Il principe Eugenio, lo scisma d’Arcadia e l’abate Lorenzini (1711-1743)

Beatrice Alfonzetti

This contribution reconstructs the Arcadia schism of 1711 in light of the myth function given to Eugene of Savoy. Celebrated as a hero with Italic roots, he represented both the Empire and the champion of Christianity against the Turkish threat. Verse, inscriptions, poems and tragedies with happy endings are the poetic correspondent to the pictorial representations that celebrate the apotheosis of Eugene. This myth is accentuated in the Quirini’s work, which in order to celebrate his deeds would make an exception to the rule of praising only the heroes of Latin civilization, an expression of civil values and Roman law. Comparison between the verse of the Arcadians and that of the Quirini dedicated to Eugene’s victories reveals how only that of the latter theorises the necessity to adopt, in songs, odes and tragedies, a high, heroic and sublime style in opposition to the Crescimbeni’s Arcadian one. The teachings of Gravina imprint these positions recuperated in Arcadia by the abbot Lorenzini, one of the protagonists of the schism who then returned to the academy in 1714 and became its custodian in 1728. The parallel pontificate of Lorenzo Corsini, protector of the Quirini, creates a cultural axis  marked by Roman classicism, to be traced back insofar as it relates to the Gravina/ Lorenzini line to the Imperial line option of the promoters of the schism. As a whole the analysis revises some historiographic assessments such as Gravina’s losing line and the decline of Arcadia after Crescimbeni.