This fascinating study of Renaissance courtly art and culture in fifteenth and early sixteenth-century Italy encompasses the most recent scholarship on the courts, court art and noble values. Alison Cole not only considers the role of artists, but explores the distinctive uses to which art was put at the courts, from the smaller duchies and princely courts of Ferrara, Mantua and Urbino to the larger courts of Naples and Milan. The social, intellectual and artistic milieu of each court is brought vividly to life, along with the complex personalities of the rulers, their relationships with the civic and ecclesiastical authorities, and the role of court women as patrons of the arts. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary texts and visual material, Cole paints a rich picture of the these extraordinary courts in the moment of their greatest brilliance.
Alison Cole is a Renaissance art historian, journalist and senior strategic adviser in the arts and cultural field. She has worked on the executive boards of some of the UKs leading arts organizations and has also authored several books. She lives and works in London.