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Harvey Miller
C. D'Arista
The Pucci of Florence: Patronage and Politics in Renaissance Italy

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IV+359 p., 296 colour ill., 220 x 280 mm, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-912554-25-6
Languages: English, Italian
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Retail price: EUR 200,00 excl. tax
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The story of the Pucci family, great patrons of Renaissance art and architecture.

Shrewd and ruthless, the Pucci were Medici loyalists whose political and cultural alignment with the most powerful family in Renaissance Florence was rewarded with wealth and influence. The Pucci's martial support for the Medici in the dangerous business of ruling Tuscany drove their transformation from a clan of minor guildsmen to a noble dynasty with three cardinals to its name. Over the next two centuries, they showcased their exalted status with art and architecture that mirrored Medici tastes and reflected the values of civic humanism. The political and religious turmoil of the High Renaissance is writ large in this vivid portrait of the Pucci cardinals and their artistic patronage, a cultural biography inflected by the expulsion of the Medici from Florence, the Sack of Rome, the Reformation, and the occupation of Italy by Emperor Charles V.

New archival evidence documents the chapels, palaces, and villas that were built, expanded, and decorated by the Pucci family in Rome, Tuscany, and Umbria. These celebrated projects were carried out by luminaries of Renaissance  art and architecture: Michelozzo, the Pollaiuolo brothers, the Sangallo family, Baccio d’Agnolo, the Montelupo workshop, and others. A remarkable body of inventories reveals how the family's  trials and tribulations shaped the fate of their estates and illustrates the role luxury goods played in the social ambitions of this newly-arrived family. A previously unknown catalogue of Palazzo Pucci tells the tale of the nineteenth-century dispersal of the family’s priceless  Renaissance  artworks, a collection that once mirrored the splendor of the Medici court.

Carla D'Arista holds a PhD in architectural history and a masters degree in European history from Columbia University.
Table of Contents

A note on Money and Currencies
A note on Weights and Measures
A note on Dates
A note on Spelling
Archival Sources Used in this Study
Family Tree

Introduction: ‘Beneath the Shadow of Thy Wings I Sleep’                      

I.    From the Beginning: Medici Loyalists
II.   The Pucci Oratory in Santissima Annunziata
III.   Antonio Pucci: Dynastic Promotion and Image-Building
IV.  Casa Pucci in Florence (1503-1537): Fashioning Social Hierarchies
V.   Cardinal Lorenzo Pucci in the Eternal City
VI.  Cardinal Antonio Pucci: A Scholarly Diplomat
VII. Roberto Pucci (1531-1547): It’s All in the Family
VIII. Reframing Ambition, Wealth, and Dishonor (1547-1612)

Epilogue (1612-1913)


“Carla D’Arista’s beautifully produced book on the Pucci family offers a gripping tale of architecture, art, and furnishings in the context of the political life of an elite Renaissance Florentine family (…) This ambitious, beautifully written and illustrated book is built on an impressive array of carefully interpreted archival sources.’ (Erin J. Campbell, in Architectural Histories, 9/1, 2021, p. 5-6)

« Ainsi, Carla d’Arista propose un ouvrage clair et richement illustré (…) cet ouvrage reste important par les sources qu’il traite et il offre une synthèse indispensable qui manquait jusqu’alors et qui pourra intéresser autant les historiens de l’art que les spécialistes d’histoire politique et diplomatique du Cinquecento. » (Clarisse Evrard, dans Histara, 23/09/2021)

Interest Classification:
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Art History (general)
Renaissance art history

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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