Echoes of Women's Voices: Music, Art, and Female Patronage in Early Modern Florence

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University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 2006 - Art - 378 pages
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Aristocratic women exerted unprecedented political and social influence in Florence throughout the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. During this period, female members of the powerful Medici family governed the city for the first and only time in its history. These women also helped shape the city's artistic life, commissioning works of music, art, and theater that were inscribed with their own concerns and aspirations. Echoes of Women's Voices examines the patronage of individuals and institutions, particularly convents, which have remained, until now, largely neglected by scholars.

Through commissions, patrons sought to promote a vision of the world and their place in it. The unique social norms, laws, educational backgrounds, and life experiences of female patrons meant the expression of a worldview that differed significantly from that of their male counterparts. Joining exceptional archival research with telling analysis of significant examples of music, art, and drama, Kelley Harness challenges the prevailing view that Florence saw a political and artistic decline during this period. She argues convincingly that the female domination of these years brought forth artistic patronage that was both continuous and well-conceived.
  

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Contents

VI
13
VII
40
VIII
62
IX
111
X
142
XI
174
XII
210
XIII
282
XIV
345
XV
347
XVI
349
XVII
369
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Page 11 - Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.

About the author (2006)

Kelley Harness is associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota.

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