Images from antiquity
All these artists dipped into their classical and local heritage, borrowing forms of triumph and models from Antiquity. The influence of Rome can be detected in all triumphal entries. An especially striking example of this is the entry of archduke Ernst into Antwerp in 1594, where a copy of the Colosseum was used to depict the Theatre of Peace.
Illustration 18 shows an exterior view of the monument in Antwerp.
Illustration 19 shows the same monument opened up to reveal the figure of Concord.
Roman influence is also evident in the use of obelisks, commemorative plaques, and in the many transformations of the triumphal chariot which had carried Caesar into Rome to receive the acclamations of the crowd after his numerous victories. Mantegna had made familiar this vision of the Emperor erect in his car, surrounded by trophies of the battles he had won and followed by the dejected kings he had humbled. Renaissance artists played with this form and, by the end of the sixteenth century, although obviously still recognizable as a triumphal chariot, efforts had been made to make the chariot even more spectacular. Elephants and carriage wheels in the form of the sun, for example, brought in Persian knights for the wedding of the Duke in Florence in 1579.
Illustration 20 shows these spectacular figures as they were modelled in 1579 for the wedding of Francesco I and Bianca Cappello.
For the same event Mars was drawn in by two shaggy lions.
Here (Illustration 21), the god of war is shown standing on a figure representing a langoustine or lobster.
In 1616, at a staged opera in Florence, a great rock, drawn by horses, supported Atlas and the world. Illustration 22 shows the entry of the Sun.
At La Rochelle in 1636 (Illustration 23), even the Roman Circus has been crammed onto a triumphal car.
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