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

Modes of Artistic Communication and Perception in Early Modern Florence
13
A more than virile prudence Archduchess Maria Magdalena
40
Amazons of God Virgin Martyr Spectacles 162123
62
Una forte magnanima e generosa vedova Judith
111
She hoped to see in the triumphs of religion the triumphs of her house EpicChivalric Poems and the Equestrian Ballets
142
Now it suits me to beseech End of the Regency End of a Decade 162830
174
One of the most perfect unions of the spiritual and the temporal imaginable The Monastero di Santa Croce
210
Queens of the Arno Medici Princesses and the Crocetta
282
Female Worthies Depicted in Lunette Frescoes in the Audience Room Villa Poggio Imperiale
345
Summary of Book 3 of the Acts of Paul
347
Select Bibliography
349
Index
369
Copyright

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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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