Doge Giovanni Mocenigo tempera painting by Gentile Bellini

made out of wood panel and tempera from 1478 to 1478

65 x 48 cms (251/2 x 183/4 ins)

The Frick Collection New York, United States, North America

No description at this time.


Art from the same year


Leonardo da Vinci writes in his notebooks that he has begun "two Virgin Marys."
Girolamo Savonarola's studies are interrupted when he is sent to the Dominican priory of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Ferrara as assistant master of novices.
First printing (in Padua) of Mondino de Liuzzi's _Anathomia corporis humani_, the first complete published anatomical text.
Cardinal della Rovere holds the episcopal see of Mende.
Leonardo da Vinci leaves Verrocchio's studio and is no longer resident at his father's house.


Leonardo da Vinci receives a commission to paint an altarpiece for the Chapel of the Signoria in the Palazzo Vecchio.

February 18

George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, is privately executed in the Tower of London.

March 25

The Holy Father gave a plenary indulgence in Santa Maria del Fiore for one day, from vespers on the 24th March till the next vespers, on the 25th March, which people availed themselves of with great devotion. The Cause of this was the preaching of Brother Antonio da Vergiegli in Santa Maria del Fiore during Lent, which bore good fruit. On this same 25th March, a law was determined upon at the Palagio, which forbade anyone who had killed a man to return to Florence(1). > (1) The provision is of the 16th March, 1478, Old Style, and perhaps the 25th is the day on which it was published. It was made to limit the concession of safe-conducts, and the causes which led to it may be read in the exordium which I have pleasure in publishing as a document which describes the way of thinking at that time. > "The high and magnificent _Signori_ having in mind how grave is the sin of homicide, by which man, a creature made and created in the image of God, is destroyed; and seeking the reasons why it is so very frequent under our jurisdiction; find among other things that it is encouraged by the facility of pardon and roper severity not being used in punishing such a detestable and abominable excess, he who commits the homicide being allowed to be continually in the presence of those who have suffered from the offence and of those who desire to live virtuously; none of whom can regard such manslayers without great indignation and perturbation of mind. And although the laws of the Florentine people bitterly avenge and punish such crimes, and give security against them; notwithstanding, whatever may be the reason, either too great humanity (which in reality one ought to call cruelty), or else undisciplined charity, such entirely right and just decrees are not properly observed. And the high _Signori_ and discreet chief citizens wish to remedy these things which are so contrary to honest living and against divine laws, by making the fear of pubishment deter men from committing them, when they are deprived of all hope of pardon, and by adjuring the magistrates not only not to overlook such things, but to enforce the law with severity, hoping firmly that this provision may hav ea good effect" (State Archives of Florence, _Consigli maggiori Provv. Reg. ad annum_). > > The term "_Signori e Collegi_" used in the decrees meant as follows: the Signori were the eight _Priori_ and the _Gonfaloniere della Giustizia_, and the _Collegi_ were the sixteen _Gonfalonieri della Compagnie_ and the twelve men (three from each quarter) formerly called the twelve _Buonuomini_, who were summoned by the _Signori_ to take council on almost every occasion. (Trans.)

April 26

On Easter Sunday, in an incident called the Pazzi conspiracy, a group including members of the Pazzi family, backed by the Archbishop of Pisa and his patron Pope Sixtus IV, attacks Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother and co-ruler Giuliano in the Cathedral of Florence. Giuliano is killed, but Lorenzo escapes with only a stab wound.

April 29

There was a little rest and quiet, without more bloodshed, but people were still bewildered with terror.

April 30

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci: > (Ascension-day). The obsequies of Giuliano de' Medici took place in San Lorenzo.

May 1

The new Signoria entered into office. That evening Andrea de' Pazzi and Brigliaino(1) were captured. And also, the same evening, returning from Pisa, Messer Piero Vespucci was captured and taken to the Palagio, as it was said that he had aided the escape of a man concerned in the plot. > (1) Giovanni di Domenico, called Brigliaino, a hanger-on of the house of Pazzi, and a worthless man.

May 3

At about 18 in the afternoon (2 p.m.), a priest(1) was captured in the Badia of Florence, who was a chancellor (secretary) of Messer Jacopo de' Pazzi, and another at the same time, from Volterra(2); they had remained hidden there from the day of the murder till now. And that evening Brigliaino and one of the cardinal's chancellors were hung at the windows of the Palagio, and when the ropes were cut, they fell down on the platform. The soldiers quarreled over robbing the dead bodies of doublets and hose. > (1) Stefano di Ser Niccolo of Bagnone, a priest in San Procolo at Florence. > > (2) Antonio di Gherardo Maffei of Volterra, scribe of the _Camera Apostolica_, or notary of the _Ruota_ (a society of Doctors of Law).

May 5

The horses and mules of Messer Jacopo and others were sold by auction.

May 9

Ambassadors came to Florence from the Pope; and finally, after a few days, they were sent away again without our having consented to give up the cardinal, whom they had wished to take back with them. And at this time many armed men were placed in the Piazza, and a patrol of _birri_ (sergeants) paraded the city day and night and the city-guards all night. No one went out after one o'clock (9 p.m.), whatever class he belonged to; not a sound was heard in the city at night; and no one carried arms at any time.

May 10

They sent Andrea de' Pazzi and two of his younger brothers into a new prison, in the vault of a tower at Volterra.

May 15

The body of Messer Jacopo was disinterred in Santa Croce and buried near the city wall, between Porta alla Croce and the Porta alla Giusticia, inside.

May 17

At about 20 in the evening (4 p.m.), some boys disinterred it (the body of Messer Jacopo) a second time, and dragged it through Florence by the piece of rope that was still round its neck; and when they came to the door of his house, they tied the rope to the door-bell, saying: "Knock at the door!" and they made great sport all through the town. And when they grew tired and did not know what more to do with it, they went to the Ponte al Rubiconte and threw it into the river.(1) And they sang a song with certain rhymes, amongst others this line: "Messer Jacopo is floating away down the Arno." And it was considered an extraordinary thing, first because children are usually afraid of dead bodies, and secondly because the stench was so bad that it was impossible to go near it; one may imagine what it was like, from the 27th April till the 17th May! And they must have had to touch with with their hands to throw it into the Arno. And as it floated down the river, always keeping above the surface, the bridges were crowded with people to watch it pass. And another day, down towards Brozzi, the boys pulled it out of the water again, and hung it on a willow, and then the beat it, and threw it back into the Arno. And it is said that it was seen to pass under the bridges of Pisa, always above the surface. > (1) History says that the magistrates had the body thrown into the Arno, to put a stop to the boys' treatment of it. (Trans.)

May 20

Guglielmo de' Pazzi gave his word to keep within fixed boundaries; and he was sent to his own estate and there limited to a distance of from five to twenty miles from Florence. And Messer Piero Vespucci was imprisoned in the _Stinche_ for life, because he had aided in the flight of a certain Napoleone Francese, who was proscribed for having been concerned in the conspiracy of Messer Jacopo narrated above.(1) > (1) It is probably that Vespucci was led to assist the flight of Francese not so much from friendship and humane feeling, as from hatred for Giuliano de' Medici, victim of the plot; the latter being the favoured lover of Piero Vespucci's daughter-in-law, the beautiful Simonetta Catani, the wife of Marco Vespucci, the continual and avowed object of Giulian's love-poems.

June 1

The clothes and household effects of the said Pazzi and others were sold by auction, under the roof of the _Zecca_ (Mint), and they filled the place from end to end for their possessors had been very rich.

June 5

The cardinal (Cardinal di San Giorgio) was set free.

June 7

He (Cardinal di San Giorgio) was accompanied by the "Eight"(1) and many citizens from the Palagio to the Nunziata; and he was in dread of being killed by the populace. That same day the Pope excommunicated us. > (1) These were the _Otto di Guardia e Balia_, at this time at the height of their power. (Trans.)

June 12

The cardinal (Cardinal di San Giorgio) left Florence.

June 13

It was voted in Council to put on many new taxes, _Sesti_ and _Decime_(1); and 50 thousand florins on the priests. > (1) The "Seventy," in the lifetime of Lorenzo, fearing the rigorous equality sought for by the _Catasto_, changed it to a form of subtle progressive taxation, which they called the _Decima scalata_. This apparently favoured the lower classes; there were certain cases in which the lower classes paid only a twentieth of their income, and the upper classes paid a _Sesto_ (the sixth part). The Medici, however, were extremely clever in favouring their friends by _sgravi_ (remissions), and oppressing their enemies by _aggravi_ (increases) or demands for old debts. The citizens had to make a full declaration of their family, possessions and means, as for the _Castato_. A man who had twelve children was exempt, only having the pay the registration fee, so as to be eligible for office. (Trans.)

July 2

An ambassador came to Florence from the King of France.

July 5

The feast of San Giovanni was kept, not having been kept on the actual day, and perambulating shows went about, and there was a procession; the palio(1) was also run, and there were _girandole_ and _spiritegli_ and _giganti_(2) and many fine things, as if it had been the real day. > (1) The _palio_ was actually the prize for which the races were so called were run, and consisted of a costly piece of drapery of velvet or silk, which was displayed at the winning-post. The famous palio of San Giovanni is mentioned by several historians as having taken place in the thirteenth century; the race was run from the Porta alla Croce to the Porta al Prato; and the prize was originally of scarlet velvet, and later of scarlet silk. (Trans.) > > (2) The _edifizi_ (shows mounted on carts) were platforms on wheels, upon which figures were placed, representing scriptural, mythological or other subjects, and sometimes short scenes were enacted. At the present time, on the day of San Giovanni, the band plays in the evening, mounted on a similar platform on wheels. (Trans.) _Girandole_ were platforms covered with rockets and wheels of fire, which took the form of shops, houses, etc. _Spiritegli_ were people on stilts, who admidst the dense crowd appeared to be walking in the air, over the heads of the rest, like spirits. _Giganti_ were men with their feet bound to high stilts, who wore masks and were dressed up to appear like giants; they supported themselves on poles made to resemble walking-sticks (Vasari, _Lives of the Painters_). (Trans.)

July 10

Another ambassador came from the King of France; he was going to the Pope, and was lodged in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni. And at this time the horsemen of the Duke of Milan came by the Pisan road, and passed near Poggibonizi, and the troops of the king continued to approach.

July 13

The King of Naples sent a herald to Florence, with the proclamation displayed, stamped with the arms of the king, and he went to the Signoria to declare war, being deputed to tell us that the king and the Holy Father were ready to oblige us in every way, if we sent away Lorenzo de' Medici: to which the citizens would not agree, and so war began.

July 19

The Sienese invaded our territory and took booty and prisoners, and on the 22nd they captured Calciano.

July 23

They (the Sienese) captured Rincine and destroyed it, and took away men and women of all classes; and our soldiers were worse than they, pillaging and working great havoc through Valdelsa, so that everyone left their homes and felt safe nowhere but in Florence. Each day there was some incursion or other, and the enemy overran Panzano, pillaging and burning.

July 31

Our men took much booty in the neighbourhood of Volterra. He who seeks evil, finds it. It was not very intelligent of them (the Sienese) to let themselves be drawn into making war in their own territory, for they will suffer two-thirds of the damage, and we the rest; whilst the King of Naples and the Pope who brought it about, will get off easily.

August 1

The enemy took Lamole, and captured more than 100 persons, and also continued to bombard the Castellina. The rule for our Italian soldiers seems to be this: "You pillage there, and we will pillage here; there is no need for us to approach too close to one another." They often let a fort be bombarded for several days, without attempting to succour it. We require to be taught by the northern soldiers how to make war.

August 10

The French ambassador and the Florentine ambassador(1) returned from Rome, without having arrived at anything satisfactory. > (1) Guidantonio Vespucci.

August 15

The French ambassador left; and at this time we lost the Castellina. And Messer Niccolo Vitelozzi(1) was going about sacking certain forts of Citta di Castello, and burning men, women, and children, with every sort of cruetly. After that, Messer Lorenzo of Citta di Castello(2) burnt some of our fortresses in the district of Arezzo, and committed atrocities, burning people. They were both cruel men. Such generally come to a bad end. Godly people, as we read in Holy Scripture, never come to a bad end. > (1) Or rather, Vitelli, ally of the Florentines and of Lorenzo de' Medici. > > (2) Lorenzo Giustini, who held that city for the Pope.

August 18

We lost the Castellina (as above said); the inhabitants escaped.

August 19

A peasant was tried and hung, and was taken down as dead and placed on a bier; but having reached the Tempio,(1) he recovered consciousness, not being dead. He was taken to (the hospital of) _Santa Maria Nuova_, where he died a few days after. All Florence saw him. And on the same day the enemy (the Sienese) encamped before Radda and Panzano. > (1) The Oratory of the Company of _Santa Maria del Tempio_, which consoled those condemned to death, and buried their bodies. It was beyond the _Porta alla Giustizia_, near the _Porta alla Croce_, outside the walls.

August 20

They (the Sienese) bombarded the said castles all day.

August 21

A commissary came to us from Venice, who hired for us 3 thousand soldiers, to be paid by the Venetians.

August 24

The people about Rovezzano took fright, and the alarm was sounded and they fled into Florence with all their possessions, by the _Porta alla Croce_, so that it really seemed as if the territory were lost. Such a terror were never seen, everyone being utterly dismayed. They did not consider themselves safe even in Florence, and suffered much discomfort and misery. And on the same day we last Radda, which was sacked and burnt.

August 24

The enemy (the Sienese) made an incursion as far as Ponte a Grassina, carrying off a smith and many others.

August 25

Three men were hung, who were caught outside the _Porta Sa' Niccolo_, having gone about pillaging in the guise of the enemy; and it was they who had struck such terror into the hearts of the people outside _Porta alla Croce_, and caused them to desert their homes. These men were Florentines.

August 27

We lost Meletuzzo and San Polo, the constable there having been guilty of treachery. And on the same day, Pretone and his brother the constable of Radda, and Jacopo Vecchietti who was a commissary there, were arrested, and they were imprisoned in the Stinche, as it was said that they had been guilty of treachery. A man of San Polo was also taken, and was put to the rack.

September 2

We heard that a conspiracy had been discovered at Venice, and that several persons had been beheaded or imprisoned.

September 7

(Monday). Our _Capitano_, the Marchese di Ferrara, came to Florence, arriving at about 22 in the evening (6 p.m.), with a great company of crossbowmen on horseback, and musketeers, and we escorted him into the city with great honour, lodging him in the same house which he had before. He had about 50 mules laden with baggage, and remained in Florence till Saturday, the 12th, when he took his baton and went into camp.

September 14

Brolio was taken by assault. And on the same day a man died of plague, in the Casa del Capitano(1), in prison, to which he had been condemned for life; and another man who was sick of the plague was taken out of prison and carried to the hospital of La Scala,(2) where all those sick of the plague were carried. At this time the plague had increased so much, that 40 or more were sick at the hospital, and 7 or 8 died every day, and some days even 11; besides others in the district who did not go to the hospital. > (1) THe house of the _Capitano del Popolo_, which was behind the Palazzo Vecchio. > > (2) The hospital of the Scala was in the street of that name, at the corner of the Via Polverosa (now Via degli Oricellari), and where the convent of San Martino was afterwards built.

September 25

Cacchiano was lost and was given over to the flames. And on the same day, mortars were sent to Casoli di Volterra, and our camp was set up before it; but our troops never went to succour those who were losing.

September 29

We regained Castelnuovo. At this time there were between 60 and 70 sick of the plague in the hospital and district together, and it was spreading to the camp also. On this same day the enemy's camp was moved to the Monte a Sansovino. They were beginning to go a little further away.

October 5

Our forces began to besiege Casoli.

October 6

Six Sienese were arrested here, one of them being the _Podesta_ of Castelnuovo, which had been regained. And at this time there were about 100 sick of the plague, at the hospital of La Scala, and in many houses of Florence; amongst others a man was found dead upon one of the benches in Santa Maria Novella.

October 11

A boy was found sick of the plague at the gate of the hospital of San Pagolo,(1) and no one could be found to carry him to the hospital of La Scala. At this time the enemy were bombarding the Monte a Sansovino.(2) > (1) On the Piazza Nuova di Santa Maria Novella, under the Loggie. This building, diminished in size, remained a hospital for many years. Lately, however, it has been changed into an educational institution for poor girls. (Trans.)

October 14

A sick woman was on her way to La Scala, the attendants helping and supporting her by the arms, but when she got as far as the hospital of the Porcellana,(1) she fell dead; so that one may say that the plague is exceedingly serious. > (1) This hospital was in the Via della Scala, at the corner of the Via della Porcellana.

October 20

A truce was made with the enemy for eight days, two days' notice to be given. Intelligent men did not approve of it.

October 31

Notice was given, and the enemy pressed hard on the Monte a Sansovino. And there was a plot in our camp; and the _Capitano_ hung one of the chief men under him.

November 1

The "Eight," who were in office, and their notary, were deposed, for having burnt certain books. And on the same day, the Monte a Sansovino was lost; the garrison capitulating on condition that their persons and property should be respected. And everyone said that if the truce had not been made, the enemy would have had to break up their camp, as they were so short of provisions that they could not have held out more than three days. Our forces never chose to make a sortie. Hence came the evil; and everyone marvelled that the enemy were not completely victorious after this, for they won much glory.

November 1

Start of the Spanish inquisition.

November 14

A father and son from Pistoia were arrested for treason. They were scourged.

November 15

Messer Piero Vespucci was taken out of the Stinche and sent to the _Podesta_; and on the same day they put him back in the Stinche, for some good end.

December 3

The traitor from Pistoia, called Piero Baldinotti,(1) was taken in the executioner's cart and hung, and the son was imprisoned for life in the Stinche. And at this time our soldiers went into quarters in the Pisan territory and elsewhere, and also the Capitano. > (1) He had wished to deliver Pistoia from the yoke of the Florentines, and give it to the King of Naples.

December 7

Messer Tommaso Soderini went as ambassador to Venice.

December 24

A peasant of the neighbourhood, belonging to the Popoleschi, was found dead in his house, having hung himself with a towel. And during these days the Arno was very high and overflowed its banks opposite Messer Bongianni's houses. It caused great damage. And the plague was also causing much mortality; it pleased God to chastise us. And at this Christmas-time, what with terror of the war, the plague, and the papal excommunication, the citizens were in sorry plight. They lived in dread, and no one had any heart to work. The poor creatures could not procure silk or wool, or only very little, so that all classes suffered.

December 28

Battle of Giornico: Swiss troops defeat the Milanese.

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