By Jill Burke
To whom may still we ascribe the good flowering of the humanities in Renaissance Italy? Artists like Botticelli and Michelangelo? Or filthy rich, discerning buyers like Cosimo de'Medici? in recent times, students have attributed nice value to the function performed via buyers, arguing that a few may still also be considered as artists of their personal correct. This strategy gets sharp problem in Jill Burke's altering buyers, a e-book that pulls seriously upon the author's discoveries in Florentine documents, tracing the numerous profound alterations in buyers' kinfolk to the visible international of fifteenth-century Florence. having a look heavily at of the city's upwardly cellular households, Burke demonstrates that they approached the visible arts from inside of a grid of social, political, and spiritual issues. paintings for them frequently served as a mediator of social distinction and a powerful technique of signifying prestige and identification.
Changing buyers combines visible research with options from historical past and anthropology to suggest new interpretations of the paintings created through, between others, Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, and Raphael. really interdisciplinary, the booklet additionally casts mild on vast problems with id, energy family members, and the visible arts in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance.
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Extra info for Changing Patrons: Social Identity and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Florence
As Geraldine Johnson has recently pointed out, there is an inherent ambivalence in the portrait bust form. 76 It is significant that this is just the first of several representations of Piero that occur in a variety of contexts from the 1470s up to his death in 1498. There are many motivations for these portrayals, which I discuss in more detail later, but the idea of his providing an exemplar to his sons and ward should be thought of as an underlying motivational theme throughout. In his appearance as Saint Nicholas on the Lecceto altarpiece (discussed in Chapter 5, figs.
It depicts three men seated on stools on a stage. At the center, his legs apart and firmly planted on the ground, is a figure who wears the belted tunic of a Florentine citizen. To either side are seated knights in full armor. Behind them are soldiers’ tents topped with fleur-de-lys, the symbol adopted by both the Commune of Florence and the king of France, and on the left flies a flag with the sign of the cross, the insignia of the Florentine popolo. Around the scene is written “venit . vidit .
I talk in more detail about the family’s palaces in the next chapter, but it is worth noting here that this medieval palace was formerly owned by a great magnate lineage and had an important role in the history of Florentine diplomacy. According to Giovanni Villani, a short-lived peace was brokered by Pope Gregory X between the Florentine Guelfs and Ghibellines in 1273 in the Piazza de’ Mozzi, at the foot of the Ponte Rubaconte (now called Ponte alle Grazie). 38 By purchasing this palace, Francesco was linking the past of both place and magnate family to his present activities as an ambassador, naturalizing his elevated position and justifying his holding of this role.