Measuring and making the world: self-promotion, cosmology and elite appeal in filarete's libro architettonico
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Antonio Averlino (Filarete) (c. 1400-c. 1469) is best remembered for his architectural treatise, the Libro architettonico. Despite a longstanding tradition, beginning with Vasari, of dismissing Filarete as a mediocre artist with ridiculous ideas, his treatise ended up in some of the most prestigious courts within and beyond Italy. This article, in a corrective to that narrative, argues that Filarete was an incredibly ambitious artist and that the Libro was his attempt to channel intellectual trends of interest to the fifteenth-century ruling elite whose patronage he courted. It begins by situating the Libro within the broader context of Filarete’s consistent self-promotion and shrewd networking throughout his career. It then examines, through analysis of the text and illustrations, how the Libro was designed both to promote Filarete to his patrons and appeal to contemporary patronage tastes through its use of specific themes: ideal urban design, cosmology, and universal sovereignty.
Is part ofImago temporis: medium Aevum, 2021, núm. 15, p. 387-412
European research projects
- Any: 2021 Núm.: 15 
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