How the first part of the Genesis was displayed in Western church-decoration has been a point of permanent concern since 1888, when Johann J. Tikkanen focused attention on the atrium mosaics of San Marco in Venice by referring to the so-called Cotton Genesis (London, British Library, MS Otho B VI), a sumptuous early-Christian manuscript (Egypt, end of the fifth century?) of the first Book of the Septuagint Bible. Before it was heavily damaged during the fire of Ashburnham House in 1731, the Genesis had some 360 pictures on 221 folios, which are today partially known through the fragments, a few watercolours and engravings, and thanks to Kurt Weitzmann’s and Herbert L. Kessler’s creditable essay of philological reconstruction. The academic debate progressively focused on early-Christian visual sources, providing ‘a heavy superstructure of assumptions concerning the very origins of Christian art’. Weitzmann in particular sharpened Tikkanen’s observations ‘through the application of his own approach to medieval pictorial imagery [...] The method was explicitly philological, devised to recover an Urtext, or rather an Urzyclus, by analysing various derivatives from a hypothetical model, using the fidelity to a textual narrative as the main criterion for adjudicating the authenticity among versions of a pictorial ‘recension’. The Cotton Genesis played a principal role in Weitzmann’s approach because, unlike the other surviving manuscripts, it seemed to be the centre of a vast family. [...] The Cotton Genesis’ relationship to the mosaics of San Marco confirmed a secondary tenet of Weizmann’s broad heuristic hypothesis, namely, that illuminated manuscripts were a primary source of much monumental art during the Middle Ages. To be continued...

La narrazione della Creazione in Occidente, fra tradizioni iconografiche e miti storiografici / F. Scirea. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Re-reading Hebrew Scriptures: Old Testament Cycles in Medieval Wall Painting = Rileggere le scritture ebraiche : Cicli dell'Antico Testamento nella pittura murale medievale tenutosi a Milano nel 2018.

La narrazione della Creazione in Occidente, fra tradizioni iconografiche e miti storiografici

F. Scirea
2018-10-16

Abstract

How the first part of the Genesis was displayed in Western church-decoration has been a point of permanent concern since 1888, when Johann J. Tikkanen focused attention on the atrium mosaics of San Marco in Venice by referring to the so-called Cotton Genesis (London, British Library, MS Otho B VI), a sumptuous early-Christian manuscript (Egypt, end of the fifth century?) of the first Book of the Septuagint Bible. Before it was heavily damaged during the fire of Ashburnham House in 1731, the Genesis had some 360 pictures on 221 folios, which are today partially known through the fragments, a few watercolours and engravings, and thanks to Kurt Weitzmann’s and Herbert L. Kessler’s creditable essay of philological reconstruction. The academic debate progressively focused on early-Christian visual sources, providing ‘a heavy superstructure of assumptions concerning the very origins of Christian art’. Weitzmann in particular sharpened Tikkanen’s observations ‘through the application of his own approach to medieval pictorial imagery [...] The method was explicitly philological, devised to recover an Urtext, or rather an Urzyclus, by analysing various derivatives from a hypothetical model, using the fidelity to a textual narrative as the main criterion for adjudicating the authenticity among versions of a pictorial ‘recension’. The Cotton Genesis played a principal role in Weitzmann’s approach because, unlike the other surviving manuscripts, it seemed to be the centre of a vast family. [...] The Cotton Genesis’ relationship to the mosaics of San Marco confirmed a secondary tenet of Weizmann’s broad heuristic hypothesis, namely, that illuminated manuscripts were a primary source of much monumental art during the Middle Ages. To be continued...
Book of Genesis; Iconography; Late Antiquity; Middle ages; Cotton Genesis; Medieval Wall Painting; Early medieval illustration
Settore L-ART/01 - Storia dell'Arte Medievale
Università degli Studi di Milano
Dipartimento di Beni Culturali e Ambientali
CRC Bisanzio e l'Occidente
La narrazione della Creazione in Occidente, fra tradizioni iconografiche e miti storiografici / F. Scirea. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Re-reading Hebrew Scriptures: Old Testament Cycles in Medieval Wall Painting = Rileggere le scritture ebraiche : Cicli dell'Antico Testamento nella pittura murale medievale tenutosi a Milano nel 2018.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/596350
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