Una silloge strumentale per Francesco II d'Este: analisi iconologica e considerazioni sullo stile


  • Valeria De Lucca


The collection of Sonate per camera violino e violoncello di vari autori contains twelve sonatas for violin and cello by ten composers from the Bolognese area. Notably, every page of this collection is richly decorated with engravings by the Bolognese artist, cellist, engraver, and stage designer, Carlo Antonio Buffagnotti.
The absence of bibliographical information or of a dedication makes it difficult to identify the cultural milieu of this extraordinarily elaborate artistic creation. Through a comparison of the iconographical topics of the engravings and archival documents and Bolognese chronicles of the late seventeenth century, it is possible to reconstruct pivotal events of the war between the Sacred Roman Empire and the Turkish in 1683. Buffagnotti decided to use iconographical topoi concerning this victory to make homage to the noble dedicatee of the collection, whose coat-of-arms, a trophy with a lily in the middle appears in the last engraving, Francesco II of Este. The musical forms and stylistic features of the sonatas provide further evidence that the collection originated in Emilia, thus documenting a critical connection between Bolognese musicians and the court of Francesco II.
In addition to establishing a methodology for the study and interpretation of sources containing both music and images, this article poses new historical and musical questions on the role fo Francesco II of Este, and on the intense cultural exchange between the two capitals of Emilian music of the late seventeenth century.