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The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, image, text, and vernacular poetics *.

In the third book of Baldassare Castiglione's Book of the Courtier, set in Urbino in 1507, the discussion turns to how the ideal courtier approaches the lady he has chosen to love. One of the participants, the Magnifico Giuliano de'Medici, makes an observation: "For I have known some who, in writing and speaking to women, use Poliphilian words and stand so on the subtleties of rhetoric that the women lose confidence, and think themselves very ignorant and cannot wait to hear the end of such talk and get rid of the fellow." (1) This passage has been often cited as evidence of contemporary negative criticism of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. (2) Yet it also points to the book's most salient yet understudied aspects: rhetoric and love, the subjects of this essay.

Printed in Venice in December 1499, by Aldus Manutius, the publisher of ancient Latin and Greek and contemporary related works, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (The Strife of Love in the Dream of Poliphilo), was his first vernacular work and, with 171 woodcuts all of original design, one of the most lavishly illustrated books of the period. By its dedication to Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino (1472-1508), the book was directed to an audience of persons like him, educated in the studia humanitatis and with associations to the courts of Italy. (3) The Hypnerotomachia recounts and illustrates the experiences of its protagonist, Poliphilo who, in a dream within a dream, searches for his beloved, the nymph Polia. In his quest, he encounters ancient architecture, sculpture, Latin and Greek inscriptions, hieroglyphs, and mythological and allegorical personages.

The principal focus of study has been on the identity of its author, Francesco Colonna (the name found in an acrostic composed of the initial letters of each chapter), (4) and the interpretation of the book as a product of his culture, whether Venetian-Dominican or Roman-noble. (5) Research on this question has significantly increased understanding of the author's education, particularly his familiarity with Greek and Latin literature. Recent publications, including a new critical edition with Italian translation and an English translation, have added to our knowledge. (6) These studies generally consider the Hypnerotomachia as a compendium of humanistic learning, more specifically as a philosophical treatise, in which simple, clear images recount the pleasing fiction of a dream, whose moral and ethical message is concealed from the unlearned by Colonna's ornate, artificed prose. (7) It has received less attention as a work of vernacular literature and fiction. Both critical editions note the Petrarchan theme s and textual allusions in the book. Yet their significance has been minimized; one writer has reduced their meaning simply to the evidence of the author's Roman identity, placed by Colonna in his text to memorialize allusively his ancestors' patronage of the poet. (8)

Emphasis on the question of authorship has also overshadowed study of the early reception of the book in Italy. (9) Art historical study of the Hypnerotomachia has concentrated primarily on the pictorial and literary sources of its illustrations, particularly those describing architectural monuments and sculpture, which reveal Colonna's knowledge of the writings of Vitruvius and Leon Battista Alberti. (10) A relationship between Petrarch's poetry and the book's images has been discussed only in relation to the triumphs, described and illustrated in Book One. (11) Scholarship on the book, noting the interrelation of its text and images, generally credits the author with the original design and invention of the woodcuts, though discrepancies between text and image have been explained as misunderstandings or embellishments of Colonna's intentions by craftsmen. (12)

The argument presented here makes two basic assumptions. First, based on the philological evidence in the text, the book's author was the Venetian Francesco Colonna, a Dominican grammarian, though this premise is not central to the interpretation presented in this essay. (13) Second, the appearance of the woodcuts reflects the author's intentions. While certainly not discounting the importance of ancient Greek and Roman culture for its composition, this study considers it as a product of vernacular literary tradition. An examination of one aspect of that tradition, Petrarchan poetry, helps to contextualize the book's reception in the first decade of the sixteenth century It undergirds the close reading of the text and images offered here, centering on how two woodcuts (Figs. 1 and 2) operate intricately with their accompanying text, representing sentiments to the viewer-reader, as vernacular lyric poetry does. In one case, this produces an affective identification of the reader with the protagonist. In the ot her, the image-text dynamic occurs through a critical distancing of the reader-viewer from Poliphilo. Both woodcuts illustrate the initial encounter of Poliphilo with Polia, who is the motivation for his dream and the object of his search, and thus central to the book's plot.

The image-text relationships in the Hypnerotomachia have been studied extensively by Giovanni Pozzi, who characterizes the woodcuts as being either descriptive or narrative, according to their function. (14) He argues that those containing figures have a narrative function, serving to connect significant episodes, thereby producing narrative clarity for the reader lost in the wealth of Colonna's elaborately vivid, descriptive yet confusing language. This is, according to Pozzi, achieved by placing the woodcuts within the body of the chapter, juxtaposing the image representing a single action to the relevant text narrating that action. Pozzi's distinction certainly holds true for several series of illustrations presenting a sequence of actions within a single episode, such as the ceremony in the temple. In such sections, the text of the chapter is punctuated by woodcuts juxtaposed to narrative actions described in the text, as (Fig. 3) where an image of the priestess and her assistants in a procession has imme diately below it sentences recounting their arrival and describing in order the objects they carry. (15) This essay, which argues for a more complex interaction of text and image, studies woodcuts that Pozzi used as specific examples to demonstrate his thesis. Rather than considering them in terms of their independent function (a concept without much historical foundation), this essay examines them in connection with the literary tradition from which their subjects originate. In this case, the encounter of the lover (Poliphilo) with his beloved (Polia) is a topic central to Italian vernacular romance and lyric poetry.

Traditional art historical study of the Hypnerotomachia has been limited in part because of the difficulty of its language. Colonna created a vocabulary from Latin, Greek, and the vernaculars of Italy organized through Latin syntax. (16) He formed new words, adding Latin suffixes and prefixes to Italian words, and vice versa, creating adverbs, verbs, adjectives, diminutives, and augmentatives. (17) His readers, contemporary and modern, are constrained to perform a type of philological analysis in their reading, which slows the reader's pace to attend closely to the words of the text, to note their arrangement within clauses, and determine their significance.

Though an equivalent philological study of the vernacular did not yet exist in the late fifteenth century, a period without printed vernacular grammars or dictionaries, it cannot be inferred that vernacular works were ignored by persons who read critically Latin and Greek classics. On the contrary, recognizing no single norm of language, fifteenth-century non-Tuscans could and did read Tuscan literature, accepting its difference from their own written vernaculars. This is particularly true of the Hypnerotomachids readers, as the publisher Leonardo Grassi's dedicatory epistle states: "One thing about it is remarkable: although it speaks in our tongue, in order to understand it one needs Greek and Latin no less than Tuscan and the vernacular." (18) The most familiar Tuscan works then were those of Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. The latter's Canzoniere and Triumphs were the best known, as is evident by the many surviving manuscript copies and the number of editions published with commentaries, beginning in 1475 . (19) The author of the commentary to the Canzoniere, the humanist Francesco Filelfo (1398-1481), considered the vernacular neither in need of nor worth philological study; he provided interpretations of the poems and identified Petrarch's mythological and historical allusions, without discussing his poetic style. (20) Two years after the issue of the Hypnerotomachia, the publication in July 1501 of Le cose volgari de messer Francesco Petrarcha, the Aldine edition of Petrarch's Rime (an alternative title for the Canzoniere) and Triumphs, edited by the Venetian patrician humanist Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) revealed a more philological attitude to the vernacular. Though it was not the first edition of Petrarch based on an autograph manuscript (the first was published in Padua in 1472), Bembo's correction of spelling, addition of punctuation and reordering of the sequence of both the Canzoniere and Triumphs, produced a version of Petrarch markedly different from that of the twenty-two preceding editions. (21) Bem bo did not write a related commentary; but in 1505 Aldus published his dialogue on the nature of love, written in fourteenth-century Tuscan, Gli Asolani. (22) In this work, Petrarch's poetic style was offered to a courtly humanist audience as a model for vernacular poetic imitation. Bembo's intent was to provide an example by which to reform the vernacular, by recovering the style he associated with a Golden Age of vernacular literature. (23) Within a fictional debate among three courtiers, Perottino, Gismondo, and Lavinello, Bembo contrasts three styles of vernacular poetry, which embody three different concepts of love, of literary imitation, and, as Lina Bolzoni has argued, of literary interpretation. (24) Bembo, who from the 151 Os on explicitly advocated Latin Ciceronianism and a Tuscan vernacular, may seem an unsuitable medium through which to interpret Colonna's work, since their styles differ greatly However, the Asolani was begun in 1496 (though its publication postdated the Hypnerotomachia by severa l years) and, at that time, both authors participated in a common culture of vernacular literature, recognizing both its forms and conventions, and in which style had not yet become a polemical issue. (25) Bembo did not rediscover Petrarch's poetry but instead sought to purify an existing practice of Petrarchan verse, revealed in the numerous contemporary manuscript and printed collections of sonnets by court poets now considered minor figures of Italian literary history. (26) The 1505 edition of the Asolani may be considered as an account of the state of that tradition in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. (27)

Colonna's use of vernacular topics has been disparaged, considered formulaic, unoriginal, and backward by many scholars, because his sources, particularly Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Dante, can be identified. (28) If, instead, we consider how Colonna transformed his sources, a more culturally accurate account of the book emerges. By alluding to many authors, adapting their topics, Colonna's practice appears more emulative than imitative, but not disputative or eristic. (29) Rather than seeking to surpass his literary predecessors, he demonstrates his command and knowledge of literary tradition, using it as the fabric to create his own fiction. Colonna's reader participates in this play, delighting in the recognition of sources and their visual and textual adaptations. (30) Beyond identifying a particular literary topos and its alteration by Colonna, his readers, educated in the theory and practice of rhetoric, could identify the specific techniques he employed to achieve his results. Such knowledge was found in the Latin rhetorical treatises used as theoretical models for imitation, such as Cicero's De inventione, Quintilian's Institutio oratoria, or the Rhetorica ad Herennium, a practical handbook then attributed to Cicero."

One such adaptation operates in the initial encounter of Polia and Poliphilo, which occurs approximately a third of the way through the Hypnerotomachia. After encounters with personifications of the five senses, Liberality, (32) Will, and Reason, Poliphilo meets a nymph whom he will later recognize as Polia. He views her through a pergola (Fig. 1) and a textual description of her appearance follows. This description has a long literary history. It belongs to the particular rhetorical figure of effictic (portrayal), defined in the Ad Herennium as that which "consists in representing and depicting in words clearly enough for recognition the bodily form of some person," and the example given is fairly detailed: "the ruddy, short, bent man, with white and curly hair, blue-grey eyes, and a huge scar on his chin." (33) Effictio was employed chiefly in ancient epideictic rhetoric, though physical descriptions also appear in ancient poetry. (34) Medieval rhetoricians adapted the figure to poetic use, and in so doing, prescribed a portraiture by type, in which a poet's personal experience was filtered through a notion of an ideal. (35) This new literary portraiture of conventions was employed extensively by Provencal and Italian poets and writers, including Petrarch and Boccaccio, and in Latin prose romances such as Enea Silvio Piccolomini's Historia de duobus amantibus. (36) Writers created a canonical description of the external appearance of the beloved, through the employment of typical attributes (blond hair, dark eyes, fair skin), described in order from the top of the head to the feet, in which the color and splendor of the beautiful features of the beloved were represented metaphorically. (37) The effictio as a principal topos of vernacular literature is further confirmed by the attention given to it in Gli Asolani. In Book Two, Gismondo, to demonstrate the beneficence of love, evokes the pleasure of seeing his beloved by describing her in prose using an ornamental, Boccaccian form, though restricted in scope. (38 ) In Book Three, Lavinello criticizes Gismondo's sensual preoccupation and the corresponding poetic style that emphasizes physical rather than spiritual beauty. Accordingly, Lavinello's description of his beloved is restricted to three lines of a canzone. (39) The literary description of the beloved had a pictorial analogue: in early sixteenth-century Italy numerous portraits of anonymous women were produced whose features conform to the vernacular poetic canon of beauty. (40)

In the Hypnerotomachia elements of Polia's description come from Books Nine and Twelve of Boccaccio's Commedia delle Ninfe Fiorentine (Ameto), a pastoral written in both prose and poetry. As Pozzi and others have noted, Colonna in effect created a composite from Boccaccio's nymphs. (41) At the upper left corner of the accompanying woodcut appear the musicians described in the text immediately preceding the image. Poliphilo views them from one end of a jasmine-covered pergola while standing and admiring their song. Immediately after the woodcut, the text recounts an action: "And behold as one extraordinary and festive nymph from among them departed with her burning torch in hand and turned her maidenly steps towards me, when seeing manifestly that she was a true and real girl, I did not move, but gladly I waited." (42) He follows with a paean to her beauty, in which the effect of her appearance upon him is greater than that of Ganymede upon Jove, Psyche on Cupid, Venus on Mars, and Adonis on Venus. But her bea uty is such that he questions again that she is real, then decides she is and awaits her approach. Unlike the descriptive structure prescribed by medieval treatises and employed by Petrarch, Boccaccio, Piccolomini, and Bembo, which describes the beauty of the beloved from the head downward, Colonna's description is confused, random, and mixes images of her physical beauty with the luxuriousness of her dress and ornaments. He begins: "Then this nymph, shining like the sun, her maidenly and divine little body wearing the softest drapery of woven green silk." (43) The description continues with a minute examination of her jeweled ornaments, and Poliphilo notes how her garments cover, yet offer some idea of the body underneath, particularly her breasts, a motif from Boccaccio. (44) From her costume and ornaments, his observation moves on to her arms, her hands, her nails, then to the transparent sleeves of her garments and their embroidered borders. Though her dress resembles antique costume, particularly in its belting, which Poliphilo likens to the zone of Venus, it is also contemporary; since her undergarment is alternatively named a camisia, or the synonymous Latin term interula. (45) Colonna refers to a detail of contemporary Venetian costume when he notes the borders of her garments are covered "with the tiniest of thin golden darts, hanging loosely, most gracefully in many places pendant." (46) The description returns to her ornaments, a pin of three pearls, a collar of gold, and their spatial relation to her neck, garments, and breasts. His attention shifts constantly between the natural and the artificial the real and the figurative: "Beneath this garment, as mentioned above, was the thinnest pleated undertunic, of white silk of the most delicate facture, which covered that precious flesh, like splendid roses in the separation of her spacious and delightful breast, more pleasing to my eyes than cool streams to a weary fleeing deer." (47) He then returns his gaze to the sleeves, momentarily, then back to the breasts, noting, "Moreover, beyond all of these most pleasing things was offered with stealthy thieving, persevering work and careful glances with pleasure to gaze amorously at the swelling and insolent nipples, impatient at the suppression of the soft garment. Those therefore I not hastily judged that the artificer of so worthy a work, and with such dignity having beautifully formed them for his extreme delight with all diligence conjoined with all violence of love." (48) The description moves to her throat, again to the necklace surrounding it, and the gems of which the necklace is constructed. His gaze moves to her head, her hair seemingly like reddish gold, decorated with a wreath of fragrant violets, and its length extending to her knees. His attention returns to her face, describing her brows as black and hemispherical, her eyes with dark irises, dimpled cheeks the color of blushing roses gathered, in vases of the purest Cyprian crystal, at the breaking of dawn. He continues, noting that her lips are "n ot bloated but drenched and depicted with purple tincture," framing ivory teeth; "not one above the other, but equally disposed in order along which Love placed an eternally breathable fragrance." (49) Poliphilo then corrects himself; her teeth are milky white. He corrects himself again, rather they are like a row of shining pearls, the only use of a jewel metaphor in the description. The rest of the chapter describes Poliphilo's emotional response to his vision: "And the origin of the evil, of such perturbation and contentious commotion were my unsatiated and most hasty eyes, which I felt to have sown and suscitated such noxious dispute in my sad and wounded heart." (50) His sensual appetite compels his eyes, moving them over her face and body. Through the rhetorical figure of personification (conformatio) his appetite and eyes extol her hair, face, eyes, and breasts, saying of the last, "If only we could uncover them fully." (51) Regarding each of these, Poliphilo likens his unsatisfied desire to that of a man stricken with constant hunger. (52)

Though the fragmentation of the beloved into conventional parts through selective description and metaphor was an element of all Petrarchan poetry, (53) Colonna adapts it to his own purposes. The confusion of his effictio is analogous to the confusion of the dream state of Poliphilo. Its movement from one part of Polia's body to another mimics a randomly sequential process of looking rather than an ordered discursive account of what is viewed. Thus it serves to depict verbally the temporal experience of vision, rather than the literary representation of a past experience. (54) Yet despite the detail and length of Colonna's description, its vacillation between the woman and her contingent ornaments produces incoherency for the reader. The disorganization of the effictio creates an affective identification of the reader with Poliphilo, a sharing of his unsatisfied vision and desire, which the woodcut visually reinforces through its composition and design. Poliphilo's prolonged wait for Polia's approach through the pergola, represented in the woodcut, reproduces the effect of the effictio's extended length. The physical distance separating them is suggested by the perspectival construction of the flower-covered pergola; the benches along its length, like orthogonals, emphasize her as the focus of Poliphilo's vision. This visual reference to linear perspective, an ordered way of seeing, is denied by both the illustration itself and its accompanying text. Previously accustomed to find resolution of description through the woodcuts, the reader's expectation is now thwarted. This woodcut, which uniquely represents Poliphilo in a three-quarter back view, gazing at Polia in rapt anticipation, suggests his gaze at her -- and thus invites the reader to share it -- but denies the possibility of doing so. (55) The figure of Polia, set in the distant background, allows the viewer only a very sketchy image of her features and appearance. Selectively, the text provides information not revealed by the woodcut, in aid of the reade r. At the opening of the chapter, Poliphilo describes the indistinct, small figures in the far background of the woodcut as singing, dancing, and playing instruments. But the textual description of Polia does not resolve into a coherent mental image, never offering the reader a unified representation of her. (56) Its emphasis on breasts, hair, and mouth creates in the reader-viewer a desire to see all of her that is fulfilled neither textually nor visually. And Colonna's ornamented, elaborate language further diminishes the allusive power of poetic metaphors traditionally used to represent beauty. Polia's teeth are like pearls, but she is wearing pearls, her hair is like gold, but her costume is decorated with gold. Colonna's language permits mimesis, and offers a detailed description of her jewels and clothing. Analogously, the woodcut offers mimesis, but of the pergola, not Polia. The distinct representation of its columns, supporting beams, and the flowering branches growing along it serve further to accen tuate the indistinctness of the figure of Polia, and the failure of perspective to place her clearly in the field of the viewer's vision. Summarily mentioned in the opening of the chapter, the pergola structures the withholding of Polia from the viewer's sight and is the most clearly represented object in the woodcut.

Pozzi considered this particular woodcut as proof of his thesis that the Hypnerotomachids figural images always have a narrative function, and that they are never descriptive, a function reserved for the text. (57) Lacking in its composition the descriptive features of Polia, Pozzi attributed its "weak results" to a sacrifice of visual description for narration. In this case the woodcut served to illustrate the action of Polia's approach toward Poliphilo. He also cited the textual description of Polia in the Hypnerotomachia as operating within the tradition of the effictio, but noted its uncharacteristic length, and the paucity and lack of canonicity of the metaphors employed. (58) In his analysis, the structure and content of this effictio resulted indirectly from Colonna's emphasis, throughout the Hypnerotomachia, on the description of artificial objects. (59) One of the editors of the Italian translation and critical edition has accounted for the lack of correspondence between the brief textual description of the pergola and its detailed visual articulation as artistic licence on the part of the woodcut maker. (60) Rather, Colonna intentionally and carefully constructed this effictio in order to produce in the reader the same disorientation of the dream state afflicting Poliphilo; text and woodcut were designed to reproduce in the reader-viewer the same effect of visual frustration, dissatisfaction, and longing felt by Poliphilo. (61) Such emotions are part of the vernacular lyric tradition. Petrarch's Canzoniere is characterized by frustration and displacement; the lover can neither attain physical consummation, nor forger his beloved. His unattainable desire is obsessively reiterated, in an attempt to achieve satisfaction through a literary representation of the absent Laura, to describe comprehensively his experiences in verse, and hence the repeated descriptions of her beauty in the Canzoniere.

The succeeding chapter presents the sequel to Poliphilo's account of his vision of Polia and contains the next woodcut, located three pages from the opening (Fig. 2). The setting of the woodcut is the same garden with pergola portrayed earlier, but now the lovers have met and walk hand in hand. Polia's figure is more defined: the lines of the woodcut depict the contours of her breasts and abdomen. The text describes her separate beauties as now joined, "uniting absolute perfection," and cites the typos for such a combining of beautiful features, the ancient Greek painter Zeuxis and the maidens of Crotona, but declares that if the artist had Polia as a model, he would not have needed any others. (62) The careful viewer would also recognize a formal similarity between Poliphilo shown here and in the first woodcut of the Hypnerotomachia (Fig. 4), where Poliphilo, during his initial dream, traverses what he terms, in Latin, the "silva obscura," evoking the similar place in the opening of the Inferno. However, the se two woodcuts form a thematic antithesis or contrapposto. (63) Contrasting the two images, Poliphilo has moved from one literary topos to another, from a locus horribilis to a locus amoenus. (64) The second is synonymous with any place where the beloved is present, but is also explicitly a garden, which is described at length in the next chapter. The dense forest of trees is reduced to a few saplings (Fig. 2), and wild nature has been cultured by means of the pergola supports decorated with Corinthian capitals. The juxtaposition of Polia to the capitals recalls to the reader what had been read several chapters earlier; that the Corinthian order, whose capitals derive from imitation of the acanthus plant, also has proportions based on those of a young maiden, as recounted in Book Four of Vitruvius. (65) The text immediately after the image reads: "et postala nella sua, strengerla sentiva tra calda neve et infra coagulo lacteo." (and placing it [my unsuitable hand] in hers, and grasping it, felt like hot snow within clotted milk.) (66)

The phrase used to describe Polia's hand, "calda neve," is an antithetical metaphor, the fundamental ornament of Petrarchan poetry, as Colonna's readers would recognize. (67) It is one that Petrarch himself used to describe Laura in Poem 157: "La testa or fino, et calda neve il volto" (Her head was fine gold and her face warm snow). (68) He reused the figure, sometimes twice within a single poem, as in Poem 30, in which fire and snow (foco/neve) metaphors occur twice: in order to evoke impossibility as in lines 8-9: "quando avro queto il core, asciutti gli occhi / vedrem ghiacciare il foco, et arder la neve" (when I have a quiet heart and dry eyes we shall see the fire freeze and burning snow.) (69) They also describe his emotional state, as in lines 31-33: "Dentro pur foco et for candida neve / sol con questi pensier, con altre chiome / sempre piangendo andro per ogni riva." (All fire within, yet outwardly white snow, alone with these thoughts, with changed locks, I shall always go weeping along every shore. ) (70)

Antitheses of fire and ice were endlessly elaborated and adapted by Petrarchan poets to describe the emotions of the lover, who simultaneously and sequentially experiences desire for his beloved together with shame, because his desire is carnal in nature and he considers himself unworthy of her. He swings between the exaltation of love to despair as she disdains him. Such metaphorical antitheses as a convention of love poetry are examined in Book Two of Gli Asolani. The lover's emotions are discussed by Gismondo, who criticizes Perottino's use of extravagant language earlier in Book One, because he asserted that it represents the lover as miserable and love as a state of unhappiness. (71) Yet, in the next sentence, Gismondo justifies it and defends poetic invention:

But what should I say now? Do not all of us know, without my saying it, that lovers, no less than poets, have a special license to feign things which are many times far from any resemblance to the truth, to give their pens new themes which none can rightly understand, subjects inconsistent within themselves which nature would never suffer to exist? (72)

Further in his discussion, he uses two particular metaphors:

And these [lovers] generally tell the same fables that those sorrowing ones do, not that they experience any of those miracles which the wretched and sad ones say they experience, but they do it to offer diverse subjects in strokes of ink, so that varying their rhymes with these colors, the painting of love appears more charming to the eyes of the beholder. Therefore the fire, with which Perottino labors to reinforce the marvels of the occurrences of love, does it nor also fill my pages and the pages of any other glad lover? And these pages are filled not just with fire, but also with ice and all those many disparities which are more easily compiled on paper than in the heart? (73)

Defending rhetorical ornament with an antithesis of his own (ink-color), Gismondo authorizes their use, in order that a writer might achieve the effects of a painter to represent with pictorial vividness.

In the Hypnerotomachia Colonna enlarges upon an antithesis originating with Petrarch through the rest of the chapter, in which Poliphilo alternates between conflicting emotional states. Initially he feels joy to be with his beloved, but then his feelings turn to humility. Fearing he is unworthy of her, he compares his torn and rough clothing to her elegant appearance, another motif from Boccaccio's Ameto. (74) On the next page, Poliphilo turns from praise of and desire for her to shame for himself and his desire, because of his humble status. (75) This internal dialogue continues for two pages after the illustration:

And I, feeling my heart already stricken and silently filled and compactly crowded with the inner fierceness and undisciplined thoughts collected therein, and thinking with purposeful love, the wound, no longer curable, amplified and augmented itself. Almost daring to manifest the tiny and weak spirits contained in me, expressing my intense fervors and amorous expressions to her, then wholly lost myself in blind desire, the reason I no longer would have force to protest against the invading approaches and to resist the caustic boilings and to protest with vehement and full voice and say: 'O delicate and holy maiden, whatever you are, use not such mighty torches to burn me and to consume my sorrowing heart: by now totally burnt by unexpected and stimulating fire and I in the midst of my soul felt transfixed and penetrated by a pointed and very sharp and flaming arrow.' And so saying to her, defended myself against wanting to uncover the concealed flame and to diminish a little somewhat the exacerbation that I was suffering, this raging and terrible inflammation of love, burdened excessively by being hidden, but patiently I remained. And in such a way I reflected upon all of these fervid and grave agitations and fearful thoughts and lascivious and violent appetites, seeing myself, with my sordid toga which still retained fixed the hooks of the biting cockleburts of the wood. (76)

The image in the woodcut expresses the duality and division of Poliphilo's conflicted feelings. The gesture of his hand indicates shame and embarrassment for his "lowly cloth habit" (plebeo habito pannoso). (77) It also indicates the physical manifestation of his "intense fervors and amorous expressions," the "concealed flame," and the "raging and terrible inflammation of love." The text moves from the thoughts felt by Poliphilo to the object, the toga, through which the woodcut visualizes them. If not already aware of the formal similarity between this illustration and that of Poliphilo in the silva obscura (Fig. 4), the reference to the wood now recalls to the reader the earlier episode and its accompanying woodcut. At this point, the reader would turn back to the preceding leaf with the woodcut of Polia and Foliphilo (Fig. 2), examining it more closely, and, seeing the position of Poliphilo's right hand, recognize that he has an erection.

Visual suspicion is confirmed by further evidence of the text itself. The visual and textual references to the silva are allusions to Petrarch's use of the locus as a metaphor for sexual desire, through its associations with savagery and animality. Such a meaning, and its source, Book Six of the Aeneid, was recognized by Petrarch's commentator, Filelfo, and by modern scholars. (78) The careful reader would also find Poliphilo's mental apostrophe to Polia, beginning: "0 delicate maiden," familiar as a paraphrase of his earlier outburst to Aphea, the nymph of the sense of touch. He remonstrates against her and her companions who have physically aroused him with their song: 'O me,' said I, 'for that divinity which you serve by submitting, I beg you, do not add burning brands and pile copal and pine-pitch torches upon my incredible fire, do not throw more resin on my flammable heart, do not make me burst, I pray you. For such cause, I immoderately lose and totally consume myself.' (79)

Petrarch's poetry is about love, one that originates in physical desire and evolves into a spiritualized ideal form by the close of the Canzoniere. However, Colonna's Petrarchan imitation underscores the sexual desire which foregrounds the poems. Neither in text nor image does Poliphilo's desire have a spiritual aspect. Poliphilo's predicament may appear comic to modern viewers. It was also probably amusing for Colonna's contemporary readers, since Filelfo's comments on Sonnets 1 and 9 in the Canzoniere reveal his doubts that Petrarch's love actually developed into one that was pure and spiritual. (80) But it would be inaccurate to consider the Hypnerotomachia as an intentionally anti-Petrarchist work, though it may well have been considered as one upon its republication in 1545. Other of the book's woodcuts, especially the sometimes censored image of the sacrifice to Priapus, and the fountain of the sleeping nymph (Fig. 5), have often been discussed as examples of the book's image-centered erotic content. (81) Yet the woodcut of Poliphilo walking with Polia, the content of which is revealed by the related text, until now has not incited similar comment. (82) The interdependence of the text and the image is demonstrated by examining the presentation of this episode in the sixteenth-century French edition. The translators condensed the lengthy textual description of Poliphilo's emotions and the accompanying woodcut (Fig. 6), though based on the original, represents Poliphilo's hand in a different position. This change in a formal detail doubtless arose from the conception of this woodcut as only an illustration of an event, and indeed the French translation, as a condensation, emphasizes narrative action. Intended for a culturally sophisticated audience, the presentation of eroticism in the 1499 Hypnerotomachia is more subtle and complex than a vernacular work directed to a wider audience, but of which Colonna's readers would have been aware, the first fully illustrated printed edition of Boccaccio's Decameron (Ve nice, 1492: Gregorio de' Gregori), which contains explicit sexual imagery.

In addition to the antithesis, the image-text relationship encompasses other rhetorical figures. Poliphilo's erection is not represented literally, but as a metonymy (denominatio), a trope defined as "the figure closely akin to or associated with an expression suggesting the object meant, but nor called by its name." (83) Metaphor (translatio), one prescribed function of which is to avoid obscenity, and synonym are employed in the passage quoted above and in the entire chapter. They have two sources: Polia's torch, a symbol of love, and the vocabulary of love poetry. (84) These metaphors are deployed initially in the chapter summary: "The most beautiful nymph reaches Poliphilo, with a torch carried in her left hand, and with her free hand she takes him, she invites him to go with her, and Poliphilo then warmed more thoroughly by sweet love of the elegant damsel, begins to feel his sentiments become inflamed." (85) The woodcut, representing both Poliphilo's erection and Polia's torch, reiterates their metaphor ical equivalence in a chain of gestures linking the two: Polia holds the torch, Poliphilo holds her hand, which feels like "hot snow" and "milky coagulation," and he also holds what is metaphorized by the torch and her hand. Poliphilo's hand crumples and pulls the cloth of his toga, as if in shame and concealment, but in doing so, simultaneously indicates his aroused condition. Beyond the explicit use of the adjectives "hidden" and "concealed," Colonna's writing similarly initially conceals meaning within rhetorical ornament, specifically metaphor, simile (imago), comparison (similitudo), and periphrasis (circumitio). Yet through repetition and elaboration of language his text reveals significance by emphasis. (86) A term whose rhetorical meaning is the opposite of its modern usage, emphasis (significatio) is defined in the Rhetorica ad Herennium as "the figure which leaves more to be suspected than has been actually asserted"; two sources of emphasis are hyperbole and ambiguity. (87) Poliphilo's gesture of e mphasis, simultaneously concealing and revealing, is thus also a metaphor of the text, and figures the relation of the hand to writing.

Pozzi considered this woodcut of Polia and Poliphilo a good example of pictorial narration, in which a textually narrated action coincides with its pictorial representation. (88) However, Polia's grasp of Poliphilo's hand occurs twice in the text, the first time on the page preceding the woodcut:

She, with her snowy left arm held closely against her snowlike breast bore a burning and shining torch, raised somewhat beyond and above her golden head, held the slender stalk-like extremity by the sharp point, and offering adroitly her free arm, more shining white than was that of Pelops, in which appear the delicate veins of the upper arm and the basilic vein, such like those sandalwood lines drawn on the cleanest papyrus. And with her delicate right soberly grasping my left, with open and shining face and with smiling cinnamon fragrant mouth and dimpled cheeks, and with the most ornate speech, pleasingly said, caressingly: 'O Poliphilo, come beside me safely, and do not hesitate whatsoever.' I then felt my spirits stupefied, full of amazement at how she knew my name, and all my internal parts abashed by an ardent, amorous flame surrounding them and my voice caught up, enclosed between fear and modest shame. And so thoughtlessly I did not know what to say to her, how to worthily respond nor otherwise rever e the divine little maiden, if not that I readily offered her my unworthy and unsuitable hand [emphasis added]. (89)

Immediately after this, the woodcut appears, and so it might seem that the text anticipates the image. However, the unusual doubling of action in the text cues the reader to the double aspect of the illustration. At first glance, it illustrates the action of Polia taking Poliphilo's hand as recounted in the adjacent text. But, upon reading the following pages, which elaborately describe Poliphilo's thoughts and sentiments, the reader refers back to the woodcut, which then also illustrates the expression of his emotions: desire and shame.

The interpretations of both woodcuts presented here differ considerably from Pozzi's analysis of them. Through their descriptive qualities, they represent, communicate to, and evoke in the viewer emotional states rather than solely illustrating actions. However, it is important to keep in mind the literary genre of the text within which these illustrations appear. The vernacular lyric is a form of poetry whose primary focus is description, not narration, which is that of epic poetry. (90) Moreover, Pozzi's conception of Colonna's linking of text and image rests on a distinction between their respective functions; in support of this, he notes that language, originating in sound, is a medium of temporal representation, while the image is optical and a form of spatial representation. (91) This implicit citation of Gotthold Lessing's essay Laocoon: oder Uber die Grenzen der Maleri und Poesie is doubly anachronistic: the Laocoon was published only in 1766 and, as W.J.T. Mitchell has shown, Lessing's theory of the respective functions of poetry and the visual arts contained an implicit value judgment. (92) Lessing's prescription -- that the proper role of poetry (a temporal medium) was to narrate action, and that of painting and sculpture (spatial media) was to describe appearance -- was based on his belief that these roles were the easiest for each to fulfill, and hence "natural" for each art. Whatever can be said about fifteenth- or sixteenth-century Italian art and literature, economy of means, or of finding the easiest solution to an artistic problem, had no valence as a critical concept. (93) On the contrary; artistic and literary writing of the period viewed the quality of difficolta positively; the artist or writer in the period was valued for his facilita in resolving the difficult. (94) Nor was there a rigid distinction between the roles of images and texts at this time. By paraphrasing Simonides' dictum that poetry is like a speaking painting and painting like silent poetry, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), in his Libro di pittura, argued that both arts were descriptive in their aims. (95) Thus, the Hypnerotomacbids illustrations can be understood within period concepts. Complexity is valued; a woodcut in a book, rather than carrying a single assigned function, a reverse of its "natural" function, can both narrate and describe.

The visualization of rhetorical devices presented here also supports, in a different way, two conclusions reached by other scholars: that Colonna was, in effect, making a critical comparison (in modern terms, a paragone) between images and words, and that he was from the Veneto. Pozzi has analyzed other image-text combinations prominent in the Hypnerotomachia: hieroglyphs and calligrams. (96) Expanding on Pozzi's theory that Colonna reversed the functions of image and text to produce images that narrate and text that describes, Patricia Fortini Brown has recently defined Colonna's textual and visual descriptions of architecture as a reversal of the "traditional" terms of the paragone. (97) However, as this study hopes to have shown, the roles of words and images were not so rigidly defined in the period in which the Hypnerotomachia was written and originally read, and Colonna's literaryvisual practice was not as simple as has been characterized. Colonna's adaptation of the tradition of the effictio strengthen s his identification as a Venetian; the cultural resonance of Petrarchan poetry and its effictio has explained the development and proliferation in the Veneto (more so than Rome or Florence) of the half-length female figure. Giorgione, Titian, Palma Vecchio, and Bartolomeo Veneto (Fig. 7) produced paintings of this type, which attempted to equal or surpass the effect of the poetic description of the beloved; these pictures were not conceived as portraits of specific individuals. (98)

Colonna's visual-literary practice as a whole, especially his allusive transformations of the conventions of vernacular poetry adhere to the concept of rhetorical decorum: the relationship between subject (res) and form (verba). (99) There is a connection between his subject and the style in which he presents it. Within the framework of the Hypnerotomachia, a dream vision, he visually and textually alters the conventional devices and traditions of lyric and romance, making what was familiar to the reader seem now strange and confused, as occurs in a dream. As has been shown, this operates specifically through literary allusion and the use of rhetorical figures (figurae), some of which are classified as tropes, defined by Quintilian as "the artistic alteration of a word or phrase from its proper meaning to another." (100) The employment of figurae in rhetoric was not merely ornamental; it was predicated on the belief that certain words, suitably arranged, could produce a vivid mental image in the listener or r eader. (101) This is fundamental to understanding the Hypnerotomachia, as its dedicatory epistle states: "It happens, that these things, being by their own nature difficult, as if in a pleasure garden filled with all types of flowers, are explained, with a certain pleasingness, in sweet prose and are revealed in figures and in images they are exposed to the eyes and are reproduced." (102) For Grassi figures are not synonymous with images, nor are they just symbols: they are a mediating form functioning between words and visual images, enhancing their uses in the book.

The play between literal and figurative meanings of words and the transformation or inversion of literary topoi, now revealed in the Hypnerotomachia, is also found in another vernacular work, the Decameron. Traditionally, Colonna's use of Boccaccio has been recognized in his minor works (Fiammetta, Ameto, Filocolo, Corbaccio), from the Decameron, only Nastagio degli Onesti's story (V, 8) has been considered a source for him. (103)

Though the Decameron had long been judged a work of realist literature, several scholars have examined its linguistic and rhetorical aspects: the way in which the situations of novelle, such as Zima (III, 5) and Fra Cipolla (VI, 2), exploit or subvert the possibilities inherent in literary and rhetorical conventions. (104) In other tales, such as the lovers Caterina and Ricciardo (V, 4), the metaphorical language of love poetry is central to the plot, and the oscillation between the literal and the figurative meaning of such words, particularly usinguolo (nightingale), conceals the story's erotic content and is itself the source of its humor. (105) Similarly, the story of the young girl Alibech and the hermit-monk Rustico (III, 10) also ironizes and parodies the conventions of Christian allegorical language in its erotic content. (106) Even household objects of the rural peasantry, such as a wooden tub, in the tale of Peronella (VII, 2), and a mortar and pestle, in the novella of Belcolore (VIII, 2), have met aphorical possibilities exploited by Boccaccio. (107) The illustrations of these stories in the 1492 Decameron, mentioned above, vitiate Boccaccio's avoidance of obscenity through metaphor, for they make explicit what his language had veiled. This type of linguistic play was not exclusively vernacular; the young Pietro Bembo wrote a poem in Latin, Priapus, describing the appearance and virtues of a certain plant, the menta pusilla. (108) Though comparable to Boccaccio's inventive practice, Colonna's achievement in the Hypnerotomachia should not be considered derivative, for the text as a whole reveals a profound interest in the expressive possibilities of language characteristic of the interests of its printer, Aldus Manutius, and his humanist circle. (109) And, as an illustrated book, it reveals and withholds meaning in both image and text, something that Boccaccio, as an author, never ventured. (110)

These examples have demonstrated how Francesco Colonna, a grammarian and rhetorician, creatively redeployed conventions of Italian vernacular love poetry. A reconsideration of the Hypnerotomachids relation to vernacular culture and humanism, and careful reading combined with careful looking by an attentive reader, reveal connections between text and image which have not been noted until now. The stylistic characterization of the woodcuts as "simple" and "classic" has led to their misconception as being simple in effect. As a result they have been of interest chiefly as iconographical problems, in which only the textual or pictorial source needs to be identified, and then often only as means of arguing for either a Roman or Venetian identity for the book's author. (111) Some art-historical scholarship, evincing a bibliophilistic, aesthetic conception of the book as a produced object, has labeled the Hypnerotomachia as an art book avant la lettre, whose visual appearance results from the combination of images f rom several types of illustrated texts, selected to produce a beautiful looking object, something to be admired rather than read. (112) A more productive approach considers literary tradition and literary-cultural conventions, since the woodcuts were intended to be integral to the text; despite their beauty and quality, they should not thought of as "art images worthy of standing on their own." (113) To examine instead Colonna's presentation of image and text in terms of the literary-rhetorical practice of imitation offers a richer account. By reading and viewing the Hypnerotomachia with an eye and mind attuned to the "subtleties of rhetoric," the modern reader finds, as Castiglione and his contemporaries surely did, amusement rather than incomprehension.


* This article revises material presented at a seminar held in Florence (June, 1998) at the Villa Spelman, The Charles S. Singleton Center for Italian Studies of The Johns Hopkins University. I thank Elizabeth Cropper for suggesting that I publish this material and her constructive advice. In addition to the two anonymous readers of RQ I also wish to thank the following for their reading of this work in various stages and their very helpful suggestions and comments: Elena Calvillo, Charles Dempsey, Frances Gage, Megan Holmes, and Walter S. Melion. Photographs of the Hypnerotomachia were acquired with funds from a Sadie and Louis Roth Fellowship. The 1980 critical edition of Giovanni Pozzi and Lucia A. Ciapponi is used throughout. All translations from the Hypnerotomachia are my own, as are those from other Italian texts, except as otherwise noted. Though Joscelyn Godwin's translation is unabridged, in the text relevant for this article there are some substantive differences between his rendering of Colonna's text and mine. I have attempted to reproduce Colonna's structure, which occasionally contains incomplete periods and clauses. In their commentary, Pozzi and Ciapponi also note instances where clauses beginning in one sentence are completed in another, and I have followed their direction in my translations.

(1.) Castiglione, 275. The book, published in 1528, was written between 1508 and 1516.

(2.) By Painter, 6; Mancini, 29; and most recently Griggs, 17.

(3.) Oettinger, 15-46, discusses Guidobaldo's diplomatic contacts with Venice and die dedication of the Hypnerotomachia and other books to him.

(4.) The acrostic reads: "POLIAM FRATER FRANCISCUS COLUMNA PERAMAVIT" (Fra Francesco Colonna loved Polia exceedingly).

(5.) Casella and Pozzi, 2:11-149, set out the case for the authorship of Fra Francesco Golonna (ca. 1433-1529); see also the critical edition with commentary by Pozzi and Ciapponi (Colonna, 1980). Calvesi, 1996, 33-258, is an expanded version of his identification of the author as a Roman nobleman (ca. 1453-1517). Stewering, 162-245, makes the attribution to Niccolo Lelio Cosmico (1428-1500), a Trevisan-Paduan letterato. This fundamentally rests on Cosmico's possible relation to Teodoro Lelli, Bishop of Treviso (d. 1466), through the similarity of their last names (Lelio - Lelli). In the Hypnerotomachia, Polia refers to the bishop as her relative (Colonna, 1980, 1:379).

(6.) Colonna, 1998:2 and Colonna, 1999.

(7.) Gabriele and Ariani in Colonna, 1998:2, ix-lxi, esp. xxii and cviii, interpret the work as a syncreric philosophical allegory of die soul's journey from lasciviousness to wisdom. Stewering considers the book's representation of architecture in relation to Aristotelian natural philosophy taught at the university of Padua, where Cosmico was educated.

(8.) Calvesi, 1984.

(9.) Two studies that examine the book's reception by sixteenth-century Italian readers through examination of annotated copies are Fumagalli, 1992, and Stichel. The book's translation into French and English in the sixteenth century and its critical fortune and reception by artists and architects in those countries has been examined by Polizzi, 1987 and 1998; and Hieatt and Prescott.

(10.) Huper, Wilk, Schmidt, and Stewering.

(11.) On Petrarch's Triumphs and the Hypnerotomachia, see Gabriele in Colonna, 1998, 2:792-95; and Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:137, note 3.

(12.) No drawings for the woodcuts survive, though from the style of the woodcuts, the drawings from which the cuts were made have been attributed by several writers to Benedetto Bordon, a Paduan illuminator. On Bordon's career as a designer of book woodcuts see, most recently, Armstrong. See Donati, 1950, and Gabriele in Colonna, 1998, 2:xcviii-ciii, on discrepancies between text and image and artisanship of the woodcuts. However, Giehlow, 46-77, attributes the invention of the book's hieroglyphs to Urbano da Bolzano (or Valeriano), a Franciscan friar. Dempsey 1985, 354, discusses the combination of an incorrect textual description of a hieroglyphic inscription occurring in the Hypnerotomachia with its correct textual interpretation. He concludes that Colonna must therefore have been provided with drawings and explanations of the hieroglyphs by someone else, probably Fra Urbano.

(13.) Casella and Pozzi 2:11-31; Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, [2:10.sup.*]-[11.sup.*], 13-18;Mancini,29-48.

(14.) Pozzi, 1981; Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:12-13, Pozzi, 1993, 127. This is accepted by Oettinger, 79-80.

(15.) Colonna, 1980, 1:209 [n8r]. The number and letters within square brackets refer to the signatures on the leaves of the 1499 edition.

(16.) On Colonna's grammar and orthography see casella and Pozzi, 2:78-126; Mancini, 36-39. On his use of classical authors see Casella and Pozzi, 2:128-49; on Apuleius in particular, Fumagalli, 1984.

(17.) The language of the Hypnerctomachia and its relation to the debate over Latin and vernacular styles (the questione della lingua) has been discussed by Gnoli, 272-74; Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:11-13; Brown, 211; Agamben, 470-74; and Godwin in Colonna, 1999, ix-x. On the connection between Apuleianism and the Hypnerotomachia: Gnoli, 272, 276, Raimondi, 263-93; Dionisotti, 1968, 80-82, and D'Amico, 367-69.

(18.) Colonna, 1980:1 ix [[alpha]]: Res una in eo miranda est, quod, cum nostrati lingua loquatur, non minus ad eum cognoscendum opus sir graeca et romana quam tusca et vernacula.

(19.) On the publishing of Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Dante in Venice and northern Italy, Richardson, 31-39.

(20.) On the commentaries, Dionisotti, 1974, 83-87 and Richardson, 32-36. They were first published in a 1475-76 Bolognese edition and in all but two of the sixteen later editions issued before 1501. Filelfo's commentary was originally written in the 1440s for Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan. Only covering the first 136 poems, it was completed by Girolamo Squarzafico for the 1484 Venetian edition. The commentary to the Triumphs was written by a Sienese physician, Bernardo Illicino (or Lapini) by 1470, for Borso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.

(21.) On this edition, see Clough, 47-80; and Szepe, 1998, 196-98. Richardson, 49-52, on Bembo's editing, which in some instances regularized spelling and meter, deviating from manuscript sources.

(22.) Gli Asolani was dedicated to Lucretia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara. On its rhetorical and dialectical structure see Berm, 190-287.

(23.) McLaughlin, 267.

(24.) Bolzoni, 534-38.

(25.) On the dates of the writing of the Asolani, Berra, 12-13. In the Asolani, Bembo did nor explicitly state he was offering an imitative model to his readers, but he did so in the Prose della volgar lingua, written in the 1510s in a Boccaccian Tuscan, and published in 1525.

(26.) On courtly vernacular literature in the fifteenth century see Folena; Medin, 421-65; Rossi, 104-24.

(27.) Bembo extensively revised the Asolani in 1530 to reflect his rejection of Neoplatonism, since it was not compatible with his current theory of literary imitation, his status as a prelate, and the changed moral climate in which love poetry was then received. On the revisions, see Floriani, and Berra, 296-326.

(28.) Popelin in Colonna, 1883, Clxxviii-clxxxi; Ephrussi, 16; Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:19, 113, and Griggs, 38, who judges Colonna's use of vernacular style so unsuccessful that it could be considered unintentionally parodic.

(29.) Pigman, 23, examines emulation as eristic in intent. He ascribes such intention on the basis of explicit statements by authors who state their purpose is to surpass their sources. Pozzi, in Colonna, 1980, 2:18, considers Colonna's use of themes from several of Boccaccio's works, the Inferno, and Petrarch's Triumphs as motivated by a desire to surpass previous tradition. Conte, 30-31, on how texts, through allusion, construct readers' expectations; 36-37, distinguishes between allusion and emulation.

(30.) 535-36, proposes that Bembo, through the character of Perottino, authorizes a similar practice for readers in the passages quoted in notes 72 and 73 below. Javitch and Jossa, esp. 125-74, examine this type of creative authorial imitation and active reader reception in the Orlando Furioso, first published in 1516.

(31.) Cicero's orations, though not used to instruct students, were widely read; contemporary rhetorical works incorporated concepts found in Quintilian and Cicero. See Grendler, 207-34, on the teaching of rhetoric at the pre-university level; 214-15, on the Ad Herennium.

(32.) Also identified as Free Will; the confusion arises from the character's name, Eleuterilyda, which derives from the Greek [epsilon][lambda][epsilon]v[tau][epsilon][rho][alpha], liberal. Pozzi, in Colonna, 1980, 2:53 and 97, identifies her as free will, following the anonymous writer of the Hypnerotomachids vernacular preface who identifies her as "libero arbitrio" (xii). Ariani, in Colonna, 1998, 2:494, (note 1 to p. 5) and 2:674, note 3, instead notes her characteristics as described in the text and interprets Eleuterilyda and her realm to be an allegory of liberality by which Poliphio overcomes free will.

(33.) [Cicero], IV, xlix 63: Effictio est cum exprimatur atque effingitur verbis corporis cuispiam forma quoad satis sit ad intellegendum, hoc modo: 'Hunc, iudices, dico, rubrum, brevem, incurvum, canum, subscrispum, caesium, cui sane magna esta in mento cicatrix.'

(34.) An anonymous reader of this article kindly noted that description of female figures also appears in Latin lyric. Two examples cited by the reader are in Ovid: the description of Corinna in Amores 1, 5, 18-22; and of Daphne in Metamorphoses 1, 497-5 02.

(35.) On the poetics of the effictio in vernacular literature: Renier, esp. 105-47; Boyde, 290-91; Cropper, 1976; Pozzi, 1979; Dempsey, 1992, 54-56.

(36.) Thirty editions of the Historia were published between 1483 and 1500. The effictio of Lucretia is in Piccolomini (Pope Pius II), 29-30.

(37.) Geoffrey of Vinsauf, lines 598-99, in Fatal, 215. Pozzi, 1979, analyzes the function of metaphor in the effictio.

(38.) Bembo, 156-57, lines 30-57.

(39.) Bembo, 326, lines 61-63: "Gigli, caltha, viole, acantho et rose/Et rubini et zaphiri et perle et oro/Scopro, s'io miro nel bel vostro volto." (Lilies, marigold, violet, acanthus, and rose / And rubies and sapphires and pearl and gold/I discover, if I look at your beautiful face.)

(40.) Pozzi, 1979, 22-26; Cropper, 1986.

(41.) The Commedia delle Ninfe Fiorentine was written 1341-42, and printed twice before 1500. Specific citations of the work are noted by Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:130-32. The effictio of Polia is also discussed in Renier, 146-47, and Avesani, 438-40.

(42.) Colonna, 1980, 1:134 [i3v]: Et ecco una come insigne et festiva nympha d'indi cum la sua ardenre facola in mano, despartitosi da quelli, verso me dirigendo tendeva gli virginei passi, onde, manifestamente vedendo che lei era una vera er reale puella, non me mossi, ma lacto l'aspectai.

(43.) Ibid., 135 [i4r]: Vestiva dunque questa elioida nympha el virgineo et divo corpusculo di subtilissimo panno di verde seta textile.

(44.) Pozzi in Colonna, 1980. 2:130, note 7.

(45.) Ibid., 1:135, [i4r]: "una bombicina interula ... la quale camisia."

(46.) Ibid., 136 [i4v]: cum minutissimi stralleti di bractea d'oro, instabili pendenti, in molti lochi venustissimamente dispensati. These can be seen hemming the neckline of a dress in Vittore Carpaccio's Two Venetian Ladies, ca. 1495 (Venice, Museo Correr).

(47.) Ibid. Di sotto questo indumento, di sopra dicta, copriva el suo tenuissimo suparo incrispulato, di seta candida di minutissimo lavorio, il quale tegeva quella pretiosa came, quale purpurante rose, nel discrime del suo spatioso et delitioso pecto, agli ochii mei piu grato che al fesso er profugato cervo gli freschi rivi. Compare Ariani and Gabriele in Colonna, 1998: 2,161 who translate "purpurante" as "purpuree"; and Godwin in Colonna, 1999, 144, as "crimson." A Latin Dictionary, s. v. "purpureus," lists "shining," "splendid," and "beautiful" among the definitions of the transferred sense of the word.

(48.) Ibid., 136 [i4v]: Da poscia, oltra tutte queste gratissime cose, dava pertinace opera cum furat<r>ini ed seduli risguardi in vagegiare volupticamente le contumace et tumidule papille, impatiente al suppresso del tenuissimo vestiti: quelle dunque non importunamente iudicai che tanta dignitate di spectatissima opera l'artifice solamente per se et per suo extremo oblecatmento cum omni diligentia haverle bellissime formate et coadunato quivi omni violentia di amore.

(49.) Ibid., 137-38, [i5r]: gli labelli della quale non tumidi, ma m<a>defacti et depicti de muricea tinctura, tegevano la uniforme continuatione degli piccoli et elephantici denti, uno non sopra eminente all'altro, ma in ordine aegualmente dispositi, tra gli quail Amore una spirabile ridolentia indesinente componeva.

(50.) Ibid., 138 [i5v]: Et dicio omni male exordio de tanta perturbativa et contentiosa commotione furono gli insaturi et infestissimi ochii mei, gli quali io sentiva de tanta et tale noxia lite nel tristo et vulnerato core interseminarii et siscitanti.

(51.) Ibid., Si almeno tutto el potesiamo discoprire.

(52.) Ibid., 139 [i6r]: de tutti cupido, di niuno integramente rimane di l'ardente appetito contento, ma de bulimia infecto.

(53.) Examined in Vickers, 1981 and 1982.

(54.) Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:14*. Pozzi, 1976, 492-93, discusses this quality in terms of the syntax of the description in general, not specifically in relation to the effictio.

(55.) On back-turned figures in paintings as empathetic surrogates for the viewer, see Koch, esp. 61-72.

(56.) Compare Pelosi, 93-95, whose analysis of Polia's description ignores the work of Renier, Pozzi, 1979, and Cropper, 1986, on the tradition of the effictio as a literary convention. She erroneously concludes that the breaking up of the order amplifies the power of the description, rendering the image more visible and palpable than in Boccaccio.

(57.) Pozzi, 1981, 77-78.

(58.) Pozzi, 1979, 16-17.

(59.) Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:14*.

(60.) Gabriele in Colonna, 1998, 2:777.

(61.) Pozzi, 1993, 129, notes that, by contrast, in a later section of the book there is a lengthy description of a female figure and costume which prefaces a specific image of her [330, x4v]. He attributes differences in detail and specificity between the two woodcuts to the latter's function as a descriptive illustration. However, the illustration is a composite figure of the handmaids of Psyche, not the woman who is the object of Poliphilo's desire. As a composite, the illustration is a visual form of a synecdoche.

(62.) Colonna, 1980 1:139 [i6r]. Baxandall, 35-38, discusses the use of this story by Cicero, Boccaccio and Alberti as an exemplum of literary or artistic imitation.

(63.) On the antithesis in Italian Renaissance art theory and practice, Summers, 1977, esp. 339, and Shearman, 83.

(64.) Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:12 * characterizes all the textual descriptions of places in the book as either foci amoeni or loci terribiles. On the tradition of the locus amoenus see Curtius, 195-200.

(65.) Colonna, 1980, 1:42 [c5v]: "che tali Callimacho Catategnos dal calatho sopra la sepulta virgine corinthia non vide il germinato acantho, ad exprimere il suo venusto ornato non fece." Pozzi, in Ibid., 2:80, note 2, identifies the source as Vitruvius.

(66.) Ibid., 1:141 [i7r].

(67.) On the antithesis in Petrarch, see Alonzo, 100-06; Herczeg; and Mazzotta, 1993, 58-79. Antithetical metaphor was not described by ancient rhetoricians (Quintilian, IX, iii 81-86, and [Cicero], IV, xv 21); they defined antithesis (contentio or contrapositium), a style of contrasts, separately from metaphor (translatio), the transfer of one word for another.

(68.) Petrarch, 1976, 302-03.

(69.) Ibid., 87-88.

(70.) Ibid.

(71.) Bembo, 135, lines 17-18: "Le quai se tanto di verita havessono in se, quanto die hanno di vaghezza, io incontro di Perottino non parlerei." (If those things had in themselves as much truth as they do beauty, I would not dispute with Perottino.)

(72.) Ibid., lines 18-24: Hora che vi debbo io dire? Non sa egli per se stesso ciascuno di noi, sanza che io parli, che queste sono specialissime licenze, non meno de gli amanti che de' poeti, infingere le cose molte volre troppo da ogni forma di verita differenti et lontane? dare occasioni alla penna ben nuove, bene da veruno per adietro non intese, bene tra se stesse discordanti et alla natura medesima importabili ad essere sofferute giamai? Brown, 207, cites a version of this passage in English at the opening of her chapter devoted to the Hypnerotomachia to demonstrate a specifically Venetian evocation of antiquity in art.

(73.) Ibid., lines 38-47: E quali nello scrivere le piu volte quegli medesimi affetti favolleggiano che fanno e dolorosi, non perche essi alcuno di que'miracoli pruovino in loro che e miseri et tristi dicono sovente di provare, ma fannolo per porgere diversi soggetti a gl'inchiostri, accio che variando con questi colori le loro rime, l'amorosa pintura riesca a gli occhi de'riguardanti piu vaga. Percio che del fuoco, col quale s'affatica Perotrino di rinforzare la maraviglia de gli amorosi avenimenti, quale mie carte, o di qualunque altro lieto amante che scriva, non son piene? ne pure di fuoco solamente, ma di ghiaccio insieme er di quelle cotante disaguaglianze, le quali piu di leggiero nelle rime s'accozzano che nel cuore?

(74.) Colonna, 1980, 1:141 [i6r] and 2:133.

(75.) Ibid., 1:142 [i7v]: "Et gia quasi superato et vincto non mediocremente da incentivo et interno appetito, tra me taciturnulo cogitando, variamente altercava: 'O foelicissimo sopra qualunche amatore chi dell'amore de questa fosse, se non in tutto, almeno alquanto participevole copularo!' Dopo, ad gli mei improbi desii improbando, opponeva dicente: 'O me, a pena mi se darebbe ad credere che tale nymphe cum gli impari et terrestri.'" (And already almost overcome and conquered not moderately by instigative and internal appetite, silently thinking, thoughts among me variously altercated: 'O most happy, above any other lover, is he who will join to her in love, if not wholly, in least in a shared part.' Then, saying to my evil desires, disapproving, opposed: 'O me hardly I give myself to believe that such nymphs would have deigned to be with such unequals and terrestrial beings.')

(76.) Ibid., 1:143-44 [i8r, i8v]: Er sentendo io el gia concusso pecto dall'intime asperitare et tacitamente riempleto et compressamente stipato, et racolti in se gli discoli pensieri et cum operoso amore pensando, se ampliava et augevase la non piu risanabile piaga. Et restricti in me gli paulatini et pusilli spiriti, quasi auso me assicurava de manifestaregli, exprimendo gli Mei intensi fervori et amotosi concepti, alhora, tutto perdutome in caeco desio, il perche non valeva piu io recusare ad gli invadenti accessorii et ad gli caustici ebullimenti resistere et vociferare cum incitata et piena voce et dire: 'O delicata et diva damigella, qualunque sei, meno che cusi valide facole usa ad arderme et di consumate el mio tristo core; hora mai per tuto arde da indesinente et stimoloso incendio et me per medio Palma sento transfigere et penetrate uno pontuto et acutissimo et flammeo dardo.' Et cusi dicendogli, di volere di discoprire il celato foco et minute alquantulo la exacerbatione che io pativa, excessivamen te ingravescente per stare occultata questa d'amore rabiosa et terrible inflammatione, ma patientemente io restai. Et per tale modo tutte queste fervide et grave agitatione et temerarii pensieri et lascivi et violenti apetiti io gli reflecteva, vedandome cum la mia toga sordido, la quale ancora gli harpaguli delle mordice lapule nella selva infixi rentineva. Pozzi in Colonna, 1980, 2:134, note 10, considers the phrase "me assicurava" modifies the phrase "Et cusi dicendogli, di volere."

(77.) Ibid., 141 [i6v].

(78.) Durling, in Perrarch, 1976, 58, note to Poem 22, identifies the wood as a metaphor for sexual desire, following Virgil, Aeneid, Book 6. Filelfo, in Pettrarch, 1497, fol. 12v, identifies Virgil as Pettrarch's source for this metaphor. The wood as a metaphor for sdexuality also occurs in two other of Pettarch's poems: 214, lines 21-23; "prima che medicine antiche o nove / saldin le piaghe ch'i presi in quel bosco / folto di spine," and 237, lines 14-15: "ma sospirando andai matino et sera, / poi ch'Amor femmi un cittadin de'boschi."

(79.) Colonna, 1980 1:79 [e8r]: 'Heu me,' diss'io, 'per quella divinitate a cui succumbendo servite, ve supplico, non agiungete face et non accumulate teda et resina al mio incredibile incendio, non picate piu il mio arsibile core, non me fate ischiantare, ye prego. Imperoche non mediocremenre me perdo et totalmente me strugo.'

(80.) Dionisotti, 1974, 80-81.

(81.) Colonna 1980, 1:65, 189; Szepe, 1996, 377, 381; Brown, 216-218.

(82.) Donati, 1950, 129, compared the composition of the woodcut to a fresco by Botticelli's workshop (Lorenzo Tornabuoni Presented to the Seven Liberal Arts, formerly Florence, Villa Lemmi, now Paris, Louvre), and thus evidence of a central Italian or Roman identity for the book's author. He judged Poliphilo's gesture as a misunderstanding, by the artist executing the woodcuts, of a drawing by Colonna contained in a putative manuscript version of the Hypnerotomachia. Stewering, 33-34, discusses Poliphilo's arousal by Polia, but relates it to a philosophized treatment of love and eros. She does not discuss the related woodcut.

(83.) [Cicero], IV xxxii 43: Denominatio est quae ab rebus propinquis et finitimis trahit orationem qua possit intellegi res quae non suo vocabulo sit appellata. A painting closely related to the culture of the Hypnerotomachia, Giovanni Bellini's Feast of the Gods, 1514 (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art), contains a similar metonymical representation. In it, the genitals of Priapus are alluded to by bunched drapery at his groin and a lira da braccio seen in the space between his legs.

(84.) Gabriele in Colonna, 1998, 2:778 summarizes the classical and vernacular symbolism of the facola.

(85.) Colonna, 1980, 1:139 [i6r]: La bellissima nympha ad Poliphilo perventa, cum una facola nella sinistra manu gerula et cum la soluta presolo, lo invita cum essa andare, et quivi Poliphilo incomincia, piu da dolce amore della elegante damigella concalfacto, gli senrimenti infiammarsene.

(86.) Boyde, 56-57, notes that Geoffrey of Vinsauf equates periphrasis, metonymy, and a species of emphasis.

(87.) [Cicero], IV, liii 67: Significatio es res quae plus in suspicione relinquit quam positum est in oratione. On rhetorical figures in Italian sixteenth-century painting, Pardo, esp. 87-90.

(88.) Pozzi, 1993, 131.

(89.) Colonna, 1980, 1:140 [n7r]: La quale, cum el niveo brachio della sinistra, al chioneo pecto appodiata gestava una accensa et lucente facola, oltra el dorato capo alquanto eminente, la extrema graciliscente parte de quella cum istringente pugno retinente, et porgendo accortamente el soluto brachio, candidissimo piu che mai fusse quello de Pelope, nel quale appariano la subtile cephalica et la basilica fibra, quale sandaline lineature tirate sopra al mundissimo papyro. Et cum la delicata dextra morigeratamente praehendendo la mia leva, cum dilatata et splendida fronte, er cum la ridente bocha cinnama fragrante et le afossate bucce, et cum la ornatissima loquela, blandicula piacevolmente dixe: 'O Poliphile, par ad me securo veni et non haesitate unquantulo.' Io allhora sentivi gli spiriti mei stupefacti, mirabondo como ella el nome mio sapesse, et, tutte le parte interiore prosternate, d'una fervescente flamma amorosa circundarle et la voce occuparsi, tra timore serata et venerabile pudore. Et cusi disaved utamente ignorava che dicio a llei condignamente respondere valesse ne altramente reverire la diva virguncula, se non che io praestamente gli offeriti la indigna et disconvenevola mano.

(90.) Boyde, 288-99. It must be noted, however, that the effictio of the beautiful woman is most developed in Italian literature in the epic romance. A prime example of this is the description of the nymph Emilia in Boccaccio's Teseida, Chapter Twelve, discussed in Cropper, 1976, 387.

(91.) Colonna, 1980, 2:12 *-13. *

(92.) Mitchell.

(93.) Compare Gombrich, 96, who judges economy of means as a universal transhistorical imperative of artistic production.

(94.) Summers, 1981, 177-85.

(95.) "The manuscript of Leonardo's treatise exists as a sixteenth-century transcription of his notes by Francesco Melzi, a pupil. Da Vinci, Chapter 20, lines 2-3, in Farago, 214: "La pittura una poesia che si vede e non si sente, et la poesia una pittura che si sente and non si vede." The chapter continues with a comparison of the descriptive effects of painting and poetry. Lee, 56-60, on Leonardo's treatise.

(97.) Brown, 212, 216.

(96.) These are discussed by Pozzi in Colonna, 1980:2.

(98.) Pozzi, 1979, 22-30; Cropper, 1986, esp. 175-81.

(99.) "Onians, 210-11, examines the architecture described in the Hypnerotomachia in relation to the concept of decorum.

(100.) Quintilian, VIII, vi, 1: Tropus est verbi vel sermonis appropria significatione in alium virtute mutatio. Ibid., IX, I, 5 lists them as metaphor, synecdoche, metonymy, antonomasia, onomatopoeia, metalepsis, allegory, periphrasis, catachresis, and hyperbole. Conte, 23-24, 55-56, on the functional equivalence of tropes and allusion.

(101.) Quintilian, VIII, v, 3; VIII, vi, 19 and IX, ii, 40.

(102.) Colonna, 1980, 1:ix [[alpha]]: Illud accedit, quod si quac res natura sua dfficiles essent, amoenitate quadam, tamquam reserato omnis generis florum viridario, oratione suavi declarantur et proferuntur figurisque et imaginibus oculis subiectae patent et referuntur. Compare Ariani and Gabriele in Colonna, 1998 2:6, who translate "figuribus as "nei symboli," and Godwin in Colonna, 1999, 2, who translates it as "in illustrations."

(103.) Beyond the Ameto, Popelin, in Colonna, 1883, clxxx, noted his extensive use of elements from the Fiammetta, the Corbaccio, and the Filocolo; Ephrussi, 16, emphasized the importance of the Ameto and the Filocolo. The story of Nastagio as a source for Colonna, was first noted by Popelin in Colonna, 1883, clxxxvii. Pozzi and Casella, 2:313, on the overall absence of the Decameron from Colonna's sources. Pozzi, in Colonna, 1980: 2,9 *, on the specific inclusion of the tale of Nastagio, which concludes in marriage, as proof of the book's ethical aims, and 2:17 on the exclusion of the novelle tradition as a whole as evidence of Colonna's desire to follow in a more elevated literary tradition.

(104.) Forni, 68; Marcus, 1-3; Mazzotta, 1986, 4-5, on the critical history of the Decameron as realistic or naturalistic work. Forni, 101-03, examines Boccaccio's use, in the tale of Zima, of the figure of sermocinatio (dialogue) and a convention, codified in the Vita nuova, that the lady's refusal to respond to the lover's entreaties encourages him to further praise. Marcus, 64-67, analyzes the tale of Fra Cipolla as a total inversion of the ethical aims of sacred oratory. Mazzotta, 1986, 65, considers Boccaccio's intention in the story as parodic.

(105.) Marcus, 56-58.

(106.) Mazzotta, 1986, 116-9.

(107.) On these tales, Forni, 66, 71-74; on boccaccio's inventive practice, 57-88.

(108.) The phrase is Bembo's synonym for mentula. Salemi, 89-91, translates Bembo's poem, written in imitation of the poems of the ancient Latin corpus Priapea, then attributed to Virgil.

(109.) Lowry, 121-22, concludes that the linguistic aspects of the Hypnerotomachia convinced Aldus to publish a work which Lowry judges visually obscene.

(110.) However, the visual qualities of the Decameron's text were specifically praised by Bernardo Dovizi, one of the speakers in the Courtier. In his discussion of the type of humor appropriate for courtiers, he noted Boccaccio's written evocation of gesture in the novelle of Belcore and Calendrino as a means of provoking laughter. Castiglione, 148-49.

(111.) As do Calvesi, 1996, and Donati, 1975.

(112.) Szepe, 1991, 22, 36-51; and 1996, 370.

(113.) Szepe, 1991, 45.


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The Rule, the Bible, and the Council: The Library of the Benedictine Abbey at Praglia.
August Wilson: A Casebook.
Torquato Tasso e Francesco Patrizi: tra polemiche letterarie e incontri intellettuali. .
De constitutione tragoediae: La poetique d'Heinsius. .
Teaching K. A. Porter's "That Tree".
Puzzling plots.

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