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Giovanni Rucellai ed il suo Zibaldone. Part II: A Florentine Patrician and his Palace.

Edited by F.W. Kent, Alessandro Perosa, Brenda Preyer, Piero Sanpaolesi, Roberto Salvini, and Nicolai Rubinstein


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Warburg Institute


These studies make a companion to Alessandro Perosa’s edition (1960) of pagine sceltefrom the Zibaldone of Giovanni Rucellai (1403-1481). The Zibaldone was intended as a guide to Rucellai’s two sons in the conduct of their lives and is by turns family history, record of things done and seen, book of commercial management, chronicle of artistic patronage, Florentine history, and moral treatise.

The volume now published is centred on the character and achievement of Giovanni Rucellai and, in particular, on the palace which embodies the aspirations of this Florentine merchant patrician. It is the result of collaboration between three Italian, one Australian and one American scholar, under the general direction of Professor Nocolai Rubinstein who has written the Introduction. Two contributions are in Italian, the remainder are in English.

Professor Perosa, of the University of Florence, has followed his edition with a comprehensive account, in Italian, of Giovanni in his intellectual and ethical milieu. Dr F. W. Kent, of Monash University, contributes a monograph on Rucellai’s career as merchant, citizen, builder and patron. Dr Brenda Preyer, of the University of Texas at Austin, drawing heavily, like Dr Kent, on new archival evidence which both have uncovered, adds an exhaustive examination of Giovanni’s acquisition of land for his building projects and of the stages in which his palace was constructed. She also re-examines the involvement of Leon Battista Alberti in Giovanni’s enterprises. The late Professor Piero Sanpaolesi, of the University of Florence, has provided a brief chapter in Italian on the architecture of the Rucellai Palace, and Professor Roberto Salvini, also of the University of Florence, an essay on the frescoes in the altana of the palace, which were rediscovered in 1950 and which are here reproduced in full for the first time.