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A Death in Venice: The Forgotten Tomb of Alvise Della Torre

Patricia Fortini Brown
Artibus et Historiae
Vol. 34, No. 67, Papers dedicated to Peter Humfrey: part I (2013), pp. 137-159
Published by: IRSA s.c.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23510247
Page Count: 23
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A Death in Venice: The Forgotten Tomb of Alvise Della Torre
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Abstract

High on the wall of the right-hand aisle of the Frari above the door leading to the cloister is a simple wooden casket in front of a painting that depicts a canopy with curtains held back by two winged putti. Among the notable features of the painting, now difficult to see because of its height and the ravages of time, are five coats of arms and a narrative grisaille decorating the canopy and a bloody skull above the casket. It will be shown that this overlooked monument is the visual residuum of a vendetta involving three noble families from the Patria del Friuli. Indeed, the painting, attributed here to Andrea Schiavone, offers a precious window into a past in which Republican values clashed with the deeply rooted feudal traditions of the mainland.

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