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Renaissance Studies

A «Festschrift» in Honor of Professor Edward J. Olszewski

Edited By Jennifer H. Finkel, Michael D. Morford and Dena M. Woodall

This Festschrift is dedicated to Edward J. Olszewski and was created by his former PhD students in gratitude and honor of a professor whose innovative and comprehensive research spans the Renaissance and Baroque periods. His research provided much insight to the arts, issues of patronage, conservation, and context. The text includes an array of topics conceived by each author while studying with Olszewski. His intense seminar on Michelangelo was the catalyst for many articles: Jennifer Finkel introduces new ideas regarding the proposed sculptural plan for the façade of San Lorenzo; Dena M. Woodall provides keen insight on the representations of genii on the Sistine Ceiling; Karen Edwards proposes the early creation of the figura serpentinata in Michelangelo’s own drawings and paintings; and Rachel Geshwind offers a new interpretation of his use of color symbolism in the Sistine Chapel. This seminar, and another on Mannerism, involved provocative discussion of the competitors of Michelangelo, where the foundation was laid for the much needed re-examination of Baccio Bandinelli’s Hercules and Cacus in Michael Morford’s article, which introduces the probability of Machiavellian influence, and Christine Corretti’s interpretation of Cellini’s Perseus and Medusa as the symbol of Cosimo’s I ideas of justice and the influence of women in his life. Olszewski’s own research on patronage, especially of the Ottoboni, mirrors Henrietta Silberger’s article on the collecting habits of Livio Odescalchi. Finally, Holley Witchey provides a personal experience in authenticating works of art in collections (a topic of interest for Olszewski) and ends her essay with a series of important questions for each of us to ask ourselves.


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Unvarnished Reflections: Giorgione’s Portrait of a Man (Terris Portrait) in the San Diego Museum of Art, the Quest for Cultural Authority, and the Ethics of Authenticity in American Museums HOLLY WITCHEY 165


Holly Witchey Unvarnished Reflections: Giorgione's Portrait of a Man (Terris Portrait) in the San Diego Museum of Art, the Quest for Cultural Authority, and the Ethics of Authenticity in American Museums If you want to know the truth, use science. As long as people go to a museum and pay for the experience– they are entitled to the truth. Maurizio Seracini As the title suggests, this essay is not a traditional analysis of a painting but rather a hybrid. It is part case study and part thought paper about a paint- ing, an artist, art history, the academic study of art history, contemporary museum practice in the United States, science, and technology. In the permanent collection of the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) is a small panel painting (fig. 1) attributed to the Venetian artist Giorgio da Castelfranco, known as Giorgione (1477/8–1510).1 Unambiguously titled Portrait of a Man,2 it is without question a lovely portrait. Painted in oil on a thin poplar panel (approximately 1/8 inches thick), the portrait is relatively small in size. Measuring 11 ¾ by 10 ½ inches, it is not a great deal larger than a single sheet of notebook paper.3 For the better part of a decade (1991- 1998) this portrait was my direct responsibility in the capacity of Associate Curator of European Art at the San Diego Museum of Art. In 1993, with the ink on my own dissertation barely dry, I confidently confirmed the San Diego Museum of Art’s Portrait of...

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