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Medici Women as Cultural Mediators (1533-1743)

Christina Strunck (éd.)

Christina Strunck (éd.), Medici Women as Cultural Mediators (1533-1743). Le donne di casa Medici e il loro ruolo di mediatrici culturali fra le corti d’Europa, Silvana Editoriale, 2011, ISBN 9788836622382, 30 €.

The vertiginous social ascent of the Florentine Medici dynasty was assisted and secured through prestigious marriage alliances.
In the sixteenth century, when this family of bankers had only just managed to turn the Republic of Florence into a principate, foreign brides from noble families were not only potential political allies, but also important status symbols. Similarly, the conclusion of marriage matches between Medici women and rulers of European states reflected the new international standing of the dynasty. The numerous princesses who crossed the borders in this “elite traffic in women” imported the cultural traditions of their birthplace and amalgamated them with those of their new home countries in order to serve personal and cultural, political and dynastic interests. This book explores the ways in which Medici women contributed to the cultural exchange among the courts of Europe, including not only exchange in the visual arts, music and literature, but also economic, political and religious exchange. The volume, which gathers the papers of an international conference held in Florence at Villa I Tatti (The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies) and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut (Max Planck Institute), focuses on the French queens Caterina and Maria de’ Medici, on the Electress Palatine Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici and on the Florentine grand duchesses Joan of Austria, Christine of Lorraine and Maria Magdalena of Austria.

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