Domenico Piola and his drawings: a study of his fresco preparationsShow full item record
|Title||Domenico Piola and his drawings: a study of his fresco preparations|
|Author||Ter Horst, Tessa Mariechen,author.|
|Degree||Master of Arts|
|Abstract||One of the leading artists in late seventeenth-century Genoa, Domenico Piola (1627-1703) created and maintained his own successful and highly organized workshop, “Casa Piola.” Piola and his Casa Piola completed grand illusionistic interiors for noble residences through the unification of painting, sculpture, and architectural adornment, catering to the Genoese patronage’s taste for the ornate. Piola’s artistic production also includes a large number of drawings (some 4000) that drastically outnumber his paintings and frescos. These drawings display a careful and methodical technique utilized in preparing works in a variety of media from fabrics to frescoes. Using Piola’s five known preparatory drawings for his Allegory of Winter and Allegory of Autumn frescoes as a case study, this thesis will study Piola’s process of fresco design and argue that he used drawings to develop ideas that are reused and reworked in both final fresco compositions. My first chapter contextualizes Domenico Piola and his Casa Piola within seventeenth-century Genoese visual culture and highlights piolesque production’s inherent ties to the local aristocratic decoration. This introductory chapter traces the artist’s development from his early training through his rise to a prominent position in the city.
The second chapter provides an overview of Piola’s draftsmanship, emphasizing his large output of highly finished compositional studies, often as iterations of similar subject matter. With comparisons to drawings by earlier influential Genoese artists such as Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and Valerio Castello, I explore Piola’s corpus of drawings as indicative of the larger Genoese drawing tradition of full compositional designs. My third chapter examines Piola’s use of preparatory drawings for his frescoed Allegory of Autumn and Allegory of Winter decorations in the piano nobile of the Palazzo Rosso. Not completely corresponding to the final frescoes, Piola’s drawings show how he experiments with ideas through drawings, actively reworking elements to create innovative compositions that are not conceived until their final iteration in fresco. At various states of finish, these drawings show his specific approach to fresco design, while also continuing to design in complete compositional entities.
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- Masters Theses