Treasures of the Medici
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.
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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