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GENII - TORCHBEARERS IN THE RENESSANCE CHAPEL OF TROGIR

Radovan Ivančević ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (24 MB) str. 35-55 preuzimanja: 167* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Ivančević, R. (1996). Geniji-bakljonoše u renesansnoj kapeli sv. Ivana Trogirskog. Peristil, 39 (1), 35-55. Preuzeto s https://hrcak.srce.hr/150157
MLA 8th Edition
Ivančević, Radovan. "Geniji-bakljonoše u renesansnoj kapeli sv. Ivana Trogirskog." Peristil, vol. 39, br. 1, 1996, str. 35-55. https://hrcak.srce.hr/150157. Citirano 10.04.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Ivančević, Radovan. "Geniji-bakljonoše u renesansnoj kapeli sv. Ivana Trogirskog." Peristil 39, br. 1 (1996): 35-55. https://hrcak.srce.hr/150157
Harvard
Ivančević, R. (1996). 'Geniji-bakljonoše u renesansnoj kapeli sv. Ivana Trogirskog', Peristil, 39(1), str. 35-55. Preuzeto s: https://hrcak.srce.hr/150157 (Datum pristupa: 10.04.2020.)
Vancouver
Ivančević R. Geniji-bakljonoše u renesansnoj kapeli sv. Ivana Trogirskog. Peristil [Internet]. 1996 [pristupljeno 10.04.2020.];39(1):35-55. Dostupno na: https://hrcak.srce.hr/150157
IEEE
R. Ivančević, "Geniji-bakljonoše u renesansnoj kapeli sv. Ivana Trogirskog", Peristil, vol.39, br. 1, str. 35-55, 1996. [Online]. Dostupno na: https://hrcak.srce.hr/150157. [Citirano: 10.04.2020.]

Sažetak
The author concludes that the fate of the largest Early Renaissance architectural and sculptural monument in Croatia - The Chapel of St. John in Trogir, which was added to the Trogir cathedral 1468-1482 - has been that throughout this century scholars have almost exclusively carried out research on the 15 sculptures in niches and almost entirely forgotten the 143 reliefs showing children's figures and heads. This extraordinary disproportion between a lively interest in sculpture and the neglect of reliefs, has had a harmful effect on the interpretation and evaluation of the chapee, because the Trogir reliefs are not only the largest gallery of children's figures in the quattrocento, but they are an integral art of a building, which is itself unique in the Earkly Renaissance art of Europe.
The author has undertaken the publication of an analytical and critical catalogue of these reliefs. In a number of studies he has established the iconographic stratigraphy of this chapel-mausoleum (an unusual feature of which is that besides Earth and Heaven, the Underworld is also shown), and has published studies of the 17 cornices of leaves and fruit around the oculi (which are in fact realistic "still lifes"), 96 reliefs of children's heads - seraphs on the coffered vault, 16 putti - telamoni on pillars and 9 angels in the relief Coronation of the Virgin in the lunette above the altar. In this essay he treats the last group of children's figures, genii torchbearers peeping out of the slightly opened doors of the Underworld, serving as the back of the stone pew that goes around the inside of the chapel and at the foot of the pilasters at the entrance. In the contract of 4 January 1468, they are refered to as the spiritelli, and the author define the as small spirits of the Underworld, Classical genii emerging with torches thorugh the door that separates the world of the living from the Kingdom of Shadows. In this contract Nikola Firentinac (Niccolo di Giovanni Fiorentino) and Andrija Aleši promised to make reliefs: et tra vne e I'altro di dicti pilastrelli die esser a similitudine d'vna portella, de la qual jusir de vn spiritello de longeza de pie 3 tenedo in mano vna fiasella per vno, che sarano per numero XVII.
The author records that the Chapel was not entirely carried out according to the contract, and that every change required a larger number of human figures, decorative motifs were changed into figural ones, easier tasks into more difficult ones. Such treatment is typical of great creative artists such as Firentinac, who was the author of the project. Instead of 17 genii, 21 were made. According to the contract there were supposed to be three garlands at the foot of the pilasters, but instead there are four more figures genii with torches in relief o the back and front, and on the side towards the passage there is a bouquet of acanthus.
The genii with torches in relief are placed in the following way: 4 at the foot of the pilasters, 6 on each of the side walls and 5 behind the altar. The author numbers them starting from the south-west pilaster as it is marked in ground-plan.
After a thorough analysis and interpretation of every single relief, the author separates in typology or quality Nikola's reliefs which are better from Andrija's. But he considers that the dilemma of some researhcers, about a third artist being involved, should not be relinquished. He does, however, (following C. Fisković) reject the assumption that Duknović made two or three angels with thick hair decorated with ribbons and roses as I. Delalle wrote, and also the idea that the best reliefs might be the work of Laurana's followers, as Venturi suggested. He does agree however, that the reliefs of the genii on the back and front of the pilasters of the triumphal arch iconographically, typologically and in quality can be distinguished from the others. In the two outside ones the doors are differently treated, and the two inner ones do not have doors at all. The genii are specific and typologically different in treatment: more graceful and more delicate. Author states that their prettyness helps us to notice the essential realistic vitality and authenticity of work that is definitely Nikola's. However, every individual work has its own range in quality, scale and variants of typology, so it is not always easy, to decide whether it is the highest reach of the same author or another author. Although he agrees with C. Fisković that, in quality, these reliefs are not better than others by Firentinac, another leaves open the possibility of a third author being involved because of their different character. For now it is most logical to presume that they are the work of Duknović. This assumption is supported by the fact that the four reliefs at the foot of the pilasters were not in the contract. They may have been added so as to offer the possibility, as hommage, to a great sculptor who happened to find himself in Trogir at the time, to leave his mark on the most important project and Renaissance monument in the town. This has already been proved in the case of two sculptures by Duknović in the same chapel, St. John Evangelist and St. Thomas. The genii of the east pilaster, (numbers 20 and 21) might be attributed to Duknović also beccause of the way the hair is treated in voluminous locks, and the round face (like the genius shieldbearer and torchbearer from the small Ćipiko Palace). The genius at the front has a high forehead, thicker hair, the flame of the torch has been treated in an original way and at the bottom of the torch there is a band, similar to those on the reliefs attributed to Duknović. If these assumptions are right, we may see the two front reliefs at the foot of the trimphal arch, as representation and competition between the two greates sculptors of 15t h century Dalmatia: Firentinac (left) and Duknović (right).
Treating the typology, an aspect in common to all the reliefs on the three walls of the chapel (numbers 3 to 19), is that the genii are emerging from double, cassetted doors, one wing parallel to the wall, and the other half opened towards the inside. The doors on the front of the bases of the pilasters are different, because one side has only three cassettes. The doors are opened from left or right, which accordingly means that the genii can be placed on the left or right side of the composition. The number of the left and right doors is the same, and they do not alternate in any special order. On some reliefs one side of the door is completely closed and on some it is slightly opened (this is mostly in Aleši's reliefs). Thre are also two types of torches: the first is a sheaf of thicker, straight sticks (usually three), it widens at the top and is connected spirally by a leather band. The second type consists of thinner sticks (usually five), tightened with transversal bands so they are slightly convex. In the first type the sticks are treated like cane (they have "joints"). The flame is treated in a realistic manner, so that a separate tongue of flame comes out of each stick. The variants and quality are mostly similar to that of the locks of hair. Although they are generally naked, some genii have some kind of clothing: one has a short dress (sleeveless tunic), two have shorts, two have leaves around their waist (vine leaves and ivy leaves), two have socks, and three of them have a piece of fluttering cloth around their sholuders, one has a rose wreath on his head and another has a flower.
When it comes to quality Nikola's genii have harmonious proportions and the modelation is softer (Aleši's are often stocky and their heads are too big), the facial details are more delicate, the hair is treated in a livelier manner, often the classical hairstyle (while Aleši's sometimes have hair like a helmet, in block), their poses and gestures are more convincing and real (for example blowing into the torch, hiding their eyes), and especially the different position of their fingers (I have called one the Fagot Player because he is holding his torch like a musical instrument, 6), while Aleši's always hold their fingers pressed toghether and parallel.
According to the interpretation of every single genius and to comparative analysis, the criteria being typology and quality, 12 reliefs can be attributed to Nikola Firentinac (numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20 ?, 21 ?). We can see from the numbering, that they were often put up in pairs. Aleši's are numbers 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11 ?, 14, 15, 19 (four reliefs in a row: the very west one and three on the north wall are behind the altar). The difference in number of Nikola'a and Aleši's reliefs may also support the thesis that at least two reliefs of high quality are the work of another author, probably Duknović, (numbers 20 and 21).
All the author's studies to date, are collected and published in R. Ivančević, The Early Renaissance in Trogir, Split 1977. The book does not include two texts: R. I., "Putinj Boy - Telamons of the Trogir Chapel" (1468-1482), Peristil 37, Zagreb 1994, pp 33-48 and R. I., "Reconstruction of the Altar of Trogir Chapel by Firentinac", Peristil 38, Zagreb, 1995, pp 51-58 in which the author deals with another relief showing the angel candlebearer.

Hrčak ID: 150157

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/150157

[hrvatski]

Posjeta: 343 *