Soccal, Eva (2008) Venetiis ex Graecia allata. Presenze di scultura greca a Venezia dal XII al XVIII secolo. [Tesi di dottorato]
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The close political, economical and cultural relations bounding Venice to the Eastern Mediterranean made the city the point of arrival of a great quantity of Greek sculptures and works of art. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that Venice had a primary role in the redistribution of these antiquities not only among the local collectors, but all over Italy and Europe. The great part of this heritage is nowadays dispersed in the museums and collections of several European countries (from Germany to Russia), and the main aim of this research has been the identification of all the ancient Greek sculptures arrived at Venice between the 12th and the fall of the Serenissima Republic in 1797. Once identified, they have been contextualised in their original historical and art-historical context, proposing a likely place of origin.
The collecting of antiquity was not simply a cultural phenomenon, and it should be interpreted in a wider perspective, considering even the economic context in which it took place. The developments in this realm were far more intimately linked to the political and social circumstances than was generally believed. For this reason, the medieval and modern records have been subjected to a in-depth examination, focusing on aspects such as the commercial relationships linking Venice to particular areas of the Levant. The regions where single merchants or single families had their interests are the place were more likely the ancient sculptures were imported to Venice, and - by consequence - it has been necessary to study issues as the Mediterranean trading routes.
The processing of these data made necessary the elaboration of a calibrated data base, named "Progetto Agave" (the acronym of "Arte greca a Venezia"), consisting in a census of all the ancient Greek sculptures arrived at Venice in the period under consideration. Thanks to the data base, it has been possible to reconstruct the various ways adopted by the urban elites for making use of these works of art in their self-representation strategies.
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