Papacy and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Rome: Pius VI and the Arts

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This book explores how Pius VI, the last great papal patron of the arts in the Renaissance and Baroque tradition, used the arts as a means of countering growing hostility to the old order and the supremacy of the papacy. Pius' initiatives, included the grand sacristy for St. Peter's, the new Vatican Museum of ancient art, and the re-erection of Egyptian obelisks. These projects, along with Pius' use of prints, paintings, and performances, created his public persona, and helped to anchor Rome's position as the cultural capital of Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Beautifully written, well organized and illustrated, and meticulously researched, Collins's book offers a balanced account not only of Pius's many important commissions, but also demonstrates how the pope used various kinds of artworks and monuments to promote his policies and to disseminate a carefully crafted image of himself." The Catholic Historical Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521809436
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Pages: 378
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Collins is Professor at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, where he specializes in the art and visual culture of 17th- and 18th-century Europe. A graduate of Yale College with a degree in American Studies, he received an MA in Art History as the Paul Mellon Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, before returning to Yale to earn the PhD in Art History in 1994. Before moving to BGC he served as Associate Professor and Chair of Art History and Adjunct Associate Professor of French and Italian Studies at the University of Washington, where he founded and directed the annual Art History Seminar in Rome. He won the Rome Prize in 1996 to work on his book Papacy and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Rome: Pius VI and the Arts, published in 2004 by Cambridge University Press. Professor Collins's research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, a Fulbright Grant, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. He is the author of studies on 17th- through 20th-century painting, sculpture, architecture, urbanism, museology, furniture, and film, including Non Tenuis Gloria: The Quirinal Obelisk from Theory to Practice, Obelisk Designs by Giovanni Stern, Death and the Cellarette in Empire New York, 'What's Love Got to Do With It': Passion, Creativity, and the Cinematic Image of Baroque Art, and most recently, Power and Art at Casino Borghese: Scipione, Gianlorenzo, Maffeo. He is currently working on the surrealist Mexican painter and designer Pedro Friedeberg, and on two books entitled From Muses to Museums: The Pio-Clementino and the Greek Ideal and Megalithomania: Obelisks in the Western Imagination.

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Table of Contents

1. Politics and possibilities; 2. Images of sovereignty; 3. Completing St Peter's; 4. The Gods' abode; 5. The eternal city; 6. Creating a nation.

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