Echoes of Women's Voices
Music, Art, and Female Patronage in Early Modern Florence
Through commissions, patrons sought to promote a vision of the world and their place in it. The unique social norms, laws, educational backgrounds, and life experiences of female patrons meant the expression of a worldview that differed significantly from that of their male counterparts. Joining exceptional archival research with telling analysis of significant examples of music, art, and drama, Kelley Harness challenges the prevailing view that Florence saw a political and artistic decline during this period. She argues convincingly that the female domination of these years brought forth artistic patronage that was both continuous and well-conceived.
Notes to the Reader
1. Modes of Artistic Communication and Perception in Early Modern Florence
2. “A more than virile prudence”: Archduchess Maria Magdalena
3. Amazons of God: Virgin Martyrs Spectacles, 1621–25
4. “Una forte, magnanima, e generosa vedova”: Judith
5. “She hoped to see in the triumphs of religion the triumphs of her house”: Epic-Chivalric Poems and the Equestrian Ballets
6. “Now it suits me to beseech”: End of the Regency, End of a Decade (1628–30)
7. “One of the most Perfect Unions of the Spiritual and the Temporal imaginable”: The Monastero di Santa Croce
8. “Queens of the Arno”: Medici Princesses and the Crocetta
Appendix A. Female Worthies Depicted in Lunette Frescoes in the Audience Room, Villa Poggio Imperiale
Appendix B. Summary of Book 3 of the Acts of Paul
"Echoes of Women's Voices is a superb contribution to women's studies, the history of arts patronage, musicology, and, more generally, to our understanding of early modern Florence and the dynamics of its political self-fashioning. Meticulously researched, beautifully written, well argued, and enhanced by a rich apparatus of illustrations, tables, musical examples, and document transcriptions (most with translations), this study is a model of interdisciplinary scholarship at its best."