THE CONCEPTUALIZATION OF PRUDENCE IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF THE VENETO: FROM MYTHOS TO LOGOS by Michael Trevor Coughlin Honours BSc, Carleton University, 1991 BA, University of Victoria, 2006 MA, University of Victoria, 2009 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Art History and Theory) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) December 2015 © Michael Trevor Coughlin, 2015 ii Abstract This thesis investigates the connection between prudence and visual culture in the sixteenth-century Veneto. More specifically, I examine the iconographic transformation of the figure of Minerva, and how, through an adaptation from her mythical origins to a more astronomical association, the nature of prudence identified with the goddess became incorporated in art and architectural theory during the period. This study draws on Plato’s conceptions of myth and the impact of the Platonic academies, as well as treatises of architecture, and navigation. The role of poetry in the Platonic academies in Vicenza is also considered in order to reconstruct how debates about prudence and myth during the period were converted into visual forms. To begin, Anselmo Canera’s fresco of Prudence in the Palazzo Thiene (1542) in Vicenza is analyzed for how the personification of the virtue acquires a cosmological significance. Next, Daniele Barbaro’s villa at Maser (1558) is examined to explore the articulation of prudence in architecture. Drawing on Barbaro’s definition of prudence as a temporal conversation – where the present is in communication with past and future, Chapter Two considers relations between time and space in his villa. Chapter Three investigates the Villa Rotonda (1570) and argues that Andrea Palladio’s developing interest in prudence can be aligned with the plan of the building, and the choices it offers for moving through its interior spaces. Focusing on the tricipitium, an emblem for prudence and Titian’s Allegory of Prudence, this dissertation concludes by considering how the emblem and painting elicited engagement with the complex meanings that accrued to the virtue. By evaluating how pictorial and architectural representations of prudence substituted for written interpretations of the virtue for sixteenth-century Venetian humanists, this iii dissertation considers how visual imagery was sometimes perceived to be a better vehicle than the written word when it came to philosophical debates. iv Preface This dissertation is an original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Michael Trevor Coughlin. v Table of Contents Abstract ............................................................................................................................................................ ii Preface ............................................................................................................................................................. iv Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................................... v List of Figures ............................................................................................................................................... vii Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................................... x Dedication ...................................................................................................................................................... xi Introduction ................................................................................................................................................... 1 The Relationship between Minerva and Prudence .............................................................................................. 4 The Duality of Prudence ............................................................................................................................................... 10 Myth and the Arts: Review of the Scholarship .................................................................................................... 13 Review of the Scholarship on Architecture .......................................................................................................... 16 Chapter Summary ........................................................................................................................................................... 22 Chapter 1: Prudence and Free Will in Palladio’s Palazzo Thiene .............................................. 25 A Question of Ownership: Palazzo Thiene between Palladio and Giulio Romano .............................. 27 Prudence and Plato’s Pilot of the Soul ................................................................................................................... 30 Prudence and Free Will ................................................................................................................................................ 36 Church Reform and Lutheranism in Vicenza ...................................................................................................... 40 Church Reform, Giangiorgio Trissino, and the Political Proclivities of the Vicentine Nobility ..... 44 Church Reform and the Question of Free Will in the Platonic Academies .............................................. 49 Social Unrest and the Living Image: The Convenience of Art’s Ambiguity ............................................ 53 Prudence Between Fate and Free Will ................................................................................................................... 56 Navigation and the Harmony of the Spheres: The Cosmology of Trissino’s Minerva ........................ 61 Closing Notes: Giulio Romano’s Palazzo del Te as Model .............................................................................. 72 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................................................... 82 Chapter 2: Daniele Barbaro and Scientific Prudence: Minerva and the Immobility of the Will at the Villa Maser .............................................................................................................................. 84 The Villa at Maser: Foregoing Analyses of the Sala del Olimpo .................................................................. 85 The Accademia degli Infiammati: Prudence, Minerva, and the Pathway to God ................................ 96 Draco and Plato’s Pilot of the Soul ........................................................................................................................ 101 Daniele Barbaro’s Early Works, and the Ethics of Movement ................................................................... 103 Prudence, Minerva and the Ethics of Time ......................................................................................................... 107 Time as Both Constructive and Destructive ....................................................................................................... 109 Gnomonics and the Control of Space and Time at Maser ............................................................................ 112 Gnomonics and the Campaign against Uncertainty ...................................................................................... 117 Perspective and the Problem of Coercion ........................................................................................................... 121 The Objectivity of Movement .................................................................................................................................... 129 Chapter 3: The Temporality of Prudence: Time and the Machina del mondo in Palladio’s La Rotonda ................................................................................................................................................. 132 La Rotonda’a Design and Plan ................................................................................................................................ 137 Circularity as Perpetual Becoming: Temporality and the Machina del Mondo ................................. 140 vi The Duality of Time and Prudence ........................................................................................................................ 142 From Frontispiece to Timepiece: A Temporal Reading of the Title Page of the Quattro libri ..... 146 Trissino’s Platonic Academies: Prudence and Time in Italia Liberata dai Goti ................................. 154 Unity and Eternity in the Academies .................................................................................................................... 162 The Cosmology of Logos in the Settentrione ..................................................................................................... 172 La Rotonda and its Ancient Precedents ............................................................................................................... 176 Minerva and Time in La Rotonda’s Interior ...................................................................................................... 181 La Rotonda, Minerva and Divine Logos ............................................................................................................... 183 Chapter 4: Duelling Tricipitia: Capturing the Multivalence of Prudence and Time in Titian’s Allegory of Prudence ................................................................................................................ 191 The Doubling Effect in Titian’s Allegory of Prudence .................................................................................... 195 Prudence, Music, and the Conductor of Cosmic Harmony ........................................................................... 202 The Inconsistencies of Prudence: Subjectivity versus Objectivity ............................................................. 205 Prudence and the Paragone between Painting and Poetry ........................................................................ 209 Logos and Camillo’s L’idea del Teatro ................................................................................................................. 214 Light as Logos in Painting ......................................................................................................................................... 221 The Ontology of Prudence and Time ..................................................................................................................... 225 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................. 230 Figures ......................................................................................................................................................... 239 Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................. 267 Appendix ..................................................................................................................................................... 283 vii List of Figures Figure 1 Anselmo Canera, Divine Providence, c. 1550. Sala degli Dei, Palazzo Thiene, Vicenza. Permission given by Banca Popolare di Vicenza. ............................................... 239 Figure 2 Albrecht Dürer, Drawing from the "Tarot" Prudence, circa 1524, Musée du Louvre, INV, 18958 recto [Public domain] via WikiArt: http://www.wikiart.org/en/albrecht-durer/drawing-from-the-tarot-prudence 239 Figure 3 Andrea Mantegna, Pallas Expelling the Vices, 1497. Tempera on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Paris. [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons. ........................................ 240 Figure 4 Antonio da Correggio, Allegory of Virtue, 1528. Tempera on canvas. Paris, Musée du Louvre. [Public domain], via Wikiart. .................................................................. 240 Figure 5 Andrea Palladio, Plan for Palazzo Thiene, 1570. I Quattro libri dell’architettura. [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons. ............................................................................. 241 Figure 6 Titian, Portrait of Giulio Romano, 1536-38. Oil on canvas. Palazzo del Te, Mantua. [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons. .......................................................... 241 Figure 7 Pierio Valeriano, Harmony of the Spheres, 1518. woodcut. Franchino Gaffurius’s De Harmonia Musicorum Instrumentorum Opus. see page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. ........................................................................................... 242 Figure 8 Albrecht Dürer, The Northern Hemisphere, c. 1525. Engraving. Staatliche Museum, Berlin. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. ........................................ 242 Figure 9 Serapis (with tricipitium), Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, 1499. It. trans. as La hypnerotomachia di Poliphilo (Venice, 1545) [Public Domain] - photo by author. Permission given by Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice. .. 243 Figure 10 Emblema XLII, Andrea Alciati, Il libro degli emblemi, translated by Mino Gabriele, (Milano: Adelphi Edizione, 2009) C2. (© 2009 Biblioteca Marciana, by permission) ........................................................................................................................................... 243 Figure 11 Villa Barbaro, Maser, 1556-58. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ............ 244 Figure 12 Villa Barbaro, detail (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ..................................... 244 Figure 13 Paolo Veronese, Detail of Ceiling, Sala del Olimpo, Villa Barbaro at Maser. c 1558-60. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ...................................................................... 245 Figure 14 Paolo Veronese, detail of Sala della Crociera, Villa Barbaro at Maser. c 1558-60. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ................................................................................... 245 Figure 15 Diagram of Ursa Minor’s wheel like rotation around the North Star, from Barbaro’s I dieci libri dell'architettura di M. Vitruuio, tradutti et commentati da monsignor Barbaro eletto patriarca d'Aquileggia (Vinegia: per Francesco Marcolini, 1567), 395. [Public Domain] via GoogleBooks. .................................................................... 246 Figure 16 Andrea Palladio, Villa Barbaro at Maser, Plan, Quattro libri dell'architettura, 1570. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. ............................................................................. 247 Figure 17 Villa Barbaro at Maser, Plan. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. Mark up by author. ..................................................................................................................................................... 247 Figure 18 Villa Barbaro at Maser, Plan. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. Mark-up by author ...................................................................................................................................................... 248 Figure 19 Villa Barbaro at Maser, Plan. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. Mark-up by author. ..................................................................................................................................................... 248 viii Figure 20 Villa Barbaro at Maser, Plan. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. Mark-up by author. ..................................................................................................................................................... 249 Figure 21 Villa Barbaro at Maser, Plan. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. Mark-up by author. ..................................................................................................................................................... 249 Figure 22 Villa Barbaro at Maser, Plan. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. Mark-up by author. ..................................................................................................................................................... 250 Figure 23 Daniele Barbaro, cod. Marc. It. IV, 37 (=5133) f. 2 verso, 1567. [Public Domain] via Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. ......................................................................... 250 Figure 24 Pietro da Medina, Arte del Navigare, 105 verso, Vinetia, 1554. Permission via Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. .................................................................................................... 251 Figure 25 Pietro da Medina, Arte del Navigare, 105 verso, Vinetia, 1554. Permission via Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. .................................................................................................... 251 Figure 26 Villa Maser, Pediment. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ................................ 252 Figure 27 Andrea Palladio, Frontispiece, Plan, Quattro libri dell’architettura, 1570. [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org ............................................................................................ 252 Figure 28 Paolo Veronese, Hunter with dog, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ............................................................................................................... 253 Figure 29 Paolo Veronese, Woman with fan, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ............................................................................................................... 253 Figure 30 Paolo Veronese, Sala della Crociera - detail, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) .................................................................................................. 254 Figure 31 Paolo Veronese, Sala della Crociera - detail, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) .................................................................................................. 254 Figure 32 Paolo Veronese, Sala della Crociera - detail, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) .................................................................................................. 255 Figure 33 Paolo Veronese, Sala della Crociera - detail, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) .................................................................................................. 255 Figure 34 Andrea Palladio, La Rotonda, Plan, Quattro libri dell’architettura, 1570 [Public Domain] via Wikipedia.org. ........................................................................................... 256 Figure 35 Andrea Palladio, Frontispiece for Italia liberata dai Goti, Roma, 1543. [Public Domain] via Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio. ............................................................... 256 Figure 36 Detail of Oculus, La Rotonda, Vicenza. (© Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio, by permission) .................................................................................................................................... 257 Figure 37 Andrea Palladio, Detail of map of Rome in Italia liberata dai Goti, Roma, 1543. [Public Domain] via Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio. ................................................ 257 Figure 38 Daniele Barbaro, Frontispiece, I dieci libri dell’architettura, tradutti et commentati da monsignor Barbaro eletto patriarca d'Aquileggia, Venice: per Francesco Marcolini, 1556. Permission by Museo Correr, Venice. ............................. 258 Figure 39 Ludovico Dorigny, Detail of Central Hall showing Apollo and Diana, late 17th century, La Rotonda, Vicenza. (© Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio, by permission). .......................................................................................................................................... 258 Figure 40 Ludovico Dorigny, Detail of Central Hall showing Jupiter and Bacchus, late 17th century, La Rotonda, Vicenza. (© Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio, by permission). .......................................................................................................................................... 259 ix Figure 41 Anselmo Canera, Virtue Dominating Vice, La Rotonda, c. 1570. (© Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio, by permission). ............................................................................ 259 Figure 42 Anselmo Canera, Divine Wisdom, La Rotonda, c. 1570. (© Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio, by permission). ................................................................................................ 260 Figure 43 Anselmo Canera, Triumph of Minerva, La Rotonda, c. 1570. (© Centro di Studio di Andrea Palladio, by permission). ............................................................................ 260 Figure 44 Titian, Allegory of Prudence, National Gallery, London, 1550-1570. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons ................................................................... 261 Figure 45 Pierio Valeriano, Hieroglyphica, Sive De Sacris Aegyptiorvm Aliarvmqve Gentivm literis, with comments by Ioannis Pierii Valeriani Bolzanij Bellunensis, (Basil, 1556), 228v. [Public Domain] ......................................................................................... 261 Figure 46 Pierio Valeriano, Hieroglyphica, Sive De Sacris Aegyptiorvm Aliarvmqve Gentivm literis, with comments by Ioannis Pierii Valeriani Bolzanij Bellunensis, (Basil, 1556), 228v. [Public Domain] ....................................................................................... 262 Figure 47 Statue of Hercules, Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, c. 1550. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ................................................................................................................................ 262 Figure 48 Statue of tricipitium, Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, c. 1545-70. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ................................................................................................................................ 263 Figure 49 Statue of tricipitium, Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, c. 1545-70. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ................................................................................................................................ 263 Figure 50 Statue of tricipitium, Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, c. 1545-70. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) ................................................................................................................................ 264 Figure 51 Daniele Barbaro, I dieci libri dell'architettura di M. Vitruuio, tradutti et commentati da monsignor Barbaro eletto patriarca d'Aquileggia (Vinegia : per Francesco Marcolini, 1556 edition, p. 235. [Public Domain] via Museo Correr. ... 264 Figure 52 Daniele Barbaro, I dieci libri dell'architettura di M. Vitruuio, tradutti et commentati da monsignor Barbaro eletto patriarca d'Aquileggia (Vinegia : per Francesco Marcolini, 1556 edition, p. 236. [Public Domain] via Museo Correr. ... 265 Figure 53 Paolo Veronese, Sala della Crociera - detail, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) .................................................................................................. 265 Figure 54 Paolo Veronese, Stanza dei cani - detail, Villa Barbaro, Maser, c. 1560. (© 2012, Michael Trevor Coughlin) .................................................................................................. 266 x Acknowledgements An endeavour such as this is not a solitary exercise. The list of those who have generously helped me along this path in one way or another is far too long to recount here, but I am grateful to each and every one of them. In particular, I thank my supervisor, Dr. Bronwen Wilson, for her dedicated support and guidance. I thank my committee members, Dr. Rhodri Liscombe, Dr. Serge Guilbaut, and Dr. Erin Campbell for all their advice and encouragement along the way. Thank-you, also, to Dr. Piero Lucchi from the Museo Correr for his mentorship during my research period in Venice, and finally, my gratitude to John Lefebvre, and Janice and Mary McDonald for their many kindnesses. xi Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to my partner, Andrew Bruce Cameron, for standing by me every step of the way. 1 Introduction Deep in the heart of the Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza (1548-1555), on the ceiling of the Sala degli Dei – the main guest reception room – Anselmo Canera painted an unusual skirmish (Figure 1). In the center of the fresco a woman in a red dress, with one breast exposed, sits atop a writhing snake. While the woman seems to be dominating the creature, her victory has yet to be determined since the head of the snake turns toward her in one final attempt to force her off its back. The pair is positioned on a cloud surrounded by a cylindrical band containing the twelve signs of the zodiac, suggesting that the confrontation takes place at a cosmological level, adding an apocalyptic edge to the scene given the close relationship between the cosmos and God during the period.1 In her left hand the woman holds a mirror as her only weapon. During the sixteenth century in Italy the mirror was often associated with the virtue prudence. The virtue of prudence observes a tripartite time, a temporality that can also be experienced in a mirror. Often described as the practical reason that guides our choices when making conscious decisions that affect the future, prudence is rooted in a careful consideration of the present moment and the consequences of our actions, and may be defined as the use of the past in the present in order to prepare for the future.2 A similar 1 Kathryn Banks, Cosmos and Image in the Renaissance: French Love Lyric and Natural-Philosophical Poetry (London: Many Publishing, 2008), 63. 2 This definition of prudence in the sixteenth century was likely derived from Thomas Aquinas, whose treatise on Prudence during the fourteenth century (Summa Theologica II-II Q 47-56) borrows from Cicero’s definition of Prudentia: “Prudence is the knowledge of what is good, what is bad and what is neither good nor bad. Its parts are memory, intelligence and foresight. Memory is the faculty by which the mind recalls what has happened. Intelligence is the faculty by which it acertains what is. Foresight is the faculty by which it is seen that something is going to occur before it occurs.” Cicero, De inventione II, liii, 160, ed. and trans. M. H. Hubbel (Cambridge, MA, 1968), 326-27. 2 preparedness may be offered by a mirror, which allows vision of what remains behind in the past, of what is in the present, and of what lies ahead in the future. By depicting the woman armed with only a mirror, Canera’s painting acknowledges the role prudence plays in her struggle with the snake, a detail that raises several questions. Why was prudence one of the primary themes on the ceiling of what was the most important gathering space for visitors to the palace? How would the image have functioned for the Thiene family and their guests? Prudence was much discussed, written about and deliberated on in Italy by figures such as Coluccio Salutati, Giovanni Pontano and Niccolò Machiavelli, all of whom considered it the most important of the cardinal virtues and one that guided the other virtues like temperance and justice through careful deliberation. Depictions of the virtues have a long history, but Canera’s fresco suggests that art participated in debates about prudence by inviting interpretation. The ceiling in the Palazzo Thiene is one of four case studies in this dissertation that argues for the formative role of debates about prudence in art and architecture in the sixteenth-century Veneto. Prudence played a crucial role in how art and architecture were defined during the period. In his I dieci libri dell’architettura of 1556, Daniele Barbaro highlights the value of prudence for the arts by describing the importance of judgment for architects. As he writes: “Judgment is a matter of prudence; prudence compares preceding things with the moments, and evaluates things to come. Preceding things one has in memory.”3 To be prudent, Barbaro maintains, demands a presence of mind that compares the past with the present, and 3 Daniele Barbaro, I dieci libri dell'architettura di M. Vitruuio, tradutti et commentati da monsignor Barbaro eletto patriarca d'Aquileggia (Venice: Francesco Marcolini, 1556), Proemio, 12. 3 considers how the present will influence the future. What potential effects this theory may have had on architectural practice is one of the questions considered in this thesis. A year later in his Dialogo della pittura of 1557 Ludovico Dolce argued that prudence plays a decisive role in guiding the artist’s ability to judge from practical experience. Elaborating on the argument, he distinguishes between the agency of the intellect and the eye as a means of proper judgment. For Dolce: “the eye cannot be deceived in its perception. The intellect, on the other hand, certainly can be, and very often is, when overshadowed by ignorance or attachment.”4 In contrast to the eye, which cannot be misled, the intellect is more easily deceived when making judgment calls. As David Summers has shown, the distinction between the eye and the intellect made by Dolce is likely derived from Thomas Aquinas who disinguishes between two approaches to prudence: natural prudence and true prudence.5 Aquinas argues that, unlike true prudence, natural prudence is based entirely on experience and circumstances, ignorant of the higher good.6 By privileging the eye when it comes to proper judgment, was Dolce intimating that the visual provides a better standard than the word by which to understand prudent behavior? Dolce’s argument in favour of the eye over the intellect suggests that Canera’s visual representation of Prudence in the Palazzo Thiene may have been seen as a better means to foster discussion about the virtue than what could be learned from reading from a text. Indeed, the scene depicted in the fresco thwarts easy iconographic interpretation, thereby encouraging viewers to engage with the subject matter. The female figure in Canera’s 4 Ludovico Dolce in Mark W. Roskill, Dolce’s “Aretino” and Venetian Art Theory of the Cinquecento (New York: New York University Press, 1968), 103. 5 David Summers, The Judgment of Sense: Renaissance Naturalism and the Rise of Aesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 142. 6 Ibid. See also, Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I-II.57.5 4 painting possesses accoutrements associated with prudence. However the astronomical setting points to an identification of the figure with Minerva, or Pallas, who was increasingly associated with the virtue of prudence, as introduced below and argued further in Chapter One. As the goddess of wisdom, Minerva benefited from prudence, which was a ubiquitous virtue in sixteenth-century discourse on topics including art, navigation, and politics. The appeal of the fresco to viewers to interpret its iconography warrants further consideration before turning to the case studies and the thesis as a whole. The Relationship between Minerva and Prudence For many in the period Minerva was increasingly recognized as the goddess of prudence, as readers became introduced to ancient texts in the Renaissance. The correlation between Minerva and prudence had been made since the time of Homer. In his commendation of Ulysses in the Odyssey, Homer teaches that prudence, which he refers to as Minerva, had been the hero’s constant companion.7 Still in the medieval period individuals like John of Salisbury recognized how Homer taught that “prudence, which after poetic custom he calls by the name Minerva” was essential to the story’s plot.8 However, it was Angelo Poliziano, who translated Homer’s works from the Greek into Latin in the late fourteenth century, who made the ancient author’s texts more accessible to Renaissance readers.9 In the sixteenth century, Homer was revered for being the first poet of the epic genre. His style and ideas were emulated in the writings of Giangiorgio Trissino, mentor to 7 Homer, The Odyssey, 5.556-57. See also Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Alexander Pope (London, 1813), 70. 8 John of Salibury, Policraticus, ed. and trans. Cary J. Nederman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 130. 9 James K. Coleman, “Furor and Philology in the Poetics of Angelo Poliziano,” in New Worlds and the Italian Renaissance: Contributions to the History of European Intellectual 5 Andrea Palladio, and discussed in his La Sofonisba and Italia liberata dai Goti.10 As Franco Barbieri notes, Trissino captured the independent spirit of the protagonists of the Italia liberata through their exercise of prudence,11 but arguably it is through the angel Palladio (a name derived from Pallas-Minerva) that prudence comes to the forefront. In Dolce’s sixteenth-century translation of the Odyssey, printed in Venice in 1573, he makes the correlation between Minerva and prudence explicit arguing “anyone who wishes to embark on a venture with counsel needs to be in the company of Minerva, in other words prudence [Minerva, cioè la prudenza].”12 In this dissertation it will be argued that as the works of ancient authors were made more available, the correlation between Minerva and prudence became so familiar that the boundaries between visual personifications of Prudence, and the ancient goddess Minerva, became blurred. For example, in Giambattista Castello’s Villa delle Peschiere in Genoa, scenes from the Odyssey painted in 1560 in the Salone di Ulisse illustrate how the deeds of Ulysses could only have been achieved through the prudence derived from Minerva’s Culture, ed. Andrea Moudarres and Christiana Purdy Moudarres (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 251-290, (284). 10 See Sandra Sider, Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 130. For discussions of Trissino’s interesrt in Homer specifically see Kristin Phillips-Court, “Performing Anachronism: A New Aetiology of Italian Renaissance Tragedy,” in Renaissance Drama 36/37: Italy in the Drama of Europe, ed. Jeffrey Masten (Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2010), 43-68. 11 Franco Barbieri, Architetture palladiane: dalla pratica del cantiere alle immagini del Trattato (Vicenza: Neri Pozza, 1992), 219. 12 Ludovico Dolce, L’Ulisse (Venice, 1572), 10. 6 interventions.13 As Marco Lorandi indicates, a similar association between Minerva and prudence was made in Giovanni Boccaccio’s Genealogia degli Dei.14 The personification of prudence has various iconographic attributes. As Liana de Girolami Cheney points out, Prudence was often depicted as a woman with a double or triple head, holding a mirror or a snake.15 Alternatively, she could be portrayed carrying a compass or a book alluding to the Bible.16 Douglas P. Lackey’s study of this point is particularly interesting because it was in the late fourteenth century that he observes how Prudence undergoes a transformation due to the unimpeachable role Thomas Aquinas gives prudence in the Summa Theologica during the same period.17 As Lackey notes, instead of the customary mirror and snake, Prudence holds calipers, an instrument of astronomy.18 As Robert Place has noted, calipers often accompanied astronomers in illustrations of the Tarot during the period.19 Albrecht Dürer’s drawing from the "Tarot" of Prudence (Figure 2) from 1524 illustrates this point. Here Prudence is depicted with the faces, holding a mirror in one hand, and calipers in the other, standing on a dragon. This shift in iconography indicates that astronomy played a role in transformations of Prudence, and warrants a reconsideration of the iconographic tradition and its interpretations. This is important because a similar 13 Marco Lorandi, Il mito di Ulisse nella pittura a fresca del cinquecento italiano (Milan, Jaca Book SpA, 1995), 263. 14 Ibid. See also Giovanni Boccaccio, La Genealogia de gli dei de gentili, trans. Giuseppe Betussi da Bassano (Venice, 1581), 99r and 163r. 15 Liana de Girolami Cheney, “Virtue/Virtues,” in Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art, ed. Helene E. Roberts (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998), 907-940, (911). 16 Ibid. 17 Douglas P. Lackey, “Two Vignettes in the History of the Mesuration of Value,” in Artifacts, Representations and Social Practice: Essays for Marx Wartofsky, eds. Carol Gould and Robert S. Cohen (Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994), 69-86, (79). 18 Ibid. 7 orientation is also suggested in Canera’s fresco, where the female figure with the mirror that identifies Prudence is depicted in an astronomical setting, which, as we shall see, is associated with Minerva as I will argue below. However, such associations between Prudence and Pallas/Minerva were already well established in the sixteenth century. Andrea Alciati included ten emblems for prudence in his Emblematum liber, often emphasizing the correlation between the virtue and Minerva.20 Alciati’s nineteenth emblem, Prudens magis quam loquax, describes the picture as follows: “For its arms Athens has an owl depicted which, loved by Athena (Pallas) as the most prudent birds signifies the man who is wise but not eloquent.”21 In Emblem 23, Vino pudentiam augeri, the epigram reads: “Pallas Athena as the goddess of the arts and sciences represents the prudent intellect.”22 Focusing on the iconography of the Greek and Roman gods in his Le imagini degli Dei degli antichi of 1556, Vincenzo Cartari notes how Minerva “brings prudence to the intellects of the mortals.”23 For Cartari, Minerva was “the esteemed goddess of prudence,”24 and the popularity of his work, published in Venice, suggests that this was a common correlation. Benedetto Varchi also made a similar conclusion in the minutes from a meeting of the Accademia degli Infiammati, as we shall see in Chapter Two. If the female figure in Canera’s fresco would have engaged viewers in discussions about the virtue of prudence, partly through the association with Minerva as I argue in Chapter One, this interaction can be attributed to the potential of visual imagery to solicit 19 Robert M. Place, The Fool’s Journey: The History, Art, and Symbolism of the Tarot (New York: Telarius, 2010), 103. 20 Cheney, “Virtue/Virtues,” 911. 21 Ibid. See also, Andrea Alciati, Emblematum liber (Lyons, 1543). 22 Ibid. 23 Vincenzo Cartari, Le imagini con le de i dei de gli antichi (Venice, 1556), 19. 24 Ibid., 70. “Minerva fu la stimate Dea della prudenza.” 8 interpretation. And this potential increased with the interest in myths by artists and patrons. For artists of the period, depicting the Olympian goddess would have been problematic since the myths in which she appeared were subject to various interpretations, and each retelling or documentation of a myth from ancient sources came with its own set of distinct parameters. It was Minerva, along with Juno, who waged war against the Trojans for Paris’s judgment that Venus was the most beautiful among goddesses in Homer’s Iliad. On the other hand, the Odyssey ends with Minerva shouting, “Refrain from war, ye men of Ithica,” and it is she who convinces both sides to make covenants of peace.25 Minerva could therefore symbolize war or peace, and thus the particular features and objects with which she was depicted helped Renaissance viewers to establish the specific identity of Minerva that the artist or patron wished to portray. For example, armour and a lance were sure demonstrations of her military prowess, while accoutrements such as an olive branch or an owl denoted her support of peace through wisdom. For artists and humanists who were just beginning to understand how Minerva had been rendered in ancient texts that were becoming more accessible during the period, as Rudolf Wittkower notes, her contradictory nature would have been troublesome, especially since the literary and pictorial tradition of depicting Minerva in the Middle Ages shows the goddess in full armour as an aggressive warrior.26 This tradition is still observed in Andrea Mantegna’s Pallas Expelling the Vices (Figure 3) painted for Isabella d’Este’s studiolo in Mantua in 1498, where the goddess appears as the fourth cardinal virtue, Prudence, throwing 25 Homer, Odyssey, 24.610-30. 26 Rudolf Wittkower, “Transformations of Minerva in Renaissance Imagery,” Journal of the Warburg Institute, Vol. 2, No. 3, (Jan., 1939), 194-205, (199). 9 her adversaries into chaos.27 Wittkower also observes that it was during the Renaissance that Minerva begins to undergo a pictorial transformation where she sheds her military attire, often removing her helmet, to become Minerva Pacifica.28 Several visual images from the period help illustrate Minerva’s metamorphoses. In Jacopo Caraglio’s engraving of Minerva of 1540 she still holds the aegis that helps identify her, but she is shown nude, a transformation that completely contradicts pictorial representations of the goddess from Antiquity.29 In Antonio Correggio’s Allegory of Virtue (Figure 4), also painted for Isabella d’Este in the late 1520s, Minerva appears with her helmet removed, a broken staff, and with her aegis-bearing shield placed on the ground, illustrating how she overcame the cruelties of fate armed only with prudence.30 Approximately two decades later, Canera painted his fresco on the ceiling of the Sala degli Dei in the palace of Gian Galeazzo Thiene, a close friend of Isabella’s husband. Unlike the paintings of Mantegna and Correggio, in which the narrative takes place against the customary backdrop of natural landscape for mythological scenes,31 in Canera’s painting the female figure appears in the cosmos. Given her association with prudence – with her mirror in hand, and the accompanying snake – ought she to be considered as part of the same transformation of Minerva and Prudence taking place at the time? What could Minerva’s 27 Noted in Stephen J. Campbell, The Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance Mythological Paintings and the Studiolo of Isabella D’Este (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 147. For identification of the figure see Ronald Lightbrown, Mantegna (London, 1983), 202-203 and Nicholas Webb, “Momus with Little Flatteries: Intellectual Life at the Italian Courts,” in Mantegna and Fifteenth-century Court Culture, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis and Anka Bednarek (London, 1993), 69. Webb assigns the role of Prudence to Pallas as the Mother of the virtue. 28 Wittkower, “Transformations of Minerva,” 203. 29 Luba Freedman, Classical Myths in Italian Renaissance Painting (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 140. 30 Stephen J. Campbell, The Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance Mythological Paintings and the Studiolo of Isabella D’Este (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 240. 10 peacekeeping role have to do with astronomy? Perhaps more importantly, what role might prudence have played in the transformation? What is argued in this dissertation is that during the period it was recognized that for the ancients there was a goddess who ruled over the virtue and rather than mere personifications of Prudence – with elements like a mirror to elucidate the temporal use of the virtue – something more could be learned from the attributes of the goddess Minerva herself. Minerva’s dual nature suggests that there were perhaps two different kinds of prudence. The Duality of Prudence A differentiation between two different ways of practicing prudence had been made since the Hellenistic period. In the Phaedrus, Plato makes a distinction between two kinds of prudence: divine prudence, and worldly prudence, which is allied with “a stingy way of doling out benefits,” and “will breed in your soul those vulgar qualities that the populace applaud as virtue.”32 Aristotle believed that prudence could be used for the advancement toward a reasonable end, but in adopting means to an end as an approach a person may proceed morally or immorally. When Albertus Magnus commented on Aristotle, he differentiated between the two ethical kinds of prudence to which Aristotle referred: animal – or natural – prudence, and true prudence. Elaborating on Magnus, Thomas Aquinas rejected natural prudence on the ground that it could be used toward both good and bad ends. True prudence, for Aquinas, consisted of right activity,33 emphasizing the ethical nature of the 31 Luba Freedman, Classical Myths, 152-53. 32 Plato, “Phaedrus,” in Selected Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett (New York: World Library, 2001), 159. 33 Anthony J. Lisska, “The Philosophy of Law of Thomas Aquinas,” A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence, Vol. 6: A History of the Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics (New York: Springer, 2005), 273. 11 virtue as tied to morality, and it was this kind prudence that prevailed in the Christianity of the Middle Ages. With the rediscovery of ancient texts during the Renaissance, however, prudence was thrust into a confrontation between the two moral systems of Christianity and paganism, where the ways of practicing prudence could be defined subjectively – in terms of individual desire – and objectively – based on the needs of the collective. Prudential pursuits that cultivated self-interests, like those advocated by Niccolò Machiavelli, were on the rise during the period. These remained contrary to conceptions of prudence prescribed by Aquinas, who believed the true nature of prudence should be oriented towards a universal good and promote harmony. As Victoria Kahn suggests, the confrontation of these two incompatible moral systems led to the distinction between ethical prudence and political prudence. Ethically prudence could be used more objectively for the common good through negotiation, unlike the subjective Machiavellian variety of the virtue, which prioritized the political aspects of confrontation over cooperation, emphasizing subjective aims as a means to an end. 34 Aquinas’s perception of the virtue was far more objective than that of Machiavelli, having articulated prudence through a broader synthesis of reason and faith. The confrontation between two kinds of prudence raises some important questions. Given that prudence was advanced in art and architectural theory during the period, as elaborated throughout this thesis, did artists and architects engage with different understandings of the virtue? And would viewers of works of art, such as Canera’s fresco in the Palazzo Thiene, have contemplated the meaning of prudence advocated by Machiavelli or by Aquinas? 12 To pursue these questions, this dissertation explores how prudence was taken up in different ways as a theme in art and architectural thinking in Northern Italy during the period, theoretically, visibly and physically. It should be noted that my attention to the physical consequences of prudence diverges from materiality, since my interest here is how the subtlety of philosophical and theological debates about prudence are expressed in the content of works of art and architecture. Beginning with the mythological allegory of Prudence in the Sala degli Dei in the Palazzo Thiene (c. 1548), this study explores how concerns with prudence were absorbed and transformed in the frescoed ceilings of Andrea Palladio’s early palazzi in Vicenza. Prudence was also a crucial component of architectural theory and practice in the Veneto of the sixteenth century as we have just seen. By examining Venetian patrician Daniele Barbaro’s villa at Maser (1556-58), this dissertation considers how Minerva, the goddess of prudence, continued to be a major preoccupation, though increasingly detached from her mythic origins, and how, through her relationship to astronomy, she underwent a transformation from prudence to time. Also explored is how the estate became a site where the confluence of prudence and architectural theory and practice was negotiated. The Villa Rotonda (1570), built by Palladio who worked with Barbaro at Maser, is also investigated to determine the possible role of prudence in its conception. This dissertation will conclude with an examination of Titian’s Allegory of Prudence (1565-70), and explore how the painting participates in debates about prudence by underscoring its duality. Completed around the same time as La Rotonda, Titian’s painting exemplifies how the different ways of practicing prudence continued to be debated in art theory. 34 Victoria Kahn, Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism in the Renaissance (London: Cornell University Press, 1985), 71. 13 Myth and the Arts: Review of the Scholarship My research has shown that in the sixteenth century in Italy prudence was most often conceptualized through its relation to myth by means of Minerva, the goddess with which the virtue was associated. Myth offers a discursive framework through which to explore emerging debates about prudence, and access the different intellectual fields that deliberated over the value of the virtue. Myth is therefore central to my methodology, which involves analyzing how sixteenth-century artists and humanists engaged with it. Since the turn of the twentieth century, however, many scholars have regarded mythological subjects in art in the Renaissance with skepticism. As Stephen Campbell points out, much of the suspicion stems from the fact that they have too often been discussed “in terms of their “literariness,” a negative characteristic that stands in opposition to “painterliness.””35 Part of the problem with their literariness, Campbell suggests, lies in how myth is subject to numerous understandings, since there are as many opinions as ancient authors who wrote about them. In her study of depictions of classical myths in the Renaissance, Luba Freedman reconciles this problem by focusing on the renewed interest in the art of the ancient Greeks and Romans, arguing that painting replaced textual illustrations as the principal vehicle for visual representations of mythological subjects.36 The artists responsible for mythological paintings were also active players in a movement generated by humanists, a development in which works were commissioned on the basis of the careful reading of ancient texts that discussed mythological subjects.37 Artistic interpretations of myths were therefore a negotiation between the textual and the visual. 35 Campbell, The Cabinet of Eros, 8. 36 Freedman, Classical Myths, 3. 37 Ibid., 15. 14 When it comes to the literary sources for mythological subjects there were several options. For Freedman, by far the most influential classical text on the subject was Ovid’s Metamorphoses.38 According to Campbell, however, by the end of the fifteenth century in Northern Italy it was Homer and Virgil who were considered the “fountainheads” of universal wisdom.39 This was particularly true in Mantua, the birthplace of Virgil. Plato’s influence is also worth considering, although he considered myth trivial fiction.40 He also resorted to myth as a way of explaining his theory of knowledge.41 Plato’s issue with the fictionality of myths was related to the writing of them, since it was in recording them in texts that the stories became detached from their true meaning.42 What has yet to be explored is how painting may have become preferred over writing as the medium that could best communicate myth as soulfully as it was originally intended. Much less has been said about the relationship between myth and architecture, a lacuna I seek to address here by demonstrating how it, too, participated in efforts to articulate the complexity of myths by other means. Campbell’s study of the mythological allegories of Isabella d’Este’s studiolo in Mantua is significant for the way he situates the arrival of myth within the literary boundaries of the studiolo’s resuscitation of ancient texts.43 For Campbell, myth signifies an “other speech,” from which it is possible to extract dimensions of the Renaissance self that were otherwise difficult to express within the boundaries of the sacred and profane that pervaded 38 Ibid. 39 Campbell, The Cabinet of Eros, 137. 40 Freedman, Classical Myths, 142. 41 Chiara Bottici, “Mythos and Logos: A Genealogical Approach,” Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 13, Issue 1, Fall 2008, 1-24, (10). 42 Ibid. 43 Campbell, The Cabinet of Eros, 8. 15 Renaissance thought.44 What has not been sufficiently explored is how artists may have aimed to break free from the literary origins of myths so overwhelmed with iconographic noise, and let the artwork speak for itself not through an ‘other speech’ but through a remythicization that results in an articulation of the multitude of meanings of myth. One of the most prolific literary sources for myths was poetry. Leonard Barkan suggests that innovation in the painting of mythological subjects during the Renaissance consisted in freeing myth from its allegorical and philosophical restrictions in order to evoke the senses instead.45 For Barkin, this new tradition favoured sensuality and focused on a corporeal experience that was liberated from the conventionality of interpretation.46 Like Campbell, Barkan sees the revival of pagan myths in the Renaissance as the result of a struggle to release myth from any level of authenticity and allow it to be articulated beyond any one single level of signification. He also sees the survival of mythology as the product of a competitive relation between the visual and the literary. When it comes to the literary, it is poetry that comes to the forefront, and perhaps not surprisingly, as Freedman maintains, visual representations of myth even came to be described by contemporaries as poesie.47 By focusing on poetry as a key determinant in the representation of myth in the visual arts, scholars have often overlooked what this dissertation argues is a critical constituent for the interest in poetic accounts of myth in the first place. It was poetry that was spared in Plato’s scathing critique of the writing down of myths in the Phaedrus. Is it not entirely possible that art was simply a better vehicle than poetry for providing different levels of 44 Ibid. 45 Leonard Barkan, The Gods Made Flesh: Metamorphosis and the Pursuit of Paganism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), 175. 46 Ibid., 188. 47 Freedman, Classical Myths, xvi. 16 signification within a single medium? While the relationship between poetry and art is considered in this study, the focus will be on how art became the preferred medium for conveying the meaning of classical myths over the textual, particularly when it came to communicating the value of prudence. Furthermore, this examination of the influence of poetry on art will be conducted primarily in conjunction with Platonic thought, which was disseminated in the Platonic academies. This study also moves beyond the consideration of myth in the form of a sculpture, a painting as a framed object, or as a picture painted on a wall, and explores how architecture also developed alongside the contemplation of myths as they relate to prudence. Review of the Scholarship on Architecture Like painting, architecture, too, evolved in coordination with other disciplines; however, the focus in scholarship is all too often on the sciences. As Manfredo Tafuri has argued, the entire project of humanist architecture during the Renaissance is most often conceived as proceeding hand in hand with the sciences – what Tafuri refers to as “architectural mathematics.”48 Palladio’s architecture has often been described according to the irreducible rules and principles of arithmetic. Wittkower’s study of architectural principles offers a theory that rationalizes Palladio’s architectural practice as a ‘will to form’ based on the mathematical language of symmetry and proportion.49 His study of harmonic proportions in Palladio’s villa architecture emphasizes how the central theme in the 48 Manfredo Tafuri, Interpreting the Renaissance: Princes, Cities, Architects (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 9. 49 Rudolf Wittkower, Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism (London: Academy Editions, 1974), 135. 17 architect’s practice was the unity of art and science, urged by an Aristotelian bias for determining certain truths promoted by friends like Daniele Barbaro.50 In his I quattro libri dell’architettura of 1570 Palladio emphasizes the importance of precise measurements and ratios, but his observations often move beyond a mathematical foundation. For some scholars, to focus on the scientific aspect of the architect’s architectural output is reductive and imposes an intellectual framework on Palladio’s architectural form. As Alina Payne has argued, by privileging the architect’s mathematical intentions over the aesthetic reception of the viewer Wittkower’s study detracts from the way Palladio’s works are experienced subjectively by the visitor.51 While Payne’s study is of great value for demonstrating how invention and creativity in Palladio’s architectural practice was shaped by artistic independence as a claim to licentia, her analysis focuses on the architectural treatise and highlights external factors such as ornament in casting an eye towards viewer response. Much less has been said about the interior spaces of Palladio’s villas. Thus far, scholarship has also positioned Palladio’s architecture within a Venetian context, notably Venice’s shift from a mercantile economy to an investment in the reclamation of uncultivated lands for the purpose of agriculture.52 Lionello Puppi has situated Palladio’s villa project as an attempt to “support the proprietary needs of those [Venetians] who considered themselves as transformed from “city gentleman of splendor” to “country gentleman.””53 Of the thirty or so villas Palladio claims as his own in the Quattro libri, 50 Ibid., 69. 51 Alina A. Payne, “Rudolf Wittkower and Architectural Principles in the Age of Modernism,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 53, No. 3, Sept. 1994, 322-42, (335). 52 Lionello Puppi, “Forward to Luca Trevisan,” in Andrea Palladio: The Villas, trans. Michael Friel (Vicenza: Sassi Editore, 2012), 7. 53 Ibid. 18 however, few actually belong to Venetian nobility. Some were constructed for patricians in Verona, while the majority of his villas were for his Vicentine compatriots, built to boost the power of the Vicentine nobility, rendering the rural land in their possession since medieval times richer, more important, and more modern.54 By shifting the focus from Venice’s influence to the role Vicentine citizens and their Platonic academies played in shaping villa design, this study will help return the focus on Palladio’s architectural theory and practice to the social sphere in which he was educated and became proficient, one in which the deliberation on the meaning of prudence was widespread. For Pier Vittorio Aureli, the self-sufficiency of Palladio’s villa architecture signals the villa’s relation to its regional context.55 These structures should therefore be read within a larger project to reform the anti-ideal city of Vicenza, which during the time of Palladio’s early career was in crisis. Palladio’s role in such a program of reform is key to understanding his work, especially when one considers the political and cultural chaos in Vicenza during the first half of the sixteenth century. Historical Context The extremist religious views of Vicenza’s citizens are key to understanding Palladio’s architecture in and around the city. At the time Vicenza was the Italian epicenter of Lutheran and heretical activities. Many of Palladio’s patrons were among those who protested publically against the Catholic Church.56 Palladio’s close friend and mentor, Giangiorgio Trissino, saw the divided state of the city’s religious system as a symptom of a 54 Gianni Moriani, Palladio architetto della villa fattoria (Verona: Cierre edizioni, 2008), 44. 55 Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2011), 49. 56 For analyses of the diffusion of Lutheranism amongst the Vicentine nobility see Achille Olivieri, “Microcosmi familiari e trasmissione ereticale: i Trissino,” Convegno do studi su Giangiorgio Trssino, a cura di Neri Pozzi (Vicenza: Accademia Olimpica, 1980), 175-190, as well as Guido Beltramini, Palladio Privato (Zürich: Lars Müller Publishers, 2012). 19 larger political and social fragmentation, and he promoted architecture as an appropriate language for his project to reform the city.57 Trissino initiated the reinvention of Vicenza as a model of an Imperial Roman city, and Palladio’s name, conferred upon him by the humanist, makes clear from the outset that Palladio was also invested in the program.58 If, as Aureli suggests, Palladio’s architecture should be seen as an attempt to reduce violence, and recast Vicenza as “a model for an imperial city that evoked the Pax Romana … or conversely, an attempt to use the unifying architectural language of classicism to project a self-harmonizing sense of civic calm,”59 then Palladio’s villas should be seen as an extension of these concerns. In this light, the buildings Palladio designed for his patrons in Vicenza, be they urban palazzi or rural ville, reflect the bigger trend of an aristocratic collective. As Aureli asserts, by inserting exemplary form into the fabric of an unstable city, Palladio carried out Trissino’s utopian vision of Vicenza as a Roman city.60 But of what exactly does such an exemplary form consist? If, as Aureli argues, such ideal form stems from Palladio’s mastering of the dialectic between continuity and discontinuity61 – by encouraging communication between interior and exterior, villa and landscape, microcosm and macrocosm – the debates about prudence in the Platonic academies initiated by his mentor Trissino could have provided Palladio with the means to become such a master. My research suggests that poetry remained central to debates about the practice of prudence, particularly for Trissino, Palladio’s close friend, as we shall see. Also interested in 57 Ibid., 50. 58 Aureli, Absolute Architecture, 49. For more on the derivation of Palladio’s name see Franco Barbieri, Architetture palladiane (Vicenza: Neri Pozza, 1992), 211-12. 59 Ibid., 53. 60 Ibid., 54. 20 art and architecture, Trissino cultivated the virtue of prudence in his epic poem Italia liberata through the character of Palladio, from which the architect acquired his name. Palladio provides evidence that he shared Trissino’s interest in poetry in his Quattro libri, when he praises fellow Vicentine Antonio Francesco Oliviera for his skills as an architect as well as for being an excellent poet.62 While Aristotle has most often been accredited with being the primary influence on Trissino’s poetic oeuvre, Plato was perhaps an even greater inspiration. It has been noted that during the period in question Platonism was a more common philosophical pursuit south of the Apennines, while the popularity of Aristotelianism was located in Northern Italy, particularly among the circles of those who studied at the University of Padua, the center for Aristotelianism.63 The theological interests and writings of Palladio’s close friend and patron, Daniele Barbaro, who studied at the University of Padua and is thought to have been a major influence on Palladio’s thinking, are essentially Aristotelian in nature.64 Wittkower has also discussed Trissino’s Aristotelian tendencies, and their possible influence on Palladio, at great length.65 More recently, however, Branco 61 Ibid., 57. 62 Andrea Palladio, I quattro libri dell’architettura (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli Editore S.p.A, 1990). Primo Libro, 5. After prasing Trissino as the “splendore de’ tempi nostri,” Palladio continues by making notes of other Vicentines who he considered noteworthy including “il Signor Antonio Francesco Oliviera, il quale oltra la cognitione di molt scienze è Architetto, & Poeta eccellente.” 63 For a discussion of the separation between north and south, see Bernardo Morsolin, Giangiorgio Trissino (Vicenza: Gir. Burato, 1895), 245. Several scholars have discussed the central role of the University of Padua as the cornerstone for Aristotelianism at great length. See for example, Branko Mitrovic, “Paduan Aristotelianism and Daniele Barbaro's Commentary on Vitruvius' De Architectura,” The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Autumn, 1998), pp. 667-688. See also, Louis Cellauro, “Daniele Barbaro and Vitruvius: The Architectural Theory of a Renaissance Humanist and Patron,” Papers of the British School at Rome, Vol. 72, (2004), pp. 293-329. 64 Cellauro, “Daniele Barbaro and Vitruvius,” 295. 65 Rudolf Wittkower, Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism (London: Academy Editions, 1974), 57-69. 21 Mitrovic’s study of architectural symbolism and tectonics in the treatises by Barbaro and Palladio has indicated a Platonist position on the architect’s part. 66 While such an interpretation, Mitrovic acknowledges, contradicts what we know about Palladio’s humanist education under the mentorship of Trissino, it is difficult to ascertain the extent of his influence on Palladio’s philosophical thinking since he left few philosophical volumes behind for posterity. Palladio’s teacher did, however, leave a large library dedicated to poetry and the works of Plato.67 He also wrote numerous volumes of his own poetic verse, such as Italia liberata, that would have been discussed in the Platonic academy he initiated in Vicenza. Trissino was probably introduced to the works of Plato during his early studies in Greek in Milan, where he studied under Demetrio Calcondela.68 His predilection for Plato is evident from a letter written to his dear friend Vicenzo Malgre in 1507, in which he professes his admiration for the Greek philosopher.69 Plato’s doctrine was also a popular theme at the Orto Oricellari, the gardens owned by the family of Giovanni Rucellai, and a popular meeting place for many sixteenth-century philosophers including Machiavelli and Trissino, who kept the traditions of the Florentine Accademia Platonica and the work of Marsilio Ficino alive.70 Having been a member of the Accademia Malliana in Rome and Ficino’s Accademia Platonica in Florence, Trissino housed an intellectual academy of his own at his villa at Cricoli under the name Accademiae Trissineae lux et rus, or the Accademia Trissiniana. It is my contention that in his Platonic academy, Trissino’s Platonic convictions 66 Branko Mitrovic, Learning from Palladio (New York, London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2004). 67 Ibid., 45. 68 Morsolin, Giangiorgio Trissino, 26. 69 Ibid., 246, “il nostro Platone, cui non solo ammiro, ma se mi è lecito, io contemplo e seguo a lontani passi, adorandone.”. 70 Ibid., 247. 22 and the merits of prudence in his poetry would have been discussed at great lengths among the Vicentine nobility, whose involvement in Lutheranism would have inspired interest in debates about freedom of the will. Chapter Summary My research suggests that prudence was a primary concern during the period at the Palazzo Thiene (1546) in the city of Vicenza, which was a stronghold for Lutheranism, and where debates about free will were fervent. As Achille Olivieri notes, the Thiene – the patrons of Palladio’s first major project – were the main disseminators of Lutheran ideas in Vicenza, and their reformist practices were widely propagated at Trissino’s Platonic academy at his Villa Cricoli, where Palladio received his early education.71 In his scathing critique of idolatry Luther condemned images as less identifiable with truth by comparing them with the written word,72 a criticism, I argue, which initiated efforts to elevate the status of images by confirming that they, too, could correspond to truth by being better than anything textual for conveying the meaning of prudence. Chapter One, “Prudence, Minerva and Plato’s Pilot of the Soul in the Palazzo Thiene” focuses on the central fresco in the Sala degli Dei of the Palazzo Thiene, and how the representation of Prudence underwent a transformation from mythology to astronomy. Questioning the possible relationship between prudence’s cosmological aspects and Plato’s pilot of the soul, this chapter investigates how prudence became involved in debates about 71 Achille Olivieri. “Microcosmi familiari e trasmissione ereticale: i Trissino,” Convegno do studi su Giangiorgio Trssino, a cura di Neri Pozzi (Vicenza: Accademia Olimpica, 1980), 175-190. 72 Ernst Troeltsch. The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches, Vol. 2 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992), p. 969. As Troeltsch notes, spiritual judgment, Luther argued, comes from distinguishing the written word from the living word of God, as well as “the image from the truth.” 23 free will. By understanding how the fresco was imbedded in the cultural debates about the virtue, I suggest that the Palazzo Thiene was perhaps a springboard from which ideals about prudence were reconfigured in architectural space. By comparing the mythological allegories of Prudence and Minerva commissioned by Isabella D’Este Gonzaga to the central figure of Sala degli Dei in the Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza, and drawing from the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili – a work that reorganized myth congruently in a Renaissance narrative – this chapter also explores concerns about the relationship between myth and prudence, and how these were absorbed and transformed in one of Palladio’s earliest projects in Vicenza. The second chapter, “Daniele Barbaro and Scientific Prudence: Time as Logos at the Villa Maser,” investigates Palladio’s Villa Barbaro (1558) at Maser built for the Barbaro family, and explores how Daniele’s esteem for a future oriented type of prudence helped to shape the architectural space of his family villa, bearing in mind how he defined prudence in his Dieci libri. In effect, Daniele’s definition of prudence describes a temporal conversation. To be prudent requires that the present always be in communication with the past and the future. This chapter explores how this attribute of prudence as a conversation between different times gets articulated in architecture so that different parts of a structure are free to converse with each other, and how the algorithmic nature of prudence, where subsequent evaluations are dependent on preceding ones, permeated the relationship between different parts of the villa’s structure. The third chapter, “Time and the Machina del mondo in Palladio’s Villa Rotonda,” investigates how prudence was differentiated in Palladio’s La Rotonda (1575) and how the estate registers a conception of prudence derived from the theories of time proffered by the architect’s humanist education in Platonic academies. The structure is positioned within the 24 realm of humanist debates about prudence that underscore the subjectivity of alternatives, highlighting the possibility of choice in assisting movement, encouraged by Plato’s conception of time. As ideas spread through the Veneto, via Palladio and his friend and patron Daniele, debates about prudence were taken up by artists in Venice. The fourth and final chapter, “Duelling Tricipitia: Capturing the Multivalence of Prudence and Time in Titian’s Allegory of Prudence,” considers how Titian’s painting participates in similar discourses on prudence by engaging with theoretical debates disseminated by the Platonic academies. Titian’s painting is of particular value here not only because prudence is the subject matter of the painting, but because Titian was intensely involved in artistic debates of the period, and intimately connected with those who were. By focusing on architectural innovations proffered by Venetian friar Francesco Zorzi’s De harmonia mundi totius (1525), as well as important developments in theater during the period by Giulio Camillo, and Trissino, this chapter explores how endeavors to articulate the plurality of prudence were preserved in other mediums. Prudence is deeply involved in questions concerning actions and behaviour, and yet during the sixteenth century in Italy the conflicting conventions for representing the virtue mirrors a similar confrontation during the period with antithetical conceptions of the very virtue Minerva signified. By exploring art’s role in negotiating the different meanings of prudence through its engagement with myth, this dissertation considers art and architecture’s capacity to mediate between the different meanings that constituted prudence in the complex system of classical myths. 25 Chapter 1: Prudence and Free Will in Palladio’s Palazzo Thiene As in many sixteenth-century palaces in Vicenza, the walls of the Palazzo Thiene are covered with frescos depicting from classical myths. Mythological scenes were often intended as exempla by showing how to perform virtuous deeds while avoiding vice. Painted decorations also allowed patrons and visitors to reflect on questions raised by ancient philosophers and the problems of the human condition.73 In order to persuade their audience of the veracity of these edifying tales, the affairs of the gods and goddesses of mythology were portrayed as having occurred in open air and thus required the inclusion of natural scenery.74 The rooms of the Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza contain countless episodes of classical myths that occur in a landscape environment. Only in the Sala degli Dei does the mythological theme of the fresco assume a very different dimension, one that is astrological in nature. On the ceiling of the room Anselmo Canera has painted a female figure on a writhing snake surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac. The mirror in her hand, and the snake on which she sits, identifies her with prudence. The virtue was repeatedly associated with Minerva during the period as we saw in the Introduction; however the figure possesses no other accoutrements that might identify her as the goddess, such as the aegis-bearing shield, armour or a staff. While she appears to be in control there is also tension expressed in her face resulting from the skirmish. Prudence is clearly an asset in view of her confrontation with the snake. 73 Luba Freedman, Classical Myths in Italian Renaissance Painting (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 132. 26 Thus far scholarship on the painting has been directed towards identifying the central female figure, and her relation to prudence. Wearing a red dress, and with one of her breasts exposed, and holding the mirror of prudence, the woman is most often recognized as Divina Sapienza, or Divine Wisdom.75 The cylindrical ribbon containing the signs of the zodiac that surround the figure symbolize her governing powers that bring stability to the outer heaven that dominates the world.76 More recently, Fernando Rigon has proposed the figure is a personification of Prudence, and also Divine Providence, a generative force that acts as the powerhouse for the planetary universe.77 While these identifications allude to the power of prudence in creating order and harmony, they do not consider the social and intellectual environment in which the painting was created. Situating the fresco in this milieu, this Chapter argues that the iconography, and its potential to be interpreted in different ways, would have fostered discussions by the patron and visitors to the palace. One of the debates of particular significance during the period, and taking place in Platonic Academies in Vicenza, concerned the question of free will. Canera’s painting is of great importance because it is the first work of art, to my knowledge, in which the personification of Prudence undergoes a conversion; the familiar attributes of the virtue – the mirror and the snake – are transformed by the addition of a cosmological frame. This change resonates, as I argue, with local disputes about prudence and freedom of the will. This chapter explores how this central image in the first major 74 Ibid., 152-53. 75 Nicola Ivanoff, Recensione al volume di Luciana Crosato, “Gli affreschi nelle Ville Venete del Cinquecento,” in Ateneo Veneto, (luglio-dicembre, 1962), 131. 76 Licisco Magagnato, Palazzo Thiene: Sede della Banca Populare di Vicenza (Vicenza: Banca Populare di Vicenza, 1966), 82. 27 project of Andrea Palladio acts as a springboard from which debates about prudence and free will would be played out in the art and architecture in many of his subsequent works. This chapter begins by outlining the political proclivities of the Vicentine nobility, and how questions about the freedom of the will were generated by the desire for church reform. This chapter also considers how the strong Lutheran following in Vicenza, particularly among the Thiene and Trissino families, encouraged religious debates about free will, and how Plato’s doctrine of the will was disseminated among the nobility of the city through academies that had their origins in the Platonic Academy of Marsilio Ficino in Florence. The strong ties between the Gonzaga and Thiene families will also be explored to determine the extent to which interests in free will, circulating at the court of the Gonzaga in Mantua, may have been taken up in Vicenza in part through the influence of Giulio Romano. A Question of Ownership: Palazzo Thiene between Palladio and Giulio Romano Several hands were involved in the construction of the Palazzo Thiene. After having taken voluntary exile in Mantua following the wars of the League of Cambrai, Gian Galeazzo Thiene proposed reconstructing his family palace upon his return to Vicenza.78 As early as 1524 Gian Galeazzo consulted with Giulio Romano – one time student of the painter and architect Raphael in Rome – as his desired architect, likely having met him during the expatriation of the Thiene family early in the century.79 In 1542, Marc’Antonio Thiene and his brother Adriano took responsibility for the new palace hoping to express the grandeur and importance of their name and family. Palladio’s hand in the construction and plan of the 77 Fernando Rigon, “I soffitti con decorazioni di affreschi e stucchi: Itinerario iconografico,” in Palazzo Thiene: Sede storica della Banca Populare di Vicenza, edited by Guido Beltramini, Howard Burns, and Fernando Rigon (Milan: Skira editore, 2007), 225 78 Lionello Puppi, Andrea Palladio (Venice: Electra Editrice, 1973), 251. 79 Ibid., 254. 28 building is confirmed by notarial documents, as well as his testimony of participation in his Quattro libri.80 Most scholars agree that Palladio likely acted as Giulio’s onsite assistant, taking over for him after his death.81 The palace can therefore be conceived as the outcome of contributions from Giulio Romano, Andrea Palladio, and the Thiene family. The Palazzo Thiene shares many similarities with the Palazzo del Te, constructed by Giulio Romano for Federico Gonzaga in Mantua. According to Lionello Puppi, the structure of the Palazzo Thiene is based upon the Vitruvian conception of an ancient Roman house.82 The palace is arranged in the form of a square with rectangular rooms that extend from four octagonal chambers at each corner (Figure 5). It has a vestibule, where the motif of unfinished columns, used by Giulio Romano for the west entrance at the Palazzo del Te, are repeated. The façade contains massive rusticated blocks of stone, and the halls and chamber are richly decorated with frescoes and stuccowork. Not unlike the Palazzo del Te, the building envelops a central courtyard, which occupies an astounding 5800 square feet – the vast majority of space in the building.83 The arrangement of rooms around a central courtyard allows for different parts of the structure to be in communication with each other. Could such an articulation have been taken up in the interior? 80 Ibid., 252. See also Giangiorgio Zorzi. Le opera pubbliche e i palazzo private di Palladio (Vicenza: Neri Pozza, 1965), 212-13, doc. 1 The contract for the project registered the names of the bricklayers that were hired as Pietro di Giulielmo and Girolamo di Comosantino da Vercelli, as well as “magistro Andrea quondam Petri lapicida,” or Palladio. See also, Witold Rybczynski, who explains how the term lapicida, or stonemason, suggests that Palladio’s original position was not as architect, and so it is possible that Palladio was only approached after Giulio Romano’s death in 1546, in The Perfect House: A Journey with the Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio (New York: Scribner, 2002), 66. 81 Ugo Bazzotti and Howard Burns, “Giulio Romano and the Palazzo Thiene,” Palladio, eds. Guido Beltramini and Howard Burns (London: Royal Academy of the Arts, 2008), 40-53, 40. 82 Puppi, Andrea Palladio, 253. 29 There is an undeniable homogeneity between the painted decorations of the Palazzo Thiene and the Palazzo del Te. The interior stuccowork, particularly that of the ceilings, is aligned with the articulation of architectural space, giving the impression that the painted images were pre-assigned to fit within the stucco decorations.84 Like the Palazzo del Te’s Sala di Ovidio, the Palazzo Thiene contains a Sala delle Metamorfosi filled with images derived from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In the Palazzo Thiene the dominant motive for the room seems to have been the myth of Perseus. The Sala dell’Eneidi, like the Sala di Troia in the Palazzo del Te, contains images devoted to Virgil’s Aeneid, and both palaces have large rooms called the Sala di Psiche dedicated to the theme of the love affair between Cupid and Psyche. These ornate decorations are all distributed amongst the octagonal rooms at the corners of the edifice. The octagonal form seems to have held a particular signification for the architect. In the Palazzo del Te there is a portrait of Giulio by Titian in which the architect presents to the viewer a building design from his armadio.85 The way Giulio clutches the top part of the sketch with his right hand and gestures to it with his left, suggests that he is very proud of this creation (Figure 6). The plan indicates that from the outside the building would have been a rotunda articulated with niches, while the interior is cruciform in shape, with two vestibules in each sector of the cross for a total of eight, and eight columns defining the central space. The design, as John Shearman points out, bears a striking resemblance to 83 Valeria Bové, Palazzo Thiene a Vicenza (Milan: Skira editore, 2008), 18. 84 Chiara Rigoni, “L’apparato decorativo,” Palazzo Thiene, eds. Franco Barbieri, Francesco Curcio, Chiara Rigoni, Marco Todescato (Vicenza: Banca Popolare Vicentina, 1992), 133-156, (115). 85 John Shearman, “Titian's Portrait of Giulio Romano,” The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 107, No. 745, Italian Painting between the Renaissance and the Baroque in Connection with the Manchester Exhibition (Apr., 1965), 170-177. 30 Antonio da Sangallo’s project for St. Peter’s in Rome, with its eight similar vestibules, an assignment that Giulio may have inherited.86 Was there something about the octagonal form that Giulio might have learned from Raphael – who also worked at St. Peter’s – that may have extended to the Palazzo Thiene? The presence of the four octagonal rooms in the palace does suggest the shape was a preoccupation for the architects and patrons. The octagonal theme is reiterated in the largest room of the palace, the Sala degli Dei. This room – the primary gathering space for guests of the Thiene family – is the only frescoed room on the ground floor, and its position as the midpoint between the beginning and end of a clockwise or counterclockwise progression through the palace must have held particular significance for the patrons as a gathering place.87 Because of the combination of frescoes and stuccowork, this room stands out from the others. Although the room is rectangular, a concern for the octad form is evidenced in the vaulted ceiling, which is adorned with gigantic stucco decorations by Alessandro Vittoria of eight mythological gods and goddesses that enclose the central section, much like the columns in Giulio’s drawing for a church plan in Titian’s painting. Prudence and Plato’s Pilot of the Soul There is much disagreement about the identity of the eight mythological stucco figures in the Sala Degli Dei, and their relation to Canera’s painting. Chiara Rigoni has identified the figures as Venus and Mars, Apollo and Diana, Hercules and Minerva, and Jupiter and Saturn.88 More recently, Fernando Rigon has proposed the paired figures are 86 Ibid., 174. See also note 32 at the bottom of the page. 87 Rigoni, “L’apparato decorativo,” 134. 88 Ibid., 114. 31 Amphitrite and Hercules, Apollo and Daphne, Venus and Mars, and Jupiter and Saturn.89 Above the gods and goddesses are small putti, and the whole stucco arrangement encircles four square-panels painted by Anselmo Canera, representing the four elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. These surround a central square panel, depicting the female figure, scantily dressed with one breast exposed, holding a large mirror in her right hand – the symbol for prudence – and sitting atop a large snake, on a monumental cloud (Figure 1). A narrow distance separates the face of the snake and the woman, and they seem to stare at each other as if they are in some sort of standoff. A golden ribbon containing the twelve signs of the zodiac encircles the entire scene in a cylindrical form. Given the emphasis on astronomy designated by the center panel with its zodiac, one might expect to find the seven planetary gods Apollo, Mercury, Venus, Diana, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn below, but what about the eighth figure? Hercules may be identified as the last of the eight, recognizable by the lion skin draped over his shoulders, and the figure with whom he is paired probably represents Mercury, often mistaken as a female figure. While Mercury is often present as the messenger of the gods, his alchemical nature permits that he is often registered as a hermaphrodite, from which his Greek name Hermes is derived.90 The lack of any discernable breasts, that might distinguish it as female gendered, only adds to the figure’s androgyny. If the figure were Mercury, the room dedicated to the gods would then have the seven planetary gods represented. Hercules was the most famous demigod, and his position in the heavens as a constellation would be in keeping with the astrological theme of the room. With all seven planets accounted for, and the name of the room indicating its 89 Rigon, “Itinerario iconografico,” 225. 90 Karen Pinkus, Alchemical Mercury: A Theory of Ambivalence (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010), 86-89. 32 dedication to the gods, the identity of the female figure riding the snake in the central panel remains open to interpretation. The mirror in her hand points immediately to prudence, which was the virtue often identified with the goddess Pallas/Minerva, an association discussed at length in the Introduction to this thesis. Through the use of perspective, the woman on the snake appears to be positioned above the cylinder containing the signs of the zodiac. A similar female figure was painted by Raphael on the ceiling of the Stanza della Segnatura in the papal library in Rome. Raphael’s fresco of Astrology is set against an illusionistic background of gold mosaic, in which a woman clothed in green stares down through the firmament, designated by its many studded gold stars, and recognizable constellations. Incised on the sphere are lines representing the location of the meridian, ecliptic and celestial equator, and in its center is the Earth. David Beck has equated the figure of Astrology putting the stars in order as the Prime Mover or Primum Mobile.91 In the Paradiso, when Dante describes his ascent to heaven, he places the Primum Mobile as that above the fixed stars of the zodiac.92 This identification is in line with Aristotle’s definition of the Primum Mobile as that which possesses the first heaven.93 Aristotle’s explanation is derived from Plato’s conception of the pilot of the soul as a principle of movement related to the rotatory motion of the outer sphere of the heavens. In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates likens the soul to a chariot being pulled by a black and white horse – the black horse representing appetite and the white one love – while the charioteer symbolizes reason. The horses are what move the soul, while the charioteer uses 91 David Beck, Raphael: The Stanza della Segnatura (New York: Braziller, 1993), 19-20. 92 Stefano Ray, Lo specchio del cosmo: da Brunelleschi a Palladio: itinerario dell’architettura del Rinascimento (Rome: La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1991), 228. 93 Gabriel Richardson Lear, Happy Lives and the Highest Good: An Essay on Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 79. 33 reason to guide them. As Ilham Dilman observes, Socrates describes the white horse in words that depict constraint, consideration, and obedience, characterizing pure love and generosity, while the black horse is described in words that pronounce egocentricity, and are characteristic of greed, lust, and appetite.94 The natural propensity of the chariot, led by the white horse, is towards heaven, which is good, however, the black horse moves laboriously, “weighing down the charioteer to the earth when his steed has not been thoroughly trained: and this is the hour of agony and extremist conflict for the soul.”95 The soul therefore needs wisdom, and the study and contemplation of virtue to help guide it on its continued path towards the heavens. Thus, those who consent to a life of guidance, Dilman continues, can transform their appetites, and “by subduing the part of the soul that contained the seeds of vice and setting free that in which virtue had its birth they will become masters of themselves and their souls will be at peace.”96 Contemplation of the heavens is therefore key, since it is here that virtue resides. By orienting oneself to the heavens, Socrates maintains, one is nearer to its goodness, and it is here that the Gods exist because their horses and charioteers are of good stock, and act in harmony, keeping them in “the abode of the reality with which true knowledge is concerned.”97 As Socrates explains, it is here that “the immortals, when they are at the end of their course, go forth and stand upon the outside of heaven, and the revolution of the spheres 94 Ilham Dilman, Free Will: An Historical and Philosophical Introduction (London: Routledge, 1999), 36. See also Plato, Phaedrus, 247A. 95 Plato, “Phaedrus,” in Selected Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett (New York: World Library, 2001), 45. 96 Dilman, Free Will, 38. 97 Plato, “Phaedrus,” 45. 34 carries them round, and they behold the things beyond.”98 At this point Socrates describes what he believes to be the source of all the harmony: “But of the heaven which is above the heavens, what earthly poet ever did or ever will sing worthily? It is such as I will describe; for I must dare to speak the truth, when the truth is my theme. There abides the being with which true knowledge is concerned; the colorless, formless, intangible essence, visible only to the mind, the pilot of the soul (italics mine). The divine intelligence, being nurtured upon mind and pure knowledge, and the intelligence of every soul which is capable of receiving food proper to it, rejoices at beholding reality, and once more gazing upon the truth, is replenished and made glad, until the revolution of the world brings her round again to the same place.”99 Socrates’ describes the figure in the heaven above the heavens as female, which calls to mind Raphael’s figure of Astrology in the Stanza della Segnatura. The similarly of Canera’s female figure to Raphael’s, and the position of the former above the zodiac overseeing the room, suggests the iconography at the Palazzo Thiene may also be derived from this ancient conception of heaven. Canera’s woman holding the mirror may refer to Prudence but her position also recalls the pilot of the soul to which Plato refers in the Phaedrus. Before returning to this line of inquiry, it is useful to consider the relationship between Plato’s theory of the pilot of the soul and the freedom of the will. 98 Plato, Phaedrus, 246D 99 My italics. Plato, “Phaedrus,” 52. See also Plato, Phaedrus, 247C. 35 In his Phaedrus, Plato makes the distinction between the will for good and the will for evil, and argues that the will is subject to the influences of the ego and its appetites.100 Plato believed that “evil is not voluntary and hence…no one does what is wrong and embraces evil willingly.”101 The determinism here seems undisputable since Plato admits that evil is not a compulsion of the will, but rather a determination of it.102 This determination of the will to do evil however, is neither voluntary nor intentional, but comes from a lack of moral knowledge or wisdom.103 When a person is at one with goodness, on the other hand, they are free to do as they choose.104 As Dilman has argued, for Plato it was not a question of intellectual knowledge but “an affective orientation which takes the form of a love and respect for others,” a love whose “concern and respect involves feeling for them in their pain and grief, being prepared to put oneself out to help them where one can, respecting their differences, forgiving their offences.”105 The desire to do good derives from an inherent will. This kind of knowledge is identical with virtue, since it is aligned with the desire for good. Plato makes the relationship between the will and the desire to do good clear in the Meno, where Socrates succeeds in convincing Meno that everyone desires the good, and those who appear to Meno to desire evil, do so thinking that is it good and not recognizing that it is evil.106 Similarly, in the discussion between Callicles and Socrates in the Giorgias, Socrates contrasts the actions of a person who makes fair appraisal of the circumstances surrounding their actions and chooses what they ought to do, to one who acts to satisfy 100 Dilman, Free Will, 45. 101 Ibid., 59. 102 Ibid., 56. 103 Ibid., 35. 104 Ibid. 105 Ibid. 36 oneself. The former person is described by Socrates as someone who “does as he wills” while the latter is one who “does as he pleases.”107 Socrates sees this latter type of service of the will as a form of bondage, the freedom from which requires moral knowledge. How might this relate to the central figure in the Sala Degli Dei? Canera’s painting seems to allude to Plato’s pilot of the soul and might therefore engage in debates about free will, but why? And what role does prudence play in such a debate? Prudence and Free Will Crucial to understanding the growing debate about free will during the Renaissance are prudential pursuits that cultivated self-interests as a means to an end. In the Phaedrus, Plato made a distinction between two kinds of prudence, divine prudence, which he admired, and worldly prudence which is allied with “a stingy way of doling out benefits,” and “will breed in your soul those vulgar qualities that the populace applaud as virtue.”108 When making prudent decisions judgment is used to establish the true means of proceeding. For Aristotle, judgment could not be submitted to a general rule, per se, and instead required acting according to the particulars of a situation.109 Thus, for Aristotle, prudence is concerned with responding to decisions that present us with alternative possibilities. Victoria Kahn has argued that it is precisely this characteristic of prudence, as a virtue contingent upon alternative choices that opened up early humanist debates about the existence of free will.110 106 Cited in Dominic Scott, Plato’s Meno (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 46. 107 Dilman, Free Will, 43. 108 Plato, Phaedrus, in Selected Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett (New York: World Library, 2001), 159. 109 Victoria Kahn, Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism in the Renaissance (Cornell University Press: London, 1985), 30. 110 Ibid., 21. 37 The ethics of prudence, however, is rooted in the importance of the means from which a choice is determined. Prudence is an action taken with respect to a variable, or a particular. When making prudent decisions judgment is used to determine the best means of proceeding, depending on the circumstances that surround the particular consideration in question.111 In adopting means to an end, a person may proceed morally or immorally. Moral pursuit is indistinguishable from prudence, whereas immoral pursuit denotes a certain diligence defined by Aristotle as deinotes.112 For Aristotle, the goodness of an act resides in the agent; in other words, for an act to be good it must be performed by a virtuous person, by a prudent person with free choice and firm character.113 When Albertus Magnus commented on Aristotle he differentiated between two kinds of prudence referred to by Aristotle: animal or natural prudence, and true prudence. True prudence consisted of right activity, which emphasizes the ethical nature of the virtue as tied to morality. Thomas Aquinas also took up this distinction between two types of prudence, adopting insights from Platonic philosophy, particularly the Phaedrus.114 Aquinas believed that right activity was ultimately decided by the will, where, as David Summers notes, the anticipated result for any alternative demanded “the right apprehension of the particular as well as the moral principles.”115 In his consideration of the life of Aquinas, Pietro Aretino – an Italian author who worked intimately with several of the protagonists of this dissertation, 111 David Summers, The Judgment of Sense: Renaissance Naturalism and the Rise of Aesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 270. 112 Ibid., 271. See also Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, 1144a25-26. 113 Ibid. See also Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1106b. 114 Anthony J. Lisska, “The Philosophy of Law of Thomas Aquinas,” A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence, Vol. 6: A History of the Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics (New York: Springer, 2005), 290. 38 including Giulio Romano and Titian – explains how Aquinas believed “prudence has no need of fortune, and divine wisdom can be executed without the counsel of attempting to acquire its own end, because it exists in the timeless.”116 For Aquinas, prudence required ethics, and was about alternatives; it was not about trying to anticipate the future, since this would obstruct the exercise of free will.117 Contrary to the type of prudence prescribed by Aquinas, in the sixteenth century Niccolò Machiavelli advocated a kind of prudence that attempted to satisfy the way our desire of future unknowns play out.118 Machiavelli’s deconstruction of prudence was developed under the realization that there is something irreducibly practical about our actions.119 In contrast to monist forms of government, such as monarchies, Machiavelli believed that factious activity could create order and peace, due to the diversity with which it was able to advance a political aim or purpose. 120 His pluralist variety of prudence emphasized competition over cooperation, prioritizing military virtue and denigrating compromise by praising popular judgment for the confidence it instills in those who manipulate, or successfully deceive.121 Machiavelli argued in The Prince that “a wise ruler [uno signore prudente] cannot, or should he keep his word when doing so would be to his 115 Summers, Judgment, 273. 116 Cited in Pietro Aretino, La vita di San Tomaso signor d’Aquino (Venice: Fracesco Marcolini, 1543), 85 recto, “La prudentia non ha bisogno de la fortuna, e la sapienza puo far senza il consiglio in acquistare il fins suo, peroche ella sta ne le cose eterne; Chi sa reggere se stesso è Re di se medesimo.” 117 Ibid., “Si che per non esser possibile, che la libera voglia, & la prescienza del future stia insieme; si dee però credere, che la volonta nel suo arbitrio sia libero.” 118 Harvey C. Mansfield, Machievelli’s Virtue (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 43. 119 Eugene Garver. “After Virtù: Rhetoric, Prudence, and Moral Pluralism in Machiavelli,” in Prudence: Classical Virtue, Postmodern Practice, ed. Robert Hariman, (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), 75. 120 Ibid., 80. 39 disadvantage and when the reasons that led him to make a promise no longer exist…but one must know how to disguise this nature well, and how to be a fine liar and hypocrite.”122 John Martin’s study of prudence reveals that Machiavelli’s new sense of the virtue was tied to adaptation, where an individual concealed or revealed himself depending on the circumstances, and always to further the subjective aims of the individual.123 By focusing on the future outcome of events, Machiavelli’s prudence worked in opposition to the concept of free will. For Machiavelli, the ultimate ends of a person’s actions – their objectives – were already predetermined, leaving no room for alternatives. If a future desire is the ultimate aim then the will is not free, but rather a slave to said desire, which is what Plato inferred when he referred to the service of the will to subjective aims as a form of bondage. In sixteenth-century Italy, therefore, there were competing understandings of the virtue: the Machiavellian variety of the virtue that prioritized its military aspects and the one advocated from Plato to Aquinas that sought to synthesizes reason and faith. These debates about the nature of prudence were taken up in social and intellectual circles by the Vicentine nobility, including the Thiene, and thus warrant consideration with the iconography in the ceiling. What is important in the fresco, as I have already mentioned, is that the woman seems to be struggling with the snake. As Umberto Eco has argued, while imagery of a snake could point to the virtue of prudence, it could just as easily have 121 Ibid., 81. 122 Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. Mark Musa (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1964), 144. 123 John Martin, “Inventing Serenity, Refashioning Prudence: The Discovery of the Individual in Renaissance Europe,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 102, No. 5 (Dec., 1997), 1309-1342, (1327). 40 embodied the figure of Satan.124 Prudence could therefore be assisting the woman’s will in resolving the conflict between good and evil. I return to this idea below after addressing how ideas about the relationship between the soul and the will developed in Plato’s Phaedrus may have been disseminated amongst the nobility of Vicenza in Platonic academies initiated by Giangiorgio Trissino, Palladio’s mentor, where it would have been given substantial consideration given the debate about free will in a time when the fascination with Lutheranism was vehement.125 Church Reform and Lutheranism in Vicenza In the history of the Reformation few subjects have been as important as the question of free will as it relates to church reform. When Luther began to make his protest against church Indulgences, he continued to address the Pope with the utmost respect.126 It was not until Pope Julius II that Luther’s scorn for the impiety and scandalous behavior of the Catholic Church would reach its peak.127 As Felix Gilbert points out, like Luther, Erasmus held Pope Julius II in contempt and considered him “the embodiment of war and all its evils.”128 When Erasmus was asked for his counsel about whether or not the papacy should 124 Umberto Eco, Scritti sul pensiero medievale, (Milan: Bompiani/RCS Libri S.p.A., 2012), 108. “un rapporto di armonia rende omogeneo il serpente all virtù della prudenza e il corrispondersi polifonico dei richiami e dei segnali è talmente complesso che lo stesso serpente potrà valere, sotto altro punto di vista, come figura di Satana.” 125 For analyses of the diffusion of Lutheranism amongst the Vicentine nobility see Achille Olivieri, “Microcosmi familiari e trasmissione ereticale: i Trissino,” Convegno do studi su Giangiorgio Trssino, a cura di Neri Pozzi (Vicenza: Accademia Olimpica, 1980), 175-190, as well as Guido Beltramini, The Private Palladio, Zürich, Lars Müller Publishers, 2012. 126 Michael Mullet, Luther (New York: Routledge, 1994), 1503. 127 Ibid. See also Michael Allen Gillespie, The Theological Origins of Modernity, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 131. 128 Felix Gilbert, The Pope, his Banker, and Venice: a vivid account of men, money and states in the High Renaissance, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), 112. See also Gillespie, Theological Origins, 157-65. See also Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly, trans. by W. Kennet, (London, 1795), 128. 41 join in the League against Venice in 1509, Julius II ignored his advice to abstain, and after his death in 1513 Erasmus gave full vent to his fury in his work Julius Exclusus.129 Luther encouraged Erasmus to join his movement, however differences between the two men prevented any union and instead produced a dispute that would culminate in the controversy over free will.130 In 1524 Erasmus had composed his De libero arbitrio (A Discussion or Discourse Concerning Free Will), a diatribe on free will issued against Lutheranism. Published in 1525, Luther responded with De servo arbitrio (The Enslaved Will) a work that raised important questions about the capability of human beings to contribute to their own salvation by their choices of what to do, or not to do.131 Luther’s chosen target was the Catholic Church, an enterprise that was also singled out by many sixteenth-century Italians, including members of the Thiene family and constituents of the Vicentine nobility. Religious dissent in Italy was on the rise in the sixteenth century, particularly in the Veneto. In 1545 Pope Paul III cautioned the Venetian ambassador to Rome that Lutheranism was epidemic in the Republic.132 With a border that stretched for several hundred kilometers along Germanic lands, the Venetian Republic was not only more exposed to Reformist ideas, but also more receptive.133 In his study of religious dissent in Treviso, David D’Andrea notes how an increasing number of Protestant groups and literature flowed into the city’s 129 Ibid. See also Gillespie, 160. See also Desiderius Erasmus, Julius Exclusus, trans. Paul Pascal, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968). 130 Maurice Eugene Osterhaven, The Faith of the Church: A Reformed Perspective on its Historical Development, (Grand Rapids: Wm. E, Eerdsman Puplishing, 1982), 101. 131 James D. Tracy, Erasmus and Luther: The Battle over Free Will, ed. Clarence H. Miller and Peter Macardle, (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2012), ix. See also Martin Luther, On the Bondage of the Will, trans. Henry Cole, (London: T. Bensley, 1823), 85-90. 132 For the Pope’s concern over Lutheranism in Venice see Fulvio Tomizza, Il male viene dal nord: Il romanzo del vescovo Vergerio, (Milan: A. Mondadori, 1984), 237. 133 John Martin, Venice’s Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 25. 42 dioceses.134 As D’Andrea argues, the large German community in the city ensured that a steady stream of Lutheran literature entered the city in the first half of the sixteenth century.135 It should not be assumed, however, that the Veneto was awash with Lutheranism, but before the Council of Trent in 1545, which was intent on curbing serious errors of faith, it was certainly not uncommon. A similar religious climate was also found in the city of Vicenza, which, in the second quarter of the sixteenth century, had become a stronghold for Lutheranism. As Achille Olivieri has noted, during the period surrounding the construction on the Palazzo Thiene it was not uncommon in churches or local piazzas to encounter demonstrations of mockery against the pope, accusing him of being the “usurper of Christ.”136 Countless pamphlets, verses and letters written against the Catholic Church were published in Vicenza throughout the period, protesting against Catholic preachers like Fra Bonaventura da Catarzano when he supported free will in his sermons.137 Among those who protested was Trissino’s son Giulio who, collaborating with Marco Thiene, was the greatest circulator of the volumes of Luther and Calvin among the noble families of Vicenza.138 The diffusion of heretical and reformist ideas were also distributed through academies, where groups of intellectuals and noblemen gathered to participate in the discussion of political and religious issues.139 As Olivieri has noted, Trissino’s academy, held 134 David D’Andrea, “Charity and the Reformation in Italy: The Case of Treviso,” in The Reformation of Charity: The Secular and the Religious in Early Modern Poor Relief, ed. Thomas Max Safley, (Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2003), 36. 135 Ibid. 136 Olivieri, “Microcosmi familiari,” 181, “userpatore di Christo.” 137 Ibid. 138 Ibid. 139 Aldo Stella, Anabattismo e Antitrinitarismo in Italia nel XVI secolo: Nuove ricerche storiche (Padua: Liviana, 1969). 43 at his villa Cricoli, was one of the sites where religious debates became embroiled in so-called heretical practices.140 Many of the members of the Accademia Olimpica, founded in 1555, of which Palladio was also a member, took part in so-called heretical practices and discourses, including members of both the Thiene and Trissino families.141 In another study Olivieri has also raised questions about Palladio’s own religious beliefs, maintaining that his strong connections with heretics, in particular his intimate relationship with Odoardo Thiene – another one of the main disseminators of Calvinist propaganda in Vicenza – adds to the possibility that he sympathized with reformist ideas.142 Odoardo, for whom Palladio’s son Orazio was a lawyer, fled Vicenza in 1567 and took refuge with other Lutheran heretics in Heidelberg.143 In May of 1571, Orazio was summoned to testify against Odoardo before a tribunal, where Palladio’s son admitted to his own spiritual affinities towards Lutheranism.144 Many of Palladio’s clients including Iseppo Porto, as well as Ottavio and Adriano Thiene, were accused of being Lutheran in 1547.145 As a result of Platonic academies initiated by Trissino, Lutheranism became a powerful force that was gradually absorbed into the infrastructure of Vicenza, particularly among members of the Thiene family.146 Such intense interests in Luther’s reformist ideas may have extended to the issue of free will, which poses some important questions. Given the Thiene family’s propensity for Lutheranism, and the religious debates that would have taken 140 Olivieri, “Microcosmi familiari,” 182. 141 Meitel Shai, Villa Grimani Molin Avezzù at Fratta Polesine, PhD dissertation, Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, 2013, 138. 142 Achille Olivieri, Palladio, le Corti e le famiglie: simulazione e morte nella cultura architettonica del ‘500 (Vicenza: Istituta per le ricerche di storia sociale e di storia religiosa, 1981), 32. 143 Beltramini, Private Palladio, 52. 144 Ibid. 145 Ibid., 53. 44 place at Trissino’s Platonic Academy, what might have been the impact of such activities on the Palazzo Thiene? Might debates about free will have helped to shape the image of Prudence in the Sala degli Dei? While the Thiene family left little evidence to assist such an inquiry, the historical records left by close friend and ally Trissino are numerous, and are worth considering here given the Thiene family’s regular participation in his Academy. Church Reform, Giangiorgio Trissino, and the Political Proclivities of the Vicentine Nobility A review the political relationship between Venice and Vicenza during the period provides insights pertinent to the Palazzo Thiene and questions raised by the fresco. During most of its existence the Venetian Republic concerned itself with controlling maritime trade with the East, and it was not until the fifteenth century that Venice began to annex territories from the terraferma as part of the Republic. By the sixteenth century Venice was one of the most populous centers in urban Europe, and demand for agricultural products became increasingly important. The advancement of the Ottoman Turks in the Mediterranean basin also caused considerable strain on Venetian domains in the Levant, adding to the need for expansion on the mainland. After the death of Pope Alexander VI on August 13th, 1503, Venice, her commercial hegemony strained and under constant threat from the Turks, decided to take possession of several mainland cities.147 Having sequestered cities on terraferma, a bold move in itself, Venetian subjects proceeded to appoint their own candidate to the bishopric of Vicenza, a position Julius II, 146 Olivieri, “trasmissione ereticale,” 180. 147 James H. S. McGregor, Venice from the Ground Up (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008), 2. 45 Alexander VI’s successor, wished to be occupied by one of his nephews148 – a move that would create dissension within the Vicentine nobility. Unhappy with the rapacity of the Venetians, and fully aware of the risk that pro-Venetian sympathies posed for the Vatican’s attempts to consolidate Papal control in Italy, Julius II formed an alliance with France and the Holy Roman Empire against Venice. When the Republic refused to return the cities she had seized, Venice suffered a complete collapse. It was the city of Vicenza that suffered the most, leaving many of its citizens disillusioned with the Roman Catholic Church. Of the conflicts that derived from the League of Cambrai, the initial attack was on the city of Vicenza by Emperor Maximilian and his army in February of 1508, one that ended in defeat for the Venetians. A year later, in April of 1509, French soldiers marched into the Venetian Republic, with Vicenza the main target again, in part due to its location, but mostly, as noted above, because the Republic had appointed its own candidate to the vacant bishopric in the city, which Julius II took as an affront. Between 1508 and 1517, no city was harder hit by the ravages of the war than Vicenza. As a result, the aristocratic class declared an anti-Venetian proclamation raising the prices of goods to exorbitant levels on the terraferma.149 The peasant class, on the other hand, distanced itself from oppressive measures of the noble class and, offended by the increase in costs, remained loyal to Venice.150 Oppressed by poverty and misery, and more numerous than the nobility, the peasant class was therefore considered a potential threat to 148 Christine Shaw, Julius II: The Warrior Pope (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997), 47. See also John Julius Norwich , History of Venice (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 394-95 and John R. Hale, Renaissance Venice (London: Faber, 1973), pages 102-105. 149 Gianni Moriani. Palladio architetto delle villa fattoria: Territorio, agricoltura, ville, barchesse, cantine e cucine nella terraferma venezianadel XVI secolo (Verona: Cierre edizioni, 2008), 16. See also Elena Filippi, Una beffa imperiale: storia e immagini della battaglia di Vicenza: 1513 (Vicenza: Neri Pozza, 1997). 46 stability and peace.151 In 1527-28, Luigi da Porto described how in Vicenza at that time you couldn’t “walk along the street or stop in a piazza without a multitude surrounding you asking for charity: look at the hunger imprinted on their faces, in their eyes like rings deprived of gems, the misery of their bodies covered with skin shaped only from their bones.”152 The tragic circumstances led Trissino to confront the Doge of Venice. In a letter dated 1532, Giangiorgio Trissino appealed to Doge Gritti, calling on his exercise of prudence to calm the distress of the Vicentine people.153 Trissino’s appeal is important because it identifies an intervention on his part to achieve stability and peace in the area by rebuilding the city to its former state of glory, if not to improve upon it, by calling on Venice to right its wrongs. Trissino’s plea points to his acknowledgement of Venice’s shortcomings, a detail substantiated further by his known allegiance to the Holy Roman 150 Ibid. 151 J. S. Ackerman, La villa (Turin: Einaudi, 1992), 130, “Oppressa dalla povertà e dalla miseria, vittima delle carestie ricorrenti e dei saccheggi bellici, analfabeta e virtualmente, la classe contadina era molto superior numericamente agli altri strati sociali ed era quindi considerate una potenziale minaccia per la stabilità e la pace.” 152 Moriani, Palladio architetto, “Non puoi passeggiare lungo la strada o fermarti in piazza senza che una multitudine ti circondi per chiederti la carità: vedi la fame impressa sulle loro face, sui loro occhi come anelli privi di pietra, la miersia dei loro corpi con la pelle sagomata solo dalle ossa,”16 153 Giangiorgio Trissino, Scritti scelti, a cura di Attilio Scarpa (Vicenza: Officina Tipografica Vicentina G. Stocchiero), 1950, p. 60, Orazione al Serenissimo che non si frabbrica Vicenza con spese dei Vicentini (Ducale 29 settembre 1532), “La vostra fedelissima città di Vicenza, la quale, per essere stata la prima di terra ferma, che vene alla devozione di questo Illustrissimo Domino, si può ragionalemente chiamare sua primogenital…non dovrebbe pagar più nella sua forticazione di quello, che ha pagato o Verona, o Padova, o Treviso, le quali non hanno speso niente; nè ancora vogliamo allegare, che per li capitol, concessi per questo Illustrissimo Dominio alla nostra città del 1406, la Illustrissima Signoria promesse di pagare tutto quello, che si avesse a spendere nella riparazione e fortificazione della città di Vicenza….E però essa misera città si getta prostrate ai piedi di Vostra Sublimità e la prega umilmente con tutto il cuore, che voglia con la sua profondissima prudenza considerare lo stato e le forze di essa, e che voglia diminuirle questa immoderate gravezza e darle tal peso che le sue deboli spalle lo possano soportare.” 47 Emperor. Trissino’s loyalty to the Imperial Crown goes back to the reasons for the Wars of the League of Cambrai in the first place. It did not go unrecognized that the city of Vicenza remained a primary target throughout the war because of the pontiff’s self-interests, demonstrated in his effort to aggrandize a member of his own family. This nepotism urged many families of the Vicentine nobility, including members of the Thiene family, to appeal for church reform through the figure of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian. On June 5th 1509, a member of Trissino’s family, Leonardo Trissino, occupied Vicenza in the name of Maximillian and smashed the statue of San Marco that was raised on a column, replacing it with the Imperial Eagle.154 Leonardo was eventually captured by the Venetians and spent the rest of his days in prison. Two weeks later, on June 17th of the same year, Maximillian and his army entered the city with great pomp, surrounded by members of several families of the Vicentine nobility including the Thiene, Chiericati and Porto families, all of whom would later become Palladio’s patrons.155 Among them was Trissino himself. Trissino was severely punished for his betrayal when on the 12th of November, Vicenza was re-conquered by Venice and returned to the Republic, though the heart of its people remained with the emperor.156 Trissino, along with all those who had participated with Maximillian, were considered a threat to the Republic and were therefore exiled. For seven years Trissino resettled in Germany until he was pardoned in 1516. For many, 154 Giuseppe Faggin, “Giangiorgio Trissino e l’impero,” Convegno do studi su Giangiorgio Trissino, a cura di Neri Pozzi (Vicenza: Accademia Olimpica, 1980), 23-38, (25), “Leonardo occupò Vicenza, dove entrò il 5 giugno 1509 e – come riferisce la Cronicha che comenza – “fe romper et buttar per terra el S. Marco che era in la Colonna in Vicenza” e sostuirlo con l’Aquila imperiale.” 155 Ibid., 26. 156 Ibid. 48 Trissino’s return signified his submission to the Venetian Republic, which became a symbol of the surrender of the indigenous noble class and their resignation to the sovereignty of Venice, at least on the surface.157 Though Trissino did a good job of veiling his allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire publicly – he later developed strong relationships with Leo X and acted as Venetian ambassador to the court of Clement VII – he could not hide his continued support for the Imperial Crown for long. With the ascension of Charles V to the Hapsburg throne in 1519, Trissino would continue to see in the new emperor a reflection of the triumphant figure represented in Dante’s De Monarchia, whose defense of the autonomy of secular authority would condemn the corrupt theocracy of the Catholic Church.158 In many ways, the anticipated Sack of Rome in 1527 would only confirm the need for divine intervention upon the immorality of the Vatican.159 When Trissino was called upon to be one of those to support the imperial coat during the coronation of Charles V in Bologna in 1530, Trissino might have played a role in securing his own enlistment.160 In the late 1530s, precisely when Palladio was recruited to work on Trissino’s villa at Cricoli, and enrolled into the intellectual academy his mentor started under the name Accademiae Trissineae lux et rus, Trissino had finished the first volume of his epic work Italia liberata dai Goti. Described by Franco Barbieri as the epic that reaffirms the aristocratic movement of the Vicentine nobility against the Catholic Church,161 the poem provides explicit evidence of Trissino’s fidelity to Charles V. The story follows the emperor Justinian’s war against the 157 Ibid., 48. 158 Franco Barbieri, “Giangiorgio Trissino and Andre Palladio,” Convegno do studi su Giangiorgio Trissino, (Vicenza: Accademia Olimpica, 1980), 196. 159 Ibid. 160 Ibid. 49 Goths in the sixth century CE, specifically the campaigns of Belisarius in Italy. At the end of the first volume of the Italia liberata Belisario, the highest-ranking captain in charge of liberating Italy from the Goths, is given the opportunity of seeing into the future. Not surprisingly, it is Charles V that he sees as the person responsible for bringing peace and stability to the Italian peninsula.162 In the sixteenth canto of the second volume, the antagonism toward the papacy is made even more explicit when those who followed in the footsteps of St. Peter are denigrated for their avarice, licentiousness, and tyranny, but most of all for their political ambitions that looked to aggrandize their bastards.163 These antagonistic remarks, along with the dedication of the poem to Charles V when it was finally published in 1548, can only be interpreted as a sincere expression of Trissino’s devotion to the political aims of the Imperial Crown, and his designs for church reform.164 His desire for reform had the question of free will at its heart, a matter that would be played out in his Platonic Academies, in which members of the Thiene family were known collaborators. Church Reform and the Question of Free Will in the Platonic Academies Trissino’s preoccupation with the role of free will in the corruption of the church was fueled by his early education in Platonic philosophy. From 1538-40, after several years at the 161 Ibid. 162 Ibid., 197. See also Italia liberata, in the poem Trissino not only introduces Charles V as the saviour, but includes other Holy Roman Emperors as his antecedents:“Vedi poi dietro a Federico terzo/ Quel Massimilian, che è suo figliuolo/ Questi sarà sì valoroso in guerra/ Sì liberale, e sì benigno in pace/ Che le delizie sia di quella etade/ Guarda il nepotedi costui, ch’arriva/ Al grande Impero anz’il millesim’anno/ Che m’ha presisso a dimostrarti il cielo/ Questo sia Carlo, figlio di Filippo/ Mandato a voi da la Divina altezza/ Per adornare, e raffettare il mondo.” 163 Ibid., “Le sede, incui sedate il maggior Piero/ Usurpata sarà da tai pastori/ Che sian vergongan eterna al christianesmo/ Ch’avarizia, luxuria, e Tyrannia/ Faran n’e petti lor l’ultima pruova/ Et haran tutti e lor pensieri intenti/ Ad aggrandire I suoi bastardi, e darli/ Ducadi, e Signorie, Terre, e Paesi.” 164 Paggin, “Trissino e l’impero,” 31. 50 Roman court, Trissino returned to his studies at the University of Padua, where his interest in Plato earned him the nickname “the new Socrates.”165 While there he became good friends with Marc Antonio Da Mula, who had recently written a small treatise on free will, composed with the intention of offering a rebuttal to the doctrine of Luther.166 In it, Da Mula argued, “man has the free will to be able to desire and choose between the good and the bad, but cannot act without the grace of God.”167 While Trissino agreed with Da Mula to a certain degree, his response was, in effect, an entirely new treatise on the subject. Because Trissino believed that man was intrinsically good, he agreed that man had the free will to choose what is good, but he believed that man “could not desire, choose or do voluntarily wrong, as wrong.”168 If he has chosen wrong it is because, obscured by ignorance, he has mistaken wrong for good.169 In order to avoid confusing bad for good, man must rely on good judgment and reason, which results from a good constitution, proper learning, or from the position or conjunction of the stars, which according to doctors, philosophers and mathematicians, is a force whose allowance depends entirely, like the desire and will, on the grace of God.170 The determinism in Trissino’s interpretation of free will is derived from the works of Plato, popularized during the period by Marsilio Ficino. 165 Morsolin, Giangiorgio Trissino, 243, “un nuovo Socrates.”. 166 Ibid., 248. 167 Ibid., 250, “l’uomo ha l’arbitrio libero di poter volere ed eleggere il bene ed il male, ma non può operare senza la grazia di Dio.” 168 Ibid., 251, “egli non possa volere, eleggere e fare volontariamente il male, come male.” 169 Ibid., “offuscato dall’ignoranza e dall’errore, non intenda il bene, ne viene che anche la prima “voglia ed elegga quello, che le par bene, e non quello che è veramente bene.”” 170 251 “A far, che l’inteletto, da cui piglia norma la volontà, non iscambi e confonda il bene col male, è necessario “il lume del giudizio e della ragione,” il quale, o venga dalla buona complessione, o dalla buona erudizione, e dagli aspetti e congiunzione delle stelle, secondochè pretendono alla loro volta i medici, i filosofi ei matematici, è forza concedere dipenda interamente, del pari che la volontà e l’arbitrio, dalla grazia di Dio.” 51 The question of free will became a matter of contention with theories of the immortality of the soul proposed by Ficino in his Platonic Academy of Florence. His main work, Platonic Theology, had been subtitled ‘On the Immortality of the Souls,’ and while it was not until the Lateran Council of 1513 that belief in the immortality of the soul was officially declared a Catholic precept, its inclusion drew the attention of many to Ficino’s basic concepts.171 If the soul was immortal, then its gradual ascent to moral perfection was its goal, for only then, when vice was eradicated, could we as human beings envision a future life in which the vision of God, who is the highest goal of contemplation, could be achieved. Like Trissino, Ficino was convinced that we are all drawn to the good of God naturally in our hearts.172 Similarly, if we do not see the true path to goodness through God, “it is because of physical or moral impediment, a blindness of spirit.”173 Ficino believed that if Christianity could reform itself under the guidance of his Platonic theology – which was actually a mixture of Plato and several philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas – that it could be transformed into the true religion of peace and love that it once was.174 In the Disputatio (1477), he defended free will against the determinism of professional astrologers who claimed that the influence of the planets caused human action.175 In a letter to Francesco Marescaldi, Ficino wrote: “I am preparing a book on the providence of God and the freedom of human judgment, in which a case is moved against 171 Ibid., 95 172 James Hankins, “Marsilio Ficino and the Religion of the Philosophers,” Rinascimento, 48 (2008), 11. 173 Ibid., 11. 174 Ibid., 26. 175 Melissa Meriam Bullard, Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Winter, 1990), 687-708, (688). In a letter to Francesco Marescaldi, Ficino wrote: “I am preparing a book on the providence of God and the freedom of human judgment, in which a case is moved against the predetermination of the stars and the prophetic utterances of the astrologers.” 52 the predetermination of the stars and the prophetic utterances of the astrologers.”176 Ficino’s words should be carefully considered in relation to the fresco in the Sala degli Dei because, like Trissino, he also believed it was prudence that helped one manage the planetary forces at work on an individual.177 Trissino was introduced to the works of Plato during his early studies in Greek in Milan, where he studied under Demetrio Calcondela.178 His predilection for Plato is evident from a letter written to his dear friend Vicenzo Malgre in 1507, in which he professes his admiration for the Greek philosopher.179 Plato’s doctrine was also a popular theme at the Orto Oricellari, the gardens owned by the family of Giovanni Rucellai, and a popular meeting place for many sixteenth-century philosophers including Trissino, Machiavelli and Buondelmonte, who kept the traditions of the Florentine Accademia Platonica and the work of Ficino alive.180 Through his Accademia Trissiniana, Trissino’s Platonic convictions would have been discussed at great lengths among the Vicentine nobility, including the Thiene family, whose involvement in Reformist activities would have inspired interest in debates about freedom of the will. If such debates occurred at Trissino’s villa at Cricoli, might it not stand to reason that similar discussions took place in the Thiene’s family palace, particularly in their reception room, the Sala degli Dei? If the central figure painted by Canera were somehow implicated in such debates, her relation to Lutheranism would have had to be obscured given the Catholicism of the city’s ruling Republic. 176 Ibid., 689. 177 Ibid., 698. 178 Morsolin, Giangiorgio Trissino (Vicenza: Gir. Burato, 1895), 26. 179 Ibid., 246, “il nostro Platone, cui non solo ammiro, ma se mi è lecito, io contemplo e seguo a lontani passi, adorandone.”. 180 Ibid., 247. 53 Social Unrest and the Living Image: The Convenience of Art’s Ambiguity Trissino’s response to Da Mula’s treatise on free will remains an explicit criticism of Luther’s belief that God is the mover and inciter of a servile will,181 which is not surprising given the Venetian presence in Vicenza at the time, where such activities would naturally have induced fear.182 The tensions caused by the strong Lutheran presence, however, meant that things were not always as they seemed. One year after writing the letter to his son, Trissino’s friend, Cardinal Ridolfi, the Apostolic Administrator of Vicenza, paid a visit to the city on September 15, 1543. His entrance was met with great pomp, and Vicenza was temporarily transformed into a city all’antica thanks to Trissino’s initiative. A triumphal arch was placed in front of the castle marking the beginning of the procession arranged for the celebration. Obelisks and other statues were organized along the processional route which ended at the contra’ Santa Barbara with another triumphal arch, this one bi-frontal. For many, the celebration was a front to disguise the anti-papal behavior so prevalent in the city. In the first part of the sixteenth century appearances were everything, and upon them hung the promise of ones own destiny. If we return to the Sala degli Dei in the Palazzo Thiene, we can see how the debate about free will may have been played out under the veil of a similar ambiguity. If the Sala degli Dei were a product of the debates of the Platonic Academies in Vicenza at the time, then ambiguity would naturally play a significant role. The Sala degli Dei remains a powerful reminder that the question of free will was highly contested, specifically because of the ambiguous nature of the figures in the room, an obscurity tied to the law of perpetual change. As I have mentioned above, the eight figures carved in stucco 181 Cited in Gillespie, Theological Origins, 103. 54 around the central panel have not been easily, or accurately, identified. The figure of Mercury is particularly difficult to recognize, since the androgyny of the figure suggests that it may be a male or female god. In the Cratylus, Plato addresses the problems of etymological logos when it comes to the naming of the gods. Using Hermes as an example, Socrates explains to Hermogenes how the name of the god is connected to the duplicitous nature of logos, by being characterized as both a messenger of the gods and a deceiver.183 Similarly, Pan, the son of Hermes, is also double formed and by embodying contraries he is like logos, since “logos signifies all things, moves circularly, is in perpetual motion, and is twofold…true and false together.”184 The limitations of logos cannot fully explain the god, and amounts to a giving of names to that which cannot be rightly named.185 This is because “the nature of things really is such that nothing is at rest or stable, but everything is flowing and moving and always full of constant motion and regeneration.”186 Socrates therefore admonishes the naming of the gods because the law of perpetual movement decrees that they cannot be correctly named.187 This instability is extended to the elemental deities of fire, water, air and earth, since each of these intervenes with the existence of the other through movement.188 It is perhaps no surprise that these same elements frame the central panel that contain the female figure atop of the snake, hinting at the perpetuity of movement associated with the pilot of the soul. While all the other figures represented in the room allude to the shortcomings of logos – that is, the ability to bring to completion the manifestation of things 182 Olivieri, “trasmissione ereticale,” 181. 183 Michael W. Riley, Plato’s Crylatus: Argument, Form and Structure (New York, Amsterdam: Rodopi B.V., 2005), 71 184 Plato, Cratylus, 408 b – c. 185 261 186 Plato, Cratylus, 411 b – c. 187 260 55 by their being named – the pilot of the soul refers to the divine logos, which brings with it true knowledge that is free from all opinion and error,189 and she would therefore be animated with ambiguity. Might Plato’s theory of logos have helped to conceal the female figure in Canera’s fresco beneath a similar veil of ambiguity? Why might the relationship between Plato’s pilot of the soul and the divine logos have been important enough for the Thiene family to have the figure depicted in the center of the ceiling of the largest room in their palace? Logos was also the term used by Luther to constitute scripture as the living word of God. Unlike Plato, who equates divine logos with absolute knowledge, Luther had Scripture in mind in his conception of the term.190 In the debate about free will taking place at the time, the figure on top of the snake could therefore assume both Plato’s conception of the will of the soul, or the Lutheran idea of the word as the mediator between God and humanity. The Greek metaphysical concept for logos was transformed into the word of God in Judaism, which later became equated with Christ for Christians.191 This transformation was verbally pronounced by John the Evangelist, who decreed, “and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”192 In his De christiana religione, Ficino reflects on the different names given to divine logos by ancient theologians. “Orpheus,” Ficino asserts, “called it [logos] Pallas, born form the head of Jove alone.”193 Given the mirror held by the figure in Canera’s painting, which is usually associated with prudence, arguably the painting could simply represent the mythological 188 Riley, Plato’s Crylatus, 65. 189 Michael Allen Gillespie, The Theological Origins of Modernity (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008), 257. 190 Ibid., 247. 191 Marian Hillar, From Logos to Trinity: The Evolution of Religious Beliefs from Pythagoras to Tertullian (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). 192 John, 1:14. 56 goddess associated with the virtue, but what of the snake on which she is sitting? Though this attribute may not be a as familiar to the goddess as it was to Prudence, there are several contemporary sources that register the relationship in Northern Italy, as Minerva’s significance underwent a conversion from the goddess of war to the goddess of peace in Neo-Platonic circles.194 Prudence Between Fate and Free Will My research suggests that debates about prudence were played out in images of the goddess of the virtue, Pallas/Minerva. Two paintings commissioned to decorate the private studiolo of Isabella D’Este in Mantua, illustrate this shift. The first, known as Pallas Expelling the Vices (Figure 3), was painted by Andrea Mantegna somewhere around 1497.195 In a setting composed of boxwood hedges neatly trimmed to form an arcade, Pallas or Minerva, the goddess of chastity and prudence armed with a lance and a shield advances on a group of figures associated with vices.196 Hovering above the commotion, in a circular cloud in the top right corner of the painting, are three figures that have been identified as the other three cardinal virtues, Fortitude, Temperance and Justice.197 Despite the difficulties in identification of many of the figures, the painting is important because it singles out Prudence, in the guise of Pallas/Minerva, as the quintessential virtue needed in the triumph of virtue over vice, and hence suggests a correlation between prudence and free will. In the painting Minerva appears with her hallmark military accessories wearing a helmet and a cuirass, and holding a shield in her left 193 Hankins, “Marsilio Ficino,” 21. 194 Rudolf Wittkower, “Transformations of Minerva in Renaissance Imagery,” Journal of the Warburg Institute, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jan., 1939), pp. 194-205. 195 Campbell, Cabinet of Eros, 148. 196 Ibid. 57 hand.198 Such a representation of the goddess is not unlike the pictorial tradition of the middle ages, which, as Rudolf Wittkower points out, showed Minerva in full armor characteristic of her role as the warlike defender of virtue.199 The second painting, Allegory of Virtue, (Figure 4) created by Antonio da Correggio, has been dated to somewhere between 1528 and 1530, after the Sack of Rome.200 In the center of this image, a woman holding a broken lance in her right hand, and a helmet in her left is seated on a dragon. The aegis-bearing shield below her immediately identifies her as Minerva. Three nymphs, or angels, carrying a lyre and a flute hover above her, and below them a fourth places a crown of laurel on the head of the goddess. To the right of Minerva is a blond woman sitting on the skin on a lion, perhaps identifying her as Fortitude. To the left is a dark-skinned woman gesturing towards the heavens, accompanied by a child who points to the compass in the woman’s right hand, which is poised atop a large globe. The protagonist, Minerva, appears with the same attributes as she did in Mantegna’s painting, although here the aegis on her shield is clearly visible. There is another significant difference between the two paintings. If, in Mantegna’s image, Minerva was in the midst of expelling the vices, in Correggio’s painting she is depicted as victorious, as suggested by the removal of her helmet, and the placement of the shield on the ground indicating she is no longer in battle. Such a representation is consistent with the transformation of Minerva who, as Wittkower observed, experienced a shift from the 197 Campbell, Cabinet of Eros, 147. 198 For the attributes normally associated with the goddess see Rudolf Wittkower, “Transformations of Minerva.” 199 Ibid., 199. 200 Campbell, Cabinet of Eros, 225. 58 warlike goddess to a Minerva Pacifica.201 As Campbell argues, the sculpted topiary in the background of Correggio’s painting suggests that Minerva’s victory should be seen as an extension of Mantegna’s Pallas and the Vices.202 Would this mean that the dragon and vice are synonymous? With her left foot pressing down on the beast, one could interpret such a gesture as Minerva placing vice into submission. An extant drawing by Giulio Romano for the Palazzo del Te depicts a woman with her breast exposed like the figure in the Sala degli Dei except this time she has her right foot pressing down on a dragon.203 Philip Pouncey and John Arthur Giles Gere have identified the figure as Prudence, an interpretation accepted by Verheyen.204 While the woman has no accoutrements that may identify her with Minerva, the fact that she is presiding over a dragon like the goddess in Correggio’s painting suggests that the iconographic lines between Minerva and Prudence during the period may have been vague. There are other elements in Correggio’s painting that suggest that the dragon plays another key role to our understanding of the work in relation to the question of free will that was emerging during the period. The dragon could be interpreted as a substitute for vice, but as Campbell has argued, it could also represent fate,205 a principle that was intrinsically tied to questions of free will at the time. Disputes about fate were rife after the Sack of Rome, perhaps expectedly, since many, including the Gonzaga, believed that the church had brought the terrible events of May 6, 1527 itself. In a letter to Federico on July 7, 1527 Pietro Aretino, who found a safe haven 201 Wittkower, “Transformations of Minerva,” 195-196. 202 Campbell, Cabinet of Eros, 242. 203 Konrad Oberhuber, “L’apparato decorativo,” Giulio Romano, ed. Sergio Polano (Milan: Electa, 1989), 336-379, (361). 204 Ibid. See also J. A. Gere and Philip Pouncey, Italian Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: Raphael and his Circle (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1969), 63. 59 at Federico’s court after fleeing from his adversaries in the church, drew parallels between the Sack of Rome and the fall of Troy in the Aeneid,206 describing the event as something fated.207 In the same letter, Aretino held Pope Clement VII personally responsible.208 The responsibility of the church for the Sack of Rome was also confirmed in pamphlets, letters and sermons all claiming that the atrocity had been preordained.209 Even the bishop of Mantua, Ambrogio Flandino, attacked the degeneracy of the church in a dialogue that called for a renewed theology, and the reformist tone of his work drew heavily from the Silenus Alcibiadis of Erasmus.210 Only two years earlier, Mario Equicola, Isabella’s secretary, wrote in his Libro de natura de amore (1525) that the anxieties of fate and fortune could be overcome through the exercise of free will, particularly when the will is used to expel vices.211 Equicola’s ideas are contrary to those of Trissino who, as we have already seen, believed in the possibility of predestination as it was foretold by the position and 205 Ibid., 245-49. 206 Ibid., 240. 207 Cited in Campbell, 240, “The pious ghosts of Fabricius and Cato lament the fate of Rome with resounding voice, by other blows brought to an end without end; its ruin is so great and so grave, of all the pages recording the passing of the centuries, that Laocoön finally forgets his old woe with new grief [forgetting] Minerva, the serpents and this or that son of his.” 208 Ibid., “Thus was Rome taken on the sixth day of May through the great goodness of wise Pope Penis. I come alive again all raging to see what is the truth of him, O cursed of God, O lord Clement, O discontented by small things; O shepherd, you’re a sheep. In the year ’27, in your honor, to iron and rage, to fire, pillage and ransom money, it was all done with no battle fought [by you].” 209 Ibid., 241. 210 Silvana Seidel Menchi, “La discussione su Erasmo nell’Italia del Rinascimento. Ambrogio Quistelli teologo padovano e Alberto Pio principe di Carpi,” Società, Politica e Cultura a Carpi ai Tempi di Alberto III Pio (Padua, 1981), 355-7. 211 Campbell, Cabinet of Eros, 245, “I do not doubt to affirm, following the ancient philosophers, that in the lower irrational and mortal part of the soul are to be located the emotions and perturbations of the mind, which motions the rational part can reduce to a mean…And we believe that as regards virtue and vice, we are like a blank sheet of paper, on which nothing is originally inscribed, but on which we have the power to write. Aristotle 60 conjunction of the stars. As Campbell notes, the Gonzaga persistently received predictions from prophets and astrologers.212 As such, the head and the tail of the dragon in Correggio’s painting – which are the only parts of the beast that can be seen – may refer to the caput [head] et coda [tail] draconis, notational points in the heaven corresponding to the planetary trajectories used to draw up horoscopes and prophesize future events.213 It is important to note, however, that while Campbell suggests the possibility that the painting may reference the caput et coda draconis, this does not mean that Isabella believed in the predestinations of fate, but rather was simply aware of the overreaching tendencies to give credit to them, since her husband Francesco and her son Federico had consulted regularly with the celebrated astrologer Tommaso Filologo.214 What is more likely, Campbell argues, is that the presence of the dragon under Minerva’s weight signals Isabella’s ability to detach herself from the perturbations of fate and the unknowable future with stoicism.215 For Campbell, this could be summed up by Isabella’s good friend, and tutor to her son Ercole, Trissino, who praised her in his Ritratti dedicated to Isabella that she has, “the liberty to bring into being all which her appetite seeks to accomplish…because with a profundity or greatness of mind she cares little or not at all for the things of this world, but taking the intellect as a guide, she penetrates the Heavens with her soul, and with the eyes of the justifiably criticized Socrates for believing the contrary, and he proved that neither virtue and vice can be present in us except through our own will.” 212 Ibid., 246. 213 Ibid. 214 Ibid. 215 Ibid., 247. 61 intellect she discerns many of those things which are withheld from our mortal selves, and in this she delights, and from this she acquires peace.”216 In his tribute to Isabella, the Neoplatonic distinction Trissino makes between the mortal and the divine is conceived in terms of penetrating the heavens, an interpretation that recalls Plato’s Phaedrus. 217 Correggio’s painting could therefore signify Isabella’s conviction, like that of Trissino, that the will is free to do good, but not evil, and is inherently aligned with universal harmony, an idea that is further confirmed by Trissino’s own interest in astronomy. The topiary in the background is sculpted suspiciously into the shape of a column or pole. As was conventional at the time, the affairs of mythological gods were depicted as having occurred in open air and thus required natural scenery.218 This was also the case in Mantegna’s painting as we have seen. With this in mind, Minerva’s transformation is somewhat cosmological, an aspect further emphasized by the globe at her feet. In the fresco from the Sala degli Dei in the Palazzo Thiene, the analogy is more explicit. Navigation and the Harmony of the Spheres: The Cosmology of Trissino’s Minerva My research suggests that Minerva’s relationship to the snake is cosmological, and stems from her role as moral guide and maintainer of cosmic harmony, an aspect that is better understood when we revisit Trissino’s attempts at reform. Looking for strategies to 216 Giangiorgio Trissino, Ritratti, in Willi Hirdt, Gian Giorgio Trissino’s Porträt der Isabella d’Est, trans. Lukian-Rezeption (Heidelberg, 1981), 27, ‘E prima è da sapere, che, per essere molto honorato, non piu si stima, ne per non essere appregiata, si sdegna; ne s’invaghisse, per havere famiglia honoratissima, e grande; ne per l’abondantia, che ha di tutte quelle cose, a le quali desiderio humano si possa appoggiare, ne perchè s’habbia libertà din poter mettere in executione tutto quello, che ne l’appetito suo cadesse di fare; anzi con una profondità, e grandeza di mente poco, o nulla di queste cose terrene si cura, ma, pigliando l’intelleto per guida, se ne penetra con l’animo al Cielo, e con l’occhio di quello discerne molte di quelle cose, ch’a nostra mortalità sono contese; e di queste si gode, et in loro s’aqueta…” 217 Plato, Phaedrus, 45. 218 Freedman, Classical Myths, 137. 62 recreate peace and harmony in the Italian peninsula, Trissino originally advocated for a shared language that would eliminate rivalry and distrust. Influenced greatly by works such as De monarchia and La divina commedia, one of the first steps towards this reform was to make the works of Dante accessible by translating them into local dialect.219 Though his efforts were mostly in vain the failure did not discourage Trissino and he continued to find new ways of inspiring peninsular concord. In a letter to his son Giulio, Trissino described his determination in Homeric terms: “I will continue to sustain one of the labours of Hercules in keeping this boat on course; by so many winds she is overpowered.”220 Trissino’s words, while metaphorical, are significant for two reasons. First, the comparison of his own search for harmony to the labours of Hercules and his desire to keep his “boat on course” may be seen as a reference to Plato’s Phaedrus and the need to keep the ignoble steed on the right trajectory. Second, is the parallel between Trissino’s comment and Dante’s own words in the Divina Commedia, a similarity that reflects a shared interest in astronomy as it relates to the goddess Minerva. At the beginning of the second canto of Paradiso, when Dante is just about to enter heaven, he explains what is required to guide him on his arduous journey: “Minerva breathes, Apollo guides me, and the nine Muses show me the Bears.”221 219 Morsolin, Giangiorgio Trissino, 170. 220 Ibid., 280 “Io sostengo una delle fatiche di Ercole a tener dritta questa barchetta: tanto è da diversi venti conquassata.” 221 Dante Alighieri, La divina commedia, Paradiso, coretta, speigata e difesa dal P. Baldassare Lombardi (Rome: Stamperia de Romanis, 1977), 19, Voi, che sete in piccioletta barca/ Desiderosi d'ascoltar, seguiti/ Retr'al mio legno, che cantando varca/ Tornate a riveder li vostri liti/ Non vi mettete in pelago; che forse/ Perdendo me, rimarresti smarriti/ L'acqua, 63 Those who follow Dante are described as being in a “piccioletta barca” or small boat, not unlike Trissino’s barchetta, which is the diminutive form of barca. Trissino’s determination to hold the course of his boat, despite the many winds she is engulfed in, echoes the last three lines of Dante’s quote, where the pilgrim warns that the waters he is taking have never been crossed, but Minerva breathes the wind, Apollo steers, and the nine Muses point him to the Bears. The Bears to which Dante refers are Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, those constellations most commonly used to determine the position of the North Pole. In Dante’s poem Minerva provides the wind that takes his boat safely to paradise, while in Trissino’s case there are many winds, but only Minerva, the goddess of prudence and also of navigation, can provide him with the right one. Trissino’s reference to navigation is no coincidence, and it coincided with his fascination with astronomy. Trissino’s interest in astronomy derives from his concern for peninsular harmony. While studying with Nicolò Leoniceno in Ferrara, Trissino was introduced to the Harmony of the Spheres, through Ptolemy’s book, Inerrantium Stellarum Significationes (1533), which had been translated into Latin by Leoniceno. In 1541, Trissino presented the translated volume to Pope Leo X. It was through this new science that Trissino believed Italians could derive enlightenment.222 “Italians,” Trissino wrote, “dedicated to this science can derive much from its light.”223 Trissino was determined to see Italy united and enlightened by the light of judgment and reason associated with astronomy.224 Significant is how navigation, which depended on the stars for guidance, now became linked to harmony of the celestial ch'io prendo, giamai non si corse/ Minerva spira; & conducemi Apollo/ Et nove Muse mi dimostran l'orse. 222 Morsolin, Giangiorgio Trissino, 283. 223 Ibid. 224 Ibid., 251. 64 bodies, a corollary also established in Franchinus Gaffurius’s De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum opus of 1518. In his schematization for the Harmony of the Spheres in the treatise (Figure 7), Gaffurius incorporates a woodcut linking the planetary spheres to their accompanying Muse via a three-headed snake, which, as we shall see, alludes to the role of prudence in the production of harmony. Though printed in Milan, Gaffurius treatise would have been found in libraries across northern Italy, acquiring particular importance in Mantua, where Gaffurius studied the music theory of Boethius under Vittorino da Feltre between 1473 and 1475, and also taught.225 The harmonic elements of mathematics and music in Gaffurius’s treatise were rooted in the cosmology of Pythagorean antiquity. Numerological and symbolic aspects of Pythagorean thought had reached their zenith of development in the architecture of the Renaissance, when developments in navigation, cartography and astronomy in the sixteenth century prompted a revived appreciation for the paths and trajectories of the planets.226 For the period in question, the earth remained the center around which the other planets and constellations revolved in circular paths consistent with the system formulated by Pythagoras in the Harmony of the Spheres. As Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier points out, in his De architectura, Vitruvius provided a more detailed account of Pythagoras’s contributions than any other writer of antiquity.227 This is important, since Vitruvius would become a key figure 225 Donald C. Sanders, Music at the Gonzaga Court in Mantua (Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2012), 6. 226 Ann Sutherland Harris, Seventeenth-century Art & Architecture (London: Lawrence King Publishing, 2005), xiii. 227 Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier, Measuring Heaven: Pythagoras and His Influence on Thought and Art in Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press: Ithica and London, 2006), 29. 65 in the Renaissance developments of architectural theory, particularly for Trissino who saw in the Roman predecessor the possibility of peninsular harmony through architectural renewal, and disseminated his ideas in his Platonic academy. The relation between harmony and the cosmos laid out by Pythagoras in his theory of the Harmony of the Spheres has its origins in the harmonics of music. Music, like astronomy, was rooted in mathematics according to Pythagoras, who believed that the motion of the stars creates a perfectly melodious harmony.228 At the time of Pythagoras, the traditional system of pitches under which music operated contained seven notes that were associated with seven anciently recognized planets.229 This is the same theory used by Gaffurius for the woodcut illustration in his De harmonia musicorum opus, with one exception. In Valeriano’s woodcut there are eight spheres that make up the heavens, rather than the seven put forward by Pythagoras, the eighth of which is represented by a group of stars rather than a planet. We will recall that there are eight stucco figures surrounding the central image in the Sala degli Dei, and if we replace the Colum Stellatia in Valeriano’s woodcut with Hercules, there are eight spheres represented by their corresponding deity. The addition of an eighth sphere is derived from Plato’s account. While Pythagoras may have laid the groundwork for the Harmony of the Spheres, in the Timaeus Plato elaborated on his theories and included an outermost belt, which housed the constellations, as an eighth sphere. Plato compared the outermost sphere, which contained a group of concentric rings formed by the seven innermost spheres, to a potter’s whorl “which is scooped out, and into this is fitted a lesser one, and another, and another, and 228 Ibid., 34. 229 Ibid., 158. 66 four others, making eight in all.”230 This arrangement, Plato continues, is pierced by a spindle, which is driven home through the center of the eighth, and outermost sphere. Plato goes on to describe the spheres, as well as their order, explaining that “the largest (of fixed stars) is spangled, and the seventh (or sun) is brightest; the eighth (or moon) is coloured and reflected by the light of the seventh; the second and fifth (Saturn and Mercury) are in colour like one another, and yellower than the preceding; the third (Venus) has the whitest light; the fourth (Mars) is reddish; the sixth (Jupiter) is in whiteness second…The eight together form a harmony.”231 Extending from the pole of the earth, Gaffurius’s adaptation depicts a three-headed serpent that sweeps down the center of the composition, symbolizing the spindle to which Plato refers. As Joseph Campbell has argued, the triple-headed form was translated into Christian Trinitarian terms denoting the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, an analogy for the one godhead of Christianity.232 Positioned above the earth as it is, the serpent, as a spindle, could also represent the North Pole, for it is around this point that the stars in the firmament were thought to have spun. This is, in fact, the case, as we can see from Dürer’s illustration of the constellations (Figure 8), where Draco, represented by a serpent, circles the North Pole between the constellations of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. As ancient myth Minerva was responsible for the dragon’s position among the constellations. In the Titanomachy, or the War of the Titans – a ten year series of battles fought between the gods at the beginning of the earth’s inception – the dragon, which had tormented the Olympian Gods for a decade, finally encountered Minerva, who grabbed it by 230 Plato, The Republic, Book X, 622. 231 Ibid., 623. 67 the tail and threw it to the North Pole where it immediately froze and began its eternal spin around the polar axis.233 Andrea Alciati recognized the interchangeability of the serpent and dragon in his Emblematum liber (1531).234 Referring to the image of the ouroboros in Ambrosius Macrobius’s Saturnalia, where a serpent that engorges itself surrounds the three heads of a wolf, lion and dog (Figure 9), Alciati maintains that both the dragon and serpent are representative of the cosmos.235 Derived from ancient Egyptian mythology, the image is found in many sixteenth-century publications, including the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. As we have already seen in the second canto of Dante’s Paradiso, finding the entrance to heaven was determined by locating the position of the North Pole, which was established by first locating Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The fact that Dante received assistance by Minerva and the Muses is no coincidence, since Minerva was known to rule over the pole, where she had placed the dragon she had slain to remain forever as a constellation. In a description of the constellations of the North 232 Joseph Campbell, The Mythic Dimension: Selected Essays 1959-1987 (Novato, California: New World Library Press, 2008), 145. 233Atlante delle origini: Miti e legend dello spazio siderale (Colognola ai Colli: Demetra, S.R. L., 1998), 46, “Erano già trascorsi dieci anni di guerra quando il mostro si scontrò con la dea ATENA che, dopo una lunga e terribile lotta, riuscì ad afferrarlo per la coda e lo fece roteare a lungo in aria. Quando il dragone raggiunse in questo modo una sufficiente velocità di fuga lo lanciò verso le stelle. Esauritasi dell forza della spinta, incominciò a precipitare, ma la caduta si interruppe perché il suo corpo si impigliò intorno al Polo Nord Celeste. Laria, in quel luogo, era così gelida che il Dragone si congelò in questa posizione e incominciò a girare per l'eternità attorno alla STELLA POLARE. 234 Andrea Alciati, Il libro degli emblemi, trans. Mino Gabriele (Milan: Adelphi Edizione, 2009). 235 Ibid., 240, “In sintesi un simile dragone denota, pur nelle diverse sfumature concettuali, il cosmo e il suo perpetuo rinnovarsi secondo le leggi del tempo infinito.” 68 Pole, Ptolemy lists Draco among the constellations that include the most luminous stars, along with Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.236 If we return to the image of the three-headed snake in Gaffurius’s woodcut, we can recognize a similar form in the Egyptian Serapide from Macrobius’s Saturnalia. 237 Macrobius’s example is a representation of the three heads of the wolf, lion and dog, but rather than being at the end of a serpent, the heads are surrounded by one in the form of a circle eating its own tail. As a passage from Macrobius’s Saturnalia attests, the serpent surrounding the three heads is often referred to as a dragon, further highlighting the interchangeability of the two. 238 In his book of emblems, immediately following his discussion of Macrobius’s ouroboros, Alciati lists two emblems (Figure 10) that depict the goddess of prudence, Pallade Atena, or Minerva, governing over a dragon which remains at her feet, with the quotation: “Vera haec effigies innuptau Palladis, eius Hic draco, qui dominae constitit ante pedes”239 This correlation is substantiated by Hyginus in the second century, who situates Minerva’s reign in the firmament in his book on astronomy, de Astronomia.240 236 Claudio Tolomeo, Le previsione astrologiche (tetrabiblos), a cura di Simonetta Feraboli (Rome: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, 1985), 45 “Delle stele che formano le costellazioni a nord dello zodiac, quelle luminose dell’Orsa Minore sono simili, nelle loro azione, a Saturno e in parte a Venere, mentre quelle dell’Orsa Maggiore a Marte; sotto la coda dell’Orsa…Le stelle luminose del Dragone producono gli stessi effetti do Saturno e Marte.” 237 Ambrosius Macrobius, The Saturnalia, trans. Percival Vaughan Davies (New York: Colombia University Press, 1969). 238 Macrobius, Saturnalia. 1.20.338. The inscription describes the figure as: “el simulacro dagli Aegyptii di Serapi venerato portava: el quale era un capo di leone, all dextra prosilava uno capo di cane blandiente et dalla leava uno capo di rapace lupo; la quale effigie era tuta in uno volumine di draco contenta et circundata.” 239 Alciati, Il libro degli emblemi, 245. 69 As Mino Gabriele explains, the emblems represent the ideal that prudence safeguards man against the profanities of the world, but also preserves the integrity of that which is sacred.241 In Gaffurius’s model of the Harmony of the Spheres, the eighth, and outermost sphere is that which lies between our tangible physical world and the heavenly realm where Apollo sits on his throne. It is Minerva who keeps it organized and separates the two domains by dominating over the dragon. In his commentary on Plato’s Cratylus, Proclus explains that it is indeed Minerva who “perfects, guards, and covers all the cosmos with her own powers, since she connects all the encosmic heights and, herself, institutes all the lots in heaven.”242 The figure in the Sala degli Dei in the Palazzo Thiene then could be Minerva, who has become a symbol of the keeper of harmony by sitting over a snake that represents the constellation Draco. There is, however, one more attribute of the figure that further elucidates the shift in conception of Minerva from goddess of war to goddess of peace: the mirror. The relationship between prudence and the mirror was already well established during the period. Camillo Camilli’s Imprese illustri di diverse, printed in 1535, and later 240 Hygynis, de Astronomia, ed. Gh. Viré (Stuttgart: B.G. Teubneri, 1992), 20, “hoc etiam segni erit quod in sereribus supra eum draconem herculis similacrum osten ditur, ut Eratosthenes demostrat; quare cuivis licet intellegere hunc maxime draconem dici. Nonnulli etiam dixerunt hund draconem a Gigantibus Minervae obiectum esse, cum eos oppungnaret; Minervam cuitem arreptum draconem contortum ad sidera iecisse et ad ipsum axem caeli fixisse; itaque adhuc eum implicate corpore vederi ut nuper ad sidera perlatum.” 241 Mino Gabriele, in Andrea Alciati, Il libro degli emblemi, 248, “Tale tuela serpentiforme assume così, nel nuovo contest emblematico, non soltanto la funzione simbolica dell’attenzione intelligente, che sorveglia da ogni corpo e la mente, ma anche quella di preservare da ogni profanazione l’integrità misterico del sacro.” 242 Proclus, Proclus: On Plato’s Cratylus, trans. Brian Duvick (London: Gerald Duckworth and Co. Ltd.: 2007), 108, see note 185. 70 engraved by Girolamo Porro, confirms the correlation. 243 By holding the mirror in her hand, the figure on the snake recognizes the importance of prudence in the creation of harmony. In Canera’s painting a clothed woman is sitting atop of snake – symbolizing the constellation Draco – which rests above the ring depicting the twelve signs of the zodiac. In her final transformation, Minerva has been transformed from the warrior-like goddess in Mantegna’s painting, and the more peaceful deity who has removed her helmet and cuirass in Correggio’s canvas, to the pilot of the soul, and the divine logos. Canera’s painting is perhaps the first instance in which a personification of Prudence is removed from the traditional representation of the virtue and acquires the cosmological position of Minerva. As such, the image seems to break free from the literary origins of myth, and register an attempt to return to the living word of knowledge over the written word, which is no more than an image.244 Could the mirror held by the figure imply that prudence may also preside over our own destinies in different ways depending on how the virtue is practiced? The multivalence of the work would also safeguard the Thiene family’s good name. At the time of construction of the palace, the Thiene family was known to have undergone a crisis in reputation due to their Lutheran proclivities. In 1542, when Marc’Antonio Thiene and his brother Adriano decided to build a new palace that would express the grandeur and importance of their name and family, the brothers were the wealthiest men in Vicenza determined to preserve their status at any cost. As Howard Burns observes, the Thiene would 243 Camillo Camilli, Imprese illustri di diversi, coi dircorsi di Camillo Camilli et con le figure intagliate in Rame di Girolamo Porro Padovano (Venice, 1586), p. 128, When discussing the fragility of love, Camilli writes, “Mà io direi che un corpo d’Impresa formato di due cose tanto nobili, quanto sono il Sole, & lo specchio, che l’uno è simbolo della stessa divinità, e l’altro della prudenza.” 244 Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood, “Space for Fiction,” Anachronic Renaissance (Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books, 2010), 347-366, (360). 71 stop at little to maintain their power, even if it included violence.245 One of the first measures they would undertake to secure their social position was the marriage alliance confirmed the same year between Livia, Marc’Antonio’s sister, and Iseppo Porto, a member of the pro-Venetian faction, consolidating their joint allegiance with Venice and France.246 Allegiances should be taken lightly, however, especially in view of what we know about the Thiene’s Lutheran inclinations. The Thiene’s sudden shift in allegiance from the Holy Roman Emperor to the Venetian Republic is somewhat dubious given their intimacy with the Gonzaga rulers in Mantua who supported Charles V.247 The Thiene were a product of the heretical idealism filtered through Trissino’s Academy at Cricoli however, and their project at the Palazzo Thiene must be understood as an exercise in self-aggrandizement within the “idealità di corte” which would see their accession as princely rulers.248 The problem for the Thiene was that at the time Vicenza was polarized into two different factions, one who supported the Holy Roman Empire, and one who sided with the Venetian Republic and France.249 Over the course of the century allegiances came and went as new groups of social classes emerged and the noble families sought to gain their support. Conveniently, the painting in the Sala degli Dei would reflect a similar ambiguity in allegiance. The Thiene were provided with the perfect model for how to use the ambiguity of art to their advantage by the Gonzagas who had participated in the debate about free will at the Palazzo del Te in Mantua. 245 Olivieri, “trasmissione ereticale,” 177. 246 Howard Burns, Palazzo Thiene, eds. Guido Beltramini, Howard Burns e Fernando Rigon (Milan: Skira editore, 2007), 44. 247 Bazzotti and Burns, “Giulio Romano and the Palazzo Thiene,” 42. 248 Ibid. 249 Beltramini, Private Palladio, 44. 72 Closing Notes: Giulio Romano’s Palazzo del Te as Model The theory that Canera’s painting of Prudence engages in debates about free will at the time can be tested against comparable developments at the Palazzo del Te. The strategies adopted by Federico Gonzaga, who experienced a similar shift in allegiance, are worth considering here since the architect of his palace, Giulio Romano, was also responsible for the frescoed interior. The polarization of allegiances in Mantua also seemed to stem from disputes about freedom of the will. The similarities between the Palazzo Thiene and the Palazzo del Te suggest that the image in the central panel of the Sala degli Dei may have drawn from examples at the Mantuan court of the Gonzaga family, where the issue of free will was brought forward throughout the official palace in painted mythologies. As we have just seen, a drawing left by Giulio of a woman with one breast exposed and dominating a dragon has been identified as Prudence, and bears a striking resemblance to Alciati’s emblem for Pallas ruling over the dragon. Allegorical readings of Giulio Romano’s paintings in the Palazzo del Te, constructed for Federico Gonzaga in the late 1520s, have emphasized how the painted rooms are largely conditioned by “a kind of Herculean choice between virtue and vice.”250 The first room encountered upon entering the palace from the north, the Sala dei Cavalli, is filled with images of horses and the labours of Hercules, reminders of the tests he had to undergo in order to atone for his sins, after having surrendered to his anger and murdering his wife and children. The two largest rooms, the Sala dei Giganti and the Sala di Psiche, can also be considered conversations about the question of free will. 250 David Mayernik, “The Winds in the Corners: Giulio Romano, the Elements & the Palazzo Te’s Fall of the Giants,” Aeolian Wind and the Spirit in Renaissance Architecture, ed. Barbara Kenda (New York: Routledge, 2006), 137. 73 The Sala di Psiche, located in the northeast corner of the palace, depicts scenes from the love story between Cupid and Psyche, a tale that brings to mind the theme of free will, as Sally Hickson notes.251 Considered a popular exposition of Neoplatonic philosophy and the ascent of the soul, the tale of Cupid and Psyche celebrated the triumph of love over adversity.252 According to myth, Cupid is sent by Venus to report on the beauty of Psyche, where he immediately falls in love with the woman whose beauty exceeds that of his mother.253 Not wanting to be seen, Cupid can only visit Psyche at night, and in order to maintain their affair, Psyche must promise never to look at him, an oath she is destined to disobey.254 When she breaks her promise and looks at her lover by candlelight, Cupid quickly disappears and Psyche is destined to wander in exile until she can make restitution for her misdeed. As Hickson argues, the story remains a powerful commentary on the act of volition, and also the violation that results from the inability to prevent the will from choosing wisely.255 Linked to the Sala di Psiche by the Loggia di Davide, the Sala dei Giganti suggests a parallel meaning. The Sala dei Giganti depicts the myth of the Gigantomachia – the war between the Giants and Jupiter – narrated by Ovid. On the ceiling, an angry Jupiter hurls lightning bolts down toward the Giants from atop a cloud. Surrounding Jupiter are the gods and goddesses of Olympus, as well as other creatures from Greek mythology. Above him, in a cupola surrounded by twelve gold columns, an eagle sits on a throne in the shape of the Shell of St. 251 Sally Hickson, “More than Meets the Eye: Giulio Romano, Federico II Gonzaga and the Triumph of Trompe-‘oeil at the Palazzo del Te in Mantua,” Disguise, deception and trompe-l'oeil: interdisciplinary perspectives, eds. Leslie Boldt-Irons, Corrado Federici, and Ernesto Virgulti (New York: Peter Lang, 2009), 41-60, (45). 252 Ibid. 253 Ibid., 51. 254 Ibid. 74 James. On the walls below, the Giants collapse beneath crumbling columns. The scene is derived from Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a weighty tome that had free will as one of its primary themes.256 Colonna’s tale consists of the quest of the main character, Poliphilo, for his love Polia, presented in the form of a dream where the theme of free will predominates. After journeying through a dark and ominous forest, where he searches for his beloved, Poliphilo emerges to a world filled with architectural wonders from the cultures of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and begins the true quest that will lead him to her. As he proceeds through the ancient portal of an ancient pyramid, he encounters Queen Eleuterilyda, whose name means literally “free will.”257 Around her neck, the queen wears an oval pendant etched with an animated episode of the Gigantomachia, the same event depicted in the Sala dei Giganti. In the image, Jupiter holds a lightning bolt in one hand, and a cornucopia in the other, signifying that man has the free will to choose his path in life.258 Given Giulio’s expertise in numismatics, the episode in the Hypnerotomachia would likely have appealed to the 255 Ibid., 52. 256 Mayernik, “The Winds in the Corners,” 136. 257 Mayernik, “The Winds in the Corners,” 136. 258 Francesco Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, trans. Joscelyn Godwin (London, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1999), 132. The two young nymphs chosen by the queen to be Poliphilo’s guides, Logistica and Thelemia, who symbolize reason and volition respectively, explain the meaning of the pendant to Poliphilo:“Logistica, understanding my honest request, immediately replied saying, ‘Know Poliphilo, that this gem is engraved with the image of almighty Jupiter, sitting crowned on his throne, while under his majestic and holy footstool are the vanquished giants who wanted to reach his high threshold, to seize his scepter and to be equal to him; and he struck them with lightning. In his left hand he holds a flame of fire, in his right he has a cornucopia filled with good things, and he holds his arms apart. This is all that is contained on that precious jewel.’ Then I [Poliphilo] said, ‘What is the significance of the two such different things that he holds in his divine hands?’ Thelemia replied knowingly, ‘Through his infinite goodness, immortal Jupiter indicates to earthlings that they can freely choose from his hands which ever gift they wish.” 75 architect, who often relied on coins and medals to create esoteric images.259 Strongly recognized for its elements of Platonic theory,260 the Hypnerotomachia could have been part of the regular curriculum in the academies of the period, including Isabella D’Este’s Academia de Santo Pietro at the Mantuan court in the 1520s when Giulio would have been present.261 The Hypnerotomachia is also the likely choice for the iconography in the Sala di Psiche.262 Not only does the room contain several images that are direct quotations from Colonna’s treatise but also the design of the scene on the walls, which gives the impression of a large island, is a suggested reference to the island of Venus from the text.263 This argument is supported by Federico’s plan to place a statue of Venus in the middle of the room, just as it had been in the middle of the island of the Hypnerotomachia.264 The Hypnerotomachia also determines the way the scenes in the Sala di Psiche are distributed, where the images on the ceiling, which serve as a prelude to the life of happiness on the walls, imitate similar reliefs from the triumphal procession in Colonna’s text.265 259 Mayernik, “The Winds in the Corners,” 137. 260 Liane Lefaivre, Leon Battista Alberti’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: Re-cognizing the Architectural Body in the Early Italian Renaissance (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005), 175. See also Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Built upon Love: Architectural Longings after Ethics and Aesthetics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006). 261 David S. Chambers, “The Early ‘Academies’ in Italy,” Italian Academies of the Sixteenth Century, eds. David S. Chambers and F. Quiviger, 9 (London: The Warburg Institute, 1995), 1-14, (11). 262 Egon Verheyen, The Palazzo del Te in Mantua: Images of Love and Politics (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), 25. See also Di Julia Haig Gaisser, The fortunes of Apuleius and the Golden Ass: a study in transmission and reception (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), 196, see note 98. 263 Ibid. 264 Ibid., 26. 265 Ibid. 76 If the Hypnerotomachia is a possible source for the iconography at the Palazzo del Te, it is worth considering the narrative further for what it reveals about the question of free will and the way it relates to prudence, since this was also the subject of Canera’s painting in the Palazzo Thiene. The allusion to prudence is significant here since it is prudence, by way of the mirror, that is the major attribute of the female figure in the Sala degli Dei. In Colonna’s tale after enjoying a sumptuous banquet, Queen Eleuterilyda sends Poliphilo, accompanied by Logistica and Thelemia, to the Kingdom of Telosia, the realm of purpose or intention, where he is led to a cliff containing three doors from which he must choose before he proceeds. The first offers him heavenly glory, the second worldly glory, and the third one love. In order to choose wisely, Poliphilo is advised to “consign to oblivion” his past thoughts, and allow himself to be guided by Queen Telosia, “she who brings everything to its end,” and it is here that Poliphilo learns that he needs prudence to direct his will.266 Based on the advice Poliphilo receives, it would seem that prudence is necessary to guide Poliphilo’s will. Notably, the counsel on prudence provided to Poliphilo also comes with a temporal guideline. Prior to reaching the three portals from which he must choose, Poliphilo and the two nymphs come across a beautiful three-sided obelisk of gold that explains the meaning behind the counsel he receives. The obelisk represents celestial harmony manifest in Egyptian hieroglyphs, which read: TO THE DIVINE AND INFINITE TRINITY, ONE IN ESSENCE.267 It rests on a circular base, which “has no beginning or end,” and thus 266 Colonna, Hypnerotomachia, 122, Queen Telosia notes, “you will not know her unless modest prudence, together with sincere and right judgment, allow you to glimpse her.” 267 Ibid., 129. 77 represents the means between the two.268 As Logistica elucidates, in order to choose wisely, and in accord with celestial harmony, one requires the use of prudence, but one would also gain from grounding the operation of the virtue in the present moment.269 This type of prudence is in agreement with conceptions of the virtue prescribed by figures like Thomas Aquinas, who believed the true nature of prudence should be oriented towards a universal good and promote harmony, but contrary to the future driven sense of prudence as a means to an end theorized by Machiavelli. In the Palazzo del Te we are able to discern a similar connection between prudence and the ascent of the soul sought by Plato and Aquinas. We have already noted how the first room one enters is the Sala dei Cavalli, where the viewer is introduced to the labors of Hercules and his pursuit of virtue over vice. From there one proceeds to the Sala di Psiche where one would be reminded of Psyche’s insoluble dilemma with regard to volition, and the act of looking. In the Sala dei Giganti, one is faced with the horrific alternative of having chosen evil instead of good. The last room one encounters as one proceeds through the palace in a clockwise fashion is the Sala del Sole. Here the ceiling comprises a light blue background, covered with white stucco lozenges. In a long panel in the center of the vault there is a large fresco of the sun god Apollo and the moon goddess Diana on their chariots, making their journey across the sky. Each of their chariots is pulled by two white horses, elements that recall Plato’s Phaedrus. The white horses would reflect the purity of the soul of Diana and Apollo, which would have been immediately identifiable to anyone familiar with 268 Ibid., 130. 269 Ibid., Logistica explains that: “On the pyramid there are three flat surfaces decorated with three circles, one representing each division of time: past, present and future. Understand that no one figure could contain these three circles except this unchanging one; no mortal could 78 Plato’s work, and spectators of the palace would have recognized the rewards of restraining the unruliness of their ignoble steed. The theme was a popular trope in other buildings from the period. An almost identical scene was painted by Domenico Brusasorzi on the ceiling of the entrance hall in the Palazzo Chiericati in Vicenza, another one of Palladio’s earliest projects, highlighting the extent to which Platonic ideas circulated among the nobility at the time. The theme of the Gigantomachia was also painted in the Palazzo da Porto Festa in Vicenza, and surely derives from Giulio Romano’s work in the Palazzo del Te, as Erik Forssman has argued.270 During the period the Da Porto family formed a marriage allegiance with the Thiene family, who would have been familiar with the theme of free will depicted on the walls of the Da Porto palace. In many ways the Sala del Sole at the Palazzo del Te seems to act in conjunction with the Sala dei Cavalli. If, as scholars have argued, Federico’s palace registers an attempt to claim his right to princely status,271 then these rooms can be seen to befit the virtuous aspirations set out by Plato. The two rooms are situated on either side of the entrance to the palace, above which is found the Gonzaga coat of arms, alluding to the visit of Minerva, the goddess of prudence, to Mount Helikon.272 So named because of Federico’s devotion to horses – which enabled him in time to generate one of the most powerful studs in Europe273 – perfectly discern or see simultaneously two sides of this figure, but only one at a time, and that is the present.” 270 Erik Forssman, The Palazzo Da Porto Festa in Vicenza (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1973). 271 Verheyen, Palazzo del Te, 39. See also Peter Elmer, “Court Culture in Europe,” The Renaissance in Europe: Courts, Patrons and Poets, ed. David Mateer (London: Yale University Press, 2000), 72. 272 Verheyen, Palazzo del Te, 24. 273 Elmer, “Court Culture,” 71. 79 the Sala dei Cavalli may be seen to affirm the nobility of both of Federico’s steeds. It should be noted, however, that the use of mythological allegories did not necessarily conform to one fixed meaning. Such images served as a starting point for philosophical reflection, but could perform a variety of functions. As Peter Elmer notes, this would work to the advantage of Federico, who used the mythologies to operate in different ways, both private and public.274 The frescoes in the Palazzo del Te can be seen to take on different meanings, safeguarding Federico’s reputation depending on the viewer. Many viewers to the Sala dei Giganti would have seen a scene similar to the one described by Vasari.275 While it would seem that there is no direct reference to Charles V anywhere in the room, the Gonzagas could simply draw attention to the Imperial-looking eagle, symbol of the Holy Roman Empire, to affirm their support.276 The ambiguity of the fresco also invites another interpretation that engages with contemporary debates about logos as it relates to free will. Logos is connected to the question of free will because it is associated with orality, which brings with it true knowledge that is free from opinion. In the Phaedrus, Plato’s most severe critique of the written word is that it will not provide the truth because it is invested with opinion, and “from opinion comes persuasion, and not the truth.”277 Persuasion is key here, because the Phaedrus is also about the progress of the soul towards its divine end, and 274 Elmer, “Court Culture,” 72. 275 Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artists, trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), 370, “And after building this room in such a strange fashion, Giulio began to paint there the most fanciful compositions that one could encounter, that is, Jove annihilating the giants with his thunderbolts. And so, after depicting heaven, Giulio painted Jove’s throne on the highest part of the vault, foreshortening it from below upwards and from the front, inside a round temple above columns adorned in the Ionic style, with his canopy in the middle above his throne and his eagle, and all of this placed above the clouds.” 276 Campbell, Cabinet of Eros, 236. 277 Jowett, Phaedrus, 63. 80 how the coercive nature of opinion prevents the soul from willfully reaching this end.278 By becoming authoritative, writing prevents the soul from making its own judgment about truth, and this affects the soul’s movement. For Plato logos of the soul consists of self-movement. Only by being free from coercion can the soul come to its own conclusions and move itself. Plato therefore advocates a different kind of word: the living word of knowledge, which “can defend itself and knows when to speak and when to be silent,” emphasizing the need for communication. It is the condemnation of images as less identifiable with truth, by comparing them with the written word, which initiated efforts to elevate the status of images by confirming that they, too, could correspond to the living word by participating in communication. What I will refer to as a “living” image in this dissertation will therefore correspond to Plato’s definition of logos, which is broad and multiple as we shall see, but one that always preserves an element that emphasizes the importance of knowledge as an exchange of ideas through dialogue, conversation, and most importantly alternatives. The eagle enthroned in the center of the cupola on the ceiling of the Sala dei Giganti may well have represented Jupiter’s feathered companion or even Charles V, but it could also represent the divine logos through the relationship of the eagle to St. John. Of the four gospels in the New Testament it is the gospel according to St. John that most approximates God’s word.279 John’s gospel opens with a tribute to the divine logos: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”280 In Christian iconography 278 Ibid., 53. 279 Alexander S. Jensen, John’s Gospel as Witness: The Development of the Early Christian Language of Faith (Burlington: Ashgate, 2004), 23. 280 John 1:1. 81 John was often portrayed as an eagle, alluding to the lofty heights to which his writings soar.281 It is interesting to note how the space allocated for the eagle lies above the circular arrangement of figures representing the planetary gods, as if it were located in Plato’s heaven above the heavens where these gods reside, similar to the female figure in the Sala degli Dei. Like the female figure on the snake, the eagle also lies above a cylindrical form that projects down toward the viewer, although in the case of the eagle there are twelve pillars instead of twelve signs of the zodiac. The central image of the eagle could therefore take on multiple meanings depending on who the Duke was entertaining at the time. The ambiguity of the paintings would have allowed Federico the liberty of changing his allegiance through his own free will, should a sudden reversal of Charles V’s political fortunes transform his support into an embarrassment.282 The multiplicity of meanings would engage in Plato’s idea of logos as a conversation that doesn't restrict meaning to a single authority. I raise the themes in the Palazzo del Te here in order to consider their influence on the palace constructed for the Thiene family, who, as we have just seen, underwent a similar crisis in reputation. They were also among the greatest supporters of Lutheranism, with Adriano Thiene, one of the original patrons of the Palazzo Thiene, brought before a tribunal in 1547 for his Lutheran affinities.283 The Thiene were originally included among those who supported the idea of uniting Italy under the banner of secular power offered by the Holy Roman Emperor. Their marriage alliance with the Da Porto family indicates that members of the Venetian Republic, which at this time was allied with the church in an attempt to free the 281 Jeffrey F. Hamburger, St. John the Divine: The Deified Evangelist in Medieval Art and Theology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 85. 282 Elmer, “Court Culture,” 73. 82 peninsula of Francis I of France, would have been potential visitors to the palace. More importantly, however, is how the fresco in the Sala degli Dei might also have participated in debates about free will initiated in the Platonic Academies at by Giangiorgio Trissino who sought church reform. Conclusion The central painting in the Sala degli Dei serves several purposes in the ongoing conversation about prudence and free will. Located above the eighth sphere of the constellations, the central figure in the painting could signify that prudence is Plato’s pilot of the soul, the divine aid needed to guide the ignoble steed towards the good. The painting may also refer back to the caput et coda draconis and the conviction that prudence, as an instrument to free will, could be used to circumvent fate which is destined in the stars. This type of interpretation adheres to the Machiavellian perception of free will, in which prudence is used to allow each individual agency in determining their destiny.284 The figure could also represent the Lutheran conception that the will is enslaved by the vestiges of original sin despite our attempt to exercise free will through virtues like prudence. This last interpretation becomes even more potent if we consider the indifferent look in the female figure’s face, as she sits atop the serpent, whose open jaws are uncomfortably close to her own head. She faces away from the mirror as if to acknowledge how prudence can’t help her here. In the spirit of Luther and Calvin, who equated Eve’s original sin with concupiscence,285 the figure flagrantly exposes one breast. Within the social context of sixteenth-century Vicenza, in 283 Beltramini, Private Palladio, 45. 284 Erica Benner, Machiavelli’s Ethics (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009), 247. 285 Elizabeth A. Livingstone, The concise Oxford dictionary of the Christian church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 78. 83 which dissidence and disagreements were common precepts, and the city was divided into different factions – those who defended Luther’s views on free will, those who opposed it, and those who lay somewhere in between – it is perhaps not surprising that the central image in the largest room devoted to the gods, would be such a multivalent work. Depending on who the Thiene were entertaining, the painting could leap between different significations, safeguarding allegiances, and avoiding humiliation, or worse, accusations of heresy. The image also illustrates the different ways to practice prudence, and the distinct temporalities associated with each operation of the virtue, a detail that will become even more evident in subsequent chapters. The notion that free will is temporally determined has already been alluded to in the Hypnerotomachia, where the present moment was required in order to exercise it morally. In Correggio’s Allegory of Virtue, time may also have been a factor. The inventory for Isabella’s studiolo, taken in 1542 by Stivini, describes the painting as “three Virtues, that is Justice and Temperance, who are teaching a boy to measure time.”286 Cecil Gould dismisses Stivini’s assessment maintaining it was obvious that he did not fully understand its meaning, and anyone else keen on making subsequent attempts to interpret the painting should be discouraged since the various array of possible iconographic symbols are akin to solving the riddle of the sphinx.287 As conceptions of prudence migrate from mythology to cosmology, however, Stivini’s description will prove to be very insightful, as we shall see in the following chapter on the Villa Barbaro at Maser. 286 Campbell, Cabinet of Eros, 228. See also Stivini, Inventory, 19v #204, in Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, et al. “La prima donna del mondo”: Isabella d’Este, Fürstin und Mäzenatin der Renaissance,” exh. cat. (Vienna: Kusthistorisches Museum, 1994), 287. 287 Cecil Gould, The Paintings of Correggio (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1976), 127. 84 Chapter 2: Daniele Barbaro and Scientific Prudence: Minerva and the Immobility of the Will at the Villa Maser From Via Cornuda, which runs between the towns of Maser and Cornuda in the northern Veneto, the view to the Villa Barbaro (Figure 11) provides some overt signs about the program Daniele Barbaro had in mind when he and his brother Marc’Antonio commissioned the restoration of the family estate. Looking down the main lane leading to the structure, one is faced with a central façade decorated with four columns with Ionic capitals, capped with a large pediment furnished with the heraldic symbols of the Barbaro family. The central structure is flanked by two symmetrical colonnades, each terminated with large pavilions topped in turn with functioning sundials (Figure 12), features taken directly from the Ninth Book of Daniele’s commentary on Vitruvius, I dieci libri dell’architettura (1556). While these last two features are, aside from the central façade, perhaps the most striking, they have not been given adequate consideration in the literature. Taking these two dominant attributes as its point of departure, this chapter explores the importance of time as a central component of the villa’s layout and decorative program. Scholars agree that Daniele played a prominent role in the design and decoration of his family villa.288 The significance of the temporal aspects of the design, I argue, emerges when considered in relation to his study of architecture, mathematics, and concomitant interests in prudence. Contributing to this argument is a reassessment of the iconography in the ceiling of 288 Richard Cocke, “Veronese and Daniele Barbaro: The Decoration of Villa Maser,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 35, (1972), 226-246, (226). See also Deborah Howard, Venice Disputed: Marc’Antonio Barbaro and Venetian Architecture 1500-1600 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), 28. 85 the Sala dell’Olimpo, painted by Paolo Veronese in 1560 (Figure 14), whose central female figure has been described diversely as, Divine Wisdom, the muse Thalia, and most recently, Love. A new identification for the figure will be proffered by drawing on archival documents from the Accademia degli Infiammati – a Platonic academy of which Daniele was a member – as well as the role of astronomy as it is outlined in his Dieci libri. Daniele’s interest in gnomonics in the Dieci libri will also be considered for how the art of constructing sundials signals an anxiety about the effects of time, and how, inspired by principles of navigation, his efforts can be seen as an attempt to control the ravages of time by directing the future outcome of events. Turning to the design of the villa itself, this chapter explores how time constitutes the principal theme for the entire complex through its relationship to divine logos, and outlines how Daniele’s temporal concerns informed his ideas of harmony, and consequently his ethics of space. The Villa at Maser: Foregoing Analyses of the Sala del Olimpo There were many hands involved in the villa’s design, as well as the interior decoration. The building of the villa at Maser is believed to have begun sometime between 1556 and 1558, in the hills near Asolo in the province of Treviso, on the same site where the farm of Daniele’s father, Francesco Barbaro, once stood. Modern restorations have shown that the present villa incorporated much of the previous structure.289 The reasons for rebuilding remain unclear, though there is evidence that the plans to remodel the pre-existing construction had already been in the works before any intervention by Daniele and his brother Marc’Antonio, since already, as early as 1548, Francesco had called two painters to 289 See Donato Battilotti, “Villa Barbaro a Maser: un difficile cantire,” Storia dell’arte, 53 (1985), 33-50, 37, and also Umberto Basso, La villa e il tempietto dei barbaro a Maser di 86 the villa.290 Sometime in early 1560, Daniele invited Paolo Veronese, with whom he had already worked at the Villa Trevisan and the Sala del Consiglio dei Dieci in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, to fresco the interior of the villa.291 Though in his Dieci libri Daniele stresses the need for negotiation and cooperation between the architect and patron,292 the extent to which any efforts between he and Palladio were collaborative remains unclear. However, most scholars agree that Daniele was the brainpower behind much of the building’s design and the iconographic program of the interior.293 When addressing the design of the villa, the large sundials that dominate the façades of the outer pavilions are usually mentioned in passing, and attributed to Daniele’s intense interest in time and clocks. Margaret Muther D’Evelyn is the first to recognize the decisive role that sundials – and the principles of gnomonics that are intrinsic to their use – played in Daniele’s architectural thinking. According to D’Evelyn, Daniele surpasses Vitruvius, crediting the inventors of analemmas – a type of sundial that plots the sun’s position throughout the year allowing mean time to be determined – with ingenuity compared to divine intellect, and praises analemmas themselves as creations “more divine than human.”294 He even goes so far as to draw comparisons between the analemma, as a module to the Andrea Palladio, 2nd enlarged edition (Montebelluna: G. Faggionato, 1987), 5-6, 13-16, and Howard, Venice Disputed, 28. 290 Margherita Azzi Visentini, L’orto botanico di Padova e il giardino del rinascimento (Milan: Edizione il Polifilo, 1984), 18. 291 Francesco Sansovino, Venetia città nobilissima et singolare, (Venice: Domenico Farri, 1581), 128v. 292 Barbaro, I dieci libri dell'architettura di M. Vitruvio, (Venice: Francesco Marcolini, 1556), 189. 293 Howard, Venice Disputed, 28. 294 Cited in Margaret Muther D'Evelyn, Venice and Vitruvius: reading Venice with Daniele Barbaro and Andrea Palladio (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 184. See also Barbaro, I dieci libri, 366. 87 sundial, and other systems used to design buildings.295 He bestows upon the ingenuity of the inventors of the analemma the highest of honours, because they act on the behalf of the benefit of all people in all time.296 Gnomonics was also associated with harmony, which extended to Daniele’s ideas of space. This aspect of his involvement with time is best appreciated if we examine the villa at Maser from the inside out, and begin with the frescoed interior. Scholars agree that harmony constitutes the primary theme for the villa at Maser. Margherita Azzi Visentini notes that the Villa Barbaro has been interpreted as emblematic of the harmony of the cosmos, an accord that is mirrored in the union of Marc’Antonio and his wife Giustiniana.297 As Richard Cocke has shown, Daniele’s idea of harmony is grounded in music, where number and proportion are essential to its measurement, an idea that extends into configurations of the cosmos.298 For Daniele, the rules of mathematics are those that unite music and astronomy, where similar ratios and measurements appear in both musical consonances and movement of the planets.299 Harmony also represents the governing motif of the villa’s decorative scheme, particularly the Sala dell’Olimpo, where the frescoed ceiling contains explicit references to the cosmos. 295 Ibid., 185. 296 Ibid. 297 Azzi Visentini, L’orto botanico, 198, "Il ciclo di Maser è stato interpretato come una raffigurazione dell’armonia del cosmo cui sarebbe accostata l’armonia coniugale della famiglia di marcantonio Barbaro, alcuni dei cui membri sono ripresi, nella sala dell’Olimpo, in atto di assistere allo spattacolo dell’unniverso in azione, con i sette pianeti, i dodici segni zodiacali, i quattro elementi e le antiche divinità corrispondenti, mentre I paesaggi ed i trompe-l’oeil alle pareti sono un’esplicita citazione classica." 298 Richard Cocke, “The Decoration of Villa Maser”, 232. 299 Daniele Barbaro, I dieci libri dell'architettura di M. Vitruuio (Venice: Francesco Marcolini, 1567 edition), 24, Barbaro explains:"Le regole adunque dell'Arithmetica sono quelle, che fanno la Musica unita con l'Astrologia, perche la proportione e commune, e universale in tutte le cose atte ad esser, misurate, pesate, e numerate." 88 Circumscribed by an octagonal frame, the ceiling fresco (Figure 13) consists of seven figures positioned in a circle around a central female figure wearing a white gown and sitting atop a dragon. The attributes of the seven figures in the outer circle clearly identify them as planetary deities. These are surrounded by the signs of the zodiac alluding to the other sphere of fixed stars. As to the identity of the central female figure, however, scholars cannot agree despite the fact that this figure, a voluptuous female, swathed in white drapery and perched on top of a dragon, seems to be the determining factor for every interpretation of the entire fresco cycle. According to Cocke, for instance, the figure represents Thalia, the ninth muse from Mount Helicon. Cocke derives his argument from the fact that the Sala della Crociera – a cruciform shaped corridor linking the Sala dell’Olimpo with the Stanza di Bacco and the Stanza del Tribunale dell’Amore – has eight female figures depicted on its walls, each playing a musical instrument (Figure 14). The biographer Carlo Ridolfi identified the eight musicians as muses in the seventeenth century.300 Scholars have doubted the veracity of Ridolfi’s observation because there should be nine Muses instead of eight, therefore the figure in the center of the ceiling in the Sala dell’Olimpo must correspond to the missing muse. Cocke has identified the missing Muse as Thalia, who appears in an illustration of the harmony of the spheres in Franchino Gaffurius’s De Harmonia Musicorum Instrumentorum Opus of 1518 (Figure 7). 301 In Gaffurius’s depiction, Thalia appears, along with Euphrosine and Aglaia, with Apollo enthroned in the top portion of a diagram with eight spheres, seven of which are the seven planets in the Sala dell’Olimpo, separated from the other eight Muses by the tricipitium, a gigantic snake with 300 C. Ridolfi, Le maraviglie dell'arte, ed. D. von Hadeln, 1914-24, i, p. 303. 89 the three heads of a wolf, a lion and a dog.302 What Cocke overlooks, however, is the tricipitium in Gaffurius’ illustration, a symbol associated with prudence. While other scholars have offered alternative hypotheses for the figure, they all have tended to articulate her in general terms. More recently, Inge Jackson Reist has suggested Boethius’s De consolatione philosophie as the source for figure's identity, a work that espouses Divine Love as the course to universal harmony.303 As Jackson Reist argues, Boethius’s work must have been familiar to Daniele through translations of the manuscript by Benedetto Varchi, a fellow colleague of Barbaro in the Accademia degli Infiammati at the University of Padua.304 Love, Jackson Reist insists, not only makes atonement for the two incompatible themes in the villa, reconciling Christian ideals with Pagan beliefs, but it is also compatible with the harmonic alliance associated with marriage, in particular the recent union between Marc’Antonio and his wife Giustiniana Giustiniani.305 Reist’s analysis is significant for my purposes by drawing attention to the possible relevance of the Platonic academy. Any relation of the figure to Prudence has yet to be established. Luciana Crosato Larcher acknowledges the similarity of the central figure to Albrecht Dürer’s etching of Prudence printed by Albrecht Altdorfer,306 but dismisses the possibility for the ceiling at Maser, insisting that an error must have resulted from some confusion in scripture, where 301 Cocke, “The Decoration of Villa Maser”, 231. 302 F. Gafurius, The harmony of the spheres, from De Harmonia Musicorum Instrumentorum Opus, (Milan: 1518), (231). 303 Inge Jackson Reist, “Divine Love and Veronese’s Frescoes at the Villa Barbaro,” The Art Bulletin, Vol. 67, No. 4, (Dec. 1985), 614-635, (624). 304 Ibid. 305 Jackson Reist, "Divine Love," 629-30. 306 Luciana Crosato Larcher, “Postille all programma iconografico di Maser,” Miteillungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 45. Bd., H. 3 (2001), 495-502, (499). 90 prudence is compared to wisdom in Proverbs.307 Deborah Howard has recently revisited these interpretations, but of the central figure of the Sala del Olimpo she offers no evaluation of her own, noting how “the key to the overall programme remains so frustratingly elusive.”308 Howard does, however, emphasize how the theme of universal harmony is a critical component to the overall program of the frescoes, and takes note of the important role prudence played for the ideas of harmony Daniele confirmed in his Dieci libri.309 One further interpretation proposes the female figure represents Divine Wisdom. Nicola Ivanoff maintains the central figure – originally claimed to be a representation of Eternity by Rodolfo Palluchini310 – is a personification of La Sapienza Divina. Ivanoff bases her argument on evidence for a similar prototype she found in the Sala degli Dei in the Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza (Figure 1).311 My analysis of the Veronese ceiling similarly draws on connections with Anselmo Canera’s fresco in the Sala degli Dei. As I proposed in Chapter One, the figure at Palazzo Thiene is multivalent, and could have been interpreted as Prudence, and also as Minerva, the goddess associated with the virtue of prudence. In a room devoted to the Gods one might expect to find Minerva, whose importance was noted in the Renaissance. As Boccaccio noted in his Genealogy of the Pagan Gods, “she 307 Ibid., Larcher explains that the mistake was “Una contaminazione spiegabile, in quanto nel libro dei Proverbi biblici la Sapienza dichiara: “mea est prudentia.” 308 Howard, Venice Disputed, 41. 309 Ibid., 45. For quote, see Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556, p. 6, “Prudenza era habito, che disponeva l’intelletto à regolare la voluntà, perche habituate fusse in quelle virtù, che alla unione, & bene della Republica, & della fimiglia, & di se stesso convengono.” 310 Rodolfo Palluchini, Gli affreschi di Paolo Veronese a Maser: cinquantotto tavole fuori testo e una bicromia (Bergamo: Instituto italiano d’arti grafiche editore, 1939), 15. 311 Nicola Ivanoff, “Genio et Laribus (Postilla all’iconologia degli affreschi di Maser),” Ateneo Veneto, N.S., VIV (1976), 1-2, 27-31, 28, As Ivanoff insists, “Tale enigmatica figura…venne da me individuate come allegoria della SAPIENTIA, ossia della Sapienza Divina.” 91 was born not as we are, but from the head of Jupiter to show her unique nobility.”312 Unlike the other primary gods and goddesses of mythology, Minerva is not generally assigned a planetary status. As we saw in Chapter One, however, in his commentary on Plato’s Cratylus, Proclus explains that it was Minerva who guarded over the cosmos.313 The eight Muses in the Sala della Crociera constitute a key component of the iconography of the frescoed interior, and are linked to the Sala del Olimpo. They are also important to Daniele’s understanding of the conditions that allow the architect to achieve harmonic perfection in a building. He elucidates this aspect of his thinking in his Third Book, noting how it is in the construction of religious buildings that: "one truly begins to see the beautiful things one awaits for from the mind and ingenuity of the architect. Here order has its place, arrangement is designed, here symmetry, decor and grace are proven, here one feels the usefulness of distribution, through which the value of the architect, the strength of art, and the sharpness of ingenuity shines - where the architect can say to himself, among the great poets: "Oh, Muses, oh, ingenuity that assists me now/ Oh intellect, that writes what I see/ Here your dignity is revealed."314 312 Giovanni Boccaccio, Genealogy of the pagan Gods, Volume I, Books I-V, ed. and trans. Jon Solomon (The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2011), 191. 313 Proclus, Proclus: On Plato’s Cratylus, trans. Brian Duvick (London: Gerald Duckworth and Co. Ltd.: 2007), 108, see note 185. 314 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556, 96, "Ritorni hora alla distributione delle fabriche pertinenti alla Religione...per il che si puo dire, che qui comincia tutto il bello, che di mano, & d'ingegno s'aspetta dello Architetto. Qui l'ordine ha luogo, qui la dispositione disegna, qui la simmetria, & il decoro, & la gratia fanno provo, qui si sente la utilità della distributione, nelle quali cose valore dello Architetto, la forza dell'arte, l'acutezza dello ingegno riluce. Onde egli si puo dire col gran poeta, "O Muse, o alto ingegno hor mi aiutate O mente, che scrivesti ciò, ch'io vidi, Qui si parrà la tua nobilitate." 92 As this excerpt suggests, Daniele’s ideas about ingenuity were inextricably tied to the Muses. The Muses were also connected to Minerva, the goddess of prudence, clues to which are provided in Daniele's treatise on architecture. The central theme in the Sala dell’Olimpo derives from the theory of the Harmony of the Spheres. As Cocke observes, in the Ninth Chapter of his Dieci libri, Daniele makes reference to the seven planets, providing a detailed account of the planetary movements, a reflection of Daniele’s determined interest in astronomy.315 Daniele not only refers to the planets and their movement, but he also provides their positions in space, presenting an orientation that exactly matches the ordering of the seven planets on the ceiling in the Sala dell’Olimpo.316 The movement of the epicycles of the planets could be based on Ptolemy’s description of the planetary orbits moving within the circumference of a larger one, that being the outermost circle of the heavens containing the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. 317 As Daniele notes, “seven heavens are given to the seven planets already numbered: the closest to the earth is the Moon, the furthest is Saturn. The eighth heaven is made up of the fixed stars, called the firmament.”318 The fixed stars in the Sala dell’Olimpo are represented by the signs of the zodiac that surround the planetary deities. While the 315 Cocke, “The Decoration of Villa Maser,” 231. 316 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556, 211, "Difficile è à giudicare qual sia di di spora ò Venere, ò Mercurio, percioche son quasi di pari movimenti...Dovemo adunque credere, che quelli pianeti siano al Sole vicinisimi, che hanno gli Epiciclo loro maggiori, & però Venere e Marte seranno dai lati del Sole...Sopra il Sole è Marte, sopra Marte è Giove, perche lo Epiciclo di Giove tiene piu simiglianza con quello di Mercurio, et quello di Saturno con quello della Luna, onde essendo lo Epiciclo di Saturno minore, che lo Epiciclo di Giove, per le dette ragioni Saturno è lonatanissimo dal Sole, & conseguentemente sopra di Giove, & questo è l’ordine dei cieli, il sito, e numero." 317 Cocke, “The Decoration of Villa Maser,” 231. 318 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556, 211, "sette cieli si danno ai sette pianeti gia numerati: il piu prossimo alla terra è la Luna, il piu lontana Saturno. l'ottavo cielo è delle stelle fisse, detto firmamento." 93 Pythagorean model of the Harmony of the Spheres included the Earth as one of the orbs, Ptolemy’s later version, based on Plato’s account, discusses the harmony of the motion of the stars as eight spheres that rotate around the fixed earth.319 Ptolemy’s later model was incorporated into Daniele’s ideas of astronomy. “Eight are the skies,” Daniele explains, “or better, the celestial machine contains the rotation of eight separate contingent skies.”320 Seven of these concentric rings, Daniele asserts, contain the seven planets, which, as we see in the villa, form the circle on the ceiling of the Sala dell’Olimpo. These are, from 12 o’clock, Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun and Mars. The allusion to chronometry here is no coincidence, a detail we will return to shortly. The eighth sky is made up of the fixed stars, or firmament, and moderates all the others. The presence of this sky is confirmed in the fresco by the twelve zodiac signs that also encircle the central female figure. For Cocke, the role of the Harmony of the Spheres in the ceiling fresco must derive from Gaffurius’s treatise. However, his decision resides in the fact that Daniele’s theory of harmony is more aligned to Pythagoras’s theory of the Harmony of the Spheres, since Marsilio Ficino’s translation of Plato’s Timaeus makes no mention of the spheres. However, Daniele’s friend Girolamo Ruscelli wrote a treatise dedicated to Ptolemy’s version of the spheres, La geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino, printed in Venice in 1561, in which he refers to Daniele as a distinguished astronomer.321 Cocke’s assessment, of course, would depend on Daniele’s reliance on Ficino and Gaffurius, neither of which he mentions in his 319 Girolamo Ruscelli, La geografia di Claudio Tolomeo, (Venice: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1561), 32. 320 Barbaro, dieci libri, 211, “Otto sono i Cieli, & le Sfere materiali, ò per dsir megliuo tutta la machina celeste contiene otto giri separsti contigui.” 321 Ruscelli, La geografia di Claudio Tolomeo, 32. 94 treatise. Plato’s Harmony of the Spheres was, however, mentioned in Plutarch’s manuscript Opusculi, copies of which abounded in Venice during the period,322 and which Daniele cites as one of his sources in his Dieci libri several times. In the Opusculum, Plutarch’s discussion of the spheres emphasizes the importance of the Muses. As Plutarch explains, in ancient times there were only three muses.323 These were divided into philosophy, rhetoric and mathematics. In later times, however, after the time of Hesiod, it was recognized the virtues of these three muses were far greater, and that these principal muses had an additional three differences, and so each was divided into three new muses: mathematics was divided into arithmetic, music and geometry, philosophy into logic, moral and natural. It was said that for Rhetoric the demonstrative was the first they learned to love, the second the deliberative, and the last was judicial.324 Here Plutarch also makes a distinction between the muses, reminding us that the nine could be divided into eight and one. 325 After deliberating on the importance of the Muses, especially to poets and astronomers, Plutarch discusses the relation of the Muses to the spheres, a correlation he associates with Plato’s own account. Plutarch’s description is worth considering for how it explains that none of the Muses 322 Plutarch, Opuscola omnia, (Venice: 1535). 323 Plutarch, Opuscoli, (Milan: Francesco Sonzogno, 1827), 481 "gli antichi non conobbero più che tre Muse." 324 Ibid., 482, "Ma gli antichi avendo per mio avviso considerato che tutte le scienze ed arti maneggiate con ragione si riducono a tre generi principali, alla filosofia, alla rettorica, ed alla matematica, fecero che questi fusser doni e grazie di tre deità, che nominarono Muse. Dipoi nel tempo che visse Esiodo, venendo a scorprirsi maggiormente la virtù d' esse, conobbero che ciascheduna di queste tre principali aveano altre tre differenze, e le divisero in parti, e spezie: la matematica nell' aritmetica, musica, e geometria: la filosofia nella logica, morale e naturale. La retorica dicono che ebbe in principio la dimostrativa, che impiegarono in lodare, e nel secondo luogo ebbe la deliberativa, e nell' ultimo poi la giudiciale." 325 481 "Ben facesti a ricordarcelo in memoria, ma aggiugni che questo numero è composto dell' uno e dell' otto." 95 in the Sala della Crociera can correspond to the female figure on the dragon. Plutarch decrees that after having defined the axis that sustains the world as a spindle, and the stars as whirls, Plato inadvertently replaces the Muses for the Sirens.326 Plato only mentions eight Muses, and those eight are there to supervise the heavenly spheres, conserving and maintaining harmony among the planets with the fixed stars, and amongst themselves.327 This is a crucial observation in helping us decipher the female figure on the dragon at Maser, because Plutarch is clear that the Muses are specific to the planets, which is one realm, and the fixed stars of the Zodiac, which is another. Plato's harmony is not concerned with the earth, but only the eight heavenly spheres. If we look again at the Gaffurius’s depiction, we indeed see that he has represented above the Earth, eight spheres each with their corresponding Muse. In the example provided by Gaffurius, the eight spheres to which Plato refers are placed above the Earth, which has been labeled with the Muse, Thalia. She has been separated from the other Muses, and would therefore not have been placed up in the sky with the other planets, a detail Nicola Ivanoff has also previously argued.328 The eight Muses in the Sala della Crociera at Maser must therefore correspond to the eight Muses that lie above the Earth. On the ceiling of the Sala del Olimpo, there are also eight spheres, to which the eight Muses must correspond. Situated in the center of a depiction of the Harmony of the Spheres, however, the female figure on the dragon must play an important role in the harmony. There are several reasons why Daniele may have placed Minerva above the fixed stars of the Zodiac. The first is found in documents relating to the Accademia degli 326 Ibid., 486, "Platone con voci nuove nominò l'asse che sostiene il mondo fuso, e le stelle fusaiuoli, cosicchè in questo luogo, benchè con modo alquanto straniero, abbia nominato le Muse sirene" 327 Ibid., "Quelle otto adunque che ebbero la sprantendenza sopra le sfere celesti conservano e mantengono l' armonia de' Pianeti con le stelle fisse, ed ancora infra loro medisime." 96 Infiammati from the University of Padua, of which Daniele was a member. Along with Daniele, the members of the Infiammati were professors and students of the University of Padua, drawn to the sonnets and prose of Pietro Bembo,329 and also to the Homeric tradition reintroduced by Giangiorgio Trissino. It was from ancient texts, notably Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, that Barbaro would be introduced to the importance of Minerva, as the goddess of prudence. The Accademia degli Infiammati: Prudence, Minerva, and the Pathway to God While only fragments of the minutes of the assembly of the Accademia degli Infiammati remain, the importance of prudence is at the forefront of the discussion. The document of the minutes opens with a lesson on one of Bembo’s sonnets, known as Piansi e cantai.330 Bembo’s sonnet begins with a passionate lamentation for the ravages of war, and an invocation to the Muses in their location on Mount Helicon, where Minerva visited them. The sonnet ends with an attempt to end the damaging effects of war by persuading the reader to have better judgment, and to choose the path of God rather than one that leads to profit on the road of life – in effect, to be more prudent when using the will. It is interesting to note how the progression of the poem also follows a movement from the past to the present towards a future end that is inherent in prudent behavior. In the 328 Ivanoff, “Genio et Laribus,” 29. 329 Richard S. Samuels, "Benedetto Varchi, the Accademia degli Infiammati, and the Origins of the Italian Academic Movement," Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter, 1976), 599-634, 602. 330 Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, BCP, Ms. B. P, 1830, 2 verso, Piansi e cantai lo strazio e l'aspra Guerra/ Ch'i' ebbi a sostener molti e molti anni/ E la cagion di così lunghi affanni/ Cose prima non mai vedute in terra/ Dive, per cui s'apre Elicona e serra/ Use far a la morte illustri inganni/ Date allo stil, che nacque de' miei Danni/ Viver, quand'io sarò spento e sotterra/ Che potranno talor gli amanti accorti/ Queste rime leggendo, al van desio/ Ritoglier l'alme col mio duro exempio/ E quella strada, ch'a buon fine porti/ Scorger da l'altre, e quanto adorar Dio/ Solo si dee nel mondo, ch'è suo tempio. 97 first stanza, the narrator wept and sang, followed by an invocation in the present tense, and lastly a move from the present towards what the reader will derive for his future end. Commenting on the poem in the minutes, Ugolino Martelli addresses this format a little further down, but first he provides his own interpretation for what that end should be (see Appendix 1). Everything that is done in the world, Martelli insists, is done according to a particular end. Natural things progress towards their intended end, without being misled, guided not by instinct. A river, for example, flows incessantly and unhindered only to find rest in the vast and plentiful sea, the ultimate objective of all water. The valiant captain will persevere, night and day, the long and terrible provocation, and risk great and infinite danger solely to attain his ultimate aim of victory, which he will sometimes achieve, but more often than not, against all hope, he will experience the opposite. If everything moves towards an ultimate end, and everything desires, and tries to obtain, these ends, that are nothing more than their utmost success, what is the ultimate and supreme end of man? The answer, Martelli maintains, is found in that most noble and perfect part of man, the soul. Since the body is corporeal, and the soul is immortal, only the end objective of the soul can constitute the ultimate and supreme end for man. Conscious of the fact that the soul is immortal, it is self-evident that the desired end should be not the mortal or terrestrial end, but the eternal and immortal end, which must be the greatest, the most worthy, the most noble, perfect and ultimate God. He is our beginning, and as such, must be our true end. If the purpose of Bembo’s verse is to move the reader towards an end, which is God, then it is prudence that provides direction, a detail that is highlighted in the movement created by the changing tenses of the verbs. As Martelli points out, the arrangement of the 98 sonnet, from the past to the present towards a future, is an essential component of the composition. He scolds Virgil who “non osservasse il medissimo ordine,” or does not follow the same order.331 He also reproaches him for “avendo egli primieramente invocato Venere,” that is to say for having made an invocation to Venus instead of Pallas, the goddess of prudence.332 The members of the academy, Martelli admits, prefer instead an organization that divides the sonnet into three parts; the first part is the proposal, the second part the invocation, and the third part the usefulness that we who read can put into practice.333 Bembo, Martelli acknowledges, like Petrarch before him, has imitated the Greeks and made his sonnet conform to their rules, having said piansi and cantai in the past tense, not in the future.334 Such a literary trope recalls the temporality of prudence that uses the memory of the past, in the present, to move towards the future. We will recall that poetry was excluded from Plato’s scathing critique of the written word provided it was used to benefit mankind.335 As Martelli suggests, for poetry to benefit mankind it must consist of a movement through the tenses. It is movement in relation to prudence that makes it alive, since what we learn 331 Ibid., 5 verso 332 Ibid. 333 Ibid., “divideremo I sonetto in tre parte principali, nel primo & nel secondo quartenario, & nei due ultimi terzernarii, nella prima parte egli propone quelo che nel libro seguente si trattera nella seconda egli invoca, nella terza poi sogiugne l’utilita che noi legendo il libro potremo cavare.” 334 Ibid., 6 recto, “Il nostro poeta si come ancora fece Petr. ha imitato in questo i greci, & fece questo sonetto poi che hebbe tutto il resto onde disse piani e cantai nel passato tempo e non nel future." 335 In the Republic Plato explains how poetry could redeem itself as a written source of knowledge is it could be useful to mankind: “But nevertheless let it be declared that, if the mimetic and dulcet poetry can show any reason for her existence in a well-governed state, we would gladly admit her, since we ourselves are very conscious of her spell. And we would allow her advocates who are not poets but lovers of poetry to plead her cause in prose without metre, and show that she is not only delightful but beneficial to orderly government and all the life of man. And we shall listen benevolently, for it will be clear gain for us if it can be shown that she bestows not only pleasure but benefit,” 99 from our past helps us to understand the future. In a subsequent meeting, Varchi, the writer and another member of the academy, explains the importance of prudence specifically as it relates to Minerva, and particularly in relation to freedom of the will. He begins with homage to the ancient philosophers, including Homer, who have spent time speculating on all things human and divine alongside judgment and prudence. Of the many examples, however, which register the impact of prudence and judgment, Varchi believes the Judgment of Paris to be the most sublime. As he recounts the story, he explains how, when asked to choose between Juno, Pallas Athena and Venus, which of the three goddesses was the most beautiful, Paris blunders on account of his lust: “And because, as most greatly manifested, the Nature of man is more inclined to wrong than good; to pleasure, and lust over labour, Paris judged Venus to be the most beautiful of all others.”336 From the description that he provides of Pallas Athena, it is obvious that Paris made a grave error. Pallas is acknowledged for la sapientia, having been generated and produced from the head of Jupiter, from which her ingenuity and prudence come.337 When Paris chose Venus over Pallas, however, he set aside the proper objective of the competition in favour of worldly and sensual pleasures. It is poor judgment that forces an individual from their true path, having confused their assessments, which have been appraised falsely, as the best ends. In Homer’s Iliad, 336 Ibid., 131, recto, Et per che, come è manifesto dalla maggior parte, la Natura del huomo è piu/ tosto inclinata al male, che al bene: al piacere, et alla libidine più tosto/ che alla fatica, Paride guidicio esser Venere la più bella di tutte l’altre.” 100 Paris is a representation of recklessness and offenses against the Gods, motivated as he was by his lust and desire. Had he chosen more prudently, he would have opted for Pallas Athena, or Minerva, and the Trojan war would have been prevented, and harmony would have been preserved. As Varchi makes clear, the ultimate goal for man is to conduct oneself towards our true end that is God the eternal father.338 As Varchi’s example suggests, the importance of prudence lies in determining the “path” one is to choose, and the virtue is therefore engaged with the question of free will. Varchi makes this explicit when he argues that Jove called upon Paris to choose between the three goddesses “only to demonstrate the free will that men have to do or undo that which they want.”339 The preoccupation with the question of free will was of grave importance during the period, as we saw in the previous chapter, but some key points are worth reiterating here in the context of the Platonic academies. We will recall from Chapter One that in Plato’s Phaedrus the question of free will was tied to the soul’s movement towards a divine banquet. By orienting oneself to the heavens, Socrates maintains, the soul advances toward “the abode of the reality with which true knowledge is concerned.”340 The region lies in the heaven above the heavens, where the pilot of the soul resides.341 Could the woman to whom Plato refers be the source for the central figure on the dragon in Veronese’s painting in the Sala del Olimpo? One reason to 337 Ibid., 130, recto, “Pallade primieramente inteso per la sapientia si dice essere stata generate et prodocta del capo di Giove, percioche, come sapete, l’ingegno et la prudenza consiste nel capo. 338 Ibid., 131 recto. 339 Ibid., 129 verso, “solo per dimostrare il libero arbitrio che hanno avuto gli uomini di fare et disfare cio che egli vogliono.” 340 Plato, “Phaedrus,” in Selected Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett (New York: World Library, 2001), 45. See also Plato, Phaedrus, 247C. 341 Ibid., 52. Plato, Phaedrus, 247C. 101 consider this idea further is suggested by Barbaro, who refers to the dragon in his Dieci libri. Although present in the ceiling of the Sala del Olimpo, the dragon’s role in iconography has not been given sufficient attention. We will recall from the Introduction that personifications of prudence underwent a transformation during the sixteenth century, and some, like that of Albrecht Dürer (Figure 2), were depicted standing on top of a dragon. Draco and Plato’s Pilot of the Soul In the Dieci libri Daniele explains his keen interest in astronomy as it relates to architecture. In the Proemio of his book, he notes how astrology is useful to the architect specifically when it comes to determining location. Ascertaining the effect of the sun's rays on the layout of a building can inform the architect where to construct an edifice so that the proper amount of shade and light can be controlled. It is paramount, then, to establish the position of the building site on the earth's surface, which can only be done by tracking the course of the Sun.342 If an architect wanted to maximize the amount of sun a building receives in winter, or shade it receives in summer, they would first have to determine where exactly the building site is located on the global sphere. The other planets are helpful with determining location, since their positions with respect to the poles will change throughout the year. The planets and constellations can be used to accurately locate a building site on the earth’s surface if one could determine the position of the poles.343 For those of us in the 342 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556 edition, 209, “l’ombra è diversamente proportionate, à gli edifice, alberi, & à tutte le cose levate da terra, e dritte imperoche in alcuni luoghi l’ombre è pare a le cose, che la fanno, in altri è maggiore, in altri è minore, grande occasione havemo da maravigliarci, & però per naturale instinto ci diamo a cercar d'onde venga la diversità dell'ombre; & vedendo che questa mutatione non puo venire se non dalla diversità dell'altezza del Sole, che a quelli tempo ad alcuni è piu alto, ad alcuni è piu basso, comincaimo ad investigare il corso del Sole." 343 Ibid., 368, “Due sono i Poli, & cardini, i quali per diametro nel mondo opposti sono, ma che uno sia di sopra, & l' altro di sotto non è, se non per rispetto a gli habitanti della terra, 102 northern hemisphere, a building must exist somewhere between the equator and the North Pole. Once the position of the pole is determined, one can calculate the way the sun’s rays will vary from day to day over the course of the year, and this is extremely important to the architect.344 In the Ninth Book, Daniele mentions how the location of the pole can be determined using the whereabouts of the planets, but it can also be found with even greater ease in the night sky using the constellations of the northern hemisphere also known as the però bisogna intendere, che Vitr. doveva dire a questo modo; & caso che egli non lo dica, come si puo vedere dicendo egli, che la natura cosi gli ha posto, che uno sia di sopra & l' altro di sotto, è necessario, che noi intendiamo drittamente perche quelli, che stanno di la dal mezo hanno il loro polo elevato sopra l'Orizonte, che a noi habitanti di qua dal mezo è depresso. & il nostro a loro è meridiano come il loro a noi; però questo sito, di che parla Vitr. si deve intendere in rispetto, & non assolutamente, però ( si come dice Vitr.) la terra col mare net niezo in luogo di centro è stata naturalmento collocata: certo è, che in alcune parti un polo sarà elevato, & l'altro depresso : & in alcuni l'uno, & l'altro sarà egualmente nel piano dell'Orizonte: la dove essendo concluso da tutti gli astronomi, che stando l'huomo in qual sito si voglia sopra la terra, sempre il piano del suo Orizonte divide il cielo in due parti equali, et tutti quasi gli instrumenti, che si usano, usansi in modo, come se l'huomo fusse nel centro della terra; è necessario di concludere, & che la terra sia a guisa di centro nel mezo del mondo, & che equalmente partito sia quello, che si vede da quello, che non si vede con la soperficie dell'Orizonte.” 344 Ibid., “Volendo Vitr. esprimere molte cose diventa alquanto oscuro per la durezza del dire. Vedendo noi il certo, & continuato volgimento del cielo da Levante a Ponente, trovato havemo i due poli, & l'asse in certi, & determinati luoghi. Considerando poi il movimento, che fa il Sole in uno anno, & che hora nasce in una parte dell' Orizonte, & da un vento, hora in un'altra, & che sul mezo dì hora s'avvicina piu al punto che ci soprastà, hora è piu basso, & che varia i giorni, & le notti egualmente, sapemo, che per queste cose avvertite bene, & osservate, gli antichi hanno trovato la obliqua via del Sole, per laquale andando egli con moto contrario al primo di giorno in giorno faccia tutta quella sensibile mutatione. Similmente avvertendo il corso de gli altri pianeti seguitare la via del sole, ma non cosi equalmente stargli appresso, diedero nome a quella via, per laquale il Sole, & gli altri pianeti passavano, & la chiamarono cinta, o zona, perche si come una cinta cignendo non solo s'aggira con una semplice linea, ma tiene larghezza, cosi la via de i pianeti è stata imaginata & circolare, & larga, & è stata conosciuta piegar da una parte all' uno de i Poli, & dall' altra, all’altro, & abbracciare tutto il cielo ; cioè, essere uno dei circoli maggiori. & in quella anche sono state conosciute alcune compagnie di stelle, alle quali è stato imposto nome di segni; & perche siano dodici. Vitr. le chiama dodici parti pareggia.” 103 settentrione.345 Aside from the twelve constellations of Zodiac, there are others that assist in locating the pole by the way they are framed around the two constellations closest to it: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. According to Vitruvius, Daniele explains, the two Bears derive their names from the Helice and Cynosura – the two nymphs who nursed Jove when he was being hidden from Cronus and were placed in the heavens in gratitude – and they are both looking down, the tail of one sloped toward the head of the other, and between them is the Serpent or Dragon, from which it is said the luminous star of the Pole is extended.346 Why is this important? Placing the female figure above the constellation Draco positions the goddess in the ninth sphere, beyond the eights sphere of the zodiac, corresponding to “the heaven which is above the heavens,” to which Plato refers in his Phaedrus. This possibility becomes even more salient if we consider Daniele’s intellectual background and his interest in the movement of the soul, a feature of the patron’s philosophy that may also have determined how space in the villa is distributed, and a point to which this Chapter will return later. Daniele Barbaro’s Early Works, and the Ethics of Movement Evidence of the relationship between the soul’s movement and the will is found in one of Daniele’s early works, Della eloquenza. In this work – which takes the form of a dialogue between the three characters Arte, Natura and Anima – movement plays a key role in helping to describe both mortal and spiritual appetites. When discussing the appetites, and 345 Ibid., 391, "Pero si vede, che Vitr. Ha havuto intentione di esponer quello, che, appare sopra il nostro hemisfero, & però ha ragionato prima dei Poli in quell modo, come per legge perpetua il Settentrionale stesse di sopra." 346 Ibid., “Nel circolo settentrionale poste sono due orse, che voltano la spalle l’una all’altra, & hano I petti I altra parte rivolti, la minore Cynosura, & la maggiore Helice è detta da Greci: guardano amedue all’ingiù, & la coda dell’una è volta verso il capo dell’altra, percioche I capi dell’una, & dell’altra dalla cima lora uscendo per le code sopravanzandosi tra quelle, è stesto il serpent, ò Dracone, che si dichi, dal fine del quale è la stella luminosa, quella, che si 104 how they are motivated, the soul, or spirit, is said to act more rationally through verification and reason, a movement that demands an acquired knowledge of things because reason is a guide or councilor, both prudent and attentive.347 Using the intellect to determine the movement of the soul demands the use of the will, like that of the passionate sense, which has the virtue to place itself in front of the pleasing and escape the displeasing: “The will is Queen.”348 When discussing the will, Barbaro makes specific reference to Plato. The objective of the will is to escape the bodily appetites so that the soul can achieve its ultimate goal, which according to the law of Plato is to return to the stars.349 Daniele’s reference to Plato here acknowledges his familiarity with the relationship between the soul and the will in the Phaedrus. The figure on the dragon may therefore have served as a reminder that in order to remain on course, the soul must resist becoming weighed down by earthly desires. We will recall from the previous chapter that the identity of the figure on the snake in Anselmo Canera’s painting in the Sala degli Dei of the Palazzo Thiene could shift depending on the political inclinations of the guests. One of the characteristics of allegorical figures is their multivalence, and the figure at Maser was evidently also open to interpretation. There is evidence to suggest that the figure on the dragon at Maser may also have had a Lutheran implication. There has been much debate about the possibility of Daniele’s chiama il Polo, che è d’intorno al capo dell’Orsa maggiore, perche quella, che è vicina al Dracone, si volge d’intorno al suo capo.” 347 Daniele Barbaro, Della eloquenza (Venice: Vicenzo Valgrisio), 10, “Muovesi adunque la ragionevol parte, che è nel anima, con le pruove, & con le ragioni; & tal movimento s’addimanda insegnare. Et perche la ragione è uno de’ consiglieri, prudente, et svegliato.” 348 Ibid., 9, “Ben ti dico ora delle forse mie, perche io conosco di dentro, & di fuori…& cio si dimanda la volontà, come quello del senso appetite, il quale ha virtù di porsi dinanzi alle cose dilettevoli, & di fuggire le dispiacevoli. La volontà è la Regina.” 349 Ibid., 52, “Parer tornarsi l’anima alle stelle, secondo la sententia di Platone.” 105 involvement in heretical activities. The Platonic academies often became political gatherings for heretical and reformist practices.350 Daniele had close associations with the Accademia della Fama, founded in Venice in 1557 by his close friend Federico Badoer, and later shut down for suspicions of heresy.351 As Tracy Cooper notes, Daniele Barbaro did not escape such aspersions despite his ability to quash them with his virtù.352 Though his Della eloquenza was not published until 1557, it was written in 1534, when Daniele was only twenty years old, and so it opens up a window into Daniele’s thoughts at a very young age. The dedication of the book, “Ai signori Academici Costanti di Vicenza,” underscores Barbaro’s close association with ideas circulating in Platonic academies in Vicenza at the time, as well as in Trissino’s Academy at Cricoli, whose official edict of those permitted entry to the academy includes the name of Daniele.353 In the early 1550s, when he was Venetian ambassador to England, and where he would have had exposure to Protestant ideas, Daniele wrote several letters home to his aunt Cornelia Barbaro, a nun at the monastery of Santa Chiara in Murano. Though his letters are hardly heretical in nature, his perception of religious philosophy at the time has a strangely Lutheran quality. When discussing scripture with his aunt, Daniele highlights the importance 350 Paul Lawrence Rose, “The Accademia Venetiana; Science and Culture in Renaissance Venice,” Studi Veneziani 11(1969), 191-242. 351 Ibid., 212-215. 352 Tracy, E. Cooper, Palladio’s Venice: Architecture and Society in a Renaissance Republic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 172. 353 Gemma Campardelli, Architettura e medicina nella Vicenza del ‘500 (1543-1570): Andrea Palladio, Conte da Monte, Alessandro Massaria, Fabio Pace, PhD dissertation, Università degli studi di Padova, supervisor Achille Olivieri, 1999, 38, “ Nel 1537 il Trissino fonda a Cricoli un Accademia, che denomina “Villa,” la quale sarà istituzionalizzata nel 1539 e che stabilirà stretti contatti con la corte di Mantova. Il fatto che il fondatore consenta l’ingresso a Giovanni d’umili origini permeterà ad Andrea Palladio, figlio di un mignaio, di stabilire contatti con gli intelletuali del cinquecento. Fra I membri al concesso leggiamo nello statuto il nome di Daniele Barbaro.” 106 of how God created everything for the Word incarnate.354 It was the Word of God that was manifest in the union between the Father and his son, as it is with the son of man.355 For Daniele, the word of Scripture was alive, like the spoken word, for it is through the Word that the present is manifested, and it is to the flesh as speech is to the voice.356 Luther’s emphasis on reading and hearing Scripture, indicated in his opening letter about Anabaptism (1528), and its implications for religious visual imagery are well known. The female figure on the dragon may therefore have prompted viewers to consider the capacity of human beings to contribute to their own salvation through free will. Lacking the mirror that would immediately identify her as Prudence, the figure at Maser has also been stripped of the iconography usually associated with Minerva, save the dragon on which she sits. The result is a more intangible being to which Plato refers.357 Could it be that like Minerva, the virtue of prudence too has undergone a conversion or sorts? For Daniele, the Word of God also had a temporal quality, as we have just seen.358 Could Daniele’s conception of the temporality of the Word have informed the iconography of the central female figure in the Sala dell’Olimpo? 354 Daniele Barbaro, Lettere di Daniele Barbaro, date in luce la prima volta per l’ingresso di monsignor illustrissimo e revenrendissimo Sebastiano Soldato alla sede vescovile di Treviso (Padua: Tipografia del Seminario editr., 1829), H, 60, “Iddio avea tutto creato per lo Verbo incarnato, così ricreasse ogni cose per il Verbo incarnate.” 355 Ibid., “Nè di ciascuna persona, ma del Verbo, nella quale tanta è stata l’unione che ciò che si dice del Figliuolo di Dio, si dice del figliolo dell’uomo.” 356 Ibid., “il Verbo fu mezzo convenientissimo, come quello per il quale il presente si manifesta, ed è unibile alla carne come la parola alla voce.” 357 Plato, Phaedrus, 52. 358 Barbaro, Lettere, 60, “il Verbo fu mezzo convenientissimo, come quello per il quale il presente si manifesta, ed è unibile alla carne come la parola alla voce.” 107 Prudence, Minerva and the Ethics of Time As I have already mentioned, the arrangement of the figures on the ceiling in the Sala del Olimpo bears a striking resemblance to the circular scale used to measure time in analog clocks. As Daniele asserts, the arrangement of the stars around the Pole may be used to determine the time in the evening using the stars of Ursa Minor, which was a strategy employed by mariners for the purpose of determining the time and location during navigation. It is from the seven stars of Ursa Minor that the northern hemisphere derives its name, settentrione, which, as Plutarch describes, was also the distinction given the goddess Minerva.359 Ursa Minor is composed of seven stars, and the last one on the tail of the bear – that is, the one closest to its body – is called the Tramontana and this star is closest to the Pole, and it is referred to as the “Stella del mare” because it is used by mariners.360 According to Daniele, “these stars are very clear, three of them form a horn that is dragged by the helm of the cart, which is made of four stars that form a square like a wheel that is made with four spokes, which move around the Pole in a period of twenty four hours from East to West – and the Tramontana, because it is the closest to the Pole, hardly moves, and for this reason, because the Pole is invisible, one can determine the level of the Pole above the horizon.”361 Here Daniele includes an illustration (Figure 15) explaining how “the 359 Plutarco Cheronese, Iside e Osiride, Opuscolo (Florence: Stamperia Piatti, 1823), tradotto dal greco con note filologoche ed osservazioni al testo dal Cav. Sebatiano Ciampi, 12. 360 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1567, 394, “La tramontana, della quale si servono i nostri marinari, è quella stella, che è l'ultima nella coda dell'orsa minore. imaginiamo una linea dritta dalle ultime due stelle dell'orsa maggiore, cioè dalle ruote di dietro del carro, che vedi fin alla prossima stella che se le fa incontra, ivi è la stella vicina al polo del mondo, che si chiama stella del mare.” 361 Ibid., “Queste sono sette stelle assai chiare, tre di esse fanno un corno che si piglia per lo timone del carro, quattro poi fanno il quadrato secondo il sito di quattro ruote, si muoveno d’intorno il polo con qual distanze in termine di hore ventiquattro da Levante a Ponente, & la 108 location of the Pole is also determined by one of the other seven stars, that is the brightest of the two guardians, called the horologiale, and because it turns like the dial of a clock, one can determine at any time of the year, what time it is at night.”362 The Tramontana was also a wind derived from the North Pole that was used by mariners to help them return to port.363 If we recall Dante’s incantation in the second canto of Paradiso when he says, “Minerva blows; and Apollo guides me; and nine Muses show be the bears,”364 it is precisely Minerva’s position on the North Pole that was responsible for the wind that guided him. From her position on top of the dragon in the Sala del Olimpo, at the center of the outer ring that forms the zodiac, Minerva does appear like one of the hands of a clock that spins, like the wind she creates, around the pole. In fact, Daniele makes such a correlation himself when he insists, in his discussion of sundials that “the Gnomon represents the axis of the world.”365 In other words, the pole corresponds to a gnomon. For Daniele, at least, Minerva, as gnomon, played a key role in determining the present time, but also in helping to determine the future outcome of events. It is as if time here takes the place of prudence, the prophetic virtue extraordinaire. If, through its contingence upon options, prudence opened up Tramontana per esser più vicina al polo fa minor giro, & per quella, essendo il polo invisibile si conosce l’altezza del polo sopra l’Orizonte.” 362 Ibid., “il luogo del polo si conosce per un altra stella delle stelle, che è la più lucida delle dua guardie nominate: & quella stella è detta horologiale, perche girando come ruota di horologio da a conoscere in ogni tempo dell’anno, che hora sia del notte.” 363 Giovanni Battista Ramusio, Delle navigationi et viaggi, (Venice: I Giunti, 1583), “Avenne un giorno che’l vento di Tramontana cominciò a soffiar con grande impeto.” 364 Dante, La divina commedia, Paradiso, coretta, speigata e difesa dal P. Baldassare Lombardi (Rome: Stamperia de Romanis, 1977), 19, “Minerva spira; e conducemi Apollo; et nove Muse mi dimostran l’orse.” 365 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556, 238, “il Gnomone rappresenta l’Asse del mondo.” 109 early humanist debates about the existence of free will,366 in the case of the villa at Maser, it would seem the will is something temporally determined. Time as Both Constructive and Destructive Minerva’s function in keeping time stems from her role as the goddess of prudence, a temporal distinction made by Daniele in his Dieci libri when he insists that the architect needs good judgment. Defining prudence, Barbaro writes: “Judgment is a matter of prudence; prudence compares preceding things with the moments, and evaluates things to come.”367 The emphasis on determining things to come, explicit in prudence, is also implicit in the science of gnomonics. Expanding on Vitruvius, Daniele describes the different kinds of shadow that exist, and explains the effects of the earth’s surface on the production of shadows, which will change depending on the shape of the surface on which the shadow is projected. Here he argues how with the help of perspective, it is possible to know and design the effects on a building, which one can read like a clock and from which one can even determine in which sign of the zodiac the sun is positioned.368 In other words, through the science of gnomonics and the use of sundials, one could predict, from the length of the shadow cast by the gnomon, what month of the year they were in and how long the day 366 Victoria Kahn, Rhetoric, Prudence, and Skepticism in the Renaissance (Cornell University Press: London, 1985), 21. 367 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1567, 12, “Il giudicare è cosa da prudente; la prudenza compara le cose seguite con le instanti, & fa stima delle seguenti. Le cose seguite per memoria si hanno.” 368 Ibid., 234, òver Gnomone manda i raggi suoi nella soperficie opposta della terra, se quella soperficie è piana fa uno effetto, se cava un’altro, se curva un’altra, se dritta un’altro, & cosi in qualunque soperficie, che cade il raggio solare si vede mirabile mutatione di effetti, i quali per ragione di prospettiva si possono divinamente conoscere, & dissegnare, & con alcuni strumenti fatti à questo effetto chiaramente porre dinanzi à gli occhi…..& ogni Horologio ci mostra la quantita del giorno, il vero Merrigie con certi, & determinati termini, & se sono con il loro Analemmi descritti, ci mostrano ancho il grado, & in che segno si trova il Sole. 110 would be. As Daniele attests, such inventions were used by Egyptians like Ctesibio, and encouraged by the gods, so that they would not be “robbed” by time.369 The desire to predetermine the effects of time was a major preoccupation for Daniele, and it seems prudence may have acted as a conduit through which these determinations were projected. As we have seen, prudence had strong associations with time, a feature that was particularly attractive to sixteenth-century Venetians who began to experience first hand how the passing of the years wreaked havoc on the city. According to Manfred Tafuri, in the sixteenth century, there was something particularly conspicuous in the Early Modern lagoon city that challenged the Venetians’ understanding of time as something that unified the past, present and future moments: the sea. Central to understanding Venetian history, is how the plurality of time as a merging of past, present and future, was disrupted during the sixteenth century by an ever encroaching sea that sought to claim more of the urban center all the time,370 displacing many Venetians from the city to the countryside. While the perception of time as universal became associated with the imago urbis of La Serenissima, during the sixteenth century more and more it began to exist side by side what Tafuri describes as a ‘mechanical time,’ one which recognized the division of time into something that could be either constructive or destructive.371 As an example, Tafuri posits Daniele’s quote from his Dieci libri, where the author laments: 369 Ibid., 430, “Molte belle inventioni sono state quelle di Ctesibio, et volesse Iddio, che il tempo non ce le havesse rubbate.” 370 Manfredo Tafuri, Venezia e il Rinascimento (Turin: Einaudi, 1985), 12. 371 Ibid., 14. 111 “…time, which generates every convenience and inconvenience, also grants that these two wage war on each other…”372 While Tafuri acknowledges the circumspection in Daniele’s words, it is important to note that they are far from defeatist. In fact, the recognition that time could disrupt the natural equilibrium of things resulted in new strategies to control the damage of time on the lagoonal metropolis through the introduction of new technical innovations, methods that were also met with resistance. Such a concern with the effects of time prompted figures like Cristoforo Sabbadino to launch new measures to manage the fluvial waterways within the city by extending the fondamente, while others like Alvise Cornaro leaned towards a limitation on urban development of the city in favor of agricultural development in the terrafirma. Cornaro’s ideas were encouraged by many factors, including the increase in the diseases in the urban centers of Venice, as well as the decline of the Republic’s maritime prowess resulting from the conflicts of war that dominated the period.373 The context of Daniele’s lamentation is also one of war. Immediately preceding his comment, he praises the new Venetian arsenal that was designed in such a way that it would remove the will of anyone that wished to disturb the liberty of the state.374 This is important, since, like Trissino before him, Daniele looked to architecture as a means of creating peace. As Tafuri notes, in the end Venetian officials preferred to limit the potentialities of technology, in favor of a “prudence” that benefitted from firmly established solutions 372 Daniele Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556, 271, “il tempo, che apporta seco ogni commodo, et ogni incommodo, accordato con due elementi ci vorebbe mover guerra, et farci natabili ungiurie, dico il mare, et la terra, de i quali l’uno pare, che voglia cedere, et l’altra occupare il luogo di queste lagune.” 373 Tafuri, Venezia, 137-45. 112 resulting from careful deliberation.375 What is important to take from these events is that, for the scientific elite in Venice the role of technology was to preserve nature, not to alter or disturb it, and only through the good practice of prudence could l’intervento “restautore”, or restorative intervention, take place.376 Given Daniele’s comments in his Dieci libri, it is not surprising that these concerns would take command of the architectural design at Maser, nor that they would be invested in prudence specifically as it relates to Minerva. Gnomonics and the Control of Space and Time at Maser So far we have considered how debates about prudence and free will may have helped determine the iconographic program of the Sala dell’Olimpo at Maser. As we have seen, Daniele singles out prudence as the quintessential virtue for the architect. The prudent architect compares the past with the present, and considers how the present will influence the future.377 What effect might this have had on the architectural design of Daniele’s family villa? There is evidence to suggest that the layout of the villa conformed to the kind of scientific prudence Daniele championed. At the Villa Barbaro, the cruciform shape takes precedence over any other manner of expression. The most obvious example is the Sala della Crociera that encompasses a space in the form of a cross, and from which the room derives its name. If we look at the plan for the villa provided by Palladio in his Quattro libri (Figure 16), we see how this is not the only space to be designed with the shape of the cross in mind. First, we must draw lines out from 374 Ibid., 270, “s’introduce però nello Arsenale de’ Vinitiani uno apparato di aquistare le provincie, & I regni, & di levare anche le voglie a chi volesse in alcun modo turbare la libertà di quello stato.” 375 Tafuri, Venezia e il Rinascimento, 15. 376 Ennio Concina, A History of Venetian Architecture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 165. 377 Daniele Barbaro, dieci libri, 1556, Proemio, 12. 113 the center of the Sala dell’Olimpo, from right underneath the image of Minerva on the Dragon representing the North Pole and the earth’s axis, and extend these lines to the ends of the corridors, on either side of which are projected the images of a man – often believed to be a self portrait of Veronese – and his dog who have just returned from the hunt at one end, and a woman in a beautiful gown – presumed to be Veronese’s wife – holding a fan at the other.378 If we then draw a line perpendicular to this line, once again through the center of the Sala dell’Olimpo, and extend it at both ends to the front of the central block at one end, and to the back of the nymphaeum at the other, we are left with another cross that is a perfect square (Figure 17, Figure 18, Figure 19). The superimposition of these two crosses is contained within a circularity similar to the face of a clock. This space contains the entire living space of the villa. Similarly, if we follow a comparable design, but this time draw our first line at the level of the outer archways of the colonnades, from a position that bisects Palladio’s plan in half, and then extend the second line from the back of the nymphaeum to the circular frame that encloses the villa, once again we achieve a configuration in the form of a an exactly squared cross into a large circle (Figure 20, Figure 21, Figure 22). The organization of the structure is reminiscent of the illustration of the four spoked wheels (Figure 15) in Daniele’s Dieci Libri, used by mariners to tell time by locating the North Pole using the polar star, which Daniele designates the Stella del mare. In his later manuscript, De orologi, which remained unpublished, Barbaro gives an explanation of the aforementioned procedure (Figure 23), though his instructions are sometimes vague, leaving readers to figure out much for themselves. In his Arte del Navigare (1554), Pietro da Medina discusses the method mentioned by Daniele on how one tells the time using the stars of Ursa 378 Antonella Fuga, Artists’ Techniques and Materials (Milan: Mondadori electa, 2004), 110. 114 Minor, but in a way that is much more intelligible, so it is worth considering here. According to Pietro, first you must find the Tramontana star, and imagine that on top of it is a cross (Figure 24).379 Of the cross, Pietro continues, “the upper part is called the head and the part beneath the feet; the other two parts are the right and left arm respectively.”380 With this in mind, Pietro explains how one must be aware that within this shape four more lines must be placed which divide the other sections in half, so that between the right arm and the head there is a line, and between the head and the left arm there is a line, and also one between the left arm and the feet and the right arm and the feet.381 Once these lines are established, Pietro explains how one must then locate the largest of the two guardians of the Tramontana, which is the innermost of the two, also known as the horologiale, for in twenty four hours it passes around the eight sections above, taking three hours to get from one section to the other in such a way that if at the first hour of the night (midnight) the star is on the head, at three o’clock the star will be on the line between the head and the line between the head and the left arm, and at six o’clock the star will be on the left arm and so on (Figure 25).382 Pietro’s design is pretty much synonymous with that of 379 Pietro da Medina, L’arte del navegar dell’eccel. Dotto Pietro da Medina (Venice: Aurelio Pincio, 1554), 105, recto, verso, “Primamente si dei osservar la stella Tramontana, & imaginar sopra di essa una croce in questo modo.” 380 Ibid., “Di questa croce la parte di sopra chiamano capo, & quella di sotto piedi, le altre due brazo destro, & brazo sinistro nel sequente modo.” 381 Ibid., “Saputo questo, si debbe ancora advertir, che tra questi rombi, over line ponemo altri quarto, quale divideno over parte no questo per mezzo, liquali chiamamo line in questa maniera. A talche tra il brazo destroy & il capo, è un a linea, & tra il capo, & il sinistro brazo, è l’altra linea, & tri il sinistro brazi, & li piedi, è la terza linea, & tra li piedi, & il destroy brazo la quarta linea.” 382 Ibid., “Havuta questa imagination glie da saper, che la stella maggior de li doi guardian, ch’è quella davanti, qual di sopra è stata nominate stella horologial, in xxiiij, hore passa queste otto parte, tardando tre hore da una à l’altra di maniera che se à una hora de notte era nel capo, alle tre la sera in la linea tra il capo, & il brazo sinistro, et alle sei nel istesso brazo, & cosi si contara piu noltra.” 115 Daniele in his Dieci libri. What is important to draw from Pietro’s version of the procedure is the importance of the confluence of the cross and circle. The cruciform design for the villa has obvious religious significance, but one that would have appealed to Daniele in particular. During his time as Venetian ambassador to England, Daniele was appointed by Giovanni Grimani, the current Patriarch of Aquileia, to be his successor as the Patriarch Elect in the event of Grimani’s death, a position that Daniele took very seriously. Breathing a religious tone into his new country home would have underscored his new position with the church. It would also have engaged with prudence in a way that reflects the tension between Christianity and Paganism, at a time when attitudes toward Pagan ethics were continually revised and challenged.383 When viewed in terms of the Pagan ideology of Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad the central figure in the Sala dell’Olimpo may be identified as Minerva, as we have seen, however, the figure could also represent one of the most significant biblical figures: the Virgin Mary. Wittkower has shown how the ancient conception of Minerva’s virginity was familiar during the Renaissance, and the identification of the goddess with the Virgin Mary was widely disseminated.384 More specific to the evidence I have just provided regarding the derivation of the central figure from the navigational determination of time, using the stars of the Settentrione, is the identification of the Stella del mare as the Virgin Mary. An excerpt from the Venetian manuscript, Sei prediche in lode della Beata Vergine (1583), dedicated to Mary, confirms the identification. When discussing the derivation of Mary’s name, Gabriel Fiamma affirms that her name is descended from none other than the Stella del mare, or 383 Jill Kraye, “Moral Philosophy,” in The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, ed. C. B. Schmitt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 319. 116 illuminant one, because like a star she directs you into port.385 She is designated the illuminant one because she provides council on occasions of doubt, and she is called Stella del mare because she guides you when you are lost.386 In fact, in his opinion, and moreover that of the church, the Virgin not only merits the name Stella del mare, but more accurately the Stella del cielo or even better the Stella del mondo.387 The figure on the dragon evokes both Minerva and the Virgin Mary concurrently, and both figures warrant the location precisely because of the their role as guide. Sonja Ulrike Klug’s study of the figurative representation of the North Star taken from the Chartres cathedral has also shown how the Stella del mare is at once, the Virgin Mary, the Egyptian goddess Isis, and the Greek goddess Athena, or Minerva to the Romans.388 Through the interchangeability of Minerva and the Virgin, the fresco of what might otherwise be a Greek and Roman goddess can be substituted with a female figure the Venetians held very dear on account of their history. According to legend the city of Venice was founded on the day of the Annunciation, underscoring the importance of the Virgin to 384 Rudolf Wittkower, “Transformations of Minerva in Renaissance Imagery,” Journal of the Warburg Institute, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jan., 1939), pp. 194-205, (203). 385 Gabriel Fiamma, Sei prediche del R.D. Gabriel Fiamma, in lode della Beata Vergine (Venice: Francesco de’ Franceschi Senese, 1583), 124 “Perche credete, che habbia nome Maria quella Saera Reina? (Et nomen Virginis Maria. nome altissimo. Maria vuol dire Stella del mare, Illuminante, … se non percioche, come Stella, v’indirizza al porto” 386 Ibid., “Si chiama Illuminatrice, perche consiglia nelle cose dubbie; Stella del mare, perche ci scorge, quando siamo smarriti” 387 Ibid., 125 Ma che dico? che dice la Chiesa? che interpretazione è questa? Maria maris stella, Stella del mare, perche non piu tosto Stella del cielo? Perche non piu tosto Stella del mondo? 388 Sonja Ulrike Klug, Gotico segreto: Sapienza occulta nella cattedrale di Chartres, trans. Chiara Jaeger and Augusto Casamassima (Rome: Edizioni Arkeios, 2003). 117 the city’s origins.389 There also existed the belief that Venice would one day be the locus for the return of the Golden Age, prophesized by Virgil in his fourth Eclogue, an event that would be marked by the return of the Virgin.390 Given the fact that the morality of both Christianity and Paganism were incommensurable and in constant confrontation with each other during the period, the painting can be said to “make the peace” so to speak. If, as we have seen, Daniele’s allegiance to the Catholic Church were in question, such a depiction would help confirm his loyalty before Catholic guests. Gnomonics and the Campaign against Uncertainty The aforementioned reconciliation between the religious beliefs of Christianity and Paganism presents a perfect example of the type of harmonizing ideology Daniele championed. The layout of the Dieci libri as a dialogue also promotes a compromise between the architect who reads the book, and the authority of Vitruvius. As Howard argues, in much of his writing Daniele remained an advocate of the need for equilibrium between the vita attiva and vita contemplativa.391 Daniele’s treatise is also a negotiation between art and science, a union encouraged by his fascination with arithmetic. The source for Daniele’s keen interest in the arithmetic component of mathematics also solicited a kind of compromise, which can be attributed to Proclus’s Elementi. Proclus’s Commentaries on Euclid were translated by Francesco Barozzi, Daniele’s friend and teacher 389 Daniel Arasse, “Les Annonciations de Veronese ou l’atelier de la devotion”, in Nuovi studi su Paolo Veronese, ed. Massimo Gemin (Venice: Arsenale Editrice, 1990), 204-213, (208). 390 Eugene J. Johnson, “Jacopo Sansovino, Giacomo Torelli, and the Theatricality of the Piazzetta in Venice”, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Dec., 2000), 436-453, (448). As Johnson points out, Virgil’s proclamation that a Virgin would return to inaugurate a new Golden Age “fit well into the notion of the city, founded, according to legend, on the day of the Annunciation.” 391 Howard, Venice Disputed, 45. 118 at the University of Padua who also lectured on the topic.392 Barozzi emphasized that Proclus combined an Aristotelian theory of scientific demonstration with a Platonic appreciation for the sublimity of mathematics, particularly the notion that numbers played a key role in the conception of universal unity and harmony.393 By offering both Platonic and Aristotelian perspectives, Proclus provided the patriarch with a means to oscillate between the two, but it was perhaps in the area of geometry that Proclus made his greatest contribution. For Barbaro, the importance of number to Proclus’s commentary would have been particularly important for its use in solving geometrical uncertainties. Daniele defines Geometry as the art of measuring, while the subject of mathematics relates to the intelligible quantity.394 He goes on to explain the significance of arithmetic to activities such as adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, but insists that what is useful to the architect is “arithmetic’s ability to demonstrate reasons for measurement, and to dissolve uncertainties which, for Geometry, are unsolvable.”395 Once more Daniele confesses his anxiety with regard to things that remain uncertain, such as the future. The algebraic type of measurement dependent on numerical accuracy that Daniele thought would mitigate unpredictability was determined by the science of gnomonics. Configuring the space at the Villa Maser in relation to the Virgin introduces an aspect of religiosity to the structure, but the fact that the representation of the figure is derived from the features of a clock, also projects a temporal component on the space. Scholars have observed how the spatial organization of the central block of the villa 392 Paul Lawrence Rose, “A Venetian Patron and Mathematician of the Sixteenth Century: Francesco Barozzi (1537-1604), Studi veneziani, N.S. 1, (1977), 119-187, (124-126). 393 Ibid., 125. 394 Barbaro, dieci ibri, 14. 119 does not conform to Palladio’s conventional distribution of space. Azzi Visentini notes how the residential block at Maser represents an anomaly with respect to the balance of Palladio’s constructions, particularly the way it projects itself externally from the rest of the structure, unlike the Villa Emo where continuity between the central and outer sections of the villa exists.396 Unlike most of Palladio’s villas, the main complex is not identified with a portico under the main pediment, which was used by Palladio to designate the entrance to the residence.397 Writing in the eighteenth century, Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi wrote that many visitors to the villa did not like that the entrances to the building were from the two loggias and archways attached to the colonnades on the side, since they were too far from where the principal entrance should normally be.398 For Palladio, the portico represented a middle ground between the interior and exterior space of a structure, creating continuity between the two, a priority evident in the architect’s drawings. Through the use of orthogonal projections in his illustrations, Palladio demonstrates the importance of movement between the inner and outer spaces of his constructions. Palladio’s drawings, Cooper notes, represent “the total essence of the building, for, in its drawn state, all is implied: the complete elevation, of exterior and interior simultaneously, the entire circumference without so defined a prejudice for one aspect, and spare both without 395 Ibid., 15, “utile è l'Arithmetica a dimostrare le ragioni delle misure, & a sciorre le dubitationi, che per Geometria.” 396 Margherita Azzi Visentini. L’orto botanico di Padova e il giardino del rinascimento (Milan: Edizione il Polifilo, 1984), 181. 397 Andrea Palladio, I quattro libri dell’architettura, (Venice: Domenico Louisa Rialto, 1709), Palladio asserts: “Io ho fatto in tutte le fabriche di Villa, & anco in alcune della Città il Frontispicio nella facciata dinanzi, nella quale sono le porte principali: percioche questi tali Frontipici accusano l’entrata della casa, & servono molto alla grandezza, e magnificenza dell’opera.” 398 Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi, La Villa di Maser in Provincia di Treviso (Rome: Cio tipo di Forzani e C., 1904), 17 120 and within the building, as well as ornament and proportion. The ideal place for the viewing of the plan is in the mind’s eye.”399 Different views are often represented on the same page, offering a diagram that is divorced from the unitary context supplied by single-point linear perspective.400 In the drawings for structures, the portico itself provides a similar dissolution because movement in front of the portico provides different perspectives. Given Palladio’s preference for disengaging with the rules of linear perspective, why, then, was the villa at Maser deprived a portico? A possible preparatory drawing for the villa provides potential evidence to suggest the lack of portico may have resulted from a compromise between the patron and his architect. In her recent study of the villa, Howard introduces a drawing from the Royal Institute of British Architects in London (sheet XVI, 5 verso) that shows a similar distribution of space to the villa at Maser and originates from the same period. Though Howard admits that it is difficult to determine whether or not the sheet is actually related to the villa at Maser, it does reveal an effort on the part of the architect to achieve a cruciform structure shaped to a perfect square by extending the stairs, which as Howard observes, would have raised the residence level of the villa by one floor.401 If Palladio were trying to maintain his preferred frontal entrance, while simultaneously making provisions for his patron’s desires for a cruciform arrangement, the drawing could prove useful in identifying the types of negotiations that took place between he and Daniele. Another preparatory drawing ascribed to Palladio depicts the Sala della Crociera with engaged columns on the 399 Tracy E. Cooper, Palladio’s Venice: Architecture and Society in a Renaissance Republic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 21. 400 Ibid., 19. 401 Howard, Venice Disputed, 33. 121 lateral and central projections, communicating his desire to include a portico-like space.402 It is quite possible, however, that Daniele may have preferred to retain the lateral entranceways so as not to detract from the religiosity of the structure, a detail that may also be detected on the principal face of the villa. Perspective and the Problem of Coercion The broken entablature of the pediment on the front of the villa at Maser (Figure 26) remains undoubtedly one of the key features suggesting a difference of opinion between the architect and patron. As Howard notes, in his illustration of the villa in his Quattro libri, Palladio conceals the discontinuity with a garland, despite the fact that he had disregarded his own rule on the frontispiece of his treatise (Figure 27).403 In his Quattro libri, in between what appears to be two cross-sections of an arched tympanum, enthroned on a pedestal is a crowned female figure with a rod in her right hand, holding a book open with her left. The inscription above reads Regina Virtus, or queen of the virtues. It seems that the only instance Palladio chose to break with his own regulations was to make room for a figure of such great importance that warranted the tympanum’s interruption. As Puppi suggests, the interruption at Maser may have been the result of Daniele’s own intervention, an attempt to introduce a perspectival element to the building.404 Given Daniele’s renowned interest in perspective, culminating in his treatise La pratica della perspettiva of 1567, is it possible that he was harnessing the power of perspective to draw attention to something? If he were drawing on the time keeping methods of navigation to determine the arrangement of the villa, the frame created by the disruption in the pediment would have 402 Ibid. 403 Ibid. 404 Puppi, 316. 122 served to identify the axis that intersects the horizontal line created by the colonnades, while simultaneously highlighting the location of the Stella del mare from the exterior of the building in the mind’s eye. Just as the stars of the night sky could be used to locate one’s position in the art of navigation, attributes of the villa can be used for purposes of location. Furthermore, the break in the entablature opens up the exterior façade inviting the viewer inside, while still denying them complete access, unlike a portico. This interruption is crucial, since it creates a distinction between the exterior space of the observer, and the interior sacred space belonging to the patron. However, there still exists a compromise since the arrangement allows the position of the virgin to be distinguished from both the exterior and interior. The exterior at Maser thus has the effect of drawing the viewer inside, through the use of perspective, and yet the missing portico and the lack of frontal entrance keep the viewer on the outside, creating a negotiation between the two. If we turn now to the interior space of the villa at Maser, we find a similar differentiation. In the Villa Barbaro, the effect of single-point linear perspective situates the visitor as both the observer and the participant. From the center of the Sala dell’Olimpo, underneath the Stella del mare, the viewer is offered four separate perspectival vistas. The first looks through the Sala della Crociera to a large window that opens up to a view of the valley below. Another looks back towards the nymphaeum, which is shaped like a theater. The other two look down long hallways towards the east and west, at the ends of which are portrayed the images of a man and his dog (Figure 28), and a woman in a beautiful gown holding a fan (Figure 29). From this vantage point, the viewer has four views that appeal to subjective desire. At the same time, however, the viewer remains the object of the spaces beyond, in that he/she exists, like in a theater, as the person viewed by others. From the 123 window beyond the Sala della Crociera, the viewer remains the object of the external viewer as we have seen. The observer is also the object seen by the two figures at the end of the East and West corridors that stare back, positioning the viewer as both an actor participating in a play, and a spectator. The same can be said of the figures in the nymphaeum who gaze back toward the Sala dell’Olimpo. As the center of a cross that forms a circle, the nucleus of the Sala dell’Olimpo is positioned as both the vanishing point and the point from which all lines emerge, creating a sort of doubling effect. Such a doubling effect is intrinsic to perspective, as Bronwen Wilson has argued. For Erwin Panofsky perspective enabled the objectification of subjective perceptions, since the artist’s viewpoint is imposed upon that of the viewer,405 while for Hubert Damisch, on the other hand, rather than empowering the perspectival gaze of the artist, perspective calls attention to the eye of the viewer, and therefore defines the subject.406 In the theatricality of Maser, the subject experiences what Henri Bergson would refer to as “oneiric automatism,” since the viewer becomes a spectator independent of a scene that the other plays, but is also converted “into automata,” transported into the world of theater as an actor themselves.407 In Bergsonian terms, the singularity of one-point perspective provides a viewpoint that belongs to both the subjective experience of the viewer, and the objective experience of the producer, simultaneously. As a result, the present sense-experience of the subject as spectator is compromised by the presence of a gaze that is “always already there.”408 As Gilles Deleuze points out, however, Bergson’s entire thesis consists in demonstrating that subjective 405 Bronwen Wilson, The World in Venice: Print, the City, and Early Modern Identity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 2005, 262. 406 Ibid., 263. 407 Ronald Bogue, Deleuze on Cinema (New York: Routledge, 2003), 118. 124 experience can only be lived or livable in the perspective of a single time.409 This is Bergson’s idea of pure duration, the form that the succession of our conscious states assumes when our ego lets itself live, when it refrains from separating present from former states.410 Single-point linear perspective opposes and excludes lived experience then, by positing the so-called second time realized, namely the time of artist at the moment of creation of the perspectival image.411 The presence of a second time disrupts the subjectivity of pure duration – a time that is completely, and subjectively, our own. The break in pure subjectivity experienced at Maser can be understood further if we consider the problem in terms of Plato’s movement of the soul. We will recall that for Plato the movement of the soul toward God is the most important movement of all.412 This region is the “abode of reality with which true knowledge is concerned…a reality without a colour or shape.”413 It is formlessness that prevents the soul from yielding to the egocentricity of envy, lust and other forms of vice.414 Envy and lust are egocentric emotions that cause the soul to lose its wings and fall to the sphere of “solid matter”, which partakes of the body.415 The loss of wings is crucial here, for in losing its wings the soul becomes immobile. It is 408 Hubert Damisch, The Origin of Perspective, trans. John Goodman (New York: MIT Press, Zone Books, 1997), 446. 409 Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Zone Books, 1991), 81. 410 Henri Bergson, Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, trans. F. L. Pogson (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1960) 100. 411 Deleuze, Bergsonism, 82. 412 Sallis, Being and Logos, 144. 413 Plato, “Phaedrus,” 52. 414 Ilham Dilman, Free Will: An Historical and Philosophical Introduction (London: Routledge, 1999), 37. 415 Ibid. 125 immobility that prevents the will from being free, since vice is a form of bondage that locks the will into an unhealthy relationship. Compare Plato’s ideas of the movement of the soul to the movement of the eye at Maser. Looking up at the ceiling in the Sala dell’Olimpo, the visitor’s eyes can move from the poignant image of Diana rubbing noses with her dog, to the majesty of Jupiter with his arm around his eagle, willfully wandering to the image that best suits his or her thoughts and desires. The same applies to the walls of the room itself. One is free to admire the image of the figures perched behind the balustrade, or perhaps one of the landscape scenes. Then suddenly, the eye is caught by the perspectival effects, and for an instant it remains fixed, gazing at a hunter who has just returned from the hunt at one angle, or a woman holding a fan at another, who both return the stare, creating images that are singular in their immobility. If one were to walk down the corridor at the end of which is a painted image of a hunter and his dog, you would be forced to envisage that image as you pass through all the adjoining rooms, until you meet your final destination. From the other end, if you turn and walk in the other direction, you are faced with the image of Veronese’s wife until you arrive at the Sala dell’Olimpo. This is not to suggest that the visitor to Maser would experience lust or envy when looking down the corridors to the two figures at either end, yet one is subservient to these images. Their function as images would reinforce their orientation, locking the viewer’s gaze to what Ilham Dilman refers to as a life “associated with the body.”416 The soul, after all is movement – pure movement from ignorance to knowledge – and anything that prevents this 416 Ibid., 38. 126 movement is a form of coercion.417 If, for Plato, the will is directed towards an object insofar as it is good, and desirable, what happens when that object is undesirable and you are not presented with an alternative route? In the end it is perhaps Daniele’s fascination with perspective that triumphs. Daniele explains his preference for perspectival space in term of geometry. In his Dieci libri, when discussing the best shape for a forum, he acknowledges that the circular form is more capable and convenient; however, when capacity is considered, the square can be said to be just as effective; in fact, when it comes to the rules of perspective the square is more apropos, because the internal parts have closer proximity to the center, and the spectators will see the whole more equally.418 For the sake of perspective, the circle is compromised for a square, which Daniele utilizes in the form of a perfect cross. Arguably, one of the spaces in the main living quarters of the Villa Barbaro remains somewhat divorced from the others: the Sala della Crocera. Writing about the villa Scamozzi noted that the Sala della Crocera was the “only situation in which one could configure oneself in the structure without interrupting the gracious internal disposition, and maintain communication with the porticoes and the adjoining apartments.”419 Scamozzi’s commentary is important for two reasons; firstly, it underscores how the Sala della Crocera remains a space on its own, detached from the rest of the family quarters; and secondly because it may 417 Sallis, Being and Logos, 177-178. 418 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1567, 209 “attento che la forma ritonda sia piu capace, & piu commode d’ogn’altra figura, & poi la quadrata, se noi guardemo alla capacità, non ha dubbio, che la quadrata non sia piu capace…se consideramo la ragione della prospettiva, è piu al proposito la quadrata, perche tutte le parti d’intorno hanno piu vicinanza al centro, et gli spettatori vedeno piu egualmente il tutto, però io lascio questa consideratione a chi legge.” 419 Scamozzi, La Villa di Maser, 17 “unica situazione per adattarle in questa fabrica senza interrompere la graziosa disposizione interna, e mantenere una regolare communicazione co’ portici, e cogli appartamenti adiacenti.” 127 help to explain Veronese’s frescoes in this part of the villa. Also configured in the form of a cross, the Sala della Crocera remains a space in and of itself, but one that preserves the theatricality of the Sala dell’Olimpo in Veronese’s frescoed interior. Standing in the center of the room, underneath the groin, or cross vault, one looks forward to the view of the road leading to the villa, back towards the Sala dell’Olimpo, and east and west to the large pavilions topped with sundials. From this vantage point one experiences a similar type of “oneiric automatism” since from every direction the observer interacts with the painted images of Muses on the northeast and northwest walls, and a page and young girl opening a door on the southeast and southwest wall respectively (Figure 30, Figure 31). From the middle of the groin vault there is a suspended hook, dating to the time of the villa’s construction, from which something obviously hung. Along the other edges of the vault, on the north and south side, two masks are attached that stare back at each other. It is difficult to identify their gender. The one facing north (Figure 32) with her head swathed in linen, and a placid, serene look, seems to be a female, perhaps representing peace, or virtue. The other (Figure 33), wrapped in cloth that has been tied in knots at either side, appears to be a male in the act of screaming, perhaps representing a warrior, or a vice of some sort. Given their demeanor, they could represent active and contemplative life; however by the way their behaviours are set in opposition to each other, both figuratively and spatially, the scene seems to reflect the twofold nature of Plato’s logos, which in the Cratylus Socrates says “is twofold…true and false together.”420 Standing underneath the center of the cross, the cosmological location of the pilot of the soul, one is at a middle ground, a balance akin to logos, an idea continued on the frescoes of the walls of the Sala della Crociera. 420 Plato, Cratylus, 408 b – c. 128 Painted on the exterior walls of the Stanza di Bacco and the Stanza del Tribunale d’Amore, the only other rooms aside from the Sala dell’Olimpo that can be accessed from the Sala della Crociera on the second floor, are trompe l’oeil elements that beg investigation. Facing the center of the groin vault, as we have seen, are two frescoes that depict a pageboy and small girl emerging from fictive doorways. The rooms which they accompany have only one means of entry, via doors on the south side, something which would have undermined Palladio’s recommendations that the rooms in a house should be aligned beside each other so as to allow freer interchangeability.421 Real doors, however, would have detracted from the kind of theatricality needed to maintain a visual balance between subjectivity and objectivity. Was the decision then, also a compromise between the patron and his architect? Through the illusion of the painted surface the imitation doors act as entranceways, at least metaphorically. Moreover, the trompe l’oeil opens up the space visually acting as living images in paint. Throughout the villa, Veronese’s frescos breathe life into the rooms, with many of the walls opening up to vistas of pastoral scenes, or balconies that appear so alive that they must be part of the actual architecture. Scattered throughout many of the frescoes are objects, such as a brush and a stool that look as if they were left by a servant, or images of cats and dogs that make the faux-architecture appear real. In many ways, Veronese’s paintings appear to be more successful at creating a living image than the architecture. This could explain Palladio’s failure to mention the frescos or the painter in his treatise, a detail that has continually troubled scholars. 421 Palladio, quattro libri, 66, “Si avertirà poi nel resto della fabrica, che vi siano stanze grandi, mediocri, e picciole; tutte l’una a canto al’altra, onde possano scambievolmente servirsi.” 129 The Objectivity of Movement For the most part, movement in the villa at Maser is linear and directed by the objectification of time. Despite Daniele’s recognition that the horologiale star rotates around the Stella del mare continually, completing its circular cycle in a twenty-four hour period, most of the movement in the villa revolves around the linear axes that make up the cross, used to measure time. As we have seen, the only importance Barbaro ascribed to the use of astrology and gnomonics to architecture is for the purposes of location. 422 When it comes to determining location, Daniele only has faith in the straight line. Daniele’s preference for the straight line stems from his interest in linear perspective. At the beginning of the First Chapter in the Dieci libri, Daniele summarizes Vitruvius’s thoughts on the relevance of geometry to the architect is derived from what can be learned from the use of the straight and circular line.423 When Barbaro expands on Vitruvius’s ideas, he skips over any mention of the circular line, and jumps directly to the straight line and its use in perspective, specifically as it relates to the distribution of light.424 The changing phenomenon of light was an enduring interest for Daniele, and informed his ideas of location, particularly with regard to the position of windows, as D’Evelyn suggests.425 When he 422 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1567, 20, "Una delle parti principali dell'Architettura è (come si vede al terzo capo del primo libro) cerca l'ombre causati dal Sole, & da gli stili necessarie a fare gli horologij da Sole, & questa parte è detta Gnonomica.. Quanto appartine à quella parte, che da gli ascendenti nel nascer nostro comprende i successi delle future cose; niuno uso si trova nell'Architettura, se forse noi non vogliamo cercare alcune qualità secrete de luoghi, le cognitioni delle quali non si possono referire ad latro che à gli ordini, & influssi dei pianeti, ad che molti mettono a fare la natività. 423 Ibid., 13, Vitruvius says, “La Geometria giova molto allo Architetto, perche ella insegna l’uso della linea dritta, & circolare.” 424 Ibid., 14, Barbaro says, “Prospettiva in generale è quell ache dimostra tre ragioni di vedere, la dritta, la riflessa, la rifranta. Nella dritta si comprende la cagione degli effetti che fanno le cose visibili mediante i lumi.” 425 D’Evelyn, Venice and Vitruvius, 180. 130 provides advice on how the windows of a house should be distributed, it is the straight line that comes to his aid, since stretching a cord towards openings on a building plan can demonstrate where light will fall, without a doubt.426 For Daniele, the merit of the straight line resides in its ability to absolve doubt. Similarly, locating the Stella del mare is achieved by drawing a straight line from the last of the two stars in Ursa Major.427 What do the decisions at Maser tell us about the question of free will during the period? Daniele’s early professional experience suggests he had an appreciation for the importance of prudence and the will in guiding the soul towards God. As his investigations into the scientific study of gnomonics continued, however, increasingly we see emerging a regard for the symbolic factor of time, represented algorithmically, where time seemed to replace prudence as a guide. Since Barbaro’s virtue came under the direction of Christianity, it was inspired by the teachings of Aquinas but also Plato, who sought to establish harmony between the new and old, the contemplative and the active, and even the subjective and the objective. His virtue was also guided by the more objective, scientific prudence of Aristotle, encouraged by a desire to predict the outcome of future events. As a result, the distribution of space at Maser is more objective, resulting in an environment that subjects the will to the temporal constraints of a space conditioned by theories of navigation intended to measure time. As mentioned in Chapter One, in the Phaedrus, Plato makes a distinction between two kinds of prudence, divine prudence, and worldly prudence. 428 Adopting insights from 426 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1567, 299, “La dove adunque per dritta linea si puo tirare un filo allo scoperto, senza dubbio si puo havere il lume.” 427 Ibid., 394, “imaginiamo una linea dritta dalle ultime stelle dell’Orsa maggiore, cioè dalle ruote di dietro del carro, che vedi fin alla prossima stella che se le fa incontra, ivi è la stella vicina al polo del mondo.” 428 Plato, “Phaedrus,” in Selected Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett (New York: World Library, 2001), 159. 131 Platonic philosophy, particularly the Phaedrus,429 Aquinas believed that right activity was ultimately decided by the will, where the anticipated result for any alternative demanded “the right apprehension of the particular as well as the moral principles.”430 Aquinas believed prudence should be practiced without concern for the future, and divine wisdom could executed without attempting to acquire an end, because it exists in the timeless.431 The timeless is also an essential component of divine logos. It is in the timeless that logos is found, a detail we will explore in our next chapter on Palladio’s La Rotonda. 429 Anthony J. Lisska, “The Philosophy of Law of Thomas Aquinas,” A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence, Vol. 6: A History of the Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics (New York: Springer, 2005), 290. 430 Ibid., 273. 431 Pietro Aretino, La vita di San Tomaso signor d’Aquino, (Venice: Fracesco Marcolini, 1543), 85 recto, “La prudential non ha bisogno de la fortuna, e la sapienza puo far senza il consiglio in acquistare il fins suo, peroche ella sta ne le cose eterne; Chi sa reggere se stesso è Re di se medesimo.” 132 Chapter 3: The Temporality of Prudence: Time and the Machina del mondo in Palladio’s La Rotonda The Villa Barbaro at Maser, and the Villa Rotonda in Vicenza, share many similarities. The cruciform nature of the Sala della Crociera in Daniele Barbaro’s villa at Maser is one of many spaces in Palladio’s villas that have cruciform arrangements. Placed at ninety-degree angles from each other, the four raised loggias that mark the entrance to the main area of the Villa Rotonda (1570) give the impression that the structure was designed as an amalgamation of the shape of a cross and a circle (Figure 34). In addition, while the ceiling in the Sala dell’Olimpo at Maser depicts a circular arrangement of the planets as mythological deities rotating around a central figure, the central space of the Villa Rotonda portrays eight planetary gods rotating around the central oculus. Both iconographic programs are clearly a reference to Plato’s Harmony of the Spheres – though in the latter case the gods are depicted on the surrounding walls as opposed to the ceiling. The similarities between the iconographic elements of the Villa Maser and La Rotonda may not seem unusual, given that the Harmony of the Spheres was a prominent theme in Palladio’s first project, the Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza, as we have seen. On the other hand, the spatial arrangement of the interior spaces of these two villas makes one question how the same architect could have conceived them both. In the Villa Barbaro, space is distributed in a linear fashion, where movement through the structure is determined by the geometry. For example, from the Sala dell’Olimpo, the spectator is directed linearly towards either the Sala della Crociera or the two long corridors to the east and west that lead, perspectivally, towards the images of a beautiful woman in a dressing gown, or a hunter and his dog returning from a chase. Since both these routes lead to walls at 133 the end, once an individual has reached each of the extremities there is but one option – to turn around and go back from whence they came. In the Villa Rotonda, on the other hand, once inside the structure movement is unencumbered and the individual is able to move throughout the villa with much more freedom. This contrast of similarities and differences between the two structures raises a very important question. Why would Palladio have been involved in the conception of such a different arrangement of internal spaces for these two villas whose iconographic programs were so closely aligned? What, if anything, was the determining factor which encouraged such an alteration? As I argued in Chapter Two, prudence played a pivotal role in the conception of Daniele’s villa at Maser on several levels. Daniele’s insistence on the importance of prudence to the architect in his Dieci Libri attests to the value placed on the virtue. As I proposed, the correlation between the virtue and the goddess Minerva shaped the iconographic program in the Sala dell’Olimpo. Time may have played a key role in the architectural design at Maser, and Daniele’s interest in gnomonics likely played a part it its conception, as I argued in the previous Chapter. The focus on time at the Villa Barbaro is made explicit by the prominence of the two sundials on the upper portion of the pavilions of the villa, which were likely included in the design by Daniele, whose treatise, De horologi, was dedicated to time keeping methods. Could Palladio’s work at Maser, and his involvement with Daniele’s ideas, have influenced the design of La Rotonda? Prompted by iconographic similarities between the two projects, this Chapter explores this question. If prudence and time are also theoretical components of La Rotonda, then the difference between the two villas may suggest a divergence in thought in their conception. It 134 is widely known that Daniele and his brother Marc’Antonio were major contributors to the renovation of their family villa. While Marc’Antonio is generally recognized for his role as the administrator of the estate, as well as the artist responsible for the ninfeo to the rear of the villa, Daniele has been acknowledged as the thinker behind much of the villa’s design, including the program for the frescoed interior.432 For many scholars, Daniele’s intervention in the design of certain aspects of the villa encouraged a construction that runs so contrary to Palladio’s idea of the perfect villa that the collaboration between the two men may have created a disagreement that would initiate a long-lasting rift in their relationship.433 The design of La Rotonda may provide clues about what Palladio learned from Daniele and their different approaches to architecture, time, and prudence. In his I quattro libri dell’architettura (1570) Palladio doesn’t mention his friendship with Daniele, or his role in the collaboration on Daniele’s I dieci libri dell’architettura published in 1556. In Palladio’s commentary on the villa at Maser he does not even mention Daniele’s name, referring to him only as Monsignor Reverendissimo Eletto di Aquileia, while designating his brother “il Magnifico Signor Marc’Antonio.” 434 Furthermore, as Howard Burns points outs, Palladio’s description of the villa suggests a certain awkwardness 432 Deborah Howard, Venice Disputed: Marc’Antonio Barbaro and Venetian Architecture 1500-1600 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), 28. 433 For hypotheses that claim Daniele’s intervention encouraged a disagreement between the patron and the architect, see Lionello Puppi, Andrea Palladio (Venice: Electa Editrice, 1973), 316. For Puppi, Palladio’s refutation of Daniele’s ideas may have encouraged the changed Daniele made to his dieci libri, which was reprinted in 1567 with several amendments. For his part Guido Beltramini believes that the villa was executed without any concern for Palladio’s original designs. (See Guido Beltramini and Pino Guidolotti, Andrea Palladio Atlante delle architetture (Venice: Marsilio, 2001), 211. Another good discussion of the problem can be found in Branko Mitrovic, Learning from Palladio, (New York, London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2004), 110-112. 434 Andrea Palladio, I quattro libri dell’architettura, Libro Secondo (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli Editore S.p.A, 1990), 51. 135 and discomfort on the part of the architect, indicating that perhaps Daniele’s intervention shaped Palladio’s rather detached account.435 Despite any differences at Maser, however, the relationship between Palladio and Daniele remained exceptional at least until Daniele’s death, with Daniele leaving him 50 ducats in his will, where he referred to the architect as “Messer Andrea Palladio architetto nostro amorevole.”436 The possible tensions between Palladio and Daniele recognized by many scholars suggest a divergence in thought, one that led, at Maser, to the creation of a villa unlike any of Palladio’s other constructions.437 What might this difference in thought have been? Was this difference conceptual? In practice both Palladio and Daniele were known to have considered Vitruvius as the preeminent guide to architecture. The pair is known to have made several trips to Rome together studying ancient ruins, with Palladio making a profusion of sketches. Many of these would be used as illustrations for Daniele’s Dieci libri, a book devoted to the works of Vitruvius. In his Quattro libri, Palladio also mentions his indebtedness to Vitruvius for his own work. It has recently been argued that Palladio’s knowledge of Vitruvius likely exceeded even that of Daniele’s own, and that the architect gave substantial assistance when it came to his textual interpretations and commentaries.438 As Margaret Muther D’Evelyn suggests, one way to distinguish between the methods of Palladio and Daniele is to “isolate elements that spring directly from the Venetian humanist’s own experience and 435 Howard Burns, Andrea Palladio (1508-80): The Portico and the Framyard, exhibition catalogue (London: 1975), 196. 436 Ibid., 185, see also ASV, Atti testament Vettor Mafei, B. 657, n. 270 for Barbaro’s will in which he also leaves Palladio 50 ducats. 437 Margherita Azzi Visentini, L’orto botanico di Padova e il giardino del rinascimento (Milan: Edizione il Polifilo, 1984), 181. See also Wittkower and Pignatti. 438 Margaret Muther D'Evelyn, Venice and Vitruvius: reading Venice with Daniele Barbaro and Andrea Palladio (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 24. 136 education.”439 The disparate educational paths of the two men may have resulted in very different interpretations of Vitruvius’s commentary and ideals about architectural form. For Branko Matrovic the divergence in thought between Palladio and Daniele has its roots in the controversial relationship between the abstract and the material – a problem intrinsic to differences in Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy. 440 Daniele’s Paduan philosophical education helped determine a fundamental propensity for Aristotelian thought. In contrast, Palladio’s design principles consistently incorporate hypothesis and postulates that qualify as Platonist, a tendency that is likely the result of exposure to Platonic doctrine during his years with Giangiorgio Trissino.441 It has often been noted that the Platonism in Palladio’s work resides primarily in his published plans, and his tendency to idealize in the Quattro libri. Rudolf Wittkower insists that the origin of Palladio’s use of musical proportions in his plans was Plato’s Timaeus. Bruce Boucher has argued that the drawings in Palladio’s treatise represent architectural ideas and ideal visions derived from the higher truths inherent to Platonic forms.442 For his part, Mitrovic has added the accuracy of Palladio’s tectonic representations in the Quattro libri as a particularly overt example of Platonism in Palladio’s work. Mitrovic’s study is important for drawing attention away from the mathematical principles in Palladio’s work, and focusing on how form is theoretically, rather than mathematically, idealized. What has yet to be explored is how the Platonism in Palladio’s work may derive from categories that were conceived differently by Plato and Aristotle: prudence and time. 439 Ibid., 31. 440 Mitrovic, Learning from Palladio, 110-112. 441 Ibid., 169. 137 This chapter investigates La Rotonda, and argues that the temporality of the design resonates with Plato’s conception of time, specifically as it relates to prudence, and by extension the goddess Minerva. To begin Palladio’s early career is reviewed, particularly with regard to the how the subject of time was disseminated in the Platonic Academies of Vicenza that were initiated by Trissino, as well as the Platonism in his Italia liberata dai Goti (1548), where the author confirms his trust in Plato’s conception of time. The importance of the figure of Minerva, recast as the angel Palladio, and the goddess’s role in the creation of harmony through her connection with time, conceived through the virtue of prudence will also be considered. Conceptions of time determined by the philosophies of both Plato and Thomas Aquinas, and how these principles were circulated in the Platonic academies like the Accademia Trissiniana, the Accademia Olimpica, and the Accademia degli Infiammati through other literary works during the period that focused on Plato’s theories will also be investigated for their possible influence on the villa. Focusing on the frontispieces of Palladio’s Quattro libri, and Daniele’s Dieci libri, the disparities between the two treatises will be scrutinized for what they might reveal about how prudence and time were conceptualized. La Rotonda’s connection with timekeeping as it relates to astronomy will be explored, and cross-referenced to the frescoed interior in order to elucidate what role prudence and time may have played in the conception of the villa. La Rotonda’s Design and Plan The first entry verifying Palladio’s involvement in the construction of La Rotonda is in his Quattro libri of 1570. Due to the villa’s proximity to the city, Palladio situated the building in his Second Book dealing with palazzi rather than in the section on villas. The 442 247 138 villa’s site is described by the architect as bathed on one side by the Bacchiglione River and surrounded on the others by lovely hills, giving the appearance of a grand theater.443 La Rotonda was commissioned by the prelate Paolo Almerico, a “huomo di Chiesa” as Palladio refers to him.444 Almerico was a member of the Accademia di Costozza, whose members would go on to be the founders of the Accademia Olimpico in Vicenza. According to Luca Trevisan, Almerico was a highly educated man who “wished to build a real home-temple where he could ambitiously cultivate humanist otium,” which allowed Palladio to forgo conventional villa models in favor of architectural principles inspired by antiquity.445 Save for adjustment by Vincenzo Scamozzi in the late sixteenth century – which include covering the oculus – the villa remains much like it appears in Palladio’s drawing of the structure in his Quattro libri (Figure 35).446 The drawing has often been the focal point when it comes to historical studies of La Rotonda, because it is here that the formal properties promise to reveal something of the role of architecture in Vicentine culture and society at the time it was conceived. As Mitrovic has argued, the drawing presents La Rotonda as a shape independent of its surroundings, and so must be central to any understanding of the villa’s design.447 Its placement on a hill on the outskirts of Vicenza contradict the plan, since two of the portico entrances abut the edge of the retaining wall of the platform on which the villa sits.448 Entering the villa from either of 443 Palladio, Quattro libri, Libro Secondo, 18, the Rotonda “è da una parte bagnato dal Bacchiglione fiume navigabile, e dall’altra è circondata da altri amenissimi colli, che rendono l’aspetto di un molto grande teatro.” 444 Ibid. 445 Luca Trevisan, Andrea Palladio: The Villas, trans. Michael Friel (Vicenza: Sassi Editore, 2012), 202. 446 Camillo Semenzato, La Rotonda (Vicenza: Gino Rossato Editore, 1980), 6. 447 Mitrovic, Learning from Palladio, 142. 448 Ibid. 139 these porticos would be uncomfortable and even dangerous were it not for a fence that prevents the visitor from falling over the edge, and so the plan must supersede the constructed villa.449 At first glance, the plan suggests the classic conflation of a circle and a square – geometrical figures usually regarded as Platonic forms par excellence. Indeed, the heart of the building is a perfect square with a central circular hall; however, the hall is traversed by four straight corridors that lead to four entrance loggias from which one can survey the surrounding countryside, underscoring the shape of a cross. The central hall is surrounded by eight rooms on the piano nobile that are arranged centrifugally, and connect with each other through a series of passageways that also form a perfect circle.450 Some scholars have interpreted the villa as a perfect reconstruction of the Temple of Hercules Victor at Tivoli, while others have attributed the central circular form, accessed by a monumental pronaos, to the Pantheon in Rome.451 Most, however, agree that the villa’s design is somehow related to the structure of the cosmos.452 Given the circularity of the villa’s interior, scholars have commented on how the “rotonda” form mimics the daily revolution of the earth around the sun, or the annual rotation 449 Ibid. 450 Robert Streitz, La Rotonde et sa géométrie (Lausanne, Paris, 1973), 19. 451 Trevisan, Andrea Palladio, 202, See also Lionello Puppi, Andrea Palladio (Milan, 1973), 37. 452 See Wolfram Prinz, Appunti sulla relazione ideale tra la Villa Rotonda e il cosmo, nonché alcune osservazioni su un mascherone posto al centro del pavimento della sala, estratto dagli Atti del Convengo Internazionale su “Palladio e il Palladianismo,” Vicenza, 29 agosto – 3 settembre, CISA, 1980. (279-287), as well as Stefano Ray, Lo specchio del cosmo: da Brunelleschi a Palladio: itinerario dell’architettura del Rinascimento (Rome: La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1991) for hypotheses on the relationship between the cosmos and Palladio’s architecture. 140 of the zodiac.453 Wolfram Prinz was perhaps the first to recognize that La Rotonda has all the features of the temple of Venus in the Hypnerotomacchia Poliphili, which was conceived as a type of cosmic clock.454 Prinz’s observations suggest the architect’s prior knowledge of the relationship between the circular temple and time. In his Quattro libri Palladio explains the importance of the cosmos to the architect specifically in the geometrical terms of the circle. Circularity as Perpetual Becoming: Temporality and the Machina del Mondo In the Renaissance, systems of ideal proportion to standardize beauty and harmony often relied on geometric shapes as their model, the circle in particular. Baldassare Castiglione, Manfredo Tafuri notes, legitimized the metaphysical idea of beauty in The Courtier using metaphors of circularity.455 In a similar fashion, Palladio’s esteem for “the beautiful mechanism [bella machina] of the world,” expressed in the Quattro Libri, seems to justify a preference for circular church plans.456 Such an implication is congruent with Wittkower’s assertion that architectural principles in the age of humanism were imbued with universal claims, however these assertions also seems reductive when they are set against the fact that architects negotiated with a multiplicity of harmonic models. Rather than concentrating on the formation of universals, Tafuri recommends it would be more useful to 453 See Donata Battilotti, Le ville di Palladio (Milan: Electa, 1990), page 124 for one example. 454 Prinz, Villa Rotonda e il cosmo, 283, “è proprio nella literattura veneta che si ritrova la descrizione di un edificio rispondente a tutti questi quesiti e prerogative; il tempio di Venere dell’”Hypnerotomachia Poliphili” del 1499. Questo tempio è concepito come “orologio cosmico.” 455 Manfredo Tafuri, Interpreting the Renaissance: Princes, Cities, Architects (New Haven: Yale University and Harvard University School of Design, 2006), 4, “I say that Beauty – thus Baldassare’s Pietro Bembo – springs from God and resembles a circle, the center of which is goodness. And just as one cannot have a circle without a center, so one cannot have beauty without goodness.” 456 Ibid. 141 consider the way in which the “production of meaning” was conceptualized.457 We can apply this framework to interrogate how the circular form functioned in Palladio’s treatise in relation to astronomy. When discussing the ancient temples of Rome in Book Four, Palladio explains the relationship between the machina del mondo and time by highlighting the perpetual revolving of the heavens.458 Drawing attention to the continuity of the rotation of the heavens, Palladio is attentive to how harmony is temporally dependent on the way the seasons change according to need, and how this movement between the seasons is always conserved. The relationship between the machina del mondo and time is associated with the circular form, and can be compared to the movement of the sun and the moon around the earth, which is not only important in designating the location of a building, but also its layout.459 A few lines later, he explains how the circular form is prized above all others because “it is enclosed by only one segment, of which neither beginning, nor end can be found, nor one from the other distinguished; and having all its parts similar, everything participates in the figure of the whole; and finally in finding every part on its perimeter equidistant from the center, it is illustrious for demonstrating the Unity, the infinite Essence, 457 Ibid., 3. 458 Palladio, quattro libri, Libro quattro, 1570, 3, “E veramente considerando noi questa bella machina del Mondo di quanti meravigliosi ornamenti ella sia ripiene; & come i Cieli co’l continuo lor girare vadino in lei le stagioni secondo il natural bisogno cangiando, & con suavissima armonia del temperato lor movimento se stessi conservino; non possiamo dubitare, che dovendo esser simili I piccioli Tempij, che nio facciamo.” 459 Ibid., 6 “Hebbero gli Antichi riguardo à quello, che si convenisse à ciascuno de’ loro Dei non solo nell’elegger i luoghi, ne’ quali si doverssero fabricare i Tempij, come è stato detto di sopra, ma ancho nell’elegger la forma: onde al Sole, & alla Luna, perche continuamente intorno al Mondo si girano, & con questo lor girare producono gli effetti à ciascuno manifesti, fecero i Tempij di forma ritonda; ò al meno che alla rotondità si avicinassero.” 142 the Uniformity, and the Justice of God.”460 The concern for the circular form expressed in the Quattro libri shows evidence of the difference in thought between the architect and his friend Daniele Barbaro. Palladio’s idea of perfect form – exemplified by the geometry of the circle – is tied to a state of Unity in which every part participates in the whole. This contrasts starkly with Daniele’s idea for exemplary architecture, where he states, “perfection is bestowed upon that, which has a beginning, middle, and end, because it both contains and is not contained.”461 Palladio’s identification of oneness – or Unità – with the infinite – or infinita Essenza – is purely Platonic.462 On the other hand, Daniele’s philosophical definition of perfection stems from his Aristotelian concern for certain and uncertain truths.463 A similar disparity in thought is found during the Renaissance in relation to time. The Duality of Time and Prudence In the sixteenth century time was most often considered an antagonist due to its destructive nature. The prototype of Kronos/Saturn, established by Erwin Panofsky in his study of the personification of time, shows evidence that time was regarded, like the 460 Ibid., “essendo essa da un solo termine rinchiusa, nel quale non si può ne principio, ne fine trovare, ne l’uno dall’altro distinguere; & havendo le sue parti simili tra loro, e che tutte participano della figura del tutto; e finalmente ritrovandosi in ogni sua parte l’estremo egualmente lontano dal mezzo; è attissima a dimostrare la Unità, la infinita Essenza, la Uniformità, & la Giustitia di DIO.” 461 Barbaro, dieci libri, 1567, 271. 462 Plato, Timaeus, 37D, “Now the nature of the ideal being was everlasting, but to bestow this attribute in its fullness upon a creature was impossible. Wherefore [the demiurge] resolved to have amoving image of eternity and when he set in order the heaven, he made this image eternal but moving according to number, while eternity rests in unity, and this image we call time. Time is the moving image of eternity.” 463 Louis Cellauro, “Daniele Barbaro and Vitruvius: The Architectural Theory of a Renaissance Humanist and Patron,” Papers of the British School at Rome, Vol. 72, (2004), 293-329, (300). 143 planetary God chosen to represent it, a “relentless destroyer.”464 Similarly, in her study of Petrarch’s Trionfo del Tempo, Simona Cohen’s interrogation of the changing conception of time related issues during the Renaissance reveals how the illustrations for Petrarch’s manuscripts became more disturbed over time, and conveyed the destructive power of time, as something that dissolves all mortal things in its ultimate flow towards death. 465 The negativity of time can be traced back to Aristotle, who believed that by its nature time is “the cause of decay, since it is recognizable by change, and change removes what is.”466 We will recall from the previous chapter that Daniele Barbaro shared this perception of time, lamenting in the Dieci libri (1556) that “time, which brings every advantage and disadvantage, works … to wage war against us and do us great harm.”467 These examples show evidence for the perception of time as something negative, but there is often more than one conception of time operating at any given moment in history. Existing alongside the conception of time as detrimental, my research reveals that in Venice time was also appreciated for its positive aspects, through its relationship to prudence. In Venice prudence was often conceived as an allegory for good government. It also coexisted with tradition, where, as Manfredo Tafuri argues, evidence of the compressibility of time – a conception that perceived of the past, present and future melding together in one omnipotent present – was visually manifested by a tripartite image of prudence, the tricipitium, as was discussed in previous chapters.468 As discussed in Chapter 464 Erwin Panofsky, “Father Time”, in Studies in Iconology, (New York, London: 1972), 69-73. 465 Simona Cohen, “The Early Renaissance Personification of Time and the Changing Concepts of Temporality,” Renaissance Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, (2000), 301-328. 466 Aristotle, Physics, 221:b1-2. 467 Manfredo Tafuri, Venice and the Renaissance, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995), 140. 468 Ibid., 11. 144 One, the tricipitium – composed of the three heads of a wolf and dog, with a lion at its the center – is found in many sixteenth-century treatises, including Franchinus Gaffurius’s De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum opus of 1518. Wittkower’s study included Gaffurius among the theorists that informed Palladio’s work. In a schematization of the Harmony of the Spheres, Gaffurius incorporates a woodcut linking the planetary spheres to their accompanying Muse via the tricipitium, alluding to the role of both time and prudence in the production of harmony. The correlation between prudence and time in the Harmony of the Spheres is crucial because it is here that these features are identified as central components to the maintenance of cosmological harmony. Deriving meaning from Pythagorean models of the Harmony of the Spheres, in the Timaeus Plato explained how the cosmic order of the universe could be found in musical consonances that could find their equivalent in space.469 Of time, Plato writes in the Timaeus that “the past and future are created species of time, which we unconsciously but wrongly transfer to the eternal essence; for we say that it "was," it "is," it "will be," but the truth is that "is" alone is properly attributed to it.”470 Given the differences in educational background of Palladio and Barbaro, is it possible that the principles of design behind La Rotonda are somehow related to a preference for Plato’s conception of time? In the previous Chapter we saw how Daniele’s anxiety about the future may have helped to shape the layout of his family villa. What might be the temporal effects of a time rooted in the present moment? Is it possible that these principles also relate to prudence? The answer to this may be found in the correlation between prudence and the goddess Minerva. 469 Manfredo Tafuri, L’armonia ei conflitti: la chiesa di San Francesco della Vigna nella Venezia del ‘500 (Turin: Giolio Einaudi editori, 1983), 52. 145 In La Rotonda there is an entire room dedicated to the triumph of Minerva, suggesting the goddess played a noteworthy role in the villa’s conception. Unlike Barbaro’s villa at Maser, where the Olympian gods representing the eight spheres are configured around an image of Minerva atop a dragon – alluding to the goddess’s role as keeper of cosmic harmony and her position above the North Pole – there is no such figure in La Rotonda. Instead, the images of the planetary gods and goddesses encircle an oculus. Could there be a correlation between Minerva and the oculus? The oculus is one of the more curious features of the villa for visitors but it has never been given sufficient attention by scholars. In fact, when it comes to this focal point of the villa, scholars have paid more attention to the drain below the oculus, and the bizarre, faun-like face shaped by the perforations. Given Palladio’s tendency to idealize systematic features in his drawings, it is perhaps not surprising that little has been said about the oculus, since it does not appear in his plan for the villa. In his description of La Rotonda in the Quattro libri, however, he does make mention of the importance of the oculus for how it captures light from above.471 Roughly one meter in diameter, the oculus illustrates the changing effects that light would have on the interior as the sun changed position throughout the day allowing light to enter the aperture at different points (Figure 36). In the Pantheon the oculus is often regarded as the most spectacular feature “because the light it provides brings the rotunda to life.”472 This is particularly important in the Platonic context of Palladio’s educational background because for Plato time is defined in the Timaeus as “the 470 Plato, Timaeus, Dialogues of Plato, trans. Benjamin Jowett, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 531. 471 Palladio, quattro libri, Libro secondo, 18, “La Sala è nel mezo, & è ritonda, e piglia il lume di sopra.” 472 Lesley A. DuTemple, The Pantheon (Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2003), 40. 146 moving image of eternity.”473 If, as Mitrovic maintains, Palladio was “more concerned with the formal composition of spaces and architectural elements than the way they were perceived,”474 the oculus remains an exception to this postulation. The attention Palladio draws toward the oculus for its role in providing or distributing light suggests that time may have been a consideration, but what about prudence? In the frontispiece of his treatise on architecture Palladio calls attention to the relationship between time and prudence. From Frontispiece to Timepiece: A Temporal Reading of the Title Page of the Quattro libri The Quattro libri is worth considering here because of the way it elucidates Palladio’s theoretical consideration of prudence and time, and such a concern may have influenced La Rotonda. The frontispiece of Palladio’s Quattro libri contains several elements that suggest prudence and time were a major concern in the entire treatise (Figure 27). Desley Luscombe’s study of the importance of the frontispiece of architectural treatises as an historical archive has found that frontispieces “prioritize concepts found in the accompanying text and impose a hierarchal structure of importance for fundamental ideas.”475 As someone involved in providing many of the illustrations and the frontispiece for Daniele’s Dieci libri, Palladio was both author of his own treatise and designer of the frontispiece.476 As Luscombe suggests, designing the frontispiece for his own treatise offered Palladio the opportunity to express ideas denied to him during his collaboration with Daniele.477 The frontispiece depicts 473 See note 411. 474 Mitrovic, Learning from Palladio, 60. 475 Desley Luscombe, Inscribing the Architect: The Depiction of the Attributes of the Architect in Frontispieces to Sixteenth Century Italian Architectural Treatises, PhD Dissertation, University of New South Wales, Australia, 2004, i. 476 Ibid., 277. 477 Ibid. 147 an allegorical composition set within an architectural arrangement with a pedestal, a portico and a pediment. The pedestal is decorated with relief carvings on either side, each with its own reference to time. To the right is the figure of a reclined woman holding a bucranium, or the skull of a bull, in her left hand, positioning it between her legs. In ancient Egyptian religion, the bucranium was a symbol of regeneration due to the similarity between its shape and that of the uterus.478 It was also associated with water regeneration,479 a feature that references events that took place at the temple of Isis on the winter solstice, marking the return of light. On the other side of the pedestal, an old bearded man with wings is reclined, holding a perfectly balanced set of scales in his right hand. This image is synonymous with depictions of Father time from the previous century,480 while the one in Palladio’s treatise appears robust and holds a steady set of scales that may allude to balance. In the center of the composition, is an oval vignette depicting a scene that hints at the importance of Minerva and Plato to the treatise. The scene contains a small ship at sea, set within a frame containing the figureheads of a ship’s prow on either side, perhaps hinting at the importance of navigation. The image calls to mind Trissino’s pledge to keep his tiny boat afloat despite the many winds that he encounters. On the ship there are two figures: to the left is a king, identified by the crown on his head, and to his left is a nude woman holding the sail that propels the vessel. The figure of
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UBC Theses and Dissertations
The conceptualization of prudence in sixteenth-century art and architecture of the Veneto : from mythos… Coughlin, Michael Trevor 2015
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