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Author: Beatrice Keefe
Widely read as school texts, the comedies by the Roman dramatist Terence have come down to us in hundreds of medieval copies. Fourteen of the manuscripts produced between 800 and 1200 were given some kind of illustration. In this volume, Beatrice Radden Keefe explores the semiotics of the imagery found in the earliest illustrated Terence manuscripts, and its relationship to the iconography of comedy and theatre from antiquity. She examines six further manuscripts to show how later illustrators abandoned this imagery to varying degrees, finding new emphases and creating new layers of meaning. Illustrators of Terence, it is demonstrated here, brought a range of interests to illustrating the comedies, clarifying their narrative, incorporating social commentary and moralisation, and linking them with Christian allegorical traditions.
Imagination in Renaissance Art and Theory from Botticelli to Michelangelo
Did the Florentine philosopher Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) influence the art of his time? Art historians have been fiercely debating this question for decades. This book starts with Ficino’s views on the imagination as a faculty of the soul, and shows how these ideas were part of a long philosophical tradition and inspired fresh insights. This approach, combined with little known historical material, offers a new understanding of whether, how and why Ficino’s Platonic conceptions of the imagination may have been received in the art of the Italian Renaissance. The discussion explores Ficino’s possible influence on the work of Botticelli and Michelangelo, and examines the appropriation of Ficino’s ideas by early modern art theorists.
Carolingian, Byzantine and Romanesque Buildings (800–1200) as a Source for New All’Antica Architecture in Early Modern Europe (1400–1700)
In early modern times scholars and architects investigated age-old buildings in order to look for useful sources of inspiration. They too, occasionally misinterpreted younger buildings as proofs of majestic Roman or other ancient glory, such as the buildings of the Carolingian, Ottonian and Stauffer emperors. But even if the correct age of a certain building was known, buildings from c. 800–1200 were sometimes regarded as ‘Antique’ architecture, since the concept of ‘Antiquity’ was far more stretched than our modern periodisation allows. This was a Europe-wide phenomenon. The results are rather diverse in style, but they all share an intellectual and artistic strategy: a conscious revival of an ‘ancient’ architecture — whatever the date and origin of these models.

Contributors: Barbara Arciszewska, Lex Bosman, Ian Campbell, Eliana Carrara, Bianca de Divitiis, Krista De Jonge, Emanuela Ferretti, Emanuela Garofalo, Stefaan Grieten, Hubertus Günther, Stephan Hoppe, Sanne Maekelberg, Kristoffer Neville, Marco Rosario Nobile, Konrad Ottenheym, Stefano Piazza, and Richard Schofield.
Author: Stephan Hoppe

Abstract

After the ecclesiastical councils of Constance (1414–18) and Basle (1431), the number of highly qualified counsellors in Germany began to increase. These counsellors were a class of politically influential personalities who had studied in Italy and had come into contact with the new movement of Renaissance humanism., They had gained influential positions in Imperial cities and at major princely courts, and some were involved in some highly innovative projects in the visual arts and architecture.

To date, secular architecture at German courts in the last quarter of the fifteenth century has seldom been considered from the perspective of an entanglement with modern ideas of the new culture of humanism and the Renaissance. In this essay, three courtly centres in the south of the Holy Roman Empire are examined for stylistic innovations that can no longer be explained within the framework of traditional Gothic craftsmanship.

The new interest of humanistic circles in the architectural style of the Romanesque period, and its assumed links to ancient history, sparked here the construction of a new type of residential palace in a new architectural style. The new monumental style was thus a suitable catalyst for the taking-on of a more active role of princely government and for a new orientation towards ancient cultural and political models.

In Burghausen, Salzburg and Passau, these new princely castles from the period between 1480 and 1500 are still well preserved. They are introduced in the essay as representatives of a new architectural style programmatically oriented towards the ancient origins of their territories. The essay also discusses ties to innovations in painting and the visual arts and the new historiographic narratives of the time.

In: Romanesque Renaissance

Abstract

In Venetian historiography of the Middle Ages and early modern period, the small cross-domed church S. Giacomo di Rialto in Venice, consecrated in 1177, was described as the eldest church in town, related to the early era of the city. This contribution concentrates on the reasons why this building exerted an unusually large influence in the late fifteenth and sixteenth century. After an introduction on the diffusion of the crossed-dome church structure in the Middle Ages and early modern times in Venice, it offers an analyse of Romano-Byzantine elements in Venetian Renaissance architecture. The legend of the foundation of Venice and of S. Giacomo di Rialto as the founding monument of Venice are crucial for a better understanding of its importance for fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Venetians. The crossed-dome church was regarded as an antique building type of Greek or Eastern Roman origin. References to Byzantine building traditions underpinned the historic relationship of Venice with Constantinople, which in the late medieval and early modern era was presented as a basis for her independence, from Rome and others.

In: Romanesque Renaissance

Abstract

S. Michele in Isola is usually seen as the first all’antica Venetian church of the Quattrocento: but how innovative is it with respect to Venetian medieval and early Quattrocento architectural and decorative practices? The Codussian nave in fact replicates the layout of the pre-existing medieval church (to which the architect added the atrium) but it seems almost certain that Codussi also retained at least the plan, and possibly part of the elevation, of the presbytery of the old church with its three apsidal ends in typical North Adriatic medieval fashion. The architecture of the elevations owed practically everything to Venetian architectural medieval and renaissance styles: the often repeated hypothesis that the facade of the church has much, if anything to do with Alberti’s S. Francesco at Rimini, is here rejected and much more likely local sources are proposed, above all S. Marco. One of the most obvious characteristics of the church is its heterogeneity in terms of structure and architectural style. Codussi was not the architect in the sense that he evolved a single coherent plan for the interior and exterior; rather he was the supervising capomastro of a team of sculptors and stonemasons who used different styles; only in this way can one understand the mismatches of style and structure between the presbytery, nave, the barco and the S. Sacramento and the Boldù chapels. Almost all the decorative and architectural forms derive from medieval and renaissance sources at least as old as S. Marco and stretching up to the 1460’s.

In: Romanesque Renaissance

Abstract

The essay aims at address how the medieval building of the baptistery in Florence had been perceived during the years of the reign of Cosimo I and Francesco I. Thanks to extensive documentation, both printed and handwritten, the authors’ essay tries to show how Vincenzio Borghini's thesis about the identification of the Battistero with the ancient Temple of Mars was essential in the Medici's political ideology that emphasized the foundation of Florentia as a Roman colony in the perspective of a direct derivation from the Urbe aimed at providing legitimation by the Papacy to the Medici family.

In: Romanesque Renaissance
Author: Stefano Piazza

Abstract

La dominazione normanna in Sicilia (XI e XII secolo) costituisce di certo un momento cruciale per la storia dell’isola, del tutto preponderante per il peso assunto nella memoria culturale, ideologia e politica successiva, in virtù del fatto che la dinastia degli Hauteville (italianizzato in Altavilla) avevano assunto il ruolo di “padri fondatori”, dopo i secoli della dominazione musulmana, di un regno monarchico, cristiano e indipendente, dando origine anche all’ossatura socio-economica della Sicilia basata sulla nobiltà feudale.

Il contributo intende porre in luce come la loro memoria storica assunse un ruolo non trascurabile nel progressivo avvento, durante la prima età moderna, della cultura classicista in Sicilia. Ne abbiamo chiara testimonianza innanzi tutto, tra la fine del XVI e gli inizi del XVII secolo, nella imitazione fedele, per le sepolture di esponenti di rilievo della nobiltà terriera, dei celebri sarcofaghi normanni, fatti realizzare in porfido rosso da Rugero II a imitazione di modelli romani. L’idea che la colonna fosse il principale ‘adornamento’ dell’architettura, espressa con chiarezza da Leon Battista Alberti, trovò poi una ulteriore legittimazione nei prestigiosi edifici religiosi lasciati dai monarchi normanni, conducendo a delle scelte pressoché definitive per gli sviluppi dell’architettura chiesastica siciliana, sia nelle basiliche a tre navate che nel rilancio cinquecentesco dei impianti centrici a quincunx, sul modello delle chiese del XII secolo, come quelle palermitane di San Teodoro e, soprattutto, di Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, commissionata da Giorgio d’Antiochia, ammiraglio di Ruggero I d’Hauteville.

In: Romanesque Renaissance

Abstract

Il tema della costruzione della cupola a fini funerari nel Cinquecento siciliano si presta alla verifica dell’esistenza di real intenzioni neo-medievali. Il saggio svela il protagonismo di alcuni maestri (in particolare Antonio Belguardo) nella definizione delle strutture, e il profilo di alcuni committenti. Le scelte attuate sembrano frutto di emulazioni tra aristocratici e del lento tentativo di affrancarsi dai modelli locali. Il tema quindi appare incrociare esigenze costruttive (legate all’uso della pietra a vista) con ricerche e con reinterpretazioni di forme ‘antiche’ non legate al passato classico.

In: Romanesque Renaissance

Abstract

‘Romanesque’ elements, such as voluntarily rough-looking pillars and vaulting, were used in the architecture of the early modern nobility in the Southern Low Countries to suggest ancientness. This working hypothesis needs to be tested more widely across the different lands of the Habsburg federation, when a more thorough archaeological examination, not hampered by set views on the evolution of the castle, will be available for a greater number of cases. One particular component of twelfth-century architecture, the keep, shows up again in the architecture of the duchy of Brabant during the fifteenth century and serves as a source of inspiration for a new type of hunting pavilion in the seventeenth century. The square tower with square corner turrets is pioneered by Charles III of Croÿ, duke of Aarschot, in his renovation campaigns at Rotselaar en Bierbeek (1601–1604), and subsequently serves as model for the extension of Mary of Hungary’s Mariemont under Albrecht of Habsburg and Isabella of Spain (1618–1621). It then becomes popular with the Netherlandish nobility elevated to baronial rank by Philip IV.

In: Romanesque Renaissance