Book "Florence. L'histoire - Les Médicis - Les humanistes - Les lettres - Les arts"
Artist/Maker: Charles Yriarte, Publisher "J. Rothschild"
Artist/Maker Dates: 1832 - 1898
Place of Production: France, Paris
Date of Production: 1881
Width: 30.5 cm.
Height: 39.7 cm.
Condition notes: Wear consistent with age and use
Book, A fascinating French history of the city of Florence, focusing particularly on the house of Medici, the humanists, letters and arts. Featuring a frontispiece and numerous plates throughout, some photographic, many retaining their original tissue-guards. With an illustrated title, as well as illustrated 'faux-titres'(included in the collated plate count). Many illustrations in the text throughout. With amorial bookplate of George Norton, and small shield to front pastedown. Charles Yriarte (December 5, 1832, Paris - 1898) was a French writer from a family originally from Spain. He studied architecture in the cole des Beaux-Arts and became in 1856 inspector of government buildings. Later, he joined the Spanish army as reporter for the Monde illustr on their campaign in Morocco. For this journal, he travelled in Spain and Italy and became its editor after his return in 1862. In 1871, he quit his post to devote his time to travels, whose impressions he used in his works. The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside, gradually rising until they were able to found the Medici Bank. The bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, seeing the Medici gain political power in Florence though officially they remained simply citizens rather than monarchs. The Medici produced four Popes of the Catholic Church, two regent queens of France and in 1531 the family became hereditary Dukes of Florence. In 1569, the duchy was elevated to a grand duchy after territorial expansion. They ruled the Grand Duchy of Tuscany from its inception until 1737, with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici. The grand duchy witnessed degrees of economic growth under the earlier grand dukes, but by the time of Cosimo III de' Medici, Tuscany was fiscally bankrupt. Their wealth and influence initially derived from the textile trade guided by the guild of the Arte della Lana. Like other signore families they dominated their city's government. They were able to bring Florence under their family's power, allowing for an environment where art and humanism could flourish. They fostered and inspired the birth of the Italian Renaissance along with other families of Italy, such as the Visconti and Sforza of Milan, the Este of Ferrara, and the Gonzaga of Mantua.
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