Theses Doctoral

The Origin of the Renaissance Palace: Domestic Architecture during the Florentine Oligarchy, 1378-1432.

Vigotti, Lorenzo

This dissertation investigates the origin of the architectural typology of the Renaissance palace as it emerged in Florence between the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. This was a period characterized by a dramatic shift in domestic architecture, mirroring a parallel transformation of the Florentine society under the political regime of the Albizi oligarchy. This study fills a clear gap in existing scholarship, comprehensively addressing the private palatial architecture built in Florence in the sixty years before the construction of Palazzo Medici in 1446.
Three palaces and their family archives have been studied for the first time: Palazzo Alessandri (built in the 1370s), Palazzo da Uzzano-Capponi (built circa 1411), and Palazzo Busini-Bardi (built before 1425). Their patrons, all pairs of brothers, used the size and urban prominence of their new residences to assess their political and social dominance on the city. They eliminated all commercial functions from their palaces and organized the space around a central courtyard with loggias, with a multiplication of dedicated rooms for the different public and private functions of the household.
These palaces are representative of a period of transition in domestic architecture that inaugurated a new, successful domestic typology that was subjected to little change in—at least—the following three centuries. Built in a period of rising individuality, these private buildings, together with the ones that followed, helped set the modern concepts of the apartment and family privacy.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Art History and Archaeology
Thesis Advisors
Benelli, Francesco
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 25, 2019