Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated across a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and these are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, the lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a World Heritage Site. In 2014,264,579 people resided in Comune di Venezia, together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, with a total population of 2.6 million. PATREVE is a metropolitan area without any degree of autonomy. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC, the city was historically the capital of the Republic of Venice. Venice has been known as the La Dominante, Queen of the Adriatic, City of Water, City of Masks, City of Bridges, The Floating City, and City of Canals.
The City State of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center which gradually emerged from the 9th century to its peak in the 14th century and this made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period, Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi. Venice has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world as of 2016, the name Venetia, derives from the Roman name for the people known as the Veneti, and called by the Greeks Eneti. The meaning of the word is uncertain, although there are other Indo-European tribes with similar-sounding names, such as the Celtic Veneti, Baltic Veneti, and the Slavic Wends. Linguists suggest that the name is based on an Indo-European root *wen, so that *wenetoi would mean beloved, lovable, a connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning the color sea-blue, is possible.
The alternative obsolete form is Vinegia, some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen on the islands in the original marshy lagoons. They were referred to as incolae lacunae, the traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo on the islet of Rialto — said to have taken place at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421. Beginning as early as AD166 to 168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the center in the area. The Roman defences were again overthrown in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years later, New ports were built, including those at Malamocco and Torcello in the Venetian lagoon. The tribuni maiores, the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the Lagoon, the traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio Anafesto, was actually Exarch Paul, and his successor, Marcello Tegalliano, was Pauls magister militum. In 726 the soldiers and citizens of the Exarchate rose in a rebellion over the controversy at the urging of Pope Gregory II
Netherlands Institute for Art History
The Netherlands Institute for Art History or RKD is located in The Hague and is home to the largest art history center in the world. The center specializes in documentation and books on Western art from the late Middle Ages until modern times, all of this is open to the public, and much of it has been digitized and is available on their website. The main goal of the bureau is to collect, via the available databases, the visitor can gain insight into archival evidence on the lives of many artists of past centuries. The library owns approximately 450,000 titles, of which ca.150,000 are auction catalogs, there are ca.3,000 magazines, of which 600 are currently running subscriptions. Though most of the text is in Dutch, the record format includes a link to library entries and images of known works. The RKD manages the Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, the original version is an initiative of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, California. Their bequest formed the basis for both the art collection and the library, which is now housed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.
Though not all of the holdings have been digitised, much of its metadata is accessible online. The website itself is available in both a Dutch and an English user interface, in the artist database RKDartists, each artist is assigned a record number. To reference an artist page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record, usually of the form, for example, the artist record number for Salvador Dalí is 19752, so his RKD artist page can be referenced. In the images database RKDimages, each artwork is assigned a record number, to reference an artwork page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record, usually of the form, https, //rkd. nl/en/explore/images/ followed by the artworks record number. For example, the record number for The Night Watch is 3063. The Art and Architecture Thesaurus assigns a record for each term, they are used in the databases and the databases can be searched for terms. For example, the painting called The Night Watch is a militia painting, the thesaurus is a set of general terms, but the RKD contains a database for an alternate form of describing artworks, that today is mostly filled with biblical references.
To see all images that depict Miriams dance, the associated iconclass code 71E1232 can be used as a search term. Official website Direct link to the databases The Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Marcantonio Raimondi, often called simply Marcantonio, was an Italian engraver, known for being the first important printmaker whose body of work consists largely of prints copying paintings. He is therefore a key figure in the rise of the reproductive print and he systematized a technique of engraving that became dominant in Italy and elsewhere. Much of the information we have comes from his life. He is attributed with around 300 engravings, marcantonios date of birth is unknown, but was by 1482 at the latest. He was possibly born in Argine, near Bologna, Italy and he trained in the workshop of the leading goldsmith and painter in Bologna, Francesco Francia. Vasari claimed that Marcantonio quickly demonstrated more aptitude than Francia, and this is doubted, however, by Arthur Mayger Hind, who sees no evidence of a background in niello technique in his early engravings. No paintings produced by Marcantonio are known or documented, although some drawings survive and his first dated engraving and Thisbe, comes from 1505, although a number of undated works come from the years before this.
From 1505–1511, Marcantonio engraved about 80 pieces, with a variety of subject matter, from pagan mythology. Like other printmakers such as Giulio Campagnola, he borrowed elements of Dürers landscapes in a cut and paste fashion, Dürer was in Bologna in 1506, as was Michelangelo, and he may have met one or both of them. About this time he began to make copies of Dürers woodcut series and this was extremely common practice, although normally engravers copied other expensive engravings rather than the cheaper woodcuts. Marcantonio appears to have spent some of the last half of the decade in Venice, around 1510, Marcantonio travelled to Rome and entered the circle of artists surrounding Raphael. This influence began showing up in engravings titled The Climbers, after a reproduction of a work by Raphael, entitled Lucretia, Raphael trained and assisted Marcantonio personally. Another famous engraving, the Judgement of Paris, dated 1515 or 1516, after Raphael, the two started a successful printing establishment under a colorgrinder, Il Baveria, that quickly expanded into an engraving school with Marcantonio at the head.
Among his most distinguished pupils were Marco Dente, Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio and his pupils continued to make engravings based upon Raphaels work, even after Raphaels death in 1520. In many instances, Marcantonio would not copy the finished painting and this method produced variations on a theme and were moderately successful. At the intercession of the Cardinal Ippolito de Medici, Baccio Bandinelli and Pietro Aretino, he was released, during the Sack of Rome, in 1527, he was forced to pay a heavy ransom by the Spaniards and fled in poverty. It is unclear where he stayed after his departure from Rome until his death in 1534, BM Marcantonio, British Museum Bohn, Babette. Grove Art Online, Oxford Art Online, Oxford University Press, subscription required Boorsch, Suzanne, in, K. L
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints that have an element of originality, except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, which is called a print. Each print produced is not considered a copy but rather is considered an original, a print may be known as an impression. Printmaking is not chosen only for its ability to multiple impressions. Prints are created by transferring ink from a matrix or through a screen to a sheet of paper or other material. Screens made of silk or synthetic fabrics are used for the screenprinting process, other types of matrix substrates and related processes are discussed below. Multiple impressions printed from the matrix form an edition. Prints may be printed in book form, such as illustrated books or artists books, Printmaking techniques are generally divided into the following basic categories, where ink is applied to the original surface of the matrix.
Relief techniques include woodcut or woodblock as the Asian forms are known, wood engraving. Intaglio, where ink is applied beneath the surface of the matrix. Intaglio techniques include engraving, mezzotint, planographic, where the matrix retains its original surface, but is specially prepared and/or inked to allow for the transfer of the image. Planographic techniques include lithography and digital techniques, where ink or paint is pressed through a prepared screen, including screenprinting and pochoir. Other types of printmaking techniques outside these groups include collagraphy and viscosity printing, collagraphy is a printmaking technique in which textured material is adhered to the printing matrix. This texture is transferred to the paper during the printing process, Contemporary printmaking may include digital printing, photographic mediums, or a combination of digital and traditional processes. Many of these techniques can be combined, especially within the same family, for example, Rembrandts prints are usually referred to as etchings for convenience, but very often include work in engraving and drypoint as well, and sometimes have no etching at all.
Woodcut, a type of print, is the earliest printmaking technique. It was probably first developed as a means of printing patterns on cloth, woodcuts of images on paper developed around 1400 in Japan, and slightly in Europe. These are the two areas where woodcut has been most extensively used purely as a process for making images without text, the artist draws a design on a plank of wood, or on paper which is transferred to the wood
Alcibiades, son of Cleinias, from the deme of Scambonidae, was a prominent Athenian statesman and general. He was the last famous member of his mothers family, the Alcmaeonidae. He played a role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander. During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times, in Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. In Sparta too, Alcibiades soon made powerful enemies, there he served as an adviser to the satrap Tissaphernes until his Athenian political allies brought about his recall. He served as an Athenian general for years. Once restored to his city, however, he played a crucial role in a string of Athenian victories that eventually brought Sparta to seek a peace with Athens. He favored unconventional tactics, frequently winning cities over by treachery or negotiation rather than by siege and his mother was Deinomache, the daughter of Megacles, and could trace her family back to Eurysaces and the Telamonian Ajax.
His maternal grandfather, named Alcibiades, was a friend of Cleisthenes, after the death of Cleinias at the Battle of Coronea and Ariphron became his guardians. According to Plutarch, Alcibiades had several teachers, including Socrates. He was noted, for his behavior, which was mentioned by ancient Greek. It was believed that Socrates took Alcibiades as a student because he believed he could change Alcibiades from his vain ways, Xenophon attempted to clear Socrates name at trial by relaying information that Alcibiades was always corrupt and that Socrates merely failed in attempting to teach him morality. Alcibiades took part in the Battle of Potidaea in 432 BC, Alcibiades had a particularly close relationship with Socrates, whom he admired and respected. According to Plutarch, Alcibiades feared and reverenced Socrates alone, Alcibiades was married to Hipparete, the daughter of Hipponicus, a wealthy Athenian. According to Plutarch, Hipparete loved her husband, but she attempted to divorce him because he consorted with courtesans and she lived with him until her death, which came soon after, and gave birth to two children, a daughter and a son, Alcibiades the Younger.
Alcibiades first rose to prominence when he began advocating aggressive Athenian action after the signing of the Peace of Nicias, disputes over the interpretation of the treaty led the Spartans to dispatch ambassadors to Athens with full powers to arrange all unsettled matters. He urged them to renounce their diplomatic authority to represent Sparta, the representatives agreed and, impressed with Alcibiades, they alienated themselves from Nicias, who genuinely wanted to reach an agreement with the Spartans. The next day, during the Assembly, Alcibiades asked them what powers Sparta had granted them to negotiate and they replied, as agreed and this ploy increased Alcibiadess standing while embarrassing Nicias, and Alcibiades was subsequently appointed General
Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome, part of the Papal States. It marked a crucial victory in the conflict between Charles and the League of Cognac —the alliance of France, Venice, Florence. The army of the Holy Roman Emperor defeated the French army in Italy, the 34,000 Imperial troops mutinied and forced their commander, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and Constable of France, to lead them towards Rome. Numerous bandits, along with the Leagues deserters, joined the army during its march, the Duke left Arezzo on 20 April 1527, taking advantage of the chaos among the Venetians and their allies after a revolt which had broken out in Florence against the Medici. In this way, the undisciplined troops sacked Acquapendente and San Lorenzo alle Grotte. The troops defending Rome were not at all numerous, consisting of 5,000 militiamen led by Renzo da Ceri and 189 Papal Swiss Guard, the citys fortifications included the massive walls, and it possessed a good artillery force, which the Imperial army lacked.
Duke Charles needed to conquer the city swiftly, to avoid the risk of being trapped between the city and the Leagues army. On 6 May, the Imperial army attacked the walls at the Gianicolo, Duke Charles was fatally wounded in the assault, allegedly shot by Benvenuto Cellini. The Duke was wearing his famous white cloak to him out to his troops. The death of the last respected command authority among the Imperial army caused any restraint in the soldiers to disappear, Philibert of Châlon took command of the armies, but he was not as popular or feared, leaving him with little authority. One of the Swiss Guards most notable hours occurred at this time, almost the entire guard was massacred by Imperial troops on the steps of St Peters Basilica. After the brutal execution of some 1,000 defenders of the Papal capital and shrines and monasteries, as well as the palaces of prelates and cardinals, were looted and destroyed. Even pro-Imperial cardinals had to pay to save their properties from the rampaging soldiers, on 8 May, Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, a personal enemy of Clement VII, entered the city.
He was followed by peasants from his fiefs, who had come to avenge the sacks they had suffered by Papal armies, Colonna was touched by the pitiful conditions of the city and hosted in his palace a number of Roman citizens. The Vatican Library was saved because Philibert had set up his headquarters there, after three days of ravages, Philibert ordered the sack to cease, but few obeyed. In the meantime, Clement remained a prisoner in Castel SantAngelo, francesco Maria della Rovere and Michele Antonio of Saluzzo arrived with troops on 1 June in Monterosi, north of the city. Their cautious behaviour prevented them from obtaining a victory against the now totally undisciplined Imperial troops. At the same time Venice took advantage of this situation to capture Cervia and Ravenna, Emperor Charles V was greatly embarrassed by the fact that he had been powerless to stop his troops striking against Pope Clement VII and imprisoning him
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used mainly for documentation in libraries and increasingly by archives, the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero license, the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, and an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format
He was the adoptive father of the artist Domenico Campagnola. His early years are better documented than his adult life and he was born in Padua, subject to the republic of Venice, and home to one of the three major European universities of the fifteenth century, the University of Padua. According to Giorgio Vasari, Girolamo was an artist a Paduan painter and disciple of Squarcione, a number of sources, including Vasari, say that Campagnola was extremely accomplished in a number of artistic areas as a teenager. This letter was sent to the court at Mantua in an attempt to find him a position there and it is not clear if he ever went to Mantua, although his work shows the influence of Mantegna. One engraving is based on a drawing by Mantegna or his workshop. In 1499 he appears in the accounts of the court at Ferrara, there is no documentation until 1507, when another Paduan recorded lending him a painting and three copper engraving plates. This was in Venice, where most writers assume he was living by then, at the period he became a friend of the humanist and alchemical poet Giovanni Aurelio Augurello.
Depicting his experiments with artificial blue pigments in his Chrysopoeia Augurello refers to Giulio as the one person who at least is somehow profiting from the vain quest for gold. After this there is no record, but an engraving plate that he had left half-finished was completed by his adopted son c. 1517, so he is assumed to have died by at the latest and he had adopted Domenico Campagnola, apparently an orphan of German parentage, in about 1512. Another source claimed that he took orders, but this is now discounted. Most writers see Campagnola as a professional artist, who received some sort of training in Mantua and it is still possible to see Campagnola, as W. R. Rearick did, as a dilettante who probably mostly lived in Padua, probably with another career altogether. This, remains a minority view, the dating of his work is based very largely on the stylistic arrangement of his work around the Astrologer, dated 1509, and his presumed death around 1515. Whilst the chronological sequence of his engravings set out by Arthur M.
Hind has been generally accepted, the dating of them remains a subject for discussion. His early work is influenced by Albrecht Dürer, and includes one direct copy of a Dürer engraving. The next group of engravings, which include the Astrologer, very successfully interpret the mood of Venetian painting of the first decade of the century in the medium of engraving and it is this group that he is most famous for, and that introduce his stipple technique. Stippling means engraving with dots or little flicks of the burin, Campagnola is able to convey varying tone by different intensities of dots, rather than by techniques of hatching and cross-hatching usually necessary. These engravings are in a combination of line and stipple work, the plates were reworked in stipple work, in at least one case after a considerable number of impressions of the first state had been taken
The Renaissance was a period in European history, from the 14th to the 17th century, regarded as the cultural bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history. It started as a movement in Italy in the Late Medieval period and spread to the rest of Europe. This new thinking became manifest in art, politics, Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, the Renaissance began in Florence, in the 14th century. Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan, the word Renaissance, literally meaning Rebirth in French, first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelets 1855 work, Histoire de France, the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century.
The Renaissance was a movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism, however, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were back from Byzantium to Western Europe. Political philosophers, most famously Niccolò Machiavelli, sought to describe life as it really was. Others see more competition between artists and polymaths such as Brunelleschi, Ghiberti and Masaccio for artistic commissions as sparking the creativity of the Renaissance. Yet it remains much debated why the Renaissance began in Italy, several theories have been put forward to explain its origins. During the Renaissance and art went hand in hand, Artists depended entirely on patrons while the patrons needed money to foster artistic talent. Wealth was brought to Italy in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries by expanding trade into Asia, silver mining in Tyrol increased the flow of money.
Luxuries from the Eastern world, brought home during the Crusades, increased the prosperity of Genoa, unlike with Latin texts, which had been preserved and studied in Western Europe since late antiquity, the study of ancient Greek texts was very limited in medieval Western Europe. One of the greatest achievements of Renaissance scholars was to bring this entire class of Greek cultural works back into Western Europe for the first time since late antiquity, Arab logicians had inherited Greek ideas after they had invaded and conquered Egypt and the Levant. Their translations and commentaries on these ideas worked their way through the Arab West into Spain and Sicily and this work of translation from Islamic culture, though largely unplanned and disorganized, constituted one of the greatest transmissions of ideas in history
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition. Fifteenth-century prints are rare that they are classed as old master prints even if they are of crude or merely workmanlike artistic quality. A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term, the main techniques used, in order of their introduction, are woodcut, etching and aquatint, although there are others. Different techniques are combined in a single print. With rare exceptions printed on textiles, such as silk, or on vellum, many great European artists, such as Albrecht Dürer and Francisco Goya, were dedicated printmakers. In their own day, their international reputations largely came from their prints, influences between artists were mainly transmitted beyond a single city by prints, for the same reason. Prints therefore are frequently brought up in detailed analyses of individual paintings in art history, thanks to colour photo reproductions, and public galleries, their paintings are much better known, whilst their prints are only rarely exhibited, for conservation reasons.
But some museum print rooms allow visitors to see their collection, the oldest technique is woodcut, or woodblock printing, which was invented as a method for printing on cloth in China, and perhaps separately in Egypt in the Byzantine period. This had reached Europe via the Byzantine or Islamic worlds before 1300, religious images and playing cards are documented as being produced on paper, probably printed, by a German in Bologna in 1395. However, the most impressive printed European images to survive from before 1400 are printed on cloth, for use as hangings on walls or furniture, including altars, some were used as a pattern to embroider over. Some religious images were used as bandages, to speed healing, the earliest print images are mostly of a high artistic standard, and were clearly designed by artists with a background in painting. Whether these artists cut the blocks themselves, or only inked the design on the block for another to carve, is not known, the great majority of surviving 15th-century prints are religious, although these were probably the ones more likely to survive.
Their makers were sometimes called Jesus maker or saint-maker in documents, as with manuscript books, monastic institutions sometimes produced, and often sold, prints. No artists can be identified with specific woodcuts until towards the end of the century, the little evidence we have suggests that woodcut prints became relatively common and cheap during the fifteenth century, and were affordable by skilled workers in towns. For example, what may be the earliest surviving Italian print, the school caught fire, and the crowd who gathered to watch saw the print carried up into the air by the fire, before falling down into the crowd. This was regarded as an escape and the print was carried to Forlì Cathedral. Like the majority of prints before approximately 1460, only a single impression of this print has survived, Woodcut blocks are printed with light pressure, and are capable of printing several thousand impressions, and even at this period some prints may well have been produced in that quantity.
Many prints were hand-coloured, mostly in watercolour, in fact the hand-colouring of prints continued for many centuries, Germany and the Netherlands were the main areas of production, England does not seem to have produced any prints until about 1480
Sebastiano Serlio was an Italian Mannerist architect, who was part of the Italian team building the Palace of Fontainebleau. Serlio helped canonize the classical orders of architecture in his influential treatise variously known as I sette libri dellarchitettura or Tutte lopere darchitettura et prospetiva. Born in Bologna, Serlio went to Rome in 1514, and worked in the atelier of Baldassare Peruzzi, like Peruzzi, he began as a painter. He lived in Venice from about 1527 to the early 1540s, the idea was in the air in the 1530s, several contemporary churches compete for primacy, but Serlios woodcut put the concept in every architects hands. As a civil engineer he designed fortifications, Serlios publications, rather than any spectacular executed work, attracted the attention of François I. Serlio took several private commissions, but the one that has survived in any recognizable way is the Chateau of Ancy-le-Franc. Serlio died around 1554 in Fontainebleau, after spending his last years in Lyon, serlio’s major contribution remained his practical treatise on architecture.
Serlio pioneered the use of high quality illustrations to supplement the text and he wrote in Italian, some of his books being published with parallel texts in Italian and French. His treatise catered explicitly to the needs of architects, the extent of Peruzzis contribution to the treatise is unknown. Peruzzi had been the spirit in the detailed study of the remains of antiquity. Vasari and Cellini would give most of the credit for the book to Peruzzi, by 1537, when the earliest of his books was published, Serlio had been working on the treatise for at least a decade and had already organized it as a work in seven books. Although Serlio completed all seven projected books, only the first five books were published during his lifetime, the sixth remained in manuscript until the 20th century. Various collections were known as the Five or Seven Books on Architecture, the last few pages of the second book, On Perspective, contain three theatrical scenes and a stage plan and cross section which were highly influential in Renaissance theater.
In Aesthetics point of view Serlio is one of the first that use the fine arts. Serlios volumes were highly influential in France, the Netherlands, and England, as a conveyor of the Italian Renaissance style and his plans and elevations of many Roman buildings provided useful repertory of classical images, often reprinted. Coecke van Aelsts pupil the Dutch architect and engineer Hans Vredeman de Vries propagated Serlios style, fourth-hand though it was, it remained the most complete English edition of Serlio for almost four centuries. Its example countered the influence of the engravings of Antwerp Mannerism that were the inspiration for Jacobean architecture. Later Serlios book was in the libraries of Sir Christopher Wren and John Wood, inigo Jones possessed Italian editions, which he annotated
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the Metropolitan City of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants, Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has called the Athens of the Middle Ages. A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, from 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Historic Centre of Florence attracts 13 million tourists each year and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture, the city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florences artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy.
Florence originated as a Roman city, and later, after a period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe, the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, and still is, accepted as the Italian language. Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War and they similarly financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European historys most important noble families, Lorenzo de Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century, Leo X, catherine de Medici married king Henry II of France and, after his death in 1559, reigned as regent in France.
Marie de Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future king Louis XIII, the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de Medici in 1737. The Etruscans initially formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole and it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the route between Rome and the north, and within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement quickly became an important commercial centre. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century, Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital. The population began to again and commerce prospered