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Old Testament heroes in venetian high renaissance art

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Chapter Summary

Less well known is the fact that the Venetians, during the period of desperate crisis accompanying the middle of the Italian wars (1494– 1527), were deeply drawn to the protagonists of the Old Testament. This chapter discusses the events surrounding the creation of the Ghetto, and considers a set of Jewish-Venetian images from the 1520s that embodies one aspect of this cultural coexistence. It examines Venetian Christian images of Old Testament protagonists in light of Jewish experience, especially during the era of the High Renaissance. The chapter considers the medieval and early Renaissance origins of the Venetian focus on Old Testament figures, and moves to a more extended analysis of visual representations from the 1490s to the 1520s, with special emphasis on the subjects of David, Judith and Moses.

Keywords: High Renaissance; Italian wars; Jewish-Venetian images; Old Testament; Venetians



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