Il Doge and Easter Processions at San Marco in Early Modern Venice

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The splendour of ducal processions in Venice as an expression of political mythology connected to La serenissima is well known and has been discussed – among others – by Edward Muir. In this paper I propose to discuss features of the early modern Good Friday and Easter morning processions, c. 1500–1800. Traditional representational features – from the early Middle Ages – e.g. of the women at Christ’s grave had been incorporated into these ducal processions during the sixteenth century with special roles for the doge. The complex of solemn processions from the ducal palace around the San Marco piazza and into the basilica emphasizing political hierarchy on the one hand and combined with medieval representational liturgical traditions on the other provided a unique ceremonial which can be read as ritually manifesting several – intertwined yet different – kinds of sacrosanctity: sacred church spaces and objects, among them the temporarily erected Easter sepulchre, as well as the sacrosanct office of the doge ultimately dependent on the victory of Christ.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRitual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual Vol 5 : Transfer and Spaces
EditorsGita Dharampal-Frick, Robert Langer, Nils Holger Petersen
Number of pages11
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherHarrassowitz Verlag
Publication date2010
ISBN (Print)978-3-447-06205-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 32220379