The de Brécy Tondo and it's relationship with Raphael's Sistine Madonna
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Page 11 of 27

Sir Richard Wynn of Gwydir (Continued)

This form of douceur, or "encouragement", was part and parcel of court etiquette and

"paintings formed part of the currency of international diplomacy."468

The Vatican kept up a regular flow of presents to the Catholic Queen of England. These hopefully persuasive gifts were channelled through Gregorio Panzani, the Papal Agent to England.

When Canon Panzani first arrived at Henrietta Maria's court in 1634 he brought an array of gifts, including a relic case.

"Charles's interest in Panzani was instantly aroused by the beauty of the relic case. Presently the canon was deputed to act as agent for the King of England in the business of procuring paintings, statues and curiosities for the royal collection. Aided by his powerful patron. Cardinal Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII, Panzani began to strip his native country of artistic treasures."469

Cardinal Francesco Barberini wrote to Mazarin, lately appointed nuncio-extraordinary to the court of Louis XIII :

"The statues go on prosperously, nor shall I hesitate to rob Rome of all her most valuable ornaments, if in exchange we might be so happy as to have the King of England's name amongst the princes who submit to the Apostolic See."470

Barberini commissioned a work by Guido Reni as a present to Henrietta Maria for her chapel at the Queen's House, Greenwich.

One of the Nuncio's office wrote to Barberini in September 1632 that Henrietta Maria

"will send by the next courier the measuremnts of the picture, which she would like Guido Reni to paint for the chapel at Greenwich."471

In 1640 Barberini commissioned another work for the Queen to be painted by Guido Reni, but there was a delay in its delivery.

Excerpt from Dr Murdoch Lothian's PhD thesis 'The Methods Employed to Provenance and to Attribute Putative works by Raphael'

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