Intrecci veneziani. La decorazione a cappi nel codice umanistico
In: Rivista di Storia della Miniatura: 26, 2022
The paper sheds light on the revival of the interlace pattern in 15th century illuminated manuscripts, which spreads as sober but refined model for the new humanistic book all’antica, as an alternative to the bianchi girari decoration. The geometric intertwined ornament develops in Venice during the second quarter of the 15th century, finding then a very popular diffusion through all the main Renaissance courts of the Peninsula. This motif first appeared in connection with the same local cultural milieu responsible for the introduction of the so-called white vines decorative system in Northern Italy, as part of a wider classic revival phenomenon promoted by the highly educated Venetian aristocracy, which was responsible for the rediscovery of ancient texts and the study of Greek. At their service were some fundamental protagonists of this lively cultural and artistic context: illuminators such as Cristoforo Cortese or the Maestro del Pontificale Dandolo, and scribes such as Michele Salvatico, a notary and Benedictine monk of German origin, and Andrea Contrario, an accomplished humanist who can be considered the inventor of the Venetian knotwork motifs, thanks to his calligraphic experiments with polychrome inks.