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Gods in the Garden: Visions of the Pagan Other in the Rome of Julius ii

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Author: Marco Piana1
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This essay explores the reception of Pope Julius ii’s statuary deities in his Cortile del Belvedere through the poetic works of two humanists, papal courtier Evangelista Maddaleni de’ Capodiferro and Savonarolan philosopher Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola. The construction of the Cortile animated a lively querelle on the state and mission of the Catholic Church, as it allowed the pagan idols of antiquity to re-enter the holy grounds of the Vatican. Through the analysis of two divergent poetic receptions of the Belvedere gods, this article will explore the Cortile del Belvedere and Julius ii’s Rome, as a space of spiritual dialogue and religious hybridism.

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