Artibus et Historiae no. 31 (XVI)

1995, ISSN 0391-9064

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CECIL H. CLOUGH - Art as Power in the Decoration of the Study of an Italian Reneissance Prince: The Case of Federico da Montefeltro

Evidence is marshalled to reconstruct anew the 1470s decoration of the studioli in Federico da Montefeltro's Urbino and Gubbio palaces. The symbolism of their d├ęcor epitomizes a combination of both the vita contemplativa and the vita activa, which art historians have long regarded as a contradiction, given the room's purpose (it was where the prince could devote himself to scholarly pursuits, temporarily free from political preoccupations). However, contemporary documents are brought forward to reveal that the function of Federico's studioli was extended to include secret negotiations: hence their decoration was devised consciously to illustrate both facets of the prince's life.

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