Lorenzo de' Medici

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Medici, Lorenzo de',

1492–1519, duke of Urbino (1516–19); son of Piero de' Medici. His uncle, Pope Leo XLeo X,
1475–1521, pope (1513–21), a Florentine named Giovanni de' Medici; successor of Julius II. He was the son of Lorenzo de' Medici, was made a cardinal in his boyhood, and was head of his family before he was 30 (see Medici).
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, made the youthful Lorenzo duke of Urbino. After his early death, however, Urbino reverted (1521) to the Della Rovere family. A patron of the arts and humanities, Lorenzo has been immortalized by MichelangeloMichelangelo Buonarroti
, 1475–1564, Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, b. Caprese, Tuscany. Early Life and Work

Michelangelo drew extensively as a child, and his father placed him under the tutelage of Ghirlandaio, a respected artist of the day.
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, who designed and made his tomb in the Church of San Lorenzo, Florence. Of the three statues adorning his tomb, one represents Lorenzo in a pensive attitude (hence it is known as the Pensieroso) and the other two represent Dawn and Dusk. Lorenzo was the father of Catherine de' Medici, queen of France.

Medici, Lorenzo de'

(lōrĕn`tsō dā mĕ`dĭchē, Ital. mā`dēchē), 1449–92, Italian merchant prince, called Lorenzo il Magnifico [the magnificent]. He succeeded (1469) his father, Piero de' Medici, as head of the Medici family and as virtual ruler of Florence. One of the towering figures of the Italian Renaissance, he was an astute politician, firm in purpose, yet pliant and tolerant; a patron of the arts, literature, and learning; and a reputable scholar and poet. Without adopting any official title, he subtly managed to conduct the affairs of the Florentine state. His lavish public entertainments contributed to his popularity, but, in combination with his mediocre success as a businessman, they helped to drain his funds. His growing control of the government alarmed Pope Sixtus IVSixtus IV
, 1414–84, pope (1471–84), an Italian named Francesco della Rovere (b. near Savona); successor of Paul II. He was made general of his order, the Franciscans, in 1464 and became (1467) a cardinal.
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, who helped to foment the Pazzi conspiracyPazzi conspiracy
, 1478, plot against Lorenzo de' Medici (Lorenzo il Magnifico) and his brother Giuliano, designed to end the hegemony of the Medici in the Florentine state and to enlarge papal territory.
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 (1478) against Lorenzo and his brother, Giuliano de' Medici. Giuliano was stabbed to death during Mass at the cathedral, but Lorenzo escaped with a wound, and the plot collapsed. Lorenzo retaliated against the Pazzi, and Sixtus excommunicated him and laid an interdict on Florence. An honorable peace was made not long afterward. In 1480, in order to retrieve his huge financial losses, Lorenzo used his political power to gain control over the public funds of Florence. The city, however, flourished, and Lorenzo, who played an important role on the international scene, constantly worked to preserve general peace by establishing a balance of power among the Italian states. Through his credit with Pope Innocent VIII he obtained a cardinal's hat for his son Giovanni (later Pope Leo X). In spite of the attacks of Girolamo SavonarolaSavonarola, Girolamo
, 1452–98, Italian religious reformer, b. Ferrara. He joined (1475) the Dominicans. In 1481 he went to San Marco, the Dominican house at Florence, where he became popular for his eloquent sermons, in which he attacked the vice and worldliness of the
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, Lorenzo allowed him to continue his preaching. Lorenzo spent huge sums to purchase Greek and Latin manuscripts and to have them copied, and he urged the use of Italian in literature. His brilliant literary circle included Poliziano, Ficino, Luigi Pulci, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. He was a patron of Sandro Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, Andrea del Verrocchio, Michelangelo, and other famed artists. His own poetry—love lyrics, rustic poems, carnival songs, sonnets, and odes—shows a delicate feeling for nature. His son Piero de' Medici succeeded him as head of the family but was expelled from Florence two years later.

Bibliography

See C. M. Ady, Lorenzo de' Medici and Renaissance Italy (1955, repr. 1964); C. L. Mee, Lorenzo de Medici and the Renaissance (1969).


Lorenzo de' Medici.

For the members 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 thus named, use Medici, Lorenzo de'.

Medici, Lorenzo De’

 

(Lorenzo the Magnificent). Born January 1449 in Florence; died there Apr. 8, 1492. Italian writer and political figure.

Lorenzo was the de facto ruler of Florence from 1469. Under his rule the republican form of government lost all significance. He maintained his authority through repression. At the same time, Lorenzo patronized humanists, poets writing in Italian, and artists; his policies helped transform Florence into the greatest center of Renaissance culture.

Lorenzo wrote a book of verse in which, following the example of Dante, he introduced a text in prose containing the story of his love (Commentaries to Some of My Own Sonnets). He was also the author of the lyrical narrative poem Forests of Love; mythological narrative poems in the manner of Renaissance idylls, for example, his Apollo and Pan; and works connected with folklore and popular festivals, including narrative poems containing descriptions of everyday life (The Feast, or The Drunkards, The Falcon Hunt), as well as Carnival Songs, Dance Songs, and The Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne. Lorenzo wrote religious verses (lauds), the mystery play St. John and Paul, and the anticlerical short story “Giacoppo,” which provided the plot for Machiavelli’s Mandragola.

WORKS

Opere, 2nd ed., vols. 1-2. Edited by A. Simioni. Bari, 1939.

REFERENCES

Mokul’skii, S. S. Ital’ianskaia literatura: Vozrozhdenie i Prosveshchenie. Moscow, 1966.
Palmarocchi, R. Lorenzo il Magnifico. Turin, 1946.
Brion, M. Laurent le Magnifique. Paris, 1962. (Bibliography, pp. 35-39.)

R. I. KHLODOVSKII