It is a great pleasure to write these acknowledgements and to remember everyone who contributed to the writing and completion of this book.

At the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence (niki), I met Professor Gert Jan van der Sman, with whom I had long conversations about music, art, movies, newspaper articles, and books, even before I knew we would someday work closely together. This friendship, if I may call it that, has continuously defined the nature of our professional collaboration. He became the first supervisor for my PhD thesis at Leiden University, which after eight years of research, led to the current book. I am very grateful to Gert Jan for his critical observations and suggestions, which were always spot on and gave me new insights that helped me clarify my ideas. With Professor Henk van Veen, the second supervisor for my PhD thesis, which I defended in April 2015, I explored with great pleasure the world of the Florentine patricians, which we reinterpreted again and again. Even after his retirement from the University of Groningen, we continued our friendship and professional discussions.

In addition to Gert Jan van der Sman and Henk van Veen, many other people played important roles in motivating me to go on and helping me complete this book. First, I thank my soulmate, Floris Meens, who always inspires me with his sparkling joy, his enthusiasm and curiosity for everything, and his refined attentiveness. With him I discussed in depth the cultural networks in our respective areas of research, but besides that he warmly supports me in everything I experience in life. We share a great love for culture, literature, and museums, and we endlessly exchange thoughts to get a grip on all sorts of things in our varied world. Special thanks go to my good friend, Esfaindyar Daneshvar, who always cheers me up and inspires me with his bizarre spirit and eye for detail. I also want to thank Gijsbert van der Wal for being a joyful friend with whom I share a lot of thoughts about books and life and who opened wide my eyes to the work of many contemporary Dutch artists.

In Florence, Rome, Paris, Louvain, and Leiden I conducted many interviews, many one-on-one, and some via e-mail, which led to inspiring conversations with researchers in disciplines from diplomatic and political history to music, theatre, and art history. For this I would like to thank Jean Boutier, Caroline Callard, Janie Cole, Nicola Michelassi, Salomé Vuelta Garcia, Riccardo Spinelli, Hans Cools, Maria Pia Paoli, Lucia Meoni, Marco Calafati, Fabio Sottili, Donatella Pegazzano, Mario Bevilacqua, Franco Angiolini, Pasquale Focarile, Sarah Bercusson, Irene Fosi, Sara Mamone, Irene Baldriga, Anne Marie Dragosits, Kees Vlaardingerbroek, Michael Talbot, Arnaldo Morelli, Andrea Zagli, Maria Antonietta Visceglia, and Matthijs Jonker.

At the niki in Florence, Rome’s Royal Netherlands Institute (knir), as well as the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (lucas), I received much support from staff members with whom I had interesting research interviews and who helped facilitate the practical aspects of my research. Therefore, I would like to thank Tjarda Vermeijden, Michael Kwakkelstein, Korrie Korevaart, Lenie Witkam, Lia ten Brink, Viola Stoop, Ilaria Masi, Paola Squellati Brizio, Bert Meijer, Bert Treffers, Ivana Bolognese, Angelo Coccarelli, Fernando Maggi, Corine Tetteroo, Martine Nieuwenhuis, Marieke van den Doel, Arthur Weststeijn, Bernard Stolte, Harald Hendrix, and Arnold Witte.

I want to thank the employees and archivists of all the archives and libraries I visited in Rome and Florence, especially Rita Romanelli, Marquis Lorenzo Niccolini, Marcella Marongiu, Elena Lombardi, Pina Ragionieri, and Contessa Annamaria Guicciardini.

Various research institutes, workshops, master classes, symposia, and seminars have contributed to both broadening and focusing my view, for which I want to thank the coordinators of the Huizinga Institute, the Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis (osk), Werkgroep Italië Studies (wis), the Seminar luicd (now lucas), and the Seminar Kolloquium Macht (Warburg-Haus, Hamburg), the yearly niki-symposium, and the yearly rsa-congress.

At the niki and knir in Florence and Rome I came to know many colleagues who eventually became personal friends, and with whom I discussed our research in depth. I would like to thank Klazina Botke, Martijn van Beek, Wouter Wagemakers, Elsje van Kessel, Arvi Wattel, Carlo Corsato, Tania De Nile, Bouk Wierda, Nina Lamal, Marije Osnabrugge, Joost Keizer, Femke Speelberg, Laura Overpelt, and Linde Luijnenburg.

I also want to thank a number of colleagues from different universities for their valuable advice and suggestions: Marika Keblusek, Anna Tijsseling, Bram Kempers, Louk Tilanus, Nelke Bartelings, Lex Bosman, Jan de Jong, Bernhard Ridderbos, Caroline van Eck, Sander Karst, Merlijn Hurx, Arnout Visser, Geert Janssen, Bram van Leuveren, Julia Dijkstra, Sanne Roefs, Lotte van ter Toolen, Kitty Zijlmans, Philiep Bossier, Tazuko van Berkel, Arnold Lubbers, Esther Pascual, Marrigje Rikken, Anna Grasskamp, Larissa Mendoza Straffon, Hieke Huistra, Marieke Hendriksen, Joris van Gastel, Itandehui Jansen, and Eelco Nagelsmit.

I want to thank Jeroen Duindam, editor-in-chief of the Rulers and Elites book series, and the two anonymous peer reviewers, for their useful suggestions during the final phase of the writing of this book.

I would like to thank my editor, Lincoln Paine, for his corrections to the English text as well as his constructive queries and advice.

Many good friends and family members have always been involved in my research adventures and concerns. I cannot mention everybody by name, but I would like to thank Ellen Kraft, Paula van Strien, Pieter and Joke Boer, Kris Spinhoven, Jelske van der Hoek, Irthe Goudriaan, Maartje Bakker, Tamara Bergsma, Anne-Marie Reijnders, Koosje van der Weij, Aly van Houten, Nora Sinnema, Jeroen de Lange Boom, Piet Devos, Elisabeth Bracke, Neeltje Roerhorst, Umberto Selva, Irene Weis, Karin Prent, and Margriet Weis.

Three people that are no longer among us have been of great importance for me as a person, for my early motivation, and for the success of my book. They are Suzanne Forrer, my dear friend who I will always admire for all her ambition and love for literature; my grandmother Anky Goudriaan, who read the summaries of my research studies with great interest and with whom I could discuss these with humor; and Professor Jos Hermans (University of Groningen), who showed me medieval Rome, and who had a warm heart for all his students.

I wholeheartedly thank my parents Jenke and Ruud Goudriaan. They both always showed up to wave me goodbye whenever I went to Italy by train, they read (and proof-read) with interest my research proceedings, and they have continuously supported my plans and journeys enthusiastically.

Last of all, I want to thank my husband, Stephan de Prouw. He cares for me with his warmth and support, and with him I share an enthusiasm for everything that can be discovered and a love for nature in all her guises. We discuss the world around us daily and I used him as sounding board for many of the ideas that later took shape in these pages.

The Hague, April 2017

Florentine Patricians and Their Networks

Structures Behind the Cultural Success and the Political Representation of the Medici Court (1600-1660)


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