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Title: The effects of revolutionary and Napoleonic policy on the artistic patrimony of Venice (1797 and 1806-1814)
Author: Gietz, Nora
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This dissertation investigates the effects of Revolutionary (1797) and Napoleonic (1806-14) rule on the artistic patrimony of the city of Venice. Its aim is to explore just how far-reaching the spoliation of Venetian buildings was during the short lived Provisional Municipality, as well as in the wake of the suppressions and closures of parish churches, convents, monasteries, and confraternities during the eight years that Venice was part of the Italian Kingdom. Dealing with a vast amount of hitherto unpublished evidence, the dissertation sheds light on the motivations for, and the logistics of, the appropriation, transfer, and disposal of artworks and liturgical furnishings. It investigates the various government bodies involved, and their hierarchies and responsibilities, while a number of case studies detail how the suppressions themselves were carried out, and how the buildings and their contents were treated and affected in their aftermath. The two distinct periods in the history of Venice saw great differences in approaches to artistic patrimony: in 1797, a limited number of artworks had been allocated to France in a peace treaty, while, later on, the sheer quantities of objects made it close to impossible to achieve a systematic method. Using archival materials such as official correspondence, and inventories and valuations drawn up by government delegates, alongside published eighteenth- and nineteenth-century guidebooks of Venice, the thesis provides a detailed account of the effects of Revolutionary and Napoleonic rule on the city’s artistic heritage. In order to do so, it is divided into four chapters. The first two are more general in scope, the first tracing the events of 1797, and the activity of the Committee of Public Instruction and Commission Temporaire des Arts during this time, the second exploring the Demanio administration of state property, and the roles of delegates Pietro Edwards and Giuseppe Baldassini, as well as private sales and auctions, and the removal and transportation of objects from suppressed institutions. Case studies of two diocesan churches, Santa Marina and San Nicolò di Castello, and two monastic foundations, Santa Maria dei Frari and Santa Maria dei Servi, as well as eight scuole grandi follow. Venetian buildings and their patrimony have not yet been studied as much in detail for the period in question as this dissertation endeavours to do. These microcosmic studies will contribute greatly to the understanding of the effects of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France on the artistic patrimony of Europe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DG Italy ; N Visual arts (General) For photography ; see TR