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From Solomon’s Temple to Hagia Sophia: A Metaphorical Journey for Andrea Mantegna

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Chapter Summary

The connection between the Temple of Solomon and Hagia Sophia is illustrated by the tapestry of the Annunciation, which has been given a variety of proposed datings and attributions; most recently it has been dated to 1470-1471 or shortly thereafter, at the time of Duke Ludovico II Gonzaga, and is believed to have been woven by a Mantuan workshop, copied from a cartoon from the circle of Andrea Mantegna datable to about 1469-1470, in some way prompted by Mantegna himself. Forti Grazzini have associated the architecture of the Temple of Solomon at the left side of the Annunciation with that of the architecture depicted in the Agony in the Garden in Tours, which he believes are both freely inspired by the cupola conceived by Leon Battista Alberti for the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini, documented in the well-known medal made by Matteo de' Pasti in 1451.

Keywords: Andrea Mantegna; Duke Ludovico II Gonzaga; Forti Grazzini; Hagia Sophia; Mantuan workshop; Temple of Solomon



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