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Rome

A City out of Print

2001
Author:

Rose Marie San Juan

Rome

An intriguing look at what printed materials tell us about daily life and public space in seventeenth-century Rome.

Focusing on images and descriptions of movement and spectacle-everyday street activities, congregations in market piazzas, life in the Jewish ghetto and the plague hospital-Rose Marie San Juan uncovers the social tensions and conflicts within seventeenth century Roman society that are both concealed within and prompted by mass-produced representations of the city. These depictions of Rome-guidebooks, street posters, brochures, maps, and collectible images of landmarks-redefined the ways in which public space was experienced, controlled, and utilized, encouraging tourists, pilgrims, and penitents while constraining the activities and movements of women, merchants, dissidents, and Jews.

Rome is much more than a history of seventeenth-century printed representations of the Eternal City. . . . the book is a highly original examination of the proliferation of visual matter concerning the city, and how that mass of print came to change the ways in which its urban space was experienced, controlled, and used.

Katie Scott, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Focusing on images and descriptions of movement and spectacle-everyday street activities, congregations in market piazzas, life in the Jewish ghetto and the plague hospital, papal and other ceremonial processions, public punishment, and pilgrimage routes-Rose Marie San Juan uncovers the social tensions and conflicts within seventeenth-century Roman society that are both concealed within and prompted by mass-produced representations of the city. These depictions of Rome-guidebooks, street posters, broadsheets and brochures, topographic and thematic maps, city views, and collectible images of landmarks and other famous sights-redefined the ways in which public space was experienced, controlled, and utilized, encouraging tourists, pilgrims, and penitents while constraining the activities and movements of women, merchants, dissidents, and Jews.

San Juan contends that the representations of urban space afforded by new print technologies were appropriated by a wide variety of people in the city for purposes that ranged from regulation to opposition. A sophisticated analysis of the contested relations between people, print culture, and urban modernity, Rome: A City Out of Print also offers a rich portrait of the life of the street and the city.

In the wake of Europe’s print revolution, early seventeenth-century Rome witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of printed images and descriptive literature about the city. Consisting of guidebooks, street posters, broadsheets and brochures, topographic and thematic maps, city views, and collectible images depicting landmarks and other famous sights, this rich print culture variously portrayed Rome as orderly, changeable, progressive, even unpredictable. Through innovative interpretations of these often overlooked primary sources, Rome: A City Out of Print explores the gulf between representations of urban space in Rome and the realities of urban life.

Rome

Rose Marie San Juan is associate professor of history of art at the University of British Columbia.

Rome

Rome is much more than a history of seventeenth-century printed representations of the Eternal City. . . . the book is a highly original examination of the proliferation of visual matter concerning the city, and how that mass of print came to change the ways in which its urban space was experienced, controlled, and used.

Katie Scott, The Courtauld Institute of Art

“Rome is full of fascinating detail and interpretative insight. Combining an art historian’s skills with a powerful grasp of spatial and cultural theory, San Juan explores seven ‘moments’ of urban life in mid-17th century Rome.”

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

“San Juan offers an extraordinary range of textual and visual materials to provide the theoretical scaffolding for a new reading of Rome as a city made ‘out of print.’”

Renaissance Quarterly

Trying to get one’s bearing in the seventeenth-century city meant being confronted with a range of documents. Professor San Juan relies on a wealth of archival materials-from bandi (printed street ordinances) to pilgrimage guides-that are often overlooked. San Juan has given those of us who spend considerable time trying to see the eternal city in its early modern manifestations a lot more to see.

Sixteenth Century Journal

Rome

Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. “Vagando per la città” The Printed Bandoand the Everyday Moves of the Street
2. “Roma ricercata” The Pocket Guidebook and the City’s Tourist Itineraries
3. “Andando processionalmente per Roma” Street Processions and the Imprints of Urban Charity
4. Water’s Overflow Contamination, Cleanliness, and the Location of the Fountain Piazza
5. Rumor’s Trajectories The Sede Vacante and the Dispersal of Urban Conflict
6. The Production of Place Enclosures and Exchanges in Piazza Navona
7. The Uncertainties of Time Managing and Marketing the Plague of 1656–57

Notes
Bibliography
Permissions

Index