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Devotion, Paintings, and the House: The Collections of Ercole and Giuseppe Branciforti, Princes of Scordia (Palermo, 1687–1720)

Department of History of Art, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
Religions 2020, 11(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010039
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
This paper interrogates familial devotion and its relationship with parts of the house other than the chapel. In detail, it aims to problematize the issue of the devotional/non-devotional use of paintings inside the house by moving the focus from this dual opposition to the active role of canvases, broadly defined. Informed by Jacques Derrida’s and Pierre Bourdieu’s writings, this paper argues for the structural nature of the paintings inside the house and their meaningful correlation with both the arrangement of the domestic interior and the practices of people experiencing those spaces. To do this, the paper challenges the overwhelming attention paid by early-modern scholars to Northern and central Italy and investigates a precise case study, i.e., Palazzo Scordia in Palermo (Sicily). The research draws upon primary sources and amongst these, upon two detailed inventories of furniture referring to two subsequent generations of an aristocratic clan residing in Palermo between the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, i.e., Ercole and Giuseppe Branciforti, princes of Scordia. View Full-Text
Keywords: domestic devotion; Palermo; Spanish Sicily; aristocratic palaces; collections of paintings; catholic devotion; Bourdieu’s habitus domestic devotion; Palermo; Spanish Sicily; aristocratic palaces; collections of paintings; catholic devotion; Bourdieu’s habitus
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Viola, V. Devotion, Paintings, and the House: The Collections of Ercole and Giuseppe Branciforti, Princes of Scordia (Palermo, 1687–1720). Religions 2020, 11, 39.

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