fundación Valdecilla, Madrid, 1965, pp. 398.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 239.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura napolitana: de Caravaggio a Giordano, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 152/ lám.51.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, I, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York.Londres, 1986, pp. lám.710.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, I, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Micco Spadaro : Napoli Ai Tempi Di Masaniello, Electa, Napoles, 2002, pp. 74.

Úbeda de los Cobos, Andrés, El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2005, pp. 190-191.

Goeppert, S., Pablo Picasso. The Illustrated Books : Catalogue Raisonne, Patrick Cramer, Madrid, 2005, pp. 190-193.

Kusche, Maria, Juan Pantoja de la Cruz : y sus seguidores B. González, R. d..., Fundación Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2007, pp. 305 / lám. 238.

Corona y arqueología en el Siglo de las Luces, Patrimonio Nacional, 2010, pp. 62-63.

Morán Turina, José Miguel, La memoria de las piedras : anticuarios, arqueólogos y colec..., Centro de Estudios Europa Hispáni, 2010, pp. 49.

Marshall, Christopher R., Baroque Naples and the industry of painting, Yale University Press,, 2016, pp. 228,237.

Other inventories +

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 333.
Otra [pintura] de Horacio Borfian: con el Triunfo de Constantino: de quatro varas de largo y siete quartas de alto, con marco dorado...2500

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 23.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 23.
Lanfranco (Juan) / 23. Entrada triunfal de Constantino en Roma. / Un rey barbaro, rodeado de otros vencidos, precede a su carro, llevando las manos atadas a la espalda. / Alto 5 pies, 7 pulg; ancho12 pies, 9 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 286.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 238.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 238.

Exhibitions +

Carlos III y la Historia de la Arqueología Española: España, Italia y América
Madrid
15.04.2010 - 11.07.2010

El palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro
Madrid
06.07.2005 - 30.10.2005

Micco Spadaro. Napoli ai Tempi di Masaniello
Nápoles
24.03.2002 - 31.07.2002

Displayed objects +

Scepter/Sceptre

Horn, Natural / Horn, Hunting: Trompa natural de cuerpo curvado cuyo pabellón está rematado con una cabeza de animal de fauces abiertas (cornu), tañida por un personaje de espaldas a la derecha de la escena. No es totalmente curvo quebrándose en ángulo aproximadamente a un palmo de la embocadura. El cornu es un instrumento de viento utilizado por el ejército que originariamente estuvo fabricado con asta de cuerno y más tarde de metal. Según Athenaeus, fue inventado por los etruscos. Se trata de un instrumento grande y de sonoridad poderosa, tiene un pabellón sonoro que se curva formando una especie de “G” mayúscula cruzada por una barra central que sirve para sostenerlo. Probablemente, según las descripciones dadas por los poetas, era como una trompa, una octava más grave que la trompeta. Usualmente los cornicines desfilaban en pareja tocando a dúo; sin embargo, en este caso sólo aparece un cornicen que sostiene el instrumento de una forma irreal: no tiene barra de sujeción central (Proyecto Iconografía Musical, U.C.M.).
El cornu no tenía tapones para ajustar la sonoridad a un modo concreto con lo que la serie entera de sonidos se podía reproducir sin llaves ni agujeros, sólo por la modificación de la respiración y la presión de los labios en la boquilla.

Update date: 05-04-2018 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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