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Public and Private in Renaissance Venice

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In Venice ‘private’ interests were consistently identified with the public weal through the mediation of the sacred, especially the cult of the Virgin Mary, and this is shown by dense cross-references between the two within archival documents and within the fabric of the city, and in the self-fashioning of the Republic's iconography. These interrelationships suggest tension and conflict, as well as harmony. The complementarity of public and private space within the city can be illustrated through documentation in the records of the mercers' guild, and a description of the processional route followed by a confraternity of the eucharist in 1617. Major public projects touch the lives of little-known Venetians, and any private individual can find a thread, a point of identification, linking personal interests to those of the community.
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Keywords: Italy; Private life; Public life; Venice

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 1998

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