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The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and Italian art circa 1500: Mantegna, Antico, and Correggio

Nygren, CJ (2015) The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and Italian art circa 1500: Mantegna, Antico, and Correggio. Word and Image, 31 (2). 140 - 154. ISSN 0266-6286

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This essay focuses on the interplay between the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and Italian art of the early sixteenth century. While the Hypnerotomachia exerted some influence on artists of the subsequent generation, the nature of that influence will be reevaluated in light of the functions that poetic favole accrued around the turn of the sixteenth century. Opening with an examination of two paintings by Antonio Allegri da Correggio that are often seen as illustrative of the impact that the Hypnerotomachia had on Italian art, this essay will subsequently open up distance between the pictures and their purported source text. Focusing attention on Correggio's complex engagement with the Hypnerotomachia affords new insights into the intricacy of the text itself, its relationship with antiquity, and how the tension between these two elements helped shape the anomalous status the Hypnerotomachia occupies today. The peculiar antiquarian approach that the Hypnerotomachia takes toward the study of language, architecture, and artifacts was quite common throughout the fifteenth century, but it quickly fell out of favor in the sixteenth century. The article concludes by suggesting that art historians begin thinking of the Hypnerotomachia as the extended manifesto of a model of engaged beholdership that held currency in Northern Italy around 1500 rather than as a source for iconography and new subjects. Viewed in this light, Colonna's text yields important insights into the alluring qualities of artists like Mantegna and Antico, who shared with the Hypnerotomachia an abiding interest in interrogating antiquity as one of the animating forces underwriting their artistic project.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Nygren, CJCNYGREN@pitt.eduCNYGREN0000-0002-2039-4313
Date: 3 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Word and Image
Volume: 31
Number: 2
Page Range: 140 - 154
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/02666286.2015.1023020
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0266-6286
Article Type: Review
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 18:23
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 12:55


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