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The Tombs of the Doges of Venice

The Tombs of the Doges of Venice
Venetian State Imagery in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

  • Date Published: February 2000
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print April 2002
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521593540

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About the Authors
  • The Tombs of the Doges of Venice examines a series of funerary monuments created in the late middle ages and early modern period. Providing close analysis of seven tombs commissioned over a 150-year era, Debra Pincus identifies these works as important political statements that closely identify the ducal office with 'the two Venices' - the huge commercial empire and Italian commune, focused on both East and West. Previously examined only in formal terms, the tombs document the transition from medieval ideas of theological statecraft to the proto-humanist conceptualization of the state that is characteristic of the early modern era. Pincus' study systematically demonstrates how the Venetian doges used visual imagery as the vehicle for important political statements, with the scholar-doge Andrea Dandolo emerging as particularly skilled in the manipulation of the rhetorical power of tomb display.

    • Shows how Venice used visual imagery as the vehicle for important political statements
    • Gives detailed analytical interpretations of monuments that have been discussed up to now primarily in formal terms
    • Through the analysis of the tombs, shows the changing position of the doge in thirteenth and fourteenth century Venice
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a story told with narrative verve and dramatic sweep … a superb study of a neglected typology … It is a story narrated with passion, eloquence, and clarity, offering convincing readings of ducal imagery and through it of Venice's evolving sense of itself in both the local and larger arenas.' Anita F. Moskowitz, Speculum

    'This eagerly-awaited book has been long in the making and fills an acutely felt gap in the discussion of Venetian sculpture.' Julian Gardner, Burlington Magazine

    'Pincus … is well versed in the spiritual traditions of both Byzantium and the Latin world, and is able to link apparently innocuous images to specific cults. She has done a vast amount of reading in all aspects of the subject … Her archival research is equally impressive; she is a sound Latinist. Finally, she has an excellent grasp of Venetian history, and is able to connect developments in tomb iconography with quite specific changes in Venice's Condition … Pincus teases out a wealth of meaning from some apparently modest structures.' College Art Association Journal

    'The Tombs of the Doges represents an important contribution to a whole variety of different areas of research. … an unusually learned and stimulating book, which will continue to inspire discussion of the relationship between Venetian art and politics for many years to come.' Wolfgang Wolters, Apollo

    'Pincus brilliantly situates the tombs within a rich artistic, historical, and political matrix, and along the way offers fascinating insights into a range of Venetian monuments.' Choice

    'Pincus … .is well versed in the spiritual traditions of both Byzantium and the Latin world … She has done a vast amount of reading in all aspects of the subject … Her archival research is equally impressive; she is a sound Latinist. Finally, she has an excellent grasp of Venetian history, and is able to connect developments in tomb iconography with quite specific changes in Venice's condition.' CAA Reviews

    'Debra Pincus is to be congratulated for a text which is concise and wonderfully written, while at the same time brimming with thought-provoking insights … This book represents a significant and badly needed addition to the literature on late medieval ruler tombs, and more importantly, it enhances our understanding of how the Venetians manipulated their built environment to construct their civic identity. It is a monument of scholarship that is unlikely to be surpassed for many years to come.' Revue d'art canadienne

    '… a thoughtful, clear and well-researched account … extremely useful introduction to the visual politics of Venice and the Veneto in this period.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2000
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521593540
    • length: 275 pages
    • dimensions: 263 x 210 x 23 mm
    • weight: 1.06kg
    • contains: 126 b/w illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print April 2002
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    'For the Honor of Venice'
    1. The Office of Doge and the civic tomb
    2. Ruler of Romani: the tomb of Jacopo Tiepolo by the door of the Dominicans
    3. Ruler of Vicitas: the tomb of Marino Morosini in Mark's vestibule
    4. Ruler of the seas, triumphant in Civitas: the tomb of Ranieri Zeno at SS. Giovanni e Paolo
    5. Who rules Christ's Relam?
    6. The thaumaturgical ruler in the baptistery: the tomb of Giovanni Soranzo in San Marco
    7. The Doge and the Franciscans: the tomb of Francesco Dandolo in the Chapter House of the Frari
    8. Ducal tombs in the divine plan: Andrea Dandolo's program for San Marco
    9. Epilogue: the choir of SS. Giovanni e Paolo as Mausoleum of the Doges: ducal tomb display in a Patrician context
    Appendices
    List of illustrations
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Debra Pincus

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