In late October 1515, the government authorities of Siena were busy preparing the city for the visit of Pope Leo X de’ Medici, expected in the middle of the following month. Palaces were requisitioned to house the pontiff and his entourage, while artists set to work to create the ephemeral architectural elements for a grand all’antica triumph through the streets. Under the supervision of Vannoccio di Paolo Biringucci, artists of the caliber of Domenico Beccafumi and Sodoma worked on arches and other accessories. On the eve of the visit, the pope altered his itinerary and bypassed the city.
This study, drawing on new information from unpublished documents, reconsiders the working methods and responsibilities of sculptor and architect Bartolomeo Ammannati in the context of Cosimo I de’ Medici’s creation of a grand ducal Tuscan empire. Ammannati was an indispensable part of the broader enterprise of ducal and grand ducal building activity, urban development, and court bureaucracy. His success was reliant on skills different than those emphasized by Giorgio Vasari.
In 1563 Johan Wier’s protest against the criminal prosecution of presumed witches, caused much upheaval. He attempted to exonerate these defendants by arguing that human beings are incapable of doing the things they were accused of. It was demons and not humans who were the real offenders. Until now, Wier’s religious convictions have remained indistinct.
The concept of the papal Antichrist evolved throughout the Middle Ages, developing multiple layers of meaning and distinctive modes of rhetorical expression. It reached its most elaborate late medieval form in the Hussite treatise known as Anatomy of the Antichrist. This work provides a comprehensive summary of antipapal Antichristology using nominal tropes, anatomical metaphors, and antithetical contrasts between the idealized primitive church and the fifteenth-century Roman church.
Close attention to the historical setting with which Castiglione frames his dialogues in The Book of the Courtier (1528) reveals that the figures of Pope Julius II and his nephew Francesco Maria della Rovere are much more central to what happens in the fiction of the text than has previously been acknowledged. Indeed, there is a thematic strand within the book that can be described as Castiglione’s Francescopaedia, his account of an idealized Francesco Maria’s education at court which resonates with Xenophon’s Cyropaedia.
This essay traces the genesis and progress of the widely believed myth that the Dutchnobleman Reinoud III of Brederode, foolishly claiming the county of Holland for himself, was condemned to death and later pardoned by the emperor Charles V. It also demonstrates that extant legal records tell a different story: Reinoud claimed the coat of arms of Holland on his familial arms as an advised and successful attempt to enhance his lineage, in order to improve his reputation and status among the nobility of the Netherlands.
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In the mid-sixteenth century, King Philip II of Spain entered into tense negotiations with Rome over the fate of the bula de la cruzada, a crusading indulgence that had been granted to Iberian monarchs since the Middle Ages. That indulgence had become a means of defraying the cost of war against enemies of the faith. But endemic abuses and concerns about the growing power of Spanish monarchs in ecclesiastical affairs led popes and Tridentine delegates to pursue an end to the cruzada.
The directors of the Dutch West India Company have often been at the center of debates about religion and tolerance in Dutch colonies. Using the first comprehensive list of names from the most powerful company chambers, this essay examines the directors’ religious affiliations and activity in the Netherlands and the impact of both on the company. Most were full members of the Reformed Church and many participated as elders and deacons on Reformed councils.
Traditional conceptions of family life in Renaissance Italy have emphasized the importance of male kinship connections and associations. Yet the correspondence found between sisters and brothers in the Spinelli family, a prominent merchant family in sixteenth-centuryFlorence, reveals instead how both women and men viewed family identity as moving beyond lineage considerations.