The entrance of the Duchess Dorotea to Parma
Inscribed by the artist "I. Carozza della Seren Dorotea / 2. Carozze di seguito con ... .ali / cavalieri e gives / 3. Prima Guardia con Trombeti e Timpani / 4. Distesa deli Alemani nela / strada Maestra di S. Michele / 5. Corpo di Guardia nela piazza / 6. Guardia delli irlandesi and Labardiere che mancano al "," Mancano who acc ... "and numbered from" 1 "to" 6 "
Bibliography: Nicolas Schwed, Old Drawings, Paris 2016, n. 14: The entrance of the Duchess Dorotea to Parma.
This drawing depicts the procession organized for the wedding of Elisabetta's mother Countess Palatine Dorotea Sofia of Neuberg (1670-1748), the daughter of Philip William, Elector Palatine, with Odoardo Farnese. The procession leaves the church of San Michele dell'Arco1 in Parma, following Via Maestra di San Michele (Via della Repubblica) to the Bondani Palace in Piazza Grande (Piazza Garibaldi). Spolverini added a caption in the lower part of the sheet identifying each part of the composition.
The marriage was agreed between Ranuccio IV, the father of Odoardo and Duke of Parma, and Philip William on January 15, 1690. The proxy ceremony took place on April 3 in Neuberg and on April 26, Dorotea, followed by a long suite, arrived in a private way in Parma. Dorotea's wedding celebrations lasted ten days and were probably as sumptuous as those of his daughter2. The official entrance to the city, shown in this drawing, took place on March 17, the same day as the official wedding in the Duomo. Many plays, music and ballets took place during these ten days and the whole city was decorated by Ferdinando Galli Bibiena (1657-1643). As for Elisabetta twenty-four years later, the account of Dorotea's journey and the subsequent celebrations was published3 inextenso. The couple gave birth to two children, but in August 1693 their son died. A month later, it was Odoardo's turn, even before he could take power and was twenty-seven years old. Francesco, the half-brother of Odoardo, succeeded Duke Ranuccio IV in 1696 and, in order not to lose the dowry, married Dorotea the same year. The couple did not have children.
The present drawing, realized on the spot like the two previous sheets, is the only representation of the festivities4 of Dorotea's wedding. Spolverini probably made other drawings of the celebrations but, unlike Elisabetta's wedding, none was transferred to canvas, perhaps because of Odoardo's early death. This sheet is probably the first order of the Farnese family in Spolverini - and perhaps was also the reason why Dorotea and Francesco commissioned two previous drawings and paintings celebrating Elisabetta's wedding. On August 31, 1692, Spolverini received from Ranuccio the official certificate of familiarity with the court of Parma and was named Painter of the court. This patent was renewed by Dorotea in 1732 when she was regent of the Duchy of Parma for her grandson Carlo di Borbone, son of Elisabetta.
Spolverini was the son of Pietro Mercanti, a minor painter from Parma who worked on the decoration of the city for the entrance of Margherita Violante di Savoia in 1660 when he married Ranuccio II. The first mention of Spolverini as a painter dates from 1677, when he received 225 lire for the realization of coats of arms for the Steccata. He specialized in battle painting, but also painted many copies of old masters for Farnese. His most important coma was the nineteen canvases for Elisabetta's wedding, painted from 1717 to 1722.
1 The same church as in the upper left corner of the drawing of the British Museum (Inv.Oo, 3.3, R. Arisi, Ilario Spolverini, Pittore di Battaglia e Cerimony, CatExpo, Piacenza, Palazzo Farnese, 1979, Disegni no. 1, Fig. 83).
2 L. Muratori in the Annali d'Italia published in 1690 described them as: "The most important thing is the opera in Musica fatte nel gran teatro, eel Giardino della Corte, seize the livree, straordinarie the macchine, i caroselli, i balli, the illuminazioni, i conviti ... Per aunt feast not s'incomodò poco what Sovrano, my certamente fece parlare assaissimo dell'animo suo grande, benchè alcuni vi trovassero dell'eccesso ".
G. Notari, Descritione delle feste fatte eseguire con reale magnificenza nella citta? di Parma, he wrote di maggio 1690: dal serenissimo signor dvca Ranvccio II for the nozze del serenissimo principle Odoardo Farnese svo primogenito, con la serenissima principessa Dorotea Sofia, palatina di Neobvrgo, Parma, 1690.
4 A large painting in the Palazzo del Commune in Parma of a Naumachie is described by Raphaella Arisi as an event of Dorotea's wedding celebrations, but it was painted around 1710 (Arisi 1979, 54, Fig. 56).
5 With a salary of 3450.16 read (Arisi, 1979, pp. 25 and 37).
6 Schedone, Lanfranco, Parmigianino, Sojaro etc. (Arisi, 1970, pp. 26-30).