The rules and regulations administering the re-founded hospital of San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti in Venice stipulated explicitly, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, that the governors were to be drawn both from the Venetian patriciate and from the class of 'cittadini' (citizens) and leading merchants living in the city. Collaboration between members of social groups which were formally distinct was not confined to the philanthropic sphere in Venice, and in any case the formal separation which existed between the three orders of inhabitants (patricians, citizens, and common people as 'popolani') found numerous exceptions in practice. Over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, however, collaboration promoted inclusion and social mobility ehich culminated in the process of the re-opening of the patriciate in 1646 after three centuries. As in other Venetian charitable institutions, the financial and organizational contributions of individuals who did not belong to the ruling class were substantial, and particularly important in the early decades of the hospital's history. The analysis of those who were elected each year to administrative and managerial positions at the Mendicanti reveals how all governors could be called upon to contribute to its administration - and thereby to engage in a genuine collaboration with colleagues from a social group which was not their own. The success of the institution, which grew rapidly, demonstrates the efficacy of this practice, and ultimately proves that the wealthiest stratum of Venetian society was fluid: 'bourgeois' rather than elitist.

Un pantheon borghese. Benefattori ai Mendicanti nel Seicento

Isabella Cecchini
2015

Abstract

The rules and regulations administering the re-founded hospital of San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti in Venice stipulated explicitly, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, that the governors were to be drawn both from the Venetian patriciate and from the class of 'cittadini' (citizens) and leading merchants living in the city. Collaboration between members of social groups which were formally distinct was not confined to the philanthropic sphere in Venice, and in any case the formal separation which existed between the three orders of inhabitants (patricians, citizens, and common people as 'popolani') found numerous exceptions in practice. Over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, however, collaboration promoted inclusion and social mobility ehich culminated in the process of the re-opening of the patriciate in 1646 after three centuries. As in other Venetian charitable institutions, the financial and organizational contributions of individuals who did not belong to the ruling class were substantial, and particularly important in the early decades of the hospital's history. The analysis of those who were elected each year to administrative and managerial positions at the Mendicanti reveals how all governors could be called upon to contribute to its administration - and thereby to engage in a genuine collaboration with colleagues from a social group which was not their own. The success of the institution, which grew rapidly, demonstrates the efficacy of this practice, and ultimately proves that the wealthiest stratum of Venetian society was fluid: 'bourgeois' rather than elitist.
La chiesa e l’ospedale di San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti. Arte, beneficenza, cura, devozione, educazione
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3723075
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