The Gate

“Niccoló Machiavelli: ‘The Prince’ and Its Era (1513-2013)” exhibition commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Italian philosopher, politician and writer’s signature treatise. The political manifesto, which today still stirs considerable controversy for its idealogies on preserving and maintaining political power, is one of the most influential and widely translated books from the Italian language.

The exhibit charts the influence of Machiavelli and his masterpiece over five centuries. “The goal of this exhibition is to explore the essential role Niccolò Machiavelli has played in the history of modern political thought, but also his influence and his presence in contemporary popular culture,” said Alessandro Campi, the exhibition’s general coordinator.

You can catch the collection at the Embassy of Italy and Georgetown University until Nov. 28. The exhibition is part of “The Year of Italian Culture 2013,” a detailed program featuring events across the United States showcasing art, literature, culture and heritage.

Rare manuscript codex of “The Prince” by Machiavelli on display. It is one of 19 in existence and is on loan from the Perugia Public Library, Campi said.
3 Portraits featured in the collection. The exhibit features a 16th century portrait of Pope Leo X (by Jacopino del Conte), a 16th century portrait of Cesare Borgia (anonymous) and a 17th portrait of Machiavelli (by Antonio Maria Crespi).
4 Cities that will show the exhibit. It was first unveiled in Rome in April and will travel to New York in early December. The last stop of the tour is São Paulo, Brazil, planned for the spring of 2014.
130 Objects presented in the exhibit, which includes documents, books, paintings, costumes, videos and postcards. Contemporary items include the video game “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood,” which features a character modeled after Machiavelli as the leader of a group of assassins.
486 Years since Machiavelli’s death. Although “The Prince” was penned in 1513, it was not officially published until 1532, five years after the author’s death.
1559 The year all of Machiavelli’s works, including “The Prince,” were placed on the Catholic Church’s List of Prohibited Books. The book was condemned by Pope Clement VIII and accused of promoting impiety.

— Megan McDonough