Artibus et Historiae no. 35 (XVIII), 1997
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
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CAROLYN KOLB - The Sculptures on the Nymphaeum Hemicycle of the Villa Barbaro at Maser (pp. 15—40)

The garden Nymphaeum, the most elaborately decorated com­ponent of Palladio's Villa Barbaro at Maser, has never been open for public visitation, and has thus remained poorly studied. In particular, its authorship has been controversial and its iconography undeciphered, until this important and influential study was presented (in slightly condensed form) by the late Carolyn Kolb at an annual meeting of the College Art Association in 1978. In this paper, Kolb identified and interpreted the ten mythological figures and their accompanying inscriptions on the Nymphaeum hemicycle, to reveal a highly intricate iconographic scheme which comments on love, marriage and human frailty. In addition, she convincingly attributed this stucco decoration to the younger of the villa's two humanist owners, MarcAntonio Barbaro. Kolb's often-revised drafts and incomplete notes for this study were collated and annotated by Melissa Beck, whose major effort of recuperation has salvaged this useful study, whose content had previously been known only through its presentation in lectures. In a postscript bringing the argument and the literature up to date as of the publication of the essays in her memory, Douglas Lewis has reviewed the contribu­tions since 1978 on the structural history of the Villa Barbaro, its iconography, and the respective roles of its artists and patrons.

JAMES S. ACKERMAN - Villard de Honnecourt's Drawings of Reims Cathedral: A Study in Architectural Representation (pp. 41—49)

Among the nearly seventy drawings on parchment preserved from the model book of Villard de Honnecourt are a number done in the chantier of Reims Cathedral, around 1230. They are of great interest, not only as a record of the building of the Cathedral, but for what they show of the graphic representation of architecture in the late Middle Ages. They include the first drawing combining the inte­rior and exterior elevation, the first cross-section, and an idiosyncratic representation of the central absidal chapel. While Villard does not seem to have been an architect or master mason, his volume documents a highly developed graphic capacity. The paper is a critical study of the group.

BEVERLY LOUISE BROWN - Veronese and the Church Triumphant: The Altarpieces for San Benedetto Po (pp. 51—64)
Veronese's three altarpieces of 1652 for the Benedictine abbey of San Benedetto Po, near Mantua, belong to the final stage of a comprehensive decorative program that had been initiated some twenty years earlier by Giulio Romano. The altarpieces were intended as an interlocking part of Giulio's iconographic scheme that meant to reaffirm traditional Benedictine beliefs, celebrate the monastic way of life, and extol the virtues of study. These were the principles that the monks at San Benedetto Po had embraced as they attempted to reform the order. However, the decrees issued at the first sessions of the Council of Trent in 1546 excluded much of this theology as a new doctrinal force stressing affective devotion began to take hold. Saints were increasingly cast as models for the faithful and a new emphasis was placed on the role of the Virgin. Veronese's altarpieces illustrates a subtle, but important, shift in decoration during the Tridentine period. Rather than depicting a sta­tic and hierarchic arrangement of passive saints gathered in the presence of the Madonna and Child, in these altarpieces Veronese describes for the spectator the occurrence of a miraculous event.
CLIFFORD M. BROWN - The Archival Scholarship of Antonio Bertolotti - a Cautionary Tale: The Galeazzo Mondella (Moderno) Model for a diamond Saint George brooch (pp. 65—71)
A plaquette in the National Gallery depicting Saint George and the Dragon can be attributed to Moderno on both the basis of style as well as because of a reference to this subject in a Roman notarial document of 1522 (1523). Although previously published, Bertolotti's transcriptions mangled the name of the author of the model for the diamond Saint George Brooch. Since Bertolotti also used this document to provide a completely false name for the Milanese goldsmith, Caradosso Foppa, this article also seeks to highlight the dangers that await scholars who rely uncritically on his many archival publications.
VIRGINIA WOODS CALLAHAN - Alciato's Quince-Eating Bride, and the Figure at the Center of Bellini's Feast of the Gods (pp. 73—79)
In the foreground of Giovanni Bellini's "Feast of the Gods", painted in 1511—1514 for the studiolo of Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, sit an embracing couple and other divinities; in this central pair the female figure has remained mysterious. Anthony Colantuono identified her as an image of the Earth. Paul Holbertson recently maintained that his candidate (Pomona) should have been recognized by the fruit she holds, as well as those in the bowl in front of her. But those fruits (which have not previously been identified) are quinces; and the quince was associated since classical times with epithalamic themes. Alciato's popular Renaissance emblem of the quince tree (Cotonea) derived directly from Plutarch's constant trading on the epithalamic character of the quince, which was con­ductive to a bride's good temperament, speech, and disposition. The bride whom Bellini shows through this device as preparing for her (renewed) nuptials with Pluto is therefore clearly to be identified as Persephone; and that circumstance also resolves the vexed question of the season which Bellini intended to represent: it is early autumn, as Persephone prepares to descend for her annual six-month residence in Hades, as the consort of Pluto, whose name means wealth (an indirect reference, perhaps, to the patron himself?). Such a possibility gains interest from the fact that Alfonso's son, Ercole II d'Este, was in fact the Ferrarese patron of Alciato.
CHARLES HOPE - The Attribution of Some Paduan Paintings of the Early Sixteenth Century (pp. 81—99)

To judge from surviving documents, Gian Antonio Corona was one of the most successful painters active in Padua in the first three decades of the sixteenth century. His only secure works are two frescoes in the Scuola del Santo, painted in 1509—1510. A canvas in the same room must be an old copy of a fresco which he painted there in 1511. It is here proposed that Corona was also responsible for four frescoes in the Scuola del Carmine, which have long been given to Giulio Campagnola around 1505, but which must date from after 1511. On the basis of these attributions, it is suggested that Corona also painted two small panels in the Uffizi, which for two centuries have been regarded, for reasons that are manifestly unsatisfactory, as very early works of Giorgione, as well as some frescoes in Castelfranco likewise often attributed to Giorgione.

DEBORAH HOWARD - Venice as a Dolphin: Further Investigations into Jacopo de' Barbari's View (pp. 101—111)
The publication of Jacopo de'Barbari's celebrated bird's eye map of Venice, issued in 1500, was sponsored by the German merchant Anton Kolb (felicitously named in the context of this memorial volume). The first part of the article suggests that, given the skills in map-making and perspective available to Barbari, the major distortions in the left-hand side of the map are unlikely to have been accidental, but instead were deliberately contrived to give Venice the silhouette of a dolphin. The second part examines the probable associations of delphinic imagery in Venice at the time. It is proposed that this may have alluded to the city's protection by Venus as well as the gods depicted on the map, Neptune and Mercury, and endowed the city with the virtues of fortune, speed, harmony and the redemption of the soul.
DOUGLAS LEWIS - An Early Series of Dynastic Portrait Busts by Alessandro Vittoria (pp. 113—134)
The subjects of three terracotta busts by Vittoria in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, formerly only tentatively recognized as members of the Zorzi family of Venice, are identified and dated through new documentation involving an unrecognized fourth terracotta bust from the same series, now on the tomb monument of Senator Antonio Zorzi, in the church of Santo Stefano. A study of the original installation of this cycle of family busts, in the entrance loggia of Palazzo Zorzi-Liassidi, reveals that they were intended to celebrate the grandparents and parents of a family providentially brought back from the brink of extinction. The group includes Vittoria's earliest busts in terracotta, as well as his only busts of women: it constitutes a unique née-Antique program of dynastic portraiture, conceived as a domestic ensemblealmost all parts of which survive, and the juxtapositions of whose original installation can be established with some precision.
DEBRA PINCUS - Mark Gets the Message: Mantegna and the praedestinatio in Fifteenth-Century Venice ( pp. 135—146)

The superb 1992 cleaning of Mantegna's small painting of Saint Mark ca. 1450 in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt removed any doubts as to its authenticity. The painting, transferred from canvas to wood panel at an unknown point in its history, is examined here as an evocative close-up portrait of Mark, rooted in the icon tradition of Venice, intended to convey a message of particular Venetian import. The four-line penned inscription at the bottom of the painting - now almost fully legible - provides an important due to the message. The inscription incorporates the "Pax Tibi Marce" phrase of the praedestinatio legend: Christ's promise to Mark, while he was still alive, that Venice would be his ultimate resting place, that he and the city would grow great together. The intimate format and the merging of long-established artistic modes and up-to-date artistic ideas circulating in northern Italy - all of it working in the service of a political message - speak of private patronage in high Venetian political/humanist circles.

W. R. REARICK - Paolo Veronese's Earliest Works (pp. 147—159)

Although Paolo Veronese's beginnings as a painter are normally placed around 1548, there is every reason to retrodate his earliest works to about 1543 when he emerged from the studio of Antonio Badile. This study reexamines these pictures, returning several portraits to him that have not been considered in the recent literature including the unusual Collatino Collalto. The frescoes in Palazzo Canossa in Verona belong with his earliest efforts in this medium, and the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery), and the Conversion of the Magdalene (London, National Gallery) find their correct context in the years around 1547. This, in addition, allows a clearer understanding of Battista Zelotti's position as Paolo's early imitator.

WENDY STEDMAN SHEARD - Tullio Lombardo in Rome? The Arch of Constantine, the Vendramin Tomb, and the Reinvention of Monumental Classicizing Relief (pp. 161—179)
The Arch of Constantine played a decisively influential role as source for Tullio Lombardo, both in his reinvention of monumental classicizing relief which was manifest in the two narrative reliefs on the facade of the Scuola di S. Marco, Venice (c. 1589—1590) (one of them, St. Mark healing Anianus, was probably executed by Tullio's brother Antonio), and in his Vendramin Tomb (erected c. 1493—1494 in Sta. Maria dei Servi, later transformed to its present location in the choir of SS. Giovanni e Paolo). What the Roman Arch's inscription (repeated on both sides) implies concerning Emperor Constantine's heroic defense of Christianity and his role as a savoir of Rome (see Excursus) was deliberately paralleled in Doge Vendramin's epitaph and provides new light on the motive of the doge's commissaria in approving an overt, undistinguished triumphal arch format for his tomb, the first for a Venetian doge, although it was repeated fre­quently in subsequent centuries. The presence of porphyry and black marble accents in similar locations on both the tomb and the arch furnishes another significant connecting link.
I argue that many of the sophisticated and complex (illusionistic) features typical of the Aureilian and Hadrianic era reliefs on Constantine's arch were replicated by Tullio in his Scuola di S. Marco reliefs. He could not have comprehended and so knowl­edgeably imitated these characteristics by means other than direct, first-hand observation, therefore a trip to Rome prior to his Scuola reliefs must be regarded as virtually certain.
MARK J. ZUCKER - The Master of the Sola-Busca Tarocchi and the Rediscovery of Some Ferrarese Engravings of the Fifteenth Century (pp. 181—194)

The article examines an important series of seventy-eight Italian engravings, known as the Sola-Busca Tarocchi, and attributes them decisively to the late quattrocento Ferrarese school. The Master of the Sola-Busca Tarocchi remains anonymous, but a num­ber of other prints can be assigned to his hand, most notably a group that had been published in1949 but then dropped out of sight. These and several other works, distinctive in both style and iconog­raphy, are herein ascribed to the Master, who emerges as a major figure in the field of early Italian engraving. Lists of prints attributed to or associated with the Master of the Sola-Busca Tarocchi are included in appendices.