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Confraternities, Cittadini, and the Cult of San Francesco di Paola in Early Modern Venice

Sat, March 24, 9:00 to 10:30am, Hilton Riverside Complex, Quarter Deck Room C

Abstract

This paper examines the contribution of Venetian confraternities to the diffusion of Counter-Reformation piety in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Venice. Analysing the development of devotion to San Francesco di Paola from the arrival of the Minims in the 1580s, the paper explores the role of members of the scuole grandi who were cittadini, and argues for the significance of social bonds consolidated through confraternity membership. A case study of the parish church of San Trovaso and its chapel dedicated to San Francesco di Paola, linked to a homonymous scuola piccola, will highlight how lay devotion, confraternity membership and cittadino artistic patronage were intertwined. The paper argues that devotion, confraternity membership and patronage were all part of the construction of cittadino identity in early modern Venice.

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