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Journal > Volumes > 48 (2017) / 2 (Summer)
Nuns, Family, and Interfamilial Dynamics of Art Patronage in Post-Tridentine Roman Convents
Marilyn Dunn
Loyola University Chicago

Despite Tridentine efforts to curtail family influence and interference in convents through the enforcement of strict enclosure and regulation of their governance, families of the civic, feudal, and papal aristocracy in seventeenth century Rome maintained close ties with their relatives in the city’s female convents, institutions which played a central role in strategies of the Counter- Reformation and impacted the artistic landscape of the city. This article examines patterns of nun-family interrelations within the mechanisms of conventual art patronage inserting these relationships into the distinctive social-political- religious ambience of papal Rome and family social strategies. Although acknowledging traditional devotional or social-political motivations for family patronage of convents, this article suggests a more collaborative model of conventual art patronage engaged in by nuns and their families and argues that post-Tridentine Roman convents and their nuns assumed a greater autonomy as patrons who were less dependent on extraconventual family patronage.

Pages: 323 - 356