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Two of the triumphal cars, carrying Chastity (pulled by unicorns) and Love, from a lavish illuminated manuscript (early 16th century) of Petrach's Triomphi Petrarch-2-chastity.jpg
Two of the triumphal cars, carrying Chastity (pulled by unicorns) and Love, from a lavish illuminated manuscript (early 16th century) of Petrach's Triomphi
Two elaborate sugar sculpture triomfi, personifications of Earth and Air from the Four Elements, for a dinner given by the Earl of Castlemaine, British Ambassador in Rome, 1687 Trionfi di Cibele e Juno.jpg
Two elaborate sugar sculpture triomfi, personifications of Earth and Air from the Four Elements, for a dinner given by the Earl of Castlemaine, British Ambassador in Rome, 1687

Trionfo (Italian:  [triˈoɱfo] ) is an Italian word meaning "triumph", also "triumphal procession", and a triumphal car or float in such a procession. The classical triumphal procession for victorious generals and Emperors known as the Roman Triumph was revived for "Entries" by rulers and similar occasions from the Early Renaissance in 14th and 15th-century Italy, and was a major type of festival, celebrated with great extravagance. The cars are shown as open-roofed, many clearly utilitarian four-wheeled carts dressed-up for the occasion. Others were two-wheeled chariots. In art, they might be pulled by all sorts of exotic animals.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Float (parade) decorated platform which is a component of many festive parades

A float is a decorated platform, either built on a vehicle like a truck or towed behind one, which is a component of many festive parades, such as those of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the Carnival in São Paulo, the Carnival of Viareggio, the Maltese Carnival, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Key West Fantasy Fest parade, the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis, the United States Presidential Inaugural Parade, and the Tournament of Roses Parade. For the latter event, floats are decorated entirely in flowers or other plant material.

Renaissance European cultural period, 14th to 17th century

The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages.


Another specialized sense of the word was an elaborate sugar sculpture; these decorated tables on important occasions in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, especially in Italy and France. Eventually they were replaced by the silver surtout de table or porcelain centrepieces. [1]

Sugar sculpture

Sugar sculpture is the art of producing artistic centerpieces entirely composed of sugar and sugar derivatives. These were very popular at grand feasts from the Renaissance until at least the 18th century, and sometimes made by famous artists. Today, there are many competitions that include sugar sculpture.

Surtout de table

A surtout de table is an ornamental centrepiece displayed on a formal dining table. Evolving from a simple plate or bowl on which to stand candlesticks and condiments, a surtout de table often took the form of a long galleried tray made of precious or gilded metals, on which a series of other objects were placed for display. It was often made in sections allowing its length to be determined by the leaves added to the table. During the later half of the 18th century and throughout the 19th century, no formal table was considered compete without one. Today, they are still seen and used in the most formal dining rooms.

Porcelain ceramic material

Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating materials, generally including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C. The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises mainly from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Though definitions vary, porcelain can be divided into three main categories: hard-paste, soft-paste and bone china. The category that an object belongs to depends on the composition of the paste used to make the body of the porcelain object and the firing conditions.

The word may derive from a call of triumph during antique triumphal processions: "Io triumpe".

Art and literature

Triumphs were described in literature, the cars often carrying classical gods or personified virtues, with Petrach's Triomphi (1374) being extremely influential, for example on Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499). This had woodcut illustrations, and such scenes were very popular in art, perhaps culminating in the enormous woodcut Large Triumphal Carriage by Albrecht Dürer (1522), a triumphal car carrying the Emperor Maximilian that is the climax of the Triumphs of Maximilian (several artists). The Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna (by 1492) were also very influential.

Personification artistic or literary device in which an abstract concept is represented by a human or mythical figure with appropriate attributes

Personification is an anthropomorphic metaphor in which a thing or abstraction is represented as a person. The type of personification discussed here excludes passing literary effects such as "Shadows hold their breath", and covers cases where a personification appears as a character in literature, or a human figure in art. The technical term for this, since ancient Greece, is prosopopoeia. In the arts many things are commonly personified. These include numerous types of places, especially cities, countries and the four continents, elements of the natural world such as the months or Four Seasons, Four Elements, Four Winds, Five Senses, and abstractions such as virtues, especially the four cardinal virtues and sins, the nine Muses, or death.

<i>Triumphs</i> poetry anthology

Triumphs is a series of poems by Petrarch in the Tuscan language evoking the Roman ceremony of triumph, where victorious generals and their armies were led in procession by the captives and spoils they had taken in war. Composed over more than twenty years, the poetry is written in terza rima and divided into twelve chapters honoring allegorical figures such as Love, Chastity, Death, and Fame, who vanquish each other in turn. The last chapter was completed February 12, 1374, a few months before the author's death.

<i>Hypnerotomachia Poliphili</i> Incunable book

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, called in English Poliphilo's Strife of Love in a Dream or The Dream of Poliphilus, is a romance said to be by Francesco Colonna. It is a famous example of an Incunable. The work was first published in 1499 in Venice. This first edition has an elegant page layout, with refined woodcut illustrations in an Early Renaissance style. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili presents a mysterious arcane allegory in which the main protagonist, Poliphilo pursues his love, Polia, through a dreamlike landscape. In the end, he is reconciled with her by the "Fountain of Venus".


The Italian sculptor Giuseppe Cassioli named his Olympic medal design Trionfo. First used in 1928, the design was used for Summer Olympic Games until it was replaced at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Giuseppe Cassioli was an Italian painter and sculptor known for his Summer Olympic Games medal design. Many of his paintings are on display at the Museo Cassioli di Pittura senese dell'Ottocento in Asciano, Tuscany.

Olympic medal an award given to successful competitors at one of the Olympic Games

An Olympic medal is awarded to successful competitors at one of the Olympic Games. There are three classes of medal: gold, awarded to the winner; silver, awarded to the 1st runner-up; and bronze, awarded to the second runner-up. The granting of awards is laid out in detail in the Olympic protocols.

Summer Olympic Games international multi-sport event

The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad, first held in 1896, is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years. The most recent Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) organises the Games and oversees the host city's preparations. In each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals are awarded for second place, and bronze medals are awarded for third place; this tradition began in 1904. The Winter Olympic Games were created due to the success of the Summer Olympics.

Castel Nuovo castle in Naples

Castel Nuovo, often called Maschio Angioino, is a medieval castle located in front of Piazza Municipio and the city hall in central Naples, Campania, Italy. Its scenic location and imposing size makes the castle, first erected in 1279, one of the main architectural landmarks of the city. It was a royal seat for kings of Naples, Aragon and Spain until 1815.

Alfonso V of Aragon King of Aragon, Valencia, Naples, Sicily and Sardinia

Alfonso the Magnanimous was the King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica, Sicily and Count of Barcelona from 1416, and King of Naples from 1442 until his death. He was one of the most prominent figures of the early Renaissance and a knight of the Order of the Dragon.

<i>The Duke and Duchess of Urbino</i> 4-part large, free standing marriage portrait dyptich set in scupted frame, with two landscape paintings on the back, by Piero della Francesca

The double portrait of the Dukes of Urbino, also known as the Diptych of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza is a diptych, oil on panel, with portraits of the Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza. It is the work of Piero della Francesca dated to about 1465 to 1472 and in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It is one of the most famous works of the Italian Renaissance.


  1. Strong, 216-223
  2. Temperance, Fortitude, Justice and Prudence sit on Federico’s car, Battista is accompanied by Chastity and Modesty, and Charity and Faith sit at the front of her car.

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Leon Battista Alberti Italian architect

Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher and cryptographer; he epitomised the Renaissance Man. Although he is often characterized exclusively as an architect, as James Beck has observed, "to single out one of Leon Battista's 'fields' over others as somehow functionally independent and self-sufficient is of no help at all to any effort to characterize Alberti's extensive explorations in the fine arts." Although Alberti is known mostly for being an artist, he was also a mathematician of many sorts and made great advances to this field during the 15th century. Alberti's life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.

Leda and the Swan Story from Greek mythology

Leda and the Swan is a story and subject in art from Greek mythology in which the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, seduces the mortal woman Leda. According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta. In the W. B. Yeats version, it is subtly suggested that Clytemnestra, although being the daughter of Tyndareus, has somehow been traumatized by what the swan has done to her mother. According to many versions of the story, Zeus took the form of a swan and seduced Leda on the same night she slept with her husband King Tyndareus. In some versions, she laid two eggs from which the children hatched. In other versions, Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the pride of Hubris.

Roman triumph

The Roman triumph was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the success of a military commander who had led Roman forces to victory in the service of the state or, originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war.

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor

Maximilian I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 until his death. He was never crowned by the pope, as the journey to Rome was always too risky. He was instead proclaimed emperor elect by Pope Julius II at Trent, thus breaking the long tradition of requiring a papal coronation for the adoption of the imperial title. Maximilian was the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Eleanor of Portugal. He ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of the latter's reign, from c. 1483 to his father's death in 1493.

Andrea Mantegna Italian Renaissance painter

Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son-in-law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g. by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality. His flinty, metallic landscapes and somewhat stony figures give evidence of a fundamentally sculptural approach to painting. He also led a workshop that was the leading producer of prints in Venice before 1500.

Luca Giordano Italian painter

Luca Giordano was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Triumphal arch monumental structure in the shape of an archway

A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be mounted or which bears commemorative inscriptions. The main structure is often decorated with carvings, sculpted reliefs, and dedications. More elaborate triumphal arches may have multiple archways.

Santa Maria sopra Minerva church in Rome

Santa Maria sopra Minerva is one of the major churches of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers in Rome, Italy. The church's name derives from the fact that the first Christian church structure on the site was built directly over the ruins or foundations of a temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, which had been erroneously ascribed to the Greco-Roman goddess Minerva.

Cima da Conegliano Italian Renaissance painter

Giovanni Battista Cima, also called Cima da Conegliano, was an Italian Renaissance painter, who mostly worked in Venice. He can be considered part of the Venetian school, though he was also influenced by Antonello da Messina, in the emphasis he gives to landscape backgrounds and the tranquil atmosphere of his works. Once formed his style did not change greatly. He mostly painted religious subjects, often on a small scale for homes rather than churches, but also a few, mostly small, mythological ones.

<i>Sleeping Venus</i> (Giorgione) painting by Giorgione

The Sleeping Venus, also known as the Dresden Venus, is a painting traditionally attributed to the Italian Renaissance painter Giorgione, although it has long been usually thought that Titian completed it after Giorgione's death in 1510. The landscape and sky are generally accepted to be mainly by him. In the 21st century, much scholarly opinion has shifted further, to see the nude figure of Venus as also painted by Titian, leaving Giorgione's contribution uncertain. It is in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

Trionfi (cards)

Trionfi are 15th-century Italian playing cards with allegorical content related to those used in tarocchi games. The general English expression "trump card" and the German "trumpfen" have developed from the Italian "Trionfi". Most cards feature the personification of a place or abstraction.

<i>Triumphs of Caesar</i> (Mantegna) series of paintings by Andrea Mantegna

The Triumphs of Caesar are a series of nine large paintings created by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna between 1484 and 1492 for the Gonzaga Ducal Palace, Mantua. They depict a triumphal military parade celebrating the victory of Julius Caesar in the Gallic Wars. Acknowledged from the time of Mantegna as his greatest masterpiece, they remain the most complete pictorial representation of a Roman triumph ever attempted and together they form the world's largest metric area of Italian Renaissance paintings outside Italy. Acquired by Charles I in 1629, they now form part of the Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace near London, where they occupy a special gallery, with a new continuous frame intended to capture their original setting, mounted into panelling.

The decade of the 1490s in art involved some significant events.

Royal entry

The Royal Entry, also known by various names, including Triumphal Entry, Joyous Entry, consisted of the ceremonies and festivities accompanying a formal entry by a ruler or his representative into a city in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period in Europe. The entry centred on a procession carrying the entering prince into the city, where he was greeted and paid appropriate homage by the civic authorities. A feast and other celebrations would follow.

Festival book book commemorating a notable event

Festival books are books, often illustrated, that commemorate a notable event such as a royal entry, coronation or wedding. Funerals were also commemorated in similar fashion. The genre thrived in Renaissance and early modern Europe, where rulers utilized the form to both document and embellish displays of wealth and power.

<i>Large Triumphal Carriage</i> engraving by Albrecht Dürer

The Large Triumphal Carriage or Great Triumphal Car is a large 16th-century woodcut print by Albrecht Dürer, commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. The work was originally intended to be the central part of a 54 metres (177 ft) long print of a Triumphal Procession or Triumph of Maximilian, depicting Maximilian and his court entourage in a procession. This section shows the emperor in his triumphal car, and was part of a tradition depicting imaginary "triumphs" or real processions, such as royal entries.


Roy Strong art historian from the United Kingdom

Sir Roy Colin Strong, is an English art historian, museum curator, writer, broadcaster and landscape designer. He has served as director of both the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Strong was knighted in 1982.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.