Recent Publications

Villa I Tatti Series

San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church
Gaston, Robert W., and Louis A. Waldman, ed. 2016. San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church.Abstract

This comprehensive, interdisciplinary collection illuminates many previously unexplored aspects of the Basilica of San Lorenzo’s history, extending from its Early Christian foundation to the modern era. Brunelleschi’s rebuilt Basilica, the center of liturgical patronage of the Medici and their grand-ducal successors until the nineteenth century, is today one of the most frequently studied churches in Florence. Modern research has tended, however, to focus on the remarkable art and architecture from ca. 1400–1600. In this wide-ranging collection, scholars investigate: the urban setting of the church and its parish; San Lorenzo’s relations with other ecclesiastical institutions; the genesis of individual major buildings of the complex and their decorations; the clergy, chapels and altars; the chapter’s administration and financial structure; lay and clerical patronage; devotional furnishings, music, illuminated liturgical manuscripts, and preaching; as well as the annual or ephemeral festal practices on the site. Each contribution offers a profound exploration of its topic, wide-ranging in its chronological scope. One encounters here fresh archival research, the publication of relevant documents, and critical assessments of the historiography. San Lorenzo is represented in this volume as a living Florentine institution, continually reshaped by complex historical forces.

The Medici: Citizens and Masters
Black, Robert, and John Law, ed. 2015. The Medici: Citizens and Masters.Abstract

The Medici controlled fifteenth-century Florence. Other Italian rulers treated Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492) as an equal. To his close associates he was "the boss" ("master of the workshop"). But Lorenzo liked to say he was just another Florentine citizen. Were the Medici like the kings, princes and despots of contemporary Italy?  Or were they just powerful citizens? This book takes a novel, comparative approach.  It sets Medici rule against princely states such as Milan and Ferrara. It asks how much the Medici changed Florence and contrasts their supremacy with earlier Florentine regimes. The contributors take diverse angles, focusing on politics, political thought, social history, economic policy, religion, the church, humanism, intellectual history, Italian literature, theater, festivals, music, imagery, iconography, architecture, historiography, and marriage. This book is perfect for students of  History, Renaissance Studies, Italian Literature, Art History or anyone keen to learn about one of history's most colorful, influential and puzzling families

The Bernard and Mary Berenson Collection of European Paintings at I Tatti
Strehlke, Carl Brandon, and Machtelt Brüggen Israëls. 2015. The Bernard and Mary Berenson Collection of European Paintings at I Tatti.Abstract

.The Bernard and Mary Berenson Collection of European Paintings at I Tatti surveys the 149 works assembled by the Berensons for their home in Florence from the late 1890s through the first decades of the twentieth century at the time that they were making their mark on the world as connoisseurs. The catalogue presents a privileged window on the Berensons' intellectual interests through the objects they owned. The entries, written by an international team of art historians, take full advantage of the extensive correspondence from the Berensons' friends, family, and colleagues at I Tatti as well as the couple's diaries and notations on the backs of their vast gathering of photographs. All the entries are lavishly illustrated with full scholarly and technical accountings of the objects. There are also 17 illustrated reconstructions of the original contexts of panel paintings. The catalogue includes essays on the progress of the Berensons' collecting, their love for Siena, the Sienese forger Icilio Federico Joni, the critic Roger Fry, and René Piot's murals at I Tatti, as well as a listing of 94 pictures that were once at I Tatti including donations made to museums in Europe and America.

For the complete index, click here.

I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History

Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance
Hasse, Dag Nikolaus. 2016. Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance. Harvard University Press.Abstract

The Renaissance marked a turning point in Europe’s relationship to Arabic thought. On the one hand, Dag Nikolaus Hasse argues, it was the period in which important Arabic traditions reached the peak of their influence in Europe. On the other hand, it is the time when the West began to forget, and even actively suppress, its debt to Arabic culture. Success and Suppressiontraces the complex story of Arabic influence on Renaissance thought.

It is often assumed that the Renaissance had little interest in Arabic sciences and philosophy, because humanist polemics from the period attacked Arabic learning and championed Greek civilization. Yet Hasse shows that Renaissance denials of Arabic influence emerged not because scholars of the time rejected that intellectual tradition altogether but because a small group of anti-Arab hard-liners strove to suppress its powerful and persuasive influence. The period witnessed a boom in new translations and multivolume editions of Arabic authors, and European philosophers and scientists incorporated—and often celebrated—Arabic thought in their work, especially in medicine, philosophy, and astrology. But the famous Arabic authorities were a prominent obstacle to the Renaissance project of renewing European academic culture through Greece and Rome, and radical reformers accused Arabic science of linguistic corruption, plagiarism, or irreligion. Hasse shows how a mixture of ideological and scientific motives led to the decline of some Arabic traditions in important areas of European culture, while others continued to flourish.

I Tatti Renaissance Library