Food Production, Storage, and Consumption in Urban and Rural Residences in and around Florence, 1384-1432

Food & History (2024)

Female Actors and Gendered Spaces Inside the Florentine Home between Trecento and Quattrocento

Woman & Gender in Trecento Art and Architecture, ed. by Judith Steinhoff (Turnhout: Brepols, 2024)

This paper is based on my survey of 1,100 unpublished domestic inventories listed by the Magistrato dei Pupilli in the Archivio di Stato in Florence, covering the period of the Albizi oligarchic government of Florence, between 1384 and 1432. This unprecedented wealth of information describes in detail the architectural spaces where women (both old and young members of the family, servants, and slaves) operated independently or as part of the household. Today I will describe the standard domestic organization of the Florentine house in these years and illustrate a specific example of a urban palace that shows, after the close reading of the inventory, an unexpected role of female figures.

Iconography and Display of Panel Paintings in Urban and Rural Residences in Florence, 1384-1432

Trecento Italian Art, ed. by Theresa Flanigan and Trinita Kennedy (Turnhout: Brepols, 2024)

The quantity and quality of artworks inside private residences along Fifth Avenue in New York rival the celebrated institutions that populate Museum Mile. Similarly in Florence patrons living at the dawn of the Renaissance decorated their private residences with works of art equal in variety and number to those in large institutions such as churches, convents,and public palaces. The presence of artworks in domestic settings in late  Trecento and early Quattrocento Florence, however, has received relatively little scholarly consideration because of the  comparative lack of data published on Florentine houses and country homes.

This paper introduces information about artworks kept in domestic residences in Florence and its territory during the period of the Albizi oligarchic government between 1384 and 1432. More than 1000 largely unpublished inventories describing urban and rural residences in Florence and nearby cities have been studied to understand the dissemination, strategies of display, and iconography of works of art in private households. The variety of residences described in these lists allows for the exploration of a much wider swath of Florentine society, overcoming the limitations of previous studies based on a small number of prominent families. In this paper, I will focus my discussion on panel painting, the most common typology of art of this period.

Towards the Renaissance palace typology: Palazzo da Uzzano’s architectural innovations, 1408-17

Annali di Architettura, 34 (2022), 19-36

Prima diffusione delle opere di Giovanni Boccaccio a Firenze: Nuove acquisizioni dal Magistrato de’ Pupilli avanti il Principato (1386-1438)

co-author Elsa Filosa

Studi sul Boccaccio, 50 (2022), 333-365

La Villa del Palco di Francesco di Marco Datini (1392-1410)

Archivio Storico Pratese, 96-97 (2022), 133-164

Simone di Ser Piero della Fioraia, la sua residenza di Castelnuovo nel 1424 e un inedito Giotto

Memorie Valdarnesi dell’Accademia del Poggio, 188 (2022), 43-66

Il castello e i possedimenti dei conti di Montedoglio nel 1434

Pagine Altotiberine, 70 (2021), 181-202

The Emergence of the New Florentine Oligarchy: Palazzo Alessandri as a Pre-Renaissance Prototype for the Palazzo Typology (1369-76)

Palladio. Rivista di Storia dell’architettura e restauro, 32, no. 65-66 (Dec 2020), 7-24

“Before Palazzo Medici: Earlier Domestic Traditions in Shaping the Renaissance Palace in Florence, 1380-1420

Art and Experience in Trecento Italy, ed. by H. Flora and S. Wilkins (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), 117-31

The impressive palace built by Michelozzo for Cosimo de’ Medici in 1444 is usually considered to be the first example of a Renaissance palace, a striking novelty in relation to the contemporary status of local domestic architecture. Traditional scholarship explains Palazzo Medici’s innovative characteristics by reference to a renewed interest in the study of antiquity by early Quattrocento architects and patrons. On the other hand, a few other scholars have emphasized the persistence of Trecento traditions in early Florentine Renaissance architecture.

In this essay, I argue that it is possible to trace a clear stylistic progression in earlier domestic structures that made the design of Palazzo Medici possible. Architectural features such as a solid, rusticated façade with a street bench, a centrally located portal on axis with a square courtyard surrounded by a columned portico, and an adjacent garden, amongst others, were already employed in palaces erected by the preceding two generations of wealthy Florentine merchants.