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¿Qué sostiene Lorenzo de 'Medici en este cuadro?

¿Qué sostiene Lorenzo de 'Medici en este cuadro?


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Recientemente, alguien que conozco visitó el Palazzo Pitti en Florencia, Italia. Me han dicho que esta pintura de Lorenzo de 'Medici de Girolamo Macchietti cuelga allí. No hemos podido averiguar qué tiene en la mano derecha, ¿qué es?

Y en primer plano:


Es un rectángulo sin rasgos distintivos. Como tal, está abierto a alguna interpretación.

Si le preguntas a los historiadores del arte, entonces podrían decir que esta 'cosa' en "Ritratto di Lorenzo il Magnifico - Retrato de Lorenzo el Magnífico", pintado por Macchietti ca 1585 representa póstumamente una letra:

Quizás el retrato más revelador de Lorenzo sea el retrato de Lorenzo de'Medici de 1540-50 de Girolamo Macchietti […] colaborador y seguidor de Giorgio Vasari. Aquí se retrata a Lorenzo frente al paisaje, sentado en una veranda. Junto a él hay un árbol lleno de ramas de laurel, un atributo de su nombre, Lorenzo. […] El atuendo florentino rojo de Lorenzo es una investidura de un hombre de letras. Tiene una carta o un documento en la mano derecha, testimonio también de su papel diplomático y político.
- Liana De Girolami Cheney (Profesora de Historia del Arte, Presidenta del Departamento de Estudios Culturales, Universidad de Massachusetts Lowel): "Retrato de Lorenzo el Magnífico de Giorgio Vasari: un símbolo ciceroniano de la virtud y una presunción principesca maquiavélica", Potere delle immagini / Immagini del potere, Iconocrazia, 2012. (En línea)

Ese mayo ser cierto.

Pero ciertamente no Mira como una carta. No tiene indicios de escritura, es demasiado voluminoso, demasiado grueso, tiene las esquinas demasiado redondeadas y un color extraño.

Es cierto que el argumento del color por sí solo es débil, ya que la reproducción en color de una imagen de hace medio milenio es bastante problemática y se amplifica una vez más si se agrega la web / ftorafia. Simplemente compare esta versión de la imagen:

A modo de comparación, imágenes de Lorenzo donde se ven escritos y cartas:

También a modo de comparación, el artista Macchietti entregando un retrato con una letra y una anatomía natural de la mano:


(Girolamo Macchietti: Retrato de Matteo Di Dinozzo Lippi)

Esto es más complicado ya que casi versiones idénticas de esta imagen fueron copiadas por artistas como Luigi Fiammingo o más tarde por artistas no identificados en la Scuola fiorentina. Desafortunadamente, el sitio web de Historia cultural italiana solo tiene catalogada esta versión anónima, pero no la versión Macchietti de "Ritratto di Lorenzo de 'Medici detto il Magnifico".

Si me preguntas, y me baso únicamente en el aspecto, las sugerencias y las alegorías presentes en esta imagen, diría que se parece mucho más a un objeto de metal, tal vez a un lingote.

¿Por qué un lingote? Porque los Medici no se trataban solo de la narrativa comúnmente abreviada de pasar de médicos, comerciantes de textiles, banqueros a papas y gobernantes conspiradores:

Los banqueros eran una opción obvia para ocupar el puesto de depositario, ya que tenían los medios para adelantar préstamos al tesorero cuando los depósitos no cubrían los gastos. A cambio de esta "línea de crédito de capital de trabajo", el banquero aseguraría los préstamos con las costumbres papales, el monopolio de la saly otros ingresos fiscales en Roma y los Estados Pontificios. Los Medici establecerían una relación de décadas con la Santa Sede como los principales banqueros de una sucesión de Papas.
- Harry Don Stephenson, Jr .: "'Desafortunado en asuntos de negocios ...' Puntos de inflexión en la vida de Lorenzo de Medici", Tesis de maestría, Universidad de Duke, 2015. (PDF)

Lorenzo tenía varias propiedades alrededor de Vico Pisano, Buti, Calci y Fucecchio, y era dueño de una mina de hierro, así como casas sustanciales, en el área.
- F. W. Kent: "Lorenzo de 'Medici y el arte de la magnificencia", The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, Londres, 2004.

Después del acuerdo de 1466, los Medicis han estado maniobrando para consolidar su dominio del tráfico internacional. En los primeros meses de 1470 entraron en un cartel para controlar las cantidades, los precios y la distribución del producto de los depósitos. Es un intento de monopolio, constituida de acuerdo con el Papa, propietario de las minas de Tolfa, y con el rey de Nápoles, propietario de las de Ischia. […]
- Giulio Busi: "Lorenzo De 'Medici. Una vita da Magnifico", Mondadori: Milano, 2016. (Mi traducción del italiano, por favor mejore)

Otra incursión en la minería fue la de Lorenzo el Magnífico intentos repetidos para hacerse con el control de el monopolio del mineral de hierro de Elba. Finalmente tuvo éxito en 1489 al obtener una participación mayoritaria en la empresa que extraía el mineral y lo vendía a los maestros del hierro, quienes pagaban en hierro fundido o productos de hierro, así como en efectivo. La empresa fue razonablemente rentable, pero no hizo una contribución duradera, ya que comenzó unos años antes de la quiebra de la empresa en 1494.
- Edwin S. Hunt y James M. Murray: "A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550", A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, Nueva York, 1999, p196.

Elba es la única importante fuente de mineral de hierro para Italia.

Y supongo que su historial "diplomático" o político era mucho mejor que sus propios tratos comerciales. Además, las características muy dolorosas de esta mano sosteniendo o agarrando la 'cosa' es no el resultado de la inaptitud del artista, pero una característica deseada. Por lo tanto, yo diría que esto simboliza los continuos intentos de los Medici de ganar monopolios en el comercio de metales u otras materias primas.

Por ejemplo, agarrar alumbre, una materia prima vital para una variedad de industrias textiles y del cuero, cuyo precio subió abruptamente después de la caída de Constantinopla, pero fue descubierto en ricos depósitos italianos:
- Andrea Guenster y Stephen Martin: "A Holy Alliance: Collusion in the Renaissance Europe Alum Market", Review of Industrial Organization, 2015 DOI: 10.1007 / s11151-015-9465-0)
- Harry A. Miskimin: "Economía de la Europa del Renacimiento posterior 1460-1600", Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, Nueva York, 1977.

Esto luego completa el trato para Lorenzo:

Lo que Lorenzo había firmado en Roma en 1466 era un contrato que otorgaba a los Medici el monopolio total de todas las ventas de alumbre en toda la cristiandad. No hay ninguna indicación en sus escritos de que Lorenzo haya captado la importancia de esto. […]

A pesar de este rigor ejemplar, en 1466 el Papa Pablo II declaró que la Iglesia, en alianza con el banco Medici, ahora operaría con el monopolio de la venta de alumbre en toda Europa. Después de la sal y el hierro, el alumbre era el mineral más importante de la época. Sin él, el comercio de telas difícilmente podría haber funcionado.
- Tim Parks: "Medici Money. Banca, metafísica y arte en la Florencia del siglo XV", Profile Books: Londres, 2005.


Es una carta.

Era una práctica común en ese momento representar a hombres de negocios con una carta o un libro mayor en sus retratos.


¡Creo que era un cuaderno! Él era un banquero, así que probablemente necesitaba algunas notas, para anotar, ¡cuántas personas le deben a su banco!


La colección de arte de Lorenzo de Medici

1492 es una fecha emblemática en la historia italiana, europea e internacional. Conmemora no solo el final de un siglo y el final de la Edad Media, sino también el final de la edad de oro laurentina en Florencia. En octubre, Cristóbal Colón estaba a punto de descubrir América seis meses antes, el 8 de abril, de la muerte de Lorenzo de Medici, a la que sucedió el célebre inventario [1] del Palacio de los Medici y el registro de una de las colecciones más excepcionales.

Parece que la pasión por el coleccionismo estaba llevando la vida de los Medici, hasta "en la primera ocasión en que Lorenzo supo labrarse un nuevo y significativo espacio propio, rápidamente lo llenó de pinturas de diferentes maestros contemporáneos, creando así […] una especie de galería en miniatura de arte moderno para su deleite privado "[2].

Esta pasión por el coleccionismo puede plantear una pregunta: ¿la exhibición era una propaganda pública o estaba destinada al deleite y la decoración privados? La extensión de su colección es asombrosa, como resultado, se considerarán cuatro áreas de exhibición dentro del Palacio de los Medici, con el fin de revelar su predilección por las bellas artes, comprender la influencia del humanismo y considerar la "magnificencia" de esta reunión sin precedentes. .

Aparte de sus numerosas villas de campo (Careggi, Poggio a Caiano y Fiesole, entre otras), la mayor parte de la colección de Lorenzo se exhibió en su "fortaleza" florentina, Via Larga. Se dispusieron catorce habitaciones a los lados de la plaza del patio, en la planta baja.. Junto a la "logia" había una suite de cuatro habitaciones, incluida una "sala grande", una cámara, una “anticameretta”, usada como scrittoio, y un estudio. La planta baja también incluía una gran cámara para Lorenzo, con baño y antecámara adyacentes. En el entrepiso, había al menos tres habitaciones, dos para los sirvientes y otra scrittoio[3]. Por lo tanto, no cabe duda de que el Palacio de los Medici era una auténtica "galería de arte" habitada en la que se utilizaban muchas áreas para exposiciones. Desde la época de Cosimo, la familia solía mostrar a los visitantes las piezas de mármol más pesadas, que se encontraban tanto en el patio, en el jardín de San Marco, como las pequeñas "cosas bonitas" en el barrio de Lorenzo: la Biblioteca, el scrittoio, y su dormitorio.

Estudiar primero la recopilación de libros en la Biblioteca Medici es la mejor manera de comprender tanto el gusto de Lorenzo por los manuscritos iluminados como su cultura humanista y erudita. Lorenzo aumentó en gran medida la colección de libros que traían sus antepasados. Se ha establecido que "la enorme contribución de Lorenzo a la expansión de la biblioteca familiar, iniciada por su abuelo Cosimo y ampliada por su padre Piero y su tío Giovanni, se ha hecho cada vez más evidente [4]". En otras palabras, La predilección de Lorenzo por la colección era un legado: anteriormente, Giovanni di Bicci, Cosimo de Medici y Piero de Cosimo habían sido apasionados coleccionistas y banqueros. Sin embargo, Lorenzo estaba mucho más interesado por el humanismo, las artes y el coleccionismo que por dirigir el banco..

La recopilación de todos estos manuscritos es sobre todo el resultado de su educación humanista, impartida por “Gentile Becchi, sacerdote, latinista sano, poeta [5]”. A los doce años, el joven Medici leía latín, estudiaba a Ovidio y a Dante a los dieciséis, escribía sus propios poemas, en su toscano natal, utilizando precisamente las reglas de la retórica y el estilo petrarcano. J. R. Hale llega a decir que fue una de las “grandes figuras literarias entre Petrarca y Ariosto y el único hombre que figura en las antologías populares que también fue director de un banco y de un estado [1] [6]”. Además, se decía que era un buen músico, que practicaba el popular arte florentino del canto improvisado en público y, finalmente, estaba interesado en copiar libros caros.

Como consecuencia, casi de inmediato, reunió en su corte a los principales artistas e intelectuales de su época, y se rodeó de humanistas e intelectuales con conocimiento académico de las fuentes antiguas: su maestro Marcilio Ficino, el filósofo Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, el filólogo Angelo Poliziano, el poeta Luigi Pulci. Lorenzo asistió a las reuniones de la Academia Neoplatónica, apoyando el desarrollo del humanismo a través de su círculo de amigos educados. También estuvo cerca de algunos artistas, artesanos e ingenieros famosos y talentosos: Miguel Ángel vivió con Lorenzo y su familia durante varios años, el escultor Bertolo fue, también, un íntimo de Lorenzo, instalado en el Palazzo Medici y durante algún tiempo, el joven Leonardo. da Vinci. Esta compañía de eruditos elevó el gusto de Lorenzo por las bellas artes y los ideales humanistas, la poesía italiana y la ambición arquitectónica. En consecuencia, no cabe duda de que “Lorenzo de Medici fue un auténtico intelectual de amplia pero educación y gustos exigentes [7]”. La mejor evidencia es definitivamente la famosa Biblioteca Medici que expandió.

Contenía una gran colección de manuscritos, en los que se encontraban numerosos textos religiosos, que revelaban su aprecio por la tradición religiosa, la música y la historia de la Toscana. Además, el vasto desarrollo de la biblioteca, que absorbió gran parte de la energía y las finanzas de Lorenzo durante sus últimos años, proporcionó trabajo a un gran número de copistas e iluminadores. La colección griega incluía unos seiscientos volúmenes, que la mayor parte del tiempo fueron prestados a Poliziano (quien jugó un papel importante en la recopilación de la colección de Lorenzo). Se dice que la adquisición más valiosa de Polizinano es la copia de un manuscrito muy antiguo de siete obras matemáticas de Arquímedes. La influencia de Micilo Ficino y el “Círculo” neoplatónico jugaron un papel importante en su interés por la filosofía griega. Según el inventario de 1492, la biblioteca de los Medici contenía una de las colecciones de manuscritos griegos más importantes, después de la colección papal. El legado de manuscritos latinos e italianos heredados por Lorenzo en 1469 de su padre, marcó la magnificencia del coleccionista y su fino gusto por los manuscritos iluminados. La Biblioteca de los Medici contenía también una gran antología de poesía helenística y una compilación homérica que comenzaba con el Ilíada e incluyendo el Odisea.

Sin embargo, “Las preciosas encuadernaciones de los libros aumentaron su valor como exquisitas objets d'art más que como instrumentos de aprendizaje. Los libros estaban encuadernados en seda o terciopelo con marcos chapados y medallones de plata, a veces esmaltados, y las cubiertas insinuaban las fabulosas iluminaciones que se descubrirían en el interior [8] ”.

Si Lorenzo fue un importante mecenas de las artes en la Florencia renacentista, expresando una especial predilección por la filosofía, la poesía y los viajes, también fue un apasionado coleccionista de objetos antiguos. Sus actividades están documentadas en una serie de 173 cartas (no solo escritas por él) donde explica que, aunque su preferencia era por los objetos pequeños, adquirió muchas esculturas para embellecer su palacio.

Escondido del mundo por altos muros, el jardín de San Marco era el mejor lugar para la exhibición de estatuas de bronce. La forma de este "medieval hortus conclusus " tenía como objetivo reproducir la atmósfera de la antigüedad, y tal vez incluso inspirar la apariencia de una antigua casa romana. Según estudios previos, la ubicación de la escultura siguió un plan didáctico y metafórico: dos estatuas de Marsias se ubicaron en la entrada, una frente a la otra, “como ejemplo del destino que aguarda a quienes disgustan a Apolo, dios de las artes y señor del jardín ”[9]. Un busto de Adriano estaba ubicado en el pasillo entre el patio y el ancestral Palacio de los Medici. El inventario también menciona un busto del emperador Nerva, más grande que la vida, dos bustos de mármol de Agripa y Augusto (recibidos en la coronación del Papa Sixte IV en Roma en 1471), una estatua de Platón encontrada en Pistoia y, entre otros, algunos etruscos. antigüedades. Su colección de bustos expone su gusto por la antigüedad y, sobre todo, por los ejemplos del emperador romano.

Junto con la historia, la principal inspiración fue la mitología. Lorenzo adquirió un grupo de tres sátiros (traídos por el anticuario Giovanni Ciampolini), que también se exhibieron en el Jardín. Poseía un Eros “disparando su arco” en bronce, una réplica del mismo tipo realizada por Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi, y un “cupido durmiente” (obsequio de Fernando I de Aragón). Situado en la logia del jardín, el anticuario contenía varios relieves entre otros "Adonis con un perro muy fino", un putto sosteniendo el rayo de Jove (hecho por Praxiteles o Polucletus). Todas estas esculturas guardadas y expuestas en el jardín eran como una exposición al aire libre, y el valor de esta colección para los artistas contemporáneos fue enorme: les proporcionó un modelo clásico para estudiar. Además, sus jarrones antiguos y algunas esculturas estaban, en su mayor parte, profundamente talladas con su nombre LAU.R.MED. Por lo tanto, denotó su propiedad.

Muchos de estos objets d'art fueron comprados a otros coleccionistas (en particular de la propia colección del Papa Paulo II) algunos de ellos los recibió como regalos, "a veces envueltos en una petición" [10] sin embargo, su fuente principal fue el comerciante romano Giovanni Ciampolini, conocido por su comportamiento escandaloso en el juego del mercado del arte contemporáneo. Por ejemplo, se decía que extraía antigüedades de Roma, no siempre legalmente. Sin embargo, toda la colección de Lorenzo no estaba destinada a ser pública, su estudio y dormitorio reunían el objeto más pequeño y favorito de su tesoro.

Si la exposición actual del Victoria & amp Albert Museum (Londres): "En casa en la Italia del Renacimiento" recrea el estudio de Lorenzo, es porque sus ruinas son la mejor prueba de la recolección y el gusto de Lorenzo. Conocido como Lorenzo's scrittoio, esta pequeña habitación ubicada en el primer piso del palacio de la familia, era el corazón mismo de su colección, y albergaba los jarrones antiguos y modernos, los camafeos, las piedras preciosas y medallas grabadas, monedas y placas de las cuales había más de dos mil en conjunto, según el inventario de posesiones de Lorenzo en el momento de su muerte. "Toda la familia estaba presa de tal pasión por el coleccionismo que su colección incluso contenía cuernos de unicornio, colmillos de elefante e instrumentos hechos con trofeos de animales exóticos".[11] El Magnífico encargó a varios artistas la decoración de esta sala privada y el diseño de una atmósfera particular dedicada a la contemplación y la meditación.

En el scrittoio, dijo un visitante contemporáneo, “tanto el piso como el techo fueron esmaltados con figuras de lo más dignas, de modo que quien entra en él se llena de admiración. El maestro de este esmaltado fue Luca della Robbia [1] [12] ”. El techo abovedado estaba, de hecho, decorado con el célebre ciclo de la Trabajos de los meses (Figura 2). Las doce baldosas de terracota esmaltadas, que ilustran las obras de cada mes, se consideran ahora una proeza artística y tecnológica única. Los bordes muestran la influencia de los signos astrológicos del zodíaco y cuánta luz del día habría en cada mes. La ubicación de estas mayólicas, en un ambiente privado e íntimo, y la denotación temporal que evocan, son significativos de la importancia de esta sala. Según la reconstrucción del techo, con medidas complicadas, se ha demostrado que la superficie del studiolo era aproximadamente de cuatro metros sobre cinco y medio. Dado el reducido tamaño de la sala, solo se conservaron los objetos y cuadros considerados piezas raras de colección, principalmente las pequeñas.

El suelo, ahora perdido, fue de baldosas pintadas, probablemente del mismo taller. Las paredes estaban revestidas de armarios con incrustaciones, con estantes diseñados para albergar libros y obras de arte. La pasión de Lorenzo por las antigüedades se nota a través de la cantidad de sus gemas que han terminado en el Museo Archeologico de Nápoles. Eran unas piezas únicas, vida la famosa Copa Farnese, que tenía una escena de apoteosis en el interior con precisas alusiones nilóticas, y una cabeza de Medusa en el exterior. Este cuenco, hecho de sardónice, calcedonia y ágata, estaba valorado en diez mil florines en el momento de la muerte de Lorenzo. Por su alto significado arqueológico y mitológico, gracias a sus dimensiones, forma, belleza y complejidad figurativa, ha sido calificado como el mayor cameo existente.

Además, se encontraron obras de Fra Angelico, Squarcione, Piero y Antonio Pollaiuolo, Castagno, Pesellino, Filippo Lippi, Jan van Eyck, Petrus Cristus, Domenico Veneziano y Ucello. Dado que casi nunca encargaba obras por cuenta propia, la mayor parte de su tesorería era una herencia familiar. Además, un artículo escrito por Paula Nuttal [13] subraya la predilección de Lorenzo por las pinturas holandesas. De las 142 pinturas inventariadas a su muerte, unas 42 eran holandesas (alrededor de un tercio de la colección de pinturas completa). Entre otros, estaban el famoso "San Jerónimo en su estudio", que probablemente fue pintado por Jan Van Eyck, junto con un "Retrato de una dama" de Petrus Christus. Estas dos pinturas tuvieron la valoración más alta sobre todas las obras italianas, por lo que fueron valoradas respectivamente en treinta y cuarenta florines. La pintura de Van Eyck debe haber sido un objeto especialmente valorado según la descripción bastante elaborada en el registro y el hecho de que tenía una funda protectora de cuero. El Inventario explica que la pintura muestra un gabinete con varios libros en perspectiva y un león a los pies del santo, además, se describió específicamente como un óleo pintado, lo que todavía era una rareza en Florencia en ese momento [14]. La pintura de Petrus Christus debe considerarse en detalle: el anonimato de la modelo indica que fue comprada por sí misma, como un objeto de belleza y curiosidad, realzando el gusto exótico de Lorenzo. Además, fueron otras pinturas del norte como “La Virgen y el Niño”, una “Cabeza de Cristo”, la “Resurrección de Lázaro”. No cabe duda de que la mayoría de estas pinturas pueden haber sido regalos. Reuniendo los objetos más preciados de su propiedad, el estudio de Lorenzo puede considerarse como la esencia de su colección privada, junto con su dormitorio.

No hace falta decir que el llamado “chamera di Lorenzo”Ubicado en la planta baja del Palacio, fue también un área de exhibición privada. Se ha dicho que “en su dormitorio tenía una exquisita cristalería color berenjena, así como cuadros modernos [15]”. De hecho, encargó la escena de la batalla a Paolo Ucello y se la apropió para las paredes de su habitación en el Palazzo Medici. El lenguaje preciso del Inventario puede resultar revelador en el caso de esta pintura, dice: “Seis cuadros con marcos dorados sobre el revestimiento de la cintura y encima de la cama, que mide 42 braccia de largo y 3 ½ braccia de alto, pintado, es decir, tres de la Batalla de San Romano y una de la batalla de dragones y leones, y otra de la historia de París de la mano de Paolo Ucello y una de la mano de Pesellino, en la que hay una cacería, 300 Florines) ”[16 ]. Se ha observado que estos famosos cuadros quedaron “sobre un elaborado chaleco de decoración de intarsia con cornisa de nogal, en el que se recortaba en un gran armario con siete estantes, dos portales y un banco largo a un lado del mismo banco” [ 17]. Así, estos cuadros formaban parte de la decoración, del mobiliario. En la misma habitación había otras pinturas, incluida la de Fra Angelico Adoración de los Magos, un pequeño altar de Squarcione y el retrato de Galeazzo de Pollaiuolo, entre una amplia cama con cajones y armarios repletos de objetos diversos. Se encontraron siete candelabros alrededor de la habitación para dar luz al cuadro. En su dormitorio también se descubrieron muchos objetos o equipos para los torneos, por lo que existe una conexión obvia entre estas pinturas y la devoción de Medici por los torneos.

Si la compra de objetos fue el resultado de una riqueza económica y un talento social, exhibirlos también debe ser visto como un arte, un genuino mise en scène. Por eso Patricia Rubin afirma que “la retórica y la ética del gasto y la exhibición pueden verse como un proceso mutuo de autoconstrucción y su espejo.”[18].

La exhibición de Lorenzo en las cuatro áreas principales de la "ciudadela" de los Medici es bastante significativa: si el objetivo de la Biblioteca que expandió era dar testimonio de su humanismo y conocimiento académico, el jardín de San Marco fue diseñado para dar evidencia de su conciencia antigua y recrear el ambiente de una antigua casa romana. Su scrittoio, reunir los objetos más preciosos estaba destinado a impresionar a los visitantes, mientras que la exhibición de su dormitorio privado expresaba su gusto por los torneos y la pintura holandesa.

Lorenzo de Medici murió dejando un tesoro extraordinario de antigüedades, camafeos y una fortuna de estatua, grabando su nombre en casi todas las esculturas y antigüedades, pero también en la historia italiana y el Renacimiento europeo.

[1] Lista de todas las posesiones de Lorenzo de Medici en el momento de su muerte, conservadas en el Archivio di stato de Florencia.

[2] Kent, F. W. Lorenzo de Medici y el arte de la magnificencia, universidad P, Baltimore y Londres, 2004, p131

[3] Ver la descripción de Isabelle Hyman, en Estudios florentinos del siglo XV. Garland Publishing, Nueva York y Londres, 1977.

[4] Artículo de Cristina Acidini Luchinat, en La Florencia renacentista, la época de Lorenzo de Medici, 1449-1492. Edición Chartat. Milán, Florencia, 1993.

[5] J. R. Hale, en Florencia y los Medici El patrón de control. Phoenix Press Tapa blanda. 2004. p49

[6] J. R. Hale, Florencia y los Medici El patrón de control. Phoenix Press Tapa blanda. 2004. p53

[8] Artículo “La biblioteca” de Cristina Acidini Luchinat, en La Florencia renacentista, la época de Lorenzo de Medici, 1449-1492. Edición Chartat. Milán, Florencia, 1993.

[9] “La Casa del Tesoro de la Colección de Antigüedades de los Medici” en La Florencia renacentista, la época de Lorenzo de Medici, 1449-1492. Edición Chartat. Milán, Florencia, 1993. p115.

[10] Florencia y los Medici. J. R. Hale. Phoenix Press Tapa blanda. 2004, pág. 59

[11] “La colección de los Medici de la Casa de Tesoros Antiguos”. Dirección del Museo degli Argenti, en Florencia renacentista, la época de Lorenzo de Medici, 1449-1492. Edición Chartat. Milán, Florencia, 1993.

[12] Cita anónima, véase la exposición “En casa en la Italia del Renacimiento” Victoria and Albert Museum, Londres, del 5 de octubre de 2006 al 7 de enero de 2007.

[13] “La pintura de los Médicis y los Países Bajos”, en Primeros Medici y sus artistas. New Haven y Londres. 1995.

[14] Véase el comentario escrito por James Beck, en Lorenzo de Medici, nuevas perspectivas, ed Toscani, B Peter Lang, Nueva York, 1993, pp131, 136.

[15] Kent, F. W. Lorenzo de Medici y el arte de la magnificencia. Los Johns Hopkins, p31

[16] James Beck, en Lorenzo de ’Medici, Nuevas perspectivas, ed Toscani, Nueva York, 1993, págs. 337138.

[17] James Beck, Lorenzo de ’Medici, Nuevas perspectivas, ed Toscani, Nueva York, 1993, p138.


Pinturas de Florencia: 1 Historia

Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), Muerte de Brunelleschi (1852), óleo sobre lienzo, 256,5 x 188 cm, Leighton House Museum, Londres. WikiArt.

La ciudad de Florencia, al noroeste de Roma, en la Toscana, ha sido durante mucho tiempo un centro de arte. Incluso antes del Renacimiento, sus pintores se encontraban entre los más destacados del sur de Europa, y a menudo se la denomina la cuna del Renacimiento o la Atenas de Italia. A partir de entonces, sus colecciones únicas de arte renacentista han atraído a artistas de todo el mundo y los han animado a pintar vistas de la ciudad. Este artículo y la secuela de mañana & # 8217 analizan una pequeña selección de pinturas de Florencia: se concentra en recreaciones históricas, y mañana & # 8217 en paisajes contemporáneos.

Dante y su Divina Comedia han inspirado e influenciado un gran número de pinturas, algunas de las cuales han intentado mostrar al poeta en la ciudad de su nacimiento.

Henry Holiday (1839-1927), Dante conoce a Beatrice en Ponte Santa Trinita (1883), óleo sobre lienzo, 140 x 199 cm, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Inglaterra. Wikimedia Commons.

El año después de la muerte de Dante Gabriel Rossetti en 1882, Henry Holiday pintó la segunda ocasión en la que Dante afirmó que se había reunido con su amada Beatrice, en Dante se encuentra con Beatrice en Ponte Santa Trinita (1883). Holiday dedicó un gran esfuerzo a hacer que esta vista del Ponte Vecchio y el río Arno en el centro de Florencia sea lo más auténtica posible. En 1881, viajó a Florencia para hacer estudios e investigó los edificios de la época, que convirtió en modelos de arcilla para una referencia en 3D. También consiguió que John Trivett Nettleship, un destacado pintor de animales, pintara las palomas para que también fueran representadas fielmente.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), El primer aniversario de la muerte de Beatrice (1853), acuarela, 41,9 x 60,9 cm, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Reino Unido. Wikimedia Commons.

Rossetti & # 8217s acuarela más ficticia de El primer aniversario de la muerte de Beatrice (1853) muestra a Dante siendo consolado mientras dibuja un ángel en ese día del recuerdo de su amada. Esto está situado en el centro de Florencia según la vista a través de la ventana de la derecha, pero mirando por la puerta de la izquierda, hay un jardín campestre incongruente.

El mismo Dante murió en 1321, y el próximo gran evento en la historia de Florencia está relacionado con Boccaccio & # 8217s Decameron que fue escrito por 1353.

Luigi Sabatelli (1772-1850), La plaga de Florencia en 1348 (fecha desconocida), grabado según el trabajo original de Sabatelli, ilustración de una edición de Boccaccio & # 8217s Decameron, The Wellcome Collection, Londres. Cortesía de The Wellcome Foundation, Londres, a través de Wikimedia Commons.

Se ha puesto en duda que la descripción de Boccaccio de la Peste Negra que azotó a Florencia en 1348 se basara en su experiencia personal, pero pocos vivos en ese momento podrían haber escapado de presenciar sus consecuencias mortales. Mucho más tarde, a principios del siglo XIX, Luigi Sabatelli realizó este grabado para ilustrar una edición del Decameron en su sin fecha Plaga de Florencia en 1348.

El decameron comienza con una descripción de las horribles condiciones y eventos que abrumaron a Florencia cuando golpeó la Peste Negra, luego nos lleva a un grupo de siete mujeres jóvenes que se están refugiando en una de sus grandes iglesias. Deciden abandonar la ciudad, en lugar de esperar en medio de su creciente pila de cadáveres, para pasar un tiempo en el campo cercano. Para acompañarlos, llevan algunos sirvientes y tres jóvenes.

Una vez instalados en una mansión abandonada, los diez deciden que uno de los medios por los que superarán su exilio autoimpuesto es contándose historias. Durante las próximas dos semanas, cada uno cuenta una historia todos los días de la semana, lo que proporciona un total de cien que forman El Decameron.

Raffaello Sorbi (1844-1931), El Decamerón (1876), óleo sobre lienzo, 45,5 x 88,7 cm, Colección privada. Wikimedia Commons.

Raffaello Sorbi muestra al grupo de diez durante una de las sesiones de narración de cuentos en El decameron de 1876, con Florencia a lo lejos.

Una ausencia notable del horizonte de esas pinturas de la ciudad antes de 1420 es la distintiva cúpula de ladrillo diseñada por Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) que corona la Catedral de Florencia, el Duomo o, más propiamente, la Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. El telón de fondo de Sorbi & # 8217s es anacrónico porque muestra la cúpula.

Brunelleschi fue una figura central en el Renacimiento del Sur, un arquitecto e ingeniero civil al que generalmente se le atribuye el desarrollo de la primera proyección en perspectiva geométricamente correcta para su uso en dibujos y pinturas en 2D. Fue él quien diseñó y supervisó la construcción de este destacado hito, y murió en la ciudad el 15 de abril de 1446.

Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), Muerte de Brunelleschi (1852), óleo sobre lienzo, 256,5 x 188 cm, Leighton House Museum, Londres. WikiArt.

Su muerte y sus logros son conmemorados por Frederic, Lord Leighton, quien sigue la convención al ubicar el evento en un edificio en Florencia, la ventana que se abre a una vista de la catedral y la cúpula # 8217s. Brunelleschi se muestra medio reclinado in extremis en una silla, como aplastado sobre un plano bidimensional. The complex array of buildings seen between the window and the dome appear to defy correct perspective projection, but have in fact been carefully projected, and contrast with the flatness of the dying man.

Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830–1896), Cimabue’s Celebrated Madonna is Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence (1853-55), oil on canvas, 231.8 × 520.7 cm, The Royal Collection of the United Kingdom on loan to The National Gallery, London. Wikimedia Commons.

Leighton had earlier painted Cimabue’s Celebrated Madonna is Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence (1853-55). Cimabue (c 1240-1302) was born and probably trained in Florence, and is claimed to have been the teacher of Giotto – both key figures in the development of the early Renaissance.

Domenico di Michelino (1417–1491), Dante and the Divine Comedy (1465), fresco, 230 x 290 cm, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy. Image by Jastrow, via Wikimedia Commons.

Inside the Duomo is Domenico di Michelino’s fresco of Dante and the Divine Comedy, the poet’s 1465 memorial. It shows Dante holding a copy of La Divina Comedia as he points out sinners descending to Hell. Behind him is the mountain of Purgatory, at the top of which is Paradise. To the right is the city of Florence, complete with the dome whose construction wasn’t started until a century after Dante’s death.

Among the many major artists of the Florentine Renaissance is Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better-known as Sandro Botticelli, who was born in the city in about 1445 and spent almost his entire life in the same part of town, leaving it for just two brief periods when he painted in Pisa and Rome.

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale (1872–1945), Botticelli’s studio: The first visit of Simonetta presented by Giulio and Lorenzo de Medici (1922), oil on canvas, 74.9 × 126.4 cm, Private collection. Wikimedia Commons.

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale’s Botticelli’s studio: The first visit of Simonetta presented by Giulio and Lorenzo de Medici (1922) imagines an event which could only have taken place before Easter in 1478, when Botticelli could have been no older than 33. The artist stands at the left, in front of an exquisite tondo which he is working on. Bowing to him at the centre is Giuliano de’ Medici, who is accompanied by Simonetta Vespucci, wearing the green dress. Behind her is Lorenzo de’ Medici, often known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, and behind him are Giovanna Tornabuoni and her attendants. The view through the window shows the Palazzo Vecchio in the centre of Florence.

Girolamo Macchietti (1535–1592), Lorenzo the Magnificent (Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449-1492)) (date not known), oil, dimensions not known, location not known. Wikimedia Commons.

Lorenzo de’ Medici is the subject of Girolamo Macchietti’s undated portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Lorenzo was born in 1449 into the banking family, the grandson of Cosimo de’ Medici, one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in Europe. Lorenzo was groomed for power, and became the de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic when his father died in 1469.

He survived a vicious attack by members of the Pazzi family, in the Duomo on Easter Sunday 1478, in which his brother Giuliano was stabbed to death. This led to his excommunication, and invasion by forces of the King of Naples. He resolved that, and died in 1492, when he was forty-three.

Odoardo Borrani (1833-1905), The Body of Jacopo de’ Pazzi (1864), oil on canvas, dimensions and location not known. Wikimedia Commons.

Odoardo Borrani was a nineteenth century Florentine painter whose painting of The Body of Jacopo de’ Pazzi from 1864 shows the more grisly side of Florence in 1478. Jacopo de’ Pazzi was the head of the noble banking family of the Pazzi who led that conspiracy against the ruling de’ Medici family, by attempting to assassinate Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici and overthrow the government.

De’ Pazzi escaped from the city, but was hunted down, brought back, tortured and hung beside the corpse of another conspirator. His body was initially interred in the family chapel of Santa Croce, but it was then exhumed to be thrown in a ditch, as shown here. Eventually his head was used as a door knocker, and the rest of his family sent into exile.

Fabio Borbottoni (1820–1902), Ponte alle Grazie and the Loggia of the Uffizi (date not known), media and dimensions not known, Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, Florence, Italy. Wikimedia Commons.

The Florentine painter Fabio Borbottoni (1820–1902) spent much of his career creating historical landscapes showing the city in Renaissance times. This undated view of the Ponte alle Grazie and the Loggia of the Uffizi is among the large collection of his work now in the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.


Italy On This Day

He was only 43 and is thought to have developed gangrene as a result of an inherited genetic condition. He had survived an assassination attempt 14 years earlier in what became known as the Pazzi Conspiracy, in which his brother, Giuliano, was killed.

The grandson of Cosimo de’ Medici, Lorenzo was a strict ruler but history has judged him as a benevolent despot, whose reign coincided with a period of stability and peace in relations between the Italian states.

He helped maintain the Peace of Lodi, a treaty agreed in 1454 between Milan, Naples and Florence which was signed by his grandfather.

However, he is most remembered as an enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture, providing support for poets, scholars and artists, notably Miguel Angel y Botticelli.

He contributed more than anyone to the flowering of Florentine genius during the second half of the 15th century. Respected himself for his poetry, he held lavish parties for his artistic friends at the Careggi villa and was the protector of artists such as Giuliano da Sangallo, Botticelli, Andrea del Verrocchio, and Verrocchio’s pupil Leonardo da Vinci.

A young Lorenzo as he appeared in
Botticelli's Adoración de los Magos
Lorenzo opened a school of sculpture, at which he noticed the great talent of a 15-year-old pupil called Michelangelo Buonarroti, whom he took under his wing and brought up like a son.

Sandro Botticelli repaid his patronage by using Medici family members as models in some of his most famous religious paintings. En su Madonna of the Magnificat, for example, one of the figures is Lorenzo, while the Madonna is his mother, Lucrezia Tornabuoni. Lorenzo also appears in Botticelli’s Adoración de los Magos, while Mars in his Mars and Venus is Lorenzo’s brother, Giuliano.

In addition to his patronage of artists, Lorenzo also expanded the collection of books begun by Cosimo, which became the Medici Library. He retrieved large numbers of classical works from the East, which he had copied and shared with other countries across Europe. He also supported philosophers such as Marsilio Ficino, Poliziano and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.

Although the assets of the Medici bank were diminished during Lorenzo’s rule, partly through the family focussing more on power than the actual source of their power, i.e. money, they were still not short of jealous rivals and the Pazzi family fell into this category.

With the support of Pope Sixtus IV, Francesco Pazzi conspired with Girolamo Riario, the Lord of Imola, and Francesco Salviati, the archbishop of Pisa, to attack Lorenzo and Giuliano, who were joint rulers of Florence at the time, during High Mass at the Duomo.

The goal was to kill both and seize power, but while Giuliano was being stabbed to death Lorenzo escaped into the sacristy, where he hid from the assassins. The coup d’état therefore failed and it is estimated that around 80 people, either conspirators or their associates, were captured and executed in the months that followed.

Controversially, it was Lorenzo de’ Medici, taking advice from his friend, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who was responsible for the return to Florence of the firebrand priest Girolamo Savonarola, who had left his position at the Convent of San Marco some years earlier after proposing sweeping reforms to the Catholic Church. Savonarola’s preaching, in which he railed against despotic rulers and the exploitation of the poor, and persuaded people that works of art and literature were sinful and should be destroyed, would eventually provoke the overthrowing of the Medici family.

The Palazzo Pitti was acquired by the Medici family
from the Florentine banker Luca Pitti
Travel tip:

Florence has a wealth of preserved antiquity, but one of the finest examples of true Renaissance architecture is the Palazzo Pitti - the Pitti Palace - which was originally commissioned in 1458 as a house for the Florentine banker Luca Pitti, a friend and supporter of Cosimo de’ Medici. Designed by Luca Fancelli, a pupil of Filippo Brunelleschi, it is characterised by a strong, symmetrical structure, wide arches and rusticated stone pillars and walls. It was later sold to Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de Medici (not to be confused with Cosimo de’ Medici, who came from a different branch of the family) , and remained in the Medici family for centuries. Today it houses the biggest museum in Florence and a number of art galleries, and looks out across the Boboli Gardens, created on land Eleonora bought from the wealthy Boboli family.

The Villa Careggi, where Lorenzo died in 1492
Travel tip:

In common with his grandfather, Cosimo, Lorenzo died at the Villa Careggi, originally a working farm acquired in 1417 by Cosimo’s father to make his family self-sufficient. Cosimo employed the architect Michelozzo to remodel it around a central courtyard overlooked by loggias. Lorenzo extended the terraced garden and the shaded woodland area. Careggi, which is not far from Florence’s airport, is nowadays a suburb of the city, about 8km (5 miles) northwest of the centre.


How did the de Medici dominate Florence during the Renaissance

In the 15th century when the de Medici was at the height of their powers, they dominated Florence. [5] However, they were eager to appear as first among equals, they went to great lengths to allow the other noble and wealthy families to secure many of the offices in the City-Republic’s government. [6] This reconciled many of them to the domination of their Republic by one family. The de Medici were fabulously wealthy at least until the 1480s, and their wealth was able to smooth out any difficulties that they had experienced and the City of Florence experienced a period of peace and stability because of the de Medici's wealth.

This period of tranquility was unique in the city’s history that well-known for its political turbulence. The de Medici brought stability to the city and this allowed trade to flourish and also the arts. The stability that the de Medici provided allowed Florence to become a cultural center.

The city’s artists and writers took advantage of the peace and stability to develop new styles of art in security. Then the de Medici was quite tolerant for the times. [7] They were mostly secular in outlook and their power meant that the city’s artists and writers did not have to fear from the Inquisition or clerical interference. [8] The Medici, especially Lorenzo the Magnificent was broad-minded. Indeed, Lorenzo was himself a distinguished poet, and this led to an atmosphere where new ideas and practices were encouraged and even promoted in Florence. [9]

The de Medic had long been associated with the Humanists. Lorenzo the Magnificent was himself taught by a well-known Humanist and was sympathetic to the aims of the movement. For this reason, humanism and its ideas on human reason and capabilities flourished in the city. Indeed, many humanists such as De Valla were able to secure employment in the de Medici administration and added to the cultural life of the city. [10]


Botticelli, Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici

When browsing a museum, I’m sure we’ve all experienced the strong desire to touch a work of art (we know we shouldn’t, but I think we can admit we’ve all wanted to). Well, Sandro Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici era hecha to incite touch, or at least to make viewers think about touch and physical experience.

Seeing Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man reproduced online, in the pages of a book, or even when walking past it in Florence’s Galleria degli Uffizi, where it is protected by a layer of glass, modern viewers may miss a key aspect of the painting. However, the typical fifteenth-century viewer of this portrait likely would have been able to touch the object itself, and at the very least could easily draw from memory the experience of handling an object much like the medallion held by the portrait sitter, as portrait medallions were frequently dispersed and collected among the upper classes.

Sandro Botticelli, detail of Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici, C. 1474, tempera on panel, 57.5 x 44 cm (Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence photo: dvdbramhall, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )

Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that this isn’t a two-dimensional portrait painting, but a multimedia work. The sitter is indeed painted quite naturalistically, so he looks three-dimensional, as though he could potentially exist in our world. The medallion that he holds, however, actually is three-dimensional . This portrait, like many paintings in fifteenth-century Italy, is painted with tempera on a wood panel. In this case, a hole has been cut in the panel, where the sitter appears to be holding the medallion, and a copy of a real portrait medallion has been inserted into that space.

This pseudo-medallion is not actually made of metal, as a true medallion is, but it is instead built of pastiglia , a paste or plaster, made with gesso and built in low relief. In this portrait, the pastiglia medallion has also been gilded, or covered in a thin layer of gold leaf, to mimic the appearance of a gilded bronze medallion. Because the image and text on this pseudo-medallion exactly mimic the orientation of Cosimo’s portrait on real medallions from this period, it is possible that Botticelli used the impression of an existing medallion to make a mold, or had access to a mold used to create such medallions.

Cosimo de’ Medici, C. 1480–1500, bronze medal, made in Florence (© Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

Who is this man?

Well, we don’t know, despite much scholarly speculation over the years. We can discern that he is certainly intending to associate himself with one of the most powerful families in Italy at this time, the Medici. He does so by holding a large Copiar of a real, existing portrait medallion—an object that would have been made in multiples, circulated, traded, and collected by humanists and upper-class members of Renaissance society.

The young man in Botticelli’s portrait looks directly out at the viewer and appears proud of his connection to the object that he holds. He displays the large medallion right over his heart, an organ that was associated with the creation of lasting memories and the storage of sense impressions. The sitter is dressed as a humanist, a learned member of Florentine society.

Left: Cosimo de’ Medici, c. 1480–1500, bronze medal, made in Florence (© Victoria and Albert Museum, London) right: Trajan Denarius, Roman Dacia, 107 C.E. (Roman Numismatics Collection photo: courtesy of James Grout/Encyclopedia Romana)

The medallion, as a copy of a real object, shows the profile view of Cosimo il Vecchio (the Elder), with Latin text arching above his portrait. The text makes reference to Cosimo il Vecchio as pater patriae , or “Father of the Fatherland.” This phrase indicated the political power of the Medici, which began during Cosimo’s lifetime. The format of the pseudo-medallion is drawn from coins and medals of Greek and Roman antiquity, thereby effectively associating Cosimo with great rulers of a learned past, a past that Renaissance humanists hoped to emulate.

Who were the Medici?

Why would someone in Renaissance Italy want to be associated with the Medici family? And why Cosimo il Vecchio, in particular? The Medici were the most powerful family in Florence, and remained one of the most influential families in Italy—and Western Europe more broadly—throughout the Renaissance. Even though Cosimo il Vecchio was deceased by the time of this portrait, he was remembered as the de-facto “father” of the wealthy banking, mercantile, and political family. Beginning with Cosimo and his political rule, the Medici helped to make Florence the cradle and birthplace of the Italian Renaissance , as they were responsible for financially supporting many advances in the arts and humanities. By 1475, when this portrait was painted, the grandsons of Cosimo, Lorenzo and Giuliano, were co-rulers of Florence. Just a few years later, in 1478, Giuliano was killed in the Florentine Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo ) during the assassination plot known as the Pazzi Conspiracy. At this time, Lorenzo il Magnifico (the Magnificent) de’ Medici became head of the family and the Medici rule in Florence.

Lorenzo, in particular, surrounded himself and filled his court with artists, architects, writers, and other humanist scholars. Sandro Botticelli was one of these, looked upon quite favorably by Lorenzo and given numerous commissions during his time as a court painter for the Medici. This portrait was thus created during one of the great heights of Medici Renaissance power and influence. In just a few decades, in fact, two members of the family would become popes—Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici) and Pope Clement VII (Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici). In short, if one had the ability to claim even a tangential connection to the Medici family, it would only make sense to document that connection for eternity in a work of art, such as our Man with a Medal .

Sandro Botticelli, Adoración de los Magos, C. 1475–76, tempera on panel, 111 x 134 cm (Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence). A self-portrait of Botticelli appears on the far-right side he is the man looking out at viewers and dressed in golden robes.

Botticelli, the Medici, and Renaissance portraiture

And, again, Botticelli was able to claim just such a connection himself. In fact, the artist famously includes his self-portrait in an image of the Adoración de los Magos , also painted around 1475. The Medici were known to frequently associate themselves with the three kings as a way of showing their loyalty to the Christian faith and their will to also gift expensive things to Christ (carried out in the Renaissance by way of commissioning religious works of art and architecture). As such, many recognizable portraits of Medici family members can be found in the Adoración de los Magos . Botticelli perpetually commemorates his connection to this powerful family by adding his own portrait to the group.

Sandro Botticelli, El nacimiento de Venus, 1483-85, tempera on panel, 68 x 109 5/8″ (172.5 x 278.5 cm) (Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence photo: Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

The best-known works by Botticelli are religious and mythological scenes, such as his Birth of Venus , which can also be found in the Uffizi Gallery. However, Botticelli was also widely celebrated for his technical abilities in the genre of portraiture. In the last quarter of the fifteenth century, artists were continually working towards creating ever more communicative and naturalistic portraits.

Two examples of northern renaissance portraits. Left: Jan Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434, tempera and oil on oak panel, 82.2 x 60 cm (National Gallery, London photo: Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 ) right: Petrus Christus, Retrato de un cartujo, 1446 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York photo: Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

Moving away from the classically-inspired strict profile format and turning to a three-quarter twist of the body inspired by Flemish portraiture, artists like Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci , and Antonello da Messina were revolutionizing the entire genre of portraiture.

Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of Lisa Gherardini (Mona Lisa), c. 1503–05, oil on panel, 30-1/4″ x 21″ (Musée du Louvre)

Painters from regions north of the Alps created portrait likenesses that turned toward their viewers and appeared to make eye contact, ultimately inspiring Italian artists, already heavily invested in naturalism, to do the same. In addition, Leonardo da Vinci’s portraits, as well as many of Botticelli’s, also began to incorporate more of the body (consider, for example, how a viewer sees the entire turn of the Mona Lisa ‘ s upper body, even the placement of her hands), thereby adding an even greater sense of physical presence to the sitters.

Sandro Botticelli, Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici, C. 1474, tempera on panel, 57.5 x 44 cm (Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence)

A truly unique portrait

Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici is particularly special because it incorporates the “old” format of portraits in its medallion—those in strict profile, meant to reference similar objects from antiquity—along with the newly popularized approach that captured more lively and communicative sitters, sitters that make eye contact with their viewers. Here, Botticelli’s young man looks directly out at us, capturing our attention and thereby directing it to what he holds. We feel as though he is speaking to us, asking us to touch this three-dimensional medallion and to remember his status, amplified by his ties to this important family. The artwork combines old and new, painting and sculpture, to create one of the most unique and enthralling portraits of its time.

Read more about the presentation of self in the Italian renaissance via Italian renaissance learning resources

Francis Ames-Lewis, ed., The Early Medici and Their Artists (London: Birbeck College, 1995).

Allison M. Brown, “The Humanist Portrait of Cosimo de Medici, Pater Patriae,” Journal of the Warburg and the Courtauld Institutes, vol. 24, no. 3/4 (1961), pp. 186–221.

Rebecca M. Howard, “A Mnemonic Reading of Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal ,” Source: Notes in the History of Art, vol. 38, no. 4 (2019), pp. 196–205.

Richard Stapleford, “Botticelli’s Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Trecento Medallion,” Burlington Magazine, vol. 129, no. 1012 (1987), pp. 428–436.


What does a day in your life look like?

I travel on at least 70 different international flights a year. I’m lucky to be able to travel so much. I enjoy traveling tremendously. And, being from the Medici family I often have access to many unusual and extraordinary locations and events. People want to share with me. It’s a beautiful gift that my family has given to me in being a Medici.

I spend a lot of time with my family. I have a beautiful 3-year old princess daughter, named Maddalena after the daughter of Lorenzo de’ Medici aka “Lorenzo The Magnificent.” I also perform a lot of charity organization work, both on boards and through financial support and charity functions for many international organizations. I spend at least 50% of my time regularly on philanthropy, working to inspire others and help change the world for the better.


What is Lorenzo de' Medici holding in this painting? - Historia

Medici Chapel (Cappella Medicea) is the chapel housing monuments to members of the Medici family, in the New Sacristy of the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence. The funereal monuments were commissioned in 1520 by Pope Clement VII (formerly Cardinal Giulio de' Medici), executed largely by Michelangelo from 1520 to 1534, and completed by Michelangelo's pupils after his departure.

The two monumental groups (for the tombs of Lorenzo, duke di Urbino, and Giuliano, duke de Nemours) are each composed of a seated armed figure in a niche, with an allegorical figure reclining on either side of the sarcophagus below. The seated figures, representing the two dukes, are not treated as portraits but as types. Lorenzo, whose face is shaded by a helmet, personifies the reflective man Giuliano, who is holding the baton of an army commander, portrays the active man. At his feet recline the figures of "Night" and "Day." "Night," a giantess, is twisting in uneasy slumber "Day," a Herculean figure, looks wrathfully over his shoulder. Just as imposing, but far less violent, are the two companion figures reclining between sleep and waking on the sarcophagus of Lorenzo. The male figure is known as "Dusk," the female figure as "Dawn."


Lorenzo de&rsquo Medici

Lorenzo de&rsquo Medici also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492) is probably the most well-known member of the Medici family. He is the son of Piero de&rsquo Medici .

In 1469 Piero organized a joust to celebrate Lorenzo&rsquos marriage to Clarice Orsini, and in the same year the succession passed, without discord, to Lorenzo.

The Pazzi conspiracy (1478) and the following war challenged the Medici predominance, yet Lorenzo&rsquos leadership was consolidated by constitutional changes and by his securing peace with the papacy in 1480.

Lorenzo is viewed as one of the great patrons of the Renaissance, under whom the arts flourished in a golden age. This view has since been rejected by modern writers, on the grounds that to accept it would be to perpetuate a myth created by the Medici&rsquos themselves.

Instead, Lorenzo began to be portrayed as primarily a collector of antiquities, who, unable to afford to commission art on a grand scale, had to satisfy himself with offering amateur advice to others. This view is now, in its turn, being challenged as an oversimplification that underestimates and misunderstands Lorenzo&rsquos role as a patron: his patronage was more than a mere matter of political expediency, and his advice was sought by both rulers and civic bodies because he was considered an expert.

Lorenzo was both ruler and scholar. A distinguished vernacular poet, he was also passionately interested in Classical antiquity and became the center of a humanist circle of poets, artists and philosophers, which included Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Angelo Poliziano, Botticelli, Bertoldo di Giovanni and Michelangelo. His taste in architecture was formed by Leon Battista Alberti, with whom he had studied antiques in Rome in 1465 and whose treatise he read repeatedly. He showed great interest in the architectural projects of his day this has stimulated a debate on whether he may have been an amateur architect. Even if Lorenzo was not a practicing architect, there is no doubt that Giuliano da Sangallo, whom he saw as able to revive the glories of antiquity, worked in close collaboration with him.

Lorenzo continued the Medici patronage of ecclesiastical institutions. He enriched the family church of San Lorenzo, where the tomb of Piero and Giovanni de&rsquo Medici was completed by Verrocchio between 1469 and 1472, and had Sangallo build the Augustine Observant Monastery at San Gallo in 1488. Lorenzo&rsquos position as de facto ruler of Florence gave him an added importance as a patron, since little was done by public or semi-public authorities without his approval. He planned to build houses and roads to beautify his quarter of San Giovanni, although only four houses on the newly proposed Via Laura were erected.

His choice of Giuliano da Sangallo for the building of the sacristy of Santo Spirito was accepted in 1489, and he was involved in two decisions concerning the cathedral: to delay the selection of a design to complete the façade and to decorate with mosaic two vaults in the chapel of San Zenobius, a project later abandoned. Even the building boom of the late 1480s was in part due to Lorenzo, as he encouraged the legislation that promoted it. Other patrons were influenced by him, and in this period the Palazzo Strozzi and the house of Bartolommeo Scala were built.

Lorenzo&rsquos influence on the patronage of others extended outside Florence&rsquos borders. Pistoia&rsquos choice of Verrocchio for the cenotaph for Niccolò Forteguerri in Pistoia Cathedral in 1476 was the result of his intervention, as was Prato&rsquos decision, in 1485, to employ Giuliano da Sangallo to build the church of Santa Maria delle Carceri. He also gave artists introductions to foreign courts, both through letters of recommendation and gifts of work, recommending Filippino Lippi to Cardinal Oliviero Carafa in 1488, resulting in Lippi&rsquos decoration of the Carafa Chapel in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, and Giuliano da Maiano to the Duke of Calabria in 1484, which led to the building of the hugely influential villa of Poggio Reale.

Among Lorenzo&rsquos gifts was a palazzo design by Giuliano da Sangallo sent to the King of Naples and two marble reliefs of Darius and Alexander by Verrocchio sent to the King of Hungary.

Lorenzo&rsquos manoeuvring in the world of patronage must in part be understood in a political context.

At home the results it produced and the work it provided could increase his popularity and his network of clients, on both of which he depended to maintain political control. Outside Florence it could help in his dealings with foreign rulers.

His patronage increased in scale in the 1480s, after Florence had made peace with the papacy and the Kingdom of Naples.

Lorenzo&rsquos more private interests are best represented by his country retreats, where he indulged a taste for rural life modeled on Classical ideals, and in the collections that he built up at the Palazzo Medici in Florence. His major architectural commission was the Villa Medici at Poggio a Caiano, where Sangallo created a villa all&rsquoantica, deeply influenced by Lorenzo&rsquos ideals.

He also commissioned around 1487 an illustrious team of artists&mdashBotticelli, Perugino, Filippino Lippi and Domenico Ghirlandaio&mdashto decorate his villa of Spedaletto, near Volterra, and ordered two works from Verrocchio, thought to be the Putto with a Fish and the David for his villa at Careggi. Both Verrocchio and Botticelli were employed to make ceremonial decorations for jousts.

Lorenzo&rsquos interest in antiquity is further underlined by the keenness with which he built up an expensive collection of antiquities, including sculptures, gems, cameos, vases and large-scale marble sculpture among the most celebrated items were the Farnese Cup, the Apollo and Marsyas gem and a red jasper two-handled vase with cover.

It has been claimed that this collection was made at the expense of the patronage of contemporary artists, but Lorenzo&rsquos role as a collector cannot be wholly divorced from his activities as a patron. He encouraged the revival of the ancient arts of mosaic and gem-engraving, and he consciously used antiquities to inspire modern artists.

His collection was cared for by Bertoldo di Giovanni, from whom he commissioned a relief, The Battle, inspired by an ancient Roman relief in Pisa, and he possessed Antonio Pollaiuolo&rsquos antique-inspired bronze of Hercules and Antaeus. Moreover, he established a sculpture garden at San Marco, where he encouraged Michelangelo to study from the Antique, and before 1492 Michelangelo had carved his Virgin of the Steps and the Battle of the Centaurs.

Both Bertoldo and Michelangelo formed part of Lorenzo&rsquos household, and this treatment of artists as the equals of humanist scholars and poets was unprecedented in Republican Florence. It introduced a new type of patronage and was associated with an increasing emphasis on the production of collector&rsquos pieces.


Meet Lorenzo the Magnificent – 10 curious facts

1. Why was he called Il Magnifico?

Historians have been calling him this for centuries, but how did he get the nickname? Was it because he was so extraordinary? Realmente no. When a man entered the Florentine Republic as Gonfaloniere di Giustizia (the highest rank) he was called Magnifico Messere. As a rule, no man younger than 45 could take on the role of Gonfaloniere, but for Lorenzo an exception was made.

When his father died, his fellow citizens asked Lorenzo to take up leadership of the Florentine Republic. Él was only 21 en el momento. He went down in history as the youngest gonfaloniere, and, given all his outstanding accomplishments, the nickname “Il Magnifico” stuck.

2. He wasn’t magnificent to look at

He had a flat nose, a nasal high-pitched voice and didn’t look the part at all. “HIs long flattened nose looked broken and badly set, his jaw jutted forward and his eyebrows above his big, dark, penetrating eyes were irregular and bumpy. He was quite strikingly ugly“, writes Christopher Hibbert in his book (LINK). But he had a charming personality animated and enthusiastic with a joyful nature that made him enormously popular.

3. He escaped death by a hair’s breadth

During the Congiura dei Pazzi, there was a plot to assassinate him and his brother Giuliano. Esta Pazzi Conspiracy came to a head at Easter during Mass in Florence Cathedral, in 1478.

Lorenzo, an able swordsman, reacted promptly and managed to stop the would-be attacker who merely scratched him with a dagger. His younger brother wasn’t so fortunate, and died from 19 stab wounds, his blood staining the floor of Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.

Florence Cathedral

4. He was a gifted poet

Lorenzo was more than just an astute diplomat and politician out to secure power for himself. He was also a talented poet, and today Italian students study his poems as part their literature curriculum. One of his most famous verses is a reflection on the brevity of life and his carpe diem philosophy.

” Youth is sweet and well / But doth speed away! / Let who will be gay, / To-morrow, none can tell.”

5. One of Lorenzo the Magnificent’s passions was jousting

As a young man he and his brother Giuliano entertained Florence by organising and taking part in spectacular games and jousting tournaments in Piazza Santa Croce. The poet Luigi Pulci dedicated one of his poems to him: “La Giostra di Lorenzo de’ Medici“.

6. He didn’t marry for love

Lorenzo married a beautiful young woman from Rome called Clarici Orsini. She was different from him in every way. Where he was extrovert and passionate, she was shy and reserved. Where he was versatile and curious, she was conservative and quite petulant.

The marriage was a political move, rather than a love match, and organised by his mother. Despite the nature of their alliance they stayed together in a peaceful marriage and had 10 children juntos. He is said to have been distressed when she died in 1488.

7. Lorenzo the Latin lover

He didn’t hide his restlessness or libido and often fell for married women. He’s described as “licentious and very amorous” (by Italian historian Guicciardini). He had a romantic attachment to Lucrezia Donati, a woman who he had known since they were very young, and with whom he had more in common than his wife. But it seems that their relationship remained platonic, and lived mainly in the sonnets that we wrote praising her beauty.

8. He wasn’t good at making money

He used to say quite proudly that he didn’t know much about the world of banking. With Lorenzo, not so Magnificent when it came to business, the Medici bank started a slow decline from which it would never recover. He was much better at spending it than making money, and put much of his finance towards entertainment and his great passion, art.

9. Lorenzo was the ultimate patron

He practically adopted Michelangelo when the artist was still a young boy. Lorenzo had opened a School of Sculpture near his house, in the San Marco garden, where he collected ancient statues to allow young artists to learn and improve in the art of sculpting. Michelangelo was one of those young men chiselling away in his garden. Lorenzo immediately recognised the impressive talent of this young artist and decided to take him into his home and treat him like his son.

Other artists that he financed or helped in many ways included Leonardo da Vinci and his teacher Verrocchio, Botticelli, Filippino Lippi and Ghirlandaio. He also lavished money on the patronage of writers and scholars, bought a vast number of manuscripts and with him the Medici library grew immensely.

10. He had an extravagant taste in pets

Apart from his love of caballos, he fed his own horse Morello himself, he’s known to have kept exotic pets including a giraffe in his Villa in Poggio a Caiano, just outside Florence. A gift from a sultan, it was apparently was very tame and gentle. In his estate he also used to breed all sorts of animals including pigs, rabbits and peacocks.

Medicean Villa in Poggio a Caiano By Niccolo Rigacci – Photo shot by the Author, CC BY 2.5, Link

The death of Lorenzo the Magnificent

Lorenzo suffered from gout, like many of his predecessors. By the end of his life he couldn’t walk and had to be carried around in a litter. He wanted to die in his Villa at Careggi, and there spend his last months surrounded by friends.

He died on 8th April 1492, and his body was buried in the Old Sacristy of San Lorenzo Church in Florence, where many of the Medici family members took their final rest. In Florence the news of his death was received with desperation. In his final hours all sorts of dreadful portents are said to have happened around the city Florence’s lions killing one another, a marble ball from the Cathedral struck by lightning, and ghosts roaming the city.


Ver el vídeo: Istituto Lorenzo de Medici LdM - Believing in international education in a time of uncertainty (Julio 2022).


Comentarios:

  1. Mikanos

    maravillosamente, pieza muy valiosa

  2. Shakat

    Creo que estas equivocado. Me ofrezco a discutirlo.

  3. Ine

    Creo que esta es la forma incorrecta. Y de él es necesario rodar.

  4. Volkree

    Ciencia ficción:)

  5. Mojar

    disculpe la frase esta borrada

  6. Zulugis

    Es una pena que no pueda hablar ahora, estoy muy ocupado. Osvobozhus - necesariamente sus observaciones.

  7. Heanleah

    ¿Qué sale de esto?



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