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Tondo Art





Woman with wax tablets and stylus, so called Sappho | Fresco | Pompeii, Naples, National Archaeological Museum

A tondo (plural "tondi" or "tondos") is a Renaissance🎨 term for a circular work of art, either a painting or a sculpture.
The word derives from the Italian rotondo, "round".
The term is usually not used in English for small round paintings, but only those over about 60 cm (two feet) in diameter, thus excluding many round portrait miniatures - for sculpture the threshold is rather lower.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian High Renaissance/Mannerist Painter/Sculptor, 1475-1564) | Tondo Doni, 1505-1506

Artists have created tondi since Greek antiquity.
The circular paintings in the centre of painted vases of that period are known as tondi, and the inside of the broad low winecup called a kylix also lent itself to circular enframed compositions.
The style was revived in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, particularly in Italy, where it may have developed from the smaller desco da parto or birthing tray.
Since then it has been less common.
In Ford Madox Brown's painting The Last of England, the ship's wire railing curving round the figures helps enclose the composition within its tondo shape.
The background scene is consolidated or omitted, and to a large extent, unimportant.
While the background may be visible in tondo paintings, in tondo relief carvings the background is not seen. Andrea della Robbia and other members of his family created glazed terracotta tondi that were often framed in a wreath of fruit and leaves and which were intended for immuring in a stucco ed wall.
In Brunelleschi's Hospital of the Innocents, Florence, 1421-24, Andrea della Robbia provided glazed terracotta babes in swaddling clothes in tondos with plain blue backgrounds to be set in the spandrels of the arches.

Michelangelo (Italian High Renaissance/Mannerist Painter/Sculptor, 1475-1564) | Pitti Tondo the Virgin and Child, 1503-1504 | Museo nazionale del Bargello, Florence

In the sixteenth century the painterly style of istoriato decoration for maiolica wares was applied to large circular dishe.
The tondo has also been used as a design element in architecture since the Renaissance; it may serve centred in the gable-end of a pediment or under the round-headed arch that was revived in the fifteenth century.
Although the earliest true Renaissance, or late Gothic painted tondo is Burgundian, from Champmol (of a Pietá by Jean Malouel of 1400-1415, now in the Louvre), the tondo became fashionable in 15th-century Florence, with Botticelli🎨 painting many examples, both Madonnas and narrative scenes.
Michelangelo employed the circular tondo for several compositions, both painted and sculpted, including The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist, the Doni Tondo at the Uffizi🎨, as did Raphael.
The infrequently-encountered synonym rondo much more usually refers to a musical form. | © Wikipedia

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian High Renaissance/Mannerist Painter/Sculptor, 1475-1564) | Taddei Tondo, 1504-05 | Royal Academy, London

Fra Angelico (Italian Early Renaissance painter, 1387-1455) | Tondo Cook - Adoration of the Magi Tondo, 1440-1460 | National Gallery of Art

Sandro Botticelli (Italian Early Renaissance painter, ca.1445-1510) | The Adoration of the Kings, 1470-1475 | The National Gallery, London

Sandro Botticelli (Italian Early Renaissance painter, ca.1445-1510) | Madonna of the Magnificat

Sandro Botticelli (Italian Early Renaissance painter, ca.1445-1510) | Madonna of the Pomegranate, 1487 | Uffizi, Florence

Parmigianino (Italian Mannerist painter, 1503-1540) | Tondo di Santa Barbara

Francisco Goya (Spanish Rococo Era/Romantic painter, 1746-1828) | Alegoria del Comercio | Madrid, Museo del Prado

Francisco Goya (Spanish Rococo Era/Romantic painter, 1746-1828) | Alegoría de la Agricultura | Madrid, Museo del Prado

Frans Hals (Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1582-1666) | Brustbild eines lachenden Knaben mit Weinglas

Frans Hals (Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1582-1666) | Brustbild eines lachenden Knaben mit Flöte

Lavinia Fontana (Italian Mannerist painter, 1552-1614) | Self-Portrait in a Tondo

Francesco Granacci (Italian High Renaissance painter, 1469-1543) | Adoration of the Christ Child, 1500

Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian Early Renaissance painter, 1406-1469) | Madonna with the Child and Scenes from the Life of St. Anne

Fra Bartolommeo [Italian High Renaissance painter, 1472-1517) | The Madonna and Child tondo

Bartolomeo di Giovanni (Italian Early Renaissance painter, active 1475-1511) | The Madonna and Infant, Saint John the Baptist Adoring the Christ Child

Bartolomeo Montagna (Italian Early Renaissance painter, 1450-1523) | Landscape with Castles

Il tondo (tondi al plurale) è un'opera d'arte, costituita da un bassorilievo o da un dipinto, realizzato su un supporto di formato rotondo o all'interno di un disco, e non in un rettangolo come formato più comune.
Il termine deriva dall'aferesi della parola rotondo.

Dei tondi vennero creati fin dall'antichità, come testimoniato dal Tondo severiano, ma fu durante il Rinascimento che conobbero il culmine della loro popolarità, particolarmente ad opera dei pittori italiani che li reintrodussero, riscoprendo in particolare l'imago clipeata dell'antica Roma:
• l'Adorazione dei Magi detta Tondo Cook🎨 del Beato Angelico;
• la Madonna del Magnificat di Sandro Botticelli;
• la Madonna col Bambino e san Giovannino di Francesco Botticini;
• le Tondo Doni di Michelangelo.
• Il desco da parto, più utilitario (regalo per il primogenito), è dipinto su entrambe le facce.

  • Simbologia
Il cerchio, la sfera ed il disco simboleggiano l'idea di perfezione.

  • Impiego
Collocato sul soffitto, il "tondo" è spesso usato in associazione con tipi allegorici di pittura chiamati Apoteosi, che servono a deificare i potenti rappresentandoli nell'aria. Queste sono quindi decorazioni del soffitto, come degli affreschi, e non più tavole rotonde.
Queste forme e supporti (in legno) vennero ampiamente utilizzati nel Rinascimento italiano per il "desco da parto", offerti alla madre in occasione della nascita del suo primogenito.
Vennero dipinti da grandi pittori su entrambi i lati, usando temi mitologici, simbolici, religiosi o laici. | © Wikipedia

Angelica Kauffmann (Swiss Neoclassical painter, 1741-1807)

Angelica Kauffmann (Swiss Neoclassical painter, 1741-1807)

Annibale Carracci (Italian Baroque Era painter, 1560-1609) | Rest on Flight into Egypt

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Spanish Baroque Era painter, ca.1617-1682) | La Sagrada Familia com San Juanito