The lost Venetian church of Santa Maria Assunta dei Crociferi : form, decoration, and patronage
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This dissertation reconstructs the original form and sixteenth-century decoration of the lost Venetian church of Santa Maria Assunta dei Crociferi, destroyed after the suppression of the Crociferi in 1656 to make way for the present church of the Gesuiti. The destruction of the church, the scattering of its contents, and the almost total lack of documentation of the religious order for which the space was built, has obscured our understanding of the many works of art it once contained, produced by some of the most important Venetian artists of the sixteenth century. This project seeks to correct scholarly neglect of this important church, and to restore context and meaning to these objects by reconstructing their original placement in the interest of a collective interpretation. Various types, patterns and phases of patronage at the church—monastic, private and corporate—are discussed to reveal interconnections between these groups, and to highlight to role of the Crociferi as architects of a sophisticated decorative programme that was designed to respond to the latest artistic trends, and to visually demonstrate their adherence to orthodoxy at a moment of religious upheaval and reform.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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