La firma d’artista, i miti vasariani e Wolvinus magister phaber
The golden altar of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, dated to the years of Angilbert II (824-59), is adorned with a figure designated as Wolvinius magister phaber. For years, this representation was considered the proud signature of the master directing the workshop responsible for creating this wonderful object. Marco Petoletti qualified such conclusions: in contemporary sources, the golden altar is presented as a sort of ark of the covenant. The name of the ark’s creator, Bezalel, is known. Naming the person directing the material execution of the altar then meant giving him a biblical value. In the biblical text another artisan is however mentioned, Ooliab. Should we then imagine that they are both “represented” with the feature of Angilbertus and Volvinus?
Keywords: Golden Altar • Iconology • Angilbertus • Volvinus • Invention of the Artist