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The domestic chapel in Renaissance Florence, 1400-1550

Mattox, Emerson Philip (2007) The domestic chapel in Renaissance Florence, 1400-1550. PhD.

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The domestic chapel in its varying forms, and in the changing ways it was perceived, is analyzed as a part of the total visual environment of Renaissance Florence from 1400 to 1550. The theme begins with Palazzo Vecchio. A foreboding edifice evoking a feudal past, this comrnunal palace embodied a centuries' old tradition of ritual and rule which, in the Christian cosmos, derived its pcwer from a heavenly, unseen authority made present upon the altars not only of churches, but of palaces. For the lay, merchant rulers of Florence, Palazzo Vecchio was an important form in an evolving architectural language of power, and a goal to be possessed, or at least emulated, in its artistic and liturgical component parts, including its Chapel of St. Bernard. Giovanni Bicci ae' Medici and his offspring created, first, with the Casa Vecchia, a smaller personal parallel to ruling palaces. Then, with the completion of their new palace, under his son Cosimo in 1458, the family heralded a new epoch in which their own palace, and chapel, would play a centrai role in Florentine destiny. The gubernatio omnium for which the Medici strove not only required the personalization of the Comune and its institutions, but, as well, necessitated a growing network of other "Medici palaces." These offer the occasion for consideration of chapels, altars, liturgical furnishings, and related artwork, first, of o!d and prominent families, like the Tornabuoni, then, of social newcomers like Francesco Nori and Bartolomeo Scala. Scala's generous altar rights are presented in the context of his attempts to create an all'antica house and chapel. From Angelo Doni (d. 1537) the scene shifts, again to Palazzo Vecchio, and to the ducal family and courtiers. It is a time of increasing absolutism, also regarding domestic chapels. Results of Tridentine-era reform are discussed. The dissertation concludes with Bastiano Ciaini's stunning quanrocentesque palace and sacellurn, built in the mid-sixteenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Language: English
Publisher: University of Groningen
Place of Publication: [S.n.]
Date of graduation: 3 May 1996
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2020 10:47
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2020 10:47

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