A «Festschrift» in Honor of Professor Edward J. Olszewski
Edited By Jennifer H. Finkel, Michael D. Morford and Dena M. Woodall
The Odescalchi Collection: A Reexamination of Livio Odescalchi as a Collector and Patron HENRIETTA SILBERGER 147
Henrietta Silberger The Odescalchi Collection: A Reexamination of Livio Odescalchi as a Collector and Patron The acquisition en bloc of the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden by Livio Odescalchi (1654-1713) (fig. 1) on January 6th, 1692 for 123,000 scudi catapulted this nephew of Pope Innocent XI and the family name, Odescalchi, into a place of prominence in the history of art collecting. Not only did Livio purchase one of the most renowned art assemblages in Europe at that time, but he also delayed the loss of a major Roman collection to other parts of Europe during a period of Roman decline as an artistic center. If, by analogy, the gathering and channeling of art into collections can be com- pared to an elaborate water system with holding tanks (representing collec- tions), filters (collectors’ artistic preferences), and connecting conduits (various agents and historical events), then, consistent with the usual repre- sentation of Livio Odescalchi in art history, he merely provided a Roman holding basin for Christina’s famous collection. The unpublished inventory drawn up after his death,1 however, suggests that this depiction of the Odes- calchi collection and of Livio as a collector is inaccurate and needs reexami- nation, if not downright revision.2 The fact that Livio’s collection greatly exceeded Christina’s in size3 indicates a remarkable degree of collecting ac- tivity between 1692 and 1713, if not earlier. Nevertheless, in art historical literature Livio Odescalchi remains an elusive, even neglected figure in con- trast to Queen Christina, whose flamboyant,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.