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Fashion, Devotion and Contemplation

The Status and Functions of Italian Renaissance Plaquettes

Marika Leino

Italian Renaissance ‘plaquettes’ are often stored and displayed as a homogeneous category or genre in museum collections due to their apparently uniform small relief format. This has resulted in a scholarly literature that has concentrated largely on connoisseurship and taken the form of catalogues, thereby both responding to and propagating the myth of this classification. However, what is often forgotten, or buried deep in scattered catalogue entries, is that during the Renaissance this small relief format was regularly mass-produced and employed extensively in a variety of different contexts. Far from being a homogeneous category, plaquettes were originally viewed as many separate types of object, including pieces for personal adornment, liturgical objects, domestic artefacts, and models for architecture and painting. For the Renaissance consumer, the commission of a hat badge with a personal motto, the purchase of an off-the-shelf inkwell or the acquisition of a small relief for his study were separate concerns.
The aim of this book is to redress the balance by examining these reliefs in terms of their use, alongside broader issues regarding the status of such objects within visual, scholarly and artistic culture from the fifteenth century to the early sixteenth.

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Appendix 3 Plaquette Designs on Lombard Architectural Monuments

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Appendix 3 Plaquette Designs on Lombard Architectural Monuments1 This appendix lists the major Lombard architectural structures which fea- ture reliefs based on, or related to, plaquette designs. The sources for this listing are threefold: references in plaquette and architecture literature, the author’s own on-site observations and secondary sources. Francesco Rossi pioneered this field in 1977, when he listed several plaquette designs employed on architectural reliefs in an article which has since been quoted in most plaquette literature as providing a comprehensive guide to the dis- tribution of these designs.2 However, Rossi did not list all designs system- atically, with the result that many were omitted and several misidentified. This appendix aims to provide a more complete listing of the major build- ings and monuments in Lombardy featuring schemes of plaquette-inspired decoration, whilst acknowledging that there must be other designs which remain unrecognised. The appendix lists each architectural structure in order of appearance in Chapter 3, with monuments not discussed in the chapter included at the end. The entries take the following form: Name of monument or structure Location: Town where structure was originally based Date: Date of structure Architect/Designer: Name of architect or designer of monument Notes: Notes considered important for the understanding of the monu- ment and any notes regarding present location 1 This appendix was published in Leino 2006. It is included here to provide a full view of the dif ferent areas of plaquette use discussed in this book. 2 Rossi 1977, 115–134, list on 117....

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