Artibus et Historiae no. 48 (XXIV), 2003
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
90 EURO
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Contents
CLAUDIA ECHINGER-MAURACH - In memoriam Philipp Fehl (pp. 9—11)
Cézanne liebte die zarte Skabiose, Delacroix die Farbenglut kostbarer Tulpen. Philipp Fehl aber tauchte sein Gesicht in einen Strauß von Maiglöckchen, deren betörender Duft ihn beglückte; sie waren die Begleiterinnen seiner Geburt in Wien am 9. Mai 1920, ihnen war er treu bis zuletzt. Neben einem solchen Sträußchen feilt Erasmus an seinen Gedanken; ein Grund mehr für Philipp, diesem Stich Dürers (und der schwierigen Kunst der Mimesis) eine eigene Studie zu widmen. Noch zuletzt sah ich zwischen hohen Stößen von Manuskripten auf seinem Schreibtisch in Rom eine winzige, geschnitzte Figur stehen, die mit ihrem naiven Charme die Gedanken zur fernen Werkstatt des Vaters zurücklenkte. In Philipp Fehls Erinnerungen werden wir zusammen mit ihm wieder Kind und lassen uns vom Vater zum Kluckytempel führen und erblicken voll frommen Staunens den goldenen Namen Gottes auf dem Michaelerplatz. Der 1938 aus Österreich über Prag nach England Flüchtende ("Ich hatte weniger Angst vor Hitler als davor, mein Abitur nicht zu bestehen") fand im großen Amerika Schutz und eine zweite Heimat. Immer bat ich ihn, mit mir einmal in München die schönen Museen zu besuchen; doch bis in die 80er Jahre hinein hatte ihn seine Erinnerung an die zerstörte Gegend um die Glyptothek, die er zuletzt als Soldat der Army mit Entsetzen hatte sehen müssen, davor zurückschrecken lassen. Daß er seine ursprüngliche Heimat und auch Deutschland, Länder, die ihm und seiner liebenswürdigen, klugen, tapferen Frau Raina so unermeßliches Leid zugefügt haben, nicht nur bereits kurz nach dem Krieg, sondern auch in späteren Jahrzehnten oft aufgesucht hat, ist eine Geste der Versöhnung, die den Menschen, die dort leben, für immer ein Trost sein wird.
 
Es ist sicherlich erfüllender, ein Lotterielos auf die Natur und keines auf den Ehrgeiz gezogen zu haben: Philipps Natur war eine durch und durch künstlerische, die ihren Weg zum einen in der Ausbildung als Maler und Zeichner, zum anderen als Kunsthistoriker fand. Unter den vielen ihm nahestehenden Personen, mit denen er in einem intensiven Austausch stand, wird ihm Ernst Gombrich am meisten Vorbild gewesen sein. Erst lehrte Fehl Kunstgeschichte in Kansas City, in Nebraska und in North-Carolina, schließlich von 1969 bis zu seiner Emeritierung 1990 als Professor an der University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Als Direktor des Leopoldo Cicognara Programs kehrte er in seine geistige Heimat, nach Italien zurück, um in der ewigen Stadt am 11. September 2000 zu sterben; dort liegt er auch begraben.
 
Seine besondere Art, über Kunst zu sprechen, gründet inseiner Begabung für Bild und Wort. Ein Vignette mit seinem Portrait müßten Venus und Merkur, Apoll und Minerva als seine Schutzgottheiten begleiten. Venus läßt das Herz in Liebe erglühen für das Geschaute und als schön Begriffene; Merkur schenkt die einnehmenden Worte; Apoll ist der Adel der Gesinnung zu verdanken, Minerva die Tapferkeit. Philipp Fehls Überzeugungskraft fließt aus der in seinem Inneren untrennbaren Einheit von Zeichnen, Sprechen, Schreiben: ihm stehen gleichermaßen die lebhafte, geistreiche Linie des Zeichners wieder gefühlte Ausdruck zu Gebote. Aus den in seinem Geist geformten Bildern fließen die rechten Worte, kommt die gelungene Zeichnung und die sie erhellende Kommentierung. Seine Bilder leben in einem Helldunkel, in dem die Figuren lange Schatten werfen. Aus den dunklen Lettern der sie begleitenden Aphorismen strahlt der Wortwitz hervor. "Young Werther, / Late for Work Again" hängt in meinem Zimmer der Zeichnung "Wistfulness / Beyond the Reach of Envy" gegenüber, auf der im Schwarz der Nacht ein Wesen seinen Schnabel ernst auf eine lange Liste herabsenkt: "Castaway on / Devil's Island / comes, having / opened a bottle / washed ashore / upon an old copy / of Leporello's list of the / conquest's of Don Juan / (incomplete)". Philipps Vogelmenschen mit Rokokozöpfen verraten seine Liebe zum Dixhuitième, mit seiner Grazie, seiner Schärfe des Diskurses, seiner Leidenschaft. Venedig ist die Stadt, die diesen Geist am meisten für ihn verkörpert hat. Sein Leben lang wird er Tizian, Veronese, Canova, Tiepolo (Vater und Sohn) mit seinen Gedanken umkreisen, Michelangelo, Raffael und Bernini huldigen, Rubens und van Dyck lieben, die großen Erben dieser Kunst, die ihm selbst die Antike mit neuer Schönheit beseelt und durchwärmt zurückschenken. In der Anstrengung des Rubens-Kreises, im verwüsteten Antwerpen den Menschen durch das Aufblühen von Philosophie, Literatur und bildender Kunst neu ein Haus aufzubauen, in dem sie, durch die großen Lebendigen der Geschichte gestützt, mit frischem Mut wieder leben konnten, mag ein Vorbild für sein eigenes Schaffen und Wirken gewesen sein. "Moral grace": Ethos in (zarter) Schönheit verkörpert, ist für ihn immer die Essenz jedes Kunstwerkes. Skulptur und Malerei machen in dieser Hinsicht für ihn keinen Unterschied. Delacroix' unsterbliches "vrai-beau" war der Stern, auf den sein Schiff zuhielt.
 
An so vielen schönen Stellen dieser Erde habe ich auf diesen wunderbaren Freund gewartet: an dem mit Kraft und Geduld seine Last stemmenden Elephanten Berninis, in der Stanza della Segnatura, vor Palazzo Farnese oder dem Pantheon, am Braunschweiger Löwen in Sturm und Regen. Zu Dalous Büste von Delacroix' im Jardin du Luxembourg werde ich nun allein, ohne seine liebenswürdige Begleitung gehen müssen. Schön war das Warten, da es vom Glück der Begegnung bereits erfüllt war: wer ihn als Freund genießen konnte, dem wird er immer nah und zugegen sein; in seinen Schriften aber leben die Bilder, die sich in seiner Seele formten, und die eigene Musik seiner Wortmelodie, die diese Bilder umspielt, für alle Zeiten fort. Sie sind in Dankbarkeit fürdas genossene Glück aus den Kunstwerken geschrieben. Im Blatt "Arcadian Summit" lädt er uns ein, die Augen zu einem in sanftem Halbschatten in der Höhe schimmernden Tempel zu erheben; sein empfindungsvoller Blick verrät bereits, was er daneben schrieb: "The Sated Eye / Embraced the Temple's Structure ... / Never Surprized / Enchanted Always".
MARILYN PERRY - Philipp P. Fehl: Artist, Scholar, Humanist, Witness (pp. 13—15)
His legacy resides in a long and distinguished list of art historical publications, in thousands of witty and melancholy drawings, in the microfiches of the Fondo Cicognara, and in the enjoyment of art he inspired in his students and friends. He also entrusted to us an indelible testimony of the inhumanity of Nazi Europe.
 
In person, he was distinguished by a quick, nervous, ironic intelligence, an engaging warmth, a sense of humor. He spoke English with a vast vocabulary and the accent of his native Vienna, absorbing ideas and parsing them with broad learning and brilliant asides. As an artist he thought in images and metaphors that enlivened his conversation and sharpened his memory. He wrote as he spoke, with wit and passion. He was never dull.
 
Such were the gifts that he brought to his art historical scholarship. He approached the art of the past with a very particular esprit — at once inquisitive and respectful, learned and playful, practical and yearning. An early and favorite example is a piece on the Concert Champêtre in the Louvre wherein two fashionably dressed young Venetians make music in the countryside, oblivious of two barely draped nude women nearby. Was this chivalrous? Or even decorous? His interpretation was simple, elegant, and poetically true — that the beauty of their music evoked the nymphs of the place, who are seen by us, through the wonder of art, but not by the gallant musicians who hear only their song.
 
Time and again, in his long and dedicated life as an art historian, he opened our eyes to the unexpected beauty and meaning of even the most familiar works of art, drawing attention to the rocks beneath the feet of the gods (representing their home on Mount Olympus) on the Parthenon frieze, Dürer's woodcuts as illustrations of text, Veronese's impassioned defense of art in front of an Inquisition tribunal, or the playful heraldry on Bernini's Baldacchino in St. Peter's. His studies led him to Michelangelo's Vatican frescoes, Titian's Flaying of Marsyas, Rubens's Venus Verticordia, the capricci of the Tiepolos, Canova's lost statue of George Washington in the North Carolina statehouse, and World War I propaganda posters. He wrote books on classical monuments, the wit and decorum of Venetian art, and, in his final gift to us, the sculptural art of mourning in the great tombs that define the solemnity of St. Peter's — all in an inimitable literary style that invites the reader along on a journey of discovery of beauty and morality, of sorrow and compassion and delight in the company of the great artists. To review his bibliography is to marvel that one man could encompass and explore so many realms of art in one lifetime.
 
Philipp Fehl's life was governed by paradoxes, which he welcomed and even cultivated. He once explained that he preferred art history to history because it is "more true" — i.e., that the artist's imagination transcends the merely factual and lifts us to a realm where we can see and experience the consequences of actions, and perhaps become better for it. It bemused him, as a Jew, to find himself engaged in explicating the greatest examples of Christian art a parallel, perhaps, to the way that Renaissance artists found insights in pagan subjects. Most of all he enjoyed the fact that he was himself an artist, and that his scholarship stood in service to the intentions of artists who could no longer speak for themselves.
 
Even his art was paradoxical, a unique world filled with beaked Mozartian characters (he did not like to call them birds) in 18th-century dress who confront the joys and tribulations of life with good-humored determination. They may be found, alone or in company, making a long journey in a barren landscape to a distant gallows or graveyard, or, perchance, chasing a runaway balloon or a butterfly. They have time for gentle pleasures — the flowers of springtime, a jug of wine, a narrow bed in a small room with a candle to read by — or they fret with frustration at beginning a painting or writing the first page of a book. Almost always they are accompanied by the artist's commentary, in the form of a caption that commiserates "On First Reading 'Alas, Poor Yorick'" or rejoices "Eureka!" at the invention of the umbrella. Always they engage the viewer with an image that at once takes us out of and into our own joys and sorrows.
 
So great was Fehl's respect for the art of the classical tradition and the literature that nurtured it, that he devoted many years of his life to propagating the work of two earlier historians of art, the Dutch savant Franciscus Junius the Younger (1591-1677) and the Italian bibliophile Count Leopoldo Cicognara (1767-1834). The Literature of Classical Art, Junius’s massive lexicon of references to art and artists in Greek and Roman texts, was translated and edited for modern use by Keith Aldrich and Philipp and Raina Fehl.5 His wife Raina, a classical scholar, was also his partner in the Cicognara Library Project in the Vatican Library, of which he was Editor-in-Chief at the time of his death. Impelled by the rarity, value, and general inaccessibility of the Fondo Cicognara — more than 5,000 volumes on art and related subjects collected and catalogued by Cicognara in the early years of the 19th century — Fehl organized a joint project of the Vatican Library and the University of Illinois to reproduce the entire collection on microfiches, with an updated catalogue. Thus he spent his last years in the heart of Rome, immersed in the first modern library of the history of art. Now nearing completion, the Cicognara Library microfiches offer art historians around the world immediate access to the humanistic sources that underlie their discipline.
 
Central to his existence, a darkness that influenced his awareness of light, was his personal heritage as a practicing Jew who had come of age in central Europe in the full fury of the Nazi cataclysm. Deeply conscious that he had been spared when millions of others had not, he recognized a responsibility to record what he had seen. Three essays in particular are major contributions to the literature of memory of the period — The Ghosts of Nuremberg, an assessment of his experience as a young U.S. interrogator of the Nazi war criminals; Life Beyond the Reach of Hope, a memoir of the conditions of Jewish existence immediately before the war; and Mass Murder, Or Humanity in Death, a meditation on the Holocaust and the representation of mass murder in art.7 He wrote as a witness, not to delineate the horrors but to try to understand them, and to commemorate the simple humanity of those who were lost, along with a way of life that had endured for centuries. In the same spirit, to remember and if possible care for the cultural evidence of lives and communities erased forever, he and his wife founded the International Survey of Jewish Monuments (ISJM), which continues its work today.
 
Many of the themes and preoccupations of Philipp Fehl's life came together in its last phase in Rome. Sheltered in the Fondo Cicognara of the Vatican Library, virtually in the shadow of Michelangelo's dome of St. Peter's, he returned to a subject with which he had lived throughout his long scholarly pilgrimage — the role of sculpture in praising and mourning the dead. From the tender memorials of Greek stelae and the Roman cult of heroes, explored in his doctoral dissertation for the University of Chicago,9 he had moved in later essays to the funerary sculpture of Michelangelo, Bernini, Canova, and Harriett Hosmer. Now he walked, almost daily, through the greatest shrine of Christian art, considering the celebration of temporal power and spiritual hope in the tombs of the Popes in St. Peter's. As his work became known, all of the foreign institutes in Rome, in a singular tribute, invited him to present a circuit of lectures on the papal and princely tombs that would look at the entire subject for the first time. He did not live to complete the scholarly book, but the Unione Internazionale degli Istituti di Archeologia, Storia e Storia dell'Arte in Roma are to publish the lectures, in their vivacity, as a guide to the basilica. He will remain our Cicerone.
PHILIPP P. FEHL - Über das Lob in der Kunstgeschichte und sein Schicksal (pp. 17—28)
On Praise in the History of Art and its Fate
 
Praise is the only possible expression of happiness, gratitude, of appreciation for service rendered to somebody, for a good example given, for showing human feelings. Praise means erecting of a monument - one of the most beautiful functions of art - which unfortunately does not get much recognition nowadays because it is thought that monuments - while praising the object of their glorification (as it is in their very nature), lie. But it is not true. They praise only that what they show, and if they lie or deceive, it is only then, when the object is not beautiful or praiseworthy but merely vain and pert, or simply inhuman. 
The history of praise, of the true praise of art, is as old as the Creation itself. "God said, May it be light. And it was light, and God saw that it was good". It took God six days to create the world; he examined it and praised it since it was good. And the angels, on seeing the work started to rejoice, to celebrate their praise of God who created the world so well. 
The present article is an attempt to examine the fate of praise in the history of art. The paper consists of two very different episodes, placed in chronological order. One of them is the period when praise in art and in the history of art constituted so to speak the heart of one's experience. This is a 
period of history of art based on literary examples, embracing the vast time-span since the Creation, through ancient Greece and Rome of Homers, Ovid and Virgil, Vasari's description of Michelangelo's Last Judgement, up to the nineteenth century. 
The other one is the period of the last hundred and twenty years in which the art history had been shaped as an academic discipline and which - because of this very fact - eagerly abstains from praise considered to be unprofessional. In this period reflection on art, its history and the social systems which are expressly praised or rebuked in the works of art, had become certainly much more complicated, even if not necessarily better. 
The two styles of studying art are not as easily distinguishable from one another as they seem to be when seen from a chronological perspective. A hundred and twenty years cannot so easily be reduced to a common denominator. The contradictions of praise and censure and the quite often self-praising abstention of value judgements, even the attitude of mind itself, which have existed and still exist simultaneously and often side by side in the same departments in strange, amazement arousing opposites, urge us to be cautious when we feel like speaking of the so-called pre-history of art history and the one surpassing it, real and in fact proper - writing of the history of art. 
PHILIPP P. FEHL - Mantegnas "Mutter der Tugenden" (pp. 25—42)
Mantegna's "Mother of the Virtues"
 
The present article continues the main problem expounded in the previous one, devoted to the Praise in the History of Art and Its Fate. This time the authors tries to deal with the issue of finding the right measure in praising. Andrea Mantegna's famous painting Pallas Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtues (Paris, Louvre) serves him as a means to present his answer to that question, since the painting itself shows the praise of the virtues. The author evokes the figure of Philostratus the Elder, the ancient master of ekphrasis, and the author of Imagines, talking to his companion, a young 10-year-old boy, thus presenting the reader with a masterly dialogue between the two "ghosts", in which the veiled message of the picture becomes clear, and consequently - we can learn the answer to the problem posed at the beginning. 
MOSHE BARASCH - "Elevatio". The Depiction of a Ritual Gesture (pp. 43—56)
Several strands of observation and reflection meet in the gesture of raising a sacred object, the paten, in the Mass. The lifting up of something, or somebody, is frequently seen in the art of different periods, in both religious and secular imagery. Elevation touches on some ideas, or rather intuitive meanings, of our experience of space. While some aspects of our perception of space, mainly in visual experience, have attracted a great deal of scholarly attention (it is enough to think of the study of perspective in painting), the concern with the expressive nature of space as such, and its layers or "places," has been much more limited. The present essay does not, however, deal with the expressive character of space in general but it confines itself to the limits of the precise motif of "elevatio", the raising of a sacred object and bringing it to the upper layers in our field of vision. Examples are taken from representations of "sacred actions", that is, of religious rituals, but occasionally the author also resorts to examples of political iconography. 
CREIGHTON E. GILBERT - What is Expressed in Michelangelo's Non-Finito? (pp. 57—64)

Response to Michelangelo's unfinished works is unlike that to all other artists'. Early commentators, even while registering their unfinished status as problematic, found them perfect. Later they were called his finest works, without qualifications. How is this reconcilable with their not being what was planned by the artist, whose talent presumably let him articulate his statements? Here attention is drawn to several poems of Michelangelo's where unfinished sculpture is a motif. Thus, even if undesirable, this was approached by him as a conscious object of contemplation with meaning. 

JACK WASSERMAN - Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. The Case of the Overturned Saltcellar (pp. 65—72)

Recent cleaning of Leonardo's Last Super in the Dominican refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, accentuates an amorphous discoloration near the right wrist of Judas. The discoloration is the residue of what replicas of the painting show as a saltcellar Judas accidentally overturns,spilling its contents onto the table. My paper poses and responds to three questions. When and why was the saltcellar reduced to ghost-like status? Did Leonardo originate the idea of including the utensil in a Last Supper? What idea does the object convey in a Last Supper context? 

JAMES S. ACKERMAN - The Photographic Picturesque (pp. 73—94)

In the early years of photography (1839-ca 1860), it was not evident that works of art should be the photographer's model: the process opened up the potential of a virtually unlimited range of imagery, but many practitioners chose fine art as a model because of its elevated status This paper examines the relation of the first photographers of landscape and architecture to the tradition of the Picturesque and aims to provide fresh grounds for assessing the reception of photography in the first years of its existence The Picturesque aesthetic, developed in Britain in the eighteenth century and exemplified in the work of the foremost painters, draftsmen and poets, sought to apply the principles of classical seventeenth-century landscape painting not only to pictures but also to the reception of actual landscapes and to the creation of landscape gardens. It was grounded in a patriotic ideology that equated the undeveloped landscape with the nation and was accompanied by a huge increase in touring and in a travel literature that supported and encouraged tourism. Illustrations in travel books propagated a widespread familiarity with Picturesque principles, which also were articulated by theorists and guidebook authors. Prior to the 1850s, (when technical advances prompted practitioners to move beyond the limits of traditional imagery), photographers, seeking to define what could be done with the medium, found inspiration in the subjects and compositions of earlier Picturesque imagery. 

DIANE COLE AHL - Camposanto, Terra Santa: Picturing the Holy Land in Pisa (pp. 95—122)

Inspired by scholarship on historic memory and sacred topography, the article proposes a new interpretation of the decorative program of the Camposanto in Pisa. Enclosing earth brought from Mount Calvary during the crusades, the Camposanto was conceived not only as a cemetery but as a reliquary church and place of pilgrimage. Its frescoes recreated the experience of pilgrimage by evoking the sacred sites of the Holy Land, inaccessible from Pisa due to naval losses and the crusades. A coda to the article publishes a drawing for Benozzo Gozzoli's Punishment of Korah, Dathan, and Abiron, tentatively ascribing it to Andrea Boscoli and reconstructing the lost fresco. 

RONA GOFFEN - Raphael Designer's Labels: From the Virgin Mary to La Fornarina (pp. 123—142)

The way in which Raphael signed his paintings signified much more than a declaration of authorship. Of course, the choice of words is meaningful in itself, but even more than the wording, Raphael exploited the placement of his signature within the composition to express his piety, his professional ambition, and his sense of accomplishment. In particular, those signatures written on the garments of various personages are significant precisely because a name written on a figure in that way is usually taken to identify that person, not the maker of the image. Taken together, the inscriptions almost constitute an autobiography, culminating with Raphael's last signature, on the armband of La Fornarina. 

BARBARA WISCH - Vested Interest: Redressing Jews on Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling (pp. 143—172)

A yellow circular badge, or Jewish signum, was painted by Michelangelo on the left shoulder of Aminadab, an ancestor of Christ located prominently in the lunette above the papal throne. Although previously overlooked, the badge has profound importance. This essay explores the implications of this sign as a quintessential indicator of demeaned status in a society that demarcated Jews by imposing degrading dress codes, legislated their role as moneylenders, and subjected them to humiliating public spectacles. Michelangelo's inclusion of the badge opens new lines of inquiry about iconographic themes in the chapel, his representations of Old Testament personages, and his own attitudes toward the Jewish community. The conflicting discourses discussed in this essay underscore the complexity and deep-seated ambivalence of the role of Jews in Christian theology and society. 

VIVIAN B. MANN - Spirituality and Jewish Ceremonial Art (pp. 173—182)

Maimonides (1138-1204) was the earliest medieval rabbi to raise the question of the appropriateness of art in a liturgical space, whether a synagogue or a home. His concern was that art might interfere with the attainment of spirituality during prayer (kavanah in Hebrew). Maimonides' discussion was cited by other rabbis asked t rule on the question of art. Their responsa allow an understanding of the types of art found medieval synagogues, and the conflicting attitudes of rabbis to their presence, some believing that art enhanced spirituality and others viewing it as a distraction. 

PAUL BAROLSKY - The Spirit of Pygmalion (pp. 183—184)

By looking closely at a brief description of Pygmalion in Vasari's Lives and comparing it to Ovid's version of the myth, this essay suggests that Vasari's allusion is a subtle transformation of a classical poetic fable of artistic creation into a spiritual allegory grounded in Genesis. 

LUBOMÍR KONEČNÝ - Augustine Käsenbrot of Olomouc, his Golden Bowl in Dresden, and the Renaissance Revival of "Poetic" Bacchus (pp. 185—197)

Augustine Käsenbrot's Golden Bowl of 1508 in the Grünes Gewölbe in Dresden ranks among the most important artworks associated with the Early Renaissance in Central Europe. However, its sources, function and meaning have not been so far interpreted in due detail. As this study intends to demonstrate, the plaquette used as the bowl's bottom may have been acquired by Käsenbrot while he studied in Padua in early 1490s, and may be attributed to a late fifteenth-century sculptor active in Padua or in Veneto. This exquisite piece depicts Bacchus as a winged genius, thus obviously harking back to Pausanias' description of the god, for "wine lifts and eases the spirit in the same way as wings lift birds". Thus the bowl, due to its iconography and inscriptions, relates to Bacchic mysteries as revived by Renaissance humanists, and ultimately refers to Platonic (or Neo-Platonic) theories of inspiration as "divine madness". This corresponds with what Käsenbrot opined in his early, Paduan, Dialogus in defensionem poetices, as well as with activities of one of his Paduan Professors, Niccolo Leonico Tomeo - not to speak about writings of Augustine's humanist friends in Buda, Vienna and Olomouc. 

MAX MARMOR - From Purgatory to the Primavera: Some Observations on Botticelli and Dante (pp. 199—212)

Botticelli's Primavera has been studied by more eminent art historians than perhaps any other work of Renaissance art. The chronicle of these readings would make for a representative anthology of 20th-century art historical methodologies, and yet no consensus about the painting's "meaning" has emerged. In this article, the Primavera is discussed in the context of what we know and what we can surmise about the artist's own literary and intellectual culture and especially his lifelong engagement with Dante's Divina Commedia. The painting is studied as an attempt on the artist's part to translate into his own medium the thematics surrounding Dante's Earthly Paradise episode at the end of the Purgatorio. These thematics are explored in the context of Cristoforo Landino's 1481 commentary on Dante, with which Botticelli, who devoted many years to illustrating Landino's edition, was intimately familiar. Landino saw in Dante's Earthy Paradise episode an allegory of the soul's moral and spiritual pilgrimage from the vita voluptuosa through the vita activa to the vita contemplativa, a passage occurring, like Dante's pilgrimage as a whole, under the influence of Celestial Venus. The Primavera is discussed as a visual variation on the same theme, presented all'antica in a manner that resonates with Dante's classical allusions, especially as interpreted by Landino. In addition to reflecting Botticelli's own artistic and intellectual interests and aspirations, as well as those of his presumed patron, the Primavera echoes still with a rivalry that brought Botticelli into competition with such other close students of Dante as Leonardo and Michelangelo. This paragone awaits further study. 

SERGIUSZ MICHALSKI - Venus as Semiramis: A New Interpretation of the Central Figure of Botticelli's Primavera (pp. 213—222)

An archival discovery in 1975 and the subsequent studies of Michael Rohlmann (1996) have suggested- in my opinion convincingly - that Botticelli's Primavera was originally affixed to the wainscoting in the separate bedroom of Semiramide Appiani - the young wife of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco Medici - in the old Medici Palace in the Via Larga.It is proposed here, drawing on various aspects of the mythological and iconographic tradition line connected with the patroness of Semiramide Appiani's exceedingly rare forename, the mythical queen Semiramis (creator of the famous hanging gardens of Babylon) that Botticelli and patrons intended a symbolic equivocation of the figure of Venus with the young bride portrayed in the middle of the splendid garden of "Florentia" as a new Semiramis. Since the figure of Mercury served as a disguised portrait of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco the whole picture was conceived as a celebration of their wedding in July 1482 - a hypothesis supported also by the antithetical division of the composition in two parts, each of which conveys a different moral meaning.