Cosimo de' Medici

(redirected from Cosimo il Vecchio)

Medici, Cosimo de'

(kô`zēmō dā mĕ`dĭchē, Ital. mā`dēchē), 1389–1464, Italian merchant prince, first of the MediciMedici
, Italian family that directed the destinies of Florence from the 15th cent. until 1737. Of obscure origin, they rose to immense wealth as merchants and bankers, became affiliated through marriage with the major houses of Europe, and, besides acquiring (1569) the title
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 family to rule Florence. He is often called Cosimo the Elder. After the death of his father, Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, Cosimo and his family were banished (1433) from Florence by a faction headed by the powerful Albizzi family. He returned a year later and, supported by the people, soon became the acknowledged leading citizen of the republic. An able financier, he vastly expanded the family's banking business. In spite of his lavish expenses for the state, for charities, and for the arts and learning, he doubled his fortune. He respected the republican institutions of the city, always sought popular support, and made his power as little felt as possible. Guiding Florentine foreign policy, he sought a balance of power among the Italian states. From the traditional alliance with Venice against Milan, he shifted to an alliance with the SforzaSforza
, Italian family that ruled the duchy of Milan from 1450 to 1535. Rising from peasant origins, the Sforzas became condottieri and used this military position to become rulers in Milan. The family governed by force, ruse, and power politics.
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 family, helping the Sforzas to gain control over Milan. Cosimo's claim to greatness, however, rests chiefly on his generosity toward artists and scholars. He founded the famous Medici Library and an academy for Greek studies (headed by Marsilio FicinoFicino, Marsilio
, 1433–99, Italian philosopher. Under the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici, Ficino became the most influential exponent of Platonism in Italy in the 15th cent.
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), built extensively in Florence, and protected such artists as Brunnelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, and Luca della Robbia. After his death Florence voted him the official title Pater Patriae. His son, Piero de' Medici, known as Il Gottoso [the gouty], succeeded as head of the family.

Bibliography

See biographies by K. D. Vernon (1899, repr. 1970) and K. S. Gutkind (1939).


Cosimo de' Medici:

see Medici, Cosimo de'Medici, Cosimo de'
, 1389–1464, Italian merchant prince, first of the Medici family to rule Florence. He is often called Cosimo the Elder. After the death of his father, Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, Cosimo and his family were banished (1433) from Florence by a faction
..... Click the link for more information.
.
References in periodicals archive ?
A generous introduction and a chapter centered on gerontophobia is followed by a discussion of how painters, all of them a bunch of narcissists, only managed to paint themselves, as Cosimo il Vecchio said (and this well before the more famous "madame Bovary c'est moi").
The first preserved example of the soon-to-be ubiquitous Medici dynastic device of a single gold ring set with a point-cut diamond, in the form of a pyramid, appears in a Petrarchan manuscript, dating to the early 1440s and made for Piero di Cosimo il Vecchio de' Medici.
Both Cosimo il Vecchio and Giovanni di Bicci, Piero's father and grandfather, are each frequently connected by modern scholars with the Medici family's initial use of the diamond ring device.
14) Burchiello (who represents Grazzini and is placed anachronistically at the time of Lorenzo's rule), the author of satirical, anti-Medicean poetry, had been banished from Florence in 1434 when Cosimo il Vecchio returned from exile.
92), the natural son of Cosimo il Vecchio, had achieved only the ranks of protonotary, canon of the cathedral of Florence, and provost of Prato, but not that of bishop or cardinal.
He identifies the patron of the Davidas Cosimo il Vecchio and cites the original location as the Medici "Casa Vecchia" on Via Larga, perhaps in the room painted with a cycle of Uomini famosi.
Among them are the Duke of Athens, who in 1342-1343 tried to make the Palazzo Vecchio into a veritable citadel; Cosimo il Vecchio, who was briefly imprisoned there before the coup of 1434, thereafter virtually its de facto master; and Cosimo I, who openly appropriated the building to his rule.
Leo X's frescoes at Poggio a Caiano, honoring Lorenzo and Cosimo il Vecchio, are dissimulating in their fictitious classical episodes, audacious in proportion to the precariousness of the dynasty.