Contenuto principale dell'articolo
The paper investigates examples of ‘artist biography’ in Vitruvius’ De architectura. The structure of these short portraits recalls that of the 'catalogic biography', where many sketches of same category people are arranged one after the other. Parallels are taken from Nepos, Suetonius, and St. Jerome. The paper also focuses on the value that ‘characterising anecdotes’ and narrative frame have in determining whether a text belongs to the biographical genre. Even though in Vitruvius biographies tout-court are missing, it is possible to note how the biographical sketches in the De architecturafollow the interests that antiquarian literature (but not only) was developing towards biography and anecdotes that describe famous personalities. The numerous biographical anecdotes in the De architectura provide materials for the analysis of a ‘derivative’ biographical literature that originates from the biography, but, placed in a different narrative context, it is constructed through a reduction of the contents and a greater emphasis on anecdotal, gnomic or exemplary aspects.