Girolamo Savonarola's Revolution

Girolamo Savonarola by Fra Angelico (Museo San Marco, Florence)

 


Between the time of the introduction of printing to Florence in 1471 and the close of the fifteenth century, the production of classical texts was usurped by the conservatism of Girolamo Savonarola's powerful sermons.  Savonarola (1452-1498), a Dominican friar from Ferrara, arrived in Florence in 1481, sent by his order in Bologna to deliver sermons to the people of Italy.  The friar's style of preaching was met with some resistance at first but by 1491 he was addressing crowds large enough to fill the cathedral of Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore.  Savonarola was one of the first figures to use printing to spread political propaganda.  He published scores of pamphlets, booklets, and sermons during his time in Florence.  Toward the end of the fifteenth century, however, he began to lose power and was burned at the stake in the main piazza of Florence in 1498.  The portrait above, by Fra Bartolommeo, depicts Savonarola's stern demeanor.  The painting at right, by an anonymous Florentine, shows the friar being burned at the stake in the Piazza della Signoria.  Both paintings are now housed in the Museo San Marco, Florence. Martyrdom of Savonarola by Anonymous (Museo San Marco, Florence)

Click on images to enlarge.

Girolamo Savonarola, Compendio di revelatione dello invtile servo di Iesv Christo, printed by Francesco Bonaccorsi, 1495 Girolamo Savonarola, Compendium revelationum invtilis servi Iesv Christi, printed by Francesco Bonaccorsi, 1495
Girolamo Savonarola, Compendio di revelatione dello invtile servo di Iesv Christo, printed by Francesco Bonaccorsi, 1495 (UIUC X 852 S26 OcI) Girolamo Savonarola, Compendium revelationum invtilis servi Iesv Christi, printed by Francesco Bonaccorsi, 1495 (UIUC 852 S26 OcLs)
Girolamo Savonarola, Epistola alle suore del Terzo Ordine di San Domenico, printed by Bartolommeo dei Libri, 1497 Girolamo Savonarola, Expositio Orationis Dominicae, printed by Bartolommeo dei Libri, ca. 1490
Girolamo Savonarola, Epistola alle suore del Terzo Ordine di San Domenico, printed by Bartolommeo dei Libri, 1497 (UIUC X 852 S26 Oe) Girolamo Savonarola, Expositio Orationis Dominicae, printed by Bartolommeo dei Libri, ca. 1490 (UIUC X 226.9 Sa9eI 1490)

Girolamo Savonarola, Expositione di Frate Hieronymo da Ferrara sopra el Psalmo L, printed by Bartolommeo dei Libri, 1500
Girolamo Savonarola, Expositione di Frate Hieronymo da Ferrara sopra el Psalmo L, printed by Bartolommeo dei Libri, 1500 (UIUC X 223.2 Sa9eI 1500)


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