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The Lost Venetian Church of Santa Maria Assunta dei Crociferi. Form, Decoration, Patronage

Sherman, Allison

Corsato, Carlo

This book investigates the history and decoration of one of the most important churches of Venice in the 16th century: Santa Maria Assunta dei Crociferi. Painters and sculptors of the stature of Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Palma il Giovane, Vittoria and Campagna all contributed major works of art, many of which survive in the present-day church of the Gesuiti. But as a result of the suppression of the order of the Crociferi (Crosiers, or Crutched Friars) in 1656, and of the subsequent demolition of their church, the art-historical significance of this ensemble had become largely overlooked. Serious study of the church was further impeded by the loss of the church’s archive. Nevertheless, readers are here presented with a surprisingly wide range of alternative archival and early printed sources that document the history of the church, and integrate it with the surviving works of art. We are taken on a journey of discovery of leading members of the order, of lay patrons who supported the church's renovation, and of the productive relationships that led to important artistic commissions.

Originally submitted by the late Allison Sherman to the University of St Andrews in 2010, the present doctoral thesis was edited for publication by Carlo Corsato and provided with a full set of illustrations. Two further additional essays by Allison Sherman are also included:

‘Titian’s Martyrdom of St. Lawrence and its Original Location in the Lost Venetian Church of Santa Maria Assunta dei Crociferi’. This was the opening chapter of the volume La Notte di san Lorenzo (2013), edited by Letizia Lonzi and the late Lionello Puppi. Presented here is the unpublished original English version, which summarises many of the discoveries included in the doctoral dissertation.

‘Murder and Martyrdom: Titian’s Gesuiti St. Lawrence as a Family Peace Offering’. This appeared in Artibus et Historiae (2015), and offers the most significant investigation of the patronage of a masterpiece by Titian: The Martyrdom of St Lawrence (Church of the Gesuiti, Venice).

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