Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 493

Dalmatia and the Mediterranean

Mediterranean Art Histories


Studies in Visual Cultures and Artistic Transfers
from Late Antiquity to the Modern Period
Series Editors:
Hannah Baader (Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence)
Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence)
VOLUME 1
The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/mah
Dalmatia and the Mediterranean
Portable Archaeology and the Poetics of Influence
Edited by
Alina Payne
LEIDEN | BOSTON
Cover illustration: External view of the vault of the Temple of Jupiter in Split, Croatia. (Photo by Goran
Niki).
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Dalmatia and the Mediterranean : portable archaeology and the poetics of influence / edited by Alina
Payne.
pages cm. -- (Mediterranean art histories--studies in visual cultures and artistic transfers from late
antiquity to the modern period, ISSN 2213-3399 ; volume 1)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-26386-4 (hardback : acid-free paper) -- ISBN 978-90-04-26391-8 (e-book) 1. Dalmatia
(Croatia)--Antiquities. 2. Mediterranean Region--Antiquities. 3. Dalmatia (Croatia)--Relations--
Mediterranean Region. 4. Mediterranean Region--Relations--Croatia--Dalmatia. 5. Coasts--Social
aspects--History--To 1500. 6. Material culture--History--To 1500. 7. Arts, Croatian--Croatia--Dalmatia--
History--To 1500. 8. Arts--Mediterranean Region--History--To 1500. 9. Architecture--Croatia--Dalmatia--
History--To 1500. 10. Architecture--Mediterranean Region--History--To 1500. I. Payne, Alina Alexandra.
DR1623.D352 2013
937.3--dc23
2013038652
This publication has been typeset in the multilingual Brill typeface. With over 5,100 characters covering
Latin, ipa, Greek, and Cyrillic, this typeface is especially suitable for use in the humanities.
For more information, please see brill.com/brill-typeface.
issn -
isbn (hardback)
isbn (e-book)
Copyright 2014 by Koninklijke Brill nv, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Koninklijke Brill nv incorporates the imprints Brill, Global Oriental, Hotei Publishing, idc Publishers,
andMartinus Nijhoff Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system,
ortransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,
without prior written permission from the publisher.
Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill nv provided
that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive,
Suite910, Danvers, ma 01923, usa.
Fees are subject to change.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
Contents
Acknowledgmentsvii
List of Contributorsviii
List of Illustrationsxii
Introduction1
Alina Payne
part
Mobility and History
1 The View from the Land: Austrian Art Historians and the Interpretation
of Croatian Art21
Suzanne Marchand
2 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia: An Ottoman Travelers Encounters with the
Arts of the Franks59
Cemal Kafadar
3 The Imprimatur of Decadence: Robert Adam and the Imperial Palatine
Tradition79
Erika Naginski
part
The Mediterranean Imagination
4 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia: A Metaphorical Journey
for Andrea Mantegna115
Marzia Faietti
5 The Thin White Line: Palladio, White Cities and the Adriatic
Imagination145
Alina Payne
6 Hospitality and Hostility in 16th-Century Art Literary Sources
on the Mediterranean183
David Young Kim
vi contents
part
Things That Move: Textiles
7 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa: The Object as Event213
Ioli Kalavrezou
8 Architecture for the Body: Some Reflections on the Mobility
of Textiles and the Fate of the So-Called Chasuble of Saint Thomas
Becket in the Cathedral of Fermo in Italy246
Avinoam Shalem
9 Cloth and Geography: Town Planning and Architectural Aspects
of the First Industry in Dubrovnik in the 15th Century268
Joko Belamari
part
Portability and Networks
10 Connectivity, Mobility, and Mediterranean Portable Archaeology:
Pashas from the Dalmatian Hinterland as Cultural Mediators313
Glru Necipolu
11 The Influence of Building Materials on Architectural Design: Dalmatian
Stone at the Cathedrals in Korula and ibenik382
Goran Niki
12 Between Quarry and Magic: The Selective Approach to Spolia
in the Islamic Monuments of Egypt402
Doris Behrens-Abouseif
13 The King of Naples Emulates Salvia Postuma? The Arch of Castel Nuovo
in Naples and Its Antique Model426
Jasenka Gudelj
Index457
Acknowledgments
This book arises out of two seminars I led (in Split, Croatia, in October 2008
and at the KHI/Max Planck Institute in Florence in January 2009) on the sub-
ject of the portability of architecture and art in the Mediterranean in the late
medieval and early modern periods. All the participants in the seminars sub-
mitted developed essays based on their seminar contributions, which are all
included in this volume, and for this I thank them as I do also for the many
interesting and challenging conversations we have had. I am also and particu-
larly grateful to the Max Planck and Alexander von Humboldt Foundations
which financed this project through the Max Planck and Alexander von
Humboldt Prize I received in 2006. This became the project The Object as
Event, of which this volume is one part. I am grateful to Alesandro Nova and
Gerhard Wolf directors of the KHI in Florence and to Elizabeth Kieven and
Sybille Siebert-Schifferer directors of the Hertziana/Max Planck Institute in
Rome for their generous support and for their regular hospitality during the
lengthy process that this project involved. Nearer home I am indebted to
Harvard University for financing the last stages of the publication process, and
more generally for allowing me the time to undertake this work. Finally, col-
leagues, friends and students participated in this work and helped me out in
innumerable ways which I cannot record here but which they know: Joko
Belamari, Claudia Conforti, Daniela del Pesco, Elizabeth Kassler-Taub, David
Kim, Maria Loh, Glru Necipolu, David Pullins, Cara Rachele, Debbie Sears,
Nicola Suthor, the staff at the I Tatti and Houghton libraries of Harvard
University and the staff at the Hertziana and KHI libraries, my publishers, Brill,
and in particular Teddi Dols and Kathy van Vliet, and last but not least the stu-
dents in my seminars who engaged this and related topics over the past few
years with much verve and enthusiasm.
List of Contributors
Doris Abouseif
is Nasser D. Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and Archaeology at SOAS, University of
London. Her publications cover a wide range of subjects: Islamic architecture,
urbanism and the decorative arts, with focus on Egypt and Syria, Islamic cul-
tural history and aesthetics. Among her books are Egypts Adjustment to
Ottoman Rule, Leiden 1994; Beauty in Arabic Culture, Princeton 1999; Cairo of
the Mamluks, London 2007 and Practicing Diplomacy in the Mamluk Sultanate:
Gifts and Material Culture in the Medieval Islamic World, London 2014.
Joko Belamari
is head of the Institute of Art History (Cvito Fiskovi Center) in Split and is
Professor at the Department of Art History, University of Split. He was the
director of the Regional Institute for Monument Protection in Split 19912009.
He has published a number of books, studies and articles on the history of art,
architecture and urbanism of early modern Dalmatia.
Marzia Faietti
is Director of the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi in Florence and
Visiting Professor at the Specialist Schools of Art History of the University of
Bologna (Theory and Methods in the Criticism of Art) and of the University
Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan (History of Drawing, Engraving and
Graphics). She is President of the Italian Committee, and Member of the
International Bureau of CIHA. Her research and publications focus on draw-
ing, prints and painting from the 15th to 17th centuries and on exegetical stud-
ies of related ancients sources. She has edited a number of volumes on the
theoretical aspects of graphics (with Gerhard Wolf).
Jasenka Gudelj
is Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb. She specializes in history of
architecture of the Adriatic region. She is the editor of Costruire il dispositivo
storico: tra fonti e strumenti (Milano, 2006; with P. Nicolin); Renesansa i rene-
sanse uumjetnosti Hrvatske (Renaissance and Renascences in Croatia; Zagreb,
2008; with P. Markovi) and Umjetnost i naruitelji (Art and Its Patrons; Zagreb,
2010) and curated two exhibitions on early modern architectural treatises
(Dubrovnik, 2009 and Zagreb, 2012). Her forthcoming book, The European
Renaissance of Antique Pula, explores the reception of the antiquities of Pula in
the Renaissance.
ix List of Contributors
Cemal Kafadar
is Professor of History and Vehbi Koc Professor of Turkish Studies at Harvard
University. He has published Between Two Worlds: The Construction of the
Ottoman State (Berkeley, 1995; co-winner of the Fuat Koprulu Award in Turkish
Studies) and the dream diary of a Sufi lady from Skobje ca.1640 (in Turkish).
Current projects are: coffeehouses, nighttime and public culture in Istanbul
(e.g., How Dark is the History of the Night, How Black the Story of Coffee, and
How Bitter the Tale of Love: The Changing Measure of Leisure and Pleasure in
Early Modern Istanbul, forthcoming); and Ottoman views of Europe in the
early modern era.
Ioli Kalavrezou
is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Early Christian and Byzantine Art History
at Harvard University. She has held professorships at UCLA and the University
of Munich. Her publications focus on the arts of Byzantium with a special
interest in ivory and steatite carvings, imperial art and self-presentation, man-
uscript illumination, and the use of symbols and relics in the hands of the
empire. Several of her studies concern the cult of the Virgin Mary and the
everyday world of the Byzantines, especially women. Her book Byzantine
Women and their World accompanied an exhibition at Harvard with the
same title.
David Young Kim
is Assistant Professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University
of Pennsylvania. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the University of
Zurich and a visiting faculty member at the Universidade Federal de So Paulo.
He is the author of The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance: Mobility,
Geography, and Style (New Haven, 2014) and the editor of Matters of Weight:
Force, Gravity, and Aesthetics in the Early Modern Era (Berlin, 2014). Other pub-
lications include articles on urban planning in the New World, the concept of
horror in Renaissance art theory, and the pictorial representations of trium-
phal arches.
Suzanne Marchand
is Professor of European Intellectual History at Louisiana State University,
Baton Rouge. She is the author of Down from Olympus: Archaeology and
Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1870 (Princeton, 1996) and German Orientalism
in the Age of Empire: Race, Religion, and Scholarship (Cambridge, 2009; George
Mosse Prize of the American Historical Association). She is also the coauthor
x List of Contributors
of two textbooks: Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (W.W. Norton, 4th ed., 2013)
and Many Europes (McGraw Hill, 2013).
Erika Naginski
is Professor of Architectural History and Co-Director of the PHD Program in
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning at the Graduate
School of Design, Harvard University. Her publications, which focus on
European art and architecture (16001800), include books and co-edited vol-
umes such as Polemical Objects (2004), Sculpture and Enlightenment (2009)
and, forthcoming, The Return of Nature. She has received fellowships from the
Harvard Society of Fellows, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the
Deutsches Forum fr Kunstgeschichte, and the John Simon Guggenheim
Memorial Foundation.
Glru Necipolu
is Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art and Director of the Aga Khan Program for
Islamic Architecture at Harvard University. She specializes in medieval and
early modern Islamic art/architecture in the Mediterranean and Eastern
Islamic lands. She edits Muqarnas (Brill) and Muqarnas Supplements. Her
books include Architecture, Ceremonial Power: The Topkapi Palace (1991); The
Topkapi Scroll, Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture (1995); and The
Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire (2005). Her articles
address artistic dialogues between Byzantium, Renaissance Italy, and the
Ottoman Empire; pre-modern Islamic architectural practice; and the histori-
ography of Islamic art/architecture.
Goran Niki
is a Senior Lecturer in Architectural Conservation at the Fine Arts Academy in
Split, an ICOMOS expert for sites on the World Heritage List and a Correspond-
ing Member of the Archaeological Institute of America. As conservation archi-
tect with the Ministry of Culture and (presently) Head of the Service for the
Old City Core with the Municipality of Split he has produced architectural sur-
veys and managed restoration projects of important historic buildings through-
out Dalmatia. He has published articles on Roman, medieval and Renaissance
Dalmatian architecture, as well as on restoration issues and on the history of
architectural conservation in Dalmatia.
Alina Payne
is Alexander P. Misheff Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard
University. She is the author of The Architectural Treatise in the Italian
xi
Renaissance (1999; Hitchcock Prize), Rudolf Wittkower (2010), From Ornament
to Object. Genealogies of Architectural Modernism (2012) and The Telescope and
the Compass. Teofilo Gallaccini and the Dialogue between Architecture and
Science in the Age of Galileo (2012) and editor of Dalmatia and the Mediterra-
nean. Portable Archaeology and the Poetics of Influence (2013), Vision and Its
Instruments. Art, Science and Technology in Early Modern Europe (2014) and co-
editor of Antiquity and Interpreters (2000). In 2006 she received the Max Planck
and Alexander von Humboldt Prize in the Humanities.
Avinoam Shalem
is Riggio Professor of Islamic Art at Columbia University and a Professor Fellow
of the Kunsthistorisches - Max Planck Institute in Florence. His publications
include Islam Christianized (1998), The Oliphant (2004), After One Hundred
Years: The 1910 Exhibition Meisterwerke muhammedanischer Kunst Reconsid-
ered (2010), Facing the Wall: The Palestinian-Israeli Barriers (2011), and
Constructing the Image of Muhammad in Europe (2013). He is currently direct-
ing the research projects Gazing Otherwise: Modalities of Seeing in Islam
(with Olga Bush) and Art Space Mobility (with Gerhard Wolf and Hannah
Baader).
List of Contributors
List of Illustrations
Alina Payne
1 Detail view, the Great Altar at Pergamon, second quarter of 2nd century
b.c. Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Preussischer
Kulturbesitz/Art resource, N.Y.2
2 Anonymous, Map of the Mediterranean, 15th century.5
3 View of the Adriatic Littoral from Castel del Monte, Puglia (photo by the
author).6
4 Anonymous, Fragments of the Temple of Augusts and Roma in Pola.
Alinari, No. 21192.7
5 Louis-Francois Cassas and Joseph Lavalle, Vue gnrale de Spalatro. In
Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie Paris: P. Didot,
1802).8
6 Wilhelm Johann Baur, Imaginary View of Naples, Italian Coastal Views:
Illustrations for Baurs Iconographia. Augsburg, 1670, f. 110r. Houghton
Library, Harvard University.9
7 Aberto Fortis, Filoni irregolari del pi del Monte Marian al mare,
Viaggio in Dalmazia dellabate Alberto Fortis. Venice: Alvise
Milocco, 1774.12
Suzanne Marchand
1 Croatian textiles. In Altslavische Kunst, as elsewhere, Strzygowski drew
on textile patterns to draw larger conclusions about the diffusionary
history of design. (From Strzygowski, Altslavische Kunst, p. X)38
2 Strzygowskis map of wooden churches in his hometown, Bielitz-Biala.
(From Altslavische Kunst, p. X)46
3 Stone monuments from Knin. Strzygowski documented his claims by
photographing and reproducing these pieces from Brother Maruns
museum in Knin. (From Altslavische Kunst, p. X)53
Cemal Kafadar
1 Dubrovnik and Cavtat (Piri Reis, Kitab- Bahriye, Sleymaniye Library,
Ayasofya ms. 2612, p. 176a)62
2 Zadar (Piri Reis Kitab- Bahriye, Sleymaniye Library, Ayasofya ms. 2612,
p. 186b)63
xiii list of illustrations
Erika Naginski
1 Tobias Miller (fl. 17441790) after Robert Adam (17281792),
plate III, Elevation of the Principal or West front of Luton-Park
House, One of the Seats of the Earl of Bute from Works in Architecture
of the late Robert and James Adam, Esqs. London: Priestley and
Weale, 1822. Engraving. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon
Collection.82
2 [Francesco, Antonio Pietro, or Giuseppe Carlo] Zucchi, sculp., plate XXI,
Elevation of the Portico to the Vestibulum from Robert Adam, Ruins
of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian in Spalatro London, 1764.
Engraving. Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University
Graduate School of Design.84
3 Francis Patton (fl. 17451770), sculp., plate VI, General Plan of the
Palace Restored from Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the
Emperor Diocletian in Spalatro London, 1764. Engraving. Courtesy
of the Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University Graduate School of
Design.85
4 [Francesco, Antonio Pietro, or Giuseppe Carlo] Zucchi, sculp., plate XLIX,
Capital and Pilaster in the Angle of the Peristylium from Robert Adam,
Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian in Spalatro London, 1764.
Engraving. Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University
Graduate School of Design.86
5 Paolo Santini (17291793), sculp., plate VII, View of the Crypto Porticus
or Front towards the Harbor, from Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace
of the Emperor Diocletian in Spalatro London, 1764. Engraving. Courtesy of
the Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University Graduate School of
Design.87
6 Andrea Palladio (15081580), Plan of the Palace of Diocletian at Spalato,
c. 1540. Pen, ink, and wash over incised lines, underdrawing in brown
chalk and metalpoint, 360 x 292 mm. Devonshire Collection,
Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement
Trustees.91
7 Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (16561723), del., Des Kaisers
Diocletiani Pallast heute zutage Spalato, plate X from Johann
Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Entwurff einer historischen Architectur
(Leipzig: 1725). Engraving. Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library,
Harvard University Graduate School of Design.96
8 Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, del., Grundriss von dem
achteckigten Tempel, plate XI from Johann Bernhard Fischer von
xiv list of illustrations
Erlach, Entwurff einer historischen Architectur (Leipzig: 1725). Engraving.
Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University Graduate
School of Design.97
Marzia Faietti
1 Andrea Mantegna, Agony in the Garden. London, The National
Gallery.117
2 Andrea Mantegna, Agony in the Garden (the San Zeno Altarpiece). Tours,
Muse des Beaux-Arts.119
3 Andrea Mantegna, Crucifixion. Paris, Muse du Louvre, Dpartement des
Peintures.119
4 Peronet Lamy, View of Constantinople. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Cod.
Misc. Lat. 280, c. 84.121
5 Cristoforo Buondelmonti, Liber insularum Archipelagi. Venice, Biblioteca
Nazionale Marciana, Cod. Lat. X, 123 (=3784), fol. 22 r.126
6 North Italian artist (c. 14841519), Annunciation. Chicago, The Art
Institute.135
Alina Payne
1 Sebastiano Serlio, Frontispiece, Il terzo libro (Venice 1540).147
2 Andrea Palladio, Temple at Pola, I quattro libri dellarchitettura Venice,
1570.148
3 Anonymous, Fragments of the Temple of Augusts and Roma in Pola.
Alinari, No. 21192.150
4 Sebastiano Serlio, Architectural Details of Arch, Il terzo libro Venice 1540,
f. cvii.151
5 Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, The Ionic Order, La regola delli cinque ordini
darchitettura s.n., 1562.152
6 Daniele Barbaro, Frontispiece, I dieci libri dellarchitettura, tr. et commen-
tate da monsignor Barbaro Venice, 1556.154
7 Andrea Palladio, Temple of Mars Ultor, I quattro libri dellarchitettura
Venice, 1570.155
8 Sebastiano Serlio, Details of the Pantheon, Il terzo libro Venice 1540.156
9 Window Detail, c. later 15th century, Sebenico (photo by the
author).159
10 Doges Palace, Venice (photo by the author).161
11 San Zaccaria, Faade, Venice (photo by the author).162
12 Scuola di San Rocco, Venice (photo by the author).164
xv list of illustrations
13 Window Detail, Palazzo Chiaramonte, 13th century Palermo (photo by
the author).165
14 Paolo Veronese, Dinner at the House of Levi, Accademia Venice. Art
Resource.167
15 Fra Carnevale, The Ideal City, c. 14801484. Walters Art
Museum.170
16 Louis-Francois Cassas and Joseph Lavalle, Vue de lentre de la rade et
du port de Pola, Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la
Dalmatie Paris, 1802.171
17 Palace of Diocletian, Split (photo by the author).172
18 St. Blaise, Detail, Dubrovnik (photo by the author).175
19 Andrea Palladio, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (photo by the
author).177
20 Louis-Francois Cassas and Joseph Lavalle, Vue de laqueduc de Salones,
in Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie Paris,
1802.178
21 View of the Adriatic Littoral from Castel del Monte, Puglia (photo by the
author).179
David Young Kim
1 Photographs of capitals from Trieste and Salona in Bau- und
Kunst-denkmale des Kstenlandes: Aquileja; Grz; Grado; Triest;
Capo dIstria; Muggia; Pirano; Parenzo; Rovigno; Pola; Veglia, etc., ed.
Hans Folnesics and Leo Planiscig. Vienna: Schroll, 1916.184
2 Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Harbor Docks, 1460.189
3 Roberto Valturio, Linked Ships from De re militari, before 1462.190
4 Giovanni Andrea Vavassore, Byzantium sive Costantineopolis,
c. 1535.193
Ioli Kalavrezou
1 Embroidered silk Peplos of Saint Lawrence and associated saints, 1261.
Genoa, Museo di SantAgostino. (photo: C. Hilsdale)214
2 Embroidered silk Peplos of Saint Lawrence, left half, scenes from the life
of Saint Lawrence, 1261. Genoa, Museo di SantAgostino. (photo:
C. Hilsdale)222
3 Embroidered silk Peplos of Saint Lawrence, right half, scenes of the lives
and martydom of pope Sixtus and Saint Hippolytus, 1261. Genoa, Museo
di SantAgostino. (photo: C. Hilsdale)222
xvi list of illustrations
4 Embroidered silk Peplos of Saint Lawrence, upper register,
central scene, Michael VIII Palaiologos, Archangel Michael, and
Saint Lawrence, 1261. Genoa, Museo di SantAgostino. (photo C.
Hilsdale)223
5 Hyperpyron of Michael VIII Palaiologos of Nikaia, before 1261.
Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Acc. no. BZC. 69.54. (photo: Dumbarton
Oaks)225
6 Hyperpyron of Michael VIII Palaiologos, after 1261. Dumbarton
Oaks Collection, Acc. no. BZC.1948.17.3590. (photo: Dumbarton
Oaks)225
7 Detail of Peplos Fig.1: first scene to the right of the central scene,
showing Sixtus ordering Lawrence to sell church vessels. (photo:
C. Hilsdale)230
8 Detail of Peplos Fig. 1: second scene to the right of the central scene:
Saint Lawrence selling church vessels; and third scene, showing
Lawrence distributing money to the poor. (photo:
C. Hilsdale)231
9 Detail of Peplos Fig. 1: left side of lower register, showing Saint
Lawrence converting and baptizing Tiburtius Callinicus. (photo: C.
Hilsdale)234
10 Icon of St. Panteleimon. Monastery of Saint Catherines at Mount Sinai.
(photo: Sp. Panayiotopoulos)238
Avinoam Shalem
1 The Casula di Tommaso Becket in Fermo, probably Spain, circa mid
11th century. Gold-embroidered silk.248
2 Arthur Georg von Ramberg, the court of Frederick II in
Palermo, 520 383 centimeters. Munich, Neue Pinakothek (inv. no.
L 1777).250
3 Meccan Caravan. Maqamat of al-Hariri 13th century, probably Syria or
Baghdad, circa 25 27 centimeters (Paris, BNP, Ms. arabe 5847 fol. 94v).
(photo: After Ettingahausen, Arab Painting).253
4 Wedding process with a textile Pavilion with flat roof. Ernest
Rhys (edited): Travel and Topography. The Manners and Customs
of the Modern Egyptians by Edward William Lane,
1908.254
5 Royal tent. Detail from the painted ceiling of the Palatine Chapel
of Roger II in Palermo, mid-12th century, (photo: Avinoam
Shalem).260
xvii list of illustrations
Joko Belamari
1 Nikola Boidarevi (Nicolaus Rhagusinus, 14601517), model of
Dubrovnik in the hands of Saint Blaise on a triptych in the Dominican
church in Dubrovnik269
2 Diagram of the principal areas of commune-owned real estate in
Dubrovnik in the mid-15th century (from Irena Benyovsky Latin and
Danko Zeli, Knjige nekretnina Dubrovake opine, 2007)274
3 Sketch of the course of the Dubrovnik aqueduct with springs drawn
in290
4 Bridge of the Renaissance aqueduct in umet290
5 Onofrio de la Cavas great fountain in Dubrovnik, completed in 14??293
6 Supplementum chronicarum of Jacopo Filippo of Bergamo (Venice 1490),
with an ideogram of Dubrovnik on which the picture of Onofrios Great
Fountain is particularly prominent293
7 Graphic view of the extent of the medieval sewage system of the city of
Dubrovnik (photo by Marina Oreb, from I. ile, Starohrvatska prosvjeta
34/2007: 449)296
8 Profile of the late medieval city sewage system below Drievo poljane
(photo by Miljenko Moja, from I. ile, Starohrvatska prosvjeta 34/2007:
44748)297
9 Perforated auriculi (decorative brackets) flanking the windows of a house
in one of the streets below Mineta301
10 Perforated auriculi (decorative brackets) flanking the windows of a house
in Dubrovnik302
Glru Necipolu
1 Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Friday prayer procession of Sultan Sleyman
through the Hippodrome of Istanbul in 1533. Woodcut from Moeurs et
Fachons des Turcs (Antwerp, 1553) (after Stirling Maxwell, The Turks in
1533 London and Edinburgh, 1873).315
2 Recruitment of tribute children from a Balkan village, c. 1558. Watercolor
from Arifis Persian Sulaymnnma. Istanbul, Topkap Palace Museum
Library, H. 1517, fol. 31v (photo courtesy the Topkap Palace Museum
Library)316
3a Modern map of the Dalmatian Coast (courtesy Scott Walker)323
3b Christof Tarnowsky, view of Klis with Split and surrounding region,
titled Clissa, chief fortress of the Turk in Dalmatia and key to the
Kingdom of Bosnia, 5 miles away from Split (Clissa principal fortezza
xviii list of illustrations
del Turcho nella Dalmatia, et chiaue del regno. di Bosna lontano da
Spallato miglia 5 / fatta da Xhofo. Tarnowskij). Pen and ink drawing, 1605.
Newberry Library, Chicago, Franco Novacco Map Collection,
Novacco 2F 208 sheet 3 of 3 (PrCt) (photo courtesy the Newberry
Library)324
3c G.F. Camocio, view of the fortress of Makarska and the island of Brazza
(Bra) across from it during the Battle of Lepanto. Woodcut from Isole
famose, porti, fortezze, terre marittime della Repubblica di Venetia et altri
principi cristiani (Venice, 1571)324
4a Map of Rstem Pashas pious foundations and income-producing
structures, not including landed properties, mills, and shops (based on
map in Necipolu, Age of Sinan)331
4b Map of Sokollu Mehmed Pashas pious foundations and income-
producing structures, not including landed properties, mills, and shops
(based on map in Necipolu, Age of Sinan)332
5a Rstem Pashas mosque complex at Tahtakale in Istanbul. Ink drawing,
ca. 15661582. Paris, Bibliothque nationale de France, Cabinet des
Estampes, Res. B. 10. (photo courtesy the Bibliothque nationale de
France)334
5b Le Corbusier, sketch of Rstem Pashas mosque complex in Rodosto, 1911
(From Le Corbusier, Journey to the East, ed. Ivan akni Cambridge,
Mass., 1989)334
6a Plan of Sokollu Mehmed Pashas mosque complex in Lleburgaz (drawn
by Arben N. Arapi, after plan in Necipolu, Age of Sinan)336
6b Plan of Sokollu Kasm Pashas mosque complex in Hafsa, posthumously
built by his father (drawn by Arben N. Arapi, after plan in Necipolu,
Age of Sinan)336
6c Luigi Mayer, view of Sokollu Mehmed Pashas mosque complex in
Lleburgaz, including its domed baldachin; the shop-lined artery is also
shown. Print from Views in Turkey in Europe and Asia (London, 1801)
(photo courtesy the Houghton Library, Harvard University)337
6d Luigi Mayer, view of Sokollu Mehmed Pashas mosque complex in
Lleburgaz, showing central courtyard of the double-caravansaray. Print
from Views in Turkey in Europe and Asia London, 1801 (photo courtesy
the Houghton Library, Harvard University)337
7a Axonometric plan of Sokollu Mehmed Pashas mosque complex in Payas
(drawn by Arben N. Arapi, after plan in Necipolu, Age of Sinan)338
7b Sokollu Mehmed Pashas mosque complex in Payas, vaulted shopping
artery (photo: Reha Gnay)338
8 Map of Via Egnatia (courtesy Scott Walker)341
xix list of illustrations
9[ad] Louis-Franois-Sebastien Fauvel, sketches of the Rotunda in Thessaloniki.
Crayon, 17811782. Paris, Bibliothque nationale de France, Cabinet des
Estampes, Gb 15b petit folio, fols. 202r, 203r, 142r, 141r (from Byzance
retrouve: rudits et voyageurs franais, XVIeXVIIIe sicles, exh.
cat. Paris, 2001)352
10a View of the Acropolis in Athens, showing the Parthenon transformed into
a mosque by Mehmed II and other antiquities. Ink drawing, 1670,
Kunstmuseum, Bonn (from Henri Omont, Athnes au XVIIe sicle
Paris, 1898)356
10b Depiction of the Venetian bombardment of the Acropolis in Athens.
Drawing from Fanellis Atene Attica (1687). (from Henri Omont, Athnes
au XVIIe sicle Paris, 1898)356
11a Axonometric plan of the Sleymaniye mosque complex in Istanbul
(drawn by Arben N. Arapi, after Necipolu, Age of Sinan)361
11[b and c] External lateral arcades of the Sleymaniye mosque in Istanbul (photos:
Walter B. Denny and Alina Payne)361
[d and e] Internal views of the Sleymaniye mosque in Istanbul
(photos: Reha Gnay)362
12 Luigi Mayer, ancient ruins in Alexandria. Print from Views in Turkey in
Europe and Asia London, 1801. (photo courtesy the Houghton Library,
Harvard University)367
13 Marble map showing the location of stone resources utilized for the
Sleymaniye complex (redrawn from Aktu and elik, Ottoman Stone
Acquisition in the Mid-Sixteenth Century: The Sleymaniye Complex in
Istanbul)370
14 View of the Dardanelles and the plain of Troy (actually, Alexandria
Troas: Eski Istanbulluk). Ink drawing from Cristoforo Buondelmontis
Liber Insularum Archipelagi. Vatican Library, ms. Chig. F.V.110, fol. 39v.
(after Roberto Weiss, The Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity
Oxford, 1969)371
15 Robert Adam, sea walls of the city of Split, formerly Diocletians Palace,
engraving. (from The Palace of Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia
London, 1764374
Goran Niki
1 Inner view of brick dome, Diocletians Mausoleum, Split
(photo by the author)383
2 Segment of brick dome, Diocletians Mausoleum, Split,
after Niemann.383
xx list of illustrations
3 Inner view of vault, Temple of Jupiter, Split
(photo by the author)384
4 Cross-section of Temple of Jupiter, Split, after Niemann.385
5 External view of vault, Temple of Jupiter, Split
(photo by the author)386
6 Internal view of vault, Chapel of Blessed John in the Cathedral,
Trogir (photo by the author)387
7 External view of vaults and dome of ibenik Cathedral
(photo by the author)388
8 South faade, belfry of the Cathedral, Korula
(photo by the author)389
9 Section through top of the belfry in Korula, and a series of
church towers in Hvar inspired by it (drawing by the
author)391
10 External view of nave vault and dome over crossing, ibenik Cathedral
(photo by the author)392
11 Sequence of construction of the dome, ibenik Cathedral, after
kugor.395
12 Abandoned medieval stone quarry, island of Vrnik, off Korula
(photo by the author)396
13 Sacristy of ibenik Cathedral (photo by the author)397
Doris Behrens-Abouseif
1 Domed area of the Mosque of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad in the Citadel
of Cairo (photo by the author)406
2 Domed area of the vanished palace of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad
in the Citadel of Cairo (from Description de lEgypte par les
Savants de lExpedition Franaise. Etat Moderne, Paris,
1812)407
3 Domed area of the Mosque of Emir al-Maridani
(photo by the author)407
4 The loggia of the palace of Emir Mamay, featuring lotus-shaped columns
(photo by the author)408
5 The architrave at the entrance of the monastery of Emir Shaykhu
(photo by the author)409
6 The mihrab area of the mosque of Sultan al-Muayyad, featuring plain
capitals (photo by the author)412
xxi list of illustrations
7 The mihrab conch of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun (photo by the
author)413
8 A niche with engaged columns in the Nilometer of Cairo
(photo by the author)413
9 Detail of the minaret of Emir Aqbugha in the Azhar mosque.
(photo by the author)414
10 Engaged columns in the Mosque of Sultan al-Ghawri
(photo by the author)415
11 Base of an engaged column in the Mosque of Sultan al-Ghawri
(photo by the author)416
12 Gothic portal in the madrasa of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad
(photo by the author)417
13 Faade of the funerary complex of Sultan Qalawun
(photo by the author)418
14 Slab of European origin in the portal of the Mosque of Sultan Hasan
(right side) (photo by the author)419
15 Slab of European origin in the Mosque of Sultan Hasan (left side)
(photo by the author)420
16 Gothic colonettes at the mihrab of the Mosque of Sultan Hasan
(photo by the author)421
Jasenka Gudelj
1 Arch of the Sergii, Pula (photo: Alinari)428
2 Arch of Castel Nuovo, Naples (photo by the author )434
3 Arch of Castel Nuovo, Naples (detail) (photo by the author)435
4 Arch of Sergii, Pula (detail) (photo by the author)436
5 Jacopo Bellini, Christ before Pilatus Muse de Louvre, Cabinet des
Dessins (R. F. 1503/39), f. 35441
6 Pisanello (?), drawing of the Arch of Castel Nuovo in Naples, Museum
Boijmans, Rotterdam, inv. I. 527443
7 Triumphal arch, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria,
Ms. alfa L. 5. 15=Lat. 992, 28v444
8 Triumph, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria,
Ms. alfa L. 5. 15=Lat. 992, 33r445
9 Onofrio de la Cava, large fountain, Dubrovnik (photo by the author)450
10 Inscription hounoring Onofrio de la Cava, large fountain, Dubrovnik
(photo by the author)450
koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_
1 Alina Payne, Portable Ruins: The Pergamon Altar, Heinrich Wlfflin and German Art History
at the fin de sicle, RES: Journal of Aesthetics and Anthropology 54/55 (Spring/Autumn 2008):
168189. On the Pergamon altars museums, see Can Bilsel, Antiquity on Display. Regimes of
the Authentic in Berlins Pergamon Museum. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012; on German
archaeology and the intellectual context for the Pergamon discovery, see Suzanne Marchand,
Down from Olympus. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.
2 See my Max Planck/Alexander von Humboldt project The Object as Event, 20062012,
ofwhich this volume is one sub-project.
Introduction: The Republic of the Sea
Alina Payne
When, in 18791880, the Pergamon altar ruinsfrieze, columns, and podium
remainswere painstakingly packed in hundreds of wooden cases and trans-
ported by mules and ship from Smyrna to Berlin and were displayed in a well-
mannered European museum against the neoclassical backdrop of the city as
a whole (see Fig.1), the extent of the consternation they caused corresponded
to the unexpectedness of the event.1 In this case, it caused the reevaluation of
Baroque art and a major mise-en-abme of an aesthetic outlook that had pre-
dominated for the better part of a hundred years. As the impact of the
Pergamon altar demonstrates, displaced objects can be explosive agents
they can be events.2 Once they have been removed from their original environ-
ments, they generate discourse by the very nature of their oddness, and they
create communities around them.
Interesting though this may be, there are very few cases of Pergamon-like
mobility, and it is not the goal of this volume of essays to identify similar
examples and discuss them. Yet this particular case of displacement involving
architecture is a useful starting point because it dramatizes the issue and pres-
ents a phenomenonarchitectures portabilitythat deserves more concen-
trated attention, along with the sites and conditions connected with it. This
then is a book about this phenomenonabout the mobility and portability
of artifacts that are part of, involve, surround and refer to architecture. Such
a connection may seem counterintuitive at first blush for architecture is the
most rooted of all the arts: architecture does not travel, people and objects
do. Yet on those occasions when this self-evident equation is challenged
as the Pergamon example illustratesthe effect is proportional to its singular-
ity. Indeed, the more unlikely a scenario the more powerful its consequences
will be.
2 payne
From this initial premisearchitectures portabilitythe book branches out
and investigates more deeply the links and mechanisms that unite objects of
various scales and mediums across great distances. Indeed, it is an important
contention of the essays collected here that these links and mechanisms
involve objects of all sorts beyond architecture and its surrogates, ranging
from texts and drawings to crafted objects, fabrics, and even anecdotesthat
is, they trigger dialogues across a variety of mediums, democratically connect-
ing high and low art forms without placing a higher value on either the
genius object or the hallowed monument.
Fig.1 Detail view, the Great Altar at Pergamon, second quarter of 2nd century bc.
antikensammlung, staatliche museen zu berlin. preussischer kulturbesitz/art
source, ny.
3 Introduction
3 Stephen Greenblatt et al., Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto. New York: Cambridge University
Press, 2009. Medieval and Islamic artifacts have received more attention from this perspec-
tive than the arts of Europe. See, for example, Eva Hoffman, Pathways of Portability: Islamic
and Christian Interchange from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century, Art History 24, no. 1
(February 2001): 1750, and Avinoam Shalem, Objects as Carriers of Real or Contrived
Memories in a Cross-Cultural Context, Mitteilungen zur Sptantiken Archologie und
Byzantinischen Kunstgeschichte 4 (2005): 101109.
4 On the relationship between objects and architecture across scales, see Alina Payne,
Materiality, Crafting and Scale in Renaissance Architecture, Oxford Art Journal (December
2009): 365386.
Such an approach not only casts a different light on architecture and the
context that surrounds it, but also on the conventional binary categories of
high/low and center/periphery. Once we consider the mobility and portability
of all artifacts, as well as their interaction, it becomes clear that such reductive
readings do not stand up to closer scrutiny. An economy of things and images
that circulated enabled sites that were off center to have a significant voice,
just as major architectural monuments located on peripheries circulated by
way of small objects of luxury use. Although on a superficial level mobility and
portability may seem to be synonymous, they designate subtle but important
differences in the process of transformation and slippage that occurs across
artistic mediums.3 Mobility refers to the capacity to move, whereas portability
refers to the capacity to be held and carried. Both suggest transportation,
although one focuses on movement and the other on certain characteristics of
the objects being moved. The difference is not insignificant. For example, ships
and carriages are mobile (and so, in a later era, are trains) but are not portable;
small objects are: textiles, furniture, gems, fragments, drawings, caskets, and
ivory boxes, to name only a fewthat is, a whole world of things that can be
held, packed, displayed, bartered, stolen, or lost. Occasionally, architecture
also falls into this category, as the Pergamon example clearly reveals. The cru-
cial aspect, of course, is scale. Some things are just too big to be portable, and
this naturally affects the way in which they travel: by proxy (through other
related artifacts) and not in actual body,4 which is where the issue of portabil-
ity and its relationship to architecture becomes particularly interesting. What
happens when architecture moves through a portable proxy?
Circulation, or more specifically, its physical context, raises another signifi-
cant issue, which serves as the third coordinate around which the writings
assembled here cluster. If one part of the mobility equation is the nature of the
objects (large or small) that move from their place of origin, the other is the
geography of this motiona geography circumscribed by the paths of people
and objects but also by the particular sites from whence these objects originate
or to which they are moved. These paths create crisscrossing networks that
4 payne
5 On the theory of networks, see especially the work of Bruno Latour, and in particular (with
reference to objects) Latour, The Berlin Key or How to Do Words with Things, in
Matter, Materiality, and Modern Culture, ed. P.M. Graves-Brown. London: Routledge, 2000,
pp. 1021. For more recent research, see the book-length study by Finbarr B. Flood, Objects
of Translation. Material Culture and Medieval Hindu-Muslim Encounter. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 2009.
traverse received ethnic geographies or political entities in unexpected ways.
Sometimes encounters along these paths are deliberate, at other times they are
random. The same is true of objects that can be transformed into other arti-
facts as much by chance as by design. Indeed, as will become evident from the
essays in this volume, chance is a significant variable of mobility.
On the face of it, the sites from which pieces are torn awaybe they
Byzantium or Pergamon, Iznik or Venice (locations on the Mediterranean, in
keeping with the context of this volume, although the argument could be
made with any geography)are even less mobile than architecture. However,
through verbal and written accounts as well as visual representations, not only
architecture but entire territories enjoy a certain amount of mobility as they
are imagined and reconstructed at great distances through various intermedi-
aries or surrogates. But what exactly happens in this transmission? In what
guises do places travel or become portable? And how did the material transfor-
mationthe passage through various mediums and scales, from large to small
and back to large againaffect how they were received, what sort of impact
they had, how they resonated once they reached a farther shore or another
continent? Did it make a difference if places, monuments, or artifacts became
known through a medal, an ornamented piece of cloth, a drawing, a story, or a
luxury object? By transposition, analogy, or synecdoche (that is, through a frag-
ment of a scrap or some recycled material) Compressed, telescoped, intensi-
fied, and transmitted through one image, one object, one detail, or even one
line in a poem standing in for the whole? Moreover, objects by their very nature
are reified manifestations of contact; they engender relationships and net-
works.5 What contacts then are produced through the circulation of artifacts
that pertain to architecture, and how do these affect its reception across a
range of materials and scales so alien to its own? This is not a question of aura,
although that would be a legitimate issue in its own right. Instead, in this vol-
ume, it is a question about the material location and results of contact, about
the types of contact and the agency of contactin other words, about the
hardware of cultural transmission.
To explore the phenomenon of portability in its most expansive sense, the
core of this book is a single territory: the Mediterranean region (see Fig. 2),
5 Introduction
6 Henri Pirenne, Mohamet et Charlemagne. Brussels: Nouvelles Socit dditions, 1937;
Fernand Braudel, La Mditerrane et le monde mditerranen lpoque de Philippe II. Paris:
Armand Colin, 1949; and S.D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the
Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 19671993.
with resonant sites such as Carthage and Alexandria, Constantinople and
Spalato, Syracuse and Damascus, Rome and Palmyra, dotting its perimeter and
creating a web of signification. Indeed, the Mediterranean is layered with
thick sites-as-cultural-tropes that were and are shared equally by the civiliza-
tions that succeeded and overlapped on its shores. These are sites that were,
and still are, powerful reference pointssites that attracted stories, travelers,
and artists; high-density spaces that shape a cultural imaginary.
The idea of a Mediterranean network that transcends national boundar-
iesindeed, challenges themis a Braudelian one, although Braudel himself
was standing on the shoulders of Pirenne; and today others stand on his shoul-
ders.6 But unlike Braudels profoundly compelling book (and the field of
Mediterranean studies that it ignited, from the classic work of Goittein to the
recent classics by Horden and Purcell and others), this book focuses on the
Fig.2 Anonymous, map of the Mediterranean, 15th century.
from david aboulafia ed., the mediterranean in history, p. 15.
6 payne
7 Peregrine Horden and Nicholas Purcell, The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean
History. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000; David Abulafia, ed., The Mediterranean in History. Los
Angeles: J. Paul Getty Muzseum, 2003; W.V. Harris, ed., Rethinking the Mediterranean. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2005; Gabriel Piterberg, Teofilo F. Ruiz, and Geoffroy Symcox,
eds., Braudel Revisited: The Mediterranean World 16001800. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press, 2010.
economy of mobile art, artists, and other agents in the region, which figure
very little if at all in the oeuvre of Braudel and his followers.7 Another differ-
ence is a deliberate focus here on the littoral (see Fig. 3) rather than on the
interplay between shore and hinterland, arising out of an intent to explore
conditions of mobility, portability, and territory in their most radical form.
The shorethat strip of coast along which extensive travel developedis a
geo-political area with its own particular identity, and it instilled a particular
way of seeing and experiencing proximity and distance, similarity and differ-
ence, zooming in and zooming out; and the Dalmatian shore, which had a his-
tory much different from its hinterland, is a dramatic instance of this peculiar
identity. A thin stretch of land like a golden band winding its way across coun-
tries, the littoral is at odds with borders and ethnicities, mixing them all up and
creating another republic, a Republic of the Sea, where communication was
easier, faster, more fluid and, perhaps, visually more continuous and linguisti-
cally more unified than we acknowledge today. It was also more porous. Goods
Fig.3 View of the Adriatic Littoral from Castel del Monte, Puglia (photo by the author).
7 Introduction
and materials, immigrants and travelersalso disease and armiespassed
through them with greater ease than across foothills and mountain ranges.
Among the territories across which this ribbon of land extends (see Fig.4),
the Istrian, Dalmatian, and Illyrian coastsas they would have been known in
the early modern periodhold a special place. This territory was not only
richly endowed with Roman ruins and with operating archaeological sites
(whether used for learning or plundering, or both) such as Spalato (Split),
Zara, or Pola (Pula), drawn as they were into the tumultuous events that
marked the history of the Mediterranean from antiquity to the early modern
period (Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman, etc.), but it was tied by the sea into a
tight network of travel, piracy, trade, leisure, and art collecting that went
beyond wars and conquests. Moreover, it also existed in a perpetual tension
with its hinterland, for it was continually claimed and absorbed as a territory
into the colonial empires of other sea powers, be they Venetian or Ottoman,
and repeatedly separated by such foreign rule from the landmass to which it
belonged. As such, it is a paradigmatic shoreindeed, the very distillation of
the shore condition: treated as a thin line through most of its history, it dra-
matizes the life of the shore and its near-autonomous existence. Visitors saw
its sequence of ruined sites while moving, mostly from boats, like a panorama
Fig.4 Anonymous, Fragments of the Temple of Augusts and Roma in Pola. Alinari,
No. 21192.
8 payne
8 Louis-Francois Cassas and Joseph Lavalle, Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de
la Dalmatie. Paris: P. Didot, 1802. There has been significant work done on Cassas, espe-
cially in 18th-century studies, and with respect to Cassas and the Orient. See, for exam-
ple, the exhibitions at the Muse Calvet, Avignon (2007); at the Hessisches Landesmuseum,
Darmstadt (2002); and at the Muse des Beaux Arts, Tours and Walraff-Richartz Museum
Kln (19941995). In addition, see Barbara Nassivera, Louis-Francois Cassas: il Voyage
pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie, Atti e Memoria della Societ Istriana
di Archaeologia e Storia Patria N.S. 47 (1999): 169206.
9 See, for example, the Periplous by the Pseudo Skylax of Karyanda (in fact, it is by an
unknown author active in the 4th century bc), which describes the whole of the Greek
world as if from a ship undertaking a maritime voyage across all of the Mediterranean
from one port to another; Pseudo-Skylax, Periplous. The Circumnavigation of the Inhabited
World, ed. and trans. G. Shipley. Bristol: Phoenix Press, 2011.
10 Johann Wilhelm Baur, Iconographia. Augsburg, 1670.
unfolding before ones eyes, as emphatically recorded in the 1780s by French
landscape painter, architect, and archaeologist Louis-Franois Cassas (Fig.5).8
Indeed, such a linear, even filmic, view of the Mediterranean was not uncom-
mon, and can be found in texts from antiquity if not in extant images from the
distant past.9 Like the portolan maps that recorded every detail of the shores
physiognomy as seen from the ship, so the views of the shoremany of them
imaginary, like the one by Johannes Baur (c. 1640) of Naples and its satellites
(Fig.6)testify to the powerful fascination for the meeting of land and sea.10
Fig.5 Louis-Francois Cassas and Joseph Lavalle, Vue de lentre de la rade et du port de
Pola. In Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie. Paris:
P. Didot, 1802. houghton library, harvard university, typ. 815.02.2616.
9 Introduction
11 On the cultural power of lieux de mmoire (sites of collective memory), see Pierre Nora,
ed., Les lieux de memoire. Paris: Gallimard, 19841992. On the shared Mediterranean
mythological and literary imaginary, see Frdric Tinguely, Lcriture du Levant la
Renaissance. Geneva: Droz, 2000.
A focus on Dalmatia also offers the opportunity to review the issues of what
and where was the center of the Mediterranean region, and what it meant for
the culture of the region. In so doing, the authors in this volume attempt
to provide a more objective view at the whole, without the blinkers of an a-
posteriori construct based on the strong political/economic discourses which
claimed privileged places for Italy, France, and the Habsburg and Ottoman
empires. The geographic center of the Mediterranean passes through Dalmatia
and touches north-Africa, and this invisible vertical line that bisects the sea is
therefore further east than is usually assumed. Seeing the Mediterranean in
these terms raises a host of different questions: How does our understanding
of the intersection of the three powers shift if we acknowledge the powerful
effects of geography on the triad of trade, rulership and culture? What picture
of the region emerges if we look away from Italy and Rome toward Dalmatia
and Istriaterritories that were certainly less eco nomically central yet strate-
gically and geographically very much so? Moreover, they were also lieux de
memoire, part of a shared Mediterranean imaginary.11 So how did these sites
make themselves felt in ways that belie their limited territorial spread? To be
sure, one answer is that they attracted travelers, merchants, armies, pirates and
Fig.6 Wilhelm Johann Baur, Imaginary View of Naples, Italian Coastal Views:
Illustrations for Baurs Iconographia. Augsburg, 1670, f. 110r. houghton library,
harvard university.
10 payne
12 Recent studies on Dalmatia, predominantly by Croatian scholars, has begun to fill out the
history of its important artistic dialogues with the rest of Europe, and in particular with
Italy. See, for example, the superb essays by Igor Fiskovi, Les arts figuratifs de la
Renaissance en Croatie, in La Renaissance en Croatie, exh. cat., eds. Alain Erlande-
Brandenburg and Miljenko Jurkovi. Zagreb and Paris: Seuil, 2004, pp. 159194, and Joko
Belamari, La chapelle du bien-heureux Jean de Trogir, in ibid., pp. 135157. Another
pioneering volume of essays is Quattrocento Adriatico: Fifteenth-Century Art of the Adriatic
Rim, ed. Charles Dempsey. Bologna: Nuova Alfa, 1996. Broader in scope geographically
and historically is Slobodan uri, Architecture in the Balkans from Diocletian to Sleyman
the Magnificent. London: Yale University Press, 2010, a vast compendium of sites and their
histories that continues a long tradition of visual documentation going back to Georg
Kowalczyk, ed., Denkmaeler der Kunst Dalmatien, intro. Cornelius Gurlitt. Berlin: Verlag
fr Kunstwissenschaft, 1910.
13 Like stone, wood also traveled this route: the massive wood structural members that were
needed to span the vast spaces of the Palazzo Farnese were shipped by sea from the Veneto
and circumnavigated the penninsula. This information is contained in a letter from
Jacopo Valvasone di Maniago of April 7, 1565 addressed to Carlo Borromeo (then abbot of
Moggio in Carnia); Descrizione della Cargna del co. Jacopo Valvasone di Maniaco. Udine:
Tipografia Jacob e Colmegna, 1866. I am grateful to Claudia Conforti for this reference.
ambassadors in equal measure who acted as go-betweens. But they also made
themselves felt by traveling with them from whence they came, traveling
through them, by becoming as mobile as they were.
The other reason it seemed useful to explore the Dalmatian littoral was
the opportunity to shift scales: to move from the larger panorama of the
Mediterranean to one of its constituent seas, the Adriatic, and place it
under the lens of intellectual inquiry. The traffic that operated within the
Mediterranean to the east and south (to the Middle East and northern Africa)
in the early modern period has been far less studied than the traffic north
and westto Italy, France, and Spain, or to Germany and Flanders.12 Yet the
medieval exchanges left traces and established routes and patterns that did
not die away with the Normans or the Byzantines. In this sense, too, the
Dalmatian littoral was far from dormant but continued to be an active destina-
tion, standing sentinel on one of the most traveled sea routes of the
Mediterranean and continuing to bring traffic to the former Byzantium and its
archipelago, to north Africa or the Ottoman Empire, and back. Sea routes were
far more usedand far more appealing for commerce and travelthan land
routes. The transport of stone from the region of Venice to Rome, for example,
occurred by ship along the coast of the Italian peninsula, skirting its eastern,
southern, and western coasts in turn rather than take the more direct land
route across the Apennines, which would seem to be shorter.13 As Giovanni
Uggeri has noted, the route from Venice (or Aquileia) to Alexandria took
11 Introduction
14 Giovanni Uggeri, Relazioni marittime tra Aquileia, la Dalmazia e Alessandria, Antichit
altoadriatiche 26 (1985): 159162. On the larger historical context, see Raymond Chevallier,
Les anciens voyageurs de Venise Pola et Salone, in Aquileia, la Dalmazia e lIllirico: Atti
della XIV Settimana di studi aquilesi, 2329 aprile, 1983. Antichita altoadriatiche 26, no. 1
(1985): 1342.
15 Cassas and Lavalle, Voyage pittoresque; Alberto Fortis, Viaggio in Dalmazia dellabate
Alberto Fortis. Venice: Alvise Milocco, 1774; Jacob Spon, Voyage dItalie, de Dalmatie, de
Grce et du Levant, fait aux annes 1675 & 1676. Lyon: A. Cellier le fils, 1678.
10 days by sea (with favorable winds) or on average 25 days (with normal
weather), compared to 2 months by land.14 The normal route was along the
Illyrian coast, skirting the Greek islands (Corfu, Crete), and then across to
north Africa. Indeed, it becomes clear from reading travel accounts such as
Lavalles, Fortiss, or Jacob Spons that the distances between stops were short,
and that 1day separated Venice from Pola, 2days from Zaraa far less demand-
ing route than crossing the Apennines on the way south15 (Fig.7). Just beyond
lay Spalato (next door to ancient Salona), another usual stopover, then Narona,
Ragusa, and finally Durazzo and Butrinto (in todays Albania). This was cer-
tainly the itinerary that Spon and Wheeler took in 1675 along the Adriatic
coast. Given such travel patterns, it seemed important to consider whether
Fig.7 Aberto Fortis, Filoni irregolari del pi del Monte Marian al mare, Viaggio
in Dalmazia dellabate Alberto Fortis. Venice: Alvise Milocco, 1774.
12 payne
16 Federico Zeri posited a stile adriatico and Andr Chastel stressed the cultural unity of
cities south of Venice on both sides of the Adriatic in the 15th century, although neither
of them considered the larger Mediterranean geography to include the Ottoman and
north African territories; see Andr Chastel, Art et humanisme Florence au temps de
Laurent le Magnifique: tudes sur la Renaissance et lhumanisme platonicien. Paris: Presse
universitaires de France, 1959, and Federico Zeri, Rinascimento e Pseudo-Rinascimento,
in Storia dellarte italiana, part 2, vol. 1. Turin, 1983, p. 568. Dempsey records the Adriatic
insights of both authors; see Dempsey, Introduction, Quattrocento Adriatico, p. 7.
there was such as thing as an identity of the Adriatic that went beyond the
European confines and included Alexandria, Venice, and Spalato or Bari and
that had different inflections from that connecting Naples, Palermo, and
Seville, or Marseille and Genoa.16
Thus, the Dalmatian archaeological sites emerged as excellent examples of
the interaction of the three issues that shape the content of the essays in this
book: the dissemination of artifacts, architecture in particular; their dialogue
within a geographical continuum in this fluid world of the Mediterranean; and
the existence of an Adriatic identity (comparable to that of the Aegean) that
went beyond Venice, resulting from a dialogue across this watery realm
between Syria and Egypt, Sicily and Ottoman Turkey, Dalmatia and Puglia.
Indeed, although Dalmatia was the departure point, the topics expand out-
ward from this center and embrace larger issues and questions that involve the
Mediterranean world and its networks as a whole. What became particularly
interesting was the question of how such sites operate across great distances,
through what agency, and how this agency changes them in turn. How was a
lythic, extensive, scattered, and immobile entity such as an architectural
ensemble and its site transported through portable, small, graspable objects
made of paper, oil paints, metal, wood, ceramic, cloth, or stone (spolia)?
or simply through the words or images recorded by people who saw them?
And, a corollary issue, what sort of an imaginary dimension results from this
process, shared among the recipients of such a heterogeneous body of things,
of such a layered transmission? How does the process reflect back upon the
site of origin? Finally, how does this transmission/translation affect the artistic
behavior of subsequent generations?
Part 1 of this book looks at the historical reception of Dalmatian sites, by late
19th-century Austrian art historians, 18th-century British architects and 17th-
century Ottoman travelers. Thus Suzanne Marchand takes a historiographical
approach to the topic and reveals how the very treatment of Dalmatia by the
fathers of art history was already ambiguous and conflicted: for some of them,
it belonged to the European common Roman past (Rudolf von Eitelberger);
13 Introduction
for others, to the Orient (Strzygowski). Just like the visitors of that era
who viewed the littoral from the boat, scanning and separating it from the
landmassas indeed it was divided by conquests, one belonging to the
Venetian Stato del Mar, the other (mostly) to the Ottomansso the historians
tore at the identity of the territory and its cultural location. And in so doing,
they not only reinforced an old pattern but confirmed it as well: Dalmatia and
its monuments belonged to several realities at one and the same time and the
objects it produced and received entered into this uncomfortable split identity
and reified it.
Cemal Kafadar moves from the art historian to the traveler, and from the
Western to the Eastern perspective on the Dalmatian territory. Evliya elebi, A
compulsive 17th-century traveler, wandered across the Mediterranean and
allowed his eye to rest at some length on the Dalmatian coast. Indeed, as
Kafadar argues, for him this territory was the key to Ottoman control of the
Mediterranean, the center of the world. Driven by his curiosity about unfamil-
iar shores, Evliya elebi identified connective tissue between places. Such
tissue was not only woven out of portable objects but also generated by
the behavior of the residents of those places, such as flight and defection,
and by the networks that evolved through demographic shiftsin short,
historical connections shaped by mobility as a way of life, or by territorial
instability. In his telling, the European and Ottoman assessment of sites and
landscapes are strikingly different: for the more urban-minded Europeans,
the classification of territory was based on sedentary population; for
the Ottomans, settlements were more inclusive and embraced transient
groups.
In looking at Robert Adam and his Ruins of Spalatro, Erika Naginski also
interrogates how the Croatian and Mediterranean sites reached well beyond
their geographic locations, and how they traveled to Britain. The threads
identified by Marchand and Kafadar are here picked up with reference to 18th-
century historians and travelers who likewise tease out and perpetuate a dou-
ble identity for Dalmatia: the palace of Spalato (Split) is viewed by some as
Oriental in its excessive richness and therefore also as decadent (by Edward
Gibbon); but it can also work as an example of eclecticism and therefore as a
positive example of variety within the classical canon for a British architect
such as Robert Adam.
The shared Mediterranean imagination and its origins are another central
theme and the red thread of Part 2. Marzia Faietti turns to imagined land-
scapes and asks, How does the image of a real city like Jerusalem, whose his-
tory resonates across the Mediterranean, reach Andrea Mantegna, an artist
who never traveled there? What happens when mobility/portability and
14 payne
transportation was not lived first-hand? How does a city enter representation
and become portable? As she reconstructs the sources of an important paint-
ing by Mantegna, Faietti reveals the convoluted and complicated process that
includes the confluence of real travel (Ciriaco of Anconas) with fantasy, liter-
ary, and antiquarian interventions as well as political events that produce an
imagined city for an artist whose most extensive trip had been no farther than
Lake Garda, barely 85miles (140kilometers) from where he was born.
In my own essay, I look for yet another glimpse of this phenomenon of com-
pounded imagination, in an exploration of the idea of the Renaissance ideal
city, particularly as imagined by Andrea Palladio. The white city so familiar in
representations as a deeply desired and never attained site of order, beauty,
and peacea Pathosformel, reallyis, I argue, a measure of the experience
and memory of the white Istrian stone and its brilliance in the buildings and
ancient cities along the eastern Adriatic. In their clean sparseness Palladios
images of reconstructed temples on stark white pages captured the effects of
the white ruins and the white stone of such sites as Spalato and Pola, and
transmitted their effects across centuries as far as Georgian London and its
own white terraces.
David Young Kim looks at the mobility of the artist rather than that of
things, and identifies a counter-impulse that pushes against the collective
imagination as the origin of artistic style. Examining an array of sources from
Leon Battista Alberti to Giorgio Vasari, Aretino, and beyond, he reveals a strain
of anxiety in Renaissance artistic literature with respect to the itinerancy of
artists. As presented in their texts, this practice of travel for work threatens
historical memory, dissolves distinction between places, and contaminates
urban order and artistic style. By showing that this basic phenomenon of artis-
tic behavior was far from unproblematic, Kim reveals how deeply felt, and
potentially disruptive, the inherent mobility characteristic of the Mediterranean
territories really was.
In Part 3, the essays home in on what exactly moved, how it moved, and how
this movement across space and mediums affected the reception and the
recording of distant monuments and shores. Ioli Kalavrezou and Avinoam
Shalem examine one of the most ubiquitous items that circulated widely and
in large quantities: cloth, in the form of luxury silks, embroidered and pat-
terned textiles, sumptuous velvets and brocades. Kalavrezou asks, What circu-
lated, and who actually spoke to whom in the production of hybrid pieces that
allowed taste to circulate? Who held the needle? And who understood whom
(and how) in this process of translation? As it turns out, royal gifts of ritual
cloth or bronze doors for Mediterranean cathedrals that came out of Byzantium
were intended to gratify an existing foreign taste just as much as they
15 Introduction
conveyed images of Constantinople, its monuments, and its treasures. Like
Faietti, Kalavrezou also interrogates a larger phenomenon: what happens
when mobility/portability and transport were carried out by proxy rather than
firsthand?
Shalem pursues this topic one step further and poses the problem of an
intertextuality of objects. Looking at a much manipulated cloththe so-called
chasuble of Thomas Becket, its Arab origins, and its many afterliveshe
explores how fabric transported artistic ideas through its patterning or through
its use as a textile architecture. Originally a tent, as a chasuble it was also
intended to house the body. The question Shalem ultimately asks is one of
agency: How did objects such as cloth retain and transport alterity and
embed itwith a cloud of layered referencesinto new contexts? Shalems
intertextuality of objects, like Kafadars connective tissue between places,
emerge as a significant ideas in this book.
Textiles are not just bought and sold, presented and received as gifts.
As Joko Belamari argues in his essay, textile production in and of itself
involves an expertise that connects various shores of the Mediterranean. The
ambition to develop a cloth industry in Ragusa (Dubrovnik) in the early 15th
century involved many steps that brought different cultures together. Not only
did this initiative involve competition with Italian centers such as Florence
but it also extended to inviting craftsmen who came and shared their secrets,
the reopening of aqueducts to supply the quantities of water necessary for
manufacturing cloth, and the construction of fountains and specialized stone
hooks on buildings to hang the cloth to dry. As a result of the decision to
develop this industry, architecture as infrastructure became an essential com-
ponent of the built environment of Ragusa, and an entire network of connec-
tions and contact across the Adriatic emerged, with significant and lasting
cultural and architectural consequences.
The essays in Part 4 scrutinize the networks along which this phenomenon
of portability manifested itself. Thus Gulr Necipolu and Goran Niksi focus
on the materials of architecture and look at their circulation, as does Doris
Abouseif. In these three essays, it becomes clear just how intense and how
loaded with meaning was the circulation of spolia and fragmentswhether
just the basic materials or carved stoneinto and around Dalmatia and the
Mediterranean. By order of Venices doges and Mamluk or Ottoman sultans,
an enormous number of stones, columns, and capitals were moved, lifted, and
carried, then shipped to distant lands and erected there, in a dizzying sequence
of aesthetic, political, and/or practical construction choices. Yet as these
authors point out, spoliation is not always destruction. As Necipolu stresses,
the agents are of prime significance and are the originators of contact
16 payne
between cultures. Convertsviziers and pashas who hailed from European
territoriescontinued to traffic in the arts of their homelands with a new
Islamic fervor. Here, we encounter patrons and materials leaving traces across
the Mediterranean region, rather than artists on the move. Nor is the practice
of gathering meaningful stones an exclusively early modern one: as Abouseif
argues, the practice goes back to the ancient Egyptians, the Byzantines, and
the Gothic Crusaders, as well as to the Mamluks, who collected not only exqui-
sitely carved stones but their craftsmen as wellnot as trophies, but for their
novelty and aesthetic appeal. Gudelj likewise delves into the agents of archi-
tectural portability and argues that the Roman Arch of the Sergii in Pola is
quoted in the 15th-century Arch of Alfonso of Aragon in Naples. However,
what is striking here is just how convoluted was the translation of various
motifs: descriptions, coins, drawings, paintings, and itinerant artists all con-
tributed to connect a monument on the Istrian coast with the royal seat in
Campania.
In the final analysis, as the authors of these essays show, portability and
hybridity went hand in hand, and in tracing transformation they tease out
both expected patterns and unexpected, serendipitous moments when cul-
tural exchange occurred. By focusing on translation and its instruments, these
essays ultimately expand the traditional concept of influence by thrusting
mobility and the process of cultural translationits mechanisms, rather than
its effectsinto the foreground. Reaching beyond its physical boundaries,
Dalmatia emerges as an aggregation of physical and abstract elements that
operates on many vectors like an intense node that radiates cultural energy
and touches a collective Mediterranean.
Bibliography
Abulafia, David, ed., The Mediterranean in History. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum,
2003.
Belamari, Joko, La chapelle du bien-heureux Jean de Trogir, in Ibid., pp. 135157.
Bilsel, Can, Antiquity on Display. Regimes of the Authentic in Berlins Pergamon Museum.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Braudel, Fernand, La Mditerrane et le monde mditerranen lpoque de Philippe II.
Paris: Armand Colin, 1949.
Cassas, Louis-Francois and Joseph Lavalle, Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et
de la Dalmatie. Paris: P. Didot, 1802.
Chastel, Andr, Art et humanisme Florence au temps de Laurent le Magnifique: tudes
sur la Renaissance et lhumanisme platonicien. Paris: Presses universitaires de
France, 1959.
17 Introduction
Chevallier, Raymond, Les anciens voyageurs de Venise Pola et Salone. In Aquileia, la
Dalmazia e lIllirico. Atti della XIV Settimana di studi aquilesi, 2329 aprile 1983.
Antichita altoadriatiche, 26, no. 1, 1985: 1342.
uri, Slobodan, Architecture in the Balkans from Diocletian to Sleyman the
Magnificent. London: Yale University Press, 2010.
Dempsey, Charles, ed., Quattrocento Adriatico. Fifteenth-Century Art of the Adriatic
Rim, Villa Spelman Colloquia, vol. 5. Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1996.
Descrizione della Cargna del co. Jacopo Valvasone di Maniaco. Udine: Tipografia Jacob e
Colmegna, 1866.
Fiskovi, Igor, Les arts figuratifs de la Renaissance en Croatie. In La Renaissance en
Croatie, exh. cat., eds. Alain Erlande-Brandenburg and Miljenko Jurkovi. Zagreb
and Paris: Seuil, 2004, pp. 159194.
Flood, Finbarr B., Objects of Translation. Material Culture and Medieval Hindu-Muslim
Encounter. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009.
Fortis, Alberto, Viaggio in Dalmazia dellabate Alberto Fortis. Venice: Alvise Milocco,
1774.
Goitein, S.D., A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as
Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 19671993.
Greenblatt, Stephen et al., Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 2009.
Harris, W.V., ed., Rethinking the Mediterranean. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Hoffman, Eva, Pathways of Portability: Islamic and Christian Interchange from the
Tenth to the Twelfth Century, Art History 24, no. 1 (2001): 1750.
Horden, Peregrine and Nicholas Purcell, The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean
History. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.
Kowalczyk, Georg, ed., Denkmaeler der Kunst Dalmatien. Intro. Cornelius Gurlitt.
Berlin: Verlag fr Kunstwissenschaft, 1910.
Latour, Bruno, The Berlin Key or How to Do Words with Things. In Matter, Materiality,
and Modern Culture, ed. P.M. Graves-Brown. London: Routledge, 2000, pp. 1021.
Marchand, Suzanne, Down from Olympus. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,
1996.
Nassivera, Barbara, Louis-Francois Cassas: il Voyage pittoresque et historique de
lIstrie et de la Dalmatie, Atti e Memoria della Societ Istriana di Archaeologia e
Storia Patria N.S. 47 (1999): 169206.
Nora, Pierre, ed., Les lieux de memoire. Paris: Gallimard, 19841992.
Payne, Alina, Portable Ruins: The Pergamon Altar, Heinrich Wlfflin and German Art
History at the fin de sicle, RES. Journal of Aesthetics and Anthropology 54/55
(spring/autumn 2008): 168189.
Piterberg, Gabriel, Teofilo F. Ruiz, and Geoffroy Symcox, eds., Braudel Revisited: The
Mediterranean World 16001800. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.
18 payne
Pseudo-Skylax, Periplous. The Circumnavigation of the Inhabited World, ed. and trans.
G. Shipley. Bristol: Phoenix Press, 2011.
Shalem, Avinoam, Objects as Carriers of Real or Contrived Memories in a Cross-
Cultural Context, Mitteilungen zur Sptantiken Archologie und Byzantinischen
Kunstgeschichte 4 (2005): 101109.
Spon, Jacob and George Wheeler, Voyage dItalie, de Dalmatie, de Grce et du Levant, fait
aux annes 1675 & 1676. Lyon: A. Cellier le fils, 1678.
Tinguely, Frdric, Lcriture du Levant la Renaissance. Geneva: Droz, 2000.
Uggeri, Giovanni, Relazioni marittime tra Aquileia, la Dalmazia e Alessandria,
Antichit altoadriatiche 26 (1985): 159162.
Zeri, Federico, Rinascimento e Pseudo-Rinascimento. In Storia dellarte italiana,
part II, vol. 1. Turin: 1983.
PART 1
Mobility and History

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_


Chapter 1
The View from the Land: Austrian Art Historians
and the Interpretation of Croatian Art
Suzanne Marchand
Alina Paynes elegant essay for this volume assesses the impact of the view
from the boat on centuries of European travelers to the white cities of the
Mediterranean littoral. That text and Erika Naginskis essay on 18th-century
engravings of Diocletians Palace in Split both demonstrate the importance of
Roman monuments in shaping European visitors impressions of the Dalmatian
coast and their deep need to fit these monuments into a narrative of classical
antiquitys brilliance, and its subsequent steep decline. In contrast, the essays
by Glru Necipolu and Cemal Kafadar present the Ottoman worlds view of
what is today Croatian territory as simply a moderately rich and exploit-
ableperiphery, a place where one might harvest good marbleor good archi-
tectsbut where, in the late 17th century, it was impossible to get a decent cup
of coffee. Evliya Celebi was at least mildly interested in the infidels of Dalmatia
but because the Ottomans remained content with ruling the Bosnian hinter-
land (until 1878), his visits to the Venetian-dominated coastal regions were
perfunctory, and his impressions of the art and landscape, if not views from
the boat, were fleeting ones. This was not so for those to whom the Dalmatian
spoils fell in the post-1815 period: the Austrians, who might have originally
surveyed what is now Croatia from boats, but who had then to rule this distant
and diverse territory, and to do so in an era of rising nationalist sentiments.
Especially in the years after the revolutions of 1848, Croatia increasingly
attracted Austro-Hungarian scholars and bureaucrats who sought what I call
the view from the landa deeper, and more invasive, understanding of the
territorywith cultural consequences that have not yet been fully
investigated.
This essay focuses on two very different Austrian art historians, Rudolf
Eitelberger von Edelberg (18171885) and Josef Strzygowski (18621941), both of
whom made very significant contributions to Austrian, and more broadly,
European, discussions of the origins and meaning of Dalmatian art and archi-
tecture. Each struggled, in his own way, to make sense of Dalmatias mixed cul-
tural heritage, its coastal Latinity and its Slavic hinterland, its position on the
periphery of western empires and its receptivity to the cultures of the eastern
22 Marchand
1 Eitelberger, Rudolf E. von Edelberg, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie und Neue deutsche
Biographie, vol. 55. Leipzig: Dunker & Humblot, 1910, p. 738. For an excellent overview of
Eitelbergers career, discovered by this author too late to be properly incorporated into this
essay, see Matthew Rampley, The Idea of a Scientific Discipline: Rudolf von Eitelberger and
the Emergence of Art History in Vienna, 18471873, in Art History 34, no. 1 (Feb. 2011): 5479.
Rampleys book-length manuscript, The Vienna School of Art History. Philadelphia:
Pennsylvania State University Press, forthcoming, 2013, also came to my desk too late to be
included, but provides an excellent overview and wider analysis of issues raised in this essay.
Mediterranean. They were both in some way associated with the Vienna School
of art historyEitelberger as one of its founders, Strzygowski as one of its
products but also ultimately one of its keenest critics. In fact, Strzygowski
would receive an appointment to Eitelbergers University of Vienna chair after
the death of Eitelbergers immediate successor, Franz Wickhoff, in 1909. But
their different approaches to the art of the imperial borderlands tell us a great
deal about how much that schools work was entangled with the wider cultural
history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in its last decades.
Strzygowski and Eitelberger belonged to different generations, and to dif-
ferent political and social groups; Eitelberger was a noble from a German mili-
tary family, Strzygowski the son of a successful merchant based in Austro-Polish
Galicia. Eitelberger was a liberal who had championed revolution in 1848, but
the Habsburg Monarchys liberalization, and the bureaucracys embrace of his
ideas and projects made him, by the early 1850s, an ardent Habsburg patriot.
After three decades of bureaucratic and scholarly activity, he was made a
member of the Austrian House of Lords, and an honorary citizen of the city of
Vienna; after his death, the emperor himself visited Eitelbergers widow to
express his regrets.1 Eitelbergers scholarly research ranged across all artistic
epochs, but he focused his attention on the classical and medieval monuments
so important to the identity of the Holy Roman Empire; he did not like
Byzantium and feared the East, from which, he said on numerous occasions,
came the barbarian threats, past and present, that Austrians had continually
had to combat. Strzygowski, by contrast, was a Germanophile nationalist from
the Slavic provinces, a man who was touchy about his non-Gymnasium educa-
tion and who constantly felt himself underappreciated by his more urbane
and better-connected colleagues. He made his career less by ingratiating him-
self with the central bureaucracy than by associating with its critics, and by
attacking classicism in the name of a more profound understanding of folk art,
and of eastern Europes deep cultural connections with the Orient. Strzygowski
despised the liberal imperialist vision that Eitelberger had implanted in the
monarchys cultural institutions, seeing in it the lingering Roman, aristocratic,
23 The View from the Land
2 Rudolf von Eitelberger, Mittelalterliche Kunstdenkmale Dalmatiens in Arbe [Rab], Zara
[Zadar], Nona [Nin], Sebenico [Sibenik], Trau [Trogir], Spalato [Split] und Ragusa [Dubrovnik].
Vienna: Braumller, 1884, p. 132.
and cosmopolitan prejudices it still contained, in spite of its federalist rhetoric.
Working in the much more volatile cultural world of the period 19001939, and
with a much greater range of available materials, Strzygowski embraced the
East rather than fearing it, and set about rewriting the history of European
artistic development in a manner well-suited to please post-imperial national-
ists and, ultimately, racists as well.
And yet, Eitelberger and Strzygowski were similar in their deep interest in
the Austro-Hungarian peripheries, in their dedication to examining a very
wide range of monuments unknown to most of their contemporaries, and in
their abiding interest in the minor arts. In many respects, too, Eitelberger laid
the foundations for what would be Strzygowskis revolt against the canon by
his liberal-inclusive attitude toward provincial nationalisms: as Eitelberger
wrote in his book on Dalmatian art of 1859, it was possible and indeed neces-
sary for the Austrian monarchy to encourage local cultural pride, and thereby
to blunt political and economic bids for provincial autonomy. Eitelberger also
here advocated the participation of all in the study of art, believing with what
would prove to be a kind of imperious navet that every good scholar would
interpret monuments in the same way: The study of art is an area in which
everyone with such a vocation is a welcome guest, regardless of whether he is
an Austrian or a Russian citizen, or whether he is a German, Latin, or Slav.2
Strzygowski never had such cosmopolitan-liberal illusionsnor such gener-
ous instincts. But he did travel and collect widely, and made friends with a
wide circle of local scholars, as had Eitelberger. Strzgyowski would also pro-
mote provincial cultural pride, and would encourage the development of
museums, periodicals, and monument-protection societies throughout the
Empire. The great divergence in their art-historical viewsespecially before
World War I turned Strzygowski into a full-blown racistlay in their attitude
to Rome, whose centrality Eitelberger could not give up, and Strzygowski
could not countenance, and to its barbarian peripheries, whose defender
Strzygowski became. Indeed, it would be the Dalmatian periphery that
Strzygowski would ultimately use in his attempt, in Die altslavische Kunst, to
overthrow the entire history of European cultural development that the Vienna
School had sought to save by liberal, pluralistic means. This was the voice, at
last, of the hinterland, of the distant, non-Roman, periphery, in its most
extreme and most dangerous form.
24 Marchand
If one of the goals of this essay is to understand the transition from the lib-
eral to the post-liberal study of Austro-Hungarian cultural history, taking
Dalmatian art as our focal point, another is to offer a new set of perspectives on
the consequences of empire for the sciences. Central to Eitelbergers work, and
ultimately to Strzygowskis as well, was the founding and development of
Austria-Hungarys imperial monuments service, an institution founded in
1852 with the goal of surveying, documenting, and, if possible, saving of the
empires important historical and artistic monuments; in many respects it was
the equivalent of the British Archaeological Survey of India, founded in 1861.
Both projects were born in the wake of upheavals, those of 1848 in the Austrian
case, and those of 1857 in the British case, and both were intended to acceler-
ate the collection and preservation of artifacts in the face of impending mod-
ernization and (supposedly) local neglect. The Austrian project, however,
seems to have emphasized much more the preservation and appreciation of
the art of the periphery, while the British project de-emphasized cultural plu-
ralism and disdained the input of local notables. Over time, the Austrian proj-
ect seems to have done much better in generating local support and pride
(especially from indigenous elites) and in deepening the sympathy of some
imperial overseers for monuments with nontraditional decorative schemes or
architectural aspects. By focusing attention on monuments that had to be seen
in situ, photographed or sketched, and studied, usually with little help from
traditional sources, and often without texts to help make sense of them, it cre-
ated a minor tourist boom and a world of semi-amateurs, eager to protect and
display their treasures.
This process also increased some imperial scholars sympathy for the men
and women on the spotlocal scholars, antiquarians, guides, and workmen,
who often knew a great deal more than did western Europeans about local
monuments, landscapes and artifacts. Though often left out of the history of
archeology and art history written in the heroic mode, these missing persons
often helped European scholars read manuscripts or inscriptions, locate sites
and articles for purchase, and, in the process, often suggested to them ways to
interpret materials in accordance with their own views. They played major
roles in convincing scholars such as Eitelberger in Austria and E.B. Havell in
England to rethink their categories, and they would become, too, some of the
most ardent readers of what was still regarded by western Europeans as exotic
scholarship, or folkloric, anti-classical art appreciation. And these missing
persons would become some of Strzygowskis most devoted fans.
To understand the enormous changes that occurred in art collecting
and appreciation over the course of the 19th century, we should remember
that art history, as a university discipline, was itself born in that century, and
25 The View from the Land
3 Richard Meister, Geschichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, 18471947. Vienna:
Holzhausen, 1947, p. 86.
4 Ibid.
developed mostly in its second half. History per se, while practiced through the
centuries outside the universities, was in the 1820s and 1830s just gaining a toe-
hold in university culturesand what was taught was chiefly ancient history.
Those who wrote about the modern periodseverything since the fall of
Romewere, like James Mill, J.G. Droysen, and Jules Michelet, often political
liberals, and the censors kept a careful eye upon them. Indeed, in Austria, those
scholars who pushed hard for the formation of an Academy of Sciences in the
early 19th century shied away from proposing a separate section for history for
fear of the censor, even though historians featured prominently among the
Academys backers. When the Austrian Academy was finally established in
1847, it did contain a historical section, but one that favored not writers of
grand narratives, but archivists, or local amateurs and antiquarians, men
referred to as Heimatforscher, who hailed from all the cultural provinces of
the Dual Monarchy.3 The post-1850 era was much friendlier to historians,
many of whom became less liberal as the great nation-building projects of
the period commenced, and as specialization and professionalization set
in. Censorship regimes, too, fell away, and historians began telling a wider set
of stories.
In the Habsburg lands, in fact, the post-1850 attempts to cultivate bour-
geois support for patriotic causesand the new freedom to form local
associationscreated the conditions for the proliferation of historical and art-
historical studies, not only by academics, but also more broadly in local com-
munities. The Academy had already set a precedent by including among its
members Heimatforscher who reflected the monarchys cultural diversity: men
from the Czech lands, Lombardy, Hungary and Transylvania, the Tirol, upper
Austria, Vienna, and Styria each had their own representative.4 When the
Institut fr sterreichische Geschichtsforschung (IfG) was created in 1853, it
too reached out to representatives of the various nationality groups, offering
cultural pluralism to offset the political dominance of the German-Catholic
imperial elite. These imperial attempts to survey and unite the whole by bring-
ing provincial scholars into the project would create a dynamic similar to
Emperor Franz Josefs desire to placate the various nationality groups through
language reforms: as the central state deflected conflict by liberalizing the
treatment of non-German elites, it contributed to the development of wider
and better organized cultural nationalist groups in the provinces, who still,
however, had to work hard to convince the locals that a single ethnic identity
26 Marchand
5 See Pieter M. Judson, Guardians of the Nation: Activists on the Language Frontiers of Imperial
Austria. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006. On the early 19th century, see, for,
e.g., Daniel Baric, Der Illyrismus: Geschichte und Funktion eines bernationalen Begriffes
im Kroatien der ersten Hlfte des 19. Jahrhunderts und sein Nachklang, in Transnationale
Gedchtnisorte in Zentraleuropa, ed. Jacques Le Rider et al. Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2002,
pp. 125140.
6 Eitelberger, Rudolf E. von Edelberg, (as in note 1), p. 735; Rampley, Idea of a Scientific
Discipline, pp. 5960.
was something they ought to have, and ought to cherish.5 In focusing espe-
cially on Austrias medieval pastand developing strong support for projects
in Slavic and Oriental studies (including, in 1897, a Kommission fr die
historisch-archologische und philologisch-epigraphische Durchforschung
der Balkanhalbinsel, or Balkankommission)the imperial Academy of
Sciences and the IfG would offer generate patronage for a large number of
projects that fell outside the usual purview of the universities.
If academic history tended to the classical, this was even more true of the
archeologists and art historians at the universities, at least through the early
1880s. Students spent long hours in university museums, whose collections
were heavily dominated by plaster casts. Eitelberger himself was trained in law
and then as a classical philologist, and his first essay on art theory was about
the study of ancient art; before his appointment to the first professorship for
art history at the University of Vienna in 1852, he seems to have followed a
rather conventional series of inquiries, studying art in Italy for a year, and visit-
ing London and Paris. But there was another side to Eitelberger: his real train-
ing in art appreciation, he claimed, came from his friendship with the director
of the imperial academy of engravers and the mint, Joseph Daniel Bhm.
Bhm, a devoted Catholic, encouraged his fellow Austrian artists to study local
and medieval art directly rather than merely imitate classical models and
casts; contemporary art would be improved, he argued, by looking beyond
neoclassical aesthetics for inspiration.6 In Bhms workshop and art collection,
Eitelberger learned to appreciate the minor arts as well as the importance of
cultivating domestic taste. However, even more important in making
Eitelberger an unusually ecumenical art historian was, ironically, his leap onto
the imperial bandwagon just as it made a liberalizing swerve, exemplified in
the arts by the founding of the K.K. Zentral-kommission fr Kunst- und histo-
rische Denkmale (Central Commission for Protection of Monuments [in
Vienna]), a highly important institution to whose development we now turn.
This commission was founded in 1853 for the study of architectural monu-
ments throughout the empire; its brief was expanded in 1873 to include the
27 The View from the Land
7 Eitelberger, Die Kunstbewegung in Oesterreich seit der Pariser Weltaustellung im Jahre 1867.
Vienna: K.K. Schulbcher Verlag, 1878, p. 16: The effectiveness of the commission, Eitelberger
wrote, lies in studying and publicizing these monuments, in caring for their preservation
and protecting them from destruction or decay, in awakening of interest in them among
individuals and especially among corporations and associations with related interests.
8 Ibid., pp. 1719.
9 Ibid., pp. 2031.
study, preservation, and publicizing of sculpture, painting, drawings, and
archeological finds from antiquity to the end of the 18th centurya task of
immeasurable proportions in an empire whose lands had been inhabited by so
many peoples of different cultures over the course of millennia.7 Trying to
prevent the most important monuments from falling prey to the huge city-
expansion projects of the post-1850 era, the commission needed a great deal of
on-the-ground assistance. It relied on a network of conservators and local cor-
respondents, of whom there were already more than 100 in 1878, many of
whom appear to have been clergymen keenly interested in the protection and
renovation of their churches. To keep its contributors informed, the commis-
sion published a series of reports (Mittheilungen) containing notices, essays,
and larger studies of particular monuments; special subcommittees were
devoted to inventorying movable and immovable monuments and artworks.8
The commission also oversaw archeological excavations, in the hopes of mak-
ing them more systematic. In the 1870s, it was already overseeing work on
Roman sites in Pula, Salona, and Split, as well as in Aquileja, while encouraging
work on pre-historical sitesthough much of its energy was spent on restor-
ing medieval and Renaissance churches throughout the empire, including
the enormous (and highly controversial) task of restoring Saint Stephens
in Vienna.9
Eitelberger was one of the founders this commission, and as a leading mem-
ber he traveled to Hungary in 1854 and 1856 to survey the kingdoms medieval
monuments. Here he discovered a cultural world almost unknown to educated
Europeansincluding westward- and southward-looking German Austrians
like himself. His comments on this unknown Hungarian cultural world fore-
shadow his comments on the Dalmatian coast, and also foreshadow later
Austrian debates about the origins of the medieval Christian art so central
to Habsburgian cultural identity. Traveling such a short time after the violent
suppression of Hungarys 1848 revolution, Eitelberger had to treat the
subject of Hungarian cultural history with care; he could not safely empha-
size Hungarys separate history, norsince the Habsburg Monarchy still
depended on the support of Hungarian noblesdeny the territorys unique
28 Marchand
10 Eitelberger, Bericht ber eine archologische Ausflug nach Ungarn in den Jahren 1854 und
1855. Vienna: Ebner und Seubert, 1856, Hungary, p. 95.
11 Ibid., p. 96.
12 Eitelberger, Geschichte und Geschichtsmalerei: Festrede gehalten aus Anlass der
Habsburgfeier am 22. December [sic] 1882 in der Kunstgewerbeschule des K.K. Oesterreich.
Museums. Vienna: Carl Gerolds Sohn, 1882, p. 12.
and distinguished cultural heritage. He chose to emphasize the survival of
Hungarys Christian monuments in the face of Mongols, Turks, and Josephinist
reformers; but he declined to characterize the culture as specifically Magyar.
Indeed, he claimed, Hungarys medieval monuments demonstrated that this
territory belonged artistically to Western Europe, and not to the Byzantine (or
Ottoman) sphere of influence. In his travel report, Eitelberger sounded themes
that he would later reiterate again and again: the artworks of the Habsburg
lands demonstrated the empires links to western European Christendom and
to Charlemagnes world. Medieval Hungary, for example, had no reason to bor-
row anything more than techniques from Byzantium, for in the Middle Ages,
artistic life was progressive, vital, and deeply spiritually not in Eastern Europe,
but rather in Central Europe and in the West. The direction of cultural devel-
opment moves from the West to the East, not from the East to the West.10
The monuments of Hungary were not Byzantine, and not national-Hungarian,
but rather Romanesque and western. Now that so many political fetters and
restrictions had been removed that had previous kept Hungary from partici-
pating in the progress of art, science, and social life, Eitelberger believed, it
ought to emphasize its ties to the West, and recognize that, With respect to
the East, [Hungarys] position always meant that it had only to fear [invasion]
from this direction.11 In years to come, Eitelberger, sensitive to the rise of
Panslavism, would continue to emphasize dangers from the East, as well as the
dangers of nationalist separatism, asserting in 1882 that the current danger
from the East (by which he meant the Russians) was not less significant as in
the era of Charlemagne, or in the years in which waves of peoples from the
East stormed civilizations gates. It was Austrias historical mission, he
insisted, to defend the West against these eastern threatsa fact that obliged
artists and scholars to hold fast to Austrian state principles (den oester-
reichischen Staatsgedanken) and go to bat for them in writing history as well as
in art of an historical nature.12
Of course, Eitelbergers pronouncements did not prevent Magyar cultural
nationalism or Slavophile sentiments from spreading in the Empires eastern
territories. In fact, it is probably the case that his visit, and the activities of
the Zentral-kommission more generally, helped to encourage the spread of
29 The View from the Land
13 Coriolan Petranu, Die siebenbrgische Kunstgeschichte und die Forschungen
J. Strzygowskis, in Josef Strzygowski Festschrift: Zum 70. Geburtstag dargebracht von seinen
Schlern. Klagenfurt: Kollitsch, 1932, p. 126.
14 Eitelberger, Mittelalterliche Kunstdenkmale Dalmatiens, p. 11.
interest in local monuments and histories. In the wake of Eitelbergers visit,
Hungary established two archeological journals (in 1859 and 1869), and in 1872
the Landeskommission der historischen Denkmler in Budapest was founded
to take over the preservation work begun by the Zentral-kommission. By 1900,
according to one commentator, enough interest had been generated and
enough specialists had been trained that the local dilettantes and antiquarians
were being pushed aside by fully scientific scholars.13 These specialists, in
turn, were able to survey a wider range of monuments, and could read and
write Hungarian (as Eitelberger could not), making possible a broader view of
the territorys cultural history, and making problematic Eitelbergers confident
incorporation of its monuments into western European cultural history
(Kulturgeschichte).
Eitelberger first visited the Dalmatian coast a few years later, in 1859, again
seeking medieval monuments, and again finding what he called an artistic
terra incognita unknown to western European scholars. The moment was a
hotly political one: just 10years earlier, the Hungarians, who controlled north-
ern Croatia (but not Dalmatia) had rebelled against Austrian rule. The
Croatians had then taken up arms against the Hungarians, in the hopes that
they would be rewarded by the Austrians for their loyalty. As it turned out,
both parties would be bitterly disappointed when the revolutions of 1848
ended, with little change in the status quo. In 1859, war with the Italian states
had just concluded, with Austria (for the nonce) victorious and still in posses-
sion of Dalmatiaalthough that territory was increasingly home to both
Italian and Croatian nationalists. Eitelberger felt his position as emissary of
empire keenly; and his monument survey turned into a remarkable set of
ruminations on Austrias proper cultural and political policy in the region. In
an extraordinary introduction to his study, he offered a detailed series of com-
ments on the political situation, and advice on how Habsburg officialdom
should treat the province. He admitted that Panslavism was not only real, but
popular, and that it was the inescapable historical outcome of processes set in
motion by failed attempts to conquer and suborn the Croatians, Serbs, and
Slovenians by the Venetians, Turks, and Magyars; Hungarian intolerance, in
fact, had caused the Croats to rise in 1848.14 There could be no more talk of the
Magyarization of Croatia, he declared; but neither could nationalist ideas
championed by Napoleon III and by the intriguing Russians (themselves busily
30 Marchand
15 Ibid., pp. 8, 1617.
16 Ibid., p. 22.
17 Ibid., p. 24.
18 Ibid., p. 2.
19 It is perhaps indicative of the intolerable nature (or incomprehensibility) of this view that
the long-dead Eitelberger was denounced as late as 19211922 by Alessandro Dudanone
of the leaders of the fascist movement, and Dalmatian nativefor having obscured the
pure Latinity of the region. Dudan, La Dalmazia nellarte italiana. Milan: Treves, 1921
1922, cited in Strzygowski, Altslavische Kunst: Ein Versuch ihres Nachweises. Augsburg:
Filser, 1929, 66f.
suppressing the Circassians, Poles, Armenians, and Lithuanians) be allowed to
triumph over the values of the imperial Rechtsstaat, the idea that the state is
bound by laws.15
Eitelbergers solution was to make modern Habsburg rule (Herrschaft) more
efficient and sweet first of all by putting Croatia under Austrian rather than
Hungarian control. The Habsburgswho, by the time the second edition
of Eitelbergers Die mittelalterische Kunstdenkmale Dalmatiens (Artistic
Monuments of Medieval Dalmatia) was published (1884), had occupied neigh-
boring Bosnia as wellwere advised to take power out of the hands of the
Italian elite in Zadar and move the capital to Split, on the trade route between
Knin and Bosnia, and where Slavic interests could also be taken into account.
It was crucial, Eitelberger argued, that Austria cultivate the support of the
regions two principal ethnic groups (Hauptracen), the Slavs and the Italians,
and its two principal churches (Hauptkirchen), Catholic and Greek
Orthodoxa policy that could be cultivated in cultural terms by increasing
preservation efforts in the multicultural city of Split, and sold back home by
increasing awareness of this beautiful city of both the past, and the future.16 He
thought that Germanization would be useful as a means for Slavs to resist
Italianicization (and vice versa) and as a means to unite this province with the
culture of central Europe to the North.17 Overall, Eitelberger approved of the
way in which a non-Catholic, conciliatory policy toward the Slavs had calmed
the situation: Thereby the Slavic movement directed against Austria has had
the point [of the sword] broken off.18 And in his reportage on monuments,
Eitelberger too would emphasize the cultural pluralism of the region, doing so,
however, within what was still a recognizably Habsburgian-imperial world
view.19
In his comments on Dalmatian art, Eitelberger focused on a few major
coastal cities and monuments: Sibenik, Rab, Trogir, Nin, and Dubrovnik, but
he also visited Zadar. He did spend a considerable amount of time studying the
31 The View from the Land
20 Larry Wolff, Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment.
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001, p. 111.
21 See Don Frane Buli (with Ljubo Karaman), Kaiser Diokletians Palast in Split. Zagreb:
Matica Hrvatska, 1929, pp. 8993.
22 Eitelberger, Mittelalterliche Kunstdenkmale Dalmatiens, p. 88.
monumentsby no means did he take only the view from the boatand
unlike the 18th-century traveler Fortis, he did not apologize for not focusing on
Greek and Roman monuments.20 But he did not push very far inland either,
and did not focus attention on Slavic antiquities. Although his brief was to
study medieval monuments, he could not resist some discussion of Diocletians
Palaceperhaps because it was so very classical, and so very white (see image
in Chapter 3, Fig.7). However, he did not dwell on the question of whether or
not the palace represented artistic (as well as imperial) decline; like his liberal
successors in the Austrian School of art history, Eitelberger was inclined to
emphasize continuities across the classicalmedieval divide.21 Engaged in the
project of surveying the Empires monuments and treasures, Eitelberger
mostly described what was left, and refrained from speculating much on which
ethnic group or empire should be credited with particular innovations. Yet his
narrative was clear: the foremost achievements were those of western, and
usually Christian culturesand the foremost destroyers were the barbarians
of the East, and especially the Turks.
For the second edition of Die mittelalterische Kunstdenkmale, Eitelberger
had a local, liberal-Catholic antiquarian priest, Father Franz Buli, write the
section on the unique early medieval church in Zadar, San to Donato, but he
himself praised its unique beauties; in his view it was one of the most interest-
ing and oldest [monuments] of the Austrian monarchical realm, and is the
equal in splendor and eminence to the church to the Holy Spirit in Ravenna
und Charlemagnes Church of St. Mary in Aachen [now known as Aachen
Cathedral], and we hope to be able to demonstrate its venerable place in the
history of the art of the ninth century.22 San Donato was interesting, as inter-
esting as the canonical medieval buildings of Ravenna and Aachen, because it
was old and because it had splendor and grandeur (Glanz and Pracht). It was
also unique in its layout, he admitted; but Eitelberger did not dwell on the
unusual aspects of the early medieval church, and neither he nor Buli were
eager to establish the church as Croatian or as Byzantine in its origins or
style. It was a monument among other fine monuments of the Austrian
empireand it was as such that it should be taken care of, and admired.
Eitelberger would take many more trips to the region after that, and the
Austrians would indeed fund continuing study and preservation of Split. Zadar
32 Marchand
23 Ibid., pp. 132134; Frank Arneil Walker, review of Bruno iic, Obnova Dubrovakog
Renesansnog Vrta, in Garden History 11, no. 1 (Spring 1983), 91.
24 T.G. Jackson, Notes on the Architecture of the Eastern Coast of the Adriatic, in The
Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, 14, no. 72 (Mar. 1909), 343.
25 Eitelberger, Rudolf E. von Edelberg, p. 736.
26 On this see now Matthew Rampley, Design Reform in the Habsburg Empire, in Journal
of Design History 23, no. 3 (2010): 247264.
would remain the capital, and the Hungarians the overlords, but Split increas-
ingly did become the cultural focal point in the way Eitelberger suggested,
serving to demonstrate the regions mixed heritage, and especially its linkages
to the western Christian, medieval world. A series of later visitors, from Russian
architect Theodor Tschaghuin to British traveler T.G. Jackson, would expand
Eitelbergers studies. While Tschaghuin focused on Byzantine monuments,
Jackson, who visited in 1882, 1884, and 1885, disdained the Slavic and rural cul-
ture of the interior for what he saw as the wholly Latin high art of the coast.23
It was only in these towns on the seaboard or islands of Dalmatia and Istria,
Jackson wrote in 1909, referring to cities with Roman origins such as Pula,
Dubrovnik, and Split, that the arts and literature found a congenial home. The
Slavonic kingdoms and principalities of the interiorBosnia, Servia [sic] and
Herzegovinaif not exactly semi-barbarous, yet produced nothing of that
kind even when they were in their prime.24 Croatian scholars such as Buli
also continued their work; and in the hinterlands, men who leaned in more
Slavic nationalist directions also began collecting artifacts, and opening their
own local museums (Heimatmuseen). As in Hungary, the spread of interest in
antiquities and the increasing specialization of local scholars generated a new,
more ecumenical drive to collecting, publishing, and interpreting artifacts
and with it, new debates about the origins of the Croatians, and their relation-
ships to all the others who had occupied their land.
In the meantime, Grand Duke (and Ministerpresident) Rainer had been
inspired by his visit to London to found an Austrian equivalent to the South
Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum) in order to inspire
a revival in the central European decorative arts. This was an idea that
Eitelberger enthusiastically endorsed, and by 1864, the Oesterreichisches
Museum fr Kunst und Industrie had opened in Vienna, with Eitelberger as
director.25 The Paris Worlds Fair in 1867 fueled more inter-European competi-
tion in the decorative arts, and in the wake of this expositionand the official
establishment of the Dual Monarchy in the same yearimperial bureau-
crats expanded and modernized the Austro-Hungarian Empires activities in
the arts.26
33 The View from the Land
27 Eitelberger, Der deutsch-franzsische Krieg und sein Einfluss auf die Kunst-Industrie
sterreichs, in idem, Gesammelte kunsthistorische Schriften, vol. 2. Vienna: W. Braumller,
1879, p. 333.
28 Ibid., pp. 329, 334.
29 Eitelberger, Die Gewerbemuseen in den Kronlndern sterreichs, in idem, Gesammelte
kunsthistorische Schriften 2: 266.
Austrias new artistic initiatives were responses also to three other contem-
porary developments: massive projects of city expansion and beautification,
including the building of Viennas Ringstrasse and of the virtually new city of
Pest; the decline of craftsmens guilds and the rise of new industrial enter-
prises; and the perceived falling off of French dominance in the decorative
arts. Eitelberger, as a professor of art history, director of the museum, and
member of the Architectural Commission (Baukommission), again played key
roles here, speaking out publicly about Austrias need to create educated con-
sumers who could tell good art from bad, and who would create a domestic
market for Austrian decorative arts (after which time the empire could con-
sider exporting its goods). Although he used nearly every Germanophile clich
about French culture (luxurious, superficial, spiritless), he also encouraged
Austrians to regard outsiders as rivals rather than as enemies, and to borrow
useful foreign ideas without becoming dependent upon them: For using the
foreign is perfectly legitimate, and the progress of todays civilization in fact
rests on the exchange of ideas between different peoples, not on the exclusion
of foreign movements and achievements.27 The real danger came not from
French models or from German expansionism, he asserted in a lecture given at
the peak of the Franco-Prussian War (1871); rather, the threat came from
within, from attempts to Polonize Galicia, and to Slovenianize Laibach
(Ljubljana); indeed, Austrias domestic market threatened to fragment into
nationalized economies as Hungary, for example, embraced ideas from the
time of Matthias Corvinus, the Bohemians isolated themselves, and the art
industry in Trieste gravitated toward Italy.28
Eitelbergers response was again to encourage cultural pluralism, or federal-
ism, as a means to blunt political and economic quests for autonomy. He
supported the development of local, proto-nationalist, but presumably mod-
ernizing institutions such as the schools and museums for industrial and deco-
rative arts founded in Lemberg (Lviv), Krakow (Cracow), Brnn (Brno),
Reichenberg (Liberec), the Tirol, and other places. In the late 1870s, there were
nearly 50 of these, although Eitelberger lamented that none of these institu-
tions had yet been founded in Dalmatia or Carniola.29 They too were projects
pushed by the central bureaucracy, by Eitelbergers museum and its desire
34 Marchand
30 Quotation, Eitelberger, Die Kunstbewegung, vi; on museums and traveling exhibitions,
idem, Die Gewerbliche Museen und Vereine in Wien und den Kronlandern, in idem,
Gesammelte Kunsthistorische Schriften 2: 112113.
31 Ibid., p. 113.
32 Eitelberger, Das deutsche Kunstgewerbe, (1876), in idem, Gesammelte Schriften 2: 345;
repeated in shorter form in idem, Gewerbemuseen, p. 254.
to raise the level of artistic production through visual education (Anschau-
ungsunterricht). The museums were not founded and maintained to serve the
particular interests of manufacturers or craftsmen but to further the love and
understanding of art. Eitelbergers museums were to be different from the state
museums (Landesmuseen), which in his view played a passive role in creating
culture, not an active one. As the goal of these industrial museums and schools
was to carry the seeds of culture in the decorative arts into the Crown lands,
Eitelberger championed the organizing of traveling exhibitions on such themes
as pottery, oriental textiles, and copies of works of Drer and Michelangelo,
hoping to expose provincials to good taste across a variety of genres.30
These branch exhibitions (Filial-Austellungen) surely did bring metropoli-
tan taste to the provinces; Eitelberger cites figures for the number of visitors to
the Brnn Museum in 1873 as 16,921, and in 1875 as 19,935.31 Note, however, the
imperial vision that still lay behind Eitelbergers initiatives in his description of
the outward spread of culture to the provinces, and the fact that he did not
believe that there were different forms of art and the beautiful to be found in
different places; as he wrote in an essay of 1876:
As there is only one truth, as there is only one law, as there is only one
beauty, there is only one art. There cannot be one art for the poor and
another for the rich, one special art for [state] monuments and another
for bourgeois life, a particular form of art for churches and one for lay-
men The laws of art are for all types of art one and the same. The laws
of nature, which our eyes follow, are in the same way and without excep-
tion valid for all types of art, and the hand, which renders bodily forms in
drawing, in sculpting, in coloring, follows the same laws.32
Eitelberger was able to appreciate provincial art as long it conformed to these
standards, and was able to countenance art-historical scholarship and histori-
cist painting insofar as it contributed to a communal, nature-sanctioned (and
empire-sustaining) form of vision (Anschauung). This form of cosmopolitan-
ism was certainly more inclusive than earlier imperial views of good taste
and its makers; but by no means was it free from a certain kind of bias toward
35 The View from the Land
33 There were already private-public partnerships operating at the time, as in the case of the
link formed in 1876 between the Austrian Museum for Art and Industry and the Chemical
and porcelain producers in the hopes of improving the quality of enameled works and
techniques for gilding and polishing bronze objects. Eitelberger, Kunstbewegung,
pp. 99101. See also Eitelbergers list of some of the trade schools (he lists 32 of a total of 77)
under the supervision of the ministry of commerce for crafts like embroidery, wood carv-
ing, and pottery, located throughout the empire; pp. 102103.
34 Eitelberger, Kunstbewegung, p. 34.
35 Eitelberger, Die gewerblichen Museen und Vereine, pp. 116117.
36 Margaret Olin, Alois Riegl: The Late Roman Empire in the Late Habsburg Empire, in The
Habsburg Legacy: National Identity in Historical Perspective, eds. Ritchie Robertson and
Edward Timms. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994, p. 111.
western European artistic naturalism and Vienna-centered connoisseurship,
as non-German artists and local historians (Heimatforscher) would increas-
ingly remark in the years to come.
Eitelbergers institutions, then, were suffused with both the desire to
embrace pluralism and the will to create a common aesthetic vision through-
out the empire, uncontaminated by local cultures and interests. This was, of
course, a pipe dream; as Eitelberger himself admitted, these institutions were
largely run by local intellectuals, and paid for by local commercial interests
and city officials; industrial interests were certainly not overlooked.33 The
industrial museums could not entirely be divorced from the rapidly expand-
ing state museums, which, in turn, were tightly bound to local historical and
antiquarian societies which also devoted their attention to local monuments.34
One wonders, indeed, if the industrial technology museum (Gewerbemuseum)
in Prague, funded by the liberal nationalist politician and philanthropist
Vojtch Nprstek in the 1870s and devoted to the the decorative cultivation of
the Slavic part of the population, was not already some form of resistance to
imperial, German efforts at taste-making35and confirmation that the Slavic
cultural world, in particular, was one that German liberals like Eitelberger
were inclined to spurn or at least overlook. Toward the end of his life,
Eitelberger recognized clearly the ways in which the minor arts were being
drawn into assertions of primeval nationalism, and explicitly rejected this ten-
dency.36 But he could not head off the fascination with ethnic origins, increas-
ingly widespread among Franz Josephs subjectsnor could he prevent artists
from reaching back into what they believed to be primeval folk-reservoirs as a
means to represent what came to be seen as deeper emotions and traditions
than those of the imperial Middle Ages or Roman world. Historians know
this story well: while the regime tried to placate the different nationality
groupsby offering concessions as to language policy, for examplethese
36 Marchand
37 Ibid., pp. 107111, quotation, p. 111.
groups recognized lingering German liberal prejudices and privileges, and pur-
sued increasingly separatist goals. Although much work needs to be done here,
the cultural realm seems also to have followed this pattern, as Austrian impe-
rial institutions continued to encourage empire-compatible pluralism, while
some local scholars and bureaucrats cultivated cultural histories that moved
more and more in the direction of autonomy.
In the years following Eitelbergers death in 1885, the preservation and study
of local monuments (especially churches) continued to expand, while among
scholars, too, the repertoire of monuments broadened further. As enthusiasm
for the high classical monuments of Greece and Rome waned, the study of
Hellenistic, Near Eastern, and Christian art gathered steam, provoking a series
of debates about decadent and non-naturalistic forms of expression. As art
historian Margaret Olin has suggested, liberal art historians were particularly
at pains to deal with the period in which there had been an apparent break in
artistic evolutionwhen the development of naturalistic representation was
halted by the collapse of Roman realistic portraitureand the advent of early
Christian and Byzantine styles. For Austrian scholars, too, the late antique and
early medieval periods were particularly sensitive, for this was the era in which
the Holy Roman Empire had taken shape, and Christian and classical Rome
had commingled to lay the foundations for a modern Europe in which the
Habsburgs had played a major role. Franz Wickhoff, Eitelbergers direct suc-
cessor at the University of Vienna, and Alois Riegl, his successor at the Museum
fr Kunst and Industrie, both worked hard to try to fill the gap between the late
classical and the early Christian period, and to do so in a way that emphasized
the cosmopolitan (but essentially western) nature of both visions. Attempting
to finesse the prejudice that early Christian art was barbaric, and that late
Roman art was decadent, they sought to relate an evolutionary, international
history which crossed the gap and laid the foundations for a liberal-imperialist
vision of the cosmopolitan origins of the common medieval art of western
Christendom. Riegl, the specialist in the minor arts, was intensely opposed to
nationalist labelsand especially it seems, Slavic ones; he sought to explain
away both national differences and oriental influences by rooting Slavic folk
art in the world of late antiquity, an exercise Olin has aptly called creating a
Holy Roman Empire of folk art.37
In the meantime, however, another scholar entered their midst, one who
would exploit this very gapas well as the institutions Eitelberger did so much
to createin order to destroy liberal imperialist cultural pluralism and to
37 The View from the Land
38 Piotr Kenig, Die Strzygowskis in Bielitz und Biala, paper presented at Josef Strzygowski
und die Kunstwissenschaften, March 29, 2012, Bielsko-Biala.
39 Alfred Karasek-Langer, Josef Strzygowski: Ein Lebensbild, in Schaffen und Schauen:
Mitteilungensblatt fr Kunst und Bildungsplege in der Wojewodschaft Schlesien 8, no. 7/8
(March/April 1932): 38.
40 Olin, Alois Riegl, p. 114.
open art history to a vast array of unknown and unappreciated artifacts:
Wickhoffs (and Eitelbergers) successor Josef Strzygowski. Strzygowski was
also a product of the Habsburg periphery, but one who did not despise separat-
ist nationalism, as did Riegl, Wickhoff and Eitelberger, but instead found it use-
ful and inspiring. The story of Strzygowskis relationship to Slavic culture, in
particular, demonstrates his ability, indeed his desire, to separate himself from
his Viennese colleagues and to use ideas, objects, and images gathered from
the Austro-Hungarian peripheries to make war on the idea of Habsburgian cul-
ture itself.
Strzygowski was born in Austrian Galicia, a very poor, northern corner of
the Habsburg Empire, and raised, by his own account, in an ardently German-
nationalist family in an area where Germans were a tiny and wealthy minority,
surrounded by Slavsin this case, Poles. Strzygowskis father was an arti-
sanal weaver who had traveled through central Europe during his Wanderjahre
in the early 1840s, and then purchased his own textile factory, which produced,
among other commodities, fezzes for sale in the Ottoman Empire.38 Strzygowski
attended secondary school (Realschule), and then a school for weavers, which
was operated in his first year by the Bielitz-Biala Gewerbeverein (a trade asso-
ciation) but raised to the status of a state-sponsored vocational school for
weavers (Fachschule fr Weberei) during his second and final year of atten-
dance, in 1881. He then did a year of apprenticeship in weaving and book bind-
ing in two workshops in eastern Saxony, but during an illness made the
momentous decision to abandon the family business and become an art histo-
rian.39 He enrolled, briefly, in a classical Gymnasium to perfect his language
skills before entering the University of Berlin (note that he did not choose to go
to the University of Vienna). Surely this unconventional background, his deep
knowledge of artisanal weaving, his status as a son of a member of the com-
mercial (rather than the educated) elite, and his Polish name marked him for-
ever as a non-classicizing outsider once he entered the academic world.40
But I suspect that more should be made of Strzygowskis early education: his
own travels in central Europe and beyond echo those of his father, and his
contacts with the empires Armeniansso prominent in the central European
cloth trademay date to the years of his apprenticeship. Though he claimed
38 Marchand
41 This context is wonderfully described in Rampley, Design Reform.
as a young man not to speak Polish, Strzygowski evidently did learn to pick his
way through Slavic languagesand he never forgot the lessons of his artisanal
training: to value the minor arts, to cherish local craftsmanship and tradi-
tions, and to resent connoisseurs of high art who knew nothing of working
with their hands (see Fig.1). It is significant, too, that he chose to become an art
historian just as the state began to take over the training of artisans, as debates
about saving the empires folk arts from industrial and imperial homogeniza-
tion began to flourish, and as provincial nationalists began to insist on the
deep antiquity and unique charms of their own arts and crafts.41
Fig.1 Croatian textiles. In Altslavische Kunst, as elsewhere, Strzygowski drew on textile
patterns to draw larger conclusions about the diffusionary history of design (from
strzygowski, altslavische kunst, p. x).
39 The View from the Land
42 Interestingly, Hansen, who was appointed to a professorship at Viennas Art Academy
in 1868, began to attract numerous Serbian-born architects, who took the Byzantine
style back home, where it became identified with the cause of national revival and
the promotion of political and cultural autonomy. See Bratislav Panteli, Nationalism
and Architecture: The Creation of a National Style in Serbian Architecture and Its
Political Implications, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 56, no. 1 (1997):
2023.
43 Dobbert, Eduard, in Dictionary of Art Historians, available at http://www.dictionaryo
farthistorians.org/dobberte.htm, accessed November 17, 2012.
44 Gabriele Mietke, Josef Strzygowski und die Sammlung sptantiker und byzantinischer
Denkmler, in Zum Lob der Sammler: Die Staatlichen Museen und ihre Sammler,
ed. Andrea Brnreuther and Peter-Klaus Schuster. Berlin: Staatliche Museen, 2009,
p. 112.
45 Kostis Kourelis, Byzantium and the Avant-Garde: Excavations at Corinth, 1920s1930s, in
Hesperia 76 (2007): 398.
At some point in the mid-1880s, Strzygowski made the unusual choice to
specialize in Byzantine and early Christian art. Again, contact with Slavic
scholars and communities seems to have been central here, although the
young scholar might have been impressed by Leo von Klenzes neo-Byzantine
Allerheiligen-Hofkirche (Court Church of All Saints) in Munich (1837), or and
Theophil Hansens quasi-Byzantine Arsenal in Vienna (1856).42 In Berlin,
Strzygowski was much impressed by the lectures of Eduard Dobbert, a special-
ist in medieval art who had been raised in Saint Petersburg, and retained
extensive ties to the Russian art world.43 He then studied with the classical
archeologist Heinrich Brunn in Munich, and Brunn arranged for him to spend
a year of study in Rome. It is said that it was the Russian princess Nadejda
Schakowskoy (wife of Wolfgang Helbig, a German art dealer and archeologist)
who brought Strzygowski into contact with the Russian community in Rome;44
but it is also possible that Strzygowskis connections with Dobbert (who had
also studied with Brunn) helped. In any event, moving among the Russians
would have given Strzygowski a much different perspective on the Holy City
than the one championed by Brunn and his fellow German archeologists;
indeed, in the 1870s, the excavators at Olympia had plowed through large
amounts of Byzantine spolia in order to find the Attic Greek monuments cov-
eted by both the scholars and the Royal Museums.45 Whereas only a handful of
scholars in western Europe were concerned with Byzantine and eastern
Mediterranean materials, Russian scholars such as Fydor Buslayev and
Nikodem Kondakov already knew a great deal about early Christian mosaics
and icons, the very materials Strzygowski would draw on for his dissertation
(a study of the iconography of the baptism of Christ) and for his next major
40 Marchand
46 Josef Stryzgowski, Ikonographie der Taufe Christi, (diss., University of Munich, 1885),
p. 11, 28ff.
47 Olin, Alois Riegl, pp. 113114.
48 For Kondakovs expeditions, see Tim Murray, Encyclopedia of Archaeology: The Great
Archaeologists. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC Clio, 1999, pp. 166172.
49 Strzygowski, Das Etschmiadzin-Evangeliar, in Byzantinische Denkmler, vol. 1. Vienna:
Mechitharisten Buchdrckerei, 1891, p. v.
50 Ibid., pp. vvi.
text, Cimabue und Rom (Cimabue and Rome) (1887).46 While Dobbert, a man of
Eitelbergers generation, had selected a 13th-century Italian, Niccolo Pisano, as
the subject of his first major publication, Strzygowski selected the much more
obviously non-classicizing Cimabue, and made a strong case for the powerful
influence of Byzantium on western Renaissance art. In some way, the anti-
imperial and anti-Roman perspectival shift was already palpable in this book.
The young Alois Riegl detested it, and said so in a review published in
Kunstchronik;47 ever afterward, these two very different founders of the study
of late antique art would be bitter enemies.
In the period 18881890, Strzygowski undertook a second and very different
apprentices journey, this time an extensive tour of the eastern Mediterranean,
in preparation for writing a history of Byzantine arta book that would
remain unwritten. Strzygowskis travels took him to Mount Athos, Istanbul,
Trapezunt (in northeast Turkey), Moscow, and Saint Petersburgthe same
places that Kondakov had visited and studied in the 1870s and 1880s, and
places that exposed him, too, to Byzantiums eastern and northern peripher-
ies.48 This was definitely not a world that could be understood purely as a
degenerate product of classical antiquity. He borrowed a camera, and took
some 700 photographs during his travels.49 These photos would help him to
illustrate claims made about artworks very few western Europeans would ever
see in person, and form the basis for the enormous visual archive on which
Strzygowskis comparative work depended. Although Strzygowski never admit-
ted as much, the arrival of the age of inexpensive, amateur photography most
certainly was one of the most important enabling features of his scholarly
success.
Strzygowskis travels threw him among Russians once again, but they also
resulted in the deepening of his interest in Armenian art, and of his contacts
with Armenians. On his return, he visited the Mechitharisten Congregation in
Vienna, and its archbishop, Dr. Arsenius Aidynian, who, Strzygowski said, had
remarkable insight into Strzygowskis travel experiences, and had also taken
on the costs of producing the volume.50 We cannot know if Dr. Aidynian had
41 The View from the Land
51 See Strzygowski, Kleinarmenische Miniaturenmalerei: Die Miniaturen des Tbinger
Evangeliars. Tbingen: Schmersow, 1907, p. 28.
52 See Marchand, German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race, and Scholarship.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, chapters 3 and 4. Strzygowski could have
derived his ideas from other sources, of course; linguistic connections between Persian
and Armenian were well known; moreover, orientalists like Friedrich Rckert and Paul de
Lagarde had already speculated about the possible Persian origins of many Christian
ideas.
53 He invokes his good friends from this community in Die Baukunst der Armenier und
Europa, vol. 2. Vienna: Schroll, 1918, p. 603.
suggested to his client the idea that Strzygowski would later claim as a great, if
embryonic insight: that Armenian decorative forms were not dependent on
Byzantine ones, but instead had their primeval origins in Persia.51 This is cer-
tainly plausible: the Armenians had long prided themselves on being the first
in their region to accept Christianity, and would probably have preferred see-
ing themselves as heirs to Persian traditions than as copiers of a tradition from
which Russian and Greek orthodoxy had come.52 The Armenian community
would also support Strzygowskis 1902 book on Coptic art and his 1918 study of
Armenian architecture.53 What is striking here is the mutual interest of both
parties in the period of early Christian art of the eastern (rather than the west-
ern) Mediterraneanwith the shared hope of getting out from under the cul-
tural dominance of Rome.
Indeed, Strzygowski would make a name for himself in championing the
Orient over and against Rome, and against classicizing worldviews that treated
both oriental and indigenous European art forms as barbaric. Thanks to his
travels and his assignments, he had come to know a wide range of oriental
styles and monuments, although he never did learn to read any oriental lan-
guages; as in the case of the Slavic languages and of Armenian, he seems to
have chiefly relied on indigenous experts to help him interpret his materials.
But from these materialsmany of them as unfamiliar to European scholars
in 1900 as Eitelbergers Hungarian and Dalmatian monuments had been in the
1850sStrzygowski created polemical masterpieces that exposed the linger-
ing liberal and classical prejudices of his Austrian colleagues.
Strzygowskis Orient oder Rom? (Orient or Rome?) (1901), for example,
reputedly employed methods and materials well known to contemporary
Russian scholars in its search for the oriental origins of early Christian art; but
something about the way Strzygowski sought to break the linkages between
classical antiquity and Latin Christendom hit a sensitive nerve. Forthrightly,
and (significantly) in German rather than Russian, Armenian, or Greek,
42 Marchand
54 See the conclusion, below.
Strzygowski laid down his challenge: Was there indeed continuity between
classical and Christian medieval art in the West, or was the latter born else-
where, far from Charlemagnes stomping grounds? Were the Middle Ages
(Catholic cultures halcyon days) Roman, or did they owe all their innovations
to the Orient? Was the culture of Central Europe more eastern, or western?
Although much of the book was taken up with pure, positivist description,
Strzygowskis intent was clear: to make Europeans at the zenith of their global
power feel the pain and shame of having borrowed their cultural achievements
from somebody else. The title itself was an anti-imperial salvo, something that
helps explain the books long-lasting appeal not only to orientalists, but also to
cultural patriots outside Europe or on its eastern and southern borders, for
whom Orient oder Rom? long served as something of a rallying cry.54
Over the years, Strzygowskis hatred of his all-too-Rome-centered colleagues
and of imperial Austrian Catholic culture deepened; he loathed and rejected
the Riegl-Wickhoff schools comforting narrative of central European cultural
history, one that traced continuities from Rome to the Holy Roman Empire.
He found their tendency to homogenize differences and their celebration
of the Baroque appalling and, worse, oppressive. He did not believe, as had
Eitelberger, that there was a single art, which all could appreciate, nor did he
believe in borrowing from foreign models. He set to work, instead, seeking to
liberate individual national artistic personalities from the classicizing, impe-
rial yoke, doing so especially by seeking to expose that tender, transitional
moment in European art historyand instead of comforting western-
centered continuity, emphasizing the impact of the civilization-destroying
forces of the East that Eitelberger so feared.
In the prewar era, the Balkan territories particularly attracted Strzygowskis
attention; he visited there first in 1887, and returned frequently thereafter. He
was not particularly interested in the classical monuments of Dalmatia, such
as Diocletians palace in Split, or the heavily Italian-influenced monuments in
Sibenik, but was drawn instead to the minor arts, to early medieval forms, and
to the art of the non-cosmopolitan interior. He was also interested in the
Hellenistic and Islamic art of Asia Minor, about which he wrote a book in 1903,
the title of which reminds us of Eitelbergers enthusiasm for unknown artis-
tic realms: Kleinasien: Ein Neuland der Kunstgeschichte (Asia Minor: A New
Region for Art History). But in what way could such artifacts be treated as
artand how could a Galician German learn how to liberate them from
prevailing imperial historical and aesthetic narratives?
43 The View from the Land
55 Mietke, Josef Strzygowski, pp. 115120.
56 On Jagi, see R.W. Seton-Watson, Vatroslav Jagi, in The Slavonic Review, 2, no. 4 (Dec.
1923): 417423; and F. Pastrnek, A Bibliographical Appreciation of Vatroslav Jagi, in
Ibid., pp. 213224.
57 Seton-Waton, Vatroslav Jagi, p. 419.
To understand the way in which Strzygowskis scholarship proceeded, it is
necessary to remember the institutional context: by 1903, the Architecture
Commission (Baukommission) had been encouraging local restoration and
monument study for a half-century. Eitelbergers art schools and exhibitions
had been operating for 2030 years. The Museum fr Kunst und Industrie
(Museum for Art and Industry) was nearly 40, and its sister museums just a bit
younger. There had been many more travelers to Dalmatiaand the Academy
of Sciencess Balkan Commission, founded in 1897, was now at work trying to
coordinate the massive numbers of inquiries that were in progress, most of
them attempts by local scholars, priests, historians, linguists, and antiquarians
to document linguistic and ethnic heritages. Strzygowski himself regularly
purchased and authenticated artifacts for Wilhelm von Bode at the Berlin
Museums; he had many of these shipped directly to his own office so that he
could study and photograph them before they went into Bodes storehouses.55
He was also an avid consumer of other peoples photographs; these were a
godsend for someone, like Strzygowski, eager to collect information about
lesser-known architectural monuments and the minor arts (Kleinkunst).
Strzygowski had only to browse the images and publications produced by
these groups, to visit their local museums (one of them housed in Santo
Donato, in Zadar), or to speak to scholars such as the Croatian Vatroslav
Jagi, one of the 19th centurys great Slavic linguists (who taught in Odessa,
Berlin, and Saint Petersburg before arriving in Vienna in 1886), to hear about
new finds.56
Indeed, it was Jagi who brought to Strzygowskis attention a number of
interesting finds, including an early, richly illustrated Serbian Psalter. The two
scholars worked together to produce an edition and interpretation of the
Psalter, which appeared in 1906. Strzygowski, in the introduction, portrayed
himself the instigator of the project, even though Jagi was at the time the
more senior scholar; not only was he a member of the Academy, but he also
advised the Austrian government on Slavic matters and had accepted the
title of Hofrat (advisor to the court).57 Moreover, Strzygowski needed Jagis
philological expertise to guarantee the scientificness of a volume in which
Strzygowski essentially just interpreted the pictures. And in the books pref-
ace,Strzygowski made quite a striking statement about the books aims, which
44 Marchand
58 Strzygowski, Vorwort to Strzygowski and V. Jagi, Die Miniaturen des Serbischen Psalters
der Knigl. Hof- und Staatsbibliothek in Mnchen. Vienna, 1906, p. ii.
59 On Bahr, see Donald Daviau, Hermann Bahr: An Extraordinary Example of Transnational
Networking, with Special Reference to Central Europe at www.kakanien.ad.at/beitr/ncs/
DDaviau1.
60 Panteli, Nationalism and Architecture, pp. 2628.
61 Ibid., p. 39, fn. 68.
62 Strzygowski, Altslavische Kunst, p. xiii.
suggested that he had absorbed not just Jagis specific knowledge but some of
the Croatian scholars worldview as well:
[This book] has the goal of finally giving the treasures of south Slavic art
their due representation before a scholarly forum. The following case
study should demonstrate that in so doing, one may not only achieve the
furthering of proper national pride but also one may call into play many
more things that enable the opening of this narrow field to international
research in unimagined ways. May this study have the consequence that
the southern Slavs are provided with sufficient means to edit their ancient
national monuments.58
In this era, Strzygowskis politics with respect to the Austro-Hungarian Empire
seem to have echoed Jagis cultural nationalism, with respect to the peoples of
the Balkans or, more broadly, the cultural federalism of Hermann Bahr, the
liberal writer who made a concerted campaign to promote the literature of the
Habsburg peripheries in the hopes that cultural reform could save the state.59
But Strzygowski was willing to go further and to ingratiate himself with the
new Karadordevi dynasty in Serbia, which began to agitate actively for the
liberation of the Austrian Serbs. The new rulers opted, too, to add to their
Byzantinizing national style of monument building elements that pointed
backward before the Byzantine period to the time of the Nemanyids.60 By 1909.
Strzygowski was in such good standing with Serbias King Peter that he was
appointed to the jury to decide on a design (within the Serbo-Byzantine style)
for the Church of Saint George in Topola, which was to feature the mausoleum
of the Karadordevi kings.61 In 1914the year a horrific war began between
Austria and SerbiaStrzygowski happily accepted the invitation of the
Serbian Academy of Sciences in Belgrade to help photograph frescoes in old
Serbian churches.62
By this time, Strzygowski, after a titanic battle with the more humanistically
inclined liberals, had obtained a chair at the University of Viennathe first in
45 The View from the Land
63 Faculty report, June 17, 1912, in Vienna, University Archives, Philos. Fakultt, Mappe
Strzygowski, pp. 9699.
64 [Anon], Anhang, in Josef Strzygowski Festschrift, p. 193. The rooms were reorganized
when the institute moved in 1922 to conform to Strzgyowskis new methodological
formulations.
65 Ibid., pp. 196200.
66 Strzygowski, Orientalische Kunst in Dalmatien, in Dalmatien und das sterreische
Kstenland, ed. Eduard Brckner. Vienna: Deuticke, 1911, p. 153. Thanks to Daniel Baric for
providing me with a copy of this difficult to find essay.
67 Ibid., p. 166.
Europe in non-European art history. His interests had expanded greatly, reach-
ing far beyond central Europe and the eastern Mediterranean into the Islamic
world, and into central and south Asia. In 1910 he was allowed to found his own
art-historical institute in Vienna, where he could realize his own passions,
shelve all his books and images, and create his own, anti-classicist, school
although he did not get the two assistants he desired, scholars who were to be
posted to Teheran and Beijing.63 The map of his institute shows, in addition to
a lecture room, darkroom, and bookbindery, large rooms for western Asia and
eastern Europe, and smaller ones marked Islam and Austria; east Asia and
western Europe had to share the same office space. By 1930, the collection
amounted to about 4000 books and a remarkable 52,000 photographs and
images, as well as 19,930 slides.64 Before entering the institutes seminar, stu-
dents had to pass exams covering the key features of western European art
history since the birth of Christ. However, after that, they could choose disser-
tation topics in European, Asian, Meso-American, African, Polynesian, or eth-
nographic art (Volkskunde)and the list of 40 dissertations produced here by
1932 ranged from Chinese mirrors to medieval synagogues. The additional 98
dissertations that Strzygowski oversaw as professor at Graz and Vienna varied
just as widely, from the Athena Parthenos to sacred building types in South
India; strikingly, 37 of these theses were produced by women.65
Before the war, Strzygowski also gave a number of public lectures on
Dalmatian and eastern European art. In a 1910 lecture entitled Orientalische
Kunst in Dalmatien (Oriental Art in Dalmatia), Strzygowski began by remind-
ing his listeners how close to the Orient we actually live.66 He emphasized
here the easternness of the early Christian art of the Adriatic region, and its
deep connections with Syrian and Mesopotamian forms. Uninterested in
coastal monuments, he could not fail to mention Santo Donato in Zadar and
the early medieval monuments its museum contained, collected from Nona
and from Knin, the seat of long-lost Croatian power.67 In this narrative, Slavic
46 Marchand
68 Ibid., pp. 166168, quotation, p. 166.
art was worthy of study, more so than the later Venetian and Hungarian peri-
ods in which Dalmatia was connected to the sea lanes of the West, but less so
than the art of the Christian Orient (which the Slavic invasions had destroyed),
or even that of Islam.68
Strzygowskis work on eastern European art demonstrates his debt to the
peripheries and to the wooden monuments and minor arts of his hometown,
which he lovingly documented (see Strzygowskis wooden church map, Fig.2).
His work in this field also demonstrated his departures from the tradition of
Eitelberger, eager to value Hungarian styles, but also eager to tie these firmly to
the art production of the West. The comments of Romanian nationalist art
historian Coriolan Petranuwho studied with Strzygowski in Vienna, from
1913 to 1916about his mentors inspiration for the study of the art of
Transylvania (Siebenbrgen) nicely captures the appeal of the chaired profes-
sor for those like himself struggling against lingering Western, humanistic
prejudices. The significance of Strzygowskis scholarship for the art historical
work in Transylvania, felt in the inspiration his works have given [to scholars
here], is obvious, Petranu wrote in 1932. He continued:
Fig.2 Strzygowskis map of wooden churches in his hometown, Bielitz-Biala (from
altslavische kunst, p. x).
47 The View from the Land
69 Petranu, Die siebenbrgische Kunstgeschichte, in Josef Strzygowski Festschrift,
p. 129.
70 Ibid., pp. 129130.
71 On Petranus vlkisch studiesfavoring peasant, rural, and ecclesiastical art over impor-
tations (including Hungarian and Ottoman ones)see Matthew Rampley, Art History,
Racism, and Nationalism: Coriolan Petranu and Art in Translyvania, in History of Art
History in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, vol. 2, ed. Jerzy Malinowski. Toru:
Society of Modern Art and Tako Publishing House, 2012, pp. 5562.
First of all, methodologically, [he contributed by] emphasizing eastern
Europes intermediary role, and [second] by refuting the view that [east-
ern Europe] is a land of barbarians in the sense that there could have
been a backward minority here which lagged behind the rest of Europe,
since the eastern European peoples, at least in the beginning, followed
their own traditions, rooted in place, soil and blood. Already before the
war, Strzygowski demonstrated how to treasure the European East by cre-
ating an eastern European department with a rich library and photo col-
lection as part of the Art Historical Institute of the University of Vienna,
the only such department extant at the time. How thoroughly, too, were
the artistic monuments of Bukowina treated in his 1915 university
lectures!69
Petranu went on to praise Strzygowskis role in promoting the study of wooden
architecture, and the art of eastern Christendom, and the art of the Germanic
migration (Vlkerwanderung).70 Strzgyowski had not just permitted the inves-
tigation and preservation of the art of the Habsburgian terra incognita,
as Eitelberger had; he had made possible the raising of the East to cultural
parity.71
As his bitterly critical reviews of the work of other archeologists and art
historians of the time demonstrate, Strzygowski was becoming a vengeful
extremist, a man who championed the art of others in order to define what he
was not: a member of the classicizing, Catholic, Habsburg elite. And yet, many
of the paths he explored and the claims he made sound eerily modern. In an
essay of 1913 written for the newly founded journal Ostasiatische Zeitschrift
(East Asian Journal), Strzygowski made a pitch for the development of a global,
comparative art history, which would dispense with classicism as its basis and
with aestheticizing as its goal; instead, it would be a truly historical and univer-
sal science. He called for the serious study of art forms other than classical or
German ones, fields that dominated art-historical research to such an extent
that scholars knew almost nothing about even Egyptian art, much less Islamic,
48 Marchand
72 Strzygowski, Ostasien im Rahmen vergleichender Kunstforschung, in Ostasiatische
Zeitschrift, 2 (1913/1914): 1.
73 In a passage probably directed at the leader of the first and second Turfan Expeditions
Albert Grnwedel, Strzygowski argued that any careful historian would recognize the
importance of local developments and intuitively understand that these works could not
be explained essentially as Greek imports. Strzygowski argued; It would never occur to
the universal historian working from systematic foundations to put the millennia of
Indian art on Greek crutches. Ibid., p. 6.
74 Laslo Trk, Strzygowskis Coptic Art, in Acta Historiae Artium 47(2006): 309.
75 Strzygowski, Altslavische Kunst, p. 25.
Persian, Indian, or Chinese art.72 He criticized the irrational and demeaning
housing of south Asian and east Asian art in museums for ethnography or for
natural history, and insisted that art historians should give up trying to find
classical traces in the art of central Asia and instead should thoroughly histori-
cize and contextualize artifacts such as the newly imported cave paintings and
scrolls from Buddhist central Asia.73
As we have seen, Strzygowski championed eastern European and Balkan
art; he cultivated local scholars, too, in a much more extensive and perhaps
even democratic way than had Eitelberger. He came to their towns; he took
pictures of their local treasures; he wrote essays in which he used folk art and
non-canonical monuments as illustrations. Before the outbreak of the World
War I, he had developed an art-historical method that would establish his long-
lasting appeal to scholars in a wide range of non-classical fields; an astounding
knowledge of vastly diverse monuments; the bravado to make apodictic state-
ments on the character, origins, and international context of little-known
monuments; and the ability to give the study of the unappreciated art of sup-
pressed peoples an emotional charge.74 It is clear that Strzygowskis form of
cultural pluralism was far removed from the sort that Eitelberger had sought to
create. But the final elements in Strzygowskis art-historical worldviewthe
violent, anti-humanist polemics and outspoken racismwould cohere only in
the wake of the war that destroyed both the Austro-Hungarian Empire and
central European liberalism, together with the imperial cultural institutions in
which both Strzgyowski and Eitelberger, in their very different ways, had
flourished.
We can be fairly certain that Strzygowski greeted the end of the Austro-
Hungarian Monarchy with a certain amount of Schadenfreude. He said after
the war that he regretted the setting up of countless nation states; but we may
well wonder, since, in the second half of this sentence he expressed a more
powerful feelinghis wish that culturally the humanistic homogenizing spell
be broken.75 Culturally speaking, Strzygowski had never believed that art was
49 The View from the Land
76 Strzygowski comments on his new popularity himself in Altslavische Kunst, pp. 712.
77 Kourelis, Byzantium and the Avant Garde, pp. 426428. Although his mentor turned
down Bryn Mawrs offer, Strzygowskis student Ernst Diez got the job.
78 Udo Kultermann, Geschichte der Kunstgeschichte: Der Weg einer Wissenschaft. Vienna:
Econ, 1966, p. 294; see Christina Maranci, Medieval Armenian Architecture: Constructions
of Race and Nation. Louvain: Peeters, 2001; Talinn Grigor, Orient oder Rom? Qajar Aryan
Architecture and Strzygowskis Art History, in The Art Bulletin (Sept. 2007): 562590.
79 Strzygowski, Altslavische Kunst, p. xiii.
one, and he seems to have felt no nostalgia at all for an empire whose Catholic
aristocracy and liberal bureaucracy he detested. He developed a deeply racial-
ized view of the history of art, and pushed the origins of European art increas-
ingly further to the East, making Iran the ultimate seat of innovation. Not
surprisingly, the dawning era of hyper-nationalism would indeed be one in
which his stock would rise. He did not make peace with the Rome-fanciers, nor
they with him; but he retained his friends on Europes peripheries, and he
attracted more and more students.76 He received job offers from Santiniketan
University in India in 1920, at the (now Polish) University of Warsaw in 1922, at
the University of Dorpat (which had become Estonian Tartu) in 1923, and at
Bryn Mawr in the United States in 1926, a hotbed of Byzantinizing modern-
ism.77 He was widely read and quoted by Turkish Republican nationalists, by
eastern European cultural patriots, and by the most ardent champions of
Croatian antiquity; and his contributions to art history were valued by
Armenian and Iranian as well as German proponents of local cultural auton-
omy.78 Strzygowski told them what they wanted to hearor they picked out of
his work the tributes to national autonomy and to cultural and ethnic continu-
ity they found appealing and usefulin part because he had listened to and
depended on some of their anti-classicizing forefathers.
Again, the Dalmatian context provides a striking example of what had
become of the tradition of Austrian art history in the hands of this most bel-
ligerent proponent of taking the view from the landor, more exactly, tak-
ing the view from those who wanted to celebrate their own monuments as a
means of asserting their autonomy from others. After World War I, Strzygowski
was one of the few Austrian scholars to continue studying Balkan art, and one
of the few who was celebrated in the new Yugoslavia. He was invited to speak
in Zagreb in 1924, and at the festival commemorating the 1000th anniversary
of Croatia in 1925. He was honored to have his lecture published in Croatian;
and he hoped (as he wrote in a German version of it) that in doing so he
could awaken the excitement and participation of the Croatian nation.79
He befriended or taught a number of Yugoslavs, and he published in 1927
Starohrvatska umjetnost, which would be published in German 2 years later
50 Marchand
80 Strzygowski would later describe Metrovi as one of the culturally most important rep-
resentatives of the Slavic peoples who left the North to settle on southern soil; Josef
Strzygowski, Ivan Metrovi: Zur Einfhrung, in anon., Metrovi. Zagreb: Nova Evropa,
1935, pp. 1117, quotation, p. 11.
81 Vladimir P. Goss, Josef Strzygowski and Early Medieval Art in Croatia, Acta Historiae
Artium Academie Scieniarum Hungaricae 47 (2006): 335.
82 Strzygowski, Altslavische Kunst, p. xi.
83 Ibid., p. xii.
84 Ibid., p. xiii.
85 Ibid., p. 28.
under the title Die Altslavische Kunst (Early Slavic Art). Both versions were ded-
icated to Ivan Metrovi, a Croatian sculptor and architect who, despite his
education in Vienna and Paris, had become wholly identified with the new
Yugoslav state and with its desire to create for itself a Slavic, autonomous cul-
tural identity.80 The first major treatment of pre-Romanesque art in Croatia,
the book greatly pleased the Croatian public, who rejoiced to hear themselves
described as the Greeks among the Slavs.81
In the introduction to Altslavische Kunst, Strzygowski announced that the
book was his effort to do for the Slavs what he had already done for the
Germanic peoples, and for the Anglo-Saxons, the Norwegians, and the Finns:
to see their art from another perspective than that of the Mediterranean. He
could not be suspected of Slavic partisanship, he declared, as, despite his
Polish name, his family was purely German and in the small Germanic island
of Bielitz had defended Germandom (Deutschtum) against Slavicization.82
But Western art history still had not recognized the importance of eastern
Europe, the hinterland of true Asia.83 I myself, Strzygowski wrote, had to
step by step leave behind classical archeology, and over the course of decades
had to give up one prejudice after another before I reached the perspective
I offer in this book. Only now, he continued, I believe I can see how to solve
the problem that was raised in my Cimabue and Rome, written 40years ago.84
The solution lay in Croatian (south Slavic) art, which had left the earliest traces
of Nordic art on southern soil; what their pre-Romanesque wooden architec-
ture (which he speculatively generated from stone fragments) showed was the
influence of the Iranian East, the enduring power of Nordic blood. The
European and Asian North were once unified, in the era of Iranian dominance,
for which only a single proof could today be offered: the strong similarities
between Iranian fire temples made from mud bricks and the ancient Slavic
wood temples, both of them ancestors of the orthodox cross-domed church
(Kreuzkuppelkirche).85 Supporting his claims with evidence from a Croatian
51 The View from the Land
86 Ibid., pp. 3134.
87 Ibid., pp. 6162.
88 Ibid., p. 65.
89 Ibid., pp. 6676.
90 Ibid., pp. 107112, quotation, p. 107.
scholar (who drew on 10th-century Arabic sources), with Russian and German
studies of Slavic pagan temples, and with French archeological evidence from
Persia, Strzygowski speculated that perhaps a direct relationship could be
found among the three successive religious structures: Persian and Slavic
pagan temples and Christian church buildings.86
Ridiculing other art historians for being too narrow-minded even to imagine
the linkages he was making, Strzygowski proceeded as if the Iranian-Slavic
relationship was now fact, adopting the Slavs as a Nordic people, and claiming
Croatian art as proof of its pre-Romanesque existence, the memory of which
had been destroyed by centuries of imperialist rule and Roman Catholic pro-
paganda.87 It was Strzygowskis duty to reawaken consciousness of this lost,
early medieval culture, the world before the Emperor and Pope sacrificed all
indigenous art to their wills to power and gave themselves over to cosmopoli-
tan art (bervlkischen Kunst).88 In this effort, Santo Donato played a starring
role, and its unique features were made proof of its status as an exemplar of
the autonomous art of ancient Croatia.89
While in his prewar work Strzygowski was rather catty about his relation-
ship to Slavic-language sources, in Altslavische Kunst he invoked writings in
Croatian, Czech, and Polish and monuments throughout the eastern European
world. He dismissed Eitelberger, who, he said, created the foundations for the
study of monuments and identified much that today has vanished. Other than
that, he had no understanding of the ancient Croatian period. Jackson was
worse, in his estimation, his work being full of unfounded claims; and the
Italians were too blind to notice that Dalmatia wasnt just an extension of
Italy.90 Buli, and especially his collaborator Ljubo Karaman, though Croatian,
had fallen for the humanistic line of thought; Karamans heresy particularly
pained Strzygowski, since Karaman had studied with him in Vienna but pre-
ferred the more ecumenical perspective of Strzygowskis now-deceased rival
Max Dvoak. What was needed, in Strzygowskis view, were more profession-
ally trained Croatian scholars, individuals who would not, like Karaman, fall
for the claims made by old imperial elites but would instead work out from the
material itself, as Strzygowski himself had done. He praised as pioneers Brother
Luigi Marun, local archeologist and creator of the Musej Hrvatski Spomenika
52 Marchand
91 Ibid., p. 104.
92 Ibid., pp. 110112.
93 Ibid., p. 56.
94 Ibid., p. xi.
95 On the Croatian historians, Stjepan Panteli, Die Urheimat der Kroaten in Pannonien und
Dalmatien. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1997, pp. 2122; Strzygowski cites Max Vasmer,
A. Bugge and J. Peisker, in Altslavische Kunst, pp. 4041.
96 Ibid., pp. 3536.
(Museum of Croatian Monuments) in Knin, one of the richest and most
unusual local museums of its type in the world.91 Marun had created a collec-
tion of a large number of precisely the ancient carved stone monuments
Strzygowski wanted for his claims to work, and he had evidently been willing
to share their secrets with a sympathetic, non-humanistic outsider (see the
stone monuments from Knin, Fig.3). For Strzygowski, this made Marun exem-
plary of the proper sort of Croatian scholar-patriot. Strzygowski also praised
the work of Luca Jeli, who, as early as 1912, sensed the need to fight free of the
humanistic cabal, and also the antiquarian Franjo Radi, who had used the
Croatian periodical Starohrvatska Prosvjeta (Old Croatian Culture) and other
journals to publish ancient Croatian material.92 Perhaps by creating more
champions of Croatias hinterland culture, it would be possible to fight free of
the coastal-fetishizing interpretations generated by the three great power
sourcesCourt, Church, and Cultivation (Hof, Kirche, und Bildung), forces
that had so long kept the enduring traditions of Nordic folk art from being
realized.93
We should make no mistake; Strzygowski did not really love Croatia or
Croatians in and of themselves. He wrote that he had turned his attention to
the subject despite the contempt for Slavs and Slavic culture that had been
part of his Galician upbringing.94 However, Croatia interested him because
stone carvings he found in its hinterland could be dated with some accuracy to
the so-called Dark Ages, and looked like ancient Nordic carved wood objects
he had seen in Swedish museums. He could draw on studies by both German
linguists and Croatian historians to show that the Croatians were not Slavs but
a nomadic tribe that had wandered west from the south Russian steppes.95
Furthermore, he saw in early Dalmatian church architecture an early European
use of the cupola mounted on a square platform, a form he had found in even
earlier Armenian buildings and had traced back to Mazdian fire temples in
Iran.96 That is to say, Strzygowski thought he could use Croatian art to finally
prove his claims about the superficiality of classical forms and the real origins
of all important styles in the Aryan Eastand that is surely why he lavished his
53 The View from the Land
97 There is almost no other country in all of Europe in which the remains of the pre-
Romanesque era, that is, the period before the Kaiser and Pope sacrificed all indigenous
attention on the subject.97 If before the war Strzygowski had been concerned
with widening art historys purview (as well as with promoting his own, anti-
Roman and anti-Habsburgian worldview), now Croatian art, like Armenian art
and Serbian art, had become a means to an endthat is, to the complete
Fig.3 Stone monuments from Knin. Strzygowski documented his claims by photograph-
ing and reproducing these pieces from Brother Maruns museum in Knin (from
altslavische kunst, p. x).
54 Marchand
art to their will to power and implemented everywhere an elitist form of art, can be so
exactly documented through inscriptions as in Dalmatia and in one example also in the
interior of Croatia itself. Ibid., p. 65.
98 Strzygowski, Forschung und Erziehung: Die Neuaufbau der Universitt als Grundlage aller
Schulverbesserungen. Stuttgart: Strecker & Schrder, 1928, pp. 1718, 4546.
99 Don Frane Buli (and Ljubo Karaman), Kaiser Diokletians Palast in Split, p. 120.
100 Ibid., p. 170.
destruction of the servants of aristocratic-papist power art, the culture chau-
vinists (Bildungschauvinisten) who valued humanism above truth.98
In Croatia itself, as in other parts of eastern Europe and Scandinavia, the
legacy of Austro-Hungarian art-historical work was mixed; there were indige-
nous nationalists, who found Strzygowskis work inspiring and who defended
the placement of Metrovis grand-scale sculpture portraying Grgur, the
medieval champion of the Croatian language, inside the peristyle of Diocletians
Palace, clearly an attempt to balance Splits Roman legacy with the legacy of
the Dalmatian hinterlands. However, there were more moderate products of
the Vienna School who owed their allegiances to Wickhoff, Dvoak, and Riegl
rather than to Strzygowski. Strzygowski was bitterly disappointed in these
scholars, and especially in Ljubo Karaman, who openly criticized his erstwhile
teachers overly orientalizing and anti-classical account of the origins of
Dalmatian art. In the 1920s, Eitelbergers old collaborator Franz Buli, still con-
servator of monuments in Split, also objected to Strzygowskis radicalism,
praising instead the work of Riegl and Dvoak; in a book written together with
Karaman, Buli rejected the claims of the ardent champion of Orientalism,
that the palace of Diocletian was the product of Syrian models, and declared
himself of the opinion that the so-called Oriental question in art history in its
customary, sharply antithetical form, Orient or Rome?, is awkwardly formu-
lated, for at the time of the erection of the palace these two terms simply did
not exclude one another.99 Buli (now 80years old) and Karaman also objected
vociferously to the placement of Metrovis figure of Grgur in front of
Diocletians mausoleum, an act of Croatian nationalist self-assertion that, they
asserted, has aroused much astonishment (grosses Befremden) and has found
general disapproval among intellectuals in the country as in all of Europe.100
By no means lacking in patriotic pride, these scholars strove to keep the
achievements of the liberal Austrian tradition alive, in a world in which racial-
ized forms of reasoning increasingly drove cosmopolitanism underground.
After World War II, one might have expected Strzygowskis reputation to
decline, and it didalthough art historian Hilde Zaloscer recounts nearly
being lynched when she criticized the Austrian professors racist effusions in
55 The View from the Land
101 Hilde Zaloscher, Kunstgeschichte und Nationalsozialismus, in Kontinuitt und Bruch,
193819451955: Beitrge zur sterreichischen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte, ed.
Friedrich Stadler. Vienna: Jugend und Volk, 1988, p. 297 (n. 33).
102 David Buxton, The Wooden Churches of Eastern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1981, p. 37.
103 Goss, Josef Strzygowski and Early Medieval Art in Croatia, p. 342.
104 Fowden, Before and after Muhammed: Refocusing the First Millennium. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, forthcoming, 2013. Thanks to the author for sharing a manu-
script copy of this important book.
105 Organized by Piotr Scholz and Magdalena Dlugosz, Josef Strzygowski und die
Kunstwissenschaften was held in Strzygowskis birthplace, Bielsko-Biela (now Poland)
March 2931, 2012.
106 Juhyung Rhi, Reading Coomaraswamy on the Origin of the Buddhist Image, in Artibus
Asiae 60, no. 1 (2010): 151172; Grigor, Orient oder Rom?; Kishwar Rizvi, Art History and
the Nation: Arthur Upham Pope and the Discourse on Persian Art in the Early Twentieth
Century, and Oya Pancarolu, Formalism and the Academic Foundation of Turkish Art
in Early Twentieth Century, both in Muqarnas 24 (2007): 4565; 6778. Thanks to Glru
Necipolufor the final references.
107 Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Toward a Geography of Art. Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 2004, pp. 7073.
a lecture she delivered in Vienna in 1981.101 Nevertheless, there were ongoing, if
sometimes underground, discussions of his work by non-Western specialists,
and by scholars outside Europe after 1945, and admissionssuch as that of
David Buxton, an historian of eastern European wooden architecturewho
wrote, in 1981, that in several fields of enquiry, including that of wooden archi-
tecture, [Strzygowskis] influence led for the first time to real appreciation and
serious research. I too owe him a real debt.102 Quoting this line in a 2006 essay,
one historian of early medieval Croatian art, Vladimir Goss, added So do we
all.103 Garth Fowden, a highly esteemed historian of the late antique and early
Islamic world, has recently suggested that some of Strzygowskis ideas about
this era might still be worth entertaining,104 and the papers presented at a con-
ference in 2012 also reiterate this claim.105 Recent articles in Art Bulletin,
Muqarnas, and Artibus Asiae have exemplified Strzygowskis impact on nation-
alist scholars of Turkish, Iranian, and Indian art;106 and todays preeminent
historian of central European art, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, has taken fre-
quent note of Strzygowskis contributions to various fields, including that of
art geography (Kunstgeographie).107 As we explore further the origins of our
post-Eurocentric worldviews, we will not be able to avoid examining the con-
tributions of the Austrians, whose late imperial interactions with their own
non-western peripheries helped to lay the foundations of so many of the
debates that rage still.
56 Marchand
Bibliography
Archival Sources
Vienna, University Archives, Philos. Fakultt, Mappe Strzygowski.
Printed Sources
Baric, Daniel, Der Illyrismus: Geschichte und Funktion eines bernationalen Begriffes
im Kroatien der ersten Hlfte des 19. Jahrhunderts und sein Nachklang, in
Transnationale Gedchtnisorte in Zentraleuropa, ed. Jacques Le Rider et al.
Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2000, pp. 125140.
Buli, Don Frane (with Ljubo Karaman), Kaiser Diokletians Palast in Split. Zagreb:
Matica Hrvatska, 1929.
Buxton, David, The Wooden Churches of Eastern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1981.
Daviau, Donald, Hermann Bahr: An Extraordinary Example of Transnational
Networking, with Special Reference to Central Europe at www.kakanien.ad.at/
beitr/ncs/DDaviau1.
Eitelberger, Rudolf E. von Edelberg, in Bericht ber eine archologische Ausflug nach
Ungarn in den Jahren 1854 und 1855. Vienna: Ebner und Seubert, 1856.
_____, Die Kunstbewegung in Oesterreich seit der Pariser Weltaustellung im Jahre 1867.
Vienna: K.K. Schulbcher Verlag, 1878.
_____, Gesammelte kunsthistorische Schriften, 4 vols. Vienna: W. Braumller,
18791884.
_____, Geschichte und Geschichtsmalerei: Festrede gehalten aus Anlass der Habsburgfeier
am 22. December [sic] 1882 in der Kunstgewerbeschule des K. K. Oesterreich. Museums.
Vienna: Carl Gerolds Sohn, 1882.
_____, Mittelalterliche Kunstdenkmale Dalmatiens in Arbe [Rab], Zara [Zadar], Nona
[Nin], Sebenico [Sibenik], Trau [Trogir], Spalato [Split] und Ragusa [Dubrovnik].
Vienna: Braumller, 1884.
_____, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie und Neue deutsche Biographie, vol. 55. Leipzig:
Dunker & Humblot, 1910, pp. 734738.
Goss, Vladimir P., Josef Strzygowski and Early Medieval Art in Croatia, in Acta
Historiae Artium Academie Scieniarum Hungaricae 47 (2006): 335343.
Grigor, Talinn, Orient oder Rom? Qajar Aryan Architecture and Strzygowskis Art
History, in The Art Bulletin (2007): 562590.
Judson, Pieter M., Guardians of the Nation: Activists on the Language Frontiers of
Imperial Austria. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.
Karasek-Langer, Alfred, Josef Strzygowski: Ein Lebensbild, in Schaffen und Schauen:
Mitteilungensblatt fr Kunst und Bildungsplege in der Wojewodschaft Schlesien 8, no.
7/8 (March/April 1932), 3646.
57 The View from the Land
Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Toward a Geography of Art. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Kourelis, Kostis, Byzantium and the Avant-Garde: Excavations at Corinth, 1920s1930s,
in Hesperia 76 (2007): 391442.
Kultermann, Udo, Geschichte der Kunstgeschichte: Der Weg einer Wissenschaft. Vienna:
Econ, 1966.
Maranci, Christina, Medieval Armenian Architecture: Constructions of Race and Nation.
Louvain: Peeters, 2001.
Marchand, Suzanne, German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Religion, Race, and
Scholarship. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Meister, Richard, Geschichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, 18471947.
Vienna: Holzhausen, 1947.
Mietke, Gabriele, Josef Strzygowski und die Sammlung sptantiker und byzan-
tinischer Denkmler, in Zum Lob der Sammler: Die Staatlichen Museen und ihre
Sammler, ed. Andrea Brnreuther and Peter-Klaus Schuster. Berlin: Staatliche
Museen, 2009, pp. 112121.
Olin, Margaret, Alois Riegl: The Late Roman Empire in the Late Habsburg Empire, in
The Habsburg Legacy: National Identity in Historical Perspective, eds. Ritchie Robertson
and Edward Timms. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994, pp. 107120.
Pancarolu, Oya, Formalism and the Academic Foundation of Turkish Art in Early
Twentieth Century, in Muqarnas 24 (2007): 6778.
Panteli, Bratislav, Die Urheimat der Kroaten in Pannonien und Dalmatien. Frankfurt
am Main: Lang, 1997.
_____, Nationalism and Architecture: The Creation of a National Style in Serbian
Architecture and its Political Implications, in Journal of the Society of Architectural
Historians 56, no. 1 (1997): 1641.
Pastrnek, F., A Bibliographical Appreciation of Vatroslav Jagi, in The Slavonic Review
2, no. 4 (1923), 213224.
Petranu, Coriolan, Die siebenbrgische Kunstgeschichte und die Forschungen J.
Strzygowskis, in Josef Strzygowski Festschrift: Zum 70. Geburtstag dargebracht von
seinen Schlern. Klagenfurt: Kollitsch, 1932, pp. 125135.
Rampley, Matthew, Design Reform in the Habsburg Empire, in Journal of Design
History 23, no. 3 (2010): 247264.
_____, Art History in Vienna, 18471873, in Art History 34, no. 1 (2011): 5479.
_____, Art History, Racism, and Nationalism: Coriolan Petranu and Art in Translyvania,
in History of Art History in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, vol. 2, ed. Jerzy
Malinowski. Toru: Society of Modern Art and Tako Publishing House, 2012,
pp. 5562.
Rhi, Juhyung, Reading Coomaraswamy on the Origin of the Buddhist Image, in
Artibus Asiae 60, no. 1 (2010), 151172.
58 Marchand
Rizvi, Kishwar, Art History and the Nation: Arthur Upham Pope and the Discourse on
Persian Art in the Early Twentieth Century, in Muqarnas 24 (2007): 4565.
Seton-Watson, R.W., Vatroslav Jagi, in The Slavonic Review, 2, no. 4 (1923): 417423.
Strzygowski, Josef, Ikonographie der Taufe Christi, Dissertation, University of Munich,
1885.
_____, Das Etschmiadzin-Evangeliar, in Byzantinische Denkmler, vol. 1. Vienna:
Mechitharisten Buchdrckerei, 1891.
_____, Kleinarmenische Miniaturenmalerei: Die Miniaturen des Tbinger Evangeliars.
Tbingen: Schmersow, 1907.
_____, Orientalische Kunst in Dalmatien, in Dalmatien und das sterreische
Kstenland, ed. Eduard Brckner. Vienna: Deuticke, 1911.
_____, Ostasien im Rahmen vergleichender Kunstforschung, in Ostasiatische
Zeitschrift vol. 2 (1913/1914): 115.
_____, Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa, vol. 2. Vienna: Schroll, 1918.
_____, Forschung und Erziehung: Die Neuaufbau der Universitt als Grundlage aller
Schulverbesserungen. Stuttgart: Strecker & Schrder, 1928.
_____, Altslavische Kunst: Ein Versuch ihres Nachweises. Augsburg: Filser, 1929.
_____, Ivan Metrovi: Zur Einfhrung, in anon., Metrovi. Zagreb: Nova Evropa, 1935,
pp. 1117.
Strzygowski, Josef and V. Jagi, Die Miniaturen des Serbischen Psalters der Knigl. Hof-
und Staatsbibliothek in Mnchen. Vienna: In Komission bei A. Hlder, 1906.
Trk, Laslo, Strzygowskis Coptic Art, in Acta Historiae Artium 47(2006): 305309.
Wolff, Larry, Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment.
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.
Zaloscher, Hilde, Kunstgeschichte und Nationalsozialismus, in Kontinuitt und Bruch,
193819451955: Beitrge zur sterreichischen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte,
ed. Friedrich Stadler. Vienna: Jugend und Volk, 1988, pp. 284294.
koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_
1 All 10 volumes of Evliya elebis travel writings were finally properly edited and published
under the title Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, 10 vols. Istanbul: Yap Kredi Yaynlar, 19962007. In
this essay, I refer frequently to vol. 5, ed. Ycel Dal, Seyit Ali Kahraman, and brahim Sezgin;
and vol. 6, ed. Seyit Ali Kahraman and Ycel Dal. The relevant sections in volume 5 have
been published, in German translation with excellent commentary by Helena Turkova, as
Die Reisen und Streifzge Evliya elebis in Dalmatien und Bosnien in den Jahren 165961.
Prague: Orientalische Institut, 1965. A generous selection of parts of the travelogue, including
the section on Dubrovnik, can now be found in Robert Dankoff and Sooyong Kim, trans.
and eds., An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from the Book of Travels of Evliya elebi. London:
Eland, 2010.
Chapter 2
Evliya elebi in Dalmatia:
An Ottoman Travelers Encounters with the Arts of
the Franks
Cemal Kafadar
Evliya elebi (1611d. after 1683), the Ottoman traveler whose 10 hefty volumes
are perhaps the most monumental testament to the genre of travel writing in
any language,1 seems to have worried deeply about how one might understand
the interconnectedness of the world that imposed itself on the consciousness
of thinking people around the globe in the early modern era. It may seem odd
to readers today, accustomed to regarding the Balkans as a backwater to world
history, that he had a moment of epiphany when he was in Bosnia, of all places.
In Sarajevo, specifically, he got carried away, in a stream of consciousness,
imagining the fluvial links that connect the city to the rest of the world: the
stream that runs through the city of Sarajevo flows into the river of Saray,
which meets waters arriving from Herzegovina and Croatia before it flows
over mountainous terrain into the Sava, which in turn meets the Danube
right beside Belgrade. The Danube itself, in all its majesty, eventually runs
into the Black Sea, and it is clearer than sunlight (he obviously had in mind
readers in Istanbul, his beloved city of birth) that the Black Sea meets
the Mediterranean Sea in Istanbul. The Mediterranean, in turn, flows through
the straits of Gibraltar into the Surrounding Sea, which meets the larger
Ocean by the order of the Creator of both worlds. This passage also gives us
a good example of his narrative style, which proceeds like an animated movie
at times.
60 kafadar
2 Ktip elebi, Tuhfetl-kibr f esfril-bihr, Sleymaniye Library, Esad Efendi ms. 2170,
p. 121a. When Hungary and Bosnia are mentioned as part of the same puzzle, it is not because
they happened to have been two distinct corners of Europe that the Ottomans came to rule
(in part). The link between Hungary and the northwestern corner of the Balkans was a matter
of physical as well as political geography: the former is encapsulated in Evliya elebis descrip-
tion of the waterways and the significance of the Danube; the latter was known to the
Ottomans through historical memories, since parts of the region of Serbia/Bosnia/Croatia
had been taken from the Hungarians.
In a certain sense, this was indeed the center of the world from an Ottoman
point of view. Namely, it was the struggle for world dominion (or world har-
mony, if you consider the settled and peacefully negotiated circumstances that
prevailed for much of the time during the 15th through 17th centuries between
the Ottomans and their European counterparts. Ktip elebi (16091657), also
known as Khadji Khalifa, the prolific and influential savant who managed to fit
several works of world history and world geography into his short life noted in
his work on the naval wars of the Ottomans that
the people of Islam passed to the European part of the four parts of the
world and developed a relation to it only recently. Former rulers, with
battles and measures approaching extraordinariness, were able to seize
only Bosnia in Rumelia and a portion of Hungary. These mentioned
places are at one edge of Europe. Since security on the seas is essential to
maintaining and protecting even this much, they paid great attention [to
naval affairs] in former times. And now, too, it is important to abandon
neglect and to exert serious effort [in that matter].2
It was well understood by at least some intellectuals that Ottoman claims to
universal rulership and competition with European rulers in that regard
which would determine the future of the world orderhinged on control over
this region.
Even in the 20th century, Bosnian self-perception would maintain, with
some pride, this notion of the regions centrality to the Ottoman enterprise.
When a team of Homeric and folklore scholars from Harvard went to Yugoslavia
between the two world wars in the 20th century to study the oral renditions of
long epic poems, having heard of the existence of a living tradition there, they
were mesmerized by one raconteur in particular, a certain Avdo, who started
one of his tales with this invocation:
Now to you, sirs, who are gathered here I wish to sing the measure of a
song, that we may be merry. It is a song of the olden times, of the deeds of
61 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
3 Meedovi, Avdo, The Wedding of Smailagi Meho, trans. Albert B. Lord. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1974, p. 79.
4 Kafadar, Cemal, A Death in Venice (1575): Anatolian Muslim Merchants Trading in the
Serenissima, in Raiyyet Rsumu: Essays Presented to Halil nalck on His Seventieth
Birthday by His Colleagues and Students, special issue, Journal of Turkish Studies 10 (1986):
191218.
great men of old and the heroes on both sides in the time when Sulejman
the Magnificent held empire. Then was the empire of the Turks at its
highest. Three hundred and sixty provinces it had, and Bosnia was its
lock, its lock it was and its golden keys, and a place of all good trust
against the foe.3
Evliya elebis visits to Dalmatia always started from the highlands of Bosnia,
where he found several opportunities to sojourn over the years. From that hin-
terland, he descended three times to the littoralthe first time as a compan-
ion to raiders who wreaked havoc in and laid waste to the area between Split
and Zadar, and twice as a messenger to facilitate negotiations for a truce.
Whatever his excuse to hit the road, he was first and foremost a world trav-
eler, as he liked to call himself, studying sites, comparing what he saw with
what he had seen, filtering it all through his wide open eyes and inquisitive
mind, cultivated by decades of travel.
Born in 1611 to an Abkhazian slave woman and the chief goldsmith of
Istanbul, the adolescent Evliya burned with a desire to be rid of the burden of
dad-and-mom [in that order] and master-[and]-brother and to wander the
world. By the time he died, sometime after 1683 and presumably in Cairo, he
had been traveling for nearly half a century and had written thousands of
pages about many different cities, countries, peoples, languages, monuments,
and customs from all around the Ottoman world and beyond, including Iran,
Dalmatia, Austria, and the Sudan. Of the lands past the well-protected
domains, he twice visited Iran, in 1647 and 1655, while his first experiences in
the lands of the Franks were in Dalmatia, which he treated as an encounter
with Latinity.
The first time Evliya saw the Dalmatian littoral, in 1660, it was not exactly as
a visitor but as a member of a raiding expedition. A relatively long period of
peace between 1573 and 1645 had brought commercial vigor and prosperity to
the region and had led to unprecedented initiatives such as the collaboration
between the Ottoman Porte and the Serenissima to transform Split into an
emporium, as an alternative to Dubrovnik in trans-Adriatic trade, and the con-
struction of a Fondaco dei Turchi for Ottoman Muslim merchants in Venice.4
62 kafadar
5 On the relationship between Evliya and Melek Ahmed Pasha, see Robert Dankoff, trans.
and ed., The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Statesman: Melek Ahmed Pasha (15881662) as
Portrayed in Evliya elebis Book of Travels (Seyahat-name). Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1991.
Some passages from Evliyas account of the pashas governorship in Bosnia are translated on
pp. 237253.
During the protracted Ottoman-Venetian war of 16451669, Crete was the main
theater and ultimate prize; however, the frontier forces of these states, and
their cronies, also engaged each other and raided territories in Dalmatia, which
rapidly declined into a lower-intensity war zone (Fig.1).
When Melek Ahmed Pasha (15881662), Evliyas uncle and patron, and the
governor of Bosnia in 16591660, received an imperial order to undertake a
punitive raid against Zadar and Sibenik, the indefatigable traveler joined the
soldiers and saw the region mostly on horseback.5 This gave him an opportu-
nity to describe numerous forts and whatever else he could make out from afar.
Fig.1 Dubrovnik and Cavtat (Piri Reis, Kitab- Bahriye, Sleymaniye Library, Ayasofya ms.
2612, p. 176a).
63 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
6 Inscriptions on Ottoman/Islamic monuments were long held to be merely calligraphic and
decorative, but recent research has found evidence of concern with reading the actual texts;
see Necipolu, Glru, Quranic Inscriptions on Sinans Imperial Mosques: A Comparison
with Their Safavid and Mughal Counterparts, in Word of God, Art of Man: The Quran and Its
Creative Expressions, ed. Fahmida Suleman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 69104.
He even mentions a swift raid of one day and night beyond Zadar, deeper
toward the north, which brought him within 50miles of Venice, allowing him
to see the shine of the citys glittering buildings. In his usual studious manner,
he interviewed the captives, including one who was extremely knowledgeable
in history, to find out whatever he could about the culture and languages of
the area. In one instance, he used binoculars to make out the inscriptions on a
building he was unable to approach (Fig.2).6
An excellent opportunity for Evliya to visit Venetian Dalmatia arose soon
after the Ottoman expedition returned to Livno (in Ottoman Bosnia), when
Fig.2 Zadar (Piri Reis, Kitab- Bahriye, Sleymaniye Library, Ayasofya ms. 2612, p. 186b).
64 kafadar
the governor of Split sent a delegation bearing letters and gifts, as well as a
number of formerly captured Muslims, in order to sue for a truce. The next
morning, Evliya was merrily on his way to Split, bearing the pashas response.
He records this as his journey to the Venetian land/province and gives a glow-
ing depiction of the city, where he was able to enjoy three days of unhurried
sightseeing after completing his diplomatic duties. On his way back, he carried
the governors personal gifts, including a watch, a set of binoculars, and a
world-describing book called Papa Munta (mappa mundi?).
He had a longer stay in Dubrovnik (Ragusa) in 1663, when he was sent with
letters from the sultan, the grand vizier, and other officials to request contribu-
tions from this tributary city-state to the Ottoman war coffers. The Ragusans
declared their compliance, but not without making sure to explain that they
expected their suzerain state to keep its raiders in Nova (Castelnuovo) from
stealing their sheep. Evliya was prepared for this, as he produced a vizierial let-
ter that had already commissioned him to go to Nova and arrange for the
release of the sheep of the Dubrovnikers. This meant an excursion to
Castelnuovo and a return visit to Dubrovnik for another three days, during
which he was not that well treated, since the matter turned out to be a bit too
complicated to be resolved so expeditiously. In his shorter, and less favorable,
second depiction of the city, he would call it a stone-istan.
These, in short, are the travels of Evliya elebi in Dalmatia outside the
Ottoman domains. He took back with him not only numerous gift objects, of
course, but also precious impressions of some Frankish people in their own
lands, while also engaging with their cultural practices, including their archi-
tecture and visual regimes. To the degree that he experienced a sense of for-
eignness there, however, it was filtered through an equally strong perception
of the intimate links among different parts of the region, between towns and
peoples, hinterland and littoral, whether under Ottoman or Frankish rule.
Evliya well understood that the physical and human geographies of Bosnia,
Herzegovina, and Croatiaone should not look for precise correspondences
between his usages and todays boundarieswere shaped into a specific
regional configuration through deep historical connections and complex
demographic patterns, only to be constantly reshaped and reinforced through
the mobility and activities of those who lived there, as well as of the merchants,
bandits, and soldiers drawn to the region for a variety of reasons.
Long before descending from the hilly Bosnian hinterland to the lower
coastal area, Evliya started to familiarize himself, and his readers, with those
connections. Sarajevo, for instance, was built first as a small settlement
and then as a fort by the kings of Dubrovnik, as could be gleaned from
Yanvan, the Latin chronicler; Travnik was also built by Dubrovnikers
65 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
7 Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, vol. 5, pp. 223, 231.
8 Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 232, 242.
9 Ibid., vol. 6, p. 263.
10 Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 234235.
11 Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 243, 253.
(5, p. 231).7 As he moved around in the region, he provided at least a brief depic-
tion of every town or settlement that he visited or passed through, giving the
names and identities of founders and conquerors of different towns (or leaving
blanks for information he wanted to fill in later). He thus wove an intricate nar-
rative of the dense networks that evolved through construction, settlement,
and conquest.
The region was historically also shaped byand thus connected to the
dynamics ofpower structures whose forces and influences reached it from
the northern and western Adriatic, central Europe, and the eastern Roman
lands. Split was first built by Puglian kings, Prusac by Venetians.8 Closer to
Evliyas own time, the Hungarians, Habsburgs, and Ottomans join his lists of
builders and conquerors.
He is no less keen to write about the movements of peoples. Much of that
occurred through mercantile pursuits, which perhaps slowed down or became
somewhat less regular but continued even during the war years when Evliya
was in the region.9 Even flight and defection went into the making of memo-
ries, unhappy as they may have been, as they reinforced or severed the connec-
tive tissues between places and identities. People in Livno remembered that
just before the castle fell to the Ottomans, its Christian defenders fled to Split
and their descendants now constituted part of that citys population.10
Renegadism and apostasy were not uncommon, and implied that some folks
over there and of them had been among us. The ranks of the Uskok cor-
sairs, the most detested of infidel bandits for Evliya and the Ottomans, were
replenished by fugitives from the well-protected domains.11
While a fixation on political boundaries is all too clearas seen, for exam-
ple, in the intentions and ambitions of various local lords and generals to keep
or aggrandize their possessions within a framework of us against them
life in the frontiers functioned according to codes that all parties recognized
and even shared. Warfare and raiding could not be arbitrary, not in principle at
least, but needed to be legitimized according to such codes. Captives were to
be held safe with the hope of being ransomed. When raiders were let loose,
they could commit terrible atrocities, but this was only to occur when there
was some supposed justification for it, such as revenge, and they were to be
held at bay when commanders decided to establish a truce or were ordered by
66 kafadar
12 Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 237, 248.
13 Hadiselimovi, Omer, ed., At the Gates of the East: British Travel Writers on Bosnia and
Herzegovina from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. New York: Columbia University
Press, 2001.
14 Ibid., p. 10.
their respective imperial centers to refrain from aggressive action. Evliya was
astonished and bemused to find that Christian and Muslim soldiers on this
frontier had developed a bizarre custom of swapping religions. If a Christian
soldier were to befriend a Muslim captive, or vice versa, one would promise to
save the other from captivity, with the one so saved pledging to return the
favor one day if necessary; in a private ceremony, each swore to take the reli-
gion of the other and both would take oaths by blood, thus becoming
brothers-in-religion.12
Porous and even mutually constitutive as they may have been, the frontiers
also instilled an awareness of difference, of alterity, in the minds of travelers,
whose accounts were colored by explicit or implicit boundary markers. For
instance, beginning in the late 16th century, when Queen Elizabeths England
established a diplomatic presence in Istanbul, and Sultan Murad III (r. 1574
1595) granted trade privileges to her subjects, several English travelers used the
Balkan land routes stretching between Split or Dubrovnik and Istanbul.13 In
the eyes of Peter Mundy, who was traveling westward from Sarajevo to Split in
1620, the difference between the hinterland and the littoral was not simply
between mountainous terrain and coastal plains, but between the Turkish
Dominions and Christendome, between barrenness and fertility. He found
himself seeminge to bee in a New World not only in the Inhabitants, but
also in the Soyle as soon as he passed a milestone that established the bound-
ary; and continued his description as follows:
for, for three days before, wee sawe nothinge but rockey, barren, stoney
ground, scarce any Corne, tree, or greene things to bee perceived, except-
ing in the vallies. But here it was otherwise. For a man hath scarcely
seene, or could imagine a more fertill peace of ground or delightsome
prospect, for of the very stones, of which there are abundance, being a
great hindrance to any soyle, they turned them by their Industrie to as
great a furtherance benefit by makeinge of them pertitions, like walls,
instead of hedges. And the fields are soe well manured in the Middst of
their Cornefeilds were rancks in the Furrowes of Olive trees, Pomgranett
Trees, Pines and fig trees.14
67 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
15 Ibid., p. 6.
16 Buzov, Snjezana, Vlach Villages, Pastures and Chiftliks: The Landscape of the Ottoman
Borderlands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Medieval and Early Modern
Performance in the Eastern Mediterranean, ed. Evelyn Birge Vitz and Arzu Ozturkmen
(Turnhout: Brepols, 2013).
17 During the 18th century, Venice would need to take stock of the Morlacchi, as many of
them became subjects of Venetian Dalmatia, either by migration to coastal lands or
through the expansion of Venetian territorial possessions. The means and wisdom of set-
tling them down to an agrarian life and making them abandon their life of banditry
generated one of the liveliest public debates in Venice and throughout the rest of Europe,
While still in the mountains a couple of days earlier, Mundy had seen some
great store of horses, kyne, sheep and swine in an area where Theeves usu-
ally lurked, but it was too alien for him to identify this strange sight as part of
the ecosystem of Vlach pastoralists. The latter were not so invisible to Henry
Austell, who, as Mundy reported, had journeyed through the same region in
1585, but their manner was certainly strange: [i]n these contryes the people
wyll call one to a nother and delyver ther myndes III myles of one from the
other for the hyles be so hyghe and the valleys so depe that yt wylbe ther half
dayes work to go to ther neighbors dwelling III myles of.15 While pastoral com-
munities known as Vlachs (or, Morlacchi, as they were increasingly called in
Venetian and other European sources during the 18th century) had been a part
of the landscape since the early medieval era, they met with a more accom-
modating attitude under Ottoman rule in the 16th century and were allowed
not only add to their ranks through the colonization of similar populations in
the area but also to practice their seasonal transhumance on a wider scale,
leading to the virtually complete pastoralization of the area in the hinter-
lands of Trogir and Sibenik.16 The Ottoman policy of colonization and pastor-
alization may have been dictated by their reading of the realities of the
frontiers, but it was also informed by the fact that large-scale transhumance
remained a valid form of life for the Ottomans, who maintained their own
administrative mechanisms to reckon with it, register it, and extract revenue
from it in their complex system of taxation. During a border dispute between
Venetian and Ottoman administrations, for instance, the former recognized
only three villages, while the latter described the territory as consisting of
some 7080 villages, hamlets, pastures, summer pastures and settlements. The
insistence on the notion of vacant land could be a matter of political strategy,
no doubt, but ones eyes were also trained by education and experience,
whether politically motivated or not: certain populations could indeed remain
invisible, and certain political economies could indeed be equated with unciv-
ilized nature when viewed from a certain perspective, as in Mundys case.17
68 kafadar
and came to constitute one of the most colorful chapters in Enlightenment ethnology. For
a fascinating account of that discovery, see Larry Wolff, Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery
of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.
18 See, for instance, the travel diary of Klaes Rlamb, the Swedish ambassador to the
Ottoman empire in the mid-17th century, as discussed in Cemal Kafadar, The City That
Rlamb Visited: The Political and Cultural Climate of Istanbul in the 1650s, in The Sultans
Procession: The Swedish Embassy to Sultan Mehmed IV in 16571658 and the Rlamb
Paintings, ed. Karin dahl. Istanbul: Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 2006,
pp. 5873. A thorough survey of European travelers depictions of coffee consumption
and coffeehouses in the Ottoman realm and the East, with generous selections from their
texts, beginning with Leonhart Rauwolf (travels between 15731576), is provided in
Antoinette Schnyder-Von Waldkirch, Wie Europa den Kaffee entdeckte: Reiseberichte der
Barockzeit als Quellen zur Geschichte des Kaffees, Verffentlichungen des Jacobs Suchard
Museums zur Kulturgeschichte des Kaffees 1. Zurich: Jacobs Suchard Museum, 1988.
19 Vinaver, Vuk, Prilog istoriji kafe u jugoslovenskim zemljama, Istorijski asopis 1415
(19631965): 329346: In the first half of the 17th century the Ragusan envoys were con-
stantly drinking coffee while visiting Turks, but they started to bring coffee as a gift for the
Turks relatively late only after 1660 did the Ragusan envoys start to give coffee as a gift.
The Ragusan government passed in 1670 its first custom regulations about the taxes on
import and export of coffee Already at the end of the 17th century cooked coffee,
i.e. black coffee, was among articles sold in two shops in Ragusa. I am grateful to Nenad
Filipovi for the reference and for his translation. For a more recent overview, see
Aleksandar Foti, The Introduction of Coffee and Tobacco to the Mid-West Balkans,
Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hung. 64, no. 1 (2011): 89100.
As for city life, at the time of Evliyas visit, coffee still constituted a boundary
marker as a popular item of consumption that was a distinctive characteristic
of the Ottoman world. Travelers did not always mention it as such, but they
seem to have been aware of it.18 Compared to Evliyas accounts of hundreds of
Ottoman cities up to that point, coffeehouses are noticeably absent in his
descriptions of Dubrovnik and Split. The implications of this difference for
social life and vernacular architecture in those cities need further investiga-
tion. The story of coffee and coffeehouses in Dubrovnik followed the pattern of
European rather than Ottoman cities. Among the latter, including some of
Dubrovniks nearby neighbors, the institution had been familiar and popular
since the second half of the 16th century. In the early 17th century, there are
instances of some of the coffee trade coming from Egypt to Balkan cities
through Dubrovnik; there were also many references to coffee in the official
correspondence of the citys archives, since Ragusan envoys were frequently
treated to the beverage by their Ottoman hosts. But only in the latter decades
of the 17th century did the beverage become popular in Dubrovnik as well, and
only toward the very end of the century were shops devoted to coffee men-
tioned as venues for sociability around the beverage.19 Evliya seems at a loss in
69 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
20 Ktip elebi, Mznl-hakk f ihtiyril-ehakk. Istanbul: Kabalc, 2008; repr. of the edition
of 1888/1889, p. 294.
21 Ktip elebi, Fadhlaka, cited in Ktip elebiden Semeler, ed. Orhan aik Gkyay. Istanbul:
M.E.B. Devlet Kitaplar, 1968, p. 188 (italics mine). A Turkish-Italian dictionary prepared
by an Italian contemporary of the two elebis provides the following explanations for the
title: ciuile, nobile. See Rocchi, Luciano, ed., Il Dizionario Turco-Ottomano di Arcangelo
Carradori (1650). Trieste: Edizione Universit di Trieste, 2011, p. 104. The editor also cites
the 1641 glossary of G. Molino, which offers gentilhuomo.
writing about the social life of Dubrovnikthat is, he fails to give us a perspec-
tive on everyday life, which he was so successful in conveying for many
Ottoman townsmostly because he was not allowed to freely roam around
Dubrovnik but also because he did not encounter some of his familiar refer-
ence points. He could not have known, of course, that the Ottomans favorite
stimulant would soon conquer the lands of the Franks as well; during his trav-
els, coffee had not yet become a public phenomenon beyond the Ottoman bor-
ders to the west and north.
If the role of coffee as a sign of difference is noticeable only by its absence
in the lands that Evliya visited, another markermuch more important
for my purposes in this essayis palpable throughout his narrative by its
very presence: a different visual regime that gave free rein to technical ingenu-
ity in architecture and to images, both two- and three-dimensional, in public
spaces.
This is not to say that the Ottoman world did not offer any delights of that
sort. Ottoman subjects, including Muslims, certainly knew of figural images of
both kinds in their own cities, particularly if those cities had a rich ancient and
Byzantine past; nor should we imagine that Muslim intellectuals were reluc-
tant to look up at images on the walls of churches or elsewhere because of a
presumed aversion to figural imagery. Katip elebi, Evliyas intellectually more
illustrious contemporary, for instance, proffered a severe warning about addic-
tion to opium: one suffers its grief until the end of ones life, and as one ages,
one loses ones gait and begins to look like those images in disrepair on the
walls of churches.20 Even without journeying anywhere else, one would have
encountered various examples of figural imagery in Istanbul, where Evliya
grew up. He gives a long and detailed account, for instance, of the talismanic
qualities of the images on a number of ancient columns in different parts of
the city, which he evidently studied closely long before he embarked on his
travels. But as that other famous elebi (cultivated, urbane gentleman) of the
mid-17th century wrote in his account of the construction of the city by
Constantine, it was their custom [the custom of the Romans, that is] to depict
the image of their rulers on columns and coins.21 What Evliya encountered in
70 kafadar
22 Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, vol. 6, p. 263 (translation mine).
23 The charter was proven to be a forgery by I. Boi in 1952; see Nicolaas H. Biegman, The
Turco-Ragusan Relationship: According to the Firmns of Murd III (15751595) Extant in
Dalmatian cities such as Split or Dubrovnik, and later in Vienna, was of a dif-
ferent order than what he could find in Istanbul: this was a world where infi-
dels gave free rein to image making and readily included the pictures thus
produced in public life.
One of the persistent themes in Evliyas treatment of Dubrovnik (and, to a
certain degree, of Venetian-held Dalmatia as well) concerns what he consid-
ered to be the highly deserved reputation of its learned citizens in the sciences
of astrology and history. Their histories are considered trustworthy among all
nations since they never write anything contrary [to truth]. They have very
critical and deductive scholars and excellent historians.22 Evliya wrote that
these were farsighted infidels, concerned about the future, and that their his-
tories held tremendous prognosticative power.
This assessment stemmed, at least in part, from the high regard the Ottomans
had for this particular city. They admired Dubrovniks extraordinary skill in
maintaining its integrity and identity for centuries, despite the fact that it was
a tiny polity in the middle of a region coveted and fought over by different
superpowers. Surely the city was well served in this respect by its exceptional
location, which rendered it exceedingly difficult to capture; but many such
challenges had been overcome by the Ottomans and other empire-builders.
The site in itself would not have mattered as it did, were it not for the wisdom
of its citizens in understanding their peculiar position in the world and making
the best out of their circumstances through foresight and skill. By studying the
past through the science of history and looking into the future through the sci-
ence of astrology, they were able to predictlong before the Ottomans were
recognized or had even started their conquests in the Balkansthat these
upstarts would go far. Owing to their excellence in geopolitical prognostics,
Dubrovniks wise leaders sent emissaries to Orhan Beg (r. 13231359) during his
siege of Bursa (1323?) to offer tribute and accept his suzerainty, long before the
Ottomans could actually threaten them. Hence the small city-state preco-
ciously found a means of dealing with the Ottomans in a diplomatic manner,
even if it meant subservience.
Not only Evliyas but all later Ottoman historical writing, at least since the
17th century, tended to locate Dubrovniks subjugation to the reign of Orhan or
Murad I (r. 13591389); a charter that the sultans supposedly gave the mercan-
tile city in the 14th century was for a long time accepted as authentic by
modern scholars.23 Such accounts, while clearly anachronistic, could be
71 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
the State Archives of Dubrovnik. The Hague, Paris: Mouton, 1967, 26n22. On the early rela-
tions and correspondence between Dubrovnik and the Ottoman empire, see Boko I.
Bojovi, Raguse (Dubrovnik) et lempire ottoman (14301520): Les actes impriaux ottomans
en vieux-serbe de Murad II Slim Ier. Paris: Association Pierre Belon, 1998. For an up-
to-date survey of Ottoman-Ragusan relations that pays welcome attention to the
rhythms of Dubrovniks commercial history parallel to her relationship with Istanbul,
see Zlatar, Zdenko, Dubrovniks Merchants and Capital in the Ottoman Empire (1520
1620): A Quantitative Study. Istanbul: Isis Press, 2011, particularly chapter 3: The Turco-
Ragusan Relationship, pp. 65101.
read as Ottoman recognition of, and tribute to, what was indeed Dubrovniks
foresight and early cooperation with the expanding imperial power. Nor is
Dubrovniks success in self-preservation explained solely on the basis of
political forecasting and diplomacy. This city, as well as some others along
the Dalmatian coast, is also noted for its vigilant attention to maintaining
military readiness, particularly in the form of ingenious fortifications that
were regularly improved upon as Ottoman power encircled and, eventually,
threatened them.
In fact, the description of Dubrovnik and the whole Dalmatian region is
regularly framed within a historical narrative by Evliya, who offered, through
numerous cross-references, parallel accounts of the regions distant as well as
proximate past. In terms of the latter, which weighed heavily on the region
during the mid-17th century, the reader is regularly reminded of the drawn-out
state of war (16451669) between the Ottoman Empire and Venice over Crete,
and the repercussions that this had on the delicate balance of Dalmatian
affairs. In terms of diachrony, every fort or city is introduced by reference to
some founding figure or people (the Spanish, Venetians, Puglians, Croatians,
Ragusans, Bosnians, Hungarians, Ottomans, etc.); place names are explained
or at least intended to be explainedin terms of their linguistic derivation,
even if his information is incomplete, as indicated by blank spaces (the name
is in Latin [or Croatian, Bosnian, etc.] and means); mention is made of when
and if a site was captured or besieged by the Ottomans, and when and if some
of them fell back into infidel hands. Dalmatia, in other words, offered Evliya
a means of dealing with the interface between Ottoman and Latin Frankish
history and of situating all that within a larger narrative of the Mediterranean
region.
In terms of dealing with the broader geography of the sea as well, Evliya
found the vantage point of Dalmatia useful for a perspective on the whole
Adriatic and beyond in the western Mediterranean. The Latinity that he
encountered in Croatia and the littoral enabled him, and possibly his Ottoman
readers, to imagine Venice and Puglia and the whole sea to the west, where
72 kafadar
24 Ibid., vol. 5, p. 248.
25 Dankoff and Kim, Ottoman Traveller, p. 212.
26 Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, vol. 5, p. 262.
he never ventured: beyond our castle of Nova, and the fortified cities of
Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Zadar, Moran, and Dodoshka, the gulf ends and
southwards across the sea there is, of the lands of Spain, the province of Puglia
and the horn of the province of Calabria, a cape that extends five hundred
miles into the sea. Beyond it, again along the White Sea, there is the land of
Spain again and the land of France, and that is that.24
Though tiny and not as glamorous and mighty as Venice, Dubrovnik com-
manded extraordinary respect in the eyes of Evliya elebi. He and other
Ottoman authors often played with the Arabic orthography of the name of the
city to spell it, with the addition of one letter, as what would be transliterated
as Dobra-venedik, which could be understood as the good Venice. If the con-
stitution of Venice allowed it to be what it was, namely a mercantile oligarchy
governing a republic, that of Dubrovnik certainly brought this logic to its cul-
mination. These magistrates have no claim of precedence among themselves;
they simply sit in a circle, and thus no one of them is in a more prominent
position. The government circulates among them, each ruling for one month
of the year.25 Clearly, then, in Dubrovnik the consolidation of power in the
hands of one person or family was even more unlikely than it might be for a
doge in Venice. Moreover, the Ragusans simply had superior cunning, having
nurtured the prosperity of their less well-positioned republic for so long. Evliya
admired how the people of Dubrovnik laid low, feigning loyalty to all sides,
while informing Europeans of the Ottomans, and vice versa, without stoking
anyones ire to such a degree that they would be in danger. The damnable
swine may have been duplicitous, playing the Ottomans against other Franks
and those other Franks against the Ottomans, but that was also a manifesta-
tion of their wisdom, since it was the only way they could survive in the Euro-
Ottoman jungle of interstate politics at the northern and western edges of the
empire, where sustained stability eluded many vassals much bigger than
Dubrovnik.
As for the Most Serene City, as mentioned earlier, Evliya was unable to
approach any closer than 50 miles, by his own admission. Still, with all his
antennae up, he suggests that he was served something substantive about
Venice by having been to Split and having come close to Sibenik and Zadar. He
used these occasions to speak of the Venetian language (Talyan sweeter
than all other Frankish languages.)26 currency, and form of government, in the
manner of his coverage of places that he had actually visited.
73 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
27 Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 241, 246, 253, and vol. 6, p. 274.
28 Text given in Bostan, dris, Adriyatikte Korsanlk: Osmanllar, Uskoklar, Venedikliler 1575
1620. Istanbul: Tima, 2009, pp. 201203. On the development of Split as an alternative to
Dubrovnik, see Kafadar, A Death in Venice. On the activities of the Uskoks, and their role
in interstate politics, see Bracewell, Catherine Wendy, The Uskoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry,
and Holy War in the Sixteenth-Century Adriatic. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992.
Among the different kinds of architecture that he wrote about, fortifica-
tions, not surprisingly, preoccupied him the most. Throughout his travels, he
described forts and castles in some detail, but he did so with even more relish
in this region, often starting his account of a fortified town with a comment on
its site, particularly in Dalmatia, where lacy shores, estuaries, and abrupt
slopes offered military engineers numerous opportunities from both a defen-
sive and an esthetic point of view. Zadar was clearly a sight to behold; it was a
fortress of war that sat on a rocky rugged promontory like a flint-stone.
Sibenik had an exquisitely brilliant fort on a rocky site. However, Klis, the
strategic hill fort that had recently been taken from the Ottomans through
Venetian cunning, sat like a cone of pilaf in a bowl, while Kotor was spread
on rugged red rocks in a tortuous manner like the Rumelia Castle near
Istanbul.27
In addition to their strategic locations, Dalmatian forts displayed remark-
able architectural ingenuity, particularly in features such as their bastions and
buttresses. Thanks to their astrological and worldly intelligence about Ottoman
advances, the Latins had regularly been strengthening the fortifications of
the prize towns along the shore. Ottoman sailors, merchants, and military-
administrative authorities, many of whom were from the region, were regu-
larly informed of repairs and improvements on the fortifications, and they
were not necessarily opposed to such measures. Particularly during the long
peace that the Ottomans and the Venetians maintained between 1573 and 1645
(i.e., before their war over Crete), officials and merchants on both sides were
collaborating in a joint venture, mentioned above, to enhance the role of Split
as an entrept in trade across the Adriatic. However, neither side was ready to
turn a blind eye to military preparedness. In a document from 1614,28 for
instance, the Ottomans reminded Venice that they had consented not to fortify
a certain position of theirs, at the mouth of the Neretva River, only because of
promises made by Venice to keep the Uskoks at bay. Having banked on the
Sublime Portes goodwill, the letter continued, Venice had strengthened its
own fortifications at Split, Sibenik, Trogir, and Zadar, while making merchants
of the lands of Islam all the more reliant upon the Franks. The Uskoks had not
been kept in check, either; in fact, there were reports that they were being
74 kafadar
29 Bostan, Adriyatikte Korsanlk, pp. 205207.
30 Hadiselimovi, At the Gates of the East, p. 12.
31 Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, vol. 5, pp. 246, 252.
encouraged and protected by Venice. The letter concludes with no more than a
warning that bandits ought to be punished and that liberties should not be
taken with the terms of obedience to which Venice had agreed.
Notwithstanding such complications and tensions, cooperation prevailed
while mercantile activity flourished. Two years later, the governor of Bosnia
received a letter from Istanbul reminding him that the doges had been com-
mitted to loyal and sincere friendship with the Porte since olden times, and
urging him to cooperate with Venetian generals in their attempts to subdue
the Uskoks, and not to interfere with those who went over to Venetian service
of their own free will.29 When Henry Blount was on his way to Istanbul in
1634, he found Split to be thriving, thanks to such collaboration: in this Towne
the Venetians allow the great Turke to take custome of the Merchandize;
whereupon there resides his Emir or Treasurer, who payes him thirtie five
thousand Dollars a yeare.30 Blount also perceptively noted that Split could
remain a site of modus vivendi and mutually profitable exchange partly
because it did not offer a secure bay for large ships and was, therefore, only a
small and unusefull haven, from a military point of view, wherefore the
Turke esteemes Spalatro in effect, but as a land towne, nor so much worth as
his present custome, and so covets it not like Sara [Zadar].
Zadar was something else, however. Inside its rectangular fort of worked
stone, protecting a harbor that offered a safe haven to many galleys, one could
see seventy bell towers, indicating a prosperous Christian town. Gilded
crosses graced their banners, behind outer walls hollowed inward like a tur-
tles shell and with cannons placed like the quills of a porcupine. Confident
in the security provided by such a fort, the people of Zadar were emboldened
to enjoy the unparalleled broad walkways on the buttresses, so that thou-
sands of infidels could play around as if they were having a game of polo and
watch Ottoman tents as if they were on a promenade, even when Ottoman
raiders were at the very gates of their town. They could playfully fire a small
and festive cannon shot by way of a welcome, or even engage in competitive
displays of bravado by decorating all the entrenchments with crosses, just as
the defenders of Sibenik would embellish all of their walls with banners of San
Marco. In short, such a solid fort and sturdy wall of infidels cannot be found
anywherenot only in these frontiers but in all the lands of the Turks, Arabs,
Persians, Swedes, Czechs, or Dutch.31
75 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
32 Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 223, 253, 256, 261.
33 The earthquake of 1667 was noted in Ottoman chronicles: see Derin, Fahri ., ed.,
Abdurrahman Abdi Paa Vekyi-nmesi. Istanbul: amlca, 2008, p. 257.
Whatever his sentiments about the degree to which Zadar and various other
forts presented an obstacle to Ottoman ambitions, Evliya was clearly capti-
vated by the look of the built environment in this region, in Ottoman Bosnia
and Herzegovina as well as in Dalmatia. Above all, he admired the white stones,
to which he rapturously turned again and again, using the twin metaphors of
pearl and swan for many a city. He could not inspect how many gates or
churches Sibenik had, since it is an enemy castle, but it stood white and light
like a pearl. Since the walls of Split are ancient, they were repaired every year
and bleached like a swan. The city walls of Sarajevo were bleached by his
uncle, Melek Ahmed Pasha, who thus turned it into a peerless white fort like a
pearl. Zadar was also noteworthy in this regard, since all its walls are bright
and gleaming like a white pearl. In many other towns on either side of the
frontier, he was taken by the fair look of stone, including a small town called
Alina after its founder, a princess.32
When he had an opportunity to go inside the fortifications, as he did in
Ottoman-held towns freely or when he was permitted to, as in Split and in
Dubrovnik, Evliya also observed features of these public spaces that he seems
to have appreciated, even as other aspects puzzled him. Some of the cities had
striking stone-paved roads; the houses were also mostly of stone, with tile
roofs, and there were hardly any wooden buildingsall signs of prosperity.
Most of the shops in Split did a brisk business. Dubrovnik, being cramped for
space, did not have as many shops, but many people conducted their liveli-
hoods in their homes, including many women, whose involvement in trade in
public was not considered shameful. Both cities were also notable for their
handsome palazzos, the Rectors Palace in Dubrovnik above all, which Evliya
was able to see before it was destroyed by the devastating earthquake of 1667.33
While he did not fail to describe, albeit briefly, the external features of
churches and cityscapes, such as bell towers and cupolas, Evliya was not per-
mitted to go inside any Christian temple during his stay in Split or in Dubrovnik.
For that, he had to wait until his visit to Vienna in 1665, as part of an Ottoman
ambassadorial delegation. By then he seems to have been yearning for the
experience, since he waxed rhapsodic about his tour of Stefansdom in an
enraptured depiction that is longer than any description of a single building
complex by a European traveler in Istanbul. He focused at length on the images
he saw, particularly those of heaven and hell, which led him to exclaim that
76 kafadar
34 Dankoff and Kim, Ottoman Traveller, p. 241.
35 Ibid., p. 212.
36 Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, vol. 7, p. 116.
37 Dankoff and Kim, Ottoman Traveller, p. 209.
truly, when it comes to painting, the Franks prevail over the Indians and the
Persians.34
Even without entering any churches, however, Evliya encountered a pleth-
ora of images in Dubrovnik and was most struck by the ingenuity with which
they were put together and put to public use. He had the opportunity to see
the paintings in the audience hall of the Rectors Palace, where the walls
would not have surprised him so much if they had been covered with paint-
ings of bygone magistrates only, but they also had depictions of future
Ottoman sultans marvelously done according to the science of astrology.
He then relates the tale of an uncouth Ottoman governor of Bosnia, who took
offense at these works of art and wondered why these infidels had depicted
the Ottomans below their Bans. The joke is clearly on the Ottoman pasha
rather than the infidels, who responded to his crude intervention by repaint-
ing the depictions in this palace so artfully that not everyone is aware of
them anymore, but someone knowledgeable in the science of painting who
examines them carefully can appreciate their painterly qualities.35 It is not
clear what exactly Evliya saw, or was trying to suggest that he saw, on the walls
of the palace, but he seems to have heard about and was possibly shown some
examples of perspectival anamorphosis and other playful experiments of
early modern European painting. His later eyewitness depiction of the
Habsburg emperor in Vienna, for instance, with its hilarious allusions to fruits
and vegetables, seems like a verbal calque on Arcimboldos famous portrait of
Rudolf II.36
In terms of images, the real shock for Evliya was a nocturnal procession in
which statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ were carried by crowds.
Evliya was able to watch this only from a window, since unbelievers like him
were not allowed to take part in that religious event, but he could not refrain
from writing about the statues of Jesus and Marywithout comparison.
According to Evliya, these magical images the utmost degree of artifice of
the infidels were so powerful that the viewer would think them alive. A cou-
plet that follows indicates that he thought these images to be more lifelike
than even those produced by the legendary Persian painter Bihzad.37
Evliya noted that even on everyday objects such as coins, the Franks felt
no inhibitions about placing the likenesses of not only their accursed rulers
but also prophets like the beloved Jesus Christ. Still, he was apparently not
shocked by this, writing in the most neutral tone that a depiction of Jesus
77 Evliya elebi in Dalmatia
38 Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, vol. 5, p. 263.
Christ appeared on Venetian coins; he refrained in this instance from saying
h (God forbid!) at the thought of a prophet appearing on a coin.38
Even when disapproving, or gesturing disapproval, Evliya displayed a cer-
tain openness, a readiness to deal with this non-Muslim littoral on its own
terms and as a window to Latinity. The littoral and the hinterland stood apart
in a certain sense, challenging each other, but also presenting one another
with a set of opportunities and a network of routes, both real and metaphori-
cal, that led to different visual and architectural delights. Ever ready to be
transported to a state of wonder, Evliya elebi eagerly opened himself up to
those delights and undoubtedly hoped that his audience would do the same.
Bibliography
Bacque-Grammont, Jean-Louis. Dobra Venedik, La Bonne-Venise. La Republique de
Dubrovnik vue par deux auteurs ottomans: Piri Reis et Evliya Celebi, in Perspectives
on Ottoman Studies: Papers from the 18th Symposium of CIEPO at the University of
Zagreb, 2008, ed. Ekrem Causevic et al. Berlin: Lit, 2011, pp. 883-887.
Biegman, Nicolaas H., The Turco-Ragusan Relationship: According to the Firmns of
Murd III (15751595) Extant in the State Archives of Dubrovnik. The Hague, Paris:
Mouton, 1967.
Bojovi, Boko I., Raguse (Dubrovnik) et lempire ottoman (14301520): Les actes impri-
aux ottomans en vieux-serbe de Murad II Slim Ier. Paris: Association Pierre Belon,
1998.
Bostan, dris, Adriyatikte Korsanlk: Osmanllar, Uskoklar, Venedikliler 15751620.
Istanbul: Tima, 2009.
Bracewell, Catherine Wendy, The Uskoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry, and Holy War in the
Sixteenth-Century Adriatic. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992.
Buzov, Snjezana, Vlach Villages, Pastures and Chiftliks: The Landscape of the Ottoman
Borderlands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Medieval and Early Modern
Performance in the in the Eastern Mediterranean, ed. Evelyn Birge Vitz and Arzu
Ozturkmen (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013).
Dal, Ycel et al., eds., Evliya elebi Seyahatnamesi, 10 vols. Istanbul: Yap Kredi,
19962007.
Dankoff, Robert, trans. and ed., The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Statesman: Melek
Ahmed Pasha (15881662) as Portrayed in Evliya elebis Book of Travels (Seyahat-
name). Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1991.
Dankoff, Robert and Sooyong Kim, trans. and eds., An Ottoman Traveller: Selections
from the Book of Travels of Evliya elebi. London: Eland, 2010.
78 kafadar
Derin, Fahri ., ed., Abdurrahman Abdi Paa Vekyi-nmesi. Istanbul: amlca, 2008.
Foti, Aleksandar, The Introduction of Coffee and Tobacco to the Mid-West Balkans,
Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 64, no. 1 (2011): 89100.
Gkyay, Orhan aik, ed., Ktip elebiden Semeler. Istanbul: M.E.B. Devlet Kitaplar,
1968.
Hadiselimovi, Omer, ed., At the Gates of the East: British Travel Writers on Bosnia and
Herzegovina from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. New York: Columbia
University Press, 2001.
Kafadar, Cemal, A Death in Venice (1575): Anatolian Muslim Merchants Trading in the
Serenissima, in Raiyyet Rsumu: Essays Presented to Halil nalck on His Seventieth
Birthday by His Colleagues and Students, special issue, Journal of Turkish Studies 10
(1986): 191218.
_____, The City that Rlamb Visited: The Political and Cultural Climate of Istanbul in
the 1650s, in The Sultans Procession: The Swedish Embassy to Sultan Mehmed IV in
16571658 and the Rlamb Paintings, ed. Karin dahl (Istanbul: Swedish Research
Institute in Istanbul, 2006), pp. 5873.
Ktip elebi, Tuhfetl-kibr f esfril-bihr, Sleymaniye Library, Esad Efendi ms. 2170.
_____, Mznl-hakk f ihtiyril-ehakk. Istanbul: Kabalc, 2008; repr. of the edition of
1888/1889.
Meedovi, Avdo, The Wedding of Smailagi Meho, trans. Albert B. Lord. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1974.
Necipolu, Glru, Quranic Inscriptions on Sinans Imperial Mosques: A Comparison
with Their Safavid and Mughal Counterparts, in Word of God, Art of Man: The
Quran and Its Creative Expressions, ed. Fahmida Suleman. Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2007, pp. 69104.
Rocchi, Luciano, ed., Il Dizionario Turco-Ottomano di Arcangelo Carradori (1650).
Trieste: Edizione Universit di Trieste, 2011.
Schnyder-Von Waldkirch Antoinette, Wie Europa den Kaffee entdeckte: Reiseberichte der
Barockzeit als Quellen zur Geschichte des Kaffees, Verffentlichungen des Jacobs
Suchard Museums zur Kulturgeschichte des Kaffees 1. Zurich: Jacobs Suchard
Museum, 1988.
Turkova, Helena, Die Reisen und Streifzge Evliya elebis in Dalmatien und Bosnien in
den Jahren 165961. Prague: Orientalische Institut, 1965.
Vinaver, Vuk, Prilog istoriji kafe u jugoslovenskim zemljama, Istorijski asopis, 1415
(19631965): 329346.
Wolff, Larry, Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment.
Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.
Zlatar, Zdenko, Dubrovniks Merchants and Capital in the Ottoman Empire (15201620):
A Quantitative Study. Istanbul: Isis Press, 2011.
koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_
* Unless otherwise stated, the translations are mine.
1 Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia. London:
Printed for the author, 1764, p. 2.
2 Joseph Gwilt, An Encyclopaedia of Architecture, Historical, Theoretical, and Practical. London:
Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1842, p. 224, quoted in Eileen Harris, The Furniture
of Robert Adam. London: A. Tiranti, 1963, p. 32.
Chapter 3
The Imprimatur of Decadence: Robert Adam
and the Imperial Palatine Tradition*
Erika Naginski
I was convinced, notwithstanding the visible decline of Architecture, as
well as of the other arts, before the reign of DIOCLESIAN, that his munifi-
cence had revived a taste in Architecture superior to that of his own
times, and had formed artists capable of imitating, with no inconsider-
able success, the stile and manner of a purer age.
(adam, )1

It can be scarcely believed, the ornaments of Diocletians palace at Spalatro


should have loaded our dwellings contemporaneously with the use among
the more refined few of the exquisite exemplars of Greece, and even of
Rome, in its better days. Yet such is the fact; the depraved compositions of
Adam were not only tolerated, but had their admirers.
(gwilt, )2

Among the notable leitmotifs of architectural culture in the late Georgian


period was the increasingly fractured state of the classical canon, which
resulted from an ever-widening array of antique sources of inspiration.
80 Naginski
3 See Robin Middleton, Gerald Beasley, and Nicholas Savage, The Mark J. Millard Architectural
Collection, Vol. 2: British Books, Seventeenth through Nineteenth Centuries. Washington, DC/
New York: National Gallery of Art/George Braziller, 1998, pp. 311; Iain Gordon Brown,
Monumental Reputation: Robert Adam & the Emperors Palace. Edinburgh: National Library of
Scotland, 1992; Eileen Harris and Nicholas Savage, British Architectural Books and Writers
15561785. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 7181; John Fleming, The
Journey to Spalatro, Architectural Review 123 (February 1958): 103107.
4 Adam, Ruins of the Palace, p. 1.
Multifaceted and polemically charged developments in architectural theory
and practice set the stage for this fracturing. These included challenges to the
system of harmonic proportions established by Vitruvian theory: the Graeco-
Roman debate, which placed into confrontation advocates of ancient Roman
architecture against the philhellenes of their generation; and the convergence
of antiquarian methodologies (aimed at recovering the facts of history from
ancient sites) with an approach to architectural aesthetics that, whether it
touted the superiority of the moderns or not, was anything but presentist in
orientation (given its emphasis on the archaeological accuracy of graphic
reconstitutions). For the Scottish architect Robert Adam, the ruins of
Diocletians Palace at Spalatro (the medieval name for current-day Split,
Croatia) on the Dalmatian coast, however liminal the geographical boundary
between Orient and Occident they occupied, attested to the revival of
European architecture (past and present). For the architect and writer Joseph
Gwilt, by contrast, the importation to England of so many decorative baubles of
dubious cultural origin was an affront to the purveyors of a more refined under-
standing of the origins of good architecture. Hence, to juxtapose these two pas-
sages by Adam and Gwilt is to reveal more than simply a conflict of taste about
what was deemed appropriate or excessive in architecture. More than this, the
juxtaposition offers a glimpse into anxieties about the influence of antiquity
along with the moral dimensions of a veritable culture war pitting purity
against decadence, the Golden Age of Athens against the Roman Empire, the
preservation of universal rules against flexibility in changing circumstances,
and the proper disposition of the orders against ornamental eclecticism.
Ultimately, Adams (1764) lavishly illustrated Ruins of the Palace of the
Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia was a means of claiming as his own
the discovery, restitution, and interpretation of the domestic architecture of
the ancient Romans.3 The folio publication underscored in its introduction
that nothing could more sensibly gratify [the architects] curiosity, or improve
his taste, than to have an opportunity of viewing the private edifices of the
Ancients, and of collecting, from his own observation, such ideas concerning
the disposition, the form, the ornaments, and uses of the several apartments.4
81 The Imprimatur of Decadence
5 Sir John Soane, Lectures on Architecture, ed. Arthur T. Bolton. London: Sir John Soane
Museum, 1929, p. 52. The record copy drawn in 1786 by Soanes first pupil, John Sanders, of the
Capital to Columns and pilasters of Bed Chamber Floor (ref. SM vol. 41/75 verso, Sir John
Soanes Museum, London) includes a design directly derived from the so-called Spalatro
order shown in Adam, Ruins of the Palace, plate XLIX (see Fig.4).
6 See Damie Stillman, English Neo-classical Architecture, 2 vols. London: A. Zwemmer, 1988.
7 Robert Adam, Preface, to The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Esquires,
vol. 1. 1778; Dourdan: E. Thzard fils, 1900, pp. 45.
Yet against this assertion stood the judgment handed down by Englands great
historian Edward Gibbon that Diocletians Palace was the architectural
emblem of the decline of empire. What did Adam mean to suggest when he
proposed that same palace as a pinnacle of architectural expression (he called
it a Climax in Architecture)? By extension, how might his proposal be weighed
against the radically different gloss made from the 1760s onward by antiquari-
ans and historians who saw in the ruins the instantiation not of achievement
but of deterioration, not of magnificence but of degeneration? Such questions
necessarily frame the late 18th-century stylistic revival of ancient Roman pro-
totypes in which Adams plates can be understood as participating.
In view of these questions, the aim here is neither to catalogue in a compre-
hensive manner the architectural forms recorded by Adams team of drafts-
men over the course of their trip to Dalmatia in the summer of 1757, nor is it to
track in systematic fashion the subsequent dispersion of those forms in the
designs of British architectsthat is, the ways in which they were alternately
adapted or rejected, as in Sir John Soanes use at Tendring Hall, Suffolk, of dec-
orative motifs derived from Adams book, on the one hand, and his interesting
repudiation of the detached columns and corbels found in Split as licentious,
on the other.5 Identifying the projects in which this migration of ornamental
syntax appeared is precisely the aspect that has been addressed in writings on
English neoclassical architecture.6 Instead, this essay explores the terms in
which this migration might be understood as a cultural construction after 1750.
How did the transmission of the ruins of Diocletians Palace to the late
Georgian imaginary reveal architectures ambivalent relationship to contem-
poraneous historical accounts of antiquity? However self-serving, the aspira-
tion to revive an architecture that had been rendered ostensibly moribund by
canonical stringency and predictability led Adam to enlist another sort of clas-
sical authorityone from the edges of empirewhich, in his eyes, could
reveal that [t]he great masters of antiquity were not so rigidly scrupulous,
they varied the proportions as the general spirit of their composition required.7
In this sense, the publication of Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at
Spalatro in Dalmatia underscores that the diffusion of architectural ideas and
82 Naginski
8 E.M.S., The Marquis of Butes Mansion at Luton Hoo, Gentlemans Magazine 87, no. 2 (July
1817): 5.
9 Explanation of the Plates, Works in Architecture, vol. 1, no. III, plate III.
forms during the Enlightenment was tied in essential ways to developing ratio-
nales, in both antiquarian and architectural treatises, for the encounter
between Occidental and Oriental civilizations.
Transfer and Decadence
In July 1817, the Gentlemans Magazine published a brief description of the Earl
of Butes house at Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire (17671772, completed about 1827
and subsequently modified). This was one of the more sizable private resi-
dences for which Adam was responsible, and the magazines description of it
accordingly heralded as a great achievement the transmission of architectural
models to which the building attested: What had been begun was then com-
pletely finished; and Adam has transferred to England the splendours of the
Palace of Dioclesian at Spalatro, which he has so ably elucidated.8
The execution of Adams design began just 3years after the publication of
Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia, and intro-
duced a kind of exterior decoration, which resembles that of a publick work
rather than of a private building, and gives an air of dignity and grandeur, of
which few dwelling-houses are susceptible.9 In the final scheme for the prin-
cipal west faade, the search for a monumental public statement translated
into an impressively horizontal expanse: 13 bays bookended by two curved
projections behind whose balustraded parapets were set, on either side, a
single Diocletian or thermal window (Fig. 1). The faades blind Corinthian
Fig. Tobias Miller ( fl. 17441790) after Robert Adam (17281792), plate III, Elevation of the
Principal or West front of Luton-Park House, One of the Seats of the Earl of Bute
from Works in Architecture of the late Robert and James Adam, Esqs. London:
Priestley and Weale, 1822. engraving. yale center for british art, paul mellon
collection.
83 The Imprimatur of Decadence
10 David King, The Complete Works of Robert and James Adam. Oxford: Butterworth, 1991,
pp. 4, 119.
11 Adam, Ruins of the Palace, plates IX, XVIII, and XX. On the harmonizing disposition of the
peristyle colonnade, see Sheila McNally, The Architectural Ornament of Diocletians Palace
at Split. Oxford: Tempus Reparatum, 1996, p. 29.
12 Richard Warner, Excursions from Bath. Bath: R. Cruttwell, 1801, p. 213.
colonnadewith mythological iconography provided by statues in niches,
roundels, and bas-reliefs replacing fenestrationwas manifestly meant to be
looked at from the exterior rather than seen through. The visual continuity of
this exterior was underscored by a notably thin entablature rhythmically
punctuated by rosettes, the pronounced cornice moldings, and the attic-level
balustrade. Yet what interrupted all this fell within the norms of Burlingtonian
Palladianism: a central three-bay temple portico, with a coat of arms pitched
in its pediment. This provided access to a lobby area as well as a large circular
entrance hall outfitted with niches and a shallow dome. It was in this hall that
a reiteration of the vestibule of Diocletians Palace might be detected, particu-
larly in the low-pitched dome with step-rings and the four niches marked C
in the General Plan of the Palace Restored (Figs.2 and 3). There was also the
Spalatro order, as David King has termed it, devised for the projecting bowed
loggia of the east front of the house.10 Here, six slender fluted columns boasted
capitals comprising a band of leaves above the astragal and a second band of
vertical flutes rising up to the abacusa creative interpretation of the distinc-
tive pilaster capitals of the Diocletian peristyle (Fig. 4). The configuration of
the order at Luton Hoo is essentially combinatory: a commingling of those
pilaster capitals with the tall-necked Doric columns adorning the cryptoporti-
cus of the palaces south front.11
Luton Hoo, along with such examples as the Diocletian wing added to
Bowood House, Wiltshire (17611771), the interior of Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
(c. 17601768), and the configuration of the frontage of Adelphi Terrace on the
Strand (17681775), revealed inventive assimilations of an atypical ancient
source found neither in Italy nor Greece but, rather, in distant Dalmatia. For
the Orangery at Bowood House, added in 1769, Adam had seemingly borrowed
(according to the antiquarian Richard Warner) from a plan of a similar mem-
ber of Dioclesians vast palace the extensive arcaded gallery of the south wall
(the cryptoporticus) (Fig.5).12 At Kedleston Hall, the design of the house was
begun by Matthew Brettingham and James Paine, who followed a Palladian
approach to the structure, but was then turned over to Adam; here, the echo of
ancient palatine traditions occurred partly in decorative arrangements and,
84 Naginski
Fig. [Francesco, Antonio Pietro, or Giuseppe Carlo] Zucchi, plate XXI, Elevation of the
Portico to the Vestibulum from Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor
Diocletian at Spalatro. London, 1764. engraving. courtesy of the frances loeb
library, harvard university graduate school of design.
more explicitly, in the grandiose conception of spatial sequencing.13 In the
domed saloon with its octagonal coffering, niches for sculptures are arranged
in the manner of the interior of the Diocletian mausoleum (but without the
framing device provided by the ring of Corinthian columns set back almost
against the wall); and the longitudinal section drawing from 1760 showing the
transition between the colonnaded Marble Hall and the saloon demonstrates
13 Eileen Harris, The Country Houses of Robert Adam. London: Aurum, 2007, pp. 3647, and
Joseph Rykwert, and Anne Rykwert, Robert and James Adam: The Men and the Style.
New York: Electa/Rizzoli, 1985, p. 70.
85 The Imprimatur of Decadence
an internalization of the monumental passage, in Split, from the public
area demarcated by the exterior peristyle to the palace vestibule interior.14
As Eileen Harris has remarked, such a transition exemplified Adams notion of
the architectural effect of climax as depending upon an ascending gradation
or progression of spaces.15
Fig.3 Francis Patton ( fl. 17451770), plate VI, General Plan of the Palace Restored from
Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro. London,
1764. engraving. courtesy of the frances loeb library, harvard university
graduate school of design.
14 Barry Bergdoll, European Architecture 17501890. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000,
p. 37. The drawing in the collections of Sir John Soanes Museum (SM Adam vol. (61) 40/3)
was reproduced in John Woolfe and James Gandon, Vitruvius Britannicus, or the British
Architect, vol. 4. London: J. Taylor, 1767, plate51.
15 Eileen Harris, The Genius of Robert Adam: His Interiors. New Haven: Yale University Press,
2001, p. 5.
86 Naginski
Fig. [Francesco, Antonio Pietro, or Giuseppe Carlo] Zucchi, plate XLIX,
Capital and Pilaster in the Angle of the Peristylium from Robert Adam,
Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro. London, 1764.
engraving. courtesy of the frances loeb library, harvard university
graduate school of design.
Finally, speculative real-estate undertakings such as Adelphi Terrace also
bore the influence of the Diocletian ruins, but this time on an urban scale.
Benedetto Pastorinis picturesque View of the South Front of the New
Buildings, published in the third volume of The Works in Architecture of Robert
and James Adam (17781822), quite deliberately exploits the same rakish pros-
pect found in the grandiose view of the imperial palaces southwest frontage
87 The Imprimatur of Decadence
16 The connection has most recently been discussed by Ariyuki Kondo, Robert and
James Adam, Architects of the Age of Enlightenment. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012,
pp. 6570.
17 Damie Stillman, The Decorative Work of Robert Adam. London: A. Tiranti, 1966, p. 35.
on the harbor.16 Likewise integrating shipping and commercial activity into
the scene, he dramatized not ruins but the living city: the massing of the resi-
dential blocks, the Royal Terrace facing the river Thames, the arcaded sequence
of the Diocletian widows of the Adelphi cottages, and the earthbound solidity
of the storage vaults.
Allusions to Diocletians Palace in the spatial planning and ornamental lan-
guages of the Adam brothers various projects remained oblique, fragmentary,
and loose. Such creative misinterpretations highlight the manner in which
their fashionable classicism drew freely on a dizzying variety of sources
(including the Baths of Livia, the Baths of Diocletian, the Domus Aurea, and
Hadrians Villa).17 Yet this did not prevent the Gentlemans Magazine from pro-
posing in July 1817 that the splendours of an imperial structure such as
Diocletians Palace had somehow been transferred wholesale to English soil
Fig.5 Paolo Santini (17291793), plate VII, View of the Crypto Porticus or Front towards
the Harbor, from Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at
Spalatro. London, 1764. engraving. courtesy of the frances loeb library, harvard
university graduate school of design.
88 Naginski
18 A different view was later given in James Lees-Milne, The Age of Adam. London: B.T.
Batsford, 1947, p. 30: It has been asserted that Luton Hoo was designed on the model of
Diocletians palace at Split. A glance at Adams own plates in his book is enough to prove
that this was far from being his intention.
19 Marie-Joseph Peyre, Dissertation sur les distributions des anciens, compares avec celles
des modernes, et sur leur manire demployer les colonnes, Mercure de France (August
1773): 163. Peyre read his lecture to the Academy on April 27, 1772; Henry Lemonnier, ed.,
Procs-verbaux de lacadmie royale darchitecture 16711793, vol. 8. Paris: Armand Colin,
1924, p. 130.
20 Thomas Moule, An Essay on the Roman Villas of the Augustan Age, Their Architectural Dispo-
sition and Enrichments; and on the Remains of Roman Domestic Edifices Discovered in Great
Britain. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman, 1833, pp. 150151.
as a direct result of Adams archaeological survey of the site.18 To be sure, the
impulse to find correspondences between ancient and modern planning pat-
terns in domestic architecture had surfaced in the context of other models.
Marie-Joseph Peyre, after producing measured drawings of Hadrians Villa
with fellow architects Charles de Wailly and Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux in
1755, could claim that the ruins echoed modern predilections because we
found distributions in the taste of those we create today; small rooms with
brick alcoves, cabinets, recesses, corridors, and baths.19 Yet in the wake of the
publication of Adams Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro
in Dalmatia, assertions such as those made in the Gentlemans Magazine render
tangible the ways in which the mobility of architectures ancient models was
part of public discourse and, at least in the British context, was being fueled by
the palatine architecture of Split in particular. Thus we find the antiquarian
Thomas Moule, for example, recounting not only that Adam had transferred
to his domestic buildings the architectural peculiarities of Diocletians Palace,
but, more generally, that the latter edifice, with its detached buildings, cov-
ered an extent of ground consisting of between nine to ten English acres. This
mansion was erected for an emperors retirement, and did not possess the
stately dimensions of an imperial palace. Two houses of English noblemen in
Buckinghamshire almost equal it in extent.20 It seems that Moule, who had
Stowe House and Ashridge House in mind, took the comparison for granted yet
was anxious to domesticate the aura of ancient magnificence.
Of course, magnificence was precisely what the plates of Adams folio on
the ruins of Spalatro sought to communicate, with the exceptionality of the
Diocletian example tied to the fact of its survival and relative completeness:
[F]ew vestiges remain of those innumerable villas with which Italy was
crowded, though in erecting and adorning them the Romans lavished the
89 The Imprimatur of Decadence
21 Adam, Ruins of the Palace, p. 1.
22 Doreen Yarwood, Robert Adam. New York: Scribner, 1970, p. 76. On Dewez, see Simone
Ansiaux, Les dessins dItalie de Laurent-Benot Dewez, Bulletin de linstitut historique
Belge de Rome 27 (1952): 716.
wealth and spoils of the world. Some accidental allusions in the ancient
poets, some occasional descriptions in their historians, convey such ideas
of the magnificence, both of their houses in town and of their villas, as
astonish an artist of the present age.21
In order to convey such ideas of the magnificence he had witnessed and give
his subscribers a real world equivalent to Vitruvian abstractions as well as Pliny
the Youngers descriptions of his villas, Adams folio offered an elaborate fron-
tispiece and 60 plates: picturesque views of the entire castrum in its spectacu-
lar setting on the Dalmatian coast as well as plans, sections, elevations, and the
decorative details of the major monuments within its precinct: the three
entrance gates, the octagonal mausoleum (mistaken for a Temple of Jupiter),
the so-called Temple of Jupiter (mistaken for the Temple of Aesculapius), and
the palace facing the Adriatic Sea. One of the publications distinguishing fac-
tors, according to Adam, was the juxtaposition of ruined states with measured
reconstructions. The plates were based on studies, made over the course of a
mere 5weeks in late July and August of 1757, by Adam and those in his employ.
The team included the highly accomplished French architect Charles-Louis
Clrisseau (who was shamelessly exploited) as well as the Italian painter
Agostino Brunias and the Ligois architect Laurent-Benot Dewez (both of
whom Adam brought to England).22
The Palace and the City
For all the potential serviceability of Adams Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor
Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia as a pattern book promoting the extrava-
gance of ancient palatine traditions, it should be stressed that this was the first
systematic survey of a generally well-preserved example of ancient domestic
architecture associated with the establishment of the Tetrarchy marking the
end of the Crisis of the Third Century. This political system, established by
Diocletian in 293 ce, divided the Roman empire into four major regions and
placed these under the rule of two Augusti and two Caesari: the former
included Diocletian in the east (Oriens), and Maximian in the west (Italia et
Africa); and the latter, Constantius Chlorus in Gaul and the Iberian peninsula
90 Naginski
23 Lord Alexander Fraser Tytler Woodhouselee, Plan and Outlines of a Course of Lectures on
Universal History, Ancient and Modern. Edinburgh: William Creech, 1782, pp. 7576.
24 Slobodan uri, Late-Antique Palaces: The Meaning of Urban Context, Ars Orientalis
23 (1993): 67. On confusion in the ancient nomenclature applied to Diocletians residence,
see Tadeusz Zawadzki, La rsidence de Diocltien Spalatum. Sa dnomination dans
lantiquit, Museum Helveticum 44, no. 3 (1987): 223230.
25 The archaeological evidence for a possible quadrifons arch, which is central to uris
argument, is discussed in Branimir Gabrievi, Decussis Dioklecijanove palae u Splitu,
Vjesnik za Arheologiju I Historiju Dalmatinsku 6364 (19611962): 113124. See McNally,
Architectural Ornament of Diocletians Palace, pp. 5152, and J.J. Wilkes, Diocletians Palace,
Split: Residence of a Retired Roman Emperor. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1986, pp. 4043.
(Gallia et Hispania), and Galerius in what corresponds to the western Balkan
peninsula (Illyricum). According to historians of Adams generation such as
Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, jurist and professor of universal
history and of Greek and Roman antiquities at the University of Edinburgh, the
partitioning put an end to the disorders of empire and thereby established
Diocletian as founder of a new empire.23
As Slobodan uri has explained, the proliferation of imperial palaces dur-
ing this period stemmed from a long-standing tradition that relied on the prin-
ciple that the palatium, rather than the villa, specifically denoted an emperors
residence.24 With the increased decentralization and dispersion of the Roman
Empire, late antique palaces in Antioch, Thessaloniki, and elsewhere revealed
a complex negotiation between a formal allegiance to the prototype estab-
lished by the architecture on the Palatine Hill in Rome and the innovative
idiosyncrasies of their own planning and architecture in the context of new
urban settings at the edges and flash points of empire. Taking his lead from
the Oration in Praise of Antioch by the 4th-century Sophist and rhetorician
Libanius, uri summarizes the basic configuration of the palatiums layout
as follows: its erection in a new town; a fortified enclosure; large dimensions
equaling approximately one-fourth of the urban fabric; two colonnaded
avenues in front of the palace whose intersection is marked by a quadrifons
arch; three arms of the avenues leading to monumental gates set in the corre-
sponding walls of the enclosure; a fourth, shorter avenue or so-called peristyle
leading to the palace portico; the residential block of the palace integrated
into the perimeter wall in order to provide a colonnaded gallery for views.
The resulting prototype gleaned from Libanius for the Tetrarchic palatium
not only corresponds, strikingly, to the overall disposition of Diocletians resi-
dence but, just as crucially, gives prominence to the symbiotic exchange
between the erection of a new palace and the creation of the surrounding
urban fabric.25
91 The Imprimatur of Decadence
26 Howard Burns, Lynda Fairbairn, and Bruce Boucher, Andrea Palladio 15081580: The
Portico and the Farmyard. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1975, p. 105. See also
Douglas Lewis, The Drawings of Andrea Palladio. Washington, DC: The Foundation, 1981,
pp. 3940. Two additional drawings purchased by Inigo Jones in Italy are preserved in the
It was this particular cruciform organization, with its cardinal axiality and
association with the legionary fortress, which was intimated by Andrea
Palladio in a pen-and-ink drawing from about 1540 first published by Howard
Burns (Fig.6).26 A single line tracing the northsouth axis bisects the plan of
the quadrangle, the perfect rectangularity of which elides the actual asymme-
tries of the site. The contour of the perimeter carefully follows the succession
of the 16 towers of the castrum: the square towers at each corner; the pair of
intermediary towers on the north, east, and west fronts; and the octagonal
towers framing the three city gates. Only the east and west gate courts are ten-
tatively penciled in, while the cryptoporticus and its porches are emphasized
Fig. Andrea Palladio (15081580), Plan of the Palace of Diocletian at Spalato, c. 1540.
Pen, ink, and wash over incised lines, underdrawing in brown chalk and metalpoint,
360292mm. devonshire collection, chatsworth. reproduced by permission of
chatsworth settlement trustees.
92 Naginski
collections of the Royal Institute of British Architects (SC213/VIII/2 and SC215/IX/16);
one records the plan of the octagonal mausoleum as well as an elevation of one of the
niches, the other, the portal. While these contain notations in Palladios hand, the sketches
of the mausoleum are probably not by him; Heinz Spielmann, Andrea Palladio und die
Antike: Untersuchung und Katalog der Zeichnungen aus seinem Nachlass. Berlin and
Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1966, p. 177.
27 For example, see Claude Vanel, Histoire de lestat present du royaume de la Hongrie.
Cologne: Pierre Le Jeune, 1686, p. 125: The city of Spalatro, called Spaletum, Spalatium &
Aspalatium, could have received this name from the Latin word Palatium, because it was
once one of the palaces of the Emperor Diocletian, native of Salona.
28 Mr. Francis Vernons Letter, written to the Publisher Januar. 10th 1675/6, Giving a short
Account of some of his Observations in his Travels from Venice through Istria, Dalmatia,
Greece, and the Archipelago, to Smyrna, where this Letter was written, Philosophical
Transactions 124 (Apr. 24, 1676), p. 576.
with ink wash (although the drawing contains an error, as these were not four
but five in number). The plan records more or less correctly the 12 columns of
the peristyle, the stairs, portico, and inner sanctum of the rectangular temple
as well as the internal organization of the octagonal mausoleum (with its alter-
nating semicircular and squared-off apses). However, other aspects of the plan
are entirely incorrect; for instance, the entry to the palace portico is miscon-
strued as a double stair, while the vestibule is left without niches; and although
pencil lines attempt to elaborate the spaces linking the vestibule and the cryp-
toporticus, these oscillate between a second circular room and a diminished
rectangular hall followed by a sequence of two square rooms. The area inside
the precinct given the most prominence is the formal apparatus of the monu-
mental core, which is finalized in ink. Palladio focused on the alignment of the
mausoleum and the temple across from each other as well as that of the palace
entrance with the Golden Gate (Porta Aurea) to the north. In this way, the vital
urban character of the architectural disposition of elements is fully conveyed
despite the incomplete nature of the plan, which was one of the very first mea-
sured drawings of the site.
This exchange between palatium and urbs was likewise noticed (if not cor-
rectly interpreted) in late 17th-century antiquarian, historical, and apodemic
literature describing the city of Spalatro, whose etymological roots were con-
tinuously if erroneously traced back to the Latin word palatium.27 Francis
Vernon, a travel writer, in a letter of January 10, 1675, that he sent to the natural
philosopher Henry Oldenburg and subsequently published in Philosophical
Transactions, described the palace as a vast and stupendous fabrick, in which
[Diocletian] made his residence, when he retreated from the Empire. It is as
big as the whole town; for the whole town indeed is patcht up out of its ruines,
and is said by some to take its name from it. The building is massive.28 It is
93 The Imprimatur of Decadence
29 Louis-Sbastien Le Nain de Tillemont, Histoire des empereurs, et des autres princes qui ont
regn durant les six premiers sicles de lglise justifie par les citations des auteurs
originaux, vol. 4. Paris: Charles Robustel, 1697, pp. 5253. This is in reference to chapter
XXV of the Oration to the Saints, attributed to Constantine I, which describes Diocletian
in the confines of one contemptible dwelling; Mark Edwards, ed. and trans., Constantine
and Christendom: The Oration to the Saints, The Greek and Latin Accounts of the Discovery
of the Cross, The Edict of Constantine to Pope Silvester. Liverpool: Liverpool University
Press, 2003, p. 58. Le Nain de Tillemont goes on to paraphrase Constantine VII
Porphyrogenitus, who asserts that emperor Diocletian founded the city of Spalato and
built therein a palace beyond the power of any tongue or pen to describe, and remains of
its ancient luxury are still preserved today, though the long lapse of time has played havoc
with them; Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio, rev. ed., ed.
Gyula Moravcsik, trans. R.J.H. Jenkins. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Center for
Byzantine Studies, 1967, p. 123.
30 Jacob Spon and George Wheler, Voyage dItalie, de Dalmatie, de Grce et du Levant, vol. 1.
Lyon: Antoine Cellier le fils, 1678, pp. 98106.
significant that elicitations of the vast and stupendous fabric witnessed by
Vernon reverberated in more straightforwardly historical works such as
Louis-Sbastien Le Nain de Tillemonts multi-volume Histoire des empereurs
(16901697), which contains this witty assessment:
Diocletianspent the last nine years of his life in the peace and retreat
provided by a country house near Salona, which apparently, if we heed
Constantine, wasnt even very magnificent. It is believed to have been at
Spalatro by the seaside. Today the palace of Diocletian is visible, and
even takes up two thirds of the city; and one counts up to four temples
there of which one now serves as the cathedral. If this is indeed the site to
which Diocletian retired, it is hard to believe that Constantine wasnt
belittling it a bit too much. [I]n its entirety, it was of a magnificence
that exceeded verbal description.29
As if in answer to the ostensive inadequacies of a verbal description, images
began to appear primarily in the antiquarian context, which attempted to
translate the massive scale of the palace. Le Nain de Tillemonts history spe-
cifically cited the narrative of a trip made in 1675 and 1676 by the French anti-
quarian Jacob Spon and the English naturalist George Wheler, which was
supplemented by schematic representations. While the text describes the
Spalatro site in some detail, it also highlights its pleasingly basic geometries
the harbor in the shape of a half moon, the citys square perimeter (un carr
juste)as does the image.30 The quadrangle, which is accordingly depicted
as a perfect square, combines a primitive plan with highly approximate
94 Naginski
31 Charles Csar Baudelot de Dairval, De lutilit des voyages, et de lavantage que la recherche
des antiquitez procure aux savans, vol. 1. Paris: Pierre Auboin et Pierre mery, 1686,
pp. 287288.
32 See Erika Naginski, Historical Pyrrhonism and Architectural Truth, Journal of Visual
Culture 9, no. 3 (December 2010): 329343.
33 Anthony Grafton, Glen W. Most, and Salvatore Settis, eds., The Classical Tradition.
Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010, p. 878.
perspectival elevations of the east and west walls and the temples, and includes
the cardinal directions and a scale based on feet. The numbered index denotes
the city gates, the exact center of the site, the square open temple (the peri-
style), the octagonal temple (the mausoleum), and the round temple (the
palace vestibule). It is interesting that Spon and Whelers image should reiter-
ate in perspectival elevation the basic ingredients and disposition of
Palladiosplanindication that a visual prototype, which would reappear in
more robust form as Diocletians country house in the third volume of
Bernard de Montfaucons Antiquit explique en figures (1719), had been
established.
Spon, a doctor from Lyon, was one of a new breed of antiquarians who
upheld the ethics of site-specific knowledgethat is, the kind of knowl-
edgeheralded in such epistolary texts as Charles-Csar Baudelot de Dairvals
De lutilit des voyages (1686). As Baudelot exclaimed, in a section devoted
to architecture and public works: What instructive beauties one finds in
the architecture of temples, sepulchers, pyramids, gymnasia; in the structure
of altars, theatres, obelisks, triumphal arches, libraries, baths, aqueducts; in
the disposition of harbors, terms, statues, and military columns.31 This
celebration of the erudition to be gleaned from architectural artifacts was in
some sense prophetic, for it announced the methodological connections
that subsequently emerged between architectural and antiquarian practices
in the late 17th and 18th centuries.32 Thus it is no surprise that the Austrian
architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach should have devoted two
plates to Diocletians Palace in a folio publication that has been credited as
the first comparative global history of architecture: Entwurff einer histo-
rischen Architectur (1721), issued in successive editions in 1725 and 1742 as
well as in an English translation by Thomas Lediard in 1730 (reprint 1737).
For his plates, Fischer drew on the pictorial tradition of the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World consolidated in the Renaissance by the Dutch painter
Maarten van Heemskerck; in so doing, Fischer was evoking the Hapsburg
dynastys imperial claims to global domination at a moment when
Emperor Charles VI feared the extinction of the royal line.33 Fischer also
95 The Imprimatur of Decadence
34 Fischers ink wash drawings of the palace and its individual monuments are preserved in
the National and University Library of Zagreb (GZAS 15 fis 1, 16 fis 2, 17 fis 3). See Artur
Schneider, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlachs Handzeichnungen fr den Entwurff
einer historischen Architectur, Zeitschrift fr Kunstgeschichte 1, no. 4 (1932): 249270;
Justus Schmidt, Die Architekturbcher der beiden Fischer von Erlach, Wiener Jahrbuch
fr Kunstgeschichte 9 (1934): 147156; George Kunoth, Die Historische Architektur Fischers
von Erlach. Dsseldorf: L. Schwann, 1956; Joseph Rykwert, The First Moderns. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 1980, pp. 6775; and Kristoffer Neville, The Early Reception of Fischer von
Erlachs Entwurff einer historischen Architectur, Journal of the Society of Architectural
Historians 66, no. 2 (June 2007): 160175. On Marchi, see Danica Boi-Buani, Ivan
Petar Marchi-Marki: Njegovo djelovanje i njegova oporuka, Radovi Zavoda za povijesne
znanosti HAZU u Zadru 41(1999): 181202.
35 Eusebius, The History of the Church, trans. G.A. Williamson. London: Penguin, 1989,
pp. 261262.
turned to ancient sources and antiquarian compendia (by Spon and the
German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher among others). In the case of
Diocletians Palace, drawings and measurements were procured for him by
Giovanni Pietro Marchi, the Dalmatian count and doyen of the so-called
Accademia Illirica in Split.34
Fischers explanation of the site begins with a complaint about the lack of
attention paid to properly measured drawings in Spon and Whelers account.
He then upholds the etymological connection between Spalato and palatium
(as Adam later would), and refers to a passage from Eusebius of Caesareas
Ecclesiastical History (c. 325 ce) describing the fire that destroyed Diocletians
Palace in Nicomedia in 303 ce (which Fischer confuses with the palace in
Split), well-known to have been the event that prompted the emperors repres-
sive edict against Christians.35 Yet what holds Fischers attention is not the
historical context of things but, rather, the urban aspect and scenic orientation
of the site; the ruins, he observes, leave clear traces of a quadrangular precinct
in which the palace took over a part of the city and faced the sea.
Plate X accordingly gives a birds eye view from a southwesterly perspective
(Fig.7). It encompasses within its margins an idealized reconstruction of the
entire complex nestled along the shore below the dramatic Mosor mountain
range. The harbor in which ancient galleys and shipping vessels are moored
bustles with activity; diminutive figures dot the quays and piers (marked with
the letter I) or stroll in the landscape beyond the enceinte. The colonnade of
the distinctive cryptoporticus, which is set over the massive barrel vaults of the
palaces subterranean parts, includes six porches. Such emphasis on magnifi-
cence is reiterated internally at the crossroads of the monumental core
marked not by a quadrifons arch but, rather, by a pair of triumphal columns
96 Naginski
(marked H) whose foundations, the caption tells us, are extant. The city gates
(marked A to C) are described in terms of their cardinal directions, and the
relevant structures are classified as follows: (D) the octagonal Temple of Jupiter
(actually the Diocletian mausoleum); (E) the round temple (or palace vesti-
bule); (F) the square Temple of Sibyl (the rectangular Temple of Jupiter);
(G) the interior arcade (the peristyle). The only reference to the contemporary
city pertains to the area near the pier identified at the lower right as now used
as a lazaret (a quarantine station for maritime travelers).
The second plate assembles in trompe loeil fashion five measured drawings
with torn margins and curling edges, shown pinned against a dark ground on
which they cast delicate shadows (Fig.8). Two of these describe the octagonal
mausoleum (which Fischer mistook, as would Adam later, for a Temple of
Jupiter): the first, at the plates upper left, is a plan of the internal arrangement
of alternating apsidal spaces and the depth of the entrance porch; the second,
to its right, juxtaposes an elevation with a section, adding monumental statues
to the balustrade of the buildings exterior octagonal colonnade. A third image
gives a prospect of the peristyle; it includes a playful figure with a leaping dog
and records the Romanesque bell tower added to the mausoleum as part of its
Fig. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (16561723), Des Kaisers Diocletiani Pallast
hete ztage Spalato, plate X from Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Entwurff
einer historischen Architectur. Leipzig, 1725. engraving. courtesy of the frances
loeb library, harvard university graduate school of design.
97 The Imprimatur of Decadence
36 Archdeacon Thomas, Spalatensis Historia Salonitanorum atque Spalatinorum Pontificum,
ed. and trans. Damir Karbi, Mirjana Matijevi Sokol, and James Ross Sweeney. Budapest:
Central European University Press, 2006, pp. 5657. See also Gillian Mackie, Early
Christian Chapels in the West: Decoration, Function, and Patronage. Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 2003, pp. 54, 218219.
transformation into the Cathedral of Saint Domnius; Saint Domnius was the
Bishop of Salona, martyred in 304 ce during the persecutions of Diocletian,
who became the patron Saint of Split.36 At the bottom left, the Diocletian
aqueduct between Salona and Split appears in a fairly pristine state, sceno-
graphically arranged in a landscape with elegantly attired equestrian figures.
At the bottom right, the reconstructed north gate is shown in elevation and
mistakenly identified as the Porta Ferrea (instead of the Porta Aurea). The
ostensive pictorial veracity of all this is certified, as it were, at the top of the
plate by numismatics: that is, with the insertion of the recto and verso of an
example of the imperial coinage of Diocletian.
Fischers aerial view of the palace complex continued to conjure a building
complex whose northsouth and eastwest axes were entirely symmetrical.
Fig. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Grundriss von dem acht Eckigten Tempel,
plate XI from Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Entwurff einer historischen
Architectur. Leipzig, 1725. engraving. courtesy of the frances loeb library,
harvard university graduate school of design.
98 Naginski
Three decades later, the Jesuit historian Daniele Farlati reiterated Fischers
interpretation.37 The longevity of this configuration in text and imagefrom
Palladio to Farlatiunderscores that one of the achievements of Adams Ruins
of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia was to break
with tradition. For he revealed, as Marco Navarra has observed, the asym-
metry of the buildings, [and] measured the deformations produced by the
relationship between the site and the idea of a castrum.38 Yet those images by
Palladio, Spon, and Fischer should not be dismissed for their inaccuracies, for
their importance lies less in claims to planimetric precision than in the evi-
dence they proffer of the emerging significance of the siteits having been
regarded as exemplary and revelatorywell before 1750.
Antiquity Hunting
Antiquity huntingthis was Adams turn of phrasetook on other mean-
ings for architects in the second half of the 18th century.39 To begin with, the
various design elements of Diocletians Palaceits unique ornamental motifs
and spatial arrangementswere displayed for the first time in a folio volume.
For example, the internal angular modillion of the cornice of the so-called
Temple of Aesculapius, shown on the lower left of plate XLVIII, struck Adam as
very remarkable: I do not remember to have met with any other Instance of it
in the Works of the Ancients.40 In many ways, Ruins of the Palace of the
Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia is presented as an ode to Adams
discerning eye; the descriptions of the plates are peppered with commentary
such as one proclaiming the buildings and walls loaded with Ornament as
being so finely executed, that they afforded me the highest Satisfaction. It is
as if novel variations on classical themes was a means to an end for Adam,
champion of eclecticisma way to showcase in ancient precedents an uncon-
strained disposition of elements and thereby challenge Vitruvian universals as
well as override prevailing neo-Palladian tastes.
Furthermore, there is no question that what Adam claimed authorship
over in 1764 was fueled by sheer self-interest, by fierce competition with such
37 Daniele Farlati, Illyrici Sacri, vol. 1. Venice: Sebastianum Coleti, 1751, pp. 488490; vol. 2
(1753), p. 397.
38 Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia, ed.
Marco Navarra. Cannitello: Biblioteca del Cenide, 2001, p. 175. See also n. 1 above.
39 Quoted in John Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press, 1962, p. 156.
40 Adam, Ruins of the Palace, p. 31.
99 The Imprimatur of Decadence
41 Edinburgh, Register House, GD 24/1/564, f. 5, repr. in Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord
Woodhouselee, ed., Supplement to the Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Henry Home of
Kames. Edinburgh: William Creech, 1809, p. 55. That the publication of Ruins of the Palace
had secured Adams international reputation is underscored in Biographie universelle,
ancienne et moderne, vol. 1. Paris: Michaud frres, 1811, p. 187: The work that has ensured
his reputation most decisively is the description of the Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor
Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia, for which he had drawings and engravings made in
Italy, and which he had published in London in 1764.
42 See Thomas McCormick, Charles-Louis Clrisseau and the Genesis of Neo-Classicism.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990, and Valery Chevtchenko, Sabine Cott, and Madeleine
Pinault Srensen, Charles-Louis Clrisseau (17211820): Dessins du Muse de lErmitage,
Saint Ptersbourg. Paris: RMN, 1995.
43 In retaliation, Clrisseau inserted his own memento mori on the sarcophagus on the
lower right margin of plate XXVIII, The View of the Entry to the Temple of Jupiter, with
the inscription Hic iacet corpus Clerissi pictoris; Brown, Monumental Reputation, p. 29.
44 Harris and Savage, British Architectural Books and Writers, p. 76.
rivals as architects William Chambers and Robert Mylne (for example, in a
letter to Henry Home, Lord Kames dated March 31, 1763, he rather unkindly
referred to the race of those reptile artisans who have crawled about
and infested this country for many years), and by the savvy recognition
that the architectural book could establish his reputation.41 There is good
reason to question Adams motives. Thomas McCormick, in his study of
Clrisseau, tracked in Adams correspondence with his younger brother James
the systematic exploitation of the Frenchman responsible for most of the
perspective and topographical views of buildings and landscapes.42 The let-
ters paint the portrait of Clrisseau as a colleague turned employee, and
reveal that his authorship of the images was deliberately omitted from the
plates (on which only the names of the engravers were included).43 In addi-
tion, Adam left the supervision of the books production to his brother James
and turned to his cousin, the Scottish historian William Robertson, for the
introduction, the overview entitled A Description of the General Plan of
Dioclesians Palace as Restored, Explaining the Manner of Disposing the
Apartments in the Houses of the Ancients, and perhaps also the descriptions
of some of the plates.44
If it is true that Adam claimed sole authorship in order to rub out the collec-
tive nature of the enterprise, it might be argued that he was behaving, after all,
like an architectdevising a concept, then delegating the work to a talented
team of trained designers and historical advisors. The success to be gleaned
from such archaeological projects was demonstrated by James Dawkins and
Robert Wood with their Ruins of Palmyra (1753) and Ruins of Balbec (1757) as
well as by James Stuart and Nicholas Revetts Antiquities of Athens Measured
100 Naginski
and Delineated, whose first volume appeared in 1762 (forcing Adam to delay
publication of the Spalatro plates by 2years). Before embarking on the trip to
Dalmatia, Adam had entertained other options. The possibility of revising
Antoine Desgodetzs Les difices antiques de Rome dessins et mesurs trs
exactement (1682) turned out to be too labor-intensive, even though it had
been fueled by the need, expressed in the first volume of the English edition
issued in 1771 by the architect George Marshall, for something even more
accurate than the original publication.45 Adam had also considered, then
abandoned, depicting the Baths of Caracalla and Baths of Diocletian in both
their ruined and reconstructed states; this project was later partly carried out
by another Scottish architect, Cameron (1772), whose Baths of the Romans
Explained and Illustrated claimed to have corrected and improved
Palladios renditions (well known in architectural circles through Lord
Burlingtons publication of Fabbriche antiche disegnate da Andrea Palladio
Vicentino).46 Adams ambition for the study of Roman thermal complexes had
likewise aimed for just such rectificationno innocent intention given his
eventual campaign to reject the geometric regularity and predictability of
English Palladianism evident in, say, Colen Campbells prototypical Wanstead
House. As Dallaway (1800) remarked in Anecdotes of the Arts of England, if for-
eigners assigned to
Wanstead house in Epping Forestmore architectural merit than to
most others of our noblemens residences[t]he present reign has been
auspicious to refinement in architecture, and as we have become more
conversant with the antique and Roman models, by means of many
splendid publications, a style has been introduced which is formed rather
on that of the temples of Athens and Balbec so elucidated, than of
45 George Marshall, Preface to The Ancient Buildings of Rome; by Antony Desgodetz, vol. 1.
London: 1771, [5]. On Desgodetz, see Wolfgang Herrmann, Antoine Desgodets and the
Acadmie Royale dArchitecture, Art Bulletin 40, no. 1 (March 1958): 2353.
46 Charles Cameron, The Baths of the Romans Explained and Illustrated. With the Restorations
of Palladio Corrected and Improved. London: George Scott, 1772, p. iv: This work of
Palladio, never having received his last corrections, appears under a very imperfect form.
What is now offered to the public is intended to supply this deficiency: the buildings he
has described have been again measured; and the errors which have escaped him, cor-
rected. Despite the date of 1730 engraved on its title page, Burlingtons edition of Palladios
Fabbriche antiche was apparently not published until sometime between 1736 and 1740;
Middleton, Beasley, and Savage, Mark J. Millard Architectural Collection, vol. 2,
p. 196.
101 The Imprimatur of Decadence
Palladio and his schoolAdam may be considered as the architect who
first adapted this innovation.47
In view of this assessment of a perceived shift in architectural attitudes, the
question is not whether Adam drew on the English Palladian tradition; he
manifestly did, all the while rejecting it. Rather, he aimed to innovate and so
leave his mark on domestic architecture. This goes a long way toward explain-
ing his choice of Diocletians Palace, a site that was known, revered, and yet
still not measured and delineated.
On Adams account, the book contains the only full and accurate Designs
that have hitherto been published of any private Edifice of the Ancients.48
The claim makes it important to consider the books presentation of
thosedesigns. The frontispiece, the dedication to the King, the brief introduc-
tion, and the impressive list of subscribers are followed by Robertsons
historical essay, an explanation of the plates, and the 60 additional engrav-
ings.Notable is the visual journey that unfolds in all this, and the manner in
which the pages enact a controlled trajectory. This is a voyage of discovery that
is in turn verbal and visual, and that switches gears between the picturesque
and the orthographicbetween an experiential and an abstract representa-
tion of architectureso as to emphasize the cruciform layout of the palatium
as urbs. The sequence of plates takes us from the general plan of the palace,
overlaid on the fortified town and its situation, to panoramic vistas from east
and west, then to views and elevations of the cryptoporticus in ruined and
reconstructed states that work in tandem to reveal lateral expansiveness.
The perusal of the three city gates ushers us into the precinct and the urban
core: the northsouth axis, with the monumental transition from the peristyle
to the palace vestibule; and the eastwest axis, with the mausoleum and tem-
ple. The journey concludes back on the outside with the Diocletian aqueduct
serving as a backdrop to a bucolic scene of travelers and their horses in front of
a fountain.
In its judiciously organized completeness, the book clears a path through
the ruins as a means of emphasizing the role of movement in architecture. This
experience of the mobile gaze is rehearsed even in the context of smaller-scale
architectural passages:
47 James Dallaway, Anecdotes of the Arts in England, or, Comparative Remarks on Architecture,
Sculpture, and Painting. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1800, pp. 150151.
48 Adam, Ruins of the Palace, p. 4.
102 Naginski
If from the center of the Crypto Porticus, we look back to those parts of
the Palace which we have already passed through, we may observe a
striking instance of that gradation from less to greater, of which some
connoisseurs are so fond, and which they distinguish by the name of a
Climax in Architecture. The Vestibulum is larger and more lofty than the
Porticus. The Atrium much exceeds the grandeur of the Vestibulum; and
the Crypto Porticus may well be the last step in such a Climax, since it
extended no less than 517 feet. We may likewise observe a remarkable
diversity of form, as well as of dimensions, in these apartmentsand the
same thing is conspicuous in other parts of the Palace. This was a circum-
stance to which the Ancients were extremely attentive, and it seems to
have had an happy effect, as it introduced into their buildings a variety,
which, if it doth not constitute Beauty, at least greatly heightens it.
Whereas Modern Architects, by paying too little regard to the example of
the Ancients in this point, are apt to fatigue us with a dull succession of
similar apartments.49
What Adam identifies as the connoisseurs notion of climax in this passage is
a rhetorical figure prized in the context of the English rediscovery, in the 18th
century, of Longinuss treatise on the poetics of the Sublime.50 Consider
how the terms in which the rhetorician John Lawson addressed what the
Poet calls a fine Piece of Architecture were thoroughly embedded in this
Longinian tradition. There is not any Figure more commonly used by Orators,
he wrote, than Gradation or Climax; which, setting every Article of the
Speakers Sense distinctly before the Hearers Mind, gives the Whole an
Appearance of GrandeurIt is a known Rule that Gradation should grow
stronger, the following Member rising still upon the foregoing.51 As in poetry,
so in architectureand we can discern from Adams account an enlivening
of the architectural environment as part of the unfolding dynamics of a
sublime poetics. The other aspect to retain from the passage is Adams celebra-
tion of variety as contributing to this heightening of architectural experience.
By pitting the ancient Roman diversity of form against the dull succession
of similar apartments envisioned by modern architects, Adam reveals
that the value he placed on eclecticism, variety, and movement stood as a
49 Adam, Ruins of the Palace, p. 9.
50 See especially Samuel H Monk., The Sublime: A Study of Critical Theories in 18th-Century
England. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1935; rept. Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 1960, pp. 1028.
51 John Lawson, Lectures Concerning Oratory. Dublin: George Faulkner, 1758, p. 263.
103 The Imprimatur of Decadence
polemical response to those vaunting the symmetry and regularity of domestic
architecture.52
Adam Contra Gibbon
Positing a climax in architecture held broader implications for the character-
ization of antiquity in the late 18th century. It has been pointed out repeatedly
that Adam was not concerned with historical specificities; Frank Salmon noted
that Adam referred to Domitians Palace in a letter to his sister 3months before
his trip, displaying a striking lack of interest in the fact (clearly denoted by the
emperors names) that he was dealing with very late Imperial Roman architec-
ture, not Flavian architecture dating from more than two centuries earlier.53
For architects such as Adam, antiquity was about place, not time. Yet his
notion that Diocletians Palace represented a climax in architecture might
also be set against philosophically driven interpretations of the past, which
emerged over the course of the late 17th and 18th centuries. These were shaped
by historical methodologies in which the searching out of patterns of develop-
ment and decline played a pivotal role. From Montesquieu to Nicolas de
Condorcet, historians attempted to move beyond the precious chaos of anti-
quarian accumulations of details and facts in order to make sense of the con-
cept of civilization in all its aspects (political, legal, religious, economic, and
cultural).
As Arnaldo Momigliano explained, this was the intellectual movement that
shaped Gibbons (17761789) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire.54 Hence, the fact that Gibbon specifically targeted Diocletians Palace
as the architectural iteration of the political, social, and cultural degeneration
he was tracking testifies to the clash of interpretations in which architectures
ancient models were embedded in Adams time.55 Gibbons account begins as
52 According to Middleton, Beasley, and Savage, Mark J. Millard Architectural Collection,
vol. 2, p. 6, Adams comments were surely directed at the French practice of enfilade, the
stringing together of a series of rectangular rooms as part of the parade in apartments.
53 Frank Salmon, Building on Ruins: The Rediscovery of Rome and English Architecture.
Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2000, p. 45.
54 Arnaldo Momigliano, Gibbons Contribution to Historical Method, Historia: Zeitschrift
fr Alte Geschichte 2, no. 4 (1954): 453.
55 For an important discussion of Gibbons assessment of the palace, see Francis Haskell,
History and Its Images: Art and the Interpretation of the Past. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1993, pp. 191193.
104 Naginski
a straightforward account summarizing the main elements and acknowledg-
ing correspondences between Vitruvian theory and the spatial organization of
the palatine apartments:
Four streets, intersecting each other at right angles, divided the several
parts of this great edifice, and the approach to the principal apartment
was from a stately entrance, which is still denominated the Golden Gate.
The approach was terminated by a peristylium of granite columns, on one
side of which we discover the square temple of Aesculapius, on the other
the octagon temple of Jupiter. By comparing the present remains with
the precepts of Vitruvius, the several parts of the building, the baths, bed-
chamber, the atrium, the basilica, and the Cyzicene, Corinthian, and
Egyptian halls, have been described with some degree of precision, or at
least of probability. The range of principal apartments was protected
towards the south west, by a portico five hundred and seventeen feet
long, which must have formed a very noble and delightful walkFor this
account of Diocletians palace, we are principally indebted to an inge-
nious artist of our own time and country, whom a very liberal curiosity
carried into the heart of Dalmatia. But there is room to suspect that the
elegance of his designs and engraving has somewhat flattered the objects
which it was their purpose to represent. We are informed by a more
recent and very judicious traveller, that the awful ruins of Spalatro are
not less expressive of the decline of the arts than of the greatness of the
Roman empire in the time of Diocletian. If such was indeed the state of
architecture, we must naturally believe that painting and sculpture had
experienced a still more sensible decay.56
What Gibbon does in this passage is to string together a serviceable descrip-
tion of the site, a harsh judgment of its aesthetic worth, and, finally, the oppos-
ing views of an ingenious artist and a very judicious traveller. The
accompanying footnotes reveal that the artist whose elegant designs flattered
the objects of contemplation was, of course, Adam. The monumental internal
arrangement of the precinct is accordingly rehearsed as is the movement from
the citys north gate to the palace entrance. That Gibbon looked at Adams
General Plan of the Palace Restored is made clear by his allusion to the basil-
ica as well as the Cyzicene, Corinthian, and Egyptian halls marked by the
56 Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 1. London: W.
Strahan and T. Caddell, 1776, pp. 396398.
105 The Imprimatur of Decadence
letters K, L, M, and N, respectively (see Fig.3). Guided by theory rather than by
facts on the ground, Adams reconstruction of the palace in plan follows
Vitruvian dictates and identifies programmatic aspects of form and use: that
the basilica was reserved for dramatic performances while the three halls were
used for dining; that the Egyptian hall was nearly the same form as the basilica;
and that the Corinthian and Cyzicene halls must have been twice as long as
they were wide.57
As for the traveler to whom Gibbon refers, this was the Paduan naturalist
and writer Alberto Fortis, who asserted that where the Diocletians Palace was
concerned,
The lovers of architecture, and antiquity, are sufficiently informed
thereof, by the work of Mr. Adams [sic], who has done full justice to these
superb vestiges, by his elegant drawings and engravings. In general, how-
ever, the coarseness of the work, and the bad taste of the age are equal to
the magnificence of the buildings. For all this, I do [not] mean to detract
from the merit of the august remains of Diocletians palace; I count them
among the most respectable monuments of antiquity now extant: yet
I would not have sculptors and architects come to study at Spalatro.58
The judgment veers ambivalently between the dismissal of tasteless art and
grudging admiration for grandiose architecture. But the final verdict is deliv-
ered without hesitation; Diocletians Palace is no model for aspiring architects.
In this scheme of things, the principle of magnificence begins to prompt some-
thing very different from the admiration expressed by architects and antiquar-
ians before 1750. What magnificence provokes here is the castigating, fearful,
and exoticizing glance of the Occident back at the Orient, as the following pas-
sage from the journey made to Dalmatia by the antiquary and landscape
painter Louis-Franois Cassas renders even more palpable:
Though this edifice must be allowed to possess some dignity, and its
inside has a grand and magnificent appearance, it must nevertheless be
admitted that its style is not pure: it may easily be discovered, that at
57 See Henry Aldrich, The Elements of Civil Architecture According to Vitruvius and Other
Ancients, and the Most Approved Practice of Modern Authors, Especially Palladio, trans.
Rev. Philip Smyth. Oxford: D. Prince and J. Cooke, 1789, pp. 4849.
58 Alberto Fortis, Travels into Dalmatia, originally published as Viaggio in Dalmazia. Venice:
Alvise Milocco, 1774, trans. from the Italian under the authors supervision. London:
J. Robson, 1778, p. 201.
106 Naginski
this period architecture had made rapid progress in its decline. These
defects are to be attributed to the false taste which pomp and riches,
always eager for ornament, had forced the architects of that age to adopt;
and it may readily be supposed that princes who, like Diocletian, had
quitted the simplicity of the Roman toga for the costume and luxuries of
Asiatic sovereigns, were inclined to value every decoration in proportion,
not to its beauty but to its richness. For when we consider the pure style
of the door of this temple, and of the external gallery, it is easy to be con-
ceived that the architects were still sensible of the beauties of the antique,
and knew how to study them with advantage.59
This is a radical overturning of Adams Climax in Architecture. Ostentatious
patrons extinguish the creative aspirations of their architects, and what rises
up in the wake of this crushing of pure forms is a truly Machiavellian prince:
the figure of the emperor, turned into an allegory of the other. This passage is
not about Diocletians biographyhis Dalmatian roots are beside the point
but, rather, about the construction of a sybaritic personification, of a cultural
narrative that would come to be deployed in the Orientalism of the 19th
centuryand of a specific kind of semantic stronghold over historical reason-
ing inherited from Gibbon, which is vexingly modern and whose lineaments
we still grapple with today.
What is perhaps most remarkable, then, in Adams celebration of Diocletians
Palace is simply that it stands in complete contrast to Gibbons claim that the
selfsame edifice signaled civilizational decline. Adams interpretation emerges
as distinctively contrary to those who followed in Johann Joachim Winckelmanns
footsteps to forge an ideal history of art. This was a history moored to the purity
of Greek examples, from an archaic to a more refined stage, all the while narrat-
ing, as Alex Potts has put it, a long phase of imitation and decline in the
Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods.60 In Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor
Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia, Adam was surely not aiming to present a
systematic history of ancient architecture. Yet he was proffering an intellectu-
ally driven evaluation of ancient Roman domestic space, which stemmed as
much from observation of the archaeological facts on the ground as from an
inventive parsing of ancient textual sources from Vitruvius to Pliny the Younger.
59 Louis-Franois Cassas, Travels in Istria and Dalmatia, originally published as Voyage
pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie. Paris: P. Didot, 1802, trans. from the
French. London: Richard Phillips, 1805, pp. 101102.
60 Alex Potts, Flesh and the Ideal: Winckelmann and the Origins of Art History. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1994, p. 33.
107 The Imprimatur of Decadence
The ancient palatine tradition, in his hands, amounted to a complex model for
emulation and made manifest what can best be described as an architectural
counterdiscourse, in the second half of the 18th century, to the historians analy-
sis of the development and classification of the art of antiquity.
Acknowledgments
I would especially like to thank Alina Payne and Antoine Picon for their com-
ments and suggestions.
Bibliography
Alberto Fortis, Travels into Dalmatia. Italian ed. 1774; London: J. Robson, 1778.
Alex Potts, Flesh and the Ideal: Winckelmann and the Origins of Art History. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1994.
Anthony Grafton, Glen W. Most, and Salvatore Settis, eds., The Classical Tradition.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010.
Archdeacon Thomas Spalatensis, Historia Salonitanorum atque Spalatinorum
Pontificum. ed. and trans. Damir Karbi, Mirjana Matijevi Sokol, and James Ross
Sweeney. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2006.
Ariyuki Kondo, Robert and James Adam, Architects of the Age of Enlightenment.
London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012.
Arnaldo Momigliano, Gibbons Contribution to Historical Method, Historia:
Zeitschrift fr Alte Geschichte 2, no. 4 (1954): 450463.
Artur Schneider, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlachs Handzeichnungen fr den
Entwurff einer historischen Architectur, Zeitschrift fr Kunstgeschichte 1, no. 4
(1932): 249270.
Barry European Architecture 17501890. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Baudelot de Dairval Charles Csar, De lutilit des voyages, et de lavantage que la
recherche des antiquitez procure aux savans, 2 vols. Paris: Pierre Auboin et Pierre
mery, 1686.
Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne, vol. 1. Paris: Michaud frres, 1811.
Branimir Gabrievi, Decussis Dioklecijanove palae u Splitu, Vjesnik za arheologiju I
historiju dalmatinsku 6364 (19611962): 113124.
Charles Cameron, The Baths of the Romans Explained and Illustrated. With the
Restorations of Palladio Corrected and Improved. London: George Scott, 1772.
Claude Vanel, Histoire de lestat present du royaume de la Hongrie. Cologne: Pierre Le
Jeune, 1686.
108 Naginski
Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, De Administrando Imperio. ed. Gy. Moravcsik and
trans. R.J.H. Jenkins. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine
Studies, 1967.
Damie Stillman, The Decorative Work of Robert Adam. London: A. Tiranti, 1966.
_____, English Neo-classical Architecture, 2 vols. London: A. Zwemmer, 1988.
Danica Boi-Buani, Ivan Petar Marchi-Marki: Njegovo djelovanje i njegova
oporuka, Radovi Zavoda za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Zadru 41(1999): 181202.
Daniele Farlati, Illyrici Sacri, 8 vols. Venice: Sebastianum Coleti, 17511819.
David King, The Complete Works of Robert and James Adam. Oxford: Butterworth,
1991.
Doreen Yarwood, Robert Adam. New York: Scribner, 1970.
Douglas Lewis, The Drawings of Andrea Palladio. Washington, DC: The Foundation,
1981.
E.M.S., The Marquis of Butes Mansion at Luton Hoo, The Gentlemans Magazine 87,
no. 2 (1817): 58.
Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 6 vols.
London, 17761789.
Eileen Harris, The Furniture of Robert Adam. London: A. Tiranti, 1963.
, The Genius of Robert Adam: His Interiors. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
, The Country Houses of Robert Adam. London: Aurum, 2007.
Eileen Harris, and Nicholas Savage, British Architectural Books and Writers 15561785.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Erika Naginski, Historical Pyrrhonism and Architectural Truth, Journal of Visual
Culture 9, no. 3 (2010): 329343.
Francis Vernon, Mr. Francis Vernons Letter, written to the Publisher Januar. 10th
1675/6, Giving a short Account of some of his Observations in his Travels from
Venice through Istria, Dalmatia, Greece, and the Archipelago, to Smyrna, where this
Letter was written, Philosophical Transactions 124 (Apr. 24, 1676): 575582.
Francis Haskell, History and Its Images: Art and the Interpretation of the Past. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.
Frank Salmon, Building on Ruins: The Rediscovery of Rome and English Architecture.
Aldershot Hampshire: Ashgate, 2000.
George Kunoth, Die Historische Architektur Fischers von Erlach. Dsseldorf:
L. Schwann, 1956.
George Marshall, ed. and trans., The Ancient Buildings of Rome; by Antony Desgodetz,
vol. 1. London: 1771.
Gillian Mackie, Early Christian Chapels in the West: Decoration, Function and Patronage.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.
Heinz Spielmann, Andrea Palladio und die Antike: Untersuchung und Katalog der
Zeichnungen aus seinem Nachlass. Berlin, Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1966.
109 The Imprimatur of Decadence
Henry Aldrich, Elementa Architecturae Civilis Ad Vitruvii Veterumque Disciplinam, Et
Recentiorum Praesertim A Paladii Exempla Probatiora Concinnata [The Elements of
Civil Architecture According to Vitruvius and Other Ancients, and the Most Approved
Practice of Modern Authors, Especially Palladio]. trans. Philip Smyth. Oxford:
D. Prince and J. Cooke, 1789.
Henry Lemonnier, ed., Procs-verbaux de lacadmie royale darchitecture 16711793,
vol. 8. Paris: Armand Colin, 1924.
Howard Burns, Lynda Fairbairn, and Bruce Boucher, Andrea Palladio 15081580: The
Portico and the Farmyard. London: The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1975.
Iain Gordon Brown, Monumental Reputation: Robert Adam & the Emperors Palace.
Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland, 1992.
J.J. Wilkes, Diocletians Palace, Split: Residence of a Retired Roman Emperor. Oxford:
Oxbow Books, 1986.
Jacob Spon, and George Wheler, Voyage dItalie, de Dalmatie, de Grce et du Levant,
3 vols. Lyon: Antoine Cellier le fils, 1678.
James Dallaway, Anecdotes of the Arts in England, or, Comparative Remarks on
Architecture, Sculpture and Painting. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1800.
James Lees-Milne, The Age of Adam. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1947.
John Lawson, Lectures Concerning Oratory. Dublin: George Faulkner, 1758.
John Fleming, The Journey to Spalatro, The Architectural Review 123 (1958): 103107.
, Robert Adam and his Circle, in Edinburgh and Rome. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1962.
John Woolfe and James Gandon, Vitruvius Britannicus, or the British Architect, vol. 4.
London, 1767.
Joseph Gwilt, An Encyclopaedia of Architecture, Historical, Theoretical, and Practical.
London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1842.
Joseph Rykwert, The First Moderns. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1980.
Joseph Rykwert, and Anne Rykwert, Robert and James Adam: The Men and the Style.
New York: Electa/Rizzoli, 1985.
Justus Schmidt, Die Architekturbcher der beiden Fischer von Erlach, Wiener
Jahrbuch fr Kunstgeschichte 9 (1934): 147156.
Kristoffer Neville, The Early Reception of Fischer von Erlachs Entwurff einer histo-
rischen Architectur, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 66, no. 2 (2007):
160175.
Lord Alexander Fraser Tytler Woodhouselee, Plan and Outlines of a Course of Lectures
on Universal History, Ancient and Modern. Edinburgh: William Creech, 1782.
, ed., Supplement to the Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry
Home of Kames. Edinburgh: William Creech, 1809.
Louis-Franois Cassas, Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et Dalmatie. Paris:
Pierre Didot, 1802.
110 Naginski
Louis-Sbastien Le Nain de Tillemont, Histoire des empereurs, et des autres princes qui
ont regn durant les six premiers sicles de lglisejustifie par les citations des
auteurs originaux, vol. 4. Paris: Charles Robustel, 1697.
Marie-Joseph Peyre, Dissertation sur les distributions des anciens, compares avec
celles des modernes, et sur leur manire demployer les colonnes, Mercure de
France (1773): 161180.
Mark Edwards, ed. and trans. Constantine and Christendom: The Oration to the Saints,
The Greek and Latin Accounts of the Discovery of the Cross, The Edict of Constantine
to Pope Silvester. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2003.
Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia.
London: Printed for the author, 1764.
_____, The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Esquires, 3 vols. Dourdan:
E. Thzard fils, 19001902.
, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia. ed. Marco
Navarra. Cannitello: Biblioteca del Cenide, 2001.
Robin Middleton, Gerald Beasley, and Nicholas Savage, The Mark J. Millard Architectural
Collection. Vol. II. British Books Seventeenth through Nineteenth Centuries.
Washington, DC/New York: National Gallery of Art/George Braziller, 1998.
Richard Warner, Excursions from Bath. Bath: R. Cruttwell, 1801.
Samuel H. Monk, The Sublime: A Study of Critical Theories in 18th-Century England. New
York: Modern Languages Association of America, 1935.
Sheila McNally, The Architectural Ornament of Diocletians Palace at Split. Oxford:
Tempus Reparatum, 1996.
Simone Ansiaux, Les dessins dItalie de Laurent-Benot Dewez, Bulletin de linstitut
historique Belge de Rome 27 (1952): 716.
Sir John Soane, Lectures on Architecture. ed. Arthur T. Bolton. London: Sir John Soane
Museum, 1929.
Slobodan uri, Late-Antique Palaces: The Meaning of Urban Context, Ars Orientalis
23 (1993): 6790.
Tadeusz Zawadzki, La rsidence de Diocltien Spalatum. Sa dnomination dans
lantiquit, Museum Helveticum 44, no. 3 (1987): 223230.
Thomas McCormick, Charles-Louis Clrisseau and the Genesis of Neo-Classicism.
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1990.
Thomas Moule, An Essay on the Roman Villas of the Augustan Age, Their Architectural
Disposition and Enrichments; and on the Remains of Roman Domestic Edifices
Discovered in Great Britain. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and
Longman, 1833.
111 The Imprimatur of Decadence
Valery Chevtchenko, Sabine Cott, and Madeleine Pinault Srensen, Charles-Louis
Clrisseau (17211820): Dessins du Muse de lErmitage, Saint Ptersbourg. Paris: RMN,
1995.
Wolfgang Herrmann, Antoine Desgodets and the Acadmie Royale dArchitecture,
The Art Bulletin 40, no. 1 (1958): 2353.
PART 2
The Mediterranean Imagination

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_


* This essay was translated from the Italian by Frank Dabell, with revisions by Alina Payne and
Cara Rachele.
1 Michael Vickers, Mantegna and Constantinople, The Burlington Magazine 118 (1976): 680
687. After I finished writing this text in March 2010, several relevant studies were published
on Andrea Mantegna in particular, but also on other individuals and themes treated here,
and I have added citations to these. A review of the current literature in early 2013 did not
turn up any specific intersections with the material I discuss in this essay; therefore, I have
not altered my text other than to update the relevant citations.
2 See, in particular, Andrea De Marchi, in Mantegna 14311506, exh. cat., eds. Giovanni Agosti
and Dominique Thibaut. Paris: Hazan, 2008, p. 164, no. 51, expressing a negative opinion on
Vickers theses regarding the Agony in the Garden in Tours and originally part of the predella
of the San Zeno altarpiece in Verona; De Marchi also wrote the entry about the painting in
London, ibid., pp. 158159, no. 48. On the San Zeno predella, see also cat. nos. 13 by De
Marchi in the exh. cat. Mantegna: La prdelle de San Zeno de Vrone, 14571459, exh. cat., ed.
Philippe Le Leyzour. Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2009, p. 63. Vickers opinions were
considered unfounded, though not discussed or outlined, in Corpus der Italienischen
Zeichnungen 13001450, part 2: Venedig Jacopo Bellini, vol. 6 (catalogue), eds. Bernhard
Degenhart and Annegrit Schmitt. Berlin: Mann, 1990, pp. 720725, and 468 (n. 6). However,
Colin Eisler, in his book The Genius of Jacopo Bellini: The Complete Paintings and Drawings.
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1989, p. 200, noted that views of Jerusalem, which were fantastic
and implausible in their assemblage of antiquities (such as those reproduced in Jacopos
album of drawings in Paris; see, for example, Entry into Jerusalem and the Crucifixion, fols. 20
and 37, respectively) could have been inspired by views of Constantinople, well known to
Italian travelers and the center of Eastern commerce until its fall in 1453.
Chapter
From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia:
AMetaphorical Journey for Andrea Mantegna*
Marzia Faietti
Some time ago I was engaged in studying Andrea Mantegna, and while review-
ing the ample literature I came across an article by Michael Vickers published
in The Burlington Magazine in 1976, the title of which, Mantegna and
Constantinople, immediately attracted my curiosity, although it lay outside
my interests at the time.1 Subsequently, I realized that Vickers contribution
though not unknown to the authors of the texts published on the occasion of
Mantegnas fifth centenarywas invariably commented on only in a marginal
way, or even hurriedly dismissed.2 Yet it seemed to me to contain stimulating
116 Faietti
3 In Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, and Nicholas Penny, eds., Drer to Veronese: Sixteenth-
Century Painting in the National Gallery. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, p. 292,
no. 30, it is hypothesized that the painting may be identified with the operetta painted in
1459 for the Venetian Jacopo Antonio Marcello; however, see Luciano Bellosis further remarks
on what the operetta was, in Agosti and Thibaut, Mantegna, pp. 122123, cat. nos. 3132.
4 Vickers, in Mantegna and Constantinople, p. 680, rules out all earlier opinions regarding
the identification of Roman monuments such as the Colosseum and Trajans Column, one or
the other surmounted by a statue of Marcus Aurelius.
ideas for further research, as well as the need for some rectification as we will
subsequently see.
Examining Mantegna and his depiction of Constantinople in this volume,
therefore, allows us not only to reflect anew on a fascinating subjectthe
painters awareness of what Ciriaco dAncona saw on his travelsbut above
all to review a still partly tangled scholarly knot that raises a question of
method: How are we to identify and interpret the deep meaning, and identify
the literary and visual sources of a work of art when these are entwined within
that work in a way that is not only inextricable, but also not always coherently
related to each other? Although this is a larger issue, the question is particu-
larly critical for an artist as educated and with such great antiquarian knowl-
edge as Mantegna.
When an artist combined written descriptions and images as sources in
creating works of art, the result was often a very high level of originality and
complexity, which increased according to the inventive powers, culture, and
subtlety of the artist. Using this criterion, Mantegna had scarcely any rivals
in his day. I could have chosen freely from his oeuvre to make this point, but
have limited myself to a topic that sheds light on travel and cultural exchange
along Mediterranean routes (and beyond): envisioning a metaphorical journey
taken by the great Paduan painter, crossing a given space and projected through
time, from the Jerusalem of Christ and the scene of his Passion to the Con-
stantinople of Mantegnas own period, an anguished city under Ottoman
subjugation.
Vickers focus was especially on the Agony in the Garden (the one now in
the National Gallery, London), a painting executed by Mantegna during his
Paduan period, and whose original patronage in Ferrara should still be consid-
ered hypothetical (Fig.1).3 For Vickers the city in the background was an ideal
Constantinople, intended to stand for the Jerusalem of the Gospels, with vari-
ous buildings recognizable (in his opinion) as parts of the Byzantine city, and
with the sole addition of the Torre delle Milizie, an indisputable reference to
Rome.4 To support this convinction, Vickers referred to the biography ofCiriaco
117 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
dAncona written by Francesco Scalamonti (now housed in the Biblioteca
Capitolare in Treviso), with a focus on what was said about that antiquarians
first trip to Constantinople in 1418:5 [Scalamonti] tells us how Cyriaco was
impressed by inter alia the brick-built city walls, the church of St. Sophia, a
bronze equestrian statue standing on a column nearby, the curved end of the
hippodrome decorated with applied columns, and by two tall freestanding col-
umns adorned with spiral reliefs (almost certainly the columns of Theodosius
5 Biblioteca Capitolare di Treviso, codex 1:138; for an entry on this codex, see Stefano G. Casu,
in In the Light of Apollo: Italian Renaissance and Greece, vol. 1, exh. cat., ed. Mina Gregori.
Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2004, p. 146, cat. no. I.18, including a summary of the
scholarly literature on the codex. For suggestions as to how Ciriacos manuscripts reached
Feliciano, see Leonardo Quaquarelli, Felice Feliciano e Francesco Scalamonti (junior?), in
Ciriaco dAncona e la cultura antiquaria dellUmanesimo: Atti del convegno internazionale di
studio (Ancona, February 69, 1992), eds. Gianfranco Paci and Sergio Sconocchia. Reggio
Emilia: Diabasis, 1998, pp. 333347. On Ciriacos subsequent journeys to Constantinople, see
Edward W. Bodnar, ed. and trans., Cyriac of Ancona: Later Travels. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 2003.
Fig.1 Andrea Mantegna, Agony in the Garden. london, the national gallery.
118 Faietti
6 Vickers, Mantegna and Constantinople, p. 680.
7 See the text in Latin and English in Charles Mitchell and Edward W. Bodnar, eds. and trans.,
Vita viri clarissimi et famosissimi Kyriaci Anconitani by Francesco Scalamonti. Philadelphia:
American Philosophical Society, 1996, pp. 3841 for the Latin text, and pp. 111112 for its trans-
lation into English (paragraphs 3743); I shall quote only the Latin texts of paragraphs 3943
here: Et inde primum ea ex amplissima trigonia urbe viderat ingentia atque nobilia
ex cocto latere moenia maritimum a duobus partibus littus alteramque circumdantia ter-
ciam et mediterraneam partem; vidit et insignem illam et regiam de marmore Portam
Chryseam a divo Theodosio conditam duabus marmoreis turribus munitam; et a facie prima
ab extra marmoreae primae parietes ornatae videntur antiquis ex Phidia operibus ibidem ab
eo principe aliunde deductis. Ibidem vero arma a Vulcano Achilli Thetidis gratia edita ante
fabrefactoris eximia conspectantur, quae hinc inde columnis pulcherrimis exornata
viderat. 40.] Deinde in urbe primum sacra divis ornata atque ingentia delubra, et ante alia
insigne illud et maximum a Iustiniano Caesare Divae Sophiae conditum et admirabile tem-
plum, ingenti testitudine marmoreisque crustatis parietibus et pavimento conspicuo nec
non porphyreis serpentineisque magnis et innumeris sublime columnis viderat; et ante
ipsum venerabile templum alta columna Heracleam illam mirificam aeneam equestrem
statuam, arduum quippe et conspicuum opus. 41. Sed non longe sublimiori in parte vidit
nobile illud hippodromale theatrum marmoreis a capite in convexu columnis epistyliisque
perornatum, ac in medio lapideis obilyscis aeneisque draconibus et speculatoriis plerisque
marmoreis insigne, sed in primis illum ingentem unico ex Numidico lapide obilyscum
Phoenicibus caractheribus omni ex parte insignitum, quem ex Latinis Graecisque litteris
Theodosium principem Proculo architecto curante cognoverant erexisse. 42. Viderat et binas
deinde per urbem Theodosinas cocleas et insignes de marmore columnas Taurinam
Xerolophaeamque eximiae altitudinis et mira architectorum ope conspicuas et alias plera-
sque per urbem inspexerat immanes marmoreas porphireasque columnas, nec non aeneas
et plurigenum lapidum statuas, bases et epigrammata, nymphaea, fontes et arduos cocto de
latere aquae ductus; et denique ornatissima viderat diversa per sacra et pulcherrima mona-
steria bybliothecas plerasque Graecis sacris et gentilibus litteris auro imaginibusque insignes.
43. Exinde alia ex parte ad ulteriorem portus ripam viderat Galatheam illam Peram, nobilem
pulcherrimamque in conspectu Constantinopolitanae urbis coloniam, turritis moenibus,
aedibus sacris negociatoriis scenis, praetoriis et altis undique civium palatiis perornatam.
Cuiusce portus et optimi emporii littus frequens cetearum onerarium navium multitudo
compleverat.
8 Vickers, Mantegna and Constantinople, p. 683.
and Arcadius).6 In fact, the former is just a summary of a passage by Ciriaco
that is worth quoting in full (see footnote 7).7
Vickers also turned his attention to the tower standing in front of
Mantegnas wall, which closely recalls the towers of the Land Walls of
Constantinople, which are frequently square in plan andbuilt in a distinc-
tive manner, with alternating bands of brick and stone. Finally, he focused on
the crescents applied to the surfaces of the towers to turn them into minarets.8
119 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
Vickers found similar references in other paintings by Mantegna, especially in
another version of Agony in the Garden (now in Tours) (Fig. 2) and in a
Crucifixion (in the Louvre) (Fig.3), both originally panels of the predella of the
San Zeno altarpiece in the basilica in Verona, commissioned in 1456 by
Gregorio Correr, Venetian-born apostolic protonotary and the abbot of San
Fig.2 Andrea Mantegna, Agony in the Garden (the San Zeno Altarpiece). Tours, Muse
des Beaux-Arts.
Fig. Andrea Mantegna, Crucifixion. Paris, Muse du Louvre, Dpartement des Peintures.
120 Faietti
9 For an entry on the polyptych, see Alberta De Nicol Salmazo, in Mantegna e le Arti a
Verona 14501500, exh. cat., eds. Sergio Marinelli and Paola Marini. Venice: Marsilio,
2006, pp. 195, 199, cat. no. 1, including a summary of the scholarly literature on the polyp-
tych; see also Andrea De Marchi, Autour du triptyque de San Zeno de Vrone, in
Agosti and Thibaut, Mantegna, pp. 153157; Marco Ciatti and Paola Marini, eds., Andrea
Mantegna: La Pala di San Zeno: Studio e conservazione. Florence: Edifir Edizioni Firenze,
2009; Le Leyzour, Mantegna: La prdelle de San Zeno de Vrone; Giulio Bodon, Andrea
Mantegna e lantico 2: Iconografie classiche nelle opere padovane di Mantegna: rifles-
sioni sul caso della pala di San Zeno, in Andrea Mantegna impronta del genio: convegno
internazionale di studi, Padova, Verona, Mantova, 8, 9, 10 novembre 2006, vol. 1, eds.
Rodolfo Signorini et al. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2010: pp. 5371; Stephen J. Campbell,
Lo spazio di contemplazione: Mantegna, Gregorio Correr e la pala daltare di San
Zeno, in Andrea Mantegna impronta del genio, vol. 1, eds. Rodolfo Signorini et al.,
pp.163179.
10 The manuscript is now housed in the Bodleian Library, Oxford Ms. Canon. Misc. 378: Otto
Pcht and Jonathan James Graham Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian
Library Oxford. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 19661970, vol. 1: p. 52, no. 666; vol. 2: p. 60, no.
599 (includes a summary of the scholarly literature on the manuscript); Jonathan James
Graham Alexander, The Illustrated Manuscripts of the Notitia Dignitatum, in Aspects of
the Notitia Dignitatum, eds. Roger Goodburn and Philip Bartholomew. Oxford: British
Archaeological Reports, 1976, pp. 1113; Giovanna Saroni, I manoscritti per Pietro Donato
e la Notitia Dignitatum di Parigi, in La Biblioteca di Amedeo VIII di Savoia (13911451).
Turin: Umberto Allemandi, 2004, pp. 99106. See also Ian Holgate, Paduan Culture in
Venetian Care: the Patronage of Bishop Pietro Donato (Padua 142847), Renaissance
Studies 16, no. 1 (2002): 19, fig.5.
11 On Lamys addition of the view of Constantinople, see Alexander, The Illustrated
Manuscripts, pp. 15, 17; Saroni, La Biblioteca di Amedeo VIII di Savoia, p. 103, in which she
asserts that from the patrons point of view the most significant insertion is the miniature
view of Constantinople (absent in the surviving copies of the Codex Spirensis).
Zeno, and installed on the main altar in July 1459.9 In the first of these two
paintings, Vickers identified not only the crescents at the summit of certain
buildings, but also the outline of the basilica of Hagia Sophia, its great win-
dows resembling those described in the topographical view of Constantinople
illuminated by Pronet Lamy as an illustration to the Notitia Dignitatum cop-
ied into a manuscript that had belonged to Pietro Donato, bishop of Padua and
a friend of Ciriaco (Fig. 4).10 While attending the Council of Basel in 1436,
Donato had had his scriptores transcribe the Codex Spirensis, a collection of
geographical texts from antiquity that included the Notitia Dignitatum utri-
usque imperii, and this must have been an impressive text, especially for its
more than 80 images.11
Vickers hypothesis for the remaining area of the image was that it probably
showed the neighborhood of Constantinople named Galata or Pera, once
121 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
12 Exinde alia ex parte ad ulteriorem portus ripam viderat Galatheam illam Peram, nobi-
lem pulcherrimamque in conspectu Constantinopolitanae urbis coloniam, turritis moe-
nibus, aedibus sacris negociatoriis scenis, praetoriis et altis undique civium palatiis
perornatam.: Mitchell and Bodnar, Vita viri clarissimi et famosissimi Kyriaci Anconitani,
pp. 4041.
13 On the Liber Insularum Archipelagi in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice,
see,with the discussion of the previous literature on the Liber, Silvia Foschi, Santa Sofia
di Costantinopoli: immagini dallOccidente, Annali di architettura: Rivista del Centro
Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio di Vicenza 14 (2002): 1617, 2324;
again using the description offered by Scalamonti.12 Yet in its turn this descrip-
tion was intertwined with the celebrated image of a view of Constantinople
in the Liber Insularum Archipelagi by Cristoforo Buondelmonti (c. 1385after
1430), that is, a literary source depended on a visual one.13 To achieve this,
Fig. Pronet Lamy, View of Constantinople. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Cod. Misc.
Lat. 280, c. 84.
122 Faietti
Susy Marcon, in Gregori, In the Light of Apollo, vol. 1, p. 143, no. I.14; Scott Redford, in
Byzantium Faith and Power (12611557), exh. cat., ed. Helen C. Evans. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2004, pp. 400401, cat. no. 246; Kathleen Doyle, in Byzantium 3301453,
exh. cat., eds. Robin Cormack and Maria Vassilaki. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2009,
p. 380, cat. no. 11. On Cristoforo Buondelmonti, see also Giuseppe Ligato, Cristoforo
Buondelmonti e la Colonna di Teodosio I a Costantinopoli: retaggi medievali e curiosit
antiquarie della prima et umanistica, in Oriente e Occidente nel Rinascimento: Atti del
XIX Convegno Internazionale (Chianciano TermePienza 1619 luglio 2007), ed. Luisa
Secchi Tarugi. Florence: Franco Cesati, 2009, pp. 177192.
14 Stefano G. Casu, Travels in Greece in the Age of Humanism. Cristoforo Buondelmonti
and Cyriacus of Ancona, in Gregori, In the Light of Apollo, p. 142; Casu, Veluti Caesar
triumphans: Ciriaco dAncona e la statuaria equestre, Paragone 55, no. 3 (2004): 10;
Christine Smith, Cyriacus of Anconas Seven Drawings of Hagia Sophia, The Art Bulletin
69, no. 1 (1987): 29. Vickers opinion is mentioned in passing in Mitchell and Bodnar, Vita
viri clarissimi et famosissimi Kyriaci Anconitani, p. 147 (n. 47). On Ciriaco, see the recent
study by Michail Chatzidakis, Antike Prgung: Ciriaco dAncona und die kulturelle
Verortung Griechenlands, in Fremde in der Stadt: Ordnungen, Reprsentationen und
Soziale Praktiken (1315 Jahrhundert). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2010, pp. 225253,
489497, and Silvia Fiaschi, Inediti di e su Ciriaco dAncona in un codice di Siviglia
(Colombino 7.1.13), Medioevo e Rinascimento, n.s., 22 (2011): 307368, 448449, IIV.
15 Casu, Veluti Caesar triumphans, p. 10, believes that Ciriacos interest in classical statu-
ary was nourished by his admiration for the monument of Theodosius, which he had
occasion to study during his sojourns in Constantinople; Casu refers to a drawing on fol.
144v. of Codex It. 3 attributed to Ciriaco in the University Library, Budapest (specific bib-
liographical references in n. 42 on pp. 3738); see especially Bernhard Degenhart and
Annegrit Schmitt, Corpus der Italienischen Zeichnungen 13001450, part 2: Venedig Jacopo
Bellini, vol. 5 (text). Berlin: Mann, 1990, pp. 211212 and 212, 213 (nn. 34b, 34c). Note
that the same sheet is still used to illustrate the equestrian statue of Justinian drawn
by Nymphirius; see Koray Durak, Constantinople, ralits et utopies mdivales, in
De Byzance Istanbul: Un port pour deux continents, exh. cat., eds. Nazan ler and
Mantegnaagain according to Vickerscould have used a copy drawn after
an original by Ciriaco, even though his depiction of Galata was in no way lit-
eral, since it included two celebrated monuments located in the center of the
great metropolis: Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Apostles, the latter
perhaps recognizable in the structure at the left, crowned by a cupola. Galata,
dominated by its tower and enclosing the outline of Hagia Sophia, also appears
in the background of the Louvre Crucifixion.
Some of the hypotheses advanced by Vickers have been accepted, albeit
in general terms, in recent antiquarian studies, and in particular in those
touching on Ciriaco dAncona.14 Stefano G. Casu maintains the presence of
Theodosiuss monument in the London Agony in the Garden (the iconography
of which could, in fact, allude to the Fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453,
approximately when the painting was executed),15 whereas Christine Smith
123 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
Edhem Eldem. Paris: Runion des muses nationaux, 2009, p. 76, fig.2. Referring specifi-
cally to Alexander, The Illustrated Manuscripts, p. 15, Casu (in Veluti Caesar trium-
phans, p. 10) reaffirms that Ciriacos description of the monument in Constantinople
had a certain success, influencing depictions of Byzantium in the mid-15th century such
as the miniature by Lamy in the Bodleian Library codex mentioned earlier.
16 Smith, Cyriacus of Anconas Seven Drawings, p. 29.
17 De Marchi, in Agosti and Thibaut, Mantegna, p. 159, cat. no. 48.
18 Martin Davies, National Gallery Catalogues: The Earlier Italian Schools, 2nd ed. London:
National Gallery, 1961, pp. 335338, no. 1417. On fol. 37 (inv. R. F. 1505) of the Louvre album,
see Degenhart and Schmitt, Corpus der Italienischen Zeichnungen 13001450, part 2:
Venedig Jacopo Bellini, vol. 6, pp. 357358, plate44.
19 De Marchi, in Agosti and Thibaut, Mantegna, p. 164, cat. no. 51. The derivation from
Flavius Joseph, as well as other sources, was noted earlier in Jack M. Greenstein, Mantegna
and Painting as Historial Narrative. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992, pp. 6670.
20 Keith Christiansen, The Genius of Andrea Mantegna, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bulletin 67, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 2026; from the same author, see also Some Thoughts on
affirms the presence of Hagia Sophia in the version in Tours.16 In the catalogue
of the 2008 Mantegna exhibition in Paris, Andrea De Marchi also dwells on the
city in the London Agony in the Garden, observing how the wallscollapsed
and then restoredallude to the future ruin of Jerusalem, a theme that had
become widespread thanks to the successful reception of Flavius Josephuss
Antiquitates Judaicae.17
De Marchi argues that this was the first allantica urban fantasy after
Mantegnas depiction of the city dominating the background of the lost
Martyrdom of Saint James in the Ovetari Chapel (Eremitani church, Padua),
thus following the opinion of Martin Davies in the catalogue of Italian paint-
ings in the National Gallery (1961), where the latter refers to fanciful struc-
tures. De Marchi also reaffirms other suggestions made by Davies, namely that
the equestrian monument placed at the top of a spirally historiated column
(which Vickers saw an evocation of the column of Theodosius) was intended
as a tribute to Donatellos Gattamelata monument, completed in 1453; he also
demonstrates its resemblance to the equestrian statue erected on a column in
the Crucifixion drawn by Jacopo Bellini on folio 37 recto of the album now in
the Louvre.18 According to De Marchi, the Jerusalem depicted in the Tours
Agony in the Garden was also reinvented on the basis of the erudite topography
of the Antiquitates Judaicae, and he sees no grounds for concurring with
Vickers iconography of Constantinople in the London and Tours pictures,
preferring to focus exclusively on the literary source of Flavius Josephus.19
Most recently, Keith Christiansen creates a veritable kphrasis of different
texts he believes could have been brought to Mantegnas attention by his
patron Gregorio Correr for the Tours predella.20 Once again Flavius Josephuss
124 Faietti
Mantegnas Place in the Renaissance, in Il pi dolce lavorare che sia: Mlanges en lhonneur
de Mauro Natale, eds. Frdric Elsig, Nomie Etienne and Grgoire Extermann. Cinisello
Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2009, pp. 343349.
21 See Christiansen, The Genius, pp. 24, 26, and Christiansen, Some Thoughts on
Mantegna, pp. 343349. For the passages in Book V that are likely to have inspired
Mantegna, see Delle opere di Giuseppe Flavio dalloriginal testo greco nuovamente tradotte
in lingua italiana e illustrate con note dallabate Francesco Angiolini Piacentino, Tomo Sesto.
Rome: Pel Desiderj a S. Antonio dePortoghesi, 1792, book 5, chapter 4, pp. 134140
(Descrizione di Gerusalemme); book 5, chapter 5, pp. 140149 (Descrizione del
Tempio).
22 A recent entry on this album (inv. 1855, 811, 198), including a summary of literature, is by
Hugo Chapman, in Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings, exh. cat., eds.
Hugo Chapman and Marzia Faietti. London: British Museum Press, 2010, pp. 122129,
cat. no. 16.
23 Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, Bibl.-Sign. Cod. icon. 172; for an entry on the draw-
ing, with bibliographical notes, see Sylvaine Haensel, Orte der Sehnsucht: Mit Knstlern
auf Reisen, exh. cat., ed. Hermann Arnhold, Mnster. Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2008,
p. 199, cat. no. 147.
Jewish War stands at the forefront of the argument, particularly Book V, cited in
relation to certain elements of landscape, including the three circles of walls
punctuated by solid, square towers, the upper fortress, the temple, and the
fountain of Siloam.21
I agree with the view that Flavius Josephuss text was a source of inspiration
for the description of Jerusalem in the Agony in the Garden in Tours, which in
my opinion extends to the Crucifixion in Paris, itself a part of the predella of
the San Zeno altarpiece. Yet I would not give credit to all of Vickers references
to Constantinople: more precisely, as I will show, I reject almost every one of
those propose for the Agony in the Garden in London and limit those in the
subsequent version in Tours, where the arguments for the depiction of Galata
(identified, again without a secure basis, in the Crucifixion in the Louvre) are
particularly weak. However, I would confirm the presence in the Tours Agony
in the Garden of a monument that stands as a symbol of Constantinople: Hagia
Sophia, as illuminated by Lamy and used quite faithfully by Mantegna, apart
from some variants such as the small columns added to the sides of the great
windows. Indeed, in this case, I believe that it is precisely the presence of the
great basilica that lends a special meaning to the crescents.
It could be argued that it is not uncommon to find crescents in depictions of
Jerusalem: suffice it to think of how it is described in the album of drawings by
Jacopo Bellini in the British Museum22 or in the pen-and-ink map by Sebald
Rieter the Younger,23 just to cite two examplesboth fairly significant ones,
125 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
24 Note that Athens and Florence also have crescents in the celebrated Cronaca Fiorentina
figurata attributed to followers of Maso Finiguerra and dated to the 1470s (see fol. 19 and
fols. 9798 respectively); this volume has recently been discussed by Hugo Chapman, in
Chapman and Faietti, Fra Angelico to Leonardo, pp. 166171, no. 34.
25 The Agony in the Garden in London is generally considered to precede the version in the
San Zeno predella by a few years. See Alberta De Nicol Salmazo, Andrea Mantegna.
Geneva: Rizzoli/Skira, 2004, pp. 136, 138; Andrea De Marchi in Agosti and Thibaut,
Mantegna, pp. 158159, cat nos. 48 and 164, cat. no. 51; Le Leyzour, Mantegna: La prdelle
de San Zeno de Vrone. However, see Foister and Penny, Drer to Veronese, p. 292, no. 30,
for its dating to c. 1460.
26 According to Vickers, Mantegna and Constantinople, pp. 684, 687, references to
Constantinople are also evident in the sixth canvas of the Triumphs of Caesar cycle at
Hampton Court, where the background includes a column surmounted by an equestrian
statue with a rider who is beardless, as Theodosius and Justinian were (in reality, we
know that this was the equestrian statue of Justinian). On the Triumphs, see most recently
Caroline Elam, Les Triomphes de Mantegna: la forme et la vie, in Agosti and Thibaut,
Mantegna, pp. 363371 (she is also the author of an entry on the fourth canvas in the cycle,
pp. 380382, cat. no. 160); Paola Tosetti Grandi, I Trionfi di Cesare di Andrea Mantegna:
Fonti umanistiche e cultura antiquaria alla corte dei Gonzaga. Mantua: Sometti, 2008; and
given Mantegnas connection to the Bellini family and the contiguous date of
Rieters map to the Agony in the Garden in London and Tours.24 These two
paintings may be considered products of the 1450s,25 either contemporaneous
with or immediately after the Fall of Constantinople, a historical event that
was to have an enormous resonance in the West, and to which a cultivated and
sensitive artist such as Mantegna would not have been unresponsive. The
recurrence of crescents in his paintings of the 1450snote also the one placed
on the bell tower in the background of the Martyrdom of Saint Christopher in
the Ovetari Chapelcan be explained in this context as well. However, it is
only in the Tours Agony in the Garden that we witness a further step, both logi-
cal and interpretative: here the symbol of the crescent alludes not only to a
historical event. In conjunction with the image of the church of Saint Sophia,
it also becomes a proper identifying element of a cityscape.
Other clues tied to the Paduan cultural context that shaped Mantegna have
led me to approve Vickers connection with models provided directly or indi-
rectly by Ciriaco dAncona and other antiquarians such as Pietro Donato, who
collected inscriptions and corresponded with Ciriaco. Again, of all the parallels
made by Vickers I accept only Hagia Sophia in the Tours Agony in the Garden,
and perhapswith some reservationsthe equestrian monument of
Theodosius in the London version, where the image was probably created in
combination with another visual source that had an integral view of the col-
umn, such as Buondelmontis Liber Insularum Archipelagi (Fig.5).26 Following
126 Faietti
the thread that connects Pietro Donato and Ciriacoand consequently
between Ciriaco and the Paduan milieu in which Mantegna developedmen-
tion must be made of a coincidence that can hardly be fortuitous, namely
that the Oxford manuscript, quoted several times with regard to Lamys illumi-
nation, contains an autograph transcription by Ciriaco of the De septem mundi
Paola Tosetti Grandi, Andrea Mantegna pittore umanista, Grafica darte 20, no. 78
(2009): 1417.
Fig. Cristoforo Buondelmonti, Liber Insularum Archipelagi. Venice, biblioteca
nazionale marciana, cod. lat. x, 123 (=3784), fol. 22 r.
127 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
27 Holgate, Paduan culture in Venetian care, pp. 123.
28 Bodnar, Cyriac of Ancona, pp. xiii, 358364.
29 See Phyllis Williams Lehmann, The Sources and Meaning of Mantegnas Parnassus,
inSamothracian Reflections, eds. Phyllis Williams Lehmann and Karl Lehmann. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1973, pp. 108110; Lehmann notes that Padua was also the
residence of Ludovico Mezzarota (the doctor of Ciriacos old friend Eugenius IV), who
subsequently led the papal troops in the struggle against the Turks, and who later became
cardinal.
30 Williams Lehmann, The Sources and Meaning, pp. 57178. Such motifs have generally
been accepted; see, most recently, Chiara Pidatella and Giovanni Romano, in Agosti and
Thibaut, Mantegna, pp. 332333, cat. no. 137.
31 See Marzia Faietti, Gorgneion mantovano, Artibus et historiae 61, no. 31 (2010): 2742,
in which I treat these aspects of the question and discuss a similar Medusean self-portrait,
inv. 1447 E in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi.
spectaculis by the Pseudo-Nazianzenus.27 During his travels through cities of
northern Italy in 1443, Ciriaco had the occasion to sojourn in Padua, where he
spent time with his friend Donato and became aware of the latest artistic events
there. It is more than likely that at this point he developed a special interest in
Donatello, an artist who was also to become a milestone in the evolution of the
young Mantegna. Moreover, during a second Paduan sojourn immediately fol-
lowing a visit to Ravenna, documented in two letters sent from that city to
Roberto Valturio in June 1449, Ciriaco composed an epigraph intended for the
base of Donatellos Gattamelata.28 Pietro Donato died the year before the young
painter began to work in the Eremitani Chapel, but his collection of inscriptions
and the letters and sketches he had received from Ciriaco, as well as the copies
he himself had made after the drawings and transcriptions of his antiquarian
friend, probably passed into the hands of one of the many erudite individuals,
passionate antiquarians, and collectors of which Padua could boast.29
This would explain the presence of passages drawn from Ciriaco dAncona
in Mantegnas works from different periods, exemplified by the motifs pointed
out by Phyllis Williams Lehmann in the Parnassus painted for the Studiolo of
Isabella dEste in the Ducal Palace in Mantua, an illuminating example of how
the Paduan painter elaborated on his sources.30 In addition, I would argue, a
drawing by Ciriaco may have had a mediating function in the depiction of the
Medusa, a feature to which Mantegna paid particular attention: it appears in
a number of his works, including the shield supported by a soldier at the
Martyrdom of Saint James in the Ovetari frescoes; on a sheet in the Uffizi where
Andrea portrayed himself as Medusa; and in the Julius Caesar on his Triumphal
Chariot from the late canvases with the Triumphs of Caesar (now at Hampton
Court).31 The head of Medusa placed on various architectural structures in
128 Faietti
32 Bernard Ashmole, Cyriac of Ancona and the Temple of Hadrian at Cyzicus, Journal of
the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 19 (1956): 179191; Edward W. Bodnar and Charles
Mitchell, Cyriacus of Anconas Journeys in the Propontis and the Northern Aegean 1444
1445. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1976, pp. 2731, fig. 3; pp. 3741,
fig. 14; and Phyllis Williams Lehmann, Cyriacus of Anconas Visit to Samothrace, in
Phyllis Williams Lehmann and Karl Lehmann, Samothracian Reflections, esp. 4755,
figs.29 and 31.
33 Verona, Biblioteca Civica, Ms. 374; see Agostino Cont, in Marinelli and Marini, Mantegna
e le Arti, pp. 458459, cat. no. 190, including a summary of the literature on the
manuscript.
34 Giovanni Marcanova, Ludovico Trevisan, Bartolomeo Sanvito, Biagio Saraceno, and
Felice Felicianoto cite only the principal figureswere at the heart of various aspects
of antiquarian collecting, including coins, Latin inscriptions, bronzes, and perhaps even
gems. The recent Mantegna exhibitions held in Padua, Mantua, Verona, and Paris empha-
sized the connections Mantegna had with these figures, with accompanying catalogues
that provide new scholarship, to which I refer the reader: Davide Banzato, Alberta De
Nicol Salmazo, and Anna Maria Spiazzi, eds., Mantegna e Padova 14451460, exh. cat.,
Padua. Milan: Electa, 2006; Mauro Lucco, ed., Mantegna a Mantova 14601506, exh. cat.,
Mantua. Milan: Electa, 2006; Marinelli and Marini, Mantegna e le Arti; and Agosti and
Thibaut, Mantegna. In addition, see the bibliographical references in the notes to my
essay Lalfabeto degli artisti, in Linea I: Grafie di immagini tra Quattrocento e Cinquecento,
eds. Marzia Faietti and Gerhard Wolf. Venice: Marsilio, 2008, esp. 227234, as well as the
published proceedings from a symposium held in Rome in 2007: Teresa Calvano, Claudia
Cieri Via, and Leandro Ventura, eds., Mantegna e Roma: Lartista davanti allantico. Rome:
Bulzoni, 2010, and Irene Favaretto, Andrea Mantegna e lantico 1: Cultura antiquaria e
tradizione umanistica a Padova nel Quattrocento, in Andrea Mantegna impronta del
genio, vol. 1, eds. Signorini et al., pp. 4552; and Bodon, Andrea Mantegna e lantico 2,
pp.5371.
classical Greece inspired Ciriaco on a number of occasions, and he cited the
enormous head on the wall of Hadrians Temple at Cyzicus and the bronze
head seen near the fortress at Samothrace.32 It can hardly be fortuitous, then,
that a winged gorgon is placed as an ornament on a classical-style aedicule on
the initial page of Petrarchs Trionfi, Canzone alla Vergine; Vergine bella di
crudelt nemica, copied in about 1460 by Felice Feliciano,33 a remarkable anti-
quarian in Verona who was connected with Ciriaco and part of the circle of
epigraphists, antiquarians, humanists and copyists with whom Mantegna had
such close ties.34
Bearing in mind the analysis above, at least two of the conclusions reached
by Vickers remain valid: the relationship between Mantegna and Ciriaco,
thanks in part to the mediation of Pietro Donato (apart from the much better-
known link with Feliciano), and the reference to the presence of the Ottomans
in Constantinople after its fall. In the concluding section of his essay, indebted
129 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
35 Vickers, Mantegna and Constantinople, p. 687; and see Philip Sherrard, Constantinople,
Iconography of a Sacred City. London: Oxford University Press, 1965, esp. 79110. The lit-
erature on the links between the Veneto (and Venice in particular), Constantinople, and
the Orient is substantial; here are some of the most recent relevant exhibition cata-
logues: Evans, Byzantium; Caroline Campbell and Alan Chong, eds., Bellini and the East,
exh. cat. London: National Gallery, 2005; Stefano Carboni, ed., Venise et lOrient 8281797,
exh. cat. Paris: Gallimard, 2006; and ler and Eldem, De Byzance Istanbul.
36 See Tosetti Grandi, I Trionfi di Cesare di Andrea Mantegna, pp. 91108, which also includes
a summary of the essential literature; and Tosetti Grandi, Andrea Mantegna, pp. 1417.
See also Christine Smith, Architecture in the Culture of Early Humanism: Ethics, Aesthetics,
and Eloquence 14001470. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 150170 and 199215
(appendix with English translation), and Manuel Chrysoloras, Roma parte del cielo:
Confronto tra lAntica e la Nuova Roma, trans. and ed. Guido Cortassa. Turin: Utet, 2000.
37 For the Italian translation of the passage regarding the church in Constantinople, see
Roma parte del cielo, p. 92 (n. 52).
especially to Philip Sherrards study of the historic identification of Con-
stantinople as the new Jerusalem, Vickers underlines how Mantegna could
easily have known about all this: [Sherrard] has indicated how the object of
the Byzantines was to build the eschatological city of the New Jerusalem upon
the imperial-political (and pagan) basis of the New Rome, and in view of the
traditionally close contacts between the Veneto and Constantinople, it is easy
to see how Mantegna came to be aware of this.35 One must wonder whether
Mantegna, while absorbing certain cultural and iconographic references, did
not also form a personal opinion about the identification of Constantinople as
the new Jerusalem, as fostered in Byzantine culturethis would have been
the insightful opinion of an antiquarian artist who was certainly learned
enough to frequent the right people, yet was also independent enough not to
submit to their requests or involvements.
It can be further proposed that his interest in Constantinople and his con-
ception of an ideal Jerusalemcombining references to Rome (the Torre delle
Milizie) or Constantinople (Hagia Sofia), or perhaps both cities (if the Agony in
the Garden in London truly juxtaposes the Torre delle Milizie with the eques-
trian monument to Theodosius)was also tied to the circulation of the
Synkrisis, also known as the Elogio delle due citt, composed by Manuel
Chrysoloras in epistolary form in 1411 in Rome. The Byzantine humanists text
describes the vestiges and splendors of the Eternal City as a prelude to the
greatness and the monuments of Constantinople, daughter of Rome,36 and he
reserves words of boundless admiration for the church of Hagia Sophia;37 the
Elogio was dedicated to the basileus Manuel II Paleologos and given, as a
sign of fondness, to his pupil Guarino Veronese. A year after Mehmed II had
130 Faietti
38 Tosetti Grandi, I Trionfi di Cesare di Andrea Mantegna, p. 101.
39 On this much-studied topic, see, most recently, Milena Ricci, Con Mantegna alla ricerca
del Locus Amoenus: la Jubilatio al Garda, Civilt Mantovana 41, no. 122 (2006): 88103;
Paola Tosetti Grandi, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Marcanova e Felice Feliciano,
inAndrea Mantegna impronta del genio, vol. 1, eds. Signorini et al., pp. 302308.
40 Marcanova had taught in Padua before moving in 1452 to Bologna, where he settled, until
his death in 1467, dividing his fertile activity among teaching natural philosophy at the
university, practicing medicine, and pursuing his scholarly and antiquarian interests. On
Marcanova, see Elisabetta Barile, Alle origini della formazione del gusto antiquario
padovano e della riscoperta delle capitali epigrafiche classiche, in Cittadini veneziani del
Quattrocento: i due Giovanni Marcanova, il mercante e lumanista, eds. Elisabetta Barile,
Paula C. Clarke, and Giorgia Nordio. Venice: Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti,
2006, pp. 208214, including a summary of the literature; Rosemary Trippe, Art of
Memory: Recollecting Rome in Giovanni Marcanovas Collectio antiquitatum, Art
History 33, no. 5 (2010): 766799; and Raimondo Sassi, Percorsi lineari e peregrinatio
archeologica: i Quaedam antiquitatum fragmenta di Giovanni Marcanova, in Linea II:
Giochi, metamorfosi, seduzioni della linea, eds. Marzia Faietti and Gerhard Wolf. Florence:
Giunti Editore, 2012. The literature on Mantegnas relations with Marcanova and Feliciano
has recently been summarized in Paola Tosetti Grandi and Rodolfo Signorini, Nuova
luce sulla vita di Andrea Mantegna: Dal convegno internazionale Andrea Mantegna.
Impronta di un genio (Padova-Verona-Mantova) sono emerse alcune curiosit archivi-
stiche, che proponiamo ai lettori, Padova e il suo territorio 22, no. 126 (2007): 911, esp. n. 1;
conquered Constantinople, when the epistle by Chrysoloras became acutely
topical, the Veronese scholar Francesco Aleardi decided to translate it into
Latin. Paola Tosetti Grandi has convincingly argued that Mantegna was aware
of the Elogio while still in Padua, as result of his friendship with Nofri Strozzi,
to whom Aleardi had sent two copies of the Latin version, and through
the contact between Aleardi and the sons of Guarino, as well as Mantegnas
own connection with Battista Guarini.38 It is no accident that Lamys minia-
ture, known to Mantegna at least since the time he was working on the San
Zeno altarpiece, contains the inscription URBS CONSTANTINOPOLITANA
NOVA ROMA.
Mantegna never traveled to Constantinople, but some years after he painted
the two versions of the Agony in the Garden, and at that time working in
Mantua, he undertook a journey as brief as it was famousthe archaeological
excursion to Lake Garda in 1464 in the company of Feliciano, Samuele da
Tradate (a painter at the Gonzaga court), and a certain Giovanni Antenoreo,
whose identity has shifted between the Gonzaga military architect Giovanni
da Padova and Giovanni Marcanova39 (in my opinion the more probable
candidate is the latter, a renowned philosopher, doctor, scholar, antiquarian,
and collector).40 The protagonists of this venture connect in different ways to
131 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
and in Tosetti Grandi, Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Marcanova e Felice Feliciano,
pp.273361.
41 Rino Avesani, Felicianerie, in Lantiquario Felice Feliciano veronese tra epigrafia antica,
letteratura e arti del libro, Atti del Convegno di Studi Verona, 34 giugno 1993, eds. Agostino
Cont and Leonardo Quaquarelli. Padua: Antenore, 1995, pp. 325. On Feliciano, see Gino
Castiglioni, Prima Rinascenza: gli anni di Mantegna, in La parola illuminata: Per una
storia della miniatura a Verona e a Vicenza tra Medioevo e Et Romantica, ed. Gino
Castiglioni. Verona: Fondazione Cariverona, 2011, pp. 150158.
42 Drawings by Cristoforo Buondelmonti, Ciriaco dAncona, and Felice Feliciano were
included in Gregori, In the Light of Apollo, vol. 1, pp. 143146: on Buondelmonti, see espe-
cially entry no. I.14 by Susy Marcon (p. 143) on the Liber Insularum Archipelagi in the
Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice, and entry no. I.15 by Stefano G. Casu (pp. 143144)
on the Collectanea epigrafica in the Deutsche Staatsbibliotek, Berlin; on Ciriaco, see entry
no. I.16ab by Stefano G. Casu (p. 145) on the Commentaria in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana,
Milan and entry no. I.17ab by Stefano G. Casu (pp. 145146) on the antiquarian codex
derived from Ciriaco in the Biblioteca Laurenziana, Florence; and on Feliciano, see entry
no. I.18, by Stefano G. Casu (p. 146) on the antiquarian codex in the Biblioteca Capitolare
di Treviso, codex 1:138. More generally on Buondelmonti and other Florentine travelers
in the Levant from the 14th century onward, see Helke Kammerer-Grothaus, Zur
Italienischen Levante- und TroasreisenFlorenz als Bildungslandschaft, Studia Troica
15 (2005): 247267.
43 Evelyn Karet, Stefano da Verona, Felice Feliciano and the First Renaissance Collection of
Drawings, Arte Lombarda 124, no. 3 (1998): 3151; Evelyn Karet, The Drawings of Stefano
da Verona and His Circle and the Origins of Collecting in Italy: A Catalogue Raisonn.
Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2002, pp. 3031.
44 See note 7 above.
Ciriaco, and first among them was Feliciano, scriptor (or scribe, as he is defined
in his will of 1466), magister in arte minii (master of illumination, as in a
Bolognese document of 1467), and antiquarius, the epithet both he and his
contemporaries used to describe him. He counted among his correspondents
artists, magistrates, notaries, merchants, courtiers, almost always foreign or
marginal to the world of letters and to a great extent not prominent, if one
excludes painters such as Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, and Marco Zoppo, or
sculptors such as Cristoforo di Geremia.41 Feliciano, who must have known
and appreciated the drawings of Ciriaco42 and was in his own right a collector
of drawings,43 transcribed the sole surviving account of Ciriacos life, written
by Francesco Scalamonti,44 preparing every aspect of it, from the physical
writing of the text to its rich decoration and splendid binding; but Samuele
da Tradate was the one who commissioned it. The codex contains a letter
addressed to Feliciano on October 5, 1457, by the Venetian cartographer
Antonio Leonardi, which offers some striking references to the circulation of
132 Faietti
Ciriacos opuscula that link back to the thread connecting him to Feliciano.45
Moreover, Leonardi was the recipient of a gift from his close friend Cardinal
Francesco Piccolomini, the Fragmentum cosmographiae sive historiae rerum
ubique gestarum by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini. This connection is revealed by
a note appended to folio 82 recto of the codex in the Biblioteca Marciana, the
first part of which contains Cristoforo Buondelmontis Liber Insularum Mari
Aegeai, with folio 22 recto bearing the view of Constantinople mentioned
above.
It is to Feliciano that we owe the description in Latin of the archaeological
excursion to Lake Garda (Iubilatio).46 The paradigm for Felicianos narrative
has been identified in a letter describing the story of a journey at sea and sent
by Ciriaco to Andreolo Giustiniani.47 Ciriacos Itinerarium was probably the
source of the iunctura inserted by Feliciano before the first part of his Memoratu
digna and also used by him in his dedicatory letter to Mantegna. It has been
said that this text by Feliciano is not an entirely accurate account but more of
a literary narrative; and whether or not the Lake Garda excursion took place
(indeed some have doubted it),48 one should note the entertaining tone of the
45 For the text of this letter see Mitchell and Bodnar, Vita viri clarissimi et famosissimi Kyriaci
Anconitani, pp. 196198, Appendix IV.
46 It is known in two versions, which differ as to the excursions duration (it is thought to
have taken place either on September 24, 1464 or on September 23 and 24) and its partici-
pants. A bibliography of the various transcriptions published in the 20th century can be
found in Myriam Billanovich, Intorno alla Iubilatio di Felice Feliciano, Italia medio-
evale e umanistica 32 (1989): 351 (n. 1). See also the oft-cited transcription made early in
the 20th century by Paul Kristeller, Andrea Mantegna. New York: Longmans, Green, 1901,
pp. 472473, no. 15, as well as that by Charles Mitchell, Archaeology and Romance in
Renaissance Italy, in Italian Renaissance Studies: A Tribute to the Late Cecilia M. Ady, ed.
Ernest Fraser Jacob. London: Faber and Faber, 1960, p. 477. Billanovich also transcribed
the Memoratu digna (pp. 351352 [n. 3]), which in Treviso codex 1 corresponds to the
first day, while the Iubilatio describes the second.
47 Mitchell, Archaeology and Romance, pp. 476477; Avesani, Felicianerie, pp. 1112;
Marcello Ciccuto, Album di Ciriaco dAncona, in Figure dartista: La nascita delle immag-
ini alle origini della letteratura. Fiesole: Cadmo, 2002, pp. 188189. For linguistic citations
from Ciriaco, see Billanovich, Intorno alla Iubilatio, pp. 356357 (n. 25). See also Carlo
Roberto Chiarlo, Gli fragmenti dilla sancta antiquitate: studi antiquari e produzione
delle immagini da Ciriaco dAncona a Francesco Colonna, in Memoria dellantico nellarte
italiana, vol. 1, ed. Salvatore Settis. Turin: Einaudi, 1984: pp. 281282, in which Chiarlo
adds two further comparisons with Ciriacos text from the same codex in Treviso, present
in Scalamontis biography, in a passage regarding Ciriacos visit to Cyprus, and in Ciriacos
text entitled Venatio actiaca regia, respectively.
48 Billanovich, Intorno alla Iubilatio, pp. 351358; see also Patricia Fortini Brown, Venice
and Antiquity: The Venetian Sense of the Past. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996, p. 121.
133 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
49 Billanovich, Intorno alla Iubilatio, pp. 351358; and Avesani, Felicianerie, pp. 1516.
50 The phrase is by Giovanni Romano, Verso la maniera moderna: da Mantegna a Raffaello,
in Dal Cinquecento allOttocento: I. Cinquecento e Seicento. Turin: Einaudi, 1981, p. 11.
51 Mitchell, Archaeology and Romance, p. 478.
52 On the falsity of the Donation of Constantine and Lorenzo Valla, see The Treatise of
Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine, trans. and ed. C.B. Coleman. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press and RSA, 1993.
53 Tosetti Grandi, I Trionfi di Cesare di Andrea Mantegna, p. 100, with a summary of the lit-
erature in note 180.
narration and the peculiarity of the language, which is not really antique and
certainly does not correspond to the elegantia maiorum.49 This messa in
scena antichizzante (affectation of antiquity)50 almost symbolically embod-
ies an antiquarian reappropriation of the past that consumes itself in its search
for a lifestyle masquerading allantica. Antiquity was becoming an ideal of life,
rather than an object of inquiry, as Charles Mitchell has argued, noting the
difference between Ciriaco on the one hand, and Feliciano and his compan-
ions on the other.51
In Mantegnas time, philology had made giant steps, while the temporal
power of the pope was under attack. In 1440, Lorenzo Valla struck a mighty
blow with his demonstration that the Constitutum Constantini (Donation of
Constantine), purportedly justifying the papacys claims to temporal rule, was
false, shortly after the philosopher Nicholas of Cusa expressed his doubts
about the document. Valla, in his De falso credita et ementita Constantini dona-
tione declamatio (published in 1517), used historical and linguistic scholarship
to demonstrate his thesis. Among the errors made, for example, by the forger,
who according to Valla lived in the eighth century, was the mention of the city
of Constantinople, which had not yet been foundedjust one of many major
mistakes that Valla discovered in the text. While the use of philology assisted
Valla in properly arguing his thesis, the field experience of antiquarians and
archaeologists such as Buondelmonti and Ciriaco provided objective data
about the awareness of place.52
Closer still in time to when Mantegna is thought to have made his excursion
to Lake Garda, Pius II Piccolomini convened the Council of Mantua (May 27,
1459January 19, 1460), hoping to unify a Christian Europe around the idea of a
crusade against the Ottomans. Among those who promptly adhered to the
popes intentions, Duke Ludovico II Gonzaga showed that the Eastern ques-
tion was particularly close to his heart; he felt that he was involved in
Paleologan vicissitudes through family ties and traditions, and, unsurprisingly,
wished to present his own city and court as ideal heirs of Byzantium and the
imperial court.53
134 Faietti
54 I have drawn this information mainly from Roger Aubenas and Robert Ricard, La Chiesa e
il Rinascimento (14491517), Italian ed. by Carlo Dolza. Turin: S.I.A.E., 1963, esp. 6972.
55 La regina dellOriente ha assistito impotente tra le sue mura al massacro del successore
di Costantino e del suo popolo e alla profanazione dei templi del Signore; ha visto coster-
nata lo splendido monumento innalzato da Giustiniano contaminato dal culto abomi-
nevole di Maometto; as quoted in Aubenas and Ricard, La Chiesa e il Rinascimento,
p. 71.
56 Foschi, in Santa Sofia di Costantinopoli, p. 7, begins her study on Hagia Sophia with
these two descriptions, which she considers among the most elevated and resonant of
those condemning and lamenting the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. For the text of these
two letters, and a third addressed to Leonardo Benvoglienti, Sienese ambassador to
Venice, on September 25 of the same year, see Agostino Pertusi, ed., La caduta di
Costantinopoli: Leco nel mondo. Verona: Arnoldo Mondadori, 1976, pp. 4076, 434437.
57 Foschi, Santa Sofia di Costantinopoli, pp. 1718, esp. 32 (nn. 5556).
58 Delle opere di Giuseppe Flavio, book 6, chapter 4, pp. 209214.
In reality, the convocation was a spectacular failure from the start.54
The words expressed by Pius II at the first session of the Council on September
26, 1459, unheeded as they were, sound therefore that much more pained: The
Queen of the Orient has witnessed powerless the massacre within her walls of
the successor of Constantine and of her people, and the profanation of the
temples of the Lord; dismayed, she has seen the splendid monument erected by
Justinian contaminated by the abominable cult of Mohammed.55 Similar
anguished statements were expressed by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, not yet
elected pope, in two letters of July 12 and 21, 1453, addressed respectively to
Nicholas V and Nicholas of Cusa, in which he lamented the destruction wrought
upon the Megal Ekklesa (i.e., Hagia Sophia, the Great Church).56 The profa-
nation must have seemed even more painful and reprehensible in light of the
splendor of Constantinoples magnificent edifice, in the achievement of which
Justinian appeared to have outdone Solomon, at least according to an old tradi-
tion that still resonated in a speech before the Venetian Senate on November 4,
1523 by Pietro Zeno, ambassador to the Ottomans.57
This brings us back to the Agony in the Garden in Tours, suggesting
a further interpretative nexus between literary and visual sources: the Tem-
ple of Solomon, carefully described by Flavius Josephus in the passage to
which Mantegna referred for his illustration of Jerusalem, must have been
intentionally replaced by the artist with Lamys image of Hagia Sophia. The
reason for this substitution lay precisely in the dramatically up-to-date profa-
nation of that Christian temple, which had inherited and maybe even sur-
passed the size of Solomons sacred structure. What is more, the latter had
suffered a fate no less dire during Tituss siege of Jerusalem.58 The evocation of
135 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
59 As indirect confirmation of the reading proposed here for Mantegnas Agony in the
Garden, see the following (kindly brought to my attention by Dario Donetti): Stefano
Miccolis, Larco di Costantino e i Turchi nella pittura italiana del Quattrocento, Belfagor
3 (1998): 277296, in which the sources for the iconographic fortune of the Arch of
Constantine were already conceptualized by the 1450s as an architectural metaphor for
the martyrdom of Constantinople.
60 Nello Forti Grazzini, in Gli arazzi dei Gonzaga nel Rinascimento, exh. cat., eds. Guy
Delmarcel and Clifford M. Brown, Mantua. Geneva: Skira, 2010, pp. 3645, cat. no. 1. I will
not go deeply into this matter, which has become particularly muddled, since, for exam-
ple, the details of landscape and setting appear to be more clearly Mantegnesque than the
figures, so much so as to imply that different cartoons might have been used, which
would necessitate a reconsideration of its chronology.
Jerusalem by Mantegna, therefore, reveals a topical reading nourished by a
refined culture of the historical past.59
The connection between the Temple of Solomon and Hagia Sophia is illus-
trated by the tapestry of the Annunciation (now in the Art Institute of Chicago),
which has been given a variety of proposed datings and attributions; most
recently it has been dated to 14701471 or shortly thereafter, at the time of
Duke Ludovico II Gonzaga, and is believed to have been woven by a Mantuan
workshop, copied from a cartoon from the circle of Mantegna datable to about
14691470, in some way prompted by Mantegna himself (Fig. 6).60 Forti
Grazzini has recently associated the architecture of the Temple of Solomon at
Fig. North Italian artist (c. 14841519), Annunciation. chicago, the art institute.
136 Faietti
61 Forti Grazzini, in Delmarcel and Brown, Gli arazzi dei Gonzaga, p. 42.
62 Rodolfo Signorini, Opus hoc tenue: La camera dipinta di Andrea Mantegna: Lettura storica
iconografica iconologica. Mantua: Giovetti Fotografia e Comunicazioni Visive, 1985,
pp. 143170, with a discussion of earlier literature and various hypotheses. Christiansen,
The Genius, pp. 28, 30, does not mention this reference, but maintains that the land-
scape includes a fantastic image of Mantua on the summit of a hill and enriched by
Roman ruins, villas, and quarries.
63 Rodolfo Signorini, Il trionfo del pavone: Lanima greca della Camera Dipinta, in A casa di
Andrea Mantegna: Cultura artistica a Mantova nel Quattrocento, ed. Rodolfo Signorini.
Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2006, p. 113, and Michele Cordaro, La Camera degli Sposi di
Andrea Mantegna, 2nd ed. Milan: Electa, 2007, p. 19. On the frescoes in general, see also
Rodolfo Signorini, La Camera Dipinta detta Degli Sposi, in Il Palazzo Ducale di
Mantova, ed. Giuliana Algeri. Mantua: Sometti, 2003, pp. 117136; Katharina Lauinger,
Italienische Deckenmalerei: Die Ausgestaltung der Camera degli Sposi. Hamburg: Loges,
2011; and Giovanni Reale, Vittorio Sgarbi, and Rodolfo Signorini, Andrea Mantegna: Gli
sposi eterni nella Camera Dipinta. Milan: Bompiani, 2011.
64 Signorini, Opus hoc tenue, pp. 152170.
the left side of the Annunciation with that of the architecture depicted in the
Agony in the Garden in Tours, which he believes are both freely inspired by the
cupola conceived by Leon Battista Alberti for the Tempio Malatestiano in
Rimini, documented in the well-known medal made by Matteo de Pasti in
1451.61 Yet it seems to me that despite such an Albertian updating, the tapestry
could still reflect the Hagia Sophia as illustrated in Lamys miniature, which
was probably introduced into Mantua through Mantegna, after which it
became a point of reference for the depiction of Solomons Temple.
With respect to the Council of Mantua, it must be recalled that it was
Mantegna himselfthe Gonzaga courts artistwho was entrusted some
years later with expressing homage to one of the councils indisputable pro-
tagonists, Pius II Piccolomini. I allude here to the episode of the so-called
Incontro (The Meeting) in the Camera degli Sposi, most likely intended to
illustrate the meeting at Bozzolo on January 1, 1462 between Ludovico Gonzaga,
bound for Milan, and his sons Federico and Francesco,62 as a sign of his grati-
tude toward Pius II. The reasons for this thanksgiving were twofold: the pontiff
had been behind the nomination of Francesco Gonzaga as cardinal, and he
had chosen Mantua as the venue for the council of Christian princes of
Europe.63 Once again the representation of the landscape background became
the favored place for allusions and praise: in fact, the artist depicted an ideal
view of Rome, together with Tivoli, Palestrina, and Tusculum, the cities in the
region of Lazio described by the geographer Strabo that had been the theater
of conflict between Pius II and the Roman barons during the summer of 1461.64
137 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
65 Fritz Saxl, Lantichit classica in Jacopo Bellini e nel Mantegna (1935), in La storia delle
immagini. Bari: Laterza, 1965, p. 63.
66 Mantegna as an engraver (in a direct sense) has in recent years been the subject of a lively
debate that has aimed to define the limits of his activity. More prudent considerations
were expressed in the catalogue of the Paris exhibition by Agosti and Thibaut, Mantegna,
pp. 237289, with entries by various authors on Mantegnas prints. Among those who still
deny Mantegnas direct involvement in printmaking see Suzanne Boorsch, Mantegna
and the Engraving: What we know, what we dont know, and a few hypotheses, in
Signorini et al., Andrea Mantegna impronta del genio, vol. 1, pp. 415437, and Luke Syson,
Reflections on the Mantegna Exhibition in Paris, Burlington Magazine 151 (2009): 533
535. In contrast to these two texts, Christiansen, The Genius, pp. 4763, takes a more
flexible and articulated position (with which I fully concur); see also Giovanni Romano,
Mantegna incisore, Artibus et historiae 62, no. 31 (2010): 131135.
67 Marzia Faietti, Mantegnas Line: Beyond Vasaris Terza Maniera, in Renaissance Theory,
eds. James Elkins and Robert Williams. New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 376385; Marzia
Faietti, Lalfabeto degli artisti, pp. 227234; Marzia Faietti, Andrea Mantegna e i segni
dellantico, in Mantegna e Roma, eds. Calvano, Cieri Via, and Ventura, pp. 193218; Marzia
Faietti, Il segno di Andrea Mantegna, in Andrea Mantegna impronta del genio, vol. 1, eds.
Rodolfo Signorini et al., pp. 1544.
In 1935, in a now historic comparison of the works of Mantegna and the
drawings of Jacopo Bellini, Fritz Saxl observed how Mantegna constructed
entire compositions in the spirit of Roman sculpture, infusing them with an
essentially unrealistic ancient character. In his view, Mantegna thus created a
sense of historical distance, at the same time eliminating any trace of senti-
mentality and effacing anything that was not genuinely antique, stimulated by
his awareness of the contrast between pagan grandeur and the profusion of
late Gothic art.65 Although I agree with this analysis, I would propose reversing
its final terms of reference. It seems to me that the closer our painter came to
history, and the more he adopted a strictly antique style, the less he succeeded
in hiding his own modernity, dissimulated behind the disguise, and retained a
conscious detachment from the past. The more lost in time his antiquity was,
the more he investigated it.
One possible explanation lies in the fact that Mantegnas art was fundamen-
tally based on the idea of simulation. Starting with ancient and modern works
that were mostly relief-cut or engraved, encouraged by the simulative quality
of the prismatic alphabet, and engaged in a highly personal interpretation of
Albertis circumscription, Mantegna soon used the mediums of pen and ink
and burin engraving66 as a means of expressing a creative process that was in
turn the reflection of a broader vision, underlying every other artistic expres-
sion in his output.67 There are two principal characteristics of this vision: first,
the simulation of natural reality, favored by Mantegna in spite of the fact that
138 Faietti
he was endowed with an indisputable ability to emulate aspects of nature and
history; and second, the metamorphosis of matter. Both are based on a disci-
plined, controlled technique, inspired by theoretical criteria that were often
destined to be surpassed or transformed during the creative process, which is
something that tends to generate its rules through artistic practice. The simula-
tion of nature is married to the simulation of the antique, and both display a
deep-rooted awareness of the loss of history, understood as the possibility of
an ideal and uninterrupted reconciliation.
When Mantegna crossed Lake Garda in a nobly adorned boat (if that
September journey ever actually happened), his gaze must have wandered,
and perhaps for a brief moment, a veil of melancholy may have settled over the
joyous serenity of that playful day. What, after all, was it that he and his com-
panions were seeking, if not solely fragments, rupture, and ruins? Were
they still claiming to recover a certain integrity of the sancta antiquitate, or
was the latter destined to remain an impossible dream?68 The Iubilatio thus
lingers as a metaphor of an impossible journey back into history, and of an
equally impossible attempt to retrieve it. Only the present counts, and the past
comes through simulation, calm and witty, or intense and scowling. Mantegna
knew this well, collecting along with the collectors, writing and illuminating
alongside the scriptores, discoursing with the humanists, contracting with
patronsbut then he finds clarity of ideas in what he practices, his process
indissolubly tied to artistic research. Other journeys, even more remote, bring
his imagination back into the past and onto the threshold of the future, mean-
dering through material substance and seeking to penetrate lumps of
thoughthere petrified, there turned into metal, denying color or marbling it,
and finally releasing the inner light of substance itself.69 Andreas studio, equipped
for every kind of metamorphosis, also saw history alchemically transformed.
Acknowledgment
The author wishes to give special thanks to Elena Bonato, a loyal friend
dur ing hours of study in the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-
Planck-Institut.
68 I am making free use of a celebrated passage from Francesco Colonna, Hypnerotomachia
Poliphili, vol. 1, eds. Giovanni Pozzi and Lucia A. Ciapponi. Padua: Antenore, 1964, p. 51.
69 I am thinking in particular of the late monochromes, most recently the subject of a study
by Sabine Blumenrder, Andrea Mantegnadie Grisaillen: Malerei, Geschichte und antike
Kunst im Paragone des Quattrocento. Berlin: Mann, 2008.
139 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
Bibliography
Agosti, Giovanni and Dominique Thibaut, eds., Mantegna 14311506. Exh. cat. Paris:
Hazan, 2008.
Alexander, Jonathan J.G., The Illustrated Manuscripts of the Notitia Dignitatum.
InAspects of the Notitia Dignitatum, eds. Roger Goodburn and Philip Bartholomew.
Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 1976, pp. 1119.
Arnhold, Hermann, ed., Orte der Sehnsucht: Mit Knstlern auf Reisen. Exh. cat.
Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2008.
Ashmole, Bernard, Cyriac of Ancona and the Temple of Hadrian at Cyzicus, Journal
of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 19 (1956): 179191.
Aubenas, Roger and Robert Ricard, La Chiesa e il Rinascimento (14491517). Storia della
Chiesa dalle origini fino ai giorni nostri 15, Italian ed. by Carlo Dolza. Turin: Editrice
S.I.A.E., 1963.
Avesani, Rino, Felicianerie. In Lantiquario Felice Feliciano veronese tra epigrafia
antica, letteratura e arti del libro, Atti del Convegno di Studi Verona, 34 giugno 1993,
eds. Agostino Cont and Leonardo Quaquarelli. Padua: Editrice Antenore, 1995,
pp. 325.
Banzato, Davide, Alberta De Nicol Salmazo and Anna Maria Spiazzi, eds., Mantegna
e Padova 14451460. Exh. cat. Milan: Electa, 2006.
Barile, Elisabetta, Alle origini della formazione del gusto antiquario padovano e della
riscoperta delle capitali epigrafiche classiche. In Cittadini veneziani del
Quattrocento: i due Giovanni Marcanova, il mercante e lumanista, eds. Elisabetta
Barile, Paula C. Clarke and Giorgia Nordio. Venice: Istituto Veneto di Scienze,
Lettere ed Arti, 2006, pp. 208214.
Billanovich, Myriam, Intorno alla Iubilatio di Felice Feliciano, Italia medioevale e
umanistica 32 (1989): 351358.
Blumenrder, Sabine, Andrea Mantegnadie Grisaillen: Malerei, Geschichte und
antike Kunst im Paragone des Quattrocento. Berlin: Mann, 2008.
Bodnar, Edward W., ed. and trans., Cyriac of Ancona. Later Travels. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 2003.
Bodnar, Edward W. and Charles Mitchell, Cyriacus of Anconas Journeys in the Propontis
and the Northern Aegean 14441445. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical
Society, 1976.
Bodon, Giulio, Andrea Mantegna e lantico 2: Iconografie classiche nelle opere pado-
vane di Mantegna: riflessioni sul caso della pala di San Zeno. In Andrea Mantegna
impronta del genio: convegno internazionale di studi, Padova Verona Mantova 8, 9,
10novembre 2006, vol. 1, eds. Rodolfo Signorini et al. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2010,
pp.5371.
Calvano, Teresa, Claudia Cieri Via and Leandro Ventura, eds., Mantegna e Roma:
Lartista davanti allantico. Rome: Bulzoni Editore, 2010.
140 Faietti
Campbell, Caroline and Alan Chong, eds., Bellini and the East. Exh. cat. London:
National Gallery, 2005.
Campbell, Stephen J., Lo spazio di contemplazione: Mantegna, Gregorio Correr e la
pala daltare di San Zeno. In Andrea Mantegna impronta del genio: convegno inter-
nazionale di studi, Padova Verona Mantova 8, 9, 10 novembre 2006, eds. Rodolfo
Signorini et al., vol. 1. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2010, pp. 163179.
Carboni, Stefano, ed., Venise et lOrient 8281797. Exh. cat. Paris: Gallimard, 2006.
Castiglioni, Gino, Prima Rinascenza. Gli anni di Mantegna. In La parola illuminata:
Per una storia della miniatura a Verona e a Vicenza tra Medioevo e Et Romantica,
ed. Gino Castiglioni. Verona: Edizione della Fondazione Cariverona, 2011,
pp. 150158.
Casu, Stefano G., Veluti Caesar triumphans: Ciriaco dAncona e la statuaria equestre.
Paragone 55, no. 3 (2004): 346.
Chapman, Hugo and Marzia Faietti, eds., Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance
Drawings. Exh. cat. London: The British Museum Press, 2010.
Chatzidakis, Michail. Antike Prgung. Ciriaco dAncona und die kulturelle Verortung
Griechenlands. In Fremde in der Stadt: Ordnungen, Reprsentationen und Soziale
Praktiken (1315 Jahrhundert), eds. Peter Bell, Dirk Suckow, and Gerhard Wolf.
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2010, pp. 225253, 489497.
Chiarlo, Carlo Roberto, Gli fragmenti dilla sancta antiquitate: studi antiquari e pro-
duzione delle immagini da Ciriaco dAncona a Francesco Colonna. In Memoria
dellantico nellarte italiana, ed. Salvatore Settis, vol. 1. Turin: Einaudi, 1984,
pp.281282.
Christiansen, Keith, Some Thoughts on Mantegnas Place in the Renaissance. In Il pi
dolce lavorare che sia: Mlanges en lhonneur de Mauro Natale, eds. Frdric Elsig,
Nomie Etienne and Grgoire Extermann. Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale,
2009a, pp. 343349.
_____, The Genius of Andrea Mantegna, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 67,
no. 2 (2009b): 164.
Chrysoloras, Manuel. Roma parte del cielo: Confronto tra lAntica e la Nuova Roma,
translated and edited by Guido Cortassa. Turin: Utet, 2000.
Ciatti, Marco and Paola Marini, eds., Andrea Mantegna: La Pala di San Zeno: Studio e
conservazione. Florence: Edifir Edizioni Firenze, 2009.
Ciccuto, Marcello. Album di Ciriaco dAncona. In Figure dartista: La nascita delle
immagini alle origini della letteratura. Fiesole: Edizioni Cadmo, 2002, pp. 187197.
Coleman, C.B., trans. and ed., The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of
Constantine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press and RSA, 1993.
Colonna, Francesco, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. eds. Giovanni Pozzi and Lucia A.
Ciapponi. Padua: Editrice Antenore, 1964.
141 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
Cordaro, Michele, La Camera degli Sposi di Andrea Mantegna, 2nd ed. Milan: Electa,
2007.
Cormack, Robin and Maria Vassilaki, eds., Byzantium 3301453. Exh. cat. London: Royal
Academy of Arts, 2009.
Davies, Martin, National Gallery Catalogues: The Earlier Italian Schools, 2nd ed. London:
National Gallery, 1961.
De Nicol Salmazo, Alberta, Andrea Mantegna. Geneva: Rizzoli/Skira, 2004.
Degenhart, Bernhard and Annegrit Schmitt, eds., Corpus der Italienischen Zeichnungen
13001450. Berlin: Mann, 19682010.
Delmarcel, Guy and Clifford M. Brown, eds., Gli arazzi dei Gonzaga nel Rinascimento.
Exh. cat. Geneva: Skira, 2010.
Dunkerton, Jill, Susan Foister and Nicholas Penny, eds., Drer to Veronese:
Sixteenth-Century Painting in the National Gallery. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1999.
Eisler, Colin, The Genius of Jacopo Bellini: The Complete Paintings and Drawings.
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1989.
Evans, Helen C., ed., Byzantium Faith and Power (12611557). Exh. cat. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2004.
Faietti, Marzia, Lalfabeto degli artisti. In Linea I: Grafie di immagini tra Quattrocento
e Cinquecento, eds. Marzia Faietti and Gerhard Wolf. Venice: Marsilio, 2008a,
pp.227245.
_____, Mantegnas Line: Beyond Vasaris Terza Maniera. In Renaissance Theory, eds.
James Elkins and Robert Williams. New York: Routledge, 2008b, pp. 376385.
_____, Gorgneion mantovano. Artibus et historiae 61, no. 31 (2010): 2742.
Favaretto, Irene, Andrea Mantegna e lantico 1: Cultura antiquaria e tradizione uman-
istica a Padova nel Quattrocento. In Andrea Mantegna impronta del genio: con-
vegno internazionale di studi, Padova Verona Mantova 8, 9, 10 novembre 2006, vol. 1,
eds. Rodolfo Signorini et al. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2010, pp. 4552.
Fiaschi, Silvia, Inediti di e su Ciriaco dAncona in un codice di Siviglia (Colombino
7.1.13). Medioevo e Rinascimento, n.s., 22 (2011): 307368, 448449, IIV.
Fortini Brown, Patricia, Venice and Antiquity: The Venetian Sense of the Past. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1996.
Foschi, Silvia, Santa Sofia di Costantinopoli: immagini dallOccidente, Annali di
architettura: Rivista del Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio
di Vicenza 14 (2002): 733.
Greenstein, Jack M., Mantegna and Painting as Historial Narrative. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1992.
Gregori, Mina, ed., In the Light of Apollo: Italian Renaissance and Greece. Exh. cat.
Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2004.
142 Faietti
Holgate, Ian, Paduan culture in Venetian care: the patronage of Bishop Pietro Donato
(Padua 142847), Renaissance Studies 16, no. 1 (2002): 123.
Josephus, Flavius, Delle opere di Giuseppe Flavio dalloriginal testo greco nuovamente
tradotte in lingua italiana e illustrate con note dallabate Francesco Angiolini
Piacentino, Tomo Sesto. Rome: Pel Desiderj a S. Antonio dePortoghesi, 1792.
Kammerer-Grothaus, Helke, Zur Italienischen Levante- und TroasreisenFlorenz
als Bildungslandschaft. Studia Troica 15 (2005): 247267.
Karet, Evelyn, Stefano da Verona, Felice Feliciano and the First Renaissance Collection
of Drawings, Arte Lombarda 124, no. 3 (1998): 3151.
_____, The Drawings of Stefano da Verona and His Circle and the Origins of Collecting in
Italy: A Catalogue Raisonn. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2002.
Kristeller, Paul, Andrea Mantegna. New York: Longmans, Green, 1901.
Lauinger, Katharina, Italienische Deckenmalerei: Die Ausgestaltung der Camera degli
Sposi. Hamburg: Ed. Loges, 2011.
Le Leyzour Philippe, ed., Mantegna: La prdelle de San Zeno de Vrone, 14571459. Exh.
cat. Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2009.
Lehmann, Phyllis Williams, The Sources and Meaning of Mantegnas Parnassus.
In Samothracian Reflections, eds. Phyllis Williams Lehmann and Karl Lehmann.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973, pp. 108110.
Ligato, Giuseppe, Cristoforo Buondelmonti e la Colonna di Teodosio I a Costantinopoli:
retaggi medievali e curiosit antiquarie della prima et umanistica. In Oriente e
Occidente nel Rinascimento: Atti del XIX Convegno Internazionale (Chianciano
TermePienza 1619 luglio 2007), ed. Luisa Secchi Tarugi. Florence: Franco Cesati
Editore, 2009, pp. 177192.
Lucco, Mauro, ed., Mantegna a Mantova 14601506. Exh. cat. Milan: Electa, 2006.
Marinelli, Sergio and Paola Marini, eds., Mantegna e le Arti a Verona 14501500. Exh. cat.
Venice: Marsilio, 2006.
Miccolis, Stefano, Larco di Costantino e i Turchi nella pittura italiana del
Quattrocento, Belfagor 3 (1998): 277296.
Mitchell, Charles, Archaeology and Romance in Renaissance Italy. In Italian
Renaissance Studies: A Tribute to the Late Cecilia M. Ady, ed. Ernest Fraser Jacob.
London: Faber and Faber, 1960, pp. 455483.
Mitchell, Charles and Edward W. Bodnar, eds. and trans., Vita viri clarissimi et famosis-
simi Kyriaci Anconitani by Francesco Scalamonti. Philadelphia: American
Philosophical Society, 1996.
ler, Nazan and Edhem Eldem, eds., De Byzance Istanbul: Un port pour deux conti-
nents. Exh. cat. Paris: ditions de la Runion des muses nationaux, 2009.
Pcht, Otto and Jonathan James Graham Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the
Bodleian Library Oxford. Oxford: Clarendon, 19661970.
143 From Solomons Temple to Hagia Sophia
Pertusi, Agostino, ed., La caduta di Costantinopoli: Leco nel mondo. Verona: Arnoldo
Mondadori Editore, 1976.
Quaquarelli, Leonardo, Felice Feliciano e Francesco Scalamonti (junior?). In Ciriaco
dAncona e la cultura antiquaria dellUmanesimo: Atti del convegno internazionale di
studio (Ancona, 69 febbraio 1992), eds. Gianfranco Paci and Sergio Sconocchia.
Reggio Emilia: Diabasis, 1998, pp. 333347.
Reale, Giovanni, Vittorio Sgarbi and Rodolfo Signorini, Andrea Mantegna: Gli sposi
eterni nella Camera Dipinta. Milan: Bompiani, 2011.
Ricci, Milena, Con Mantegna alla ricerca del Locus Amoenus: la Jubilatio al Garda,
Civilt Mantovana 41, no. 122 (2006): 88103.
Romano, Giovanni, Verso la maniera moderna: da Mantegna a Raffaello. In Dal
Cinquecento allOttocento: I. Cinquecento e Seicento, vol. 2, Storia dellarte italiana:
Dal Medioevo al Novecento. Turin: Einaudi, 1981, pp. 585.
Romano, Giovanni, Mantegna incisore, Artibus et historiae 62, no. 31 (2010): 585,
131135.
Saroni, Giovanna, La Biblioteca di Amedeo VIII di Savoia (13911451). Turin: Umberto
Allemandi, 2004.
Sassi, Raimondo, Percorsi lineari e peregrinatio archeologica: i Quaedam anti-
quitatum fragmenta di Giovanni Marcanova. In Linea II: Giochi, metamorfosi,
seduzioni della linea, eds. Marzia Faietti and Gerhard Wolf. Florence: Giunti
Editore, 2012.
Saxl, Fritz, Lantichit classica in Jacopo Bellini e nel Mantegna (1935). In La storia
delle immagini. Bari: Editori Laterza, 1965, pp. 5165.
Sherrard, Philip, Constantinople, Iconography of a Sacred City. London: Oxford
University Press, 1965.
Signorini, Rodolfo, Opus hoc tenue: La camera dipinta di Andrea Mantegna: Lettura
storica iconografica iconologica. Mantua: Giovetti Fotografia e Comunicazioni
Visive, 1985.
_____, La Camera Dipinta detta Degli Sposi. In Il Palazzo Ducale di Mantova,
ed. Giuliana Algeri. Mantua: Editoriale Sometti, 2003, pp. 117136.
_____, Il trionfo del pavone: Lanima greca della Camera Dipinta. In A casa di Andrea
Mantegna: Cultura artistica a Mantova nel Quattrocento. Milan: Silvana Editoriale,
2006, pp. 112117.
Smith, Christine, Cyriacus of Anconas Seven Drawings of Hagia Sophia, The Art
Bulletin 69, no. 1 (1987), 1632.
_____, Architecture in the Culture of Early Humanism: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Eloquence
14001470. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Syson, Luke, Reflections on the Mantegna Exhibition in Paris, The Burlington
Magazine 151 (2009): 533535.
144 Faietti
Tosetti Grandi Paola, I Trionfi di Cesare di Andrea Mantegna: Fonti umanistiche e
cultura antiquaria alla corte dei Gonzaga. Mantua: Editoriale Sometti, 2008.
_____, Andrea Mantegna pittore umanista, Grafica darte 20, no. 78 (2009): 1417.
Tosetti Grandi, Paola and Rodolfo Signorini, Nuova luce sulla vita di Andrea Mantegna:
Dal convegno internazionale Andrea Mantegna. Impronta di un genio (Padova-
Verona-Mantova) sono emerse alcune curiosit archivistiche, che proponiamo ai
lettori, Padova e il suo territorio 22, no. 126 (2007): 911.
Trippe, Rosemary, Art of Memory: Recollecting Rome in Giovanni Marcanovas
Collectio antiquitatum. Art History 33, no. 5 (2010): 766799.
Vickers, Michael, Mantegna and Constantinople, The Burlington Magazine 118 (1976):
680687.
koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_
1 For Italian material the list is long. Despite an accumulation of more recent publications that
have exploited the possibilities offered by technology, the following older studies are still
fundamental: Arnold Nesselrath, I libri di disegni di antichit: tentativo di una tipologia, in
Memoria dellantico nellarte italiana, vol. 3: Dalla tradizione allarcheologia, ed. Salvatore
Settis. Turin: G. Einaudi, 1986, pp. 87147 and Hubertus Gnther, Das Studium der Antiken
Architektur in den Zeichnungen der Hochrenaissance. Tbingen: E. Wasmuth, 1988. For more
recent research, see The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome: Printing and Collecting the
Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, ed. Rebecca Zorach. Chicago: University of Chicago
Library, 2008.
Chapter
The Thin White Line: Palladio, White Cities and the
Adriatic Imagination
Alina Payne
Over the course of centuries, artists and architects have employed a variety of
means to capture resonant archaeological sites in images, and those images
have operated in various ways. Whether recording views, monuments, inscrip-
tions, or measurements so as to pore over them when they came home and to
share them with others, these draftsmen filled loose sheets, albums, sketch-
books, and heavily illustrated treatises and disseminated visual information
far and wide, from Europe to the margins of the known world, as far as Mexico
and Goa. Not all the images they produced were factual and aimed at design
and construction. Rather, they ranged from reportage (recording what there
is) through nostalgic and even fantastic representations to analytical records
that sought to look through the fragmentary appearance of ruined vestiges to
the essence of the remains and reconstruct a plausible original form.
Although this is a long and varied tradition and has not lacked attention at
the hands of generations of scholars,1 it raises an issue fundamental for the
larger questions that are posed in this essay: Were we to look at these images
as images rather than architectural or topographical information, might they
emerge as more than representations of buildings, details and sites, measured
and dissected on the page? Might they also record something else, something
more ineffable, such as the physical encounters with and aesthetic experience
of these places, elliptical yet powerful for being less overt than the bits of
carved stone painstakingly delineated? Furthermore, might in some cases the
very material support of these images participate in translating this aesthetic
146 Payne
2 Sebastiano Serlio, Il terzo libro di Sebastiano Serlio Bolognese. Venice: Francesco Marcolini da
Forl, 1540.
response to the ruins and transmit it? And if so, what does it convey that may
have slipped between the words and lies locked in the materiality of the paper
on which the images are recorded?
Ancient Stones on White Paper
The images that were made as reportage are images of the ruins as they are
or, more often, as they might be, because they are never quite untouched by
the artists perspective. Scattered, partially buried, and decaying, the ruins of
an ancient site present the vestiges of an urban coherence and magnificence
irretrievably lost that interrupt the present unexpectedly and challenge under-
standing as well as any sense of permanence. Sebastiano Serlios Roma quanta
fuit ipsa ruina docet on the title page of his Terzo Libro (Venice, 1540), which
wraps all of lost Rome with its past tense into the nebula of oblivion (Fig.1) is
iconic of this type of presentation.2 But if the decayed grandeur of Rome
appealed to some, especially poets and artists, the desire to reconstruct this
past was its corollary and appealed to others. Indeed, the two approaches may
be seen as the yin and yang of the Renaissance engagement with the past, one
of them melancholy, the other constructive. And the sketchbooks and treatises
of the architects, groaning with reconstructions of the orders, of temples and
other buildings, testify to this curiosity driven by practicality.
However, sometimes more than observation and analysis pierces through
even these apparently factual representations. For example, Andrea Palladios
illustrations of the temple at Pola in Capodistria, in his Quattro Libri (Venice,
1570) like a number of other images depicting temple sites in the same treatise,
exhibit a somewhat bizarre presentation that has not been addressed thus far.
In fact, Palladios single, compact image of the temple of Pola (Fig.2) emerges
as an interpenetration of several imagesviews, details and sections
connected by cutouts, raking angles, superimpositions, and overlaps. The
images nestle inside one another, compelling the viewer to decipher the result-
ing composition with some difficulty, and forcing the architect or patron for
whom such an image was intended to puzzle it out, literally to twist and rotate
the sheet in order to read itin short, to work at it. The treatment of scale in
this compound group of images adds yet another layer of interpretive complex-
ity. The large scale is small (the overall view of the temple), the small scale is
large (the ornamental details), and the shift from one to the other vertiginous,
147 The Thin White Line
Fig. Sebastiano Serlio, Frontispiece, Il terzo libro. Venice, 1540.
so sudden and extreme that it is almost alarming. Of course, there are practical
reasons for it: a detail would be copied and needs to be enlarged; a view cannot
be presented much larger within a book, and so will necessarily remain a par-
tially detailed silhouette; and so on. And yet, as an image, this illustration of the
temple at Pola presents the appearance of a topsy-turvy, destabilized reality.
148 Payne
Fig. Andrea Palladio, Temple at Pola, I quattro libri dellarchitettura. Venice, 1570.
149 The Thin White Line
In addition, there is a strange compression at work here: the page is over-
crowded, so completely filled that it suggests a certain tightness. Most bizarre
of all are the figures. Although they are the expected pedimental and podium
sculptures similar to those found on many ancient temples, they seem
activated into the role of seeing bodies, whose rays of vision become dynamic
vectors that cut up the image as if challenging the viewer to look and focus.
Like cypresses in a cemetery, they stand sentinel, witnessing and commemo-
rating a lost and an enhanced view: the sight vector emanating from an acrote-
ria figures eye reads both like a scalpel cutting across the page (and the site
itself) and like a ray of vision, even a piercing laser beam, and suggests simul-
taneously a lossthe lost view of the whole that escapes the page and the
architectand the enhanced view of the section, of an incision penetrating
deeper, below the surface.
What seems to be represented here then with great economy of means
whether intentionally or unselfconsciouslyis also a reaction to the archaeo-
logical site: on the one hand, a labyrinthine experience of the disorder of
collapsed stones and resistance to interpretation, caused by a site that is con-
fusing; and on the other, a visual experience that is also expansive, just as the
visual vector of the pedimental statues implies, extending infinitely outward
like a searchlight into the distance. In Palladios rendition, order and disorder
tear at each other, both very palpable. His is an image of discomfort, of an
upside-down, destabilized worldit is the drama of controlling something
that escapes (Fig.3).
In its richness, the image of the temple at Pola is quite different from what
other treatise writers present in similar circumstances. Compared to Serlios
images, for example, the differences are subtle but affect the end result dra-
matically. An apparently insignificant detail is that Palladios images are
framed by a thick black line while Serlios are not (Fig.4). Despite its stand-by
role, the frame works double duty, at the level of the book and of the image
represented: it functions as a perimeter to the drawing but also, implicitly, to
the site, and becomes an elliptical way of referring to its boundary within
which disorder reigns and that the architect wishes to contain and re-order.
A very compact image, it recalls ivories and plaquettes, perhaps a slippage from
other (minor) art forms of compressed images gathered within a frame as if
with some difficulty. Instead, Serlios ruins are scattered and float independent
of each other upon the page, randomly as it were, where they might happen to
make sense or fit. Indeed, the open-endedness of their arrangement is akin to
the somewhat random walk through Rome that he proposes on his frontis-
piece. To be sure, such a quality can be apprehended from Palladios images as
well, and it could be argued that the availability of paper (scarce) and its sizing
150 Payne
3 Antonio Labacco, Libro appartenente allarchitecttura. Rome: In Casa Nostra, 1552; Jacopo
Barozzi da Vignola, Regola delli cinque ordini darchitettura. Rome: s.n., 1562.
4 See Licisco Magagnato, Introduction, in Andrea Palladio, I quattro libri dellarchitettura, eds.
Licisco Magagnato and Paola Marini. Milan: Il Polifilo, 1980, p. xx.
(small) were at the root of most of his choices when composing his images. But
there is more to it, for within these practical restrictions artistic choices have
been made. The mise-en-page, along with the addition of a frame that is as
strong as the laserlike gaze of the witnessing pedimental figure, and the sug-
gestion of space through the implied perspective created by the statues visual
raythese are all deliberate gestures. Not all antiquarian-architects follow
suit, neither Antonio Labacco nor Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, for example.3
Vignola, in his Regola delli cinque ordini (Rome 1562; Fig. 5), does frame his
reconstructed orders, but he does not attend to ruins as such or to their sites as
Serlio and Palladio do: his presentation is more abstract, aiming more toward
a visual dictionary than to a holistic description of an actual location.
As has been noted often in the literature on Palladio, his treatise is very
cerebral, and his approach to illustration takes a giant stride toward the
modern professionals drawing set and format,4 a notion that seems to be
supported not only by the images factura, his crisp lines, strict orthogonal
Fig. Anonymous, Fragments of the Temple of Augusts and Roma in Pola. Alinari,
No. 21192.
151 The Thin White Line
Fig. Sebastiano Serlio, Architectural Details of Arch, Il terzo libro. Venice, 1540, f. cvii.
152 Payne
Fig. Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, The Ionic Order, La regola delli cinque ordini
darchitettura. s.n., 1562.
153 The Thin White Line
5 Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, I dieci libri dellarchitettura con il commento di Daniele Barbaro.
Venice: Francesco Marcolini, 1556.
6 A summary with related bibliography is in Magagnato, Introduction, pp. xxxxii, and Alina
Payne, Andrea Palladio, in Architecture and Its Image, eds. E. Blau and Kaufmann. Montreal:
CCA, 1989.
representation, and apparently logical slicing of a whole into its parts but also
by their content. Yet, more pierces through these apparently objective images,
and the visual information laid out for view also captures the complexity of the
site and the architects response to it. What may be sensed from its complex
mise-en-page is an anxiety in the face of a reality that cannot be fully grasped,
that literally escapes the page no matter how hard it is compressed in it, and is
that much more revealing as it is manifested differently, more covertly, and
more unselfconsciously than in the studies of ruins by his contemporaries.
The opening and closing images to Daniele Barbaros 1556 edition of
Vitruviuss De architectura (Fig. 6)on which Barbaro collaborated with
Palladio, although the image is not by himmay offer a parallel testimony to
this greater range of responses to the recovery of the past than architectural
treatises usually convey. The architect gazing skyward through his astrolabe
while turning his back on the chaos of tools and fragments that surround him
offers a possible confirmation of this complex response to antiquity and is its
pendant narrative explanation.5 The confusion through which the architect
tries to see clearly (sight is once again the main subject matter), surrounded as
he is by the scattered instruments of his profession and a collapsing building,
is a powerful expression of the condition of the archaeological site among
whose ruins he finds himself trapped as in a labyrinth or cavern. There is
drama herethe drama of controlling that which escapes, to raise ones eyes
from earth to heaven, one step ahead of the collapse of the edifice surrounding
him and drawing him back into the vortex of oblivion.
There is one other significant feature in these reconstruction images of
Palladios. It has been noted that they are clean, precise, apparently objective
and dispassionate, in pure orthogonal projection.6 What has not been said is
that the overall impression they give is of being white. The absence of any
shading, the plain paper background as a major protagonist of the images, is
both new and rare. However compressed the images (such as those of the tem-
ple at Pola), the overall whiteness of the architecture is never in doubt. Indeed,
the compression and crowding are that much more striking seen against this
emptiness, against this lavishness of white, unmarked paper. Many pages have
hardly any writing on them, sometimes only three or four lines. In this sense,
Palladio is so different from Serlio, his one great predecessor, who changes
154 Payne
fonts and scripts to fit his writing into one page and fill it completely (Figs.7
and 8). The overall impression of his pages is one of grayness, and to this effect
the writing surrounding the illustrations contributes significantly. The same is
true of Vignolas images in his treatise, albeit his text is minimal though still
present on the illustration page and, together with the stippling of the flat
Fig. Daniele Barbaro, Frontispiece, I dieci libri dellarchitettura, tr. et commentate
da monsignor Barbaro. Venice, 1556.
155 The Thin White Line
Fig. Andrea Palladio, Temple of Mars Ultor, I quattro libri dellarchitettura. Venice, 1570.
156 Payne
surfaces of stone, also creates a general appearance of grayness, of looking
through a hazy veil. Most Vitruvian commentaries such as Cesare Cesarianos
(1521), whose images are profoundly black, or Giambattista Caporalis (1536),
who follows suit, present a similar appearance. In comparison, Palladios and
the images in Barbaros commentary produced in collaboration with him
appear almost transparent, so light are their traces on the paper.
Thinking in these termsthat is, of a particular eloquence, even an aesthet-
ics of the paper as mediummay also challenge the traditional explanation
that crowding on the page is a result of expensive paper: if that were the case
why would so many of Palladios pages be so empty? Text and image are sys-
tematically separated, and this includes the explanatory legends, which appear
isolated, leaving large expanse of paper untouched. This virgin surface is as
critical a participant in the discourse on a pure ancient architecture as any
number of painted splendid white ruins might have been. Not only does this
approach enhance the pristine appearance of the reconstructed ruins, adding
an imaginary dimension to them, but the unrelieved expanse of paper without
traces of pen also conjures the brightness and whiteness of the stone and
stucco in Palladios own buildings. In effect, in his characteristically pithy
manner, Palladio does not dwell on color much, but what little he says is pro-
foundly significant: among all colors there is none better suited for temples
than white, as both the purity of the color and of life are greatly pleasing to
Fig. Sebastiano Serlio, Details of the Pantheon, Il terzo libro. Venice, 1540.
157 The Thin White Line
7 The original Italian is tra tutti I colori niuno che si convenga pi ai tempii della bianchezza,
conciosiach la purita del colore e della vita sia sommamente grata a dio; Andrea Palladio, I
quattro libri dellarchitettura. Milan: l Polifilo, 1908, p. 254.
8 Holy Father, there are many who, measuring with their small judgement the great things
that are written of the Romans arms and of the city of Rome regarding its marvellous artifice,
richness and ornaments, sooner estimate these to be fabulous rather than true, however to
me it seems otherwise. Because, judging the divinity of those ancient spirits from the relics
that can still be seen amongst the ruins of Rome, I do not think it beyond reason to believe,
that many of those things which to us seem impossible to them seemed extremely easy.
As translated in Ingrid Rowland, Raphael, Angelo Colocci, and the Genesis of the
Architectural Orders, Art Bulletin 76, no. 1 (March 1994): 81104.
God.7 Clearly the ancients concurred. After all, as Augustus said, he had found
Rome brick and left it marble (a quip well-known in the Renaissance)
a statement not only about opulence and magnificence as it has been always
understood but also about color: Augustus found Rome red (brick- or
terra-cotta-colored) and left it sparkling white. Understanding the ruins
requires a leap of the imagination; and the difficulty underlying this effort
comes through nowhere more poignantly than in Raphaels letter to Pope Leo
X in which he tries to convey both the appeal of the mirage and the near-
impossibility of conjuring it.8 Beyond the tangible evidence of the ruins them-
selves, something else needs to be at work to recover what is irreplaceable lost,
Raphael hints, and it is to this challenge that Palladio seems to have responded
both objectively and intuitively.
What lies embedded in Palladios images, therefore, is also a sensitivity to
stone and a discourse about it. The sharp outlines with no shading to soften
the contours, the absence of sfumato, the sparseness of linesall of these
enhance the sense of sharp edges, of a chisel doing its work, of cut stone and
sharp contrasts of light and dark. More important, these gestures signal the
whiteness of the stone itselfin particular the brilliance of the Istrian stone of
which Venices principal monuments were built (as were Palladios) and that
record the memory of the ancient marble of the Roman edifices dotting the
Adriatic shores.
The Color White: Portable White Stones and the Appeal of
Monochrome Architecture
The eloquent whiteness of Palladios paper raises an important question
that lies at the heart of this essay: how was the whiteness of the ruins of the
Mediterranean transported, in particular the intense whiteness of the
158 Payne
9 The cannibalization of ancient ruins was a common occurrence during the Renaissance
in Rome as elsewhere; for example, Michelangelo used the travertine from the Coliseum
for the Palazzo Farnese he was completing in Rome. For a general treatment of this
subject as it relates to Rome (and a summary of the literature on it), see David Karmon,
The Ruin of the Eternal City: Antiquity and Preservation in Renaissance Rome. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2011.
10 Joko Belamari, Renaissance Villas on the Dalmatian Coast, in Quattrocento Adriatico:
Fifteenth-Century Art of the Adriatic Rim, ed. Charles Dempsey. Bologna: Nuova Alfa, 1996,
p. 106.
11 Costeggiando per mare colla barchetta questo tratto di paese, io feci piu volte prender
riposo a miei ramatori per esaminare; Alberto Fortis, Viaggio in Dalmazia dellabate
Alberto Fortis. Venice: Alvise Milocco, 1774, p. 31. Fortiss book was not received with
unanimous acclaim but was popular in Western Europe. Giovanni Lovrich, a native of
Dalmatia (from Socivizca) immediately published an entire volume correcting the topo-
graphical and etymological errors Fortis made, as well as his own comments on the antiq-
uities and customs of the area, although he admits ignorance as regards the naturalist
aspects of the book; Giovanni Lovrich, Osservazioni di Giovanni Lovrich sopra diversi pezzi
in Dalmazia del Signor Abate Alberto Fortis. Venice: Francesco Sansoni, 1776.
Dalmatian ruins, and hence of the Dalmatian stone (the Istrian variety, so
much appreciated on both sides of the Adriatic, and indeed throughout Italy)?
This was the stone the Venetians built with, or wished to build with; several
unrealized projects to dismantle the Pola ruins and treat them as a quarry for
marble to be reused back home testify to the appetite for this particular mate-
rial.9 Indeed, the citizens of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) used ancient stones to build
their own city, turning to the ruins of Epidaurum (an ancient Roman city
located nearby) as a source of ready quarried and cut material.10 To be sure, the
limestone that is such a common denominator of the built landscape along the
Mediterranean and links the Iberian peninsula and Provence with North Africa
across Greece and the Middle East is light in color, an effect that is reinforced
by the strong sunlight and reflection from the water. But the brilliant whiteness
of the Istrian stone, the almost painful white that makes up entire cities and, as
aggregates, the length of the Dalmatian shore is an extreme case (Fig.9). And
it is this Istrian/Dalmatian/Illyrian experience that Palladio responded to and
that reverberates from the white pages of his treatise.
Geologist and naturalist abbot Alberto Fortis (17411803) confirmed this
preference for the white stone, by then well established, during his travels
along the Adriatic in the late 18th century. His Viaggio in Dalmazia (1774)
shows him to have been particularly attentive to the many types of stone visi-
ble from the sea as he glided slowly along the shores.11 Indeed, he stopped on
purpose to explore the rock formations and he was struck by their colors,
although what he was looking for and expected to see was the Istrian white.
159 The Thin White Line
And he noted with surprise, and in a lyrical tone, that the white, marblelike
crests of the mountains that rose above the sea rested on ordinary stone that
could not be more different from its luminous splendor.12
Clearly the white silhouettes along the shore were not only those of the
mountains but also of the cities strung along the littoral. The ancient buildings
that could be easily seen were all of Istrian stone, as Vincenzo Scamozzi noted
12 The original Italian is tutto il corpo del monte che serve di base alla descritta sommita
marmorea persino al mare, e di materia dissomigliantissima dal marmo Dalmatino,
eIstriano volgare; ibid., p. 32.
Fig. Window Detail, c. later 15th century, Sebenico (photo by the author).
160 Payne
13 As quoted in Francesco Rodolico, Le pietre delle citt dItalia. Florence: Le Monnier, 1965,
pp. 189189.
14 Ibid., pp. 214215.
15 Rodolico, Le pietre.
16 Ibid., pp. 198199 and esp. 206 (n. B). Deborah Howard has also noted that the Istrian
stone was impermeable to water and was therefore used for foundations; see Howard,
The Architectural History of Venice. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, p. 57.
at some length in his treatise Lidea dellarchitettura universale (1615).13 None
were more imposing than the ancient ruins of Pola and Spalato, which were
monumental in size and close to the shore, although Zara and Ragusa were
also impressive. Diocletians Palace, inside which developed the city of Spalato
(Split), was among the most notable and impressive of sights, as any number
of illustrations and commentaries from the Renaissance onward testify. The
use of Istrian stone did not stop with the passing of the Roman Empire; the
overwhelming impression of the Dalmatian and Illyrian coastal cities and
those on the other Adriatic shore is one of brilliant white. In Ravenna, for
example it was used in substantial quantity and nowhere more famously than
in the Mausoleum of Teoderic, where, as Giorgio Vasari noted, the cupola was
made from a single piece of Istrian stone.14 In the Middle Ages, more colored
stone was used in conjunction with the Istrian white, as on the Doges Palace in
Venice, where it was used on the faade in combination with the much favored
and frequently used rosso di Verona (Fig. 10). But in the Renaissance, most
Venetian buildings (and bridges) were built of Istrian stone alone: San Zaccaria,
the Ca dOro (together with Greek marble and rosso di Verona), the Scuole
Grande of San Marco and San Rocco, the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni
(of the Dalmatian community), Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Istrian stone for
architectural members and Carrara marble for the ornaments), the Palazzo
Grimani, Jacopo Sansovinos Zecca and Biblioteca Marciana, Palladios three
Venetian churches (San Giorgio Maggiore, Il Redentore, and San Francesco
della Vigna), the Rialto bridge, and Scamozzis own Procuratie Nuove (Fig.11).15
One reason for this popularity was certainly the physical properties of the
Istrian stone, as Scamozzi, Francesco Sansovino, and Vasari emphasized at
some length in their writings. Istrian stone was very hard, but it was also sculpt-
able; even more important, it resisted salt water and could withstand freezing,
which was especially important for a lagoon city such as Venice. Carrara mar-
ble could not compete with these features. The best Istrian stone came from
Orsena and was loaded in the port of Rovignohence its name, pietra di
Rovigno.16 But there was more to it than practical considerations. Scamozzi,
inhis 1615 treatise, promoted the stone used in his native city with characteristic
161 The Thin White Line
national pride, and hinted at a deliberate aesthetic choice: whatever others
may say, he argued, the Istrian stone is more noble, whiter, and finer than trav-
ertine or indeed any of the stones coming from Naples, Genoa, or Florence.17
Sansovino (in the 1580s) had mentioned the same important features in his
17 The original Italian is Ma di qualunque sorte che siano le pietre Histriane, tuttavia,
dicansi per ostentazione quello che si vogliono altri (che non le hanno vedute n
Fig.0 Doges Palace, Venice (photo by the author).
162 Payne
guide to Venice, adding that the Istrian stone was similar to marble, very
white, fine, sonorous, solid, and durable.18
osservate) elle sono assai pi nobile, e bianche, e fine del trevertino di Roma e delle pietre
di Napoli, e Genova, e Fiorenza. Vincenzo Scamozzi, Lidea della architettura universale,
vol. I. Venice: expensis auctoris, 1615, pp. 204205 quoted in Rodolico, Le pietre, p. 199.
18 The original Italian is bella e mirabil cos la materia delle pietre vive, che sono condotte
da Rovigno et da Brioni, castelli in Riviera della Dalmatia: sono di color bianco et simili al
Fig. San Zaccaria, Faade, Venice (photo by the author).
163 The Thin White Line
marmo, ma salde et forti di maniera che durano per lunghissimo tempo a i ghacci et al
sole; molto bianche, fine, sonore, salde e dure; Francesco Sansovino, Venetia citt nobil-
issima et singolare. Venice: I. Sansovino, 1581, as quoted in Rodolico, Le pietre, p. 198.
19 Ibid., p. 212. The same observation is made in Wolfgang Wolters, Architektur und
Ornament: venezianischer Bauschmuck der Renaissance. Munich: C.H. Beck, 2000, p. 64,
and Howard, Architectural History of Venice, p. 59. Wolters posits San Michele in Isola
(1469) as the start of the trend.
20 Maybe the influence in southern Italy came from Spain and the Spanish vice-royalties of
Sicily and of Naples. See Federica Scibilia I rossi nodulari, Lexicon 1011 (2010): 7591,
and Domenica Sutera, Grigio di Billiemi: Luso a Palermo dal XVI al XX secolo, Lexicon,
no. 8 (2009); 5662.
21 On Istrian stone, Vasari wrote: There is moreover in Istria a stone of a livid white, which
very easily splits, and this is more frequently used than any other, not by the city of Venice
alone, but by all the province of Romagna, for all works both of masonry and of carving
A great quantity of this kind of stone was used by Messer Jacopo SansovinoThus they go
One particularly important point is that, in the Renaissance, the Istrian
stone gained favor and became preferred to the previously much used Veronese
stone.19 The multicolored palette of Venetian buildings was not abandoned,
and colored stucco and stones such as porphyry and green marbles cut as
roundels continued to be embedded in the new faades lining the canals. But
during that period, they were much more pointedly and sparingly used, such
that there is a notable difference between the faades of the 14th- and-15th-
century Doges Palace and Palazzo Dario and those of the Church of the
Miracoli and the Scuola di San Rocco (Fig.12). However, what clearly emerges
is a growing aesthetic preference for the monochrome white, in parallel with
the tradition of bicromia (bichromicity)particularly the use of the gray pietra
serena against light-colored stucco in Florence, for exampleand polychromy,
which became increasingly used in interiors.
Colored as well as local marbles begin to gain traction in Sicily and Naples
from the second half of the Cinquecento onward.20 Yet in Venice, Istrian stone
continued to reign supreme in all new construction. Certainly the sculptors
aesthetic of Jacopo Sansovino and his roots in Michelangelos work, so decid-
edly focused on Carrara white marble in the years before his final move from
Florence to Rome, played an additional, reinforcing role in the Serenissima.
Sansovinos reconfiguration of Saint Marks Squarewith the exception of the
polychrome Loggettais a powerful statement in favor of white. It may be
that Vasaris comment that the Tuscan architect/sculptor had brought the new
manner to Venice refers not only to his correct use of the orders to but also
this aspect of the architectural monochrome, which he highlights in his
Introduction when he discusses the Istrian stone.21
164 Payne
on executing all their works for that city, doors, windows, chapels, and any other decora-
tions that they find convenient to make, notwithstanding the fact that breccias and other
kinds of stone could easily be conveyed from Verona, by means of the river Adige; Giorgio
Vasari, Vasari on Technique, trans. Louisa S. Maclehose and ed. G. Baldwin Brown. London:
J.M. Dent, 1907, pp. 5657.
Indeed, looked at from the perspective of stone color, two main traditions
or aesthetics can be observed in the Mediterranean. One is the bicromia of
Fig. Scuola di San Rocco, Venice (photo by the author).
165 The Thin White Line
22 The so-called pietra lavica was used as ornament but also as construction material in
Sicily. See Emanuela Garofalo, Le lave: Gli usi ornamentali nellarchitettura storica in
Sicilia, Lexicon, nos. 1415 (2012): 7088.
white/black along the Tyrrhenian coast and in Sicily (with their mixed parent-
age from the Lombard and Catalonian North and from the Middle East, espe-
cially Damascus). Even the iconic Arco Aragonese in Naples, with its white
marble triumphal arch squeezed between dark gray stone walls is a form of
bicromia and testifies to the various forms that this aesthetic could embrace.
The presence of black stonelava stoneis also a contributing element
to the Mediterranean bichromatic aesthetic, although this was not common
on the Adriatic coast and was more visible in Sicily in the areas near active
volcanoes (such as around Catania and the Lipari islands).22 The two-tone
aestheticthe mixture of light and dark stone in bands and two-tone orna-
ments to window surroundsmay have been inherited from southern France
(by way of Ventimiglia and Cefalu already in the 13th century) as well as
Tuscany, Lombardy, and Genoathat is, from a more widespread Norman
influence, with Arab inflections from Spain (Fig.13). The second principal tra-
dition is that of the brilliant white Istrian stone on the Adriatic coast (Dalmatia,
Venice, and the Italian Adriatic).
Fig. Window Detail, Palazzo Chiaramonte, 13th century, Palermo (photo by the author).
166 Payne
23 See Un trattato universale dei colori: Il Ms. 2861 della Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna,
ed.Francesca Muzio. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2012, p. xi.
24 Earlier, Andr Chastel had also suggested a cultural cohesion and significance of the cities
on the two shores of the Adriatic: Andr Chastel, Art et humanisme Florence au temps de
Laurent le Magnifique: tudes sur la Renaissance et lhumanisme platonicien. Paris: Presses
universitaires de France, 1959, and Federico Zeri, Rinascimento e Pseudo-Rinascimento,
in Storia dellarte italiana, part II, vol. 1. Turin: Einaudi, 19791983, p. 568. On this argu-
ment (and for sources), see Dempsey, Introduction, Quattrocento Adriatico, p. 7.
25 The original Italian is non nascendo in essa [Venetia] cosa alcuna, tuttavia abbondan-
tissima di tutte le cose, le quali vi sono portate da i luoghi cos maritimi, come terrestri;
Rodolico, Le pietre, p. 201, quoted from G.M. Memmo, Dialogo nel quale si forma un
perfetto principe. Venice, 1564.
That the white aesthetic had a significant presence in the area is further
confirmed by the secrecy surrounding the production of colors, including the
luminous white and white glazes for the majolica industry in its beginnings on
the Adriatic coast (Pesaro and Gubbio in particular). The story of the color
recipe book of Antonio and Matteo da Cagli and their partner Almerico da
Ventura (from Siena)who came from Tuscany and worked as architects and
painters in late 15th-century Pesaro, and also traded in building materials,
leather, and textilesis a case in point. The colors whose recipes they held
(and which originated with a master in Toledo) try to imitate precious stones;
the luster applied to these colors, among which white held an important place,
was highly favored and kept most secret; ultimately, the income from the sale
of the secrets was large enough to provide a substantial dowry for the surviving
daughter of the family. This illustrates the popularity and spread of white
glazes originating with the Della Robbias across the Apennines and the signifi-
cance and demand for such wares on the Adriatic shores.23
It would seem that the whiteness of materialsancient and new
engendered a peculiar Adriatic imaginario to which Palladios buildings
stand witness. This may be one of the most significant (though little noted)
components of an Adriatic style, as Federico Zeri termed it several decades
ago.24 In Dalmatia, what was portable, in terms of architecture, was the stone
itselfthe white stone that Dalmatia shipped to Italy, thus supporting the
white aesthetic as well as its attending vision of antiquity, beyond memory and
the drawn records of ruins. And Venice is perhaps the most dramatic example
of this phenomenon. As contemporary chroniclers astutely observe, since
Venice did not produce anything but needed to import all its goods from out-
side, it was inevitably one of the most active engines of Mediterranean porta-
bility, far more so than any of the other Italian cities of that time, however
intense their commercial activities.25 And Venice was a particularly greedy
167 The Thin White Line
26 Rodolico, Le pietre, pp. 199200. On traffic in Istrian stone see also Nedo Fiorentin ed., La
pietra dIstria e Venezia, Verona: Cierre, 2006.
27 Deborah Howard has described the small church of San Michele in Isola by MauroCodussi
(begun 1468) as looking like a floating iceberg on the lagoon; Howard, Venice, p.135.
user of Istrian stone. Indeed, its stone commerce was on a huge scale. The large
boats that made the crossing of the Adriatic to bring stone to the lagoon city
weighed around 200 tons and were expected to make at least five round trips
ayear, which indicates the large amount of stone that was imported.26
The Ideal City as Portable Object
Venice used the Istrian stone to great effect; its monuments stand out as small
islands of brilliance within the dense urban fabric, nowhere more visible than
on the large canals that marked the major approaches to the city.27 The delib-
erate visual isolation of the stones whiteness drew particular attention to
principal buildings and emphasized their significance, an effect that is readily
legible on the many representations and maps of the city, ranging from the
illustrations accompanying the published account of the travels of Marco Polo
to the paintings of Giovanni Bellini, Paolo Veronese (Fig. 14), and Tintoretto.
But beyond that white monochrome, how were the unique qualities of
Dalmatias white cities and their architecture of antiquity transported and
materialized in other locations? One way was the indirect one of Palladios
white ruins. The message was certainly not missed, however elliptical it may
have been. Indeed, it is no surprise that the 18th-century English country
houses based on the images in Palladios books or the new circuses in Regency
Fig. Paolo Veronese, Dinner at the House of Levi, Accademia Venice. art resource.
168 Payne
28 Colin Rowe, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, The Architectural Review (March 1947):
101104. On the imbrication between Renaissance and modernist ideals and Rowes role
in fostering this dialogue, see Alina Payne, Rudolf Wittkower and Architectural Principles
in the Age of Modernism, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 53 (September
1994): 322342, and Alina Payne, Rudolf Wittkower, trans. F. Peri. Turin: Bollati Boringhieri,
2011. On the prevalence of white in modernist architecture (though associated with
fashion rather than stone in this case), see Mark Wigley, White Walls, Designer Dresses.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.
29 On the complicated and sad history of Palmanovas foundation, see, most recently,
Deborah Howard, Venice Disputed: Marcantonio Barbaro and Venetian Architecture, 1550
1600. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
30 For a noteworthy contribution to the argument locating the origins of the ideal citys
look in stage design, see Ludovico Zorzi, Il teatro e la citt. Turin: Einaudi, 1977,
pp. 7678.
31 The fascination with the ideal city started with Heydenreichs (1937) essay on Pienza and
was subsequently developed both in the literature on this city and in the scholarship on
London that developed this tradition were so committed to whiteness. This
white vision of supreme order remained embedded in modernist ideals,
as Rowes (1947) reading of Palladiothrough Le Corbusier glassesamply
attests.28 The other way this vision became embedded in the Mediterranean
imaginationthe flip side of the analytical reconstruction approach or of
reportage (i.e., seeing the ruins as decayed and full of the contaminating
soil)is through the tradition of the ideal city. Here memory, desire, and
imaginario all blended into one.
Thus, if Dalmatia bequeathed its white stone to Venice and the Adriatic
shores, it also contributed much to a peculiarly Mediterranean fascination
with the ideal city as a white city. To be sure, the ideal city was more of a desire
than a reality in the Renaissance. Although a succession of architect/writers
from Leon Battista Alberti, Filarete, and Francesco di Giorgio onward extolled
the beauty, organic perfection, and logic of a geometrically planned city with
strategically located monuments, little that was tangible could be, or was,
achieved in this regard. Indeed, the unsuccessful experiment of the city of
Palmanova (founded 1593) remains a testimony of the chasm between theory
and practice.29 However, the desire forand even the utopia ofan ideal city
remained deeply entrenched in architects collective imagination (the subject
of a significant body of scholarly literature); yet, its focus has been somewhat
narrowly placed on the perspective arrangement and scenographic approach
to the ensemble.30 This tendency was bolstered by such a paradigmatic figure
as Alberti, who was both the codifier of perspective construction and a signifi-
cant participant in the discourse on the ideal city.31 The power of Erwin
169 The Thin White Line
the treatise literature of the Renaissance. Pienza had already been discussed (though not
from this perspective) in Carl Friedrich von Rumohrs Italienische Forschungen (1827
1831), Jacob Burckhardts Der Cicerone. 2nd ed., 1869, and Stegmann and Geymllers
Architektur der Renaissance in der Toscana. The connection to Alberti was a contributing
factor to Pienzas role in scholarship on the ideal city and perspective. Subsequently, dis-
cussions of Filaretes design and description of the ideal city of Sforzinda contributed to
the development of the topic into a central theme for Renaissance scholarship. See the
seminal article by Ludwig H. Heydenreich, Pius II: Als Bauherr von Pienza, Zeitschrift fr
Kunstgeschichte 6, nos. 2/3 (1937): 105146. For a more recent discussion of this subject,
see Hanno Walter Kruft, Stdte in Utopia: Die Idealstadt vom 15. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert
zwischen Staatsutopie und Wirklichkeit. Munich: Beck, 1989; Andreas Tnnesmann,
Pienza: Stdtebau und Humanismus. Rome: Hirmer, 1990; and Jan Pieper, Pienza: Entwurf
einer humanistischen Weltsicht. Stuttgart and London: Alex Menges, 1997, pp. 128143.
Among the earliest essays on Alberti and city design are W.A. Eden, Studies in Urban
Theory: The De re aedificatoria of Leon Battista Alberti, The Town Planning Review 19, no. 1
(Autumn 1943): 1028. For a different reading, opposing the tradition of the Albertian
model as an ideal model, see Caspar Pearson, Humanism and the Urban World: Leon
Battista Alberti and the Renaissance City. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 2011. On
the origins of the argument, see the celebrated essay by Eugenio Garin, Scienza e vita civile
nel rinascimento italiano. Bari: Laterza, 1965.
32 Erwin Panofsky, Perspektive als symbolische Form, Vortrge der Bibliothek Warburg
19241925 (1927), pp. 258330. The connection of Brunelleschi to perspective construction
offered another avenue for Panofskys idea to penetrate architectural scholarship. See, for
example, Giulio Carlo Argan, The Architecture of Brunelleschi and the Origins of
Perspective Theory in the Fifteenth Century, Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institutes
8 (1946): 96121. The latest important avatar of the city/perspective argument, though
pushing back against the traditional Renaissance triumphalist reading and convincingly
placing its origins in the Trecento, is Marvin Trachtenberg, The Dominion of the Eye:
Urbanism, Art and Power in Early Modern Florence. New York: Cambridge University
Press, 1997.
33 See, especially, Richard Krautheimer, Le tavole di Urbino, Berlino e Baltimora riesami-
nate, in Il Rinascimento da Brunelleschi a Michelangelo: La rappresentazione
dellarchitettura, eds. Henry A. Millon and Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani. Milan:
Bompiani, 1994, pp. 233257, and Hubert Damisch, Lorigine de la perspective. Paris:
Flammarion, 1987; trans. into English by John Goodman as The Origin of Perspective.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994. See also the review of the two arguments (Damischs
Panofskys paradigm-setting essay of 1925 on perspective as a forma mentis and
epistemological model of the Renaissance also facilitated this connection,
finding here its most effective entry into architectural scholarship.32 The two
themesthe ideal city and perspectiveconverged particularly in the schol-
arship on the 15th-century panels depicting the ideal city now held in Berlin,
Baltimore, and Urbino, respectively (Fig. 15).33 Despite the attention it has
170 Payne
and Panofskys translated essay) by Margaret Iversen, Orthodox and Anamorphic
Perspective, Oxford Art Journal 18, no. 2 (1995): 8184.
34 On horror as a submerged yet powerful component of Renaissance art, see the introduc-
tion and essays in Maria Loh ed., Early Modern Horror, special issue of Oxford Art Journal
34, no.3 (October 2011).
received, the fact that many views of the ideal citywhether architectural or
pictorialalso present it as white has escaped notice, as did emperor
Augustuss having bequeathed a white Rome by turning it into marble.
The uncanny calm of the Renaissance cities as they were represented in
paintings or in architectural drawings also suggests a submerged tension vis--
vis various forms of horror.34 The order, control, and supreme legibility of the
city and its structures envisaged by architect/critics ranging from Alberti and
Filarete to De Marchi were as much about a desire for Olympian calm and
dignity in the face of threatening chaos that existed just beneath or on the
surface of daily lifeof warfare, epidemics, invasion, and anarchyas about
a theoretical engagement with ideal geometries and musical harmonies. The
whiteness added another layer of desire to this image, and the city inside a
while marble palace, as is the case in Spalato, epitomizes this possibility of
order and pristine white beauty. In these ideal city viewsmany associated
with Urbino, another Adriatic power in the 15th centurythe poetry of the
calm, horizontal, white, pristine city that was such an unrealized but desired
beacon for generations of architects comes into full view. The ideal cities imag-
ined by Fra Carnevale, Francesco di Giorgio, and Piero della Francesca include
both the boats and the horizon with its white shimmer. Indeed, such visions
may be construed as the Pathosformel of the Renaissance city. Of this utopia,
the white Dalmatian cities were a constant reminder. Viewed from the water
by artists and architects, craftsmen and ambassadors, humanists and mer-
chants gliding along the shores toward their destinations just like the abbot
Fig. Fra Carnevale, The Ideal City, c. 14801484. walters art museum.
171 The Thin White Line
Fortis, the coast presented a distant yet gleaming white littoral that connected
like a string of white pearls Gallipoli and Ragusa, Spalato and Venice, Bari and
Sebenico, the white ruins and the white mountains. Geography plays a partic-
ular role here, for the Adriatic is a special case of the Mediterranean, reminis-
cent of the Aegean or even the Red Sea, for being more like a lake or closed sea,
not open like the Tyrrhenian. The two shores are close, the traffic across it
sustained, especially the circulation of goods and stone from port to port, from
quarry to site. Ancona and Bari, Otranto and Venice are just a stones throw
away from Ragusa and Zara, Spalato and Durazzo.
Indeed, the littoral is a powerful collective experience that binds these sites
togetherthe bright, sometimes white, sometimes golden shore collects them
into one winding line that blends into the horizon over vast expanses of water.
To be sure the hinterland is the other to this experience, but without the
shore, there is no hinterland; the mountains that add a backdrop to the eva-
nescence of the horizon are both a barrier and an attractionthey simultane-
ously protect and separate. The littoral reifies the travelers filmic experience,
in the 16th century as in the 18th or the 21st: the view from the boat (Fig.16) is
the view of the passer-by who does not stop to experience the hinterland, who
does not live there, but only touches down to bed for the night in a lazaretto
and passes on. This is the view experienced and recollected by humanists such
as Ciriaco of Ancona and Cristoforo Buondelmonte, by painter Andrea
Fig. Louis-Francois Cassas and Joseph Lavalle, Vue gnrale de Spalatro. in Voyage
pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie. Paris, 1802. houghton
library, harvard university, typ. 815.02.2616.
172 Payne
Schiavone, by sculptor/architects Francesco and Luciano Laurana, or by
Giovanni da Firenze and so many others.
Perhaps the most potent image where the two ideas convergedthe white
monument and the white citywas that of the palace of Diocletian, which
contained the city of Spalato (Split) within its generous boundaries. Located
on the very edge of the water, the white ruin-as-city was highly visible from
the sea, to which it presented its broadest side and its famous crypto portico.
As such, it was the most iconic of the many white Dalmatian cities hugging
the shoresamong which Pola, Ragusa, and Zadar were the most notable
precisely for its exceptional ancient Roman and imperial pedigree. An enor-
mous palace laid out as a castrum, it combined the orthogonal regularity of the
planned city with the richness of ornament and white marblelike material into
a single architectural body conceived and executed as a single project (Fig.17).
What distinguished Spalato and gave it iconic status was that it distilled into
one powerful image the mythological mirage of the white city that had pene-
trated deep into most Mediterranean cultures, and mixed religion with the
appeal of antiquity and the availability of white stone quarries. Indeed the
white city is a topos common to many mythologies and religions, including
many Mediterranean ones. The vision of Rome, the pagan city of white marble,
represents one pole; the other is the Judeo-Christian tradition of the heavenly
Fig. Palace of Diocletian, Split (photo by the author).
173 The Thin White Line
35 Manuel Chrysoloras, Comparison of Old and New Rome (c. 1411) in Christine Smith,
Architecture in the Culture of Early Humanism: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Eloquence, 14001470.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992, pp. 199215. Leo Africanus relates the story of
Fez being called Citt Bianca (Madnat al-Bayd); see Il viaggio di Giovan Leone e le
navigazioni di Alvise da Ca da Mosto, ed. Giovambattista Ramusio. Venice: Luigi Plet,
1837, p.81.
36 Giovanni Gondola (Ivan Gundolic) a Ragusan poet (il Tasso del Seicento raguseo) and
political figure (15881638) dedicated to the Turkish Sultan a poem on Ragusa in which he
described the city as white: Oh white city of Ragusa, famous throughout the world and
pleasing to the Heavens, quoted in Luigi Villari, The Republic of Ragusa. London: J.M.
Dent, 1904, p. 379.
Jerusalem and the ideal City of God. Blended together, they reappear as an
aspiration throughout history: among the Byzantines as per Manuel
Chrysolorass encomium for Constantinople (the New Rome), in Petrarchs
nostalgia for ancient Rome imagined from a distance on Mont Ventoux, in the
memory of city names such as those of the many white cities on the perime-
ter of the Mediterranean (both Fez and Alexandria were originally called the
white city), Beograd (Belgrade), and, as far as Romania (on the Black Sea, an
extension of the Mediterranean and a former Roman colony), Alba Iulia and
Cetatea Alba.35
Such a vision can be sensed in the built mise-en-scnes of the imaginary cit-
ies that make up the backdrop of so many Renaissance paintings. From
Mantegna to Veronese and Tintoretto by way of Carpaccio and Bellini, the
staging of Saint Mark Preaching in Alexandria, of the Wedding at Cana, or The
Finding of the Body of Saint Mark presents a Jerusalem and Damascus, a
Constantinople and Cairo that are also white cities. All speak of an imaginario
of the white city, of the miragelike city of the Adriatic that emerges like a spec-
ter or phantasm from the blueness of the sea. This city as stage set, then, like
the perfect geometrical white cities of Fra Carnevale, owes to the white littoral
imaginariothat is, to a Mediterranean imaginario that has its most powerful
expression in the Spalato site but is not unique to it36and it informs a
Venetian imaginario, a Pugliese one already willed by an emperor like Frederic II,
an Urbino one, and creates echoes across the Adriatic. Perhaps even a Tuscan
one: Pope Pius IIs Pienza is in many ways an enterprise like Diocletians, the
building of a palace/city at his modest birthplace. In Pienza, though far
from the Adriatic and not well endowed with white stone, white does make its
appearance to dignify the main square (the church faade, the fountain, the
stone ornamental details, the bi-chrome white and gray of the sgraffito faades)
that is also the palaces forecourt, as if to enhance and ennoble the ideal city,
here planned with the recollection of white, perfect cities elsewhere.
174 Payne
37 Leon Battista Alberti, On the Art of Building. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1988, p. 23. On
Kleinarchitektur, see Alina Payne, Materiality, Crafting and Scale in Renaissance
Architecture, Oxford Art Journal (December 2009): 365386.
However, beyond its appeal as a model of civic utopia, this white, marble-
like city of Spalato (but also of Ragusa and Zara) that is one organic whole,
seemingly cut out of the same material throughoutrather like the cathedral
of Sebenicois also a complete work of art. The same stone slab that is used
for a relief sculpture is also the surface of the ground; the same polish gives
both columns and street pavements the quality of brilliance, and suggest pre-
ciousness. No tufts of grass, no trees, no dirt spoil the pristine whiteness of
the stones that literally glisten in both moon- and sunlight. The marble floor of
the city disconnects it from nature and turns it into an artifact that could
implicitlybe lifted. Alberti famously states that a city is like a palace and a
palace like a small city, and in so doing proposes a form of miniaturization that
suggests this peculiar quality that Spalato has of being an object placed on
the ground rather than being of the ground, a form of city as Kleinarchitektur
(small architecture).37 The city as a hand-held boxas object and portable
comes up time and again in many painted dedications, but nowhere more poi-
gnantly than in the sculpture of Saint Blaise holding Ragusa on the main gate
of the city, or in Francesco di Giorgios (another adoptive Urbino architect)
image of the ideal city of Dinocrates (Fig.18).
The city as palace and the palace as city offer a peculiar reflection upon
inside and outside, on what is finished and polished and what is not, what is
carpet and what is earth. The polished stones of the streetsso close to mar-
ble in feeling (indeed, Alberti calls the local limestone a type of marble)
promote the sense of a heightened experience, of an additional whiteness that
completes the picture: as if on a stage set, the people walking along are silhou-
etted powerfully against the full whiteness of the background; they become
individualized, attracting focus, drawing the eye upon themselves. This is the
setting of Piero della Francescas Urbino sensibility, of his figure cut-outs
against a blinding whiteness, be they in the Flagellation or in his Arezzo fres-
coes; it is also that of Palladios Teatro Olimpicoitself white, and ghostly
where inside and outside are blurred, both spectators and actors, living and
sculpted bodies facing each other. Most important, this extraordinary experi-
ence of viewing in and viewing out, of the blurred inside/outside that drama-
tizes the city as object and as artifact, is fully articulated by Antonio da
Proculiano, chancellor of Spalato, in his Oratione al clarissimo m. Giovan
Battista Calbo degnissimo rettor, et alla magnifica communita di Spalato
175 The Thin White Line
38 Commissiones et relationes Venetae, Annorum 15531571, ed. Simeon Ljubic, in Monumenta
spectantia historiam slavorum meridionalium, vol. III. Zagreb: Oeficina Societatis
Typographicae, 1880, pp. 197238. I am grateful to Joko Belamari for this reference.
in Venice in 1567.38 After describing at some length in an encomium the
palace-as-city, he attempts to convey its uniqueness. What makes him marvel
Fig. St. Blaise, Detail, Dubrovnik (photo by the author).
176 Payne
39 Emphasis added by author. The original Italian is sopra I quali volti saliggiati quasi per
una perpetua piazza in circoito si spassiggiava et cavalcava, et spassigiando et cavalcando
vedea di fuori tutto il paese obietto dale tre parti, gli horti, i giardini, le vigne, i campi,
i colli, le valli, i piani et i monti; dalla faccia meridionale il mare, i scogli, le isole et i seni
vicini et piu lontani con grandissimo diletto et solaccio riguardati. Et quelli di fuori poi
quasi per entro un bellissimo et rilevato theatro cosi vedeano quei di dentro spassiggianti
et cavalcanti hor un fenestrone hor laltro et rari et frequenti passare; di maniera che
pareva, che la terra et gli habitatori di fuori et il mare et scogli et I navigli lo palazzo et li
suopi habitatori, esso palazzo et que che erano dentro, la terra el mare et que di fuori
vagheggiassino. Ibid. Some 400years later, the archaeologist Raymond Chevallier makes
similar observations. Raymond Chevallier, Les anciens voyageurs de Venise Pola et
Salone, in Aquileia, la Dalmazia e lIllirico: Atti della XIV Settimana di studi aquilesi, 2329
aprile, 1983. Antichit altoadriatiche 26, no. 1 (1985): 27.
is not only the beauty of the edifice and the buildings it contains, but the fact
that the interior is of such dimensions that its inhabitants can walk and ride in
it and through its many windows, see the varied landscape and in particular
the sea, the boats, the cliffs. Even more telling is that on their platform, ele-
vated from the shore, these walking and riding personages can themselves be
seen as in a theater, from the outside, from the shore and the sea, a ballet of
shadows, as if they themselves were floating on a watery surface. Proculiano
imagines a condition of double yearning, of the outside for the inside and vice
versa:
People used to stroll and ride in circles above these sunny vaults almost
as through a never-ending square, and while strolling and riding they
looked out from the three sides at the territory in front of them, at the
grounds, gardens, vineyards, fields, hills, valleys, flatlands and mountains;
from the southern side they looked out with great delight and solace at
the sea, cliffs, islands, and at the close and more distant bays. And then
the people standing outside almost as through a beautiful and elevated
theater could look at those strolling and riding inside, one moment from
one window, the other from a different one, passing by rarely or fre-
quently; in such a way that it looked like the earth and its inhabitants
standing outside, the sea, cliffs and ships yearned for the palace and its
inhabitants, while the palace and the people inside it yearned for the
earth and the sea, and for the people outside.39
The city as object thus conveys the notion of the city as work of art, but even
more so as artifact, as man-made, man-crafted. and intellectually circum-
scribed as if by a tight, three-dimensional frame rather than left to the hazards
177 The Thin White Line
40 Chrysoloras, Comparison of Old and New Rome, pp. 199215.
of time and accretive development. This is Fra Carnevales city and all the ideal
cities on cassoni and spaliere that abound in church choirs, studiolos, and wed-
ding chests. Manuel Chrysoloras, in an encomium that ignited the imagina-
tions of his Italian audiences, described Constantinople as the New Rome in
just such terms: for him the city was not of this earth, but of heaven; he was
struck by its silhouette (the crown and circuit of its walls); and saw the city
as an island, a city in the sea.40 The image is powerful and must have reso-
nated across the centuries. Ultimately, this is another way to transport a site,
to make it portable: as desire. Perhaps the most tangible records of this unreal-
ized intellectual project remain the churches of Palladioespecially San
Giorgio Maggiore, floating on the lagoon like a white apparition on the hori-
zon; or Il Redentore, viewed as a single object on its white platform from the
other side of the Canal della Giudecca. The floating white churches like minia-
ture cities on the horizon may be the most lasting effect of Istria and Dalmatia
on Palladio (Fig.19).
Yet, for all its artificial quality, for all its pristine detachment from the soil
and its contaminants, the ideal citybe it real like Spalato or imagined like
the Urbino utopiasit is still a part of nature. Networks tie it back into the
systema system that leads back to Rome across the roads such as the Via
Egnatia and the Via Appia but also to the hinterland. Cities need water, and
Fig. Andrea Palladio, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (photo by the author).
178 Payne
41 Ibid., p. 209.
the aqueducts reach deep into the wild, untouched depths of the hills to feed
off rivers and rivulets. Stone roads and stone aqueducts are both mobility
petrified, turned into architecture, made visible. Manuel Chrysolaras makes
this point most eloquently: the aqueducts carry water in underground chan-
nels and lift it high in the air over the walls, so that one might call them rivers
in the sky, arriving from great distances, as far as many days travel.41 Built
riverbeds and suspended rivers, with water contained, monumentalized, and
turned into an artifact as a building, these aqueducts are strange hybrids
(Fig.20). On the one hand, roads and aqueducts, though man-made, are rei-
fied signals of movement like arrows in space that are superimposed on
topography and on the geometry of landownership and borders like a diapha-
nous grid that connects the empireone infrastructure embedded in the
soil, the other flying overhead. On the other hand, they proclaim with great
pathos that cities never really break away from nature, that it always reasserts
its presence, that the cities need to be anchored back into it by ties, however
diaphanous. Constructive or destructive nature is therelike the decay that
ultimately destroys the white cities and turns them into ruinsand leaves
their begetters with the imaginariothat is, with the desire and the anxiety.
Two systems intension: one a spiders web tying the city to its site; the other
Fig.0 Louis-Francois Cassas and Joseph Lavalle, Vue de laqueduc de Salones, in Voyage
pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie. Paris, 1802. houghton
library, harvard university, typ. 815.02.2616.
179 The Thin White Line
phantasmic, floating white cities on the shores. In his compact images of
ruins, Palladio alludes to both geometries that exist in tension: the geometry
of hard connections and the free flow. In the end, this is the message that
Palladios compressed archaeological sites on white paper send out with
his book across Europe and across time as portable sites and portable
architecturethe Fata Morgana of the thin white line on the horizon (Fig.21).
Bibliography
Alberti, Leon Battista, On the Art of Building, ed. and trans. Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach
and Robert Tavernor. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1988.
Argan, Giulio Carlo, The Architecture of Brunelleschi and the Origins of Perspective
Theory in the Fifteenth Century, Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 8
(1946): 96121.
Chastel, Andr, Marqueterie et Perspective au XVe sicle, La Revue des Arts, no. 3
(1953): 141154.
_____, Art et humanisme Florence au temps de Laurent le Magnifique: tudes sur la
Renaissance et lhumanisme platonicien. Paris: Presses universitaires de France,
1959.
Fig. View of the Adriatic Littoral from Castel del Monte, Puglia (photo by the author).
180 Payne
Chevallier, Raymond, Les anciens voyageurs de Venise Pola et Salone, in Aquileia, la
Dalmazia e lIllirico, Atti della XIV Settimana di studi aquilesi, 2329 aprile, 1983.
Antichita altoadriatiche 26, 1, 1985.
Choay, Francoise, La rgle et le modle: sur la theorie de larchitecture et de lurbanisme.
Paris: Seuil, 1980.
Chrysoloras, Manuel, Comparison of Old and New Rome (c. 1411) in Ch. Smith,
Architecture in the Culture of Early Humanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991,
pp. 199215.
Concina, Ennio, Storia dellarchitettura di Venezia dal VII al XX secolo. Milan: Electa,
1995.
uri, Slobodan, Architecture in the Balkans from Diocletian to Sleyman the
Magnificent. London: Yale University Press, 2010.
da Vignola, Jacopo Barozzi, Regola delli cinque ordini darchitettura. Rome: Camera
Apostolica for Vignola, 1562.
Damisch, Hubert, Lorigine de la perspective. Paris: Flammarion, 1987; Engl. trans.
1994.
Descrizione della Cargna del co. Jacopo Valvasone di Maniaco. Udine: Tipografia Jacob e
Colmegna, 1866.
Eden, W.A., Studies in Urban Theory: The De re aedificatoria of Leon Battista Alberti,
The Town Planning Review 19, no. 1 (1943):1028.
Fortis, Alberto, Viaggio in Dalmazia dellabate Alberto Fortis. Venice: Alvise Milocco,
1774.
Garin, Eugenio, Scienza e vita civile nel rinascimento italiano. Bari: Laterza, 1965.
Garofalo, Emanuela, Le lave. Gli usi ornamentali nellarchitettura storica in Sicilia,
Lexicon 1415 (2012): 7088.
Gnther, Hubertus, Das Studium der Antiken Architektur in den Zeichnungen der
Hochrenaissance. Tbingen: E. Wasmuth, 1988.
Heydenreich, Ludwig H., Pius II. Als Bauherr von Pienza, Zeitschrift fr Kunstgeschichte
6, no. 2/3 (1937): 105146.
Howard, Deborah, The Architectural History of Venice. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 2002.
_____, Venice Disputed. Marcantonio Barbaro and Venetian Architecture, 15501600. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
Iversen, Margaret, Orthodox and Anamorphic Perspective, Oxford Art Journal 18,
no. 2 (1995): 8184.
Karmon, David, The Ruin of the Eternal City: Antiquity and Preservation in Renaissance
Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Krautheimer, Richard, Le tavole di Urbino, Berlino e Baltimora riesaminate. In Il
Rinascimento. Da Brunelleschi a Michelangelo, eds. Henry A. Millon and Vittorio
Lampugnani. Milano: Bompiani, 1994, pp. 233257.
181 The Thin White Line
Kruft, Hanno Walter, Stdte in Utopia: Die Idealstadt vom 15. Bis zum 18. Jahrhundert
zwischen Staatsutopie und Wircklichkeit. Munich: Beck, 1989.
La fabrica dei colori, eds. Simona Rinaldi et al. Rome: Il Bagatto, 1986.
Labacco, Antonio, Libro appartenente allarchitecttura. Rome: In Casa Nostra, 1552.
Loh, Maria, ed., Special issue: Early Modern Horror, Oxford Art Journal 34, no. 3 (2011).
Lovrich, Giovanni, Osservazioni di Giovanni Lovrich sopra diversi pezzi in Dalmazia del
Signor Abate Alberto Fortis. Venice: Francesco Sansoni, 1776.
Nesselrath, Arnold, I libri di disegni di antichit: tentativo di una tipologia.
In Memoria dellantico nellarte italiana, vol. 3: Dalla tradizione allarcheologia,
ed. Salvatore Settis. Turin: G. Einaudi, 1986, pp. 87147.
Palladio, Andrea, I quattro libri dellarchitettura, eds. Licisco Magagnato and Paola
Marini. Milan: Il Polifilo, 1980.
Panofsky, Erwin, Perspektive als symbolische Form, Vortrge der Bibliothek Warburg
19241925 (1927): 258330.
Parronchi, Alessandro, Studi su la dolce prospettiva. Milan: A. Martello, 1964.
Payne, Alina, Andrea Palladio. In Architecture and Its Image, eds. E. Blau and
E. Kaufmann. Montreal: CCA, 1989.
_____, Rudolf Wittkower and Architectural Principles in the Age of Modernism,
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 53 (1994): 322342.
_____, Materiality, Crafting and Scale in Renaissance Architecture, Oxford Art Journal
(2009): 365386.
_____, Rudolf Wittkower. Turin: Bollati Boringhieri, 2011; trans. F. Peri.
Pearson, Caspar, Humanism and the Urban World. Leon Battista Alberti and the
Renaissance City. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 2011.
Pieper, Jan, Pienza: Entwurf einer humanistischen Weltsicht. Stuttgart and London: Alex
Menges, 1997.
Quattrocento Adriatico. Fifteenth-Century Art of the Adriatic Rim, Villa Spelman
Colloquia, vol. 5, ed. Charles Dempsey. Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1996.
Ramusio, Giovambattista, ed., Il viaggio di Giovan Leone e le navigazioni di Alvise da Ca
da Mosto. Venice: Luigi Plet, 1837.
Rodolico, Francesco, Le pietre delle citt dItalia. Florence: Le Monnier, 1965.
Rowe, Colin, The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa, The Architectural Review (1947):
101104.
Rowland, Ingrid, Raphael, Angelo Colocci, and the Genesis of the Architectural
Orders, Art Bulletin 76, no. 1 (1994): 81104.
Sansovino, Francesco, Venetia citt nobilissima et singolare. Venice: I. Sansovino, 1581.
Scamozzi, Vincenzo, Lidea della architettura universal. Venice: expensis auctoris, 1615.
Scibilia, Federica, I rossi nodulari, Lexicon, no. 1011 (2010): 7591.
Serlio, Sebastiano, Il terzo libro di Sebastiano Serlio Bolognese. Venice: Francesco
Marcolini da Forl, 1540.
182 Payne
Sutera, Domenica, Grigio di Billiemi. Luso a Palermo dal XVI al XX secolo, Lexicon,
no. 8 (2009): 5662.
Tnnesmann, Andreas, Pienza: Stdtebau und Humanismus. Rome: Hirmer, 1990.
Trachtenberg, Marvin, The Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art and Power in Early
Modern Florence. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Un trattato universale dei colori. Il Ms. 2861 della Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, ed.,
Francesca Muzio. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2012.
Vasari, Giorgio, Vasari on Technique, trans., Louisa S. Maclehose, ed. and intro.,
G. Baldwin Brown. London: J.M. Dent & Company, 1907.
Villari, Luigi, The Republic of Ragusa. London: J.M. Dent, 1904.
Vitruvius, Marcus Pollio, I dieci libri dellarchitettura tr. e commenatati da monsignor
Daniele Barbaro. Venice: Francesco Marcolini, 1556.
Wigley, Mark, White Walls, Designer Dresses. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.
Wolters, Wolfgang, Architektur und Ornament: venezianischer Bauschmuck der Renais-
sance. Munich: C.H. Beck, 2000.
Zeri, Federico, Rinascimento e Pseudo-Rinascimento. In Storia dellarte italiana,
part II, vol. 1. Turin: Einaudi, 19791983.
Zorach, Rebecca, ed., The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome: Printing and Collecting
the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae. Chicago: University of Chicago Library,
2008.
Zorzi, Ludovico, Il teatro e la citt. Torino: Einaudi, 1977.
koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_
1 Bau- und kunst-denkmale des Kstenlandes. Aquileja; Grz; Grado; Triest; Capo dIstria;
Muggia; Pirano; Parenzo; Rovigno; Pola; Veglia, etc., eds. Hans Folnesics and Leo Planiscig.
Vienna: Schroll, 1916, p. 19. For a historiographic discussion of Vlkerwanderungszeit, the
term that designates the migration of peoples between Late Antiquity and Early Middle
Ages, see Michael Kulikowski, Romes Gothic Wars: From the Third Century to Alaric.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 4370.
2 Robert Adam, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia, ed.
M. Navarra. Cannitello, 2001, p. 28, quoted in Ivan Drpi, The Invisible City: Split and the
Palace of Diocletian in the Age of Antiquarianism (unpublished paper, 2004).
3 L.-F. Cassas and J. Lavalle, Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie.
Paris, 1802, pp. 136137: On a fait de ce temple un petit oratoire, et le mauvais got a rig
Chapter
Hospitality and Hostility in 16th-Century
Art Literary Sources on the Mediterranean
David Young Kim
In taking the Dalmatian littoral as the center of gravity to examine the mobility
of artistic forms in the Mediterranean, one might first consider the complex
historiographic dimensions of this enterprise. Less than a century ago, Hans
Folnesics and Leo Planiscig edited the Bau- und kunst-denkmale des
Kstenlandes (1916), which sought to present in one volume the principal mon-
uments of the Austrian Empires coastal domains. One section in particular
documents the parallels between a capital from Salona, dated by the editors to
the Vlkerwanderungszeit, to those in the Cathedral of S. Giusto in Trieste, some
490kilometers to the north (Fig.1).1 The authors discussion of the influence
and exchange of architectural styles along the Dalmatian coast contrasts with
earlier antiquarian publications that decried the buildings constructed when
migratory waves of Slavic tribes emerged from the hinterland. Robert Adam, in
his monumental folios illustrating Diocletians palace in Split (1764), lamented
the presence of post-classical accretions, stating that modern works are so
intermingled with the ancient, as to be scarcely distinguishable.2 Also in
regard to Diocletians palace, the painter Louis-Franois Cassas reported in a
travel journal published in 1802 that bad taste was responsible for the con-
struction of the early Romanesque belfry next to the Temple of Jupiter, which,
in his view, dishonored one of the most beautiful pieces of antiquity which
remained in Europe.3
184 kim
au-dessus une vilaine tour carre et barlongue, termine par un mauvais toit couvert en
tuiles; et limportante ncessit dajouter des cloches une glise a dtermin dshonorer
lun des plus beaux morceaux de lantiquit qui restoient en Europe, et dtruire par cette
laide gane la belle harmonie qui rsultoit des proportions savantes des diverses parties de
cet difice. Cassas undertook his voyage to Dalmatia in 1782, some 20 years before the
publication of his travel journal.
Fig. Photographs of capitals from Trieste and Salona in Bau- und kunst-denkmale des
Kstenlandes: Aquileja; Grz; Grado; Triest; Capo dIstria; Muggia; Pirano; Parenzo;
Rovigno; Pola; Veglia, etc., eds. Hans Folnesics and Leo Planiscig. Vienna: Schroll, 1916.
185 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
4 Bernard Berenson, Aesthetics and History in the Visual Arts. New York: Pantheon, 1948, p. 152.
5 Idid., pp. 26, 154, 167168.
6 Comments such as very good can be found written on the inside cover of Berensons
copyofOrient oder Rom held in the Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University
Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. For recent historiographic treatments of Strzygowski,
see J.A. Miguel, Focilln y Strzygowski o la Lejana Raz del Arte Occidental, Espacio, tiempo
y forma (1993): 559605; C. Maranci, Armenian Architecture as Aryan Architecture:
The Role of Indo-European Studies in the Theories of Josef Strzygowski, Visual Resources
13, nos. 34 (1998): 363380; Margaret Olin, Art History and Ideology: Alois Riegl and
The tension between examining and condemning mobility and stylistic
change was not restricted to scholarly publications on the Dalmatian littoral
alone. The parameters of debate have at times also widened to include the
field of art history at large. American art historian Bernard Berenson, in his
Aesthetics and History (1948), wrote an extensive diatribe on the futility of
undertaking influence as a topic in art-historical research: Strictly speaking,
the question of influence has nothing to do with the enjoyment and apprecia-
tion of the work of art, and little with understanding it. Scarcely more than for
an Englishman to know whence comes the various ingredients of his meals,
whether the wheat comes from Canada, or Danubia, or Russia; the butchers
meat from Australia or the Argentine; the eggs and poultry from Denmark
or New Zealand, the spices from Ceylon or Java, the fruits from South Africa
or California.The search for influences isseldom free from nationalistic
prejudices, rash inferences, and ill-founded conclusions.4
Berenson also equated influence and stylistic transformation with decline
as he put it, the diminution of creative energy leaving only eruptive forces free
to carry on their disintegrating activities from within. His confrontational
stance toward undertaking influence as a legitimate topic of art-historical
research opposed the freewheeling conjectures of the Austrian art historian
Josef Strzygowski. In controversial works such as Orient oder Rom (1901) and
Die Landschaft in der nordischen Kunst (1922), Strzygowski displaced the ori-
gins of canonical styles and art works to Eastern civilizations. As Berenson
later stated, we are even expected to believe that Tuscan painting of the four-
teenth century was indebted for its essential constituents to remote China. It
was for such expansive notions of influence that Berenson would also call
Strygowski the Attila of art history.5 This may have been a reversal of sorts on
Berensons part, as marginalia in his own collection of Strygowskis work indi-
cates initial approval; yet his condemnation of influence, with its emphasis
on categorically defining the racial components of style, was in the end tied to
his opposition of German National Socialism, whose political ideals Strygowski
had largely supported throughout World War II.6
186 kim
Josef Strzygowski, in Cultural Visions: Essays in the History of Culture, eds. Penny Schine Gold
and Benjamin C. Sax. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000, pp. 151170; Massimo Bernab, Un episo-
dio della demonizzazione dellarte bizantina in Italia: La campagna contro Strzygowski,
Toesca e Lionello Venturi sulla stampa fascista nel 1930, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 94, no. 1
(2001): 110; Ja Elsner, The Birth of Late Antiquity: Riegl and Strzygowski in 1901,
Art History 23, no. 3 (2002): 358379; Stephen Kite, South Opposed to East and North:
Adrian Stokes and Josef Strzygowski. A Study in the Aesthetics and Historiography of
Orientalism, Art History 26, no. 4 (2003): 505532; Pierre Vaisse, Josef Strzygowski et la
France, Revue de lart 146 (2004): 7383. On Strzygowskis relationship with members of the
Vienna School, see E. Frodl-Kraft, Eine Aporie und der Versuch ihrer Deutung: Josef
Strzygowski Julius V. Schlosser, Wiener Jahrbuch fr Kunstgeschichte 42 (1989): 752. On
Strzygowskis opposition to the art-historical emphasis on Greco-Roman sources and human-
ism in general, see Suzanne Marchand, The Rhetoric of Artifacts and the Decline of Classical
Humanism, History and Theory 33, no. 4 (1994): 106130.
7 On Cosimo Bartolis translation and its relationship to the theoretical precepts of the
Florentine Accademia del disegno, see Alina A. Payne, Alberti and the Origins of the Paragone
between Architecture and the Figural Arts, in Leon Battista Alberti. Teorico delle arti e gli
impegni civili del De Re Aedificatoria, eds. Arturo Calzona et al. Florence: Olschki, 2007,
pp.347368.
8 The literature on the 16th-century disegno vs. colorito debates is immense. See especially
Michel Hochmann, Venise et Rome 15001600: Deux coles de peinture et leurs changes.
This hostility towards mobility and influence also finds a venerable ances-
tor in Renaissance art theory, a genre that reached a veritable boiling point in
the mid-16th century. Significant examples include Leon Battista Albertis
treatise De re aedificatoria, written, to be sure, a century before, but reaching
an intense moment of dissemination and reception via Cosimo Bartolis trans-
lation, published in 1550.7 The year 1550 in Florence also witnessed the publica-
tion of Giorgio Vasaris first edition of Le vite depi eccellenti pittori, scvltori et
architetti. In 1557 in Venice, Lodovico Dolce published his Dialogo della pittura,
better known as LAretino, which to a large extent disputed Vasaris emphasis
on Tuscan and Central Italian art. Art-historical scholarship has usually
interpreted these works as competitors in the quarrel between regional
artistic styles; and these debates between disegno vs. colorito, Michelangelo
and Titian, have been well-studied, perhaps ad nauseam. Yet such interpreta-
tions could easily be mistaken to imply that the geographic scope of these
works is limited to their favored region, or even to Italy alone. While the
geographic horizons of these art theoretical works extend far beyond Italy
to include the Mediterranean world at large, their attitude toward the mobility
of artists and artworks oscillates between two polesthose of hostility and
hospitality.8
187 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
Geneva: Droz, 2004; Philip L. Sohm, Style in the Art Theory of Early Modern Italy.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001; Thomas Puttfarken, The Dispute About
Disegno and Colorito in Venice: Paolo Pino, Lodovico Dolce and Titian, in Kunst und
Kunsttheorie 14001900, eds. Peter Ganz et al. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1991, pp.
4599; David Rosand, Painting in Cinquecento Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1982; and Sydney Freedberg, Disegno Versus Colore in
Florentine and Venetian Painting of the Cinquecento, in Florence and Venice: Comparisons
and Relations. Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1980, pp. 309322.
9 Leon Battista Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books, trans. Joseph Rykwert, Neil
Leach, and Robert Tavernor. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988, pp. 34, 114116. Note that
Alberti compares the quality of variety (varietas) to spice: Variety is always a most pleas-
ing spice, where distant objects agree and conform with one another; but when it causes
discord and difference between them, it is extremely disagreeable (ibid., p. 24).
10 Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Trattati di architettura ingegneria e arte militare, vol. 3, ed.
Corrado Maltese. Milan: Edizioni il Polifilo, 1967, p. 485: la natura ha ordinato che in
diverse parti della terra sieno diversi frutti con varie virt e di diversi effetti, per che pi
Alberti
In the prologue to his treatise, Alberti defines the architect as one who knows
how to devise through his own mind and energy, and to realize by construc-
tion, whatever can be most beautifully fitted out for the noble needs of man.
Included under the architects purview are such projects as the cutting through
rock, tunneling through mountains, building ships, and constructing bridges
and harbors. By undertaking these works, Alberti claims, the architect has not
only met the temporary needs of man, but also opened up the new gateways to
all the provinces of the world. As a result, nations have been able to serve each
other by exchanging fruit, spices, jewels, experience, and knowledge, indeed
anything that might improve our health and standard of living.9 Whereas
elsewhere in the prologue, Alberti associates architecture with settlement and
shelter from the elements, here architectural projects facilitate the mobility
and exchange of products. These goods are not limited to those having a con-
crete material value, such as spices. Those with a more immaterial, yet pre-
sumably even higher worth, such as experience and knowledge, can also be
transferred thanks to the architects intervention.
Alberti was not alone in articulating the importance of ports and harbors in
transporting the worlds variety. Francesco di Giorgio Martini devoted part of
his treatise on fortifications to that topic. In introducing the forms and parts of
ports, he noted that the diverse fruits and instruments of the earth are not to
be found in one place alone, and that, therefore, ships and ports provide the
means by which products can be transported from place to place with ease.10
188 kim
cose contrarie non ponno comodamente essere in uno medesmo logo, ma siccome pos-
senti influenzie celesti diverse parti della terra movano, cos in queste parti varii frutti et
instrumenti necessari o convenienti a lomo de la natura si produce, di questo segue,
accioch li abitanti in una parte abbino le comodit di quelli che nellaltra abitano et e
converso, bisogn trovare allomo mezzo per lo quale quelle mercanzie e frutti da logo a
logo si transportasse con comodit dellomo.
11 Ibid., p. 487: [Et] apresso alla terra overo principio delli muri si facci due portoni da ser-
rare et aprire con saracinesche, accioch per lo flusso e reflusso del mare nel tempo delle
fortune, quelle aprendo, si possi li detti porti da ogni spurcizia o arena evacuare. S come
interviene nel porto di Ancona, che per spazio di tempo le parti utili del porto si riempino
e con spendio bisogna quelle evacuare, il che, essendo tale ordine dato, in tale spesa non
sincorriria.
12 Alberti, On the Art of Building, p. 136.
13 Ibid., p. 84 where Alberti cites Serviuss Commentary on Virgil 2.19 in making the associa-
tion between a ships keel and a vault. Alberti also refers to certain types of vaults as sail
vaults (ibid., p. 85), since they resemble a billowing sail.
The drawings accompanying the treatise set out his suggested typologies for
ports, including one based on the harbor of Ancona that employs a series of
sluice gates to protect ships from storms.11 Conforming to a rigid perspectival
scheme, Martinis sketch demonstrates that the harbor, with its repetition of
the citys loggia arcades and crenellated towers, is in effect an organic exten-
sion of the urban fabric that lay further inland (Fig.2).
Martinis reference to ports as well as to ships resonates with Albertis inclu-
sion of the latter as a form of architecture. De re aedificatoria does not restrict
the art of building to constructions wedded to a fixed site. The architect was
also a designer of ships, which have mobility as their primary function, first to
transport you and your belongings; next [they] may provide wartime service.
In fact, Alberti cited the claim that defines the ship as nothing but a mobile
fortress.12 A drawing in Roberto Valturios De re militari offers a contempora-
neous visual exposition of this comparison (Fig. 3). According to Alberti, the
two linked ships upon which are superimposed crenellated walls offer one
means by which war can be waged. Elsewhere in his treatise, Alberti refers to
the ships keel in his discussion of vaulting. This association was not purely
metaphorical, as is evident from the parallels in design between naval struc-
tures and the vaulting in S. Stefano in Venice, S. Miniato al Monte in Florence,
and the Cathedral of St. James in ibenik, Dalmatia (current-day Croatia).13
Alberti invoked ancient authors who maintained that the city, like a ship,
ought not to be too large, so that it rolls when empty, or too small, so that it is
cramped when full. In addition, he mentioned that classical writers compared
the city to a ship enduring danger on the high seas, for the former is constantly
189 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
14 Alberti, On the Art of Building, pp. 100, 136, 189. One of Albertis most intriguing archaeo-
logical enterprises involved raising fragments of Roman ships. More than 80meters long,
these vessels had belonged to Caligula and had sunk to the bottom of Lake Nemi; see Ibid.,
pp. 136, 384 (n. 43), and see Anthony Grafton, Leon Battista Alberti: Master Builder of the
Italian Renaissance. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002, pp. 225227, 248252.
exposed to accidents and danger, through the negligence of its citizens and the
envy of its neighbors. It should also be noted that Alberti dedicated an entire
separate treatise to the topic of ships alone, a manuscript known to Leonardo,
though now lost.14
Fig. Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Harbor Docks, 1460.
190 kim
As much as Alberti praised the mobility of goods and acknowledged mobile
architectural forms, he also expressed hostility toward the phenomenon of
mobile individuals. In section 1.6 of his treatise, he takes up the issue of
the appropriate location for buildings. A site should be selected with great
care, since some places are more disposed toward inducing ill effects in their
Fig. Roberto Valturio, Linked Ships from De re militari, before 1462.
191 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
15 Alberti, On the Art of Building, p. 17.
16 Ibid. On the Genoese community in Constantinople, see Geo Pistarino, The Genoese in
PeraTurkish Galata, Mediterranean Historical Review I (1986): 6385. On slavery in
early modern Europe, see C. Verlinden, Lesclavage dans lEurope mdivale. Bruges: De
Tempel, 1955. See also Angeliki E. Laiou and Ccile Morrison, The Byzantine Economy.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 204205.
17 Leon Battista Alberti, Larchitettura di Leonbatista Alberti tradotta in lingua fiorentina da
Cosimo Bartoli, gentilhuomo, & academico fiorentino. Florence: Lorenzo Torrentino, 1550,
p. 19: N si deve lasciare indietro, che si truovano alcuni luoghi, che di lor natura non
haranno, n incommodit, n pericolo alcuno, ma saranno talmente collocati, che da i
forestieri che vi capitano, vi sar bene spesso condotta peste, & miseria. Et questo non
accade solamente per venirti adosso esserciti armati volerti fare ingiuria, come intervi-
ene quelle terre, che sono esposte Barbari, & gli esserati. Ma per riceverli ancora
amichevolmente, & alloggiargli, nuocono oltra modo. Altri per havere havuti vicini desid-
erosi di cose nuove hanno portato pericolo mediante il danno, & la rovina di quelli. Pera
in sul Mar maggiore colonia de Genovesi continuamente tormentata dalla peste,
perche in quel luogo son ricevuti ogni giorno Stiavi, s infermi dello animo, s dal continuo
lezo, & sporcitia, fradici, & consumati.
inhabitants, such as mental illness or suicide by hanging, or leaping from
heights, or by the sword and poison.15 Other sites, Alberti warns, are not
inherently unsuitable, yet external factors render them dangerous:
Nor should you fail to consider that some places may not in themselves
be particularly inconvenient or treacherous, but are so unprotected that
when strangers arrive from some foreign land, they often bring with
them plague and misfortune; and this may be causednot only by arms
and violence, or the work of some barbarian or savage hand: friendship
and hospitality may also prove harmful. Some whose neighbors desired
political change have themselves been put at risk by the upheaval and
turmoil. The Genoese colony of Pera, on the Black Sea, is always prone to
disease, because slaves are daily brought there sick of soul and neglected
of body, wasting away from idleness and filth.16
In Cosimo Bartolis translation, Albertis language carries an adamant tone in
explaining this injunction against the mobility of foreigners.17 With a string
of negative particles (non haranno n incommodit n pericolo alcuno),
the beginning of this passage posits a location lacking unpleasant elements
and which by consequence ought to be pristine. Such a place cannot remain
inviolate if foreigners arrive, for they bring not only themselves but plague
and misery. Alberti suggests here that in a land exposed to Barbarians, for-
eigners are considered a threat. This, however, is not always the case, since
192 kim
even extending the generous hand of hospitality, described through a strung-
out alliterative phrase (ancora amichevolmente, & alloggiargli), ends in
dire consequencessuitably enough, this sentence ends with a harsh tone
of dread (nuocono oltra modo). Even the existence of neighbors can be a
cause for concern, since political turmoil can easily spread. Alberti offers a
concrete example to illustrate his warning. In his view, the important trading
post of Pera does not traffic in the exchange of jewels, spices, and knowledge.
Its sole ongoing activity, indicated by adverbs of duration (continuamente
ogni giorno), is the import of disease, brought by slaves whose only service
is described by a litany of participles that allude to atrophy, illness,
and death.
Whether by means of oral or written report, Albertis portrayal of Pera as an
epicenter of slaves and disease is corroborated by extant notarial documents
associated with the Genoese community in Pera. The problem of slaves rebel-
ling against their masters recurs in several records drawn up shortly after
Sultan Mehmed IIs conquest of Constantinople in 1453. On July 12 of that year,
for instance, Gingibei, a slave belonging to a certain Lodisio Giusiniani de
Campis, escaped from her master, although she eventually agreed to serve
him well and faithfully on the condition that she be freed after his death.
Other documents dating from that year involve masters negotiating condi-
tions of service and freedom with their Russian, Walachian, Circassian, and
Greek slaves.18 The presence of plague in Pera is also mentioned in passing in
several of these documents. For example, a notary named Antonio di Torriglia
cites a letter dispatched from Pera in 1469 in which it was reported that six
Greeks or Turks in the colony died daily from the plague.19 It is certainly the
case that a 15th-century illuminator, perhaps waxing nostalgia for the days
before the conquest, inscribed Pera Bella across his map of Constantinople.20
Yet, in light of the comments by Genoese residents and Alberti himself, the
cluster of boats that surround the Venetian cartographer Giovanni Andrea
Vavassores depiction of Pera (Fig.4) might be interpreted as potential carriers
18 A. Roccatagliata, Notai genovesi in Oltremare. Atti rogati a Pera e Mitilene, vol. 1, Pera, 1408
1490. Genoa: Collana Storica di fonti et studi, docs. 47, 48, 50, 5356; quoted in Pistarino,
The Genoese in Pera, pp. 6768.
19 Ibid., doc. 74. The letter offers a vivid account of the trade in the Black Sea by the Genoese,
who traded in, among other items, caviar. Torriglia describes a route from Kaffa to
Perabyship which passed through Eregli, Porto Armeno, and Amasra. Cited in Pistarino,
The Genoese in Pera, p. 74.
20 It has been conjectured, in fact, that the illuminator of the map may have been a former
resident of Pera, sent in exile after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453.
On the map, a version of Cristoforo Buondelmontis Isolario, see Ian R. Manners,
193 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
Constructing the Image of a City: The Representation of Constantinople in Christopher
Buondelmontis Liber Insularum Archipelagi, Annals of the Association of American
Geographers 87, no. 1 (1997): 72102.
21 On Vavassores map, see Manners, Constructing the Image of a City, 91ff. See also Bellini
and the East, eds. Caroline Campbell and Alan Chong. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner
Museum, 2005, pp. 1415.
22 On the role of the Venetian bailo in providing such documentation for ships and travelers,
see Eric Dursteller, Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the
Early Modern Mediterranean. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006, p. 30. Such
requirements were longstanding. An agreement between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
and the Republic of Genoa reached in 1652 laid out a number of procedures for the admis-
sion of foreign ships entering the Tuscan port city of Leghorn (Livorno). One Genoese
provision stated, Vessels from the Levant are quarantined for 30, 35, 40 days according to
information received and if they come with a clean bill; the goods at the pesthouse are
purified for the same length of time. Purification starts from the day all bales, etc. are
opened. For a transcription of the entire document, see Carlo M. Cipolla, Fighting the
Plague in Seventeenth-Century Italy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1981, 111ff.
of disease as well as bearers of wheat, salt, mastic, and caviar.21 In fact, in the
transit of ships and travelers throughout the Mediterranean, they were regu-
larly required to present bills of health to ensure that they as well as their
points of departure were free of plague.22 Alberti may have also been alluding
to the Genoese role in the spread of the Black Death. It has been suggested that
it was from another Genoese colony on the Black SeaKaffathat the rats
Fig. Giovanni Andrea Vavassore, Byzantium sive Costantineopolis, c. 1535.
194 kim
23 See Ole Jrgen Benedictow, The Black Death, 13461353: The Complete History. Rochester,
NY: Boydell Press, 2004.
24 Alberti, On the Art of Building, p. 191. It has long been suggested that Albertis prescrip-
tions for city planning were made visually manifest in paintings of ideal cities, such as the
panel attributed to Luciano Laurana in Urbino (Galleria Nazionale delle Marche). On this
panel and related works, see Luomo del Rinascimento. Leon Battista Alberti e le arti a
Firenze tra ragione e bellezza, eds. Cristina Acidini and Gabriele Morolli. Florence:
Mandragora, 435ff.
25 Alberti, Larchitettura di Leonbatista Alberti, p. 201: Et questo si f perche egli accade che
per contagione de forestieri i Cittadini si sdimenticano di di in di, di quella parsimonia,
con la quale furono allevati da lor padri, & cominciano ad havere in idio quelle usanze
& costumi antichi. La qual cosa potissima cagione, che le Citt vadino peggiorando
(my emphasis). On Renaissance notions of contagion, see V. Nutton, The Reception of
Fracastoros Theory of Contagion: The Seed That Fell among Thorns?, in Renaissance
Medical Learning: Evolution of a Tradition, eds. M.R. McVaugh and N.G. Siraisi.
Philadelphia: The History of Science Society, pp. 196234.
26 Alberti, Larchitettura di Leonbatista Alberti, p. 191.
bearing the disease came to Constantinople in 1347 and from there to the rest
of Europe.23
Later in his treatise, Alberti expands upon this injunction against the
mobility of foreigners by relating it antithetically to the order of a city. In his
discussion on the ornament to sacred buildings (see section7.1), he states that
the principal ornament to any city resides in the organized layout of roads,
squares, and buildings. For without this order, Alberti declares, there can be
nothing commodious, graceful, or noble.24 However, this very order, is depen-
dent upon preventing, or at the very least, limiting mobility. He invokes Plato,
who in his Laws claims that in a well-ordered state, the law should forbid the
importation of foreign luxury. Furthermore, anyone younger than 40years of
age should be prevented from going abroad, since contact with foreigners
would diminish memory and respect for ancestral frugality and traditional
customs. The word that Bartoli employs in this respect is contagione, a charged
term that suggests an equivalence between interacting with things foreign
andbecoming infected with disease.25 From Platos recommendations, Alberti
thus draws the following conclusion: It is best to take every precaution to
prevent the state from being corrupted through contact with foreigners.
All the same, Alberti is no slave to his ancient authorities, asserting, I do
not think that we ought to follow those who exclude strangers of every kind.26
He himself preferred the system practiced by the Carthaginians, who, though
not hostile to foreigners, only gave them access to certain roads leading to the
forum while more private parts of the city were off limits, especially dockyards,
which were also the epicenter of military and technological knowledge.27
195 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
27 Here, Alberti may have been referring to Admiralty Island, where one can still detect the
traces of dry docks for war ships. The dockyard in Carthage, in the 2nd century bce, was
walled off with a double wall to prevent visiting voyagers from looking in. See John
Morrison and Robert Gardiner, The Age of the Galley: Mediterranean Oared Vessels Since
Pre-Classical Times. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1995, p. 225.
28 Daniele Barbaro, I dieci libri dellarchitettura tradutti et commentati, vol. 5. Venice, 1556,
p.163, quoted in Tafuri, p. 120.
29 On restricted visits to the Arsenale, see Robert C. Davis, Shipbuilders of the Venetian
Arsenale: Workers and Workplace in the Preindustrial City. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1991, p. 94. There were many descriptions of the Arsenale, called the
Factory of Marvels (LOfficina delle Meraviglie) written by foreign visitors, especially in
the 17th century. In 1620, for instance, Peter Mundy, who traveled with the British ambas-
sador to Constantinople, noted that the shipyards were the most worthy [of] notice of all
that is in Venice, and an English guidebook of this period stated that the Arsenale was
as big as the city of Canterbury; Ibid., p. 4.
30 Ibid., p. 94.
31 Note also that Alberti recommends segregation in hospitals, where the sick are segre-
gated from the healthy; see Alberti, On the Art of Building, pp. 129130.
32 On the segregation of foreigners in Renaissance urban planning, see Les trangers dans la
ville: minorits et espace urbain du bas Moyen ge lpoque moderne, eds. Jacques Bottin
and Donatella Calabi. Paris: ditions de la Maison des sciences de lhomme, 1999; La Citt
italiana e i luoghi degli stranieri: XIVXVIII secolo, eds. Donatella Calabi and Paola Lanaro.
Rome: Laterza, 1998; Ennio Concina et al., La citt degli ebrei: il ghetto di Venezia: architet-
tura e urbanistica. Venice: Albrizzi, 1991.
A contemporaneous example of this denial of access was in Venice, where
most foreigners were prohibited from visiting the Venetian Arsenale, the mas-
sive shipyard described by the humanist Daniele Barbaro as an apparatus to
acquire kingdoms and provinces.28 In 1536, the Council of Ten decreed the
Arsenale a secret place, and only those foreigners who had obtained permis-
sion (licentia) were permitted to visit;29 and Jews along with potentially unruly
Jesuits, Capuchins, and Third Orders were banned altogether.30
Albertis attitude toward mobility vacillates between concession and suspi-
cion in De re aedificatoria. He acknowledges the importance of trade. At the
same time, foreigners motives can never be fully apprehended, and therefore
should be taken as potentially menacing. This fear of contamination and drive
toward order informs Albertis city planning. The city, he states, should be
divided into zones such that foreigners are kept separate from citizens.31 What
comes readily to mind from this statement are the Jewish ghettos created
throughout Italy during the 16th century, as well as the earlier tradition of
f ondachi, the trading houses in Venice that facilitated yet at the same time
restricted the movement of foreign nationals.32
196 kim
33 Alberti, On the Art of Building, p. 157. On the issue of ethnic style in architectural
discourse, see Alina A. Payne, Vasari, Architecture and the Origins of Historicizing Art,
RES 40 (2001): 5176.
34 Alberti, On the Art of Building, p. 201.
35 For a historiographic overview of the concept of spolia, see Dale Kinney, The Concept of
Spolia, in A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe, ed.
Conrad Rudolph. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006, pp. 233252.
36 Alberti, On the Art of Building, p. 164; and see Pliny, Natural History 36: 6768.
37 Ibid., p. 164; and see Ammianus Marcellinus, The Histories 17: 1415.
38 Alberti, On the Art of Building, p. 28. Cf. Ammianus Marcellinus, The Histories 23.6.24. On
Ammianus sources for this episode, see M. Kulikowski, Marius Maximus in Ammianus
and the Historia Augusta, Classical Quarterly 57, no. 1 (2007): 244256.
This is not to say that Alberti does not acknowledge the migration of forms
or the mobility of objects themselves. He posits a linear narrative of architec-
tural progression plotted on the axes of time and place: its youthful develop-
ment in Asia, its flowering in Greece, and its full maturity in Italy.33 In addition,
he calls his Composite order the Italian order, which takes the best features
from the Corinthian and the Ionic, but is at the same time distinct from all
foreign imports.34 In his treatise, Alberti also periodically raises the issue of
transporting monumental building material and spolia.35 He cites Pliny, who
in his Natural History tells of an obelisk shipped along the Nile.36 From the
histories of Ammianus Marcellinus comes another story of an obelisk loaded
onto a 300 oar ship, conveyed along the Nile and across the sea, set up on roll-
ers, taken through the Ostian gate, and finally set up in the Circus Maximus.37
Drawing again from Marcellinus, Alberti recounts that in Seuleucia during the
time of Marc Anthony and Verus, soldiers plundered the temple and carried
off the statue of Apollo Conicus to Rome. Incidentally, avid to procure more
booty, they came upon a closed-up passage in the temple, which had been
magically sealed by Chaldean priests, and broke the seal, causing a noxious
vapor to be released and thus spreading disease from Persia far westward to
Gaul. This episode might well summarize Albertis stance toward mobility:
While trade and war can bring goods to the patria, unexpected and undesir-
able consequencesin this case, diseasecan arise from contact with foreign
entities.38
Vasari
Although a view of Florence graces the title page of Vasaris Lives, Vasaris
frame of reference extends beyond that city to embrace the Mediterranean,
197 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
39 On these episodes, see David Young Kim, The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
40 In the Preface to the Entire Work, Vasari states: Solevano gli spiriti egregii in tutte le
azzioni loro, per uno acceso desiderio di gloria, non perdonare ad alcuna fatica, quan-
tunche gravissima, per condurre le opere loro a quella perfezzione che le rendesse stu-
pende e maravigliose a tutto il mondo; n la bassa fortuna di molti poteva ritardare i
loro sforzi del pervenire a sommi gradi, s per vivere onorati e s per lasciare ne tempi
avenire eterna fama dogni rara loro eccellenza. Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de pi eccellenti
architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a tempi nostri: nelledizione per i
tipi di Lorenzo Torrentino, Firenze 1550, 2 vols, eds. Luciano Bellosi and Aldo Rossi. Turin:
Einaudi, p. 8. (Henceforth, VBR.) Vasari himself illustrates the link between fame and
world-wide promulgation in his Chamber of Fame, a fresco cycle that he painted for his
house in Arezzo. There, the heavily foreshortened allegorical figure of Fame is seated
upon a globe while holding two trumpets, attributes indicative of her status as a dis-
seminator of reputation. In his autobiography Vasari described the Chamber of Fame:
Nel mezzo una Fama, che siede sopra la palla del mondo e suona una tromba doro,
gettandone via una di fuoco, finta per la Maledicenza; et intorno a lei sono con ordine
tutte le dette Arti con i loro strumenti in mano. Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de piv eccellenti
pittori, scvltori, e architettori, vol. 2. Florence: Giunti, 1568, p. 991. (Henceforth, VG).
Vasari also depicted the allegorical figure of Fame in the Palazzo della Cancellaria, Sala
dei Cento Giorni, Rome (1546); Casa Vasari, Florence (1560); Museo del Palazzo
Vecchio, Florence (1560). For discussion on Vasaris decorations for his homes in
Arezzo and Florence, see Liana Cheney, The Homes of Giorgio Vasari. New York:
P.Lang,2006.
which constitutes part of his mental atlas; this is evident in various episodes of
the Lives, such as the arrival of Byzantine painters, Dello di Niccol Dellis
sojourn in Spain, Filippo Lippis shipwreck off the North African coast, or
Charles Vs Tunisian campaigns.39 Nonetheless, whereas for Alberti mobility
poses a threat to a citys order, for Vasari it threatens the very inception of his
narrativenamely the birth, decline, and rebirth of the visual arts.
Indeed, Vasari portrays the travels of Florentine artists throughout Italy
and abroad to signal the upward progression of style. In doing so, he often
invokes the figure of Fame, who, by means of her trumpet, spreads Florentine
reputations across the globe.40 Moreover, in the opening lines of the Preface
to the Lives, Vasari confidently associates the origins of sculpture and paint-
ing with certain peoples: I have no doubt that all writers hold the widespread
and most certain opinion that sculpture and painting were naturally and first
found by the people of Egypt, and that others attribute to the Chaldeans the
first sketches in marble and the first sculptural reliefs, just as they credit the
198 kim
41 VBR, p. 89: Io non dubito punto che non sia quasi di tutti gli scrittori commune e certis-
sima opinione che la scultura insieme con la pittura fussero naturalmente dai populi
dello Egitto primieramente trovate, e chalcunaltri non siano che attribuischino a Caldei
le prime bozze de marmi et i primi rilievi delle statue, come dnno anco a Greci la inven-
zione del pennello e del colorire.
42 VG, vol. 1, p. 69: Ma con tutto che la nobilit di questarte fusse cos in pregio, e non si sa
per ancora per certo chi le desse il primo principio, perch, come gi si di sopra ragion-
ato, ella si vede antichissima ne Caldei, certi la dnno allEtiopi, et i Greci a se medesimi
lattribuiscono. E puossi non senza ragione pensar chella sia forse pi antica appresso a
Toscani. Vasaris discussion is reminiscent of Albertis exposition on paintings origins in
De Pictura, Book II. See Leon Battista Alberti, Della Pittura, in Opere Volgari, ed. Cecil
Grayson. Bari: Laterza, 1973, p. 46: Diceva Quintiliano che pittori antichi soleano circon-
scrivere lombre al sole, e cos indi poi si trov questa arte cresciuta. Sono chi dicono un
certo Filocle egitto, e non so quale altro Cleante furono di questa arte tra i primi inventori.
Gli Egizi affermano fra loro bene anni se milia essere la pittura stata in uso prima che
fusse traslata in Grecia. Di Grecia dicono i nostri traslata la pittura dopo le vittorie di
Marcello avute di Sicilia. Ma qui non molto si richiede sapere quali prima fussero inven-
tori dellarte o pittori, poi che non come Plinio recitiamo storie, ma di nuovo fabrichiamo
unarte di pittura.
43 G. Becatti, Plinio e Vasari, in Studi di storia dellarte in onore di Valerio Mariani. Naples:
Libreria scientifica editrice, 1971), pp. 173182; Sarah Blake McHam, Pliny and the Artistic
Culture of the Italian Renaissance. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.
44 VBR, p. 92: dove in spazio di tempo, avendo quasi spogliato il mondo, ridussero gli arte-
fici stessi e le egregie opere loro delle quali Roma poi si fece s bella, che invero le diedero
grande ornamento le statue pellegrine pi che le domestiche e particulari.
Greeks with the invention of the brush and coloring.41 However, in the rest
of the Preface, Vasaris account of the origins of the visual arts is suffused with
doubt. Here, techniques, objects, and peoples wander back and forth in a diz-
zying fashion among Babylon, Chaldea, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.42 He ini-
tially identifies the origins of sculpture in Babylonian idols, but then
immediately contradicts this ascription in favor of Egyptian and Chaldean
statuary, only to backpedal once again and state that Ethiopians, in fact, cre-
ated the first sculptures. Next, he claims that sculpture was transferred to the
Egyptians, and from them to the Greeks; contradicting himself, due to a mis-
reading of Pliny, he also asserts that Greek artists brought sculpture to
Egypt.43 Furthermore, he frustrates any attempt to establish definite links
between Roman art and the region of what is now Italy, by stating that Rome,
ransacking the world for spolia, became more ornate with foreign works of
art than with native ones.44 Only Etruscan civilization provides firmer
ground, befitting Vasaris promotion of Tuscany: in contrast to objects and
techniques that move frantically throughout the Mediterranean, Etruscan
199 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
45 Ibid., p. 93: E puossi non senza ragione pensare che ella sia forse pi antica appresso a
Toscani, come testifica el nostro Lion Batista Alberti e ne rende assai buona chiarezza la
maravigliosa sepoltura di Porsena a ChiusiCome ancora ne pu far medesimamente
fede il veder tutto il giorno molti pezzi di que vasi rossi e neri aretini fatti. On the recep-
tion of Etruscan art in Vasaris time, see Andrea Gldy, The Chimera from Arezzo and
Renaissance Etruscology. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2006.
46 VBR, p. 94: ma da che gli scrittori cominciorono a far memoria delle cose state inanzi a
loro, non potettono gi parlare di quelli de quali non avevano potuto aver notizia, im-
modo che primi appo loro vengono a esser quelli de quali era stata ultima a perdersi la
memoria.
47 VG, vol. 1, p. 70: Ma che maggior chiarezza si pu di ci avere, essendosi a tempi nostri,
cio lanno 1554, trovata una figura di bronzofatta per la Chimera di Bellerofontenel
far fossi, fortificazione e muraglia dArezzo? nella quale figura si conosce la perfezzione di
quellarte essere stata anticamente appresso i Toscani, come si vede alla maniera etrusca.
48 On Ciceros locational notion of memory, see Frances Yates, The Art of Memory. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1966, 6ff.
49 The Medieval Craft of Memory: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, eds. Mary Carruthers
and Jan M. Ziolkowski. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, p. 7.
objects are extracted reassuringly from Tuscan soil, such as sarcophagi from
Chiusi or buccheri vase ware.45
Vasari cites two factors to account for the fraught paternity test of the arts:
time, which consumes all things; and the complete absence of written sources,
which, if they existed, might end any further debate over the question of ori-
gins.46 Here, Vasari is being disingenuous, for he makes ample use of written
sources, such as Pliny filtered through Ghibertis Commentarii and of visual
evidence, citing for example the Etruscan Chimera from Arezzo to reinforce
Tuscanys antique origins.47 Vasaris muddled account could be interpreted as
an attempt to question the validity of historical evidence, be it textual or visual;
however, his confusion lies not only in the discrepancy between these sources,
but in their very nature. Sporadic mobility from one region to the next compli-
cates and weakens the link between a specific art form and a specific geo-
graphic region. Broadly put, mobility threatens historical memory.
In this regard, it is important to consider that Medieval and Renaissance
thinkers inherited a highly locational notion of memory, as indicated by the
scores of treatises following the precepts of the Rhetorica ad Herennium, which
advised students to store information by associating it with a particular loca-
tion, a mnemonic device known as a memory palace.48 The genus of a lion, for
instance, might be recalled by mentally placing the image of that animal
within a house. As Albertus Magnus stated, place is something the soul itself
makes for laying up images.49 Magnus, among others, also declared that while
pastness was common to all things, it was only distinctions in place that
200 kim
allowed the mind to differentiate between things. A 13th-century professor of
rhetoric, Boncompagno da Signa, advised that those desiring to memorize the
names of provinces, cities, rivers, and places should inspect a mappa mundi, in
which are depicted all the regions of the worldwith their names written
underneath.50 Thus in Dolces Dialogo del modo di accrescere e conserver la
memoria, a woodcut of a city accompanies the recommendation to organize
information to be memorizedbe it grammar, rhetoric, or dialecticsinto
distinct places, such as an abbey, a library, or slaughterhouse, which are them-
selves in alphabetic order.51
Due to this emphasis on associating knowledge with fixed locations, the
notions of memory and disordered mobility were set in opposition to one
another. The Rhetorica ad Herennium recommends that information be
ordered in solitary locations, because the crowding and passing to and fro of
people confuse and weaken the impress of the images.52 Similarly, Jacobus
Publicius in his Art of Memory (1482) declared, The approach and return, the
wandering and frequent coming of people leads our thought astray.53 This
antithesis between memory and mobility was restated by Abba Nesteros, who
counseled those wishing to eliminate memories to dislocate them, evicting
them from their normal seat or residence.54 It is no surprise, then, that events
of destructive motion, such as floods, were connected with oblivion. The trope
of the arca sapientiae (storehouse of wisdom) referred to both the Ark of the
Covenant as well as to Noahs Ark, a solid construction that could withstand
the deluge of oblivion.55 Closer to Vasaris own time, Machiavelli wrote about
50 See Ibid., pp. 113, 103ff for further discussion and bibliography on Boncompagno da Signas
Rhetorica novissima (1235).
51 The text and woodcuts in Dolces treatise borrow heavily from Johannes Romberchs
Congestorium artificiosae memoriae. Venice: Melchiorre Sessa, 1533. See Lodovico Dolce,
Dialogo del modo di accrescere e conserver la memoria (1562), ed. Andrea Torre. Pisa: Scuola
normale superiore, 2001, p. 73. Lina Bolzoni, The Gallery of Memory. Literary and
Iconographic Models in the Age of the Printing Press, trans. Jeremy Parzen. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 2001, p. 254.
52 Cicero, Rhetorica Ad Herennium, trans. Harry Caplan. Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1954, p. 213.
53 Carruthers and Ziolkowski, The Medieval Craft of Memory, p. 236.
54 Carruthers and Ziolkowski, The Medieval Craft of Memory, p. 199. In their comments on
meditative prayer, theologians such as Bernard of Clairvaux defined curiositas with a
wandering mental state, in contrast to being attentus with the mind fixed upon a parti-
cular place.
55 In medieval memory treatises, the oft-cited arca referred to chests that stored and trans-
ported books. By extension, Hugh of St. Victor employs the phrase arca sapientiae, or ark
of wisdom to refer to the storehouse of knowledge. Carruthers also suggests that these
201 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
how accidents such as plagues and especially floods could extinguish memo-
ries. In this vein, perhaps it is possible to read Leonardos flood drawings not
only as manifestations of his hydraulic interests but also as meditations on the
loss of memory.56
This is not to say that all types of mobility threaten the preservation of his-
torical memory. Francesc Eiximenis, a 14th-century Catalan writer, envisioned
his memory device as a pilgrimage route that proceeded from Rome to Santiago
via Florence, Genoa, Avignon, Barcelona, Saragossa, and Toledo. In each of
these cities, he places topics that are characteristic of that locale: ideas about
money in Florence, merchants in Genoa, on the famous bridge of Saint-Bnzet
in Avignon, and so on.57 Part of Hugh of St. Victors memory scheme consists of
places associated with the path of the biblical Exodus, such as Ramses in Egypt
and Jericho.58 Giulio Camillos famed memory theater guided the visitor in
an ordered progression through seven gates, gangways, and levels as he
approaches the secrets of the Sephiroth, the supercelestial world of divine
emanations.59 Thus, it is not mobility per se but rather peoples wandering
back and forth or vagrancy that pose a threat to memory, and by extension, to
historical writing. The migration of art forms from one place to another dis-
solves distinctions between places; and consequently, fixed locational mem-
ory and secure historical knowledge are lacking.60
concurrent meanings of arca were realized in medieval illuminations. For instance, the
representation Noahs ark in the Ashburnham Pentateuch, dated to the late 6th or early
7th century, is depicted in the form of a wooden chest akin to that used for the storage of
books. See Mary Carruthers, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, p. 51.
56 Niccol Machiavelli, Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio. Rome: Antonio Blado, 1531,
p. 339: Che la variazione delle sette e delle lingue, insieme con laccidente de diluvii o
della peste, spegne le memorie delle cose. Cf. Ibid., p. 343: E questo viene o per peste, o
per fame, o per una inondazione dacque: e la pi importante questa ultima, s perch la
pi universale, s perch quegli che si salvono sono uomini tutti montanari e rozzi, i
quali, non avendo notizia di alcuna antichit, non la possono lasciare a posteri. On
Leonardos so-called deluge drawings, see Frank Fehrenbach, Licht und Wasser. Zur
Dynamik Naturphilosophischer Leitbilder im Werk Leonardo da Vincis. Tbingen: Tbinger
Studien zur Archologie und Kunstgeschichte, 1997, pp. 291332.
57 Medieval Craft, p. 199.
58 Carruthers, The Book of Memory, p. 302.
59 On Camillos memory theater, see Yates, The Art of Memory, pp. 129159.
60 On the connection ex negativo between memory and historical writing, see Machiavelli,
Discorsi, p. 343: E che queste inondazioni, peste e fami venghino, non credo sia da dubi-
tarne, s perch ne sono piene tutte le istorie, s perch si vede questo effetto della oblivi-
one delle cose, s perch e pare ragionevole che e sia.
202 kim
61 Dolce even decries or deemphasizes the journeys of Sebastiano del Piombo and Titian
within the Italian peninsula, namely both artists sojourns in Rome. On this issue, see
Kim, The Traveling Artist; Michel Hochmann, Venise et Rome 15001600.
62 Lodovico Dolce, Lodovico Dolces Laretino and Venetian Art Theory of the Cinquecento,
trans. and ed. Mark W. Roskill. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000, pp. 116117: Ma
di questa parte non accade dire altro, se non che, fra costumi barbari deglinfede li,
questo il peggiore, che non comportano che in fra di loro si faccia alcuna imagine di
pittura n di scoltura. ancora la pittura necessaria per ci, che senza il suo aiuto noi non
avressimo (come s potuto conoscere) n abitazione n cosa alcuna che appartenga al
luso civile.
63 On the humanist rhetoric of barbarism directed against the Ottoman Turks, see James
Hankins, Renaissance Crusaders: Humanist Crusade Literature in the Age of Mehmed
II, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 49 (1995): 111207; Nancy Bisaha, Creating East and West.
Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 2006.
64 For a brief discussion of this passage in relation to Protestant iconoclasm, see Gudrun
Rhein, Der Dialog ber die Malerei: Lodovico Dolces Traktat und die Kunsttheorie des 16.
Jahrhunderts. Cologne: Bhlau, 2008, pp. 260n114, 263n124. On the myth of aniconism,
Lodovico Dolce
In contrast to the writings of Alberti and Vasari, Dolces Dialogo della pittura
does not deal explicitly with the mobility of artists and objects in the eastern
Mediterranean.61 Rather, mobility is only implied, suggested through his pass-
ing awareness of the Ottoman Empiremore specifically, Ottoman custom
and costume become counterparts to Dolces objects of praise, Venice and
Titian. For example, one speaker in Dolces dialogue, Aretino, praises Titians
work in Venices Great Council Hall as well as his collaboration with Giorgione
on the painted faade of Fondaco dei Tedeschi; but he abruptly ends his speech
with the following tirade: In the present context I refrain from saying anything
else, only that, among the barbarous customs of the infidel races, the one
which is the worst is their refusal to allow the making in their country of any
painted or sculpted image. Furthermore, painting is necessary; for without its
assistance (as people have come to realize) we would not possess either a place
to live in or any of those things that are associated with civilized custom.62
Aretino makes his point with a forceful turn of phrase. He emphatically
repeats the word che that introduces his damning observations (che non
comportano, che in fra di loro) and points to the cultural divide with the
glaring demonstrative pronoun loro (them).63 While it is true that this pas-
sage may allude to the contemporary debates at the Council of Trent on the
use of images, also in play is the widespread assumption concerning the
Islamic prohibition on images and Ottoman visual tradition.64 Dolce was
203 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
see David Freedberg, The Power of Images. Studies in the History and Theory of Response.
Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1989, pp. 5481. On Islamic injunctions against rep-
resentations of the Prophet, see the classic essay by Terry Allen, Aniconism and Figural
Representation in Islamic Art, In Five Essays on Islamic Art. Sebastopol, CA: Solipsist,
1988, pp. 1737. On artistic relations between Venice and the Ottoman Empire, see
Glru Necipolu, The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 2005; Bellini and the East, eds. Campbell and Chong; Eric
Dursteler, Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early
Modern Mediterranean. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006; Venice and
the Islamic world, 8281797, ed. Stefano Carboni. New Haven: Yale University Press,
2007.
65 On Zacchias compilation, see Franz Babinger, Laudivius Zacchia, Erdichter der Epitolae
Magni Turci (Neapel 1473 U. O.). Munich: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften, 1960. On Dolces translation of this compilation, see Ronnie H. Terpening,
Lodovico Dolce, Renaissance Man of Letters. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997,
pp. 11, 265.
66 See Anselm Fremmer, Venezianische Buchkultur: Bcher, Buchhndler und Leser in der
Frhrenaissance. Kln: Bhlau, 2001.
67 On Gentile Bellinis portrait of Sultan Mehmed II, see Bellini and the East, pp. 7879, with
further bibliography. Vasari, Le Vite, vol. 1, eds. Paolo Rossi and Luciano Bellosi, p. 435: Ese
ben tal cosa era proibita loro per la legge maumettana, ella fu pure di tanto stupore nel
presentarla, che non essendo usato il signore vederne, gli parve grandissimo magistero.
68 For 15th-century sources documenting Bellinis journey to the Ottoman court, see
Jrg Meyer zur Capellen, Gentile Bellini. Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden, 1985; still
hardly indifferent toward Ottoman culture, having published the Lettere del
gran Mahumeto imperadore de turchi, a translation of Laudivio Zacchia de
Vezzanos compilation of epistles supposedly written by the Ottoman Sultan.65
For all the art-historical scholarly attention paid to the Dialogo, it is striking
that this preeminently Venetian work shares the same octavo format and
title-page layout as the volume of epistles compiled by the Great Turk.
Implied is a reading public whose interests spanned the gamut from Titian as
a painter to the personality, however fabricated, of Mehmed the Conqueror.66
However, within the dialogue itself, Dolce fashions a selective version of
Venetian paintingspecifically one that remains silent on Gentile Bellinis
diplomatic mission in 1479 to the Ottoman court to paint the portrait of Sultan
Mehmed II. Even Vasari, who usually shortchanges Venice in his Lives, men-
tions this event. It is true that Vasari declares that painting was prohibited by
Islamic law; but in the same sentence, he describes that the Sultan reacted to
Bellinis naturalistic style with great stupor.67 What is more, 15th- and 16th-
century Venetian sources, many of which were known to Dolce, perpetuated
the story of Bellinis travel.68 To give but one instance, Dolces friend Francesco
204 kim
pertinent as well is Louis Thausne, Gentile Bellini et Sultan Mohammed II: notes sur le
sjour du peintre vnitien Constantinople (14781480). Paris: E. Leroux, 1888.
69 Francesco Sansovino, Venetia, Citta Nobilissima et Singolare. Venice: Domenico Farri, 1581,
fol. 127v: Gentilis patriae dedit haec monumenta Belinus/Othomano accitus, munere
factus Eques.
70 On portrait medals of Mehmed II, see Susan Spinale, The Portraits Medals of Ottoman
Sultan Mehmed II (r. 145181). Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 2003 and Bellini and the
East, 66ff.
71 Dolce, Lodovico Dolces Laretino, pp. 118119: Di qui terr sempre riguardo alla qualit
delle persone, n meno alle nazioni, a costumi, a luoghi et atempi; talch, se depinger
un fatto darme di Cesare o di Alessandro Magno, non conviene che armi i soldati nel
Sansovino related the incident in numerous editions of his guidebook to
Venice. Sansovino states that beneath one of the paintings he executed for the
Great Council Hall, Gentile inserted an inscription that called attention to the
honors he received from the Ottoman Sultan: Gentile Bellini has given these
monuments to the fatherland/Having been summoned by the Ottoman and
made a Knight as a reward.69 Medals depicting the Sultans likeness, such as
that executed by Costanzo di Moysis, resulted from Ottoman patronage and
circulated throughout the Italian peninsula, thereby calling into question the
notion that all infidels placed a universal ban on images and image-making.70
Dolces statement regarding Ottoman aniconism departs from the weight of
this verbal and visual evidence. The customs of the infidels serve as a conve-
nient foil against which to assert the prominence of painting in Venice. This
undergirds Dolces declaration that painting is the bedrock of all things that
pertain to uso civile, a term that refers not only to the civic but also to the oppo-
sition between civilized and barbarian.
Given that the Dialogo sets Ottoman and Venetian visual traditions in oppo-
sition to one another, it comes as no surprise that that mixing elements from
these two modes is deemed inappropriate as well. Later in the dialogue,
Aretino refers to Ottoman dress in the context of his discussion of the stylistic
ideal of decorum (convenevolezza):
[The painter] should consider the qualities of his subjects; and he should
consider to the same degree questions of nationality, dress, setting, and
period. If, for instance he should be depicting a military action of Caesar
or Alexander the Great, it is inappropriate that he should arm the sol-
diers in the fashion of the present. And he should put one kind of armor
on the Macedonians and another kind on the Romansif he wanted to
represent Caesar, it would be ridiculous if he placed on his head a Turkish
turban, or one of our caps, or indeed a Venetian one.71
205 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
modo che si costuma oggid, et ad altra guisa far le armature a Macedoni, ad altra a
Romani; e se gli verr imposto carico di rappresentare una battaglia moderna, non si
ricerca che la divisi allantica. Cos, volendo raffigurar Cesare, saria cosa ridicola chei gli
mettesse in testa uno involgio da Turco o una berretta delle nostre, o pure alla viniziana.
72 On the Renaissance tension between license and decorum, see Alina A. Payne, The
Architectural Treatise in the Italian Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1999. On the reception of Horaces precepts of decorum in Renaissance art theory, see
also David Summers, Michelangelo and the Language of Art. Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1981, pp. 129143. Dolces rendering of the passage in the vernacular,
with some variations, is found in at least two editions of Horaces works, La poetica
dHoratio tradotta per messer Lodovico Dolce. Venice, 1536 and I dilettevoli sermoni, altri-
menti satire, e le morali epistole di Horatio. Venice, 1559.
73 Dolce, Lodovico Dolces Laretino, pp. 124125: Se collo di cavallo a capo umano/Alcun pit-
tor per suo capricc io aggiunga,/Quello di varie piume ricoprendo;/E porga a l corpo suo
forma s strana,/Che fra diverse qual it di membra/Abbia la coda di difforme pesce/E la
testa accompagni un dolce aspetto/Di vaga e leggiadrissima donzel la:/A veder cosa ta l
sendo chiamati,/Potreste, amici, ritener il riso?
74 On Venetian depictions of Ottomans, see Julian Raby, Venice, Drer, and the Oriental
Mode. Totowa, NJ: Islamic Art Publications, 1982; Bronwen Wilson, Reflecting on the
Turk in Late Sixteenth-Century Venetian Portrait Books, Word and Image 19, no. 12
(2003): 3858; Ibid., Reproducing the Contours of Venetian Identity in Sixteenth-Century
Costume Books, Studies in iconography 25 (2004): 221274.
Dolces language here is prescriptive, with a tone of admonition conveyed by
numerous instances of the conditional mood and the future imperative and a
list of specific dos and donts, such as Turkish turban or a Venetian cap on a
Caesar, which is an extreme example of the inappropriate mixing of national-
ity, dress, and period. Such remarks follow the tradition that sets artistic license
and decorum in tension with one another, a principle expressed in Horaces
opening lines of his Ars poetica, itself cited in the Dialogo and translated and
published by Dolce.72 In that passage, the poet describes the absurdity of a
painter assembling the head of a woman, the body of a bird, and the tail of a
fish all together in one composite image.73 Horaces monster is largely a prod-
uct of the painters imagination, or as he puts it, his sick dreams. However,
Dolces parallel example of a Caesar wearing a Turban depends upon knowing
what a Turkish turban is in the first place, an awareness achieved through
the traffic in things and people between Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
The extent of that exchange is evident from the Ottomans depicted in the
works of Gentile Bellini and in cast medals, and from portraits of the Sultans,
costume books, pilgrimage narratives, and the Fondaco dei Turchi (where
Turks were permitted to engage in trade): these are but a few of the instances
that testify to the physical displacement of Venetians and Turks alike.74
206 kim
75 n.p.: [E] da infinita moltitudine di gente habitate, che vi concorre da varie nationi, anzi
di tutto il mondo, ad essercitarvi la mercatantia. Usanvisi tutti i linguaggi; & vestevisi in
diverse maniere; quoted in Wilson (2004, p. 221).
76 Giovanni Andrea Gilio, Dialogo nel quale si ragiona degli errori e degli abusi de Pittori
circa listorie, in Trattati darte del Cinquecento. Fra Manierismo e Controriforma, ed.
Paola Barocchi. Bari: Laterza, 1961, p. 20: Per il prudente pittore deve sapere accomo-
dare le cose convenevoli a la persona, al tempo et al luogo: perch non sarebbe bene che
al Papa si desse labito del Turco, n al Turco labito del Papa.
77 Gilio, Dialogo, p. 50: Risero tutti a questo e, ripigliando M. Francesco il ragionamento,
disse: Io non veggo minor confugione negli abiti che negli sforzi; e molti, pensando dar
vaghezza a lopere loro, hanno tanto confuso labito, che non si conosce pi il Greco dal
Latino, n l Turco dal Franzese n lo Spagnolo da lArabo.
As Giulio Ballino stated in his De Disegni delle piu illustri citt (1569), a compila-
tion of urban views, Venice was inhabited by an infinite multitude of people
who come together for commerce from various nations, in fact from the entire
world They use all languages and are dressed in different ways;75 or, as inti-
mated by Alberti in his preface to De re aedificatoria, knowledge of the foreign
depends upon mobility. Yet in his Dialogo, Dolce calls for regulation of the
possible indecorous effects of such mobility. Later commentators would
reiterate the need to temper variety by evoking the costume of the Turk. One
of the speakers in Giovanni Andrea Gilio da Fabrianos Dialogo nel quale
si ragiona degli errori e degli abusi de Pittori circa listorie (1564) declares,
it would not be good if [the painter] gave the costume of a Turk to the Pope,
and to the Turk the Popes costume.76 Another speaker in Gilios dialogue
criticizes those painters who have confused costume, such that one does not
recognize any longer the Greek from the Latin, the Turk from the French, nor
the Spanish from the Arab.77
Conclusion
Alberti, Vasari, and Dolce expressed ambivalence, and at times even hostility,
toward the mobility of persons, objects, and artistic knowledge throughout the
Mediterranean. They regarded mobility as a cause of contaminating urban
order, historical memory, and artistic style. As much as they pitted region
against region within Italy (Florence vs. Venice), this antagonism reached a
greater pitch with respect to the shores of the non-Italian Mediterranean. This
negative attitude often stands in contrast to the visual evidence offered by
works of art themselves. If theory is etymologically rooted in the act of seeing
or contemplating, then these sources demonstrate how selective vision can be.
207 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
Works of art and their geographic origins, their alleged ties to certain places,
and their displacement from locations have provoked and stimulated dis-
course and criticism. The negative view of mobility stands in contrast to an
underlying assumption of current approaches to global art history, which all
too often conceive mobility as a frame to understand productive and cele-
brated cross-cultural exchange. However, any new investigation of mobility as
a topic must grapple with disavowal and the fraught art theoretical legacy left
to us by our forebears.
Bibliography
Acidini, Cristina and Gabriele Morolli, eds., Luomo del Rinascimento. Leon Battista
Alberti e le arti a Firenze tra ragione e bellezza. Florence: Mandragora, 2006.
Adam, Robert, Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia. ed.
M. Navarra. Cannitello: Biblioteca del Cenide, 2001.
Alberti, Leon Battista, Larchitettura di Leonbatista Alberti tradotta in lingua fiorentina
da Cosimo Bartoli, gentilhuomo, & academico fiorentino. Florence: Lorenzo
Torrentino, 1550.
_____, Della Pittura. In Opere Volgari, vol. 3, ed. Cecil Grayson. Bari: Laterza, 1973.
_____, On the Art of Building in Ten Books, trans. Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach, and Robert
Tavernor. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1988.
Allen, Terry, Aniconism and Figural Representation in Islamic Art. In Five Essays on
Islamic Art. Sebastopol: Solipsist, 1988, pp. 1737.
Babinger, Franz, Laudivius Zacchia, Erdichter der Epitolae Magni Turci (Neapel 1473
U. O.). Munich: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1960.
Becatti, G., Plinio e Vasari. In Studi di storia dellarte in onore di Valerio Mariani.
Naples: Libreria scientifica editrice, 1971, pp. 173182.
Berenson, Bernard, Aesthetics and History in the Visual Arts. New York: Pantheon, 1948.
Bernab, Massimo, Un episodio della demonizzazione dellarte bizantina in Italia: La
campagna contro Strzygowski, Toesca e Lionello Venturi sulla stampa fascista nel
1930, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 94, no. 1 (2001): 110.
Bisaha, Nancy, Creating East and West. Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
Bolzoni, Lina, The Gallery of Memory. Literary and Iconographic Models in the Age of the
Printing Press, trans. Jeremy Parzen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
Bottin, Jacques and Donatella Calabi, eds., Les trangers dans la ville: minorits et
espace urbain du bas Moyen ge lpoque moderne. Paris: Editions de la Maison des
sciences de lhomme, 1999.
Calabi, Donatella and Paola Lanaro, eds. La Citt italiana e i luoghi degli stranieri:
XIVXVIII secolo. Rome: Laterza, 1998.
208 kim
Campbell, Caroline and Alan Chong, eds., Bellini and the East. Boston: Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum, 2005.
Carboni, Stefano, ed., Venice and the Islamic World, 8281797. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2007.
Carruthers, Mary, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Carruthers, Mary and Jan M. Ziolkowski, eds., The Medieval Craft of Memory. An
Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
2002.
Cassas, L.-F. and J. Lavalle, Voyage pittoresque et historique de lIstrie et de la Dalmatie.
Paris: P. Didot, 1802.
Cicero Marcus Tullio attr., Rhetorica Ad Herennium, trans. Harry Caplan. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1954.
Cipolla, Carlo M., Fighting the Plague in Seventeenth-Century Italy. Madison: University
of Wisconsin Press, 1981.
Davis, Robert C., Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenale. Workers and Workplace in the
Preindustrial City. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.
Dolce, Lodovico, Lodovico Dolces Laretino and Venetian Art Theory of the Cinquecento,
trans. and ed. Mark W. Roskill. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
Dursteler, Eric, Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the
Early Modern Mediterranean. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
Elsner, Ja, The Birth of Late Antiquity: Riegl and Strzygowski in 1901, Art History 23,
no. 3 (2002): 358379.
Fehrenbach, Frank, Licht und Wasser. Zur Dynamik Naturphilosophischer Leitbilder im
Werk Leonardo da Vincis. Tbingen: Tbinger Studien zur Archologie und
Kunstgeschichte, 1997.
Folnesics, Hans and Leo Planiscig, eds., Bau- und kunst-denkmale des Kstenlandes.
Aquileja; Grz; Grado; Triest; Capo dIstria; Muggia; Pirano; Parenzo; Rovigno; Pola;
Veglia, etc. Vienna: Schroll, 1916.
Freedberg, David, The Power of Images. Studies in the History and Theory of Response.
Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1989.
Fremmer, Anselm, Venezianische Buchkultur: Bcher, Buchhndler und Leser in der
Frhrenaissance. Cologne: Bhlau, 2001.
Frodl-Kraft, E., Eine Aporie und der Versuch ihrer Deutung: Josef Strzygowski Julius V.
Schlosser, Wiener Jahrbuch fr Kunstgeschichte 42 (1989): 752.
Gilio, Giovanni Andrea, Dialogo nel quale si ragiona degli errori e degli abusi de
Pittori circa listorie. In Trattati darte del Cinquecento. Fra Manierismo e
Controriforma, ed. Paola Barocchi. Bari: Laterza, 1961.
Grafton, Anthony, Leon Battista Alberti: Master Builder of the Italian Renaissance.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.
209 Sixteenth-Century Art Literary Sources
Hankins, James, Renaissance Crusaders: Humanist Crusade Literature in the Age of
Mehmed II, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 49 (1995): 111207.
Kim, David Young, The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2014.
Kinney, Dale, The Concept of Spolia. In A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque
and Gothic in Northern Europe, ed. Conrad Rudolph. Malden: Blackwell, 2006,
pp. 233252.
Kulikowski, Michael, Romes Gothic Wars: From the Third Century to Alaric. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Laiou, Angeliki E. and Ccile Morrison, The Byzantine Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2007.
Machiavelli, Niccol, Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio. Rome: Antonio Blado,
1531.
Manners, Ian R., Constructing the Image of a City: The Representation of
Constantinople in Christopher Buondelmontis Liber Insularum Archipelagi,
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 87, no. 1 (1997): 72102.
Marchand, Suzanne, The Rhetoric of Artifacts and the Decline of Classical Humanism,
History and Theory 33, no. 4, 1994: 106130.
Martini, Francesco di Giorgio, Trattati di architettura ingegneria e arte militare, vol. 3,
ed. Corrado Maltese. Milan: Il Polifilo, 1967.
McHam, Sarah Blake, Pliny and the Artistic Culture of the Italian Renaissance. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.
Meyer zur Capellen, Jrg, Gentile Bellini. Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden, 1985.
Morrison, John and Robert Gardiner, The Age of the Galley: Mediterranean Oared
Vessels Since Pre-Classical Times. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1995.
Necipolu, Glru, The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.
Nutton, V., The Reception of Fracastoros Theory of Contagion: The Seed That Fell
among Thorns? In Renaissance Medical Learning: Evolution of a Tradition, eds. M.R.
McVaugh and N.G. Siraisi. Philadelphia: The History of Science Society, 1990,
pp. 196234.
Olin, Margaret, Art History and Ideology: Alois Riegl and Josef Strzygowski.
In Cultural Visions: Essays in the History of Culture, eds. Penny Schine Gold and
Benjamin C. Sax. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000, pp. 151170.
Payne, Alina A., The Architectural Treatise in the Italian Renaissance. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1999.
_____, Vasari, Architecture and the Origins of Historicizing Art, RES 40 (2001): 5176.
_____, Alberti and the Origins of the Paragone between Architecture and the Figural
Arts. In Leon Battista Alberti. Teorico delle arti e gli impegni civili del De Re
Aedificatoria, eds. Arturo Calzona et al. Florence: Olschki, 2007, pp. 347368.
210 kim
Pistarino, Geo, The Genoese in PeraTurkish Galata, Mediterranean Historical
Review I (1986), 6385.
Raby, Julian, Venice, Drer, and the Oriental Mode. Totowa: Islamic Art Publications,
1982.
Rhein, Gudrun, Der Dialog ber die Malerei: Lodovico Dolces Traktat und die Kunsttheorie
des 16. Jahrhunderts. Cologne: Bhlau, 2008.
Roccatagliata, A., Notai genovesi in Oltremare. Atti rogati a Pera e Mitilene, vol. 1: Pera,
14081490. Genoa: Collana Storica di fonti et studi, 1982.
Sansovino, Francesco, Venetia, citt nobilissima et singolare. Venice: Domenico Farri,
1581.
Sohm, Philip L., Style in the Art Theory of Early Modern Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2001.
Spinale, Susan, The Portraits Medals of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II (r. 145181).
Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 2003.
Summers, David, Michelangelo and the Language of Art. Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1981.
Terpening, Ronnie H., Lodovico Dolce, Renaissance Man of Letters. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press, 1997.
Thausne, Louis, Gentile Bellini et Sultan Mohammed II: notes sur le sjour du peintre
vnitien Constantinople (14781480). Paris: E. Leroux, 1888.
Vasari, Giorgio, Le vite de piv eccellenti pittori, scvltori, e architettori. Florence: Giunti,
1568.
_____, Le vite de pi eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a
tempi nostri: nelledizione per i tipi di Lorenzo Torrentino, Firenze 1550, 2 vols., eds.
Luciano Bellosi and Aldo Rossi. Turin: Einaudi, 1991.
Verlinden, C., Lesclavage dans lEurope mdivale. Bruges: De Tempel, 1955.
Wilson, Bronwen, Reflecting on the Turk in Late Sixteenth-Century Venetian Portrait
Books, Word and Image 19, no. 12 (2003): 3858.
_____, Reproducing the Contours of Venetian Identity in Sixteenth-Century Costume
Books, Studies in Iconography 25 (2004): 221274.
Yates, Frances, The Art of Memory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.
PART 3
Things That Move: Textiles

koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_


1 Much has been written about this historical event. Mostly it is associated with the history of
the Nicaean empire and thus features in a variety of analyses of this period. E.g., Deno J.
Geanakoplos, Emperor Michael Palaeologus and the West, 12581282: A Study in Greco-Latin
Relations. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959, pp. 4774. Idem, Greco-Latin Relations
on the Eve of the Byzantine Restoration: the Battle of Pelagonia, 1259, Dumbarton Oaks
Papers 7 (1953): 99141. Peter Schreiner, Bisanzio e Genova: Tentativo di unanalisi delle
relazioni politiche, commerciali, e culturali, in Studia Byzantino-Bulgarica (Miscellanea
Bulgarica 2). Vienna: Verein Freunde des Hauses Wittgenstein, 1986, pp. 135136. Michael
Angold, A Byzantine Government in Exile: Government and Society under the Laskarids of
Nicaea, 12041261. London: Oxford University Press, 1975. Ruth Macrides, The New
Constantine and the New Constantinople1261?, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies
6 (1980): 1349. Eadem, trans., George Akropolites: The History. Oxford and New York: Oxford
University Press, 2007. For further discussion and bibliography see Cecily J. Hilsdale, The
Imperial Image at the End of Exile: The Byzantine Embroidered Sink in Genoa and the Treaty
of Nymphaion (1261), Dumbarton Oaks Papers 64 (2012): 151199.
Chapter
The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa: The Object
as Event
Ioli Kalavrezou
The focus of this paper is a luxury textile produced in the second half of the
13th century and presented as a gift to an Italian embassy from the Republic of
Genoa, which had visited the Byzantine emperor in Nikaia (Nicaea) to negoti-
ate a diplomatic treaty.1 I chose to discuss this object here because it is one of
the few surviving portable objects that must have played an important role in
its historical context. The textile is unique in that it has a significant political
association with the site of the Byzantine imperial palace at Nymphaion, in the
eastern Mediterranean, where an event occurred that almost shifted the power
dynamics that existed at that time. This object moved from the East to the
West, to Genoa, to be displayed at the altar as an antependium in the cathedral
of the city (Fig.1).
It is also one of those objects that through its images provides an example of
how a specific site or place can activate larger meanings. From the beginning,
this textile was intended for a non-Byzantine viewer with a different aesthetic
and cultural appreciation, and made with attention to that viewer; but at the
same time it displays the features most desired and sought after by
214 kalavrezou
2 Since this paper was presented on January 17, 2009 in Florence, a lengthy paper on this peplos
was submitted by Cecily Hilsdale to the editorial board of the Dumbarton Oaks Papers for
publication. Most of what I discuss here was already presented at the oral presentation of
this paper in Florence. Since I am however on the editorial board of Dumbarton Oaks I have
in the meantime read Hilsdales paper, which appeared in the DOP 64 issue of 2012 with the
title The Imperial Image at the End of Exile: The Byzantine Embroidered Silk in Genoa and
the Treaty of Nymphaion (1261) (n. 1). Our interests on this textile vary. My goal in this paper
was to discuss the peplos in the overall context of exchange and circulation of objects and the
creation of forms developed for the historical circumstances. It is not a study of the peplos as
such. In many places we mention very similar ideas however, something not avoidable since
we are discussing the same object. I will be referring to Hilsdales publication, since it is a
much more detailed study of this object with all the relevant bibliography, which I do not
need to repeat here.
3 The process of gift giving and gift-exchange has become in recent years a topic of art histori-
cal discourse and analysis. Numerous publications on this topic have appeared as for exam-
ple Gadi Algazi, Valentin Groebner and Bernhard Jussen, eds., Negotiating the Gift: Pre-modern
Figurations of Exchange. Gttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2003. For the Byzantine
field a few examples suffice: Telemachos C. Lounghis, Die byzantinischen Gesandten als
Vermittler materieller Kultur vom 5. bis ins 11. Jahrhundert, in Kommunikation zwischen
Orient und Okzident: Alltag und Sachkultur: Internationaler Kongress Krems an der Donau,
8 bis 9 Oktober 1992 (Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Westerners that are specifically Byzantine in all their innate forms and
materials.
The textile is a peplos, or, as it is referred to in the Italian sources, a pallio, a
large piece of porphyry silk, which measures 1.28 3.74 meters (4 feet
23/8inches 12 feet 4 inches).2 This textile is not one of the well-known
Byzantine woven silks with designs and motifs that create an overall repeated
pattern often presented by the Byzantines in gift exchanges.3 It is a silk textile
that has been embroidered with gold, silver, and silk thread to create detailed
Fig. Embroidered silk peplos of Saint Lawrence and associated saints, 1261. Genoa,
Museo di SantAgostino (photo: c. hilsdale).
215 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
Philosophisch-Historische Klasse, vol. 619). Vienna: Verlag der sterreichischen Akademie
der Wissenschaften, 1994, pp. 4967; Anthony Cutler, Gifts and Gift Exchange as Aspects of
the Byzantine, Arab, and Related Economies, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55 (2001): 247278;
Alexandru S. Anca, Ehrerweisung durch Geshenke in der Komnenezeit: Gewohnheiten und
Regeln des herrscherlichen Schenkens, Mitteilungen zur Sptantiken Archologie und
Byzanitinschen Kunstgeschichte 4 (2005): 185193.
4 David Jacoby, Silk Economics and Cross-Cultural Artistic Interaction: Byzantium, the
Muslim World, and the Christian West, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 58 (2004): 240.
5 Hans Belting portrays this silk as representative of what he terms lingua franca that he sees
in a number of objects of eastwest Mediterranean artistic expression: Introduction, in
Il Medio Oriente e Occidente nellarte del XIII secolo (Atti del XXIV Congresso internazionale di
storia del arte 2, Bologna 1979), ed. Hans Belting. Bologna: CLUEB, 1982, p. 3.
narrative scenes of the life of Saint Lawrence, the patron saint of the city of
Genoa. The scenes closely follow Byzantine style and composition, but they
have been given Latin inscriptions identifying the events, specifically made for
the Genoese. What makes this object special beyond its luxurious quality and
preciousness, is the fact that it exemplifies the idea of portability and demon-
strates how an object could embody the shared cultural imagination, which
emerges between the giver and the recipient of a gift. As historian David Jacoby
has observed, textiles were the primary agents of artistic transfers, especially
in the field of imagery. Because they are easily transportable, their designs
have often inspired further artistic creations and through copying or emula-
tion they were applied onto artifacts of different media, such as ceramics, me-
talwork, wall paintings, and so on.4 This textile, however, falls in a different
category. It was not a textile for commercial use but was created for a specific
purpose and with a specific visual story to tell. The imagery had to be recogniz-
able to the recipient while also maintaining its identity as part of the culture
that produced it, which also gave it its desirability. The silk peplos is thus repre-
sentative of the hybridity or fusion often generated by the circulation of
objects and their dissemination from east to west and/or west to east in the
Mediterranean.5 This mobility gave rise to new creations in images and trans-
formations of forms, which were dependent on specific conditions and cul-
tural exchanges in this multicultural basin.
Since this object is unique, it is a rather rare example of the exceptional
attention that can be observed in the creation of its images and the meaning
they were intended to convey. It is an example of the role that portable objects
provided in cross-cultural exchanges in the Mediterranean world during the
late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Central to the discussion and analysis of
this textile is the aspect of mobility and circulation of the object, of its imagery
and its agency. Its inherent cultural context, its shape (or form), its images, and
216 kalavrezou
6 Neither the object nor the historical circumstances are connected with Dalmatia, which
would have been desirable. Also in this later period there was not enough material evidence
and specific documentation that would had allowed to address the topic of The Object as
Event between Dalmatia and Byzantium.
7 Jacoby, Silk Economics, pp. 197240.
8 John F. Haldon, ed. and trans., Constantine Porphyrogenitus: Three Treatises on Imperial
Military Expeditions. Vienna: Verlag der sterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften,
1990, pp. 108111.
its inscriptions all were elements that had the potential to affect their new
environment or, as in this case, to transfer an ideology to its new environment.
Through this process, the object, which plays a leading role in those exchanges,
becomes the carrier and agent in defining new cultural boundaries. In the
Mediterranean region by the 13th century, the circulation of goods, people,
works of art, and techniques was made easier by highly developed communi-
cation networks through maritime exchanges. Not only did exchanges and
trade take place by the presence of merchant marines, but also through the
navies of a number of different groups that roamed the Mediterranean. The
peplos was created after the Fourth Crusade, during a period when the West
had developed a greater presence and involvement in the Mediterranean
world, creating a complex trade network between the East and the West.6
Silk textiles were typical valuable gifts that the Byzantines presented to dis-
tinguished foreign individuals. They knew well how desirable these textiles
were so that the combination of value, cultural prestige, and portability gave
these silks a special place in the world of gift giving for the Byzantines.7 For
example, we hear that silk textiles were part of the provisions an imperial mili-
tary expedition would make sure to carry along, in case circumstances required
to present them to important foreigners in a diplomatic exchange. The knowl-
edge of how sought-after these textiles were made them valuable gifts in these
campaigns.8
At the time of production of this peplos, the capital of the Byzantine Empire,
Constantinople, was in the hands of the Latinsthat is, Venetians and other
western Europeans. The Byzantine Empire in its reduced form, with the city of
Nikaia as its capital, was one of the Byzantine successor states that resulted
after the loss of Constantinople. Of the three successor states established after
1204the other two being Trebizond and Epirosthe empire of Nikaia was
the strongest and closest to the Latin Empire of Constantinople and was even-
tually in the best position to attempt to regain the capital and reestablish the
Byzantine Empire.
In this period, Genoa, located on one of the western shores of the
Mediterranean, was a crucial naval force. However, it was only second to the
Venetians, who controlled most of the harbors and commercial enterprises in
217 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
9 Maximilianus Treu, ed., Manuelis Holoboli Orationes, 2 vols. Programm des kniglichen
Victoria-Gymnasiums Potsdam: Krmer, 1906, pp. 5177. Peter Schreiner, Zwei Denkmler
aus der frhen Palologenzeit: Ein Bildnis Michaels VIII und der genueser Pallio, in
Festschrift fr Klaus Wessel zum 70. Geburtstag: in memoriam, ed. Marcell Restle. Munich:
Editio Maris, 1988, pp. 249258.
10 For the details of these historical events see references in footnote 1.
11 This is not the first time that diplomatic relations of this type were negotiated between
the Byzantines and the Genoese. In the mid-12th century under Manuel Komnenos a
similar alliance was formed regarding also trade privileges resulting from the rivalries
between the Italian cities. However the stipulations of this agreement were not honored
by either side. Paul Magdalino, The Maritime Neighborhoods of Constantinople:
Commercial and Residential Functions, Sixth to Twelfth Century, Dumbarton Oaks
Papers 54 (2000): 209226. See also: David Jacoby, Italian Privileges and Trade in
Byzantium before the Fourth Crusade: A Reconsideration, Anuario de Estudios Medievales
24 (1994): 349369. Klaus-Peter Matschke, Commerce, Trade, Markets and Money:
ThirteenthFifteenth Centuries, in Economic History of Byzantium, vol. 2, ed. Angeliki
Laiou. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2002, pp. 771806.
12 Geanakoplos, Emperor Michael Palaeologos, pp. 8586.
the eastern Mediterranean. In addition in the year 1258 the Genoese were
severely defeated in Acre by the Venetians and expelled from that area and its
port. Their position in the eastern Mediterranean was thus rather weakened,
so that their ruler, Guglielmo Boccanegra, decided to seek an ally in the east,
and turned to the Byzantine emperor for assistance.9 That same year, the
Byzantine emperor Theodore II Laskaris died and was succeeded by his son
John IV Laskaris, who, as he was still a child, was under the regency of the
general Michael Palaiologos. In 1259, however, Michael usurped the throne
and had himself proclaimed co-emperor, as Michael VIII.10
Michael needed himself assistance to secure his position and gain legitimi-
zation, but also he needed help to realize his plans to undertake the restora-
tion of the Byzantine Empire by first re-capturing Constantinople. Thus, in
1260, Genoese ambassadors arrived at the court of Michael VIII to negotiate
an agreement between the two interested parties, resulting in the Treaty of
Nymphaion, a Byzantine-Genoese alliance with the goal of recovering
Constantinople from the hands of the Latins.11 The ambassadors stayed
through the winter as guests of the emperor at the Palace at Nymphaion (today
Kemalpasa), and on March 13, 1261, a first treaty was authorized with the final
ratification and signing to take place in Genoa on July 10. For the final conclu-
sion of the pact and the signing three Greek ambassadors were sent to Genoa
by the emperor.12 This treaty asked of the Genoese to contribute toward the
destruction of the Latin Empire of Constantinoplei.e., essentially their rival
the Venetianswith the assistance of naval support provided by a fleet of up
to 50 ships, and in exchange the Genoese would receive access to trade on the
218 kalavrezou
13 The whole discussion of the Treaty and the relevant bibliography can be found summa-
rized in Hilsdale, Imperial Image, pp. 157160.
14 On the value of materials within a cultural context in Byzantium see: Ioli Kalavrezou,
Light and the Precious Object, or Value in the Eyes of the Byzantines, in The Construction
of Value in the Ancient World, eds. John Papadopoulos and Gary Urton. UCLA: The Cotsen
Institute for Archaeology Press, 2012, chapter 17, pp. 354369 and 488491. Jacoby, Silk
Economics, pp. 197240.
15 Schreiner, Zwei Denkmler, p. 253.
16 Geanakoplos, Emperor Michael Palaeologos, pp. 8687.
17 Macrides, New Constantine, p. 13.
coastal cities of the Byzantine Empire as far north as the Black Sea, which at
that time was mainly in the hands of the Venetians. In addition, the Byzantine
emperor agreed to send 500 hyperpyra (gold coins) and two silk pallia to the
municipal government of the Commune of Genoa every year for 14years, and
one silk pallium and 60 hyperpyra to the archbishop.13 What is surprising in
this agreement is the prominence of the silks in connection with the gold
coins, and the yearly demand of them, revealing how important silk textiles
had become as items of luxury and prestige.14
However none of the pallia mentioned in the treaty survives or can be iden-
tified. The pallio or peplos that served as an altar frontal for the main altar of
the cathedral of San Lorenzo in Genoa (now in the Museo di SantAgostino)
was formerly believed to have been one of those mentioned in the agreement,
but closer attention to the only surviving Greek text, which discusses this tex-
tile, makes it quite clear that it was the parting gift to the Genoese ambassa-
dors by the emperor Michael Palaeologos when they were leaving Nymphaion
to return to Genoa.15 It is also important to note here that this silk peplos is a
much more valuable textile than those mentioned in the treaty and an
extremely distinguished gift. It was embroidered with gold thread, and much
thought and study has gone into the preparation of the numerous scenes with
multiple figures, a kind of narrative in vignettes, related to the life of Saint
Lawrence, not the most familiar saint to the Byzantines.
However, shortly after the ratification of the treaty in Genoa, the Byzantines
led by general Strategopoulos reconquered Constantinople on July 25 before
any of these arrangements agreed upon in the Treaty could be implemented.
Of the 50 ships mentioned in the Treaty, only 16 were sent out, which never
reached the city.16 The official arrival in Constantinople of Michael VIII
Palaiologos, a much celebrated event, took place with a triumphal entry into
the city on August15, the feast day of the Virgins Koimesis, in which the icon
of the Virgin Mary, the defender and protector of Constantinople, also pre-
ceded the emperor in his processional entry into the capital.17
219 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
18 Treu, Orationes, 1:3050, encomium begins on 46; idem on Holobolos Manuel Holobolos,
Byzantinische Zeitschrift 5 (1896): 538559: Xenophon A. Siderides, ,
,
3 (1926): 168191; Ruth Macrides, Holobolos, in Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium,
vol. 2, ed. Alexander P. Kazhdan, p. 940.
19 Macrides, New Constantine, pp. 1620.
20 Anca, Ehrerweisung durch Geshenke, pp. 185193.
Probably because of what appears to be a weaker arrangement for the
Byzantines in the Treaty, but also because the city was reconquered without
any help by the Genoese, the Greek historians of that time (Pachymeres,
Akropolites, and Skoutariotes) do not make any reference to the pact and the
conditions that were negotiated. The Byzantine perspective on the Treaty of
Nymphaion is known only from a different kind of text, an encomium to
emperor Michael Palaiologos composed by Manuel Holobolos. He is the only
Greek source to refer to the Genoese contact with Michael. He mentions that
the Genoese envoys sought out the emperor Michael to establish an associa-
tion with the Byzantineswhich is also confirmed by the western sources
but he is not explicit about the terms and conditions of the treaty and does not
refer to the alliance as such. Instead, Holobolos praises Michael on his mastery
of diplomacy. Also, by means of two ekphrases embedded in the encomium on
two peploi, two textiles that the emperor offered to the ambassadors as gifts
before their departure we hear of their existence. He provides a description of
these and an unusually detailed account on one of the two textiles, the por-
phyry silk with the gold embroidered narrative now in Genoa.18 The enco-
mium was actually delivered on Christmas Day, 1265that is, after
Constantinople was reconquered and after a few years had passed, at a time
when Michael was well established as the rightful emperor in Constantinople
and could appropriately be praised for his deeds.19 Holoboloss text reveals
that the embroidered textile is not one of the pallia that, according to the
treaty, were to be sent to Genoa every year, but part of the gift given to the
Genoese ambassadors before their departure. Therefore, this textile was not
part of a mutual exchange but a present from an emperorin this case,
Michaelto the Commune of Genoa. A gift of this type is different from those
that are exchanged between ambassadors or other high officials during
diplomatic visits. It originates from just one of the two parties, and is thus a
one-directional present, which as Alexandru Anca has discussed, is the kind of
gift that creates an uneven relationship between donor and receiver.20 It
displays the supremacy of the donor over the other, who obligingly accepts the
gift, which is usually of such preciousness that it is difficult to refuse it.
220 kalavrezou
21 Since the Genoese were the ones who approached the Byzantine emperor this was to be
expected.
22 Anca, Ehrerweisung durch Geshenke, pp. 197188.
23 Treu, Orationes, 1:47.810. Siderides, , p. 188. Most often these kinds
of textiles had only parts embroidered, mostly the section of the body with its garments.
The face and skin sections were painted.
24 David Jacoby, Genoa, Silk Trade and Silk Manufacture in the Mediterranean Region
(ca.11001300), in Tessuti, oreficerie, miniature in Liguria, XIIIXV secolo, Atti dei Convegni
3, eds. Anna Rosa Calderoni Masetti, Clario Di Fabio and Mario Marcenaro. Bordighera:
Istituto internazionale di studi liguri, 1999, pp. 1140, esp. 24; Jacoby, Silk Economics,
p.220.
It is commonly suggestive of political subservience to those who receive
such a gift, with implied power dynamics at play.21 This type of gift is often
described in the encomiastic sources as having the status or being appropri-
ate or corresponding to the rank and position of the one who receives it, but
obviously also appropriate for an emperor to give.22 It is also something the
value of which the receiver would most likely recognize and would desire to
possess. In both cases, it does mean that the gift is of great value and
importance.
Michaels gift to the ambassadors consisted of two textiles. The first peplos
that Holobolos mentions had the image of Michael Palaiologos not executed
in golden or other costly material but in decorative colors.23 He also mentions
an inscription that would have identified Michael and his titles on this textile.
However, that particular peplos has not survived. The second peplos is the one
under discussion here, and the only peplos that is known from this period to
have survived over the past eight centuries. It was kept in the treasury of the
church of Saint Lawrence. That the choice of the imperial gift was a silk, and an
embroidered one at that, indicates (known also from written sources) that the
silk industry during this period was flourishing in the empire of Nikaia.24 It
seems that under the conditions of an empire in exile, without Constantinople
(its center of production), the workshops of most of the export industries that
Byzantium was famous for no longer had the possibilities or skilled manpower
to function. The most famous crafts that Byzantium was so renowned for in
the West no longer could be produced, since most of those industries were
located in or around Constantinople. For example, it could no longer produce
the bronze doors that had been exported to Italy, particularly during the 11th
and 12th centuries, and neither the workshops for the production of tesserae
for wall mosaics nor the enamel manufactory were operational. However, silk
textile production continued, and had become one of the industries that in
those times produced goods with the exotic and luxurious qualities that
221 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
25 There are several very similarly embroidered pieces but they do not have the dimensions
of the Genoa peplos, for example, the epigonation in Athens in the Byzantine museum
and the famous Byzantine sakkos of the late 13th/early 14th century in the Vatican, Museo
del Tesoro.
26 Kalavrezou, Light and Value, pp. 357359.
27 The one known from about 1000 is the illustration in the Menologion of Basil II in the
Vatican (Vat. gr. 1613, ca. 1000 ad). For further images see: Hilsdale, Imperial Image,
pp. 172173. Most of the cases mentioned, however, are objects or monuments that are in
some way or another connected with the west or are in geographical areas that had
Byzantium was known for. At the same time it offered the aspect of portability
that helped disseminate such materials more easily.
Thus, this large, gold-embroidered textile was very rare, and from what we
now know is the largest and one of the few of this type that is still extant.25 It is
exceptional for its good condition, the high quality of its craftsmanship (in
terms of the silk and the embroidery), its large size, and, most important, the
theme that is represented by means of the figural embroidery: the life of Saint
Lawrence, rare in Byzantium and probably unique in this kind of portable
object. The embroidery is in gold and silver couched metal thread with only
the flesh parts worked in silk. This technique of embroidery is typical of
Byzantine workmanship and is known from a number of textiles that were
bestowed as gifts, especially from the 12th century, often described in dedica-
tory epigrams emphasizing the precious materials with which these embroi-
dered cloths were made and adorned.26
The embroidered scenes of this historiated textile are organized so as to cre-
ate two equal registers of 10 scenes both at the upper and at the lower registers
(see Figs.2 and 3). The scenes depict the events from the life of Saint Lawrence
that brought about his martyrdom and death. Saint Lawrence, the principal
figure in this narrative, is the patron saint of the cathedral of the city of Genoa.
Two other figures, the saints Pope Sixtus II and Hippolytus, are also repre-
sented, since they participated in the events narrated, although their role here
is to add further glory to the deeds of Saint Lawrence. Although Saint Lawrence
has a place in the Synaxarion of the Orthodox church and a feast day in the
calendar on August 10, the day commemorating his martyrdom, he is not a
popular saint in Byzantine culture. The scene of his martyrdom, showing him
being roasted on the gridiron over hot coals, was rarely represented, and the
other episodes from his life are almost nonexistent in Byzantine art,27 making
this textile with the detailed embroidered narrative scenes a custom-made gift
rather than the usual luxury object chosen to impress the foreigner in a dip-
lomatic negotiation.
222 kalavrezou
contact with the west. It is important to mention here that St. Lawrence in almost all is
depicted as a standing saint in his capacity as a deacon with a censer in his hand as, for
example, in the mosaic apse decoration of Hagia Sophia in Kiev where he is the pendant
figure to St. Stephen the first deacon of the church and the Protomartyr.
Fig. Embroidered silk peplos of Saint Lawrence, left half, scenes from the life of Saint
Lawrence, 1261. Genoa, Museo di SantAgostino (photo: c. hilsdale).
Fig. Embroidered silk peplos of Saint Lawrence, right half, scenes of the lives and
martyrdom of pope Sixtus and Saint Hippolytus, 1261. Genoa, Museo di SantAgostino
(photo: c. hilsdale).
223 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
The scenes of the deeds and martyrdom of these three saints are arranged
one next to the other to create two registers with 10 scenes each, in what
appears to be the traditional form of medieval narration. Although 10 in num-
ber in the upper register, the scenes are set in such a way that one of them is
placed directly in the center. This central scene is immediately recognizable as
being different because of the image is larger in size and because the inscrip-
tion above the scene is longer and denser and occupies a larger area (Fig.4).
Itis the fifth compositional unit in the visual reading of the sequence, but is
Fig. Embroidered silk peplos of Saint Lawrence, upper register, central scene, Michael
VIII Palaiologos, Archangel Michael, and Saint Lawrence, 1261. Genoa, Museo di
SantAgostino (photo c. hilsdale).
224 kalavrezou
28 DOC 5,2: no. 1 and 5,2: nos. 225 and 5,2:
actually not part of the story depicted on the silk. This unusual scene has been
inserted in this central and prominent position because it represents the
donor, the emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos himself. Michael, as the one con-
temporary figure on the silk, and the most important one, had to be placed at
the center, according to Byzantine hierarchical compositional rules. Michaels
self-referential image of himself as the giver of the textile is included within
the narrative account in an anachronistic way, as was often done in imperial
art. However, it is not an official formal portrait of the type we know from
Byzantine imperial representations. Since the peplos was produced for a
specific locationthe cathedral of Genoaits imagery had to relate to its
function. The official portrait of the emperor, which cannot be missing from an
imperial present, in this instance was given to the Genoese separately in the
second peplos as part of the gift to the ambassadors when they left Nymphaion
to return to Genoa.
In the representation on the embroidered textile, Emperor Michael is asso-
ciating himself with Saint Lawrence and with Genoa and its cathedral. He is
shown being accompanied by the archangel Michael, his personal divine pro-
tector, who stands behind him with his wing framing the figure of the emperor
and with his right arm and hand resting on his shoulder, clearly a gesture of
protection and support. Saint Michaels embracing and protective gesture was
already depicted on Emperor Michaels hyperpyra minted in Magnesia in Asia
Minor, contemporaneous with the textile, an image that was well known to
the Genoese since these were the 500 hyperpyra they sought to receive annu-
ally from the emperor. On the reverse of these, the emperor is shown kneeling
before the enthroned Christ in a gesture of supplication; the archangel Michael
stands behind him while Christ blesses and legitimizes his rule by placing his
hand on the emperors crown (Fig.5). The same theme is repeated on the gold
hyperpyra that Michel VIII issued after the restoration of Constantinople in
1261, where the protective and supportive embrace of the archangel is even
more pronounced, clearly stressing the success of the reconquest (Fig.6).28
In the central scene on the peplos (Fig. 4), the emperor, shielded by the
archangel Michael, is shown being led by Saint Lawrence into an impressive
church buildinga reference to Genoa and its cathedral dedicated to him.
Saint Lawrence, a tall, dark-haired, bearded figure, is leading the emperor by
the wrist toward his church while gesturing at it with his other hand. Michael
is dressed in the imperial loros, which helps to identify him easily as the
Byzantine emperor. I do not believe that this image should be regarded as an
225 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
Fig. Hyperpyron of Michael VIII Palaiologos of Nikaia, before 1261. Dumbarton Oaks
Collection, Acc. no. BZC.69.54 (photo: dumbarton oaks).
Fig. Hyperpyron of Michael VIII Palaiologos, after 1261. Dumbarton Oaks Collection,
Acc. no. BZC.1948.17.3590 (photo: dumbarton oaks).
independent unit of autonomous function,29 as it is often described in the
literature on this textile. Although not directly connected with the actual nar-
rative of the life of Saint Lawrence, it is to be understood as part of the main
message of the gift, conveyed to the Genoese through the selection of figures in
the scene. It successfully combines, through the figure of Saint Lawrence, the
29 Andrea Paribeni, Il pallio di San Lorenzo a Genova, in Larte di Bisanzio e lItalia al tempo
dei Paleologi 12611453, eds. Antonio Iakobini and Mauro Della Valle. Rome: Argos, 1999,
pp. 233234; Pauline Johnstone, The Byzantine Pallio in the Palazzo Bianco at Genoa,
226 kalavrezou
Gazette des Beaux Arts 87 (1976): 99108, esp. 106 and Carla Falcone, Il Pallio bizan-
tino di San Lorenzo a Genova: Una riconsiderazione, Arte Cristiana 84 (1996): 339.
30 For the Latin text and the discussion on the title, especially the identification as Greek see
Hilsdale, Imperial Image, 181, 195197. The inscription reads: S(anctus) LAUR(entius)
INDUCE(n)S ALTIS/SIMUM IMP(er)ATOREM GR/ECO(rum) D(omi)N(u)M DUCA(m)/
ANG(e)L(u)M CO(m)NENU(m) PALEOL/LOGU(m) IN ECC(les)IAM IAN(uensem).
31 Treu, Orationes, 1:46.2734; Siderides, , p. 188.
past with the present and the main purpose of this gift. This central image is
exceptional in many ways. Since it was made specifically for the occasion of
the future partnership and collaboration with the Genoese, it had an impor-
tant symbolic value. The inscription in Latin explains what we are looking at
and identifies the emperor: Saint Lawrence leads the Most Elevated/High
Emperor of the Greeks Lord Michael Doukas Angelos Komnenos Palaiologos
into the Church of Genoa.30 The theme and composition, as well as the text
that accompanies the scene, were chosen and designed by the Byzantines. It
suggests a welcoming on the part of the Genoese of the Byzantine emperor
into their city, testifying in a way to their mutual agreement and friendship.
Moreover, its prominent position as the central scene emphasizes the concord
and the contemporary political relationship established between the
Byzantines and the city of Genoa and its citizens.
This is also the theme in Holoboloss encomium when he describes the
meeting and gift presentation by Michael to the Genoese ambassadors.
Holobolos makes even a stronger statement than the welcoming depiction in
the central scene of the peplos. He creates a fictitious speech that the Genoese
give before their departure, which he presents in his encomium before the
emperor on Christmas Day in 1265, reminiscing about the great deeds of this
emperor. He speaks of the Genoese being well versed in giving speeches with
great success. He also explains that after having expressed their great admira-
tion for him they conveyed the desire to receive a portrait of the emperor since
he could not himself come to Genoa. His portrait would express his love for
their city and serve as their protector. They said:
Offer yourself as much as possible to your and our city. Console her [the
citys] piercing love [for you] through your image and texts [inscriptions]
rendered on the peplos. For the inscribed form [image] of the beloved is
a great remedy () for lovers. Your image, if it is present, can
serve as a strong defense against our enemies, an averter ()
against every plot, a powerful parapet for your and our city, a strong
defense tower and a hard resisting wall to aggressors.31
227 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
32 See Anca Ehrerweisung durch Geshenke, pp. 197188 on this specific expression in con-
nection with the presentation of the gift. These categorizations, especially taking into
account what was said in the fictitious speech about the Genoese just before, suggests
power dynamics at play at the moment of the presentation of the gift.
33 Siderides, , p. 188.
34 Gestures of embrace and physical contacts, symbols of concord among political figures
has a long history, the embrace of the Tetrarchs is one of the most obvious examples, e.g.,
porphyry statue group embedded on the exterior of San Marco in Venice. Hilsdale,
Imperial Image, pp. 181188 has a long discussion on this gesture, which she sees mainly
as that of intercession. I do not quite think that intercession is part of the meaning on the
textile, since I cannot believe that Michael would have accepted St. Lawrence for his
needs. He has his own protector in the archangel Michael, who is also very present in the
image. St. Lawrence a deacon of the early church and a caretaker of the library of the
archbishop of Rome is not the appropriate intercessor. The idea however, she also
expresses towards the end of her discussion, on the clasping by the wrist as the dextrarum
iunctio. I would agree is more appropriate. The hand of St. Lawrence is very awkwardly
placed in relation to his elbow since there seems not to be any forearm.
35 Also Hilsdale, Imperial Image, p. 183.
He continues, saying that they also swore oaths of allegiance to you, and hav-
ing received two beautiful peploithe most honorable gift on the part of your
majesty, which was most appropriate for them32they returned home, and
praised your kindness with a loud voice and proclaimed you everywhere a king
like no other.33 However much these statements are exaggerated in the enco-
mium, they make clear how that image in the center of the composition should
be comprehended.
The antiquarian gesture of taking someone by the wrist can here be associ-
ated with the dextrarum iunctio, a gesture well known from antiquity, which
was probably chosen to make a reference to the arranged Treaty. As this ges-
ture is the physical agreement and conclusion of the marital union of a couple,
so this same gesture of union between Saint Lawrence and Michael can refer
in visual terms to the accord of the pact.34 Furthermore, it is no accident that
the church depicted in the center of the scene, intended to represent the
cathedral of Genoa, is domed.35 The emphasis on the dome is a reference to
the most famous architectural achievement of the Christian Mediterranean
world for the entire Middle ages, that of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople,
although here it is not architecturally correct. The building stands out as a
clearly byzantinizing structure with its large dome. In this period, a large dome
covering a church building was well known to the western eye and it would
have been immediately recognized as a Byzantine architectural element. It is
clearly not the cathedral of Genoa. The church of Hagia Sophia had also
228 kalavrezou
36 Ibid., 182, fig.22 has a good example of comparison with the image on the textile from the
Ms. Vat. Gr. 1851, fol. 2r of the late 12th century.
37 The best Byzantine representation of the emperors humility is found in the Menologion
of Basil II in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vat. gr. 1613, fol. 350, ca. 1000 ad) in
the illustration commemorating the earthquake of January 26th 447. The emperor is
become the symbol of the city Constantinople itself.36 Here it stands as the
focus and goal of the Treaty of Nymphaion that both parties have agreed to: to
reconquer and establish Constantinople again as the true capital of the
Byzantine world. However, the door of the church is shown still closed, rather
than half-open to receive the approaching figures, as commonly seen in such
scenes. This is also still the case with the Golden gate and all gates of the city of
Constantinople, that now needed to be opened and the city taken. In this
image, the domed building takes the role of the site that it symbolizes, which
after its conquest by the Crusaders had become part of the western experience
of a voyage in the Mediterranean basin as far as Byzantium. Recognizable as
such, it signaled to the Genoese their goal and their chance to be part of that
experience and the desire to attain it. This was going to be achieved with the
help of Saint Lawrence, their protective saint, with the assistance of the
Byzantine emperor, and with Gods protection through his messenger Michael.
The image of the domed church had become the agent of a political event and
the conveyer of a message. It also operated on many levels when through
imagination the site can undergo transformations, which can reveal a plurality
of symbols and meanings. With its fluidity, it breaks down distances by joining
symbolically major Mediterranean religious and other sites.
Beyond the general symbolic references to the Treaty and its implications to
the still-to-be-reconquered Constantinople, the image contains a rare and
most unusual representation of a Byzantine emperor. Michael, though dressed
in the loros, is shown without holding any symbols of rule. His right hand,
which appears to be empty, is gesturing toward the church as if indicating the
direction in which the procession of the triad is moving. Almost totally frontal,
this procession is reminiscent of the most famous 6th-century mosaic in
Ravenna, which depicts Justinian in the church of San Vitale. There, Justinian
together with the archbishop, the other clerics, and attendants are also shown
in a frontal position, though moving to the right toward the altar. In this case
however, Justinian is holding a paten, a liturgical vessel, making visibly clear
his participation in a liturgical procession, while Michael on the peplos is rep-
resented in a most humble attitude. Without his symbols of rule, emphasis is
placed on his humility, a quality esteemed by the Byzantines, and regarded as
a virtue especially desirable for people in power.37 It is therefore most notable
229 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
depicted together with the patriarch in a procession through the city. He is shown
barefoot and with his hands crossed over his chest a gesture representing humility.
This gesture is testified as that of humility by the personification of Humility herself
( CC sic) on one of the enamel plaques on the stemma of Zoe, Constantine
IX and Theodora in Budapest.
that in this historiated silk with the scenes of the martyrs, Michael chose to
depict himself in this humble manner. Humility is also clearly a virtue in dip-
lomatic negotiations. This representation of Michael is in great contrast to the
portrait he presented to the Genoese in the other peplos, no longer extant,
which most likely showed him with all his titles and in full regalia in his official
position as Byzantine emperor.
This central dominating scene sets the order of the sequence of scenes of
the life of Saint Lawrence and the other martyrs. The 19 remaining scenes
depict in a chronological sequence the major events of the three saints lives.
However, the unusual arrangement of these scenes has caused some puzzle-
ment among scholars. The narrative, instead of beginning at the top left of the
two registers with the first scene, as one would expect, starts directly to the
right of the central scene representing the figure of the emperor and Saint
Lawrence leading him into the church. As much as this seems peculiar and
disconcerting, it makes sense if we take into consideration the importance of
the central scene in relation to the gift as such and not to the lives of the saints
depicted on the peplos. Once Saint Lawrence has been identified in the center
of the composition together with the imperially dressed Byzantine emperor,
he can be easily followed and recognized in the scenes to the right of it. That
the sequence begins on the right of the church was not strange to the Byzantine
viewer, who was used to searching a composition or an inscription for a
marker, usually a cross, that would identify where to start, from which point
one would read to the right. In this case, the visual marker or optical focus of
the entire embroidered surface is the centrally placed scene featuring the
important three characters of past and present and the church.
It is most remarkable to observe how the visual connection with the narra-
tive to the right of this scene (Fig.7) was established so that there is no confu-
sion in which direction to look to read the remaining pictorial program. As one
looks at the center of the peplos, one can see the triad of Emperor Michael,
archangel Michael, and Saint Lawrence, a tightly arranged group moving
toward the right, the church of the citys patron saint. However, behind the
building so to speak, to the right and still visually but also physically attached
to it, is Sixtus the archbishop/pope of Rome who is holding a book and turning
himself to the right toward a figure a bit further away. The viewer now has to
230 kalavrezou
38 The inscriptions are all given by Xenophon A. Siderides, ,
5 (1928): 376378 and in: Elena Parma Amani,
Nuove indagini sul Pallio bizantino duecentesco di San Lorenzo in Palazzo Bianco a
Genoa, Studi di storia delle arte 5 (19831985): 42 and Falcone, Il Pallio bizantino,
p. 343. Here: S(anctus) XISTUS EP(i)S(copus) ROME/P(re)CIPIEN(s) S(anc)TO
LAUR(entio)ARCHID/IAC(ono) DISPENSARE VASA/ECCLE(sie).
make a mental shift from the contemporary event to the narrative of the past,
recalling the life of their citys patron saint. Most likely the stories would have
been well known to the citizens and, with the help of the Latin inscriptions,
easily recognizable. This is the first scene of the narrative to display events that
brought about the imprisonment of Sixtus, and later of Saint Lawrence, result-
ing in their martyrdom and death. One can easily identify Sixtus the arch-
bishop/pope with his physical attachment to the church building; in addition,
the book he holds as an attribute in his left hand identifies him as someone
having such a distinguished position. The figure he addresses is Saint Lawrence,
whom he commands to sell the church treasures and distribute the proceeds
to the suffering and the poor. The inscription above them makes all this very
clear.38 It is the only other long inscription placed to the right side of the image
of the church. The important names are easily recognizable, as are the words
Fig. Detail of peplos Fig.1: first scene to the right of the central scene, showing Sixtus
ordering Lawrence to sell church vessels (photo: c. hilsdale).
231 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
39 He is almost as tall in a second scene on the bottom register second scene from the left
where Lawrence is converting Tiburtius Callinicus his jailer.
such as dispensare and vasa referring to dispensing of the church vessels,
words that are not abbreviated and clearly readable. In addition, Saint
Lawrence in this first scene of the narrative is quite prominent. He stands at a
distance from Sixtus, making himself more readily distinguishable and much
taller than all the other figures in the peplos.39 Since this is the first scene of the
events from his life, Saint Lawrence is here being so to speak introduced to the
viewer. Although he bends his head slightly toward the figure of Sixtus he is
actually looking at the viewer, a visual construct to guide the viewer into the
story. Simultaneously he is participating in the narrative of the second moment
and scene of the story, in the process of selling the church treasures to four
figures standing at the right (Fig.8). A chalice that he presents to them is easily
recognizable as a liturgical vessel. This tall figure of Lawrence has thus a dou-
ble function. Immediately following this scene of selling the church vessels is
the one depicting him distributing to the needy the money he received from
the sale. The poor are represented wearing short, sleeveless tunics, some
Fig.8 Detail of peplos Fig.1: second scene to the right of the central scene: Saint Lawrence
selling church vessels; and third scene, showing Lawrence distributing money to the
poor (photo: c. hilsdale).
232 kalavrezou
40 On the embroidery the emperor is identified in the inscriptions as Decius, however Sixtus
II and Lawrence both were martyred a few days apart in August of 258 under the emperor
Valerian, who had just issued a strict edict, which called for putting to death Christian
bishops, priests and deacons.
41 Inscription: S(anctus) XIST(us)/SEPULTUS.
among them depicted with both arms and legs exposed, in contrast to the
wealthy merchants in the previous scene, who are shown wearing long
garments. Most of the poor are also beardless; and plain, light-colored, silk
thread has been used to indicate the tone of their skin. They are shown in a
tight group without any individual presence suggesting their miserable con-
dition. The next three scenes are devoted to the demise of bishop Sixtus,
who ordered Lawrence to sell the church property. He is brought before
Emperor Decius and is shown arguing with him (Fig. 3).40 His punishment
follows (he is decapitated), and at the register just below is a scene of
him dead., Although the inscription in Latin refers to his burial what we
actually see is a representation of Sixtus on his deathbed.41 Sixtus is lying
on the bier with his head to the right, and with three figures attending him
and with gestures of grief. The one at the feet of the bier has the features
of Saint Paul, a figure often shown in this position in the scene of the Koimesis
of the Virgin Mary, the Dormition, which seems to be the source for this or
any representation of a deceased before burial. In the Byzantine tradition,
the scene of the Koimesis is always the last in the representations of the
Dodekaorton, the feast cycle, which concludes the series of scenes and closes
the narration.
Thus we see that the peplos follows the visual system of reading images
according to Byzantine tradition, with inscriptions that make this possibly
unfamiliar organization easier for the Western viewer. We must always
remember that it was produced with the Genoese viewer in mind, which is
apparent in the fact that, here, elements from one culture are brought together
with those known from the other, Western with those of Byzantium. An inten-
tional rather sophisticated hybridity is at play that respects both traditions,
visual as well as cultural. It becomes quite obvious how much attention and
thought has gone into the preparation of this gift. It is likely that the prepara-
tion of the scenes was a cooperative effort, at least for the choice of events to
be depicted from the lives of the saints, for which the Byzantines had no visual
tradition. A Byzantine viewer might have had some difficulty recognizing the
full narrative of the martyrdom of these three saints, but the fact that their
compositions and arrangement on the textile follow Byzantine visual language
and tradition, they probably would have understood the individual events
233 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
even without knowing all the details of the stories. The established Byzantine
visual vocabulary includes the use of symmetry as the controlling method of a
composition, which is this case begins with the overall layout of the embroi-
dered scenes. Symmetry in the individual scenes is created either by balancing
the two sides or by placing the main character in the center. These patterns
facilitated the reading of each episode depicted.
The symmetry can also be observed in the overall arrangement of certain
scenes. For example, two scenes with more or less the same subject matter
have been placed at either end of the first register (see Figs.13). These are the
two scenes where the saints are brought before the emperor Decius. In the
one at the beginning of the upper register (scene 1), Lawrence is brought
before Decius, where he argues with him about the church vessels having
been sold. In the other, Emperor Decius confronts Sixtus (scene 9, counting
from the left, or the fourth to the right of the church), who is then sentenced
to be decapitated. The composition of the scene to the right of the central
scene has been reversed in order to become a mirror image of the first on the
left and to create the visual symmetry. In both scenes, Decius, as a figure of
authority, is easily distinguishable,. He sits on a throne and is resting his feet
on a footstool, with two attendants at his side. Decius in each case wears an
impressive, exotic-looking hat that sets him apart from the other characters
by identifying him as a high official of the courta headdress that is consid-
ered an Eastern extravagance but that also validated imperial authority. It is
one of the few contemporary elements that has been introduced into the nar-
rative scenes of the vitae of these early Christian saints. It is a visual device
that participates in the historical past, but also ensures the recognition of the
contemporary reason for the gift and the proposed treaty that needed to be
confirmed.
Another interesting aspect of the arrangement of the scenes is the place-
ment of the burial of Saint Lawrence. After his imprisonment, and his final
roasting to death on the gridiron he can be seen lying on the bier in the lower
register (see Figs. 1, 2 and 3). This scene is placed directly below the central
scene featuring the domed church in the upper register. There are several ways
the image of this church can be read, as I discussed above: as the cathedral in
Genoa dedicated to Saint Lawrence, into which the latter was leading the
Byzantine emperor; as a metaphor for Hagia Sophia, with its prominent dome;
and as the archbishop Sixtuss church and see in Rome, in the second scene, in
which Sixtus orders his archdeacon Lawrence to sell the church vessels (see
Fig.7). When the church is then seen in relation to the scene of the burial of
SaintLawrence directly below, it becomes a direct reference to the church of
San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, the church in Rome built over Lawrences grave
234 kalavrezou
42 The church is an Early Christian basilica built over the grave of St. Lawrence (d. 258).
San Lorenzo is one of the five patriarchal basilicas and one of the seven pilgrimage
churches of Rome.
43 Inscriptions: TIBURCIUS CALINICUS PRE(ce)PTOR/CARCERIS CREDENS IN CR(ist)O
and S(anctus) LAURENTIUS BAPTISANS/TIBURCIUN CALINICUS.
where he was buried after his martyrdom.42 I believe that the placement of this
scene cannot be coincidental; it creates a direct visual connection of the body
of Saint Lawrence to the cathedral in Genoa dedicated to him.
Another reference to Rome through an architectural component is found in
the representation of Lawrence converting Tiburtius Callinicus, his jailer,
whom he also baptizes in the following scene (see Figs.1, 2, and 9: scenes 2 and
3 from the left, in the lower register).43 In the scene of the conversion, the jailer
is kneeling before the standing Lawrence, who is blessing him. Behind him is a
spiral column of the type of triumphal monument that Rome was famous for,
such as those of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. This prominent spiral column is
topped by a rather large but distinguished Corinthian capital. The Byzantines
were well aware of these spiral triumphant monuments, since there were also
two of this type in Constantinople. They all serve as symbols of victory, and in
this scenethe conversion of Callinicusthe introduction of a victory or tri-
umphal column has to be seen as signifying the victory of Christian teaching
over the pagan past, as the column is directly behind the jailer, who had just
Fig.9 Detail of peplos Fig.1: left side of lower register, showing Saint Lawrence converting
and baptizing Tiburtius Callinicus (photo: c. hilsdale).
235 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
44 E.g.: Johnstone, The Byzantine Pallio, p. 102; Hilsdale, Imperial Image, pp. 177179.
45 There are a number of examples surviving as for instance the epigonation in the Byzantine
Museum in Athens (Helen C. Evans, ed., Byzantium: Faith and Power (12611557). New
York/New Haven: Metropolitan Museum of Art/Yale University Press, 2004, no. 186, pp.
310311) as well as an epitaphios in the National Historical Museum in Sofia of a genera-
tion later with an inscription mentioning the Andronikos Palaeologos the son of Michael
VIII. Valentino Pace, ed., Treasures of Christian Art in Bulgaria. Sofia: Borina, 2001, p. 210;
and Evans, Byzantium: Faith and Power, no. 188, pp. 314315.
46 It seems that in most cases the cross circles preceded the larger more elaborate scenes
which had their layout predetermined. However this was not always perfectly kept and
some of the cross circles had to be over-embroidered in part so that the two overlap.
accepted Christianity. This is also the only other scene where Saint Lawrence
is much taller than all the other figures in the embroidered narrative.
Possibly this is the right place to explain the phenomenon of the cross roun-
dels that fill the spaces between and around the scenes, which have been
described as the hallmark of Byzantine embroideries for liturgical use. In the
literature on Byzantine textiles, they are discussed as the typical, traditional
Byzantine motif of the randomly scattered cross-in-circle.44 It is mentioned as
part of the aesthetics of Byzantine embroideries of this period, but presented
as a peculiarity, since these circles often seem to have been placed haphaz-
ardly between the scenes and sometimes overlapping them.45 What has not
been recognized is the fact that they have a very specific function. Gold-thread
embroidery creates tight, dense, and heavy patches or areas on the woven silk,
a delicate and fragile textile. Although the reverse side of these silks has a
firmer cloth backing, the spaces between the embroidered parts are still thin-
ner and the material could be pulled in uneven directions to the point where
it could tear more easily. Unless one has had actually held such an embroi-
dered material in ones hands, it is difficult to appreciate the difference that
the cross-in-circle fillers make, securing and stabilizing the areas in between
the embroidered surfaces. The circular form with the cross is also not acciden-
tal, as the added circle gives the fragile cloth a more solid surface than plain
crosses do. Moreover, they seem not to detract from or disturb the composi-
tion, since crosses within circles, like stars, place the subject depicted in an
overall sacred space, and the organization of the two registers is not affected.
Originating as a practical countermeasure to the frailty of the cloth, these
crosses-in-circles have become a component of the aesthetic appearance of
these embroidered silks.46
Overall, the representations of the lives of these three saints have been well
organized by arranging the events of the martyrdoms of each saint in a sepa-
rate sequence or visual unit. The narrative is not confusing or strange, as has
236 kalavrezou
47 Treu, Orationes, 1:47.1525, Siderides, , p. 189.
48 St. Lawrence is for example included in the month of August on the Menologion icon of
Sinai of about 1200, in Robert S. Nelson and Kristen M. Collins, eds., Holy Image, Hallowed
Ground: Icons from Sinai. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006, no. 31, 196199.
49 See Hilsdale, Imperial Image, p. 173.
often been remarked. The events concerning Sixtus II are all shown on the
right side of the central scene (see Fig. 3). Since Lawrence was part of that
narrative, he has also been included, but the emphasis here is still on Sixtus
his condemnation and decapitation, and the scene of his burial. Saint
Lawrences martyrdom begins at the top left of the embroidered narrative and
it continues in the second register up to the middle of the peplos (see Fig.2).
The narrative begins with the moment when Lawrence is brought before the
emperor and ends with his death, where he is depicted lying on the bier. In this
way, his martyrdom is concentrated on one side, the left side of the textile,
with the sequence of scenes in two rows, forming one column to be read from
left to right. Holobolos himself in his encomium explains that this great
peplos with its Latin inscriptions was actually not a peplos but a book, and a
book not of Gods prophetic commandments but of the trials of youthful
martyrs of Christ.47
Hippolytuss martyrdom is depicted in four scenes after Lawrences
deathbed scenesince Hippolytus is thought to have buried Saint Lawrence
starting from the center in the lower register and moving to the right (see
Fig.3). In the first of these four scenes, Hippolytus appears before Decius, after
which he is lacerated by hooks, then dragged by horses, and finally is shown in
his deathbed scene, just before the one of Sixtus II at the edge of the embroi-
dered area. Four scenes were also devoted to Sixtus, and 12 to Lawrence. In my
opinion, it is well planned, with the burial of Saint Lawrence falling in the cen-
ter of the cloth and in the other Koimesis-like scenes at the end of the whole
narrative, at the right, as is appropriate in Byzantine cycles.
Scenes of martyrdom are well known in Byzantium and have a long history,
especially from their depictions in the Byzantine Menologia, the most famous
being that made for Basil II of about 1000 ce (now in the Vatican Library), as
well in Menologia icons known from several examples at Saint Catherines
monastery at Mt. Sinai.48 In these, only one representation is devoted to the
saint, and in most cases it is his or her moment of martyrdom.
Vita cycles of saints are rare in Byzantium until the late 12th and 13th centu-
ries, especially of Saint Lawrence; there is no cycle of the events that led to his
martyrdom, except the representation of his roasting on the gridiron.49 The
vita cycles that are produced during this later period are restricted to a very
237 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
50 There is a large body of articles on these icons; the most recent is that by Titos
Papamastorakis Pictorial Lives. Narrative in Thirteenth-century Vita Icons, Mouseio
Benaki 7 (2007): 3365 with older bibliography.
51 Papamastorakis, Pictorial Lives, esp. 5961.
52 Cynthia J. Hahn, Portrayed on the Heart: Narrative Effect in Pictorial Lives of Saints from the
Tenth Through the Thirteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.
53 On the concept of hybridity in a work of art see Ioli Kalavrezou, The Cup of San Marco
and the Classical in Byzantium, in Studien zur mittelalterlichen Kunst 8001250: Festschrift
fr Florentine Mtheric zum 70. Geburtstag, eds. Katharina Bierbrauer et al. Munich:
Prestel Verlag, 1985, pp. 167174. Repr. with new additions in Late Antique and Medieval
Art of the Mediterranean World, ed. Eva R. Hoffman. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007,
pp.273284 where also the other essays address the same topic.
specific type of icon, where the scenes of the life are placed in the frames. They
are the so-called vita icons, which began to appear in several places at almost
the same time period. A number of these are found in Italy, but the Byzantine
ones were all produced in locations in the eastern Mediterranean, as Titos
Papamastorakis has pointed out.50 Some are at Saint Catherines monastery at
Mt. Sinai, or in the territory of what was then the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem,
and several on Cyprus. There are about 15 known today. For nine of these,
Papamastorakis has identified the textual sources that inspired the depiction
of the individual events of the lives and, through this very precise correspon-
dence of text and image, has shown that the sequencing and reading of these
scenes follow a specifically Byzantine system of organization.51 In general,
saints lives were not illustrated in Byzantium, although texts are plentiful.
Illustrated vita cycles had a much longer tradition in western religious iconog-
raphy.52 I would suggest that in this period the Byzantines living in places
where western artistic and religious traditions were ever more present, began
to adopt certain elements and to incorporate them into their own system of
visual expression. For example, during the 13th century, these vita icons exem-
plified a new type of icon, which, however, was constructed on the traditional
form of the Byzantine portrait icon (see Fig.10). The portrait of the saint, which
forms the central part of the iconhere, Saint Panteleimonis now sur-
rounded by the events of his or her life. However, these icons do not look
Western; in fact, their compositions closely follow the Byzantine visual lan-
guage and style. They are products of what I referred to above as a hybridity,
which develops and flourishes in areas where contacts between two different
artistic traditions come together and where objects were being exchanged and
images, designs, or symbols were appropriated from one into the other culture
to the point of not being recognizable as having originated somewhere else.53
Thus, in the second half of the 13th century, when this silk peplos was produced,
238 kalavrezou
the Byzantines were familiar with the concept and tradition of Western saints
life cycles. Although the life of Saint Lawrence and his companions and their
detailed stories were not illustrated in Byzantium, Holobolos, in his descrip-
tion of the textile and his embroidery, is well aware of the kind of imagery that
Fig.0 Icon of St. Panteleimon. Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai
(photo: sp. panayiotopoulos).
239 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
54 Treu, Orationes, 1:47.1525; Siderides, , p. 189. This translation has
been partially taken from Hilsdale, Imperial Image, p. 161.
55 Beyond bronze works other export art were mosaics and enamels.
56 There are at least seven doors that were produced in Constantinople in the 11th century:
Amalfi (1057), Montecassino (1066), Rome S. Paolo f.l.m. (1070), Monte S. Angelo (1076),
Atrani (1087), Salerno (10851090), Venezia (1112 and 1120). See an early discussion of the
Byzantine doors by Margaret Frazer, Church Doors and the Gates of Paradise: Byzantine
Bronze Doors in Italy, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 27 (1973): 145162.
57 Leo of Ostia, The chronicle of Montecassino, Schriftquellen zur Kunstgeschichte des 11. und
12. Jahrhunderts fr Deutschland, Lothringen und Italien, vol. 50, trans. Herbert Bloch and
such a cycle of martyrdom would entail and gives a list of the terrible sufferings
the saints had to endure in the scenes depicted. He stated that one could see
there the display of the wise martyrs in the face of tyranny, their noble resolu-
tion, the varied and inventive punishments inflicted upon them by their tor-
turers: the iron nails, the torturing wheels, torsion, fire, swords, chains, fetters,
prisons, and every other instrument of torture.54
Byzantines were already familiar with Western interest in representations
of scenes from the life and martyrdom of saints since the 11th century, a period
when the Byzantines were exporting, for example, bronze doors for churches
mainly in Italy.55 A number of these were ordered from Byzantium by the
wealthy merchant Pantoleone from Amalfi. The doors were built in
Constantinople and were then sent to Italy. Well known are those of Amalfi,
Atrani, and Venice of the 1060s and 1070s.56 In Rome the church of San Paolo
fuori le mura also received doors from Pantoleone from Amalfi in 1070.
Dedicated to Saint Paul, it includes Pauls teaching of Christs resurrection, and
other themes relating to the apostles who are also depicted on the door panels.
Particularly relevant are the 12 panels with scenes of the death and martyrdom
of the apostles. All these doors were obviously custom-made with very precise
measurements and iconographic details to suit local requirements. Some con-
tain short Greek inscriptions, such as Saint Pauls with the life of Christ, but
also include Latin where it was important for the local population to recognize
the subject matter. Other kinds of works of art were also requested to be pro-
duced to order in Constantinople and then shipped to the Westfor example,
an antependium produced for Desiderius of Montecassino. The chronicle of
Leo of Ostia records that Desiderius [of Montecassino], sent one of the breth-
ren to the imperial city with a letter to the emperor and thirty-six pounds of
gold, and had made there a golden antependium [altar frontal] decorated
withbeautiful gems and enamels. In these enamels he had represented some
stories from the New Testament and almost all of the miracles of Saint
Benedict.57 Clearly the monk/ambassador had to come with specific sketches,
240 kalavrezou
ed. O. Lehman-Brockhaus. Berlin, 1938, Bk. III, p. 32. Also further Byzantine requests
discussed by Herbert Bloch, A Documentary History of Art: The Middle Ages and the
Renaissance, vol. 1. ed. Elizabeth Gilmore Holt. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor,
1957, pp. 918.
illustrations, or other means with which he had to instruct the Byzantine
craftsmen of the needed content of the object, especially when inscriptions
were required, as for example in the scenes depicting the life of Saint Benedict.
Saint Benedicts life would not have been familiar to the Byzantines, as was
also the case of the life of Saint Laurence on the peplos.
Interesting to mention is the circumstance that requests for these objects
typically went through the emperor as a kind of negotiator or go-between.
I assume that the most likely reason the involvement of the emperor was
required is the fact that the materials used were precious (in this case, enamel),
and possibly also because of restrictions imposed on workshops that were
working with luxury materials only for imperial needs and requests. When the
peplos was being prepared to be given as gift, it probably involved a similar
process for its preparation. An individual had to be found who was familiar
with the culture and traditions whereto the artwork was meant to be given or
presented. For a gift to be appreciated and its value or special qualities recog-
nized, it has first to have features familiar to anyone of different religious tradi-
tions and visual language. At the same time it has to be made so as to satisfy
the desirability of a gift and convey ideas and messages intended for the per-
son receiving the gift. The peplos, prepared for the Genoese, falls in this cate-
gory of object, since it is made of expensive materials and also had a message
to transmit. Not only are silk and gold thread embroidery luxurious materials,
the whole silk textile is dyed porphyry, a dye restricted for the highest imperial
use. The presentation of such a gift suggests a special occasion and circum-
stance and a production in an imperial silk-weaving workshop.
It is my opinion that one person in the circle of Michael VIII in this period
who would have been most appropriate to supervise the production of this
Saint Lawrence peplos is Manuel Holobolos. In 1261, when Holobolos was still
a young man (born 1245), he was the grammatikos of Michael VIII, which origi-
nally was a title of someone teaching in the middle and higher education, but
in this period it denoted an administrative official, and usually a secretary. He
was talented and well educated and was selected twice in his turbulent career
to become the maistor ton rhetoron (chief imperial orator). This position was
placed in the Patriarchal School of Constantinople, but the emperor himself
made the appointment. The responsibilities included writing and delivering
encomiastic speeches addressed to the emperor on a variety of occasions.
241 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
58 Elizabeth A. Fisher, Planoudes, Holobolos and the Motivation for Translation, Greek,
Roman and Byzantine Studies 43, no. 1 (2003): 77104; eadem, Manuel Holobolos, Alfred
of Sareshal and the Greek Translator of ps.-Aristotles De Plantis, Classica et mediaevalia
57 (2006): 189212.
59 Johnstone, The Byzantine Pallio, p. 102; Paribeni, Il Pallio di San Lorenzo, p. 235 and
Hilsdale, Imperial Image, p. 180. They also seem to have been added in the space left
available after the scenes were completed. The unfamiliar lives of these three saints and
there martyrdom even to Holobolos might have been the reason for the misidentification
of the emperor with Decius instead of Valerian.
To be able to hold such a position, the individual had to be not only very
well educated but well versed in the political and diplomatic affairs and
administrative structure of the empire and to be aware of the immediate needs
and circumstances at the court. Holobolos seems to have had all these quali-
ties, and in addition he was well versed in Latin, having translated Boethius
already at a young age.58 In his 1265 encomium for Michael VIII Palaeologos,
Holobolos not only did he include an account of the presentation of the textile
gifts to the Genoese but also gave an unusually detailed description of the
peplos and the scenes of martyrdom. It is surprising that Holobolos was able to
describe so well the scenes on the peplos after so many years (1265), a fact that
might suggest his personal involvement with the production of the embroi-
dered scenes and the composition of the Latin inscriptions. However, the per-
son who embroidered the Latin letters seemed to have been a Westerner, since
they are done using a Western embroidering technique rather than a Byzantine
one.59 For an inscription to be clearly legible, the creator has to know the
alphabet well; otherwise, the letters become only approximations. The inscrip-
tions also seem to have been added in the spaces left available for them after
the scenes were completed. Thus, the letter size varies accordingly.
The circumstances that brought about the production of this gift were spe-
cial and unique. Holobolos, at the end of his description of the peplos in his
encomium, makes a comparison of this peplos to the one offered annually by
the Athenians to the goddess Pallas Athena, civic patron of Athens, as part of
the Panathenaia festival. This peplos was brightly dyed and embroidered with
scenes of the Gigantomachy with Zeus hurling thunderbolts and Athena assist-
ing him against the Giants. I propose that Holobolos, in comparing this peplos
to this famous one as a great gift to a patron of a city, was deliberately parallel-
ing its known imagery to the fight the Christian martyrs put up against the
evil emperor.
There is no doubt that the manufacture of this peplos was carefully thought
out. The political situation and Michael VIIIs status as emperor were still frag-
ile. The pictorial content of the peplos had to please on two fronts, since its
242 kalavrezou
60 Hilsdale, Imperial Image, p. 192.
association with a successful alliance was its major goal: it was an artifact
of cultural prestige and material value, and it had to spell out the terms and
conditions agreed upon in the treaty. Cecily Hilsdale has suggested that the
aspect of Saint Lawrence taking care of his people, as narrated in this vita cycle,
can be viewed in light of Michael VIIIs own situation, preparing to help his
own people, as any Christian would try to do,60 in effect turning the pictorial
program into a symbolic narrative. It is clear that the choice of Saint Lawrence
and his actions as a subject for the gift was not a free choice since the cathedral
of Genoa is dedicated to him. However, one must be aware of the fact that
changing places of objects often means changing perceptions and meanings.
Although this particular reading may have been obvious to the Byzantines,
who read into the narrative of Saint Lawrences actions Michaels largesse, phi-
lanthropy, and superiority, it was probably not so to the Genoese, who, more
than anything else, saw in the central scene their patron saint, Lawrence, lead-
ing the Byzantine emperor into their church. Nevertheless, in whatever way
the images were interpreted, there is no doubt that this gift carried a diplo-
matic agenda understandable to both sides.
That the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos chose to present to the
Genoese ambassadors a porphyry silk textileindeed, the most precious of
the famous Byzantine silks, those with a gold embroiderysuggests the impor-
tance of the historical moment that the Treaty of Nymphaion represented. It is
apparent that the Genoese also recognized the preciousness and importance
of the gift they received, since, when the textile arrived in Genoa, it was placed
in their cathedral and remained there in the treasury for centuries. The circum-
stances of a long sea voyage required that the portability of the gift became a
necessity. Textiles are probably the most desirable agents for such cross-cul-
tural encounters. They are easily transportable, they do not break, they carry
images, and they are also luxurious objects of the highest quality. This peplos is
thus an example of the kind of cross-cultural imagery of buildings and sites
that with their symbolism are able to bridge cultural boundaries.
Bibliography
Algazi, Gadi, Valentin Groebner, and Bernhard Jussen, eds., Negotiating the Gift:
Pre-modern Figurations of Exchange. Gttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2003.
Anca, Alexandru S., Ehrerweisung durch Geshenke in der Komnenezeit: Gewohnheiten
und Regeln des herrscherlichen Schenkens. Mitteilungen zur Sptantiken
Archologie und Byzanitinschen Kunstgeschichte 4 (2005): 185193.
243 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
Angold, Michael, A Byzantine Government in Exile: Government and Society under the
Laskarids of Nicaea, 12041261. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.
Bellinger, Alfred R. and Philip Grierson, eds., Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the
Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, vol. 5. Washington,
DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2006.
Belting, Hans, Introduction. In Il Medio Oriente e Occidente nellarte del XIII secolo
(Atti del XXIV Congresso internazionale di storia del arte 2, Bologna 1979), ed. Hans
Belting. Bologna: CLUEB, 1982, pp. 110.
Bloch, Herbert, A Documentary History of Art: The Middle Ages and the
Renais sance, vol. 1, ed. Elizabeth Gilmore Holt. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor,
1957.
Cutler, Anthony, Gifts and Gift Exchange as Aspects of the Byzantine, Arab, and
Related Economies, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 55 (2001): 247278.
Evans, Helen C., ed., Byzantium: Faith and Power (12611557). New York/New Haven:
Metropolitan Museum of Art/Yale University Press, 2004.
Falcone, Carla, Il Pallio bizantino di San Lorenzo a Genova: Una riconsiderazione,
Arte Cristiana 84 (1996): 337352.
Fisher, Elizabeth A., Planoudes, Holobolos and the Motivation for Translation, Greek,
Roman and Byzantine Studies 43, no. 1 (2003): 77104.
_____, Manuel Holobolos, Alfred of Sareshal and the Greek Translator of ps.-Aristotles
De Plantis, Classica et mediaevalia 57 (2006): 189212.
Geanakoplos, Deno J., Greco-Latin Relations on the Eve of the Byzantine Restoration:
the Battle of Pelagonia, 1259, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 7 (1953): 99141.
_____, Emperor Michael Palaeologus and the West, 12581282: A Study in Greco-Latin
Relations. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959.
Hahn, Cynthia J., Portrayed on the Heart: Narrative Effect in Pictorial Lives of Saints from
the Tenth Through the Thirteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press,
2001.
Haldon, John F., ed. and trans., Constantine Porphyrogenitus: Three Treatises on Imperial
Military Expeditions. Vienna: Verlag der sterreichischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften, 1990.
Hilsdale, Cecily J., The Imperial Image at the End of Exile: The Byzantine Embroidered
Sink in Genoa and the Treaty of Nymphaion (1261), Dumbarton Oaks Papers
64(2012): 151199.
Jacoby, David, Italian Privileges and Trade in Byzantium before the Fourth
Crusade: A Reconsideration, Anuario de Estudios Medievales 24 (1994):
349369.
_____, Genoa, Silk Trade and Silk Manufacture in the Mediterranean Region (ca. 1100
1300). In Tessuti, oreficerie, miniature in Liguria, XIIIXV secolo, eds. Anna Rosa
Calderoni Masetti, Clario Di Fabio, and Mario Marcenaro. Bordighera: Istituto
internazionale di studi liguri, 1999, pp. 1140.
244 kalavrezou
_____, Silk Economics and Cross-Cultural Artistic Interaction: Byzantium, the
Muslim World, and the Christian West, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 58 (2004):
197240.
Johnstone, Pauline, The Byzantine Pallio in the Palazzo Bianco at Genoa, Gazette
des Beaux Arts 87 (1976), 99108.
Kalavrezou, Ioli, The Cup of San Marco and the Classical in Byzantium. In Studien
zur mittelalterlichen Kunst 8001250: Festschrift fr Florentine Mtherich zum 70.
Geburtstag, eds. Katharina Bierbrauer et al. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1985, pp. 167174.
Repr. with new additions in Late Antique and Medieval Art of the Mediterranean
World, ed. Eva R. Hoffman. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007, pp. 273284.
_____, Light and the Precious Object, or Value in the Eyes of the Byzantines. In The
Construction of Value in the Ancient World, eds. John Papadopoulos and Gary Urton.
UCLA: The Cotsen Institute for Archaeology Press, 2012, chapter 17.
Leo of Ostia. The Chronicle of Montecassino. Schriftquellen zur Kunstgeschichte des 11.
und 12. Jahrhunderts fr Deutschland, Lothringen, und Italien, vol. 50, trans. Herbert
Bloch and ed. O. Lehman-Brockhaus. Berlin: Brockhaus, 1938, pp. 476480 and
681682.
Lounghis, Telemachos C., Die byzantinischen Gesandten als Vermittler materieller
Kultur vom 5. bis ins 11. Jahrhundert. In Kommunikation zwischen Orient und
Okzident: Alltag und Sachkultur: Internationaler Kongress Krems an der Donau, 8 bis
9 Oktober 1992. (Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Philosophisch-Historische Klasse, vol. 619). Vienna: Verlag der sterreichischen
Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1994, pp. 4967.
Macrides, Ruth, The New Constantine and the New Constantinople1261?,
Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 6 (1980): 1349.
_____, trans., George Akropolites: The History. Oxford and New York: Oxford University
Press, 2007.
Magdalino, Paul, The Maritime Neighborhoods of Constantinople: Commercial and
Residential Functions, Sixth to Twelfth Century, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 54 (2000):
209226.
Matschke, Klaus-Peter, Commerce, Trade, Markets and Money: Thirteenth-Fifteenth
Centuries. In Economic History of Byzantium, vol. 2, ed. Angeliki Laiou. Washington,
DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2002, pp. 771806.
Nelson, Robert S. and Kristen M. Collins, eds., Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from
Sinai. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006.
Pace, Valentino, ed., Treasures of Christian Art in Bulgaria. Sofia: Borina, 2001.
Papamastorakis, Titos, Pictorial Lives. Narrative in Thirteenth-century Vita Icons,
Mouseio Benaki 7 (2007): 3365.
245 The Byzantine Peplos in Genoa
Paribeni, Andrea, Il pallio di San Lorenzo a Genova. In Larte di Bisanzio e lItalia al
tempo dei Paleologi 12611453, eds. Antonio Iakobini and Mauro Della Valle. Rome:
Argos, 1999, pp. 229252.
Parma Amani Elena, Nuove indagini sul Pallio bizantino duecentesco di San Lorenzo
in Palazzo Bianco a Genoa, Studi di storia delle arte 5 (19831985): 3147.
Schreiner, Peter, Bisanzio e Genova: Tentativo di unanalisi delle relazioni politiche,
commerciali, e culturali. In Studia Byzantino-Bulgarica (Miscellanea Bulgarica 2).
Vienna, 1986, pp. 135136.
_____, Zwei Denkmler aus der frhen Palologenzeit: Ein Bildnis Michaels VIII und
der genueser Pallio. In Festschrift fr Klaus Wessel zum 70. Geburtstag: in memo-
riam, ed. Marcell Restle. Munich: Editio Maris, 1988, pp. 249258.
Siderides, Xenophon A., ,
, 3 (1926): 168191.
_____, , 5 (1928):
376378.
Treu, Maximilianus, Manuel Holobolos, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 5 (1896): 538559.
_____, ed., Manuelis Holoboli Orationes. Potsdam: Krmer, 1906.
koninklijke brill nv, leiden, |doi ./_
1 On tourism, see Alexandra Karentzos, Alma-Elisa Kittner, and Julia Reuter, eds., Topologies of
Travel. Trier: Universittsbibliothek Trier, 2010, online publication of Trier University library,
http://ubt.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2010/565/pdf/Topologien_des_Reisens.pdf. On cul-
tural mobility, see Stephen Greenblatt et al., Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto. Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press, 2010. See also Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural
Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 2003.
2 I use this term as defined by Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and
Transculturation. London: Routledge, 1992.
Chapter 8
Architecture for the Body: Some Reflections on
the Mobility of Textiles and the Fate of the
So-Called Chasuble of Saint Thomas Becket
in the Cathedral of Fermo in Italy
Avinoam Shalem
Much ink has been spilled over the last two decades on art and portability
(though not only by art historians)namely, on the specific field of research
that concerns the movements and diffusions of art objects, artists, and arti-
sans, as well as artistic ideas, especially in transcultural contexts. Moreover,
numerous conferences and academic books have recently focused on issues
relating to the change of artistic behaviors and of the patterns of aesthetic
thinking as a result of excessive movements, be it the movement of artifacts
through trade; or of people and ideas through the human migration of geopo-
litical or religious impetus; and, in our own time, of tourism.1 Terms such as
cultural mobility and transculturation propel scholarly interests today and
give input to different academic fields, mainly those related to the social exam-
inations of this phenomenon.2 The colossal change in our sense of time is
clearly bound to the 19th-century Industrial Revolution and the mechanical
turn, and to the implications of both on our modern era. The invention of
mechanical, motorized devices such as cars, trains, and airplanes have been
especially significant in this regard, altering our perception of distance and the
construction of space, modifying our ideas of remoteness and far, and
reforming the notion of time by re-questioning termsor rather concepts
such as ago and upcoming. This change in the human perception of space
247 Architecture for the Body
3 Marc Aug, Non-Lieux: Introduction une anthropologie de la surmodernit. Paris: Seuil, 1992.
4 See Shelomo D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society, vol. 4: The Home. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1983, and Yedida K. Stillman, Textiles and Patterns Come to Life Through
the Cairo Geniza, Riggisberger Berichte 5 (1997): 3552.
and time has accelerated during the so-called digital era of recent years. Now,
in addition to the aforementioned tendencies to shorten distances both in
space and time, another component has appeared: simultaneity. This new fac-
tor clearly modifies the entire system of our thinking of a global realm divided
into near and far, breaks the hierarchy between centers and peripheries,
and challenges our concepts of linearity and chronology in writing history.
In terms of art history, the routes of the transmission of artistic knowledge,
either factual or theoretical, were made the very focus of scholarly research,
and the investigations that concern the static centers of art productions were
shifted aside, at least for a while. In terms of architecture, complexes built at
major pilgrimage sites, accommodations designed for hosting traveling
merchants en route, and tourist hotels and shopping malls have become
the subject of the most recent studies in the history of architecture and anthro-
pology. Moreover, airports, train stations, and any building that was planned
to serve as a transitional space, a non-place (non-lieu) as Marc Aug calls
it,3 turned out to be objects that perfectly reflect our mobile society, our
zeitgeist.
Like the non-place architecture, the portable art object also becomes the
object of the scholars desire because it embodies, in its raison dtre, all
the features related to this specific phenomenon of transportability and trans-
culturality. Like a world-traveling tourist who carries in his backpack his
compressed home, the portable art objects also carry identities and narratives
of places, locales, and homes.
Among the luxurious portable objects, textiles were and still are the arti-
facts that traveled the most. Easy to carry, textiles are also less fragile than
most other luxurious objects, which are typically made of delicate and/or
breakable materials. Easily folded and packed, they can be reduced in size for
easy transportation. And, like any goods that serve as money in economic
transactions, in medieval times textiles were frequently traded as legal
currency similar to gold and silver and, in that sense, could have been used
for cash payments and exchange. In many instances they were even hoarded
at home as a form of investment and as monetary security in case of hardship.
As Shelomo Goitein and Yedida Stillman have written, the role that
textiles played in medieval trade could be compared to the corporate stock
shares of our day.4 As carriers of specific patterns and even inscriptions,
248 shalem
they could be compared to coins, for they contributed to the circulation
of images and designs. Indeed, because the images and even the inscrip-
tions decorating them were already condensed into symbols and signs
so as to transmit messages in a clear and direct manner (just as coins do),
textiles were excellent transporters of artistic ideas and ideal objects of
communication.
Because textiles transmitted specific ideas and produced changes that came
about through the process of transculturation and migration caused by their
movements they offer a profound insight into the use and reuse of objects in
an intercultural context. The drastic shifts of a textiles functions as it enters
various environmentsmainly secular and sacredinvolves the almost total
negation of its previous identity and destroys most evidence of its former exis-
tence; in fact, one could argue, this transcultural process reinvents the object
time and again.
The Focus of this study is the so-called chasuble of Saint Thomas Becket
(Fig.1), which, through its change of functions and its particular intercultural
biography, tells the story of the modification of ideas and the reinterpretations
of iconographies in a transcultural context. This artifact, as argued here, func-
tioned in a secular, Muslim royal context as soft architecture, most probably as
a tent or a portable pavilion, and was later transformed into a chasuble for
serving Christian sacred ritual. Soft-architecture objects, such as pavilions or
tents, are transportable objects that were designed to suggest a sense of place
and permanence in the various non-place locations in which they were
used. The chasuble of Saint Thomas Becket is therefore interesting in both its
Fig.1 The Casula di Tommaso Becket in Fermo, probably Spain, circa mid 11th century.
Gold-embroidered silk.
249 Architecture for the Body
5 This textile is the subject of a monograph, supported by the Bruschettini Foundation, The
Chasuble of Thomas Becket in the Cathedral of Ferm, ed. Avinoam Shalem (forthcoming, 2013).
6 Neue Pinakothek, Munich, inv. no. WAF 403. The paintings exact dimensions are
585705centimeters.
7 Neue Pinakothek, Munich, inv. no. WAF 771; 490710centimeters.
8 Neue Pinakothek, Munich, inv. no. WAF 770; 312365centimeters.
complex dual characteristics of portability and permanence and in its chang-
ing multicultural identity over times.5
Transportable Pavilions
Entering room number 13 of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, a large rectangu-
lar room, one is overwhelmed by the four huge and impressive historical paint-
ings displayed there. The mixture of works is interesting, if not odd. The
Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (1846) by Wilhelm von Kaulbach (18041874),
measuring more than 19 23 feet,6 shows the last moments of the Jewish
nation-state, just before the Jews commenced their 2000years of exile in the
Diaspora, and was acquired from the artist in 1846 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
This picture faces an oil painting almost as big, Thusnelda in the triumphal pro-
cession of Germanicus, painted 1873, by Karl Theodor von Piloty (18261886),
about 16 23 feet,7 which depicts another notable historical moment:
Thumelicus and his mother Thusnelda (wife of Armin, a 1st-century German
tribal leader) presented as trophies of war in a victorious parade in Rome hon-
oring Germanicus. The apocalyptic vision of the fall of Jerusalem and the
image of the wandering Jew (at the very bottom left of the picture), who
escapes the flames of the burning city and with terrified eyes gazes at the
future, seem to challenge the serenity and dignified atmosphere of the victori-
ous parade in Rome. The protagonists from two histories, the Jewish and the
German, confront each other, or rather, gaze at each other and share
moments of powerlessness and an aura of subjection. But, in fact, the greater
drama in this room is actually generated by two other very large pictures,
which also face each other, hung on the two remaining walls of the room:
another painting by Piloty, the dramatic scene of Seni before the Dead Body of
Wallenstein, 1855, 10412feet,8 and The Court of Frederick II in Palermo, 1865,
by Arthur Georg von Ramberg (18191875), 17122feet (Fig.2). At first glance,
these two pictures differ from each other like night and day. The dark, morbid,
and mysterious atmosphere of a crime scene presented to the viewer in one
work seems at first glance to be completely different from the brilliant scene of
250 shalem
9 For this concept, see Linda Nochlin, The Imaginary Orient, Art in America 71, no. 5 (May
1983): 118131, 187191.
the sumptuous official audience at the royal court of Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick II (11941250), to which the viewer seems also to be invited. However,
there is a subtle narrative in both historical pictures, and they share a hyper-
realism and great attention to detail, suggesting analogous artistic languages.
Matching the highly realistic border of the oriental carpet, the open ivory-
inlaid ebony box on the table, and the painted astronomical globe in Pilotys
depiction of the room containing the body of Duke Albrecht von Wallenstein
(15831634) are to be compared to the several oriental luxurious gifts such as a
metal incense burner, a mosque lamp and a wooden casket decorated with
carved ivory panels depicted in von Rambergs painting. Although both pic-
tures are in the grand European style of 19th-century historical paintings, they
seem to use similar strategies to those employed in many Orientalist paintings
of the period. However, even though these two pictures present to us imagi-
nary settings and incidents, their use of minute details in a realistic, almost
photographic manner suggests to us that what we are looking at are historical
documents.9
Fig.2 Arthur Georg von Ramberg, the court of Frederick II in Palermo,
520383centimeters. Munich, Neue Pinakothek (inv. no. L 1777).
251 Architecture for the Body
10 Edward W. Said, Orientalism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978.
11 In fact, the ivory box is most probably an 11th-century carved ivory casket, similar to the
one depicted in Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die Byzantinischen
Elfenbeinskulpturen des XXIII Jahrhunderts, vol. 1: Ksten. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1930,
plate64, no. 112. Other artifacts in this picture, such as the carpet or the gold-embroidered
robe of Frederick II, could also be compared to particular artifacts kept in royal treasuries
in Europe.
The von Rambergs painting shows the reception of a North African delega-
tion at the 13th-century court of Frederick II in Palermo. The atmosphere cre-
ated by the juxtaposition of the Christian and the Muslim culturesconveying
the superiority of Frederick II and his courts entourage versus the submissive
character of the Muslim delegationprobably reflects (and compensates
for) the frustrated crypto-colonial ambitions of Germany in the 19th century
rather than the actual relationship between these cultures in the era of the
Hohenstaufens during that time. The expressions of suspicion, arrogance, and
self-importance on the faces of Frederick II, his court advisers, and the clergy
support this speculation. Indeed, we might consider the gaze at the Other in
the picture as paradigmatic of Edward Saids notion of Orientalism.10 Exotic
yet biblical, adorned in colorful clothes and bearing luxurious gifts, submissive
(as their body language indicates), and erotic (note the slave girl with the
Alhambra vase), the Otherthat is, this North-African delegationappears
at the feet of the Holy Roman Emperor.
Von Ramberg has depicted several portable objects in this picture. For
example, in the foreground several objects are placed as if on display
brought by the Muslim delegation and offered to King Frederick II in the
same manner that gifts were presented by the three Magi to the newly
born Christ in Bethlehem: a Mamluk enameled glass lamp, an Ottoman
gilded silver (or gold) incense burner, and a rectangular box inlaid with
carved ivory panels. All these objects are painted with such accuracy that
one suspects von Ramberg might have had these artifacts in his studio, and
that they were arranged in front of him as models for compositional
purposes.11
One of the gifts, depicted at the extreme left side of the picture, is especially
significant with regard to the subject of the portability of art and, specifically,
textiles. It is carried, or held aloft, by one of the slaves in the Muslim delega-
tion. At first glance, this object appears to be a relatively large metal architec-
tural structure, an elaborate dome, recalling the highly coveted medieval
micro-architectural objects considered as suitable diplomatic gifts, such as the
famous reliquary in the form of a miniature building in the treasury of Aachen
252 shalem
12 For these objects, see Anton Legner, ed., Ornamenta Ecclesiae, exh. cat. Cologne, 1985,
vol. 3, cat. no. H12, and Der Schatz von San Marco in Venedig, exh. cat. Cologne: Olivetti,
1984, cat. no. 32. At the same time, the depicted object in von Rambergs painting
also recalls a typical Mamluk metal lamp, usually designed as a domed architectural
object, which, when this picture was made, was reproduced for the European market in
the so-called neo-Mamluk style. For the original Mamluk lamps, see M. Gaston Wiet,
Catalogue gnral du Muse arabe du Caire: Objets en cuivre. Cairo: Imprimerie de lInstitut
franais darchologie orientale, 1932; repr. Cairo 1984, plates911, 22, 24, and 42.
13 On soft architecture, see Kenneth Frampton, Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of
Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture, ed. John Cava. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 1995.
14 Ghada al Hijjawi al-Qaddumi, Book of Gifts and Rarities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1996, p. 223 (paragraph 355).
or the one in the treasury of San Marco.12 In fact, close observation reveals that
there is an extra textile piece attached to the domed structure and that it hangs
down from the base of the dome, creating a sort of domed pavilion consisting
of a solid dome and soft walls. This is, in fact, a transportable architecture
piece, a baldachin.
Transportable, soft, architecture-like structures are well known in the
medieval Islamic world, the most famous one being the mahmal, the textile
pavilion carried on a camels back that typically accompanied the annual
transportation of the Kiswa (the covering of the Kaaba) to Mecca; the mahmal
symbolized the caliphs authority in the parade of this pilgrimage caravan.
The earliest visual evidence for this ritual is the famous depiction of a Meccan
caravan in the early 13th-century Maqamat of Hariri kept in the Bibliothque
Nationale de France, Paris (Fig.3).
But another example taken from Johann Lamm Burckhardt, The Manners
and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (Fig.4), suggests that tent-like pavilions,
in this case with a flat roof, were used for other purposes, such as wedding
processions. The bride and her female entourage appear beneath this pavilion,
which is carried by several people, most probably family members, holding the
corner bars of the tent. The variety of these pavilions is great and is often
dependent on region and function.13
In fact, medieval Arabic sources describe lavishly decorated royal tents
and also other decorated textiles used as curtains in royal palaces. For exam-
ple, the Arabic word maqrim is frequently used for royal canopies. These
textiles that functioned in architectural settings were sometimes even
defined in architectural terms. This is the case of the fine silk tent of Harun
al-Rashid, which was called Bayt al-Rashid (House of Rashid), in which, so
the tradition goes, he died in Tus.14 Howdahs were also called ammriyyt,
253 Architecture for the Body
15 Ibid., 230 (paragraph 373).
16 For this elaborate description of the mahamil (litters), see ibid., 105 (paragraph 80).
and palanquins (qibb, the plural of qubbah, i.e., dome),15 the latter suggesting
that these were domed palanquins, perhaps similar to the one depicted in
von Rambergs painting. Litters, mainly used on camels, are called in Arabic
sources mahmil, the plural form of mahmal. They are recorded as being
made of ivory, ebony, and sandalwood, encased in gold and silver and topped
with gold crescents. In addition, its splendid curtains (ajillah) were said to be
of red khusruwn, velvet mukhammal, and linen voile (L. velum) called
dabq, all embroidered with gold threads and fabric threads of other
colors.16 Most important, these types of traveling structures are characterized
by their particular human-size dimensions, each one individually designed
Fig.3 Meccan Caravan. Maqamat of al-Hariri, 13th century, probably Syria or Baghdad,
circa 2527centimeters (Paris, BNP, Ms. arabe 5847 fol. 94v) (photo: after
ettingahausen, arab painting).
254 shalem
and tailor-made for the human body, for the one carried or sheltered
within it.
This is architecture for the body. Of course, one could argue that any
sarcophagus and even a specific building made to enshrine the bones of
a specific person could likewise be called an architecture for the body.17
However, what is different is the individual character of the transportable
architectural device, designed for one or, at most, two people, and the fact
that this personal architectural structure appears as an extra cloth or garb
over the body of the person placed within it. Perhaps the best examples
to illustrate this point are the medieval interpretations concerning one
of the very earliest thrones mentioned in the Old Testament. It concerns the
affiryon, most probably the portable throne that King Solomon made for him-
self, which was probably lifted and carried by utilizing long bars similar to
those used for a palanquin. This object is mentioned in the Song of Solomon
3:911. It reads:
King Solomon made himself a chariot [affiryon] of the wood of Lebanon.
He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the
covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love,
17 The mosaic on the faade (Porta SantAlipio) of the church of San Marco in Venice illus-
trates this point well; see Otto Demus, The Mosaics of San Marco in Venice, vol. 2 (plates).
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984, fig.351.
Fig.4 Wedding process with a textile pavilion with flat roof. Ernest Rhys (edited): Travel
and Topography. The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians by Edward
William Lane, 1908.
255 Architecture for the Body
18 See Kebra Nagast, translated and annotated from Geez by Ran HaCohen. Tel Aviv: Tel
Aviv University Press, 2009, pp. 166167 (in Hebrew).
19 This idea could be extended to other structures, such as a roofed portable throne
and even the pavilion-like structure, which appears on several transportable minbars.
One could even take this idea of the architecture for the body and examine it the other
way aroundi.e., the body of architecture (see the most obvious example of the covered
Kaaba in Mecca, which, like a bride, is clothed every year with a lavish dress).
for the daughters of Jerusalem. Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion,
and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother
crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of
his heart.
The use of the specific word affiryon is interesting. This term appears in
Mishnaic Hebrew and in Jewish Aramaic. It has been suggested that this
specific term refers to a sedan, namely a transportable chair. In the Septuagint,
the Greek translation of the bible, this piece of furniture is defined as phoreion,
which hints at the Hebrew philological root of this term; phoreion derives from
the Greek verb phorein, meaning to carry, and clearly refers to the term affiryon
mentioned in the bible. Moreover, these verses were usually interpreted in an
allegorical manner to refer to Christ. Solomon appears then in his affiryon as a
prefiguration of the image of the Enthroned Christ. The Kebra Nagast, the
Ethiopian national epos, which made use of numerous Jewish and Islamic
traditions and explanations of biblical stories, adds that the name Solomon
means Christ and that the mentioning of Solomons making of the affiryon
should be compared to Christ who dressed himself with a body and made his
body a church (Beth ha-Nozrim, i.e., the house of the Christians).18 This com-
parison clearly suggests that the portable throne of Solomon was regarded as a
personal architectural device made for the royal body of the king and was even
compared, albeit metaphorically, to a cloth that one could be dressed with.19
The Fermo Chasuble
Among the most celebrated medieval textiles of the Mediterranean basin is
the so-called chasuble of Saint Thomas Becket (11181170, canonized in 1173),
which, according to tradition, was given to the cathedral of Fermo by Bishop
Presbitero (11841204). This textile is kept at present in Fermo, Italy (Fig. 1).
It is a very large piece (height: approx. 5feet 3inches [1.60meters]; circumfer-
ence: 8feet 102inches [5.41meters]) made of light-blue silk with gold embroi-
dery. The pattern of this embroidery consists of relatively large roundels
256 shalem
20 See note 5 above; this comprehensive monograph includes contributions by experts on
textile and medieval art, including Miriam Ali-de-Unzaga, Birgitt Borkopp-Restle, David
Jacoby, Germano Liberati, Ursula Nilgen, Regula Schorta, and myself.
21 David Strom Rice, The Fermo Chasuble of St. Thomas--Becket Revealed as the Earliest
Fully Dated and Localised Major Islamic Embroidery Known, Illustrated London News
(October 3, 1959): 356358.
22 See Antonino Santangelo, Il restauro della casula di Fermo, Bollettino dArte 45 (1960):
273277.
23 Eva Baer, Le Suaire de St. Lazare in Autun, Oriental Art 13, no. 1 (1967): 3649.
24 Gonzalo Menndez Pidal, La Capa de Fermo: Un bordado Almeriense de 1117, Boletin de
la Real Academia de la Historia 148 (1961): 169182. The chasuble was also mentioned and
illustrated in several general books on Islamic art because of its important inscription,
which identifies it as one of the earliest documented textiles of the Islamic world. See, for
example, Robert Hillenbrand, Islamic Art and Architecture. London: Thames and Hudson,
1999, fig.136.
25 Annabelle Simon-Cahn, The Fermo Chasuble of St. Thomas Becket and Hispano-
Mauresque Cosmological Silks: Some Speculations on the Adaptive Reuse of Textiles,
Muqarnas 10 (1992): 15.
26 See Cristina Partearroyo Lacaba, Tejidos almorvides y almohades, in Al-Andalus:
Las artes islmicas en Espaa, ed. Jerrilynn Denise Dodds, exh. cat. Madrid: Viso, 1992,
interlinked with each other by smaller roundels and of eight-pointed stars,
which appear in between the large roundels. The roundels depict wild and fan-
tastic animals, hunters riding on horses, and enthroned figures, most probably
rulers. Despite the monumentality of this piecetogether with its rich imag-
ery, superb workmanship, and, above all, its Arabic Kufic inscription, which
seems to provide us with important information as to the textiles possible place
of productionit has so far not been the subject of comprehensive study.20
This piece was made known to academic and scholarly researchers by
an article published by David Strom Rice in the Illustrated London News,
on October 3, 1959.21 After Rices visit to Fermo, most probably in 1958, he
contacted the Soprintendenza per i Beni Culturali in Rome and managed to
get the support that was needed for the conservation of the chasuble. The con-
servation was directed by Antonino Santangelo, who published his re