Patronized by the Medici: the diary of the painter Jacopo Carucci with his feelings, habits, and work routines

Pontormo's Diary

Italy — 1554 - 1556

Pontormo's Diary

Pontormo's Diary

Italy — 1554 - 1556

  1. Commonly known as Pontormo, Jacopo Carucci (d. 1557) was a prominent representative of the Florentine school

  2. Pontormo was a Mannerist and portraitist whose work represented a stylistic shift in the art of the Florentine Renaissance

  3. He often enjoyed the patronage of the Medici family and a number of his paintings hang in the Uffizi Gallery

Pontormo's Diary

Pontormo's Diary – ms. Magliabechiano VIII 1490 – Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (Florence, Italy)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Jacopo Carucci (1494-1557), known as Pontormo as a nod to his place of birth, was a Mannerist and portraitist whose body of work represented a stylistic shift in the art of the Florentine Renaissance. He apprenticed with some of the leading artists of his day, including Leonardo da Vinci, before becoming one of the leading artists of the 16th century and receiving the patronage of the Medici family inter alia. The valuable historical document known as Pontormo’s Diary was written by the artist toward the end of his life and offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an aging artist. The diary is as concerned with minutiae as it is with art, detailing his diet above all else. This is a fantastic source for anyone interested in the personality and inner thoughts of a Renaissance artist who has colored much of our image of the artist as a person who is withdrawn from and in conflict with the world.

Pontormo's Diary

Born May 24th, 1494 in Pontorme, a village near Empoli, Italy, Jacopo Carucci (d. 1557) was a prominent representative of the Florentine school. Commonly known as Pontormo, a wink to his hometown, he was a Mannerist and portraitist whose body of work represents a profound stylistic shift in the art of the Florentine Renaissance, moving away from its calm perspectival regularity. Twinning poses, ambiguous perspectives, and figures with haunting faces and elongated bodies that seem to float unhampered by gravity distinguish his art. He was orphaned at a young age, but apprenticed in some of the finest workshops in Italy, learning from artists like Mariotto Albertinelli, Piero di Cosimo, Andrea del Sarto, and even Leonardo da Vinci. Once he established himself as an artist, he often enjoyed the patronage of the Medici family and a number of his paintings hang in the Uffizi Gallery today. Pontormo’s personality, as depicted by Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), has colored much of our image of an artist: withdrawn, neurotic, lonely, and paranoid. This characterization may have been biased, as Vasari was in competition with Pontormo at the time, and artists maligning one another out of jealousy is not difficult to imagine. Nonetheless, Pontormo was at the center of artistic life in his day.

A Glimpse into the Artist’s Mind

Pontormo’s Diary, which the artist referred to as My Book, was written between 1554 and 1556, during a time when Pontormo was working in solitude on a massive fresco (which is now lost) in the church of San Lorenzo in Florence. The diary is as much about his diet as it is about his art. The two subjects are so intertwined as to often be mentioned in the same sentence. He seems to have been obsessed with maintaining a moderate diet, and was greatly concerned with various maladies that could befall someone depending on the season. The weather, his deteriorating health, and even his bowel movements are detailed, as is an increasingly strained relationship with his apprentice, Giovanni Battista Naldini (1535–1591). Apparently, the apprentice had been caring for the aging master, who nonetheless continues to scold and be critical of him, driving Battista away and eventually into the workshop of his rival Vasari in 1562.

Codicology

Size / Format
32 pages / 22.0 x 14.7 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
1554 - 1556
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Pontormo's Diary“

Diario di Jacopo da Pontormo
Pontormo's Diary – ms. Magliabechiano VIII 1490 – Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (Florence, Italy)
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Diario di Jacopo da Pontormo

Publisher
Salerno Editrice – Rome, 1996
Limited Edition
490 copies
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €
Edition available
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