March 24, 2014
FAH337 Week 12
Art, Honor and Competition in Medicean Florence
Changes in Florentine Government
1513: Return of the Medici
1527: Final Return of the Florentine Republic
1530: Florence becomes a Duchy
1569: Florence becomes a Grand Duchy
Hung and burned as a hieratic –Savonarola?
1527 soldiers sack city of Rome
Medici granted status as rulers by the holy roman emperor.
City of Florence as a republic is over.
Duke Alessandro de Medici
Did not hesitate to use violence to impose his rule, he lasted 7 years and was assassinated by his
His other cousin Cosimo later became grand duke of Tuscany.
Baccio Bandinelli, St. Peter, ca. 1515, Florence, Cathedral
First commission given by Medici. Series of Apostles had originally been given to
Michelangelo, and was suppose to go around the drum of the cathedral. Michelangelo
only did one. Surpasses legacy left behind by young Michelangelo in Florence.
Borrows pose with very little modification from Donatellos St. Mark, trying to show
how he can rival and surpass Donatello. Copies too slavishly. Thick neck and bulging
eyes, aesthetic aspects that he labeled as having been copied from classic sculptures.
Baccio Bandinelli, Orpheus and Cerberus, before 1520, Florence, Medici
Tamed 3 headed dog Cerberus next to him. Captured antique character. Made to
replace bronze David by Donatello. Character appropriated by the Medici (like
Hercules) to symbolize their strength. Traditionally a mascot of Florence, the
Medici’s using it for themselves. Heroic victor who is crafty and cunning.
Baccio Bandinelli, copy of the Laocoon, 1520s, Florence, Uffizi
Purpose of the copy was both competition and honour of being given opportunity to make a
copy of one of the greatest works in antiquity. Described, as having been made by one marble
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block was a lie was made out of five pieces. If the original was one piece Bandinelli would have
had to do it in the same way. This copy is of marble there were plans to make it out of bronze,
and to send copies around to other states/kings but because of death of a pope and running out of
money didn’t. Sign base of work in Latin “Baccio Bandinelli, Florentine, Knight of St. James
was making this” was given honour of a knight for making this.
Michelangelo, Pieta`, St. Peter’s, Rome, 1498
Sealed Michelangelo’s fate. Added his signature across the
band/ sash of Virgin Mary. “Michelangelo Florentine was
making this.” Referring unusual mode of signing a work of art
that was done by a great sculpture from antiquity. The joke of
the verb tense was to say if this is it incomplete imagine how
it would look when it was completed.
Baccio Bandinelli, Hercules and Cacus, 152534, Florence,
Piazza della Signoria
This commission was bounced back and forth from Michelangelo
to Bandinelli. Narrative. Hercules defeating monster Cacus,
comes from Labours of Heracles where he had to bring a heard of
cattle to Olympus, he’s resting and Cacus steals half the heard
and takes them to his cave, Heracles finds him and kills him.
Dispenser of justice. Toned down, tamer rendition. Other images
show Heracles bashing his head with a club. Commission
coming from the Medici. Meant to be seen in comparison to and
in competition with Michelangelo’s David. Paired on either side
of the doorway. Was received badly. One figure triumphing over
another. A lot of speculation that he received help using
drawings left behind by Leonardo in another person’s studio.
Bandinelli used several pieces of marble over 10 pieces to make
this. Tried to emulate Michelangelo’s way of depicting the
human body. Parody shows that he doesn’t understand how the body is put together, bulging eyes
used to express emotion looks bizarre. overwhelming muscles that are just lumped all over the
Michelangelo, David, 150104, Florence, Accademia
Made from a block of marble that was left exposed outside and was thus a
weak and challenging block to work with. This makes David even more of an
accomplishment. Smaller than statue of Hercules. One figure, Baccio uses two.
Michelangelo would take big commissions and send the money back to his
family to revive their nobility – status, history and nobility of their families was
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Baccio Bandinelli, SelfPortrait, 152930, Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner
ppl thought it was a portrait of Michelangelo but it is a self portrait of Bandinelli.
Presenting different composition of his Hercules statue. Celebrating himself as a
gentleman artist through the clothing and accessory he is wearing. Pendant around
his neck shows the honour of being a member of the Order of Santiago. Court artist
to the Medici, eager to promote idea that he comes from a noble family puts him in competition
with Michelangelo’s family who was noble but had lost all their money. Levelling a challenge to
Michelangelo idea of design vs. Venation colore. He is a master of sculpture because he won the
commission and in the painting takes jab at Michelangelo as a draftsmen.
Baccio Bandinelli, Funeral Monument to Giovanni delle Bande Nere, begun
1541, made for the nave of the church of San Lorenzo
Clemency theme. Part of series of monuments that speak to under history of Medici
family. Unfinished meant to be a funerary monument who was the father of the
next duke of Florence Cosimo. Dude was a mercenary soldier. Monument to father
who had been a great protector. Father being shown in the guise of a roman
emperor all the armour he wears is antique style. Nonthreatening image as a ruler seated. Right
outside church of San Lorenzo originally planned to be inside the Nave of the church of San
Relief of Giovanni delle Bande Nere showing clemency to prisoners of war
Shows unfinished nature of project. Style harkens back to roman monuments
like triumphal arches or columns. Narrative story that outlines moment of
victory. Prisoners of war brought to Nere who offers clemency, victorious and
powerful but who also is more interested in idea of justice and compassion.
Recasting of the Medici in a very favourable light
Michelangelo, effigy of Duke Giuliano de’Medici from the New