The Magnificent Interior: Emotion, Gender, and Household in the Life of Lorenzo de' Medici

Karen Burch

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Though Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449-1492) is one of the most well-studied Florentine figures in history, previous studies have almost exclusively focused on his political life and his contributions as an art patron. Few historians have given time to his emotional life, his relationships with the members of his household, or the ways in which he understood himself as a Medici man. The neglect of this crucial facet of the human experience fails to challenge previous understandings of Lorenzo’s life.
This thesis is meant to be a corrective to earlier work in Laurentian history. I approach Lorenzo’s life from a standpoint which incorporates the methodologies of emotions history, gender history, household history, and the history of sexuality. By making a close study of a variety of sources, including letters, poetry, and artwork, I will seek to create a new portrait of Lorenzo which explores his internal life. This, I believe, will give greater context to the decisions and behaviours which shaped his political and artistic career. Additionally, by exploring Lorenzo’s inner life, we will come to a deeper understanding of the ways in which masculinity, sexuality, and household relationships shaped the lives of Florentine men.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Cavallo, Sandra, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Jun 2020
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020


  • Lorenzo de' Medici
  • Lorenzo il Magnifico
  • Lorenzo the Magnificent
  • history of gender
  • History of Emotions
  • history of sexuality
  • Renaissance - Italy
  • Florence
  • history of the family
  • history of the household

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