In a previously unnoticed provision of 1371, the Signoria and Councils of Florence approved a plan to construct an addition to the Palace of the Priors, now known as the Palazzo Vecchio. This article analyzes the main features of the provision, including financing for the project, selection of a building committee, and appointment of the architect Giovanni di Lapo Ghini as superintendent of the work. The implications of the term "magnificence" used in the provision to justify the project are examined in the context of the contemporary understanding of Aristotle's theory of magnificence. Unfortunately, the provision omits a detailed description of the addition. To clarify the nature of Ghini's project, the evidence concerning an earlier addition proposed by the Duke of Athens in 1343 is reviewed. On this basis, I conclude that very little of the duke's project was actually realized. Instead, it is proposed that the newly discovered project of 1371 revived the earlier idea of extending the Palazzo Vecchio to the east.
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Research Article| December 01 1993
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Paula Spilner; Giovanni di Lapo Ghini and a Magnificent New Addition to the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 December 1993; 52 (4): 453–465. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/990868
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