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The Codex Rustici and the fifteenth-century Florentine artisan

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Abstract

Ostensibly the description of a Holy Land pilgrimage, the Codex Rustici (c. 1442) is better known for its watercolour illustrations of Florence's churches. Detailed biographical information on the author, Marco di Bartolomeo Rustici, has not previously been offered. Here I present new data on Rustici's biography and analyse what he read and wrote about himself, eliding statistical data and Rustici's textual divagations. In the process, the paper builds on previous scholarship about Italian artisans in the fifteenth century. It gives an indication of the literary possibilities open to such men, and adds to what scholars understand of Florentine artistic and poetic self-representations in this period.
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Keywords: Codex Rustici; Renaissance Florence; artisans; literary sensibility; self-representation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Western Sydney

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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