Springtime in Florence

A sumptuous image for the inauguration from Medici Florence.

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Procession of the Magi, Benito Gozzoli, ca, 1460, a fresco in the Medici family chapel in Florence showcasing three generations of Medici merchant-princes.

The springtime hope expressed by this painting was not false. Lorenzo de Medici, idealized as the boy rider leading the cavalcade, came to power nine years later and ruled Florence for thirty years as an enlightened hidden despot. He achieved reasonable political success – and reflected glory from the immortal art it was his policy to foster.

Pope PIus II (the urbane and cultured Aeneas Piccolomini) is put in his place in the second row as the rider in red hat and blue robe. He would I fancy have been much closer in spirit tomorrow to Gene Robinson than to Rick Warren.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web