Domus humilis: the conversion of Venetian convent architecture and identity

Saundra Weddle

in Conversions

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2017 | ISBN: 9780719099151
Published online May 2017 | e-ISBN: 9781526121059 | DOI:
Domus humilis: the conversion of Venetian convent architecture and identity

Show Summary Details


Although the monastic principle of poverty had, for centuries, been intended to guide the architectural development of monasteries and convents, the 1260 Franciscan General Chapter of Narbonne took the radical step of recommending that communities of friars adapt existing buildings rather than build complexes ex novo. This chapter examines the adaptive and accretive practice of converting buildings of various functions to accommodate communities of women religious in Renaissance Venice. Convent archives, site and urban plans, building chronologies, patron family histories, civic building statutes all offer evidence for the patchwork and partial conversions of buildings designed to convert. Comparisons with complexes for male monastics inform this study of how patterns of patronage and urban development inflected the ways in which convent architecture publicly redefined and re-presented the identity of the communities it enclosed.

Keywords: Renaissance Venice; Architecture; Women religious; Conversion; Identity; Convents

Chapter.  8925 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.