Miniature di confine: il ciclo troiano dell’Homerus Venetus A (Marc. gr. 454)
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SUMMARY: In MS Venetus A of the Iliad (Venice, Bibl. Marciana, Gr. 454, 10th cent.) the script of a textual addition covered by a painted scene appears to be from the late 11th cent. (instead of late 12th, as previously supposed); the MS itself moved to Sicily by the 12th cent. and later – early 14th cent. – it is found in Terra d’Otranto, as the research of C.M. Mazzucchi has shown. The possibility of an earlier date for the illustration painted over the added text and the moving of the MS to Sicily and Southern Italy spur on a new study on the illustrations of the MS; models and figural sources of the Trojan Cycle illuminated on five folios, inserted as an introduction to the Iliad, are investigated. The attribution of the illustrations to a Sicilian milieu, suggested by Italo Furlan, is confirmed, as well as the influence of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes (Madrid, BNE, Vitr. 26-2) and of the Islamic paintings on the ceiling of the Palatine Chapel in Palermo. Yet many iconographical and stylistic references point to a date earlier than Furlan’s, to ca 1154-1180, under the Norman Kings, when a cultured secular society, open to a revival of ancient mythology, might promote the expressive scenes of the Judgment of Paris and the dramatic stories of Helene, Briseis and Chryseis, attuned to the aetas ovidiana which had begun to spread in the South of Italy from the end of the 11th cent.
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