Monday, 7 November 2016

The little evidence of the Soderini in Florence - By Sinja Aardema

In the spring of 2016 I did an internship at the Patrician Patronage Project in Florence. It was a wonderful time in which I researched the patronage of the Soderini family of the period 1530-1670. Nowadays, the Soderini family is not one of the most famous patrician families of Florence.  Some descendants, however, made their way into the history books. Well-known, for example, are Piero Soderini (1450-1522), who was the gonfaloniere a vita of the Florentine Republic from 1503 until the Medici returned in 1512, and his brother Cardinal Francesco Soderini (1453-1524). There is not much known about the Soderini in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and not much is left of their patronage. Therefore, it was really exciting when I did encounter the little physical ‘evidence’ still visible in Florence.

Giambologna's bust of Jupiter, ca. 1560, Boboli Gardens, Florence
(Photo: author)

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

In Florence, on the Arno, near the bridge - By Henk Th. van Veen

On the south bank of the Arno, right next to the Ponte alle Grazie and facing the Piazza dei Mozzi, stands palazzo Torrigiani già Del Nero.

Palazzo Torrigiani già Del Nero

The building offers only a feeble reflexion of its erstwhile grandeur. Here the Del Nero resided. In those days the palazzo rose straight from the river-bed and formed one massif whole – a veritable bridgehead – with the  Ponte à Rubaconte, the longest bridge of Florence, also known as Ponte alle Grazie, because of the characteristic chapels that were built on it.  

Monday, 10 October 2016

From pillar to post - By Lotte van ter Toolen

After my failed attempt to visit San Gaggio, I decided it was time to turn to the church of Santo Spirito for my research on the Corsini family. In 1804 the tomb monuments, busts and cenotaphs of the Corsini had been moved from San Gaggio to this church, where the family had owned a chapel as well.
              In 1300 the Corsini Chapel (La Cappella dei Principi Corsini) was founded on the east-side of the second cloister of Santo Spirito, the so-called chiostro grande dell’Ammannati. As of 2007 this cloister has lost its religious function and it now belongs to a military institute. But although this cloister now holds a branch of the Esercito Italiano (the Italian army), the Corsini Chapel itself has not been turned into a military office and, luckily, is still intact. Therefore, I left the Dutch University Institute of Art History in good spirits on the day of my second excursion, confident and eager to finally see some Corsini monuments. Seeing as I had spent the last days studying in the library, bent over books and barely moving, I decided to walk all the way down the hill to the church. 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Summer 2016: In Bruges... - By Julia Dijkstra

For the Patrician Patronage Project, it was a summer to look forward to. Last year, we decided it was time to formally present the PPP-database to a wider (scientific) audience, to get more input on our work and to gain scholarly attention. No better place to do so than at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference (SCSC), held this year from the 18th till the 20th of August in the picturesque city of Bruges (Belgium).

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Suitable Piece of Furniture for Writing a Magnum Opus - By Sanne Roefs

Francesco di Piero Guicciardini (1478-1540), also known as Francesco ‘the historian’, is by far the most famous member of the Guicciardini family from Florence. Close friend of Niccolò Macchiavelli, important advisor of several popes in Rome, a leading force in the election of Duke Cosimo I as the successor of the murdered Duke Alessandro in 1537, but most notable of all, the writer of the Storia d’Italia: a series of twenty books describing the – then – modern history of the Italian peninsula. It was published posthumously for the first time in 1561 by his nephew Agnolo di Girolamo Guicciardini (1525-1581) and it was to be this publication that gave him an everlasting fame as a historian and political thinker. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Against the Medici – By Julia Dijkstra

A few years ago, I was one of the first interns of the Patrician Patronage Project (PPP) who had the opportunity to stay in Florence for three months and to discover the magnificent cultural heritage of this city. My assignment was to delve into the art patronage of several Florentine patrician families, and to add all the artworks that were commissioned in the period between 1530 – 1670 to the PPP-database. Furthermore, I was assigned with the ‘special’ task to research three patrons in particular: Niccolò Gaddi (1499 – 1552), Niccolò Ridolfi (1501 – 1550) and Giovanni Salviati (1490 – 1553). Before starting my research, I knew very little about these men. Yet, they seemed to have a lot in common: they were (1) descendants of important Florentine families, (2) cardinals residing in Rome and (3) important art patrons in sixteenth-century Italy. Furthermore, these three cardinals were so-called fuorusciti (exiles), exiled by the Medici family after the fall of the Florentine Republic in 1530.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Behind closed doors - By Lotte van ter Toolen

With its high walls and few windows, Via Senese number 101 might trick the inattentive passer-by into thinking it to be a fortress. However, as the sign next to the door indicates, this large and uninviting building is in fact a former fourteenth-century convent, which behind its walls still holds the church of San Gaggio. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Special Encounter - By Charley Ladee

As I walk along Via dei Leoni, the rusticated façade of a majestic Florentine palazzo looms up. “Should I just ring the bell? Which of the thirteen options would it be?” Suddenly, a rather neat looking gatekeeper opens the door. In my broken Italian I tell him that I’ve come to see the Marchesa, Vittoria Gondi Citernesi.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Farewell symposium for Professor Henk Th. Van Veen

On the 9th and 10th of January a farewell symposium was organized at the University of Groningen to honour the work of Professor Van Veen, who retired last October. Van Veen’s scholarly career in the history of art, however, is far from over! In the coming years he will dedicate himself to the continuation and professionalization of the Patrician Patronage Project (PPP), a project that aims to gain further insight into the interesting world of Florentine patrician patronage during (grand-)ducal rule in Tuscany (1530-1670).