Dr Francesco Freddolini
Assistant Professor of Art History at Luther College, University of Regina, Canada
Denmark and the International Mobility of Italian Sculpture, c. 1709-1725
In 1709 Frederick IV, King of Denmark, met the sculptor Giovanni Baratta in Florence. This encounter changed the artist’s career and positioned Denmark at the forefront of European sculptural patronage: for 15 years the flow of marbles from Baratta’s workshop to Denmark was incessant. This paper investigates Frederick IV’s international patronage by situating Denmark within the context of European sculptural mobility, and exploring its influence on other countries, with special reference to England. I will also explore how Frederick IV participated in the early eighteenth-century European circulation of Italian marbles for palaces and gardens, from Russia, to Germany, to Spain. Furthermore, I will argue how Frederick IV’s interest in sculpture can be better understood as a competition against Sweden, following the looting of Danish public sculpture by Charles X. The Hercules and the Nemean Lion by Baratta, represented an attempt replace the looted Hercules by Adriaen de Vries, and the marbles sent from Italy conferred a new ‘European’ magnificence to the Danish palaces. The relations between Denmark and Italy help us investigate the potential instability of artworks, once they are put in motion across cultures. If, for instance, the Hercules had a meaning related to a long-standing Florentine tradition for Giovanni Baratta, it acquired new meanings — and therefore a new agency — once displayed in its Danish context.
Francesco Freddolini is assistant professor of art history at Luther College, University of Regina, Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Pisa, Italy, and has received numerous fellowships, including the Getty Research Institute, The Huntington Library, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Francis Haskell Memorial Grant. His research focuses on material histories of early modern sculpture and on the role of images in court societies. He has published extensively on Baroque sculpture, and his book Giovanni Baratta (1670- 1747): scultura e industria del marmo tra la Toscana e le corti d’Europa will be published in April 2013 by L’Erma di Bretschneider, Rome.
Cynthia Osiecki PhD Fellow, Interdisciplinary Research Training Group ‘Baltic Borderlands’ at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, Greifswald
The Import of Flemish Sculpture into Sweden’s Courts in the Second half of the Sixteenth Century
The mobility of Netherlandish sculptors in the Baltic Area is under-researched. Sources are fragmented and raise many questions. Many sculptors migrated northwards from the Southern Netherlands after 1550, when the political instability of the Netherlands was increasing, resulting in the commencement of the Eighty Years’ War in 1568. They took with them the style of the Antwerp sculptor Cornelis Floris (1514-1575) and the ornamental prints of Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527 - c. 1607) and Cornelis Bos (1506/1510-1555), among others, which were printed in Antwerp and already popular in the Baltic Sea Area. My paper will focus on the presence of Netherlandish sculpture in Sweden and the network supporting commissions for Netherlandish sculptors. In contrast to other countries around the Baltic Sea, Sweden had no representative from the Floris workshop working there. Yet because of the mobility of Floris’ artworks, prints and his pupils, patrons in Sweden could easily obtain artworks in the Floris style. Willem Boy(en) (c. 1525-1595) may be seen as a key figure in this respect as he was working for the Swedish kings Erik XIV and Johann III. After Boyen’s death in 1595, the Swedish king Sigismund III Vasa (1566-1632) imported works by Willem van den Bloocke, a probable Floris apprentice working in Danzig. What lay behind the Swedish preference for Netherlandish sculpture in the Floris style? Did Sweden produce no comparable work within its own borders?
In May 2010 Cynthia Osiecki finished her undergraduate study in Art History at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. She wrote her dissertation on the sculptor Hans van Mildert (1588?-1638) who was born in exile in Königsberg and worked in Antwerp. In August 2011 Osiecki obtained a Masters degree in Museum Curating at the Free University, Amsterdam. Her thesis concerned the sculptor Willem van den Bloocke who probably trained Van Mildert in his atelier in Danzig, Poland. Since March 2013 she has been working on her doctoral research at the University of Greifswald, Germany, which concerns Netherlandish sculptors in the Baltic Sea Area.
Dr Kristoffer J Neville
Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University in Berlin
A Gothic Neptune. Georg Labenwolff’s Sculpture for the Danish Court, 1575-1583
The Danish court emerged as a major consumer of sculpture in the later sixteenth century. Nuremberg sculptors provided much of the high-quality work in bronze. This paper will examine the pieces commissioned by King Frederik II for Kronborg Palace in Elsinore (Helsingør), particularly focusing on an elaborate fountain of Neptune made by Georg Labenwolff. This followed a type familiar through the German-speaking world, but was more elaborate and costly than any comparable example. It was recognized as extraordinary both by the Nuremberg public and the city council, and a smaller variant was soon made for Nuremberg. It established the Danish court as a fundamentally important market, and the city council seems to have gone to extraordinary lengths to promote further commissions. Though destroyed in 1659, the fountain is known through descriptions, drawings and prints. This paper will examine the ways that it worked in the quite specific milieu of the Elsinore palace, and specifically the ways that the classical imagery of Neptune and other Greco-Roman gods was consonant with a court that presented itself with pride as the heirs of the Goths, Vandals, and Cimbrians, the conquerors of the Romans. I will argue that these were ultimately not irreconcilable. Rather, this fountain may be a starting point in the conflation of Roman and anti-Roman identities increasingly common in Northern Europe over the following century as courts tracing their roots to the ancient tribes that overthrew Rome simultaneously sought ways to present themselves visually within the conventions of all’antica imagery.
Kristoffer Neville (PhD Princeton, 2007) is assistant professor of art history at the University of California, Riverside. He has written on a variety of issues in Northern European art and culture 1550-1750. This paper on the early modern fascination with Gothic ancestry develops ideas explored in other forms in Journal of the History of Ideas and Renaissance Studies. In 2012-2013 he is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University in Berlin, working on a book on the courts in Copenhagen and Stockholm and their significance for Northern European culture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.