Intercessió celestial i mecenatge sacre: la imatge del sant patró ciutadà a la Barcelona moderna (1517-1760)

During the early modern age, the patron saint was a key element in the configuration and definition of urban identities, impregnated with an important sacred component. In this context, strongly influenced by the post-Tridentine atmosphere, there was a progressive increase not only in the number of members making up the holy pantheon of European Catholic cities, but also in the initiatives aimed at exhibiting and legitimizing them. Among the promoters of the cult of these devout personalities were essentially the municipal authorities and the ecclesiastical powers, each with their own interests. Considering this conjunction of circumstances, the multifaceted nature of the patron saint has allowed the critical literature to approach it from different and complementary points of view, focusing on the issue from the analysis of institutional relations, self-awareness and patriotism of citizens, hagiographic literature or festivities and plastic manifestations. In this doctoral thesis, taking the city of Barcelona as a case study, we aim to elucidate how artistic creations formed part of and were integrated into the aforementioned discourses of exaltation of the city's patron saint. Likewise, in addition to their relationship with the historical and religious context, the representations of the patron saint's iconography also bore witness to a highly complex artistic universe governed by its own dynamics. In the framework of the present work, this extends between the first decades of the 16th century and the first sixty years of the 18th century, a period in which the last examples of the late Gothic style, the Renaissance with Classicist roots, the Mannerist and Baroque aesthetics and the first examples of Rococo and Academicism coexisted. In this sense, the research into plastic representations not only illustrates their relationship with the civic-religious and patriotic postulates put forward by the agents of urban power, but also contributes to the enrichment of the history of Catalan art in the modern period through the re-reading of certain creations and the exhibition of a series of data and works hitherto unpublished ​
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