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    Rubinstein, Nicolai, d. 2003. (age 91)

Professor Nicolai Rubinstein, the historian of Medicean Florence, who died at the age of 91 on 19 August, had held his Honorary Fellowship since 1985. In 1939, soon after his arrival in England, he offered the Journal his first learned article in English, on ‘The Beginnings of Political Thought in Florence’ (published in 1942). From 1945, when he moved from the University of Southampton to Westfield College, his connection became closer; enlisted by Fritz Saxl for his new undergraduate course on The Italian Renaissance, an Optional Subject in the History School, he prepared a large table of comparative dates and taught the political history element with which the then two-year course began. Continuing to teach for the Institute until a change in the University’s regulations forced a modification of this course, as well as at Westfield College until retirement in 1978, he also founded a well-known and long-running seminar on Italian history at the Institute of Historical Research. In 1952, when the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento in Florence re-opened the project of a critical edition of the correspondence of Lorenzo de’ Medici, in abeyance since the beginning of the Second World War, and the Institute was given to understand that its collaboration would be welcome, Nicolai Rubinstein was invited to act as general editor, along with P. G. Ricci of the Florentine Archivio di Stato; they prepared a preliminary censimento together, but he assumed responsibility for the edition itself, making the Institute his headquarters. The Renaissance Society of America a little later joined the consortium, and still later the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti. With the eight volumes already issued by the Istituto under his direction, two of them edited by himself, together with his book on The Government of Florence under the Medici (Oxford-Warburg Studies, 1966; second, revised edition 1997; both editions also translated into Italian), he gave a new dimension to the study of fifteenth-century Florence. His was the initiative, also, for the volume Giovanni Rucellai ed il suo zibaldone: a Florentine Patrician and his Palace (Studies of the Warburg Institute, 24.2, published in 1981) and his monograph on The Palazzo Vecchio 1298–1532. Government, Architecture and Imagery in the Civic Palace of the Florentine Republic (Oxford-Warburg Studies, 1995) further enhanced his reputation; his Collected Essays are in the course of publication by Storia e Letteratura. Among Nicolai Rubinstein’s honours were his Fellowship (1971) and Serena Medal (1974) of the British Academy, the Premio Galileo Galilei (1975), the Premio della Cultura della Presidenza del Consiglio (1993), the Florentine Fiorino d’oro (1990) and the Honorary Citizenship of Florence (1991). Within the Institute he is remembered with particular gratitude for his constant presence and for the help he gave freely to staff, Fellows, students and visitors.


The age of the Renaissance; texts by Nicolai Rubinstein [and others] edited by Denys Hay.
London, Thames & Hudson [1967]
359 p. 600 illus. (incl. 180 col.), maps (some col.), plans, facsims.

The age of the Renaissance. Texts by Nicolai Rubinstein [and others] Edited by Denys Hay.
New York, McGraw-Hill [1967]
359 p. illus. (part col.), maps (part col.), ports. (part col.) 36 cm.

Medici, Lorenzo de', 1449-1492.
Lettere / Lorenzo de' Medici ; direttore generale Nicolai Rubinstein ; edizione pubblicata sotto gli auspici dell'Istituto nazionale di studi sul Rinascimento in collaborazione con The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance studies Villa I Tatti, The Renaissance Society of America, The Warburg Institute, University of London.
Firenze : Giunti : Barbèra, 1977-<2002 >
v. <1-9 > : facsims. ; 25 cm.

Ricci, Pier Giorgio.
Censimento delle lettere di Lorenzo di Piero de Medici [di] Pier Giorgio Ricci [e] Nicolai Rubinstein.
Firenze, L. S. Olschki, 1964.
xii, 198 p. 27 cm.

Florentine studies: politics and society in Renaissance Florence, edited by Nicolai Rubenstein.
London, Faber, 1968.
546, [2] p. 24 plates, illus., plans. 23 cm.

The government of Florence under the Medici (1434-1494)
Oxford, Clarendon P., 1966.
xiii, 336 p. 25 cm.

The government of Florence under the Medici (1434 to 1494) / by Nicolai Rubinstein.
2nd ed.
Oxford [England] ; New York : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997.
xvi, 406 p. ; 24 cm.

Lucrezia Borgia.
Roma, Istituto della enciclopedia italiana, 1971.
39 p. 18 cm.

The Palazzo Vecchio, 1298-1532 : government, architecture, and imagery in the Civic Palace of the Florentine Republic / Nicolai Rubinstein.
Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1995.
xiii, 154 p., 61 p. of plates : ill. ; 28 cm.