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THE COLUMN WITH A STATUE OF THE ASCENSION BY NICCOLÒ DI GIOVANNI IN THE CENTRE OF TROGIR

Igor Fisković ; Odsjek za povijest umjetnosti Sveučilišta u Zagrebu


Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 4.670 Kb

str. 269-299

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Puni tekst: engleski pdf 4.670 Kb

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Sažetak

Taking its cue from an item of information from Ivan Lucius, »the father of Croatian historiography« from the book Memorie istoriche di Tragurio, this study endeavours to explain the full sense and original location of the Renaissance statue of Christ with two angles that has been the object of various discussions by art historians. About 1650, this reliable writer recorded that in the old cemetery in front of the cathedral of his native city there had been a marble column with a statue of the Saviour, which was removed during the remodelling of this area around 1600. In fact Lucius mentioned the re-use of the column in the design of the Baroque altar for the old tomb of the Blessed John Orsini in the Cathedral, and said nothing about the statue itself. Indirectly however he was referring to an example of the once common erection of sculptures with a religious symbolism in the open spaces of Mediterranean towns. Now, the monumental statute of
Christ with two angels from Trogir City Museum, the idea of which corresponds to the type of the Ascension appropriate for public exhibition, can be analytically included in this context. The statue was noticed by the first investigators of the Dalmatian sculptural heritage at the cemetery outside Trogir, and recognising the iconography, they attempted to determine its origin. According to the morphological
characteristics, they agreed on the attribution to Niccolò di Giovanni, known as the Florentine, or to his workshop, but for a long time and without any reliable conclusion, its significance and original position were debated. On the whole the opinion prevailed that the sculpture was made for the ensemble of the famed Chapel of the Blessed John Orsini, developed according to an idea of 1468 on the northern side of St Lawrence’s Cathedral. This unit of original architectural and
sculptural articulation is an anthology-piece monument of the Early Renaissance, and still, together with some fifteen large three dimensional sculptures, contains a figure of the Risen Christ, belonging to the Deisis group on the rear side under a grand relief of the Coronation of the Virgin. This statute most likely belongs to
the same stylistic circle as the statue of the Ascension with the two angels that we are speaking of, which thus posed the riddle of their relationship, i.e., the doubling that the archival documentation concerning the creation of the main work of Niccolò di Giovanni in Trogir does not explain. It is known that the construction started only in 1475, and the installation of the large sculptures was done in the
order of the payments made for them some ten years later. The problem is highly complicated by the fact that the original document concerning the design of the chapel, which was in fact the agreement between the client and the master for a magnificent performance, made mention of a »figura di Christo… con doi anzoletti a lui retegnudi« at the back of the space. However, between Mary and John
the Baptist there is a figure that does not correspond to the record, for it is on its own, and a typical Redeemer. In addition the records of the payments made to the same master for the sculptures in the chapel of 1487-1488 tell of a »statua Domini nostri« together with accompanying figures – then, in 1494, independently, another »statua Jesu Christi«, which does not allow them to be identified individually. Hence there was a prevailing opinion that the first statue was simply replaced
by the second, but the real reasons for this were not understood. It was also not properly established which statue was which, and without any final agreement among scholars, there ensued very diverse and frequently mutually contradictory speculations. At first it was written that the sculptor, Niccolò di Giovanni himself, allegedly dissatisfied with the statue of Christ that had been made, in agreement with the client, cut out or removed the figure with angels that had already been
paid for. Looking at things historically, such conduct is not very probable, and it should be noted that the base for the sculpture is different from the others in the chapel that are linked with iconographic logic in such a way that there is no need for a depiction of the Ascension. Most analysts nevertheless agreed on the hypothesis
for the rejection of it as part of some inexplicable »change in the programme of the chapel« thinking that in the last decade of the quattrocento the final version that we see today was given. No thought was given any longer to the original purpose or secondary use of the second statue outside the chapel. Referring however to the neglected notation of Ivan Lucius of the middle of the seicento, this study aims to prove that the break in time between the first agreement about the construction of the chapel in 1468 and the beginning of its shaping allowed for certain changes of its overall structure, not usually pointed
up in the literature. It attempts to find certain historical supports for this in the dynamics of events from the departure of Andrija Aleši, the first signatory of the contract, and the coming of Ivan Duknović from Rome, around 1480, and the appointment of the new bishop, Francesco Marcello, in 1489, or the death of Coriolano Cippico, main procurator, in 1493. Still, most stress is laid on the understanding that the statue of the Ascension does not fit iconographically into the chapel, being rather an independently conceived and in 1494 separately rewarded
work of the Florentine. After that, he did not work in Trogir, and certain formal accommodations to the exhibition of the statue of the Ascension on a high column are in conformity with the mature phase of his work. Such a symbolically legible monument in the little cemetery in front of the cathedral essentially rounded off the cycle of sculptures with the content of Salvation in the core of the town. The members of this cycle were almost all shaped in the workshop of the leading sculptor, and meticulously arranged around the central church and commune square,
at a time when the Croatian coast was most exposed to the enemies of Christianity from the east. This is why this creation has to be seen outside the Chapel of the Blessed John, as unique evidence of the artistic interventions in urban units according to the inspiration of the Renaissance.

Ključne riječi

Hrčak ID:

109697

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/109697

Datum izdavanja:

15.8.2008.

Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

Posjeta: 1.503 *