Learning through Images in the Italian Renaissance: Illustrated Manuscripts and Education in Quattrocento Florence

October 30, 2020
Learning through Images in the Italian Renaissance: Illustrated Manuscripts and Education in Quattrocento Florence

For the affluent merchant class of fifteenth-century Florence,the education of future generations was a fundamental matter.Together with texts, images played an important role in thedevelopment of the young into adult citizens. In this book,Federico Botana demonstrates how illustrated manuscripts ofvernacular texts read by the Florentine youth facilitatedunderstanding and memorisation of basic principles and knowledge.They were an important means of acquiring skills thenconsidered necessary to gain the respect of others, to prosper asmerchants, and to participate in civic life. Botana focuses onillustrated texts that were widely read in QuattrocentoFlorence:  the Fior di virtù (a moral treatiseincluding a bestiary), the Esopovolgarizzato (Aesop's Fables in Tuscan),the Sfera by Goro Dati (a poem on cosmology andgeography), and mathematical manuals known as libri d'abbaco.He elucidates, in light of original sources and medieval and moderncognitive theory, the mechanisms that empowered illustrations totransmit knowledge in the Italian Renaissance.