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The Brancacci Chapel And Masolino, Masaccio, and Filippino Lippi. By A.H. Layard, M.P.

Sir Austen Henry Layard

RA Collection: Book

Record number




[London]:: [The Arundel Society],, [1868].

Physical Description

67, [1] p., [4] pl.: illus.; 273 mm. (Quarto.)

Responsibility Note

Plates and illustrations are unsigned; but some captions name source artists, and that of Plate [1] states that it is engraved 'From a drawing by Mrs Higford Burr'.


On Layard see J. Anderson, 'Salvare gli affreschi', in Austen Henry Layard, Giovanni Santi e l'affresco di Cagli (1994), p.57-61; Austen Henry Layard tra l'Oriente e Venezia (1983); J. Fleming, 'Art dealing and the Risorgimento', in Burlington Magazine, 115 (1973), p.4-16, 121 (1979), p.492-508, 568-80; G. Waterfield, Layard of Nineveh (1963).

On interest in the early Renaissance see T. Borenius, 'The rediscovery of the Primitives', in Quarterly Review, 239 (1923 April), p.258-70; C. von Klenze, 'The growth of interest in early Italian masters from Tischbein to Ruskin', in Modern philology, 4 (1906), p.207-74.

Summary Note

The title page carries no imprint or date of publication, but a foot-note on p. 35 refers to 'the present year (1868)'. The volume was published by the Arundel Society in that year to mark the conclusion of their series of chromolithographic reproductions of the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, 'executed by Messrs. Storch & Kramer, under the direction of Professor L. Gruner, from water-colour drawings by Signor Mariannecci', which had begun to appear in 1861.

Although Layard made his name as the excavator of Niniveh and gave much of his career to politics and diplomacy, he was also an enthusiastic student of early Renaissance paintings - of which he made a large collection in his house in Venice. In the present essay he describes the frescoes in the Brancacci chapel in the church of Sta Maria del Carmine, Florence; which were painted by Masaccio and Masolino ca. 1425-8, and completed by Filippino Lippi in the late 1480s. The frescoes consist of twelve images of Biblical narratives, two showing the story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from paradise as related in Genesis, the rest showing actions of the Apostles Peter and Paul as related in the Acts of the Apostles.

The plates are captioned and show [1] 'The Baptistery at Castiglione d'Olona'; [2] 'The Daughter of Herodias before Herod. A painting by Masolino in the Baptistery of Castiglione d'Olona'; [3] 'S. Paul addressing S. Peter. Filippino Lippi'; [4] 'S. Paul preaching. Raphael'. The in-text illustrations show [headpiece] 'Heads of Masolino, Masaccio, and Filippino Lippi'; [p.12] 'Perspective of the Brancacci chapel in the Carmine at Florence'; [p.29] 'S. Catherine disputing with the doctors. A fresco by Masaccio, in S. Clemente at Rome'.


Purchased 1868 (RA Annual Report for 1868, p. 31).

Binding Note

19th-century quarter brown morocco, red paper-covered boards; spine lettered 'A.H. Layard's Notice Of The Brancacci Chapel' and 'R.A.'

Name as Subject


Bible, O.T., Genesis
Bible, N.T., Acts
Christian art and symbolism - Patriarchs - Apostles - Saints - Iconography
Paintings, Italian - Frescoes - Mural painting and decoration - Churches - Chapels - Italy - Tuscany - Florence - Santa Maria del Carmine - Brancacci Chapel - History - 15th century - Renaissance
Essays - Art history - Art criticism - Great Britain - 19th century


Masolino, source artist
Masaccio, source artist
Filippino Lippi, source artist
Mrs. Mary Higford Burr, draughtsman, fl. 1858 - 60?