Download PDF by Zaho Margaret Ann: Imago Triumphalis

By Zaho Margaret Ann

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D. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome. Copyright Nimatallah/Art Resource, NY. 57 Ultimately, what the decoration of these monuments reveals to the spectator is a glorious and sometimes ostentatious display of power. The decoration, like the arch itself, is intended to serve as a reminder of the wealth and splendor of the triumphal processions. The decoration records and illustrates for the viewer the events that led to the monument’s erection and reminds future generations of past glories. The arch and its decoration also serves as personal testimony to the virtù of the Emperor.

1440–1465, shows that even in the limited space available to the artist, all the relevant details are included (fig. 10). A winged naked cupid rides on his horse drawn chariot surrounded by amorous couples dressed in elegant courtly attire. The whole procession takes place in the foreground of a fantastical landscape animated by mountains, castles and a seascape. Jove, dressed in courtly garb, even sits chained to the front of the cart. 61 These deschi da parto, which were a fairly common object in Renaissance Italy, could also be individualized so that the decoration, though based on Petrarch, would reveal a more personal message or allegory.

The usual group of ten to twelve lictors is here reduced to one. The History of the Roman Triumph 23 F I G U R E 5 . Procession of Spoils from the Temple in Jerusalem, marble relief from interior passageway, Arch of Titus, Rome. c. d. 81. Copyright Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY. panels the procession is depicted at the moment it arrives at the entrance to a triumphal arch. 55 The top of the arch was usually topped by a gilded bronze sculptural group representing the triumphal chariot carrying the figure of the triumphator.

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