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On the First Monograph about the Casket of St Simeon in Zadar

Marijana Kovačević ; Odjel za povijest umjetnosti, Sveučilište u Zadru

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 406 Kb

str. 187-204

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This paper paraphrases the first monographic study of the silver casket which was commissioned in the last quarter of the fourteenth century as a reliquary for the body of St Simeon in Zadar. The author of the monograph ‘The Silberschrein des S. Simeone in Zara’ is Alfréd Gotthold Meyer, an art historian from Berlin.
The manuscript was written in German, translated into Hungarian and published in Budapest in 1894. Both the manuscript and the book are available only in a few copies in Croatia and this was one of the incentives for writing this article, apart from the need to introduce and evaluate one of the key works ever written on this important
subject, and to do so in a more detailed manner than it had been done before. Meyer divided the material in five chapters. In the first chapter he deals with the traditions about the relic. The second chapter is a summary of the documents concerning the history of the silver casket. In
the third chapter Meyer describes the reliefs on the casket and discusses their iconography, while in the fourth chapter he analyses them stylistically and attempts to reconstruct the original arrangement of particular reliefs. The final, fifth chapter is the most important part of this work, because it emphasizes comparisons between the Zadar casket and similar works in Italy and Dalmatia. The book has all the qualities of a scholarly text which is rather surprising for such an early date. Meyer pointed out a number of key notions about the supposedly different authors of particular reliefs, for example several
master pieces of Italian painting and sculpture which may have inspired these authors, and he also noted the important seventeenth-century restoration on the casket. A. G. Meyer set very high scholarly standards with his work, which were rarely achieved in many subsequent publications on the casket, especially during the first half of the twentieth century.

Ključne riječi

Casket of St Simeon, Zadar, Alfred Gotthold Meyer, monograph

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