Savonarola and the "Bonfires of the Vanities" Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein Not all the citizens of Italy were caught up in the Renaissance emphasis on humanity as the measure of all things. The Dominican monk Savonarola opposed the Medici’s rule of Florence and gathered many followers who wanted to restore a republican form of rule. He denounced the city’s infatuations with the arts and its emphasis on Humanism, and staged what came to be known as "Bonfires of the Vanities," wherein citizens were encouraged to burn anything to which they had become overly attached or which might lead then "astray" from moral teachings. There is evidence that Botticelli and Pico were influenced by Savonarola, and that Botticelli may have burned some of his paintings as a result. Eventually Savonarola ran afoul of the papacy and was excommunicated and publicly executed. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily