Florentine Epigraphy: Aspects of Propaganda and Patronage Under the Medici

Nordic Journal of Renaissance Studies 21 • 2023

Marco Buonocore
Ita ut de plano recte legi possint. Modelli espositivi epigrafici tra tradizione e ideologia a Firenze tra Umanesimo e Rinascimento.A proposito di un libro recente

The monograph by Patrick Kragelund, dedicated to the epigraphic production in Florence (over 220 Latin inscriptions) from the mid-thirteenth century to the end of the Medici dynasty in the mid-eighteenth century, allow us to evaluate how epigraphic programs were consolidated and refined. Furthermore, we realize that many of these inscriptions, in their graphic and formal composition, are influenced by classical Latin traditions, literary as well as epigraphic.
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Outi Merisalo
Lettering the Might. Remarks on the Palaeography of the Inscriptions on the Fifteenth-century Medici Tombs in the Basilica of S. Lorenzo

This article examines the palaeography of the fifteenth-century funeral inscriptions of the Medici in S. Lorenzo, Florence in their material and historical context. The oldest monument, the sarcophagus of Giovanni di Bicci and Piccarda di Edoardo, from the 1430s, just as Cosimo the Elder's monument (c. 1468) are characterised by the expected traditional Florentine lettering without serifs but with increasingly classicising elements of presentation, as yet untouched by the antiquarian innovations of 1450-1460s Northern Italy, which restored the fully geometric classical monumental capitals as well as adopted the classical abbreviations and ancient formulae. As late as the early 1470s the Medici inscriptions maintained the early Renaissance Florentine epigraphical style.
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Henk Th. van Veen
A Failed Project. Captions and Inscriptions for Giorgio Vasari's Medici cycle in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

This article shows that there existed an advanced plan to provide the paintings by Giorgio Vasari and his helpers in the Quartiere di Leone X in the Palazzo Vecchio with captions and inscriptions. The article shows that some of the most renowned scholars of Florence were involved in this project and it discusses the problems it faced. It also goes into the question why eventually the project was abandoned. Finally, the article argues against rejecting the idea that Vasari's Ragionamenti (also) served as a guide to the paintings it comments on.
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William Stenhouse
Latin Inscriptions in Medici Florence and the Early Modern Viewer

Early modern authors took a keen interest in inscriptions, including the Latin examples in Medici Florence. Guidebooks quoted famous texts, travellers to Florence recorded inscriptions that they saw in the city, and the editors of collections of famous epitaphs or notable inscribed verses included plenty of Florentine examples. This article examines which texts these authors chose to reproduce and what attracted them: their selection celebrated the cultural achievements of fifteenth-century Florence at the expense of later examples, and at the expense of the Medici family who did so much to promote themselves using this medium.
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