COBBLER, CONVERT, COPT: THE INCONGRUOUS VENETIAN ICONOGRAPHY OF SAINT ANIANAS
This research examines images of Saint Mark and Saint Anianas in both healing and baptismal scenes to better understand the iconographic treatment of the two saints. I will demonstrate that the saints' iconographic program, employed in Venetian art prior to the fifteenth century, was designed to propagandize Saint Mark's strength in connection to images of Christ and apostolic saints. Further, the juxtaposition of these images with those created in the fifteenth century reveals a shift in the iconographic program that reflects Venetian political and religious anxiety after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and a desire to signify Venetian hegemony. When the Venetian images are examined chronologically, the iconography associated with Saint Anianas' image clearly evolves to impose an exotic eastern persona as a negative foil for the protagonist Saint Mark. By contrast, the iconography of the two saints remains unaltered outside of the Veneto, thereby suggesting the absence of a similar underlying religious and political motivation.