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'Ungainefull Arte'Poetry, Patronage, and Print in the Early Modern Era$
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Richard A. McCabe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716525.001.0001

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The Arts of Magnificence

The Arts of Magnificence

Early Modern Exemplars

(p.45) 3 The Arts of Magnificence
'Ungainefull Arte'

Richard A. McCabe

Oxford University Press

This chapter approaches patronal relationships from the patrons’ viewpoint, with particular attention to the Estensi and Medici, to examine how patronage became the art of the powerful and ‘magnificence’ its aesthetic. While Humanists commonly promoted the cultivation of letters as an expression of true nobility, an equally forceful motive was blatant competition between families such as the Sforza, Gonzaga, Medici, and Estensi. The chapter considers the contrasting fortunes of Ugolino Pisani and Leon Battista Alberti at the court of Leonello d’Este, and the relationships between Ficino, Politian, and Lorenzo the Magnificent. Lorenzo’s own poetry is read in conjunction with Politian’s to reveal something of the conflicting ‘authorities’ that patronage invariably entailed.

Keywords:   patronage, magnificence, nobility, Leonello d’Este, Pisani, Alberti, Ficino, Politian, Cosimo de Medici, Lorenzo the Medici

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