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Goran Nikšić ; Konzervatorski odjel u Splitu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 14.932 Kb

str. 191-222

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Puni tekst: engleski pdf 14.932 Kb

str. 223-228

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The article tries to explain the extraordinary importance for Dalmatian art in general, and for architecture in particular, of Marko Andrijić, the greatest of all the master builders and sculptors of Korčula. He left his best achievements in the cathedral of his home town: the ciborium above the high altar and the top storey of the bell tower which, together with Marko's last work, the campanile of the Franciscan church in Hvar, became the model for a whole series of Dalmatian Renaissance and baroque church towers. A few architectural and sculptural works in the cathedral of Korčula which have not been recognized as works of Andrijić are ascribed to his opus. The construction of the campanile of the cathedral in Korčula dragged on through the whole first half of the fifteenth century, when the work stopped until the completion of the church. The sturdy lower part of the tower was built in the romanesque tradition. On 13 February 1481 Marko Andrijić signed a contract for the construction of the top part of the campanile. It was a combination of three basic architectural elements: -The main element is the octagonal loggia with pillars which carry the dome consisting of thin stone slabs grooved into diagonal stone ribs. -A narrow passage with a stone balustrade which Marko succeeded in creating around the loggia, above the 70 centimetres wide wall. -A lantern on top of the dome with eight slender pillars which continue the lines of the ribs. The structure of the top section of the Korčula belfry is particularly interesting. It is essentially a gothic skeletal structure in which each element has a clearly determined function. Also gothic is the requirement that the structure should be as light as possible. The profile of specific elements should be the smallest possible, utilizing the fabric almost to the ultimate limit of strength. However, because well-known elements were used in a completely new manner, we can define the structure as being in the mixed gothic-Renaissance style, which is usually used to describe Dalmatian decorative sculpture of this period. The dome is smooth within, while on the outside rounded ribs mark the edges. The segments of the dome consist of thin slabs (only 8 centimetres thick!) which are joggled together, and tongued and grooved into the ribs. Individual elements are so thin that they needed to be additionally fastened by means of copper cramps. These cramps, which tie together all the slabs and all the segments of the ribs, ensure the behaviour of the dome as a three-dimensional shell. Metal cramps take all tensile stresses, stone is loaded only in compression (which means that its bearing capacity is used to the maximum), and only vertical load is transmitted to the structural elements below the dome. A very satisfactory structural action of the loggia is thus achieved. We can go so far as to say that Marko, besides the knowledge acquired in his father's workshop, from his own experience as stone cutter and master builder, and from his study of buildings in his homeland and in Italy (his work in Venice was documented in 1473 and 1474, and in Mantua in 1478), was inspired by 223 Korčula's shipbuilding tradition. In the upper part of Andrijić's campanile there are a great number of carpentry-style joints between stone elements. ***** The dome of the Korčula campanile, built between 1481 and 1483, and the dome of the cathedral of Šibenik which was erected a little later by Nicolo di Giovanni Fiorentino to the design of his predecessor Juraj Dalmatinac (Giorgio da Sebenico ), have a very similar basic structural concept: a combination of stone ribs tongued and grooved with thin slabs. Because we cannot evaluate exactly the responsibility of each of the two master builders for the structural idea, because the activity of Marko Andrijić falls between theirs, and because we know that Juraj and Nicolo came to Korčula to purchase stone for the building of Šibenik cathedral, it is to be supposed that the builders of Korčula and of Šibenik influenced each other. A comparison of the two buildings leads to the conclusion that Andrijić resolved most of formal and structural problems more successfully than Nicolo Fiorentino. Andrijić achieved the transition from the square to the octagonal plan by the use of a balustrade which "softens" the clash of the two geometrical forms. In Šibenik the change from the cubic base to the octagonal drum is straightforward. In Korčula the octagonal structural plan was followed through systematically: the eight pillars of the loggia continue into the eight ribs of the dome, and into the eight columns of the lantern. In Šibenik, on the other hand, each side of the drum is composed of two bays, so that only the angle pilasters have the logical structural continuation in the dome ribs, while those in the middle carry only the cornice. The lantern of the campanile in Korčula is a more successful crown to the composition than the finial on top of the dome in Šibenik, where a lantern could be expected both for formal and functional reasons - to let in light and air. The slabs of the dome in Korčula are joggled in such a way that the thickness of the dome is the same throughout, and its surface smooth within and without, while in Sibenik the joints are emphasized by the thicker lower edges of the slabs, a detail which added to the complexity of the construction. In the structural system of the dome in Korčula two kinds of stress - compression and tension - are opposed by two adequate materials: stone (slabs and ribs) and copper (cramps). In Šibenik the same material - stone- resists both kinds of stress. This can be described as structural "integrity", but it created a number of difficulties which were resolved by the use of a sophisticated system of grooves and stone wedges in the ribs. ***** Although there are some campanili with elements similar to those in Korčula, we find the distinctive combination of an octagonal domed loggia with a passageway and a stone balustrade only in the small Apulian town of Soleto. The tower, with the later parish church next to it, was built at the end of the fourteenth century by Francesco Colaci, but the upper section received its present shape only during its baroque restoration, when it was completely remodelled. The closest we can get to the campanile in Korčula is in two .Renaissance imaginary views kept in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. The first of these is an engraving dated about 1475 and attributed to Bramante, while the authorship 224 of a drawing dated somewhat later has previously been ascribed to Peruzzi and more recently to Vasari. For the time being the question of whether the campanili depicted in these two vedute were real or imaginary "ideal" buildings remains open. ***** About twenty years after having built the campanile in Korčula, Marko erected the tower of the Franciscan church in Hvar. This time he was able to make the design for the complete building, not only for the upper part. Although he repeated the traditional concept of a square prism , lightened by the use of openings which increase towards the top, Andrijić articulated the mass of the building in a new way. Apart from the common string courses between the storeys, he introduced them also at the level of the capitals of the columns in the bays. The height of the storeys increases towards the top, which adds to the slenderness of the tower. It seems natural that at the beginning of the sixteenth century Andrijić abandoned the abundant gothic decoration which covered his campanile in Korčula. On the tower in Hvar he introduced Renaissance details, like the balustrade of classical simplicity and the attic below the dome. Apart from the gradual opening up of the wall mass, the slenderness and the visual ascent of the campanile were achieved by the increase in height of the storeys, which was carried out in a very subtle way. The proportions of individual storeys were derived from the square ( 1: 1 ), from the golden section rectangle (0 = [ J s+t l I 2 ) and from descendant rectangles (2 I 0 , 2 I 3 0 , 3 I 4 0 , 4 I 50). the proportions of the lesser elements (bays, division of storeys by string courses) also belong to the same family. The relation between the proportions of the storeys, i. e. the increase in height of each single storey was obtained in a different way. The starting proportions are those of a square. The height of the second storey is achieved by the addition of the thickness of the string course to the height of the first storey, and the height of the third storey by adding to the second storey the thickness of two string courses. The height of the fourth storey is again obtained by the addition of the thickness of only one string course. In this way the increase in height of storeys is very slow, almost imperceptible, and the string courses are involved in the proportional scheme of the whole. We can say that the architect borrowed the method used by a sculptor who takes into consideration the view from below and elongates the upper parts of his sculpture to counterbalance perspective shortenings. The Franciscan bell tower is the first in the line of four campanili in Hvar which were erected in the same style. It seems quite certain that Andrijić's tower of the Franciscan church was the model for the builders of the cathedral belfry, and that it indirectly influenced the design of the campanili of the churches of St Mark and of St Veneranda. The construction of the belfry of the cathedral of St Step hen came shortly after the completion of the Franciscan campanile, at the beginning of the third decade of the sixteenth century. The "excessive" height of the cathedral campanile is due primarily to its position within the town. Only the top storey of the tower can be seen from the sea, and its shallow hipped roof can hardly be distinguished among other roofs. One would expect an upper loggia which would clearly draw attention to the position of the cathedral within the town. The comparison with Andrijić's bell towers of the cathedral in Korčula and of the Franciscan church in Hvar clearly indicates that the campanile of St Stephen's should have terminated with a loggia. The design of the cathedral belfry closely follows that of the Franciscan campanile which obviously served as the model. Therefore, an octagonal loggia above it is quite naturally expected. There is material proof of this: at the top of the walls in the interior, in each corner of the tower, there is a triangular stone block- probably the rudiments of a "squinch", akin to those on the two earlier campanili. It is likely that the loggia was planned to have a dome, and probably a stone balustrade. The builders of the cathedral did not strictly copy the Franciscan bell tower, and they could not replicate its dimensions because the cathedral tower is wider by .I I 8 . Nevertheless, they reproduced the system of proportions so accurately that it seems quite certain that they were familiar with Andrijić's design method. The area of the facade of the first storey is a square, just as on the Franciscan campanile; the proportions of the second storey were obtained by adding the thickness of two string courses to the height of the lower storey; and the height of the third storey by adding to that below the thickness of one string course. However, the fourth storey with its proportions of I :..f2 does not fit into the same proportional scheme. lt is possible that near the end of the construction the builders were changed, or that it was the result of the modification of the design for the top of the tower in abandoning the idea of a loggia. The campanile of the Dominican church of St Mark, which was built in the second half of the sixteenth century, is the third in the series of bell towers of Hvar. It certainly had its paragon in the Franciscan tower, but the whole composition and the details show the decline of building skills and the misreading of Andrijić's model. Although the body of the belfry of St Mark's is similar in its proportions to the two older campanili in Hvar, it gives an impression of clumsiness because the string courses are doubled and the profuse architectural decoration has lost its functional clarity. In contrast to the body of the tower, the slender bays and pillars of the loggia are rendered even more slender by the absence of a balustrade. An intermediate member is missing at the junction of the loggia and the lower part of the campanile. The master builder did not recognize the problem of transition from square to octagonal plan, or maybe a stone balustrade was planned, but given up because of the intricacy of execution. Perhaps for the same reason, instead of a dome an octagonal steeple was erected on top of this bell tower. The dimensions of the Dominican campanile are equal to those of the cathedral belfry. It seems that the builders of the bell tower of St Mark's carefully copied the measurements of the campanile of St Stephen's, which was perhaps stipulated in the contract. With the introduction of double instead of single string courses between the storeys the system of proportions was upset, and the idea underlying the increase in height, i. e. the firm relationship between the proportions of the individual storeys, was lost. In the nineteenth century the upper part of the campanile was damaged by lightning and successfully restored by the famous Viennese architect and conservator Alois Hauser. He used his experience from Hvar in his later work in Dalmatia, and especially during the restoration of the belfry of the cathedral of St Domnius in Split. The previous termination of the tower of St Domnius' has not attracted enough attention by specialists . It was erected in a pure Renaissance style, probably during the first half of the sixteenth century. Unfortunately, Hauser was not aware that the completion of the campanile in Split with an octagon was in direct succession to that of the gothic-Renaissance bell towers in Korčula and Hvar, and he replaced it with a deceptive, but supposedly more suitable neoromanesque loggia. Today, the old Renaissance loggia is the missing link in the chain that leads from Andrijić's prototype in Korčula to Dalmatian baroque campanili. The fourth bell tower of Hvar, that of St Veneranda, was built in the second half of the seventeenth century, and the loggia on top of it with a baroque dome was finished at the beginning of the eighteenth century. A panoramic view from 1829 shows the campanile before its destruction in 1831. It is obvious that the Franciscan belfry was here again the model, but double string courses and decoration concentrated above the bays of the top storey indicate that the tower of St Mark's was closer to the baroque taste of the builders of St Veneranda. The lower part, which still survives, displays a total lack of understanding of proportions. Instead of growing, the respective heights of the first three storeys diminish from the ground floor upwards. The prototype offered by the upper part of the campanile by Marko Andrijić served as the model for a number of church towers in and around Korčula. In the monastery of St Mary of the Angels above Orebić the church and the campanile were built at the end of the fifteenth century. The loggia on top of the tower had a dome. In Korčula itself, next to the Dominican church a bell tower was erected with an octagonal loggia at the top. Its decorative elements recall the campanili in Hvar, and the loggia clumsily imitates its model by Andrijić at the top of Korčula's cathedral tower. The same model was more successfully followed in the baroque loggia of the belfry of St Martin's parish church in Žrnovo. On the island of Vis, another baroque campanile was directly inspired by Andrijić's model - the tower in the monastery of St Nicholas above Komiža. Although it was built in a truly provincial baroque spirit, it repeats all the main elements of its model: an octagonal loggia surrounded by a balustrade and a dome with a lantern. ***** After having impressed his fellow citizens by his masterpiece, Marko Andrijić was proclaimed in 1485 master builder for all public works in Korčula because he excelled as "egregius et prudens magister in building works on the church and on the campanile of the same church and on the walls and towers of the city". "On the church" perhaps relates to the completion of the façade of the cathedral, to the bridge between the bishop's palace and the south aisle, and most probably to the sacristy. The long bishopric (from 1463 until 1513) of Thomas Malumbra roughly corresponds to the working period of Marko Andrijić. It is quite natural that between those two extraordinary individuals there should have developed a relationship of confidence and that the bishop entrusted the best available master with all the important tasks in the building and decorating of his cathedral. From a study of the proportions of Andrijić's ciborium above the high altar of the cathedral, it can be established that here the master also used the "mixed" style, employing the traditional medieval procedure ad quadratum and the Renaissance proportional system using the golden section. We can also point out the connection between the ciborium and the upper part of the campanile. In both cases the architect gave himself the task of achieving the transition from a square to an octagonal plan. On the belfry the balustrade functions as a "buffer" between the two geometrical forms, and on the baldacchino the same role is given to the sculptures of the Annunciation at the corners, above the two front columns. Although he had prototypes in traditional Apulian and Dalmatian ciboria, in which the roof is a stepped octagonal pyramid, Andrijić could not resist quoting himself in the top of the baldacchino. Here again he set himself a problem of transition between two geometrical forms, this time from an octagonal to a circular plan. The small cupola on top of the ciborium is an equally successful solution of that problem as the domed lantern on the tower. ***** It is appropriate to round off this survey of Andrijić's work in the cathedral of Korčula with an addition to his sculptural opus. The venerated bishop Thomas Malumbra in the evening of his life managed to obtain papal consent to appoint Nikola Nikoničić, a knowledgeable and talented priest from Korčula, as his coadjutor and heir to the bishop's throne. In April 1504 Nikoničić accepted the post, and as a mark of gratitude he ordered a monument to be erected on the south wall in the interior of the cathedral. It has a stone sarcophagus with an effigy of the dead Malumbra carved on its lid. Earlier literature has mentioned the similarity of the style of the monument to that of Marko Andrijić, but the work was never ascribed to his opus, because Marko died in 1507, six years before Malumbra. Nevertheless, bearing in mind that Nikoničić had accepted the rank of bishop already in 1504, and that according to Farlati, Mal umbra was buried in a solemn funeral in the cathedral, where his remains were laid in a sarcophagus which had been prepared earlier, it becomes clear that Marko Andrijić did have time during the few years before his death to carve and erect the monument, which can be described as his homage (perhaps even more than that of Nikoničić) to the bishop with whom he had collaborated during the entire length of his working period.

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