Art in Renaissance Florence

Sarah Blake McHam

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online March 2013 | | DOI:
Art in Renaissance Florence

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Florence was a crucial locus for developments in Italian art throughout the peninsula in the period between 1300 and 1600, and so this bibliography will concern itself with art created in the city rather than by Florentine artists working outside of Florence. To a considerable degree, the pervasive influence of Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (1550, 1568) affected all later historiography, which followed the patriotic Florentine in his claims that everything of importance throughout the Renaissance originated in the city and spread from there elsewhere. That myth was challenged only in the latter part of the 20th century. Nevertheless, no matter how Vasari exaggerated Florence’s importance, the city was a major center. It was wealthy particularly from the wool trade and through dominance in banking throughout Europe, and the city’s humanists early advised private and corporate patrons about the advantages to their reputations and to that of the city of commissioning art and architecture. Although in the 14th century, Florence was governed as a guild republic, and the major guilds commissioned most of the major works of art, by 1434, Cosimo de’ Medici rose to power, and thereafter except for brief intervals (1494–1512; 1527–1530), the Medici family controlled the city. In the mid-16th century, the family consolidated its power and ruled over all of Tuscany as grand dukes, and changed the nature of commissions to those flattering its rule.

Article.  13633 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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