Storia dell’arte 143-145, 2016
Sabina De Cavi
Paperwork and Paper Nature in Baroque Palermo: Material History and Production of the “Festino” of St. Rosalia (1686-1714)
Based on a renewed archival research on the annual Feasts for St. Rosalia, this article offers great insights on the daily and practical material making of ephemeral architecture in Palermo during the late Baroque era. The structure of contracts concerning sculpture and architecture in light weight, poor, and recyclable materials such as wood, straw, wax and paper, reveals that art production was primarily intended and appreciated as a constant performance, rather as a permanent and durable contribute to the fabric and to the city. The tendency to promote and produce ever changing decorations and metamorphosing iconographies seems spurred by the local structure of the guilds system, and to the taste of the general public, rather than economics or imported fashions of specific international élites.