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Trivia question (sedia vs seggiola in Italian)

Trivia question (sedia vs seggiola in Italian)

Aug 31st, 2005, 05:38 AM
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Trivia question (sedia vs seggiola in Italian)

Is there a difference between sedia and seggiola in Italian?

The Google online translation says "chair" for both.

Some people call the Raphael at Palatina Gallery (Pitti) "Madonna della Seggiola."

Others call this "Madonna della Sedia."

Being the precise person I am, I'm curious.



111op is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 07:53 AM
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Excellent question.

"Seggiola" is more commonly used in Tuscany (and even in small parts of Emilia), but is widely understood throughout the country to mean "sedia."

"Sedia" is the more common Italian word.
GAC is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 08:15 AM
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That's very interesting, GAC.

For what it's worth, Michelin Tuscany calls the painting "Madonna della Seggiola," but at least one art history professor (David Rosand at Columbia) calls this "Madonna della Sedia."


I'm not promising to remember all of these paintings by their Italian names.

I give myself an A+ for my DIY Renaissance art course.

111op is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 04:42 AM
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In case anyway cares, the frame has an inscription and uses "Seggiola."
111op is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 05:13 AM
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I, for one, am glad that it has not been renamed. I've always known it as "Madonna della Seggiola," and I suspect that that is how it has been known since it was first hung in the Galleria Palatina.
Eloise is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 05:22 AM
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As I said, David Rosand calls it Madonna della Sedia, and he's not the only one.

Interestingly, I took a look at


right before I went to the airport.

Rosand makes an appearance in Episode 4 in the part of Venice. Pretty entertaining stuff. I was prompted to look for the Sansovino sculptures in front of the Campanile in San Marco.

By the way, the Madonna dell'Impannata is not called this on the frame. It's called something else. I didn't have time to write down the name at all. But I remember something about some Holy Family (just guessing from the Italian I read).

The guidebook for Palatina calls this painting by the Impannata name though.
111op is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 05:43 AM
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You've got me there. I can't recall "Madonna dell'Impannata" at all.
To me, it suggests "Madonna of the Thing Covered in Whipped Cream (panna)," but I'm quite sure that is not what it means...!

One of my trusty guidebooks tells me that "impannate" are the waxpaper-paned windows in the background.

The people represented seem to be, in addition to the Madonna and Child, Elizabeth (Mary's cousin) and her son John the Baptist, and Anna, the mother of Mary. So the mention of a family would refer to Mary's family.
Eloise is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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By the way, Eloise, thanks for the Gozzoli frescoes rec. It was one of the best art pieces of the trip.

I think you put in a plug for the Duomo Museum in Florence, but I didn't have the time for it.

I can't be 100% sure about the name of Impannata. You know, I went through Palatina in half an hour.

But I remember distinctly that I had to look for the painting again, as I remember that I saw it and thought to myself that it couldn't be a Raphael. My first guess was that it was an Andrea del Sarto. So I looked it fairly carefully and I know that I looked at the frame to see what the name is.

This links says that the painting has been attributed to Giulio Romano.


When you see the reproduction you'll see why I thought it was a del Sarto (the trademark del Sarto shades).

Granted the reproduction is on a stamp, but it gives a sense as to what the painting looks like.
111op is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 10:40 AM
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FWIW, some of my professors called it the "Madonna della Sedia" and others called it the "Madonna della Seggiola." Ernst Gombrich wrote an essay about it that is well-known in art historical circles, in which he called it the "Madonna della Sedia."

In many cases where, as here, the title was not given by the artist but assigned by later owners or scholars, it's not uncommon for there to be alternative titles for a single work.

I like the idea of the Madonna Covered in Whipped Cream, though, and hope that translation becomes popular!
KT is offline  
Sep 6th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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That's funny.

But well the Impannata does come from the window, I think (so says Michelin too, if I recall).

My favorite painting from Palatina is Giorgione's "Three Ages of Man."

I didn't find the Raphael Madonnas all that convincing, I'm afraid.

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