Lorenzo de' Medici and the Art of Magnificence

Overview

In the past half century scholars have downplayed the significance of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449–1492), called "the Magnificent," as a patron of the arts. Less wealthy than his grandfather Cosimo, the argument goes, Lorenzo was far more interested in collecting ancient objects of art than in commissioning contemporary art or architecture. His earlier reputation as a patron was said to be largely a construct of humanist exaggeration and partisan deference.

Although some recent ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $36.32   
  • New (2) from $36.32   
  • Used (1) from $42.84   
Sending request ...

Overview

In the past half century scholars have downplayed the significance of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449–1492), called "the Magnificent," as a patron of the arts. Less wealthy than his grandfather Cosimo, the argument goes, Lorenzo was far more interested in collecting ancient objects of art than in commissioning contemporary art or architecture. His earlier reputation as a patron was said to be largely a construct of humanist exaggeration and partisan deference.

Although some recent studies have taken issue with this view, no synthesis of Lorenzo as art patron and art lover has yet emerged. In Lorenzo de' Medici and the Art of Magnificence historian F. W. Kent offers a new look at Lorenzo's relationship to the arts, aesthetics, collecting, and building—especially in the context of his role as the political boss ( maestro della bottega) of republican Florence and a leading player in Renaissance Italian diplomacy. As a result of this approach, which pays careful attention to the events of his short but dramatic life, a radically new chronology of Lorenzo's activities as an art patron emerges, revealing them to have been more extensive and creative than previously thought. Kent's Lorenzo was broadly interested in the arts and supported efforts to beautify Florence and the many Medici lands and palaces. His expertise was well regarded by guildsmen and artists, who often turned to him for advice as well as for patronage. Lorenzo himself was educated in the arts by such men, and Kent explores his aesthetic education and taste, taking into account what is known of Lorenzo's patronage of music and manuscripts, and of his own creative work as a major Quattrocento poet.

Richly illustrated with photographs of Medici landmarks by Ralph Lieberman, Lorenzo de' Medici and the Art of Magnificence offers a masterful portrait of Lorenzo as a man whose achievements might have rivaled his grandfather's had he not died so young.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
This suggestive book... looks for its audience to art historians whom F. W. Kent feels might benefit from a historian's discussion of the fragmentary information surrounding Lorenzo's various activities.

— Melissa Meriam Bullard

Australian Book Review
Kent has brought the breadth and depth of knowledge furnished by his nigh on forty years' research in the archives and libraries of Florence, an extraordinarily sensitive ear for the voices of his fifteenth-century Florentines, a nuanced and subtle understanding of their society and its leading figure, and a Renaissance elegance of structure and writing.

— Ros Pesman

Renaissance Quarterly
Extremely valuable... Even though the book tackles a specific theme—Lorenzo the Magnificence's relationship with the visual arts—it also characterizes this key Renaissance figure in the broad political, cultural, and psychological terms available only to a scholar so deeply engaged with every aspect of Lorenzo's life.

— Lorenzo Fabbri

Burlington Magazine
Elegantly compresses long study, and will stand as a companion to the same author's forthcoming two-volume biography of Lorenzo.

— Patricia Rubin

Journal of Modern History
A book with much to offer all readers.

— Susannah Baxendale

Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

[Kent is] to be commended highly for penetration as well as precision in [his] scholarship.

Common Knowledge
A remarkable biography of a remarkable man.

— Wayne Andersen

American Historical Review - Melissa Meriam Bullard

This suggestive book... looks for its audience to art historians whom F. W. Kent feels might benefit from a historian's discussion of the fragmentary information surrounding Lorenzo's various activities.

Australian Book Review - Ros Pesman

Kent has brought the breadth and depth of knowledge furnished by his nigh on forty years' research in the archives and libraries of Florence, an extraordinarily sensitive ear for the voices of his fifteenth-century Florentines, a nuanced and subtle understanding of their society and its leading figure, and a Renaissance elegance of structure and writing.

Renaissance Quarterly - Lorenzo Fabbri

Extremely valuable... Even though the book tackles a specific theme—Lorenzo the Magnificence's relationship with the visual arts—it also characterizes this key Renaissance figure in the broad political, cultural, and psychological terms available only to a scholar so deeply engaged with every aspect of Lorenzo's life.

Burlington Magazine - Patricia Rubin

Elegantly compresses long study, and will stand as a companion to the same author's forthcoming two-volume biography of Lorenzo.

Journal of Modern History - Susannah Baxendale

A book with much to offer all readers.

Common Knowledge - Wayne Andersen

A remarkable biography of a remarkable man.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

F. W. Kent is a professor of history and Australian Professorial Fellow at Monash University and the founding director of Monash University Centre in Prato. He is the author of Household and Lineage in Renaissance Florence: The Family Life of the Capponi, Ginori, and Rucellai.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
1 Introduction: The Myth of Lorenzo 1
2 The Aesthetic Education of Lorenzo 10
3 The Temptation to Be Magnificent, 1468-1484 4
4 Lorenzo and the Florentine Building Boom, 1485-1492 79
5 Lorenzo, "Fine Husbandman" and Villa Builder, 1483-1492 112
Notes 153
Index 223
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)