Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

 

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA
Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Saracen arches and Byzantine mosaics complement each other within the Palatine Chapel

The Palatine Chapel (Italian: Cappella Palatina), is the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily situated on the first floor at the center of the Palazzo Reale in Palermo, southern Italy.

Also referred to as a Palace church or Palace chapel,[1] it was commissioned by Roger II of Sicily in 1132 to be built upon an older chapel (now the crypt) constructed around 1080. It took eight years to build, receiving a royal charter the same year, with the mosaics being only partially finished by 1143.[1] The sanctuary, dedicated to Saint Peter, is reminiscent of a domed basilica. It has three apses, as is usual in Byzantine architecture, with six pointed arches (three on each side of the central nave) resting on recycled classical columns.

Mosaics

mosaic in the Palatine Chapel

The mosaics of the Palatine Chapel are of unparalleled elegance as concerns elongated proportions and streaming draperies of figures. They are also noted for subtle modulations of colour and luminance. The oldest are probably those covering the ceiling, the drum, and the dome. The shimmering mosaics of the transept, presumably dating from the 1140s and attributed to Byzantine artists, with an illustrated scene, along the north wall, of St. John in the desert and a landscape of Agnus Dei.[2] Below this are five saints, the Greek fathers of the church, St. Gregory of Nissa, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom and St. Nicholas.[2] The three central figures, St. Gregory, St. Basil, St. John Chrysostom, allude to the Orthodox cult known as the Three Hierarchs, which originated fifty years earlier.[2] Every composition is set within an ornamental frame, not dissimilar to that used in contemporaneous mosaic icons.

Giacobbe Giusti, CAPPELLA PALATINA

Roger II of Sicily depicted on the muqarnas ceiling in an Arabic style.

The rest of the mosaics, dated to the 1160s or the 1170s, is executed in a cruder manner and feature Latin (rather than Greek) inscriptions. Probably a work of local craftsmen, these pieces are more narrative and illustrative than transcendental. A few mosaics have a secular character and represent oriental flora and fauna. This may be the only substantial passage of secular Byzantine mosaic extant today.

Chapel

Cappella Palatina in Palermo Sicily

Muqarnas, a common element in Arabic architecture

The chapel combines harmoniously a variety of styles: the Norman architecture and door decor, the Arabic arches and script adorning the roof, the Byzantine dome and mosaics. For instance, clusters of four eight-pointed stars, typical for Muslim design, are arranged on the ceiling so as to form a Christian cross.

Other remarkable features of the chapel include the muqarnas ceiling, which is spectacular. The hundreds of facets were painted, notably with many purely ornamental vegetal and zoomorphic designs but also with scenes of daily life and many subjects that have not yet been explained. Stylistically influenced by Iraqi ‘Abbasid art, these paintings are innovative in their more spatially aware representation of personages and of animals.

The chapel has been considered a union of a Byzantine church sanctuary and a Western basilica nave.[3] The sanctuary, is of an “Eastern” artistic nature, while the nave reflects “Western” influences.[3]

Nave

The nave, constructed under Roger II, did not contain any Christian images.[4] These were added later by Roger II’s successors, William I and William II.[4] The nave’s ceiling consists of Greek, Latin and inscriptions.[3]

The frame for the royal throne sets against the west wall of the nave.[5] There are six steps leading up to where the throne would be, along with two heraldic lions in two roundels upon the spandrels over the throne frame gabel.[5]

Sanctuary

As an expression of Norman culture, St. Dionysius and St. Martin are represented in the sanctuary.[6] Mosaics are of Byzantine culture in their composition and subjects.[7] The apex of the dome consists of the Pantokrator, with rows of angels, prophets, evangelists and saints.[7] The Byzantine motif ends abruptly with scenes from Christ’s life along the south wall of the southern transept arm, while the north wall consists of warrior saints.[7]

Analysis

Slobodan Ćurčić considers the Palatine Cappella a reflection of Middle Byzantine art.[5] Illustrating architectural and artistic genius to juxtapose Sicily’s “melting pot” culture.[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cappella_Palatina#CITEREF.C4.86ur.C4.8Di.C4.871987

La chiesa ipogea

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

 

IW-Spinario-Musei-Capitolini-07

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

IW-Spinario-Musei-Capitolini-03

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

Boy with Thorn, also called Fedele (Fedelino) or Spinario, is a Greco-Roman Hellenistic bronze sculpture of a boy withdrawing a thorn from the sole of his foot, now in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome. A Roman marble of this subject from the Medici collections is in a corridor of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.[1]

The sculpture was one of the very few Roman bronzes that was never lost to sight. It was standing outside the Lateran Palace when the Navarrese rabbi Benjamin of Tudela saw it in the 1160s and identified it as Absalom, who “was without blemish from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.”[2] It was noted in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century by the English visitor, Magister Gregorius, who noted in his De mirabilibus urbis Romae that it was ridiculously thought to be Priapus.[3] It must have been one of the sculptures transferred to the Palazzo dei Conservatori by Pope Sixtus IV in the 1470s, though it is not recorded there until 1499-1500.[4] It was celebrated in the Early Renaissance, one of the first Roman sculptures to be copied: there are bronze reductions by Severo da Ravenna and Jacopo Buonaccolsi, called “L’Antico” for his refined classicizing figures: he made a copy for Isabella d’Este about 1501[5] and followed it with an untraced pendant that perhaps reversed the pose. For a fountain of 1500 in Messina, Antonello Gagini made a full-size variant, probably the bronze that is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Giacobbe Giusti, Boy with Thorn

Roman marble copy, c.25 – 50 CE, of the lost 3rd century BCE Hellenistic original of the type. From the Castellani collection, Rome, said to have been found on the Esquiline. The base of the statue is worked as a rock, with a hole for a fountain pipe. (British Museum)[6]

In the sixteenth century, bronze copies made suitably magnificent ambassadorial gifts to the King of France and the King of Spain. For Francis I of France, the gift came from Ippolito II d’Este;[7] his copy was overseen by Giovanni Fancelli and Jacopo Sansovino, and the transaction effected by the courtly Benvenuto Cellini. For Philip II of Spain, the copy was the gift of Cardinal Giovanni Ricci. In the following century Charles I of England had a bronze Spinario by Hubert Le Sueur (Haskell and Penny 1981: 308).

Small bronze reductions were suitable for the less grand. A Still Life with ‘Spinario’ by Pieter Claesz, 1628, is conserved at the Rijksmuseum; among the riches emblemmatic of the good life, it displays a small plaster model of the Spinario.[8]

There were also marble copies. The Medici Roman marble seems to have been among the collection of antiquities assembled in the gardens at San Marco, Florence, which were the resort of the humanists in the circle of Lorenzo il Magnifico, who opened his collection to young artists to study from. The young Michelangelo profited from this early exposure to antique sculpture, and it has been discussed whether Masaccio was influenced by the Medici Spinario or by the bronze he saw in Rome in the 1420s,[9] but Filippo Brunelleschi more certainly adapted the Spinario’s pose for the left-hand attendant in the bronze competition panel, The Sacrifice of Isaac 1401, his trial piece for the doors of the Baptistery of San Giovanni.[10]

The formerly popular title Il Fedele (“The faithful boy”) derived from an anecdote invented to give this intimate and naturalistic study a more heroic civic setting: the faithful messenger, a mere shepherd boy, had delivered his message to the Roman Senate first, only then stopping to remove a painful thorn from his foot: the Roman Senate commemorated the event. Such a story was already deflated in Paolo Alessandro Maffei’s Raccolta di statue antiche e moderni… of 1704[11]

Taking into account Hellenistic marble variants that have been discovered, of which the best is the Thorn-Puller from the Castellani collection now in the British Museum,[12] none of which have the archaizing qualities of the bronze Spinario, recent scholarship has tended to credit this as a Roman bronze of the first century CE, with a head adapted from an archaic prototype.[13]

 

http://www.italianways.com/lo-spinario-ragazzo-con-mistero/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_with_Thorn

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

Giacobbe Giusti, Villa of the Papyri

The Villa of the Papyri (Italian: Villa dei Papiri, also known as Villa dei Pisoni), is named after its unique library of papyri (or scrolls), but is also one of the most luxurious houses in all of Herculaneum and in the Roman world.[1] Its luxury is shown by its exquisite architecture and by the very large number of outstanding works of art discovered, including frescoes, bronzes and marble sculpture[2] which constitute the largest collection of Greek and Roman sculptures ever discovered in a single context.[3]

It is located in the current commune of Ercolano, southern Italy. It was situated on the ancient coastline below the volcano Vesuvius with nothing to obstruct the view of the sea. It was perhaps owned by Julius Caesar‘s father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus.[4]

Plan of Herculaneum and the location of the Villa

In AD 79, the eruption of Vesuvius covered all of Herculaneum with some 30 m of volcanic ash. Herculaneum was first excavated in the years between 1750 and 1765 by Karl Weber by means of underground tunnels. The villa’s name derives from the discovery of its library, the only surviving library from the Graeco-Roman world that exists in its entirety.[5] It contained over 1,800 papyrus scrolls, now carbonised by the heat of the eruption, the “Herculaneum papyri“.

Most of the villa is still underground, but parts have been cleared of volcanic deposits. Many of the finds are displayed in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

The Getty Villa is a reproduction of the Villa of the Papyri.

Layout

Ground Plan showing location of tunnels(brown)

Drunken Satyr, villa dei papiri

Aeschines, villa dei papiri, museo archeologico, Napoli

Sited a few hundred metres from the nearest house in Herculaneum, the villa’s front stretched for more than 250 m along the coastline of the Gulf of Naples. It was surrounded by a garden closed off by porticoes, but with an ample stretch of gardens, vineyards and woods down to a small harbour.

It has recently been ascertained that the height of the main floor in antiquity was no less than 16 metres above sea level, and the villa had four architectural levels underneath the main floor, arranged in terrasses overlooking the sea.[6]

The villa’s layout is faithful to, but enlarges upon, the architectural scheme of suburban villas in the country around Pompeii. The atrium functioned as an entrance hall and a means of communication with the various parts of the house. The entrance opened with a columned portico on the sea side.

The first peristyle had 10 columns on each side and a swimming pool in the centre. In this enclosure were found the bronze herma of Doryphorus, a replica of Polykleitos‘ athlete, and the herma of an Amazon made by Apollonios son of Archias of Athens.[7] The large second peristyle could be reached by passing through a large tablinum in which, under a propylaeum, was the archaic statue of Athena Promachos. A collection of bronze busts were in the interior of the tablinum. These included the head of Scipio Africanus.[1]

Dancers, da villa dei papiri, peristilio quadrato

The living and reception quarters were grouped around the porticoes and terraces, giving occupants ample sunlight and a view of the countryside and sea. In the living quarters, bath installations were brought to light, and the library of rolled and carbonised papyri placed inside wooden capsae, some of them on ordinary wooden shelves and around the walls and some on the two sides of a set of shelves in the middle of the room.[1]

The grounds included a large area of covered and uncovered gardens for walks in the shade or in the warmth of the sun. The gardens included a gallery of busts, hermae and small marble and bronze statues. These were laid out between columns amid the open part of the garden and on the edges of the large swimming bath.[1]

Resting Hermes

Ptolemy Apion

fresco, Villa dei Papiri

Works of Art

The luxury of the villa is evidenced not only by the many works of art, but especially by the large number of rare bronze statues found there, all masterpieces. The villa housed a collection of at least 80 sculptures of magnificent quality,[8] many now conserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.[1] Among them is the bronze Seated Hermes, found at the villa in 1758. Around the bowl of the atrium impluvium were 11 bronze fountain statues depicting Satyrs pouring water from a pitcher and Amorini pouring water from the mouth of a dolphin. Other statues and busts were found in the corners around the atrium walls.[1]

Five statues of life-sized bronze dancing women wearing the Doric peplos sculpted in different positions and with inlaid eyes are adapted Roman copies of originals from the fifth century BC. They are also hydrophorai drawing water from a fountain.

Epicureanism and the library

The owner of the house, perhaps Calpurnius Piso, established a library of a mainly philosophical character. It is believed that the library might have been collected and selected by Piso’s family friend and client, the Epicurean Philodemus of Gàdara – although his conclusion is not certain[4][9] Followers of Epicurus studied the teachings of this moral and natural philosopher. This philosophy taught that man is mortal, that the cosmos is the result of accident, that there is no providential god, and that the criteria of a good life are pleasure and temperance. Philodemus’ connections with Piso brought him an opportunity to influence the young students of Greek literature and philosophy who gathered around him at Herculaneum and Naples. Much of his work was discovered in about a thousand papyrus rolls in the philosophical library recovered at Herculaneum. Although his prose work is detailed in the strung-out, non-periodic style typical of Hellenistic Greek prose before the revival of the Attic style after Cicero, Philodemus surpassed the average literary standard to which most epicureans aspired. Philodemus succeeded in influencing the most learned and distinguished Romans of his age. None of his prose work was known until the rolls of papyri were discovered among the ruins of the Villa of the Papyri.[4]

Papyrus recovered from Villa of the Papyri.[1]

At the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the valuable library was packed in cases ready to be moved to safety when it was overtaken by pyroclastic flow; the eruption eventually deposited some 20–25 m of volcanic ash over the site, charring the scrolls but preserving them— the only surviving library of Antiquity— as the ash hardened to form tuff.[1]

Excavation

The Bourbon excavations were halted in 1765 due to complaints from the residents living above. The exact location of the villa was then lost for two centuries.[10] In the 1980s work on re-discovering the villa began by studying 18th century documentation on entrances to the tunnels and in 1986 the breakthrough was made through an ancient well. The backfill from some of the tunnels was cleared to allow re-exploration of the villa when it was found that the parts of the villa that survived the Bourbon robbers were still remarkable in quantity and quality.

Excavation to expose part of the villa was done in the 1990s and revealed two previously undiscovered lower floors to the villa[11] with frescoes in situ. These were found along the southwest-facing terrace of about 4 metres height. The first row of rooms lying below the arcade was eveidenced by a series of rectangular openings along the façade.

Limited excavations recommenced at the site in 2007 to preserve the remains when beautifully carved parts of wood and ivory furniture were discovered. Since then limited public access became available.

As of 2012, there are still 2,800 m² left to be excavated of the villa. The remainder of the site has not been excavated because the Italian government is preferring conservation to excavation, and protecting what has already been uncovered.[12] David Woodley Packard, who has funded conservation work at Herculaneum through his Packard Humanities Institute, has said that he is likely to be able to fund excavation of the Villa of the Papyri when the authorities agree to it; but no work will be permitted on the site until the completion of a feasibility report, which has been in preparation for some years. The first part of the report emerged in 2008 but included no timetable or cost projections, since the decision for further excavation is a political one.[13] Politics involve excavation under inhabited areas in addition to unspecified but reported[14] references to mafia involvement.

Using multi-spectral imaging, a technique developed in the early 1990s, it is possible to read the burned papyri. With multi-spectral imaging, many pictures of the illegible papyri are taken using different filters in the infrared or in the ultraviolet range, finely tuned to capture certain wavelengths of light. Thus, the optimum spectral portion can be found for distinguishing ink from paper on the blackened papyrus surface.

Non-destructive CT scans will, it is hoped, provide breakthroughs in reading the fragile unopened scrolls without destroying them in the process. Encouraging results along this line of research have been obtained, which use Phase-contrast X-ray imaging. [15] [16] [17] [18] According to authors, “this pioneering research opens up new prospects not only for the many papyri still unopened, but also for others that have not yet been discovered, perhaps including a second library of Latin papyri at a lower, as yet unexcavated level of the Villa.”[19]

J. Paul Getty Museum

Bronze bust of Scipio Africanus, mid 1st century BC, found in the Villa of the Papyri

The original “Getty Villa“, part of the J. Paul Getty Museum complex at Pacific Palisades, California is a free replication of the Villa of the Papyri, as it was published in Le Antichità di Ercolano. This museum building was constructed in the early 1970s by the architectural firm of Langdon and Wilson. Architectural consultant Norman Neuerburg and Getty’s curator of antiquities Jiří Frel worked closely with J. Paul Getty to develop the interior and exterior details. Since the Villa of the Papyri was buried by the eruption and much of it remains unexcavated, Neuerburg based many of the villa’s architectural and landscaping details on elements from other ancient Roman houses in the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.[20]

With the move of the Museum to the Getty Center, the “Getty Villa” as it is now called, was renovated; it reopened on January 28, 2006.

In modern literature

Several scenes in Robert Harris‘ bestselling novel Pompeii are set in the Villa of the Papyri, just before the eruption engulfed it. The villa is mentioned as belonging to Roman aristocrat Pedius Cascus and his wife Rectina. (Pliny the Younger mentions Rectina, whom he calls the wife of Tascius, in Letter 16 of book VI of his Letters.) At the start of the eruption Rectina prepares to have the library evacuated and sends urgent word to her old friend, Pliny the Elder, who commands the Roman Navy at Misenum on the other side of the Bay of Naples. Pliny immediately sets out in a warship, and gets in sight of the villa, but the eruption prevents him from landing and taking off Rectina and her library — which is thus left for modern archaeologists to find.

Sculpture from the Villa

Giacobbe Giusti,

Giacobbe Giusti, Iron Crown of Lombardy

 

 

Iron Crown of Lombardy
Iron Crown.JPG

 

The Iron Crown of Lombardy, displayed in the Cathedral of Monza
Heraldic depictions
Corona ferrea monza (heraldry).svg
Details
Country Kingdom of the Lombards[1]
Kingdom of Italy (Frankish)
Holy Roman Empire
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)
Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia
Kingdom of Italy
Made ca. 4th or 5th century[1]
Owner Cathedral of Monza
Arches None (Circlet)
Material Gold
Cap None
Other elements Nail purportedly used at the Crucifixion of Jesus

The Iron Crown of Lombardy (Italian: Corona Ferrea; Latin: Corona Ferrea Langobardiae) is both a reliquary and one of the oldest royal insignias of Christendom.

It was made in the Early Middle Ages, consisting of a circlet of gold fitted around a central silver band, which according to legend was made of iron and beaten out of a nail of the True Cross.

The crown became one of the symbols of the Kingdom of the Lombards and later of the medieval Kingdom of Italy. It is kept in the Cathedral of Monza, outside Milan.

Description

The Iron Crown is so called because it was believed to contain a one centimetre-wide band of iron within it, said to be beaten out of a nail used at the crucifixion of Jesus. The outer circlet of the crown is made of six segments of beaten gold, partly enameled, joined together by hinges. It is set with twenty-two gemstones[2] that stand out in relief, in the form of crosses and flowers. Its small size and hinged construction have suggested to some that it was originally a large armlet or perhaps a votive crown. According to other opinions, however, the small size is due to a readjustment after the loss of two segments, as described in historical documents.

Legend

Iron Crown of Lombardy

According to tradition, the nail was first given to Emperor Constantine I by his mother St. Helena, who had discovered the True Cross. Helena supposedly cast one nail into the sea to calm a storm, another was incorporated into a diadem and then mounted into Constantine’s helmet, another was fitted to the head of a statue of the Emperor, and a fourth was melted down and molded into a bit for Constantine’s horse. Since alleged pieces of the holy nails can be found in almost thirty European countries,[citation needed] Blom (2002) stated that: “Constantine also understood the value of these objects in diplomacy”; several were sent off to various dignitaries, one of whom was Princess Theodelinda. She used her nail as part of her crown, the famous Iron Crown of Lombardy.[3]

It is unclear when the nail was incorporated into a crown and how it fell into the hands of the Lombard kings. Legends[clarification needed] involve Theodelinda, the queen of the Lombards, who resided at Monza in the late 6th century, converting the Lombards to Christianity. Theodelinda supposedly donated the crown to the Italian church at Monza in 628, where it was preserved.[3]

According to another tradition reported by the historian Valeriana Maspero, the helm and the bit of Constantine were brought to Milan by Emperor Theodosius I, who resided there, and were exposed at his funeral, as described by St. Ambrose in his funeral oration De obituu Theosdosii. Then, as the bit remained in Milan (where it is currently preserved in the cathedral), the helm with the diadem was transferred to Constantinople, until Theoderic the Great, who had previously threatened Constantinople itself, claimed it as part of its right of the king of Italy. The Byzantines then sent him the diadem, holding the helmet (which was exposed in the cathedral of St. Sophia until the lot of 1204).[citation needed] King Theoderic then adopted the diadem gemmis insignitum, quas pretiosior ferro innexa(s)crucis redemptoris divinae gemma connecteretas (St. Ambrose De obituu Theosdosii) as his crown. This is the Iron Crown, passed by the Goths to the Lombards when they invaded Italy.

In some accounts,[clarification needed] the crown was used in Charlemagne‘s coronation as King of the Lombards.[citation needed] Contemporary or nearly contemporary accounts of the initiations of the earlier kings of the Lombards stress the importance of the king’s tholding the holy lance[clarification needed].

History

The crown was certainly in use for the coronation of the kings of Italy by the 14th century, and presumably since at least the 11th. Old research dates the crown to the 8th or early 9th century.[4] But according to a recent study, the crown in its current state is the result of two different works made between the 4-5th and the 9th century. This seems to validate the legends about the origin of the crown, that date it back to the Lombard era and the coronation of their kings.[1]

Lord Twining cites a hypothesis by Reinhold N. Elze that Gisela, the daughter of the Emperor Louis the Pious who married Duke Eberhard of Friuli, may have originally possessed the crown and left it to her son Berengar I of Italy on her death in 874. Berengar was the only major benefactor of the church at Monza at this time, and also gave the Cathedral of St. John in Monza a cross made in the same style as the Iron Crown, which is still preserved in the church’s treasury. Twining also notes that the Imperial Museum at St. Petersburg includes in its collection two medieval crowns found at Kazan in 1730 made in the same style and of the same size as the Iron Crown. Twining notes that while these crowns and the Iron Crown are too small to be worn around an adult human head, they could be worn on the top of the head if they were affixed to a veil, and this would account for the small holes on the rim of the Iron Crown.[5] Twining also mentions a relief plaque in the cathedral which appears to represent the coronation of Otto IV at Monza in 1209 as it was described by Morigias in 1345 and stresses the point that although four votive crowns are shown hanging above the altar, the crown which the archbishop is placing on the king’s head bears no resemblance to the Iron Crown.[6]

Finally, Twining cites a study by Ludovico Antonio Muratori which documents the various degrees of the ecclesiastical authorities alternately authorizing and suppressing the veneration of the Iron Crown until, in 1688, the matter was subjected to be studied by the Congregation of Rites in Rome, which in 1715 diplomatically concluded its official examination by permitting the Iron Crown to be exposed for public veneration and carried in processions, but leaving the essential point of whether the iron ring came from one of the nails of Christ’s crucifixion undecided. However, subsequently Archbishop Visconti of Milan gave his own decision that “the iron ring in the Monza crown should be considered as one of the Nails of the Holy Cross and as an original relic.”[7] Twining notes that the clergy of Monza assert that despite the centuries that the Iron Crown has been exposed to public veneration, there is not a speck of rust on the essential inner iron ring.[7] Lipinsky, in his examination of the Iron Crown in 1985, noted that the inner ring does not attract a magnet.[8] Analysis of the inner ring in 1993 revealed that the ring is made of silver.[9]

Thirty-four coronations with the Iron Crown were counted by the historian Bartolomeo Zucchi from the 9th to the 17th century (beginning with Charlemagne). The Encyclopædia Britannica states that the first reliable record of the use of the Iron Crown in the coronation of a King of Italy is that of the coronation of Henry VII in 1312.[10] Later coronations in which the crown was used include:[citation needed]

Since the 10th century, the Roman-German Kings would travel to Rome to be crowned Holy Roman Emperors. On their way, they traditionally stopped in Lombardy to be crowned with the Iron Crown as Kings of Italy. The traditional site of the coronation was Pavia, the old Lombard capital. However, starting with Conrad II in 1026, coronations were also performed at Milan. In 1530, Charles V received the Iron Crown simultaneously with his Imperial coronation at Bologna.

On May 26, 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte had himself crowned King of Italy at Milan, with suitable splendour and magnificence. Seated upon a throne, he was invested with the usual insignia of royalty by the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, and ascending the altar, he took the iron crown, and placing it on his head, exclaimed, being part of the ceremony used at the enthronement of the Lombard kings, Dieu me la donne, gare à qui la touche – “God gives it to me, beware whoever touches it”.

On the occasion, Napoleon founded the Order of the Iron Crown, on June 15, 1805. After Napoleon’s fall and the annexation of Lombardy to Austria, the order was re-instituted by the Austrian Emperor Francis I on January 1, 1816.

The last to be crowned with the Iron Crown was Emperor Ferdinand I in his role as King of Lombardy and Venetia.[12] This occurred in Milan on September 6, 1838.

After the war between Austria and Italy, when the Austrians had to withdraw from Lombardy in 1859, the Iron Crown was moved to Vienna, where it remained until 1866, when it was given back to Italy after the Third Italian War of Independence.

Coronation rite for the kings of Italy

From the 9th to the 18th century, the Kings of Italy were also the Holy Roman Emperors, so many of them received the Iron Crown of Lombardy at Pavia, the formal capital of the Kingdom.

The earliest form of this coronation ritual closely follows that of the imperial coronation in the Gemunden codex and makes no mention of an anointing.[13]

The Coronation of Henry VII and Margaret[14] at Milan in 1311—As the king enters the choir the prayer, “Almighty, everlasting God of heaven and earth,…” is said and then the Oath is put to the king in interrogatory form. This is followed by the bishops’ petition that he respect the rights and privileges of the Church and the king’s reply.[15] The Recognition follows, the people answering, Kyrie eleison. The Litany of the Saints is sung, concluded by three prayers, “We invoke you…,” “God who the people…,” and “On this day…” The consecratory prayer then said, “Almighty, everlasting God, Creator and Governor of the world,…”[16] While the antiphon “Favorer of the Just…” or “Zadok the Priest…,” is sung while the king is anointed on shoulders, after which is said the prayer, “God the Son of God…”[17]

The king is given a ring with the, “Receive the ring of royal dignity…”, followed by the prayer, “God with whom is all power…”. The sword is given with the words, “Receive this sword…”, followed by the prayer, “God whose providence…” The king is crowned[18] with the words, “Receive this royal crown…”, followed by the prayer, “God of Continuity…”[19] The Scepter is given with the words, “Receive the scepter of royal power…”, followed by the prayer, “Lord, fount of all goodness…” and finally the verge is given the king with the words, “Receive the rod of virtue and dignity…” followed by six blessings.[20] The king is then enthroned, after which the Orb is given the king with the words, beginning, “Receive this gold apple which signifies monarchy over all the kingdom,…” The king replies, “Let it be done,” to the charge, “Be upright, O king,…” and the Te Deum is sung.

The queen’s coronation begins with the prayer, “Almighty, everlasting God, fount and origin…” and is then followed by the consecratory prayer, “God who alone…” and the queen is then anointed on her shoulders with the form, “In the name…you are anointed with this oil,…”, followed by the prayer, “The grace of the Holy Spirit…”

The queen then receives a ring with the word, “Receive the ring the sign of faith in the holy Trinity…”, followed by the prayer, “Lord, the fount of all goodness,…”[21] the queen is crowned with the words, “Receive the crown of glory…”, followed by the prayers, “By our unworthy ministry…” and “Almighty, everlasting God, infuse the spirit…”[22]

The Mass said at this coronation was that of the Ambrosian Missa pro imperatore (‘the Mass for the Emperor’).

Scientific analysis

In 1993, the crown was subjected to extensive scientific analysis performed by the University of Milan. In particular, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and Radiocarbon dating were performed.

As reported by Professor M. Milazzo (M.Milazzo P.Sardella analisi XRF quantitativa nelle applicazioni archeometriche), The XRF analysis performed on the metal of the crown revealed that all the foils, rosettes and bezels were made with the same alloy, made of 84–85% gold, 5–7% silver, and 8–10% copper, suggesting a contemporary construction of the main part of the crown, while the fillets external to the enamel plates and the hinge pins were made of 90–91% gold and 9–10% silver, suggesting one or more subsequent reworking.

Three of the 24 vitreous enamel plates are even visually different from the others, in colour and construction, and were traditionally considered to be later restorations. The XRF analysis confirmed that they were made with a different technique, with their glass being made of potassium salt, while the others, instead, are made of sodium salt (sodium is not directly detectable by the XRF analysis). More surprising findings came up however by the radiocarbon dating of fragments of beeswax used to fix the enamel plates to the gold foils of the crown. The ones taken under the “strange” plates were dated from around 500 AD, and the ones under the “normal” plates from around 800 AD. That is consistent with the tradition of a more antique crown, further decorated during the reign of Theoderic (with the addition of the enamels), and that was extensively restored during the reign of Charlemagne.

The “iron nail” was found to be 99% silver, meaning the crown contains no iron. However, a note from the Roman Ceremonial of 1159 provides that the Iron Crown is so called quod laminam quondam habet in summitate, stating that the iron was once laid over the crown (probably as an arc, as in other crowns of the era), not into it. Speculations have been made that the silver circle was added by the goldsmith Antellotto Bracciforte, who restored the crown in 1345 to reinforce it given that the (presumed) stealing of two plates had weakened the hinges. (Currently, in one of the crown’s junctions, two of the plates are not joined by the hinge which is too damaged but are held only by the inner silver ring). In 1352, for the first time, a document (the inventory of the treasury of the Cathedral of Monza) describes the crown as being small.

The gems in the crown are seven red garnets, seven blue corundums (sapphires), four violet amethysts, and four gems made of glass.

Cultural references

A surprising image of the Iron Crown figures in Chapter 37 “Sunset” of Herman Melville‘s Moby-Dick. The brief chapter is devoted to Captain Ahab’s soliloquy. Among his delusions of persecution and of grandeur, he imagines himself crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy.

The Italian film La corona di ferro (1941), directed by Alessandro Blasetti, tells a fantastic story about the arrival of the crown in Italy.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Crown_of_Lombardy

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti,

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Column of Marcus Aurelius

Eretta nel 180 d.C. dall’imperatore Commodo (161-192) in onore del padre, l’imperatore Marco Aurelio, la Colonna Antonina presenta numerosi rilievi di cui alcuni dettagli sono stati fotografati in questa immagine: i soldati romani sono qui raffigurati nell’atto di un rituale per la pira funeraria. Marco Aurelio (121-180), noto per aver combattuto i parti, i quadi e i marcomanni (166-180), fu anche un filosofo stoico, difatti ci ha lasciato i Ricordi (o Colloqui con se stesso ). Sulla Colonna Antonina ci sono scolpiti gli episodi delle sue imprese.

The Column of Marcus Aurelius (Latin: Columna Centenaria Divorum Marci et Faustinae, Italian: Colonna di Marco Aurelio) is a Roman victory column in Piazza Colonna, Rome, Italy. It is a Doric column featuring a spiral relief: it was built in honour of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and modeled on Trajan’s Column.

Construction

Because the original dedicatory inscription has been destroyed, it is not known whether it was built during the emperor’s reign (on the occasion of the triumph over the Marcomanni, Quadi and Sarmatians in the year 176) or after his death in 180; however, an inscription found in the vicinity attests that the column was completed by 193.

In terms of the topography of ancient Rome, the column stood on the north part of the Campus Martius, in the centre of a square. This square was either between the temple of Hadrian (probably the Hadrianeum) and the temple of Marcus Aurelius (dedicated by his son Commodus, of which nothing now remains – it was probably on the site of Palazzo Wedekind), or within the latter’s sacred precinct, of which nothing remains. Nearby is the site where the emperor’s cremation occurred.

The column’s shaft is 29.62 metres (97.2 ft) high, on a ca. 10.1-metre (33 ft) high base, which in turn originally stood on a 3 metres (9.8 ft) high platform – the column in total is 39.72 metres (130.3 ft)[1] About 3 metres of the base have been below ground level since the 1589 restoration.

The column consists of 27 or 28 blocks of Carrara marble, each of 3.7 metres (12 ft) diameter, hollowed out whilst still at the quarry for a stairway of 190-200 steps within the column up to a platform at the top. Just as with Trajan’s Column, this stairway is illuminated through narrow slits into the relief.

Relief

German council of war – considered an early evidence to what would become known as the Thing (assembly).

The spiral picture relief tells the story of Marcus Aurelius’ Danubian or Marcomannic wars, waged by him from 166 to his death. The story begins with the army crossing the river Danube, probably at Carnuntum. A Victory separates the accounts of two expeditions. The exact chronology of the events is disputed; however, the latest theory states that the expeditions against the Marcomanni and Quadi in the years 172 and 173 are in the lower half and the successes of the emperor over the Sarmatians in the years 174 and 175 in the upper half.

One particular episode portrayed is historically attested in Roman propaganda – the so-called “rain miracle in the territory of the Quadi”, in which a god, answering a prayer from the emperor, rescues Roman troops by a terrible storm, a miracle later claimed by the Christians for the Christian God.[2]

In spite of many similarities to Trajan’s column, the style is entirely different, a forerunner of the dramatic style of the 3rd century and closely related to the triumphal arch of Septimius Severus, erected soon after. The figures’ heads are disproportionately large so that the viewer can better interpret their facial expressions. The images are carved less finely than at Trajan’s Column, through drilling holes more deeply into the stone, so that they stand out better in a contrast of light and dark. As villages are burned down, women and children are captured and displaced, men are killed, the emotion, despair, and suffering of the “barbarians” in the war, are represented acutely in single scenes and in the figures’ facial expressions and gestures, whilst the emperor is represented as protagonist, in control of his environment.

The symbolic language is altogether clearer and more expressive, if clumsier at first sight, and leaves a wholly different impression on the viewer to the whole artistic style of 100 to 150 as on Trajan’s column. There, cool and sober balance – here, drama and empathy. The pictorial language is unambiguous – imperial dominance and authority is emphasized, and its leadership is justified. Overall, it is an anticipation of the development of artistic style into late antiquity, and a first artistic expression of the crisis of the Roman empire that would worsen in the 3rd century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Column_of_Marcus_Aurelius

http://www.bdp.it/cgi-bin/diapftcgi3?dbnpath=/isis3/dati/dia/immag&mfn=14096&formato=Completo&unico=1&file_header=/archivi/dia/header.php

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Torcello, Last Judgement

Giacobbe Giusti, Torcello, Last Judgement

Torcello: Last Judgement

 

Giacobbe Giusti, Torcello, Last Judgement

http://wwwbisanzioit.blogspot.it/2014/03/la-basilica-di-smaria-dellassunta_30.html

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com