Storia dell’Arte 107, Gennaio – Aprile 2004
Pamela M. Jones
Italian Devotional Paintings and Flemish Landscapes in the Quadrerie of Cardinals Giustiniani, Borromeo, and Del Monte
Among the most important art collectors of late-Cinquecento and early Seicento Rome were Cardinals Benedetto Giustiniani, Federico Borromeo, and Francesco Maria Del Monte. The three men were friends and near contemporaries; fifteen years separated the births of the eldest, Del Monte – who was born in 1549 – and the youngest, Borromeo – who was born in 1564 –. They all died within ten years of each other, between 1621 and 1631, that is, before the maturity of Bernini, Cortona, and Poussin. Nor were the three cardinals members of the Barberini circle that dominated artistic culture in Rome from 1623-44. In short, the collections of Cardinals Del Monte, Giustiniani, and Borromeo can be understood best in the context of Roman culture c. 1600.
In this paper I would like to draw attention to certain aspects of these collections in light of two influential trends in Roman artistic culture c. 1600: first, the artistic reform that took hold in Rome in the 1590s, especially as forged by Anni- bale Carracci and Caravaggio; and, second, the impact of Flemish landscape specialists in Rome, especially Paul Bril and Jan Brueghel the Elder.