CULT OBJECTS AND ARTISTIC PATRONAGE
OF THE FOURTEENTH-CENTURY
FLAGELLANT CONFRATERNITY OF
KATHLEEN GILES ARTHUR
SEVERAL ESSAYS IN THIS SECTION suggest the role of lay confraternities in commissioning works of art for liturgical use and for the embellishment of their meeting places; the splendid pictorial cycles that adorn the Venetian scuole are the most prestigious examples. In this chapter, Kathleen Giles Arthur analyses the nature and function of cult objects owned by a Florentine confraternity in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. The detailed inventory that forms the basis of Professor Arthur's reflections suggests the full range of "artistic" expression fostered by confraternity life: above all, the essentially creative character of confraternal liturgical and devotional activities, for which painting and sculpture, along with vestments and altar furnishings, were necessary functional components.
KATHLEEN GILES ARTHUR teaches the history of art at James Madison University in Virginia.