Katalin Prajda

Katalin Prajda

Ahmanson Fellow
Cultural Exchange in Early Renaissance Italy The Italian States and the Kingdom of Hungary from  Louis I of Anjou through Matthias Corvinus


Katalin Prajda earned her Ph.D. from the European University Institute. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the University of Chicago, the Institute for Advanced Study, Central European University, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She studies the co-development of economic, political, kinship, and artistic networks in early Renaissance Italy. Her first monograph, Network and Migration in Early Renaissance Florence, 1378-1433: Friends of Friends in the Kingdom of Hungary (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) explores causally the impacts of a complex network on cultural exchanges of various types, among these migration, commerce, diplomacy, and artistic exchange.

Project Summary

The proposed book project embraces one hundred and fifty years of early Renaissance Italian history and culture, by studying the various relations the Italian states kept with the Kingdom of Hungary, between the reigns of Louis I (1342-1382) and Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490). It aims to look at diplomacy, migration, commerce, banking and the impact of those intercountry interactions on artistic and cultural exchange between these two territories. The study, in addition to relying on the already existing literature, will be based on an extensive research, largely completed in the most important Italian archival and artistic collections. The cultural interplay between Italy and Hungary deserves close attention because the Kingdom of Hungary is probably one of the first states outside the Peninsula to embrace several novelties of the Italian Renaissance. Also the dense trade networks, which connected the two territories, point to the likelihood that Italian-Hungarian relations might provide an eloquent case study for analyzing the phenomenon of cultural exchange in early Renaissance Italy. The project takes a highly innovative approach to the development and the spread of the Italian Renaissance and therefore to the evolution of social, economic, political and cultural networks between the Eastern and Western part of the continent.