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A Humanist Description of the Architecture for the Wedding of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Isabella D'Aragona (1489)1

  • Richard Schofield

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2 Affò, I., Memorie degli scrittori e letterati Parmigiani, 3, Parma 1791, 65–71 and 163–7; his mistake of trying to identify the author of Dulcino's work with that of two Stefano Dulcinos (il vecchio and il secondo) was rectified by Pezzana, A. in his Continuazione of Affò's Memorie, 6, 2, Parma 1827, 351–62: see also, Argelati, P., Bibliotheca scriptorum mediolanensium, Milan 1745, 1, cols 307–15, 585, 591, and 2, 2, cols. 2109–10.

3 See the Oratio Io. Iacobi Crotti iureconsulti cremonensis qua deflet Nicolaum Lucarum oratorem facundissimum, Pavia 1518, fol. 5r and Gabotto, F. and Confalonieri, A. B., Vita di Giorgio Merula, Alessandria 1893, 212.

4 Argelati (op. cit. n. 2), 2, 2, col. 2109. Matteo Bandelli praised Dulcino's Sirmio lavishly in the preface to the Novelle, part 2, no. 58 (Tutte le opere di Matteo Bandelli, ed. 3, ed. Flora, F., Florence 1952, 233–4): the introduction to novella 9 in part 1 mentions the fact that Dulcino dined with Cecilia Gallerani (Flora, 1, 116). Dulcino provided three verses for the end of Gaspare Visconti's Rithmi of 1493 (cf. Renier, R., ‘Gaspare Visconti’, ASL, 13, 1886, 525 and 817, n. 2). Curzio addressed Dulcino, in Lancini Curtii epigrammaton libri decem, Milan1521, 1, lib. 4, fol. 57 and lib. 10, fol. 158. For Giovanni da Tolentino, cf. Schofield, R. V., ‘G. da Tolentino goes to Rome…’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 43, 1980, 247–56.

5 Housman's comment on it is disappointingly polite: ‘The other early editions having some character of their own and not simply copying their precursors [include that] published by Dulcinius at Milan in 1489’ (M. Manilii Astronomicon liber primus, London 1903, xiii).

6 The Sirmio was one of the first of a long line of poems written in praise of Lake Garda: Elwert, W. T., ‘Il lago di Garda nella poesia latina del cinquecento’, in Il Lago di Garda: atti del congresso internazionale promosso dell'Ateneo di Salò, Salò 1969, 203–45: cf. Manetti, A., ‘Il lago di Garda nella poesia umanistica’, Bergomum, 73, 1979, 129–43. Dulcino also wrote an introduction to Symoneta, B.'s De christiana fide et Romanorum pontificum persecutionibus, Milan1492.

7 In general see Dina, A., ‘Isabella d'Aragona Duchessa di Milano e di Bari’, ASL, ser. 5, 8, 1921, 269 ff.; Calvi, G., I manoscritti di Leonardo da Vinci, Bologna 1925, 89 ff.; Steinitz, K. T., ‘The voyage of Isabella d'Aragona from Naples to Milan, January 1489’, Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, 23, 1961, 1733, especially 28 f. for a discussion of the temporary architecture examined in this article.

8 For Chalco, : Dizionario biografico degli italiani, 16, Rome 1973, 537–41. Add Lopez, G., Festa di nozze per Ludovico it Moro, Milan 1976, who reproduces Chalco's description of Ludovico's wedding.

9 I have not made a full investigation of the text of the anonimo and its relationship to Chalco's, but it is clear that it is not simply a translation into Italian of Chalco's. On the one hand it describes events in the same order as Chalco, omits much and includes passages which read like compressed paraphrases of his text; on the other hand it includes important details not in Chalco.

10 For Bossi: Dizionario (op. cit. n. 8), 13, Rome 1971, 307–8.

11 Dulcino says that the arcade completed the fourth side of what was otherwise a square or rectangular area and that the courtyard had a frieze and, evidently, a balcony. I have assumed that he meant the Corte Ducale which has these features. The arcade, which had seven columns, must have stood opposite the seven columns of the narrow end of the Corte, thus providing the fourth side (Beltrami, L., Il Castello di Milano, Milan 1896: plan after 589). The adjacent Cortile della Rocchetta has an uncolonnaded fourth side and seven columns per side, discounting those shared at the corners, but no balcony. Though the anonimo says that the edifice was 140 br. long (82·6 m.), which I cannot explain, his account otherwise suits the Corte Ducale. I do not know exactly what Chalco meant when he says that the arcade was novi generis.

12 See Dulcino's chapter De viarum tegumentis…: Chalco, T., Residua, ed. Puricello, G. P., Milan 1644, 79; the Paris anonimo (op. cit. Appendix 3), fol. 213r–v; Giovanni da Tolentino's letter of 18 February in Ioannis Tollentinatis II equitis epistolarum libri III, Milan1512. Tapestries were a standard feature of most types of Quattrocento spectacle.

13 The Nuptiae is addressed to Niccolò Lucaro of Cremona.

14 Ghinzoni, P., ‘Trionfi e rappresentazioni in Milano [secolo xiv e xv]’, ASL, 14, 1888, 820–31; ib., ‘Alcune rappresentazioni in Italia nel secolo xv’, ASL, 20, 1893, 958–67. Cf. in general, Benvenuti, A. T., ‘Il teatro volgare della Milano sforzesca’, in Milano nell'età di Ludovico il Moro, Milan 1983, 1, 333–51.

15 Triumphal entries: J. Burckhardt, Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy; ib., The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance, London 1985, tr. J. Palmes, ed. P. Murray, 266 ff.; Wiesbach, W., Trionfi, Berlin 1919; Carandente, G., I trionfi nel primo Rinascimento, 1963, n.p.; Kernodle, G. R., From Art to Theatre: Form and Convention in the Renaissance, Chicago 1944, 226 f.; Martindale, A., The Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna, London 1979. French entries offer many parallels: Chartrou, J., Les entrées solenelles et triomphales à la Renaissance, 1484–1551, Paris 1928. Marriage celebrations: a starting point is D'Ancona, A., Origini del teatro italiano, 2 vols., Turin 1891; Motta, E., Nozze principeschi del Quattrocento, Milan 1894 (fundamental for Milan); Ferrara, Tuohy, T., Studies in domestic expenditure at the court of Ferrara, Warburg Diss., 1982, esp. 166–83; Genoa, Boccardo, P. B., ‘Per l'iconografia del “Trionfo” nella Genova del Rinascimento…’, Studi di storia dell'arte (Università di Genova: Istituto di Storia dell'Arte), 4, 1983, esp. 46–8: There is an excellent guide to Italian sixteenth century pageants in Mitchell, B., Italian civic pageantry in the High Renaissance, Florence 1979.

16 Altieri, M. A., Li nuptiali di Marco Antonio Altieri, ed. Narducci, E., Rome 1873; d'Ancona, M. Levi, The Garden of the Renaissance: botanical symbolism in Italian painting, Florence 1977, is indispensable.

17 Lucan 2, 354; Statius, , Silvae, 1, 2, 230; Thebaides, 2, 248; Juvenal, 6, 79 and 228.

18 Altieri (op. cit. n. 16), 77.

19 Pliny, NH, 15, 36, 119 ff.; cf. Diod. Siculus, 1, 17, 4–5; Virgil, , Eclog., 7, 63; Filarete, in A. Averlino detto il Filarete: Trattato di architettura, ed. Finoli, A. M. and Grassi, L., Milan 1972, 551 (mortella); Levi d'Ancona (op. cit., n. 16), 237, citing Ovid, , Fasti 4, 141–3 and Claudian, , Epithalamium de nuptiis Honori Augusti, 208.

20 Altieri (op. cit. n. 16), 72.

21 Levi d'Ancona (op. cit. n. 16), 207 and 272 ff.

22 Cicero, , Mur., 41: cf. Pliny, , NH, 15, 127.

23 Cicero, , Att., 7, 10; Ovid, , Met., 1, 560; Suetonius, , Dom. 6, Tib. 17, Nero 13; Appian 8, 66 f., etc. Biondo, Flavio, Roma triumphans, Basle1559, fol. 213a.; Levi d'Ancona (op. cit. n. 16), 201 for chastity.

24 Pliny, , NH, 8, 31, 51, 99; 16, 13, 18, 73; Virgil, , Eclog., 7, 53; Cicero, , ND, 2, 27, 68; Levi d'Ancona (op. cit. n. 16) 197 f.

25 Levi d'Ancona (op. cit. n. 16), 189; Leonardo, in Richter, J. P., The literary works of Leonardo da Vinci, ed. 3, New York 1970, 1, no. 683.

26 Corio, B., L'Historia di Milano, Padua 1646, 821–6; Olivi, L., ‘Delle nozze di Ercole I D'Este con Eleanora d'Aragona’, Memorie della R. Accademia di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Modena, ser. 2, 5, 1887, 1568; Corvisieri, G., ‘Il trionfo romano di Eleanora d'Aragona nel giugno del 1473’, Archivio della Società Romana di Storia Patria, 1, 1878, 475–91 and 10, 1887, esp. p. 643 and sources; also Perosa, A., ‘Epigrammi conviviali di Domizio Calderini’, Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, ser, 3, 4, 1974, 791804.

27 Olivi (op. cit. n. 26), 45, n. 1 (Sardi's description); Olivi read ‘conramorata’ a word which would make good sense, but which does not seem to be attested anywhere else. I therefore emended it to ‘concamerata’.

28 de Marinis, T., Le nozze di Costanzo Sforza e Camilla d'Aragona celebrate a Pesaro nel maggio 1475, Rome 1946, 2, 3, and 9. Cf. Battisti, E., ‘Due codici miniati del Quattrocento’, Commentari, 6, 1955, 1826.

29 Stephano da Cremona to Bartolomeo Chalco, 17 January 1489 (Archivio di Stato di Modena, Cancelleria Ducale, Estero, c. 6). Chalco (op. cit. n. 12), 73: ‘pons ligneus … constratus pannis villosisque tapetibus et frondibus ac citrorum copia ornatus’; Seneraga, B., ‘Commentaria de rebus genuensibus’, RIS, 24, 8, Bologna 1930, 14–5.

30 Other examples of foliate architecture: i: 1452, festa for Borso D'Este (Ferrarensis, J., RIS, XX, 2, Bologna 1936, 41); ii: 1462, at the Feast of the Corpus Domini described by Pius II: ‘ex florenti genesta et myrto et lauro arcus multiplices hinc atque inde, ab arce usque ad fontem … admirabili opere educti’. The whole passage is informative: see Enea Silvio Piccolomini Papa Pio II: I Commentarii, ed. Totaro, L., Milan 1984, 2, 1596; iii: Genoa, 1468, reception of Bona di Savoia (Magenta, C., I Visconti e gli Sforza nel Castello di Pavia, Milan 1883, 2, 307). For elaborate garlands, circles of ‘verdura’ etc.: i: Castello Sforzesco, Milan 1490 (Solmi, E., Scritti vinciani, Florence 1924, 8); ii: Venice, 1493, for an ‘archivolto di verdura’ (Motta, E., ‘Rappresentazioni sceniche in Venezia nel 1493…’, Giornale storico della letteratura italiana, 7, 1886, 390); iii: the decorations for the wedding of Lorenzo de'Medici and Madeleine de la Tour in 1518 (Solmi, cit. supra, 358).

31 Brunelleschi's Santa Maria degli Angeli was to have been 46·5 braccia from floor to oculus and 29 braccia from wall to wall, according to Fortunio (Battisti, E., Brunelleschi, London 1981, 253). The dimensions and the height-to-width ratio, 1 to 1·6, were thus almost identical to those of our building. But on the whole, Lombard Quattrocento octagonal and circular buildings were taller than ours: e.g. Sta. Maria delle Grazie (height to width c. 1 to 1·8), the Sacristy of Sta. Maria presso San Satiro (c. 1 to 2·2), the Portinari Chapel (c. 1 to 2) and Sta. Maria della Croce at Crema (c. 1 to 1·7).

32 No elliptical buildings were built in the Quattrocento, though the ellipse was popular enough as a form of decoration: see, for example, the doorway of San Francesco in Rimini, the facades of San Michele in Isola and the Scuola Grande di San Marco in Venice. Francesco di Giorgio incorporated it in a number of drawings of ground-plans (see, for example. Burns, H., ‘Progetti di F. di Giorgio …’, in Studi bramanteschi, Rome 1974, 298 f.). In view of Chalco's description, the compromise of supposing that the octagon was irregular, as in Filarete's tiburio in the Ospedale Maggiore or the Duomo at Pavia, thus allowing it to be elliptical, like an amphitheatre, and octagonal, is precluded.

33 Kleinbauer, W. F., ‘Some Renaissance views of Early Christian and Romanesque San Lorenzo in Milan’, Arte lombarda, 12, 1967, 4; Giordano, L. in La Basilica di San Lorenzo in Milano, Milan 1985, 123 ff.

34 Chalco calls them ‘columnae triangulares’.

35 Our reconstruction of the lower order is similar to the minor order of the first storey of Bramante's Sacristy of S. Maria presso S. Satiro, with the important difference that the entablature and the arch of the reconstruction are in the same vertical plane, whereas the entablature of the Sacristy is curved round the niches and is therefore ‘behind’ the archivolt. There are two other possibilities: i: the arches tied the architraves together in the sense that archivolts sprung from the capitals of the piers and thus carried the architraves across the gaps in the form of arches, while some kind of lintel (not an entablature) supported the boys and wheels. In this case, the exact form and position of the lintels cannot be guessed nor are there any obvious parallels for such an arrangement, ii: the entablature joined the capitals of the piers horizontally while below it was a minor order comprising pilasters, capitals and horizontal entablatures acting as lintels with semicircular hoods above. Such an arrangement would make the tiburio look very much like the Sacristy of St. Maria presso San Satiro, the Incoronata at Lodi and the Canepanuova, but perhaps takes us too far from the obvious sense of ‘epistylia … arcus connectebant’ (Dulcino) and the straightforward reading of Chalco's ‘columnae … concameratis fornicibus committuntur. In his spatiis … rotae … videbantur’.

36 Chalco says that above the arches were a floor and three orders of columnae (which, since the building was octagonal, we must presumably translate as ‘piers’) of which the outer (‘exterior’) formed a fence along with a row of little columns or balusters: the other two orders of columnae formed a ‘peristylum transcursoriamque ambulationem’. If the order that was combined with the little columns constituted the exterior order, then presumably the other two were in some sense interior. The peristylum and ambulatio formed by these other two orders were no doubt on the same level as the exterior order with the balustrade. I think, therefore, that Chalco meant that above the cornice was, first, on the outside, a row of piers and balusters; then, inside that, a second circle of piers; and finally, on the inside of the octagon, a third. This interpretation is confirmed by Bossi's mention of the via facta duplex. Note that, if our reconstruction is correct, then i: a double gallery at this point is unparalleled in any Lombard tiburio and ii: we must assume that Chalco has simply omitted mention of the second gallery referred to by Dulcino.

37 In the reconstruction we do not attempt to show how the octagon implied by the piers turned itself into the circular base of the cupola, if indeed it did. The most common arrangement in Lombard architecture was to provide a dome with eight facets and semicircular section (e.g. the Sacristy of Sta. Maria presso San Satiro, the Sacristies of the Duomo at Pavia, the Baptistry at Cremona, Sta. Maria della Croce, Crema, etc.). On the other hand, the dome of the octagonal oratory of Christo Risorto at San Luca in Cremona has a circular base and hemispherical cupola (Valeri, F. Malaguzzi, La Corte di Lodovico il Moro, 2, Milan 1915, 337). The design of the lantern in our drawing is based, solely exempli gratia, on that of Sta. Maria delle Grazie: there can be no certainty either about the form and number of the steps leading onto the platform of the tiburio.

38 The comparison with the Pantheon may not matter because Chalco apparently never went to Rome: conversely, he did know the dimensions of the building (Kleinbauer (op. cit. n. 33), 8, n. 12; Giordano (op. cit. n. 33), 119).

39 Giordano, L., in Sta. Maria della Croce, Crema 1982, 27 ff.; the Incoronata at Lodi (Foratti, A., ‘L'Incoronata di Lodi e il suo problema costruttivo’, L'Arte, 20, 1917, fig. 6) and the Oratorio di Christo Risorto at San Luca, Cremona (1521: section in Malaguzzi Valeri (op. cit. n. 37), 337) also have two galleries, with the roofs rising from the top of the first, and domes of semicircular section.

40 Unfortunately I have been unable to find any documentary evidence to help with the reconstruction. No Giornale di cassa for 1488 or 1489 survives in the Archivio della Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano. The Registro di debiti e crediti, 1486–90, no. 276 yielded nothing. In the Registri ducali, Frammenti, c. 4a and Missive 173 for 1488 and 1489 (both in the Archivio di Stato di Milano) there are plenty of references to cleaning up the streets, providing tapestries and procuring ivy and juniper for the wedding, but only two to our temporary architecture; i: on 2 January 1489 a much employed stonetransporter, Jacobino Ghisulfo, was instructed to fetch juniper and laurel with which to decorate ‘reliquos apparatus templi dive Marie’ and ii: on 8 February 1489 the Duke wrote to the Captain of the Guard of the Corte Arenga complaining that the guards ‘exportino via parte de li legnami delli quali erano facte quelle machine in Domo et di fora per la venuta de la illustrissima [i.e. Isabella]’ and that it should be returned to the Duke's engineer-in-chief, Ambrogio Ferrari.

41 T. Chalco (op. cit. n. 12), 7: see also Guthmüller, B., Studien zur antiken Mythologie in der italienischen Renaissance, Weinheim 1986, 65 f.

42 This starts from Sinding-Larsen, S., ‘Some functional and iconographical aspects of the centralized church in the Italian Renaissance’, Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia, 2, 1965, 220 ff.

43 Sinding-Larsen (op. cit. n. 42), 224 ff.; Burns, H. in Raffaello architetto, Milan 1984, 381.

44 Shapley, F. R., Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools XV–XVI centuries, London 1968, 141–2. I. Lavin has argued that Luini was not illustrating Ovid's account of the story from the Metamorphoses but the adaptation of it by Niccolò da Correggio in his play, Cefalò, written for the wedding of Giulio Tassoni and Ippolita, daughter of Niccolò Contrari, in Ferrara in 1487 (Cephalus and Procris: transformations of an Ovidian myth’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 17, 1954, esp. 267).

45 See, for example: i: wedding of Annibale Bentivoglio and Lucrezia D'Este, Bologna (J. Burckhard (op. cit. n. 15)); ii: Pesaro, 1475 (T. de Marinis (op. cit. n. 28), 26); iii: Rimini, 1475 (Tonini, L., Storia di Rimini, 5, part 1, Rimini 1880, 360); iv: Ferrara, 1487, in Niccolò da Correggio's Cefalò (Lavin (op. cit. n. 44)).

46 For Diana's temple at Aricia, see Ovid, , Ars Am., 1, 259; Met., 14, 331; Fasti, 3, 261 ff., Vitruvius 4, 8, 4 etc. According to the fullest account, in Strabo 5, 3, 12, the temple stood in a sacred grove with lake in front of it.

47 It is at this point that a decision has to be reached concerning statements made by Houssaye, A. in the Histoire de Léonard de Vinci, Paris 1869. Houssaye, talking of Leonardo's activities in what he thinks is 1492, writes(84) about the wooden pavilion in the park of the Castello built before 1480 and drawn by Leonardo in MS B, fol. 12r. He tells us that ‘On trouve dans ses manuscrits que … il lui batit dans le jardin du château une salle de bain; il décide le couleur des marbres, parois roses, baignoire blanche, mosaiques avec la figure de Diane; on a dans ses manuscrits le dessins des clefs, têtes d'anguilles qui doneront l'eau chaude et l'eau froide’. If it were true that the pavilion contained mosaics showing Diana, it would lead one to think that the pavilion, because it was polygonal, stood in a park in which the Duke and Duchess hunted and functioned as a bagno, represented the celebrated cave in which Diana bathed (Ovid, , Met., 3, 138 ff.) and this would provide a precedent in Sforza architecture for a structure connected with Diana. Unfortunately, Houssaye's date (which is wrong) and the immediately preceding passages about irrigation projects were lifted from Amoretti, C., Memorie storiche su la vita, gli studi e le opere di Lionardo da Vinci, Milan 1804, 33 and 37 and most of the passage quoted above comes from 40. Moreover, Amoretti has conflated the information about the pavilion in the park in MS B with information from MS I, 28v and 34r concerning a different bagno, that of 1499 being built for Isabella in the Castle. Houssaye followed Amoretti in this: therefore one must fear that his additions to what Amoretti reported, especially the allusion to the mosaics with the figure of Diana, are fiction. To prove that it is fact one must explain where Houssaye could have seen the text or drawings he had in mind. The obvious procedure is to look to the now lost folios of MS B. Houssaye's ‘information’ could not have come from fol. 3, of which we know the contents (Pedretti, C., ‘The missing folio 3 of MS B’, Raccolta Vinciana, 20, 174, 211–25), nor is it likely to have come from the now missing fols. 84–7 because the context for those sheets, i.e. those preceding and following, have nothing to do with architecture. We know that Libri stole material from the Leonardo MSS in Paris around 1840. If the ‘information’ given by Houssaye about the decor of the pavilion were true and came from other sheets now missing, but of which we do not know the original location, we presumably would have to suppose that Houssaye had seen that material before 1840, some 29 years before he published his Leonardo book. This is not remotely likely (cf. Pedretti, C., The literary works of Leonardo da Vinci: a Commentary, Oxford 1977, 2, no. 751: I am very grateful to Prof. Pedretti for a photostat of Houssaye's text). But I still cannot explain why Houssaye added the reference to mosaics showing Diana.

48 Callmann, E., Apollonio di Giovanni, Oxford 1974, 54, no. 6, 55, no. 7 and 68, no. 35; Schubring, P., Cassoni, Leipzig 1915, no. 241 and no. 242.

49 According to Servius, commenting on Aen. 9, 406, ‘aedes autem rotundas tribus diis dicunt fieri debere, Vestae, Dianae vel Herculi vel Mercurio:’ the fullest account of her temple occurs in Ovid, , Fasti, 6, 249 ff. whence it emerges that it was round (like the earth) and domed: ‘par facies templi [i.e. rotunda]: nullus procurrit in illo/angulus; a pluvio vindicat imbre tholus’. Alberti followed Ovid rather than Servius when he wrote that ‘aedem Vestae quam esse terram putarent rotundam ad pilae similitudinem faciebant (Alberti, L. B., L'Architettura, ed. Orlandi, G. and Portoghesi, P., Milan 1966, 2, 547)’. Despite this, there is very little else about Vesta or her temple to encourage us to link it with the octagon of 1489: Vesta did not seem to have any connections with weddings in the Quattrocento, nor, apart from the overall shape, was anything else about her temple similar to our building.

50 See, in general, van Marie, R., Iconographie de l'art profane, The Hague, 1, 1931, 454 ff. and 2, 1932, 426 ff.; Schubring (op. cit. n. 48), nos. 34, 35, 93, 743 and 744: also the interesting book by Watson, P., The Garden of Love in Tuscan Art of the Early Renaissance, Philadelphia 1979.

51 The decor produced for the wedding of Bianca Maria Sforza and Maximilian in Milan in 1493 included many of the elements of our wedding (classical bric-a-brac, foliage, tondi, a triumphal arch etc.) and a structure in front of the Duomo described thus by Beatrice Sforza in a letter of 29 December 1493: ‘sopra la porta che è in lo fronte de la fazada, gli era constructo un'antiporta cum le colonne da canto, sopra le quale era sustentato certo ornamento facto a forma de capocelo [i.e. a baldacchino] morello, tendente in alto, divisato de columbine (Luzio, A. and Renier, R., ‘Delle relazioni di Isabella d'Este Gonzaga e Beatrice Sforza’, ASL, 17, 1890, 384)’. Clearly the ‘antiporta’ was simply a covered vestibule put up for the bridal couple and their guests to foregather in before proceeding into the Duomo, with no extrinsic meaning: similarly the form of the design for the Porta versus Compedum of the Duomo, which had some points in common with our tiburio, was regarded as that of a vestibule: ‘designum unum valde mirum cum piramide una elegantissima in medio in forma vestibuli portae ascendente ad cacumen fornicis magni prefate fabrice’ (doc. of 23 February 1503: Annali della Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, 3, Milan 1880, 124).

52 Cf. Calvi (op. cit. n. 7); Steinitz (op. cit. n. 7).

53 For Leonardo's comments on the drawings, see J. P. Richter (op. cit. n. 25) 2, 54. Note that Leonardo mentions cerchi of juniper: foliage circles and semicircles occurred in the decoration of the Corte Ducale and the arcade in the Duomo, which included ‘orbes minisculi [Chalco]’. Unfortunately it is not obvious from Leonardo's drawing where the circles were in the structure.

54 Calvi and Steinitz list the drawings in MS B that are connected with temporary architecture and decorations. In the cases of 4r, 29v, 35r and 78v there is no proof at all that the drawings should be associated with the wedding of February 1489. One would presume that the two drawings on the top half of fol. 28v (plate XX) are relevant, because they occur on the same sheet as the juniper vaults. Yet the objects drawn (presumably parts of vaults) do not match any part of the juniper vault illustrated and can hardly have any connection with the tiburio. If they are indeed segments of a wooden vault or vaults, the shallowness of the curvature and the great detail of their inner construction imply a structure of enormous size.

55 Archivio di Stato di Milano, Autografi, Pittori, Bramante: partially quoted in Malaguzzi Valeri (op. cit. n. 37), 132.

56 Corio (op. cit. n. 26), 885: ‘E come arbitro d'Italia tanto tempo habbi saputo concordar Giano con Marte’.

57 Schofield, R. V., ‘Ludovico il Moro and Vigevano’, Arte lombarda, 62, 1982/1983, 128 ff.

58 Bortolo Martinelli is publishing Sironi's remarkable discovery of the book-list of Gaspare Visconti in whose house Bramante lived in the late 1480's and early 1490's. The list is dated 1500 and includes a copy of Vitruvius. We cannot tell whether the copy was a manuscript or the first printed edition, nor can we be sure about when it entered Visconti's library. The book-list has no mention of Alberti's Treatise.

59 Archivio di Stato di Modena, Cancelleria Ducale Estero, Carte d'ambasciatori, c. 6. Theatri is no doubt a reference to the now destroyed Coperto dei Figini, the great three-storeyed rectangular structure with arcades which ran the length of the north side of the piazza and must have been parallel to the foliate arcade between the arch and tiburio (Beltrami, L. in Luca Beltrami e il Duomo di Milano, Milan 1964, 157 and fig. 17).

60 Alberti (ed. cit., n. 49), 2, 171–9.

61 Alberti (ed. cit., n. 49), 2, 787.

62 Alberti (ed. cit., n. 49), 2, 807.

63 Alberti (ed. cit., n. 49), 2, 795.

64 Sources: see notes 26 and 28.

65 I have tried to check all the material cited in n. 15. Although I have not succeeded in finding a triple triumphal arch mentioned before 1489 in the literature on weddings and entries, it is no surprise that one was set up for the celebration of the accession of Alexander VI to the Papacy in 1493: ‘il primo [arco] era a similitudine di quello di Ottaviano [i.e. Constantine] appresso al Culiseo’ etc. (Corio (op. cit. n. 26), 888).

66 Bober, P. P. and Rubinstein, R., Renaissance Artists and the Antique, Oxford 1986, no. 181.

67 Schofield (op. cit. n. 57), 119 for the idea that the arch at Vigevano had been prepared for the entry of the Duke of Ferrara into the town.

68 Two other observations should be borne in mind: i: Alberti's round vestibulum is not, apparently, derived from any classical authority. Classical references to vestibula, which is what our tiburio functioned as, apparently never say that they were octagonal, although they certainly did include decorative features analogous to ours. Vestibula were often decorated with family statues, arms and trophies (Tibullus, 1, 1, 54; Pliny, , NH, 35, 2, 6; Livy, 10, 7, 9; 22, 57, 10; Virgil, , Aen., 2, 504; Cicero, , Phil., 2, 28, 68; Juvenal, 7, 126) as well as foliage (Catullus, lxiv, 278 ff.), and could also include porticoes or pillars (Suet., , Nero, 16; Servius, on Aeneid, 2, 469). ii: There was, however, a tradition in the Quattrocento of regarding the atrium as circular or octagonal: see, for example, di Giorgio's, Francesco comments and drawings in Trattati di architettura …, ed. Degrassi, L. M. and Maltese, C., Milan 1967, 199202 and fols. 20r-v; Mantegna's house probably falls within this category as well and the tradition was known in Milan in the 1520's, for Cristoforo Solari built an octagonal atrium in the Palazzo Selvatico in 1522 (see the remarkable article by Gatti, S., ‘Il Palazzo di Giovanni Angelo Selvatico a Milano…’, Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Arte Medioevale e Moderna (Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Università di Messina], 2, 1976, 2130, a tour-de-force of archival research). But that tradition seems irrelevant to our tiburio because such atria were always inside palaces, not outside.

69 Two other points are worth mentioning: i: the youths supporting wheels under the semicircular arches of the first storey of the tiburio are paralleled only by the similar arrangement to the right of the Prevedari engraving of 1481 for which Bramante had made the drawing. There, however, a puer crouches to the right and apparently does not handle the wheel. I do not know whether this similarity need have bearing on the attribution to Bramante; rather it may constitute evidence of a common symbolism: but what that may be I do not know, ii: We can hardly use the ‘formissima … basis’ of the tiburio mentioned by Dulcino as support for an attribution to Bramante, even though he had produced just such a base on the Via Falcone facade of S. Maria presso San Satiro and such basamenti were regarded as antique-looking in the Quattrocento. Alberti had, of course, said that pagan temples were raised above ground and had given prescriptions for the height of the bases that modern architects should provide for their churches (7, 3 and 7, 5 in ed. cit. n. 49, 2, 549 and 559–61). But Amadeo had already built an all'antica tall basamento for the Colleoni Chapel and was to do so again for the facade of the Certosa di Pavia (1491 ff.) for which an earlier and partly similar plan by Solari [and Amadeo?] already existed: see Schofield, R. V., ‘Giovanni Ridolfi's description of the facade of the Certosa di Pavia in 1480’ in La scultura decorativa del Primo Rinascimento, Pavia 1983, 95.

1 I would like to thank Martin Kemp, Wolf Liebeschutz and Peter Wiseman for their kind help; and especially Robert Tavernor for drawing the reconstruction.

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Papers of the British School at Rome
  • ISSN: 0068-2462
  • EISSN: 2045-239X
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