Relying on a rich iconographic tradition, both classical and biblical, Giulio Romano portrayed in the Chamber of the Giants (Sala dei Giganti) of the Palazzo Te in Mantua the fall of the Giants who attempted to assault the Olympus. This grandiosely conceived scene also includes many little monkeys, some of which are covered with blood – as they were born out of the Giants’ blood (in line with some allegorical interpretations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses) – while some others are mocking the Giants themselves. The connection between Giants and monkeys is by no means traditional : apart from a scholium to Vergil concerning the isle of Ischia in the so-called Servus Danielis (still unknown, though, in the early sixteenth-century), it is attested by at least one of the scholia recentiora to Juvenal and, most significantly, in Lycophron’s Alexandra, which John Tzetzes’s scholia had contributed to rescue form oblivion. The paper argues that the iconographic program behind Giulio Romano’s frescoes may be understood as a conflation of these two distinct traditions, at least with reference to the role and representation of the monkeys.

La “Gigantomachie” d’Ovide dans les exégèses et dans les productions artistiques au Moyen Âge et à la Renaissance

grazzini
2020

Abstract

Relying on a rich iconographic tradition, both classical and biblical, Giulio Romano portrayed in the Chamber of the Giants (Sala dei Giganti) of the Palazzo Te in Mantua the fall of the Giants who attempted to assault the Olympus. This grandiosely conceived scene also includes many little monkeys, some of which are covered with blood – as they were born out of the Giants’ blood (in line with some allegorical interpretations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses) – while some others are mocking the Giants themselves. The connection between Giants and monkeys is by no means traditional : apart from a scholium to Vergil concerning the isle of Ischia in the so-called Servus Danielis (still unknown, though, in the early sixteenth-century), it is attested by at least one of the scholia recentiora to Juvenal and, most significantly, in Lycophron’s Alexandra, which John Tzetzes’s scholia had contributed to rescue form oblivion. The paper argues that the iconographic program behind Giulio Romano’s frescoes may be understood as a conflation of these two distinct traditions, at least with reference to the role and representation of the monkeys.
978-2-900479-23-0
Dans la salle des Géants du Palais du Té de Mantoue, Giulio Romano a représenté la défaite des Géants qui avaient tenté d’assiéger le ciel, dans une composition iconographique complexe où s’unissent tradition antique et tradition biblique. Dans ces fresques grandioses apparaissent de nombreux singes : les uns sont ensanglantés parce qu’ils sont nés du sang des Géants, selon une variante mythologique répandue dans les interprétations allégoriques d’Ovide, les autres dans une posture moqueuse envers les Géants. Le lien entre les singes et les Géants se trouve très rarement établi dans les sources : une scholie de Servius Danielus [Danielis (je crois)] l’indique à propos de l’île d’Ischia, mais on ne la connaissait pas à cette époque ; on le rencontre aussi dans l’une des scholia recentiora à Juvénal et surtout dans l’Alexandra de Lycophron qui commence à être connue des savants en même temps que les scholies de Tzetzès. L’auteur du programme iconographique semble avoir mêlé au moins ces deux traditions différentes dans sa représentation des singes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4734860
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