From Giotto to Botticelli

The Artistic Patronage of the Humiliati in Florence

By (author) Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, Julia I. Miller

Hardback - £59.95

Publication date:

13 August 2015

Length of book:

264 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271065038

In From Giotto to Botticelli, Julia Miller and Laurie Taylor-Mitchell explore the three-hundred-year rise and fall of the Humiliati (“Humbled Ones”), a religious order infamous for its attempt to assassinate Saint Carlo Borromeo and ultimately suppressed, by papal bull, in 1571. This book focuses on the order’s artistic patronage and considers the major works by artists such as Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli, and Ghirlandaio that the Humiliati commissioned for the Church of the Ognissanti in Florence. Miller and Taylor-Mitchell reveal how the Humiliati promoted their public image through the visual arts and examine the themes and ideas in these works. The Humiliati have received remarkably little scholarly attention to date, in part because of their suppression and eradication by the Church. This is one of the first comprehensive historical studies of this important religious order and the central role the Humiliati played in the history of Italian art. From Giotto to Botticelli will appeal not only to art historians but also to scholars of history, religion, and cultural studies, as well as to members of the general public.

From Giotto to Botticelli presents a comprehensive study of the Church of the Ognissanti in Florence as a way to better understand the ideology and interests of the Humiliati, a religious order whose art patronage has been unjustly neglected. This fascinating study sheds new light on how the Humiliati shaped art to suit their changing goals as they moved from poverty and humility to secular pleasures and wealth. Sumptuously illustrated, thoroughly researched, and well written, this book convinces the reader of the critical importance of an order whose patronage was momentous for the history of art.”

—Diane Wolfthal, Rice University