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Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine…
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Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance (originale 2000; edizione 2000)

di Dale Kent

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Cosimo de' Medici (1389-1464), the fabulously wealthy banker who became the leading citizen of Florence in the fifteenth century, spent lavishly as the city's most important patron of art and literature. This remarkable book is the first comprehensive examination of the whole body of works of art and architecture commissioned by Cosimo and his sons. By looking closely at this spectacular group of commissions, we gain an entirely new picture of their patron and of the patron's point of view. Recurrent themes in the commissions--from Fra Angelico's San Marco altarpiece to the Medici Palace--indicate the main interests to which Cosimo's patronage gave visual expression. Dale Kent offers new insights and perspectives on the individual objects comprising the Medici oeuvre by setting them within the context of civic and popular culture in early Renaissance Florence, and of Cosimo's life as the leader of the Medici lineage and the dominant force in the governing elite. From the wealth of available documentation on Cosimo de' Medici's life, the author considers how Cosimo's own experience influenced his patronage; how the culture of Renaissance Florence provided a common idiom for the patron, his artists, and his audience; what he preferred and intended as a patron; and how focusing on his patronage of art alters the image of him that is based on his roles as banker and politician. Cosimo was as much a product as a shaper of Florentine society, Kent concludes. She identifies civic patriotism and devotion as the main themes of his oeuvre and argues that religious imperatives may well have been more important than political ones in shaping the art for which he was responsible and its reception.… (altro)
Utente:job2007
Titolo:Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance
Autori:Dale Kent
Info:Yale University press, New Haven and London
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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Etichette:Art, European, Florentine,

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Il Committente e le Arti: Cosimo de' Medici e il Rinascimento di Dale V. Kent (2000)

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This is a long, dense read which rewards all effort. It re-establishes Cosimo and his contemporaries in the context of their own times, showing the daily reality of Christian life with particular reference to popular culture. Too often viewed as rich, powerful, self-serving merchants, Cosimo and other patrons are shown to be men very concerned with spiritual life, who kept commonplace books filled with quotations from Christian authors, who sought advice from wise and holy men. Kent’s portrait of the city and its people is fresh and surprising. Although Cosimo eludes us as a character – he knew how to be private – he emerges from this study as worthy of the title ‘Pater Patriae’. Throughout the work, Kent quietly and deftly puts previous biographers and historians in their place, showing what a mistake it is to view the past through the lens of our own ideologies. The common view of Cosimo as a cynical manipulator of government to his own ends, and hiding it with a cloak of religious imagery, is shown to be the product of the Risorgimento and Marxism. To dismiss his patronage of religious buildings and art as buying a ticket to heaven is a mistake. He sincerely felt the need to give his wealth back to God and the cynical view that this is hogwash reflects more on the dismissers than the dismissed. Kent’s approach is rational and wise. She neither romanticises nor exaggerates. She just allows the man to emerge from a painstaking depiction of his background. A first-rate contribution to studies of the period which, it is to be hoped, puts the record straight once and for all. ( )
  poppi | Aug 27, 2008 |
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To Gene Brucker, with gratitude, for thirty years of constant inspiration, encouragement, and friendship.
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Cosimo de' Medici achieved power in his lifetime and fame beyond it because his outstanding skills in business and politics - civic, Italian, and international - made him a major force in the public life of Renaissance Florence.
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Cosimo de' Medici (1389-1464), the fabulously wealthy banker who became the leading citizen of Florence in the fifteenth century, spent lavishly as the city's most important patron of art and literature. This remarkable book is the first comprehensive examination of the whole body of works of art and architecture commissioned by Cosimo and his sons. By looking closely at this spectacular group of commissions, we gain an entirely new picture of their patron and of the patron's point of view. Recurrent themes in the commissions--from Fra Angelico's San Marco altarpiece to the Medici Palace--indicate the main interests to which Cosimo's patronage gave visual expression. Dale Kent offers new insights and perspectives on the individual objects comprising the Medici oeuvre by setting them within the context of civic and popular culture in early Renaissance Florence, and of Cosimo's life as the leader of the Medici lineage and the dominant force in the governing elite. From the wealth of available documentation on Cosimo de' Medici's life, the author considers how Cosimo's own experience influenced his patronage; how the culture of Renaissance Florence provided a common idiom for the patron, his artists, and his audience; what he preferred and intended as a patron; and how focusing on his patronage of art alters the image of him that is based on his roles as banker and politician. Cosimo was as much a product as a shaper of Florentine society, Kent concludes. She identifies civic patriotism and devotion as the main themes of his oeuvre and argues that religious imperatives may well have been more important than political ones in shaping the art for which he was responsible and its reception.

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