The garden Nymphaeum, the most elaborately decorated component of Palladio's Villa Barbaro at Maser, has never been open for public visitation, and has thus remained poorly studied. In particular, its authorship has been controversial and its iconography undeciphered, until this important and influential study was presented (in slightly condensed form) by the late Carolyn Kolb at an annual meeting of the College Art Association in 1978. In this paper, Kolb identified and interpreted the ten mythological figures and their accompanying inscriptions on the Nymphaeum hemicycle, to reveal a highly intricate iconographic scheme which comments on love, marriage and human frailty. In addition, she convincingly attributed this stucco decoration to the younger of the villa's two humanist owners, MarcAntonio Barbaro. Kolb's often-revised drafts and incomplete notes for this study were collated and annotated by Melissa Beck, whose major effort of recuperation has salvaged this useful study, whose content had previously been known only through its presentation in lectures. In a postscript bringing the argument and the literature up to date as of the publication of the essays in her memory, Douglas Lewis has reviewed the contributions since 1978 on the structural history of the Villa Barbaro, its iconography, and the respective roles of its artists and patrons.
Among the nearly seventy drawings on parchment preserved from the model book of Villard de Honnecourt are a number done in the chantier of Reims Cathedral, around 1230. They are of great interest, not only as a record of the building of the Cathedral, but for what they show of the graphic representation of architecture in the late Middle Ages. They include the first drawing combining the interior and exterior elevation, the first cross-section, and an idiosyncratic representation of the central absidal chapel. While Villard does not seem to have been an architect or master mason, his volume documents a highly developed graphic capacity. The paper is a critical study of the group.
To judge from surviving documents, Gian Antonio Corona was one of the most successful painters active in Padua in the first three decades of the sixteenth century. His only secure works are two frescoes in the Scuola del Santo, painted in 1509—1510. A canvas in the same room must be an old copy of a fresco which he painted there in 1511. It is here proposed that Corona was also responsible for four frescoes in the Scuola del Carmine, which have long been given to Giulio Campagnola around 1505, but which must date from after 1511. On the basis of these attributions, it is suggested that Corona also painted two small panels in the Uffizi, which for two centuries have been regarded, for reasons that are manifestly unsatisfactory, as very early works of Giorgione, as well as some frescoes in Castelfranco likewise often attributed to Giorgione.
The superb 1992 cleaning of Mantegna's small painting of Saint Mark ca. 1450 in the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt removed any doubts as to its authenticity. The painting, transferred from canvas to wood panel at an unknown point in its history, is examined here as an evocative close-up portrait of Mark, rooted in the icon tradition of Venice, intended to convey a message of particular Venetian import. The four-line penned inscription at the bottom of the painting - now almost fully legible - provides an important due to the message. The inscription incorporates the "Pax Tibi Marce" phrase of the praedestinatio legend: Christ's promise to Mark, while he was still alive, that Venice would be his ultimate resting place, that he and the city would grow great together. The intimate format and the merging of long-established artistic modes and up-to-date artistic ideas circulating in northern Italy - all of it working in the service of a political message - speak of private patronage in high Venetian political/humanist circles.
Although Paolo Veronese's beginnings as a painter are normally placed around 1548, there is every reason to retrodate his earliest works to about 1543 when he emerged from the studio of Antonio Badile. This study reexamines these pictures, returning several portraits to him that have not been considered in the recent literature including the unusual Collatino Collalto. The frescoes in Palazzo Canossa in Verona belong with his earliest efforts in this medium, and the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery), and the Conversion of the Magdalene (London, National Gallery) find their correct context in the years around 1547. This, in addition, allows a clearer understanding of Battista Zelotti's position as Paolo's early imitator.
The article examines an important series of seventy-eight Italian engravings, known as the Sola-Busca Tarocchi, and attributes them decisively to the late quattrocento Ferrarese school. The Master of the Sola-Busca Tarocchi remains anonymous, but a number of other prints can be assigned to his hand, most notably a group that had been published in1949 but then dropped out of sight. These and several other works, distinctive in both style and iconography, are herein ascribed to the Master, who emerges as a major figure in the field of early Italian engraving. Lists of prints attributed to or associated with the Master of the Sola-Busca Tarocchi are included in appendices.