Artibus et Historiae no. 82 (XLI)

2020, ISSN 0391-9064

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PETER HUMFREY - Venetian Painted Ceilings of the Renaissance and the Direction of Light (pp. 211–225)

It is impressive how well the scholarly reconstructions of the original arrangement of several major Venetian Renaissance painted ceilings proposed by the late Juergen Schulz in the 1960s have stood the test of time. There can be little doubt that Schulz’s reconstruction of the order of the canvases on the ceilings of the now demolished churches of Santo Spirito in Isola, Santa Maria dell’Umiltà, and San Niccolò ai Frari, is correct. It is argued here, however, that Schulz did not pay sufficient attention to the fictive light sources in these canvases, and hence did not always place them the right way up. On the basis of the adjustments to his reconstructions suggested here, it is further suggested that the present arrangement of Veronese’s masterly paintings in the nave of San Sebastiano – regarded by Schulz as paradigmatic for later ceilings – is also incorrect.


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