The Bookseller of Florence
Member Exclusive Lectures • 1h 8m
Vespasiano da Bisticci was “the king of the world’s booksellers.” Born in humble circumstances in Florence in 1422, he became the biggest manuscript dealer in fifteenth-century Europe. His clients included kings, popes and princes, as well as three generations of the Medici. He created magnificent libraries for his clients and disseminated the wisdom of the ancients, such as Plato and Cicero, in manuscripts that were works of art, copied by the finest scribes and decorated by the cream of Florentine artists. As he reached the height of his powers, a new invention appeared, the printing press, which would forever change the way knowledge was spread.
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