This paper aims to provide an in-depth survey of grand-scale medieval Italian tabernacles and other types of closing altarpieces with all of their wings – or substantial parts thereof – still preserved (1200–1435). Most such altarpieces, enclosing a statue of the Virgin Mary or a Saint, come from the culturally homogeneous and generally conservative regions of the Central Apennines, in particular from Abruzzo. Structure, provenance, original location, function, patronage, iconography are only a few of the many questions raised by the surviving examples here discussed within a broader European frame. Notwithstanding the great variety and composite character of medieval altar furnishings, three major types of medieval Italian closing retables will be here described – according to Claude Lapaire’s formal classification (1969 and 1972): the tabernacle-altarpiece in the strict sense of the word, i.e. an open ciborium with the pedestal, rear wall, and canopy, equipped with carved or painted bi-fold wings; the polygonal tabernacle-altarpiece (‘le retable à tabernacle polygonal’); and the cupboard-altarpiece (‘le retable en forme d’armoire’). In Central Apennine regions all of these types coexisted throughout the fourteenth century at least, resisting the spread of Tuscan polyptychs.

CENTRAL ITALIAN "TABERNACULA": A SURVEY

C. Pasqualetti
2020

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an in-depth survey of grand-scale medieval Italian tabernacles and other types of closing altarpieces with all of their wings – or substantial parts thereof – still preserved (1200–1435). Most such altarpieces, enclosing a statue of the Virgin Mary or a Saint, come from the culturally homogeneous and generally conservative regions of the Central Apennines, in particular from Abruzzo. Structure, provenance, original location, function, patronage, iconography are only a few of the many questions raised by the surviving examples here discussed within a broader European frame. Notwithstanding the great variety and composite character of medieval altar furnishings, three major types of medieval Italian closing retables will be here described – according to Claude Lapaire’s formal classification (1969 and 1972): the tabernacle-altarpiece in the strict sense of the word, i.e. an open ciborium with the pedestal, rear wall, and canopy, equipped with carved or painted bi-fold wings; the polygonal tabernacle-altarpiece (‘le retable à tabernacle polygonal’); and the cupboard-altarpiece (‘le retable en forme d’armoire’). In Central Apennine regions all of these types coexisted throughout the fourteenth century at least, resisting the spread of Tuscan polyptychs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/151355
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