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Vortrag Andrew Hopkins



von 18:15 bis 20:15




Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Vortragsraum 242, II. OG, Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 10, 80333 München

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Climbing to Wisdom (Gradus ad sapientiam): Longhena's Monastic Libraries and Monumental Staircases

When abbot Alvise Squadron commissioned Longhena around 1641 to design a monumental staircase and library for the Benedictine monastery of S. Giorgio Maggiore, both patron and architect embarked on a symbolic ascent to wisdom. So too would every monk and subsequent visitor to the island site who ascended the magnificent staircase to find a temple of Wisdom inspired by the ancients. Here there were volumes arranged thematically under the watchful eye of one of the fifty-six statues of Illustrious Men that crowned the wooden bookcases lining this austere space in which colour was restricted to the marble pavement and the five canvases set into the vault that illustrate themes from the iconography of wisdom. This was but the first of several similar commissions Baldassare Longhena received from monastic and conventual patrons, including S. Nicolò da Tolentino, S. Maria di Nazareth and S. Domenico at SS Giovanni and Paolo in Venice and they form the subject of this lecture, based on chapter 3 of my monograph on Longhena and Venetian Baroque Architecture to be published in Spring 2012 with Yale University Press.