This book explores how the Medici Grand Dukes pursued ways to expand their political, commercial, and cultural networks beyond Europe, cultivating complex relations with the Ottoman Empire and other Islamicate regions, and looking further east to India, China, and Japan.
The chapters that follow show how casting a global, cross-cultural net was part and parcel of the Medicean political vision. Diplomatic gifts, items of commercial exchange, objects looted at war, maritime connections, and political plots were an inherent part of how the Medici projected their state on the global arena. The volume shows that the mobility of objects, people, and knowledge that generated the global interactions we explore was not unidirectional – rather, they went both to and from Tuscany. Several chapters explore evidence of objects produced in Tuscany for Asian markets and reveal hitherto neglected histories of how Western cultures projected themselves eastwards.
The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, early modern history, material culture, and Renaissance studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Eurasian Tuscany, or the Fifth Element
- Making a New Prince: Tuscany, the Pasha of Aleppo, and the Dream of a New Levant
Part 1: Mediterranean Connections
2. To the Victor Go the Spoils: Christian Triumphalism, Cosimo I de’ Medici and the Order of Santo Stefano in Pisa
Joseph M. Silva
3. Medici Patronage and Exotic Collectibles in the Seventeenth Century: the Cospi Collection
Part 2: Livorno: Infrastructures and Networks of Exchange
4. Disembedding the Market: Commerce, Competition, and the Free Port of 1676
5. Red Coral from Livorno to Hirado: British Early Trading Networks and Maritime Trajectories, c. 1570-1623
6. Ginori Porcelain: Florentine Identity and trade with the Levant
Cinzia Maria Sicca
Part 3: Asian Interactions
7. Of Rhinos, Peppercorns, and Saints: (Re)presenting India in Medici Florence
Erin E. Benay
9. Eurasian Networks of Pietre Dure: Francesco Paolsanti Indiano and His Early Seventeenth-Century Trade between Florence and Goa
10. The Russian Fata Morgana of Cosimo III: The Fluctuating Portraits of Kangxi between Florence and Beijing
11. Postscript. Textual Threads and Starry Messengers: The Global Medici from the Archive to the Fondaco
Francesco Freddolini is Associate Professor of Art History at Luther College, University of Regina, Canada, and Director of the Humanities Research Institute, University of Regina.
Marco Musillo is an independent researcher.