Confraternities often staged public spectacles and performed charitable acts within a highly-regulated civic environment that appeals to diverse fields of analysis. We propose a panel that explores how art and architectural projects advanced the devotional and charitable claims of Medieval and Renaissance lay confraternities in Italy. At the same time, we would like to expand the investigation to consider the representation of confraternity members visually and in the civic record. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, facets of public or private spectacle, pageantry and ritual, patronage, and specific devotional objects and modes of representation. While we welcome contributions that focus on the traditional links between confraternity studies and social history, we particularly seek papers that ask questions more broadly relevant to art history and visual culture. For example, in what ways did confraternities reconcile public and private modes of worship and how was this manifested in their commissions? Did they develop imagery that extended to other areas of civic and religious life and what wider implications might this have for how we view institutional or corporate patronage and the arts?
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