- Also known as
Daniele da Volterra
primary name: Daniele da Volterra
other name: Ricciarelli, Daniele
other name: Volterra, Daniele da
- individual; painter/draughtsman; sculptor/medallist; Roman; Italian; Male
- Life dates
- Painter, stuccatore and sculptor: worked in Volterra, Rome and Florence. Daniele Ricciarelli, called Daniele da Volterra, b. Volterra c. 1509, d. aged 57 in Rome, 4 Apr. 1566. According to Vasari, our principal source of information, D. was a pupil of Sodoma, whose influence is evident in his earliest surviving work, the signed fresco of Justice in the Volterra Pinacoteca, datable 1532 (Mez, 'Bollettino', p. 459) and also of Peruzzi. After working in the villa, designed by Peruzzi, of Cardinal Trivulzio at Salone near Settecamini outside Rome, where he executed stucchi and frescoes, including one of the story of Phaethon with life-size figures (vault with stucco-work, Grotesques and small-scale frescoes, Barolsky, 'Daniele', 1979, figs. 2-12), he assisted Perino del Vaga with the side walls of the Massimi Chapel (presumably with the stucchi) in SS. Trinità dei Monti (lost), probably finished by 1540 (Gere, 'Burlington', cii (1960), p. 10, n.5).
Elected to the Accademia di S. Luca in 1541 (Hirst, 'Burlington' (1967), p. 500).
S. Marcello al Corso, 4th chapel on r. (del Crocifisso), completed 'St John' on vault begun by Perino before 1527 and painted 'Luke' and 'Matthew' (two last repr. 'Bollettino', 1 (1965), opp. p. 118. Studies for them by Perino, datable c. 1540, in Louvre: Davidson, 'Perino', figs. 37-8). Payments 1540-3 (Fiocco, 'Bollettino', (1913), pp. 93f).
Earliest extant independent work in Rome is the frieze in Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne (F. Santoro, pls. 3-9). If Vasari is right in saying that this brought D. to the attention of Elena Orsini, it must have been well under way by 1 Dec. 1541, the date of his contract with the clergy of SS. Trinità dei Monti by which he agreed to decorate her chapel (3rd on 1.), having already received some payment on account. The only known surviving part of the decoration of the Orsini Chapel is the altarpiece of the 'Deposition', fresco transferred to canvas in the early 19th c, now in 2nd chapel on l. The 'Deposition' cannot date from before 1541 since the contract of that year specifies a different subject (Hirst, (1967). p. 501). Chapel probably completed by Aug. 1548 when D. seems to have been fully occupied in the Sala Regia where he succeeded Perino del Vaga (d. Oct. 1547), receiving a regular stipend from Paul III from Nov. onwards. The stucco cornice frieze was begun by Perino, but the greater part of the wall stucchi are by D. (payments Aug. 1548 onwards: see B. Davidson, 'Art Bulletin', lviii (1976), pp. 405, 412). D.'s activity in Sala interrupted by Paul III's death (Nov. 1549) and the decoration was completed by others.
Altarpiece of 'Virgin and Child' in parish church of Ulignano, dated 1545 (see 1952,1011.6). May 1548, elected to Virtuosi al Pantheon (Orbaan, 'Virtuosi', p. 24).
According to Vasari, immediately after the Orsini chapel, D. executed frieze in room at N. corner of Palazzo Farnese (see Mez, 'Rivista'). 1550-1 and 1555, payments for work in Vatican Belvedere (Ackerman, docs. 80, 70, 79, the last referring to the Stanza della Cleopatra: Barolsky 'Daniele', 1979, figs. 61-5). 1551, resolution of the Confraternity of S. Giovanni Decollato to commission from D. the altarpiece of the Oratorio (see J. S. Weisz, 'Burlington', cxxiii (1981), pp. 355f.); the commission was eventually passed to Jacopino del Conte.
The chapel of the Assumption in SS. Trinità dei Monti (3rd on r.) was conceded to Lucrezia della Rovere on 18 Aug. 1548 and decorated by D. with frescoes of the 'Massacre of the Innocents', the 'Presentation of the Virgin' and, on the altar wall, the 'Assumption of the Virgin'; the chapel was still incomplete in Jan. 1553 (see 1946,0713.114; Barolsky, ibid. figs. 49-60). Vasari names as one of D.'s principal patrons Mgr Giovanni della Casa (see 1956,1013.14 and 1976,0515.2). At end of 1556 D. went to Carrara to obtain marble for sculpture, including two statues for the chapel of Cardinal Ricci in S. Pietro in Montorio (Venturi, x2, figs. 158-9; Barolsky ibid., pls. 79-86). He spent the following summer in Florence. Letter from D. to Michelangelo dated Florence, 8 May 1557 (pub. Frey, 'Sammlung ausgewählter Briefe an Michelagniolo Buonarroti'). In Volterra painted a 'Massacre of the Innocents' (Venturi, ix6, fig. 149; payments 3 Oct. and 1 Dec. 1557, cf. Levie, 'Daniele', 1962, p. 17), a close variant of that in the della Rovere chapel, SS. Trinità dei Monti. Block of marble, presumably for Ricci Chapel, arrived in Rome by 1 July 1559 (Masetti Zannini, p. 92). After the death of Henri II in 1559, Catherine de' Medici ordered from D. a bronze equestrian statue of him (see Adhémar, 'Gazette', ser. 6, xxxvi (1949), pp. 297ff.).
1564-5 nudities in Michelangelo's 'Last Judgement' in Sistine Chapel painted over by D. This is generally thought to have taken place under Paul IV, e.g. by Wilde who dates it 1558-9 (BM 'Michelangelo', p. xv). It may well be that Paul IV intended to do this and Vasari's anecdote of Michelangelo's contemptuous rejoinder may be true; but as Pastor (xii, pp. 617ff.) was the first to discover, it was not until 21 Jan. 1564 that a decree of the Congregation of the Council oil Trent ordered that "picturae in capella Apostolica coperiantur". This is confirmed by a document recording payment to D.'s heirs for this work executed in 1565 (Redig de Campos-Biagetti, 'Il Giudizio Universale di Michelangelo', 1944, i, p. 145).
Pius IV (1559-65) decided to complete the Sala Regia but, although there is mention of scaffolding for D. in June 1561 (Lanciani, iii, p. 228), he lost the commission (see Vasari, vii, p. 67). After the death of Michelangelo, D., his close friend, executed a bronze bust of him for Leonardo Buonarroti, cast by September 1565 (Levie, ibid., p.23), of which various versions exist (see Barolsky, ibid., p. 112). For D.'s collaboration with Michelangelo see 1956,1013.14 and 1976,0515.2.
- Gere & Pouncey 1983
Thieme-Becker (1934) with previous bibliography; M.L. Mez, 'Daniele da Volterra, Pittore', Bollettino, xxvii (1933-4), pp. 459ff.; 'Una decorazione di Daniele da Volterra nel Palazzo Farnese a Roma', Rivista d'arte, xvi (1934), pp. 276ff.; S.H. Levie, 'Daniele da Volterra e Tintoretto', Arte Veneta, vii (1953), pp. 168ff.; 'De portretten von Michelangelo door Daniele da Volterra', Nederlandsch Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, vi (1955), pp. 119ff.; Der Maler Daniele da Volterra, Cologne, 1962 (Dissertation for University of Basle, abbr. as Daniele); 'Drie figuren uit de fresco's in de Orsini-Kapel van Daniele da Volterra' in Album Discipulorum aangeboden aan Prof. dr. J.G. van Gelder, Utrecht, 1963, pp. 55ff. (abbr. as Album); M. Hirst, 'Perino del Vaga and his Circle', Burlington, cviii (1966), pp. 398ff.; 'Daniele da Volterra and the Orsini Chapel', Burlington, cix (1967), pp. 498ff.; B. Davidson, 'Daniele da Volterra and the Orsini Chapel', Burlington, cix (1967), pp. 553ff.; F. Santoro, 'Daniele da Volterra', Paragone 213 (1967), pp. 3ff.; P. Barolsky, 'A panel painting by Daniele da Volterra', Burlington, cxiii (1971), pp. 150ff.; 'A sheet of figure studies at Oberlin and other drawings by Daniele da Volterra', Bulletin, Allen Memorial Art Museum, 30 (1973). pp. 22ff.; Daniele da Volterra: A Catalogue Raisonné, N.Y. and London, 1979, (abbr. as Barolsky, Daniele, 1979), fully illustrated and with extensive bibliography.