Artibus et Historiae no. 79 (XL)

2019, ISSN 0391-9064

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MARIE-LOUISE LILLYWHITE - The Decoration of the Church of San Giacomo dall’Orio in Venice, 1567–1606: Palma il Giovane, Giovanni Maria da Ponte and the Counter-Reformation (pp. 117–150)

The church of San Giacomo dall’Orio in Venice underwent extensive decoration in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, much of which was achieved due to the energetic direction of the parish priest Giovanni Maria da Ponte. In this period the church was embellished with a cycle of paintings relating to the Eucharist in the old sacristy, a new baptistery chapel was built, an elaborate chapel dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament was constructed and decorated, and the chapel of Saint Lawrence was adorned with paintings by Paolo Veronese and Palma il Giovane. The images produced clearly manifested the Catholic position regarding the Eucharist, Faith, and Charity. The sacristy cycle is a rare example of the Apostolic Visitation of 1581 singling out artworks for special praise, and these compliments were repeated by the Patriarchal Visitations that took place subsequently. San Giacomo dall’Orio thus provides an interesting example of how the laity and the clergy in Venice worked together with the aim of improving the decoration and prestige of their church, contributing to an ‘artistic reform’ that was supported by the ecclesiastical authorities.

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