Oscar Schiavone (Durham University): 'Cosimo's Tuscany: territorial control, local administration and culture (1547-61)'

This paper analyses duke Cosimo I de’ Medici’s administration and personal use of the Tuscan territory. It does so by focusing on a series of measures designed to enhance the security, prosperity and safety of coastal Tuscany and enacted between 1547 and 1561 by a local magistracy, the Ufficio dei fossi, under the supervision of its first provveditore, the Florentine polymath and bureaucrat Luca Martini. To celebrate the renovation of Pisa, the reclamation of its countryside and the improvement of its maritime activities, Martini commissioned and helped design artworks representing duke Cosimo’s beneficent rule as conducive to stability and abundance.

Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574), first Grandduke of Tuscany, was both a consummate administrator and a fierce patron of the arts. The lecture series Cosimo I De’ Medici and Granducal Florence celebrates the 500th anniversary of Cosimo I de’ Medici’s birth by bringing together scholars from across the humanities to discuss Cosimo’s achievements in art, architecture, statecraft, scholarship and culture. Pairs of scholars will offer specialist discussions over the course of six evenings, from June 2019 to January 2020. Evenings will be devoted to issues of diplomacy and spying, architectural and artistic commissions, the development of universities and libraries, as well as Cosimo’s personal learning and self-representation.  

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