Study day: New research into Glasgow Museums’ Collections
Cataloguing Glasgow’s Italian Paintings
Professor Peter Humfrey, University of St Andrews
Peter explained that the catalogue was published by Unicorn Press, who had already published catalogues of the paintings in the Wallace Collection and Dulwich Picture Gallery.
It contains 150 catalogue entries covering a period of 1375 to 1875, and about 46 of the paintings are in the exhibition. There is an introduction essay about foundation of the collection, in particular the donation by Archibald McLellan.
There have been several previous catalogues of the paintings – in 1935 and 1970 – but these editions had few images and there was a need for some re-attributions. Some of the Venetian paintings were shown in the National Gallery of Scotland’s ‘Age of Titian’ exhibition in 2004 which was very helpful.
Peter then looked at the issues regarding several paintings: the attribution to Titian for the ‘Christ and the Adulteress’, the subject of Lattanio Gambara’s fresco fragment, the placement of predella pictures including in Francesco Francia’s ‘Nativity’, the discussion about the possible artist and the iconography of the ‘Allegory of Vanitas’, and the subject matter of Pietro Aldi’s painting of an artist and nun.
All this information can be found in the catalogue. As Peter explained, he feels that the current catalogue is a foundation for further research into some of the topics, such as McLellan’s activities as a collector.
The study day ended with a visit to the temporary exhibition ’The Essence of Beauty: 500 Years of Italian Art’.