The Patron's Payoff
Conspicuous commissions in Italian Renaissance Art
Jonathan K. Nelson and Richard J. Zeckhauser  

Nearly all Renaissance art was made on commission, a well-known reality that leads to some rarely asked questions. What were the main benfits to the patrons for these expenditures? And given these benefits, what limitations put the brake on more extensive commissions. This lecture explores the application of the economics of information to the study of art history and specifically, the patronage of one unusual political leader: Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449-1492), called “the Magnificent.” The economics of information considers how specific objects and actions communicate a message to an intended audience. If, for example, this audience understands the difficulty or “cost” involved in obtaining an object, the members can better appreciate its value; the display of this object thus constitutes a “benefit” for the owner. This type of cost-benefit analysis, know as “signaling” forms part of “game theory”; well-known in the fields of economics and social sciences, these approaches have not previously been applied to art history.
In a book published last year, "The Patron’s Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Renaissance Italy" (Princeton University Press, 2008), Professor Nelson and his co-author Richard Zeckhauser, a professor of economic theory at Harvard University, used game theory to analyze the economic and social benefits that works of art had both to patrons and to artists, as well as the different types of costs, again both economic and social. This approach can help us understand the messages that Lorenzo’s palace, villa, and the art they housed, communicated to their original audiences. Game theory offers a means for considering why Lorenzo made certain choices, especially considering his status as a young, non-noble, and unofficial leader. Among other questions, we will consider why he built an expensive and highly originally villa all’antica in the countryside, but avoid spending his wealth on his city place.
Le streghe nei trattati e nei processi (secoli XIV-XVII)
a cura di Dinora Corsi - Matteo Duni  

The Soldier-Prince as Patron
Molly Bourne  

Manuale per la Comunicazione
Antonella Battaglia - Loredana Tarini  




Architecture, Piety, and Political Identity in a Tuscan City-State




a cura di Fabrizio Ricciardelli  

Questo volume raccoglie gli atti del convegno di studi dedicato a I luoghi del sacro organizzato da Georgetown University e dal Center for the Study of Italian History and Culture tra il 12 e il 13 giugno del 2006. In questa occasione un gruppo di studiosi provenienti da varie parti d’Europa e degli Stati Uniti ha discusso i rapporti tra città e sacro nel periodo compreso fra Medioevo ed Età moderna e ha preso in esame la sacralità in tutte le sue forme, soprattutto in rapporto con la ritualità. Il volume si accosta alla dimensione simbolica dello spazio urbano e alla sua intrinseca funzione sociale, religiosa e politica, seguendo il contesto geo-politico italiano e ponendo in correlazione situazioni diverse per approdare a quel comparativismo finora negletto a favore dell’indagine delle singole realtà. Questo studio analizza lo spazio come rappresentazione collettiva e come sistema segnico attraverso il quale si conferisce significato ad un ambiente, coerenza ad un ordine sociale e validità ad un sistema di valori, imponendo un confronto non marginale con questioni di natura epistemologica e metodologica, mettendo inoltre a punto idonei strumenti interpretativi.  
The politics of exclusion in Early Renaissance Florence  
Fabrizio Ricciardelli  


No previous work has examined political exclusion in Early Renaissance Florence or its significance for the transition from Florentine popular government to oligarchy. Between the fourteenth and the first half of the fifteenth century, political exclusion became a normal feature of political life, regardless of the type of political regime; it was an essential instrument by which new governments consolidated their control over the city and the countryside in one of the largest and most powerful cities of Early Renaissance Europe. Exclusion from the Republic of Florence - separation from friends and family, business and property, coupled with the degradation of public humiliation - engendered a new outlook on life. In Early Renaissance Florence, excluded citizens across social classes became common outlaws, no different for common criminals prosecuted for heresy, blasphemy, gambling, or sexual deviance. By investigating these practices and attitudes of Early Renaissance Florence, this book shows the dark side of Renaissance republicanism: its fear of political dissent in any form and its means to crush it at all costs. This study of the other side of Renaissance republicanism presents a new and crucial chapter in Renaissance history.


Nationalism, Anti-Bolshevism or the Will to Survive

Forms of Belarusian Interaction with the German Occupation Authorities, 1941 - 1944


Olga Baranova



 During the Cold War years the stories about the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union became not only a subject of scholarly research, but an important propaganda tool. While the Soviet historiography emphasized “popular resistance struggle”, the western historians dedicated attention to “war-time collaboration” in various national republics. Ukraine and Baltics were the most studied areas, but little research of this kind existed with regard to Belarusian territory. This book challenges the traditional representation of Belarus as “partisan republic” and analyses various forms of interaction between the local Belarusian population and the German occupation authorities. It examines the spectrum of motives behind people’s decisions to join forces with the Germans, as well as considerations behind the change of attitude and mass transition from cooperation to resistance at the last stage of the war. Belarusian nationalism, German policies, every day life in occupied society, and local participation in Holocaust are analyzed among other issues. This book is recommended for scholars, students, and anyone who is interested in the subject. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ISBN 978-3-8383-4971-8, Paperback, 252 Seiten