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Essay
La miniatura per le confraternite e le arti veneziane. Mariegole dal 1260 al 1460

Year: 2015

Lyle Humphrey

La miniatura per le confraternite e le arti veneziane. Mariegole dal 1260 al 1460

Fondazione Giorgio Cini – Cierre edizioni, Venice, 2015

Mariegole are the statute books of devotional guilds, crafts and the various “nations” present in Venice over the centuries. Through their texts and images, they convey a very lively picture of spiritual and moral convictions, professional conduct, social and economic conditions and the artistic taste of a large section of the Venetian population which, not part of the patriciate, was assisted by religious or professional associations. Already chosen as an indispensable title for the series on “Veneto Popular Culture”, when the editorial committee was chaired by Vittore Branca, Lyle Humphrey’s book is of great interest for at least two main aspects: the enlightening description of Venice which, under the political direction of the Palazzo Ducale, the seat of power, was industriously devout and devoutly industrious in its everyday production; and the rich gurative sequence which bears witness to the contribution of guration in the self-regulation of the working world in Venice from the Middle Ages up to the dawning of the Modern Age. This study has examined not only the great wealth of the mariegole kept in Venetian collections, but also the phenomenon of their dispersal after the Napoleonic suppressions and their arrival in the world of collecting, especially due to individual sheets being removed from their context. e author must be credited with having recognised the provenance of important detached illuminated sheets and having ideally put them back into their respective original manuscripts.