Renaissance Collectors and Thieves

Marina Belozerskaya

in Medusa’s Gaze

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739318
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979356 | DOI:

Series: Emblems of Antiquity

Renaissance Collectors and Thieves

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  • Ancient and Classical Art (to 500 CE)


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In the fifteenth century the Tazza came to Italy and became coveted by preeminent collectors of antiquities. Its first owner was Alfonso of Aragon, king of Naples. He seems to have presented the Tazza as a political gift to the ambitious and luxury-loving Cardinal Ludovico Trevisan. After the latter’s death his rival, Pietro Barbo (Pope Paul II) seized his antiquities, including the Tazza and added them to his extensive collection of ancient gems. And upon his demise, Lorenzo de’ Medici acquired the splendid bowl and valued it as by far his most precious artwork.

Keywords: Alfonso of Aragon; Ludovico Trevisan; Pietro Barbo; Pope Paul II; Lorenzo de’ Medici; collecting; Florence; Renaissance; antiquities; Naples; humanist; crusade

Chapter.  11204 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient and Classical Art (to 500 CE)

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