Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance: The Patron's Oeuvre by Dale Kent | 9780300081282 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance: The Patron's Oeuvre

Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance: The Patron's Oeuvre

by Dale Kent
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300081286

ISBN-13: 9780300081282

Pub. Date: 11/28/2000

Publisher: Yale University Press

Cosimo de' Medici (1389-1464), the fabulously wealthy banker who became the leading citizen of Florence in the fifteenth century, spent lavishly as the city's most important patron of art and literature. This remarkable book is the first comprehensive examination of the whole body of works of art and architecture commissioned by Cosimo and his sons. By looking closely

Overview

Cosimo de' Medici (1389-1464), the fabulously wealthy banker who became the leading citizen of Florence in the fifteenth century, spent lavishly as the city's most important patron of art and literature. This remarkable book is the first comprehensive examination of the whole body of works of art and architecture commissioned by Cosimo and his sons. By looking closely at this spectacular group of commissions, we gain an entirely new picture of their patron and of the patron's point of view. Recurrent themes in the commissions—from Fra Angelico's San Marco altarpiece to the Medici Palace—indicate the main interests to which Cosimo's patronage gave visual expression. Dale Kent offers new insights and perspectives on the individual objects comprising the Medici oeuvre by setting them within the context of civic and popular culture in early Renaissance Florence, and of Cosimo's life as the leader of the Medici lineage and the dominant force in the governing elite.

From the wealth of available documentation on Cosimo de' Medici's life, the author considers how Cosimo's own experience influenced his patronage; how the culture of Renaissance Florence provided a common idiom for the patron, his artists, and his audience; what he preferred and intended as a patron; and how focusing on his patronage of art alters the image of him that is based on his roles as banker and politician. Cosimo was as much a product as a shaper of Florentine society, Kent concludes. She identifies civic patriotism and devotion as the main themes of his oeuvre and argues that religious imperatives may well have been more important than political ones in shaping the art for which he was responsible and its reception.

About the Author:
Dale Kent is professor of history at the University of California at Riverside.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300081282
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
552
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 10.75(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
PART I THE PATRON'S OEUVRE 1(38)
Introduction: The Terms of Renaissance Patronage
3(1)
Defining an oeuvre
3(2)
Generating a work of art
5(1)
Articulating identity in images
6(1)
Artists, patronage networks, and personal letters
7(1)
Clientelismo and mecenatismo: two sides of the same coin of patronage
8(1)
Taste and choice
8(1)
Cosimo's Oeuvre
9(6)
Cosimo's Letters
15(6)
Learning the Lessons of Florentine Culture: Who Cosimo Knew
21(12)
Cosimo and the humanists
23(4)
Artists on the Florentine public scene
27(6)
Educating the Patron: What Cosimo Read
33(6)
PART II THE COMMON CULTURE OF THE FLORENTINE AUDIENCE: THE MEDICI SHARE IN THIS 39(90)
Venues and Performances
41(28)
Art and society: political propaganda or a common culture?
41(2)
Popular poetry and song: performances in the piazza of San Martino
43(3)
Cosimo at San Martino: patron of charity and popular culture
46(4)
Civic culture as popular entertainment
50(4)
Lay confraternities: an education in religious texts and symbols
54(5)
Sacred plays and civic ceremonies: translating texts into images
59(10)
Compilations and the Corpus of Texts
69(26)
Vernacular scrapbooks
69(6)
Populist illustrations for popular texts
75(2)
Anthologists: patricians, plebeians, and the "middling sort"; vernacular miscellanies in Cosimo's library and Piero de' Medici's libricciuolo
77(4)
Combining pleasure with profit: the Three Crowns, Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch; Brunelleschi's "Fat Carpenter"; Geta and Birria; Lo Za and Burchiello
81(1)
Moral exempla: Aesop's Fables and the classics
82(1)
Devotion: Scripture and quotidian counsel; meditations, confession, penitence, and prayers; the memento mori and the exemplary images of the saints
83(5)
Civic traditions and celebrations: from Brunetto Latini and Villani to the letters of Bruni and Francesco Sforza
88(2)
The fascination of the unknown and the thrill of the exotic: Dati's Globe and the Ethiopian Prester John
90(1)
Storing wisdom in the house of memory
91(4)
Popular Devotion and the Perception of Images
95(12)
Memory and meditation: "with the eyes of the mind more than those of the body"; image and narrative
95(3)
Vision: the power of the image
98(3)
Levels of perception: "The eye is called the first of all the gates/through which the intellect may learn and taste"
101(1)
Poetry, theology, doctrine, and edifying exchange: a scissor-maker's query concerning the Trinity; a goldsmith enquires about the Immaculate Conception
102(2)
Ut pictura poesis (Pictures are like poetry)
104(3)
Images of Florentine Patronage Refracted through Popular Culture
107(22)
Participants in popular culture as patrons of art
107(1)
Marco Parenti's belt-buckle: a blueprint for a patron's personalized commission
108(2)
The popular appreciation of images expressed in Everyman's commissions
110(5)
Artists sharing and shaping the idiom of popular culture
115(2)
Popular images of Cosimo and his patronage
117(5)
The Florentine popolo as patron of Brunelleschi's cupola: an exemplum for private citizens of patronage in a republic
122(7)
PART III COSIMO'S RELIGIOUS COMMISSIONS 129(86)
Expiation, Charity, Intercession
131(30)
"The liberal rich man": charity and the patron
131(5)
Images of intercession
136(2)
Death and the patron
138(3)
The Medici patron saints
141(8)
San Marco: the frescoes
149(6)
The San Marco altarpiece: salvation, patronage, and power
155(6)
Building "for the Honor of God, and the Honor of the City, and the Memory of Me"
161(54)
Cosimo, "preserver of churches and holy places"
161(1)
Inherited commitments, paternal and papal
162(5)
Ius patronatus and Bosco ai Frati
167(4)
San Marco
171(8)
San Lorenzo, parish church of the Medici neighborhood
179(7)
The old sacristy
186(11)
Cooperating to honor the city, and the orders and cults of the Church
197(15)
The Badia
212(3)
PART IV THE HOUSE OF THE MEDICI 215(114)
The Palace: Measuring Self on the Urban Map
217(22)
The palatial debate
217(8)
Placing the palace and its patron in history: the architectural fusion of Florence and Rome
225(3)
Situating the family in the city
228(2)
Building for paterfamilias, padrino, and pater patriae
230(9)
Accommodating the Patron
239(66)
"The comfort of his accommodations"
239(2)
"Per non diviso": family values and the use and decoration of domestic space
241(3)
Filial piety: the mainly devotional works of art in Cosimo's house
244(20)
Uccello's Battle of San Romano: Cosimo, the commune, and warfare: images of fame and defamation, public and private
264(17)
Heroes classical, Christian, and civic: Donatello's David and Judith and Holofernes; The Labors of Hercules
281(6)
Decorating and collecting: continuity and change
287(12)
A cultivated life: gardens and villas
299(6)
The Chapel in the Heart of the Palace: A Microcosm of Medici Patronage
305(24)
PART V THE PATRON AS "AUCTOR" 329(38)
Patrons and their Artists: "The Variety of Genius"
331(16)
The patron's role in the production of art
331(1)
Artists in the Medici patronage network: the letters
332(10)
The artist's expertise and the patron's choice
342(1)
The major partnerships: Donatello and Michelozzo
343(4)
The Patron's Choice: Princes, Patricians, Partisans
347(20)
Choice and intention
347(1)
The extent and limitations of Cosimo's political power in Florence: was it in fact "princely?"
348(3)
Cosimo's commissions and those of his princely friends: comparisons, contrasts, connections
351(3)
Florentine precedents for Cosimo's patronage
354(2)
Emulation, competition, and exchange in the patronage of Cosimo's fellow-citizens
356(1)
A comparable Florentine oeuvre: the patronage of Giovanni Rucellai
357(10)
Conclusion: An Oeuvre Defines Its Patron: Cosimo's Visible Image 367(18)
The patron defines himself in relation to his world
367(3)
The Medici and Florence: continuity and change
370(2)
Cosimo's visible image
372(5)
Epilogue: "Returning it all to the Lord": Cosimo's tomb in San Lorenzo
377(8)
Appendix: A List of What Appear to be Popular Miscellanies Compiled from the Pupilli Records 385(2)
Abbreviations 387(1)
Notes 388(106)
List of Works Cited 494(29)
Index 523(15)
Photograph Credits 538

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