Mozart &
Material Culture

Souvenirs

Saint. Born Catherine de' Vigri, St. Catherine entered the Corpus Domini convent, Ferrara, in 1426; in 1432 she found a monastery of the Order of Poor Clares, where in 1456 she was appointed abbess. Buried without a coffin in 1463, her body was later discovered to be incorrupt; in it was installed on a golden throne in the Cappella della Santa, Bologna. She was beatified in 1524 and canonized in 1712. St. Catherine is the patron saint of artists and of Bologna

L. Martelli (after Giovanni Battista Frulli), Saint Catherine of Bologna (engraving, eighteenth century)

L. Martelli (after Giovanni Battista Frulli), Saint Catherine of Bologna (engraving, eighteenth century)

 

Mozart Relevance

Mozart and his father visited Bologna twice: from 24-29 March 1770, and from 20 July-about 13 October 1770. Their visit to the Convento del Corpus Domini di Bologna, where the body of St Catherine is preserved, must have taken place during the first visit since Leopold wrote to his wife from Rome on 14 April: 

  1. I won`t bore you with a long description of our appalling journey here. Imagine only a largely uncultivated country and the most appalling inns, filth everywhere, nothing to eat except - if we were lucky - the occasional meal of eggs and broccoli: and sometimes they even made a fuss about giving us eggs on fast days. Fortunately we got a decent supper and slept well in Viterbo. While there we saw St Rosa of Viterbo of Viterbo - |: like St Catherine of Bologna in Bologna :| she can be seen in a perfectly preserved state. From the former we took away an ague powder and some relics as a souvenir, from the latter a belt.

Date 1
1413, Bologna
Date 2
1463, Bologna
Date (Mozart)
1770
Location (Mozart)
Bologna
Bibliographic Reference
Rubbi, 2004