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Rethinking the Myth of Venice. The Many Identities of Venice in the Early Renaissance

Posted By Zuleika Murat, Monday, May 23, 2016

The primary aim of this panel is questioning the concept of the Myth of Venice and of its uniqueness, that ended up embalming the city in the name of a tradition created a posteriori. In order to both challenge and complement this long-standing historiographic tradition, we intend to address the period between the end of the War of Chioggia (1381) and the Fall of Constantinople (1453), when an entire age ended and a new one began.
The choice of the period is intentional: it coincides with a time of particular ferment and innovation, that thus offers a chance to verify many notions usually taken for granted. Indeed, after the War of Chioggia a new period of expansion towards the Mainland began, through the acquisition of new territories and the arrival of several foreigners. In the homeland, the military enterprise of Michele Steno (1400-1413) and Francesco Foscari’s (1423-1457) careful political tactic enlarged the city’s domain of influence considerably, but also made Venice receptive to influence from the West. Meanwhile, the improved religious ferment triggered by the phenomenon of the Observance collided with the hard core of local forces, personified by the doge and the aristocracy, but also by older religious orders. It is thus an extraordinary dynamic period, unsettled and experimental.
Paper topics may include (but are by no means limited to):

- Rituals, liturgies and devotion
- The different roles played by foreign and local patrons and artists
- Old and new typologies of artworks
- The introduction of new artistic techniques (e.g. Terracotta)
- New religious movements (e.g. the Regular Canons of San Giorgio in Alga)
- Private devotional practices
- Confraternities and Scuole Grandi & Piccole
- The rise of new iconographies, or the reinvention of old ones
- Relics, Blessed and Holy Bodies
- Venice and the Mainland: reciprocal influences?

The panel welcomes papers centered on specific case studies as well as on the wider context.
To submit a paper proposal for this session, please send a Word or PDF document to Zuleika Murat  ( and Valentina Baradel ( by June 4, 2016. Please ensure that the document includes the presenter’s first and last name; academic affiliation and title (or “Independent Scholar”); e-mail address; paper title (15-word maximum); abstract (150-word maximum); short CV (300-word maximum).



Tags:  Art History  Cross-Cultural  Cultural History  Display  Painting  Religion  Venice 

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