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The Renaissance House Moise at Cres - Results of the 2011 Conservation Works

Tea Sušanj Protić   ORCID icon ; Republic of Croatia Ministry of Cutlure - Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Conservation Department in Rijeka, Croatia

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (2 MB) str. 283-298 preuzimanja: 1.041* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Sušanj Protić, T. (2014). Renesansna kuća Moise u Cresu - rezultati konzervatorskih istraživanja 2011. godne. Ars Adriatica, (4), 283-298. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Sušanj Protić, Tea. "Renesansna kuća Moise u Cresu - rezultati konzervatorskih istraživanja 2011. godne." Ars Adriatica, vol. , br. 4, 2014, str. 283-298. Citirano 30.11.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Sušanj Protić, Tea. "Renesansna kuća Moise u Cresu - rezultati konzervatorskih istraživanja 2011. godne." Ars Adriatica , br. 4 (2014): 283-298.
Sušanj Protić, T. (2014). 'Renesansna kuća Moise u Cresu - rezultati konzervatorskih istraživanja 2011. godne', Ars Adriatica, (4), str. 283-298. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 30.11.2020.)
Sušanj Protić T. Renesansna kuća Moise u Cresu - rezultati konzervatorskih istraživanja 2011. godne. Ars Adriatica [Internet]. 2014 [pristupljeno 30.11.2020.];(4):283-298. Dostupno na:
T. Sušanj Protić, "Renesansna kuća Moise u Cresu - rezultati konzervatorskih istraživanja 2011. godne", Ars Adriatica, vol., br. 4, str. 283-298, 2014. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 30.11.2020.]

The Renaissance residential architecture in the town of Cres is represented by a small number of preserved houses (palazzetti) of the local nobility which are attributed to the established stone-cutting workshop grouped around master Francesco Marangonich, a Lombard stone-cutter who arrived at Cres from the building sites of Venice and introduced Renaissance stylistic elements on the Quarnero islands. The best-known Renaissance residential building at Cres is the Marcello-Petris house which was built in the 1510s for the Minister Provincial and Bishop, Friar Antun Marcello-Petris. The Renaissance houses of the Cres nobility are characterized by their relatively large size, ashlar masonry, and the strict rhythm of the decorated openings on the representative facades. One of such buildings is the Moise house, situated in the medieval centre of the town, at a prominent site where the two main streets of the time crossed. Documents from the archive of the Franciscan monastery at Cres witness that in 1441, “Ser Andrea Moisenich” exchanged a garden for the house of “Nobilis Ser Stefano de Petris”, who had the Petris palace built before 1405, meaning that the present-day Moise house might be identified with the old Petris palace. It features the coats of arms of these two families from the same period, and, therefore, it could have functioned as a shared residence of both families, which was frequently the case in Venice, for example, when it came to large palaces with two residential floors and two courtyards, which are both elements of the Moise house.

The Moise house is the largest residential building of Renaissance Cres and, through its size, it can be compared to prominent examples of large palaces in Dalmatian towns. It has not been the subject of scholarly and expert research because of its many alterations, the relatively poor preservation of its original features, and the loss of its representative appearance, all of which means that its basic characteristics remained unknown. Conservation works revealed the layout of its ground plan and established that it was conceived as an emulation of the Venetian model, with a central hall and four lateral chambers. These features set the Moise house apart from other Renaissance residential buildings at Cres as the only one which adopted and displayed the high Renaissance symmetry of ground plan, which is also reflected on the representative facade. Analysis of the plaster samples taken from the walls has resulted in their stratigraphy, which confirms the hypothesis that all the walls of the central salone were painted a secco in the seventeenth century.

The conservation works carried out on the representative facade unveiled the position of the Renaissance windows, which indicates that the articulating rhythm was two single-light windows – a double-light window – two single-light windows, which was corroborated by the discovery of the dressed inner window splays. Such an arrangement was common practice in Venetian Gothic residential architecture but, in the territory of present-day Croatia, it gained prominence only in the Renaissance, and the Moise house is the only example of this at Cres. The second floor of the Moise house repeated the plan of the first, which implies that originally there would have been two sumptuous storeys. The vaulted rooms on the ground floor did not communicate with one another but formed separate units in a direct relationship with the street or courtyards and it is likely that they had a utilitarian function as shops or storage spaces, having no vertical communication inside the house with the residential floors, which were connected by means of a single flight staircase.

The building had two representative courtyards; the west one gave way to subsequent additions but it was recorded in the Land Registry as early as 1821. On the ground floor, the courtyard had a porch with two arches above which was a gallery with a balustrade, traces of which were discovered through test-probes in the floor. In the small east courtyard, the remains of the Renaissance porch, supported by the excellently carved pillars have been preserved, while in the floor under the staircase vault, a circular, finely-dressed stone opening belonging to a well was found; its well head is today located on the ground floor of the house.

The two representative courtyards are an exception in the densely-knit urban texture of Cres, which places the Moise house in a wider context of Renaissance residential architecture in the Adriatic. Its local variety would be the positioning of the well under the vault of the staircase, which is characteristic of the vernacular architecture in medieval Cres. In comparison to other similar buildings at Cres, the Moise house is unique in that it is the only Renaissance house of the nobility with a regular plan; other Renaissance houses are of a mostly irregular quadrangular plan, including the most representative example of the palazzetto of the Cres nobility, the Marcello-Petris house. The Moise house is also the only building to have a symmetrical interior layout, which resonates with the symmetrical articulation of the representative facade, while in the case of the Marcello-Petris house, the consistent rhythm of the richly decorated windows in the south facade are a screen of sorts placed before the asymmetrically-arranged interior space.

The construction of such a large building, at a dominant position in the medieval core can be explained by the role of the original commissioners, the Petris family, as the most prominent noble family at Cres, while the credit for the contemporary Renaissance organization of the interior – with the only extant example of a central representative hall in the Renaissance residential architecture at Cres – belongs to the builders, who had already demonstrated knowledge of contemporary Venetian models on the well-known portal of the collegiate church at Cres.

The Moise house was marginalized in previous overviews of the Renaissance residential architecture because of the modest state of preservation of its Renaissance stone sculpture. The results of the conservation works, and the analysis of the spatial organization, ground plan, and location of this building, but also the analysis of historical records, should contribute to a clearer perception of the Moise house in the context of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century residential architecture on the east Adriatic coast, and to a re-assessment of its diminished representative importance, the value which is hidden in the architectural structure, concept and context, within the frame of the urban texture of medieval Cres.

Ključne riječi
Renaissance domestic architecture; sixteenth century; Cres; Marangon workshop; Moise family; conservation works

Hrčak ID: 130744



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