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Peter Burke. The Italian Renaissance : Culture and Society in Italy. — Revised edition. — Princeton, New Jersey, 1987

The Italian Renaissance : Culture and Society in Italy / Peter Burke. — Revised edition. — Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1987  The Italian Renaissance : Culture and Society in Italy / Peter Burke. — Revised edition. — Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1987

The Italian Renaissance : Culture and Society in Italy / Peter Burke. — Revised edition. — Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1987. — VI, 287 p., ill. — ISBN 0-691-02838-9 (pbk)

In this substantially revised edition of his widely acclaimed work, Peter Burke presents a social and cultural history of the Italian Renaissance. He discusses the social and political institutions which existed in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and he analyzes the ways of thinking and seeing which characterized this period of extraordinary artistic creativity.
Developing a distinctive sociological approach, the author is concerned not only with the finished works of Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and others, but also with the social background, patterns of recruitment, and means of subsistence of this “cultural elite”. He thus makes a major contribution both to our understanding of the Italian Renaissance and to our comprehension of the complex relations between culture and society.
Peter Burke has written a substantial introduction to this new edition of his work, and he has revised and updated the text throughout. The book is richly illustrated. It will have a wide appeal among historians, sociologists, and anyone interested in one of the most creative periods of European history.
Peter Burke is Reader in Cultural History at the University of Cambridge. His previous publications include Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (Harper & Row) and Sociology and History (Allen & Unwin).



At the beginning of the fifteenth century, Italy was neither a social nor a cultural unit, although the concept Italia existed, and some educated men in other regions could understand Tuscan. It was simply a geographical expression; but geography influences both society and culture. Their geography encouraged Italians to devote more attention than their neighbours did to commerce and industry. Italy’s central location in Europe, and easy access to the sea, gave its merchants the opportunity to become middlemen between East and West, while its terrain, one-fifth mountainous and three-fifths hilly, discouraged agriculture. It is hardly surprising then that Italian cities — Genoa, Venice, Florence — played a leading part in the commercial revolution of the thirteenth century, or that in 1300 some 23 cities in north and central Italy had a population of 20,000 or more apiece. City-republics were the dominant form of political organization in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. A relatively numerous urban population and a high degree of urban autonomy underpinned the unusual importance of the educated layman. It would be hard to understand the cultural and social developments of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries without reference to these preconditions and traditions (Waley, 1969; Martines, 1979, chs 1—4; Larner, 1980).
In the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, a number of citystates lost their independence, and in the 1340s Italians, like other Europeans, were hit by slump and plague. However, the tradition of the urban way of life and the educated laity survived, and it is central to this study. The majority of the Italian population (about nine or ten million people altogether) were peasants, living for the most part in extreme poverty and probably untouched by the Renaissance. They had a culture and it is well worth study, but it is not the subject of this book, which is concerned with the social context of new developments in the arts.
Writing in 1860, the great Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt saw the Renaissance as a modern culture created by a modern society. Today, it looks rather more archaic. The shift in attitude is due in part to scholarly research on continuities between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, but much more to changes in conceptions of the ‘modern’. Since 1860 the classical tradition has withered away, the tradition of representational art has been broken and rural societies bave turned into urban — industrial ones on a scale which dwarfs fifteenth- or sixteenth-century cities and their crafts. Renaissance Italy now looks ‘underdeveloped’, in the sense that the majority of the population worked on the land, many were illiterate and all were dependent on animate sources of power. This perspective makes the cultural innovations of the period all the more remarkable.
To understand and explain these innovations — which came in the course of time to constitute a new tradition — is the aim of this book, as it has been the aim of many earlier studies of the Renaissance. What makes this hook somewhat more distinctive is the aspiration to write not only a cultural history but also a social history of the movement, and to deal in particular with the relation between culture and society. Neither term is easy to define. By ‘culture’ I mean essentially attitudes and values and their expressions or embodiments in texts, artefacts and performances. Culture is the realm of the imaginary and the symbolic. As for ‘society’, the term is shorthand for the economic, social and political structure, an invisible structure which reveals itself in the pattern of social relationships characteristic of a particular place and time.
The essential argument, which I shall try to make as explicit as possible in the chapters that follow, is that we cannot understand the culture of Renaissance Italy if we look only at the conscious intentions of the artists, writers and performers who produced the paintings, poems, treatises, plays, songs, buildings and so on. Understanding these individual intentions — so far as we now can, hampered as we are by gaps in the evidence and by the differences between our categories, assumptions and values and theirs — is certainly necessary but it is not sufficient for the understanding of the Renaissance.
There are several different reasons why this approach is not sufficient in itself. Although Botticelli, for example, expressed his individuality on panel or canvas so clearly that is is not difficult, 500 years later, to recognize certain works as his, he was not an entirely free agent. Whatever contemporary artists do — and their liberty is often exaggerated — Renaissance artists generally did more or less what they were told. The constraints on them are part of their history.
Yet it would be as much a caricature to portray a Botticelli forced to produce the Primavera against his will as it would be to show the idea of it coming one morning quite spontaneously into his head. Romantic notions of the spontaneous expression of individuality were not available to him. The role of painter which he played was the one defined by (or at any rate in) his own culture. In a sense this social definition of a role is a kind of constraint; we are all, as the French historian Fernand Braudel liked to put it, ‘imprisoned’ by our assumptions, our mentalities. It is not possible to think all kinds of thought at all times, as another French historian, Lucien Febvre, used to say. At the same time, there are societies, and Renaissance Italy was one of them, where alternative definitions of the artist’s role — and of much else — were available. This pluralism may well have been a precondition of the other achievements of the period. In any case, Braudel’s metaphor is in some ways misleading. Without social experiences and without cultural traditions to help us make sense of those experiences, it would be impossible to think or imagine anything at all. The problem for posterity is that the Renaissance has become, almost as much as the Middle Ages, an alien, or at the least a ‘half-alien’, culture.1 What one takes for granted, the other finds questionable, so that misunderstandings are frequent. The artists and writers of the period are becoming increasingly remote from us — or we from them.
1 I take this useful concept from Medcalf (1981).
It is for this reason that the focus of this book will not be on individuals — though some of them, Michelangelo for example, never let us forget their individuality — so much as on traditions. Its concern will not only be with what linguists call the ‘message’, the particular act of communication, but also with the ‘code’, the language or more generally the cultural tradition which both limits what can be said and makes a message possible.
The main theme is that of the break with one code or tradition, that of the medieval (‘German’, ‘Gothic’, ‘barbaric’) past, and the development of another, modelled more closely on classical antiquity. These changing traditions have some relationship not only to the past but to the general history of the time: economic booms and slumps, political crises and the less dramatic and more gradual transformations of the social structure.
My aim here is to avoid the weaknesses of two earlier approaches to the Renaissance, discussed in more detail in chapter 2. The first is Geistesgeschichte and the second is historical materialism, otherwise known as Marxism.
Geistesgeschichte, literally ‘the history of spirit’, was an approach to history stressing the ‘spirit of the age’ which expressed itself in every form of activity, including the arts and above all philosophy. Historians of this persuasion, including Jacob Burckhardt, still the greatest historian of the Renaissance, begin with ideas rather than with everyday life, stress consensus at the expense of cultural and social conflict and assume somewhat vague connections between different activities. Historical materialists, on the other hand, start with their feet on the earth of everyday life and move upwards to ideas, stress conflict at the expense of consensus and tend to assume that culture, which is an expression of ‘ideology’, is determined — directly or indirectly — by the economic and social ‘base’. The middle position which I occupy here is not unlike that held by members of the French ‘Annales School’ (notably Marc Bloch, Lucien Febvre and Fernand Braudel). My concern with comparative history and the history of mentalities owes a good deal to their example. The aim of this study is an open social history which explores connections between culture and society without assuming that the imaginary is determined by economic or social forces. This open social history makes use of the concepts of a number of social theorists — Karl Mannheim, for example, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber — without accepting any one theoretical package. Mannheim’s discussion of worldviews and generations, Durkheim’s social explanations of selfconsciousness and competitive behaviour and Weber’s concepts of bureaucracy and secularization all have their relevance to Renaissance Italy and it is possible to draw them together into a synthesis.
Also relevant to a historian of the Renaissance is the work of some social or cultural anthropologists: the many anthropological studies of religion, magic and witchcraft, for example, or Edward Evans-Pritchard’s (1940) analysis of the perception of space and time among the Nuer of the Sudan, or Paul Bohannan’s (1961) discussion of the communal aspect of the ‘art’ of the Tiv of central Nigeria. It is worth bearing in mind throughout this study that some of its central concepts (notably ‘art’, ‘artist’ and ‘literature’) are Western ones, which were still in the process of formation in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. We need to be able to stand back from our own concepts, to defamiliarize ourselves with them, to place them mentally (if not always typographically) in inverted commas. To achieve this end it may be useful to compare and contrast Western culture with others, such as the African examples just mentioned or that of early modern Japan, which is discussed in the final chapter.
The plan adopted in this study is that of working outwards from a centre. This centre is what we call the art, humanism, literature and music of Renaissance Italy, and it is described in Chapter 1. It is in a sense the problem that the rest of the book tries to solve. Why did the arts take these particular forms in these cities and centuries? Chapter 2 gives a brief account of the various solutions propounded from that day to this. (Giorgio Vasari, writing at the end of the period, was already aware of the need to offer an explanation for the recent artistic achievements of the Tuscans.)
The second part of the book is concerned with the immediate social environment of the arts. First, what sort of people produced the paintings, buildings, poems we so much admire? Six hundred of the best-known artists and writers are studied in particular detail. Secondly, for whom did this ‘creative elite’ produce their texts, artefacts and performances? What did the patrons expect for their money? Widening out from these two groups, I look at the uses in Renaissance society of what we call ‘works of art’ and at the responses of contemporary viewers and listeners, at the taste of the time. These chapters may be regarded as contributions to a ‘microsocial’ history.
Some people think that the social history of the arts should stop at this point, but I believe that this leaves the job half done, and so the third and last part of the book widens out still further. A description of contemporary standards of taste does not make full sense if we do not know something about the dominant worldview of the time. The artists and their patrons, two different social groups, need to be re-placed in the general social framework if we are to understand their ideals, intentions or demands. Finally, there is the problem of change, more exactly the problem of the relation between cultural and social change. Every chapter discusses specific changes during the period, but the last two chapters attempt to draw these different threads together, and also to illuminate Italian developments by means of comparisons and contrasts with a neighbouring culture, that of The Netherlands in the same period, and a culture more remote in both space and time, Japan in its famous ‘Genroku era’.
This book was originally devised and written in the 1960s, at a time when — despite the work of Raymond Williams (1958) on Culture and Society, which inspired the original title — it still seemed somewhat daring to approach Leonardo, Michelangelo or Ariosto in this way. Art historians, literary critics and ‘plain’ historians did not have too much to say to one another. In the past 20 years or so, a common interest in the social history of art and literature has drawn them together, so closely that it is not always possible to tell them apart. There has probably been more research on the social history of the arts in the past 20 years than in the previous 60, and a good deal of it has been concerned with Renaissance Italy. It includes not only important individual contributions but also grand collective enterprises organized in Turin, Paris and elsewhere.2
2 Notably the Storia dell’arte italiana (12 vols in 14, Turin, 1979—83); Letteratura italiana, ed. A. Asor Rosa (in progress, Turin 1982—); and the 13 occasional volumes produced so far by the French Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la Renaissance italienne directed by André Rochon, the last of which is entitled ‘Culture et société’. Specific essays in these collections are cited below as appropriate.
At the same time (or rather, as a result of this research) we have become aware that modern notions of ‘art’, like modern notions of ‘literature’, are not universal but bound to particular periods in particular cultures.3 Poems and paintings have different uses (a point discussed at length in chapter 5). This awareness makes the socially constructed identity of ‘art historian’ or ‘literary critic’ difficult to sustain. We are all cultural historians now (Burke, 1983).
3 On art, see Alsop (1982); on literature, see Eagleton (1983), pp. 1—16.
Cultural history, once (despite the precedents of Burckhardt and Huizinga) a small subject on the margin of ‘proper’ history, has both expanded and fragmented. There is no consensus about the methods of this kind of history or even about its aims. Traditional Geistesgeschichte has been discredited; the newer ‘history of ideas’, developed in reaction against it by the American philosopher—historian Arthur Lovejoy and his collaborators, no longer seems as attractive as it once did; the French ‘history of mentalities’ still appears glamorous but is thought by many to be meretricious (see Burke, 1986). The traditional Marxist view of culture as a reflection of society, which underlies the work of Raymond Williams as it did that of such social historians of the Renaissance as Frederick Antal and Arnold Hauser, has been challenged by other approaches.4 New styles of cultural history have developed since the 1960s, distinguished by broader definitions of culture and more subtle and complex views of its relation to society.5 It may be useful to distinguish four overlapping approaches which place their respective emphases on popular culture, social anthropology, politics and language.
4 Antal (1947), Hauser (1951) and Williams (1958). Contrast the more subtle approaches discussed in Jameson (1971) and Williams (1977), and exemplified in Clark (1973) and Barrell (1980).
5 These views are made usefully explicit in Baxandall (1985) and other essays in the same issue of the Journal, under the rubric ‘Art or Society: must we choose?’
The discovery of popular culture is part of a wider movement to write history from below, a movement which has been led by Marxists (Edward Thompson, for example), although it is not confined to them. In 1860, it was natural for Burckhardt to concern himself with the attitudes and values of a minority of the population of Italy. It is now equally natural to ask what everyone else was thinking, feeling or doing at the time, and to explore their culture.6 Carlo Ginzburg’s (1976) study of the worldview of Menocchio Scandella, a sixteenth-century miller from a village in Friuli whose attitudes were too unorthodox for his own good, is an outstanding example of the new wave of research on popular culture. Unfortunately, the two concepts basic to this approach, ‘popular’ and ‘culture’, are both extremely difficult to pin down. Who are the people? Everyone, or the non-elite? And, if the latter, are they to be defined in social, political or cultural terms, as those who lack status, power or education? Do they in fact lack ‘education’ or only what an elite defines as education? In other words, what is culture? The recent trend — in the wake of such social theorists as Pierre Bourdieu — is to study the attitudes encoded in daily life or ‘cultural practice’, the local conventions for eating, drinking, walking, talking, falling ill (or being perceived as ill) and so on (Bourdieu, 1972, 1979).
6 This was my own reaction after finishing this book in 1970. The attempt to answer the question led to Burke (1978).
To study cultural practice and the values which underlie it is what social anthropologists do, so that Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie’s (1975) study of the village of Montaillou in the fourteenth century can be described with equal accuracy as a piece of history from below or as historical anthropology. It is at first sight rather odd that specialists in the study of the dead should be attracted by a discipline centred on fieldwork among the living, or that historians specializing for the most part on parts of the West should read ethnographies of Central Africa or Indonesia. However, this attraction is not a blind or irrational one. Historians of cultural practices need to defamiliarize themselves with their own culture in order not to take too much for granted, and exotic ethnography provides a means to this end. Social anthropologists have traditionally operated with a broad definition of culture. (Clifford Geertz, for example, distinguishes ‘the general system of symbolic forms we call culture’ from the particular system we call art.)7 They are more concerned with theory than historians have traditionally been, and the so-called ‘symbolic anthropologists’ in particular have developed a useful vocabulary for analysing myths, rituals and symbols, and placing them in their social setting.
7 See Geertz (1983) which, incidentally, discusses Baxandall (1972) on Renaissance art.
This setting includes politics. In the past decade or so, cultural historians have taken a more political turn. The 1960s formula ‘culture and society’ has been joined, or displaced, by ‘cultural politics’. Political historians are discovering culture (‘political culture’, as they sometimes call it), while cultural historians have found it necessary to concern themselves with power. The concept ‘cultural hegemony’, developed by Antonio Gramsci in a fascist prison between the wars, has become common historical currency as a result of this trend; so has the concept of ‘strategy’.8 The concept of ideology has been refined and reformulated to analyse the various ways in which meaning or signification ‘serves to sustain relations of domination’ (Thompson, 1984, p. 131f ). The history of political rituals has attracted particular attention as a means of studying the relation between culture and power.9
8 On hegemony, see Williams (1977), pp. 108—14; on strategy, see Bourdieu (1972), pp. 6f, 58f, discussed in the context of Renaissance art by Castelnuovo ( 1976), p. 48.
9 Two important examples, discussed below, are Trexler (1980) and Muir (1981).
Rituals are often a means of persuasion, a kind of rhetoric, a form of language. Cultural historians have recently been taking a linguistic or rhetorical turn. Of course, the revival of interest in rhetoric on the part of literary critics is nothing new; but the subject is too important for historians to leave to the critics. Partly because it is impossible to use written sources critically without awareness of the conventions of literary genres (letters, wills, diaries and decrees no less than poems or plays); but also because speaking and writing are human activities which have their own relation to society (as ethnolinguists and sociolinguists remind us), and their own history. The social history of language is just beginning to be taken seriously. It involves a concern not only with the varieties of language spoken by different social groups in different periods, but also with the varieties employed by the same people in different social contexts, with the use of language to express or create social relationships (deference, intimacy, hostility and so on). The basic question is ‘who speaks what language to whom and when?’10
10 See Fishman (1965); and cf. formulation in Williams (1974), p. 120. For examples of historians’ answers to this question, see the collection of essays on The Social History of Language, ed. P. Burke and R. Porter, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.
Ritual, and visual arts and other cultural activities may usefully be regarded (in some respects at least) as languages, or better (because it does not impose a verbal model) as forms of communication. A group of social anthropologists who call themselves ‘ethnographers of communication’ concern themselves with who is ‘saying’ what to whom, in what situations and through what channels and codes, in a wide range of what they call ‘communicative events’, which between them make up a culture.11
11 See Hymes (1964) and, on the relation between culture and communication, Leach (1976).
This approach has very great potential for historians, who are no longer content with the classic style of cultural history (exemplified by Jacob Burckhardt and Johan Huizinga), but have not yet devised an acceptable alternative to it.12 What would it be like to approach Renaissance Italy with this communication model of culture in mind? It would shift the focus of attention from great ‘works of art’ to a much wider range of messages or ‘communicative events’, such as popular songs, sermons, graffiti and rituals, official and unofficial, from the Marriage of the Sea to Carnival. It would involve distinguishing between different kinds of sender and recipient of messages: rulers and subjects, clergy and laity, the whole community and the various families, factions, guilds, fraternities and individuals which constituted it. It would involve distinguishing between learned and popular culture, but also discussing the interaction between the two, identifying the occasions on which the learned or the upper classes participated in popular culture, the social situations in which they spoke dialect rather than Latin or the literary Tuscan which was beginning to become Italian. Such an approach would attempt to distinguish the different purposes of communicative events: to obtain obedience, to spread the truth, to make people laugh, to criticize the established order, to make a good impression, to destroy rivals. Even the limited range of messages which we now call the ‘works of art’ of the Renaissance served this wide range of functions and more. The family palace and the family portraits, for example, were forms of conspicuous consumption and means of impression management which no one who had or aspired to high status could afford to do without.13 Like the marriages of sons and daughters, the commissioning of what we call works of art formed an essential part of family strategies for maintaining or advancing their social position.
12 I try to put this approach into practice in my forthcoming Historical Anthropology of Early Modern Italy, which centres on the history of perception and communication.
13 On conspicuous consumption, see Elias (1969), especially ch. 3, and Burke (1982). On impression management, see Goffman (1956).
The communication model also involves the study of how audiences, spectators or individual readers perceived and interpreted the messages they received, since their minds were not like sheets of blank paper but were on the contrary filled (as ours are, but differently from ours), with stereotypes, assumptions and habits of thought. To avoid anachronism, historians have to concern themselves with the responses of readers, listeners and beholders, with their ‘horizon of expectation’.14 Finally, the study of Renaissance culture as communication would avoid the reductionism of some social approaches to the arts, and oblige the historian to attend to form as well as content, and to media (or ‘codes’) as well as messages.
14 This concern is central to the controversial approaches to literature known as ‘reception theory’ and ‘reader-response theory’ (cf. Holub, 1984).
In short, I would not and do not approach the culture and society of Renaissance Italy in the same way now as I did in the 1960s. If I were sitting down to write the book today, I would formulate some questions and organize some chapters rather differently. The book would actually be more difficult to write now, partly because the key terms ‘culture’ and ‘society’ have so much less limited and less precise meanings than they did 20 years ago. At any rate, no one else has tried.15 All the same, a good many of the same questions would have to be asked and — despite the wealth of recent research — a good many of the same answers would have to be given. A number of the new approaches which have just been discussed were at least adumbrated, if not always developed, in the first edition of this book. It already dealt, for instance, with popular culture, with ritual, with the expectations and responses of viewers or, to take a more precise example, with the use of images to bring rain, to ward off danger or to defame and humiliate criminals or enemies.16
15 The study of the Italian Renaissance closest to mine is the work of a Soviet scholar, Batkin (1978). Cf. Martines (1979).
16 See chapter 5. For developments, see Trexler (1972a), Ortalli (1979) and Edgerton (1985).
I am grateful to the reviewers of earlier editions of this book for their constructive criticisms, and I have taken some of their suggestions to heart.17 On one question, however, I remain unrepentant: that of quantitative methods. The discussion of the changing subject matter of paintings was founded on the analysis of a sample of some 2,000 paintings, while the chapter on artists and writers was based essentially on the analysis of 600 careers (facilitated by a computer, an ICT 1900, which has doubtless become an antique by now). The use of statistics struck one reviewer at least as ‘pseudo-scientism’. On the other hand, this method of collective biography (or ‘prosopography’) has been followed in some subsequent studies of Renaissance Italy (Bee, 1983; De Caprio, 1983; King, 1986).18 Quantitative history has become in turn fashionable and unfashionable. Both reactions are in my view unfortunate, but they suggest that a few words of clarification are needed in order to make at least two points. First, historians make implicitly quantitative statements whenever they use terms like ‘more’ or ‘less’, ‘rise’ or ‘decline’, without which they would find their task difficult indeed. If we are going to make quantitative statements, it is our duty to look for quantitative evidence. A common criticism of quantitative methods (in this study and elsewhere) has been that they generally tell us only what we know already. They do indeed sometimes confirm earlier conclusions but, like the discovery of new documents, they often put these conclusions on a firmer base. The second point concerns precision. The statistics are, as I remarked in the first edition of this book, speciously precise because the exact relation of the ‘sample’ analysed to the world outside it is uncertain. Hence it is useless, and misleading, in this field at least, to offer figures such as ‘7.25 per cent’, and I have deliberately dealt in round numbers. However, in order to assess relative magnitudes and changes over time, which are the objects of the exercise, the calculation of rough absolute figures is probably the least unreliable means. In short, the justification for the method is purely pragmatic.
17 I should like to record a particular debt to the comments of Hatfield (1973) and Kurczewski (1983).
18 On the method more generally, see Stone (1971).
It remains to explain how exactly this edition differs from its two predecessors. In the first place, it includes a bibliography which contains not only the sources and secondary works used in the original version, but a considerable amount of more recent research, together with studies in other fields to which allusions are made in different parts of the book. References to this recent research have also been incorporated into the notes. In the second place, some information which seemed to clog the flow of the argument has been transferred to the notes and the text has been completely rewritten, mainly on stylistic grounds. The order of sentences, paragraphs and, on occasions, chapters has been changed to make the argument clearer. Some examples have been replaced with others which seem more appropriate, better documented or more fully discussed in the recent literature. The dates 1420—1540, which confine the Renaissance too narrowly and were chosen merely to demarcate the volume from another in the same series, have been taken still less seriously than before.19 In essentials, however, I am the same author (despite grey hairs and increasing caution, if not wisdom), and this is the same book.
19 The companion volume, on the period 1290—1420, was Larner (1971).



Part I The problem
1 The Arts in Renaissance Italy 15
2 The Historians: the discovery of social and cultural history 28
Part II The Arts in their Milieu
3 Artists and Writers 43
Recruitment 43
Training 51
The Organization of the Arts 62
The Status of the Arts 74
Artists as Social Deviants 82
4 Patrons and Clients 88
Who are the Patrons? 89
Patrons v Artists 100
Architecture, Music and Literature 110
The Rise of the Market 118
5 The Uses of Works of Art 124
Religion and Magic 124
Politics 150
Art for Pleasure 142
6 Taste 143
The Visual Arts 144
Music 152
Literature 155
Varieties of Taste 157
7 Iconography 162
Part III The Wider Society
8 Worldviews: Some Dominant Traits 177
Views of the Cosmos 178
Views of Society 188
Views of Man 192
Towards the Mechanization of the World Picture 200
9 The Social Framework 204
Religious Organization 204
Political Organization 209
The Social Structure 217
The Economy 222
10 Cultural and Social Change 229
Generations 229
Structural Changes 236
11 Comparisons and Conclusions 242
The Netherlands 243
Japan 246
Appendix: The Creative Elite 251
Bibliography 253
Index 280


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The Italian Renaissance : Culture and Society in Italy / Peter Burke. — Revised edition. — Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1987  The Italian Renaissance : Culture and Society in Italy / Peter Burke. — Revised edition. — Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1987


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