Renaissance courtship dating
And, of course, the large number of very young brides corresponded to a large number of widows.Children of men who died remained in the man’s home and a part of his extended family; his wife did not.
Relations between male youths and older men were regarded as fairly routine, particularly in humanist circles, in which ancient Greece provided a respected model.
That did not mean, however, that weddings lacked elaborate ritual.
Nor did it imply that couples chose their partners themselves.
Marco del Buono Giamberti and Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso The Story of Esther, 1460–70Tempera and gold on wood, 44.5 x 140.7 cm (17 1/2 x 55 3/8 in.)The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY The wedding depicted on this panel, which was once part of a wedding chest, is that of the biblical Esther, but the action has been translated in time and place to fifteenth-century Florence.
These elaborate and very public festivities helped defuse any lingering dissatisfaction on the part of the two families whose interests were now joined (disputes over dowry amounts, for example) or any others who might have felt unfairly treated during marriage negotiations.