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By F. W. Kent

In the prior part century students have downplayed the importance of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449–1492), referred to as "the Magnificent," as a buyer of the humanities. much less prosperous than his grandfather Cosimo, the argument is going, Lorenzo was once way more attracted to accumulating historical items of paintings than in commissioning modern paintings or structure. His past attractiveness as a purchaser was once acknowledged to be mostly a build of humanist exaggeration and partisan deference.

Although a few contemporary stories have taken factor with this view, no synthesis of Lorenzo as artwork purchaser and paintings lover has but emerged. In Lorenzo de' Medici and the paintings of Magnificence historian F. W. Kent bargains a brand new examine Lorenzo's dating to the humanities, aesthetics, gathering, and building—especially within the context of his position because the political boss ( maestro della bottega) of republican Florence and a number one participant in Renaissance Italian international relations. due to this technique, which can pay cautious recognition to the occasions of his brief yet dramatic existence, a considerably new chronology of Lorenzo's actions as an artwork customer emerges, revealing them to were extra vast and inventive than formerly concept. Kent's Lorenzo used to be extensively drawn to the humanities and supported efforts to decorate Florence and the various Medici lands and palaces. His services was once good seemed via guildsmen and artists, who frequently grew to become to him for recommendation in addition to for patronage. Lorenzo himself was once expert within the arts through such males, and Kent explores his aesthetic schooling and style, taking into consideration what's identified of Lorenzo's patronage of song and manuscripts, and of his personal artistic paintings as a massive Quattrocento poet.

Richly illustrated with images of Medici landmarks by means of Ralph Lieberman, Lorenzo de' Medici and the paintings of Magnificence bargains a masterful portrait of Lorenzo as a guy whose achievements may have rivaled his grandfather's had he no longer died so young.

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Extra info for Lorenzo de' Medici and the Art of Magnificence (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History)

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During this Mantuan visit in 1483, might not Lorenzo have heard about, and been impressed by, the emergence of an already celebrated court painter, Mantegna, from a training that had pretensions to be as much academic and liberal as artisanal and mechanical? If so, might he not have grasped at that time how he and his artist friends could put to a novel use the Medici garden at San Marco, where by the 1480s ancient sculpture was accumulating? Be that as it may, the circumstantial evidence is persuasive that while he was in Mantua in the late winter of 1483 Lorenzo looked hard and appreciatively at the major building campaign recently undertaken by the Gonzaga family, with Alberti as architect and Luca Fancelli as overseer.

The young Lorenzo clearly admired his grandfather, though we know little about their personal relationship. In two early fragments Lorenzo echoed the widespread judgment that Cosimo was “the wisest of men . . ”11 The youthful author of these words is sometimes portrayed as having been almost a playboy princeling before he accepted leadership of the regime, aged just twenty, in early December 1469. He himself wrote several years later of his reluctance to assume his father’s political role because of his youth and the peril involved; it has been suggested that he lacked the diplomatic experience and knowledge of foreign aΩairs so crucial to Medici authority both at home and abroad.

84 It should come as no surprise that Lorenzo demonstrated as keen an interest in military architecture as other Florentine oligarchs traditionally had done. Moreover, despite his own lack of military prowess and his careful avoidance of martial metaphors to justify his family’s dominance, as leader of the regime he cultivated an expertise matching that of other Italian rulers, such as the duke of Ferrara, Ercole d’Este, men from warrior dynasties who were quite as preoccupied as Lorenzo himself with strengthening the fortresses on their vulnerable frontiers.

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