0242 San Girolamo degli Schiavoni/ Illyrians/ Croats in 'Roma communis patria': Constructing National Identity Through Papal Interventions

  • Jasenka Gudelj (Author)

    Jasenka Gudelj is associate professor at the University of Zagreb. She obtained her PhD from the School of Advanced Studies Venice (IUAV – Ca’ Foscari) and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh and the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. Her book The European Renaissance of Ancient Pula (Zagreb, 2014), winner of the Croatian National Prize for Science, explores the critical fortune of the antiquities of Pula in Renaissance art and architecture. Her other publications include four edited volumes and numerous articles on the circulation of architectural knowledge, its media and networks. From 2015 to 2018 she directed the Croatian Science Foundation research project "Visualizing Nationhood: the Schiavoni/ Illyrian Confraternities and Colleges in Italy and the Artistic Exchange with South-East Europe", exploring the visual culture of the Schiavoni/ Illyrian immigrant communities.

Identifiers (Article)


This essay examines the positioning of the Schiavoni, i.e. Illyrians/ Croats, within Roma communis patria in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries through papal commissions of architecture and painting related to the church of San Girolamo degli Schiavoni. It assesses the gestures made by Nicholas V and Sixtus V towards this particular ethnic group against the background of papal foreign policy and the Papacy’s approach to the urban problems of Rome, and explores the promotion of the cults of national saints. The disentanglement of the group’s dynamics and its interplay with the Curia not only sheds light on the minute mechanisms of artistic and architectural patronage as they relate to 'national' churches, but also redefines the approach to identity issues often understood as exclusively powered by 'national' forces.


San Girolamo degli Illirici in Rome, San Girolamo degli Schiavoni in Rome, San Girolamo dei Croati in Rome, Nicholas V, Sixtus V, nationhood, national church