2 Audley Square
London W1K 1DB
Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.
In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.
A “Restive and Independent City”
Florence was a proud Republic, so the position of the Medici family was equivocal. Officially “first among equals”, they trod a fine line in asserting their rule without alienating the democratic rhetoric of the state, and their discerning and generous commissions to some of the greatest creative figures of the age were calculated to give political reassurance while subtly reminding the people of the munificence, wisdom and virtue of the first family.