Evan Gatti publishes essay on art patronage and the Eufrasian Basilica in Porec, Croatia
Evan A. Gatti, associate professor of art history, published an essay on the artistic patronage of medieval bishops and the Eufrasian Basilica in Porec, Croatia.
Gatti's essay, “In the Apse or In Between: The Benedictional of Engilmar and Traditions of Episcopal Patronage in the Apse at Porec,” appears in Saintly Bishops and Bishops' Saints, edited by John Ott and Trpimir Vedriš. Essays in the volume are edited and expanded versions of papers that were first presented in 2010 at a conference on bishop saints held in the renovated Episcopal Palace in Porec. The conference was co-sponsored by the Croatian Hagiography Association--Hagiotheca--and the International Hagiography Society.
Gatti argues that the apse at Porec should be investigated as an active liturgical site that secured episcopal legitimacy across multiple pasts and into the present. Artistic commissions created in, about, and for the apse of the Eufrasian basilica are analyzed for the ways they articulate, in visual terms, an episcopal legitimacy that requires a saint as mentor, and a bishop as model. While the sixth-century mosaic program in the apse of the Eufrasian Basilica serves as the foundation for this argument, Gatti projects its significance into other periods of importance for Porec. Most notably, the essay includes two other case studies, an eleventh-century book of blessings made Bishop Engilmar of Porec (now in the J. Paul Getty Museum) and an thirteenth-century altar canopy of Venetian manufacture. In conclusion Gatti discusses the current state of the altar, which is still missing the four silver panels stolen from altar in the 1970’s, and its role as a UNESCO World Heritage site.