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Network Analysis and Building Baroque Rome under Pope Innocent X Pamphilj (1644 — 1655)

  • Stephanie Leone, Boston College
Thursday 29 March 2018
P.N. van Eyckhof 2
P.N. van Eyckhof 2
2311 BV Leiden

No one would deny that the artist-patron relationship between Gianlorenzo Bernini and Pope Urban VIII Barberini (r. 1623-44) was one of the most innovative in the history of art and architecture, but this emphasis on celebrities overlooks an important part of the story of Baroque Rome and contributes to the misconception that the architectural patronage of Urban VIII’s successor, Innocent X Pamphilj (r. 1644-55), pales in comparison.

I propose a new paradigm for papal patronage that de-emphasizes singular relationships and stresses the processes of artistic production and the mechanics of patronage. This approach suits Innocent X’s practice of harnessing a wide stable of creative and skilled architects, artists, and artisans to realize multiple building projects across Rome—the Piazza Navona, Janiculum Hill, St. Peter’s, St. John the Lateran, and the Capitoline Hill—in a short amount of time. I am employing Historical Network Research to shift the focus from elite individuals to the range of constituents and to analyze patterns of artistic production and patronage across sites. This talk will present my material and sources, research process and objectives, model projects and questions, and the initial analysis of this building network.

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