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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, February 10, 1933

Finance Ministry

Dearest Mildred, I’m sending on to you a report of the Am. Arch. Exped. to Yougoslavia [sic],In 1932, Vladimir J. Fewkes directed a joint expedition of the Peabody Museum, the American School of Prehistoric Research, and the Fogg Museum of Art to Yugoslavia, where some 150 archaeological sites were visited and examined. A report authored by Fewkes, Hetty Goldman, and Robert W. Ehrich—Preliminary Report on an Archaeological Reconnaissance in Yugoslavia, American Expedition, Season 1932 (Old Lyme, Conn., 1933)—indicated those sites found to belong to Greek, Roman, Macedonian, or Byzantine cultures. which Paul Sachs sent to me, and which I’ve read and made some notes on—where Byz. is concerned. Sachs says nothing about returning it. I don’t want it back.

I stopped 2 days in Venice on the way here, and had some very interesting talks with Marangoni.Luigi Marangoni (1872–1950), an Italian architect and the proto or custodian of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice. See Otto Demus, The Church of San Marco in Venice: History, Architecture, Sculpture (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1960), 198. Curiously enough, he didn’t know the old pre-restauration photos. of Ravenna mosaics, and he was deeply shocked by them. We have a lot. M. was in Rome the other day, and Corrado Ricci,Corrado Ricci (1858–1934), an Italian archaeologist, art historian, and senator. who is God Almighty in Ravenna, and a Senator etc etc, talked to him about our Vol. I,L’art byzantin. and said he would not tolerate our remarks about himself and RV“Ravenna.” (which I thought were very moderate). And if he doesn’t tolerate? He apparently intends to attack us. He doesn’t know, poor man, that in Vol. II we are publishing a lot of RV mosaics before and after—we have the old pre-restaur. photos which, by a refinement, were taken by Corrado’s own father!Louis Ricci (1823–1896), an Italian set designer and photographer. One hates to do it—it’s like cooking the calf in the milk of the cow. But we can’t allow those RV horrors to continue to pass as representing Byz. art.

I wired you the other daySee telegram of February 7, 1933. about Stora-Zamora tapestries.The History of Thebes tapestries, southern Netherlands, after 1475. The tapestries depict Tydeus in Thebes demanding his throne (which has been usurped by Eteocles), for Polynices and the duel between Eteocles and Polynices, the sons of Oedipus. The History of Thebes tapestries were formerly at Zamora and are now in the City Hall, Madrid. See Jozef Duverger and Erik Duverger, Tapisseries flamandes d’Espagne: Musée des Beaux-Arts, 19 juillet–20 septembre, 1959 (Ghent: Le Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1959), 23–25.

Much love,

R. T.

Associated People: Paul J. Sachs
Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris; L'art byzantin