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A vocabulary of the Antique. An archaeological reconstruction and the reception of the Volta Dorata of the Domus Aurea of Nero

Brunetti, Marco (2020) A vocabulary of the Antique. An archaeological reconstruction and the reception of the Volta Dorata of the Domus Aurea of Nero. Advisor: Olivito, Dr. Riccardo. Coadvisor: Faietti, Dr. Marzia . pp. 503. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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The aim of my research is to provide a critical analysis and comparison of the graphic documents (prints, watercolors, drawings) that depict and show the decoration of the Volta Dorata in the Domus Aurea of Nero. Precisely, my research is addressed towards two aspects that are strictly related to each other: the first is to reconstruct the original appearance of the Volta Dorata through the comparison of the graphic documentation; the second is to assess how such documentation can help us in understanding how and why artists from the Renaissance age copied this vault. Thanks to the evidence that comes from the graphic documents, in the First Chapter, it has been possible to define how, since the discovery of the underground grottoes in the 70s of the 15th century, antiquarians and artists were able to hypothesize that those paintings might have belonged to the Domus Aurea of Nero. However, since the 17th century, such insight has been replaced by other interpretations, e.g. Titus’ and Trajan’s Baths. Only in the 19th century, because of the study of De Romanis (1822), Piale and, afterward, Lanciani were able to recover the first identification. The Second Chapter consists of the catalogue of the graphic witnesses and the documents are analyzed, focusing the attention on the archaeological aspects and artistic features (i.e. stylistic, material, techniques, and attribution issues). Thanks to the evidence from the catalogue, in the Third Chapter, after a preliminary discussion of room 80 in the Domus Aurea, it has been possible to show which were the colors and the type of decorations of the Volta Dorata but, mostly, to compare the different figural scenes. Thanks to such analysis, a potential iconological message of the decorative system has been detected and put in relation with the literary themes that can be seen in some figural scenes of the Domus Aurea’s ceilings. In the Fourth Chapter, the data that come from the catalog are discussed in order to assess the working methodology of artists from the 16th to 19th century. Precisely, it has been investigated how their interest and practice of copying caused a modification of the scene depicted. Then, considering the 16th century, through some cases of the modern ceilings of Peruzzi, Pinturicchio and Raphael’s workshop, it has been possible to detect the reception and the assimilation of the artistic language that Renaissance artists found in the Volta Dorata.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
PhD Course: Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/313
NBN Number: urn:nbn:it:imtlucca-27028
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 12:57
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/313

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