This project adopts a perspective founded upon the historiographic concept of histoire croisée. It traces the circulation of material objects and iconographies within and between global networks of knowledge transmission, highlighting the power dynamics that undergird relationships of exchange. Concepts from critical sociology are drawn upon to describe a hypothetical ‘global market of symbolic values’. In the situation of competition between early modern religious ‘fields’, the ‘capital’ represented by sanctity conferred religious legitimacy to a field as a whole. The Curia was the authority which granted access to the ‘symbolic capital’ of sanctity. To describe the construction of identity inherent in a saint’s portrayal in artworks, a Panofskyan concept of iconology relying on textual and visual sources is complemented by the full range of methods connected in the broadest sense with Visual Studies (Bildwissenschaft). Examination of the convergence of religious and sociopolitical discourse in ‘new’ Christian societies makes this project inherently multi-disciplinary, although its core is art historical.