Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Treasury Museum of Genoa Cathedral (Part 2)

Here is the second part of Nicola’s photos of the treasury museum of the cathedral of St Lawrence in Genoa. We begin with several pictures of a silver ark for the Corpus Christi procession, made in the mid-16th to early 17th century; the base is decorated with images of the Lord’s Passion, from the Last Supper to the Burial, alternating with statues of the Apostles.

These two reliquaries were brought to the Republic of Genoa from its mercantile colony at Pera, just outside the walls of Constantinople: one of the 11th or 12th century, with the arm of St Anne...
and the other of the 15th, with the arm of St James.

A silver statue of the Immaculate Conception, 1748. On the feast of the Annunciation in 1637, the Republic of Genoa had officially proclaimed the Virgin Mary to be its Queen. During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-8), the city was occupied by the armies of Austria and Sardinia; following its liberation at the end of the war, a group of noblemen donated this statue to the Doge Giovan Francesco Brignole-Sale, in recognition of his actions in preserving the republic; the doge then immediately donated it to the cathedral.
A reliquary made in Florence in the 16th-17th century for the cathedral’s relics of the ashes of St John the Baptist.
A silver frontal for Corpus Christi, decorated with statues of the Four Evangelists, and the martyrdoms of the city’s patron Saints: John the Baptist, Lawrence (to whom the cathedral is dedicated) and Sebastian, who in his role as patron against plagues, was always particularly important to maritime cities.
Another frontal, made in 1892, with a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in the middle.
A ciborium made in 1918, and gifted to the cathedral by Pope Benedict XV, a native of Genoa. (A well known story about him is that on reading in a newspaper a description of himself as “the astute Genovese”, he curtly remarked, “such useless repetition.”)
A 16th-century cope.

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