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Pourquoi les sceaux ? La sigillographie, nouvel enjeu de l’histoire de l’art

 | 
Jean-Luc Chassel
, 
Marc Gil Chassel

4. Transferts artistiques, appropriation, innovation

Aspects of the three-dimensionality of seals

Ruth Wolff

Texte intégral

  • 1 Results of the research project are published in the following articles, a book is in preparation: (...)
  • 2 See G.C. Bascapé, Sigillografia. Il sigillo nella diplomatica, neldiritto, nella storia, nell'arte (...)

1The subject of my contribution has developed from the research project “Siegel-Bilder”, carried out under the direction of Gerhard Wolf, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, Max-Planck Institute, and Michael Stolleis, Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt a. M. It marks in some sense the end of this project and at the same time the beginning of a new stage in my research1. The project was concentrated on medieval seals in Italy and their icons, which had been largely neglected by modern international sigillography, although it was in Italy that sigillography, i. e. the collecting of seals, began with the collections of Carlo Strozzi (1587-1650) in Florence and of Atanasio Kircher (1601-80) in Rome, the first treatise of sigillography is from the Italian Giorgio Longo, and the word sigillography itself was invented in Italy by Anton Stefano Cartari around 16802.

  • 3 G. Vasari, Le vite de'più eccellentipittori, scultori e architetti, testo a cura di R. Bettarini. (...)

2The three-dimensionality or plasticity of seals has not hitherto been a central topic for discussion by sigillography or art history. I prefer the term three-dimensionality to the word “plasticity”, because in current linguistic usage we understand by plasticity a special kind of plastic works of art, with a modeled form projecting from a flattened background, i. e. the relief. This current understanding of plasticity is crucially affected by Giorgio Vasaris Vite, where he differentiates in chapter X. of his Proemio to the art of sculpture between “mezzo” and “basso rilievo”, and “bassi e stiacchiati rilievi” as a specific form of flat relief3.

  • 4 For the notion of “relief” in Art Theory see L. Freedman, “Rilievo as an Artistic Term in Art Theo (...)
  • 5 C. Cennini, Il libro dell'arte, ed. F. Frezzato, Vicenza, Neri Pozza, 2003; Cennino D’Andrea Cenni (...)
  • 6 See, for example, C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 67-68: “Capitolo VIIII: Come tu de'dare, [ (...)
  • 7 See, for example, C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 126-127: “Capitolo LXXXV: Del modo del col (...)
  • 8 C. Cennini, Illibro..., op. cit., p. 119: “Poi va'pure con questi colori di mezo a rritrovare le s (...)
  • 9 Referring to ancona Cennino seems to describe a panel with its frame and mouldings already attache (...)
  • 10 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 136: “Capitolo CII: Chome dei relevare una diadema di chalci (...)
  • 11 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 146-147: “Capitolo CXVII: Come s'ingiessa una ancona di gies (...)
  • 12 C. Cennini, Illibro..., op. cit., p. 151: “Capitolo CXXIIII: Si chome si rilieva di giesso sottile (...)
  • 13 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 152: “Capitolo CXXV: Come dei imprentare alchuno rilievo per (...)
  • 14 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 161-62: “Capitolo CXL: Chome dei principalmente volgiere le (...)
  • 15 This is what H. Baader, “Sündenfall und Wissenschaft. Zur Verschriftlichung Künstlerischer Technik (...)

3Unlike Vasari, Cennino Cennini is still discussing “rilievo” primarily in connection with painting4. In his Il Libro dell’Arte, probably written during the painters stay in Padua between ca. 1398 and ca. 1403,5 he uses “rilievo” or “rilievare” in different meanings: First, regarding the illusionistic representation of three dimensional figures and objects in two-dimensional drawing and painting by the application of a range of bright and dark colours6. “Rilievo” in this sense means “Lichthöhung”, i. e. the two-dimensional representation of the elevated parts of a figure or object by the use of light colours7. Secondly, Cennino understands by “rilievo” three dimensional (natural) objects or figures as models for two dimensional paintings, their heights and depths, which become visible by light and shadow8. Thirdly, “rilievo” in the Libro dell'Arte refers to three-dimensional elements on a panel or “ancona9, or for instance halos, modelled with mortar in wall painting10, foliage ornaments11 and precious stones mounted with plaster12, lion’s heads or “any other impressions taken in earth or in clay”13. “Rilievo”, fourthly, is mentioned in regards to the technique of “granare”, i. e. the stamping or tooling of the gilded parts of panels. Here Cennino differentiates two main types of stamping, “granare a disteso” e “granare a rilievo”, the latter being the modelling of “foliage ornaments [...] and little angels and figures”14. Cennino thus obviously is not transferring an artistic term from the language of sculpture to the medium of painting15, but uses “rilievo” in a broad sense for the illusion of three-dimensionality in painting, for three dimensional figures and objects as models for painting, and three-dimensional parts of paintings.

  • 16 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 211-212: “[CLXXXIX] Se volessi improntare suggiello o un duc (...)
  • 17 I. Villela Petit, “Les techniques de moulage des sceaux du XVe au XIVe siècle”, Bibliothèque de l' (...)
  • 18 C. Cennini, Il libre..., op. cit., p. 211: “[CLXXXVIII] Se vuoi improntare santelene, ne puoi impr (...)
  • 19 Paris, Bibliothèque National, ms. Latin 6741. The manuscript was edited by Μ. Merrifield in 1849, (...)
  • 20 The Manuscript written in Latin includes a dictionary of colours in alphabetical order (tabula de (...)
  • 21 M.P. Merrifield, Medieval and Renaissance Treatises..., op. cit., p. 74, nr. 59: Ad faciendum form (...)

4Seals are treated in the very last chapter of Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte, and here the words “rilievo” or “rilevare” do not occur, when he explains how to make a mould from a seal or coin16. The technique is based on the treatment of ashes (lixiviation), and because of the resistance of the mould it is aimed to the reproduction in metal. Like Inès Villela-Petit points out, this recipe of Cennini is directed to a public of collectors, just as the collecting of commemorative medals develops in Italy inspired by antic numismatics with the art of Antonio Pisanello17. In the preceding chapter Cennino describes another technique, in this case for the casting of medals18. The same technique, however, is described for the casting of seals in the Manuscripts of the French Jean Lebègue (1431), a notary, royal functionary and humanist19, including a compilation of ricettari and trattati made by the Milan Giovanni Alcherio from 1398 till 1411 (Experimenta de coloribus and Experimenta diversa alia quam de coloribus)20. Giovanni Alcherio, deputy of the Council of the fabbrica del Duomo in Milan, collected the recipes based on “interviews” held during his stays in North Italy and Paris, inter alia with famous artist like the Flemish painter Jacques Coene, Michelino da Besozzo and Giovanni da Modena. The recipe on the moulding of seals is copied from a book lent to Alcherio by Fra Dionisio, a Servite in Milan21.

  • 22 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura, ed. R. Sinisgalli, Il nuovo “De pictura” di Leon Battista Alberti/The (...)
  • 23 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura..., op. cit., book 2, § 46, p. 227-228: “Però che il lume e l'ombra fa (...)
  • 24 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura..., op. cit., book 2, § 46, p. 228-229: “Io, coi dotto e non dotti, lo (...)
  • 25 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura..., op. cit., book 2, § 58, p. 259: “E se pure ti piace ritrarre opere (...)

5Leon Battista Alberti in his “Della pittura” (1435-6) like Cennino Cennini refers with “rilievo” both to the illusion of plasticity in painting and to the plasticity of natural objects, but in contrary to Cennino includes also larger works of sculpture into his understanding of “rilievo”. Alberti expects from the artist “that a painting appears as much as possible in relief and similar to the given bodies”22. Lights and shadows make painted objects appear “rilevate” by the distribution of white and black23, and Alberti praises “those portraits that seem to protrude as sculpted from pictures”24. As a consequence, Alberti recommends inexperienced painters to take “poorly sculpted rather than excellently depicted” things as models for a better study of the relationship of light and shade25.

  • 26 L.B. Alberti, L’architettura (De re aedificatoria). Testo latino e traduzione a cura di G. Orlandi (...)

6In the first half of the Quattrocento the terminology of “relief” thus fluctuates between painting and other media, and Alberti only in his “De re aedificatioria” (1443-52) discusses relief art in the postvasarian sense of the word. Most interestingly, Albert here designates reliefs as signa sigillis, signa or sigilla26.

7In conclusion it is to say, that the nexus between the notions of seal and relief is very strong and highly complex in in Art Theory before Vasari.

8The term three-dimensionality by comparison is neutral and free from specific historical meanings since the Renaissance. Furthermore it includes not only the plastic surface of the obverse of the seal impression and its negative counterpart in the matrix, but also the totality of the seal as object: the back of the seal matrix usually includes a loop and/or a handle, to help attach a chain and remove the matrix from the wax. The reverse of the seal impression on the other hand rarely consists of a flat and plane surface and is often protected by a case (or culla) or signed by a counterseal.

Qu’est-ce qu’un sceau ?

  • 27 M. Pastoureau, Les sceaux, Turnhout-Belgium, Brepols 1981 (Typologie des sources du moyen âge occi (...)
  • 28 Conseil international des archives, Comité de sigillographie, Vocabulaire international de la sigi (...)
  • 29 Conseil international des archives, Vocabulaire..op. cit., p. 44: „par extension, le mot peut dési (...)
  • 30 For the history of french sigillography see M. Fabre, Sceau médiéval: analyse d’une pratique cultu (...)
  • 31 M. Pastoureau, Les sceaux..., op. cit., p. 24.
  • 32 F. Menéndez Pisal de Navascués, Apuntes de Sigilografia Española, Guadalajara, Aache, 1993, p. 15- (...)

9As we all know, the famous question “What is a seal?” has been answered in many different ways27. Archaeology, for example, preoccupied with ancient seal rings, understands by “seal” the matrix or die. French sigillography, by contrast, accentuates the meaning “seal impression”, which becomes quite clear in the definition proposed by the Vocabulaire international de la sigillographie, edited by the Comité de sigillographie des Conseil international des archives: “le sceau (lat. Sigillum) est au sens général du terme, une empreinte obtenue sur un support par l’apposition d'une matrice présentant des signes propres à une autorité ou à une personne physique ou morale en vue de témoigner de la volonté d'intervention du sigillant”28. Only in an extended sense (“par extension”) does the word seal according to the definition of the Vocabulaire designate both the seal matrix and the seal impression29. One reason for the French accentuation of the seal impression lies in the history of French sigillography and the huge collections and inventories of seal impressions in the Archives nationales30. But even if it is absolutely reasonable to differentiate between seal matrices and seal impressions in order to avoid the “total confusion” complained by Michel Pastoureau in reference to the French sigillography from the seventeenth to the twentieth century31, the polysemy of the word seal in Greek, Latin and modern European languages (sphragis, sigillum, sceau, Siegel, sello, seal etc.) must be taken seriously. Most convincingly the Spanish sigillographer Menéndez Pidal de Navascués respects the polysemic meaning of “seal” in his definition, based on the verb “sellar”, thus emphasizing the operative character of sealing as a physical act32. The seal matrix according to his definition is a tool, the semiotic function of sealing is the differentiation of the sealed object, and the seal impression can be traced back to the owner of the seal by the interdependence of seal matrix and seal impression.

10To recur to the three-dimensionality of seals, we can easily see that neither the archaeological point of view, nor the definition of the Vocabulaire, takes into account the three-dimensionality of seals, whereas the definition of Menendaz Pidal de Navascués includes only the three-dimensionality of the seal matrix as tool/object. While claiming to embrace all techniques of sealing, his definition, however, neglects the technical and artistic aspects.

  • 33 D. Collon, 7000 years of seals, London, British Museum Press, 1997, p. 9-10.
  • 34 For Chinese seals see W. Sun, Carving Authority and Creating History, San Francisco, Long River Pr (...)

11Dominique Collon in her introduction to “7000 years of seals” distinguishes three main categories of seals, two of them relying on the intaglio or engraved design of seal stones, dies and matrices, which produces a “relief design” on the clay, wax or metal33. The design of the seal matrix or die of these first two categories is three-dimensional, because it is recessed below the surface. The impression of the recessed design in materials that can be softened by heat or water in order to be modelled by the impression produces a design which projects in relief. In the third category however the design of the seal stone, die or matrix is not recessed but projects in relief, because the ground of the seal matrix or die is cut away, and only the raised areas of the seal matrix produce the seal imprint. The seal imprint in this third category is not three-dimensional but flat. The third category of seals developed as early as ca. 7000 BC for impressing on flat surfaces such as textile and body stamps, and is still in use in China and Japan where seals take the place of signatures in authenticating documents or signing works of art34. Medieval European seals however clearly fall into the first and second category: in most cases the dies have an engraved design and produce a relief design by impression.

Medieval and Renaissance seal terminology

  • 35 M. Welber, I sigilli nella storia del diritto medievale italiano, Milano, Giuffrè, 1984 (vol. 3 of (...)
  • 36 This is a result of the research project “Siegel-Bilder”, presented in my talk “Authentische und a (...)

12No other medieval artefact is mentioned and described as often as seals in medieval and Renaissance writings: Seal metaphors run through the Bible and are interpreted by patristic and scholastic theology. Seals as means of authentication are regulated by Roman and later by canon law, the latter being deeply influenced by the theological implications of seals35. Legal norms concerning seals are widely commented on and discussed by numerous medieval and Renaissance jurists. Notaries drafting authentic copies of sealed charters not only copied word by word the written text, but also described the characters and images of the seals36.

  • 37 As an example for sculpta we may cite the description of the seal of Frederick I. by the notary St (...)
  • 38 Honorius Augustodunensis, Expositio in Cantica canticorum, pl. 172, 1895, reprint 1970, col. 347-4 (...)
  • 39 C. Besold, Thesaurus practicus, first edition, Tübingen 1629.1 quote from the second edition Nürnb (...)
  • 40 Hugh of Saint Victor, De institutione novitiorum, CAP. VII. De exemplis sanctorum imitandis (PL 17 (...)
  • 41 Theophilus, De Diversis Artibus-The Various Arts, transl. from the Latin with Introduction and Not (...)
  • 42 Theophilus, De diversibus..., op. cit., p. 135: Fiant ferri ad mensuram unius digiti spissi, tribus (...)
  • 43 Basle, Historisches Museum, inv. 1938.264.b. This model was already published by Hawthorne and Smi (...)
  • 44 Museum of Applied Arts, Cologne, inv. G 823.
  • 45 See note 42.

13In innumerable cases both the deepened design of the die and the raised design of the impression are described as sculpta or insculpta37. Very often, no differentiation seems to be drawn between the connotation of the engraved design of the die and the raised design of the impression; the word sculpta can thus designate both the recessed and the relief design and the same applies to the word insculpta. Two definitions of sigillum from different centuries, contexts and places show that the adjective insculpta or sculpta is fundamental to the connotation of seal from medieval to Renaissance times. The first is from the twelfth-century Expositio in Cantica canticorum of the French Honorius Augustodinenis, who defines sigillum in his comment to verse 8,6: pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum as imago insculpta38. The second definition comes from the influential law dictionary of the Professor of Roman Law at Tübingen University, Christoph Besold, the Thesaurus Practicus, first published in 1629: referring to Roman and canon law he too defines seal as imago insculpta39. Especially when seal metaphors are used to describe the inner world of man, and for example the (moral) imitation of saints, the deepening of the engraved design on the seal stamp and the sublimity or elevation of the relief on the seal impression are expressed with the words abiectus/depressus and sublimis/eminens, such as by Hugh of Saint Victor in his De institutione novitiorum40. Theophilus presbyter, in his treatise De diversibus artibus (“On Various Arts”) written around 1100, does not treat seals specifically, but in chapter 75 explains “work pressed on (seal) dies” (De opere quod sigillis imprimatur)41. This technique goes back to ancient Mesopotamian times: a design is carved on a flat piece of stone or sheet of hard metal such as iron; after overlaying it with a thin lamina of a more ductile and malleable metal like silver, gold or copper and placing a thick piece of lead on top, the carved design is then impressed in the silver or gold lamina by striking it hard with a hammer. These “dies” according to Theophilus should be sculpted in a similar way to seals (sculpantur in similitudine sigillorum), and that means that “on these, narrow bands and wider ones are engraved [...] containing flowers, animals and birds, or dragons linked together by the necks and tails [...]”42. They should not be sculpted “too deeply, but moderately and with care”, so Theophilus concludes his formal description of dies, clearly anticipating the Vasarian triad of high, low and flat relief in reference to a three-dimensional artefact. A model in the Historisches Museum in Basel, representing the evangelist Matthew, may illustrate the actual similarity between such a “die” and seals (Fig. 1)43, whereas the strip of a gilded copper sheet with a die stamped design, conserved in the Museum of Applied Arts in Cologne and belonging to the Heribert shrine in Cologne, illustrates the functions of the models (Fig. 2)44. According to Theophilus, such dies could be used for the decoration of borders of altar frontals, pulpits, reliquaries for the bodies of saints, book covers, “and wherever it is required”, and it is precisely the relief character, the elevatura, to use Theophilus’ word, of the impressed metal sheets that is essential for their beauty45.

  • 46 L.B. Alberti, On Painting and Sculpture. The Latin text of De Pictura and De Statua, ed. with tran (...)
  • 47 L.B. Alberti, De Statua..., op. cit., p. 28: “Nel primo caso l'identità del procedimento si connet (...)

14Ancient Roman authors such as Quintilian and Pliny the Elder categorized the various types of sculpture according to the materials used, whereas Leon Battista Alberti's classification in his treatise De statua is based on the different technical procedures underlying the creation of sculptures. “Some – says Alberti – proceeded by adding and taking away, such as those who worked in wax or clay, whom the Greeks call plasticous and the Roman fictores (modellers); others merely by taking away, like those who by removing the superfluous reveal the figure of the man they want which was hidden within a block of marble. We call these sculptors, and might regard as related to them those who on seals extract the features of a hidden face by excision. The third kind are those who work solely by addition, like the silversmiths who by hammering metal and spreading it out add continually to its shape until they have produced the figure you want”46. As Marco Collareta points out, Albertis main interest here is the realisation of sculptures “a tutto tondo”, i.e. statues in the round, and in this context the half-empty relief of the seal die, destined to be transformed into the half-full relief of the seal impression, is in fact related, according to Alberti, to the complete relief of the statue47. At this point the crucial importance of the polysemy of the word “seal” in connection with the three-dimensionality of seal dies and impressions becomes quite clear.

Goldsmithery, seals and art history

  • 48 M. Collareta, “The Historian and the Technique: On the role of Goldsmithery in Vasari's Lives”, in(...)
  • 49 M. Winner, “Federskizzen von Benvenuto Cellini”, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 31, 1968, p. 293 (...)
  • 50 “All of the things that exist under these skies are composed of four elements, not one more nor on (...)

15Medieval and Renaissance seals in Europe were mainly created by goldsmiths. As Marco Collareta has shown, the role of goldsmithery in Giorgio Vasaris two editions of the Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects’ of 1550 and 1568 is subject to a fundamental shift48. In the first edition of 1550 goldsmithery is presented as a noble métier in which famous artists like Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Andrea Verrocchio, Sandro Botticelli and Andrea del Sarto had been trained. As a result of Benvenuto Cellini’s conflict with the Florentine Accademia del Disegno about the classification of the arts, Vasari, the “father of art history”, in his later edition of 1568, downplayed goldsmithery and reduced it to a handicraft practice. Cellini, in one of his preparatory designs for the seal of the Academy, now in the British Museum in London, had visualized the Diana of Ephesus in a quadrangular frame with a serpent to her right and a lion to her left49. The long comment underneath the design explains the form of the frame and raises goldsmithery as the fourth art alongside sculpture, painting and architecture50. In Vasari’s second edition, however, design figures as the “father of our three arts, architecture, painting, and sculpture”, and goldsmithery is not even mentioned. Medieval and Renaissance discourse of goldsmithery thus came to an end, and art-historical consideration of seals had no chance to begin at this point.

16In conclusion I would like to sum up some consequences of my reflections on the three-dimensionality of seals with reference to their study as “nouvel enjeu de l’histoire de l'art”.

  • 51 Siena, Museo Civico, inv. 17. The legend of the matrice (bronze, 0 59 mm) says: + sigillvm partis:(...)
  • 52 R. Wolff, “Autorität und Authentizität...”, art. cit. The Archivio Nazionale di Stato of Florence (...)
  • 53 Sigilli nel Museo Nazionale del Bargello, ed. A. Muzzi, B. Tomasello and A. Tori, Firenze, Studio (...)

17Three-dimensionality and seals are closely linked together and art history should focus on this link. The formal description of seals therefore should include aspects of their three-dimensionality; it should provide data on the height of seal matrices and impressions and the depth of the relief image and on the various techniques used by goldsmiths in creating dies. The character of the imagines insculptae on dies and impressions should be discussed in relation to other three-dimensional media in order to evince specific aspects of the three-dimensional language of seals like, for instance the very different plasticity of the seal die of the “parte guelfa” of Siena in the Museo Civico di Siena, dated around 1250, where the figure of the lion seems to be attached to the flat background (Fig. 3)51, and the impression of the seal of the famous doctor of canon law, Giovanni d'Andrea of 1315, which shows the transition from higher to lower relief in a single space (Fig. 4)52. The analysis of the specific three-dimensional language of seals becomes even more important when we think of one of the most essential functions of seals, namely, the dissemination of cult images of different media, as for example most evident in the early 14th century seal die of the college of judges in Lucca representing the wooden sculpture of the Volto Santo di Lucca53, (Fig. 5) and impressions of the seal of Cardinal Matthaeus ab Acquasparta referring to contemporary sculpture and painting (Fig. 6). A fundamental question of further studies therefore should be: Do seals respect the formal characteristics of other media and how do they translate paintings and sculptures in seal images?

18The study of seals and their hitherto largely neglected role in medieval and renaissance writings on art, and here we come back to the initial remarks on “rilievo” and seals in Art Theory, is therefore of crucial importance for the history of Art Theory itself, the understanding of different media and their relationship

Illustrations

Fig. 1: Model für goldsmithery (15 th century), brass, Basle, Historisches Museum, inv. 1938.264

Fig. 2: Strip of a gilded copper sheet with a die stamped design belonging to the Heribert shrine in Cologne, Cologne, Museum of Applied Arts, inv. G 823

Fig. 3: Seal matrix of the parte guelfa of Siena (ca. 1250), ø 59 mm, bronze, Siena, Museo Civico Medievale, inv. 17

Fig. 4: Impression of the seal of Giovanni D'Andrea (30.5.1315), red wax, Florence, Archivio Nazionale di Stato, fondo “sigilli staccati”, inv. 62

Fig. 5: Seal matrix of the college of judges of Lucca (first decades of the 14 th century), bronze, Florence, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, inv. 521

Fig. 6: Impression of the seal of Matthaus ab Acquasparta, (30.8.1300), 5,6 x 3,9 mm, red wax, Florence, Archivio Nazionale di Stato, fondo “sigilli staccati”, inv. 44

Notes

1 Results of the research project are published in the following articles, a book is in preparation: R. Wolff, “Autorität und Authentizität: Zum Verhaltnis von Text und Siegel-Bild am Beispiel des Rechtsgutachtens Giovanni d’Andreas vom 9.5.1329”, Rechtsgeschichte - Zeitschrift des Max-Planck-Instituts für Europdische Rechtsgeschichte, 13, 2008, p. 60-79; R. Wolff, “Descriptio civitatis - Siegel-Bilder und Siegel-Beschreibungen italienischer Stadte des Mittelalters”, in Repräsentationen der mittelalterlichen Stadt, ed. J. Oberste (Forum Mittelalter-Studien Band 4), Regensburg, Schnell & Steiner, 2008, p. 129-144; R. Wolff, “The Sealed Saint: Representations of Saint Francis of Assisi on Medieval Italian Seals”, Good Impressions: Image and Authority in Medieval Seals, ed. N. Adams, J. Cherry and J. Robinson (British Museum Research Publications, 168), London, British Museum Press, 2008, p. 91-99; R. Wolff, “Das Siegel im Recht am Beispiel von Christoph Besolds Rechtswörterbuch Thesaurus practicus (1629)”, in Bild-Ding-Kunst, ed. G. Wolf, München, Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2009 (under press); R. Wolff, SiegelBilder, in Bildlichkeit korporativer Siegel im Mittelalter. Kunstgeschichte und Geschichte im Gespräch, ed. M. Spaeth (Sensus. Studien zur mittelalterlichen Kunstgeschichte, Bd. 1), Wien, Köln, Weimar, Böhlau Verlag, 2009 (under press).

2 See G.C. Bascapé, Sigillografia. Il sigillo nella diplomatica, neldiritto, nella storia, nell'arte, 3 vols., Milano, Giuffrè, 1969-1984, vol. I, 1969: Sigillografia generale, i sigilli pubblici e quelli privati, p. 35-52. Bascapé points out, that even the most accurate sigillographer W. Ewald, Siegelkunde, Munich 1914 (reprint Darmstadt: Wissenschafltiche Buchgesellschaft 1975), ignores the importance of Giorgio Longo, Carlo Strozzi and Atanasio Kircher for sigillography. Symptomatically A. Stieldorf, Siegelkunde- Basiswissen (Hahnsche Historische Hilfswissenschaften, vol. 2), Hannover, Verlag Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2004, does not even mention Italian seals and sigillography in her survey of the history of sigillography (p. 13-17). For the seal collection of Atanasio Kircher see E. di Ruggiero, Museo Kircheriano, Rome, Salviucci, 1879, p. 13-15, for the gems and cameos p. 16-18. Giorgio Longo, custos of the Biblitotheca Ambrosiana in Milan, published for the first time in 1615 his De anulis signatoriis antiquorum sive De varie obsignandi ritu tractatus, Milano, Piccaglia, Giovanni Battista & Pontio, Pacifico eredi, 1615. For Anton Stefano Cartari, see L. Sandri, “La'sigillografia universale'di Anton Stefano Cartari”, Rassegna degli Archivi di State, 15, 1955,p. 141-188. For the seal collection of Carlo Tommaso Strozzi see A. Torri, “Carlo Strozzi e la collezione sfragistica del Bargello”, in Sigilli ecclesiastici dalle collezioni Strozzi, ed. B. Tomasello, Firenze, SPES, 1989, p. 31-55

3 G. Vasari, Le vite de'più eccellentipittori, scultori e architetti, testo a cura di R. Bettarini. Commento secolare di P. Barocchi, 3 vols., Firenze, Sansoni, 1966-1971, vol. I, 1966, p. 95-96. See Vasari on Technique, being the introduction to the three Arts of Design, Architecture, Sculpture and Painting, prefixed to the Lives of the most excellent painters, sculptors and architects, by Giorgio Vasari, painter and architect of Arezzo, ed. G. BaldwinBrown, London, J. M. Dent & Company, 1907, p. 154-157. English terminology for the different kinds of reliefs and sculpture is deficient. Vasari's mezzo rilievo is high relief in English, bassi rilievi low reliefs, and stiacciati rilievi flat reliefs.

4 For the notion of “relief” in Art Theory see L. Freedman, “Rilievo as an Artistic Term in Art Theory”, Rinascimento XXXIX, 1989, p. 217-247; A. Niehaus, Florentiner Reliefkunst von Brunelleschi bis Michelangelo, München: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1998, p. 17-45; Yih-Fen Wang-Hua, ‘Rilievo’ in Malerei und Bildhauerkunst der Frühneuzeit, Cologne, dissertation, 1999; C. Kruse, “Fleisch werden: Fleisch malen: Malerei als'incarnazione. Mediale Verfahren des Bildwerdens im Libro dell'Arte von Cennino Cennini”, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte, 63, 3 (2000), p. 305-325, p. 317. For relief and tactility see more recently F. Quiviger, “Relief is in the Mind: Observations on Renaissance Low Relief Sculpture”, in D. Cooper, M. Leino, Depth of Field. Relief Sculpture in Renaissance Italy, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007, p. 169-190. The authors are focusing mainly on “relief” as an illusionistic effect of three-dimensionality in painting and often ignore the broader sense of “relief” in Cennino Cenninis Il libro dell’Arte.

5 C. Cennini, Il libro dell'arte, ed. F. Frezzato, Vicenza, Neri Pozza, 2003; Cennino D’Andrea Cennini, The Craftsmans Handbook. The Italian “Il Libro dell’Arte”, translated by D.V. Thompson, Jr., New York, Yale University Press, 1933. For the dating of the Libro dell'Arte see E. Skaug, “Notes on Cennino Cennini and his treatise”, Arte Cristiana, 81, 1993, p. 15-22, F. Frezzato, Introduzione, in C. Cennini, Il libro dell'arte..., op. cit., p. 15-16; F. Frezzato, “Wege der Forschung zu Cennino Cennini: von den biographischen Daten zur Bestimmung des Libro dell’Arte”, in Fantasie und Handwerk: Cennino Cennini und die Tradition der toskanischen Malerei von Giotto bis Lorenzo Monaco/Gemaldegalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, ed. W.-D. Lôhr and S. Weppelmann, München, Hirmer Verlag, 2008, p. 133-139

6 See, for example, C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 67-68: “Capitolo VIIII: Come tu de'dare, [secondo] la ragion della lucie, chiaro e schuro alle tue fighure, dotandole di ragione di rilievo”; C. D'Andrea, ed. 'Thompson, op. cit., p. 5.

7 See, for example, C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 126-127: “Capitolo LXXXV: Del modo del colorire una montagnia, in frescho o in seccho. Se vuoi fare montagnie in frescho e in seccho, fa'un colore verdaccio, di negro una parte, d'ocria le due parti. Digrada i colori, in frescho di biancho senza tempera, e in seccho con biaccha e con tempera, et da'lor quella ragione/che dai a una fighura di schuro o di rilievo. E quando ài a.ffare le montagnie che paiano più a lungi, più fa'i coloti più chiari.” C. D’Andrea Cennini, The Craftman's..., op. cit., p. 55-56.

8 C. Cennini, Illibro..., op. cit., p. 119: “Poi va'pure con questi colori di mezo a rritrovare le schurità dove d'essere il rilievo della fighura, ma tenendo sempre bene lo'gnudo.” C. D'Andrea Cennini, The Craftman's..., op. cit., p. 49-50. See also, C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 125-126: “Capitolo LXXXIII: A fare un vestire d'azurro della Magnia o oltramarino o mantello di Nostra Donna. Se vuoi che in sui dossi delle ginocchia o altri rilievi o vuoi biancheggiare un pocho, gratta l'azzurro puro con la punta dell'aste del pennello”. C. D'Andrea Cennini, The Craftman's..., op. cit., p. 54-55.

9 Referring to ancona Cennino seems to describe a panel with its frame and mouldings already attached, see Renaissance art reconsidered: an anthology of primary sources, ed. C.M. Richardson, K.W. Woods, Malden, MA, Blackwell, 2007, p. 95, n. 1.

10 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 136: “Capitolo CII: Chome dei relevare una diadema di chalcina in muro. Sappi che la diadema si vuole rilevarla in sullo smalto frescho chon una chazzuola picchola, in questo modo: quando ài disegniata la testa della fighura, togli il sesto e volgi la chorona. Poi piglia un pocha di chalcina ben grassa, fatta a modo d'unghuento o di pasta, e smalta la detta chalcina grossetta di fuori intorno intorno e •ssottile in verso il chapo. Poi ripiglia il sesto, quando ài ben pulita la detta chlacina; e col coltellino va'tagliando la detta chalcina su per lo filo del sesto, e rimarrà rilevata. Poi abbi una stecchetta di legnio forte, e va'batendo i razi d'attorno della diadema. E questo ordine vuole essere in muro”. C. D'Andrea Cennini, The Craftman op. cit., p. 63.

11 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 146-147: “Capitolo CXVII: Come s'ingiessa una ancona di giesso sottile e a che modo si tempera. [...] In fogliame e altri rilievi si passa di meno; ma in piani non se ne può dar troppo; quest'è per chagione de'radere che.ssi fa poi”. C. D'Andrea Cennini, The Craftman’s..., op. cit., p. 72.

12 C. Cennini, Illibro..., op. cit., p. 151: “Capitolo CXXIIII: Si chome si rilieva di giesso sottile in tavola, e chome si legano le pietre preziose. Oltre a questo, tolli di quel giesso da rilevare, se volessi rilevare fregio o fogliame, o attaccare cotali priete preziose in certi fregi dinanzi o a Dio Padre o di Notra Donna, o cierti altri adornamenti che abellischono molto il tuo lavoro.” C. D'Andrea Cennini, The Craftman's..., op. cit., p. 76.

13 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 152: “Capitolo CXXV: Come dei imprentare alchuno rilievo per adornare alchuni spazi d'ancone: Perch'è ragio de'rilevare te ne dirò alchuna chosa. Di questo tal giesso, o piú forte di cholla, puoi buttare alchuna testa di leone, o d'altre stampe stampate in terra, overo in crea.” C. D'Andrea Cennini, The Craftman's. op. cit, p. 77.

14 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 161-62: “Capitolo CXL: Chome dei principalmente volgiere le diedeme e granare in sull'oro, e ritagliare i contorni delle fighure. [...] Questo granare che io ti dico è de'belli membri che habbiamo; e possi granare a disteso come ti ho detto; e possi granare a rilievo, ché con sentimento di fantasia e di mano leggiera tu poi un un campo d'oro fare fogliami e fare angioletti e altre figure che traspaiano nell'oro, cioè nelle pieghe; e nelli scuri non granare niente, ne'mezzi un poco, ne'rilieva assai, perché il granare tanto viene a dire come chiaregiare l'oro perché per sé medesimo è scuro dove è brunito. Ma prima che grani una figura o fogliame, disegna in sul campo dell'oro quello che tu vuoi fare, con stile d'argento, over d'otone”. C. D'Andrea Cennini, The Craftman's..., op. cit., p. 85-86

15 This is what H. Baader, “Sündenfall und Wissenschaft. Zur Verschriftlichung Künstlerischer Techniken durch Cennino Cennini”, in Fantasie und Handwerk, op. cit., p. 121-131, argues erroneously.

16 C. Cennini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 211-212: “[CLXXXIX] Se volessi improntare suggiello o un duchato o altra muneta ben perfettamente, tieni questo modo, e tiello charo, ch'è chosa molto perfetta. Abbi una chatinella meza d'acqua chiara o piena, come tu vuoi. Abbi della cienere, meza scodella. Buttala in questa catinella et rimenala con la mano. Istà pocho; innanzi che l'acqua rischiari in tutto, vota di questa acqua torbidetta inn-altra catinella; e fa'chosi più volte, tanto t'avisi abbi tanta cienere quanto ti fa bisognio. Poi lascia riposare tanto che l'acqua sia chiara e che la cienere sia ritornata bene a fondo. Tra'ne la detta acqua e asciugha la detta cienere al sole o chome tu vuoi. Poi la'nritdi con sale distrutto inn-acqua e fanne si chme se fusse una pasta. Poi, sopra la detta pasta impronta suggielli, santelene, fighurette, monete e universalmente ciò che disideri d'improntare. Fatto questo, lascia asciugare la detta pasta moderatamente, sanza fuocho o sole. Poi, sopra la detta pasta buttavi piombo, argiento, o di ciò metallo che vuoi, ché la detta pasta è sofficiente a ritenere ogni gran pondo”. C. D'Andrea Cennnini, Il libro..., op. cit., p. 130.

17 I. Villela Petit, “Les techniques de moulage des sceaux du XVe au XIVe siècle”, Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des chartes, 1994, vol. 152, n. 2, p. 511-520, esp. p. 513-514.

18 C. Cennini, Il libre..., op. cit., p. 211: “[CLXXXVIII] Se vuoi improntare santelene, ne puoi improntare in terra e in pasta. Falle secchare et poi distruggi del zolfo; fallo buttare nelle dette impronte, e sarrà fatto. E se le volessi fare pure di pasta, mescolavi minio macinato, cioè la polvere asciutta meschola con la detta pasta e falla sodetta a tuo modo, si chome ti pare.” C. D'Andrea Cennino, The Craftman's..., op. cit., p. 130.

19 Paris, Bibliothèque National, ms. Latin 6741. The manuscript was edited by Μ. Merrifield in 1849, Original treatises, dating from the XIIth to XVIIIth centuries on the arts of painting, in oil, miniature, mosaic, and on glass;... Preceded by a general introd.; with transi., pref. and notes by Merrifield, London, Murray, 1849. In the following I am using the edition M.P. Merrifield, Medieval and Renaissance Treatises on the Arts of Painting. Original Texts with English Translations, two volumes bound as one, Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola, New York 1999 (unabridged and unaltered republication in one volume of the 1967 two-volume Dover edition). For Lebègues translation of Sallust see A.D. Hedeman, “L'humanisme et les manuscrits enluminés: Jean Lebègue et le manuscrit de Salluste de Genève, Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire, ms. 54”, in La création artistique en France autour de 1400. Actes du colloque international, Ecole du Louvre-Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon-Université de Bourgogne, publ. sous la dir. de É. Taburet-Delahaye, Paris, École du Louvre, 2006, p. 449-464

20 The Manuscript written in Latin includes a dictionary of colours in alphabetical order (tabula de vocabulis sinonimis et equivocis colorum), the compilation of ricettari and trattati of Giovanni Alcherio (Experimenta de coloribus and Experimenta diversa alia quam de coloribus), almost complete copies of the treatises of Theophilus, Peter of St.-Omer and Eraclius, a short revision of the recipes by Alcherio, and, finally, an addition of recipes in French, most probably by Lebègue. For the manuscript of Jean Lebègue see S. B. Tosatti, Trattati medievali di tecniche artistiche, Milano: Jaca Book 2007, p. 129-163

21 M.P. Merrifield, Medieval and Renaissance Treatises..., op. cit., p. 74, nr. 59: Ad faciendum formam sigilli, et aliarum rerum sculptarum vel levatarum, quas voles extrahere.-Accipe partes duas gipsi, farine unam, et misce, et fac pastam de ipsis cum cola cervina, et deduce, et confice, donec fit sicut cera mollis; posted fac de ipsa duas tabuletas, et, antequam siccentur, stringe inter ipsas sigillum, vel ymaginem, aut aliud, cujus fiormam facere vis, et sit involutum in pelliculis ceparum, et posted extrahe sigillum vel ymaginem, et permittas siccari dictas tabuletas, et cola plumbum vel ceram ut vis, et immitte in dicta forma, et dimitte frigidari, et appert formam, id es dictas tabulas, et habebis quod quesivisti.

22 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura, ed. R. Sinisgalli, Il nuovo “De pictura” di Leon Battista Alberti/The new “De pictura” of Leon Battista Alberti, Roma, Edizioni Kappa, 2006, book 2, § 32, p. 179: “Non credo io dal pittore si richiegga infinita fatica, ma bene s’aspetti pittura quale molto paia rilevata e somigliata a chi ella si ritrae.”

23 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura..., op. cit., book 2, § 46, p. 227-228: “Però che il lume e l'ombra fanno pare le cose rilevate, così il bianco e l'nero fa le cose dipinte parere rilevate, e dà quella lode quale si dava a Nitia pittore ateniense.”

24 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura..., op. cit., book 2, § 46, p. 228-229: “Io, coi dotto e non dotti, loderò quelli visi quali come scolpiti parranno uscire fuori della tavola, e biasimerò quelli visi in quali vegga arte niuna altra che solo forse nel disegno.”

25 L.B. Alberti, Della pittura..., op. cit., book 2, § 58, p. 259: “E se pure ti piace ritrarre opere d'altrui, perché elle più teco hanno pazienza che le cose vive, più mi piace a ritrarre una mediocre scultura che una ottima dipintura.”

26 L.B. Alberti, L’architettura (De re aedificatoria). Testo latino e traduzione a cura di G. Orlandi. Introd. e note di R Portoghesi, Milano, Il Polifilo, 1966, book 6, ch. 9, p. 503/505: Signa sigillis expeditissime affigentur. Sigilla ex sculpturis haurientur gypso madente superinfuso. Ea quidem, cum aruerint, quo diximus unguento peruncta cutem marmoris imitabuntur. Signorum istiusmodi duo sunt genera: unum prominens, aliud castigatum et retunsum. Recto in pariete non incommode assicentur prominentia; caelo autem testudinum retunsa magis convenient: nam prominentia, si pendeant, pondere sui facile destituuntur, incolisuqe periculo sunt casu. Recta admonent, ubi pulvis multus fatums sit, caelatas coronas set prominentes non adhibeas, sedplanas set castigatas, quo aptius abstergantur.

27 M. Pastoureau, Les sceaux, Turnhout-Belgium, Brepols 1981 (Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental, fasc. 36), p. 21-22, introduces his manual of sigillography with the question “Qu’est-ce qu’un sceau?”

28 Conseil international des archives, Comité de sigillographie, Vocabulaire international de la sigillographie (Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, pubblicazioni degli Archivi di Stato, sussidi 3), Rome, Ist. Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato-Archivi di Stato, 1990, p. 44.

29 Conseil international des archives, Vocabulaire..op. cit., p. 44: „par extension, le mot peut désigner aussi la matrice d'où est tirée cette empreinte“

30 For the history of french sigillography see M. Fabre, Sceau médiéval: analyse d’une pratique culturelle, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2001, p. 197-218

31 M. Pastoureau, Les sceaux..., op. cit., p. 24.

32 F. Menéndez Pisal de Navascués, Apuntes de Sigilografia Española, Guadalajara, Aache, 1993, p. 15-16: “Sellar es estampar una señal convenida y adscrita a un titular, huella de un instrumento adecuado, con el fin de diferenciar la pieza señalada dejando constancia de la intervención del titular”.

33 D. Collon, 7000 years of seals, London, British Museum Press, 1997, p. 9-10.

34 For Chinese seals see W. Sun, Carving Authority and Creating History, San Francisco, Long River Press, 2004

35 M. Welber, I sigilli nella storia del diritto medievale italiano, Milano, Giuffrè, 1984 (vol. 3 of G. Bascapè, Sigillografia..., op. cit.). The author offers a commented anthology of texts of roman and canon law until the period of Frederick II and Inoncenct II.

36 This is a result of the research project “Siegel-Bilder”, presented in my talk “Authentische und authentisierende Bildbeschreibung im kommunalen Italien. Notare beschreiben Siegel-Bilder” on the conference “Bildergeschichten – Illustrazioni di cronace italiane nell'ambito comunale”, a cura di v. Gebhard, H. Haug and G. Wolf, 30.11.-2.12.2006, Florence, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Max-Planck-Institut.

37 As an example for sculpta we may cite the description of the seal of Frederick I. by the notary Stefano Novello, drafting an authentic copy of a charter of Frederick I. (3.8.1177) on 18 November 1303: [...] bullato veto quodam sigillo magno cereseu bituminis rossi rotundo, infra quant rotunditatem erat et est sculpta imago imperatoris in trono posita sedentis cum pileo in capite induti regalibus indumentis, dextraque tenentis septrum etpomum rotundum in leva, circa quam imaginem sculpti caracteres sic legebantur: Fredericas Romanorum Imperator Augustus [...] (cited after S. Ricci, Ilsigillo nella storia e nella cultura: Mostra documentaria, Roma, Jouvence, 1985, no. 22, p. 33). The seal impression has not survived.

38 Honorius Augustodunensis, Expositio in Cantica canticorum, pl. 172, 1895, reprint 1970, col. 347-496, col. 479: Sigillo est imago insculpta, quae cerae impressae imaginem reddit. Sigillum est Christi humanitas, cui imago insculpta est.

39 C. Besold, Thesaurus practicus, first edition, Tübingen 1629.1 quote from the second edition Nürnberg, Sumptibus Wolffgangi Endteri, 1643 (http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camenaref/besold.html). Besold defines sigillum as follows: Sigillum vel Signum (vulgo Sigil/Petschafft oder Pitschler) est character, id est, nota & forma, quae imprimitur probationis dr fidei causa, cap. inter dilectos. de fide Instrum. sive id fiat annulo signatorio, l74. de v. Signif. sive alio Signo et Sigillo. Varie enim homines signant, dummodo Signum illud, quo utuntur, habeat χαρακτηρα, id est, formam, aut insculptam imaginem. l. 22. §. 4. ff. qui test. fac. poss. l. 22. ff. de testibl.” (The seal oder signum (vulgo Sigil/Petschafft or Pitschler) is character, i. e. note and form, which is impressed for proof and faith, be it the seal ring or another sign or seal. Men indeed seal in different ways, if only the sign, they are using, has charactera, i. e. form or an insculpted image). For Besolds dictionary entry sigillum see R. Wolff, “Das Siegel im Recht...”, art. cit.

40 Hugh of Saint Victor, De institutione novitiorum, CAP. VII. De exemplis sanctorum imitandis (PL 176, 932D-933C): Figura namque quae in sigillo foris eminet, impressione cerae introrsum signata apparet, et quae in sigillo intrinsecus sculpta ostenditur, in cera exterius figurata demonstratur. Quid ergo aliud in isto nobis innuitur, nisi quia nos qui per exemplum bonorum, quasi per quoddam sigillum optime exsculptum reformari cupimus, quaedam in eis sublimia et quasi eminentia, quaedam vero abjecta et quasi depressa operum vestigia invenimus? (“For the figure which projects out of the seal appears to be inscribed within the impression in the wax, and that which is manifested as inwardly sculpted in the seal matrix, is demonstrated to be modelled on the outward side in wax. Therefore, what else is indicated for us in this, except that we who desire to be reformed through the example of the good as if by a certain seal that is very well sculpted, discover in them certain lofty vestiges of works like projections and certain humble ones like depressions?”, cit. after C. W. Bynum, “Did the twelfth century discover the individual?”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 31 (1980), p. 1-17, rpt. and revised in C. W. Bynum, Jesus as a Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages, Berkeley, Univ. of California Press, 1982, p. 82-109, p. 97-98. For this famous passage cf. B. Bedos, “Medieval Identity: a Sign and a Concept”, The American Historical Review, vol. 105, nr. 5 (2000), p. 1489-1533, p. 1526, and T. E. A. Dale, “The portrait as imprinted image and the concept of the individual in the romanesque period”, in Le portrait: la représentation de l’individu, textes réunis par A. Paravicini Bagliani, J.-M. Spieser, J. Wirth, Firenze, Sismel Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2007, p. 95-116, p. 103.

41 Theophilus, De Diversis Artibus-The Various Arts, transl. from the Latin with Introduction and Notes by C.R. Dodwell, London and New York, Nelson, 1961, ch. LXXV, p. 135-137. Dodwell translates De opera quod sigillis imprimatur with “Die Stamping”, but a better translation is “Work pressed on Dies” (On Divers Arts. The Treatise of Theophilus, transl. from the Medieval Latin with Introduction and notes by J. G. Hawthorne and C. S. Smith, Chicago and London, University Press, 1963, p. 153-154).

42 Theophilus, De diversibus..., op. cit., p. 135: Fiant ferri ad mensuram unius digiti spissi, tribus digits uel quatuor lati, longitudine pedis unius, qui sanissimi debent esse, ut in eis nulla sit macula, nulla fissura in superiori latere. In his sculpantur in similitudine sigillorum limbi graciles et latiores, in quibus sint flores, bestiae et auiculae siue dracones concatenati collis et caudis; et non sculpantur profunde nimis, sed mediocriter ac studiose.

43 Basle, Historisches Museum, inv. 1938.264.b. This model was already published by Hawthorne and Smith, On Divers Arts..., op. cit., plate XIV a.

44 Museum of Applied Arts, Cologne, inv. G 823.

45 See note 42.

46 L.B. Alberti, On Painting and Sculpture. The Latin text of De Pictura and De Statua, ed. with translations and notes by C. Grayson, London, Phaidon, 1972, p. 121; Latin text used: L.B. Alberti, De statua, ed. M. Collareta, Livorno, Sillabe, 1998, p. 4: Namque hi quidem cum additamentis turn ademptionibus veluti qui cera et creta quos Graeci πλαστικους (plasticos), nostri fictores appellant, institutum perficere opusprosecuti sunt. Alii solum detrahentes veluti qui superflua discutiendo quaesitam hominis figuram intra marmoris glebam inditam atque absconditam producunt in lucem. Hos quidem sculptores appellamus, quibus fortassis cognati sunt qui sigillo interlitescentis vultus lineamenta excavationibus eruunt... Tertium genus eourm est qui solum addendo operantur, quales argentarii sunt, qui aera procudentes malleo atque extendentes amplitudini formae continue aliquid adiciunt, quoad quam velis effigiem produxerint.

47 L.B. Alberti, De Statua..., op. cit., p. 28: “Nel primo caso l'identità del procedimento si connette ad una evidente affinità di valori volumetrici, giacché il mezzo rilievo vuoto di un sigillo, destinato a tradursi nel mezzo rilievo pieno dell'impronta, è effettivamente imparentato col rilievo completo della statua”.

48 M. Collareta, “The Historian and the Technique: On the role of Goldsmithery in Vasari's Lives”, in Sixteenth-Century Italian Art, ed. M. W. Cole, Oxford, Blackwell, 2006, p. 291-300.

49 M. Winner, “Federskizzen von Benvenuto Cellini”, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 31, 1968, p. 293-304, p., Fig. 3.

50 “All of the things that exist under these skies are composed of four elements, not one more nor one less, to such an extent that all that man makes reveals itself to be composed of these four elements. For me, sculpture comes first, because God sculpted the first man out of earth, using his divine and immortal hands, then astonishing and sensual painting was born of this. Thereafter, out of this developed the very useful (art of) architecture. Finally, when man knew and understood that he was the master of the entire earth, when he discovered metals and, among these, the most noble of them, gold and silver, he wanted to execute statues and every sort of thing in these two materials. But [...] he did not want to work them like the copper, tin, and lead that are ordinarily used in casting. These two metals, gold and silver, are worked with the hammer and the chisel; the Ancients called those who practised this art chiselers. We are thus dealing with four arts, each very different from the other, in relation to the brevity of human life, because each one of them merits that the whole life of a man be devoted to it.” Cited after M. Collareta, “The Historian. art. cit., p. 298

51 Siena, Museo Civico, inv. 17. The legend of the matrice (bronze, 0 59 mm) says: + sigillvm partis: gvelforvm: de senis (Il sigillo a Siena nel medioevo, exhibition catalogue, Siena, Palazzo Pubblico, 25 febbraio-19 marzo, ed. E. Cioni, Siena 1989, nr. 4).

52 R. Wolff, “Autorität und Authentizität...”, art. cit. The Archivio Nazionale di Stato of Florence conserves three impressions of the seal of Giovanni d'Andrea, one of them originally attached to a document of 30.5.1315 (Florence, Archivio Nazionale di Stato, “sigilli staccato”, nr. 62), the other to two documents of 9.5.1329 (Florence, Archivio Nazionale di Stato, nr. 82 and 83). For the relationship between sculptural relief and contemporary metalwork see G. Davies, “The Culture of Relief in Late Medieval Tuscany”, in Depth of Field..., op. cit., p. 8-17.

53 Sigilli nel Museo Nazionale del Bargello, ed. A. Muzzi, B. Tomasello and A. Tori, Firenze, Studio per Edizioni Scelte, 1988-1990, vol. 3, 1990, cat.nr. 121 (inv. 521), p. 58-59. The legend of the matrice (bronze, 0 60 mm) says: + s', sollegii.ivdicvm. lvcane.civitatis...

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1: Model für goldsmithery (15 th century), brass, Basle, Historisches Museum, inv. 1938.264
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2912/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 29k
Légende Fig. 2: Strip of a gilded copper sheet with a die stamped design belonging to the Heribert shrine in Cologne, Cologne, Museum of Applied Arts, inv. G 823
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2912/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 26k
Légende Fig. 3: Seal matrix of the parte guelfa of Siena (ca. 1250), ø 59 mm, bronze, Siena, Museo Civico Medievale, inv. 17
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2912/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 18k
Légende Fig. 4: Impression of the seal of Giovanni D'Andrea (30.5.1315), red wax, Florence, Archivio Nazionale di Stato, fondo “sigilli staccati”, inv. 62
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2912/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 21k
Légende Fig. 5: Seal matrix of the college of judges of Lucca (first decades of the 14 th century), bronze, Florence, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, inv. 521
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2912/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 17k
Légende Fig. 6: Impression of the seal of Matthaus ab Acquasparta, (30.8.1300), 5,6 x 3,9 mm, red wax, Florence, Archivio Nazionale di Stato, fondo “sigilli staccati”, inv. 44
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2912/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 17k

Auteur

Docteur en histoire de l'art médévial (1992). Après un contrat de post-doctorat au Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich, puis au Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence et au Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main, elle est chercheuse associée à l’université de Marburg et directrice du projet de recherche “Siegel-Bilder” au Kunsthistorisches Institut-Max Planck Institute in Florence en cooperation avec le Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main (http://expo.khi.fi.it/galerie/sigilli). Parmi ses publications principales : Der hl. Franziskus in Schriften und Bildern des 13. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1996) ; co-éditrice avec M. Stolleis, La bellezza della città. Stadtrecht und Stadtgestaltung im Italien des Mittelalters und der Renaissance (Tübingen, 2004).

© Publications de l’Institut de recherches historiques du Septentrion, 2011

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540