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Producing Meaning inside the Arts: Flavio Orsini (1620-1698), Roman Prince, Art Collector, and Librettist

Abstract : Suffering under heavy debt loads and stripped of all meaningful powers, Flavio Orsini, last heir of one of the oldest families of Rome, the Orsini of Bracciano, employed the arts as means of claiming legitimacy. He accumulated precious art objects –statues, gold and silver vessels, luxury furniture, but also somptuous coaches–; his entourage included numerous artists, such as painters, architects and musicians, and not insignificant ones; in his palace on piazza Navona he organized musical and theatrical events, including operas and cantatas in which he was often involved as a librettist.Within the contemporary research of the Performance Studies, this case study based on hitherto little exploited archives offers a well-documented example which emphasizes how Roman aristocrats carried out effective strategies, especially in the field of the politicized consumption of music: leader of the Francophile party in Rome and married to a French princess, Flavio Orsini did not hesitate in 1683 to precede his libretto of L’Arsate with a stirring homage to Louis XIV.In this paper I intend to show Flavio Orsini in the process of ensuring his social status. First I will shed light on the cultural program that he filled out along the years in the field of fine, applied, and performing arts: he took great interest in the form, visibility and timing of all the artistic components appearing at every moment of his daily life; secondly I will describe and discuss the main musical and theatrical events that he organized in order to strengthen the prestige of his family in Rome. Finally I will try to illustrate as an identity-shaping process his patronage and his production as a librettist.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01083791
Contributor : Anne-Madeleine Goulet <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 8:58:01 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 1:48:04 PM

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Anne-Madeleine Goulet. Producing Meaning inside the Arts: Flavio Orsini (1620-1698), Roman Prince, Art Collector, and Librettist. The Power of Affections. Poetry, Music, and Spectacle in Seventeenth-century Italian Opera Librettos, University of Penn, Philadelphie, Nov 2014, Philadelphie, United States. ⟨halshs-01083791⟩

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