Giorgio Vasari - Musicians, about 1545

Giorgio Vasari (Arezzo, 1511 - 1574, Florence)

Musicians, about 1545

Fresco, 105.5 x 167 cm (41 9/16 x 65 3/4 in.)

Close

Object details

Accession number

P22e1

Provenance

Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner's husband, John L. Gardner, Jr. (1837–1898), from the antique dearler Vincenzo Barone, Naples, on 26 October 1897 for 200 lire.

Bibliography

Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), pp. 80-81. (as Felice Brusacorci)
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 193. (as Felice Brusacorci)
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 172-73. (as Neapolitan?, 1610-1650)
Pierluigi Leone de Castris. Pittura del Cinquecento a Napoli: 1540-1573 Fasto e devozione (Naples, 1996), pp. 108, 127, 133. (as Giorgio Vasari, 1544-1545)
Hilliard Goldfarb et al. Italian Paintings and Drawings Before 1800 in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unpublished manuscript. (Boston, 1996-2000). (as Giorgio Vasari, 1544-1545)
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), p. 89. (as Giorgio Vasari, about 1545)Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), pp. 80-81. (as Felice Brusacorci)
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 193. (as Felice Brusacorci)
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 172-73. (as Neapolitan?, 1610-1650)
Pierluigi Leone de Castris. Pittura del Cinquecento a Napoli: 1540-1573 Fasto e devozione (Naples, 1996), pp. 108, 127, 133. (as Giorgio Vasari, 1544-1545)
Hilliard Goldfarb et al. Italian Paintings and Drawings Before 1800 in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unpublished manuscript. (Boston, 1996-2000). (as Giorgio Vasari, 1544-1545)
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), p. 89. (as Giorgio Vasari, about 1545)


Rights and reproductions

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review Rights and Reproductions for details.

Commentary

These musicians appear to be serenading a gathering in a grand salon from an upper balcony. Their instruments and sheets of music protrude over the ledge and cast shadows on the feigned architecture.

The fresco has recently been identified as the work of Giorgio Vasari. While most of his frescoes were produced for religious or civic institutions, he occasionally provided decorations for private interiors (for example, he painted frescoes for the palace of Bindo Altoviti). It is possible that this fresco was made in Naples in 1545 for Tommaso Cambi, a merchant and collector originally from Florence, who was also a close friend of Vasari. The handling of the figures resembles Vasari’s other frescoes done in Naples (for example, the refectory of Monteoliveto), while similar musicians can be found in his Marriage of Esther and Ahasuerus of 1549 (Museo Statale di Arte Medievale e Moderna, Arezzo).

Source: Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 89.

Related