Stefano Calonaci – Abstract

Ricasoli, Bardi, Vitelli, Ramirez: Four Families and Their Investments in the Cultural World

Stefano Calonaci

Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna

Focusing on the the early seventeenth century, this research aims to investigate particular forms of funding given by Florentine patricians to the culture of the time, according to parallel routes but necessarily different from those offered by the patronage activated by the Medici and their courts. A study of four families (Ricasoli, Bardi, Vitelli, Ramirez) reveals the reasons behind, the objectives of, and the profits from architectural commissions (La loggia dei Bardi), and artistic ones (Ricasoli and Vitelli) related to sacred and other buildings, including those not started. These operations will be analyzed not only in the urban context, but also in that of these families’ rural domains (Ramirez de Montalvo at Sassetta, the Bardi at Vernio, the Ricasoli in their fiefdon). A not negligible role in the financing of culture can also be seen in the support of the Vitelli to the world of education and its actors, both through the establishment of educational services and as founders of schools for the children of rural subjects for which they also paid the salaries of their teachers.