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3.21 Annotated documentation of all known paintings

erstellt von Kulawik Veröffentlicht 05.06.2019 20:47, zuletzt verändert: 05.06.2019 20:47

Tolomei and his collaborators were well aware that paintings are among the best sources for determining the original appearance and decoration of ancient buildings, but most of them had been lost or as of yet unrecovered:

Tra le cose antiche, c’hanno ricevuta ingiuria dal tempo la pittura piu di tutte l’altre par che sia stata oltraggiata: la quale come piu debile, manco ha potuto resistere a l’ira del tempo, e de gli huomini. Nondimeno se ne son pur mantenute ancore alcune poche reliquie, parte in figure, e parte in grottesche, le quali accio che’n tutto non si perdano, per conservar quanto si puo la memoria de quella antichita si ritraranno in una operetta con l’avvertenza de luoghi, dove elle sono, e de la maniera de la pittura [Tolomei 1547, 84r].

Among the ancient things that have been hurt by time, painting has been mistreated more than any other: It is so delicate that it lacked the power to resist the ire of time and humans. Nontheless even if there are left only very few remains, partly in figures, partly in grotesque decorations which are not entirely lost, to conserve as much as possible the memory of these antiquities it will be depicted in a little work with care the place where they are and the style (or maniera) of the painting.

Even though the traces of ancient paintings were few and far between, they had to be collected too. It does not seem that any material for this book survived, but given that the rising interest in Christian archaeology since the 1560s led to extensive records of paintings in the catacombs and elsewhere, one may assume that such material was already collected for Tolomei’s project in the 1540s.