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MEDICI WOMEN AND IDENTITY

by Katie Weiler Florence’s identity is both new and old, a mixture of the past and present. Its time as a leader of the Italian Renaissance allows it to stand out, while those rich pieces of medieval culture remain a framework for the new art Florence continues to sport. Identity cannot be captured in a single moment, meaning a multiplicity of layers exists all at once. To love Florence is to accept all of it, the history, the good and the bad, and everything it has the potential to become. The Italian Renaissance accomplished many feats, mainly giving Florence a scene on the world’s stage. Florentine names became known worldwide, and the city itself seemed to radiate enthusiasm for the arts of this allured time period. Today, artists still work tirelessly to prove the merit of their work in galleries, online and even in the streets. Detailed artwork catches my eye as I contemplate purchasing every unique watercolor I pass on the Ponte Vecchio. You can’t ignore the artwork while you try to zigzag past the paintings carefully laid out on the cobblestone.

While Florence embraces the art on nearly every street, it’s hard to imagine a time when creating these paintings and sculptures would have gone unappreciated, which is one reason the Medici family played such a critical role in this part of Florence’s identity. The House of Medici made a name for themselves and their family, but more importantly they made Florence a retreat for the arts. They commissioned numerous architectural endeavors and supported sculptors and artists across the Roman Empire. Walking to class every day, I pass the elaborate buildings where they held their political meetings and I see their family coat of arms still proudly displayed on the corners. The highlights of eager tourists in Florence are to visit the places the Medici’s commissioned or even lived in. Imagining the Medici sneaking from their homes and across the hidden pathways towards the current day Uffizi gallery paints them to be the original celebrities of Florence, cleverly avoiding the paparazzi or enemies they may have had. You can hardly turn a corner in Florence without running into history of the Florence that their family helped build. Florence’s identity as a patron of the arts, both past and present, can be linked to the Medici family. Once the most powerful family in Florence even after the family

2019 SPRING SUMMER | 11

BLENDING Magazine Spring 2019  

The latest Blending Magazine has been released. The Spring 2019 issue was inspired by the FUA spring conference theme Caterina De' Medici: 5...

BLENDING Magazine Spring 2019  

The latest Blending Magazine has been released. The Spring 2019 issue was inspired by the FUA spring conference theme Caterina De' Medici: 5...

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