Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, better known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance sculptor from Florence. He worked with stone, wood, clay and wax, and had several assistants, with four perhaps being a typical number. Though his best-known works were mostly statues in the round, he developed a new, very shallow, type of bas-relief for small works, and a good deal of his output was larger architectural reliefs. Donatello was the son of Niccolò di Betto Bardi, who was a member of the Florentine Arte della Lana, Donatello was educated in the house of the Martelli family. He apparently received his artistic training in a goldsmiths workshop. While undertaking study and excavations with Filippo Brunelleschi in Rome, work that gained the two men the reputation of treasure seekers, Donatello made a living by working at goldsmiths shops. In 1409–1411 he executed the colossal seated figure of Saint John the Evangelist, which until 1588 occupied a niche of the old cathedral façade and this work marks a decisive step forward from late Gothic Mannerism in the search for naturalism and the rendering of human feelings.
The face, the shoulders and the bust are still idealized, while the hands, in 1411–13, Donatello worked on a statue of St. Mark for the guild church of Orsanmichele. In 1417 he completed the Saint George for the Confraternity of the Cuirass-makers, the elegant St. George and the Dragon relief on the statues base, executed in schiacciato is one of the first examples of central-point perspective in sculpture. From 1423 is the Saint Louis of Toulouse for the Orsanmichele, Donatello had sculpted the classical frame for this work, which remains, while the statue was moved in 1460 and replaced by Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Verrocchio. Between 1415 and 1426, Donatello created five statues for the campanile of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, known as the Duomo. These works are the Beardless Prophet, Bearded Prophet, the Sacrifice of Isaac and Jeremiah, from the late teens is the Pazzi Madonna relief in Berlin. In 1425, he executed the notable Crucifix for Santa Croce, this work portrays Christ in a moment of the agony and mouth partially opened, the body contracted in an ungraceful posture.
From 1425 to 1427, Donatello collaborated with Michelozzo on the monument of the Antipope John XXIII for the Battistero in Florence. Donatello made the recumbent bronze figure of the deceased, under a shell, in 1427, he completed in Pisa a marble relief for the funerary monument of Cardinal Rainaldo Brancacci at the church of SantAngelo a Nilo in Naples. In the same period, he executed the relief of the Feast of Herod, the relief is mostly in stiacciato, with the foreground figures are done in bas-relief. Around 1430, Cosimo de Medici, the foremost art patron of his era and this is now Donatellos most famous work, and the first known free-standing nude statue produced since antiquity. Also from this period is the disquietingly small Love-Atys, housed in the Bargello, some have perceived the David as having homo-erotic qualities, and have argued that this reflected the artists own orientation
Uranias Mirror, or, a view of the Heavens is a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards, first published in November 1824. They had illustrations based on Alexander Jamiesons A Celestial Atlas, and they were engraved by Sidney Hall, and were said to be designed by a lady, but have since been identified as the work of the Reverend Richard Rouse Bloxam, an assistant master at Rugby School. The cover of the box-set showed a depiction of Urania, the muse of astronomy, P. D. Uranias Mirror illustrates 79 constellations, some of which are now obsolete, and various subconstellations, such as Caput Medusæ. Some cards focus on a constellation, others include several, with Card 32, centered on Hydra. Card 28 has six, and no other card has more than four, each card measures 8 inches by 5 1⁄2. A book by Jehoshaphat Aspin entitled A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy was written to accompany the cards. Both the book and cards were published by Samuel Leigh,18 Strand, although the publishing firm had moved to 421 Strand.
The cards and books came within a box illustrated with a woman almost certainly intended to be Urania, hingley calls it One of the most charming and visually attractive of the many aids to astronomical self-instruction produced in the early nineteenth century. While he had several sons, he has no other known publications. The reasons for the disguise are unknown, hingley notes that many contemporary publications attempted to suggest women had played a role in their creation, perhaps to make them sound less threatening. Ian Ridpath, noting the plagiarism of the art from A Celestial Atlas, a December 1824 advertisement, which states the cards were just published, offered the cards plain at £1/8s or fully coloured for £1/14s. This first edition did not include any stars surrounding the named constellations and this was changed for the second edition, which added back stars around theose constellations. An American edition was published in 1832, modern reprints were produced in 1993, and Barnes & Noble reproduced the American edition in 2004.
The accompanying book, A Familiar Treatise on Astronomy by Jehoshaphat Aspin went through at least four editions, the second edition featured a marked expansion in content, growing from 121 pages in the first edition to 200 pages in the second. A Second Part of Uranias Mirror, which was to have included illustrations of the planets and an orrery, was advertised. Includes a video presentation of the cards
Antonio Canova was an Italian neoclassical sculptor, famous for his marble sculptures. In 1757, Antonio Canova was born in Possagno to Pietro Canova, a year later, his mother remarried. He led Antonio into the art of sculpting, before the age of ten, Canova began making models in clay, and carving marble. Indeed, at the age of nine, he executed two small shrines of Carrara marble, which are still extant, after these works, he appears to have been constantly employed under his grandfather. In 1770, he was an apprentice for two years to Giuseppe Bernardi, who was known as Torretto. Afterwards, he was under the tutelage of Giovanni Ferrari until he began his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, at the Academy, he won several prizes. During this time, he was given his first workshop within a monastery by some local monks, the Senator Giovanni Falier commissioned Canova to produce statues of Orpheus and Eurydice for his garden – the Villa Falier at Asolo. The statues were begun in 1775, and both were completed by 1777, the pieces explify the late Rococo style.
On the year of its completion, both works were exhibited for the Feast of the Ascension in Piazza S. Marco, widely praised, the works won Canova his first renown among the Venetian elite. In 1779, he opened his own studio at Calle Del Traghetto at S. Maurizio, at this time, Procurator Pietro Vettor Pisani commissioned Canovas first marble statue, a depiction of Daedalus and Icarus. The statue inspired great admiration for his work at the art fair. At the base of the statue, Daedalus tools are scattered about, with such an intention, there is suggestion that Daedalus is a portrait of Canovas grandfather Pasino. Canova arrived in Rome, on 28 December 1780, prior to his departure, his friends had applied to the Venetian senate for a pension. Successful in the application, the stipend allotted amounted to three hundred ducats, limited to three years, while in Rome, Canova spent time studying and sketching the works of Michelangelo. In 1781, Girolamo Zulian – the Venetian ambassador to Rome – hired Canova to sculpt Theseus, the statue depicts the victorious Theseus seated on the lifeless body of a Minotaur.
The initial spectators were certain that the work was a copy of a Greek original, the highly regarded work is now in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London. Between 1783 –1785, Canova arranged and designed a monument dedicated to Clement XIV for the Church of Santi Apostoli. After another two years, the work met completion in 1787, the monument secured Canovas reputation as the pre-eminent living artist
Vatican City, officially Vatican City State or the State of Vatican City, is a walled enclave within the city of Rome. With an area of approximately 44 hectares, and a population of 842, formally it is not sovereign, with sovereignty being held by the Holy See, the only entity of public international law that has diplomatic relations with almost every country in the world. It is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the Bishop of Rome – the Pope, the highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Vatican City is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin. According to the terms of the treaty, the Holy See has full ownership, exclusive dominion, within Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the worlds most famous paintings and sculptures, the unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications.
The name Vatican City was first used in the Lateran Treaty, signed on 11 February 1929, the name is taken from Vatican Hill, the geographic location of the state. Vatican is derived from the name of an Etruscan settlement, Vatica or Vaticum meaning garden, located in the area the Romans called vaticanus ager. The official Italian name of the city is Città del Vaticano or, more formally, Stato della Città del Vaticano, although the Holy See and the Catholic Church use Ecclesiastical Latin in official documents, the Vatican City officially uses Italian. The Latin name is Status Civitatis Vaticanæ, this is used in documents by not just the Holy See. The name Vatican was already in use in the time of the Roman Republic for an area on the west bank of the Tiber across from the city of Rome. Under the Roman Empire, many villas were constructed there, after Agrippina the Elder drained the area and laid out her gardens in the early 1st century AD. In AD40, her son, Emperor Caligula built in her gardens a circus for charioteers that was completed by Nero, the Circus Gaii et Neronis, usually called, simply.
Even before the arrival of Christianity, it is supposed that this originally uninhabited part of Rome had long considered sacred. A shrine dedicated to the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her consort Attis remained active long after the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter was built nearby, the particularly low quality of Vatican water, even after the reclamation of the area, was commented on by the poet Martial. The Vatican Obelisk was originally taken by Caligula from Heliopolis in Egypt to decorate the spina of his circus and is thus its last visible remnant and this area became the site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome in AD64. Ancient tradition holds that it was in this circus that Saint Peter was crucified upside-down, opposite the circus was a cemetery separated by the Via Cornelia. Peters in the first half of the 4th century, the Constantinian basilica was built in 326 over what was believed to be the tomb of Saint Peter, buried in that cemetery
Camille Claudel was a French sculptress and graphic artist. She died in obscurity, but subsequently gained recognition for the originality of her work. She was the sister of the poet and diplomat Paul Claudel. Camille Claudel was born in Fère-en-Tardenois, Aisne, in northern France and her father, Louis Prosper, dealt in mortgages and bank transactions. Her mother, the former Louise Athanaïse Cécile Cerveaux, came from a Champagne family of Catholic farmers, the family moved to Villeneuve-sur-Fère while Camille was still a baby. Her younger brother Paul Claudel was born there in 1868, Camille moved with her mother and younger sister to the Montparnasse area of Paris in 1881, her father having to remain behind, working to support them. Fascinated with stone and soil as a child, as a woman she studied at the Académie Colarossi, one of the few places open to female students. In 1882, Claudel rented a workshop with young women, mostly English. Alfred Boucher became her mentor and provided inspiration and encouragement to the generation of sculptors such as Laure Coutan.
The latter was depicted in Camille Claudel lisant by Boucher and she herself sculpted a bust of her mentor, before moving to Florence and after having taught Claudel and others for over three years, Boucher asked Auguste Rodin to take over the instruction of his pupils. This is how Rodin and Claudel met and their tumultuous and passionate relationship started, around 1884, she started working in Rodins workshop. Claudel became a source of inspiration, his model, his confidante and she never lived with Rodin, who was reluctant to end his 20-year relationship with Rose Beuret. Knowledge of the affair agitated her family, especially her mother, as a consequence, she left the family house. In 1892, after an abortion, Claudel ended the intimate aspect of her relationship with Rodin, beginning in 1903, she exhibited her works at the Salon des Artistes français or at the Salon dAutomne. It would be a mistake to assume that Claudels reputation has survived simply because of her once notorious association with Rodin, the novelist and art critic Octave Mirbeau described her as A revolt against nature, a woman genius.
Her early work is similar to Rodins in spirit, but shows an imagination and lyricism quite her own, modeled for in 1898 and cast in 1905, Claudel didnt actually cast her own bronze for this work, but instead The Implorer was cast in Paris by Eugene Blot. Her onyx and bronze small-scale Wave was a break in style with her Rodin period. Shakuntala is described by Angelo Caranfa as expressing her desire to reach the sacred, Caranfa opines that her impressions of Rodins deceptions and exploitation of her, who could not become the obedient he wanted her to be, and the societys exploitation of women were not false
Hercules and Cacus
Hercules and Cacus is a white sculpture to the right of the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria, Italy. Although descriptions of its unveiling in 1534 provided verbal and written criticisms of the marble, a few of the writers of these hypercritical verses were imprisoned by Alessandro deMedici, further suggesting a political commentary. The two harshest critics were Giorgio Vasari and Benvenuto Cellini, both of whom were champions of Michelangelo and rivals of Bandinelli for Medici patronage, Vasari lamented the change of hands from Michelangelo to Bandinelli, and the change of design. Cellini referred to the musculature as a sack full of melons. Neither Vasari, nor Cellini can be viewed as unbiased resources due to their rivalries and this marble group shows the basic theme of the victor and the vanquished. The pause suggests the leniency of the Medici to those who would concede to their rule, the commission for the Hercules and Cacus, as mentioned, was appropriated by the pope Clement VII, some time during or before 1523.
He was shown a wax bozzetto by Bandinelli, who received the commission, the quarried block of white Carrara marble arrived in Florence in 1525. It has been suggested that the block of marble was not large enough for Bandinellis design and he was to make a new one, the reason for the change may have been purely for symbolic reasons. His first design was extremely active and violent, and it is likely that the Medici did not want such a reminder of their brutal return to power. Meanwhile, in Florence, the enemies of the Medici took advantage of the chaos to expel Ippolito de Medici from the city. Vasari stated a change in subject, which is substantiated by a terracotta bozzetto and this was probably to separate the project from the Medici and was allowed due to Bandinelli, as a supporter of the Medici, having to leave the city. In 1530, Emperor Charles V assisted the Medici in retaking possession of Florence after a long siege, pope Clement VII subsequently installed his illegitimate son Alessandro de Medici as duke of Florence.
Bandinelli returned and continued his work on the statue, finally in 1534 the work on the statue was finished transported from his studio to the Piazza della Signoria and placed on its marble pedestal as part of the ringiera. The statue was restored between February 1994 and April 1994 and it was discovered that the club in the hand of Hercules was not the original club, but was made of aluminum instead of the original bronze
In Greek mythology, a Gorgon is a female creature. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal and Euryale, their sister Medusa was not, and she was slain by the demigod and hero Perseus. Gorgons were an image in Greek mythology, appearing in the earliest of written records of Ancient Greek religious beliefs such as those of Homer. Because of their legendary and powerful gaze that could turn one to stone, images of the Gorgons were put upon objects and buildings for protection. An image of a Gorgon holds the location at the pediment of the temple at Corfu, which is the oldest stone pediment in Greece. The concept of the Gorgon is at least as old in classical Greek mythology as Perseus and Zeus, the name is Greek, being derived from gorgos and translating as terrible or dreadful. Gorgoneia first appear in Greek art at the turn of the eighth century BC, one of the earliest representations is on an electrum stater discovered during excavations at Parium. Other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns, going even further back into history, there is a similar image from the Knossos palace, datable to the fifteenth century BC.
Marija Gimbutas even argues that the Gorgon extends back to at least 6000 BC, in her book, Language of the Goddess, she identifies the prototype of the Gorgoneion in Neolithic art motifs, especially in anthropomorphic vases and terracotta masks inlaid with gold. The large Gorgon eyes, as well as Athenas flashing eyes, are termed the divine eyes by Gimbutas, they appear in Athenas sacred bird. They may be represented by spirals, concentric circles, firewheels, the awkward stance of the gorgon, with arms and legs at angles is closely associated with these symbols as well. Possibly related, a figure, probably a sea-goddess is depicted on a Minoan gold ring from the island Mochlos in Crete. The goddess has a head and she is sitting in a boat. A holy tree is depicted, probably related to the Minoan cult of the tree, some Gorgons are shown with fangs, consisting of wild boar tusks, while other representations lack fangs and show a forced smile displaying large teeth and sometimes a protruding tongue.
In some cruder representations, stylized hair or blood flowing under the head of the Gorgon has been mistaken for a beard or wings. The skin of the dragon was said to be made of impenetrable scales, while seeking origins others have suggested examination of some similarities to the Babylonian creature, Humbaba, in the Gilgamesh epic. A number of early scholars interpreted the myth of the Medusa as a quasi-historical, or sublimated. Transitions in religious traditions over such periods of time may make some strange turns
New York City
The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2015 population of 8,550,405 distributed over an area of about 302.6 square miles. Located at the tip of the state of New York. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has described as the cultural and financial capital of the world. Situated on one of the worlds largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, the five boroughs – Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898. In 2013, the MSA produced a gross metropolitan product of nearly US$1.39 trillion, in 2012, the CSA generated a GMP of over US$1.55 trillion. NYCs MSA and CSA GDP are higher than all but 11 and 12 countries, New York City traces its origin to its 1624 founding in Lower Manhattan as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and was named New Amsterdam in 1626.
The city and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the countrys largest city since 1790, the Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a symbol of the United States and its democracy. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance. Several sources have ranked New York the most photographed city in the world, the names of many of the citys bridges, tapered skyscrapers, and parks are known around the world. Manhattans real estate market is among the most expensive in the world, Manhattans Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, with multiple signature Chinatowns developing across the city. Providing continuous 24/7 service, the New York City Subway is one of the most extensive metro systems worldwide, with 472 stations in operation.
Over 120 colleges and universities are located in New York City, including Columbia University, New York University, and Rockefeller University, during the Wisconsinan glaciation, the New York City region was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 1,000 feet in depth. The ice sheet scraped away large amounts of soil, leaving the bedrock that serves as the foundation for much of New York City today. Later on, movement of the ice sheet would contribute to the separation of what are now Long Island and Staten Island. The first documented visit by a European was in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine explorer in the service of the French crown and he claimed the area for France and named it Nouvelle Angoulême. Heavy ice kept him from further exploration, and he returned to Spain in August and he proceeded to sail up what the Dutch would name the North River, named first by Hudson as the Mauritius after Maurice, Prince of Orange
In Greek mythology, Andromeda is the daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus and his wife Cassiopeia. When Cassiopeias hubris leads her to boast that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Nereids, Andromeda is stripped and chained naked to a rock as a sacrifice to sate the monster, but is saved from death by Perseus. Her name is the Latinized form of the Greek Ἀνδρομέδα or Ἀνδρομέδη, ruler of men, from ἀνήρ, ἀνδρός man, from the Renaissance, interest revived in the original story, typically as derived from Ovids account. In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia and her mother Cassiopeia boasted that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus and often seen accompanying Poseidon. To punish the queen for her arrogance, brother to Zeus and god of the sea, the desperate king consulted the Oracle of Apollo, who announced that no respite would be found until the king sacrificed his daughter, Andromeda, to the monster.
Stripped naked, she was chained to a rock on the coast, Perseus was returning from having slain the Gorgon, Medusa. After he happened upon the chained Andromeda, he approached Cetus while invisible and he set Andromeda free, and married her in spite of her having been previously promised to her uncle Phineus. At the wedding a quarrel took place between the rivals and Phineus was turned to stone by the sight of the Gorgons head, Andromeda followed her husband, first to his native island of Serifos, where he rescued his mother Danaë, and to Tiryns in Argos. Together, they became the ancestors of the family of the Perseidae through the line of their son Perses and Andromeda had seven sons, Alcaeus, Mestor, Sthenelus and Cynurus as well as two daughters and Gorgophone. Their descendants ruled Mycenae from Electryon down to Eurystheus, after whom Atreus attained the kingdom, according to this mythology, Perseus is the ancestor of the Persians. Andromeda is represented in the sky by the constellation Andromeda.
Four constellations are associated with the myth, jean-Baptiste Lullys opera, Persée, dramatizes the myth. Andromeda has been the subject of ancient and modern works of art, which typically show the moment of rescue, with Andromeda usually still chained. Examples include, one of Titians poesies, and compositions by Joachim Wtewael, many versions by Rubens, from the Renaissance onward the chained nude figure of Andromeda typically was the centre of interest. Rembrandts Andromeda Chained to the Rocks is unusual in showing her alone, the Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino composed an hour-long operatic drama called Perseo e Andromeda in 2000. In 1973, a film called Perseus was made in the Soviet Union as part of the Soviet animated film collection called Legends. The 1981 film Clash of the Titans retells the story of Perseus and Cassiopeia, thetis was indeed a Nereid and the future mother of Achilles. Andromeda is depicted as being strong-willed and independent, whereas in the stories she is only mentioned as being the princess whom Perseus saves from the sea monster
Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Francesco I was the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, ruling from 1574 until his death in 1587. He was the grand duke of the house of Medici. Born in Florence, he was the son of Cosimo I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Eleanor of Toledo, by all reports, it was not a happy marriage. Joanna was homesick for her native Austria, and Francesco was neither charming nor faithful, Joanna died at the age of thirty one in 1578. Soon after the Grand Duchess Joanna had died, Francesco went on to marry his Venetian mistress, Bianca Cappello, after disposing of her husband. Because of the quick remarriage and similar occurrences among the Medici, rumours spread that Francesco, Francesco reportedly built and decorated Villa di Pratolino for Bianca. She was, not always popular among Florentines, Francesco adopted Biancas daughter by her first marriage, Pellegrina. Like his father, Francesco was often despotic, but while Cosimo had known how to maintain Florentine independence, Francesco acted more like a vassal of the Habsburgs of Austria and he continued the heavy taxation of his subjects to pay large sums to the empire.
He had an amateurs interest in manufacturing and sciences and he founded porcelain and stoneware manufacture, but these did not thrive until after his death. He continued his fathers patronage of the arts, supporting artists and Bianca died on 19 and 20 October both at the Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano. Although the original death certificates mention malaria, it has been speculated that the couple was poisoned, possibly by Francescos brother. Investigations of Francescos facial hair that were found among his remains have detected low levels of arsenic, testing showed proof that support the theory of arsenic-poisoning. The same findings were detected in organs from Francesco and it is believed that Francesco and Bianca were given small doses of arsenic for several days until it killed them. But the doses were too small and given over a too short period of time to be detected in Francescos facial hair. In this way their symptoms, such as fever, stomach-cramps and vomiting, easily could be misinterpreted as some kind of infection, Francesco was succeeded by his younger brother, Ferdinando I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
In 1857, all members of the Medici family were exhumed and reburied in the place where they still lie today and these are the features of a right sided stroke possibly within the internal capsule. The presence of the orthopaedic footwear suggests that this stroke happened significantly before his death, during life, in his official portraits, the Grand Duke was always depicted as being in perfect physical condition. The cause of his stroke is not known but malaria is known to cause this condition There is a portrait of Francesco as a child by Bronzino
Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo I de Medici was the second Duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569, when he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. Cosimo was born in Florence, on 12 June 1519, the son of the famous condottiere Giovanni dalle Bande Nere from Forlì and he was the grandson of Caterina Sforza, the Countess of Forlì and Lady of Imola. Cosimo came to power at 17, when the 26-year-old Duke, Alessandro de Medici, was assassinated in 1537, Cosimo was from a different branch of the family, and so far had lived in Mugello, and was almost unknown in Florence. However, many of the men in the city favoured him. Several hoped to rule through him, thereby enriching themselves at the states expense, however, as Benedetto Varchi famously put it The innkeepers reckoning was different from the gluttons. Cosimo proved strong-willed and ambitious, and soon rejected the clause he had signed, when the Florentine exiles heard of the death of Alessandro, they marshalled their forces with support from France and from disgruntled neighbors of Florence.
During this time, Cosimo had a daughter, Bia. Toward the end of July 1537, the exiles marched into Tuscany under the leadership of Bernardo Salviati and Piero Strozzi. When Cosimo heard of their approach, he sent his best troops under Alessandro Vitelli to engage the enemy, which they did at Montemurlo, after defeating the exiles army, Vitelli stormed the fortress, where Strozzi and a few of his companions had retreated to safety. It fell after only a few hours, and Cosimo celebrated his first victory, the prominent prisoners were subsequently beheaded on the Piazza or in the Bargello. Filippo Strozzis body was found with a sword next to it and a note quoting Virgil. In June 1537 Cosimo had sent Bernardo Antonio de Medici to Charles V to gain his recognition as head of the Florentine state and that recognition came in June 1537, in exchange for help against France in the course of the Italian Wars. With this move Cosimo firmly restored the power of the Medici, the help granted to Charles V allowed him to free Tuscany from the Imperial garrisons, and to increase as much as possible its independence from the overwhelming Spanish influence in Italy.
With the support of the Emperor, he defeated the Sienese at the Battle of Marciano, despite the inhabitants desperate resistance, on 17 April 1555, after a 15-month siege, the city fell, its population diminished from forty thousand to eight thousand. In 1559 Montalcino, the last redoubt of Sienese independence, was annexed to Cosimos territories, in 1569, Pope Pius V elevated him to the rank of Grand Duke of Tuscany. In the last 10 years of his reign, struck by the death of two of his sons by malaria, Cosimo gave up the rule to his son and successor Francesco I de Medici. He retreated to live in his villa, Villa di Castello, Cosimo was an authoritarian ruler and secured his position by employing a guard of Swiss mercenaries. In 1548 he managed to have his relative Lorenzino, the last Medici claimant to Florence, Cosimo was an active builder of military structures, in an attempt to save his state from the frequent passage of foreign armies
Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term relief is from the Latin verb relevo, to raise, to create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane. What is actually performed when a relief is cut in from a surface of stone or wood is a lowering of the field. The technique involves considerable chiselling away of the background, which is a time-consuming exercise. In other materials such as metal, plaster stucco, ceramics or papier-mâché the form can be just added to or raised up from the background, and monumental bronze reliefs are made by casting. There are different degrees of relief depending on the degree of projection of the form from the field. There is sunk relief, which was restricted to Ancient Egypt. However the distinction between high relief and low relief is the clearest and most important, and these two are generally the only used to discuss most work.
Hyphens may or may not be used in all these terms, works in the technique are described as in relief, especially in monumental sculpture, the work itself is a relief. Reliefs are common throughout the world on the walls of buildings and a variety of settings. Relief is more suitable for depicting complicated subjects with figures and very active poses, such as battles. Most ancient architectural reliefs were painted, which helped to define forms in low relief. Rock reliefs are carved into solid rock in the open air. This type is found in cultures, in particular those of the Ancient Near East and Buddhist countries. A stele is a standing stone, many of these carry reliefs. The distinction between high and low relief is somewhat subjective, and the two are often combined in a single work. In particular, most high reliefs contain sections in low relief, a low relief or bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall depth, for example used on coins, on which all images are in low relief.
Other versions distort depth much less and it is a technique which requires less work, and is therefore cheaper to produce, as less of the background needs to be removed in a carving, or less modelling is required