Created by Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de’ Roberti, the Griffoni Polyptych is one of the finest masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.
This superb artwork, which once decorated the altar in Floriano Griffoni’s chapel at the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, was painted with exquisite colors and precious gold, and was originally housed in a monumental carpentry made by master woodcarver Agostino de’ Marchi of Crema. In the early eighteenth century, the altarpiece was dismantled to make way for new furnishings and its figurative portions were cut down to room-sized paintings, which during the nineteenth century were sold on the antiques market and dispersed among collectors.
The present volume investigates this complex work through a review of its historical and philological vicissitudes, which allowed to identify the authors and reconstruct the plausible organization of the panels within the altarpiece. The individual paintings today belong to the collections of nine prestigious museums: The National Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, the Vatican Museums, the Cini Foundation in Venice, the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara, and Villa Cagnola in Gazzada (Varese).
Bologna in the Renaissance policy of the fifteenth century and the role of the Griffoni family
Angela De Benedictis
Building San Petronio: the first century
Maria Teresa Sambin De Norcen
The Griffoni family and the Fabbrica of San Petronio: family and political reasons behind the commission for the Griffoni Polyptych
Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de’ Roberti: in Ferrara and Bologna
The Griffoni Polyptych
Dismemberement and diaspora of the Griffoni Polyptych: art markets, collecting, and museums
Bologna 1934: Roberto Longhi and the 'Officina ferrarese'
THE GRIFFONI POLYPTYCH
Perfection through study: the painting technique of the Griffoni Polyptych
Saint John the Baptist and Saint Peter: notes on the restorations and technique