You are here

Architectural Trees and Moorish Knots in Leonardo's Sala Delle Asse

Title: Architectural Trees and Moorish Knots in Leonardo's Sala Delle Asse.
Name(s): Young, Thane, author
Freiberg, Jack, professor directing thesis
Leitch, Stephanie, committee member
Neuman, Robert, committee member
Department of Art History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Leonardo da Vinci's decoration of the Sala delle Asse in the Castello Sforzseca in Milan is a fresco decoration commissioned by Ludovico Il Moro, the Duke of Milan in 1498. The work is best described as an emblem of ducal power. In this thesis I will provide interpretations for two of the principal motifs in the room. The fresco, which covers the walls and vault, is developed around an illusionistic structure formed by sixteen mulberry trees whose interlaced branches are bound by a golden, knotted rope. The trees and the rope both offer a wealth of symbolic and punning allusions. The mulberry, or moro tree, referenced the Duke's nickname, The Moor, and the knotted, arabesque rope provided additional wordplays. The complex, interlaced patterns of the rope represented Moresque, or Moorish designs. Ludovico Il Moro, The Moor, used these ornamental patterns as a personal symbol. The rope motif alludes to the name of the artist, as Moresque interlaces were also known as fantasia dei vinci. In addition to these puns, there are various layers of symbolic meaning encoded within the iconography of the room. Political, dynastic, and Platonic allusions are all referenced in the fresco decoration. In this study I will seek to integrate the iconographic elements of the room, which includes commemorative plaques honoring the Hapsburg Emperor Maximilian I, and a shield emblazoned with ducal arms. I will also trace the evolution of the mulberry tree as the personal symbol of the Duke, and address the function of this highly arcane imagery.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0750 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Art History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: April 4, 2011.
Keywords: Leonardo da Vinci, Ludovico Sforza, Sala delle Asse
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Jack Freiberg, Professor Directing Thesis; Stephanie Leitch, Committee Member; Robert Neuman, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Art -- History
Archaeology -- History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Young, T. (2011). Architectural Trees and Moorish Knots in Leonardo's Sala Delle Asse. Retrieved from