The conferences of the project “Churches of Venice. New research perspectives” aim to tackle the study of Venetian churches through a multidisciplinary approach. On each occasion, the event highlights aspects only partially explored in previous historical research, thus renewing our knowledge of monumental complexes and, at the same time, testing new research methods.
Established in 2010 under the auspices of the Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose “San Lorenzo Giustiniani” in Venice (Studium Generale Marcianum), since 2017 the project has been carried forward under the aegis of the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage of Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice, with the support of Save Venice Inc. The project, directed by Gianmario Guidarelli, is curated by an international, multidisciplinary advisory committee, which over the years has sought to enhance our knowledge of Venetian churches through new approaches, so far involving more than 90 scholars. The churches are chosen according to the criteria of variety and thematic interest, and the schedule is planned within a long-term perspective. Thus, after the first conference on a parish church, seat of the city’s German community (San Bartolomeo, 2011), the project then concentrated on Santa Maria di Nazareth – gli Scalzi (2012), on the church of San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti(2013), on the church and convent of San Zaccaria (2014), on the ancient cathedral of San Pietro di Castello (2015), on San Giacomo dall’Orio (2017 and San Polo (2019). In the coming years the medieval church of Santa Maria dei Servi (2020) and the confraternity church of San Rocco (2021) will be examined. The purpose of each conference is not to exhaust knowledge of the individual church itself through a systematic, all-encompassing approach, but to address its study within a wider context and from diverse points of view. On each occasion a different thematic focus is adopted in order to allow scholars from different disciplines to exchange ideas. With this dialogic approach we therefore intend to open “new research perspectives” and to establish a permanent forum for the discussion of Venetian religious spaces and their neighbourhoods.
The organization of the conferences and related publications has taken place with the kind collaboration of the Ufficio Beni Culturali of the Patriarchate of Venice, the parishes, and many local, national and international institutions such as the Centro Tedesco di Studo Venezia, the Municipality of Venice, the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro, the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, the community of the Discalced Carmelites of Venice, the IRE (Istituzioni di Ricovero e Educazione di Venezia), the Ulss 3 “Serenissima”, the Carabinieri, MUVE (Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia), the Dante Alighieri Society, the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Municipality of Venice and the Lagoon, the Universities of Cambridge and York. In addition, it has been supported by the private committees for Venice, in particular the Dutch Committee (Vereniging de Poorters van Venetië), the Swiss Pro Venezia Foundation and especially Save Venice Inc. and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.