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Experiencing La Verna at Home: Italian Sixteenth-Century Maiolica Sanctuaries and Chapels

The Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
Religions 2020, 11(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010006
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 14 December 2019 / Accepted: 17 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Domestic Devotions in Medieval and Early Modern Europe)
The present study describes the function of small-scale maiolica sanctuaries and chapels created in Italy in the sixteenth century. The so-called eremi encouraged a multisensory engagement of the faithful with complex structures that included receptacles for holy water, openings for the burning of incense, and moveable parts. They depicted a saint contemplating a crucifix or a book in a landscape and, as such, they provided a model for everyday pious life. Although they were less lifelike than the full-size recreations of holy sites, such as the Sacro Monte in Varallo, they had the significant advantage of allowing more spontaneous handling. The reduced scale made the objects portable and stimulated a more immediate pious experience. It seems likely that they formed part of an intimate and private setting. The focused attention given here to works by mostly anonymous artists reveals new categories of analysis, such as their religious efficacy. This allows discussion of these neglected artworks from a more positive perspective, in which their spiritual significance, technical accomplishment and functionality come to the fore. View Full-Text
Keywords: Italian Renaissance; devotion; home; La Verna; sanctuaries; maiolica; sculptures; multisensory experience Italian Renaissance; devotion; home; La Verna; sanctuaries; maiolica; sculptures; multisensory experience
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Sarnecka, Z. Experiencing La Verna at Home: Italian Sixteenth-Century Maiolica Sanctuaries and Chapels. Religions 2020, 11, 6.

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