Beauty and drama come together in this true and compelling story set in the colourful, turbulent world of late-15th-century Florence. The talented son of a successful banker and the beautiful daughter of an influential patrician: their marriage seemed made in heaven, but they were both to meet untimely and tragic ends. This book tells the story of two forgotten protagonists of the Florentine Renaissance: Lorenzo Tornabuoni (1468-97) and his wife, Giovanna degli Albizzi (1468-88). Unpublished documents from family archives allow us to glimpse their daily lives, while poems and works of art offer insight into their notions of love, marriage, birth, death and hopes of eternal life. The contradictions of Italian Renaissance culture clearly emerge, such as the tendency to combine a highly principled intellectual life and aesthetic refinement with self-glorification and political ruthlessness. The author shows how life and art were completely interwoven in this period, and explains the significance of works of art by the likes of Botticelli and Ghirlandaio and their place in the lives of Lorenzo and Giovanna.
Gert Jan van der Sman is an art historian currently working at the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence.
Preface; 1. Two Households; 2. The Wedding; 3. Wisdom and Beauty; 4. Lorenzo's Beautiful Chamber; 5. The Vicissitudes of Fortune; 6. Hope of Eternal Life; 7. Years of Turmoil; 8. The Final Act; Epilogue; Acknowledgements; Notes; Sources and Bibliography.