Artibus et Historiae no. 76 (XXXVIII)

2017, ISSN 0391-9064

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PATRICIA FORTINI BROWN - Vain Legislation against vana ostentazione: Sumptuary Laws in the Venetian Dominion (pp. 53–76)

Venetian officials in the terraferma and stato da mar were expected to walk a fine line between lordliness and modesty in the exercise of their administrative duties. But the desire to achieve a measure of personal magnificence – discouraged at home by the traditional ethos of mediocritas – was irresistible. Coats of arms proliferated on public structures, lavish ceremonial entries and exits became the norm, and local elites honored departing officials with expensive gifts.

This paper tracks the interplay between such initiatives in self-glorification and legislative attempts by the Venetian Senate and Council of Ten that attempted to circumscribe activities and objects that promoted the cult of the individual over the celebration of the Serenissima during the early modern period (15th–18th c.).

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