This “Atlas” devoted to sculptural and architectural works by Tullio Lombardo and his family workshop is an online resource providing as many photographs as possible of the same statue, low relief, ornamental item, palazzo or religious building. The photographs will be accompanied by a concise information sheet that will include key physical data, geographical position, main historical references and an essential record of the images (the date of the photograph, the photographer’s name, the copyright and how to acquire a high-definition copy suitable for publication).
The key feature of the Atlas is in fact that there are several images of the same subject. They range from paintings, drawings, engravings and casts from before the advent of photography right up to digital photographs taken on specially conducted campaigns. The campaigns were carried out not only to partly obviate the inevitable relativism and subjectivism characterising almost all two-dimensional reproductions of three-dimensional plastic works and especially of architectural spaces. They were also a way of ordering the survey material in an historical sequence that narrates the history of the subject, its iconographic tradition and, equally important, its state of conservation, at least in the 150 years since the invention and diffusion of the camera. In short, the underlying conviction is that only through a wide selection of photographs can the original uniqueness of the subject be evoked.
In addition to the images already in the Giorgio Cini Foundation photographic archives (the original core of this catalogue), the Atlas brings together photographs from various local, national and international archives, such as those of the heritage superintendencies, Venice Civic Museums and universities. The archives have been supported so far by the Archivio Böhm, Save Venice and the Venetian heritage superintendencies. A copy of the photographic archive of Anne Markham Schulz and Mario Polesel (Fotoflash) is also currently being acquired.
Lastly, a photographic campaign on the works by Tullio Lombardo was conducted by the students in an ESF course taught by Alessandra Chemollo at the Venice University Institute of Architecture (IUAV) in the 2006-2007 academic year.
The Atlas offers the possibility to view photographs and illustrations of all the known works by Tullio Lombardo and his workshop. This group of artists includes Tullio’s father Pietro, his brother Antonio, his son Sante, and nephews or grandsons Girolamo, Ludovico and Tommaso. Also included are works by workshops assistants, albeit of a rougher quality, as has been revealed by stylistic assessments.
The visual path begins logically with overall views of individual works, monuments and buildings designed and constructed by the Lombardo family. The focus then moves closer in to illustrate details, when possible and if the material is available. At times, diagrams, surveys and drawn reconstructions complement the photographic material.
By browsing or using the system of links you can easily move from one information sheet to another and rapidly find cross-referenced or statistical data. There are several search-by options – such as author, title, subject, material, position and date – enabling users to find material from various epistemological starting points.
It is the hope of the Cini Foundation, patron and host of the Lombardo Committee, that making available the huge quantity of information in this photographic archive will encourage a return to studies and mark further interest in the work of the great Venetian sculptors.