Artibus et Historiae no. 75 (XXXVIII)

2017, ISSN 0391-9064

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STEFANO COLOMBO - Portraits of Sovereignty: Jacopo Palma Giovane and the Doges’ Commemorative Cycle in the Doge’s Palace, Venice (pp. 127–148)

The so-called votive paintings of doges are among the most distinctive compositions by Jacopo Palma Giovane. Executed at the Doge’s Palace, Venice, in the aftermath of the fire of 11 May 1574, these canvases are conspicuous for their iconography, characterised by the insertion of a state portrait into a religious scene. This article aims to provide a systematic reading of these paintings as an organic and commemorative series, thereby challenging their traditional interpretation as merely votive or religious. By accentuating the sanctity of the doge’s magistracy, Palma’s commemorative cycle was conceived of as a privilege of statecraft and became thus a constitutive element of Venice’s self-celebratory imagery.

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