• Il collezionismo poetico: Cardinal Pietro Bembo and the Formation of Collecting Practices in Venice and Rome in the Early Sixteenth-Century

      Cooper, Tracy Elizabeth; Hall, Marcia B.; Bolman, Elizabeth S., 1960-; Lukehart, Peter M., 1955- (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Cardinal Pietro Bembo's accomplishments as a poet, linguist, philologist, and historian are well known, but his activities as an art collector have been comparatively little studied. In his writing, he directed his attention to the past via texts--Ciceronean Latin and Petrarchan Italian--for their potential to transform present and future ideas. His assembly of antiquities and contemporary art served an intermediary function parallel to his study of texts. In this dissertation I investigate Bembo as an agent of cultural exchange by offering a reconstruction of his art collection and, in so doing, access his thinking in a way not yet accomplished in previous work on this writer. Chapter One offers a historiographic overview of my topic and collecting as a subject of art historical study. Chapter Two maps the competition and overlapping interests of collectors who bought from Bembo's heirs. Chapter Three calls upon anthropological methodology for treating the study of material culture and applies it to Bembo's mission as a collector. Chapter Four concludes with a statistical analysis of subjects and object types to which Bembo was drawn. In the extensive Object Catalog individual works are examined in conjunction with one another and considered for what they reveal about Bembo's theoretical strategy. Appendix A is a timeline outlining Bembo's life. Appendix B is a chronologically ordered selection of accounts describing Bembo as a collector and descriptions of his collection and his properties. Appendix C is a Bembo family tree. Appendix D presents by location known repositories for traced objects that can be connected to Bembo's collection. The recovery of Pietro Bembo as a collector illustrates that his wide-ranging ambitions were intertwined. His museum was not a place fixed in geography but, rather, a dynamic mechanism for transmitting the analytic power and poetic potential he located in the visual.