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.