This article analyses the relationship between one of early modern Italy’s most illustrious collectors, Prince and Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici (1617–1675), and his principal agent in Rome, Ottavio Falconieri (1636–1675). It draws on an extraordinary new source: a volume containing 350 original letters sent by Leopoldo to Ottavio, never before seen by any other scholar. Letters written by Leopoldo are rare documents: they provide a unique insight into his expectations, instructions and reactions, showing the active role he always played in the collecting process. These new letters also demonstrate that Falconieri was far more than just an art agent: he was Leopoldo’s point of reference in Rome, a man with whom the cardinal shared many interests, ranging from literature to astronomy, from poetry to natural science, and Falconieri’s indefatigable collecting work went well beyond antiquities to include books, scientific instruments, curiosities and much more.

The Great Collector and his Man in Rome. Leopoldo de’ Medici and his Letters to Ottavio Falconieri, 1662–75

Dall'Aglio Stefano
2020

Abstract

This article analyses the relationship between one of early modern Italy’s most illustrious collectors, Prince and Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici (1617–1675), and his principal agent in Rome, Ottavio Falconieri (1636–1675). It draws on an extraordinary new source: a volume containing 350 original letters sent by Leopoldo to Ottavio, never before seen by any other scholar. Letters written by Leopoldo are rare documents: they provide a unique insight into his expectations, instructions and reactions, showing the active role he always played in the collecting process. These new letters also demonstrate that Falconieri was far more than just an art agent: he was Leopoldo’s point of reference in Rome, a man with whom the cardinal shared many interests, ranging from literature to astronomy, from poetry to natural science, and Falconieri’s indefatigable collecting work went well beyond antiquities to include books, scientific instruments, curiosities and much more.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3722360
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