Storia dell’arte n. 155-156 – Nuova Serie 1/2 | 2021
Sabina de Cavi
Drawing and artistic collaboration in S. Maria del trivio, Rome. Notes on Giacomo Amato, Antonio Gherardi, Ercole Ferrata and Bartolomeo Merelli
The publication of Giacomo Amato’s corpus of architectural drawings (de Cavi, 2017) allows for a reconsideration of drawing and planning artistic practices in late Baroque Rome. Since 1673, he established a collaboration pattern, drawing the architectural frame and leaving the human figure and the ornament to painters. This way to organize work-division did not match the standards of the Roman academy of St. Luke, nor common drawing practices of renowned architects of his time. When living in the convent of St. Maria in Trivio, near the Trevi fountain, he worked with the Genoese fellow father Bartolomeo Merelli, while in viceregal Palermo he further developed this processing formula with other Sicilian painters such as Pietro Aquila and Antonino Grano. A documented micro-history of the construction site reveals that the stucco decoration of the church’s interior was Amato’s first collaborative work, and that Antonio Gherardi was only active as a painter. This essay demonstrates the importance of Amato’s drawing collection in the Gabinetto dei Disegni di Palazzo Abatellis (Palermo) for the material history of the Cantiere Barocco; it offers a sample study for detailed research on one of his many architectural and ornamental projects between Rome and Palermo.