Twelfth Conference of the ICTM Study Group for the Iconography of the Performing Arts
organized by the Istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte, Torino,
at the Archivio di Stato di Torino, 6–9 October 2014
Organized by Cristina Santarelli & Zdravko Blažeković
Maria Teresa Arfini (Università della Valle d’Aosta), Around Antigone: Reflections on Iconography and Music in the German Revival of the Classical Tragedy.
In October 1841 Sofocles’s Antigone was staged with a great success in the Greek theater of Sanssouci in Potsdam. Although not the earliest such representation of a classical tragedy in Germany, it was a pioneering performance considering its high fidelity to the classical models: the tragedy had to be represented without cuts and with accurate translation. King Frederick Wilhelm IV entrusted Ludwig Tieck with the realization of the project and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy with composing the incidental music comprehensive of the integral vocal setting of the tragic choruses, never made before. Mendelssohn considered for a long time the best way to associate music with classic theater, but discarded the very first reconstruction of old Greek music, in his time completely unknown, and opted for a modern setting which would be respectful of the classic dramatic structure and spirit. The theater building, the scenery and the costumes were prepared according to a new archaeological understanding of the time. Tieck involved himself in the matter, following in particular the book Das Theater zu Athen (1818) by the archaeologist and architect Hans Christian Genelli who was personally known to him. Genelli described the Dionysus Theater of Athens according to De architectura of Vitruvio, because its archaeological excavations would be made by Wilhelm Dörpfeld only later, between 1882 and 1895. Tieck obtained documentation also for costumes and tragic masks.
This paper analyzes the scenic apparatus and the costumes of this representation on the basis of few available iconographical documents, and compares them with the setting of the text and with the music (particularly the choruses), from the standpoint of the coherence to a new approach to the past, depending from the increasing interest for the scientific archaeology.
Jordi Ballester (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Music and Poetics of Ancient Rome in the Work of the Spanish Painter Mariano Fortuny.
Mariano Fortuny i Marsal (1838–1874) is among the most relevant Spanish painters of the second half of the nineteenth century. His works include a variety of subjects. Art historians usually underline his history paintings, his depictions of contemporary life based on the neoclassical tradition, his colorful landscapes, and especially the importance of his works related to orientalist topics. Many of these orientalist paintings contain references to music and some of them have been studied from the musicological point of view. Nevertheless, Fortuny was also interested in the ancient Greco-Roman culture: he lived part of his life in Rome and around Naples, where he was inspired by the atmosphere of the ancient Roman ruins. Thus, some of Fortuny’s works can be located within the artistic nineteenth-century stream that offers a new vision of music and poetics of antiquity. At least two Fortuny’s works containing references to music follow this trend. Both of them are titled Idilio (Idyll), which literally means a poem or prose work describing an idealized rural life, pastoral scenes. One of these works was reproduced by Fortuny himself several times during his life in different artistic media: drawing, engraving and watercolor painting. The iconographical and symbolical significance of these works, their musical content, their relevance within the whole work of Fortuny, as well as their impact on the society of his time and on later artists will be discussed in this paper.
Maria Ida Biggi (Centro Studi per la ricerca documentale sul Teatro e Melodramma Europeo, Fondazione Cini, Venezia), Borsato, Bagnara and Basoli: Archaeological References and Reverberations on the Venetian and Bolognese Neoclassical Stage.
In the first thirty years of the nineteenth century, many theater and opera set designers made references in their stagings to archaeological themes (ancient Rome, Egypt, the Eastern World). Giuseppe Borsato (1771–1849) and Francesco Bagnara (1784–1866) in the Venetian context, and Antonio Basoli (1774–1848) and his school in the Bolognese one, become important examples of this high-end form of entertainment but also of visual and decorative arts in general. Borsato designed at La Fenice in Venice between 1810 and 1820 ballets for Gaetano Gioia’s Il trionfo di Trajano, Fabri’s Gli arabi, and Viaganò’s Mirra, as well as operas like Rossi-Pavesi’s Teodoro, Sografi-Pavesi’s Il sacrificio d’Epito, Tindario-Carfa de Colobrano’s Costantino, and Rossini’s Maometto secondo and Semiramide. From 1820 to 1830, his successor Bagnara created sets for the ballets of Viganò’s Psammi re d’Egitto, Galzerani’s Virginia, and operas by Rossi-Vaccai, Il trionfo d’Alessandro in Babilonia; Rossi-Meyerbeer, Il crociato in Egitto; Riciuti-Mercadante, Erode; Rossi-Mercadante, Il Paria; Rossi-Tadolini, Mitridate; Tottola-Pacini, L’ultimo giorno di Pompei; Romani-Donizetti, Fausta; Ballocco Soumet-Rossini, L’assedio di Corinto; and Cammarano-Donizetti’s Belisario.
Between 1810 and 1820, in Bologna, Basoli and his students produced sets influenced by archaeological studies, documented in their sketches for Generali’s Baccanali, Meyerbeer’s Semiramide, the ballet for Landini’s Dafni e Cloe, the opera by Pucitta with Viganò’s ballet La Vestale, Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira, and Gioia’s Riti indiani and Niobe, to cite a few. The rich and diverse iconography that comes to witness these grand productions is even more precious because of the different and singular techniques of each author: Borsato’s preliminary stage designs, Bagnara’s sketches made during production as personal reminders, and Basoli’s particular engravings and drawings.
Zdravko Blažeković (The Graduate Center, City University of New York), Ancient Organology Before and After Herculaneum.
Several relevant studies of ancient musical instruments were published during the seventeenth and eighteenth century, such as Lorenzo Pignoria, De servis (1613), Marin Mersenne, Harmonie universelle (1636–37), Caspar Bartholin, De tibiis veterum (1677; 1679), Francesco Bianchini, De tribus generibus instrumentorum musicae veterum (1742), and Filippo Bonanni, Gabinetto armonico pieno d’istromenti sonori (1722; 1723). Each of these works introduced into the canon new pictures of instruments, which over time created together a corpus of organological iconography repeatedly (re)used (Pretorius, Padre Martini, Blainville, Hawkins, Diderot & d’Alembert, Forkel).
Discovery of wall paintings at Herculaneum replaced this repertoire of ancient organological iconography with new images. Four lyres from Herculaneum were first included in Doni’s Lyra barberina (1763). Unrelated to this, Charles Burney—who visited the Vesuvian sites in June 1770—reproduced eleven instruments in his General History of Music (1776), and from there they became the most representative items of ancient instruments both in specialized works and in general reference works. They found their way to Jean-Benjamin de La Borde in his Essai sur la musique ancienne et moderne (1780), Abraham Rees’s Cyclopædia (1820), and to Encyclopedia Britannica (3rd to 6th ed., 1788–1823). Image of the lyre from the Herculaneum Basilica was even used to represent the constellation of Lira in the Celestial Atlas (1822) by Alexander Jamieson.
In the 1780s the French draughtsman Jean Hauer (1748–1820), produced an etching entitled “Differentes Antiques decouvertes a Herculanum conserves dans le Museum de Portici pres de Naples”, which intended to provide artists painting ancient motives with models of various objects, including instruments. Although limited in number, this new repertoire of Herculaneum instruments in a combination with some other instruments which Burney had opportunity to copy in Rome, gradually replaced the older repertoire of images representing ancient instruments. However, new iconography has done very little in advancing the understanding of those instruments in historical narratives.
Diana Blichmann (Roma), The Temple of Jupiter Statore in La clemenza di Tito of Pietro Metastasio and Giovanni Carlo Galli Bibiena.
In the cult of the ancient Romans, the divinity Jupiter Statore belongs to the most ancient traditions of the Urbe. In the age of Romulus this god would have stopped the retreat of the Romans (“stator” means “the firm one”), and prevent the Sabinis from penetrating the Palatium. The legend says that Romulus promised to Jupiter to build a temple dedicated to him in the Roman Forum if he had succeeded in arresting the enemies. After the victory, Romulus would have built this temple at the feet of the Palatine. A sacred place to Jupiter Statore undoubtedly existed on the site and a temple to him was dedicated there in 294 BC, after a victory on the Sannitis, from the consul M. Attilio Regolo. Originally it was being thought that the temple rose on the slopes of the Velia, the hill facing the Palatine. However, results of the recent archaeological investigations indicate with a relative certainty that the place of the first cult of Jupiter Statore was on the Palatine in a context of meaningful monuments for the most ancient history in the city (Archeologia viva, March–April 2013).
The librettist Pietro Metastasio knew of the existence of the Temple of Jupiter Statore thanks to his solid classical education: Ancient literary sources (Publio Ovidio Nasone, Tristia) and epigraphic sources (relief of the tomb of the Hateriis) confirm the location and the representation of the Aedes Iovis Statoris. Metastasio, not by chance, conceived in La clemenza di Tito a sequence of scenes that develop in the “Atrium of the Temple of Jupiter Statore”, from which is seen the Capitol with cordonata. The libretto provided for the 1755 production in Lisbon includes an etching of the scenography of Giovanni Carlo Galli Bibiena. In this contribution the function and the importance of these primary elements in the scenography of Bibiena―the Temple of Jupiter Statore and of the Capitol―are analyzed through an iconographical and dramaturgical examination of this drama per musica.
Francesca Cannella (Università del Salento), «Gli eroi della storia favolosa e le invenzioni per essi nobilitate»: The Myth of the Argonauts between Musical Iconography and Literary Invention of the Modern Age.
The saga about Argonauts is one of the most articulate and fascinating stories offered by Greek mythology. Their adventurous events described by Apollonius of Rhodes were often explored by Greek and Roman poets and mythographers, and in its different articulations the theme reappeared in the figurative arts in a discontinuous way from the late Middle Ages up to the dawn of the nineteenth century. Regarding their musical attributes, the testimony expressed by Hyginus in Fabulae (14–23) and De astronomia (294–343) propose a comparison between the classical iconography identifying some of the protagonists of the expedition to Colchis and the original perspective related to the modern revival of this myth, inspiring the reflections of authoritative theorists and treatises.
The peculiar vision disclosed on the pages written by Ludovico Bianchini Veronese, Giambattista Martini or Rinaldo Carli was subsequently recovered by Foscolo in his Considerations on La Chioma di Berenice. It became a prestigious and effective didactic tool regarding the symbols conventionally defining the heroes, among which often dominates the Lyre. In this direction, the symbol is presented as a tangible proof of the authority of the characters related to it. Beginning from the epic ship Argo, they move balance between the figures of the constellations and the archetypal abstractions offered by philosophical concepts of Time and History.
Constellations “portano seco memoria di personaggi viventi”. By this way, they constitute a catalogue of the archaic episodes, purposing themselves as a tangible evidence of the legendary events attested in the ancient sources, becoming, at this rate good emblems connected both to the narration of the history events and to the superimposition of mythical characters over the centuries.
Daniela Castaldo (University of Salento), Music from Ancient World in Alma Tadema’s Painting (1836–1912).
Alma Tadema’s visits to museums and archeological sites, during his trips to Italy from 1860 onward, constantly and deeply inspired his work. The depicted architectures and objects reproduce real places in a realistic and detailed way―mainly of Pompeii―and archeological finds that the painter saw directly or in reproductions. We can see very often in his paintings music references: they are mainly lively religious celebrations, often in honor of Dionysus or of ancient Roman gods of fertility, and moments of otium of the wealthy inhabitants of Pompeii, such as symposia or events dedicated to poetry reading and listening. The musical instruments, mostly faithful representation of the original finds, are usually functional to the performance of the scene; in some cases, however, if portrayed without being played, they seem to have a rather symbolic and evocative meaning. Here I investigate the classical music iconography in Tadema’s paintings from several perspectives: (1) How can we outline the relationship between the artist’s interests and lively musical activities (in his youth he also studied composition) and his paintings? (2) What is the meaning that we should read in the anachronisms and the “errors” that affect the organological aspects of the represented musical instruments, the ways of execution of the instruments, but also some their contexts of use? (3) What is the collocation of this “music of the ancients” in a broader discourse concerning the perception of classical themes in the Victorian age, and its interpretation as an expression of the power and importance of the senses’ sphere? (4) In this late nineteenth-century actualization, when the Classicism becomes an expression of sensuality, can we interpret the music as an allusion to the pleasure of the senses?
Michaela Constantini, The Interest in the Ancient Theater of Herculaneum in the Late Eighteenth Century: Exchange of Letters between the Architect and Scholar Francesco Ottavio Piedmont Magnocavalli and Members of the Arcadia Roman.
Collection of documents from the Magnocavalli family at the Archivio Storico in Casale Monferrato preserves numerous manuscripts once belonging to count Francesco Ottavio Magnocavalli (1707–1788), the Piedmont’s savant and architect, who was subject of an important conference in 2002. According to Angelo Comolli’s Bibliografia storico-critica dell’architettura e arti subalterne (1791) Magnocavalli was an architectural theorist interested in the harmonic theory inherited from the Renaissance, where ratios between musical pitches are used to establish an aesthetic canon valid for architecture. Comolli wrote that Magnocavalli talked about this subject in a letter to the Roman lawyer Filippo Gastaldi, but this document was not found in the Casale Monferrato collection.
However, unexpectedly came to light there a letter by the Bolognese abbot Vincenzo Corazza to his friend Filippo Gastaldi, written in Portici on 26–29 September 1772. Corazza and Gastaldi were both members of the Roman Arcadia. Here Corazza reconstructed the hypothetic form of Herculaneum’s ancient theatre which was at the time still under layers of lava. In another letter, today archived at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples, Gastaldi informed Corazza that he will forward his letter about the theater to his friend Magnocavalli who will make its copy and return it to Gastaldi. Nowadays it is known that Magnocavalli was interested in antiquities and also well known by Comolli and in the Roman cultural circles. (He was certainly informed about Nicolò Ricciolini’s book on harmony which remained unpublished.) This letter confirms the direct relationship between Magnocavalli and Gastaldi that emerged in Comolli’s Bibliografia and documents contacts between Piedmont’s count and the Roman Arcadia. The discovery of Corazza’s letter allows us to see new aspects of Magnocavalli’s interests and the cultural debate about classical antiquities in Italian academies at the end of the eighteenth century.
Paola D’Alconzo (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II), Viewing Antiquity, Backward and Forward: Naples in the Eighteenth Century.
The paper proposes to reassess—from a specific geographical and chronological point of view—a historiography’s paradigm that often tends to emphasize the role of the discovery of Herculaneum and Pompeii in the assertion of a general interest in antiquity, and consequently the reflection that this attitude had on the visual arts.
In particular, it is meant to highlight the situation of Naples in the eighteenth century, immediately after the discovery of the ancient Vesuvian sites, when the capital of the kingdom seems to be defined—rather than as a driving force behind the development of new forms of expression inspired by antiquity—almost as centrifugal pole; this is because the neoclassical movement established itself there with singular delay, and not without difficulty, and therefore, to some extent, rejecting the possibility of an early, or at least timely reflection between archaeological and contemporary artistic production, just where it could have found more incentives.
How to decipher the temporal lag that marks, on the one hand, the immediate interest aroused by the discoveries of Vesuvius among antiquarians, Italian and European artists, as well as in the Grand Tour and, on the other hand, the contradictory cultural policies, and the specific elections of taste of the Bourbon court, in architecture as in furnishing, and in the promoting of all the arts?
What are the reasons for the slippage between the precocious fame of what can be considered the archaeological enterprise of the century and the late recognition (almost twenty years after the discovery of Herculaneum) of its real cultural significance by a sovereign as Carlo di Borbone, who while immediately becoming the promoter, only at a later stage did he take this enterprise as an essential part of his official iconography? And dose this delay find its reasons only in the internal dynamics of a young kingdom and its cultural institutions, or is detectable even in the intellectual classes and among the artists?
How and why, in Naples, neoclassicism—understood as the acquisition of an attitude and a specific artistic language, and not only as a general assumption of inspiring themes—can be considered, in terms of the visual arts, as an imported and ‘returning’ phenomenon, largely due to the role played by travelers and foreign residents, artists and not-artists too?
Dario de Cicco (Conservatorio Statale di Musica “Giuseppe Verdi”, Torino / Université de Genève), Verdi and the Egyptian Culture between Anegdotes, Epistolar Sources and Imagination.
The interest of Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) for the ancient Egyptian culture and historical sources in general has been highlighted in numerous musicological studies. The existing correspondence and scholarly sources eloquently testify about gradual increase of his interest for the distant cultures, eventually becoming focus of his true study. Knowledge about ancient Egypt he assembled from various publications but also from the contacts with respectable acquaintances among whom were the Egyptologist Auguste-Édouard Mariette (1821–1881), the Orientalist Italo Pizzi (1849–1920), the folklorist Caterina Pigorini Beri (1845–1924) as well as his librettist of Aida, Antonio Ghislanzoni (1824–1893), the publisher Léon Escudier (1821–1881), and his costume designers, scenographers, and painters. Through the examination of iconographic sources, published and unpublished letters, and other writings, the presentation highlights the main lines of inquiries which informed Verdi’s knowledge about ancient Egyptian culture and archaeology.
Maryam Dolati Fard (Tehran), The Relationship between Text and Music in Persian Manuscripts: Images of ΄Ūd Player from the Ilkhanid to Safavid Eras.
Selection of about thirty miniatures showing ΄ūd player, originating from Persian manuscripts produced from the Ilkhanid (1256–1336) to Safavid (1501–1736) eras are used to demonstrate the relationship between image and text and identify which literary texts might have been inspired by images. This examination is made against the background of theory of “intertextuality” put forward by Julia Kristeva who argued that no text has been produced without an inspiration of another text, and the theory of “transtextuality” presented by Gérard Genette, defining the obvious and concealed relationships between texts. Transmission of the topos of ΄ūd player from image to text is examined on the most common literary hypotext, Shahnameh Ferdosi, and its relationship to hypertexts Khamse Nezami and Boostane Saadi.
Mª Jesús Fernández Sinde (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Music Dreaming: Iconographic Sources from Spanish Painters. Recreation of Identities and Grand Tours.
Spanish painters were inspired by the impressive power of masterpieces studied during their grand tours. Besides the importance of influences absorbed during their stay in Italy and their careers developed in France, a great number of painters showed a profound interest for the Otherness like orientalism. Odaliscas, as languid muses, appeared surrounded by iconographic elements suggesting dreams of European artists about exotic lives. Music instruments were frequently included establishing that dream-like quality of exotic lands, even if they were from painter’s own country. From Spanish majas during the eighteenth century to dancers and women dressed a la española in the nineteenth century, Spanish and foreigner painters offered us a way of knowing and feeling the allure of an inspiring image of sensuality which included the musical practice. Images of elegant women surrounded by music, even if this talent or interest could or not be real, let us analyze the presence of music in these artistic masterpieces as a significant recreation of the female identity and its cultural and social significance. The image of Spain seen through the eyes of artists and travelers shows a keen interest in finding a different way of living, in which music is a relevant topic. While Spain is revisited, Spanish artists created their own way of looking outside their borders, including music in their artistic experiences.
Elena Ferrari Barassi (Milano), Iconography of Iconography: Dance in Ancient Roman Representations, Canova’s Works and Their Reproduction in Engraving.
During the years 1809–1812 Antonio Canova sculpted one of his most famous statues: the female dancer with cymbals, commissioned by the Russian ambassador in Vienna, Prince Andrej Razumovskij (the same to whom in 1805–1806 Beethoven had dedicated his three string quartets op. 59). The same subject had already been treated by Canova much earlier (1799) in a colored tempera on paper, which later was reproduced in an engraving (1809–1814) by Luigi Cunego. The tempera and the marble dancers are not identical in clothing and attitude, showing examples of that “variation on a theme” which so often affects artworks. In fact further dancers with cymbals appear, this time between two more dancing girls, in two Canova’s monochromatic temperas on canvas dating from 1795 to 1806. Often in his art such a migration is found from drawings and monochromatic figures to colored tempera and on to the final destination of marble bas-reliefs or statues, these last preceded by plaster casts.
Another way of variation is seen between similar but not identical subjects, in this case female dancers: besides the one with cymbals, Canova created the dancer with hands on hips, commissioned about 1802 by Joséphine Beauharnais, (1811–1812), and the dancer with finger on chin (1809–1814). After they migrated from one art expression to the other three statues underwent a new life, being “portrayed” in etching and burin engravings printed independently from each other between 1814 and 1815, after drawings by Giovanni Tognoli.
A further work by Canova can be assigned to a similar inspiration: the statue of the gods’ cupbearer Ebe, bearing a jug in one hand and a cup in the other. Although this girl is not dancing, her light flying-like attitude shows all the same a certain dance allure. Ebe, commissioned also in 1802 by Joséphine Beauharnais, was accomplished between 1800 and 1805. This marble work too was preceded by preparatory works, such as a pencil drawing (1795–1796), a colored tempera on paper (ca. 1800) and, of course, plaster cast.
As well known, for these and many other figures Canova took inspirations from classical antiquity; a special attention was given by him and by his contemporaries to Pompeii’s and Herculaneum’s wall paintings. Very probably they could not see the originals which had come to light from 1738 on for the will of the king of Naples Charles Bourbon (later Charles III of Spain), who collected them in his Portici palace; but many drawings by different artists were engraved and published in the five volumes of Le Antichità di Ercolano esposte: Le pitture antiche d’Ercolano (Naples, 1757–1779); in spite of this title, many tables reproduce paintings found not in Herculaneum but in Pompeii. Later several of these images were re-copied and printed elsewhere; in any case through these publications a mediate access to their archaeological sources was made possible.
Except for a general comments, a precise relationship between Canova’s dancers and such ancient wall paintings and later engravings has not yet been established. Indeed, keeping in mind that the principle of “variation” is always valid, it is possible to detect some models for Canova’s dancers and Ebe, examining both the originals (now preserved in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) and the printed copies collected in the first two volumes of Le Antichità di Ercolano. In the first volume a group of images come from the so-called Cicero’s Villa in Pompeii, where among other a theory of nine maenads (Bacchus’s female followers) in natural size was represented. Six of them are seen dancing, one of them with cymbals and another with a frame drum; moreover another maenad bears a jug and a plate with figs, as ritual objects for Dionysos’s (Bacchus’s) cult. The jug is surprisingly similar to the one kept in hand by Canova’s Ebe. Two further tables, taken from a different place and belonging to the second volume of Le Antichità, have twice as a subject a Coro di Baccanti, women and men accomplishing a Dionysos’s (Bacchus’s) rite. Among them a woman is keeping a jug and a plate as above, and another is dancing, once more with cymbals, this time at the sound of a double tibia, a frame drum and a lyre. Indeed Canova, producing his dancers and his Ebe, selects from these ancient paintings (or rather from their contemporary reproductions) the few elements he judges suitable for his time, keeping sometime the form but changing the substance. His variation of the theme is an iconographical re-interpretation of ancient iconography; on the other hand also his painted and sculpted dancers are occasionally taken by different artists as “sitters” for new engraved representations. An interesting transmission!
Carlo Fiore (Conservatorio di Musica Vincenzo Bellini, Palermo) & Floriana Tessitore (Teatro Massimo, Palermo), The Teatro Massimo in Palermo between Modernism and Neoclassicism.
The Teatro Massimo of Palermo—designed by Giovanni Battista Filippo Basile (1874–1880) with his son Ernesto (1891–1897), and opened in 1897—shows several neoclassical elements, both in his architecture and especially interior decorations, concentrated in special areas such as the Pompeian Room and the so-called Literary Café. The genesis of these elements and their analysis as well as paintings in these spaces—viewed in the context of the nineteenth-century international sensitivity compared to the themes of Pompeian and Egyptian archaeology, colonialism and fashions—enrich the documentation of a repertoire which the macroscopic cultural events, civil, political, musical life and the history of music that cover areas of local interest but also internationally, are related to. The research uses a new systematic photographic campaign that took place at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo as well as in other buildings of the same era, including those which were not designed by Basile.
Timothy S. Flynn (Olivet College, Michigan), Classical Reverberations in the Music and Life of Camille Saint-Saëns.
Classical reverberations and influences abound in the music and life of Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921). A true renaissance man, in his youth he was heralded as the next Mozart and throughout his career he was known for his polished and “classical” interpretations of Mozart’s concerti. During his lengthy and well-established career, Saint-Saëns consistently turned to classical antiquity for inspiration, whether for his operas, instrumental music, or literary essays. His interest in the early cultures of Greece, Rome, and the Middle East motivated much of his music, and on his annual trips abroad he scrupulously collected eastern and African melodies and rhythmic patterns for use in his own compositions. Saint-Saëns’s interest in the artworks of ancient Greece and Rome as well as ancient instruments resulted in interesting research in these areas, namely, “Note sur les décors de théâtre dans l’antiquité romaine” (1886) and “Essai sur les lyres et cithara antiques” (1902).
This presentation will trace and explore Saint-Saëns’s interest and research in classical antiquity with emphasis on his associations with the Paris Universal Expositions of 1867 and 1878, as well as his essays and dramatic musical productions such as Déjanire (1898) and Parysatis (1902) which were performed at the Béziers Festival in the south of France. Art works from Pompeii which inspired Saint-Saëns essay on theatre design and decoration will be also examined in addition to photographs from some of his various productions in Béziers, in an effort to better understand the significance of the influence of ancient art and music upon the composer’s works.
Nicoletta Guidobaldi (Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Ravenna), Rediscovered Antiquity as a Symbolic Form in Depictions of Music on the Buildings from the Napoleoic Era in Faenza.
References to music legends and figurative schemes inspired by ancient myths occupy a prominent place among the neoclassical decoration of stately residences built within the urban core of Faenza, which was in 1797 annexed to the Republic Cispadana. In the series of paintings made by Felice Giani (1758–1823) during the period of some twenty years, images of Cupid and Psyche, Apollo, the Muses and other mythical figures are all resonating with a timely developments in archaeology, and reflect the real and symbolic ideals and cultural models of the new ruling class of citizens.
The paper considers musical themes depicted by Giani in Faenza, with a particular reference to the frescoes at the palaces Laderchi (1794–1996) and Milzetti (1802–1808), highlighting in the first place their derivation from ancient models, which became at the time available in engraved reproductions of the paintings emerging during the eighteenth century from the archaeological excavations in Pompeii and Herculaneum and from the Domus Aurea. The study of iconographic programs demonstrates how the ancient images—reinterpreted in the light of new myths of the Enlightenment and loaded with new meanings—are transformed into new symbolic forms reflected in music iconography, and resonate with the ideals of liberty, promoted by the republican and pro-French aristocratic patrons of Giani.
Saana Iitti (Hyvinkää, Finland), Heroism in Gasparo Spontini's Opera La Vestale.
The paper examines the representation of heroism in Gasparo Spontini’s opera La Vestale (1807), and discusses the scenography designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841) for the opera’s Berlin performance in 1818. Schinkel’s designs were not too faithfully based on Spontini’s score but aptly reinforced the spectacular elements that were central to the composer’s style. The Napoleonic regime in Paris hoped to achieve subtle pro-war propaganda with the aid of La Vestale, which fed the patriotic spirit and reflection on war heroes’ contributions in the society. Yet although the character of Licinius in the opera aside with certain showy scenes with masses perhaps encouraged positive attitudes towards military heroism, La Vestale had first and foremost been conceived as critique of aged legislation. The most likely target of that critique was the past ancien régime. Noteworthily, La Vestale presented an ethical statement about the need to have human nature and judgment rule above cruel, outdated religious laws. That proposition reflected modern philosophical ideas about nature’s supremacy and righteousness. La Vestale’s style was in many regards progressive, but Spontini also adhered to classic conventions at several points. His treatment of certain topics, such as the horn fifth figure and marcia funebre, is at times reminiscent of Beethoven's manner.
Anna Maria Ioannoni Fiore (Conservatorio Statale di Musica “L. D’Annunzio”, Pescara), The Neoclassical Representation of Landscape on the Majolica of Castelli d’Abruzzo: The Ethical Value of Music and Civil between Myth and Ancient Ruins.
The production of maioliche in Castelli, a small central-Italian village located under the majestic chain of Gran Sasso, preserves a century-old tradition and a qualitative refinement for which it is famous worldwide. Home decor accessories such as vases, tondos and ornamental tiles, or tools used daily such as plates, cups, trays and other pieces of kitchenware gained preciousness thanks to their beautiful decorations and the artistic craftsmanship of their authors. The workshops of the Grue, Gentili, Cappelletti and Fuina families—only to mention the most impressive representatives—produced a variety of objects decorated with the typical motifs handed down from generation to generation. The depiction of landscapes really stands out: the mountain, pastoral and bucolic environment surrounding Castelli represents the identity of the community that lives and works in it. In the eighteenth century, landscape decorations were exalted by the inclusion of mythological figures: accepting the neoclassical influences of the coeval art and adopting the technique of pouncing, that allows to transfer well-known images from one surface to rough ceramic, artists from Castelli added symbolic elements such as those represented in the mythological scenes of Apollo and Marsyas, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pan, Mercury and Argus. Thanks to this new awareness, the traditional rural settings usually inhabited by peasants, river fishermen and shepherds, became the typical representation of the locus amoenus par excellence, where gentle male and female characters, among the majestic ruins recalling the past Roman greatness, were depicted while performing the noble art of music, enjoying the same otium that putti also like to indulge in. Presenting some refined maioliche and information sources of different kinds, the paper shows how in the neoclassical period also objects of everyday use had the privilege of representing, promoting and spreading the renewed ethical values of music.
Maria Elena le Barbier Ramos (Universidad de Oviedo), Ancient Musical Iconography in Neoclassical Painting.
Thanks to the discovery of the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum and following the artistic theories proposed by Winckelmann, neoclassical painters of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century frequently reproduced in their pictures architectural elements of the classical period which provided the framework on which they placed characters who most often resonated with the Apollonian qualities, consistent with the theory of ideal beauty.
Musical references are included in many paintings with classical themes, both in the mythological context (such as Orpheus and Eurydice by Louis Ducis or Ariadne and Bacchus by Antoine-Jean Gros) and among subjects drawn from classical poetry (such as The Apotheosis of Homer by Ingres, or the Loves of Paris and Helen, and Leonidas at Thermopylae by Jacques-Louis David). The female figure also gradually becomes more important over the time, and as a consequence the eventful life and death of Sapho attracted numerous artists to portray her (Jacques-Louis David, Antoine-Jean Gros, Louis Ducis, Angelica Kauffman). In this communication are demonstrated the main influences which moved neoclassical artists toward their choice of certain topic, how they have reflected in their works the theories of Winckelmann, and analyzed are paintings with classical themes which include references to music.
Stefania Macioce, Apollo: Figurative Variations of a Neoclassical Ideal.
“The statue of Apollo represents the highest ideal of art among all the works of antiquity which have escaped destruction.“ With these words the German neoclassicist Johann Joachim Wickelmann (1717–1768) celebrated one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity: the Apollo of Belvedere, the second-century AD Roman marble copy of an original Greek bronze likely attributable to the Attic Leochares, working with Scopas and Lysippus. The sculpture was discovered in 1489 on the property of Giuliano della Rovere at Anzio, and after he became Pope Julius in 1503 transported to the Vatican and put on display in the Cortile delle Statue of the Belvedere Palace, where it is still displayed as a part of Museo Pio-Clementino. The statue was restored by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (1503–1563), who added to it the missing parts; during a new restoration in 1924 these parts were removed again.
The fame of this work was celebrated in the neoclassicism age as a Greek model of art in the pursuit of beauty. The elegance of the figure, the harmony of proportions, the prominence of the forehead and chin (which will give the majesty and power of the character), the virtuosity of the drapery (promulgate act in the sense of action) are all elements that have brought Apollo to become a model of ideal male noble and pure. The idealization of reality is not made here only on the basis of an aesthetic criterion, regardless how important component that is, but also has a pedagogical function.
Thanks to the protection of the apostolic nuncio in Dresden, Winckelmann was able to travel to Rome in 1755 to study the masterpieces of classical art. He was thrilled when he saw them recognizing in them his ideal of an absolute and eternal beauty, and in 1764 published his ground-breaking study Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums. In Rome, he befriended the Bohemian painter Anton Raphael Mengs (1728–1779) with whom he shared love for classical art and who followed his theories about artistic practices. Hired as the librarian of Cardinal Alessandro Albani, who was himself a patron and collector of ancient art, he had access to the great art collections of Rome. In 1757 and 1758 he visited Pompeii and Herculaneum, where just a few years earlier started archaeological excavations under the patronage of Carlo di Borbone. He also visited the monuments in Paestum recognizing their importance.
Licia Mari (Università Catolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia & Archivio Storico Diocesano, Mantua), Saints, Myths, Allegories in the Scenographic Frescos by Giorgio Anselmi.
The recent restoration of the magnificent Basilica di Sant’Andrea in Mantova generated a renewed interest for the artistic work of Giorgio Anselmi (1722–1797) who produced there his significant paintings. The church was built in the fifteenth century after the architectural design by Leon Battista Alberti and completed in the eighteenth century with the great dome by Filippo Juvarra. In 1773–1784 Anselmi was commissioned to decorate the dome and the transept, with the advice of Antonio Bibiena and in a collaboration with Felice Campi. Concurrently in 1775 Anselmi also received the commission to decorate the Sala dei Fiumi at the Mantovan Ducal Palace, which was aimed to exalt the ideal of equity and harmony of the government of Empress Maria Teresa. The scenographic representation of saints, myths, and allegories painted in the basilica’s dome can be related to the allegoric figures of the frescos in the Ducal Palace, but also with other works by Anselmi, such as Il Trionfo di Atena in Verona (Palazzo Erbisti, Accademia di Agricoltura, Scienze e Lettere) and the Trinità accoglie la Vergine in the main church of Ala (Trent). It is possible to make a comparison among three images of King David with the harp: one in Mantua (painted like a hero of classic mythology), the other in the church of St. Eusebio in Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza) and the third in the church of St. Vigilio in Lodrino Val Trompia (Brescia). Giorgio Anselmi was trained in an environment still influenced by the late Baroque aesthetics, but his mature works show his personal relation with the new instances of the neoclassical style.
John Z. McKey (University of South Carolina, School of Music), Roles for Musical Curiosities in Kircher’s Antiquarian Visions.
Athanasius Kircher was the author of some forty treatises dealing with a variety of topics. But in the Jubilee Year of 1650, in the midst of his rise to fame, he chose to publish his 1200-page Musurgia universalis along with the more focused Obeliscus Pamphilius. The former was an encyclopedia on all aspects of music, while the latter celebrated the Egyptian obelisk that had been newly erected by Innocent X in Piazza Navona. The Obeliscus would quickly be followed by the 2000-page Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652–54), Kircher’s exhaustive study of many ancient cultures, his only treatise to exceed the Musurgia in size and scope. The combination of these two immense treatises on music and antiquities cemented Kircher’s international reputation. Around the same time, the collections of the Museum Kircherianum were first organized and granted their own space, housing an unparalleled collection of antiquities juxtaposed against Kircher’s musical devices, including many musical instruments and machines of his own invention. (Even a century later, Charles Burney deliberately planned an excursion to seek out this legendary collection.) It is therefore not surprising to find combinations of these strands everywhere in Kircher’s treatises, which would serve as inspiration for generations of scholars and collectors. This presentation discusses Kircher’s reports concerning ancient music, as well as his tendency to bring structural aspects of ancient music into his own modern designs, including: (1) A plan for a theatre based on ideas from Vetruvius, containing bells that resonated according to both laws of ancient Greek scales and modern tunings. (2) The arca musurgica, a machine that could be used to generate modern four-part musical settings of texts set in a variety of ancient poetic meters. (3) A hydraulic organ, which animated figures of the Pythagorean blacksmiths while playing a song representing structural aspects of Greek harmonic systems.
Donatella Melini (Fondazione Antonio Carlo Monzino, Milano), “Or che i Numi son vinti, a me la cetra, A me l’altar!” History and Iconography of the Lyre Constructed for the Premiere of Arrigo Boito’s Nerone.
Although Boito had been devoting to the composition his Nerone fifty-six years, at his death in 1918 the opera was still incomplete. So Arturo Toscanini bustled to refine and finish the last act of the work when the opera was finally featured at La Scala Theatre on 1 May 1924. Boito’s long work on the opera is documented by a great amount of sketches, notes concerning the bibliography, scenography and tooling projects, as well as sketches of libretto and music held at the Boito Archive at the Conservatorio di Musica Arrigo Boito of Parma and in the Ricordi Archive in Milan.
The figure of the mad psychopath Nero is best remembered in the collective imagination as he plays and sings observing the fire of Rome. Therefore, for the first staging of the opera, a true kithara was made by the lute maker Pietro Parravicini at the Milan workshop of Monzino and today is on display at the Milanese Museum of Musical Instruments within the Monzino Collection. The construction of the instrument is analyzed on the basis of historical documents held at the Parma Conservatory, the Ricordi Archive, and archives of the Antonio Carlo Monzino Foundation, in order to identify its historical and iconographic models and the construction choices that Parravicini made in the 1920s, when the application of philological studies in the field of lutherie was still unusual.
Inna Naroditskaya (Northwestern University), Elizaveta of Russia – a Euro-Asian Princess and Heir of Roman Augustus: A Spectacle of Coronation and Imperial Opera.
Depicted in the company of gods in triumphal arches, the prima donna in grand imperial rituals, her radiance mirrored on the operatic stage, Elizaveta, the daughter of Peter the Great, seemed to traverse distant times and lands, mixing different mythologies with politics and theater. This paper compares three multi-media events of different magnitude—the imperial progress and coronation of Elizaveta in 1742, Adolf Hasse’s opera La clemenza di Tito with a theatrical prologue by Jakov Shtelin, and a staged cantata by Francesco Araia on a text by Giuseppe Bonecchi, Soedinenie Liubvi i Braka (The union of love and marriage, 1745). A homological analysis of audio-visual elements of these scripted and staged performances identifies the repetition, recycling, reciprocation of the same vocabulary across political and operatic spaces. The same figures of myths, allegories, and royal genealogies populate state narrative and theater, functioning within the mechanism of power. The stereophonic effect of deafening cannons, military trumpets and drums, Orthodox bells, church choirs, Italian orchestras and operatic productions evoked auditory multidimensionality of the empire. Likewise opera captured the soundscape of war, ancient rites, Augustan rituals, and choruses—everything recast to elevate the Russian tsarina. Before spectators dressed in masquerade costumes, Tito praised Elizaveta; European, Asian, African, and American choruses marching through the operatic auditorium venerated the Russian monarch. The performative paradigm within the theater reversed eliminating the lead superstar as the coronation and opera converged.
Gabriella Olivero (Torino), The “New” Babylon by Alessandro Sanquirico.
Scenographies of Alessandro Sanquirico (1777–1849) for Ciro in Babilonia (Rossini, 1818) and Semiramide (Rossini, 1823) were described by the scenographer himself as “del tutto nuove” and his judgment was shared by Hayez and Stendhal. This makes it interesting to analyze what was truly new in the representation of these subjects that had been already put on stage hundreds of times (there are more than sixty librettos dealing with Semiramide only!). Comparing his sketches with Antonio Basoli’s visionary drawings of Babylonia, the different invention of Sanquirico emerges. In the first years of the nineteenth century archaeological excavations were still at their beginnings (Fresnel and Oppert began Babylonia’s digs in 1852 but Grotefend was studying cuneiform writing since 1802). However, Sanquirico was working with Robustiano Geroni, director of the Brera Library, and with Giulio Ferrario, what gave him an access to the new (as well as ancient) studies on Assyrian and Babylonian lands and he use them as a basis for his representations of all places referring to Babylonia: the tower, the city wall, the gate and the gardens. When lacking explicit references to existing monuments, he would turn to other sources (Egypt), or he would use symbolic images (the elephants), to remind opera lovers that Mesopotamia was the setting of the plot.
Sylvain Perrot (French School at Athens), Musical Impressions in Views of Greece during the 19th Century.
The War of Independence (1821–32) was a major turning point in Greek history, so that early-nineteenth-century Western travelers still encountered there the Ottoman Empire and later on were traveling in modern Greece. Artists visiting Greece at the time occasionally featured musical instruments in their paintings and drawings, and it is interesting to see in which contexts they have chosen to place musicians. A popular theme was the dance of derwishes, as shown in Edward Dodwell’s edition of his drawings, Views in Greece from Drawings (1821). We may compare his impressions with other representations of derwish performances by Western artists, e.g. Beethoven’s Die Ruinen von Athen (1811). Another interest of Western travelers were oriental dances, particularly in weddings. Although it is always difficult to recognize the difference between Ottoman and Greek customs, we may identify some tendencies. Some dances are specifically described as modern Greek dances, e.g. in H.W. Williams’s Travels in Italy, Greece and the Ionian Islands (1820) and in Otto Magnus von Stackelberg’s Trachten und Gebräuche der Neugriechen (1831). The interesting point is the architectural context of those performances, which may be situated either in a private room or an outdoor setting with Greek ruins in the background. The German painter Ludwig Lange was impressed by Greek landscapes with ruins and his watercolor Theseion with Peasants Dancing is relevant. Moreover, Lange was an architect and his plans were used to build the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, a typical neoclassical building. Neoclassical buildings in Greece do not have music-related decorations, except one but not the least: in front of the Academy of Athens stands the statue of an antique Apollo playing kithara. Music here creates relationships between antique and modern Greece.
Emma Petrosyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan), Music and Dance in Statues and Gemmes from Artashat.
Artashat was founded in 189–188 BC by king Artashes I as the capital of Armenia. The town was for five centuries a center of craftsmanship and trade on the crossroad between East and West, and playing a significant role in the economical, political and cultural life of ancient Armenia. The citadel and the central quarters of the city were situated on nine hills along the left bank of the river Araxes in front of majestic Mount Ararat. Plutarch confirmed that the city was built in line with a general layout and that its planning and supervision was entrusted to Hannibal from Carthage, who was supposedly given there a refuge.
The Hellenistic traditions had an important place in culture of the town. On the bank of Araxes was built the temple of Apollon Tir. Plutarch mentioned there performances of Euripide’s Bacchantes (59 BC). The chroniclers attest that statues of various deities and ancestors of kings were erected in temples and squares of the capital. In archaeological excavations were found small marble statues of females from the late Hellenistic time. The discovered terracotta statuettes are wholly associated with ancient coroplastic (a woman in a long dress playing cithara, another woman pressing the lute to her naked breast, dancers).
More than eight thousand bulls were found during the excavations of hills V and VII. In Artashat collections are preserved different types of gem: Eros playing flute, dancing satyr with flute, actor wearing a mask, dancing youth, dancing woman, mask of Dionysus, mask of slave, two wrestlers, bearded mask of Dionysus, Apollo with a lute, Apollo with a cithara, dancing woman with a flute, theatrical bearded mask, woman standing on the ball and holding a ball in each hand, runner with palm branch, actor with shield on the shoulders, theatrical mask of woman, mask of lion, dancing menades.
Siegwart Reichwald (Petrie School of Music, Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina), Eyes Wide Open: The Compositional Impact of Jesuit Mendelssohn’s Artistic and Religious Grand Tour Experiences.
Musical upbringing under Karl Friedrich Zelter and the Singakademie in Berlin places Mendelssohn Bartholdy at one of the centers of neoclassicism. He witnessed the building of the new home of the Singakademie, a place Larry Todd describes as the “new musical temple” and “a living musical museum”. This new building was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, whose famous neoclassical design of the memorial cathedral from a decade earlier combined the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Gothic styles, an aesthetic approach to which James Garrat actually views Mendelssohn as the “musical analogue”. The young composer went on his Grand Tour of Italy with his eyes wide open. While he sought the broadest exposure possible, specific paintings by Titian and Raphael stand out in this regard. Mendelssohn described in great detail his personal reactions to Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin, Madonna with Child and Saints, Entombment of Christ, as well as Raphael’s Transfiguration and Disputation of the Sacraments.
The paper traces direct correlations between these paintings, Catholic liturgical texts, and Mendelssohn’s Three Motets op. 39, revealing an overarching theme that explores the meaning of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. My reading of this motet cycle offers insights not only into Mendelssohn’s changing self-identity but also his evolving theology, which was greatly impacted by his artistic and religious experiences in Italy. At the heart of this theology is a complex Christology that is a reflection of a three-dimensional identity that seems more realistic than our flat and seemingly incompatible projections of Mendelssohn as the Jew, the Lutheran, the German, the musician.
María Isabel Rodríguez López (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Chant and Enchantments: Iconography of Orpheus, from Gluck to Moreau.
The myth of Orpheus has been addressed by thinkers and artists of all times. In the neoclassical style, perhaps with the popular bias granted by Gluck, it acquired a special relevance in the visual arts. We propose an approach to the iconographic evolution of the singer-magician during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, looking for echoes of the classical world and analysing the iconic novelty.
In ancient Rome, the iconography of the Thracian singer was limited almost exclusively to the power of his spells over nature and animals, both in mosaics and funerary reliefs; however, since Monteverdi (1607) and Gluck (1762) set this fable to music, the katabasis and violent death came to the fore. This is how the neoclassical period rediscovered the most complex aspects of the ancient myth and its deepest tragic dimension.
Cristina Santarelli (Istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte, Torino), From A Musician to The Quartet: Albert Moore between Classicism and Aesthetic Movement.
Born in 1841, Albert Joseph Moore came from an artistic family based in York. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1857 and like many artists of his generation was deeply influenced by Pre-Raphaelite Movement. In the mid-1860s his art was transformed because his friendship with James McNeill Whistler and William Leighton; from that time he began to produce decorative works that mostly show rhythmically posed figures in diaphanous classical draperies, combined with ornamental accessories. Moore was an advocate of the late Victorian idea of “art for art’s sake”, the concept that formal and aesthetic qualities must take prominence over moral or narrative content: although greatly influenced by Greek sculpture as well as by Japanese prints, his paintings—unlike those by Alma-Tadema—are not historical reconstructions, but merely pretexts for the exploration of an abstract language of color, line and pattern, according to the ideas expressed in the same years by Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde.
In particular, A Musician (1865–1866) and The Quartet: A Painter’s Tribute to the Art of Music (1868) seem to be a pictorial anticipation of Pater’s theories about the supremacy of music among the arts. The first one is clearly based on ancient models, with direct quotations from the eastern pediment of the Parthenon and from an Herculanean fresco illustrating a music lesson (London, The British Museum), while the setting of the second one includes anachronistic objects such as the instruments of a modern string quartet instead of the archaic lyra depicted in the previous painting. Led more by fascination with ideal geometry than by philological rigour, Moore determines a basic arrangement in which the simple horizontal band of the shelf contrasts with the irregular curves of human bodies and then adds a series of strong diagonals created by the bows and necks of the string instruments and the arms and legs of the figures. The four solemn looking musicians seated in a straight line and the three standing female listener, though dressed in Greek style and disposed like a bas-relief frieze, are generic embodiments of universal harmony and beauty: the positioning of the figures, the smooth palette, the placement of accessories and the distribution of the drapery folds, wall hangings and architectural elements reach the aim of make visible the music lying under the forms.
Maia Sigua (Tbilisi State Conservatory), The Concept of Tragedy after Aristotle and Daphne by Richard Strauss.
Richard Strauss’s qualification of his opera Daphne, op. 82 (libretto by Joseph Gregor; 1938), as “bucolic tragedy in one act” raises interesting questions for the researcher concerned with the relation between opera and ancient theatre. Is Daphne really tragedy in the strict sense of this term? Has the Aristotelian requirement for tragedy still been preserved in it? How did Strauss use ancient genre and does his musical work really qualifies as tragedy? On what grounds are the two contradictory notions—bucolic and tragedy—united in the work?
The starting point in answering these questions is Aristotle’s Poetics, which can be defined as the first systematized theoretical work about ancient theater. A long time gap between Poetics and opera gives us an opportunity to determine what has been changed in the later genre, how the transformation process occurred, and what are the reasons for it. The result of such analysis indicates that the main principles of Aristotelian concept of tragedy is viable in Strauss’s Daphne, although he used tragedy as a theatrical model which is embodied in the typical late-romantic musical form.
Luís Correia de Sousa & Luzia Valeiro Rocha (Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa), New Fashions, Old Models: The Antiquity Charm in Portuguese Musical Neoclassicism.
The neoclassical legacy is very meaningful to Portuguese history since it started after the earthquake of 1755 that destroyed the city of Lisbon. The reconstruction of the city’s main buildings (such as the Royal Palace) and the majority of houses and public structures lead to the approval, in 1758, of an urban reconstruction plan. Music iconographic sources are not abundant in Portuguese neoclassical period. The facade of the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, designed by the Italian architect Fortunato Lodi (1843–1846), has a portal with six ionic columns and a tympanum with an important sculpture with Apollo and the Muses. Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, designed by the Portuguese architect José da Costa e Silva (1747–1819), who studied with Carlo Bianconi in Bologna, was the first neoclassical building constructed in Partugal. Inaugurated in 1793, it is still the major opera house of the country. The paper also presents some of the scenographies produced for performances there. The study also presents works by Domingos António Sequeira (Lisbon, 1768–Rome, 1837), who painted Apoteose de Lord Wellington where Wellington is depicted as Apollo with a group on Muses playing musical instruments, and Francisco Vieira “o Portuense” (1765–1805), who worked on an edition inspired on Virgil and Horace.
Esma Sulejmanović (Muzička akademia, Sarajevo), Antique Musical Practice and Neoclassical Musical Symbolism of Numismatic Artefacts.
Music iconography as auxiliary musicological science deals with visual representations of musical practice, instruments, musical symbols and every aspect of music which could be visualized. On the other hand, numismatics as auxiliary historical science offers a whole spectrum of visual material imprinted on coins, medals and other numismatic products. By combining the two, it becomes possible to find information and to draw conclusions about musical practice and culture of a certain society in a certain historical period. Antique numismatics, mostly based on coins, became an important historical sources for studies of antiquity. Its visual representations offer insight into antique cultures, their religion, myths and legends, their administration and politics, but also their art and culture, primarily music. With representations of musical instruments (lyre, cithara, panpipes), gods and mythological beings related to music (Apollo, Dionysius, Pan, muses, satyrs), one can draw conclusions about importance of musical practice of a certain region in certain period, under the reign of certain ruler. Through Renaissance and neoclassical revivals, antiquity gains a new form; it is not only a historical reality, but it is also a symbol. In music this revival appears in different forms. When it comes to visual representation, music in its iconographical form can be traced on nineteenth-century medals and other numismatic products of mostly symbolical nature. Antique musical instruments and ancient gods representing music are no longer representations of musical practice, but rather now symbols, even ideals of art and aesthetics in their true, pure form. In the nineteenth century they are often displayed on medals issued for specific occasions, anniversaries of cultural institutions and music societies, or even rulers and aristocracy.
Mercedes Viale Ferrero (Torino), The Last Day of Pompeii as Imagined by Alessandro Sanquirico, or: How to Rebuild Pompeii in Order to Destroy It.
L’ultimo giorno di Pompei is a dramma per musica first performed at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, on 19 November 1825. The libretto was written by Andrea Leone Tottola, the music was composed by Giovanni Pacini, and the stage sets were painted by three artists directed by the “architect of the Royal Theatres” Antonio Niccolini. The reception was moderately good but in autumn 1827, when the opera was presented in the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, with a new scenic realization by Alessandro Sanquirico, its success was extraordinary and nearly fanatic. The audience was impressed by the final scene reviving the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79: a technical achievement based on the phenomenon of the persistence of vision in the eye. As a consequence of this striking and almost magic apparition, very little notice was given to what happened before it and was possibly even more daring. In order to destroy it, Sanquirico had to rebuild Pompeii and to depict houses, temples, gardens, theatres, streets and forum as he imagined they were during a busy day in the Roman Empire. We can see them now, reproduced in two series of colored engravings showing also the characters and their costumes. Some questions arise: Did Sanquirico aim to a classical or a picturesque result? Were there many differences between the performances at the Teatro di San Carlo and at the Teatro alla Scala? Were the visual effects linked (or not linked) to the dramatic action? Is the opera correlated to the taste and the principles of Restoration?
Alexandra Voutyra (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Ingres, Apollo, Mozart and Music.
Two drawings by Ingres, dated 1863–64, are closely related to music; Apollo crowns Gluck and Mozart, a preparatory sketch for a painting never completed, and King Midas and his barber. The two sketches are connected to each other, as the latter is incorporated in the former. Ingres by using the ancient myth of musical contest criticizes leading art contemporaries with whom he came in conflict. Examining handwritten notes on the first drawing, it is possible to observe Ingres’s close relation to music, as well as elements concerning contemporary music life; his preference for Cherubini, Mozart, Mehul and others.