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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art

Niccoli, Niccolò

(b Florence, c. 1364; d Florence, 3 Feb 1437).

Italian humanist and calligrapher. The son of a wealthy wool merchant, he abandoned trade for a scholarly pursuit of the values and artefacts of the ancient world as a touchstone of the present. He attained eminence as the catalyst for and guardian of Florentine letters, while leaving no writings of his own. With others he was responsible for the introduction in Florence of the teaching of Greek, and he stimulated such friends as Leonardo Bruni and Ambrogio Traversari to do what he could not do himself, that is, to spread Greek learning in stylish translations. He was a central figure in the organized search for Classical texts.

M. C. Davies