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frequent civil broils, the civic halls and palaces of the nobles being so built as to serve as strongholds, their chiefest task being to bid defiance to the enemy. Their characteristics are thick walls of rough hewn stone blocks, heavy iron clad doors and small grated windows set high up from the groundsteep and narrow winding staircases. The living rooms, always in the upper stories, were lofty and spacious, but furnished only with the most indispensable objects and little protected against heat or cold. Such were the homes of the nobility; those of ordinary people were smaller and lower and extremely homely in equipment.

In the XVth century civil disturbances gradually grew less frequent and, in consequence of the consolidation of power, they were easily suppressed. There were often entire decades of internal peace. The growing power of single cities and single families was favorable to commerce as also to the development of the crafts; a general well-being was everywhere perceptible. In the same way as this happy state of things made possible a spiritual rebirth, it likewise favoured the tendency towards an ever-growing pretensiousness in daily life. Instead of being satisfied with the bare necessities for existence, ever-increasing sections of the people now found

*) The Palazzo Davanzati in Florence (fig's. 47—60) is the best example of such a palace stronghold. Among the princely mansions built in this style, that of the d'Este in Ferrara is the best preserved outwardly. The more recent Castello Sforzesco in Milan, though built in the Renaissance style, is surrounded by walls and moats like a fortress.

2. Paolo Uccello: A Small Shop, circa 1450 (Painting, Predella)

PboU AJIaari themselves in a position to aspire after the beauty in life. Luxury, which was only known among the wealthy classes of the late middle ages as far as clothing was concerned, since the end of the XVth century had become a matter of course also in their homes and their manner of living. Wealth was no longer the attribute of the old nobility, but was shared by many burghers who had grown great through their own ability both in commerce and politics, such as the Medici in Florence, and the Chigi in Siena ; and in the course of time it became a custom with the Popes to endow their families with earthly wealth«

Thus the number of those continually grew who, being above the multitude because of their own personal aspirations after the good in life, could further culture and civilisation.

Even the exteriors of the palaces revealed the wealth and artistic taste of their owners both with regard to size and beauty *). The rough-hewn rustic stones were no longer set one on the other in order to give the effect of a fortress, but separated by grooves, or used for the basement story. More frequently rough-cast materials of an inferior sort were employed. Only in the north of Italy and the eastern part of central Italy a peculiar sort of red brick architecture gradually developed.

The several stories were divided off from one another by friezes and cornices in imitation of the antique, which formed an effective summit of the building. Just as the steep gable everywhere obtained in the façades of the northern houses till the baroque age, in Italy, for centuries, horizontal mouldings for profane building prevailed. But, as early as the XVth century, besides the horizontal divisions, vertical ones came into use. Pilasters, less frequently imbedded columns, were disposed along the façade at regular distances, and somewhat later also in spaces of varying widths, forming rhythmic bands. The windows of the basement stories were small, and in houses of a more common description accomodation

!) One only needs to compare the facades of Brunelleschi's and Alberti's palaces with those of Palladio and Alessi, the Palazzo di Venezia with the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, or the Borgia apartments in the Vatican with the Sala Regia, of which illustrations are to be found in J. Baum's Baukunst und dekorative Plastik der Früh-Renaissance in Italien (Bauformen-Bibliothek, Vol. 11) and C. Ricci's Baukunst und dekorative Plastik der Hoch- und Spät-Renaissance in Italien (Bauformen-Bibliothek, Vol. 13).

2. Paolo Uccello: A Small Shop, circa 1450 (Painting, Predella)

Urbioo, Palazzo Ducale for shops was provided. The upper stories in Italy, being most healthy, were preferably employed for dwelling purposes. In their decoration, too, they were usually richer than the rooms on the ground floor. Glass windows during the renaissance were only to be found in churches; but their occasional although not frequent occurrence in private houses is proved by their being-mentioned in inventories'). They were mostly composed of glass roundlets (bull's eyes) set in lead, and were made in France, Flanders and Venice. More often according to descriptions in old books, the window-frames were filled in with oiled paper of a gay colour, or with transparent woven material impregnated with turpentine and sometimes painted over2). The frames were divided both horizontally and perpendicularly and hinges permitted of opening some of the parts. The lower half, however, could be opened outwards. The wooden shutters were similarly constructed and till far into the Renaissance were studded with thick nails. These also, in Italy, were of most diverse forms and since the end of the XVth century were occasionally ornamented with intarsias3) and carvings. In Florence at that time they were still entirely plain; painted or ornamented ones being far rarer than in the northern countries4).

Already in the middle ages the windows were provided with curtains. The apartments were, as a rule, more spacious than those of contemporary Europe. The sense for homely comforts seems to have been deficient in the dwellers of the south, they had no understanding for warmth and coziness. The hot summer lasted too long a time in those parts, or at least the temperature allowed them to spend the greater part of

PboU AJIaari

  • Vide A. Schiaparelli, La Casa Fiorentina, (Biblioteca storica del Rinascimento IV) Firenze, Sansoni 1908, VoL 1, page 124, where documents are quoted mentioning glass windows, first in Bologna 1335 and a little later in Tuscany.
  • Vide A. Schiaparelli, La Casa Fiorentina, (Biblioteca storica del Rinascimento IV) Firenze, Sansoni 1908, Vol. 1, page 128 and sequ.; also C. von Stegmann and H. von Gey-müller: Architektur der Renaissance in Toskana (München, Bruckmann) Vol. 11, pp. 5—7. Both works contain characteristic illustrations after pictures and intarsias.
  1. These may be seen on the Borgognone frescoes in the Certosa near Pavia.
  2. A. Schiaparelli: La Casa Fiorentina, p. 118: Besides this wooden lattices may be seen on paintings (Carpaccio's St. Ursula's Dream fig. 35).

the day out of doors]). The Italian since the earliest time has been accustomed to live in the open air far more than his northern brother. The Piazza was the place both for business transactions and friendly intercourse; then as now the wives and daughters of the people performed

3. Venetian Bedroom. Woodcut 1499

their household work, as far as possible, in front of the doorsteps. Only the nobility and rich citizens who thought it bad form to live in public, remained within their own doors.

The way in which a people lives has at all times influenced decisively the decoration of the home. The manner of living among the burghers in Italy is much more simple than that of people of the same social standing in the north; the palaces of the patricians are furnished more with a view to ceremony than comfort.

This is the case now as it was in the XVth and XVIth centuries. Of a like importance for the decoration of the interiors was the feeling for style among the Italians of the Renaissance. They avoided everything pertaining to the vague in forms and mere outlines in architecture, sculpture, and painting; and in the same way as in the treatment of bronze and marble, they always sought to characterize definite gestures and reflex movements and to arrange the groups of figures in their frescoes so that the whole representation could be grasped at once. The same obtained in the exterior of the buildings; in tht arrangement of the interiors they felt that each object must stand out clear and precise and that the whole effect should be one of architectural severity.

This we gather from pictures of interiors, as also from the single pieces of furniture handed down to us. Entire suites of furniture of this period have not been preserved. In this respect the predilection for stone

*) Therefore the court plays a much larger part in the south than in the northern countries and is often surrounded by arcades as a protection against rain and heat.

or related materials is a characteristic. It was used for fillings, the walls were seldom covered entirely with wood panelling like they were on the bordering districts of Italy and the other side of the Alps1) and what is more important, much of the woodwork and furniture are free imitations of the forms used in stone architecture2).

As a rule the floors (pavimento) ®) of the ceremonial apartments were paved with chequered flags, often separated by narrow longitudinal and lateral stripes. Far less restful in effect were the bright coloured cube mosaics which, influenced by the work of the middle ages, were frequently favoured in Rome even in the XVth century. In the houses of the burghers burnt brick floors were everywhere prevalent. Generally these were in natural colours, rough, sometimes ribbed, square or of lozenge shape. Where a rich effect was desired, they where glazed over yellow, green, white and red and arranged in checkers like the marble flagged floors. Finally in the second half of the XVth century tiles painted in geometrical or heraldic patterns came into vogue. These were often so arranged as to resemble oriental woven stuffs4). Some of a charming Renaissance design (grotesques) made in Siena, now scattered in various collections, originally formed parts of the richly patterned floor of the Palazzo Piccolomini. Such tiles

4. Venetian Living-Room. Woodcut 1499

were made in the workshops in Montelupo and in those of della Robbia in Florence, from the latter came the

  1. In Upper Italy near the Alps high panelling is most frequently met with. The Sala della Mercanzia in the Cambio, Perugia is a rare example of an entirely panelled room. (fig. 46.)
  2. This is true of columns, pilasters and entablature, consoles, extended volutes, egg and bead moulding, meanders, mat-work, conch friezes and more intricate motives.

*) See Lehnert „Illustrierte Geschichte des Kunstgewerbes", Vol. I pp. 434/5.

4) Illustrations may be found in J. Baum's work pag. 157,158.

2. Paolo Uccello: A Small Shop, circa 1450 (Painting, Predella)

Urbino, Palazzo Ducale

Phot. Allnarl themselves in a position to aspire after the beauty in life. Luxury, which was only known among the wealthy classes of the late middle ages as far as clothing was concerned, since the end of the XVth century had become a matter of course also in their homes and their manner of living. Wealth was no longer the attribute of the old nobility, but was shared by many burghers who had grown great through their own ability both in commerce and politics, such as the Medici in Florence, and the Chigi in Siena ; and in the course of time it became a custom with the Popes to endow their families with earthly wealth.

Thus the number of those continually grew who, being above the multitude because of their own personal aspirations after the good in life, could further culture and civilisation.

Even the exteriors of the palaces revealed the wealth and artistic taste of their owners both with regard to size and beauty1). The rough-hewn rustic stones were no longer set one on the other in order to give the effect of a fortress, but separated by grooves, or used for the basement story. More frequently rough-cast materials of an inferior sort were employed. Only in the north of Italy and the eastern part of central Italy a peculiar sort of red brick architecture gradually developed.

The several stories were divided off from one another by friezes and cornices in imitation of the antique, which formed an effective summit of the building. Just as the steep gable everywhere obtained in the façades of the northern houses till the baroque age, in Italy, for centuries, horizontal mouldings for profane building prevailed. But, as early as the XVth century, besides the horizontal divisions, vertical ones came into use. Pilasters, less frequently imbedded columns, were disposed along the façade at regular distances, and somewhat later also in spaces of varying widths, forming rhythmic bands. The windows of the basement stories were small, and in houses of a more common description accomodation

!) One only needs to compare the facades of Brunelleschi's and Alberti's palaces with those of Palladio and Alessi, the Palazzo di Venezia with the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, or the Borgia apartments in the Vatican with the Sala Regia, of which illustrations are to be found in J. Baum's Baukunst und dekorative Plastik der Friih-Renaissance in Italien (Bauformen-Bibliothek, Vol. 11) and C. Ricci's Baukunst und dekorative Plastik der Hoch- und Spat-Renaissance in Italien (Bauformen-Bibliothek, Vol. 13).

2. Paolo Uccello: A Small Shop, circa 1450 (Painting, Predella)

Urbino, Palazzo Ducale for shops was provided. The upper stories in Italy, being most healthy, were preferably employed for dwelling purposes. In their decoration, too, they were usually richer than the rooms on the ground floor. Glass windows during the renaissance were only to be found in churches; but their occasional although not frequent occurrence in private houses is proved by their being mentioned in inventories *). They were mostly composed of glass roundlets (bull's eyes) set in lead, and were made in France, Flanders and Venice. More often according to descriptions in old books, the window-frames were filled in with oiled paper of a gay colour, or with transparent woven material impregnated with turpentine and sometimes painted over2). The frames were divided both horizontally and perpendicularly and hinges permitted of opening some of the parts. The lower half, however, could be opened outwards. The wooden shutters were similarly constructed and till far into the Renaissance were studded with thick nails. These also, in Italy, were of most diverse forms and since the end of the XVth century were occasionally ornamented with intarsias8) and carvings. In Florence at that time they were still entirely plain; painted or ornamented ones being far rarer than in the northern countries4).

Already in the middle ages the windows were provided with curtains. The apartments were, as a rule, more spacious than those of contemporary Europe. The sense for homely comforts seems to have been deficient in the dwellers of the south, they had no understanding for warmth and coziness. The hot summer lasted too long a time in those parts, or at least the temperature allowed them to spend the greater part of

Phot. Allnarl

  • Vide A. Schiaparelli, La Casa Florentina, (Biblioteca storica del Rinascimento IV) Firenze, Sansoni 1908, Vol. 1, page 124, where documents are quoted mentioning glass windows, first in Bologna 1335 and a little later in Tuscany.
  • Vide A. Schiaparelli, La Casa Fiorentina, (Biblioteca storica del Rinascimento IV) Firenze, Sansoni 1908, Vol. 1, page 128 and sequ.; also C. von Stegmann and H. von Gey-muller: Architektur der Renaissance in Toskana (München, Bruckmann) Vol. 11, pp. 5—7. Both works contain characteristic illustrations after pictures and intarsias.

8) These may be seen on the Borgognone frescoes in the Certosa near Pavia.

the day out of doors1). The Italian since the earliest time has been accustomed to live in the open air far more than his northern brother. The Piazza was the place both for business transactions and friendly intercourse; then as now the wives and daughters of the people performed

Drum Set Coloring Pages

3. Venetian Bedroom. Woodcut 1499

their household work, as far as possible, in front of the doorsteps. Only the nobility and rich citizens who thought it bad form to live in public, remained within their own doors.

The way in which a people lives has at all times influenced decisively the decoration of the home. The manner of living among the burghers in Italy is much more simple than that of people of the same social standing in the north; the palaces of the patricians are furnished more with a view to ceremony than comfort.

Ttis is the case now as it was in the XVth and XVIth centuries. Of a like importance for the decoration of the interiors was the feeling for style among the Italians of the Renaissance. They avoided everything pertaining to the vague in forms and mere outlines in architecture, sculpture, and painting; and in the same way as in the treatment of bronze and marble, they always sought to characterize definite gestures and reflex movements and to arrange the groups of fignres in their frescoes so that the whole representation could be grasped at once. The same obtained in the exterior of the buildings; in tht arrangement of the interiors they felt that each object must stand out clear and precise and that the whole effect should be one of architectural severity.

This we gather from pictures of interiors, as also from the single pieces of furniture handed down to us. Entire suites of furniture of this period have not been preserved. In this respect the predilection for stone

') Therefore the court plays a much larger part in the south than in the northern countries and is often surrounded by arcades as a protection against rain and heat or related materials is a characteristic. It was used for fillings, the walls were seldom covered entirely with wood panelling like they were on the bordering districts of Italy and the other side of the Alps1) and what is more important, much of the woodwork and furniture are free imitations of the forms used in stone architecture 2).

As a rule the floors (pavimento)3) of the ceremonial apartments were paved with chequered flags, often separated by narrow longitudinal and lateral stripes. Far less restful in effect were the bright coloured cube mosaics which, influenced by the work of the middle ages, were frequently favoured in Rome even in the XVth century. In the houses of the burghers burnt brick floors were everywhere prevalent. Generally these were in natural colours, rough, sometimes ribbed, square or of lozenge shape. Where a rich effect was desired, they where glazed over yellow» green, white and red and arranged in checkers like the marble flagged floors. Finally in the second half of the XVth century tiles painted in geometrical or heraldic patterns came into vogue. These were often so arranged as to resemble oriental woven stuffs4). Some of a charming Renaissance design (grotesques) made in Siena, now scattered in various collections, originálly formed parts of the richly patterned floor of the Palazzo Piccolomini. Such tiles

What Are Lines Interior Decoration

4. Venetian Living-Room. Woodcut 1499

were made in the workshops in Montelupo and in those of della Robbia in Florence, from the latter came the

  1. In Upper Italy near the Alps high panelling is most frequently met with. The Sala della Mercanzia in the Cam bio, Perugia is a rare example of an entirely panelled room. (fig. 46.)
  2. This is true of columns, pilasters and entablature, consoles, extended volutes, egg and bead moulding, meanders, mat-work, conch friezes and more intricate motives.

*) See Lehnert „Illustrierte Geschichte des Kunstgewerbes", Vol. I pp. 434/5.

4) Illustrations may be found in J. Baum's work pag. 157,158.

tiles for the papal private rooms (Stanze) and theLoggle1) of the Vatican 2).

It was sought to establish harmony in coloring, though not in design, with the other decorative work of the room. It was Michelangelo who first brought perfect harmony into effect when he commissioned Tribolo to repeat the design of the richly carved roof of the Laurentian library for the terra cotta and coloured mastic tiled floor. In the later ceremonial apartments of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the chief lines of the roof decoration are repeated in the design on the yellow and red terra cotta floor. Till far into the XVth century oriental carpets were very rare: but we know from existing paintings that they were sometimes used even in the XIVth century. Because of their preciousness they were often spread on the steps before the Madonna altars and ducal thrones. It was in Venice that they first became more popular, for being the open door to the orient, there must have been, at a later period, a large export of these costly knotted carpets to the Apennine peninsula.

Even woven wall hangings were first only to be found in the homes of the rich. But it is characteristic that already in the XIVth century the walls were painted after designs of woven materials. It is equally true that in most houses the walls were simply whitewashed till far into the renaissance. But with increasing wealth frescoe painting which hitherto had been reserved for the church walls and had formed the chief aim of Italian painters, now found its way into private homes; great masters such as Castagno and Botticelli, Mantegna, Raphael, Pierino del Vaga, Dosso Dossi and numerous others decorated the walls of rich patricians houses. It would form an important chapter of Italian art to describe in detail the frescoes representing historical facts and inventions to be found on the walls of the

I'iiu:. Allium

5. F. Pesellino: Simple Bedroom in Florence ca. 1450 (The Miraculous Healing. Louvre, Paris)

') Illustrations Lehnert as above p. 516.

2) Compare Schiaparelli as above p. 136. The round majolica tiles in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London No. 7632—7643. J. C. Robinson's catalogue of Italian Sculpture p. 59, which show the twelve months in a primitive design were brought into connection with Luca della Robbia's decorative work in Piero Medici's studio. Compare A. Marquard: Lucca della Robbia (Princeton a. London 1914) p. 89 a. sequ.

buildings of the Renaissance *). On the whole the rich painting was restricted to the upper parts of the walls. Already in the XIVth century, landscapes, mostly rows of trees, were often to be met with, Leonardo da Vinci brought this motive to a superb monumentality in the Sala delle Asse of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan; Correggio and Giovanni da Udine among others, painted vaults to look like arbours. The chief part of the wall was mostly divided off into fields and decorated with geometrical or heraldic designs. They appear either to resemble wall-paper or the design falls into soft falling drapery. At times a peculiar combination takes place, for instance when stuffs or big fur rugs appear to be suspended on . . the boughs of the ■ trees (fig. 34) 2).

In Italy wainscot-ting (spalliera) beyond the lower part of the wall was only used in profane buildings of a public character, such as guild halls and municipal palaces.

In the sacristries the boiseries served to conceal the cupboards hidden behind them, a use which later found its way into private houses. Such are mentioned in inventories of the Medici family; an extremely fine example of painted panelling still exists in the study of Francesco I. in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, (fig. 62).

The wall - panelling was about a man's height from the floor and usually divided into perpendicular oblongs; in cases where it was lower the horizontal oblong was preferred, or in order to maintain architectural rhythm, they were used alternately or replaced by a quadratic filling. The brown surfaces were relieved either by narrow border friezes or intarsias, landscape motives, still life and various subterfuges were resorted to in order to deceive the eye.

Thus the Stanze della Segnatura in the Vatican was originally decorated with beautiful panelling showing

2) Important fragments of profane painting of rather early date are also to be found in the Museo of San Marco in Florence, published in II Centro di Firenze (Florence, Bem-porad 1910). Schiaparelli as above, pp. 146—7 derives the latter motive from the tent-like shelters favored by the war-loving barons. These imitative paintings, of the late Middle ages were, in the Renaissance, replaced by woven or leather stuffs stretched in wooden frames, which in Venice were frequently employed instead of wainscotting. (fig. 32.)

I'iiu:. Allium charming vedutes painted by Fra Giovanni da Verona1). And a still greater display of imagination is exhibited in the decorations of Duke Federigo da Montefeltro's small study in the castle of Urbino, the panelling of which conveys the illusion of open cupboards containing books and all sorts of things, of benches on which weapons, instruments and manuscripts seem to be placed in motley confusion.

Unfortunately the twenty-eight portraits of famous men of genius which once graced the upper part of its walls, are no longer in their places, having been scattered abroad in different museums2), so that we can only imagine the general impression this study once made but can no longer fully appreciate it in its entirety3).

The same is true of the private rooms (il Paradiso) of Lady Isabella d'Este in the

Reggia of M antua, which for their noble proportions and harmony of their rich decorations, carvings, in-tarsias and coloured marble ornamentations may be called a gem of Italian home culture. A more austere effect is produced by inlaid work where it is exclusively employed for ornamental purposes, when only two shades of colouring are used. This may be judged from Ghirlandajo's fresco of the Birth of the Holy Virgin, in S. Maria Novella, in Florence, where, moreover, the upper part of the wall shows a relief instead of the (usual) coloured painting (Kg. 38).

In some cases, panel work may have been removed later, for fashions changed, or because hangings reaching down to the floor were used to cover the walls. In other cases the desire to employ the panel-paintings for other

6. Fra Filippo Lippi: St. Augustine in his Cell (segment)

Phot. Brogl

6. Fra Filippo Lippi: St. Augustine in his Cell (segment)

purposes might have been the reason of their removal*). In all cases, however, the panelling terminated at a man's height above ground in a profiled moulding with a narrow shelf, where bronze statuettes and small objects of household use were placed, while sculptures of a larger size were installed on the mantlepieces or above the doors2).

Where the upper parts of the walls were merely whitewashed, pictures were hung there, or in some cases the entire surface was covered with them, as in the studio of Urbino. Tapestries were brought from Flanders and France in the XVth century, and even earlier; but only in the palaces of the wealthy princes were they to be met with in larger numbers. It is characteristic for the age of the High Renaissance that the wall surfaces show an architectonic division; horizontally by a special decoration of the lower parts of the walls in place of wainscotting; and vertically by pilasters and pilasterlike stripes. And, since the middle of the XVIth century, partially rounded statues were placed between the pictures which, even if painted in fresco, were surrounded by stucco frames. Such may be seen in the Sala Reggia in the Vatican and in the gorgeous corridor of the Palazzo Spada in Rome, which is of more recent origin. By that time a pompous decoration of the apartments of the patricians had almost become the rule, especially in Venice. Francesco Sansovino3) mentions an infinite number of palaces in the city of lagoons in which the walls of the apartments were covered with gobelins,

Phot. Brogl

  • Vasari, English edition, translated by A. B. Hinds, Vol. IV, p. 53.
  • Bombe, Justus of Ghent in Urbino. Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, Vol. I. (Berlin 1909), p. Ill and sequ.
  • L. Venturi believes that the panelling was made between 1472 and 1482 by Baccio Pontelli who learnt tarsia-making from Francione and Giuliano da Maiano, the "Three Cardinal Virtues" being made after a design by Francesco di Giorgio Martini. (L. Venturi, L'Arte Vol. XVII, 1914, pp. 450-459, figs ib.)
  • Schiaparelli, in the work quoted above, page 168, and seq, expresses the opinion that many paintings which formerly were believed to be coffer-paintings originally had their places in or above, a panelling. Schubring supposes that intarsias were used for the lower part of, the walls, the pictures being placed above them. (Cassoni, Leipzig 1915, pp. 9—11.)
  • The largest panel work and wall coverings made of stuffs or leather are to be found in Upper Italy, especially in Venice (fig. 65). In the Ducal Palace in Venice there are extremely fine boiseries of a later period, (figs. 66 and 67.) In Central Italy, marble wall facings, and imitations of such, are not infrequent.
  • Venezia nobilissima (Venice 1580) p. 142.

silken hangings1) or pressed leather2) and the floor laid over with carpets. The latter were frequent even in the houses of the burghers. Sporadic cases of this form of luxury existed soon after 1500. Thus Bandello in his 42d tale describes the house of the Roman courtesan Imperia, whose apartments were all decked out with velvet and brocade, one of them even with gold brocade, while costly carpets covered the entire floor. Besides richly ornamented furniture superb vases of coloured marble were there, the table was spread with a rich velvet cover, a musical instrument and some precious books lying upon it. And in the 4th tale the poet depicts a bedchamber whose walls were hung with richly embroidered red velvet and contained, besides the state bed a table, four armchairs of red velvet, and no less than eight carved chests and several pictures by Leonardo da Vinci. Although — on mention of these pictures — the whole seems rather a poetical invention than the description of a real apartment, it may be assumed that richly decorated rooms really existed at that time s). The ceilings were sometimes vaulted, in imitation of the naves of churches or of public halls; as a rule, however, those in private houses were flat timbered. In the XVth century the simple construction left the parallel brown joists visible, the girders being emphasised by slightly projecting small consoles. Afterwards, evidently bearing some relation to the classic stone ceiling, the coffer-work ceiling came into vogue; this gradually developed into richer forms beautified by carvings until these for themselves finally served a purpose, and the regular filling in of the surface by receding quadrangles was replaced by more spacious architectural arrangements

Phot. indmoB

7. Marriage of the Adimari (segment). Painted on a Chest about 1450

Academy, Florence

Phot. indmoB

7. Marriage of the Adimari (segment). Painted on a Chest about 1450

Academy, Florence

The Venetian pilaster decorations with trophies made of woven silk which are now in the textile collection in the Museum for Arts and Crafts, Berlin, appear to us as an aberration of taste.

z) The rare and costly leather tapestries, which frequently were painted with gold or silver, were probably imported from Spain. Vide: Schiaparelli, as above quoted, pp. 229, 230.

*) Jakob Burkhardt, Geschichte dcr Renaissance (5th edition) page 320.

of different forms. This transformation was occasioned by the circumstance that the ceilings, whether flat or vaulted, and also the upper parts of the walls, were decorated by stucco and plasterworkl), either tinted or white with slight touches of gold, or with charming alternations with paintings. The latter was favored in the XVth century for covering gothic vaultings until the new renaissance forms, developed in church architecture, were taken£over for profane buildings and adapted to their special purposes. As in the middle ages, now also it was sought to produce an harmonious effect between the mural painting and the painted vaulting. Only the sur-face-like treatment of the decoration was replaced by arrangements of an architectonic character, either painted or in relief, the handling presenting more broad features. But this manner of decoration had no bearing on the construction of the building. And the same must be said of the vaulted wood ceilings of the renaissance, the most charming specimen of which is doubtlessly the already mentioned closet of Isabella d'Este in Mantova.

The most important decorative object, apart from the furniture, was the fireplace2). It had been in use in Italy since the XIVth century and in the age of the renaissance it was doubtlessly to be met with in many a reception room and bed-chamber. The fireplace, which in the burgher's home had served for giving warmth and for cooking purposes (fig. 2), had developed into an ingenious construction of decorative architecture even towards the end of the middle ages. It was flanked by low stone benches or narrow walls supporting the mantelpiece or hood (fig. 538). Then it began frequently to broaden out while the mantelpiece was emphasised by lending it an entablature, the supports being formed like pilasters or enriched with balusters or columns. All the surfaces were ornamented or covered with storied reliefs (figs. 539—550). When possible, the end of the

8. Florentine Banqueting Hall (Feast of Aeneas and Dido). Painted on a Chest

Kcstner Museum, Hanover

8. Florentine Banqueting Hall (Feast of Aeneas and Dido). Painted on a Chest

Kcstner Museum, Hanover gable-shaped hood was fixed into the wall, or it was hidden by plastic decorations (fig. 546)l).

The doors likewise were sculptured2); and with them still more than with the chimneys, the imitation of classic forms seemed a matter of course. The plastic ornaments were still further enriched by the employment of materials of different colours (fig. 534/5). It was perfectly in keeping with the Italian predilection for spacious rooms, and with the new consciousness of human dignity and social position that the passages were beautified and made loftier; the cultured sense for architecture demanded that every opening in the wall, whether chimney or door, should be finished off by a cornice (figs. 530—533). Wooden door frames from renaissance profane buildings have scarcely been preserved to us, but many wings of double doorways which are simply divided into panels and studded with massive nails, or ornamented with carvings, have come down to us, while in the interiors intarsias and plastic ornaments were combined, or the latter employed alone (figs. 519—529). For small doors in the houses of the burghers, narrow bands of intarsia work were thought sufficient, these, however, produced a very pleasing general effect. When a greater display of sumpt-uousness was intended, sculptured friezes, and storied

*) Simple andirons are mentioned in inventories as early as 1418.

2) Illustrations of chimneys and doors may be seen in J. Baum's work, already cited, pp. 271/272, 163 and sequ.

or ornamental panels were chosen (figs. 515, 517 and 518); or the panel was painted to produce the illusion of niches with statuettes or profiles, or even of open cupboards in which books lay heaped together (fig. 516)'). Such motives, not quite suitable for doors, were altogether abandoned in the XVIth century. Here, too, the more multiform ornamental carving became the vogue (figs. 523, 525—527).

The culture of the home, during the renaissance, was, as a rule, considered in its entirety; only the perspicuity of the architectural proportions in the total effect of the interior arrangements, as well as in each single form, is characteristic throughout this happy period. Its single evolutions greatly differ from one another; and a most momentous development is clearly discernible. From simple forms of construction, throwing into relief the rigidity of the walls, it proceeded to a multiform division of all the surfaces, rendering them conspicuous by diversifying and enlarging all the profiles. The bright colouring gave way little by little, being restricted, or entirely replaced by sculptured accessories. This may also be maintained regarding the wall coverings, furniture, paintings and intarsia work. The interconnection of the several parts was made obvious by

*) Two very beautiful door wings with purely ornamental intarsias from the Palace in Gubbio are contained in the Figdor Collection, Vienna (reproduced by Stegmann in Kunst und Kunsthandwerk X, 1907, p. 124).

the identity of the motives, or by a like division of the floor and the ceiling; or the latter was brought into relation with the walls by means of the decorations. The covering of the walls with plain velvets or silks in place of verdures and storied tapestry, is also characteristic for the change of taste; at the same time the increasing wealth became manifest in the more sumptuous furniture of the apartments of the patricians.

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  • Kalervo
    What are lines in interior decoration?
    8 years ago

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