Palazzo Medici e zona circostante
- The author:
Francesco di Lorenzo Rosselli (Florence 1448 – before 1513), the younger brother of the painter Cosimo Rosselli, was a painter, engraver and cartographer. From 1480 to 1482 he resided at the court of Matthias Corvinus in Hungary and from 1505 to 1508 he lived in Venice. His only signed and dated work is a print of the map of the world dating to 1506.
- The work:
The so-called Pianta della Catena, attributed to Lorenzo Rosselli, is the first known exemplar in the history of cartography which is intended as a complete representation of the city with all its buildings and the dense network of streets and squares. The name derives from the chain clasped with a lock which frames the map. The artist, shown from the back in the right foreground as he draws the walls of the city onto the sheet, indicates the starting point at the south-west of the city taken for this "bird's eye" view, delineated in line with the mediaeval approach but with a modern attempt at perspective realism.
top centre: "Fiorenza"; names of places and buildings comprised in the view.
- The iconography of the Palazzo:
The squared, rusticated pile of Palazzo Medici is identified by the legend "casa del m[agnific]o l[orenz]o de medici" on the facade overlooking Via de' Gori, adjacent to the garden wall. Together with the nearby church of San Lorenzo, it appears to create a single complex emerging in the quarter comprised between the Duomo and the convent of San Marco, where the principal edifices belong to the Medici or are dependent on their patronage.
- Replicas, Copies, Derivations:
There are several known derivatives of the Pianta della Catena. We would mention in particular the following maps: Domenico Zeno, Fiorenza, in Disegni delle più illustri città di Giulio Ballino, Venezia 1569; Claudio Duchetto, Fiorenza, Roma c. 1580; Giovanni Maggi, Fiorenza, Roma 1597; Giovanni Domenico de' Rossi, Fiorenza, Roma 1635. There are also pictorial derivations, such as that illustrated below (see Iconography/In the maps of Florence/Francesco Rosselli, 1489-1495).