Colnaghi Foundation Journal 03 - Page 152



150
G I U LI O CAM PAG N OL A / Landscape, and Venetian illumination
Fig. 23 / Circle of Benedetto
Bordon / Attributed to
the Second Grifo Master,
Promissio of Doge Antonio
Grimani, 1521, London,
British Library, Add. Ms.
18000, fol. 6v.
Fig. 24 / Circle of Benedetto
Bordon, Commission of
Antonio Mocenigo as
Procurator de citra, 1523,
Windsor, Royal Library, Ms.
RCIN 1081196, fol. 2r
GI U LI O CAMPAG N OLA / Landscape, and Venetian illumination
Fig. 24 / Attributed to
the Master of the Trees,
Comission of Sebastiano
Contarini as Podestà of
Capodistria, 1516, Venice,
Biblioteca Correr, Ms. Classe
III 46, fol. 2r.
Fig. 25 / Giulio Campagnola,
Young Shepherd, ca. 1508,
engraving, first state, 13.5
x 7.8 cm, London, British
Museum
Helena Szépe has posited that the phenomenon
of landscape scenery in ducali produced in the early
sixteenth century reflects the Serenissma’s increasing
orientation towards its terraferma territories and the
Venetian state’s focus on consolidating control of these
holdings, documented in so many commissions.58
Illuminators were also naturally familiar with
developments in contemporary painting, in which the
emergence of landscape has similarly been linked to
a new Venetian preoccupation with the terraferma.59
Landscape imagery was nevertheless also inextricable
linked to humanist culture in Venice.60 For as
Marcantonio Michel wrote to his artist friend, Guido
Celere, “it is natural that what we read expressed so
clearly with our ears, not content, we also want to look
at with our eyes.”61 Simonetta Nicolini has recently
commented on a significant body of humanist literature
that praises the work of illuminators, emphasizing
their singular ability to translate text into visual form.62
151
Although we may never be able to identify Giulio’s own
illuminations depicting montes, valles, colles, campos, flumnia,
and florida rura, so praised by Giovanni Aurelio Augurelli,
it is clear that Giulio was admired for his ability to
produce visual renderings of thematic material closely
linked to contemporary literature; perhaps it is possible
to glean something of his artistic approach from the work
of both the Master of the Trees and the Second Grifo
Master. In the broader context of the development of
Venetian art in the early Cinquecento, while the precise
nature of Giulio’s relationship with Giorgione and Titian
is impossible to determine, it seems clear that Giulio was
uniquely placed to act as conduit of ideas between artists
and the intellectual culture of Venetian patricians like
Pietro Bembo and his friends, who were not only patrons
and collectors, but actively involved in Aldo’s production
of texts; many of these, like the Theocritus, published in
1496, and the later Virgil of 1514, comprise the literary
origins of the pastoral landscape as a genre.63

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