Early Italian Renaissance Story Map

Florence, Tyranny, and the Rule of the Medici

Here is a link to my StoryMap that delves into the history of symbols of Florence and the way the Medici used them:  Old Testament Slayers: Tyranny, Florence, and the Medici Rule

Summary and Goals of my Story Map: 

Both the figures of David and Judith came to symbolize the people of Florence in their struggles against external threats, embodying republican ideals of liberty. My story map tells the tale of how these images became symbols reflective of Florentine values, and how they were later appropriated by the Medici in order to promote their own self-image. A few goals of this assignment are to educate audiences on the deeper history of popular images they might already have seen in Florentine art, (if they haven’t seen them, no worries! My story map provides a history on these figures and their narratives)  and how/why they were active symbols for the republic of Florence. Another goal is to demonstrate how a powerful family, such as the Medici, is capable of manipulating such images in order to propagate themselves in the favor of citizens when faced with criticism. Donatello’s bronze sculptures of David and Judith and Holofernes, prominently displayed in the Palazzo Medici Courtyard and garden (by at least 1469), purposefully aligned the Medici with civic triumph, leadership, and as defenders of Florentine liberty. My story map aims to uncover the motivations behind these representations and how they would have worked for a 15th century audience.

left profile of Donatello's David.

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