A Renaissance Architecture of Power

Princely Palaces in the Italian Quattrocento


The growth of princely states in early Renaissance Italy brought a thorough renewal to the old seats of power. One of the most conspicuous outcomes of this process was the building or rebuilding of new court palaces, erected as prestigious residences in accord with the new ‘classical’ principles of Renaissance architecture. The novelties, however, went far beyond architectural forms: they involved the reorganisation of courtly interiors and their functions, new uses for the buildings, and the relationship between the palaces and their surroundings. The whole urban setting was affected by these processes, and therefore the social, residential and political customs of its inhabitants. This is the focus of A Renaissance Architecture of Power, which aims to analyse from a comparative perspective the evolution of Italian court palaces in the Renaissance in their entirety.
Contributors are Silvia Beltramo, Flavia Cantatore, Bianca de Divitiis, Emanuela Ferretti, Marco Folin, Giulio Girondi, Andrea Longhi, Marco Rosario Nobile, Aurora Scotti, Elena Svalduz, and Stefano Zaggia.

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Silvia Beltramo, Ph.D. (2004), Politecnico di Torino, is research fellow in History of Architecture at that university. She has published studies on the history of Italian architecture and urban culture in medieval and early modern times.
Flavia Cantatore, Ph.D. (1996), Sapienza–Università di Roma, is Professor of History of Architecture at that university. She has published studies on Italian architectural history, patronage and urban culture in the Renaissance.
Marco Folin, Ph.D. (2001), Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, is Professor of History of Architecture at the University of Genoa. He has published studies on Italian urban culture and the relationship between art and politics in the Renaissance.
Foreword vii
List of Figures x
Comparative Issues
1 Princes, Towns, Palaces: A Renaissance “Architecture of Power” 3
Marco Folin
2 Medieval Vestiges in the Princely Architecture of the 15th Century 28
Silvia Beltramo
3 The Princely Palace in 15th-Century Italian Architectural Theory 53
Flavia Cantatore
4 Palaces and Palatine Chapels in 15th-Century Italian Dukedoms: Ideas
and Experiences 82
Andrea Longhi
Case Studies
5 “Combining the Old and the New”: The Princely Residences of the
Marquises of Saluzzo in the 15th Century 107
Silvia Beltramo
6 The Sforza Castle of Milan (1450–1499) 134
Aurora Scotti
7 Patrician Residences and the Palaces of the Marquis of Mantua
(1459–1524) 163
Giulio Girondi
8 The Renewal of Ferrara’s Court Palace under Ercole i d’Este
(1471–1505) 187
Marco Folin
9 Architecture of Power: Imola during the Signoria of Girolamo Riario
(1473–1488) 216
Stefano Zaggia
10 “Small Mice, Large Palaces”: From Urbino to Carpi 235
Elena Svalduz
11 The Medici Palace, Cosimo the Elder, and Michelozzo:
A Historiographical Survey 263
Emanuela Ferretti
12 The Palace of Nicholas v: Continuity and Innovation in the
Vatican Palaces 290
Flavia Cantatore
13 Alfonso i of Naples and the Art of Building: Castel Nuovo
in a European Context 320
Bianca de Divitiis
14 The Residences of the Kings of Sicily, from Martin of Aragon to
Ferdinand the Catholic 354
Marco Rosario Nobile
Bibliography 379
Index of Manuscripts 440
Index of Names 442
Index of Places 461
Architectural and urban historians, and more generally all interested in the material history of Italian courts and towns in the Renaissance.
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