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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art

Presentation of Self


1. Leon Battista Alberti, On Painting, trans. John R. Spencer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1956; rev. ed. 1966).

2. Pomponius Gauricus, De Sculptura, 1504, paraphrased by Frank Zöllner, “The ‘Motions of the Mind’ in Renaissance Portraits: The Spiritual Dimension of Portraiture,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 68 (2005): 23–40, esp. 32.

3. Baldassare Castiglione, Elegy, quoted by David Alan Brown and Jane Van Nimmen, Raphael and the Beautiful Banker: The Story of the Bindo Altoviti Portrait (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 25.

4. Bartholomeo Facio, De viris illustribus, 1456, quoted by Michael Baxandall, “Bartholomaeus Facius on Painting: A Fifteenth-Century Manuscript of the De Viris Illustribus,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 27 (1964): 94.

5. Giovanni Ruccellai, Zibaldone, quoted in Luke Syson and Dora Thornton, Objects of Virtue: Art in Renaissance Italy (London: British Museum Press, 2001), 29.

6. Galeazzo Maria Sforza, letter of 1459, quoted by Rab Hatfield, “Some Unknown Descriptions of the Medici Palace in 1459,” Art Bulletin 32 (1970): 232.

7. Giovanni Pontano, De magnanimitate, quoted in Luke Syson and Dora Thornton, Objects of Virtue: Art in Renaissance Italy (London: British Museum Press, 2001), 29.

8. Leon Battista Alberti, Intercenales (Dinner Piece), quoted in Syson and Thornton, Objects of Virtue, 37.

9. Giovanni Battista Barpo, Le Delitie e i frutti dell’agricoltura e della Villa, Venice, 1634, quoted by Peter Thornton, The Italian Renaissance Interior 1400–1600 (New York: H. N. Abrams, 1991), 106.

10. Paolo Cortesi, quoted in Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt and John D’Amico, “The Renaissance Cardinal’s Ideal Palace: A Chapter from Cortesi’s De Cardinalatu,” Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 35 (1980): pp. 45–119.

11. Giovanni Pontano, De magnificentia, quoted by Patricia Rubin, “Magnificence and the Medici,” The Early Medici and Their Artists, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis (London: University of London, 1995), 41.

12. Quoted by Caroline Elam, “Cosimo de’ Medici and San Lorenzo,” in Cosimo ‘il Vecchio’ de’ Medici and San Lorenzo, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 163.

13. Enrico Barfucci, Lorenzo de’ Medici e la società artistica del suo tempo, Florence, 1964, 143, quoted by Judith Hook, Lorenzo de’ Medici: An Historical Biography (London: H. Hamilton, 1984), 124.

14. George Pottinger, The Court of the Medici, London, 1977, 76, quoted by Hook, Lorenzo de’ Medici, 129.