The Fruit of Liberty: Political Culture in the Florentine by Nicholas Scott Baker

By Nicholas Scott Baker

In the center many years of the 16th century, the republican city-state of Florence--birthplace of the Renaissance--failed. as a substitute the Medici relations created a principality, changing into first dukes of Florence after which grand dukes of Tuscany. The Fruit of Liberty examines how this transition happened from the point of view of the Florentine patricians who had ruled and regulated the republic. The booklet analyzes the lengthy, sluggish social and cultural variations that predated, followed, and facilitated the institutional shift from republic to principality, from citizen to subject.

More than a chronological narrative, this research covers a variety of contributing components to this transition, from attitudes towards workplace conserving, garments, and the patronage of artists and designers to notions of self, kinfolk, and gender. utilizing a wide selection of assets together with deepest letters, diaries, and artwork works, Nicholas Baker explores how the language, photographs, and values of the republic have been reconceptualized to assist the shift from citizen to topic. He argues that the construction of Medici principality didn't happen via a thorough holiday with the previous yet with the adoption and edition of the political tradition of Renaissance republicanism.

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3 The older corporate social world, based on the representation of stakeholders in the city—the guilds, the neighborhoods, the Guelf Party—was eclipsed by an emergent citywide elite, an oligarchy. 4 These corporate institutions never entirely lost their role or influence in the civic life of Florence, but their continuation occurred under the shadow of a new political order and culture. 5 Texts by men such as Salutati and speeches made in the governing councils of the city fused ideas of liberty, civic virtue, and public ser vice adopted from classical sources into a potent mythology for the form, constitution, and ambitions of the Florentine government.

Patriarchy does not explain how this society functioned, only how men idealized its functioning. An analysis of how the social and political culture of Florence valued male friendships, and of how the city accordingly constituted itself as a male homosocial sphere, better serves historical understanding. 8. Domenico Ghirlandaio, Francesco Sassetti and His Son Teodoro (ca. 1488). 8 cm. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 80 These bonds existed on multiple and overlapping levels, ranging from the purely fictive, such as the fraternity of citizens; through the religious, such as lay confraternities; the functional, such as patron-client bonds; and the affective, such as friendships or family ties.

In the background, on the right, a triumphal arch opens through which a palace is visible. To the left, an overgrown wall topped by a relief-adorned panel partially obscures a classically inspired palazzo. 3. Domenico Ghirlandaio, Appearance of the Angel to Zacharias (ca. 1485–1489). Fresco. Florence: Santa Maria Novella, Tornabuoni Chapel. (Photo: © 2011. Photo Scala, Florence / Fondo Edifici di Culto—Min. ) decorated by antique reliefs and marble panels, dominates the center ground. It houses an altar at which the sacred narrative occurs: the appearance of the angel to Zacharias announcing the impending birth of his son, John.

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