Giovanni Maria Marussig (1641-1712)


Gio Maria Marusig,born in Gorizia in 1641, represents an extraordinary phenomenon in the cultural sphere of north-eastern Italy: an ante litteram cartoonist journalist who was able to describe the great tragedies of his time, including the plague epidemic that struck Gorizia in 1682, with immediacy and drama. Images barely sketched, rather crude, but precisely because it was so out of the mannerism of the time even more impressive. marusig gives us back among other things, a decision of episodes of crime news, indeed black, bringing the century back to its terrible carnality and absence of pity.

Gorizia priest, chaplain and confessor of the Poor Clares, more than for his religious role, Giovanni Maria Marussig is remembered for a series of illustrated manuscripts with which he documented, in prose and verse, the events of Gorizia in his time and the past history of the city. Born in Gorizia on June 17, 1641, he was appointed chaplain of the convent of Santa Chiara in 1669, to which was later added that of confessor of the nuns; he was also secretary of the Congregation for the suffrage of souls in Purgatory.

He was also secretary of the Congregation for the suffrage of souls in Purgatory. The drawings of the churches in Gorizia are equally precious, both in Gooritia the churches, colleges, convents, chapels, oratories, blessed, colon, stationi, seminarians, religions and in the manuscript on the origin of Gorizia. Giovanni Maria Marussig never thought about the publication of his works, also because at that time Gorizia did not yet have printing houses; moreover, the close connection between text and drawing would have made printing difficult and certainly very expensive. However, he made several copies of his manuscripts, evidently to give them to his patrons and admirers. As a chronicler of the plague of 1682 he reported his direct testimony of the events, recounting his experience of being segregated by his own choice, not because he was ill but as a means of escaping contagion.

"L'istoria del contagio ben notavi / e dopo d'ogni muart un poc bevevi", he recalled, telling about his voluntary quarantine that allowed him to save himself, while 10% of Gorizians died victim of the plague. Also in the manuscript related to The violent, or suffered, deaths that happened in Goritia or its district, Marussig shows an inclination towards the theme of the macabre and the unusual, also here accompanying with images, often truculent, the written word, and showing very little Christian piety for the victims, seen not so much as people but rather as objects of a strange anecdote to tell. Marussig also wrote verses in Friulian, and died in Gorizia on August 13, 1712.