Renaissance Florence: A Social History

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This book examines the social history of Florence during the critical period of its growth and development in the early modern period, from the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries. Treating the city, its art, and its rituals as lived experiences that extended through space and time, the contributors to this volume consider well-known objects, monuments, sites, and events in the vivifying context of a variety of spaces, which are here understood as a dimension of physical, psychological, religious, and political perceptions for the city of Florence during the Renaissance. The volume provides a multi-dimensional view of Florence as it evolved into an economic powerhouse and dynamic center of artistic achievement, as well as the setting for political and religious struggles. It also demonstrates how permeable boundaries between the disciplines of history and art history have become.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The spatial fabric of the city...becomes the vehicle for examining Florentine daily life, from confraternal processions and artisanal workshops to domestic interiors, both plebian and patrician."

"Substantial notes and bibliography expand this volume to a very hefty size. Yet unlike many large encyclopedic collections of recent years that serve mainly to digest the authors' and other longer works on the subjects at hand, this volume contains much that is new without merely descending into detail and the particular. It points to the value of accumulated local knowledge and scholarship in allowing for richer and finer-grained historical understanding. It also serves as an example of the continuing fruitful collaborations between history and the history of art that have long characterized Renaissance studies."
-Ann E. Moyer, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania, H-NET

"This welcome collection of essays on the society and art of Renaissance Florence serves as an up to date and accessible introduction to much current research in the field."
-F.W. Kent, Monash University, The Catholic Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521846936
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/3/2006
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger J. Crum is Professor of Art History at the University of Dayton, where he has held the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages.

John T. Paoletti is William B. Kenan Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Art History at Wesleyan University.

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Table of Contents

Introducion Roger J. Crum and John T. Paoletti; Part I. The Theatre of Florence: 1. Florentine politics and urban spaces John M. Najemy; 2. Theatres of everyday life Sharon T. Strocchia; Part II. The Public Realm: 3. The Piazza della Signoria as practiced place Stephen J. Milner; 4. Structuring communal history through repeated metaphors of rule Sarah Blake McHam; 5. Corporate beneficence and historical narratives of communal well-being Philip Gavitt; 6. The spaces of plebian ritual and the boundaries of transgression David Rosenthal; 7. Ritual trading at the Florentine wool cloth botteghe Adrienne Atwell; Part III. Relatives, Friends, and Neighbors: 8. Neighborhood as microcosm Nicholas Eckstein; 9. The palace and villa as spaces of patrician self-definition Michael Lingohr; 10. '… full of people of every sort': the domestic interior Roger J. Crum and John T. Paoletti; Part IV. Men and Women: 11. Mean streets, familiar streets, or the fat woodcarver and the masculine spaces of renaissance Florence Guido Ruggiero; 12. Did women have a space? Natalie Thomas; Part V. The Spaces of the Spiritual: 13. Sacred place and liturgical space: Florence's renaissance churches Robert W. Gaston; 14. Memorial chapels in churches: The privatization and transformation of sacred spaces Jonathan Katz Nelson; 15. The aural space of the sacred in renaissance Florence Peter Howard; 16. Identity and alliance: urban presence, spatial privilege, and Florentine renaissance convents Saundra Weddle; Part VI. Across Space and Time: 17. The workshop as the space of collaborative artisitic production Anabel Thomas; 18. The replicated image in Florence, 1300–1600 Patricia Emison; 19. From the workshop to the academy: the emergence of the artist in renaissance Florence Andrea Bolland.

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  • Posted October 30, 2014

    Unlocking the connections

    Did you ever wonder what societal conditions produced the miracle of Renaissance Florence? This book goes a long way towards making connections between what was happening on the ground in Florence in the 13th -15th century and how the social life of the city in all of its many elements created an atmosphere one of the greatest artistic flowerings in the history of Western Civilization. I highly recommend the book.

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