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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Vespasiano da Bisticci: A Forgotten Titan of Renaissance Florence

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0644
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$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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The Golden Age of Florence. It was a time when a fever of creativity overtook the city that was filled with the sublime work of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Brunelleschi and other great artists and architects. What is not as well known, but no less essential to the Renaissance, were the manuscript writers, scholars, and booksellers who reintroduced the works of Plato, Cicero, and other great Classical thinkers to this enlightened world.

At the center of this activity was a bookstore beside the Bargello run by Vespasiano da Bisticci—known as the “king of the world’s booksellers.” He created magnificent libraries and deluxe manuscripts of the classics for clients that included popes, kings, and three generations of Medici. Then, as the printing press encroached, Vespasiano and others like him, were soon relegated to history’s bookshelf. 

Author Ross King, who spent years on the trail of the 15th-century Florentine titan, paints a portrait of the intellectual, political, and religious ferment of this world through Vespasiano’s eyes.

Ross’s book The Bookseller of Florence (Grove Publishing) is available for sale.

Book Sale Information

  • Purchase your copy of The Bookseller of Florence by Ross King here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 (no space between letters and numbers) in the “Coupon discount” section on Politics and Prose's check-out page.

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.