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Title: Aspects of Franciscan patronage of the arts in the Veneto during the later Middle Ages
Author: Bourdua, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0000 6450 4487
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1991
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Religious life in the later middle ages was increasingly dominated by the mendicant Orders, notably the Franciscans. Their dominance also extended to the artistic life of the day. The initial artistic campaigns of the Franciscans centred on the native province of the founder, most notably in the Upper and Lower churches of S. Francesco in Assisi. With the expansion of the Order and the death and canonization of the second Franciscan saint, Anthony of Padua, his adopted province, the Veneto, became an important centre for theological and artistic activity. The Basilica del Santo, built to enshrine the new saint's relics, rivalled the mother church at Assisi in both scale and lavishness of decoration. The fourteenth century in particular was marked by a succession of decorative programmes, a large part of which has survived. Soon the other Franciscan churches in the Veneto were similarly patronized. Unlike Umbria and Tuscany, areas where Franciscan churches are ridden with problems of dating and attribution, the Order' churches in the Veneto are probably the best documented of Italy. They provided a unique opportunity to set up a control of Franciscan patronage of the arts during the later middle ages. This thesis touches on all types of Franciscan patronage: conventual, and lay, communal and ecclesiastical. This research relied on a newly published Franciscan archive of over 27,000 documents, and is the first extensive survey of its kind for the Franciscan Order. It is hoped that this contribution has filled some gaps in our knowledge of artistic patronage. Firstly it has thrown light on the role played by the Order of friars minor in artistic projects, from the initial planning stages to the commissioning, execution and supervision of works. It has been shown that Franciscans were not always involved in artistic projects; at times they cooperated with individuals, or families, and at other times they played no part at all. Whether actively involved or more inactive, the friars were open to all sorts of artistic experiments, which means that the Franciscan church was an ideal environment for creativity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) ; Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BR Christianity ; N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR