Classical Triumphs in the Illuminated Manuscripts from the Reigns of Ferrante and Alfonso II of Naples
During the 15th century, triumphal processions encountered a large success in the visual arts. The theme appeared frequently in illustrated manuscripts, particularly in the all’antica style illumination, which spread from Veneto to Rome and Naples during the second half of the century. This paper investigates models, styles, and specific characters of triumphal processions painted in manuscripts from the reigns of Ferrante (1458-1494) and Alfonso II (1494-1495). While the dissemination of the triumph more Romano in late Aragonese illumination was strongly influenced by Paduan illuminators active in Rome and by Andrea Mantegna, in Naples it flourished in a political context marked by the program of self-celebration and self-legitimization of the reigning dynasty. On a different level, the recurrence of the classical theme of the triumph sheds light on the climate of classical revival permeating the Aragonese milieu and on the influential role played by humanists in the politics of images promoted by the court.