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La scritta sulla chiesa di San Michele in Escheto presso Lucca e quella enigmatica di San
Saba a Roma
This paper reconsiders two different inscriptions that are located on the exterior wall of San Michele in Escheto near Lucca and in the lower church of San Saba in Rome respectively. The first one can be dated to the last years of the XIII century or to the very beginning of the XIV; indeed, by considering an error in the text as well as its paleographical origin, the paper argues that presumably the signature in the inscription does not refer to the author of the text, but rather to the lapicide who engraved it. The second inscription dates back to the tenth century and is a riddle that was intended to challenge the reader: thanks to a later manuscript source, which elucidates some of the riddle’s textual features and its original context, it can be argued that this inscription is a forged epigraph, whose author pretended that it was written on the base of Marius Victorinus’ statue in Trajan’s Forum.
I Maggi a Brescia: politica e immagine di una ‘signoria’ (1275-1316)
The House of Maggi distinguished itself as one of the most interesting cases of artistic patronage in northern Italy, between the end of the XIII and the beginning of the XIV century. Having taken the power in the urban context, at the beginning the Maggi family promoted signficantly the arts, in order to emphasize the political and social status they had earned. Once bishop Berardo was entrusted with the governement of the city, visual arts became a tool of political propaganda, employed to strengthen the new power, through references to its base of legitimacy, as the great painting in Palazzo pubblico shows. With Berardo’s death, neither the rule of the family over the city, nor the employment of visual strategies for political reasons ceased. On the contrary, a new media campaign was implemented, through words and images. Matteo, the successor, commissioned the making of bishop’s tomb in the cathedral – a monumental visualisazion of this passage of power – while bishop Federico was probably responsible for a later attempt to restore the rule of the family, referring, once more, to the figure of the illustrious precursor.
Note sulla tradizione manoscritta del Livre du Chevalier Errant e sulle fonti dei tituli
negli affreschi della Manta
This paper focuses on the Nine Worthies and Nine Heroines fresco in the main hall of La Manta castle (Cuneo), with the aim of shedding light on the relation between the inscriptions painted below the figures and the text of a Middle French romance, Le Livre du Chevalier Errant, traditionally regarded as the literary source of both the iconography and the written apparatus of the paintings. A new edition of the inscriptions is followed by a collation with the two surviving manuscripts of the romance, pointing out the independence of the painted texts from those copies, and suggesting their belonging to a more complex tradition, which involves a literary attestation of the dits of the Nine Heroines not yet taken into consideration. At the same time, a compared analysis of the texts, the fresco and the illuminations of one of the manuscripts makes it possible to separate the painting from its supposed figurative model, and to specify some debated aspects regarding its iconography.
Il Plinio di Giovanni Battista Adriani
The essay here presented aims at shedding new light on the Lettera a Messer Giorgio Vasari, written by Giovanni Battista Adriani and published in Vasari's Vite in the Giunti edition (Florence 1568). The Lettera’s text is an erudite treatise on artists of ancient Greece and Rome and it is the result of the large literature mastered by Adriani, who knew works of Pausanias and Cicero as well as of Plutarch and Varro. My paper analyzes in particular a copy of the edition of Pliny’s Naturalis historia printed in Basel in 1545 and owned by Adriani: the book, now in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence, shows a great number of annotations written in Adriani’s characteristic handwriting and testifies to his careful reading and interpretation of Latin text.
L’interesse per le lastre tombali medievali a Roma tra ricerche epigrafiche e documentazione
figurativa (secoli XVI-XIX)
Medieval tomb slabs have aroused, during the Modern Age, a varied interest (of historical, genealogical, epigraphic, antiquarian nature), which found in Rome one of its main centres. The paper deals with the most important steps of this reception, between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. A turning point in the direction of a more complex interest in these artifacts and their more accurate reproduction can be identified in the unpublished treatise by Francesco Gualdi Delle memorie sepolcrali (1640-1644), which had to be illustrated by a hundred woodcuts reproducing almost entirely tomb slabs. On the wake of Gualdi other authors, Roman (Gigli, Valesio) or foreigner (Millin), were engaged in the documentation of plates preserved in the churches of Rome, up to the great collector of Roman inscriptions, Vincenzo Forcella, whose monumental collection was originally intended to be accompanied by printed reproductions of tombstones.
La diagonale di Longoni. Le Riflessioni di un affamato tra pittura e illustrazione satirica
This short article tries to explore the interactions between painting and graphic journalism involved by the divisionist painting Riflessioni di un affamato by Emilio Longoni (1894).
Interlacing several levels of analysis, including a verification of content similarities between the painting and the usually disregarded domain of social satirical illustration, it is possible to identify precise references in the composition of some cartoons dating back several decades before Longoni’s work. These findings enable to reconsider the impact of graphic solutions in the Italian painting between nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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