A long-awaited work, which describes from a multiplicity of perspectives one of the greatest artistic heritages of the fourteenth century. The first volume of the book, thanks to the contributions of well-known international scholars, describes the construction stages of one of the most important architectural heritages of the fourteenth century, a building destined to house one of the wealthiest and most active merchants of the time together with his family, made up also of relatives, servants and employees. A series of essays reconstructs the rich pictorial ornaments inside and outside the building and the structure of the large garden. A section of great historical interest analyzes the function of the place as a centre not only of private life but also of the merchant’s business, documented by an impressive archive of letters and books of account, which represents one of the greatest heritages of knowledge of the fourteenth century in Italy and Europe. Then we observe the transformation of the building, at Datini’s behest, in a welfare organization of fundamental importance in the Prato society, and its further architectural transformations, until the ones during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An interesting overlook on the present repairs of the building and on the surviving paintings considering its future cultural destination as a museum concludes the first volume.
The second volume includes a detailed chronology of the architectural operations and, above all, a wide appendix that presents the most important documents of the Datini Archive concerning Francesco di Marco’s business and letters, especially the ones to artists and craftsmen who collaborated in the building and decoration of the mansion.
Editorial coordination by Maria Raffaella de Gramatica.
Works by Claudio Cerretelli, Philippe Bernardi, Brenda Preyer, Maria Pia Mannini, Margherita Romagnoli, Cristina Gnoni Mavarelli, Marco Masseti, Philine Helas, Jerome Hayez, Chiara Marcheschi, Claudio Paolini, Diana Toccafondi, Simona Brambilla, Giuliano Pinto, Veronica Vestri, Vanessa Castelnovi, Francesca Carrara, Lia Pescatori, Francesca Piqué, Svitlana Claudia Hluvko, Cecilia Frosinini, Letizia Montalbano, Michela Piccolo, Maria Raffaella de Gramatica, Gabriele Ciolini.