Urbino’s nativity by Federico Brandani, “in nomine sanctae sculpturae”

Presepe di Federico Brandani, Urbino, Oratorio di San Giuseppe - Nativity, Oratory of Sain Joseph

Sculptor Federico Brandani (1520-1575) is mostly known for the stucco nativity he created for the 16th-century Oratory of Saint Joseph in his hometown, Urbino.

The work is made up of splendid, real-size figures, with “the sharpest of draping, shapes that recall Correggio’s nobility and Raphael’s grace, or even Michelangelo’s dangerous anatomical science; each figure set with great elegance and variety…” (translated from C. Grossi, “Comentario degli uomini illustri di Urbino, 1856).

Author Pietro Giordani (1774-1848) – mentor and friend to the young Giacomo Leopardi – once wrote in a letter to a dear friend of his:

“My Brandani is absolutely worth a visit, he is worth running to Urbino (when you can): ‘praecipio tibi in nomine sanctae sculpturae’ [I command you in the name of the holy scriptures, editor’s note] that you see that nativity, which I consider beautiful and most endearing” (October 27th, 1813).

We wish to extend Giordani’s invitation to all of you.

December 25, 2015

Urbino’s nativity by Federico Brandani, “in nomine sanctae sculpturae”

Urbino (PU)
Oratory of Saint Joseph, via F. Barocci, 1
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