The Medici Wedding of 1589: Florentine Festival as Theatrum Mundi / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $22.92
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 67%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $22.92   
  • New (5) from $50.25   
  • Used (8) from $22.92   


The marriage of Grand Duke Ferdinando de' Medici to French princess Christine of Lorraine in 1589 became a landmark event in Renaissance art, theatre, and politics. This book combines art and social history to present the first comprehensive reconstruction of this month-long wedding celebration, providing a fascinating picture of Florentine culture at its zenith.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The marriage of Christine of Lorraine to Ferdinando of Tuscany lasted the better part of a month; preparations for it took almost a year. Saslow (art history, Queen's Coll., CUNY) notes that the wedding "constitute[s] one of the outstanding late Renaissance landmarks of artistic creativity." He interweaves "high" art history (iconography, iconology of the event) with the social and economic history of production to show how a major multimedia artistic project was conceived, paid for, organized, and executed in a time of transition "from small independent workshops to permanent state-supported administration of unprecedented scale and complexity." His book abounds in telling anecdote: work contracts with artists and artisans, the working and placement of stage machinery, "punch" lists of last-minute work, who stood where and did what at dress rehearsals, etc. The work also contains a catalog of 88 set and costume drawings, paintings, and prints. This is a wonderful book enriched by a wealth of telling detail that will satisfy both scholar and lay reader.-David Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus
Kirkus Reviews
A detailed account of theatrical pageants celebrating one of the most sumptuous weddings of Renaissance Italy.

Ferdinando de' Medici had been a cardinal since age 14 and was known as a religious reformer and a patron of the arts. The death of his elder brother forced him to leave the church to rescue the dynasty from extinction. His marriage to Christine de Lorraine cemented an important political alliance and brought Florence an enormous dowry from the French. Saslow (Art History/Queens College) guides us through the ten months of preparations for the events and the actual pageants, which began with Christine's arrival at Livorno on April 24 and lasted until June 8. Attractions included triumphal entries, mock naval battles against the Turks, and a soccer match. Saslow is particularly interested in the series of intermedi, which were allegorical tableaux inserted between the acts of comedies in the Medici Theater. They involved the use of instrumental music, song, dance, and splendid costumes and stage designs, and they featured classical characters, such as nymphs and shepherds, Bacchus and Apollo, and the figures of Rhythm and Harmony—all glorifying the ruling couple and wishing them offspring. Saslow is a conscious admirer of Michel Foucault (he tends to write like him), and he interprets this rich material both as fine art and as an artifact of social and political control. Drawing on published texts, sketches, paintings and prints (many of which are superbly reproduced here), and manuscript sources, such as stage manager Girolamo Seriacopi's daily production logbook, our author explores such details of backstage life as salaries, working conditions, and the incipient roles of women.

Valuable reading for students of Renaissance society and the performing arts.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300064476
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 10.37 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 September & October 1588: The Creative, Management, and Public Relations Staffs 21
2 November & December 1588: Casting, Costumes, and Rehearsals 49
3 January & February 1589: The Theater, the Scenery, the Artists 75
4 March 1589: Artisans, Stagehands, Technical Rehearsals; Christine's Outbound Journey 101
5 April 1589: Dress Rehearsals; Christine's Inbound Journey and Entry 121
6 May 1589: The Wedding As/In Performance 148
7 June 1589 and Beyond: Aftermath and Later Influence 174
Catalogue 189
Appendix: Genealogical Tables, Valois-Habsburg, Medici 263
Notes 267
Bibliography 309
Sources of Illustrations 315
Index 317
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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)