Villa I Tatti

Food, Social Politics and the Order of Nature in Renaissance Italy
The act of eating is a basic human need. Yet in all societies, quotidian choices regarding food and its consumption reveal deeply rooted shared cultural conventions. Food goes beyond issues relating to biological needs and nutrition or production and commerce; it also reveals social and cultural criteria that determine what dishes are prepared on what occasions, and it unveils the politics of the table via the rituals associated with different meals. This book approaches the history of food in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy through an interdisciplinary prism of sources ranging from correspondence, literature (both high and low), and medical and dietary treatises to cosmographic theory and iconographic evidence. Using a variety of analytical methods and theoretical approaches, it moves food studies firmly into the arena of Late Medieval and Renaissance history, providing an essential key to deciphering the material and metaphorical complexity of this period in European, and especially Italian, history.
San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church
Gaston, Robert W., and Louis A. Waldman, ed. 2017. San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church. Publisher's Version 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.

Gaston, Robert W., and Louis A. Waldman, ed. In Press. “San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church”. Abstract

This comprehensive, interdisciplinary monograph will deal with many aspects of the San Lorenzo basilica, extending from its foundation as Florence’s palaeochristian cathedral to the modern era. Florence's Basilica di San Lorenzo, the city’s first cathedral and the center of liturgical patronage of the Medici and their grand ducal successors from the late Trecento until the nineteenth century, is one of the most frequently studied churches in Florence. Modern studies have tended, however, to focus on limited and specific aspects of the complex, and the lion’s share of research published since the nineteenth century deals with the period from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo, or from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo I. The San Lorenzo project has already produced a conference, held at I Tatti on 27-30 May 2009, and a series of sessions at the 2010 annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. Energies are now focused on the monograph, with chapters that address a broad range of questions. These include the urban setting of the churches and the parish, San Lorenzo's relations with other ecclesiastical institutions, the individual buildings, the clergy, chapels and altars, the chapter's administration and financial structure, liturgical furnishings, music, liturgy, preaching, the demographics of parish life, and the annual or ephemeral festal practices on the site. Each chapter will offer an extensive exploration of its topic, wide-ranging in its historical scope and wherever possible dealing not merely with brief moments of history but with the longue durée. Each will include new research, the publication of relevant documents, and a careful critical assessment of the historiography.

The Medici: Citizens and Masters
Black, Robert, and John Law, ed. 2015. The Medici: Citizens and Masters. Publisher's Version 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

.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.

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