Writing, Objects, and Public Image in Renaissance Italy
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
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Part 1 Monuments, Imitation, and the Noble Ideal in Early Renaissance Italy
Introduction Reinventing Nobility?Artifacts and the Monumental Pose from Petrarch to Platina
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The Florentine church of San Lorenzo is famous for Michelangelo’s Medici chapel (1519–34), whose main point of interest is the elaborate tomb monuments to Giuliano and Lorenzo. Each year, thousands of tourists visit the site to pay their respects to Michelangelo and gaze at the large statues of two good-looking young princes. Many visitors do ...
Chapter One How to Perform Like a Statue: Ghirlandaio, Pontano, and Exemplarity
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In about 1332, Giotto painted a series of Biblical and classical heroes at Castelnuovo for King Robert of Naples; this decorative program may have been inspired by Petrarch, who at that time was working on De viris illustribus.1 Now lost, the frescoes were much admired and imitated over the next century and a half, to the extent that the commemoration...
Chapter Two From Castrated Statues to Empty Colossi: Emasculation vs. Monumentality in Bembo, Castiglione, and the Sala Paolina
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In the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, there is a room splendidly redecorated under Pope Paul III to Perino del Vaga’s design (1545–47). The ceiling and walls of the Sala Paolina include stories about Alexander the Great and St. Paul, with the wall sections alternating between scenes in red-brown monochrome (in imitation of bronze reliefs) and enormous...
Part II Print Monuments, Exposure, and Strategies of Concealment
Chapter Three Banishing the Hollow Man: Print, Clothing, and Aretino’s Emblems of Truth
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In a letter to his mother from the Montefeltro court, Baldassarre Castiglione wrote in 1504:
Vorei che la M. Vostra facesse sollicitare maestro Bernardino armarolo, per quella mia celata: e non havendo lui hauto veluto per fornirla, prego quella che voglia sub
Chapter Four Heroes with Damp Brains? Image vs. Text in Printed Portrait-Books
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The following encomium to manly physical attributes is drawn from the fourth book of Francesco Sansovino’s 1565 history of the Orsini family:
In questo Principe, che di bella presenza di huomo da guerra, et di honorato aspetto di volto, . . . fu gran virtù congiunta con sommo valore: si come si comprende in questa faccia venerabile, nella quale...
Chapter Five Silenus Strategies:The Failure of Personal Emblems
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The “hollow men” of the title of this book, who weaken the supposed solid monumentality of Pontano’s prince and Castiglione’s courtier, are finally validated by the Academy of the Occulti’s adoption of the Silenus device about thirty years after Aretino associated his literary identity with this figure (Fig. 5.1). The Occulti (whose name means...
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The idea of proposing images of ancient heroes as models for the viewer was by no means new in the fifteenth century, but it was the foundation for much humanistic rhetoric of imitation. Following the fame of Giotto’s 1332 fresco cycle of ancient heroes for King Robert of Anjou, the fashion spread across Italy for the display of visual exemplars...
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Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 24 b/w
Publication Year: 2013