Ottone d'Assia and Riccardo Francovich Award (2006).
The analysis of the so-called "Venetian-Byzantine" sculptures is part of the materials preserved at the National Museum of Cividale del Friuli (UD), and then broadens to include a broad review of this class of products, which mainly concern the Adriatic and the city of Venice in particular. The chronological horizon of reference for the Cividale pieces lies between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, even if these productions, with slightly simplified and standardized forms, lasted until the XNUMXth century. Patere and tiles, as well as string courses with numerous variations, represent a decorative system for the facades of prestigious buildings, born and fully developed in the Venetian context. These decorations, however, at least for what concerns the iconographic motifs, denounce close links with the art of the Near and Middle East, through the mediation of the Byzantine world, the Visigoths in Spain, the Arabs. This contamination of models and iconographies must have occurred above all through small-format artistic products, easily conveyed and widely distributed, not excluding fine tableware ceramics. The study, for the first time, attempts to retrace all the disparate cultural currents that find their complete and unitary affirmation in the paterae and in the tiles, treating these materials with an archaeological and material approach and not exclusively traditionally historical-artistic. A significant part of the research was dedicated to the analysis of historical materials, marbles and pigments, which revealed the presence of the rare and expensive lapis lazuli in the rich chromatic palette used. Precisely this reason, together with other archaeological and topographical considerations, has allowed us to hypothesize that the sculptures preserved in Cividale are precisely what remains of the prestigious patriarchal palace wanted by Paolino d'Aquileia at the end of the eighth century and demolished in the sixteenth century. .