Cosimo De' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance: The Patron's Oeuvre

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Yale University Press, 2000 - Art - 537 pages
"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 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 illuminating Cosimo de'Medici's life, the author considers how his 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 focussing 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."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - poppi - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance: the patron's oeuvre

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The most powerful figure in the political and economic life of early Renaissance Florence, Cosimo de' Medici was also its greatest patron of the arts. In her vigorously argued and exhaustively ... Read full review

About the author (2000)

Dale Kent is Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside.

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