Jacopo de’ Barbari’s 'View of Venice' (1500): Image Vehicles Past and Present

Main Article Content

Kristin Love HUFFMAN

Abstract

This essay focuses on an iconic and ground-breaking woodcut – Jacopo de’ Barbari (c. 1460/70–1516) and Anton Kolb’s View of Venice (1500) – and an interactive museum installation that I first developed for Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. The exhibition uses the View as a point of departure for the development of multi-media displays about Early Modern Venice and the transfer of knowledge. Adopting Aby Warburg’s illustrative terminology, the essay extends understandings of the woodcut, namely its function as an ‘image vehicle’ and its invention and realization as a product of cultural pathways. This concept, ‘pathways of culture’, also relates to the digital methods and visualized media used in the exhibition where their application advances a new methodology in art history, just as Aby Warburg did in the early twentieth century. And like Warburg who privileged visual imagery and traced its ideological transmission with his Mnemosyne Atlas (1924–1929), the curatorial team of the exhibition uses and systematizes original visualizations to drive the analyses of art, architectural and urban history in new and exciting ways.

Article Details

Section
Articles
Author Biography

Kristin Love HUFFMAN, Duke University

Lecturing Fellow, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies

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List of Figures

Figure 1. Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb, View of Venice, c. 1497–1500. Woodblock print on six sheets, 137,7 x 277,5 cm. The John R. Van Derlip Fund (2010.88), Minneapolis Institute of Art.


Figure 2. Campo San Polo with colorization. Detail, Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb, View of Venice, c. 1497–1500.

Figure 3. Gardens on the Giudecca with colorization. Detail, Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb, View of Venice, c. 1497–1500.

Figure 4. Piazza San Marco highlighted. Detail, Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb, View of Venice, c. 1497–1500.

Figure 5. Alignment of Mercury and Neptune vertically through Rialto, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi specifically, and Piazza San Marco. Detail, Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb, View of Venice, c. 1497–1500.

Figure 6. North wind. Detail of Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb, View of Venice, c. 1497–1500.

Figure 7. Northwest wind. Detail of Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb, View of Venice, c. 1497–1500.

Figure 8. Aby Warburg, Mnemosyne Atlas, Screen 49, 2 September 1928. © The Warburg Institute.

Figure 9. Aby Warburg, Mnemosyne Atlas, Screen 57, October 1929. © The Warburg Institute.

Figure 10. Francesco Colonna, Hypernotomachia Poliphili, published by Aldo Manuzio, Venice, 1499. Woodcuts attributed to Benedetto Bordone. 29,5 x 22 x 4 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1923. Image in the public domain.


Figure 11. Albrecht Dürer, Lady in Venetian Dress Contrasted with a Nuremberg ‘Hausfrau’, 1495. Pen, in dark grey-brown on paper, 24,5 x 15,9 cm. Graphische Sammlung, Städel Museum Frankfurt am Main. © Städel Museum – U. Edelmann – ARTOTHEK.

Figure 12. Jacopo de’ Barbari, Luca Pacioli and Companion, 1495. Oil on panel, 98 x 108 cm. Museo e Gallerie Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples. Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali e del turismo – Fototeca del Polo Museale della Campania.

Figure 13a. Andrea Mantegna, Battle of the Sea Gods, 1485–1488. Left sheet, engraving, 27 x 40,4 cm. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Figure 13b. Andrea Mantegna, Battle of the Sea Gods, c. 1485–1488. Right sheet, engraving, 28,8 x 38,1 cm. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Figure 14. Jacopo de’ Barbari, Dead Gray Partridge, 1504. Drawing, 25,7 x 15,2 cm. British Museum, London. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Figure 15. Jacopo de’ Barbari, Pegasus, c. 1510–1512. Engraving, 15,4 x 21,7 cm. British Museum, London. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Figure 16. Jacopo de’ Barbari, Dragons Chasing a Centaur, c. 1510. Engraving, 10,9 x 13 cm. British Museum, London. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Figure 17. Detail of Jacopo de’ Barbari, Custodi Nos Dormientes (Guardian Angel), c. 1510. Engraving, 22,5 x 15,9 cm. Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Photo author.

Figure 18. Jacopo de’ Barbari, Victory Reclining amid Trophies, c. 1500–1503. Engraving, 13,8 x 19,3 cm. Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Figure 19. Jacopo de’ Barbari, Apollo and Diana, c. 1503. Engraving, 16 x 9,8 cm. Gift of W. G. Russell Allen, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Figure 20. Albrecht Dürer, Apollo and Diana, c. 1504–1505. Engraving, 11,6 x 7,2 cm. Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Figure 21a & 21b. Touchscreen display visualizing a user zooming in to see details of the View of Venice made possible with the high-resolution image housed in Duke’s Digital Repository. Photo Alina Taalman.


Figure 22. Museum installation at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art with 4K screen centered in relation to the first-state print of de’ Barbari’s View. Photo Hannah Jacobs.

Figure 23. Wooden Matrices and details of Jacopo de’ Barbari and Anton Kolb’s View of Venice, c. 1497–1500. Correr Museum, Venice. Photos Ludovica Galeazzo.

Figure 24. Light laser scans and computer processing of the six wooden blocks at the Correr Museum, May 2017. Photos Ludovica Galeazzo.

Figure 25. 3D models of the light laser scans showing carving depths of the Northwest wind. Image by author.