Treasures of the Medici

Front Cover
Vendome Press, 1992 - Art - 239 pages
The members of the legendary Medici family amassed a fabulous hoard in the course of their long reign over Florence. This incredible assemblage of rings, statuettes, vases, brooches, and other objects, made of gold, silver, jade, alabaster, and other precious substances, was brought from Europe, Asia, China, and even the New World to beautify the persons and palaces of the Medici. Many European kings and princes had Schatzkammers or cabinets de curiosite that were a reflection of their power and the breadth of their interests. None, however, played such an important role in bringing together and sponsoring brilliant carvers of stone and crystal as well as sculptors, gold- and silversmiths as did the Medici for over two centuries. It seems scarcely conceivable that a single family - even one dominated by the preeminent bankers, princes, and artistic patrons of the day - could have gathered so many splendid treasures. These also included elaborate church reliquaries, priceless Greek and Roman cameos, as well as Renaissance bronzes, often imitations of ancient sculpture that reflect the Renaissance passion for antiquity.
Here, for the first time, is a complete guide to these remarkable objets d'art. In this unique work, Anna Maria Massinelli and Filippo Tuena have assembled an inventory of the Medici treasures now held in such collections as the Museo degli Argenti, the Bargello, and the church of San Lorenzo in Florence and the Museo Nazionale in Naples. They have chosen the most dazzling and important pieces for reproduction in this richly illustrated volume.
Published on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent - greatest of his line - The Treasures of the Medici is a catalog for an exhibition that could have taken place only were that dynasty still in power. The assistance of the Italian state has ensured that this is as near as possible a definitive record of an unparalleled inheritance: the only chance to see its entire range brought together.
A superb demonstration of the pride and power of one of Europe's greatest families, this glittering treasure contains some of the finest craftsmanship of its time, commemorating an age of supreme artistic brilliance that holds immense appeal for everyone interested in the Renaissance and its unique masterpieces.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Treasures of the Medici

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Patrons to three centuries of sculptors, carvers, and gold- and silversmiths, the fabled Medici family of Florence amassed an enormous collection of precious objets d'art during their lengthy reign ... Read full review


Cosimo II
Index of works

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (1992)

Anna Maria Massinelli specialises in sculpture and the decorative arts. She has contributed to a number of exhibition cstslogues, international conventions and specialist magazines. She has written several books including "Treasures of the Medici," published by Vendome Press in 1992. Between 1993 and 1996 she was Assistant Curator for the Department of Decorative Arts of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is currently Professor of History of Art at the Academy of Fine Art in Palermo.

Bibliographic information