Cardinals occupied a unique place in the world of early modern Europe, their distinctive red hats the visible signs not only of impressive careers at the highest rank the pope could bestow, but also of their high social status and political influence on an international scale. Appointed for life, these princes of the Church played a key role in the dramatic events of a period in which both the power and the authority of the papacy were challenged.
Cardinals crossed the ambiguous boundaries then existing between religious and secular power. Granted unparalleled access to Church and private property, they spent considerable time, money, and effort on making the best collections of art and antiquities. Some commissioned artworks in churches that advertised their monastic or national connections, while others took Rome and the papacy abroad to enrich their own cities and countries. But theirs was a precarious dignity: while cardinals could thrive during one papacy, they could suddenly fall from power during the next. The new research represented by the sixteen case studies in The Possessions of a Cardinal reveals how cardinals used their vulnerable position and spent their often substantial wealth on personal and religious interests. As a result, the tensions inherent in their position between the spiritual and the worldly are underscored.
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 1501 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 40 mm
"Both informative and engaging."
-Jacqueline Musacchio, Wellesley College
"The editors should be congratulated for bringing together such a lively and thought-provoking volume."
-Jill Burke, University of Edinburgh
"In this beautifully produced and generously illustrated book, art historians Mary Hollingsworth and Carol Richardson offer case studies on the activities of cardinals as patrons of art and architecture from 1450 to 1700."
-Francesca Fiorani, Times Higher Education Supplement
"[This] volume is impressive in its chronological range, allowing for a sense of historical continuity that transcends the labels of Renaissance and Baroque."
-Sally Korman, The Art Newspaper
"The Possessions of a Cardinal will be of great interest to historians of Italian art, to art literature scholars, and to specialists in the history of Church ecclesiastics. The book is interesting, informative, and fair, and offers something to the specialist as well as to the more general reader."
-Giulia Savio, caa.reviews
"The Possessions of a Cardinal brings together a variety of analytic techniques. . . . The collection is also distinguished by innovative methods and richness of content. [It] will be of great interest to historians of Italian art, to art literature scholars, and to specialists in the history of Church ecclesiastics. The book is interesting, informative, and fair, and offers something to the specialist as well as to the more general reader."
-Giulia Savio, CAA Reviews
"[Mary Hollingsworth and Carol Richardson] have succeeded in producing a collection that is both attractive and compelling. Visually this is a seductive book, full of cardinal red. . . . This volume presents countless gems for the close reader. Not only is this book a treasure trove of detail concerning early modern Rome, its cardinals, and their families, but it also provides a map of manuscript citations and early printed works. . . . This volume is welcome both for its content and its enthusiasm for a field that has experienced past prejudice."
-Jennifer Mara DeSilva, Sixteenth-Century Journal
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