Patricians in the Orsini Network and the Circulation of Poetry and Music Between Florence and Rome
University of Nevada, Reno
The role of Florentine patrician families in the dissemination of poetic and musical culture in Italy has received more attention in recent years. However, many aspects of their artistic interactions with patrons, clients, and intermediaries outside of Tuscany remain obscure. Based largely on unpublished documentation from the Orsini archive (in particular, the correspondence of Virginio Orsini and his son Paolo Giordano II), this paper aims to give a contribution in this direction. I shed light on the activities of patrician-poets who gravitated toward the orbit of the Orsini, a family that maintained close ties with the Medici, and with other influential members of Florentine society. I focus on the Strozzi family, specifically on Giovanni Battista “il poeta,” and on the activity of other patrician poets and nobles associated with the Orsini–Medici circle. This includes, Lorenzo Giacomini, Alessandro del Nero, Niccolo Doni, among others. I discuss their roles within a broader literary milieu, their participation in academies and informal gatherings, as well as their collaboration with singers at court. Furthermore, I show how these members of the patrician elite were connected with the leaders of the Roman baronial nobility and contributed to create a bidirectional network for the circulation of poetry and music between Florence and Rome.