Studies in Western Art No.13
Lives and Legends of Artists

July, 2007



Special Theme

In Lieu of a Foreword

Atushi Miura

Modern French Paintings and Legends of Artists



Takuma Ito
The Geographical Composition of the First and Second Parts of Vasari's Vite

Giorgio Vasari's Vite has been criticized for its geographical bias since its initial publication by the Florentine printer Lorenzo Torrentino (1550). Although it is dedicated to “Italian” artists, the emphasis on Tuscan artists, especially on Florentines, is evident. Because Vasari was not a neutral observer, nor a historian of art, but a painter competing with other artists of various origins in cosmopolitan cities like Rome , it is understandable that he felt the need to praise the Tuscan school, to which he belonged. At the same time, however, he declared that he was trying to be “a faithful and truthful writer” (“Life of Pontormo”) and, in fact, occasionally praised non-Tuscan artists as well. This article, based mainly on the first edition of 1550, analyzes how Vasari describes Sienese artists in the first section of the Vite and those of the Veneto in the second section. It is the argument offered here that these descriptions concern the conscious formation of the “Tuscan” school and reflect Vasari's contemporary artistic context.

Kenichi Takahashi
“Sembrara un romanzo, e pure sara tutta verita”
Notes on the Art Historiography of Carlo Cesare Malvasia

Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Felsina Pittrice has been regarded with suspicion as “a source for sources” for Bolognese painters. However, Malvasia followed, in his strict research, amassment and presentation of materials, the new historical method of the Bollandists. The same book, rich with the anecdotes typical of artistic biographies, “should be completely true.” The author, also conscious of the literary dimensions of his own text, dared to write, for the painters who would read his book, so that his history “would seem to be a romance.”This paper first surveys the life of Malvasia and the formation of his main work. Secondly it confirms his position as an art critic. Finally, by consulting Scritti originali del conte Carlo Cesare Malvasia spettanti alla sua Felsina Pittrice, conserved in the Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio at Bologna, it thoroughly examines the method by which these biographies were compiled. In this manner it analyzes Malvasia's approach to art historiography and the historical significance of this approach.


Shigeki Abe
Isolated Artist at Work
Octave Tassaert's Studio Painting

In his well-known tableau painted probably in 1845 and exhibited in the Salon in 1849, Octave Tassaert (1800-1874) shows us an embarrassing image of a modern artist. The young painter is alone in his own room, which is closed against the external society like monad, and now he is not painting but ... peeling potatoes. This image of an artist who is absorbed in a not necessarily artistic but rather manual and trivial task would be, in our view, a parody of the sacred and mystified image projected by Romantic artists. Indeed, one of their favorite self-images is the alchemist at work in his studio. For them, the artist should be represented as a man who engages in handling his materials, and is separated from others by his metier <CODE NUMTYPE=UC NUM=2013 FFT=RN> just like Frenhofer.However, the painting by Tassaert reflects also the dynamic reformation of 19th century French society, which caught its members, especially the working class, between the two alternatives of sociability and individuality. Separated and absorbed in his task, the hero of Tassaert reflects the vast experience of post-revolutionary modern society, which is still closely related to our own.


Yukihiro Hirayoshi
The Artist in Self-Presentation
On the Identity of Marcel Duchamp

In the modern era, with the development of various media, the “Artist” has become more important than the “Artwork” in capturing the general interest. Marcel Duchamp was the artist who was perhaps most sensitive to the circumstances surrounding himself and his works, and he carried himself within and against them in a very strategic way. He played the chess game between ‘I' and ‘Me' through a performance of his own identity. This essay examines the self-presentation of Duchamp through an investigation on his works and activities during the 1910s and 1920s. Analyzing his Fountain, Rose Selavy, L.H.O.O.Q., and Wanted $2,000 Reward, it considers two aspects of his manipulation of his self-image, “sexuality” and “name,” in order to clarify his production of his alter ego as “Not-Duchamp” thereby gleaning insights into his identity as an artist..



State of Research

Akiyama Akira
Apelles as a Role Model
On the Case of Durer's Self-fashioning

Masahiko Mori
The Voice from Outside
A Reconsideration on Cellini's Autobiography

Michiko Fukaya
Karel von Mander's Schilder-boeck as seen Through the Relationships Between the Title Painter and the Others Mentioned in His Life

Toshiharu Nakamura
The Voice from Outside
A Reconsideration on Cellini's Autobiograph

Sources and Documents: Translations with Annotations

Shigetoshi Osano

Francisco de Hollanda, “Da pintura antiga” and “Dialogos em Roma o Da pintura antiga livro segundo”


Book Review

Masahiko Haito

Giuseppe Barbieri, L'inventore della pittura: Leon Battista Alberti e il mito di Narciso

Tetsuhiro Kato

Catherine M. Soussloff, The Absolute Artist: The Historiography of a Concept



Edited by Shigeki Abe


The Others


Motoaki Ishii
Baptism as Illumination
Some Reflections on Tullio Lombardo's Monumento to Doge Giovanni Mocenigo

The Monumento to Doge Giovanni Mocenigo ( Venice , Ss. Giovanni e Paolo) is considered to be the last monument on which Tullio Lombardo worked as sculptor. The relief of the Baptism of Anianus on its stylobate, as pendant of the Baptism of Christ on the left, represents one of Saint Mark's deeds in Alexandria, and contemporary documents describe the relief as one of the ‘miracles' of the Evangelist after the one with the same subject on the facade of Scuola Grande di San Marco. The sculptor may have indeed stressed the meaning of the “miracle,” providing at the upper left corner of the relief unusual rays of light which could be regarded as divine intervention. This hypothesis can be supported by the Tenth-Century Byzantine source Menology by Symeon Metaphraste. The relief even had a clear reference to the antique world especially with the heroic nude of the mother and her child waiting for the baptism at the right side of the scene.


Exhibition Review

Takanori Nagai
Translation by Motokazu Kimata

Cezanne et Pissarro 1865-1885 ( New York / Los Ageles / Paris , 2005-06) and
Cezanne en Provence ( Washington / Aix-en-Provence , 2006)