Francesco di Marco Datini


Francesco di Marco Datini

Francesco di Marco Datini (c. 1335 - 1410) was an Italian merchant born in Prato.

He was the only child of Marco Di Datino and Monna Vermigilia, who both died as a result of the Black Death in 1348.

After his parents death, he was raised by a woman whom he called his "substitute mother." Their relationship seems to have been a positive one. We see a letter from her signed "your mother in love."The Middle Ages: an Illustrated History. Barbara A. Hanawalt. Oxford University Press, New York, 1998. ISBN 0-19-510359-9]

He became an apprentice of a merchant in Florence and when he was fifteen, he joined a group of merchants who were going to Avignon, the city where the Popes had moved at the time. He eventually became a supplier of luxury goods and art for the wealthy cardinals residing there. The works of art these figures bought were some of the first consumed for private, non religious use. Before this time, the church had been the primary patron of the arts. Later on, the papacy and other pious individuals commissioned religious artwork, creating a use for Francesco's merchant skills. He was not interested in the product itself, but whether it was good quality or not, so that it might please his buyers. This individual buying of artwork is a trend that we see going into the renaissance.

When Datini was more than forty years old he returned to Prato briefly and married Marghareta, who was 25 years his junior. The correspondence through letter provides us with exchanged letters weekly while Datini was away on business, which provides most of the information available today on his life. In the year 1400 (around the time of 17 June), the two fled from Prato to Bologna in fear of the Black Death, along with Datini's illegitimate daughter. He returned to die a natural death in 1410. [cite book |author=John Reader, |title=Cities: A Magisterial Exploration of the Nature and Impact of the City from Its Beginnings to the Mega-Conurbations of Today |publisher=Atlantic Monthly Press |location=Boston |year= |pages=p. 94 |isbn=0-87113-898-0 |oclc= |doi=]

Datini is representative of the classic middle class man of the Middle Ages who lived through the Black Death and shared common anxieties surrounding it. His belief, that the plague was caused by contagion, represents one of the characteristic theories behind the dispersion of the plague. For this reason he and others fled the areas of disease or retreated in castles in an attempt to avoid infection. He shows the fears of the Middle Ages, having been living away from his family, he was extremely anxious and worried about his family's fate.

Notes

References

*Oakley, Francis (1979). "The Western Church in the Later Middle Ages". Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0 8014 9347 1.
*Origo, Iris. "Merchant of Prato: Francesco di Marco Datini".

External links

* [http://www.istitutodatini.it/schede/datini/eng/fdat1.htm Francesco Datini]
* [http://www.istitutodatini.it/schede/palazzo/eng/pal-dat1.htm Datini's Palace]
* [http://www.istitutodatini.it/schede/archivio/eng/arc-dat1.htm Datini's Archive]
* [http://monnamargherita.wordpress.com/about/margherita-di-domenico-bandini-fact-sheet/francesco-di-marco-datini-fact-sheet/ Datini fact sheet]

Persondata
NAME=Datini, Francesco
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Francesco di Marco Datini
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Merchant
DATE OF BIRTH=c1335
PLACE OF BIRTH=Prato
DATE OF DEATH=1410
PLACE OF DEATH=Prato


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