Negotiating an art deal in eighteenth-century Europe: Guido Reni’s Dispute and its acquisition by Sir Robert Walpole in 1731

Negotiating an art deal in eighteenth-century Europe: Guido Reni’s Dispute and its acquisition... Abstract This article presents new evidence concerning the sale in 1731 of Guido Reni’s Dispute over the Immaculate Conception to Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first serving Prime Minister and one of the most important English collectors of the eighteenth century. The documents provide a full record of the negotiations undertaken to bring the painting to England, thereby affording a rare opportunity to examine the procedures involved in such a deal, as well as the roles and the identities of its main actors. Negotiation was a central aspect in the process of acquiring artistic masterpieces, and thus an essential stage in the creation of an art collection. Also investigated here is the possible role of Guido’s work in the contemporary Roman cultural context, while new evidence is presented on the previous owners of the painting, the De Angelis family. This new material allows, therefore, for a broader consideration of the success of Guido’s art in the context of eighteenth-century Europe. Very few private collections in eighteenth-century Europe could compete with the one assembled by Sir Robert Walpole (1676–1745), the prominent Whig politician and the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. Born in Houghton, Norfolk, Walpole began buying art in the late 1710s, coinciding with his rise to political power. Within roughly twenty years he amassed a collection of paintings conventional for its taste, but superlative for its overall quality.1 In the early 1740s, at the time of its move from London to Houghton Hall (the country house Walpole had built in his native Country), the collection numbered more than 400 pictures, including distinguished works by such prominent artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin, Anthony Van Dyck, Rembrandt van Rijn, Salvator Rosa, Carlo Maratti – Sir Robert’s favourite artist – and Guido Reni. It encompassed paintings of exceptional quality and highly representative of their authors, such as for example Rubens’s Bacchanalia, Maratti’s Pope Clement IX, Salvator Rosa’s Prodigal Son, and Poussin’s Holy Family with Sts Elizabeth and John the Baptist, to name but a few.2 In 1748, to celebrate the extent and quality of this picture gallery, as well as to serve as a testament to the taste of its founder, Horace Walpole (1717–1797), Sir Robert’s son, published the Aedes Walpoliane, a comprehensive description of the 276 most important works in the gallery. Inspired by the earlier examples of the Giustiniani and Barberini picture galleries in Rome, whose printed catalogues (published respectively in 1640 and 1642) had come to form authoritative models of glorification of the collector and household promotion, the Aedes included also references to provenance and measurements of the paintings, in order ‘to ascertain their originality, and be a kind of pedigree to them’, in such a way as to set a standard for the ‘most capital’ collection in England of the time.3 The formation of such an impressive collection of paintings in a short span of time was made possible above all by an extended network of agents, informants and other representatives of the Walpoles spread throughout Europe, who kept Sir Robert constantly informed about the masterpieces placed on sale, in London and abroad. Figures like the portrait painter and pictures dealer Andrew Hay (d. 1754), the art-amateur Robert Bragge (d. 1777), and the diplomat Horace Mann (1706–1786), for example, are documented tracking down treasures for Robert Walpole in England and continental Europe, with their initiatives proving pivotal in forging Sir Robert’s taste.4 Yet, several details concerning the acquisition of works of art – from the role and identity of agents, to their strategies and policies in negotiations – remain largely understudied and little documented. This seems to be the case, for example, in the acquisition of the Dispute over the Immaculate Conception by the Bolognese artist Guido Reni (1575–1642), arguably one of the gems of Walpole’s collection (St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum; Fig. 1).5 The outstanding importance of this work clearly emerges from the long description in the Aedes Walpoliane, where the iconography and provenance of this ‘capital picture, and the first in this collection’ are treated in some detail. After discussing the subject and its theological sources, Horace Walpole recounts that the canvas was bought for his father in Rome; however, while the painting was in transit, its sale was temporarily halted by Pope Innocent XIII on account of its extraordinary quality, as it was considered ‘too fine’ to leave Rome: Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Photograph © State Hermitage Museum. Photograph by Pavel Demidov. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Photograph © State Hermitage Museum. Photograph by Pavel Demidov. Over the farthest chimney is that capital picture, and the first in this collection, the Doctors of the Church . . . After Sir Robert had bought this picture, and it was gone to Civita Vecchia to be shipt for England, Innocent XIII, then Pope, remanded it, as being too fine to be let go out of Rome; but on hearing who had bought it, he gave permission for its being sent away again. It was in the collection of the Marquis De Angeli.6 Walpole’s description accounts for the high admiration in which Guido’s ‘capital picture’ was held at the time, a reputation that was also fuelled by its exorbitant monetary evaluation. According to the Aedes, in 1731 Robert Walpole disbursed £700 for the Dispute, a price that made it the most expensive canvas ever brought to England and among the most costly paintings in eighteenth-century Europe. Iain Pears calculated that this picture alone was equivalent to the yearly wages of more than 500 labourers, a figure that epitomizes the large financial resources mobilized by the upper ranks of the aristocracy to increase private art collections in the Georgian period.7 In 1774 Horace Walpole defined it as ‘the first picture in England, and equal to any in Italy but Raphael’s’, considering it worth at least £2,000.8 In 1778, when rumours of the sale of Walpole’s collection began spreading, Joshua Reynolds tried in vain to acquire it, making an offer for this single picture of 2,000 guineas, and promising to keep it with him, an indication that the painting was still deemed highly profitable.9 Despite Sir Joshua’s efforts, however, the Dispute was ultimately sold to Catherine II of Russia for £3,500 – five times its original cost – ending up in St Petersburg together with the bulk of the extraordinary collection of pictures put together by Sir Robert Walpole.10 The De Angelis’ Memoriale and the sale of the Dispute A group of documents preserved in the Hertziana Library in Rome, which seem to have mostly eluded the notice of previous researchers, provides further evidence of the early history of Guido’s Dispute, shedding light in particular on its purchase by Sir Robert Walpole and the subsequent export from Rome in 1731–2.11 Consisting of a dozen original papers bound together in a modern folder, the documents appear to have entered the Hertziana in 1934 with a provenance from a Roman bookshop.12 Besides their obvious relevance in attesting to the accuracy of Sir Horace Walpole’s account on the provenance of the painting in the Aedes Walpoliane, these papers also offer precious insight into the intricacies of an art export in eighteenth-century Rome, elucidating – almost step by step – the complex procedure of negotiating the sale of such a masterpiece as Guido’s painting.13 The most relevant document of the Hertziana series is a memoriale drawn up by Marquis Cosimo De Angelis, a Roman aristocrat whose name had appeared in the c.1728 print by Jacob Frey as the owner of Guido’s Dispute (Fig. 2).14 The account (online Document 1) summarizes each phase of the transaction and, although its function does not appear evident from the document itself, was probably conceived as a statement to be submitted to the Roman authorities granting the export permission. The marquis recalls that on 25 November 1731, upon returning from his villeggiatura, he had gone to visit Cornelio Bentivoglio (1668–1732), a cardinal from Ferrara and himself an art collector, at whose apartment – then located next to Piazza di Spagna, the core of the English quarter in Rome – he was expected to discuss the sale of the painting (‘sopra la vendita del quadro’).15 Two other individuals were present at the meeting, Pier Francesco Pandolfini and Andrew Lusnergh, two elusive and otherwise undocumented personages who appear to act in the deal as the brokers (or sensali) of the sale, representing respectively De Angelis and the prospective buyer, Sir Robert Walpole.16 Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Jacob Frey the Elder, after Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, engraving, 575 x 341 mm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1962 (inv. no. 62.600.454). Photograph: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Jacob Frey the Elder, after Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, engraving, 575 x 341 mm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1962 (inv. no. 62.600.454). Photograph: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The bargaining proved difficult immediately, since Lusnergh’s initial offer of 2,800 roman scudi made on behalf of Walpole was below the original request of 3,000 scudi put forward by Marquis De Angelis. After a long and fruitless negotiation (‘si battagliò un pezzo’), upon the suggestion of Pandolfini the two parties agreed to resume the deal after Lusnergh had conferred with George Knapton (1698–1778), the British expatriate painter and future founder-member of the Society of Dilettanti who eventually emerges as the deus ex machina of the transaction. Trained in London with Jonathan Richardson the elder, Knapton moved to Rome in 1725, where he started selling plaster casts after the antique in association with Arthur Pond (c.1701–1758), also a portraitist and engraver, becoming known among the British grand tourists for his sound knowledge of antiquities and old masters.17 As the formulaic ‘corrispondente del cavaliere inglese’ used in the source by De Angelis indicates, Knapton was involved in the deal as the agent of Sir Robert Walpole, a position that involved both a role of adviser for the paintings for sale in Rome and a supervisory function in the continuing negotiations, including its financial aspects: it was Knapton who ultimately was responsible for selecting the work, including also the declaration of its authorship.18 In this capacity, it might have been Knapton himself who had suggested Walpole proceed with the acquisition of Guido’s Dispute, a recommendation that eventually allowed him to earn the favour of the British gentleman for future commissions.19 Knapton’s intervention in the deal was initially unsuccessful. In the following days, Lusnergh repeatedly visited De Angelis, reporting Knapton’s last counter-offer of 2,850 scudi (that is, only 50 scudi more than the previous bid), which at first the marquis indignantly refused. The negotiation apparently reached a deadlock, despite De Angelis’ subsequent resolution to reduce his final request to 2,900 scudi and the fact that in the meantime he had also applied for an official export permission, which was granted on 30 November (see online Document 2).20 After some further hesitation, the marquis finally agreed to the proposed price, provided that no commission was to be paid to Lusnergh for his part. Instrumental in his decision was Pandolfini’s final pressure, and his assurance that, as the marquis put it, ‘he would have ensured the full amount of 2,850 scudi available for me’ (‘2850 scudi liberi per me’), in such a way exempting him from paying the British-born sensale his due. Once the deal was reached, Knapton ordered measurements to be taken with a view to packing the painting for transportation. On 5 December 1731 Guido’s altarpiece was transferred to the house of Girolamo Belloni, one of the trusted bankers of the English community in Rome, where it was prepared for shipment to England.21 On the same day, two receipts were issued, one of them stating that Lusnergh had refused any compensation for his brokerage (online Document 3). It was disclosed later that Belloni had been previously authorized to pay up to 3,000 scudi if the negotiation was in danger of failing – a detail that shows Walpole’s determination to secure the painting, as well as his agent’s talent in obtaining a consistent discount on the price as first proposed. It seems that this revelation did not disconcert the Marquis De Angelis, who revealed that a few years earlier he had refused an offer of 3,000 scudi from another unnamed British gentleman, an offer that had, however, also included an unspecified ‘libro delle stampe di Alberto Duro’ (evidently worth more than a mere 150 scudi). These initial lines of the memoriale show how relevant the role of agents, brokers and other middlemen was in facilitating artistic negotiations: like skilled diplomats, they performed not only representative duties on behalf of their patrons, sometimes with a certain degree of discretion, but also held wider advisory functions.22 This latter aspect further emerges in a letter dated 10 November 1731 (only two weeks before the first meeting at Bentivoglio’s house), in which Pandolfini instructs De Angelis on how to conduct the deal and prepares the ground, so to speak, for the forthcoming negotiation (online Document 4). In the letter, the sensale urged Marquis Cosimo to return from his villeggiatura in Castel Cellesi, a small village in the Tuscia region, relating that ‘an answer has come from England concerning the sale, and the money is ready’. He then recommended his patron to move back to Rome as quickly as possible, ‘because our friend would like to conclude the deal rapidly, being afraid that the painting could not depart by sea because the season is so late’. He also advised De Angelis to be circumspect and discreet, and to avoid discussing the matter in particular ‘with the cardinal camerlengo and any other who, being too zealous, could make the deal difficult because they do not want the painting to leave Rome’.23 This admonition stresses the importance of discretion and secrecy as the main ingredients for a successful brokering; and the fact that this recommendation was coming from a sensale further emphasizes their advisory role in art transactions. Along with recounting the details of the sale, the memoriale also records the events of the after-sale, documenting the failed attempt made by the Roman authorities to prevent the export of Guido’s Dispute. As we have seen, the same episode is also briefly mentioned in the Aedes Walpoliane, where it is stated that the painting was remanded from Civitavecchia – the main port of Rome, located 70 kilometres north of the capital – on orders from the pope himself, because it was deemed ‘too fine to be let go out of Rome.’24 The Hertziana papers supplement the information from the Aedes with a more specific focus on the reactions in Rome – especially from the highest personalities in the Curia – to the potential loss of such a great painting. According to the report, upon hearing that the sale of Guido’s picture was being negotiated, Monsignor Alessandro Gregorio Capponi (1683–1746) spoke to Pope Clement XII (reg. 1730–1740) and his Cardinal Nepote Neri Corsini (1685–1770), in an attempt to persuade them to acquire the work in order to impede its export from the papal state. The meeting between the dignitaries and the pope most likely occurred shortly after the deal was closed the 5 December, when rumours of the sale started spreading among the virtuosi in Rome. A dispatch from Cardinal Corsini addressed to De Angelis dated 8 December 1731, in fact, urged the marquis ‘to suspend the sale of the painting by Guido Reni’, summoning him to the Quirinal to confer with him (online Document 5). The prelate was evidently unaware of the progress being made on the sale, but his efforts proved too belated. The next day, having heard from the marquis himself that the painting had already been sold and was on its way to England, Corsini regretfully resolved to take further steps in order to retain Guido’s work in Rome, adding that he would have bought the painting back had he not known the identity of the British gentleman; as De Angelis reports, the cardinal knew that the ‘buyer was a gentleman of high status, and a King of England’s minister known to him’. Corsini was probably referring here to his former role as the Medici’s ambassador in London in the late 1710s, when he certainly had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of Sir Robert Walpole, then a dominant figure of the British cabinet.25 His reluctance to halt the export seems to point to the international relevance of this artistic acquisition, as well as testifying to the influence of Walpole’s name on artistic negotiations in eighteenth-century Europe.26 The episode sheds some light on cultural politics in Rome during the early eighteenth century, and especially on one of its main protagonists, Cardinal Alessandro Gregorio Capponi. An enthusiastic antiquary and himself a collector of antiquities (of which he amassed a large collection in his palace in Via Ripetta), Capponi was an ardent defender of the Roman artistic heritage, and an advocate for its preservation and restoration.27 It is no wonder that he took personal action in an effort to retain Guido’s painting in Rome, mobilizing the highest echelons of the curial hierarchy in order to secure it for the appreciation of the Roman public. As Heather Hyde Minor has recently observed, Capponi was aware of the increasing importance of works of art in the international milieu, and the fact that ‘culture was one of the few spheres of influence in which [the papacy] could hope to hold any kind of pre-eminence in Europe’.28 In 1733, in his capacity as Clement XII’s archaeological adviser, Capponi persuaded the pope to buy the large collection of antiquities (consisting of several hundred pieces of extreme importance and rarity) sold by Cardinal Albani, which later formed the core of the newly established Musei Capitolini.29 The acquisition of the Albani collection pre-dates the failed buy-back of the Dispute by only a few months, but the two episodes are connected as a part of the same strategy of preservation of Roman artistic assets and creation of a lasting repository for works of art open to a public of foreigners, dilettanti and artists. Although Capponi seemed more interested in antiquities and old masters than contemporary paintings, he was certainly aware of the artistic importance of the Dispute, regarding it as an ideal candidate for a public picture gallery: it was large and impressive in size, measuring 274 x 174 cm, and it embodied an expression of what the biographer Carlo Cesare Malvasia defined as Guido’s prima maniera, a style characterized by saturated colours, forceful expressions and prominent chiaroscuro that ‘will always please the most curious’.30 Capponi’s initiative might therefore be considered as a first, unsuccessful effort to establish a public Pinacoteca in Rome, an enterprise that would be accomplished only few years later, between 1748 and 1750, under the auspices of Clement’s successor, Pope Benedict XIV, with the acquisition of the Sacchetti and Pio collections.31 The legacy of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis As Cosimo De Angelis’ report shows, the export of a painting was an intricate affair in eighteenth-century Rome. A restrictive legislation, in fact, prevented unauthorized export of archaeological and artistic assets (including also contemporary paintings and sculptures) from the papal state, sanctioning the practice of illegal sale with hefty fines (up to 500 golden ducats in 1733) and requisition of the works of art.32 Export licences were even more difficult to obtain for those works protected from sale by fidecommisso, the testamentary provision binding the inheritance of properties to the male bodily heirs that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries became a widely used instrument by which the Roman nobility safeguarded its patrimonial assets and preserved their integrity in perpetuity.33 When in the 1740s Sir Robert Walpole tried to purchase the series of the Seven Sacraments painted by Nicholas Poussin for Cassiano del Pozzo – one of the foremost sets of paintings in Rome, then still in the possession of Cassiano’s heirs in the Boccapaduli palace – Pope Benedict XIV abruptly stopped the sale, arguing that the works were entrusted to the family by way of fidecommisso, and could not therefore be disposed of by the heirs.34 Despite these restrictive regulations, fidecommisso’s limitations could occasionally be overcome by the pope, who alone had authority to concede exemptions by issuing a special chirografo – a signed document with a legal value – at the request of a supplicant. Guido’s Dispute too was subject to a testamentary fidecommisso, as two further documents from the Hertziana inform us. The first is Cosimo’s formal petition to sell his painting, presented to Benedict XIII (reg. 1724–1730) on the 30 September 1727 (online Document 7). In this supplica, the marquis begged the Pope to invalidate the fidecommisso established by his great-uncle, Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis (1611–1695), and to concede the authorization to sell Guido’s painting, because, ‘for its antiquity it is presently in a very bad shape, and its condition will become worse, with a great prejudice of the supplicant’ – a justification that sounds unconvincing, since the painting never seems to have suffered from any conservation issues. Later in the same document De Angelis further states that he had already found a prospective buyer, who was ready to pay 3,000 scudi for his picture – a reference to the failed attempt by an anonymous British gentleman to acquire the painting also recorded in the memoriale. The petition then sets out that the profits would be invested into properties to the benefit of future generations of the family, in such a way retaining the spirit of Cardinal De Angelis’ last will.35 The second document is a longer, official papal chirografo authorizing the sale, in which the same points of the petition are essentially repeated (online Document 6). The instrument contains more legal details about the fidecommisso and its conditions, and includes also a reference to the testament of Giacomo De Angelis the elder (d. 1608), a member of the Pisan branch of the family who first established the rule of primogeniture for his family’s estate and whose initiative seemingly inspired his heirs.36 The relevant part fixes the new terms and conditions under which the supplicant could dispose of the painting: [We the Pope] concede the broadest and most complete faculty to sell and alienate in favour of any person whomsoever the said painting by Guido Reni representing the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin with other figures painted over, coming from the inheritance of the above mentioned Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis and owned by Marquis De Angelis as the firstborn male of the household, for the total amount of at least 3,000 scudi, for which he has already had an offer despite the prohibition – intended in its wider sense – to alienate the painting set forth by said Cardinal De Angelis . . . We wish, however, that the 3,000 scudi, or any larger profit that will be made after the sale of the said painting, must immediately be deposited in its entirety in our Monte di Pietà, or Banco di Santo Spirito,37 to the credit of the Marquis De Angelis, with the warning that they come from the sale of the painting, and under the obligation that they must be invested into either an equivalent share of the Monti Camerali,38 or in interest-bearing real estate to the benefit of future first-born heirs. Both documents – the supplication and the chirografo – make extensive reference to the previous owner of Guido’s altarpiece, Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, incorporating short passages from his last will, drawn up in 1687.39 Since the cardinal’s original testament has yet to emerge from the archive, they provide a crucial vantage point on to the painting’s early history. In fact, Giacomo De Angelis decreed that Reni’s Dispute ‘should remain in perpetuity in his house in Rome, explicitly prohibiting its sale and to make copies after it’. This prohibition was probably intended as a way to maintain the owners’ exclusivity, as well as to protect the original work from fraudulent substitution with a copy, a practice that became increasingly common in eighteenth-century Rome.40 Cardinal Giacomo then set up the terms of a rigid fidecommisso, establishing that – after the death of Filippo De Angelis, Giacomo’s nephew and the father of Marquis Cosimo – the painting should remain with the first-born male in Rome or, in case there were no legitimate bodily heirs in Rome, it should go to the first-born of the Pisan branch of the family. The only way for Guido’s painting to be dispensed from the family’s direct ownership was ‘as a gift for a noble chapel or main altar in any notable church of Rome or Pisa dedicated to the Virgin’s Conception, provided that the chapel or altar would have been built by his heirs investing not less than 10,000 scudi’. Several churches (and chapels alike) in Rome could actually comply with this obligation, the most famous probably being Santa Maria della Concezione, the Capuchin church commissioned by Urban VIII in 1626 where an altarpiece by Guido Reni representing Saint Michel Archangel Defeating the Devil was placed on display in a lateral chapel as early as 1635.41 It might be that De Angelis had this prominent example in mind when he set forth the obligations in his last will. The two documents shed some light upon the possessions of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, a neglected figure of the Roman curial aristocracy who appears to have played a central role in his family’s ascent during the seventeenth century.42 Born in 1611 to Francesco, a Pisan magistrate, and the Florentine noblewoman Eleonora Princivalle, Giacomo (or Jacopo) was trained as a lawyer, obtaining his laurea in utroque from Pisa in 1633. In 1644 he moved to Rome, where he initially embarked on a secular career, serving first in the Roman court of the Segnatura, and then as a prior in different centres in the papal state such as Narni, Fabriano and Fano. In 1660 he was appointed bishop of Urbino, where he resided until 1666, promoting among other things the cult of the local patron saints. Returning to Rome in 1668, he took up the prestigious position of Vicegerent of the city.43 Finally, in 1686, under the pontificate of Pope Innocent XI, he was created cardinal, taking Santa Maria in Ara Coeli as his titular church. He died in 1695 in Barga, a small town near Lucca where his family originated, and his body was buried at first in the church of San Francesco in Pisa.44 In 1701, his remains were moved to Rome and reinterred in Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, in the chapel dedicated to San Pietro d’Alcalà that Giacomo himself bought in 1684, a few years before his accession to the cardinalate. On the occasion of the translatio, Giacomo’s nephew Giovanni Filippo commissioned the French-born medallist Ferdinand de Saint-Urbain to design a commemorative medal (Fig. 3), which shows on the obverse the portrait of the cardinal honoured as a presbyter of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli.45 The funerary chapel was adorned with rich plaster decoration by the Burgundian sculptor Michel Maille (c.1643–1703), who executed the sculpted group on the altar with the Ecstasy of St Peter and other stucco works on the lateral walls, where prominent inscriptions celebrating the members of the family are also mounted.46 While it is clear that Cardinal De Angelis deemed this chapel as the funeral space for himself and his heirs, there is no evidence that he ever considered the Dispute as destined for this location – a consideration that reinforces the impression that he had regarded his Guido Reni as a ‘quadro da galleria’. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Attributed to Ferdinand de Saint-Urbain, Commemorative Medal of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, 1701, bronze, diameter 397 mm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of Lisa and Leonard Baskin (inv. no. 1997.114.32a). Photograph: National Gallery of Art. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Attributed to Ferdinand de Saint-Urbain, Commemorative Medal of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, 1701, bronze, diameter 397 mm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of Lisa and Leonard Baskin (inv. no. 1997.114.32a). Photograph: National Gallery of Art. As the expression ‘fra li miei quadri il . . .’ transcribed from Giacomo’s testament seems to indicate, Guido’s Dispute was the pièce-de-résistance of a probably much larger collection of paintings, the original contents of which remain unknown.47 No inventory has come to light so far, although we learn from other sources that the De Angelis family did indeed own a number of works of art. For example, in his Diari Monsignor Capponi noted the purchase of some unspecified paintings and objects from the De Angelis, who were then facing financial uncertainty – probably that which also determined the disposal of the Dispute in 1731.48 In the absence of direct evidence, it cannot be assumed with certainty when and how Giacomo acquired the Dispute. Scholars have sometimes conjectured that this work could be identified with an altarpiece recorded in the church of the Oratorians in Perugia and described, among others, by Giovanni Battista Passeri as a ‘quadro in olio dell’Immacolata Concezione di Maria Vergine’.49 As Otto Kurz and others have shown, however, the Perugia altarpiece must be identified with the Assumption of the Virgin now at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, a painting bought by Cardinal Luigi Capponi in 1637 and documented in Perugia until 1797, when it was taken by Napoleonic troops and brought to France.50 The fact that no written sources – including the well-informed Carlo Cesare Malvasia in his Felsina Pittrice of 1678 – seem to record the Dispute before its sale might indicate that the painting was long kept on private display, and was therefore impossible to access for critics and cognoscenti. It is hard to tell whether it was originally executed for a member of the De Angelis family, or came into their hands only at a later stage from the art market. Since the painting is generally dated around the mid 1620s,51 Cardinal Giacomo – born in 1611, and a resident of Pisa until 1644 – could hardly be responsible for its commission, and also an original provenance from Pisa seems difficult to postulate, since the Tuscan city – unlike Florence or Rome – was not a major destination for Guido’s paintings and for Bolognese pictures alike.52 Further research may enable us to identify a potential candidate for the commission among other members of the De Angelis family residing in Rome at the time of the proposed execution, and thus to fully reconstruct the provenance of the painting after it was executed by Guido Reni. Coda: the Dispute’s frame The Dispute affair also presents an unexpected coda. As a further document informs us, in fact, Guido’s painting was sold without its original frame, possibly due to a disagreement about whether this was to be paid for separately or not – a practice not uncommon in contemporary art negotiations, as testified for example by the case of the collection of the Duke of Modena, which was sold unframed to Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, in 1745.53 A few months after the closure of the deal, in June 1732, the gilded frame was presented as a gift to the Compagnia dell’Angelo Custode in Rome, ‘so that’ – as Marquis Cosimo himself explained – ‘at least the frame might be of benefit to the divine cult and to the Virgin Mary’ (online Document 8). The donation includes a detailed description of the object, lingering over its ornate outline and decoration: A large all’antica frame, made of white poplar, rectangular in shape, warped and reinforced along the margins, with the corners modelled and moulded with carved astragals inside and ovoli, with, in the background, a large, gilded shell of darker wooden board with some golden veins, with gilded intaglio decorations above forming branches of laurels with bunches of berries and leaves in the middle and on the corners. In the inside profile edge, the frame is moulded with fillets, concave mouldings, and carved ovoli with a full-rounded shape, all gilded but the concave mouldings, which are dark on the inside, and with intacco, soletta and pianetto gilded, with side intaglios – in between the mouldings – made by a shell with leaves. On the top is another shell with wings, foliage and carved cartouches, and below a sculpted intaglio with a cherub’s head with open wings and cartouches, everything gilded. There is also an angel outside, a small shell and gilded leaves – overall measuring inside 8½ palmi by 12⅙, and c.3 palmi width included the intaglio.54 The exhaustive entry records the distinctive sculptural features of the frame, with the ornaments exploring the space along the margins as if to simulate arboreal decorations, also emphasizing the presence of a superimposed intaglio with an angel in a shell – a detail perhaps bearing allusion to the name of the owner.55 Regrettably, the object cannot be located in the current oratory of the Compagnia dell’Angelo Custode, a small building situated directly in front of the palace formerly owned by the De Angelis family (present day Via del Tritone)56 that, in the 1720s, was undergoing a radical renovation resulting, among other things, in the installation in 1729 of a large altarpiece with the Holy Family executed by Francesco Trevisani.57 It might be deduced that the frame had been given to the Oratorio as a personal contribution toward the decoration of the interior, and that it was expected to be displayed in the church as an altarpiece and to receive some sort of content. However, since the Trevisani altarpiece was much larger than that of Guido,58 it is possible that the frame was sold very soon, ultimately disappearing in the local art market. Conclusion The documents presented here provide an important insight into the practice of artistic negotiations in eighteenth-century Europe, a practice that is rarely documented to such a thorough extent and that usually leaves only partial and indirect traces in period sources (testified, for example, in personal correspondence or contemporary chronicles). As oral performances, negotiations were in fact elusive and confidential, and few written sources were therefore either equipped or intended to retain even a fraction of what went on – and when they did so, they usually reported a deal only partially, without delving into the details. The Hertziana papers allow us to examine closely the relevant phases of a negotiation concerning a work of art, from the role of the individuals involved in the bargain (such as the agents negotiating terms and conditions of the deal, or the banker organizing the transaction) to the consequences of the sale in its original context. At the same time, they also provide a significant amount of information concerning the previous owner of the painting and, more in general, the cultural context in which the deal took place. As an integral part of the collecting policies of the period, artistic negotiations can be thus revealing of a large set of information about an art object, from its reception to its significance in an international context. Overall, these documents also combine to shed some light on Guido Reni’s fame in eighteenth-century England. As we have seen, the Dispute was held at the time to be one of the most important Italian Baroque paintings then in the possession of a British gentleman, and the standing of its author second only to Raphael. Despite the ambiguous position of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who in his ‘Discourse v’ criticized Guido’s expressions, the works of the Bolognese artist were avidly sought after by British aristocrats, and his reputation was never at stake; furthermore, a large number of prints reproducing Guido’s most popular works contributed to the spreading of his fame among collectors and cognoscenti.59 It might be argued that this reputation was also fostered by Walpole’s Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, and by the consideration of how difficult and laborious had been its ‘extraction’ from Rome, especially in a period when art collecting was increasingly becoming a wide, European, international affair. Supplementary information An online appendix at Journal of the History of Collections online provides an integral transcription of the eight documents discussed in the text that are held at the Biblioteca Hertziana, Rome. Acknowledgements Preliminary research for this article was possible thanks to a Francis Haskell Memorial grant. I would like to express my gratitude to Patrizia Cavazzini, Elizabeth Cropper, Caroline Elam and Raffaella Morselli for their help and support. I am also grateful to Adriano Aymonino, Eloisa Dodero and Jamie Gabbarelli for the perceptive reading of this paper, and to Elise Ferone for her many critical and editorial suggestions. Special thanks are finally due to Dr Golo Maurer, Director of the Library of the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome, who kindly allowed me access to the rare materials in the Library’s collection. Notes and references 1 J. Stourton and C. Sebag-Montefiore, The British as Art Collectors. From the Tudors to the present (London, 2012), p. 107. See also F. Haskell, ‘The British as collectors’, in The Treasure Houses of Britain (New Haven and London, 1985), pp. 50–59. On the Walpole collection see, most recently, A. Moore, ‘Aedes Walpoliane: the collection as edifice’, in L. Dukelskaya and A. Moore (eds.), A Capital Collection. Houghton Hall and the Hermitage (New Haven and London, 2002), pp. 3–53 (with previous literature). 2 See Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), respectively nos 131, 41, 77 and 177. See also T. Morel, A. Moore, J. Harris and L. Dukelskaya, Houghton Revisited: The Walpole Masterpieces from Catherine the Great’s Hermitage (London, 2013). 3 Horace Walpole, Aedes Walpoliane, or a description of the Collection of Pictures at Houghton Hall in Norfolk (London, 1752), pp. 76–80 (reprinted in Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 353–417). 4 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore, op. cit. (note 1), p. 107. See also J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701–1800 (New Haven and London, 1997), respectively pp. 475, 116 and 635–7. 5 On the Dispute, see S. Pepper, Guido Reni (Milan, 1988), p. 255; S. Vsevolozskaja, Museo Statale Ermitage. La pittura Italiana del Seicento (Geneva and Milan, 2010), pp. 239–40. There has been much disagreement about the chronology of the painting, with dates ranging from the early 1620s to 1635–6 (O. Kurz, ‘Guido Reni’, Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 11 (1937), p. 219). For the presence of the Dispute in the Walpole collection, see also Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 164–65. 6 Walpole, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 76–80. For a critical assessment of Walpole’s description of Guido’s work, see I. Pears, The Discovery of Painting: The growth of interest in the arts in England (New Haven and London, 1988), pp. 201–3. 7 Quoted in Pears, op. cit. (note 6), p. 157. 8 W. S. Lewis (ed.), The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence (New Haven and London, 1954–71), vol. xxiii, p. 570, Horace Walpole to Mann, 1 May 1774. According to Horace, the Dispute was the most expensive but not the most beautiful painting in his collection: for him, Guido Reni’s Adoration of the Shepherds (now Moscow, Pushkin Museum) was a much finer picture: Lewis, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 169 (Horace Walpole to Cole, 12 July 1779). 9 Lewis, op. cit. (note 8), vol. ii, p. 170, note 13, Horace Walpole to Christie, 30 October 1778: ‘Sir Joshua Reynolds formerly offered me two thousand guineas for one picture only [i.e., Guido’s Dispute], and assured me that if I would part with it to him he meant to keep it.’ 10 On the sale, see L. Dukelskaya, ‘The Houghton sale and the fate of a great collection’, in Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 55–90. 11 Biblioteca Hertziana, Rome, shelf mark Ca-Ren 72–3320 raro. The papers are briefly mentioned, but without further discussion, in R. Spear, The ‘Divine’ Guido: Religion, sex, money and art in the world of Guido Reni (New Haven and London, 1997), p. 356, notes 74, 78. 12 See the inventory of the Hertziana Library for the year 1934, entry number 963: ‘Vendita fatta del quadro di Guido Reni 1732’ (29 May 1934). The papers were bought from the Roman bookseller Federico Piacenti in Via Rasella. 13 On this problem, see F. Paliaga, ‘Meccanismi della contrattazione di dipinti tra Venezia e Firenze nel tardo Seicento’, Ricche Minere 2 (2014), pp. 32–49. More in general, on the economy of painting at Guido’s time, see R. Spear and P. Sohm, Painting for Profit. The economic lives of seventeenth-century Italian painters (New Haven and London, 2010). 14 Jacob Frey, The Dispute with the Six Fathers of the Church, etching and engraving, c.1728. The print is inscribed ‘Ex tabula Guidi Reni asservata in aedibus Marchionis da Angelis’; see M. T. Bätschmann, Jakob Frey (1681–1752). Kupferstecher und Verleger in Rom (Bern, 1997), p. 195, note 135. As the chronology proposed by Bätschmann seems to suggest, the print was probably executed in connection with the projected sale of the painting. 15 A native of Ferrara, Marco Cornelio Bentivoglio d’Aragona was appointed Cardinal in 1719, under Pope Clement XI. After his appointment as Minister of Spain at the Holy See in 1726, Bentivoglio leased an apartment located in Piazza di Spagna, where he amassed his large collection of paintings, mostly contemporary authors. See the inventory drawn up on 10 January 1733 in the Getty Provenance Index, p-i 4924. 16 On the role of the sensali in eighteenth-century Rome, see P. Coen, Il mercato dei quadri a Roma nel diciottesimo secolo. La domanda, l’offerta e la circolazione delle opere in un grande centro artistico europeo (Florence, 2010), vol. i, pp. 137–65. On artistic brokerage in the Baroque period, see also I. Cecchini, Quadri e commercio a Venezia durante il Seicento (Venice, 2000), pp. 221–5. 17 Ingamells, op. cit. (note 4), p. 580. Knapton’s years in Italy are still underdocumented: see S. Lee (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography (New York, 1892), vol. xxxi, pp. 236–7. Later in his life, he was also appointed surveyor and keeper of the King’s collection. He was the first artist associated with the Society of Dilettanti, the group of British noblemen interested in the study of ancient Greek and Roman art: see B. Redford, Dilettanti: The antic and antique in eighteenth-century England (Los Angeles, 2008); J. Kelly, The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and identity in the British Enlightment (New Haven and London, 2009). 18 On the role of art agents in early modern Italy, see most recently M. Keblusek (ed.), Agenti e mediatori nell’Europa moderna, special issue of Quaderni Storici 41 (2006); B. Furlotti, ‘Connecting people, connecting places: antiquarians as mediators in sixteenth-century Rome’, Urban History 37 (2010), pp. 386–98; J. Barrier, ‘Les agents britanniques au services des “Grands touristes” à Rome. Une activité lucrative au xviiie siècle’, ArcHistor 2 (2015), pp. 51–69. On the practice of providing information about works of art from distance, see further B. Furlotti, ‘L’influence des mots, le pouvoir des images: acheter de l’art à distance en Italie aux xvie et xviie siècle’, Seizième Siècle 12 (2016), pp. 127–43. 19 It is noteworthy that around the year 1736, only a few years after the Dispute’s deal, Knapton executed a crayon portrait (now lost) of Sir Robert Walpole’s son Horace: see C. Kingsley Adams and W. S. Lewis, ‘The portraits of Horace Walpole’, Walpole Society 42 (1968–70), pp. 1–34, esp. p. 9, no. a5. 20 The permission was granted by Cardinal camerlengo Annibale Albani (1682–1751). On the export licences, see F. Cipriani et alii, ‘Lista dei richiedenti delle licenze d’esportazione dal 1775 al 1802’, Ricerche di storia dell’arte 90 (2006), pp. 43–7; I. Bignamini and C. Hornsby, Digging and Dealing in Eighteenth-Century Rome (New Haven and London, 2010), pp. 27–8. 21 Originally from Lombardy, Girolamo Belloni (1688–1760) was a banker and entrepreneur who established a bank in the early eighteenth century that rapidly became the most powerful and prosperous in Rome. The bank numbered among its clients also some English noblemen, and acted as a forwarding agent for travellers’ letters: see Coen, op. cit. (note 16), pp. 130–32. 22 The literature on agents and brokerage is vast, and has increased in particular over the past few years: see, most recently, the collection of essays in H. Cools, M. Keblusek and B. Noldus (eds), Your Humble Servant. Agents in early modern Europe (Hilversum, 2006). More in general, see also the entry by J. Lindquist, ‘Brokers and brokerage, anthropology of,’ in J. D. Wright, International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Science (Amsterdam, 2015), vol. II, pp. 870–74. 23 Surprisingly, however, it was Annibale Albani himself, then Cardinal camerlengo, who granted the export permission few weeks after this letter was composed: see above, note 20. 24 See above, note 6. There is no evidence, however, of Horace Walpole’s statement that the painting was ‘remanded back to Rome’. 25 Neri Corsini served for a long period as a legate for the Medici; in the late 1710s he spent some time in London, mainly to discuss the succession to the Tuscan dukedom, and in this occasion he could have met Robert Walpole, who would rise to the Premiership in 1721. See M. Caffiero, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 29 (1983), pp. 651–7. 26 See also F. Herrmann, The English as Collectors. A documentary chrestomathy (London, 1972), p. 81, where is it recorded that many paintings were given to Walpole also ‘to curry favour with so influential a politician’. 27 On Alessandro Gregorio Capponi, see in particular: A. Petrucci, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 19 (1976), pp. 10–13; M. P. Donato, ‘Un collezionista nella Roma del primo seicento: Alessandro Gregorio Capponi’, Evtopia 2 (2003), pp. 91–102; H. Hyde Minor, The Culture of Architecture in Enlightment Rome (University Park, pa, 2010), in part. pp. 190–215. On single aspects of Capponi’s collecting (which included also paintings, drawings and books) see also M. P. Donato, ‘Un collezionista nella Roma del primo settecento: Alessandro Gregorio Capponi’, Eutopia 2 (1993), 91–102; S. Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, ‘Alessandro Gregorio Capponi, un collectionneur de dessins du xviii siècle’, Revue de l’art 143 (2004), pp. 13–26; R. Battaglia, ‘A first collection of the ‘Vedute di Roma’: some new elements on the states’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 4 (2006), pp. 93–119. 28 Minor, op. cit. (note 27), p. 191. The fact that this opinion was also shared on the other side of the English Channel is confirmed by Jousha Reynolds’s statement that works of art should be ‘collected together in the capital . . . to impress the foreigners with an adequate idea of the riches in virtu which the nation contains’. See J. Reynolds, Letters (Cambridge, 1929), p. 173. 29 On Capponi and the Capitoline, see most recently M. Franceschini, ‘Alessandro Gregorio Capponi e la nascita del Museo Capitolino’, in E. Kieven and S. Prosperi Valenti Rodinò (eds), I Corsini tra Firenze e Roma. Atti della Giornata di studi ‘I Corsini tra Firenze e Roma. Aspetti della politica culturale di una famiglia papale tra Sei e Settecento (Cinisello Balsamo, 2013), pp. 41–4. 30 See C. C. Malvasia, Felsina Pittrice (Bologna, 1678), vol. ii, p. 81. On Guido’s so called prima maniera, see Spear, op. cit. (note 11), pp. 292–5. 31 On the genesis of the Pinacoteca Capitolina, see P. Masini, ‘Da Galleria de’ quadri a Pinacoteca’, in S. Guarino and P. Masini (eds), Pinacoteca Capitolina. Catalogo Generale (Milan, 2006), pp. 28–39. See also S. Guarino, ‘La Pinacoteca Capitolina dall’acquisto dei quadri Sacchetti e Pio di Savoia all’arrivo della Santa Petronilla del Guercino’, in Guercino e le collezioni Capitoline (Rome, 1991), pp. 43–4. 32 See A. Emiliani (ed.), Leggi, bandi e provvedimenti per la tutela dei beni artistici e culturali negli antichi stati italiani, 1571–1860 (Bologna, 1996). A new decree was issued as recently as September 1733: pp. 90–95. A partial list of works of art exported in the eighteenth century to the United Kingdom via the Tyrrhenian ports can be found in A. Bertolotti, ‘Esportazione di oggetti di belle arti da Roma per l’Inghilterra’, Archivio storico, artistico, archeologico e letterario della città di Roma 2 (1877), pp. 74–90. See also R. Ridley, ‘To protect the monuments: the Papal Antiquarian (1534–1870)’, Xenia Antiqua 1 (1992), pp. 81–92. 33 On the fidecomisso, see most recently G. Pallastrelli, ‘Con prohibition di alienare’. Il fedecommesso e la conservazione di opere d’arte in Italia dal xvii al xix secolo (Rome, 2015). More in general, on the fidecommisso as a strategy adopted by the Roman nobility to maintain its financial power, see N. La Marca, La nobiltà romana e i suoi strumenti di perpetuazione del potere (Rome, 2000), vol. i, pp. 83–165. 34 On the Cassiano del Pozzo fidecommisso, see D. Sparti, ‘The dal Pozzo collection again: the inventories of 1689 and 1695 and the family archive’, Burlington Magazine 132 (1990), pp. 551–70. The paintings were subsequently sold to Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland, in 1785, the originals replaced with copies in order to prevent detection by the Roman authorities: P. Rosenberg, ‘Una esportazione fraudolenta nel xviii secolo’, Intorno a Poussin. Dipinti romani a confronto (Rome, 1994), pp. 29–36. The failed attempt by Sir Robert Walpole is also mentioned in a letter of James Byres to the Duke in 1787: ‘Were it known that they [the Seven Sacraments] were going out of Rome they would certainly be stopped, as they were formerly when Sir Robert Walpole had purchased them’ (W. T. Whitley, Artists and their Friends in England, 1700–1799 (London and Boston, 1928), vol. ii, p. 75). 35 It is not clear, however, when and how the profit was reinvested after the sale. A receipt transcribed in the Hertziana papers seems to suggest that money was sent to Pisa, in order to be invested in the local Monte di Pietà. Deposits were made in two tranches, one in February 1732 (2,800 scudi), and another one month later. 36 See State Archive, Florence, Notaio Giuseppe Vena, b. 6633, n. 66, cc. 57r–63v (16 December 1608). 37 The Monte di Pietà and the Banco di Santo Spirito – founded respectively in 1539 by Pope Paul III and in 1605 by Pope Paul V – were the main financial institutions of Rome, collecting a large cash flow that was occasionally employed also to fund public work projects. On their development in the Settecento, see M. C. Travaglini, ‘Il ruolo del Banco di Santo Spirito e del Monte di Pietà nel mercato finanziario romano del Settecento’, in Atti della Società Ligure di Storia Patria 31 (1991), vol. ii, pp. 619–39. 38 Monti Camerali were important organs of the Holy See financial administration, issuing debt securities to finance the public debt: see M. Isenmann, ‘The administration of the papal funded debt: structural deficiencies and institutional reforms’, in F. Ammannati (ed.), Religion and Religious Institutions in the European Economy, 1000–1800 (Florence, 2012), pp. 281–91. 39 While summarizing the main parts of the whole document, the supplica also transcribes the initial and final words of the original testament, from ‘tra li miei quadri il’ to ‘e ciò si intenda debbe fabbricare da miei e doppo la mia morte’. 40 On the practice of copying after Guido’s works, see H. van der Linden, ‘Two disputes over copying in Bologna’, Burlington Magazine 152 (2010), pp. 385–90. On the fraudulent substitution of the originals with copies, see C. Mazzarelli, ‘“Quadri moderni copiati dalli pittori viventi”. Dipingere ed esportare copie tra xviii e xix secolo’, in M. C. Mazzi (ed.), Una Miniera per l’Europa (Rome, 2008), pp. 163–83; see also Eadem, ‘“Più vale una bella copia che un mediocre originale”. Teoria, prassi e mercato della copia a Roma fra Sette e Ottocento’, in Ricerche di storia dell’arte 90 (2006), pp. 23–31. 41 On the church, see most recently G. Fortunato, L’architettura dei frati cappuccini nella provincia romana, tra il xvi e il xvii secolo, e il complesso conventuale dell’Immacolata Concezione a Roma (Pescara, 2012), esp. pp. 189–203. On the painting, see Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 281, no. 145. 42 No modern study on this figure exists; for an eighteenth-century account of Giacomo De Angelis’ life, see I. Orsolini, Inclytae nationis florentinae familiae suprema romani pontificatus, ac sacra cardinalatus dignitate illustratae (Rome, 1706), vol. ii, pp. 536–60. 43 N. del Re, Il vicegerente del vicariato di Roma (Rome, 1976), pp. 60–61. 44 De Angelis’ funerals were celebrated with a lavish funerary apparato, whose design is recorded in a set of drawings now held in Chicago: Nota di spese fatte per il funerale del sig. Card. Giacomo De Angelis celebrato nella chiesa di San Francesco di Pisa, e disegni del detto funerale, Chicago, Newberry Library, ms 5a 47. 45 On the medal, see J. G. Pollard (ed.), Renaissance Medals, vol. ii:France, Germany, the Netherlands, and England (Washington, dc, 2007), p. 844, no. 890. 46 On the chapel, see M. Nicaud, ‘Le sculture della cappella de Angelis in Santa Maria in Ara-Coeli’, L’Urbe 4 no. 3 (1939), pp. 13–18. On the commemorative inscription’s place in the chapel, also C. Romano, Memorie Istoriche della chiesa e convento di S. Maria in Araceli (Rome, 1736), pp. 79–83. Maille also modelled the stucco works on the lateral walls, with an angel bearing a medallion with, respectively, Sts Stephen and Ranieri. 47 For a general discussion on cardinals as art collectors, see the essays in M. Hollingsworth and C. M. Richardson (eds), The Possessions of a Cardinal. Politics, piety, and art, 1450–1700 (University Park, pa, 2010). 48 On this aspect, see M. P. Donato, ‘Il vizio virtuoso. Collezionismo e mercato a Roma nella prima metà del Settecento’, Quaderni Storici 39 (2004), pp. 139–60, esp. p. 147. 49 On this identification, see most recently Museo Statale Ermitage, op. cit. (note 5), p. 239. Also Francesco Scannelli in 1657 and Luigi Scaramuccia in 1674 briefly recorded the altarpiece in Perugia. The painting is cited more extensively in G. B. Passeri Vite de pittori, scultori ed architetti che anno lavorato in Roma (Rome, 1772), p. 74: ‘In Perugia vi è un quadro da lui [Guido Reni] fatto ad olio dell’Immacolata Concezione di Maria Vergine nella chiesa che è pure dei Padri suddetti.’ 50 On the painting, see Kurz, op. cit (note 5) p. 219; more in detail, see M. Feuillet, ‘Contribution à l’histoire de l’Assomption des Philippins de Pérouse de Guido Reni: le retour à la lumière d’un chef-d’oeuvre du musée des Beaux-Arts’, Bulletin des musées et monuments Lyonnais 2 (1988), pp. 4–21; Idem, ‘Contributo alla storia dell’Assunta dei Filippini di Perugia di Guido Reni: il ritorno alla luce di un capolavoro del Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lione’, Atti e memorie dell’Accademia Clementina 25 (1990), pp. 127–41. See also Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 288, note 160. 51 For a plausible chronology around 1624–5, see Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 255. 52 Very few paintings by Guido Reni are documented in Pisa during his lifetime, the most important of which being the so-called Sacred and Profane Love formerly in the Lanfreducci collection (now Pisa, Museo di San Matteo), a work that is usually believed to be a copy after an original by Guido: see Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 252, no. 78. 53 See G.J.M. Weber, ‘The gallery as work of art. The installation of the Italian paintings in 1754’, in Dresden in the Ages of Splendor and Enlightenment (Colombus, oh, 1999), pp. 183–97, esp. p. 186. 54 For a glossary of technical terms adopted in Roman architecture, see http://wissensgeschichte.biblhertz.it:8080/Glossario/Glossario_Italiano. The proportional ratio of the length of the frame to its breadth (1.43) approximately corresponds to that of the painting. 55 Some of these features are also characteristic of seventeenth-century Bolognese frames: see T. Newbery, The Robert Lehman Collection, vol. xiii:Frames (New York, 2007), esp. p. 207. 56 On the Compagnia dell’Angelo Custode, see P. Mancini and G. Scarfone, L’Oratorio del SS. Sacramento di S. Maria in Via (Rome, 1973), esp. pp. 46–59. On the building, see E. Chiavoni, Il disegno di oratori romani (Rome, 2008), pp. 50–57. The interiors of the Oratorio were profoundly altered in the late nineteenth century. On the De Angelis palace, see G. Carpaneto, I Palazzi di Roma (Rome, 1991), p. 40. The family is documented as renting in the area as early as 1660: O. Verdi (ed.), In presentia mei notarii. Piante e disegni nei protocolli dei Notai Capitolini (1605–1875) (Rome, 2009), p. 124. 57 F. DiFederico, Francesco Trevisani, Eighteenth-Century Painter in Rome: a catalogue raisonné (Washington, dc, 1977), p. 65, note 89. 58 Trevisani’s altarpiece measures approximately 350 x 250 cm. 59 See M. Helston, ‘Guido Reni in Inghilterra’, in S. Ebert-Schifferer, A. Emiliani and E. Schleider (eds), Guido Reni e l’Europa: Fama e Fortuna (Bologna, 1988), pp. 793–96. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Collections Oxford University Press

Negotiating an art deal in eighteenth-century Europe: Guido Reni’s Dispute and its acquisition by Sir Robert Walpole in 1731

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Abstract

Abstract This article presents new evidence concerning the sale in 1731 of Guido Reni’s Dispute over the Immaculate Conception to Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first serving Prime Minister and one of the most important English collectors of the eighteenth century. The documents provide a full record of the negotiations undertaken to bring the painting to England, thereby affording a rare opportunity to examine the procedures involved in such a deal, as well as the roles and the identities of its main actors. Negotiation was a central aspect in the process of acquiring artistic masterpieces, and thus an essential stage in the creation of an art collection. Also investigated here is the possible role of Guido’s work in the contemporary Roman cultural context, while new evidence is presented on the previous owners of the painting, the De Angelis family. This new material allows, therefore, for a broader consideration of the success of Guido’s art in the context of eighteenth-century Europe. Very few private collections in eighteenth-century Europe could compete with the one assembled by Sir Robert Walpole (1676–1745), the prominent Whig politician and the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. Born in Houghton, Norfolk, Walpole began buying art in the late 1710s, coinciding with his rise to political power. Within roughly twenty years he amassed a collection of paintings conventional for its taste, but superlative for its overall quality.1 In the early 1740s, at the time of its move from London to Houghton Hall (the country house Walpole had built in his native Country), the collection numbered more than 400 pictures, including distinguished works by such prominent artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin, Anthony Van Dyck, Rembrandt van Rijn, Salvator Rosa, Carlo Maratti – Sir Robert’s favourite artist – and Guido Reni. It encompassed paintings of exceptional quality and highly representative of their authors, such as for example Rubens’s Bacchanalia, Maratti’s Pope Clement IX, Salvator Rosa’s Prodigal Son, and Poussin’s Holy Family with Sts Elizabeth and John the Baptist, to name but a few.2 In 1748, to celebrate the extent and quality of this picture gallery, as well as to serve as a testament to the taste of its founder, Horace Walpole (1717–1797), Sir Robert’s son, published the Aedes Walpoliane, a comprehensive description of the 276 most important works in the gallery. Inspired by the earlier examples of the Giustiniani and Barberini picture galleries in Rome, whose printed catalogues (published respectively in 1640 and 1642) had come to form authoritative models of glorification of the collector and household promotion, the Aedes included also references to provenance and measurements of the paintings, in order ‘to ascertain their originality, and be a kind of pedigree to them’, in such a way as to set a standard for the ‘most capital’ collection in England of the time.3 The formation of such an impressive collection of paintings in a short span of time was made possible above all by an extended network of agents, informants and other representatives of the Walpoles spread throughout Europe, who kept Sir Robert constantly informed about the masterpieces placed on sale, in London and abroad. Figures like the portrait painter and pictures dealer Andrew Hay (d. 1754), the art-amateur Robert Bragge (d. 1777), and the diplomat Horace Mann (1706–1786), for example, are documented tracking down treasures for Robert Walpole in England and continental Europe, with their initiatives proving pivotal in forging Sir Robert’s taste.4 Yet, several details concerning the acquisition of works of art – from the role and identity of agents, to their strategies and policies in negotiations – remain largely understudied and little documented. This seems to be the case, for example, in the acquisition of the Dispute over the Immaculate Conception by the Bolognese artist Guido Reni (1575–1642), arguably one of the gems of Walpole’s collection (St Petersburg, Hermitage Museum; Fig. 1).5 The outstanding importance of this work clearly emerges from the long description in the Aedes Walpoliane, where the iconography and provenance of this ‘capital picture, and the first in this collection’ are treated in some detail. After discussing the subject and its theological sources, Horace Walpole recounts that the canvas was bought for his father in Rome; however, while the painting was in transit, its sale was temporarily halted by Pope Innocent XIII on account of its extraordinary quality, as it was considered ‘too fine’ to leave Rome: Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Photograph © State Hermitage Museum. Photograph by Pavel Demidov. Fig. 1. View largeDownload slide Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Photograph © State Hermitage Museum. Photograph by Pavel Demidov. Over the farthest chimney is that capital picture, and the first in this collection, the Doctors of the Church . . . After Sir Robert had bought this picture, and it was gone to Civita Vecchia to be shipt for England, Innocent XIII, then Pope, remanded it, as being too fine to be let go out of Rome; but on hearing who had bought it, he gave permission for its being sent away again. It was in the collection of the Marquis De Angeli.6 Walpole’s description accounts for the high admiration in which Guido’s ‘capital picture’ was held at the time, a reputation that was also fuelled by its exorbitant monetary evaluation. According to the Aedes, in 1731 Robert Walpole disbursed £700 for the Dispute, a price that made it the most expensive canvas ever brought to England and among the most costly paintings in eighteenth-century Europe. Iain Pears calculated that this picture alone was equivalent to the yearly wages of more than 500 labourers, a figure that epitomizes the large financial resources mobilized by the upper ranks of the aristocracy to increase private art collections in the Georgian period.7 In 1774 Horace Walpole defined it as ‘the first picture in England, and equal to any in Italy but Raphael’s’, considering it worth at least £2,000.8 In 1778, when rumours of the sale of Walpole’s collection began spreading, Joshua Reynolds tried in vain to acquire it, making an offer for this single picture of 2,000 guineas, and promising to keep it with him, an indication that the painting was still deemed highly profitable.9 Despite Sir Joshua’s efforts, however, the Dispute was ultimately sold to Catherine II of Russia for £3,500 – five times its original cost – ending up in St Petersburg together with the bulk of the extraordinary collection of pictures put together by Sir Robert Walpole.10 The De Angelis’ Memoriale and the sale of the Dispute A group of documents preserved in the Hertziana Library in Rome, which seem to have mostly eluded the notice of previous researchers, provides further evidence of the early history of Guido’s Dispute, shedding light in particular on its purchase by Sir Robert Walpole and the subsequent export from Rome in 1731–2.11 Consisting of a dozen original papers bound together in a modern folder, the documents appear to have entered the Hertziana in 1934 with a provenance from a Roman bookshop.12 Besides their obvious relevance in attesting to the accuracy of Sir Horace Walpole’s account on the provenance of the painting in the Aedes Walpoliane, these papers also offer precious insight into the intricacies of an art export in eighteenth-century Rome, elucidating – almost step by step – the complex procedure of negotiating the sale of such a masterpiece as Guido’s painting.13 The most relevant document of the Hertziana series is a memoriale drawn up by Marquis Cosimo De Angelis, a Roman aristocrat whose name had appeared in the c.1728 print by Jacob Frey as the owner of Guido’s Dispute (Fig. 2).14 The account (online Document 1) summarizes each phase of the transaction and, although its function does not appear evident from the document itself, was probably conceived as a statement to be submitted to the Roman authorities granting the export permission. The marquis recalls that on 25 November 1731, upon returning from his villeggiatura, he had gone to visit Cornelio Bentivoglio (1668–1732), a cardinal from Ferrara and himself an art collector, at whose apartment – then located next to Piazza di Spagna, the core of the English quarter in Rome – he was expected to discuss the sale of the painting (‘sopra la vendita del quadro’).15 Two other individuals were present at the meeting, Pier Francesco Pandolfini and Andrew Lusnergh, two elusive and otherwise undocumented personages who appear to act in the deal as the brokers (or sensali) of the sale, representing respectively De Angelis and the prospective buyer, Sir Robert Walpole.16 Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Jacob Frey the Elder, after Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, engraving, 575 x 341 mm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1962 (inv. no. 62.600.454). Photograph: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fig. 2. View largeDownload slide Jacob Frey the Elder, after Guido Reni, Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, engraving, 575 x 341 mm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1962 (inv. no. 62.600.454). Photograph: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The bargaining proved difficult immediately, since Lusnergh’s initial offer of 2,800 roman scudi made on behalf of Walpole was below the original request of 3,000 scudi put forward by Marquis De Angelis. After a long and fruitless negotiation (‘si battagliò un pezzo’), upon the suggestion of Pandolfini the two parties agreed to resume the deal after Lusnergh had conferred with George Knapton (1698–1778), the British expatriate painter and future founder-member of the Society of Dilettanti who eventually emerges as the deus ex machina of the transaction. Trained in London with Jonathan Richardson the elder, Knapton moved to Rome in 1725, where he started selling plaster casts after the antique in association with Arthur Pond (c.1701–1758), also a portraitist and engraver, becoming known among the British grand tourists for his sound knowledge of antiquities and old masters.17 As the formulaic ‘corrispondente del cavaliere inglese’ used in the source by De Angelis indicates, Knapton was involved in the deal as the agent of Sir Robert Walpole, a position that involved both a role of adviser for the paintings for sale in Rome and a supervisory function in the continuing negotiations, including its financial aspects: it was Knapton who ultimately was responsible for selecting the work, including also the declaration of its authorship.18 In this capacity, it might have been Knapton himself who had suggested Walpole proceed with the acquisition of Guido’s Dispute, a recommendation that eventually allowed him to earn the favour of the British gentleman for future commissions.19 Knapton’s intervention in the deal was initially unsuccessful. In the following days, Lusnergh repeatedly visited De Angelis, reporting Knapton’s last counter-offer of 2,850 scudi (that is, only 50 scudi more than the previous bid), which at first the marquis indignantly refused. The negotiation apparently reached a deadlock, despite De Angelis’ subsequent resolution to reduce his final request to 2,900 scudi and the fact that in the meantime he had also applied for an official export permission, which was granted on 30 November (see online Document 2).20 After some further hesitation, the marquis finally agreed to the proposed price, provided that no commission was to be paid to Lusnergh for his part. Instrumental in his decision was Pandolfini’s final pressure, and his assurance that, as the marquis put it, ‘he would have ensured the full amount of 2,850 scudi available for me’ (‘2850 scudi liberi per me’), in such a way exempting him from paying the British-born sensale his due. Once the deal was reached, Knapton ordered measurements to be taken with a view to packing the painting for transportation. On 5 December 1731 Guido’s altarpiece was transferred to the house of Girolamo Belloni, one of the trusted bankers of the English community in Rome, where it was prepared for shipment to England.21 On the same day, two receipts were issued, one of them stating that Lusnergh had refused any compensation for his brokerage (online Document 3). It was disclosed later that Belloni had been previously authorized to pay up to 3,000 scudi if the negotiation was in danger of failing – a detail that shows Walpole’s determination to secure the painting, as well as his agent’s talent in obtaining a consistent discount on the price as first proposed. It seems that this revelation did not disconcert the Marquis De Angelis, who revealed that a few years earlier he had refused an offer of 3,000 scudi from another unnamed British gentleman, an offer that had, however, also included an unspecified ‘libro delle stampe di Alberto Duro’ (evidently worth more than a mere 150 scudi). These initial lines of the memoriale show how relevant the role of agents, brokers and other middlemen was in facilitating artistic negotiations: like skilled diplomats, they performed not only representative duties on behalf of their patrons, sometimes with a certain degree of discretion, but also held wider advisory functions.22 This latter aspect further emerges in a letter dated 10 November 1731 (only two weeks before the first meeting at Bentivoglio’s house), in which Pandolfini instructs De Angelis on how to conduct the deal and prepares the ground, so to speak, for the forthcoming negotiation (online Document 4). In the letter, the sensale urged Marquis Cosimo to return from his villeggiatura in Castel Cellesi, a small village in the Tuscia region, relating that ‘an answer has come from England concerning the sale, and the money is ready’. He then recommended his patron to move back to Rome as quickly as possible, ‘because our friend would like to conclude the deal rapidly, being afraid that the painting could not depart by sea because the season is so late’. He also advised De Angelis to be circumspect and discreet, and to avoid discussing the matter in particular ‘with the cardinal camerlengo and any other who, being too zealous, could make the deal difficult because they do not want the painting to leave Rome’.23 This admonition stresses the importance of discretion and secrecy as the main ingredients for a successful brokering; and the fact that this recommendation was coming from a sensale further emphasizes their advisory role in art transactions. Along with recounting the details of the sale, the memoriale also records the events of the after-sale, documenting the failed attempt made by the Roman authorities to prevent the export of Guido’s Dispute. As we have seen, the same episode is also briefly mentioned in the Aedes Walpoliane, where it is stated that the painting was remanded from Civitavecchia – the main port of Rome, located 70 kilometres north of the capital – on orders from the pope himself, because it was deemed ‘too fine to be let go out of Rome.’24 The Hertziana papers supplement the information from the Aedes with a more specific focus on the reactions in Rome – especially from the highest personalities in the Curia – to the potential loss of such a great painting. According to the report, upon hearing that the sale of Guido’s picture was being negotiated, Monsignor Alessandro Gregorio Capponi (1683–1746) spoke to Pope Clement XII (reg. 1730–1740) and his Cardinal Nepote Neri Corsini (1685–1770), in an attempt to persuade them to acquire the work in order to impede its export from the papal state. The meeting between the dignitaries and the pope most likely occurred shortly after the deal was closed the 5 December, when rumours of the sale started spreading among the virtuosi in Rome. A dispatch from Cardinal Corsini addressed to De Angelis dated 8 December 1731, in fact, urged the marquis ‘to suspend the sale of the painting by Guido Reni’, summoning him to the Quirinal to confer with him (online Document 5). The prelate was evidently unaware of the progress being made on the sale, but his efforts proved too belated. The next day, having heard from the marquis himself that the painting had already been sold and was on its way to England, Corsini regretfully resolved to take further steps in order to retain Guido’s work in Rome, adding that he would have bought the painting back had he not known the identity of the British gentleman; as De Angelis reports, the cardinal knew that the ‘buyer was a gentleman of high status, and a King of England’s minister known to him’. Corsini was probably referring here to his former role as the Medici’s ambassador in London in the late 1710s, when he certainly had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of Sir Robert Walpole, then a dominant figure of the British cabinet.25 His reluctance to halt the export seems to point to the international relevance of this artistic acquisition, as well as testifying to the influence of Walpole’s name on artistic negotiations in eighteenth-century Europe.26 The episode sheds some light on cultural politics in Rome during the early eighteenth century, and especially on one of its main protagonists, Cardinal Alessandro Gregorio Capponi. An enthusiastic antiquary and himself a collector of antiquities (of which he amassed a large collection in his palace in Via Ripetta), Capponi was an ardent defender of the Roman artistic heritage, and an advocate for its preservation and restoration.27 It is no wonder that he took personal action in an effort to retain Guido’s painting in Rome, mobilizing the highest echelons of the curial hierarchy in order to secure it for the appreciation of the Roman public. As Heather Hyde Minor has recently observed, Capponi was aware of the increasing importance of works of art in the international milieu, and the fact that ‘culture was one of the few spheres of influence in which [the papacy] could hope to hold any kind of pre-eminence in Europe’.28 In 1733, in his capacity as Clement XII’s archaeological adviser, Capponi persuaded the pope to buy the large collection of antiquities (consisting of several hundred pieces of extreme importance and rarity) sold by Cardinal Albani, which later formed the core of the newly established Musei Capitolini.29 The acquisition of the Albani collection pre-dates the failed buy-back of the Dispute by only a few months, but the two episodes are connected as a part of the same strategy of preservation of Roman artistic assets and creation of a lasting repository for works of art open to a public of foreigners, dilettanti and artists. Although Capponi seemed more interested in antiquities and old masters than contemporary paintings, he was certainly aware of the artistic importance of the Dispute, regarding it as an ideal candidate for a public picture gallery: it was large and impressive in size, measuring 274 x 174 cm, and it embodied an expression of what the biographer Carlo Cesare Malvasia defined as Guido’s prima maniera, a style characterized by saturated colours, forceful expressions and prominent chiaroscuro that ‘will always please the most curious’.30 Capponi’s initiative might therefore be considered as a first, unsuccessful effort to establish a public Pinacoteca in Rome, an enterprise that would be accomplished only few years later, between 1748 and 1750, under the auspices of Clement’s successor, Pope Benedict XIV, with the acquisition of the Sacchetti and Pio collections.31 The legacy of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis As Cosimo De Angelis’ report shows, the export of a painting was an intricate affair in eighteenth-century Rome. A restrictive legislation, in fact, prevented unauthorized export of archaeological and artistic assets (including also contemporary paintings and sculptures) from the papal state, sanctioning the practice of illegal sale with hefty fines (up to 500 golden ducats in 1733) and requisition of the works of art.32 Export licences were even more difficult to obtain for those works protected from sale by fidecommisso, the testamentary provision binding the inheritance of properties to the male bodily heirs that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries became a widely used instrument by which the Roman nobility safeguarded its patrimonial assets and preserved their integrity in perpetuity.33 When in the 1740s Sir Robert Walpole tried to purchase the series of the Seven Sacraments painted by Nicholas Poussin for Cassiano del Pozzo – one of the foremost sets of paintings in Rome, then still in the possession of Cassiano’s heirs in the Boccapaduli palace – Pope Benedict XIV abruptly stopped the sale, arguing that the works were entrusted to the family by way of fidecommisso, and could not therefore be disposed of by the heirs.34 Despite these restrictive regulations, fidecommisso’s limitations could occasionally be overcome by the pope, who alone had authority to concede exemptions by issuing a special chirografo – a signed document with a legal value – at the request of a supplicant. Guido’s Dispute too was subject to a testamentary fidecommisso, as two further documents from the Hertziana inform us. The first is Cosimo’s formal petition to sell his painting, presented to Benedict XIII (reg. 1724–1730) on the 30 September 1727 (online Document 7). In this supplica, the marquis begged the Pope to invalidate the fidecommisso established by his great-uncle, Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis (1611–1695), and to concede the authorization to sell Guido’s painting, because, ‘for its antiquity it is presently in a very bad shape, and its condition will become worse, with a great prejudice of the supplicant’ – a justification that sounds unconvincing, since the painting never seems to have suffered from any conservation issues. Later in the same document De Angelis further states that he had already found a prospective buyer, who was ready to pay 3,000 scudi for his picture – a reference to the failed attempt by an anonymous British gentleman to acquire the painting also recorded in the memoriale. The petition then sets out that the profits would be invested into properties to the benefit of future generations of the family, in such a way retaining the spirit of Cardinal De Angelis’ last will.35 The second document is a longer, official papal chirografo authorizing the sale, in which the same points of the petition are essentially repeated (online Document 6). The instrument contains more legal details about the fidecommisso and its conditions, and includes also a reference to the testament of Giacomo De Angelis the elder (d. 1608), a member of the Pisan branch of the family who first established the rule of primogeniture for his family’s estate and whose initiative seemingly inspired his heirs.36 The relevant part fixes the new terms and conditions under which the supplicant could dispose of the painting: [We the Pope] concede the broadest and most complete faculty to sell and alienate in favour of any person whomsoever the said painting by Guido Reni representing the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin with other figures painted over, coming from the inheritance of the above mentioned Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis and owned by Marquis De Angelis as the firstborn male of the household, for the total amount of at least 3,000 scudi, for which he has already had an offer despite the prohibition – intended in its wider sense – to alienate the painting set forth by said Cardinal De Angelis . . . We wish, however, that the 3,000 scudi, or any larger profit that will be made after the sale of the said painting, must immediately be deposited in its entirety in our Monte di Pietà, or Banco di Santo Spirito,37 to the credit of the Marquis De Angelis, with the warning that they come from the sale of the painting, and under the obligation that they must be invested into either an equivalent share of the Monti Camerali,38 or in interest-bearing real estate to the benefit of future first-born heirs. Both documents – the supplication and the chirografo – make extensive reference to the previous owner of Guido’s altarpiece, Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, incorporating short passages from his last will, drawn up in 1687.39 Since the cardinal’s original testament has yet to emerge from the archive, they provide a crucial vantage point on to the painting’s early history. In fact, Giacomo De Angelis decreed that Reni’s Dispute ‘should remain in perpetuity in his house in Rome, explicitly prohibiting its sale and to make copies after it’. This prohibition was probably intended as a way to maintain the owners’ exclusivity, as well as to protect the original work from fraudulent substitution with a copy, a practice that became increasingly common in eighteenth-century Rome.40 Cardinal Giacomo then set up the terms of a rigid fidecommisso, establishing that – after the death of Filippo De Angelis, Giacomo’s nephew and the father of Marquis Cosimo – the painting should remain with the first-born male in Rome or, in case there were no legitimate bodily heirs in Rome, it should go to the first-born of the Pisan branch of the family. The only way for Guido’s painting to be dispensed from the family’s direct ownership was ‘as a gift for a noble chapel or main altar in any notable church of Rome or Pisa dedicated to the Virgin’s Conception, provided that the chapel or altar would have been built by his heirs investing not less than 10,000 scudi’. Several churches (and chapels alike) in Rome could actually comply with this obligation, the most famous probably being Santa Maria della Concezione, the Capuchin church commissioned by Urban VIII in 1626 where an altarpiece by Guido Reni representing Saint Michel Archangel Defeating the Devil was placed on display in a lateral chapel as early as 1635.41 It might be that De Angelis had this prominent example in mind when he set forth the obligations in his last will. The two documents shed some light upon the possessions of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, a neglected figure of the Roman curial aristocracy who appears to have played a central role in his family’s ascent during the seventeenth century.42 Born in 1611 to Francesco, a Pisan magistrate, and the Florentine noblewoman Eleonora Princivalle, Giacomo (or Jacopo) was trained as a lawyer, obtaining his laurea in utroque from Pisa in 1633. In 1644 he moved to Rome, where he initially embarked on a secular career, serving first in the Roman court of the Segnatura, and then as a prior in different centres in the papal state such as Narni, Fabriano and Fano. In 1660 he was appointed bishop of Urbino, where he resided until 1666, promoting among other things the cult of the local patron saints. Returning to Rome in 1668, he took up the prestigious position of Vicegerent of the city.43 Finally, in 1686, under the pontificate of Pope Innocent XI, he was created cardinal, taking Santa Maria in Ara Coeli as his titular church. He died in 1695 in Barga, a small town near Lucca where his family originated, and his body was buried at first in the church of San Francesco in Pisa.44 In 1701, his remains were moved to Rome and reinterred in Santa Maria in Ara Coeli, in the chapel dedicated to San Pietro d’Alcalà that Giacomo himself bought in 1684, a few years before his accession to the cardinalate. On the occasion of the translatio, Giacomo’s nephew Giovanni Filippo commissioned the French-born medallist Ferdinand de Saint-Urbain to design a commemorative medal (Fig. 3), which shows on the obverse the portrait of the cardinal honoured as a presbyter of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli.45 The funerary chapel was adorned with rich plaster decoration by the Burgundian sculptor Michel Maille (c.1643–1703), who executed the sculpted group on the altar with the Ecstasy of St Peter and other stucco works on the lateral walls, where prominent inscriptions celebrating the members of the family are also mounted.46 While it is clear that Cardinal De Angelis deemed this chapel as the funeral space for himself and his heirs, there is no evidence that he ever considered the Dispute as destined for this location – a consideration that reinforces the impression that he had regarded his Guido Reni as a ‘quadro da galleria’. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Attributed to Ferdinand de Saint-Urbain, Commemorative Medal of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, 1701, bronze, diameter 397 mm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of Lisa and Leonard Baskin (inv. no. 1997.114.32a). Photograph: National Gallery of Art. Fig. 3. View largeDownload slide Attributed to Ferdinand de Saint-Urbain, Commemorative Medal of Cardinal Giacomo De Angelis, 1701, bronze, diameter 397 mm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of Lisa and Leonard Baskin (inv. no. 1997.114.32a). Photograph: National Gallery of Art. As the expression ‘fra li miei quadri il . . .’ transcribed from Giacomo’s testament seems to indicate, Guido’s Dispute was the pièce-de-résistance of a probably much larger collection of paintings, the original contents of which remain unknown.47 No inventory has come to light so far, although we learn from other sources that the De Angelis family did indeed own a number of works of art. For example, in his Diari Monsignor Capponi noted the purchase of some unspecified paintings and objects from the De Angelis, who were then facing financial uncertainty – probably that which also determined the disposal of the Dispute in 1731.48 In the absence of direct evidence, it cannot be assumed with certainty when and how Giacomo acquired the Dispute. Scholars have sometimes conjectured that this work could be identified with an altarpiece recorded in the church of the Oratorians in Perugia and described, among others, by Giovanni Battista Passeri as a ‘quadro in olio dell’Immacolata Concezione di Maria Vergine’.49 As Otto Kurz and others have shown, however, the Perugia altarpiece must be identified with the Assumption of the Virgin now at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, a painting bought by Cardinal Luigi Capponi in 1637 and documented in Perugia until 1797, when it was taken by Napoleonic troops and brought to France.50 The fact that no written sources – including the well-informed Carlo Cesare Malvasia in his Felsina Pittrice of 1678 – seem to record the Dispute before its sale might indicate that the painting was long kept on private display, and was therefore impossible to access for critics and cognoscenti. It is hard to tell whether it was originally executed for a member of the De Angelis family, or came into their hands only at a later stage from the art market. Since the painting is generally dated around the mid 1620s,51 Cardinal Giacomo – born in 1611, and a resident of Pisa until 1644 – could hardly be responsible for its commission, and also an original provenance from Pisa seems difficult to postulate, since the Tuscan city – unlike Florence or Rome – was not a major destination for Guido’s paintings and for Bolognese pictures alike.52 Further research may enable us to identify a potential candidate for the commission among other members of the De Angelis family residing in Rome at the time of the proposed execution, and thus to fully reconstruct the provenance of the painting after it was executed by Guido Reni. Coda: the Dispute’s frame The Dispute affair also presents an unexpected coda. As a further document informs us, in fact, Guido’s painting was sold without its original frame, possibly due to a disagreement about whether this was to be paid for separately or not – a practice not uncommon in contemporary art negotiations, as testified for example by the case of the collection of the Duke of Modena, which was sold unframed to Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, in 1745.53 A few months after the closure of the deal, in June 1732, the gilded frame was presented as a gift to the Compagnia dell’Angelo Custode in Rome, ‘so that’ – as Marquis Cosimo himself explained – ‘at least the frame might be of benefit to the divine cult and to the Virgin Mary’ (online Document 8). The donation includes a detailed description of the object, lingering over its ornate outline and decoration: A large all’antica frame, made of white poplar, rectangular in shape, warped and reinforced along the margins, with the corners modelled and moulded with carved astragals inside and ovoli, with, in the background, a large, gilded shell of darker wooden board with some golden veins, with gilded intaglio decorations above forming branches of laurels with bunches of berries and leaves in the middle and on the corners. In the inside profile edge, the frame is moulded with fillets, concave mouldings, and carved ovoli with a full-rounded shape, all gilded but the concave mouldings, which are dark on the inside, and with intacco, soletta and pianetto gilded, with side intaglios – in between the mouldings – made by a shell with leaves. On the top is another shell with wings, foliage and carved cartouches, and below a sculpted intaglio with a cherub’s head with open wings and cartouches, everything gilded. There is also an angel outside, a small shell and gilded leaves – overall measuring inside 8½ palmi by 12⅙, and c.3 palmi width included the intaglio.54 The exhaustive entry records the distinctive sculptural features of the frame, with the ornaments exploring the space along the margins as if to simulate arboreal decorations, also emphasizing the presence of a superimposed intaglio with an angel in a shell – a detail perhaps bearing allusion to the name of the owner.55 Regrettably, the object cannot be located in the current oratory of the Compagnia dell’Angelo Custode, a small building situated directly in front of the palace formerly owned by the De Angelis family (present day Via del Tritone)56 that, in the 1720s, was undergoing a radical renovation resulting, among other things, in the installation in 1729 of a large altarpiece with the Holy Family executed by Francesco Trevisani.57 It might be deduced that the frame had been given to the Oratorio as a personal contribution toward the decoration of the interior, and that it was expected to be displayed in the church as an altarpiece and to receive some sort of content. However, since the Trevisani altarpiece was much larger than that of Guido,58 it is possible that the frame was sold very soon, ultimately disappearing in the local art market. Conclusion The documents presented here provide an important insight into the practice of artistic negotiations in eighteenth-century Europe, a practice that is rarely documented to such a thorough extent and that usually leaves only partial and indirect traces in period sources (testified, for example, in personal correspondence or contemporary chronicles). As oral performances, negotiations were in fact elusive and confidential, and few written sources were therefore either equipped or intended to retain even a fraction of what went on – and when they did so, they usually reported a deal only partially, without delving into the details. The Hertziana papers allow us to examine closely the relevant phases of a negotiation concerning a work of art, from the role of the individuals involved in the bargain (such as the agents negotiating terms and conditions of the deal, or the banker organizing the transaction) to the consequences of the sale in its original context. At the same time, they also provide a significant amount of information concerning the previous owner of the painting and, more in general, the cultural context in which the deal took place. As an integral part of the collecting policies of the period, artistic negotiations can be thus revealing of a large set of information about an art object, from its reception to its significance in an international context. Overall, these documents also combine to shed some light on Guido Reni’s fame in eighteenth-century England. As we have seen, the Dispute was held at the time to be one of the most important Italian Baroque paintings then in the possession of a British gentleman, and the standing of its author second only to Raphael. Despite the ambiguous position of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who in his ‘Discourse v’ criticized Guido’s expressions, the works of the Bolognese artist were avidly sought after by British aristocrats, and his reputation was never at stake; furthermore, a large number of prints reproducing Guido’s most popular works contributed to the spreading of his fame among collectors and cognoscenti.59 It might be argued that this reputation was also fostered by Walpole’s Dispute over the Immaculate Conception, and by the consideration of how difficult and laborious had been its ‘extraction’ from Rome, especially in a period when art collecting was increasingly becoming a wide, European, international affair. Supplementary information An online appendix at Journal of the History of Collections online provides an integral transcription of the eight documents discussed in the text that are held at the Biblioteca Hertziana, Rome. Acknowledgements Preliminary research for this article was possible thanks to a Francis Haskell Memorial grant. I would like to express my gratitude to Patrizia Cavazzini, Elizabeth Cropper, Caroline Elam and Raffaella Morselli for their help and support. I am also grateful to Adriano Aymonino, Eloisa Dodero and Jamie Gabbarelli for the perceptive reading of this paper, and to Elise Ferone for her many critical and editorial suggestions. Special thanks are finally due to Dr Golo Maurer, Director of the Library of the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome, who kindly allowed me access to the rare materials in the Library’s collection. Notes and references 1 J. Stourton and C. Sebag-Montefiore, The British as Art Collectors. From the Tudors to the present (London, 2012), p. 107. See also F. Haskell, ‘The British as collectors’, in The Treasure Houses of Britain (New Haven and London, 1985), pp. 50–59. On the Walpole collection see, most recently, A. Moore, ‘Aedes Walpoliane: the collection as edifice’, in L. Dukelskaya and A. Moore (eds.), A Capital Collection. Houghton Hall and the Hermitage (New Haven and London, 2002), pp. 3–53 (with previous literature). 2 See Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), respectively nos 131, 41, 77 and 177. See also T. Morel, A. Moore, J. Harris and L. Dukelskaya, Houghton Revisited: The Walpole Masterpieces from Catherine the Great’s Hermitage (London, 2013). 3 Horace Walpole, Aedes Walpoliane, or a description of the Collection of Pictures at Houghton Hall in Norfolk (London, 1752), pp. 76–80 (reprinted in Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 353–417). 4 Stourton and Sebag-Montefiore, op. cit. (note 1), p. 107. See also J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701–1800 (New Haven and London, 1997), respectively pp. 475, 116 and 635–7. 5 On the Dispute, see S. Pepper, Guido Reni (Milan, 1988), p. 255; S. Vsevolozskaja, Museo Statale Ermitage. La pittura Italiana del Seicento (Geneva and Milan, 2010), pp. 239–40. There has been much disagreement about the chronology of the painting, with dates ranging from the early 1620s to 1635–6 (O. Kurz, ‘Guido Reni’, Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 11 (1937), p. 219). For the presence of the Dispute in the Walpole collection, see also Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 164–65. 6 Walpole, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 76–80. For a critical assessment of Walpole’s description of Guido’s work, see I. Pears, The Discovery of Painting: The growth of interest in the arts in England (New Haven and London, 1988), pp. 201–3. 7 Quoted in Pears, op. cit. (note 6), p. 157. 8 W. S. Lewis (ed.), The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence (New Haven and London, 1954–71), vol. xxiii, p. 570, Horace Walpole to Mann, 1 May 1774. According to Horace, the Dispute was the most expensive but not the most beautiful painting in his collection: for him, Guido Reni’s Adoration of the Shepherds (now Moscow, Pushkin Museum) was a much finer picture: Lewis, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 169 (Horace Walpole to Cole, 12 July 1779). 9 Lewis, op. cit. (note 8), vol. ii, p. 170, note 13, Horace Walpole to Christie, 30 October 1778: ‘Sir Joshua Reynolds formerly offered me two thousand guineas for one picture only [i.e., Guido’s Dispute], and assured me that if I would part with it to him he meant to keep it.’ 10 On the sale, see L. Dukelskaya, ‘The Houghton sale and the fate of a great collection’, in Dukelskaya and Moore, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 55–90. 11 Biblioteca Hertziana, Rome, shelf mark Ca-Ren 72–3320 raro. The papers are briefly mentioned, but without further discussion, in R. Spear, The ‘Divine’ Guido: Religion, sex, money and art in the world of Guido Reni (New Haven and London, 1997), p. 356, notes 74, 78. 12 See the inventory of the Hertziana Library for the year 1934, entry number 963: ‘Vendita fatta del quadro di Guido Reni 1732’ (29 May 1934). The papers were bought from the Roman bookseller Federico Piacenti in Via Rasella. 13 On this problem, see F. Paliaga, ‘Meccanismi della contrattazione di dipinti tra Venezia e Firenze nel tardo Seicento’, Ricche Minere 2 (2014), pp. 32–49. More in general, on the economy of painting at Guido’s time, see R. Spear and P. Sohm, Painting for Profit. The economic lives of seventeenth-century Italian painters (New Haven and London, 2010). 14 Jacob Frey, The Dispute with the Six Fathers of the Church, etching and engraving, c.1728. The print is inscribed ‘Ex tabula Guidi Reni asservata in aedibus Marchionis da Angelis’; see M. T. Bätschmann, Jakob Frey (1681–1752). Kupferstecher und Verleger in Rom (Bern, 1997), p. 195, note 135. As the chronology proposed by Bätschmann seems to suggest, the print was probably executed in connection with the projected sale of the painting. 15 A native of Ferrara, Marco Cornelio Bentivoglio d’Aragona was appointed Cardinal in 1719, under Pope Clement XI. After his appointment as Minister of Spain at the Holy See in 1726, Bentivoglio leased an apartment located in Piazza di Spagna, where he amassed his large collection of paintings, mostly contemporary authors. See the inventory drawn up on 10 January 1733 in the Getty Provenance Index, p-i 4924. 16 On the role of the sensali in eighteenth-century Rome, see P. Coen, Il mercato dei quadri a Roma nel diciottesimo secolo. La domanda, l’offerta e la circolazione delle opere in un grande centro artistico europeo (Florence, 2010), vol. i, pp. 137–65. On artistic brokerage in the Baroque period, see also I. Cecchini, Quadri e commercio a Venezia durante il Seicento (Venice, 2000), pp. 221–5. 17 Ingamells, op. cit. (note 4), p. 580. Knapton’s years in Italy are still underdocumented: see S. Lee (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography (New York, 1892), vol. xxxi, pp. 236–7. Later in his life, he was also appointed surveyor and keeper of the King’s collection. He was the first artist associated with the Society of Dilettanti, the group of British noblemen interested in the study of ancient Greek and Roman art: see B. Redford, Dilettanti: The antic and antique in eighteenth-century England (Los Angeles, 2008); J. Kelly, The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and identity in the British Enlightment (New Haven and London, 2009). 18 On the role of art agents in early modern Italy, see most recently M. Keblusek (ed.), Agenti e mediatori nell’Europa moderna, special issue of Quaderni Storici 41 (2006); B. Furlotti, ‘Connecting people, connecting places: antiquarians as mediators in sixteenth-century Rome’, Urban History 37 (2010), pp. 386–98; J. Barrier, ‘Les agents britanniques au services des “Grands touristes” à Rome. Une activité lucrative au xviiie siècle’, ArcHistor 2 (2015), pp. 51–69. On the practice of providing information about works of art from distance, see further B. Furlotti, ‘L’influence des mots, le pouvoir des images: acheter de l’art à distance en Italie aux xvie et xviie siècle’, Seizième Siècle 12 (2016), pp. 127–43. 19 It is noteworthy that around the year 1736, only a few years after the Dispute’s deal, Knapton executed a crayon portrait (now lost) of Sir Robert Walpole’s son Horace: see C. Kingsley Adams and W. S. Lewis, ‘The portraits of Horace Walpole’, Walpole Society 42 (1968–70), pp. 1–34, esp. p. 9, no. a5. 20 The permission was granted by Cardinal camerlengo Annibale Albani (1682–1751). On the export licences, see F. Cipriani et alii, ‘Lista dei richiedenti delle licenze d’esportazione dal 1775 al 1802’, Ricerche di storia dell’arte 90 (2006), pp. 43–7; I. Bignamini and C. Hornsby, Digging and Dealing in Eighteenth-Century Rome (New Haven and London, 2010), pp. 27–8. 21 Originally from Lombardy, Girolamo Belloni (1688–1760) was a banker and entrepreneur who established a bank in the early eighteenth century that rapidly became the most powerful and prosperous in Rome. The bank numbered among its clients also some English noblemen, and acted as a forwarding agent for travellers’ letters: see Coen, op. cit. (note 16), pp. 130–32. 22 The literature on agents and brokerage is vast, and has increased in particular over the past few years: see, most recently, the collection of essays in H. Cools, M. Keblusek and B. Noldus (eds), Your Humble Servant. Agents in early modern Europe (Hilversum, 2006). More in general, see also the entry by J. Lindquist, ‘Brokers and brokerage, anthropology of,’ in J. D. Wright, International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Science (Amsterdam, 2015), vol. II, pp. 870–74. 23 Surprisingly, however, it was Annibale Albani himself, then Cardinal camerlengo, who granted the export permission few weeks after this letter was composed: see above, note 20. 24 See above, note 6. There is no evidence, however, of Horace Walpole’s statement that the painting was ‘remanded back to Rome’. 25 Neri Corsini served for a long period as a legate for the Medici; in the late 1710s he spent some time in London, mainly to discuss the succession to the Tuscan dukedom, and in this occasion he could have met Robert Walpole, who would rise to the Premiership in 1721. See M. Caffiero, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 29 (1983), pp. 651–7. 26 See also F. Herrmann, The English as Collectors. A documentary chrestomathy (London, 1972), p. 81, where is it recorded that many paintings were given to Walpole also ‘to curry favour with so influential a politician’. 27 On Alessandro Gregorio Capponi, see in particular: A. Petrucci, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 19 (1976), pp. 10–13; M. P. Donato, ‘Un collezionista nella Roma del primo seicento: Alessandro Gregorio Capponi’, Evtopia 2 (2003), pp. 91–102; H. Hyde Minor, The Culture of Architecture in Enlightment Rome (University Park, pa, 2010), in part. pp. 190–215. On single aspects of Capponi’s collecting (which included also paintings, drawings and books) see also M. P. Donato, ‘Un collezionista nella Roma del primo settecento: Alessandro Gregorio Capponi’, Eutopia 2 (1993), 91–102; S. Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, ‘Alessandro Gregorio Capponi, un collectionneur de dessins du xviii siècle’, Revue de l’art 143 (2004), pp. 13–26; R. Battaglia, ‘A first collection of the ‘Vedute di Roma’: some new elements on the states’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 4 (2006), pp. 93–119. 28 Minor, op. cit. (note 27), p. 191. The fact that this opinion was also shared on the other side of the English Channel is confirmed by Jousha Reynolds’s statement that works of art should be ‘collected together in the capital . . . to impress the foreigners with an adequate idea of the riches in virtu which the nation contains’. See J. Reynolds, Letters (Cambridge, 1929), p. 173. 29 On Capponi and the Capitoline, see most recently M. Franceschini, ‘Alessandro Gregorio Capponi e la nascita del Museo Capitolino’, in E. Kieven and S. Prosperi Valenti Rodinò (eds), I Corsini tra Firenze e Roma. Atti della Giornata di studi ‘I Corsini tra Firenze e Roma. Aspetti della politica culturale di una famiglia papale tra Sei e Settecento (Cinisello Balsamo, 2013), pp. 41–4. 30 See C. C. Malvasia, Felsina Pittrice (Bologna, 1678), vol. ii, p. 81. On Guido’s so called prima maniera, see Spear, op. cit. (note 11), pp. 292–5. 31 On the genesis of the Pinacoteca Capitolina, see P. Masini, ‘Da Galleria de’ quadri a Pinacoteca’, in S. Guarino and P. Masini (eds), Pinacoteca Capitolina. Catalogo Generale (Milan, 2006), pp. 28–39. See also S. Guarino, ‘La Pinacoteca Capitolina dall’acquisto dei quadri Sacchetti e Pio di Savoia all’arrivo della Santa Petronilla del Guercino’, in Guercino e le collezioni Capitoline (Rome, 1991), pp. 43–4. 32 See A. Emiliani (ed.), Leggi, bandi e provvedimenti per la tutela dei beni artistici e culturali negli antichi stati italiani, 1571–1860 (Bologna, 1996). A new decree was issued as recently as September 1733: pp. 90–95. A partial list of works of art exported in the eighteenth century to the United Kingdom via the Tyrrhenian ports can be found in A. Bertolotti, ‘Esportazione di oggetti di belle arti da Roma per l’Inghilterra’, Archivio storico, artistico, archeologico e letterario della città di Roma 2 (1877), pp. 74–90. See also R. Ridley, ‘To protect the monuments: the Papal Antiquarian (1534–1870)’, Xenia Antiqua 1 (1992), pp. 81–92. 33 On the fidecomisso, see most recently G. Pallastrelli, ‘Con prohibition di alienare’. Il fedecommesso e la conservazione di opere d’arte in Italia dal xvii al xix secolo (Rome, 2015). More in general, on the fidecommisso as a strategy adopted by the Roman nobility to maintain its financial power, see N. La Marca, La nobiltà romana e i suoi strumenti di perpetuazione del potere (Rome, 2000), vol. i, pp. 83–165. 34 On the Cassiano del Pozzo fidecommisso, see D. Sparti, ‘The dal Pozzo collection again: the inventories of 1689 and 1695 and the family archive’, Burlington Magazine 132 (1990), pp. 551–70. The paintings were subsequently sold to Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland, in 1785, the originals replaced with copies in order to prevent detection by the Roman authorities: P. Rosenberg, ‘Una esportazione fraudolenta nel xviii secolo’, Intorno a Poussin. Dipinti romani a confronto (Rome, 1994), pp. 29–36. The failed attempt by Sir Robert Walpole is also mentioned in a letter of James Byres to the Duke in 1787: ‘Were it known that they [the Seven Sacraments] were going out of Rome they would certainly be stopped, as they were formerly when Sir Robert Walpole had purchased them’ (W. T. Whitley, Artists and their Friends in England, 1700–1799 (London and Boston, 1928), vol. ii, p. 75). 35 It is not clear, however, when and how the profit was reinvested after the sale. A receipt transcribed in the Hertziana papers seems to suggest that money was sent to Pisa, in order to be invested in the local Monte di Pietà. Deposits were made in two tranches, one in February 1732 (2,800 scudi), and another one month later. 36 See State Archive, Florence, Notaio Giuseppe Vena, b. 6633, n. 66, cc. 57r–63v (16 December 1608). 37 The Monte di Pietà and the Banco di Santo Spirito – founded respectively in 1539 by Pope Paul III and in 1605 by Pope Paul V – were the main financial institutions of Rome, collecting a large cash flow that was occasionally employed also to fund public work projects. On their development in the Settecento, see M. C. Travaglini, ‘Il ruolo del Banco di Santo Spirito e del Monte di Pietà nel mercato finanziario romano del Settecento’, in Atti della Società Ligure di Storia Patria 31 (1991), vol. ii, pp. 619–39. 38 Monti Camerali were important organs of the Holy See financial administration, issuing debt securities to finance the public debt: see M. Isenmann, ‘The administration of the papal funded debt: structural deficiencies and institutional reforms’, in F. Ammannati (ed.), Religion and Religious Institutions in the European Economy, 1000–1800 (Florence, 2012), pp. 281–91. 39 While summarizing the main parts of the whole document, the supplica also transcribes the initial and final words of the original testament, from ‘tra li miei quadri il’ to ‘e ciò si intenda debbe fabbricare da miei e doppo la mia morte’. 40 On the practice of copying after Guido’s works, see H. van der Linden, ‘Two disputes over copying in Bologna’, Burlington Magazine 152 (2010), pp. 385–90. On the fraudulent substitution of the originals with copies, see C. Mazzarelli, ‘“Quadri moderni copiati dalli pittori viventi”. Dipingere ed esportare copie tra xviii e xix secolo’, in M. C. Mazzi (ed.), Una Miniera per l’Europa (Rome, 2008), pp. 163–83; see also Eadem, ‘“Più vale una bella copia che un mediocre originale”. Teoria, prassi e mercato della copia a Roma fra Sette e Ottocento’, in Ricerche di storia dell’arte 90 (2006), pp. 23–31. 41 On the church, see most recently G. Fortunato, L’architettura dei frati cappuccini nella provincia romana, tra il xvi e il xvii secolo, e il complesso conventuale dell’Immacolata Concezione a Roma (Pescara, 2012), esp. pp. 189–203. On the painting, see Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 281, no. 145. 42 No modern study on this figure exists; for an eighteenth-century account of Giacomo De Angelis’ life, see I. Orsolini, Inclytae nationis florentinae familiae suprema romani pontificatus, ac sacra cardinalatus dignitate illustratae (Rome, 1706), vol. ii, pp. 536–60. 43 N. del Re, Il vicegerente del vicariato di Roma (Rome, 1976), pp. 60–61. 44 De Angelis’ funerals were celebrated with a lavish funerary apparato, whose design is recorded in a set of drawings now held in Chicago: Nota di spese fatte per il funerale del sig. Card. Giacomo De Angelis celebrato nella chiesa di San Francesco di Pisa, e disegni del detto funerale, Chicago, Newberry Library, ms 5a 47. 45 On the medal, see J. G. Pollard (ed.), Renaissance Medals, vol. ii:France, Germany, the Netherlands, and England (Washington, dc, 2007), p. 844, no. 890. 46 On the chapel, see M. Nicaud, ‘Le sculture della cappella de Angelis in Santa Maria in Ara-Coeli’, L’Urbe 4 no. 3 (1939), pp. 13–18. On the commemorative inscription’s place in the chapel, also C. Romano, Memorie Istoriche della chiesa e convento di S. Maria in Araceli (Rome, 1736), pp. 79–83. Maille also modelled the stucco works on the lateral walls, with an angel bearing a medallion with, respectively, Sts Stephen and Ranieri. 47 For a general discussion on cardinals as art collectors, see the essays in M. Hollingsworth and C. M. Richardson (eds), The Possessions of a Cardinal. Politics, piety, and art, 1450–1700 (University Park, pa, 2010). 48 On this aspect, see M. P. Donato, ‘Il vizio virtuoso. Collezionismo e mercato a Roma nella prima metà del Settecento’, Quaderni Storici 39 (2004), pp. 139–60, esp. p. 147. 49 On this identification, see most recently Museo Statale Ermitage, op. cit. (note 5), p. 239. Also Francesco Scannelli in 1657 and Luigi Scaramuccia in 1674 briefly recorded the altarpiece in Perugia. The painting is cited more extensively in G. B. Passeri Vite de pittori, scultori ed architetti che anno lavorato in Roma (Rome, 1772), p. 74: ‘In Perugia vi è un quadro da lui [Guido Reni] fatto ad olio dell’Immacolata Concezione di Maria Vergine nella chiesa che è pure dei Padri suddetti.’ 50 On the painting, see Kurz, op. cit (note 5) p. 219; more in detail, see M. Feuillet, ‘Contribution à l’histoire de l’Assomption des Philippins de Pérouse de Guido Reni: le retour à la lumière d’un chef-d’oeuvre du musée des Beaux-Arts’, Bulletin des musées et monuments Lyonnais 2 (1988), pp. 4–21; Idem, ‘Contributo alla storia dell’Assunta dei Filippini di Perugia di Guido Reni: il ritorno alla luce di un capolavoro del Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lione’, Atti e memorie dell’Accademia Clementina 25 (1990), pp. 127–41. See also Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 288, note 160. 51 For a plausible chronology around 1624–5, see Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 255. 52 Very few paintings by Guido Reni are documented in Pisa during his lifetime, the most important of which being the so-called Sacred and Profane Love formerly in the Lanfreducci collection (now Pisa, Museo di San Matteo), a work that is usually believed to be a copy after an original by Guido: see Pepper, op. cit. (note 5), p. 252, no. 78. 53 See G.J.M. Weber, ‘The gallery as work of art. The installation of the Italian paintings in 1754’, in Dresden in the Ages of Splendor and Enlightenment (Colombus, oh, 1999), pp. 183–97, esp. p. 186. 54 For a glossary of technical terms adopted in Roman architecture, see http://wissensgeschichte.biblhertz.it:8080/Glossario/Glossario_Italiano. The proportional ratio of the length of the frame to its breadth (1.43) approximately corresponds to that of the painting. 55 Some of these features are also characteristic of seventeenth-century Bolognese frames: see T. Newbery, The Robert Lehman Collection, vol. xiii:Frames (New York, 2007), esp. p. 207. 56 On the Compagnia dell’Angelo Custode, see P. Mancini and G. Scarfone, L’Oratorio del SS. Sacramento di S. Maria in Via (Rome, 1973), esp. pp. 46–59. On the building, see E. Chiavoni, Il disegno di oratori romani (Rome, 2008), pp. 50–57. The interiors of the Oratorio were profoundly altered in the late nineteenth century. On the De Angelis palace, see G. Carpaneto, I Palazzi di Roma (Rome, 1991), p. 40. The family is documented as renting in the area as early as 1660: O. Verdi (ed.), In presentia mei notarii. Piante e disegni nei protocolli dei Notai Capitolini (1605–1875) (Rome, 2009), p. 124. 57 F. DiFederico, Francesco Trevisani, Eighteenth-Century Painter in Rome: a catalogue raisonné (Washington, dc, 1977), p. 65, note 89. 58 Trevisani’s altarpiece measures approximately 350 x 250 cm. 59 See M. Helston, ‘Guido Reni in Inghilterra’, in S. Ebert-Schifferer, A. Emiliani and E. Schleider (eds), Guido Reni e l’Europa: Fama e Fortuna (Bologna, 1988), pp. 793–96. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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