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Un contributo alla cultura antiquaria del XVI secolo in area padana: "Le imagini delle donne Auguste" di Enea Vico

Cecilia Cavalca
Arte Lombarda
Nuova serie, No. 113/115 (2-4) (1995), pp. 43-52
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43132358
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Un contributo alla cultura antiquaria del XVI secolo in area padana: "Le imagini delle donne Auguste" di Enea Vico
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Abstract

Le Imagini delle Donne Auguste was published in Venice in 1557. The work represents an exemplary moment in the complex critical-figurative activity of Enea Vico (1523-1567), engraver and antiquarian from Parma. The book is noteworthy for the sumptuousness and quality of its decorations, which are perfectly integrated with the written page. The coin which portrays each individual woman in profile precedes her biography. Around each roundel there are complex architectural constructions with antique references which re-formulate stylistic elements typical of classical funerary monuments, or reinvent classical themes by creating imaginative assemblages of forms. The whole work revolves around the study of ancient coins. The rectos provided the inspiration from which Enea Vico drew the portrait of the women from the imperial families; the versos, provided notices regarding their lives. With the deciphering of the inscriptions which accompany the images, he integrates and corrects what he knew of ancient authors through the reading of classical texts. Finally, through a simultaneous interpretation of images and words, he reconstructs an excerpt of history which can serve as an exemplum for the present. The way in which the antique is approached is thus exemplified by the idea of the analogy between res and verba, or through ut pictura poesis, which was a cardinal point in sixteenth century artistic criticism. The beauty of the illustrations guaranteed the editorial success of the book, which was translated into Latin the following year. It was also expressed in ostentatious but not always easily readable ways in the great allegorical decoration of the noble residences in Parma. In particular, Enea Vico's work was represented among the books of the Sanvitale family library.

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