‘Per eccitar il popolo al concorso et alla divotione' : art, music and liturgy between ‘Pietas’ and ‘Magnificenza’ at the Confraternity of the Misericordia Maggiore on the Venetian mainland (15th-17th c.)
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This research investigates the relationship between sacred space and its function in a comparative way through a case study in the Venetian Republic between the 16th and 17th centuries, a key transitional period. Through an interdisciplinary approach, it seeks to understand the organisation of the space in relation to its function, form and spatiality. To date scholarly research has tended to focus the attention on the most famous centre of artistic production in Renaissance Italy. These studies, undoubtedly valuable, lead to relative neglect of provinces and their local identities, and run the risk misrepresenting the complexity of the 16th century. Furthermore, the existing literature is far too often limited to an examination of a single piece of art and rarely explored as multifaceted phenomenon. By studying the ways in which liturgical and musical needs influence church interior, this thesis addresses these issues by means of a main case study on the westernmost boundaries of the Venetian mainland empire, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, which is explored through the interconnections of the church with the Confraternity of the Misericordia Maggiore, proprietor of the Basilica, as well as with other larger regional processes. Analyses of the 16th and 17th centuries manuscripts sources are critical to this approach as they shed light on contemporaneous negotiation of local political and religious imperatives. By interpreting patterns of source-survival and employing hitherto unexamined sources, it is possible to understand the history of the sacred space of the Bergamask Basilica as a local but significant case in the Renaissance Venetian Republic, in which the life of the confraternity influenced and shaped both space and liturgy for a common purpose: 'per eccitar il popolo al concorso et alla divotione'.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2021-05-06
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 6th May 2021
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