Florence Circa 1600: Patrician Families and the Financing of Culture

Studies about the cultural life of Florence at the turn of the seventeenth century usually concentrate on the Medici court, the various academies, or the confraternities, and less on the role of patrician families who had sustained both the economy and the society since late medieval times

These élite families participated in the academies and in court life but also had many more focused particular interests; they were a vital to the creation of new forms of art and music.

In this conference, we hope to shine a light on the economic activities of such families and how their economic successes permitted avant-garde culture—in literature, art, music, theatre, etc.—to flourish. We are interested in each family’s patronage of artists and artisans but also how this patronage influenced other families with whom they had contact through informal gatherings as well as established institutions. There are many families which could be studied in this regard, for example the Bardi (especially Giovanni), Corsi (Jacopo and Bardo), Davanzati (Bernardo), Del Bene (Giulio), Del Nero, Gaddi (Niccolò), Guicciardini (Piero), Rinuccini (Ottavio and Alessandro), Strozzi (Piero and Giovanni Battista the Younger/ ‘il poeta’), but also others. We focus on individual patrons in these critical decades, but also on more general issues raised by our theme.

We will hold the conference 11-12 April 2019, the 450th anniversary of the foundation of the Accademia degli Alterati. It is supported by the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici (M.A. in Museum Studies) and the University of Florence (SAGAS Department).

Associated with the conference is an exhibition on Michelangelo the Younger and the Birth of Opera at the Casa Buonarroti and a production of the recently discovered first rendition of Dafne — the first such production ever attempted.

The conference is organized by Tim Carter, Francesca Fantappiè, Maia Wellington Gahtan, and Donatella Pegazzano.

The conference is free, open to the public and no pre-registration is required. There is limited capacity in both venues.
For information: +39 055 287360
[email protected]


Download the program here