The Likeness of Venice: A Life of Doge Francesco Foscari

The Likeness of Venice: A Life of Doge Francesco Foscari

by Dennis Romano
     
 

Immortalized in later centuries in works by Lord Byron, Giuseppe Verdi, Eugène Delacroix, and others, Francesco Foscari reigned as the powerful doge of Venice during tumultuous years from 1423 to 1457. The stuff of legends, his life was marked by political conflict, vengeful enemies, family heartbreak, and, at the end, the forced relinquishment of the ducal

Overview

Immortalized in later centuries in works by Lord Byron, Giuseppe Verdi, Eugène Delacroix, and others, Francesco Foscari reigned as the powerful doge of Venice during tumultuous years from 1423 to 1457. The stuff of legends, his life was marked by political conflict, vengeful enemies, family heartbreak, and, at the end, the forced relinquishment of the ducal throne. Yet Foscari left behind no personal papers, and until now, no complete biography of him has been written. This book, a thorough and fascinating biography, fills that longstanding gap, illuminating not only the life of the man but also the history and culture of fifteenth-century Venice.
Dennis Romano reconstructs Foscari’s life through careful reading of extant governmental records and chronicle sources. He also uses architectural monuments built by Foscari and his heirs as critical interpretive keys for unlocking the personality and policies of the doge. Romano analyzes how art and power intersected in Renaissance Italy and how the doge came to represent and even embody the state. With this biography, Romano clears away longstanding myths, fills in previously unknown details about Foscari’s triumphs and ordeals, and allows to emerge the first intimate portrait of this singular doge.

Editorial Reviews

Edward Muir

"The Likeness of Venice is certainly the best book ever written about Venetian politics and political culture and certainly one of the best ever written about the relationship between power and the arts for any Renaissance city."—Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University

Deborah Howard

"This book is unfailingly intelligent and stimulating, beautifully written, clear and unpretentious, yet extremely subtle and wise in its judgements. It will make an impact on early-modern historical studies."—Deborah Howard, Professor of Architectural History, University of Cambridge

American Historical Review - Elisabeth G. Gleason

"This important book is meticulously researched, effectively organized, free of jargon, and based on a remarkable wealth of documentary sources. . . . [C]ompelling reading. . . . The author has made a major contribution to the memory of a remarkable Venetian and his patria."—Elisabeth G. Gleason, American Historical Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300112023
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
07/13/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Romano is professor of history and fine arts, Syracuse University. He has conducted extensive research in Venice over the past twenty-five years.

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