In an informative and dense essay, Clara Goria presents the intricate history of the decorative cycle at the Venaria Reale; a genealogical tree and a plan of the decorations for the uninitiated would have made this precious contribution easier to follow. However, it is the ethnomusicologist Febo Guizzi who, alas—we are informed in the introduction—did not live to see the publication who offers the reader probably the most pleasurable and enthralling chapter in the volume. Through a journey in the world of magic and of rites of passage, he introduces us to a less well-known aspect of the myth of Diana: her role in the carnival of Ivrea and in the festive rituals of the valleys of Ossola, in the Piedmont, and to the musical pieces entitled diane , descendants of the albas of the troubadours and the French aubades — musical pieces welcoming, actually, the light of planet Venus, expressing the struggle of light with darkness.
If one wanted to mention things that could be considered missing from this otherwise well-conceived volume, one paper that would have been welcome is a separate study of the fortuna of Diana in the texts of medieval and Renaissance mythographers and in emblem-books, as well as on the most important vernacular and illustrated editions of Ovid.
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Although several contributors refer to them, a comprehensive view of what was available to litterateurs and artists would have been useful. In addition, although the link between Italy and France is, of course, totally justified given the role of Italian artists in the French court, especially in Fontainebleau, and the subsequent interactions between the two countries, it is surprising that there is almost no mention at all of a court where the myth of Diana was of paramount importance: that of Elizabeth I, the virgin queen. Her courtiers adopted the guise of Endymion and addressed her also as Belphoebe, Astraea, Oriana, Caelica — all stellar names.
Malinverni shows us how the figure of Diana was a rare survivor together with Hebe in the arts in a period during which classicist portraiture theory demanded the abandonment of Greco-Roman mythology in favour of a stronger adherence to reality. Furthermore a Masonic influence is also not to be underestimated, says the author, an element though requiring further research.
On the whole, this scientifically sound and lavishly illustrated publicationis an impeccable example of an interdisciplinary volume; its most interesting feature is probably the variety of approaches of the different contributors.
Sogno lyrics translated
Bryn Mawr Classical Review Arte letteratura musica. Olschki , ISBN Table of Contents Indice Introduzione Pag. Il ritratto emblematico dei committenti p. Il mito della dea nelle residenze del Lazio nel Cinquecento p.
Miti letterari nella decorazione delle residenze estensi del Seicento p. Jan Miel e il cantiere decorativo della Venaria Reale p.
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