Jacopo Strada and Cultural Patronage at The Imperial Court (2 Vols.) 

The Antique as Innovation


In Jacopo Strada and Cultural Patronage at the Imperial Court: Antiquity as Innovation, Dirk Jansen provides a survey of the life and career of the antiquary, architect, and courtier Jacopo Strada (Mantua 1515–Vienna 1588). His manifold activities — also as a publisher and as an agent and artistic and scholarly advisor of powerful patrons such as Hans Jakob Fugger, the Duke of Bavaria and the Emperors Ferdinand I and Maximilian II — are examined in detail, and studied within the context of the cosmopolitan learned and courtly environments in which he moved. These volumes offer a substantial reassessment of Strada’s importance as an agent of change, transmitting the ideas and artistic language of the Italian Renaissance to the North.
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Dirk Jacob Jansen, Ph.D. (Leiden 2015), Gotha Research Centre at the University of Erfurt, has been an academic librarian and curator. His published research focuses on sixteenth-century architecture, antiquarianism and collecting in courtly contexts, and includes several articles on the life and career of Jacopo Strada.
“A beautiful book that will certainly become the definitive biography of this intriguing Italian.”
Howard Louthan, University of Minnesota. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (Summer 2021), pp. 626–628.

“Jansen has successfully demonstrated Strada’s importance in the cultural transfer from Italy to the North. In the process he has assigned him a unique role as an “agent of change” in the cultural history of the second half of the 16th century.”
Sylvia Ferino, Director Emerita of Paintings at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. In: The Art Newspaper, 13 July 2020.

A “phenomenal performance” […]. “The immense effort with which Jansen deals with many questions makes the book a work worth returning to repeatedly […]. The book under review should not be missing from the library of any scholar interested in 16th-century Central European cultural history.”
Sylva Dobalová & Petr Uličný, Institute of Art History Czech Academy of Sciences. In: Umění/Art: Journal of the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vol. 69, No. 1 (2021), pp. 112–116.

“Das Buch Dirk Jacob Jansens über die schöpferischen Aktivitäten des Architekten und Antiquars Jacopo Strada stellt durch seine Auffassung, heuristische Reichweite und die Erkenntnisse einen grundlegenden wissenschaftlichen Beitrag zur Kulturgeschichte Zentraleuropas im dritten Viertel des 16. Jahrhunderts dar.“
Václav Bůžek, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. In: Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Vol. 128, No. 2 (2020), pp. 455–457.


Introduction | The Image – Or from Whom (Not?)
to Buy a Second-Hand Car
0.1 The portraits of Jacopo and Ottavio Strada
0.2 Why are these portraits so special?
0.3 Motions of the mind
0.4 What is known about Strada: early notices
0.5 Quellenkunde: some sources published and interpreted in
the nineteenth century
0.6 Kulturgeschichte before World War II
0.7 Romance: Josef Svaték and the Rudolfine legend
0.8 A (very) modest place in the history of classical scholarship
0.9 Contemporary scholarship
0.10 What has not been written about Jacopo Strada
0.11 Weaving the strands together: the purpose of this study

I | ‘A Puero Enutritum et iam Olim Exercitatum’: Education and Early Experience

1 | Early Years: Family Background, Education, Giulio Romano
1.1 Family background
1.2 Mantua and the Gonzaga
1.3 Formal education
1.4 Artistic training
1.5 Giulio’s collections
1.6 Early training as a goldsmith?
1.7 Significance of his Mantuan background for Strada’s development

2 | Travel: Rome, Landshut, Nuremberg and Strada’s
Relationship with Wenzel Jamnitzer
2.1 Early travels
2.2 Residence in Germany
2.3 The Landshut hypothesis
2.4 Romance in Franconia: Strada’s marriage and his settling in
2.5 Strada and Wenzel Jamnitzer

3 |
In Hans Jakob Fugger’s Service
3.1 Hans Jakob Fugger
3.2 Fugger as a patron and collector
3.3 Fugger’s employment of Strada
3.4 Architectural patronage for the Fugger Family: the Donauwörth Studiolo
3.5 Strada’s trips to Lyon
3.6 Strada’s contacts in Lyon: Sebastiano Serlio
3.7 Civis Romanus: Strada’s sojourn in Rome
3.8 Commissions and purchases: the genesis of Strada’s Musaeum
3.9 Departure from Rome

4 | ‘Antiquario della Sacra Cesarea Maestà’:
Strada’s Tasks at Court
4.1 Looking for patronage: Strada’s arrival at the Imperial court
4.2 The controversy with Wolfgang Lazius
4.3 ‘Obwol Ir.Maj. den Strada selbst dier Zeit wol zu geprauchen’:
Strada’s tasks at court
4.4 Indirect sources throwing light on Strada’s employment at court
4.5 Conclusion

II | ‘Ainem Paumaister bey unnsern Gebewen’:
Jacopo Strada as an Imperial Architect

5 | Jacopo Strada as an Imperial Architect: Background
5.1 Introduction: the Austrian Habsburg as patrons of architecture
5.2 The Prince as architect: Ferdinand I and Maximilian II as amateurs and patrons of architecture
5.3 ‘Adeste Musae’: Maximilian’s hunting lodge and garden in the Prater
5.4 The Imperial residence: status quo at Strada’s arrival
5.5 The architectural infrastructure at the Imperial court: available talent
5.6 Strada’s competence as an architect

6 | Strada’s Role in Projects Initiated by Emperor Ferdinand I
6.1 The Hofspital
6.2 The Tomb of Maximilian I in Innsbruck
6.3 Interior decoration
6.4 The Tanzhaus
6.5 The Stallburg

7 |
An Object Lesson: Strada’s House in Vienna

8 | The Munich Antiquarium
8.1 The commission
8.2 The design of 1568
8.3 The concept
8.4 Strada’s project: the drawings
8.5 Strada’s project: the building
8.6 The interior elevation
8.7 The exterior elevation and its models
8.8 Conclusion: Strada’s role in the creation of the Antiquarium

9 | The Neugebäude
9.1 The tomb of Ferdinand I and Anna in Prague; Licinio’s paintings
in Pressburg
9.2 Kaiserebersdorf and Katterburg
9.3 Sobriety versus conspicuous consumption
9.4 Hans Jakob Fugger’s letter
9.5 Description of the complex
9.6 The personal involvement of Emperor Maximilian II
9.7 Ottoman influence?
9.8 Classical sources: Roman Castrametatio and the fortified palace
of Diocletian at Split
9.9 Classical sources: monuments of ancient Rome
9.10 Contemporary Italian architecture
9.12 Strada’s contribution
9.12 Conclusion: Strada’s role in the design of the Neugebäude

10 | Other Patrons of Architecture
10.1 The courtyard of the Landhaus in Graz
10.2 The residence for Archduke Ernest
10.3 Other patrons: Vilém z Rožmberka
10.4 Jan Šembera Černohorský z Boskovic and Bučovice Castle in Moravia
10.5 Christoph von Teuffenbach: the house in Vienna and the castle
at Drnholec
10.6 Reichard Strein von Schwarzenau and the Castle at Schwarzenau
10.7 Conclusion

The Musaeum

11 | The Musaeum: Strada’s Circle
11.1 Strada’s house
11.2 High-ranking visitors: Strada’s guest book and Ottavio’s Stammbuch
11.3 ‘Urbanissime Strada’: accessibility of and hospitality in the Musaeum
11.4 Intellectual associates
11.5 Strada’s confessional position
11.6 Contacts with members of the dynasty

12 | The Musaeum: its Contents
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Strada’s own descriptions of his Musaeum
12.3 Strada’s acquisitions for Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria
12.4 Strada’s own cabinet of antiquities
12.5 Acquisitions of other materials in Venice
12.6 Commissions in Mantua
12.7 ‘Lustigen Tiecher’: contemporary painting in Strada’s Musaeum
12.8 Conclusion

13 Books, Prints and Drawings: The Musaeum as a centre
of visual documentation
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Strada’s acquisition of drawings
13.3 ‘Owls to Athens’: some documents relating to Strada’s graphic
13.4 The contents of Strada’s collection of print and drawings
13.5 Later fate of Strada’s prints and drawings
13.6 Drawings preserved in a context linking them to Strada
13.7 Strada’s commissions of visual documentation: Antiquity
13.8 Strada’s commissions of visual documentation: contemporary
architecture and decoration
13.9 Images as source of knowledge
13.10 Conclusion

14 ‘Ex Musaeo et Impensis Jacobi Stradae S.C.M. Antiquarius, Civis Romani’: Strada’s Frustrated Ambitions as a Publisher
14.1 Is there life beyond the court?
14.2 Strada’s family
14.3 Ottavio Strada’s role
14.4 The publishing project: Strada ambitions as a publisher
14.5 The Musaeum as an editorial office?
14.6 Financing the programme
14.7 The Index sive catalogus
14.8 Strada’s approach of Christophe Plantin
14.9 The rupture with Ottavio
14.10 Strada’s testamentary disposition
14.1 Conclusion: the aftermath

IV The Antiquary and the Agent of Change

15 ‘Le Cose dell’antichità’: Strada as a Student of Antiquity
15.1 Professsion: Antiquarius
15.2 Strada’s qualities as an antiquary
15.3 Strada’s method
15.4 Strada’s aims

16 Strada & Co: By Appointment to His Majesty the Emperor
16.1 Strada as an Imperial antiquary and architect
16.2 Strada’s role as an agent
16.3 Strada as an independent agent
16.4 ‘Ex Musaeo Jacobi de Strada’: study, studio, workshop, office,
16.5 Strada’s influence: an agent of change
16.6 Conclusion: Strada’s personality
16.7 Epilogue: back to the portrait


1 List of abbreviations
2 Chronological list of sources
2 Appendices
A: Some unpublished letters
B: Strada’s will
C: Strada’s Musaeum: ‘Pleasant paintings’
D: Strada’s Musaeum: The Index sive Catalogus
4 Bibliography
5 List of illustrations


All interested in Austrian and Italian Renaissance archtecture, art and antiques trade, court life, and the transmission of ideas to North and Central Europe.
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