By Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio logró con el Decamerón, en palabras de Herman Hesse, «la primera gran obra maestra de los angeles narrativa europea». Titulado así por l. a. palabra griega que designa «diez jornadas», es uno de los grandes monumentos de l. a. literatura universal.

Siete damas y tres jóvenes se retiran a las afueras de Florencia huyendo de l. a. peste de 1348. Allí permanecen diez días con sus diez noches y, para distraerse, cada uno de ellos debe hacerse shipment de una jornada completa de entretenimiento. los angeles actividad important se centra en los angeles narración de cuentos de amor y muerte y engaño, protagonizados por clérigos lascivos, reyes locos, amantes taimados y milagreros farsantes, entre otros.

Abre esta edición el célebre ensayo Boccaccio m edieval, donde Vittore Branca disecciona el espíritu boccacciano para reivindicar su gozosa tradición medieval y rechazar las lecturas renacentistas espurias y forzadas.

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6. Tilman Riemenschneider, Altar of the Holy Blood, brown-glazed limewood, c. 1499–1505 25 The art of the altarpiece Indeed, it is significant that the carpenter who made the shrine-like structure that housed Riemenschneider’s carvings was initially supposed to be paid 50 florins, exactly the same amount as the sculptor himself. Only after the altar had been completed did the latter’s fee increase to 60 florins, thanks to a special bonus payment given for a job well done. But the fact that ‘mere’ carpentry was valued nearly as highly as an object that we would today consider a work of art is very revealing.

In 1566, a British witness described one such act of devastation in the Cathedral of Antwerp, one of the main towns in the Southern Netherlands, in what is known today as Belgium: I went into the church . . It looked like a hell, as if heaven and earth had gone together, with falling images and beating down of costly works . . all, destroyed! [It was] the costliest church in Europe; and they have so spoiled it, that they have not left a place to sit on in the church. 29 The art of the altarpiece Such virulent iconoclasm, which occurred from the third decade of the 16th century onwards in different parts of Northern Europe, according to local religious but also political circumstances, not only resulted in the wholesale destruction of literally centuries of religious art of all types, including innumerable altarpieces, but also severely reduced the working opportunities for artists who had previously relied so extensively on lavish altarpiece commissions for their livelihoods.

Raphael Sanzio, The Entombment of Christ, oil on panel, 1507 The altarpiece was commissioned by a noblewoman, Atalanta Baglioni of Perugia. Atalanta had been widowed at a relatively young age and, having never remarried, she had become the head of her household. Significantly, this meant that she was now in charge of the family’s wealth and income, an unusual situation for a woman in this period, but one that would have allowed her to decide independently to hire the ambitious young artist. At the time of Atalanta’s commission, Perugia was a city of violence: not only did the town engage in military skirmishes with its neighbours, but inside its walls, its powerful ruling clans were frequently involved in bloody feuds with rival families.

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