The Italian Renaissance: The Essential Readings / Edition 1

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Thirteen of the most important critical essays on the Italian Renaissance are brought together in this volume.

  • Brings together critical essays on the Italian Renaissance.
  • Provides an ideal starting point for non-specialists studying this period.
  • Includes new research as well as classic interpretations.
  • Editorial apparatus helps students to engage with the material.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘These are indeed the essential readings for anyone who wants to understand how contemporary scholarship has recast and reinterpreted this pivotal period in human history. Wide ranging and provocative, this exploration of the Italian Renaissance fascination with the Ancients, God, and strong leaders is underpinned by a sophisticated appreciation for the fragile foundations of society in gender relations, the intimacy of family life, and the bonds of neighborhood and community.’ Edward Muir, Northwestern University

‘This volume brings together classic, brilliant articles that were formative of present understandings of Italian Renaissance culture. Given Paula Findlen’s lively, engaging introduction, it will be an invaluable source for teaching.’ Carol Lansing, University of California, Santa Barbara

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631222835
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/18/2002
  • Series: Blackwell Essential Readings in History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Paula Findlen is Professor of Italian History at Stanford University. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Nelson Prize from the Renaissance Society of America. Her previous publications include Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (1994), for which she was awarded the 1995 Marraro Prize and the 1996 Pfizer Prize; Merchants and Marvels (2001) with Pamela Smith; and Beyond Florence (2003) with Michelle Fontaine and Duane Osheim. Her most recent book, A Fragmentary Past: The Making of Museums and the Making of the Renaissance, will appear shortly.

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Table of Contents

Cover Illustration.

List of Illustrations.


Part I: Introduction.

1. Understanding the Italian Renaissance. (Paula Findlen).

Part II: Was there a Renaissance State?.

2 Civil Traditions in Premodern Italy. (Gene Brucker).

3 Cosimo de'Medici. Pater Patriae or Padrino?. (Anthony Molho).

Part III: Urban Life and Values.

4 'Kins, Friends and Neighbors': The Urban Territory of a Merchant Family in 1400. (Christiane Klapisch Zuber).

5 Sumptuary Law and Social Relations in Renaissance Italy. (Diane Owen Hughes).

6 The Virgin on the Street Corner: The Place of the Sacred in Italian Cities. (Edward Muir).

Part IV: Gender and Society.

7 'The Most Serious Duty'. Motherhood, Gender and Patrician Culture in Early Renaissance Venice. (Stanley Chojnacki).

8 Gender and Sexual Culture in Renaissance Italy. (Michael Rocke).

Part V: The Power of Knowledge.

9 Petrach's Conception of the 'Dark Ages'. (Theodor Mommsen).

10 Commerce with the Classics. (Anthony Grafton).

11 Isotta Nogarola: Women Humanists - Education for What? (Lisa Jardine).

Part VI: Patronage, Art and Culture.

12 Haroes and Their Workshops: Medici Patronage and the Problem of Shared Agency. (Melissa Meriam Bullard).

13 The Court Lady's Dilemma. Isabella d'Este and Art Collecting in the Renaissance. (Rose Marie San Juan).


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