Chapter 4 The Reception of Horace in the Visual Arts, 15th Century until ca. 1840: A First Exploration

In: Horace across the Media
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Karl A.E. Enenkel
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So far, in book-length studies and overviews devoted to the reception of Horace, the visual arts have largely been neglected.1 The statement in the lemma on Horace in The Classical Tradition may serve as a paradigm for the present state of scholarship:

Horace’s influence on Western Culture has been so predominantly linguistic, textual, and moral in character that visual traces of his influence are very scarce indeed: a handful of ficticious portraits […]; a monumental statue of the poet in the Piazza Orazio of his hometown of Venosa […]; a […] villa […]; a crater (characteristically, modestly sized) on the planet Mercury that bears his name.2

The visual ‘traces’ of Horace listed by The Classical Tradition are poor, and partly not even relevant for the early modern period: The statue in Venosa is a product of modern culture (made by Achille d’Orsi in 1898); the property near Licenza was excavated only in the 20th century, and the crater on the planet Mercury was of course unknown until recently. Unlike Virgil,3 Ovid, and Livy, Horace’s reception in the visual arts has remained understudied. The reception of Ovid’s Metamorphoses has gained much attention, especially in the last decades;4 recently, we have dedicated a volume to the pictorial transformations of the Metamorphoses in various media, 1400–1800.5 For the Metamorphoses, we even have an iconographical repertorium,6 and, there is a study by J.B. Trapp on Ovid’s author’s portraits in the Renaissance.7 We have no studies like this on the reception of Horace in the visual arts. What Ernst Zinn remarked in 1961, in the Festschrift for Hildebrecht Hommel, is still true: ‘Man kommt bei solcher Gelegenheit schnell genug zu spüren, wie unerschlossen die ganze ikonographische Seite der Wirkungsgeschichte des Horaz noch ist. Anders als im Fall des Epos und der Historie (Vergil, Ovid, Livius) gilt, so scheint es, der “Lyriker” auch der Kunstgeschichte unbesehen als unergiebig für die bildliche Tradition’.8 There are only a few exceptions, and they are related to a small part of the vast material, either to Vaenius’s Emblemata Horatiana or to singular works of art, such as Ernst Zinn’s “Zu Philipp Hackerts Landschaft mit dem Knaben Horaz”, or singular artists, such as the same painter’s Zehn Aussichten aus dem Landhause des Horaz.9 However, it is certainly not the case that Horace is ‘unergiebig’, unrewarding or insignificant with respect to his reception in the visual arts. I found in a first exploration more than 500 visual representations of either the poet himself or his poems or the places where he lived. Among them are oil paintings, frescoes, guaches, manuscript illuminations, medallions, busts, statues and imaginary statues, woodcut illustrations, landscapes, seascapes, and townscapes in engravings, etchings, drawings etc. Because of this situation, it seemed necessary for a volume which is dedicated to Horace Across the Media, to offer a first exploration into the rich and manifold material of visual representations.

1 Constructions of Authorship through Horace’s Portrait

A first category of the reception of Horace in the visual arts regards his portrait as a classical author, which appears in illuminated manuscripts and printed editions of his work, on title pages and frontispieces, or on Parnassus inventions which offer canonizations of the most important poets, and furthermore as a separate portrait on medallions, on plaquettes, or in the form of bronze sculptures, busts from stone, and imaginary sculptures and imaginary grave monuments or monuments of honour. Furthermore, Horace appears in collections of portraits of viri illustres or famous men, of ancient poets and authors that were produced from the 15th century on but flourished especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, e.g. in André Thevet’s Les Vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes illustres,10 Theodor Galle’s Illustrium imagines,11 or Giovanni Pietro Bellorio’s Veterum philosophorum, poetarum, rhetorum et oratorum imagines.12 Series of portraits (sometimes equipped with epigrams or short biographies) were considered to be of the highest importance in the Renaissance because they functioned as a kind of hall of fame: printed monuments that were erected to safeguard eternal memory for the works and deeds of great men.13 Author’s portraits are of great interest for all kinds of questions regarding their reception; in the late Middle Ages and in early modern times, it was a category of paratexts that was pivotal for the negotiation and creation of authorship.14 Engraved frontispieces from the 17th and 18th centuries usually offer more complex inventions that contain important information on the various ways a (classical) author was construed.15 In all the above-mentioned medial manifestations and different forms, the image of Horace appears quite often in the period 1400–1800. For Horace’s portraits in this period, the criterium of interest is not whether or not they are realistic. As is the case with authors of antiquity, no authentic portrait of Horace has been transmitted, even if a late antique contorniate medallion with his head did turn up.16 What is of more interest is the question of what kind of authorship was construed in his various portraits.

1.1 Typological Horace: Philosopher, Prophet, Professor, Scholar-Poet, Sacred Poet

In the 15th and early 16th century, Horace was rendered in a number of different ways: sometimes as an old or middle-aged man with a long beard, sometimes bald, sometimes with long hair, sometimes as a middle-aged man without a beard but with long hair, sometimes wearing the laurel wreath and sometimes not; sometimes he is dressed as a person from antiquity, sometimes as a modern scholar or a humanist from the 15th or early 16th century.

The iconographic and semantic complexity of his portrait comes immediately to the fore in Hartmann Schedel’s Weltchronik, which was produced in Nuremberg from 1487 on and appeared the first time in 1493. In the original Latin edition (1493) Horace is depicted as an old man with a long beard, dressed in a kind of ancient cloak [Fig. 4.1A]. Importantly, this is a typological portrait, not an individual one. As is generally known, in the Weltchronik certain types of images are repeated,17 and this goes for Horace too. Although this method of portrayal had been motivated also by economical reasons, it deserves attention because it helps us to understand the semantic significance of singular attributions.

Figure 4.1A
Figure 4.1A

Michael Wolgemut/Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, Horace’s portrait from the first Latin edition of Hartmann Schedel, Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger: 1493), fol. XCIIv. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – Rar. 287; https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb00034024?page=258,259

What connotations does the type of Horace’s image presented in the first edition have? It was also used for Greek philosophers, e.g. Empedocles [Fig. 4.1B], and for prophets, e.g. Tobias [Fig. 4.1C]. In the Latin text, ‘Horacius Flaccus’ is called a ‘poeta’, but the image connotes simultaneously a wise man from antiquity and a prophet. Greek and Latin poets, such as Horace, were regarded as auctoritates for philosophical, especially ethical wisdom. In a 14th-century Italian manuscript with the Satires Horace is depicted in similar way, with a long grey beard [Fig. 4.1D]. Actually, Schedel’s Latin text contains information that suits very well the image’s connotation of “philosopher”: it says that Horace travelled to Athens in order to study, and that there he became ‘doctissimus’ (‘very learned’). Already in antiquity studying in Athens had the connotation of getting an education in philosophy. Among Horace’s works, Schedel mentions the ‘Epistolae’, i.e. his moral philosophy, and his theoretical work on poetry, which he calls ‘poetriam’.18

Figure 4.1B
Figure 4.1B

Michael Wolgemut/Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, Empedocles. From: Hartmann Schedel, Buoch der Chroniken, German translation of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger: 1493), fol. LXXIr https://www.e-rara.ch/bau_1/content/zoom/20856148 – public domain

Figure 4.1C
Figure 4.1C

Michael Wolgemut/Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, the prophet Tobias. From: Hartmann Schedel, Buoch der Chroniken, German translation of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger: 1493), fol. LIIIv. https://www.e-rara.ch/bau_1/content/zoom/20856148 – public domain

Figure 4.1D
Figure 4.1D

Author’s portrait in a 14th-century Italian manuscript in the Q-initial of the incipit of the Satires

However, in the German version of the Weltchronik, Horace is portrayed in a different way, beardless and dressed in contemporary clothes – in the robe of a humanist, a scholar, or a university professor [Fig. 4.1E]. One aspect is that in this way Horace comes closer to contemporary intellectuals, humanists and university professors. The German text – that Horace ‘wardt […] zu athenis der hohgelertist’ – also could be understood in the sense that he became a university professor there. A university professor is eo ipso a teacher: in the image this is indicated by the “teaching finger” [Fig. 4.1E–H]. And indeed, the German text says that Horace earned a lot of money ‘mit seinen guoten leren’. Also, humanists are represented like this in the Weltchronik even if they had never held a position as a university professor, such as Poggio Bracciolini [Fig. 4.1H].19 But of course, a philosopher also may act as a teacher, and as a prophet who teaches his fellow man the future: So, it is no surprise that the same portrait is used in the Weltchronik for the philosopher Democritus (fol. LXXv) and the prophet Naum (fol. LIIIv). Importantly, Greek and Roman poets, such as Homer, Virgil and Statius, were also conceived as teachers and professors [Fig. 4.1F–G]:20 they were imagined to teach e.g. history, mythology, or moral philosophy. The author’s portrait of Johann Grüninger’s edition presents Horace as late medieval university professor (1498) [Fig. 4.1I].21

Figure 4.1E
Figure 4.1E

Michael Wolgemut/Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, Horace. From: Hartmann Schedel, Buoch der Chroniken, German translation of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger: 1493), fol. XCIIv – https://www.e-rara.ch/bau_1/content/zoom/20856148 – public domain

Figure 4.1F
Figure 4.1F

Michael Wolgemut/Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, Homerus. From: Hartmann Schedel, Buoch der Chroniken, German translation of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger: 1493), fol. XXXXIIIr – https://www.e-rara.ch/bau_1/content/zoom/20856148 – public domain

Figure 4.1G
Figure 4.1G

Michael Wolgemut/Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, Statius. From: Hartmann Schedel, Buoch der Chroniken, German translation of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger: 1493), fol. CXr – https://www.e-rara.ch/bau_1/content/zoom/20856148 – public domain

Figure 4.1H
Figure 4.1H

Michael Wolgemut/Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, Poggio Bracciolini. From: Hartmann Schedel, Buoch der Chroniken, German translation of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger: 1493), fol. CCXLIIr – https://www.e-rara.ch/bau_1/content/zoom/20856148 – public domain

Figure 4.1I
Figure 4.1I

Horace as university professor. Frontispiece of Johann Grüninger’s Horace (Strasbourg: 1498). © Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel <http://diglib.hab.de/inkunabeln/21-1-poet-2f-1/start.htm>

The famous Florentine illuminator Attavante degli Attavanti painted in a manuscript from 1485–1487 an impressive author’s portrait of Horace in which he appears as a sacred poet with a powerful spiritual radiation that is reminiscent of prophets, saints, and even Jesus Christ [Fig. 4.1J].22 Like Attavante’s Christ in the Missale Romanum, his Horace has a blond beard and long blond hair.23 He depicted not only Jesus but also the majority of his Greek and Roman authors with long blond hair (e.g., Ammianus Marcellinus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus).24 But most importantly, Attavante gave his Horace a kind of prophetic (and slightly suffering) expression, like, for example, that of Masaccio’s Christ in the Branacci Chapel (1423/5) [Fig. 4.1K] or a number of Attavante’s prophets, such his Ezekiel.25 As the open book indicates, Attavante’s Horace is delivering his poems, and the humanist reader is invited to receive them as prophecies. In the left margin, directly next to Horace’s portrait, a deer is depicted – it is probably meant to testify to the poet’s Christian-like devotion and moral sincerity, which is also addressed in other illuminations such as the following one.26

Figure 4.1J
Figure 4.1J

Attavante degli Attavanti, author’s portrait of Horace with laurel wreath, ca. 1485. Csapodi – Csapodi-Gárdoni, Bibliotheca Corviniana

Figure 4.1K
Figure 4.1K

Jesus Christ by Masaccio, The Tribute Money, 1413–1425. Fresco in the Branacci Chapel, Florence. Public domain

The author’s portrait of a 15th-century Italian manuscript with the Odes [Fig. 4.1L] accompanies the programmatic Ode I, 1, in which Horace expresses his claim of being a lyrical poet in emotional, almost religious terms: If the Muses and Maecenas accept him as such, he would have the feeling ‘of reaching the stars’ or ‘being one of the gods’.27 The author’s portrait translates this religious claim into a visual image: Horace appears as a sacred poet on his way to heaven/the Parnassus/Helicon, adorned with the poet’s wreath (probably from laurel)28 and demonstratively holding the lyre in his right hand as he is solemnly stepping up to the hilltop. The image of the “steep path” is a Christian one: it symbolizes the Christian’s way to heaven. In the case of Horace’s Ode I, 1, heaven is an amalgam of the Christian heaven with the mountain of the Muses (Helicon). The well at its foot may represent the well of the Muses; nevertheless, it is above all part of Christian symbolism: In the vicinity of the well a deer is depicted. The image refers to Psalm 42, 1: ‘As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God’. The deer symbolizes the soul of the Christian longing for God, and God alone is his well of life. In this construction of authorship, Horace’s claim of being a lyrical poet is blended with Christian spirituality, the ascension of the soul to God. As is the case with this 15th-century manuscript, many other early modern constructions of Horace’s authorship emphasize the lyrical poet, for example the one by Strasbourg publisher Johann Grüninger and commentator Jakob Locher in their illustrated edition of Horace (for this aspect, see below, sections 1.2 and 3.1).

Figure 4.1L
Figure 4.1L

Author’s portrait of Horace as sacred poet (ad Odes I, 1, Vat. Lat. 3173)

In two author’s portraits to the Venetian edition by Donnino Pinzi (1505), illustrated by the woodcuts of Lucantonio degli Uberti, Horace appears as a university professor sitting on a cathedra [Fig. 4.1M and N].29 Because in both illustrations he wears the laurel wreath, he is presented in the combination of sacred poet, scholar poet, and professor. On the frontispiece illustration he is surrounded by his commentators Porphyrio, Landino, Acron, and Mancinelli (from left to right), who are rendered as university scholars too, sitting at their writing desks and apparently eagerly annotating what professor Horace is reciting [Fig. 4.1M]. All four wear the gown of late medieval university scholars. This is a realistic detail with respect to Cristoforo Landino (1424–1498) and Antonio Mancinelli (1451–1505) both of whom were professors,30 but it is anachronistic with respect to the ancient commentators Helenius Acron and Pomponius Porphyrio (both from the 3rd century AD).31

Figure 4.1M
Figure 4.1M

Author’s portrait of Horace together with his commentators. Title page of Horatii Flacci lyrici poetae opera cum quattuor commentariis et figuris additis (Venice, Donnino Pinzi: 1505). Woodcut by Lucantonio degli Uberti (here signed with an ‘L’ under the cathedra of Horace). Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – 2 A.lat.b. 208#Beibd.1; https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10140561?q=%28Horatii+Flacci%29&page=,1

Figure 4.1N
Figure 4.1N

Horace offers the second book of his Odes to Asinius Pollio. Woodcut illustration by Lucantonio degli Uberti (signed with monogram ‘L’ on Horace’s cathedra) to Odes II, 1, in ibidem, fol. 64v. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – 2 A.lat.b. 208#Beibd.1; https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10140561?q=%28Horatii+Flacci%29&page=,1

The inventio of the title page presents Horace’s poetry as topic of university lectures in the Artes faculty, in poetica or rhetorica. Actually, both humanist commentators lectured on Horace, and their comments go back to their courses. In the second author’s portrait (to Odes II, 1) Horace is depicted as if he had composed his lyrical poems at the writing desk of his professorial cathedra [Fig. 4.1N], which is depicted in front of a 15th-century building in the style of the Florentine Renaissance. Asinius Pollio is paying him a visit, and Horace offers him the second book of the Odes. Poetical production, inspiration, and practice likewise are here indissolubly connected with professorship, teaching, and learning. On the other hand, Horace’s sacred status is emphasized in the first woodcut after the title page (to Odes I, 1), which actually shows his coronation by Apollo (left) and the Muse of lyrical poetry (right), who together bestow the laurel wreath on the great lyricist [Fig. 4.1O].32 Horace is depicted at a moment of inspiration, seated in a sacred grove of laurel trees. It is hard to say who invented the image with the coronation, publisher Donnino Pinzi or illustrator Lucantonio degli Uberti, both of whom came originally from Florence. They may have been inspired by author’s portraits of Petrarch, whose coronation by Apollo or the Muses was depicted many times in the 15th century, in manuscripts and other media, in Florence but also in Northern Italy, and in Venetian editions too [Fig. 4.1P].33 It is relevant for the impact of this combination of the types of university professor, teacher, and sacred poet, that the portraits of Donnino Pinzi’s Horace were repeated in a number of Venetian editions until 1540.34

Figure 4.1O
Figure 4.1O

The author Horace coronated by Apollo and the Muse. Woodcut illustration by Lucantonio degli Uberti to Odes I, 1, in ibidem, fol. 2v. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – 2 A.lat.b. 208#Beibd.1; https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10140561?q=%28Horatii+Flacci%29&page=,1

Figure 4.1P
Figure 4.1P

Petrarch coronated poet laureate by Apollo. Author’s portrait to Petrarca, Canzoniere (Venice, Bernardino Stagnino: 1513), fol. 3v.

A part of the typological notions of Horace’s authorship discussed here is limited to the early portraits until the first decennia of the 16th century: This goes for his construction as university professor on a cathedra, philosopher, and prophet. Other notions will come back also in the following sections, e.g., the construction of Horace as poet laureate, sacred poet, priest of the Muses, prince of the lyrical poets, poeta doctus, and teacher of morals. It is noteworthy that the conception of Horace as sacred poet is not diminished in the 18th century, the age of Enlightenment, Rationality, Science, and Industrialization. One example may suffice to illustrate this aspect.

This is about an intriguing construction of Horace’s authorship which occurs on a plaquette of blue earthenware, made in Delft between 1750 and 1780 and kept in the Rijksmuseum.35 Horace in Delft’s blue presents himself as a sacred poet through his own words on the banderole: ‘EGO MUSARUM SACERDOS’ – ‘I AM THE PRIEST OF THE MUSES’ [Fig. 4.1Q]. It was expected that the viewer called to mind Odes III, 1: ‘Odi profanum vulgus et arceo. / Favete linguis: carmina non prius / Audita MUSARUM SACERDOS / Virginibus puerisque canto’ – ‘I hate the profane people and I keep them away. Listen to me: I teach new songs, unheard so far, to the maidens and young boys’.

Figure 4.1Q
Figure 4.1Q

Anonymous, Calliope with Horace’s author’s device ‘Ego Musarum sacerdos’. Plague in Delft’s blue, 39.5 × 28.5 cm, ca. 1750–1780. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam BK-NM-2959. http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.14373 – public domain

Although the medium of Delft’s blue earthenware may suggest other things, we have here a learned construction of Horace’s authorship that lifts his lyrical poetry of the third book of the Odes up to the highest level of poetry, and equals it with the epos [Fig. 4.1Q]: On the table lies the third book of the Odes together with Virgil’s Aeneid, Homer’s Odyssey, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Muse with the banderole is Calliope. The inventor of this image must have been well acquainted with Horace’s poems. The appearance of this Muse is meant here as a reference to the autobiographical Ode III, 4, which is a hymn to Calliope: ‘O queen Calliope, descend from heaven, / And play a lengthy melody on the flute, / Or, if you prefer, use your clear voice, / Or pluck at the strings of Apollo’s lute’.36 On the plaquette Calliope’s flute is depicted. In this hymn, Horace describes her as his personal patroness. At the same time, the appearance of Calliope refers to the Roman Odes in the third book: Horace himself claimed in the first verses of the introductory Odes III, 1 (as quoted above) that the following songs will be of an extraordinary level, higher than the one of the other odes, and that they will have a religious character.

1.2 The Coronation of Horace as Poet Laureate: Posthumous Staging of a Ritual

In many portraits from ca. 1450–1800, Horace is a bit anachronistically represented as a poet laureate. Actually, the institute of the poet’s laureatio (and the title of poeta laureatus) is of a more recent date: it was shaped by Francis Petrarch (from 1341 on) in Italy [cf. Fig. 4.1P] and gained increasing importance in the 15th and 16th centuries, especially in the German empire; it was frequently applied and developed by Frederick III and his successor Maximilian I, and the Electors, dukes, and other princes followed their example.37 This modern institution became so commonly accepted that it had the curious result that the poets from classical antiquity were posthumously hailed as poet laureates, and this happened to Horace too. Remarkably, a number of illustrations “document” the very act of coronation.

Johann Grüninger and Jakob Locher (1498) provided the first completely illustrated Horace (see below, section 3.1). It is one of the striking features of this work that it actually performs the coronation, in word and image: Surrounded by the “committee” of the Muses (all of them wearing the laurel wreath) Calliope performs the proper coronation [Fig. 4.2A].38 The ‘corona Musarum’ is construed as a corona of late medieval university professors with a presiding professor on a cathedra, as is suggested also by the inscription ‘kathedra Musarum’. This refers to the habitual university laureations in the 15th century. Part of this ceremony was a solemn speech, and the person who recited it was the presiding professor. In Grüninger’s and Locher’s committee of laureation the president is Calliope, and as one may expect of a Muse, she gives her speech in verses (cf. the title of the image: ‘Loquitur Calliope Horatium coronans’ – ‘Calliope is speaking at the coronation of Horace’). The poem was composed by the German humanist Jakob Locher, who himself had been coronated poet laureate just a year before, by Emperor Maximilian I. As the main argument of the speech, Locher emphasizes that Horace equals and even surpasses the major Greek lyric poets, such as Pindarus, Sappho, Alcaeus, and the Seven Wise Men. It is noteworthy that Locher (who did not master Greek) did not know poems by Pindarus, Sappho, or Alcaeus. His comparison aims in the first place to form identity: Horace is presented as ‘our poet’ opposite the Greek poets. Hailed as poet laureate, Horace turned into a powerful icon of humanist culture in Italy and other regions of Europe – an icon that shaped the humanists’ identity and self-consciousness, and represented an authoritative example for Neo-Latin authorship.39

Figure 4.2A
Figure 4.2A

The coronation of Horace with the laurel wreath by Calliope. From: Grüninger’s Horace (Strasbourg: 1498), fol. 2r. Detail. © Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel <http://diglib.hab.de/inkunabeln/21-1-poet-2f-1/start.htm>

The solemn ritual of the laureatio is always performed by one or more gods: Apollo, Minerva, Mercury, Euterpe, Calliope, Melpomene, Amor/Cupido, etc.: In Poussin’s engraving it is Amor [cf. below Fig. 4.5A]; in Picart’s frontispiece, the Muse of lyric poetry [cf. below Fig. 4.4D]; in the ones to Donnino Pinzi’s edition of 1505, Apollo together with the Muse of lyrical poetry [Fig. 4.1Q]; in Bentley’s edition, Apollo [Fig. 4.5B]; in a Utrecht edition published by Frans Halma and Willem van de Water in 1699 [Fig. 4.2B], Minerva; and in Grüninger’s Horace, the Muse Calliope [Fig. 4.2A].

More than once the act of coronation takes place without a living person but is directed to another type of visual representation: an imaginary bust on a pedestal viz. an imaginary monument of honour, an antique medallion (copied from the contorniate type HORA-TIUS 1, cf. below, section 1.3), or the like. In these cases, the coronation is conceived as a kind of ritual confirmation of what has become a matter of fact: that Horace’s fame is so enormous that the poet has turned into a monument. These conceptions make use of the special power of the graphic arts: They are able to depict the works of other arts, such as sculpture, architecture, coins etc., and thus create visual representations within visual representations. In these inventions, visual meta-representations of classical authors are applied as arguments for their everlasting fame and glory. In a similar type of meta-representation, the author’s name and/or the title of his works (plus that one the editor/publisher) are depicted as epigraphical inscriptions on the pedestal of a monument [cf. below]. For example, the pedestal in the image of Benley’s Horace [cf. below, Fig. 4.5B] has the following inscription.

Q.

Horatius

Flaccus

Ex Recensione R. Bentleii

MDCCXIII.

Figure 4.2B
Figure 4.2B

The coronation of Horace with the laurel wreath by Apollo. Frontispiece to Henricus Wetstenius’s edition of Horace, with the comments by John Bond (Amsterdam: [ca. 1700]) – public domain

This type of inscription indicates that the present edition of Horace’s Works actually is the monument. Importantly, the editors and the publishers participate in this act of memorization: As Horace claimed to have erected with his poetry a ‘monumentum aere perennius’, so did the editors and publishers: Bentley proudly regarded his Horace as a monument of his philological excellence. The Dutch humanist Jan Rutgers (Janus Rutgersius, 1589–1625) made an edition of Horace in 1613.40 His lectures on Horace were posthumously edited by Petrus Burmannus and Nicolas Heinsius (Venusinae Lectiones ad Horatium libri IV, Amsterdam – Utrecht: 1699). In the frontispiece to this edition a pedestal is depicted [Fig. 4.2C], but this time there is no bust of Horace on it; rather, there is the present printed book itself. This figuration expresses that the book itself is the monument, i.e. the edition of Horace together with Rutgersius’s Lectiones Venusinae.

Figure 4.2C
Figure 4.2C

Horace coronated with the laurel wreath by Minerva. Frontispiece to the edition of his Latin works (Utrecht, Franciscus Halma – Guglielmus van de Water: 1699). – Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – A.lat.a. 320; https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10241287?page=6,7

1.3 Horace and the Horse: The Emergence of a Medallion in Rome, and Its Offspring of Fake Antiquities and New Portraits

Horace’s image represents a special case because in 16th-century Rome a bronze medallion (contorniate) turned up that had Horace’s head in profile (to the left) together with his name, and a palm branch behind him [Fig. 4.3A]. The important antiquarian scholar, collector of antiquities, and papal librarian Fulvio Orsini (1529–1600) had it copied and kept the drawing in his library.41 Although Orsini was famous for his antiquities and although he was part of a wide network of intellectuals, the Horace of the contorniate did not immediately become common knowledge. Only at the very end of the 16th century, when Theodor Galle published the antique portraits of Orsini’s collection in his Illustrium imagines ex antiquis marmoribus, nomismatibus et gemmis expressae quae extant Romae, maior pars apud Fulvium Ursinum (1598), did this situation change. Theodor Galle regarded the contorniate portrait he found in Orsini’s papers as authentic, and he was eager to incorporate it into his collection. In the caption to his engraved portrait of Horace he reported precisely what its source was: ‘apud Fulvium Ursinum in schedis, ex nomismate aereo’, thus a copy on paper (drawing) made after a ‘bronze medallion’ [Fig. 4.3B].

Figure 4.3A
Figure 4.3A

Contorniate with Horace’s portrait. Fake antique medallion made for the d’Este family (see the d’Este eagle under the palm branch). https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b11343892n/f1.item#

Figure 4.3B
Figure 4.3B

Horace, “Orsini”-portrait, engraved by Theodor Galle, Illustrium imagines ex antiquis marmoribus, nomismatibus et gemmis expressae quae extant Romae maior pars apud Fulvium Ursinum (Antwerp, officina Plantiniana: 1598), no. 73. – Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – Res/4 Arch. 210 r#Beibd.1; https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10873252?page=146,147

From the features of ‘Horace’s’ face, the inscription HORA-TIUS, details of the toga, and the position of the palm branch, it appears that this bronze medallion must have been one of the type Horatius I, Alföldy no. 101, which bears the name of the racing horse BALSAMIUS on its reverse [Fig. 4.3C].42 Because exactly this type suffers from many fake medallions (six of nine known specimens are forgeries or early modern fabrications) it is hard to say whether Orsini’s drawing was made from an antique original or a modern moulding. Modern mouldings were made especially for the d’Este family, and they bear the d’Este eagle on the obverse [Fig. 4.3D]. The Alföldy catalogue reports that of the type Horatius I, the no. 101, and nos. 101.4–9 have the d’Este eagle, and were therefore made in early modern times; moreover, they all stem from the same original which once must have entered the d’Este collection.43 But of course, this is no guarantee that this original was antique. In this way, the market of Roman medallions was full of modern copies and forgeries. In some cases, the d’Este eagle was erased, in order to make the medallion look antique [Fig. 4.3E]. Alföldy supposes that a certain d’Este contorniate with an erased eagle (‘getilgt’) was the original after which the other d’Este contorniates of the type HORA-TIUS I were fabricated.44

Figure 4.3C
Figure 4.3C

The Horse Balsamius with a groom: reverse of the type Horatius I, Alföldy no. 101. https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb449741697

Figure 4.3D
Figure 4.3D

Contorniate with a clear image of the d’Este eagle. Public domain

Figure 4.3E
Figure 4.3E

Fake Contorniate, obverse with Horace’s portrait, d’Este eagle erased (under the palm branch). Bibliothèque nationale de France 44974169. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b113438916/f1.item#

Although the majority of medallions of the type Horatius I (Alföldy no. 101) were modern copies or forgeries, the type did exist in antiquity. But even antique specimens did not stem from Horace’s times, nor did they provide an authentic portrait, as Alföldy correctly remarks:45 they are ‘ficticious portraits’ made in the second half of the 4th century AD.46

What was not mentioned in the early modern times when Horace’s portrait of the contorniate was presented is the reverse of the medallion: the racing horse BALSAMIUS [Fig. 4.3C]. One may understand that this was because it was not easy for 16th-century antiquarians to explain what Horace would have had to do with a racing horse. If the medallion was issued for the occasion of a horse race (e.g. in the context of public games), what was the function of a poet who died some 350 years ago? Could it be the poet indeed, if ‘HORA-TIUS’ is put in front of the cart together with BALSAMIUS? Is ‘HORA-TIUS’ coincidentally the name of a coachman? However, as appears from Andreas and Elizabeth Alföldi’s collection, late antique contorniates with the portraits of famous Greek and Roman writers were frequently combined with famous racing horses, for example the one with the playwright Terentius, who was put together with the victorious stallion BALSAMIUS as well,47 and Horace (again) with another stallion, TURRENTIUS.48 In the past there has been an exuberant discussion on the meaning of such contorniates, with all kinds of far-fetched suggestions. Andreas Alföldi has given a plausible explanation for the contorniates as manifestations of the pagan ideology of the 4th-century senatorial elite. The images on the contorniates stand for its central cultural and ideological values: classical Greek and Roman literature, classical mythology, Roman games, such as gladiatorial combats, and horse races.49 The portraits of classical writers should be compared to their appearance in series in official buildings, gymnasia, baths, or villas, in the form of busts, herms, statues, or floor mosaics.50 The contorniate medaillons were presents made by members of the senatorial elite, for example on the occasion of New Year celebrations.51

In the context of these cultural and ideological manifestations the victorious horse BALSAMIUS had the same value as the ‘classical’ poet Horace. They are united by the palm branch visible on the obverse, the Roman symbol of victory.52 Both the horse and Horace are presented here as symbols for the eternal victory of the Roman empire and its pagan culture. Interestingly, this was not understood by most early modern intellectuals who reused Horace’s portrait of the contorniates. Theodor Galle has done his best, but nevertheless the branch does not look like a palm branch anymore [Fig. 4.3B]. In other versions, the palm was transformed into a laurel branch [Fig. 4.3F], thus interpreted as the poet’s symbol. Actually, this happened at a very early stage, in 1584, when André Thevet published it in his monumental collection of True Portraits and Lives of Illustrious Men, consisting of 8 books and 150 biographies (Les Vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes illustres grecz, latins et payens, recueilliz de leurs tableaux, livres, médalles antiques et modernes, Paris, Widow I. Kervet – Guillaume Chaudière: 1584). In his Les Vrais pourtraits, Thevet plagiarized Fulvio Orsini’s publication of his collection of antique portraits of 1570,53 as has been demonstrated by Eugene Dwyer:54 He copied Orsini’s images and findings without any reference or credit. However, Orsini had not included the contorniate portrait of Horace in his collection of 1570. Thus, in this case Thevet cannot have copied “Orsini’s contorniate”; also, he had no personal contact with the Roman antiquarian. This means that Thevet’s Horace must have had another origin. Probably he used another specimen of the above-mentioned contorniate (of the type Horatius I) as template, and it is highly probable that this one was a forgery too. Thevet was not very critical with respect to his originals, nor was his method of rendering his examples trustworthy, as Dwyer has shown.55 The way he rendered the medallion portrait may serve as a paradigm for this: He faked that his original was a statue, and he gave Horace in his hand two laurel branches as evidence that the statue represented a famous poet [Fig. 4.3G].

Figure 4.3F
Figure 4.3F

Horace, portrait. From: André Thevet, Les Vrais pourtraits et vies des hommes illustres grecz, latins et payens, recueilliz de leurs tableaux, livres, médalles antiques et modernes (Paris, Widow of I. Kervet – Guillaume Chaudière: 1584). https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b86246591/f1331.item#

Figure 4.3G
Figure 4.3G

The contorniate portrait in Jan Moretus’s Horatius. From: Horatius cum erudito Laevini Torrentii commentario, nunc primum in lucem edito […] (Antwerp, Officina Plantiniana: 1608), fol. **2v. Public domain

After Theodor Galle had published the contorniate portrait of Horace in 1598, it found its way as author’s portrait into the Opera omnia. It appeared in Antwerp, in Jan Moretus’s 1608 edition of Horace with Laevinus Torrentius’s (1525–1595) commentary [Fig. 4.3G].56 Moretus added to the portrait the original subscription of Theodor Galle, which indicates its source: a paper copy in the library of Fulvio Orsini. Furthermore, it was incorporated into the French translations too, e.g. the one by Michel de Marolle, which appeared as a bilingual edition in 1652 (Paris, Toussainct Quinet).57 However, in this edition the source is no longer indicated. In 1708, Picart included the contorniate portrait into his frontispiece to Horace’s works (cf. below, Fig. 4.4D), which was used for a number of editions in the 18th century, and for Latin and French editions as well. He still considered it important to mention the source of the portrait, in order to testify to its trustworthiness. But interestingly, he made it more trustworthy through stating that its source was the ‘bronze medallion owned by Fulvio Orsini’ (‘ex numismate aereo Fulvii Ursini’): Orsini’s copy on paper has now turned into the real object. Because Picart’s frontispiece was so successful, this mistake proliferated. But more things happened: In the portion of the 18th-century engravings of the contorniate portrait, which were included in Horace’s Opera omnia, another source was given: the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden. The reason is that they took it ultimately from Bellorio’s collection of portraits from 1685 (Veterum philosophorum, poetarum, rhetorum et oratorum imagines), who said that it was copied ‘from a medallion kept in the treasury of Queen Christina Augusta’.

Via its appearance in various engravings of the 17th and 18th centuries, the contorniate portrait found its way into new forms of materialization: new medallions (for example, an ivory medallion from around 1790/1800 [Fig. 4.3H1])58 or engravings of imaginary medallions which were presented in frontispieces or other book illustrations [Fig. 4.3H2]; gems [Fig. 4.3H3 and 4.3H4]; and herms and busts from stone [Fig. 4.3J1, 4.3J2, and 4.3J3], or even from basalt earthenware – among the first Wedgwood busts of classical authors was that of Horace (ca. 1775 [Fig. 4.3J4]). Importantly, the engraved contorniate portrait brought forth more fake antiquities, especially busts from marble. For example, such a fake was kept in the collection of antiquities of Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (1661–1741), and it was copied in 1765 by the engraver Andreas Ludwig Krüger [Fig. 4.3I]. Its subscription says that the sculpture is a ‘Roman work of the first quality, made of Carrara marble’ (‘ouvrage Romain du premier rang, marbre de Carrara’). More busts of Horace of this type were fabricated in the 18th century, presented sometimes as antiquities, sometimes as copies of antiquities, and, most conspicuously, they found their way also into garden architecture, for example in the gardens of the Villa Borghese and into the various gardens of English noblemen [Fig. 4.3J1, 4.3J2, and 4.3J3]. Charles Grey, the first earl of Grey (1729–1807), owned an ‘antique’ beryl gem with Horace [Fig. 4.3H3]. A depiction of it (etching) was published by Thomas Worldlidge in 1768; the gem is but one of the many fake antiquities with the poet’s portrait. In the case of reproductions (etchings, engravings, mezzotints) it was even easier to “sell” modern fakes as antique originals. For example, the caption to Auguste Adrien Jouanin’s (1806–1887) portrait of Horace claims that it was ‘drawn by Perry after an antique original’ (‘d’après l’antique’). A curious consequence of these new materializations of the contorniate portrait was that Horace became younger and younger: On the Herm of Chatsworth House [Fig. 4.3J3], in the Wedgwood busts (1775 [Fig. 4.3J4]), and on the earl of Grey’s fake antique beryl he ended up as a young boy.

Figure 4.3H1
Figure 4.3H1

Horace’s portrait, ivory relief medallion, ca. 1775–1810. English, 12 × 8 cm

Figure 4.3H2
Figure 4.3H2

Horace’s portrait on an imaginary medallion, frontispiece to the 1820 edition of the Latin Opera omnia. Private collection

Figure 4.3H3
Figure 4.3H3

Depiction of a pseudo-antique gem with Horace’s portrait, 1768. According to the caption in the possession of ‘Lord Grey’. Etching, 7.8 × 6.6 cm. From: Worldlidge Thomas (etcher), A Select Collection of Drawings from Curious Antique Gems, most of them in the Possession of the Nobility and Gentry of this Kingdom, etched after the Manner of Rembrandt, 2 vols. (London: 1768). Public domain

Figure 4.3H4
Figure 4.3H4

Ring with gem, Horace’s portrait in relief, ca. 1830

Figure 4.3I
Figure 4.3I

Depiction of a supposedly antique marble bust of Horace, ‘ouvrage Romain du premier rang’, another fake antiquity. Engraving by Andreas Ludwig Krüger from 1765. Public domain

Figure 4.3J1
Figure 4.3J1

Bust of Horace of the same type as Fig. 4.3I, garden of the Villa Borghese ca. 1770. Bibliotheca Hertziana: http://foto.biblhertz.it/bhim00010126

Figure 4.3J3
Figure 4.3J3

Herm with Horace in the garden of Chatsworth House, 18th century

Figure 4.3J4
Figure 4.3J4

James Hoskins and Samuel Oliver, Horace, basalt bust, 1775, 36.4 cm. Wedgwood and Bentley. © Bildarchiv Foto Marburg / Foto: Haag, Paul. https://www.bildindex.de/document/obj20300200?medium=fmbc31057_10

1.4 Author’s Construction as a Lyrical and Satirical Poet

In the majority of the author’s portraits and frontispieces 1450–1840 Horace was construed as a lyrical poet. This also goes for the complete illustrated Horace edited by Johann Grüninger (1498), and the one edited by John Pine (1733–1736), both of which will be discussed below. In Grüninger’s Horace the poet is explicitly called ‘Horatius poeta lyricus’ [Fig. 4.4A]. In some frontispieces Horace is presented as the equivalent of Pindarus, the princeps of Greek lyrical poetry. For example, Mathaeus Merian the Elder – in the frontispiece to the Opera omnia edition by Chabot – presented statues of the two most important lyrical poets: Horatius (left) and Pindarus (right), both characterized by the lyre [Fig. 4.4B].

Figure 4.4A
Figure 4.4A

Horatius Poeta Lyricus’ with the Muse Calliope. From: Johann Grüninger’s and Jakob Locher’s Horatius (Strasbourg: 1498), fol. 2r. https://tile.loc.gov/image-services/iiif/service:rbc:rbc0001:2017:2017rosen0188:0008/full/pct:100/0/default.jpg

Figure 4.4B
Figure 4.4B

Mathaeus Merian the Elder, Horace as counterpart of the lyrical poet Pindarus. Frontispiece to Horace’s Opera omnia, Basel 1615. Private collection

In a popular German school edition with John Bond’s commentary, Horace is depicted on the title page as a lyrical poet: seated on a stone (in a wide landscape) he is singing to the lyre [Fig. 4.4C]. In the 18th century, the emphasis is on the lyrical poet not getting less, although the contorniate portrait is now coming in as the authentic one. Bernard Picart’s important frontispiece of the poet’s Opera omnia (Paris: 1708) may be paradigmatic in this respect [Fig. 4.4D]: The poet’s portrait of the type HORA-TIUS 1 (Alföldi 101) appears in the centre of the image – and is coronated by the Muse of lyrical poetry (right). Picart singles out two major categories of Horace’s lyrical poems: drinking songs (through the figure of Bacchus to the left, with his attribute the panther) and love songs (through the figures of Venus and Amor in the foreground, with the billing and cooing doves).

Figure 4.4C
Figure 4.4C

Author’s portrait of Horace. 17th-century Leipzig school edition with commentary by John Bond

Figure 4.4D
Figure 4.4D

Bernard Picart, author’s portrait of Horace. 1708. The lyricist Horace laureated by the Muse of lyrical poetry. Public domain

If the laurels are bestowed to Horace in visual images this refers mostly to his lyrical poems; satire and sacrality do not seem to go well together – satire is only a late and Roman genre, less sublime, and in its essence down-to-earth. However, in a couple of early modern frontispieces there are inventions that aim at uniting or harmonizing these two categories of Horace’s work. This is the case for an intriguing invention by the learned French painter of antiquities Nicolas Poussin, who designed the frontispiece for the 1642 Paris edition of the Horatii Opera omnia [Fig. 4.5A].59 The image shows the laureation of Horace: The honour is bestowed to him by Amor and the Muse of lyrical poetry. Amor, approaching the poet from the air, is about to put the laurel wreath on the poet’s head. This could bear the meaning of attaching a special emphasis on Horace’s love poetry. The intriguing thing in Poussin’s portrait of Horace is that it is the very Goddess of lyrical poetry that bestows upon him the reward for his non-lyrical production, the mask of a Satyr; this must be the symbol for the Satires (Sermones), maybe based on the old (but wrong) etymological derivation of ‘Satira’ from ‘Satyr’.

Figure 4.5A
Figure 4.5A

Claude Mellan, engraving after Nicolas Poussin, Horace as lyrical and satirical poet. Frontispiece of the 1642 Paris edition. Public domain, https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search/objects?q=horatius&p=4&ps=12&st=Objects&ii=7#/RP-P-OB-71.204,43

Sometimes it looks as if Horace’s construction as poet is negotiated in the frontispiece image, as in Poussin’s invention. The frontispiece of Richard Bentley’s Horace60 seems to be inspired by Poussin’s. The image depicts the acknowledgement and veneration of Horace: His portrait is at the centre of attention in the form of a monument of honour with an inscription and a bust [Fig. 4.5B]. Horace is crowned with the laurel wreath by Apollo (who is adorned with the authoritative attribute the lyre) and is bestowed with symbolic gifts by Euterpe, the Muse of lyrical poetry (to the left, characterized by her attribute the flute), and by a Satyr who is sitting on the ground (to the right): The Muse adorns Horace’s monument with garlands of flowers, and the Satyr offers – with the help of an amorino – a Satyr’s mask as a reward for the Satires. A frontispiece of Daniel Heinsius’s Opera omnia edition of Horace (Amsterdam, Wetstenii: 1719 and 1743) contains similar components: It is the authoritative figure of the Muse of lyric poetry (left, with the lyre) who offers to the poet (right) the known satyr’s mask as acknowledgement for his Satires.

Figure 4.5B
Figure 4.5B

Frontispiece to Richard Bentley’s Horace, 2nd edition (Amsterdam, officina Wetsteniana: 1713, also used in the other Wetsteniana editions 1728 and 1740). The frontispiece was designed by J. Goeree and engraved by Bernard. Public domain

Even if the Satires get a special emphasis in certain editions, such as the edition by Daniel Heinsius in 1629 in which he published his treatise on the Horatian satires, De satyra Horatiana libri duo, in quibus totum poetae institutum et genius expenditur (‘[…] in which the whole programme and genius of the poet are explained’), the illustration on the title page advertises Horace as a lyrical poet [Fig. 4.5C]. And, mutatis mutandis, similar configurations appear in the case of frontispieces to the second part of Horace’s works, i.e. the Satires and the Epistles. For example, the second volume of Michel de Marolles’s French translation of the Opera is equipped with a new frontispiece: it is noteworthy, however, that in the advertisement of the Satires Euterpe, the Muse of lyrical poetry (characterized by her attribute the flute), takes the lead [Fig. 4.5D]: She authorizes Horace (standing left) as a satirical poet through handing over to him the pan flute that hangs around the neck of the statue of Pan (or Satyr). Horace seems to require authorization, all the more so because he is rendered as a young poet – one may observe that his face resembles the one of the fake medallions.

Figure 4.5C
Figure 4.5C

Frontispiece to Daniel Heinsius’s edition of Horace together with his work De Satyra Horatiana (Leiden: 1629). Public domain

Figure 4.5D
Figure 4.5D

Frontispiece to the second part of Horace’s works, translated into French by M. de Marolles (Paris: 1652). Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek – 4 A.lat.a. 114 https://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/view/bsb10217060?q=horatius&page=8,9

Only exceptionally – if it belongs to an exclusive edition of the Satires (plus Epistles) – might the frontispiece address only these works: For example, the frontispiece to Baltazar Huydecoper’s Dutch translation of Horace’s Satires and Epistles and Ars poetica (Hekeldichten en Brieven, Amsterdam: 1726) construes Horace simply as satirist: His imaginary stone monument (with a portrait bust) is adorned with a big central relief that offers a specific interpretation of Horace’s hexametrical poems [Fig. 4.5E]. Satyrs play the main part in the scene, which is sometimes erroneously described as a bacchanal. Actually, it shows the Satyrs as personifications of the Satires: They chase away the vices, depicted as the personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins [Fig. 4.5E]: Ira/Wrath and Gula depicted as a soldier and a vomiting Bacchus figure, Luxuria or Libido rendered as Venus and Amor, Superbia (with the headdress of peacock feathers), Invidia (with the mask), Avaritia (an old woman sitting on the ground, holding a full purse in her hand), and Accidia (with her attribute, the donkey). The scene on the relief suggests that Horace’s Satires and Epistles should be read as a means of bettering one’s morals, whereas irony, persiflage, and fun seem to be less important. More particularly, the personifications of the Seven Vices propose to understand these texts as moral lessons in a Christian sense. This reading was probably inspired by Vaenius, Emblemata Horatiana 22: The image of this emblem shows the Seven Vices together with the personifications of sapientia, Minerva, and eloquentia, Mercury. Vaenius meant this image to express Horace’s Epistula I, 1, 38–39: ‘Invidus, iracundus, iners, vinosus, amator, / Nemo adeo ferus est, qui non mitescere possit’ (‘The jealous one, the irate, lazy, drunkard, wanton, / Nobody is so uncivilized that his morals cannot be bettered’).

Figure 4.5E
Figure 4.5E

Relief on Horace’s monument. Detail of the frontispiece to B. Huydecoper’s Dutch translation of the Satires: Hekeldichten en brieven (Amsterdam, Willem Barents: 1726), designed by Antonyna Houbraken. Public domain

2 Horace on the Parnassus: From Raphael to Poussin and Beyond (1510–ca. 1785)

In 1509/11 Raphael painted for Julius II his iconic Parnassus, a fresco in the Stanze della Segnatura of the Vatican Palace. In this visual heaven of poetry Raphael brought together the gods of the art, Apollo and the Muses, and the ‘greatest’ poets from Homer up to the times of Julius [Fig. 4.6A]. The fresco immediately became enormously famous and influential. Nevertheless, the identification of at least half of the antique and modern poets is all but certain. But one thing is clear: Horace cannot have been absent from the Parnassus. But what is his portrait? In the first version, one of the two most eye-catching groups is the one in the foreground to the right, with a bearded poet and a younger, beardless one engaging in a vivid discussion [Raimondi’s engraving, Fig. 4.6B]. It seems very likely that one of them was meant to depict Horace. If Horace was conceived (in this first version) as a pair with a male Greek poet, that one must have been Pindarus.

Figure 4.6A
Figure 4.6A

Raphael, Parnassus. Vatican Palace, Stanze (1509–1510). Public domain

This is the way in which Jean-Jacques Boissard (1528–1602) has interpreted Raimondi’s engraving: He used it as a template for a series of portraits, titled Parnassus biceps, which were drawn by him and engraved by Theodor de Bry (1533–1598). The series was published as an album by De Bry’s widow and sons in 1601,61 and it was reissued by Wilhelm Fitzer in 1627.62 If one looks at Boissard’s and De Bry’s portrait of Horace [Fig. 4.6C], it becomes clear that Boissard had identified him with the young man in Marcantonio Raimondi’s engraving [Fig. 4.6B], and the bearded old man as Pindarus [Fig. 4.6D]. He construed Horace and Pindarus as a pair (the Roman poet as the Latin counterpart to the Greek lyricist), as the epigram says: ‘Pindarico intumuit quondam si Graecia plectro, / Tu Latiae fidicen, docte poeta, Lyrae es’ – ‘If Greece once boasted of Pindarus’s poetry, / You, learned poet, are the player of Latium’s lyre’. The basic principle of this conception is aemulatio viz. the contest between Roman and Greek literature and art. And actually, this concept has been used by Raphael in his Parnassus, e.g. in his juxtaposition of Homer and Virgil [Fig. 4.6E]. In Boissard’s epigram the perspective of identification is clearly Latin literature, as the rhetorical figure of apostrophe demonstrates (‘tu […] docte poeta’): The epigram is addressing Horace, not Pindarus. And of course, the contest implies exclusion. Boissard was surely familiar with Horace’s Odes IV, 2, ‘Pindarum quisquis studet aemulari […]’ (‘Whoever tries to emulate Pindarus […]’) in which the Roman poet defines his poetry in comparison with Pindarus. Horace imitates Pindarus’s style, and in doing so, he demonstrates that his own is very different.

Figure 4.6B
Figure 4.6B

Marcantonio Raimondi, Horace and another poet in discussion, 1514–1517. Engraving after Raphael’s drawing of the first version of Parnassus. Detail. Public domain

Figure 4.6C
Figure 4.6C

Theodor de Bry (engraver) after Jean Jacques Boissard (designer, poet), Horace. From: Parnassus cum imaginibus Musarum deorumque praesidum Hippocrenes (Frankfurt a.M., Theodor de Bry: 1601), no. 23. Verses by J.J. Boissard. Private collection

Figure 4.6D
Figure 4.6D

Theodor de Bry (engraver) after Jean Jacques Boissard (designer, poet), Pindarus. From: Parnassus cum imaginibus Musarum deorumque praesidum Hippocrenes (Frankfurt a.M., Theodor de Bry: 1601), no. 23. Private collection

Figure 4.6E
Figure 4.6E

Raphael, Homer and Virgil. From his Parnassus. Detail of 4.6A. Public domain

Many early modern intellectuals understood the poet in blue in the same way as Boissard did, e.g. the French painter Nicolas Poussin [cf. below, Fig. 4.6K]. Still, in the second half of the 18th century Paolo Fidanza (1731–1785) interpreted the poet in blue as Horace: He used him for Horace’s author’s portrait in his collection Teste scelte di personaggi illustri in lettere e in armi cavate già dall’antico (Rome: 1757) [Fig. 4.6F].63 Consequently, Fidanza identified the bearded man as Pindarus. The third, listening poet he interpreted as Ovid. Giovanni Volpato (18th century) published a tabula with the same identifications.

Figure 4.6F
Figure 4.6F

Paolo Fidanza, ‘Orazio Flacco Venusino’, portrait no. VI from Paolo Fidanza, Teste scelte di personaggi illustri in lettere e in armi cavate già dall’antico (Rome: 1757). Public domain. http://graficheincomune.comune.milano.it/GraficheInComune/scheda/Vol.+CC+197,+tav.+12

But what did Raphael himself have in mind? In the third version of his Parnassus, the painted one in the Stanze della Segnatura, he changed the group in the foreground right: now the bearded man is sitting on the ground, and he added a third figure. Moreover, he added a female figure in the foreground left, and this one can clearly be identified as the Greek lyric poetess Sappho [Fig. 4.6A]. In this new conception, Sappho and the bearded poet to the right (both in seated postures) became equivalents or a pair. If the pair is meant to represent a Greek and a Roman poet, the Latin counterpart of Sappho must be the ‘lord of Latin lyric poets’ Horace, who composed many of his Odes in Sapphic stanzas. And actually, there were viewers who interpreted Horace as the bearded man – such as Mathaeus Merian the Elder, who designed the frontispiece to Pierre Gaultier-Chabot’s (died 1598) commented edition of Horace (1615) [Fig. 4.6G1]. That Raphael indeed conceived the bearded man as Horace may also be deduced from an early drawing of the Parnassus which survives in the form of a copy: In this conception, Raphael rendered the bearded poet (first from the right-side angle) as “introductory figure”:64 Horace, here still naked, makes with stretched-out hands the gesture of presentation. Raphael kept him on his next preparatory design, preserved in the etching made by Marcantonio Raimondi [Fig. 4.6G2]. From this analysis, it becomes clear that Boissard was not correct when he identified the beardless younger poet on Raimondi’s engraving [Fig. 4.6B] as Horace. Rather, Raphael meant this figure to represent Ovid. The Horace of the Parnassus is the bearded figure.65

Figure 4.6G1
Figure 4.6G1

Matthaeus Merian the Elder, Horatius. Detail from the frontispiece to Chabot’s Horace (1615). Private collection

Figure 4.6G2
Figure 4.6G2

Detail of Raimondi’s engraving of Parnassus, 1514–1517. Public domain

Furthermore, Raphael moved the poet who in the first version had been the dialogue partner of the bearded one, to the background (he is characterized by the same gesture of listening and thinking, with his finger on his chin), and he added another figure: a young poet in blue gown enters the scene with vivid movements and gestures [Fig. 4.6H]. Importantly, the poet in blue resembles with respect to pose and gesture the recently recovered Apollo of Belvedere [Fig. 4.6I].66 With this new figure Raphael introduced an interesting paragone element in his Parnassus. Raphael demonstrates that painting is superior to sculpture because it manages to render sculptures in painting, whereas sculpture is not able to do the same. Moreover, painting is able to creatively play with sculpture: it may use ancient sculptures for portraits of still living persons. But whom does the paragone figure represent? David Rijser suggested that he may be the humanist Fausto Capodiferro.67 However, this is not likely, because Fausto was an old man by then, more than 60 years of age, and the figure in blue is obviously a young man [Fig. 4.6H, cf. 4.6F].

Figure 4.6H
Figure 4.6H

Raphael, Parnassus. Group of poets in the foreground to the right side. Detail of 4.6A. Public domain

Figure 4.6I
Figure 4.6I

Marcantonio Raimondi, Apollo of Belvedere. Engraving of ca. 1520. Public domain

I think that the identity of the figure in blue is to be explained by Raphael’s paragone tour de force: The inventor and painter of the Parnassus made himself entering the scene of his invention, and this he did as a true Deus ex machina, in the disguise of the newly discovered Apollo of Belvedere. Now, as his own paragone epiphany, Raphael acts as the “introductory figure” to the painting – as mediator between the poets of the Parnassus and his patron Julius.68 With his left hand Raphael, in blue, points to Pope Julius, who is imagined as being present in the room,69 as if he was introducing his lord to the sacred poets. Interestingly, the gesture of his right hand is different from the one of the Apollo of Belvedere. This is to be explained by the function of Raphael as “introductory figure”: His right hand makes the gesture of “speaking”, i.e. he is indicating ‘Listen to me, I have to make an announcement’ – i.e., the introduction of Julius. The first poet that gets the message is the bearded man – thus Horace – and he promptly reacts, pointing to Julius [Fig. 4.6H]. Like the figure in blue, the historical Raphael of about 1510 was young, had long dark hair, a handsome face, and brown eyes, as can be seen in his self-portrait from ca. 1505 now in the Uffizi. Also, in the other monumental Parnassus of the Stanze della Segnatura, The School of Athens, Raphael depicted himself as introductory figure, again in the utmost right angle of the fresco, but this time making eye contact with the viewer [Fig. 4.6J]. Thus, as it seems, the Horace many early modern viewers saw in the Parnassus fresco turns out to be Raffaello Sanzio.

Figure 4.6J
Figure 4.6J

Self-portrait of Raphael in his School of Athens. Detail. Stanze della Segnatura, Vatican. Public domain

Raimondi’s engraving triggered an intriguing satirical version of Parnassus by an anonymous 16th-century Italian artist (with the monogram HFE), who transformed Raphael’s heaven of poetry into a bacchanal of wantonness and obscenities, indeed a kind of ‘Parnassus profaned’, as is the modern title of the work [Fig. 4.6K]. Among other things, the anonymous satirist ridiculed the above-mentioned pair of poets, the bearded one and the younger man (in Raimondi’s engraving on the foreground right, cf. above, Fig. 4.6B): He rendered the poets naked and turned the bearded one into a voyeur with an erection who is getting excited while watching a loving couple, and the younger poet into a masturbating boy who is watched by a girl whom he embraces [Fig. 4.6K]. Parnassus is thus inhabited by an old voyeur and a young jerker, and moreover by several young girls, i.e., the Muses, who are transformed here into prostitutes. We do not know how exactly HFE identified the poets. In general, HFE’s reception of the Parnassus is abusive: ‘Fuck poets and poetry’.

Figure 4.6K
Figure 4.6K

Master EFH, Parnassus Profaned. Engraving, made after 1520. Chicago, Arts Institute. https://www.artic.edu/artworks/226873/parnassus-profaned. Public domain

In the 1630s the French painter Nicolas Poussin, who was then working in Rome, made a new version of Raphael’s Parnassus [Fig. 4.6L]. In his oil painting70 Poussin rearranged the group in the foreground right: He made all poets wear a beard now, and two of them are lookalikes. Poussin must have identified the poet in the blue gown as Horace: He made him the most important of this group (i.e., the lyrical poets); it is this poet who takes the lead, the only one who is entirely visible, and it is he to whom the gentle amorino offers a cup of nectar as a reward for eternally lasting verses. He, the leader of the lyrical poets, proudly carries his Opera omnia. In his later portrait of Horace – made for the frontispiece of the Opera omnia edition of 1642, Poussin may have still had in mind that of his Parnassus: The Opera omnia portrait is reminiscent of the poet in the blue gown with respect to the rather small face, pronounced long nose, and the type of gown [cf. above, Fig. 4.5A]. Also, Poussin’s Virgil of the frontispiece to the Paris edition of Virgil’s Opera omnia from 1641 is a copy of Raphael’s Virgil of the Parnassus.

Figure 4.6L
Figure 4.6L

Nicolas Poussin, Parnassus, 1630s. Oil on canvas, 145 × 197 cm. Detail. Madrid, Prado. Public domain

3 Illustrated Horace, in the Graphic Arts and in Painting (1498–ca. 1840)

3.1 Grüninger’s Edition: Horace’s Odes as Musical Performances

The invention of the printed book and of the technique of woodcut illustration in the 15th century were important incentives for an enhanced appearance of Horace in the visual arts. Still in the incunabula period, in 1498, the Strasbourg printer Johann Grüninger published an illustrated Latin Horace, with an emphasis on the Odes. As the title demonstrates, Grüninger had a multimedia publication in mind: He conceived the poems on the one hand as moral lessons (‘sententiae’), and on the other hand as musical songs (‘concentus’), and he was convinced that his ‘most beautiful images’ (= woodcut illustrations) were functional companions of both the songs and the moral teaching: Horatii Flacci Venusini poete lyrici opera cum quibusdam annotationibus imaginibusque pulcherimis aptisque ad Odarum concentus et sententias (Strasbourg, Johann Grüninger: 1498).

This title is combined with an illustration (actually already a frontispiece) that shows the author Horace as poet laureate in a scholar’s robe of around 1500 [Fig. 4.7A]: This construction of authorship connects poetic invention and performance (author with a laurel wreath writing poems in a manuscript) with moral education (‘sententiae’) and academic teaching ex cathedra (probably of Latin poetry, in casu Horace). The purpose of academic teaching is also addressed in the title by ‘cum quibusdam annotationibus’ – ‘with certain comments’, although the achievement of the commentary is a bit downplayed because the name of the commentator is not mentioned. This was the humanist Jakob Locher, who was then professor of poetry and rhetoric at the University of Ingolstadt.71 The scholarly commentary is yet another medium in Grüninger’s Horace, which is extremely important for the reception and usage of classical authors.72

Figure 4.7A
Figure 4.7A

Grüninger’s illustrated Horace. Title page (Strasbourg: 1498). © Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel <http://diglib.hab.de/inkunabeln/21-1-poet-2f-1/start.htm>

Grüninger’s complete illustrated Horace has caused uncertainties in interpretation because he had reused a number of woodcuts from two earlier works he had published in the previous year (1497), namely the libri Philomusi (containing Locher’s works Panegyrici ad regem, Tragedia de Thurcis et Suldano, and Dyalogus de heresiarchis) and Sebastian Brant’s Narrenschiff, translated into Latin by Jakob Locher and titled Stultifera navis.73 The fact that Grüninger repeated Locher’s author’s portrait of the Libri Philomusi for his Horace edition of 1498 especially caused much consternation and guesswork. It led to the idea that the image of the 1498 edition was meant to represent the author’s portrait of Jakob Locher74 (who actually was only the commentator) or that it was a special trick to have the portrait of the author (Horace) blurred with that of his commentator.75 Also, it was supposed that the person responsible for the illustrations was Jakob Locher.76 However, these ideas are based on too little familiarity with the practice of illustrating books in the 15th and 16th centuries: The reuse of existing illustrations was widespread and considered to be completely normal, and the ‘meaning’ of illustrations was not considered to be fixed and stable. Thus, images were applied for new purposes very freely and creatively. The fact that Grüninger reused the author’s portrait of Locher’s writings does not mean that he wanted readers of his Horace edition to identify its author’s portrait with Locher’s. Thus, in the 1498 edition of Horace, the author’s portrait was intended to represent the actual author Horace. The fact that Horace appears here on a cathedra of a late medieval university and in the robe of a professor is no disclaimer: Grüninger did not hesitate to render classical authors in this way. For example, on the title page of his edition of Virgil [Fig. 4.7B] the poet appears on a cathedra dressed as a university professor, and the inscription ‘VIRGILIUS’ unmistakably proves his identity: Virgil ‘in cathedra’ is depicted at the moment of writing, while his Muse is singing (or dictating) the poem to him. Interestingly, she holds music notes in her hands from which she is singing the songs, i.e. Virgil’s poems.

Figure 4.7B
Figure 4.7B

Grüninger’s Virgil, title page: Virgil and his Muse, at the moment of writing. Public domain

The title page of Grüninger’s Horace [Fig. 4.7A] should be understood in the same way: It shows the author Horace at the moment of writing. Actually, there are about 10 parallel illustrations in Grüninger’s Horace: for example, in the woodcut to Odes III, 4, we see the author Horace (left) on a similar academic cathedra writing what the Muse Calliope (right) is singing to him [Fig. 4.7C]. The woodcut refers to the conversation of the poet and the Muse in the framework of the Musenanruf of this ode: ‘Descende caelo et dic age […] / regina longum Calliope melos’ – ‘Queen Calliope, descend from heaven and sing me a long song […]’.

Figure 4.7C
Figure 4.7C

Woodcut illustration to Odes III, 4. From: Grüninger’s illustrated Horace (Strasbourg: 1498), fol. LII r. © Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel <http://diglib.hab.de/inkunabeln/21-1-poet-2f-1/start.htm>

The illustration to Odes III, 4, reveals yet another interesting aspect which so far has not gotten enough attention in studies on the reception of Horace – that in humanism from the end of the 15th century on, Horace’s Odes were conceived as musical songs with certain melodies, and that they were actually performed by singing them from musical settings. In the illustration to Odes III, 4, Calliope holds in her hand a scroll with musical notes from which she is singing [Fig. 4.7C].

Locher’s illustrious predecessor in the chair of poetry in Ingolstadt, Conrad Celtis, has played an important role in this respect: in his academic courses, he not only explained the Odes, but his pupils sang them to the notes he had set himself. This aspect, the role of Celtis with respect to the early Horace singers, is especially addressed in our volume by Grantley McDonald. His contribution departs from the Melopoiae sive harmoniae tetracenticae (The Art of Singing Verse, or Four-Voice Settings) of 1507, written by the Tyrolian humanist and musician Petrus Tritonius (Treibenraiff),77 and reveals its roots in Celtis’s settings of Horace. McDonald shows that the Melopoiae actually go back to 1497 when Celtis, then professor of poetry in Ingolstadt, taught a course on Horace. As McDonald puts it, Celtis’s ‘musical recreation of antiquity was a sign of elevated cultural status, distinct both from vernacular songs and liturgical music, and suggested a claim to the glories of Imperial Rome and its continuation in the Holy Roman Empire’; and, at the same time, ‘singing classical verse could serve a pedagogical purpose’, ‘built on the practice of using music as a mnemonic device’.

If one considers this, it is small wonder that music notes appear quite often in Grüninger’s and Locher’s Horace of 1498, which is the product both of the advanced humanist culture of the Holy Roman Empire and of contemporary university teaching (both largely shaped by Celtis). For example, Odes I, 21, represents a hymn to Apollo and Diana: As Horace indicates in his poem, he imagined the hymn to be sung by a chorus of boys and girls (‘Dianam, tenerae dicite virgines […]’). In the illustration, the singers are rendered as a group of very young boys and girls who gather around a huge score with music notes [Fig. 4.7D]; also, the chorus is accompanied by a Muse singing from notes (left). It is characteristic of Grüninger’s method of illustration that the same woodcut is used for Odes III, 4 [Fig. 4.7C] and the Carmen saeculare (fol. CVIII r).

Figure 4.7D
Figure 4.7D

Woodcut illustration to Odes I, 21. From: Grüninger’s illustrated Horace (Strasbourg: 1498), fol. XVIII v. © Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel <http://diglib.hab.de/inkunabeln/21-1-poet-2f-1/start.htm>

Grüninger created his illustrated Horace in the context of Celtis’s humanism and of the recent university teaching of poetry in Germany. Many illustrations refer to the performance of the poems: they show the act, and the occasion of singing, etc. For example, the occasion of Odes II, 17, is the illness of Horace’s friend Maecenas: The image shows Maecenas lying in bed and wearing a crown (because his supposed ancestors were Etruscan kings). He is visited by Horace (depicted with the laurels), who is singing for him a song of friendship and consolation (fol. XLIIII r). In Odes III, 28, Horace invites his love Lyde to sing with him a hymn to Neptune: The image shows Lyde singing it from a scroll with musical settings (fol. LXXII v). The illustration to Odes I, 37, shows how Horace’s Carmina were inserted into the culture of the Holy Roman Empire of around 1500 [Fig. 4.7E]: In the image poets (again in humanists’ robes) are singing a song of victory for Augustus after the battle of Actium in 31 BC (‘Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero / Pulsanda tellus […]’ – ‘Now we must drink, now we must dance extatically […]’); as Augustus is returning from war, the singing poets are marching in front of him, and sing from a setting with musical notes [Fig. 4.7E; fol. XXIX v]. Augustus is depicted with the features of Maximilian I: He travels in a 15th-century coach, he wears the imperial crown, and his coach bears the Habsburgian coat of arms, the eagle. This image is also used for other victory songs regarding Augustus, for example for Odes III, 14, which celebrates the emperor’s victory in Spain in 24 BC (fol. LXII r), and Epodon 9, which (again) celebrates the victory over Cleopatra (fol. XCIX v).

Figure 4.7E
Figure 4.7E

Augustus as Roman Emperor in a 15th-century coach (right); poets in the robe of humanists singing the song of victory from music notes. From: Grüninger’s illustrated Horace (Strasbourg: 1498), fol. LXII r. © Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel <http://diglib.hab.de/inkunabeln/21-1-poet-2f-1/start.htm>

3.2 Italian Appropriation of Horace Around 1505: Pinzi’s Edition ‘cum quattuor commentariis’ Illustrated by Lucantonio degli Uberti and the Monogrammist L

The Venetian publisher Donnino Pinzi issued the first Italian edition of an illustrated Horace. The colophon dates it to 5 February 1405, but this is due to a printing error, and must be 1505.78 It contains more than 30 woodcuts, which belong to 3 sets. Two of them were made especially for the 1505 Horace by the Florentine illustrator and printer Lucantonio degli Uberti,79 who signed with the monogram ‘L’, and by an anonymous artist who signed with ‘F’. Lucantonio degli Uberti’s woodcuts (squares) have the highest quality, and they take the lead: Not coincidentally, they always illustrate the first poem of each book [Fig. 4.8A–C].80 The woodcuts of the monogrammist F are a bit simpler but were nevertheless invented especially for several Odes of Horace [Fig. 4.8D–F]. Monogrammist F was certainly from an Italian origin too. Furthermore, a third set of 11 woodcuts was recycled from an edition of Livy (1493).81

Figure 4.8A
Figure 4.8A

Horace with laurel wreath as ‘Musarum sacerdos’ directing the chorus of ‘virgins and boys’. Woodcut illustration by Lucantonio degli Uberti to Odes III, 1. From: Horatii Flacci lyrici poetae opera cum quattuor commentariis et figuris additis (Venice, Donnino Pinzi: 1505), fol. 90r

Figure 4.8B
Figure 4.8B

Horace reading Homer in front of his country house. Woodcut illustration by Lucantonio degli Uberti to Satires II, 1. From: Horatii Flacci lyrici poetae opera cum quattuor commentariis et figuris additis (Venice, Donnino Pinzi: 1505), fol. 212r

Figure 4.8C
Figure 4.8C

Farm and farm workers around 1500. Woodcut illustration by Lucantonio degli Uberti to Epistles II, 15. From: Horatii Flacci lyrici poetae opera cum quattuor commentariis et fi guris additis (Venice, Donnino Pinzi: 1505), fol. 82r

Figure 4.8D
Figure 4.8D

Lydia’s lovers waiting in a queue in front of her door. Woodcut illustration by the monogrammist F to Ode I, 25. From: Horatii Flacci lyrici poetae opera cum quattuor commentariis et figuris additis (Venice, Donnino Pinzi: 1505), fol. 47r

Figure 4.8E
Figure 4.8E

A banker or moneylender from 15th-century Venice or Florence. Woodcut illustration by the monogrammist F to Ode II, 2. From: Horatii Flacci lyrici poetae opera cum quattuor commentariis et figuris additis (Venice, Donnino Pinzi: 1505), fol. 64v

Figure 4.8F
Figure 4.8F

A condottiere and his mercenaries in front of an Italian town of around 1500. Woodcut illustration by the monogrammist F to Ode IV, 7. From: Horatii Flacci lyrici poetae opera cum quattuor commentariis et figuris additis (Venice, Donnino Pinzi: 1505), fol. 156r

Lucantonio degli Uberti and ‘F’ have in common that their inventiones are not based on antiquarian scholarship: Their main idea is to translate Horace’s poems to the world of Italy around 1500. The people depicted wear 15th-century Italian clothes and they are performing activities that suit 15th-century pursuits. Lucantonio has a certain preference to render in his inventiones the mise-en-scène of the odes in question. For example, in his illustration to Odes III, 1, he shows Horace, who directs the chorus of virgins and boys which, as is indicated in the first four lines, is about to perform the hymn (of the named ode) [Fig. 4.8A]. Chorus director Horace appears in a 15th-century gown, he stands on a 15th-century footstool made of wood, and instead of the ancient lyre, he plays a contemporary violin with a bow. In the illustration to Odes I, 1 Apollo’s lyre is rendered in the same way as a violin [cf. above, Fig. 4.1O]. The illustration to Satires II, 1, shows Horace reading Homer in front of his country house [Fig. 4.8B]. Homer is rendered as a 15th-century codex book. Lucantonio imagines Horace’s country house as a simple wooden cottage of his era [Fig. 4.8B]. Apparently, he had no idea what a Roman villa would have looked like. Rather, he identified it with the housing of contemporary simple farmers, as becomes apparent from his illustration to Epistles II, 15 [Fig. 4.8C].

Also, the monogrammist F created a totally contemporary Horace. For example, the 10 lovers of Lydia who are waiting in a queue in front her house are dressed like 15th-century Italian young men [Fig. 4.8D]. Mutatis mutandis, the same is true for the ‘avarus’ from Odes II, 2 [Fig. 4.8E]: He is rendered as a banker or moneylender from about 1500; as one may deduce from his beard, he could well be a Jew. The general leading his army is rendered like a 15th-century condottiere who directs his mercenaries in front of an Italian town of around 1500 with contemporary fortifications [Fig. 4.8F]. Pinzi’s illustrated Horace had a certain impact until the middle of the 16th century because it was reissued several times, e.g. in 1509, 1514,82 1527, 1536, and 1540.

3.3 John Pine: Horace All’antica, Picturesque Places in Tivoli, and the Garden of the Poet’s Country Estate

The prestigious illustrated Horace by the engraver John Pine (1733–1736) is a highlight of 18th-century book production. The quality was increased by printing each page from a separate copperplate; text and illustrations formed a kind of unity.83 The majority of the illustrations are in a certain all’antica style, with all kinds of elemental details that were considered antique, such as architectural ornaments, stone pedestals, statues, coins, medallions, mythological scenes, utensils of daily life, inscriptions, etc. More than once Pine’s illustrations demonstrate archaeological evidence: for example, Odes III, 7, addressed to Aelius Lamia, is illustrated with Roman coins with the name ‘Lamia’ [Fig. 4.9A1]; Odes I, 36, with a selection of three Roman wine jugs [Fig. 4.9A2] and with the archaeologically correct rendition of a Roman bull sacrifice [Fig. 4.9B]. The style of Pine is not only all’antica but also ornamental: Frequently he equipped one poem with two illustrations, at the beginning and at the end – many of the second illustrations are reminiscent of Roman grotesques (e.g. from the Casa Neronis): Pine freely puts together a shell, dolphins, the face of an old man, and an oval tondo with Nereides [Fig. 4.9C]. Some illustrations depict ancient buildings, such as the Pantheon (illustration to Epistles I, 69), or supposedly ancient buildings, like the “Grave of Virgil” at Mergellina; furthermore, Pine is keen to depict ancient statues, such as the Hercules Farnese (illustration to Odes I, 22) or the Apollo of Belvedere [Fig. 4.9D]. But Pine also includes famous early modern sculptures in his illustrations, such as Giambologna’s Mercury [Fig. 4.9E]. Often he located such statues in landscape gardens which are similar to 18th-century English gardens.

Figure 4.9A1
Figure 4.9A1

John Pine’s Horace, Roman coins with the name ‘Lamia’, the addressee of Horace’s Ode III, 17, Aelius Lamia. Public domain

Figure 4.9A2
Figure 4.9A2

John Pine’s Horace, Roman wine jugs. Illustration to Odes I, 36. Public domain

Figure 4.9B
Figure 4.9B

John Pine’s Horace, Roman bull sacrifice. Illustration to Odes I, 36. Public domain

Figure 4.9C
Figure 4.9C

John Pine’s Horace, dolphins and Nereides, illustration to Odes III, 28. Public domain

Figure 4.9D
Figure 4.9D

John Pine’s Horace, Apollo of Belvedere. Illustration to Odes I, 31 Ad Apollinem (p. 56). Public domain

Figure 4.9E
Figure 4.9E

John Pine’s Horace, Mercury by Giambologna. Illustration to Odes I, 10 Ad Mercurium. Public domain

Unlike most visual representations of Horace and his works until ca. 1755, Pine’s images show a deeper interest in landscapes.84 In some cases they translate Horace’s poems through impressive ekphrastic images. For example, in Epistles I, 10, Horace expresses himself as a lover of the countryside:

To Fuscus the city-lover I the country-lover / Send greetings. / To be sure in this one matter we / Differ much […]; / You guard the nest: I praise the streams and woods / And the mossy rocks of a beautiful countryside. / […] / I’m writing to you from the back of Vacuna’s / Crumbling shrine, happy, except that you’re not here too.

ll. 1–7, 64–65

In this case Horace gave an exact indication of the place of writing, the Sanctuary of Vacuna. It is not clear where the shrine was located. Modern interpretations tend to locate it at a couple of places in the surroundings of Rieti (either near Poggio Fidoni, Bacugno, Posta), or of Terni, at the Lago Piediluco (the old Lacus Velinus).85 However, in the 18th century it was generally assumed that the Shrine of Vacuna was situated in the close vicinity of Horace’s villa, which was supposedly located in Tivoli or its immediate surroundings.86 And so did Pine, as one can see in his illustrations of Epistles I, 16, in which the Roman poet gives a description of his villa: Pine depicted a vista of Tivoli (with its characteristic round temple at the top, ‘B. Templum Sibyllae’) [Fig. 4.9F] and added a map in which he rendered the characteristic loop of the Anio around the city and placed Horace’s villa just outside the loop to the west of Tivoli [Fig. 4.9G], whereas the actual location of the villa in Licenza is located some 22 km to the east.

Figure 4.9F
Figure 4.9F

John Pine’s Horace. First illustration to Epistles I, 16. Public domain

Figure 4.9G
Figure 4.9G

John Pine’s Horace. Second illustration to Epistles I, 16. Public domain

Thus, in his effort to locate Vacuna, Pine searched for a picturesque spot in Tivoli that would have the elements of Horace’s description, a stream with ‘mossy rocks’ (‘musco circumlita saxa’). Small wonder that he thought of the spectacular waterfall of the Anio in Tivoli, which was well known via paintings and engravings. Pine chose an exceptionally picturesque view with a “perspectival window”: He depicted an arch through which the river is streaming; the waterfall can be seen through the same arch at a distance [Fig. 4.9H]. The template of this image is the Ponte di San Rocco in Tivoli, which was a favourite spot for landscape painters in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many paintings with the Ponte San Rocco survive, and engravings as well, e.g. by Albert Christoph Dies (1795) [Fig. 4.9I], who published it in Mahlerischradirte Prospecte von Italien. If one compares Pine’s image to these engravings one can see that he has eliminated all “modern” architectonical elements; that he concealed the function of the arch, a bridge (it connected Tivoli’s acropolis with the Borgo Cornuta), and that he construed – quite artificially – a kind of Roman ruin.

Figure 4.9H
Figure 4.9H

John Pine’s Horace. Illustration to the Epistles I, 10. Public domain

Figure 4.9I
Figure 4.9I

Albert Christoph Dies, Cascata von Tivoli mit dem Ponte di San Rocco, 1795. Etching 39.9 × 30.7 cm. From: Frauenholtz – Mechau – Dies – Reinhart, Mahlerischradirte Prospecte von Italien, 1795. Public domain

In illustrations such as these Pine depicted the landscapes in the supposed surroundings of Horace’s country estate with a quality that is almost Romantic. Nevertheless, it would not be correct to regard Pine as an early representative of Romanticism, as his predominant inclination is to all’antica (re)constructions. This is apparent in his illustration to Epistles I, 10, in which he gives his view of Horace’s country estate in the form of a reconstruction [Fig. 4.15J]: Pine imagined the immediate surroundings of the country house as a kind of late Renaissance or baroque geometrical garden enclosed with beautifully structured stone walls and all’antica towers; the back side is especially attractive because of a hightend terrace with an exedra [Fig. 4.15J]. This reconstruction was based purely on Pine’s fantasy. The site of Horace’s villa and its archaeological remains (in Licenza) were not yet known in 1733.87 The fact that Pine located it in the close vicinity of Tivoli (see above) turned his thoughts to the Villa d’Este [Fig. 4.9K]: Pine construed his exedra after the example of the Fountain of the Sibylla Albunea as depicted by Étienne Dupérac in 1575 [Fig. 4.9J and L].

Figure 4.9J
Figure 4.9J

John Pine’s Horace, Horace’s Country Estate. The Garden. Illustration to Epistles I, 10. Public domain

Figure 4.9K
Figure 4.9K

Gardens of the Villa d’Este, Tivoli. Engraving by Étienne Dupérac (1560–1575), detail. Wikimedia commons

Figure 4.9L
Figure 4.9L

Étienne Dupérac (inventor), Exedra in the Garden of the Villa d’Este, Fontain of Sibylla Albunea or Tiburtina (Fontana d’Ovato). Engraving by Antonio Lafreri, 1575. From: Dupérac (ed. and sculp.), Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae (Rome, Lafreri: 1575). Public domain

3.4 Horace Proudly Presents His Newly Discovered Country Estate: An Ekphrastic Depiction of Epistles I, 16, from 1762

In the middle of the 18th century the search for the exact location of Horace’s Sabinum intensified. Among the many searchers was the Scottish landscape painter and writer Allan Ramsey, who engaged in at least two campaigns in 1755.88 In 1757 a breakthrough was achieved when an inscription was found in Bardela which testified that this village was identical to the ancient Mandela. This became known to a larger audience through Domenico de Sanctis, who dedicated an entire treatise to the question, Dissertazione sopra la villa d’Orazio (Rome: 1761), in which he demonstrated that Horace’s villa must have been situated in Licenza.89 He had also discovered the remains of Roman walls in the Vigne di S. Pietro, just above the Fountain of Bandusia, and he identified these walls with Horace’s manor.90 Later, the French priest Bertrand Capmartin de Chaupy published an even longer treatise in three volumes, in which he presented the same result (1767–1769).91 He claimed that Domenico de Sanctis had stolen his discovery, which he had presented in a lecture in 1761. However, archaeology is not the focus of this exploration. The important fact is that from 1761 on it was publicly known that Horace’s country estate was in Licenza.

Shortly afterwards, in 1762, an interesting etching was made in which the recent discovery was celebrated and presented [Fig. 4.10A]. The etching, now in the National Gallery of Scotland, has been ascribed to Peter Stephens,92 but this is not likely, because the artist has signed it twice with the monogram ‘HR 1762’ and ‘HR del⟨ineavit⟩ et f⟨ecit⟩’ (to the right and left of the pedestal) [Fig. 4.10B]. Given the combination of the topic with the Italian inscriptions, the artist must have worked in Rome, probably in the first place for Italian or Italian-speaking customers. The etching is an ekphrastic depiction of Epistles I, 16, as the artist indicated in the inscription on the pedestal: ‘libro I Epis⟨tola⟩ 16a’ (‘in the 16th Epistle in the first book’) [Fig. 4.10B] in which Horace gives a description of his country estate and, importantly, also the names of certain places. The inscriptions on the pedestal and on the vase are dedicated to the names. They give a list of identified places with their modern Italian names; first, on the vase: ‘valle Ustica Oraziana’ (‘the Horatian Valley of Ustica’); the first name on the pedestal is Bardela, which means that one must start the search in Bardela, and from there move north in the direction of ‘Licenza’ and ‘Civitella’ until one reaches the ‘Villa di Orazio’. On the other side of the valley in which the villa is located there are ‘Roccagiovine’ and the ‘Tempio di Vacuna’ [Fig. 4.10B]. The pedestal with the inscription resembles an ancient monument, and this is relevant for the interpretation: The image is meant to represent a monument for Horace and for his recently discovered villa. It celebrates the poet, and at the same time the discovery of the villa. The etching depicts the landscape in the surroundings of the manor [Fig. 4.10A]. In the background, at the foot of a hill, the villa is depicted, and behind it (to the left) the Mons Lucretilis.

Figure 4.10A
Figure 4.10A

Monogrammist HR, Horace’s villa in the Valley of Licenza, 1762. Etching, 27.9 × 46.7 cm. National Gallery of Art of Scotland. Wikimedia commons

Figure 4.10B
Figure 4.10B

Signature and Italian inscriptions. Detail of Fig. 4.10A

Although the Italian inscription shows that the image was made for an 18th-century Italian-speaking audience, the foreground figures transfer the scene to Roman antiquity: On the coach, we discover Horace himself, who shows his villa to two guests (a woman and a man); with his left arm he points in the direction of the villa, which is situated on the other side of the river Licenza (Digentia) [Fig. 4.10C]. What does the villa look like? The artist was not satisfied with showing a ruinous wall, but presented a reconstruction [Fig. 4.10D], which is based on fantasy, like the one by John Pine, but it is closer to ancient Roman villas.

Figure 4.10D
Figure 4.10D

Horace’s villa, 1762. Detail of 4.10A

For the drawing the artist has followed carefully Horace’s text of Epistles I, 16. Horace says that the villa lies in a shady (‘opaca’) valley (l. 5), in the midst of a chain of mountains (‘continui montes’, l. 5). In the background of the vista the artist has depicted such a chain of mountains. When one approaches the villa (i.e. from south to north), Horace says, the right side is sunny, the left shady (l. 6). This was portrayed in the drawing, but in the etching it is the other way around. Horace also tells how he travelled to his country house – by coach (‘currus’, l. 7): The artist HR followed him closely, depicting the poet with his guests in a coach drawn by two horses [Fig. 4.10C]. He reconstructed a kind of Roman coach of antiquity, and he dressed Horace and his guests in long, antiquizising robes. Horace’s description excludes that his estate resembled a geometrical Renaissance garden: He talks about trees: prune and sour cherry trees, oaks and beeches (l. 9). Horace likes them because they provide shade to him and food for his livestock (l. 10). Following Horace’s description, the artist rendered the garden of the villa full of various trees [Fig. 4.10D].

3.5 The Excrement of Lazio: Piranesi’s Caricature of the Villa of Horace (Ruine della Villa d’Orazio, 1769)

Not everybody took all the fuss about Horace’s villa too seriously. When Capmartin de Chaupy published his three-volume treatise on Horace’s villa,93 the archaeological endeavour seemed a bit over the top. Among the mockers was the renowned architect, antiquarian, and printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778), who composed an acerbic caricature of the pedantic Frenchman’s work: He depicted in trompe l’œil technique Capmartin’s three “impressive” volumes together with their revolutionary “result”, i.e. a map with the site of the villa and the archaeological remains [Fig. 4.11]. The inscription on top of the image says: ‘A dry fountain, a couple of crumbling walls have brought forth three enormous volumes! What should one say, my Baretti! Give me the whip!’. The author of the volumes, CC, is called ‘Capo confuso’ and ‘vostro cavallo antiquario’; he is “honoured” as a member of the illustrious ‘Accademia de’ Fanatici’, which is assembling next to Horace’s villa. To top off the fun, Piranesi represented the archaeological remains of the villa as a big piece of excrement [Fig. 4.11].

Figure 4.11
Figure 4.11

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Ruine della Villa d’Orazio, 1769. Engraving, 38 × 25 cm. From: Piranesi, Diverse Maniere D’Adornare I Cammini ed ogni altra parte degli edifizi desunte dall’architettura Egizia, Etrusca, e Greca con un Ragionamento Apologetico in difesa dell’Architettura Egizia, e Toscana [...] (Rome, Generoso Salomoni: 1769) [p. 4]. Public domain

3.6 Topographical Record as an Appendix to Archaeology, and the Genius loci: Jakob Philipp Hackert’s dix Vues de la Maison de Campagne d’Horace et ses environs, nommés dans les Oeuvres d’Horace (ca. 1779–1784)

The important German landscape painter Jakob Philipp Hackert (born 1737),94 then working in Rome, was also fascinated by Horace’s newly discovered villa. He visited it for the first time in October 1769 under the guidance of the learned antiquarian and proto-archaeologist Johann Friedrich Reiffenstein.95 This was a “slow tour” made on foot and must have been motivated by a combination of archaeological and artistic interest. In all probability Bertrand Capmartin de Chaupy’s recently published archaeological treatise on the discovery of Horace’s villa, Découverte de la Maison de Campagne d’Horace (Rome: 1767–1769) was an important incentive for the trip. As early as 1769 Hackert made drawings in situ, and in the following years he returned a number of times to the area of Tivoli. It is not clear when exactly he got the idea to produce a print series of Horace’s villa in Licenza. In the 1770s he ran a print office together with his brother Georg at the Piazza di Spagna, and the project of the Licenza series surely took shape in the framework of this enterprise.96 Patricia Andrew suggests that the process of production was time-consuming.97 Anyway, Hackert must have made at least two sets of drawings (which are lost).98

More important than the details of the production process is the idea behind the series: This is a combination of archaeological endeavour, artistic ambition, and commercial interest. The topic of Horace’s villa was hot in the 1770s and 1780s in Rome, Licenza even became a kind of tourist spot, and so the brothers Hackert could be sure that a print series such as this would sell. As a specialist of vedute and landscapes, Philipp Hackert felt he could contribute to the recently acquired archaeological knowledge in the form of a kind of visual appendix to De Sanctis’s, Capmartin de Chaupy’s, and Ramsay’s treatises.99 He aimed at providing trustworthy records of the topographical situation in order to sustain the archaeological argument, and to make it more anschaulich. Finally, in 1784, the series appeared under the title:

Carte general de la partie de la Sabine ou etoit située la Maison de Campagne d’Horace, suivie de dix Vues de cette Campagnne et de ses Environs, nommés dans les Œuvres d’Horace, et relatives aux dissertations que Mr. l’Abbé de Sanctis, Mr. l’Abbé Capmartin de Chaupy et Mr. Ramsay ont publié à ce sujet.

Rome, Georg Hackert: [1784]

It is characteristic of the Hackert project that the title page of the print series is a topographical map, a three-dimensional overview (‘carte generale’) with entries of the precise location of the places and with references to the 10 vedute of the Sabinian region [Fig. 4.12A]. Also, it becomes clear from the title that Hackert’s series refers to the treatises of Domenico de Sanctis, Capmartin de Chaupy, and Allan Ramsay. The Licenza print series became very successful. The Hackert brothers issued it not only in Rome but also later in Naples (from 1787 on). Also, it was stolen in the late 1780s by Luigi Sabatelli, a Florentine engraver who was working in Rome at the time.100

Figure 4.12A
Figure 4.12A

Title page of Jakob Philipp Hackert, Carte generale de la partie de la Sabine où etoit située la Maison de Campagne d’Horace, suivie de dix Vues des sites de cette Campagne et de ses Environs, nommés dans les Œuvres d’Horace (Rome: [1784]?). Private collection

Notwithstanding the scientific purpose of the work, Hackert also followed his artistic ambitions as a landscape painter. All vedute are carefully construed like his other landscapes, with a harmonious division in foreground, middle ground, and background (‘Tiefenstaffelung der Bilder in Vorder-, Mittel- und Hintergrund’), with attention given to a picturesque atmospheric effect (‘die malerische Wiedergabe des Atmosphärischen’), a depiction of the sky with picturesque formations of clouds (‘Wolkenbildungen des Himmels’), and subtle nuances of light (‘feine Abstufung der Helligkeiten’).101 Hackert’s ideal of landscape painting was a combination of ‘truth’ or trustworthy depiction (‘Objektivität’)102 with a beautiful, aesthetically appealing composition with painterly effects; in his theoretical thinking on landscape painting (in Landschaftsmalerei. Theoretische Fragmente), he calls this ‘mit Treue und angenehmer Wahrheit im Gemälde’. All these painterly qualities are amply present in all the plates of the print series (of course, with the exception of the map). Actually, Philipp Hackert also made paintings of the series, 10 watercolours/gouaches which he entitled Zehn Aussichten von dem Landhause des Horaz.103 The guaches were clearly a spinoff of the bigger project of the print series. Hackert sold them to Maria Carolina, queen of Naples, as a present for her sister, the Arch-Duchess Maria Christina (Brussels).104 In 1811, when Goethe wrote his biography of Hackert, he thought that they had been lost in a shipwreck.105 However, in 1820 they were still in the inventory of the famous collection of Duke Albert of Austria, the founder of the Albertina in Vienna.106 They reappeared in the art trade in Vienna in 1982.107 In the watercolours, Hackert could enhance the painterly qualities he aimed for, especially the atmospheric effects, and the subtle nuances of the light. For example, one may take no. 4 of the print series and compare it with the gouache [Figs. 4.12B and C]. In the gouache, the light is brighter and has more nuance, and the sky seems deeper. The atmospheric impression is different: On the gouache, it seems to be early afternoon, on the print rather late afternoon. In general, the print is darker. On the gouache everything is floated with soft bright light. Because of this, and because of the colour accents, the gouache creates a more joyful atmosphere.

Figure 4.12B
Figure 4.12B

Jakob Philipp Hackert, view of Mandela, 1780. Watercolour. From: “Zehn Aussichten”, no. 4. Goethe-Museum, Düsseldorf

Figure 4.12C
Figure 4.12C

Jakob Philipp Hackert, Carte generale de la partie de la Sabine où etoit située la Maison de Campagne d’Horace, suivie de dix Vues des sites de cette Campagne et de ses Environs, nommés dans les Œuvres d’Horace (Rome: [1784]?), engraving no. 4. Private collection

Moreover, Hackert had the idea that landscapes may exert a ‘sittliche Wirkung’ and inspire the viewers to historical and moral contemplation, e.g. landscapes in which important historical events took place or in which famous persons lived:

Viele Landschaften machen uns ein außerordentliches Vergnügen, wenn sie uns die Gegenden vorstellen, wo große Taten geschehen sind, als Schlachten und andere große Begebenheiten der Geschichte. Wenn Reisende solche Gegenden gesehen haben, und finden sie nun mit Treue und angenehmer Wahrheit im Gemälde vorgestellt, so erweckt es in ihnen eine ganze Reihe historischer und anderer bedeutenden Vorstellungen. Auch Gegenden, wo berühmte Männer gelebt und gewohnt haben, als Horazens Villa bei Tivoli a Licenza, Vaucluse, wo Petrarca sich aufhielt, solche Landschaften interessieren öfters Liebhaber […].108

With respect to the houses of famous writers, Hackert addresses an interest in a kind of genius loci. What was the ‘sittliche Wirkung’ Hackert may have had in mind? What kind of genius loci did he try to evoke?

Vedute 7 and 8 represent views directly from Horace’s villa into the surrounding landscape. Plate no. 7 is taken from the lower part of the hill (foreground = place of the villa) and provides a view with a ‘Tiefenstaffelung’ into the middle ground, a plain, and the background, i.e. the hills and mountains on the opposite side of the valley [Fig. 4.12D]. The hills are harmoniously composed in a parallel structure and ascend slightly from the plain to the highest top. The whole composition makes a serene and entirely peaceful impression. The foreground figures consist of a shepherd with his goats. These are, of course, staffage figures, but they contribute to the Bildaussage. The ‘sittliche Wirkung’ is the one of a laus vitae rusticae, praise of country life. The viewer is supposed to meditate on the moral advantages of the country life, in opposition to the stressful life in Rome. The viewer is invited to recall Horace’s poems in which he had praised the pleasures of the country life. The foreground figures add to the peaceful bucolic atmosphere. Thus, Hackert has rendered the surroundings of Horace’s country house clearly as a bucolic landscape, similar to the landscapes which are evoked in Virgil’s Eclogae. Hackert considered this preference for a simple, rural, and morally unspoiled lifestyle as a characteristic of Horace. The same idea is the basis of all other Horatian landscapes depicted by Hackert; in veduta no. 4 the shepherd with goats and sheep appears again in the foreground, two goats look in the direction of the Anio. The whole image is bathed in soft and pleasant sunlight [Fig. 4.12B]. The last plate of the series is bucolic even in a narrow sense: it shows goats and herdsmen at the Mons Lucretilis [Fig. 4.12E].

Figure 4.12D
Figure 4.12D

Jakob Philipp Hackert, Carte generale de la partie de la Sabine où etoit située la Maison de Campagne d’Horace, suivie de dix Vues des sites de cette Campagne et de ses Environs, nommés dans les Œuvres d’Horace (Rome: [1784]?), engraving no. 7. Private collection

Figure 4.12E
Figure 4.12E

Jakob Philipp Hackert, Carte generale de la partie de la Sabine où etoit située la Maison de Campagne d’Horace, suivie de dix Vues des sites de cette Campagne et de ses Environs, nommés dans les Œuvres d’Horace (Rome: [1784]?), engraving no. 10. Private collection

3.7 Pictorial Ekphrasis: Albert Christoph Dies’s Painting of Odes I, 17

Albert Christoph Dies, an acknowledged landscape painter who worked from 1775 on in Rome and was befriended by Philipp Hackert and his circle, created a wonderful painting, a kind of bucolic idyll with the Arcadian god Pan, who together with his satyr companions is giving a “concerto campestre” under an old oak tree [Fig. 4.13A]. Pan is playing his characteristic pan flute, two satyrs the double flute (tibiae), a third satyr a tympanum, and a fourth cymbals. In the foreground is seated a group of people who seem to be listening to Pan’s music. The landscape is most impressive: picturesque rock formations and a huge oak tree in the foreground, various mountain formations in the background. Nevertheless, Dies’s invention is not just a bucolic scene or a beautiful landscape with a number of staffage figures. Importantly, the audience depicted in the foreground is as significant for the meaning of the painting as the Arcadian god.

Figure 4.13A
Figure 4.13A

Albert Christoph Dies, Pan’s “Concerto campestre”. Oil on canvas, 83 × 111 cm. Whereabouts unknown

If one looks closer at the audience, the attention is drawn to the first pair from the left – the man dressed in antique clothes is pointing with his right hand to Pan [Fig. 4.13B], as if he wants to say to his girlfriend: ‘Look here and listen, Pan has come and is playing his flute’. This man is Horace, and his portrait is construed after one of the many copies of the contorniate medallion [Fig. 4.13C].

Figure 4.13C
Figure 4.13C

Fake contorniate, obverse with Horace’s portrait, with the d’Este eagle erased (under the palm branch). Bibliothèque nationale de France 44974169. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b113438916/f1.item#

What Dies actually rendered in this painting is Horace’s Odes I, 17, one of the poems Horace wrote in praise of his country estate: The poet invites his love Tyndaris (on the painting this is the beautiful girl sitting next him, Fig. 4.13B), who lives in Rome, to visit him at his country house at the Mons Lucretilis (the modern Monte Gennaro). It is midsummer, the period of the ‘dog days’ (‘caniculae’, l. 17), from 23 July to 23 August, when it is unbearably hot (‘aestus’, l. 18) in the Urbs. Horace argues that his girlfriend shall avoid the heat of Rome and come to his country estate in the midst of beautiful nature, where it is cool and pleasant, safe, and enjoyable. He praises his manor by saying that it is protected by the gods. Especially Pan/Faunus is frequently present and ‘defends it against the torrent heat of the summer’ (‘igneam […] aestatem’, ll. 2–3). Proudly Horace claims that the god prefers his Mons Lucretilis to his original home, Mons Lycaeus in Arcadia (l. 1). Thus, Dies’s painting is dedicated to the epiphany of Pan at the Mons Lucretilis.

The poem runs like this:

1Swift Faunus often exchanges109
The Arcadian Mount Lycaeus for my beautiful (amoenus) Mount Lucretilis,
And while he stays he protects my goats
From the torrid midday heat and thunderstorms as well. […]
[here everything is pleasant and peaceful],110 my lovely Tyndaris,
10Once the valleys and the smooth rocks (levia saxa)
Of my Mount Ustica resound (personuere)
With the sweet piping of the god.
The gods protect me: My devotion (pietas)
And my poetry (Musa) are dear to the gods. Here the rich
15Wealth of the countryside’s beauties (ruris honores) will
Flow for you the horn of plenty.
Here, in the most remote part of the valley (in reducta valle) you’ll escape
From the heat of the dog-star, and sing to Anacreon’s lyre
Of elusive (vitrea) Circe and of Penelope
20Who both loved the same man.
Here, under the shade, you’ll drink cups of harmless
Lesbian wine: Semele’s son, Bacchus,
Will not battle with Mars […].
1Velox amoenum saepe Lucretilem
Mutat Lycaeo Faunus et igneam
Defendit aestatem capellis
Usque meis pluviosque uentos.
[…]
10[…, 1 line] utcumque dulci, Tyndari, fistula
Valles et Usticae cubantis
Leuia personuere saxa.
Di me tuentur, dis pietas mea
Et Musa cordi est. Hic tibi copia
15Manabit ad plenum benigno
Ruris honorum opulenta cornu:
Hic in reducta ualle Caniculae
Vitabis aestus et fide Teia
Dices laborantis in uno
20Penelopen uitreamque Circen.
Hic innocentis pocula Lesbii
Duces sub umbra nec Semeleius
Cum Marte confundet Thyoneus
Proelia […]

Thus, Horace promises that everything is fine when the neighbouring valleys and the rocks of Ustica resound with Pan’s music. Actually, Horace invites Tyndaris to make music too, here, in the ‘most remote part of the valley’ (‘in reducta valle’, l. 16), and obviously he means that they shall sing together, that he will play Anacreontic melodies on the lyre, and she will sing songs about Penelope, Circe, and their love to Ulysses (ll. 17–19). Among the enjoyable things will be drinking Lesbian wine in the shadow (‘pocula Lesbii sub umbra’). Don’t be afraid, Horace promises, the wine will not harm us, it will not make the son of Semele battling with Mars (ll. 22–24). Dies has depicted in his ekphrastic painting even the mythological figures of Horace’s and Tyndaris’s song, Penelope and Circe. They sit in the middle of the foreground group [Fig. 4.13D]: Penelope (left) is thinking of her absent beloved husband, whilst the treacherous magician Circe (with lascivious, almost nude breasts) is telling a mendacious story to some girl, maybe one of her maiden servants. Even Bacchus and Mars, who were mentioned in the poem, are painted: Martial Mars (the man with dark hair and beard) is characterized by the weapon he holds in his right hand, the son of Semele by his birth from the shank of Jupiter [Fig. 4.13D].

The landscape Dies has depicted is meant to render a view at the Mons Lucretilis. Dies was acquainted with the area, and he probably visited the surroundings of Horace’s villa at Licenza. He had painted in the area in the years 1792–1794, together with his friends Johann Christian Reinhardt and Jakob Wilhelm Mechau, with whom he was preparing an album of engraved landscapes and vedute of Rome and its surroundings, entitled Collection de vues pittoresques de l’Italie, dessinées d’après nature, et gravées à l’eau forte à Rome, par trois peintres allemands (Rome: 1796). Dies made drawings of a number of picturesque landscapes published in the collection, and also of “Horatian” places, such as the Villa of Maecenas. Among other things, he composed Tivoli landscapes as bucolic scenes, e.g. plate 49 [Fig. 4.13E]. The three painters also worked in the surroundings of Horace’s villa. One of the engravings in the album depicts the Fountain Bandusia, made by Jakob Wilhelm Mechau [Fig. 4.13F]. This Horatian vista, too, is rendered as a bucolic scene, with a shepherd and cows and people in the shadow who try to protect themselves against the summer heat. It was known that the source of the stream Licenza sprang off at Mons Lucretilis. If one looks closer at the part of Dies’s painting that portrays Horace and his love Tyndaris, one can discern in the background a fountain springing off the rocks [Fig. 4.13C].

Figure 4.13E
Figure 4.13E

Albert Christoph Dies, Bucolic scene with one of the waterfalls in Tivoli, 1792. From: Collection de vues pittoresques de l’Italie, dessinées d’après nature, et gravées à l’eau forte à Rome, par trois peintres allemands, A.-C. Dies, Charles Reinhart, Jaques Méchau (Rome: 1796). Detail. Public domain

Figure 4.13F
Figure 4.13F

Jakob Wilhelm Mechau, Bucolic scene with the ‘Fontana Blandusia’ at Licenza, 1794. From: Collection de vues pittoresques de l’Italie, dessinées d’après nature, et gravées à l’eau forte à Rome, par trois peintres allemands, A.-C. Dies, Charles Reinhart, Jaques Méchau (Rome: 1796), plate 49. Public domain

Although Dies worked in the area, it is not certain that the very spot visible in the painting is a ‘portrayed’ vista. Its landscape may be construed, and he may have used parts of other landscapes designed either by himself or others. For example, the structure of the foreground of the “Concerto campestre” [Fig. 4.13G] resembles Hackert’s Ansicht der Quelle des Flusses Licenza auf dem Mons Lucretilis (‘Fonte Bello’) [Fig. 4.12E]. Dies, who was befriended by Hackert, surely knew his engraved series Carte generale de la partie de la Sabine ou etoit située la Maison de Campagne d’Horace, suivie de dix Vues des sites de cette Campagne et de ses Environs (1784, plate 9). As one can see from the caption to the engraving of plate 9, Hackert identified the source depicted in the image with the source mentioned in Epistles I, 6, 22–27. In his pirated edition of Hackert’s series, the Florentine artist Luigi Sabatelli depicted Horace and three Muses at the fountain of the Licenza at the Mons Lucretilis [Fig. 4.13H]. In this image, it is the Muses who give a “Concerto campestre”: Inspired Horace is writing down what the Muses sing to him. In plate 8, Hackert invented another vista of the Mons Lucretilis, and this one he presented explicitly as an illustration to Odes I, 17 – as quoted in the caption: ‘Hic in reducta valle caniculae / Vitabis aestus’ (ll. 17–18). In the centre of the image Hackert depicted the ‘reducta vallis’ mentioned in the caption. In his pirated edition of Hackert’s series Sabatelli designed new foreground figures. In Hackart’s original invention, these were a donkey driver and a walker with his dog; Sabatelli, however, showed Horace returning to his country estate: In the foreground right, Horace stands dressed in a toga, together with his love Tyndaris [Fig. 4.13I]. This time, it is Tyndaris who is pointing in the direction of the valley with Pan’s music.

Figure 4.13G
Figure 4.13G

Dies, Pan’s “Concerto campestre”, 1802. Detail from 4.13A

Figure 4.13H
Figure 4.13H

Luigi Sabatelli, Horace, his Muse and two female figures at the Source of the Licenza at the Mons Lucretilis, 1840. From: Raccolta di no. 10 vedute rappresentanti la villa d’Orazio, o la sua abitazione di campagna ed i siti circonvicini, con una carta topografica della stessa grandezza che indica con numeri romani i punti, dai quali il pittore F. Hackert le ha espresse [...] D’invenzione e disegno di L. Sabatelli. Incise a bulino da Francesco Morel, probably made by Sabatelli in the 1780s or early 1790s, here in an imprint Rome, Agapito Franzetti: 1840, plate 9. Public domain

Figure 4.13I
Figure 4.13I

Luigi Sabatelli (designer and engraver), Horace and Tyndaris in front of the ‘vallis reducta’, probably made by Sabatelli in the 1780s or early 1790s. Engraving to Raccolta di no. 10 vedute rappresentanti la villa d’Orazio, o la sua abitazione di campagna ed i siti circonvicini [...] (Rome, Agapito Franzetti: 1840), plate 8. Public domain

3.8 Divine Child Horace and the Angel-Muse: Angelika Kauffmann’s Painting of Odes III, 4 (Rome, before 1792)

The Swiss-Austrian painter Angelika Kauffmann (1741–1807) translated the narrative of Odes III, 4, into an impressive image that rendered its most miraculous and sacred moment. She painted it for her patron George Bowels (who owned more than 50 of her paintings). The painting became widely known through engravings, e.g. by Francesco Bartolozzi (published in 1792, 1797,111 and 1798 [Fig. 4.14A]), and by Antonio Zecchin (published in 1800 [cf. below, Fig. 4.14E]). In Odes III, 4, Horace tells us that when he was a little child (‘infans’) he stayed with his nurse (‘nutrix’, or in some texts ‘altrix’), who lived in the mountains of Apulia; once when playing he left the safe borders (‘limina’) of his nurse’s garden and ran out into the wild nature of the Apulian mount Voltur (or ‘Vultur’); while occupied with his play (‘ludo’) he got tired and fell asleep. An unprotected child in midst of hostile nature full of bears and snakes – this was, of course, very dangerous. But a miracle happened: Calliope sent pigeons to him in order to protect him and cover him with boughs of myrtle and laurel.

Figure 4.14A
Figure 4.14A

Angelika Kauffmann, Sleeping Horace and the miracle of the doves. Engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi, 1798, 37.7 × 40.5 cm. Berlin, Kupferstich-Kabinett https://skd-online-collection.skd.museum/Details/Index/1000092

In her painting Angelika Kauffmann condensed Horace’s narrative into a single dramatic moment: doves bring branches of laurel and myrtle to the child who is sleeping under a tree. Kauffmann has done her best to push the innocence and vulnerability of the child to the maximum. She gave it a sweet face, long, blond, and curly hair, and an utterly white skin, and dressed it in a white tunic, which slipped off the shoulder during its sleep [Fig. 4.14A]. The expression on the child’s face is peaceful and totally relaxed, as maybe only children are able to sleep.

In Horace’s poem, the Muse Calliope does not figure in the scene itself but is casting her spell from an indefinite distance. In a marked difference, Kauffmann incorporated Calliope into the image, even as a central figure: Her epiphany is crucial not only for the overall impression of the image, but especially for her interpretation of the scene: The Muse, coming from the right side, is kneeling down in front of the child [Fig. 4.14A], which is a posture of veneration. Because of this posture, Kauffmann’s Muse reminds the viewer of Christian angels, e.g. of the Annunciation or of the Veneration of Jesus the child. Angelika Kauffmann herself had painted the scene with the Adoration of the angel (i.e. a celebration of the miracle of Incarnation [Fig. 4.14B]). The image is a theological interpretation of Canticum canticorum 2, 1, ‘Ego sum flos campi et lilium convallium’. Furthermore, Kauffmann’s Angel-Muse makes with her left hand a gesture of emotional agitation [Fig. 4.14A], which signifies that she is deeply – and religiously – moved by the ongoing miracle. This gesture is reminiscent of (either medieval or early modern) visual representations of miracles by saints or Jesus Christ: with this gesture, the viewers express a mixture of astonishment, surprise, and veneration. By subtly addressing pictorial traditions, Kauffmann represents the child Horace as divine and as an object of veneration.

Figure 4.14B
Figure 4.14B

Angelika Kauffmann (inv. et sculps.) – Giuseppe Zucchi (sculps.), Angel venerating the Child and bringing flowers, engraving, 1776. https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O760685/the-holy-family-with-an-engraving-angelica-kauffmann/

Furthermore, Kauffmann’s rendering of the doves indicates that a religious mystery is taking place, because of their sacred number (three) and colour (white) [Fig. 4.14A]. The white dove is, of course, the representational symbol of the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Holy Trinity. Each Christian viewer of the image must have supposed that three white doves had a religious or spiritual meaning. Characteristically, Horace’s doves were not white: The word he uses for them, ‘palumbes’ (= ‘wood pigeons’, l. 12), indicates that their colours are shades of grey, violet, and blue. Jakob Philipp Hackert, in his version of the scene, has depicted the pigeons correctly in a kind of grey colour [cf. below, Fig. 4.16A]. Also, he painted four of them, not three. Horace himself did not indicate their number. Furthermore, it is significant that Kauffmann dressed her child Horace in white, i.e. the colour of Jesus Christ, Divinity, Christian perfection, purity, and innocence.112 Not coincidally, in her Adoration of the Child by the Angel, Jesus is characterized by a white piece of cloth. Added up, the bias of Kauffmann’s inventio is to enhance the sacred character of the sleeping child. All elements, Calliope’s posture and gesture, the colour and number of the pigeons, the child’s dress. etc., indicate that this is a holy child, that it should be venerated, and that it deserves fame and glory.

The theologian, philosopher and poet Christian Schreiber published in his Gedichte, erster Band (1805) an ekphrastic poem on Kauffmann’s Sleeping Horace and the miracle of the doves, and he very probably used Antonio Zecchin’s engraving of 1800 as a template [cf. below, Fig. 4.14E]. Schreiber was obviously very proud of this poem, because he presented it as one of the first poems of his Gedichte.113 Also, Johann Stephan Rosenheyn (1778–1844) was impressed by this poem, because he selected it for his collection Des Qu. Horatius Flaccus Werke in gereimten Übersetzungen und Nachahmungen von verschiedenen deutschen Dichtern aus älterer und neuerer Zeit […], 2 vols. (1818).114 Rosenheyn did not understand that Christian Schreiber composed his poem after Angelika Kauffmann’s Sleeping Horace and the miracle of the doves. He wrongly identified the painting as Philipp Hackert’s ‘schönes Landschaftsgemälde’ of a mountainous landscape with ‘a lonely valley’ and, as staffage, Horace and the miracle of the pigeons.115 This painting, now in the Staatliche Kunsthalle of Karlsruhe, will be discussed below (section 3.10). Zinn quotes Schreiber’s poem in his article on this Landschaftsgemälde of Hackert, although he had doubts about Rosenheyn’s identification.116 Zinn remarked correctly that parts of Schreiber’s description are not congruent with Hackert’s painting, but he did not know any other depiction with Horace and the miracle of the pigeons;117 actually, there are a number of them, e.g. by John Pine (1733) and E. Burney and P. Cooper (1799) [Figs. 4.14C and D]. However, one can rule out the idea that Schreiber’s poem refers to Hackert’s Landschaftsgemälde, because the poem was made before this painting.118

Figure 4.14C
Figure 4.14C

John Pine’s Horace. Portrait of Horace as an old, bald and bearded man on a pedestal. The relief of the pedestal shows the miracle of the sleeping child with the doves. Illustration to Epistles I, 4

Figure 4.14D
Figure 4.14D

E. Burney – P. Cooper, The miracle of the sleeping child Horace with the doves. Detail of a frontispiece with an imaginary monument of Horace. Private collection

Der schlummernde Horaz.
Nach einem Gemälde.
Wer schlummert dort, von süßer Ahnung trunken,
Hoch auf des Berges waldumkränzten Höhn119?
Leis rauscht der Quell,120 die linden Lüfte wehn,
In stille121 Feier ist die Nacht versunken.122
5Und sieh! es naht in überird´schem Schimmer
Sich eine himmlische Gestalt,
Des Knaben staunend, der auf Felsentrümmer
Gelagert, sicher ruht der höheren Gewalt.
Und der Bestimmung Würde ihm zu deuten
10Läßt sie, der heil´gen Weihe voll,
Den Ruhm, der seinen Scheitel schmücken soll,
Durch wunderbare Zeichen ihm bereiten.
Denn gottgesandte T a u b e n neigen
Den leichten Flug zu ihm herab,
15Und brechen von des Lorbeers Zweigen
Drei jugendliche Blüthen123 ab;
Sie kränzen ihm die goldnen Locken,124
Da rührt ihn magisch das Gesicht,
Und – selig von dem Bild erschrocken,
20Schlägt er die Augen auf zum Licht!

In his Romantic interpretation the poet and theologian Christian Schreiber has understood the religious and even Christian character of Kauffmann’s invention. He does not identify the epiphany as Calliope, but says that it was a ‘heavenly figure’ (l. 6, ‘eine himmlische Gestalt’) with a halo or nimbus (l. 5, ‘in überird´schem Schimmer’), full of ‘heil’ger Weihe’ (l. 10, something like ‘sacred blessing’), which means that he interpreted the figure as an angel. Angels usually come to bring a message to the mortals – and this one brings the heavenly message that Horace will in the future be a famous poet; the way of transmitting it is through a ‘miraculous sign’ (‘durch wunderbare Zeichen’, l. 12), namely through ‘gottgesandte Tauben’. It is noteworthy that Schreiber says that the doves are ‘sent by God’: The angel himself is ‘surprised about the’ – obviously miraculous – ‘boy child’ (‘des Knaben staunend’, l. 7). Interestingly, Schreiber thought that the scene took place at night, and that this fact contributed to its religious character: ‘In stille Feier ist die Nacht versunken’ (l. 4, ‘the night has sunk in silent adoration’). This silent adoration of the night comes close to the Romantic moon. However, Kauffmann’s painting was certainly not meant as a night piece or a moonlight painting. The reason for Schreiber’s ekphrastic celebration of the night is that he has used Zecchin’s engraving as his template, which was extremely dark [Fig. 4.14E]. The night is of course the proper time for sleep and dreams. And so Schreiber suggests that little Horace has a dream vision, ‘von süßer Ahnung trunken’ (l. 1); the boy is pleased and frightened by the vision at the same time (l. 19, ‘selig von dem Bild erschrocken’), and wakes up (l. 20 ‘Schlägt er die Augen auf zum Licht!’).

Figure 4.14E
Figure 4.14E

Angelika Kauffmann, Sleeping Horace and the miracle of the doves, 1800, engraving by Antonio Zecchin

3.9 Ut pictura poesis or the Divine Inspiration of the Artist: Angelika Kauffmann’s Self-portrait in the Tondo Version of the Miracle with the Doves

Probably around 1782 Angelika Kauffmann painted another version of the sleeping child Horace and the miracle of the Muses. This is a very intriguing invention, not least because Angelika herself figures in the painting: She is the female character to the left [Fig. 4.15A]. Who is the female figure (in the middle)? Is it, as in the painting discussed in the previous section, Horace’s personal protectress, the Muse Calliope? Anyway, the figure in the tondo plays a different role: She is showing to Angelika the miracle of the divine poet; with the demonstrative gesture of her left hand she points to the child Horace, and, at the same time she embraces Angelika and looks deeply into her eyes, as if she is in love with her. Angelika seems to be touched by the scene: This time, it is she who makes the gesture of emotional agitation (with her right hand) [Fig. 4.15A]. Thus, the other female figure introduces her into the divinity and sacrality of poetry. In this painting, Angelika presented herself as a paintress who is beloved by poetry. In doing so, she advertises herself as an adherent to Horace’s greatest contribution to early modern art theory: Ut pictura poesis, the manifesto of the interconnectedness of the visual arts and poetry.125 Angelika Kauffmann – who was influenced in this respect by Winckelmann, Mengs, and the Roman Arcadian Academy, which fostered the idea that poetry and painting were sister arts.126 Kauffmann was very much occupied with this thought, not least because she was multitalented.

Figure 4.15A
Figure 4.15A

Angelika Kauffmann, The child Horace with the miracle of the doves, ca. 1782. Tondo, 65 cm, oil on canvas

Interestingly, there exists an exact counterpart to the Horace tondo, a tondo she painted in 1782, again for George Bowels: Self-portrait as Character of Painting Embraced by Poetry [Fig. 4.15B].127 In this tondo Kauffmann portrayed herself as the personification of painting together with the Muse of lyrical poetry (as personification of poesis): As in the tondo painting with the miracle of the doves, the Muse/personification of poetry is embracing the paintress and looks at her in the same loving way [Fig. 4.15B]. The paintress and the Muse look like sisters. Thus, the meaning of the Horace tondo is: Ut pictura poesis – as poetry is a divine art, so is painting, and, as Horace is a godly inspired poet, so Angelika is a divine paintress. Bowles had made an engraving after the painting of the two sister arts (1787): Here the caption says that Kauffmann represents the personification of ‘Design’, and the Muse that of the ‘Inspiration of poetry’. Actually, the contemporary discussions on the theoretical principle of Ut pictura poesis focussed on the process of artistic creation – invention and inspiration. Kauffmann’s friend and first biographer, Giovanni di Rossi, equaled Angelika’s art with poetry, especially regarding divine inspiration which he described in terms of mental ecstasies: ‘When she picked up the brush she became as a poet who takes up the lyre, and, possessed by inspiration, becomes transformed: anything might be attempted, and he knows no bounds to his flight’.128 Contemporaries such as Giovanni di Rossi regarded Angelika Kauffmann as an inspired paintress: This is exactly the core of Kauffmann’s conception in the tondo with Horace and the miracle of the doves: Via the mediation of the personification of Poetry she equals her art with the divine genius of Horace – and presents herself as inspired visual artist and as a Horatius redivivus at the same time.

Figure 4.15B
Figure 4.15B

Angelika Kauffmann, The personification of poetry embraces Painting (self-portrait with the Muse of lyrical poetry), 1782. Tondo, oil on canvas, 61 cm. Collection of Lord Iveagh Bequest (London). Public domain

3.10 Landscape as Divine Inspiration: Jakob Philipp Hackert’s Painted Version of the Miracle of the Muse (Odes III, 4)

In 1805 Jakob Philipp Hackert came back to his Horace with an intriguing painted version of the autobiographical Odes III, 4 [Fig. 4.16A], now in the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe.129 At the very outset of the hymn, Horace asks his Muse Calliope for inspiration: ‘O queen Calliope, descend from heaven, / and play for me a substantial song on the flute, / Or, if you prefer, with your pure voice, / Or plucking at the strings of Apollo’s lute’ (ll. 1–4).130 His call is immediately heard; the Muse is responding, and indeed, he seems to hear her beautiful voice: ‘Do you hear her? Or does some lovely fancy / Toy with me? I seem to hear her, and seem to wander, now, / Through the sacred groves, where delightful / Waters steal, where delightful breezes stray’ (ll. 5–8). Calliope’s voice makes him believe that he is strolling through holy groves, where lovely streams flow (ll. 5–8). Horace experiences a kind of mental ecstasy, and he believes himself to be somewhere else, in the holy groves of the Muses, an inspiring landscape similar to the Helicon and the Parnassus with their valley of the Muses. The grove of the Muse is identical to the locus amoenus, where the poet experiences divine inspiration. This reminds Horace of a miracle of his childhood, when he fell asleep at such a locus and was covered by pigeons with branches of the laurel tree and myrtles (ll. 9–20). In the state of divine inspiration, past and present seem to merge. Horace says that the Muses are with him also now as a grown-up man, and that they accompany him to the high Sabine mountains (‘arduos Sabinos’, l. 22), to ‘cool Praeneste’ (‘frigidum Praeneste’, ll. 22–23), to ‘Tivoli hanging on the hill’ (‘Tibur supinum’, l. 23), or to pleasant Baiae.

Figure 4.16A
Figure 4.16A

Jakob Philipp Hackert (died 1807), painting of Horace, Ode III, 4: Horace protected by Calliope’s doves; present title: Waldlandschaft mit dem schlafenden, von Tauben behüteten Knaben Horaz. Karlsruhe, Staatliche Kunsthalle. Creative Commons. <https://www.kunsthalle-karlsruhe.de/kunstwerke/Jakob-Philipp-Hackert/Waldlandschaft-mit-dem-schlafenden-von-Tauben-beh%C3%BCteten-Knaben-Horaz/A2C3D12F4DB4D67153FABCB529CD5B22/#=>

In his invention, Hackert has focussed on two parts of the narrative, i.e. the miracle of the pigeons that cover Horace with laurels and the myrtles (ll. 9–13), and the divine protection from dangerous animals: In the distance (at the shore of the fountain) the bear and the snake mentioned in ll. 17–18 appear [Fig. 4.16A]. Hackert himself did not leave any doubt as to the poem to which his invention refers. In the foreground, on a stone, he gave the reference, dated, and signed the painting: ‘Horaz. Lib. III Od. IV. / Philipp Hackert pinx. 1805’. On the reverse side of the canvas he wrote down the same text once more, and additionally copied the Latin text of ll. 9–13.131 It is important to read the text in the version of Hackert, because it is different from the modern textus receptus, and because he understood it in a peculiar way:

Me fabulosae Vulture in Appeulo132 / Albricis extra limen Apuliae / Ludo, fatigatumque133 Somno / Fronde nova puerum Palumbes / Texere.

Although Hackert focussed on the miracle of the pigeons as well, and although he seems to have precisely and literally followed the Latin text, his painting contains elements that differ greatly from Horace’s ode as it is known to us, and also from Kauffmann’s painting. First of all, Hackert’s Horace is not a small child, as the narrative of the ode requires: after all, this is the reason why he erroneously left the borders of the garden of his nurse (‘nutricis’, or in another reading ‘altricis’).134 Hackert’s Horace is no infant, he is not playing children’s games, and he did not fall asleep because of this. One can easily discern in the image that Hackert depicted a grown-up man who is already composing poems: In his right hand he holds the lyre, in his left hand a scroll on which, as is suggested by Hackert, he must have just written a poem [Fig. 4.16A]. The basis of this conception is Hackert’s Latin text, which did not have any nurse; instead, Hackert read ‘albricis […] ludo, […]’ – ‘in sunny places […] I played’. If one looks at the painting, one discovers that Horace indeed stays in a sunny meadow. The comma after ‘ludo’ shows that Hackert did not construe the word with ‘fatigatumque’ (‘tired because of playing’), but took it as the first person of the verb ‘ludere’ – ‘I play’, namely the lyre. This is the reason why Hackert painted a lyre next to the young man [Fig. 4.16A]. Zinn automatically thought that because of the poem, the landscape was meant to represent Apulia. I think that this is questionable, because according to Hackert’s text Horace was ‘playing the lyre outside the border of Apulia’ (‘extra limen Apuliae’). This means that (in this version) Horace had already left the region of his youth. Therefore, it is obsolete to speculate whether Hackert “portrayed” a real Apulian landscape in his painting, whether Hackert studied the landscape of Apulia in situ, or whether he used drawings with Apulian landscapes made by other painters.135 It is not relevant that Hackert had left Naples and was working in Tuscany when he made his version of Horace’s Odes III, 4. The landscape of the painting was simply not meant to represent Apulia.

The landscape depicted in the painting is actually one from the surroundings of Tivoli and the Sabinian mountains; the fountain resembles the place that was shown as the Fountain of Bandusia, depicted in, for example, the engraving made by Franz Ludwig Catel [Fig. 4.16B and C]. The mountain in the far distance is not the Voltur of Apulia, as Zinn maintained, but resembles very much the Mons Lucretilis next to Horace’s country estate in Licenza [Fig. 4.16D and E]. Thus, the landscape Hackert painted refers to grown-up Horace. It seems to be an artful composition, consisting of elements Hackert took from earlier landscapes he painted in Latium: Tivoli with the wild Anio, and the surroundings of Horace’s villa (cf. section 3.8).

Figure 4.16B
Figure 4.16B

Franz Ludwig Catel, Fons Blandusiae. Illustration to Horace, Satires I, 5. Engraving from: Frommel Carl Ludwig, Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken. Gestaltet unter Anleitung von C.L. Frommel nach Zeichnungen von Catel (Karlsruhe: ca. 1830), plate 6. Public domain

Figure 4.16C
Figure 4.16D
Figure 4.16E
Figure 4.16E

Jakob Philipp Hackert, Mons Lucretilis from his printseries. Private collection

The most interesting thing is that in Hackert’s painting the divine inspiration of the poet seems to be evoked above all by the grandiose landscape. Hackert’s underlying conception is that great poetry is inspired by grandiose landscapes, such as the waterfalls of Tivoli, for him a Horatian place par excellence. So, it is only a matter of consequence that 95% of the painting consists of landscape: Sleeping Horace is rendered only as a tiny figure in the right lower angle of the painting, of the size of a staffage figure. A viewer who does not know Odes III, 4, could easily perceive Hackert’s painting just as a landscape or vista. Formerly when the painting was part of the National-Galerie in Berlin, it was titled “Waldlandschaft mit Wasserfall”.136 When the painting was exhibited in Königsberg in 1814, in the context of landscapes from Hackert’s Nachlass, the curator and composer of the catalogue, Ferdinand Raabe, described it this way: ‘Eine Waldgegend in einem einsamen Felstale, das sich in die weite Ferne ver- liert. Als Staffierung: Der schlafende Knabe Horaz, den die Tauben mit Lorbeern bestreun’.137 The mountainous landscape with its grandeur, materialized by the huge old oak trees, the fountain and the ravine, and a view into the far distance, is indeed the most admirable part of the painting. The most excellent element of the stunning vista is the oak trees: Hackert used all his painterly skills to render them as impressive as he could.138 They are also the main element of the locus amoenus as the Dichterort: Thus, in the end the old oak trees constitute the poetic locus inspirationis.

3.11 Horace as a Landscape Painter: Elizabeth Cavendish’s Project of the Roman Illustrated Edition of Satires I, 5 (1816)

In 1816 there appeared in Rome a new, lavishly illustrated edition of Horace’s Satires I, 5, in Latin and Italian.139 The project was instigated, directed, and financed by Elizabeth Cavendish, duchess of Devonshire (1759–1824) [Fig. 4.17A], who lived from 1815 on in Rome and became an important figure in the cultural life of the Eternal City as she was a fervent lover of literature, philology, antiquarianism, and painting. Already earlier, she had been an important patroness of Roman landscape painters, such as Jakob Philipp Hackert (died in 1807) and Jacob More (the so-called Mr. “More of Rome”; died in 1763). Hackert had made a print series of landscapes around Horace’s villa in Licenza (as discussed above in section 3.8).140 Elizabeth Cavendish asked Giuseppe Maria Molaioni, the secretary of her friend Cardinal Ercole Consalvi, to compose a new Italian translation of Satires I, 5, and to look through the Latin text, and she engaged some eight specialists of landscape paintings and vedute to make the drawings for an illustrated edition: Franz Ludwig Catel, Wilhelm Friedrich Gmelin, Franz Keisermann, J. Williams, Pierre-Auguste Chauvin, Giambattista Bassi, Simone Pomardi, and Letterio Subon.141 Furthermore, she found two experienced engravers to provide the copper plates, Pietro Parboni (plates 1, 3–5, 7, 8, 11 and 15, 17) and Angelo Testa (plates 6, 10, 12, 16); additionally, three plates were made by others, François Morel (plate 2), Giovanni Battista Balzar (plate 14), and F. Frommel (plate 2). Cavendish was fascinated by the project because it brought together her favourite interests: literature, philology, antiquarianism, and landscape painting. Horace’s Satires I, 5, was an excellent choice for this combination because it contains a description of a journey from Rome to Brindisi the poet undertook in 37 BC in the context of a diplomatic mission. From this Cavendish derived the main idea to have the places Horace passed on his trip illustrated: in other words, to translate Horace’s text into impressive landscapes.

Figure 4.17A
Figure 4.17A

Angelika Kaufmann, Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Foster, later Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, in the background a landscape with the Lago di Nemi, 1784/5. Oil on canvas. Public domain

The core of the project was “the art of landscape painting”, and the appropriation of literature, culture, history, geography, and archaeology through vedute. It is no coincidence that the artists Cavendish engaged were experienced painters of landscapes and vedute. The duchess was above all interested in stunning and aesthetically appealing landscapes, and actually it was she who chose the views: She took the trouble to re-enact Horace’s journey, accompanied by the Swedish diplomat, antiquarian, and palaeographer Johan David Åkerblad (who had studied classical and oriental languages in Uppsala) and by her group of painters, and she decided in situ what vistas should be depicted. Horace’s travel lasted 15 days, but Cavendish’s certainly a bit longer, because the artists needed time to work on their drawings. It seems there was a kind of contest among the artists regarding who would create the winning vista. Usually, more drawings were made in each spot, and in the end, the duchess would choose the best for the publication.

In its core and conception, the illustrated Horace of 1816 is Elizabeth Cavendish’s work, the result of her reading of Horace; and remarkably, she read the text with the eyes of a landscape painter. This perspective is pivotal for her interpretation of Satires I, 5, and it is all the more noteworthy because it is not exactly what Horace did on the textual level. The Roman poet did not at all deliver ekphrases or sophisticated descriptions of the places he visited – the text does not reveal any interest in landscapes whatsoever. Horace composed a satirical text pur sang: He draws a kind of caricature of the travel, and in the entire narrative he emphasizes the inconveniences, annoyances, and even rigours he experienced, and more than once he remarks how slow and boring it was (ll. 6ff.; 47): From Feronia to Anxur they made only three miles in one day (l. 25) – as Horace puts it, they were ‘creeping’ (‘repsimus’). Horace does not do his best to show how special or beautiful the places he visited were: On the contrary, he depicts them as being as uninteresting, insignificant, and unpleasant as possible. Besides, more than once Horace remarks that he had problems with his eyes because of an inflammation. Of Ariccia he remembered only that he stayed in a rather small and poor hotel (‘hospitio modico’, ll. 1–2); of Forum Appii that it was ‘full of mischievous innkeepers and bargemen’ (‘differtum nautis cauponibus atque malignis’, ll. 3–4) and that he fell ill because of ‘the lousy water’ (ll. 7–8); of Fundi nothing but ‘thank God, we left it’ (‘Fundos […] libenter […] linquimus’, ll. 34–35); of Capua that he was still ill from his stomach and that he went to sleep early while the others played ball (ll. 48–49); of Beneventum that the thrushes they got at the inn were small and burnt (ll. 71–72); of Trivicum that the inn was so smoky that he got tears in his eyes because the keeper used green wood, and that he was cheated by a prostitute (ll. 79–81); of Canusium that the bread was as hard as a stone (ll. 89–91), and so on. The highlights of the travel are encounters with friends, and a stupid conversation between two fools at a dinner party in the villa of Cocceius (ll. 51 ff.).

The duchess was not interested in these things. She re-enacted Horace’s travel along the Via Appia but she saw everything with different eyes, and the vistas she discovered she ‘read’ into Horace. If one analyses the published work, one may say that she has lent her eyes to Horace. The fact that the landscapes are undertitled with quotations from Satires I, 5 (captions), suggests that they render Horace’s text and what the Roman poet saw. In this way the publication suggests that Horace was an ardent landscape lover or a landscape painter in poetry. But, as we have seen, he was not. The vistas merge Horace’s text with Cavendish’s perceptions of landscapes.

How does this work? For example, Satires I, 5, starts with the first station (reached at the end of the first day), Ariccia, characterized by Horace as a stay in ‘a rather small and poor inn’ – in contrast to the wide-open and splendid Rome. Horace says nothing else, and this suggests that the place was completely insignificant. A small hotel in an insignificant place? In stark contrast, Cavendish chose a stunning view from the top of the crater of the Vulcanic lakes (ca. 600 metres high) into the wide plain of the Roman Campagna [Fig. 4.17B]. On the right side she had a building included in the image, but curiously this one is anything but small: Actually, it is the splendid Chigi palace of Ariccia, built by the famous architects Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini and Carlo Fontana (1664–1672). Thus, instead of an insignificant place with a small inn, Elizabeth Cavendish chose an impressive, beautiful vista adorned with a splendid palace. This process of reception of Horace is to be explained through the fact that Cavendish was perceiving the places with the eye of a landscape painter: If one went along the Via Appia and was approaching Ariccia, one would linger at a spot like this – a spot that provides a stunning view from the crater into the plain. It was the Swiss landscape painter Franz Keisermann whose drawing Cavendish chose for the publication [Fig. 4.17B]; on the foreground the Via Appia can be seen. The figures depicted on it are not the duchess’s company, but staffage figures required by the art of landscape painting (here two women in rustic costumes). The same principle can be observed also in the other plates of Cavendish’s illustrated Horace. Another device of the art of landscape painting requires one ore more big trees in the foreground. Whether the tree in Keisermann’s vista really stood there is not certain – it may just be an element introduced by the artist. Another painter of Cavendish’s company, Franz Ludwig Catel, made a drawing from a similar spot a bit further along the Via Appia; the drawing was later engraved by Carl Ludwig Frommel [Fig. 4.17C].142 Catel’s landscape is based on a similar concept: large trees and staffage figures in the foreground, Ariccia with the Chigi palace in the middle ground, and in the background (left) the immense plain of the Campagna.

A similar process of reception can be observed in almost all vistas of Cavendish’s Horace. Vista 4 does not depict the filthy village mentioned by Horace, ‘full of mischievous inn keepers and bargemen’, but the immense plain of the Campagna in the golden sunlight of late afternoon; although the caption declares that the depicted place is Forum Appii, nothing can be seen that would remind one of a town. The emphasis is on the vast empty plain suggested by long perspectival lines of the Via Appia and a channel and a mountain in the background. There are many romantic vistas with the plain of the Roman Campagna against the setting sun.

Figure 4.17B
Figure 4.17B

Franz Keisermann, Ariccia, etching. From: Q. Horatii Flacci Satyrarum libri I Satyra V (Rome, Mariano Augusto De Romanis: 1816), plate 3. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Inv. no.: kb-2015-864g-5 (Ill. XIX. Varii 1816–2)

Figure 4.17C
Figure 4.17C

Franz Ludwig Catel, Ariccia, after a drawing from 1816. Illustration to Horace, Satire I, 5. Engraving from: Frommel Carl Ludwig, Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken. Gestaltet unter Anleitung von C.L. Frommel nach Zeichnungen von Catel (Karlsruhe: ca. 1830), plate 12. Public domain

One of the few highlights of the journey is the dinner party in Cocceius’s villa. Cavendish again chose a picturesque view (drawn by Pierre-Auguste Chauvin) [plate 12, Fig. 4.17D], with the mountains of the Taburno Camposauro massif west of Benevento, and, in the foreground and middle ground, the meandering Sabato River and the long and impressive Roman bridge (Ponte Leproso), just outside the city of Benevento, where the ancient Via Appia crossed the Sabato. Then the Via Appia went through the picturesque valley depicted in the engraving. At the left angle of the image we see the city walls of Benevento: This is the spot where the drawing was made. It is a point of view that enables the artist to build up a marvellous perspective. Another painter of Cavendish’s company, Franz Ludwig Catel, made from the same spot an almost identical drawing. Obviously, Cavendish preferred the one by Chauvin, although there is almost no difference. But Catel’s drawing was later published as an engraving by Carl Ludwig Frommel in his Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken [Fig. 4.17E]. There, the image is described in this way: ‘(in der Antike) Beneventum […] lag in einem sehr geräumigen, äußerst fruchtbaren und durch mehrere Zweige der sie umgebenden Appenninen wahrhaft romantischen Talgegend (sic), in dem Winkel, der durch den Einfluß des Sabatusflusses in den Fluß Calor gebildet wird, wie man in der vorliegenden Ansicht deutlich wahrnehmen kann’.143 As the comment to Frommel’s etching has it, the view is onto ‘a truly Romantic landscape’. It is no coincidence that this was chosen for the illustrated Horace of 1816, and that later Romantic landscape painters, such as Edmund Kanoldt, made pictures from the same spot.144

Figure 4.17D
Figure 4.17D

Pierre-Auguste Chauvin, vista from Benevento with the mountains of the Taburno Camposauro massif. From: Q. Horatii Flacci Satyrarum libri I Satyra V (Rome, Mariano A. De Romanis: 1816), pl. 12. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Inv. no: kb-2015-864g-14 (Ill. XIX. Varii 1816-2)

Figure 4.17E
Figure 4.17E

Franz Ludwig Catel, Beneventum, after a drawing from 1816. Illustration to Horace, Satire I, 5. Engraving from: Frommel Carl Ludwig, Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken. Gestaltet unter Anleitung von C.L. Frommel nach Zeichnungen von Catel (Karlsruhe: ca. 1830), plate 17. Public domain

But what is the textual background of this stunning veduta? Horace gave a short location of Cocceius’s villa: ‘above the taverns’ of the small city ‘of Caudium’ (l. 51: ‘quae super est Caudi cauponas’, which were probably in the centre of the city). Caudium was situated at the spot of modern Montevarchio, i.e., on a conical hill. This means that Cocceius’s villa was more on the hilltop of Montevarchio [4.17F]. But this is not at all the vista Cavendish has chosen: “Her” vista was on the other side of the mountains. It looks as if she located the famous Furcae Caudinae, well known from Livy’s Roman history, erroneously on the eastern side of the mountains. In this respect she may have been (mis)guided by the veduta printed in Jean Claude Richard de Saint-Non’s Picturesque voyage or description of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily (vol. I, plate 122) [Fig. 4.17G].

Figure 4.17F
Figure 4.17F

Montevarchio (Caudium). Cocceius’s villa must have been somewhere close to the hilltop

Figure 4.17G
Figure 4.17G

Jean Claude Richard de Saint-Non, Vue de la Vallée des Fourches Caudines, 1780. From: idem, Voyage pittoresque ou description des Royaumes de Naples et de Sicilie (Pictoresque voyage or description of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily), vol. I (Paris: 1780), plate 122. Public domain

The series of beautiful landscapes is extended by seascapes (plates 8, 10, and 17), townscapes (plates 7 Fundi, 15 Canosa, 16 Bari, 17 Brindisi), and vedute with the remains of antiquity (plates 1, 2, 8, 13–16). Also, the seascapes are construed like Romantic vedute, e.g. Simone Pomardi’s Beach of Formia (plate 8), the same painter’s Harbour and Bay of Brindisi (plate 17), and Letterio Subon’s Shore at Sinuessa (plate 10) [Fig. 4.17H]. For example, Subon depicts a lonely fishing boat (right side), two fishermen sitting on the beach in front of a ruin, the lonely shore of a picturesque bay that leads the eye into a far distance, and an impressive sky with picturesque clouds in a light that suggests sunset [Fig. 4.17H]. The harbour of Brindisi was depicted by Simone Pomardi; Cavendish preferred Pomardi’s drawing, whereas Franz Ludwig Catel made an almost identical one. Both images are very romantic in their conception. Maybe Pomardi’s is more convincing because of the foreground staffage with the ships and the fishermen who create human interest and render a scene from daily life [Fig. 4.17I]. But Catel’s drawing was certainly not bad: Carl Ludwig Frommel included it later in his Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken. The most important incentive to choose this point of view was not to depict the antiquities of Brundisium: As a matter of fact, they could not be seen from this side of the city. As the comment to Catel’s image correctly states: ‘Die vorliegende Ansicht giebt den westlichen Hafen nebst dem äussersten Theil der Stadt, die aber keine alten Überreste aufzeigt’.145

Figure 4.17H
Figure 4.17H

Letterio Subon, Shore at Sinuessa. From: Q. Horatii Flacci Satyrarum libri I Satyra V (Rome, Mariano Augusto De Romanis: 1816), pl. 10. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Inv. no.: kb-2015-864g-12 (Ill. XIX. Varii 1816-2)

Figure 4.17I
Figure 4.17I

Simone Pomardi, Brundisium. From: Q. Horatii Flacci Satyrarum libri I Satyra V (Rome, Mariano Augusto De Romanis: 1816), pl. 17. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Inv. no.: kb-2015-864g-19 (Ill. XIX. Varii 1816-2)

The same principles of composition can be observed in J. William’s view of Bari [Fig. 4.17J] with fishing boats and fishermen in the foreground, and a sky with picturesque clouds and sunlight that suggest that the evening is falling. It is probably no coincidence that Cavendish chose this view: It could well be that her choice was guided by earlier vedute of Bari, for example the one in Jean Claude Richard de Saint-Non’s Picturesque voyage or description of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily (Paris: 1783, Fig. 4.17K). Williams depicted what Elizabeth Cavendish wanted to see in 1816 or maybe what she had already in mind when she prepared the travel. Probably her perception was directed not only by what she saw in situ but by existing works of art as well. Thus, she lent to Horace not only her own eyes but also those of all kinds of landscape artists from the 18th century up to 1815. Of course, Horace could not have seen the cathedral S. Nicolao, the dome of the Jesuit church (16th century), the medieval and Renaissance palaces, and the medieval city wall with the Porta Baresana (formerly Porta della Marina) built in a Renaissance style. Similar things are true for the other townscapes ordered by Cavendish, and maybe a bit surprisingly, for the antique remains too. Horace could not have seen the Aurelian walls (depicted by F. Frommel) and the triumphal arch of Trajan in Benevento (plate 14, by Franz Keisermann) which was built only some 150 years after the poet’s travel. But they were desirable motives for attractive vedute.

Figure 4.17J
Figure 4.17J

Simone Pomardi, Bari. From: Q. Horatii Flacci Satyrarum libri I Satyra V (Rome, Mariano Augusto De Romanis: 1816), pl. 17. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Inv. no.: kb-2015-864g-18 (Ill. XIX. Varii 1816-2)

Figure 4.17K
Figure 4.17K

Jean Claude Richard de Saint-Non, View of Bari. From: idem, Voyage pittoresque ou description des Royaumes de Naples et de Sicilie (Pictoresque voyage or description of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily), vol. III (Paris: 1783). Public domain

3.12 Horace as Archaeologist: Sir Richard Hoare and Carlo Lambruzzi Re-Enacting Satires I, 5 (1789)

Duchess Elizabeth Cavendish was not the first to re-enact Horace’s journey from Rome to Beneventum. The English historian, antiquarian, and amateur painter Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Stourhead (born in 1758) had the same idea in 1789. Hoare read Horace’s Satires I, 5, from the perspective of an antiquarian: as a historical diary of a journey on a most important Roman road. Historian Hoare wanted to experience this travel on the antique road, and, above all, to inspect the antiquities he encountered on this trip. He intended to compose a report of his travel, with a description of the ruins and transcriptions of the inscriptions he found, and to provide visual evidence of the antiquities he inspected. For this goal he hired the experienced painter of landscapes and antiquities Carlo Lambruzzi (1748–1817) to join him on the trip and to make drawings in situ.146 Also, Richard Hoare himself was to make sketches. They embarked on their travel at the end of October 1789. If Horace had complained that his company ‘was creeping’ from one place to another, Hoare’s tempo was even slower. The English antiquarian was inspecting every stone and every inscription very carefully, and Lambruzzi was eager to record on paper what they saw. In total, he made no fewer than 226 drawings of respectable size (ca. 53 × 36 cm).147 If he put out as an average four drawings a day (as Clifford estimated), the travel must have comprised some 50 days of hard work. The first miles must have already cost them a week or so. Because of the quantity of work and the bad weather in November/December Lambruzzi fell seriously ill. When they reached Capua they abandoned the plan to pursue the journey until Brindisi and withdrew to Naples in order to recover.148 In some 50 days, they had reached only the sixth day of Horace’s travel, and had covered no more than about a third of the distance (122 miles from Rome to Capua, still ca. 220 miles to Brindisi).

Although the original plan failed, the travel nevertheless turned out to be fruitful. Back in Rome, Lambruzzi worked out a selection of his drawings in sepia. In the end, he published 24 of them as etchings in his Via Appia illustrata ab urbe Roma ad Capuam, an oblong folio album which appeared in the 1790s in Rome (1794),149 and he dedicated them to his patron and commissioner Sir Richard Colt Hoare, who, of course, financed the edition. Because of the failure of the original enterprise Horace’s name is not mentioned in the title, although Satires I, 5 was the model for the travel. The album gives an impressive record of this new Horace on the Via Appia. One of the etchings shows the antiquarian Hoare, with traveler’s cloak and hat, while he was inspecting a grave chamber at the Via Appia; a second person (probably Hoare’s servant) is giving him light with a torch [Fig. 4.18A]. The caption says: ‘Camera sepolcrale nella Vigna Casali a mano destra della Via Appia’. Sometimes, the illustrations are not equipped with much detail. Because of the lack of archaeological information, one gets the impression that these illustrations to Horace’s travel are meant as a kind of self-presentation of Sir Richard Hoare: After all, he is the one who commissioned the images, and he is depicted in them as central figure [Figs. 4.18A and B]. Interestingly, Lambruzzi added new images after the trip, e.g. in 1791 when he revisited the buildings at the Vigna Casali. Also, in these images he depicted an archaeologist visiting the remains, probably again a portrait of Sir Richard Hoare; the person in the doorway in the background may be a self-portrait of the painter [Fig. 4.18B]. Some of Lambruzzi’s illustrations contain enormous numbers of small antiquities, e.g. the heaps of pottery and stone inscriptions on plate 10 [Fig. 4.18B]. Although the etching seems to be very precise, the objects are too small to contain sufficient detailed information for archaeological research. Lambruzzi’s album of 1794 was prolific: It brought forth a rich offspring of numerous publications by the same painter. Of course, he had many more drawings at his disposal. For example, in 1810 he published Le antichità d’Albano delineate nei suoi avanzi, a collection of 101 etchings made by Pietro Parboni and A. Poggio.

Figure 4.18A
Figure 4.18A

Carlo Lambruzzi (designer), grave chamber. From: Idem, Via Appia illustrata ab urbe Roma ad Capuam [1794], plate 8, detail. Public domain (https://casanatense.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/stampe/id/2871/)

Figure 4.18B
Figure 4.18B

Carlo Lambruzzi (designer), A Building filled with antiquities, as it was in 1591. From: Idem, Via Appia illustrata ab urbe Roma ad Capuam [1794], plate 10. Public domain

3.13 Horace From Inside: The Romanticism of the Poet Private in Cavendish’s Parma Edition of Satires I, 5 (1818)

In the Roman illustrated Horace of 1816 was everything about impressive landscapes and vistas. Horace himself did not appear in the illustrations; he was considered as being implicitly present – as the person who virtually would have seen the depicted places. A bit later Elizabeth Cavendish commissioned a follow-up which was based on a totally different concept.150 Cavendish and other 19th-century readers were fascinated by the idea that in Satires I, 5, Horace reveals his daily life for more than two weeks: Its content was considered to be authentic and real, and the author was regarded as being honest to such a degree that he even had recorded trivial things, such as drinking water, falling asleep, suffering from indigestion, not participating in a ball game because of an eye inflammation and indigestion, and so on. Satires I, 5, was interpreted as a kind of ‘diary’, even a ‘complete’ one, because each day had an entry, and in these entries, it was thought, the poet has recorded the problems, troubles, and little adventures he experienced on the trip.151 Kiessling made a table of the stations and ascribed them to certain days.152 He and others were impressed by the ‘schlichte Natürlichkeit’ of Horace’s narrative. Because the duchess re-enacted the travel herself, she also must have considered the text in a similar way: as something true and real. And if one interpreted the text in that way, it was a small step to becoming fascinated with the intermediacy and authenticity it suggests. Although it may be a fancy to imagine what wonderful landscapes Horace saw on his trip, it is as much a fancy to watch him from nearby, and to come closer to him than to any author of antiquity. Horace, privately, was an object of fascination. Thus, Elizabeth Cavendish commissioned Franz Ludwig Catel (1778–1856) and Johann Riepenhausen (1788–1860) to invent a new set of illustrations to Satires I, 5 (eight in total): They should render the various experiences Horace had described in the poem: the boat trip by night from Forum Appii to the sanctuary of Feronia (ll. 7–23; plate 2); Horace and Heliodorus drinking water from the fountain of Feronia (l. 24; plate 3); the encounter with Maecenas, Fonteius Capito and Cocceius in Anxur (ll. 27–33; plate 4); the encounter with Virgil, Varius, and Plotius Tucca in Sinuessa (ll. 39–44; plate 5); Maecenas and the others playing ball in Capua (ll. 47–49; plate 6); and the dinner party in Cocceius’s villa in Caudium (ll. 50–69; plate 7). This new idea led to archaeological (re)constructions: of the portraits of Horace and his friends, their clothes, the utensils of daily life, of the dining room in Cocceius’s villa, Roman dining habits, and so on.

More than the landscapes, the new illustrations provided the visual equivalents to Horace’s narrative. They require a more intense interplay between text and image; if one looks at the image, one is drawn into the text again. In a sense, the images can be read as mises-en-scène to the text. The protagonists are depicted, and they are incorporated in the above-mentioned events, either as actors, viewers, or listeners. The images are not just self-explanatory. If one wants to know what is really going on, one must go back to Horace’s text.

For example, in plate 2 Franz Ludwig Catel created a beautiful image of the boat trip by night from Forum Appii to the sanctuary of Feronia (ll. 7–23) [Fig. 4.19A]. The night scene must have been especially appealing to him because he was famous for his Romantic moonlight paintings, for example those of the Certosa di San Giacomo on Capri, of which he made many versions. One of these paintings inspired the Austrian writer Karoline Pichler in 1821 to compose a novel, Das Kloster auf Capri. Nach einem Gemälde von Catel.153 Actually, Catel not only painted on his travel vistas by moonlight, but he also construed them as Romantic genre scenes, such as his oil painting of Loving couples having a drinking party by moonlight in the Bay of Naples [Fig. 4.19B]. The moonlight creates immediately an intimate atmosphere and it gives the scene a Romantic and mysterious touch. In Catel’s impressive aquatint we are invited to watch Horace and his companions in the middle of the night, the time of sleep and privacy [Fig. 4.19A]. Some of the travellers are indeed depicted while sleeping, in various positions. Also, we watch them from such a close distance that it seems as if we were participating in the scene. Our attention is first drawn to the full moon and then to the young man sitting in the moonlight and playing the lyre. This image gives the Romantic impression of a young poet singing by the full moon. Because Horace was usually depicted with a lyre, viewers may suppose that the young man represents him. Furthermore, we see a passenger (in the middle of the boat) talking to another; it is not clear what it is about, but he seems to draw the other’s attention to what happens on the embankment: there, a person beats a sleeping young man. If one is just looking at the image, one does not understand what is going on: What is the connection between the singing poet and the rude aggression? Why would one beat a sleeping person? Consternation about this seems to be confirmed by another passenger who has jumped up in embarrassment (cf. his gesture). It is mysterious as to what takes place in the moonlight.

Figure 4.19A
Figure 4.19A

Franz Ludwig Catel, Horace on the boat trip by night, 1818, aquatint. From: Orazio Flacco, Satira V. Traduzione Italiana con rami allusivi (Parma, Bodoni: 1818), plate 2. Public domain

Figure 4.19B
Figure 4.19B

Franz Ludwig Catel, Loving couples having a drinking party by moonlight in the Bay of Naples. Oil on canvas. Chatworths House

Catel has created a complex composition in which he has united various parts of Horace’s narrative, i.e. things that happened at different stages during the night, in one composite image. This image works only in close connection with the text: without Horace’s narrative, it is hardly possible to understand it. The whole idea of the boat trip by night is that one could sleep while travelling, and in this way perform two days’ distance in 24 hours. But Horace could not sleep, as he tells us, first because of the loud frogs of the Pontinian swamps and the nasty mosquitos (1a), second, because a passenger was singing a love song together with the drunken bargeman (1b). So, the man with lyre cannot be Horace. In Catel’s invention, the passenger is singing alone; we do not discern any singing bargeman. This is because Catel depicted the bargeman already in the next two stages of the night trip: the drunken bargeman became tired, he did not stick to the contract, and he decided to go to sleep. So, he docked the boat (2a), tied the mule up to a stone (2b), leaned back, and started to snore (2c). Apparently, all the passengers were sleeping at that time, because nobody protested. Only at sunrise did the passengers wake up, and they were to realize that they had not made any progress (3a): ‘Iamque dies aderat, nil cum procedere lintrem / Sentimus’ (ll. 20–21). One passenger had an attack of anger and beat both the mule and the lazy guy with a willow stick (3b) (‘saligno fuste’, ll. 22–23).

Thus, Catel has condensed two different stages of the travel (early night and morning) and seven different actions or segments (1a and b, 2a–c, 3a and b) into one image. The core of Catel’s invention is that he focusses on the morning scene (90% of the image) but situates it at night with a full moon. Remarkably, Horace did not say a word about a full moon. This is solely Catel’s invention, and he used it as a device to create a Romantic image of Horace’s travels. The young poet playing the lyre by the moonlight contributes to the Romantic impression. Even the mule has something Romantic: It seems to stare into the full moon as if it were moonstruck. The invention by Catel is reminiscent of his genre paintings as souvenirs from his travels, e.g. his Loving couples having a drinking party by moonlight in the Bay of Naples [Fig. 4.19B].

But who is Horace? He is the passenger in the middle of the boat. One may conclude this if one compares his face in profile with the contorniate portrait which was printed also on the title page of the 1818 edition [Fig. 4.19C]. In Catel’s image of the boat trip, Horace is romanticized too: He is depicted in an informal posture, wearing a traveller’s hat, and he seems to talk to another passenger. We get the illusion that we are participating in the conversation. In this image, Horace is at close range, and he seems to be more real than he would be in real life.

Figure 4.19C
Figure 4.19C

Johann Riepenhausen, portrait of Horace after the Contorniate medallion. Printed i.a. in the Roman edition of 1816 and the Parma edition of 1818. Public domain

The symposium given by Cocceius at his estate at Caudi is another stunning image of Horace private created by Franz Ludwig Catel [Fig. 4.19D], and it renders again an event that took place at night. In the centre of the image Horace is depicted in a laid-back position enjoying the dinner party, with an amused expression on his face. He is listening to the speech of the funny character in the foreground, i.e. the fool Sarmentus. Horace is again at close range. Also, his table companions Cocceius, Virgil, and Heliodorus (from left to right) are listening to the fool, and so do the servants, the maid to the left (who is pouring wine into a cup) and the boy in the middle (with the basket of fruit) [Fig. 4.19D]. Through Horace’s face we are drawn into the scene and we get the illusion of participating in a Roman symposium.

Figure 4.19D
Figure 4.19D

Franz Ludwig Catel (inventor), Symposium organized by Cocceius. From: Q. Horatii Flacci Satyrarum libri I Satyra V (Rome, Mariano Augusto De Romanis: 1816). Public domain

The fancy that the Satires give us a picture of Horace’s private life is probably something from the 18th and 19th centuries, but it was certainly not invented in 1818. Already as early as 1737, the frontispiece to Baltazar Huydecoper’s Dutch translation of the Satires construes an image of the private life of Horace: He is depicted having a dinner in his living room, accompanied by his servants. The servant to the right is pouring wine into a drinking cup, the other one (to the left) serves him a plate with food [Fig. 4.19E]. Here, Horace’s face also is modelled after the contorniate portrait discussed in section 1.3.

Figure 4.19E
Figure 4.19E

Horace having a dinner in his living room in Rome. Frontispiece to Baltazar Huydecoper’s Dutch translation of Horace’s Satires etc. (Amsterdam: 1737). Public domain

3.14 Topographia Horatiana: Carl Ludwig Frommel’s and Franz Ludwig Catel’s Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken

The painter and copper engraver Carl Ludwig Frommel (1789–1863), who was professor of painting in Karlsruhe, published in 1828 a successful work, illustrations to Virgil’s Aeneid, Fünfzig Bilder zu Vergils Aeneide.154 The core of Frommel’s concept was to provide images of the places that occur in the Aeneid, to start with Troy, thus above all the places Aeneas and his comrades saw on their travel from Troy to Italy. Frommel read the Aeneid in the first place as a travel account, albeit one in verse. The idea of illustrating the Aeneid was, of course, a much older one, and even goes back to manuscripts from late antiquity. Travel accounts were illustrated in the late Middle Ages, and this tradition starts the latest with 14th-century illuminated manuscript versions of Marco Polo’s report about his travels to China. Frommel, however, conceived the illustration of the Aeneid in the first place as the task to provide images of the places of the narrative, in concreto: landscapes and townscapes. He was himself an experienced painter and engraver of landscapes. Probably he was inspired by Cavendish’s Roman Horace, because the concept of the Fünfzig Bilder zu Vergils Aeneide transgresses Virgil’s epos in a peculiar way: Frommel included in his collection places where the poet had lived, those which he had visited, those which had been important to him, and so on. There are various reminiscences of the ideas and images of the Cavendish project. A number of illustrations were even copies of the Roman Horace of 1816, among others the magnificent view from the Mons Albanus on the Roman Campagna, with the Aurelian walls. There, it functioned as an illustration of the starting point of Horace’s travel (i.e., where the Via Appia leaves the City); in the album to Virgil’s Aeneid it is presented as an illustration to Book XII, 134–137 (plate 49). Another example is the vista of Capua vecchia: In the Roman edition of 1816 it was a station on Horace’s trip to Brindisi; in the Fünfzig Bilder zu Vergils Aeneide it functions as an illustration to Book X, 145 (plate 45). Also, the seascape of Anxur seems to be a reminiscence of the Cavendish project (plate 38). It was probably Catel who had made the drawing in 1816. In the Fünfzig Bilder zu Vergils Aeneide it illustrates Book VII, 799.

The success of the Aeneid project inspired Frommel to produce something similar for the works of Horace. In this new project he collaborated with his old acquaintance Franz Ludwig Catel, who provided most of the drawings.155 The illustrations collected in Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken are divided into five categories:

  • 1) Vistas of places around Horace’s supposed house in Tivoli and his newly discovered country estate near Licenza – places he frequently refers to in his poems; some of the poems are dedicated especially to one of these places, such as Odes III, 13 (“Fons Bandusiae”), and more than once Horace describes them in ekphrastic passages (plates 1–7 and 13).

  • 2) Rome, where Horace lived, often, as he says, against his wishes (plates 8–10).

  • 3) The stations on his travels on the Via Appia in the year 37 BC, as he mentioned them in Satires I, 5 (plates 11–12, 14–15, 17, 23). All of them had been depicted in Cavendish’s illustrated edition of the named satire.

  • 4) Places in Italy Horace may have been acquainted with but which are in the poems not autobiographically connotated (e.g. Feretinum, plate 16; Surrentum, plate 21; Lago di Lucrino, plate 20).

  • 5) Places outside Italy that are just mentioned in Horace’s poems (without ekphrasis, not equipped with detailed information, not related to autobiographical experiences) (plates 25–30, Greek towns and places).

The importance of the first category becomes evident through the fact that it represents the first section of the work. Frommel was among those who believed that Horace had owned a house in Tivoli and located it in the old monastery of S. Antonio [Fig. 4.20A]. In his explanation to the image Sickler refers to a ‘uralte Tradition’ and to Suetonius’s Life of Horace in which he says that the poet owned a house in the ‘Grove of Tiburnus’.156 Frommel and Sickler considered it very likely that the ‘Lucus Tiburni’ was located in the vicinity of the monastery.157 Commentator Sickler located, as many tourists from the end of the 18th century on, the famous ‘Fons Blandusiae’ in the vicinity of Horace’s villa at Licenza: The supposed source sprang off from a kind of a grotto at the foot of the Mons Lucretilis and split up in two arms but reunited and flowed into the torrent Digentia at the border of Horace’s supposed estate. The fountain was a favourite destination of tourists in the 18th and 19th centuries, as Sickler remarks: ‘denn nicht leicht ist irgendein von den Dichtern der Vorwelt besungener Quell von so vielen gebildeten Menschen besucht oder so oft genannt worden’.158 Sickler had apparently visited the source himself, and for him it was a place of veneration: He was moved, as he says in the explanation to the image, by a ‘Gefühl der Ehrfurcht’ when looking at one of the ‘Lieblingsplätze’ of the great poet.159 Sickler’s ‘Ehrfurcht’ was enhanced when he meditated on the piety Horace has demonstrated towards the spot through dedicating a hymn to it.160 Curiously, the vista Catel depicted as Fons Bandusiae does not correspond with Sickler’s description: In the engraving no grotto is visible, nor two arms of a small torrent, but the broad front of a waterfall of 25 to 30 metres that lunges vertically in a deep ravine can be seen [Fig. 4.20B]. Franz Catel had portrayed himself while he was drawing the picturesque waterfall. We do not know what the exact location is, but it looks as if he was sitting at the border of one of the many broad falls of the Anio in the surroundings of Tivoli.

Figure 4.20A
Figure 4.20A

Frommel – Catel, Dreissig Bilder zu Horazens Werken, tab. 3. Public domain

Figure 4.20B