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Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

G. G. Stein, Arte Ostetricia (Venezia, 1816) – rare antiquarian medical text with 18 engravings

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Stein, G. G..   Arte Ostetricia. Tradotta dal tedesco coll’ aggiunta di alcune osservazioni preliminari da G. B. Monteggia.  Venezia: Andrea Santini e Figlio, 1816. 3rd Edition. 391 pp. 8.0″ tall. Hardcover. G/ NONE.

4170100_5Book is in the Italian language, translated from the original German. Sound binding. Hinges starting. Pages clean, tanned. Cloth over boards is heavily worn with bumped corners, wear at spine ends, soiling and scuffing, with leather labels on spine for title and volumes abraded.  Eighteen finely engraved fold-out plates, one of which has a closed tear near binding.  All plates are creased but high rag content of paper will allow for pressing smooth if desired.  Both Parte I and Parte II are included in this single volume. Very detailed obstetrics text describing normal course of pregnancy, means of delivery (including birthing chairs), and difficult deliveries (illustrations show the use of forceps, and other medical devices are also illustrated).    $425.00.    #4170100   

Major credit cards, PayPal accepted.  Inquiries about the book may be made to info@catscradlebks.net or purchase here.

 

Arte Obstetricia

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Power and Art: Machiavelli and the Italian Renaissance

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Il Principe (The Prince) by Niccolò Machiavelli. "La Nuova Italia" Editrice, 1941.

Born on May 3, 1469, Machiavelli remains, if not a household word, then one of the most recognizable names of the Italian Renaissance.  “Machiavellian” has earned a permanent place in the English language.  The Prince, one of his most important treatises, continues to be standard reading in university classrooms and a roadmap for political behavior in our time.  Whether he meant The Prince as satire or as a serious tribute to the Medici and other power brokers of the 15th and 16th centuries, his work has left a mark on our culture that continues to this, the 543rd anniversary of his birth in Florence, Italy.

The Florentine Renaissance, within which Machiavelli lived (1469-1527), was a study in paradox and contrast.  Florence rose from the bleak ashes of the Black Death (as depicted in Boccaccio’s Decameron), during which 70% of the city’s population either died or went elsewhere, to become a booming center of textiles (first wool, then silk) and finance (the banking enterprises of families like the Medici).  It was a city where money talked and power rested in the hands of the Medici family during most of the period.

The money that ruled Florence, rather than addressing the needs of the impoverished, went to displays of status.  The Medici, the Pitti, and the other wealthy and powerful families outdid one another with investment in private and public artworks.   Michelangelo’s “David,” now housed in the Accademia, was once a sculpture on public view in the Piazza della Signoria; a replica stands there now. Architects such as Brunelleschi thrived, and thus resulted a city of extraordinary beauty.  Botticelli, Da Vinci, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and many others found patrons in wealthy families, in the Florentine government, and in the Church itself.   Without the rise of families like the Medici, it’s doubtful whether Florentine art would have thrived as it did.

The art of the Renaissance, on the surface, provides a striking contrast to Machiavelli’s emphasis on “doing what is necessary” to build and keep power.  Nevertheless, his writing and the great art of the period shared many things.  They rested on a foundation of rational humanism.  They evoked the past, especially the past of classical Greece and Rome.  They also had a deep interest in contemporary subjects:  Machiavelli’s analysis of politics, Da Vinci’s portraiture, the Brancacci chapel’s frescoes with the faces of Florentines who lived during the time artist was working.

The Italian Renaissance was a time of contrast and conflict.  Bloody political upheaval marked the period.  Popes sired illegitimate children and kept mistresses in the Vatican.  Families warred with each other over who controlled cities.  Yet the Renaissance in Florence and other Italian cities was also a time of immeasurable beauty, of artistic innovation, and of enormous creativity.

Machiavelli’s work must certainly be counted among some of the most significant of this fascinating time.

Ci vediamo, mei amici!

Kathy Carter
Cat’s Cradle Books