Author: Katalin Prajda
View More View Less
Restricted access

The Story of the Fat Woodcarver, written by Antonio di Tuccio Manetti, probably recalls a popular anecdote about a Florentine artisan who was humiliated by his friend, Filippo di ser Brunellesco. The joke played by the architect has been at the forefront of scholarly interest, while the main protagonist has so far received limited attention. This article aims to reconstruct the life of Manetto di Jacopo Amannatini, that is, the Fat Woodcarver, in the context of his social relationships with the other figures in the story. It argues that Manetti’s account is grounded in concrete historical facts and therefore provides us with a unique picture of the intersections that existed between artisan and merchant networks in and beyond early Renaissance Florence. Manetto’s character may well symbolize those itinerant craftsmen who, by acknowledging their position in their own communities, and thanks to their skills and their courage to migrate to remote places, like the Kingdom of Hungary, managed to improve their social status significantly.