Synopses & Reviews
Immortalized in later centuries in works by Lord Byron, Giuseppe Verdi, Eugand#232;ne Delacroix, and others, Francesco Foscari reigned as the powerful doge of Venice during tumultuous years from 1423 to 1457. The stuff of legends, his life was marked by political conflict, vengeful enemies, family heartbreak, and, at the end, the forced relinquishment of the ducal throne. Yet Foscari left behind no personal papers, and until now, no complete biography of him has been written. This book, a thorough and fascinating biography, fills that longstanding gap, illuminating not only the life of the man but also the history and culture of fifteenth-century Venice.
Dennis Romano reconstructs Foscariand#8217;s life through careful reading of extant governmental records and chronicle sources. He also uses architectural monuments built by Foscari and his heirs as critical interpretive keys for unlocking the personality and policies of the doge. Romano analyzes how art and power intersected in Renaissance Italy and how the doge came to represent and even embody the state. With this biography, Romano clears away longstanding myths, fills in previously unknown details about Foscariand#8217;s triumphs and ordeals, and allows to emerge the first intimate portrait of this singular doge.
"The Likeness of Venice
is certainly the best book ever written about Venetian politics and political culture and certainly one of the best ever written about the relationship between power and the arts for any Renaissance city."and#8212;Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University
"This book is unfailingly intelligent and stimulating, beautifully written, clear and unpretentious, yet extremely subtle and wise in its judgements. It will make an impact on early-modern historical studies."and#8212;Deborah Howard, Professor of Architectural History, University of Cambridge
"This important book is meticulously researched, effectively organized, free of jargon, and based on a remarkable wealth of documentary sources. . . . [C]ompelling reading. . . . The author has made a major contribution to the memory of a remarkable Venetian and his patria."and#8212;Elisabeth G. Gleason, American Historical Review
Focusing on the spatial, architectural, and artistic elements of the medieval marketplace, Dennis Romano argues that these bustling sites harbored the origins of commercial capitalism and Renaissance individualism.
Cathedrals and civic palaces stand to this day as symbols of the dynamism and creativity of the city-states that flourished in Italy during the Middle Ages. Markets and Marketplaces in Medieval Italy argues that the bustling yet impermanent sites of markets played an equally significant role, not only in the economic life of the Italian communes, but in their political, social, and cultural life as well. Drawing on a range of evidence from cities and towns across northern and central Italy, Dennis Romano explores the significance of the marketplace as the symbolic embodiment of the common good; its regulation and organization; the ethics of economic exchange; and how governments and guilds sought to promote market values. With a special focus on the spatial, architectural, and artistic elements of the marketplace, Romano adds new dimensions to our understanding of the evolution of the market economy and the origins of commercial capitalism and Renaissance individualism.and#160;
About the Author
is the Dr. Walter G. Montgomery and Marian Gruber Professor of History and a professor in the Department of Art and Music Histories at Syracuse University.