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9. Veritas filia temporis: Time in Cinquecento Propaganda

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Chapter Summary

The revival of time imagery in Renaissance sovereign propaganda was inspired by the paradigms of Roman imperial iconography. The process began in the Quattrocento with stock leitmotifs in heraldic contexts, and reached a peak in oriented programs of the Cinquecento. Throughout the Cinquecento the iconography of time and temporality was augmented by new and complex imagery that was charged with moral, intellectual and practical connotations in unprecedented contexts. Personifications of temporal periods, such as Michelangelo's Times of Day in the Medici Chapel, created in a sepulchral, commemorative context, or Pontormo's mythological representations of the seasons at the Medici villa in Poggio a Caiano demonstrate how traditional cyclic motifs, interpreted through inspired forms or content, could be adapted in varied ways to dynastic panegyrics. During the first half of the Cinquecento, the representation of Time conflated with Saturn was adopted in art forms and media, expressing a new conception of temporality.

Keywords: Cinquecento; Medici Chapel; Quattrocento; Renaissance sovereign propaganda; Times of Day



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