SIGISMONDO MALATESTA, 1417-1468
Lord of Rimini
The feats, face and fame of a Renaissance Prince
with a foreword by Remo Bodei
240 pages, 138 color illustrations
UCLA CMRS and JPGM | Los Angeles, 26-27 January 2018
The book aims to guide specialist or non-specialist readers, who know little or nothing of the Malatesta's history, through the biography of Sigismondo, one of the most celebrated princes of the Renaissance; it also wishes to avoid the stereotypes that have all too often constrained a clear view of the man.
The book traces the history of this figure, unconditioned by the reputation that has accompanied him for six centuries and that has transformed him from a man of history into a character of fantasy and legend.
He has sometimes been evoked as a devilish wretch capable of the most shameful actions and a hero whose feats would sit well in ancient mythology. Two extremes that originate, either directly or indirectly, through a courtier’s flattery, pro- or anti-papism or just historiographical inactivity sourced from the perverted media campaign launched by the skillful Pius II, who was unbelievably envious of him.
This source was tainted, as this book shows, yet still today it continues to appeal thanks to the pontifical seal and the attraction of the contradictions that it encapsulates - lust and mysticism, violence and poetry, heroism and turpitude.
Of course, Sigismondo was neither a saint nor anything resembling one.
He possessed the vices and virtues of a man of war and wielded power in his day. He was violent and relentless in battle, shrewd in politics. Often inclined to excesses.
But, undoubtedly, he was not the monster of evil depicted by the legend that Pius propagated, and still believed by many.
He was, like so many, a valiant military leader, a magnificent prince, a generous patron, a humanist who liked to read the greats classical writers and compose verses, who sought out the company of scholars and dreamed of splendor.
But more than this.
At the dawn of the Renaissance, in one of the most revolutionary and exciting moments of Western civilization, he was a brave and innovative protagonist.
His greatest undertaking stands as a testimony to this: the Malatestian Temple.
The volume is organized in four sections:
A humanist prince between history and legend
His achievements: when
and invective between the 15th and 20th centuries
In the cover:
Agostino di Duccio, Sigismundi vera est victoris imago, fine 1454, inizi
1455. Marmo, cm 89. Particolare del bassorilievo sul coperchio dell’Arca
degli Antenati e dei Discendenti. Cappella della Madonna dell’Acqua.
Rimini, Tempio Malatestiano. Riproduzione da un calco in gesso conservato
al Museo della Città di Rimini “Luigi Tonini”. Foto di Casalboni &