Cosimo de' Medici

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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
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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 BrunelleschiBrunelleschi, Filippo
, 1377–1446, first great architect of the Italian Renaissance, a Florentine by birth. Trained as sculptor and goldsmith, he designed a trial panel, The Sacrifice of Isaac
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, DonatelloDonatello
, c.1386–1466, Italian sculptor, major innovator in Renaissance art, b. Florence. His full name was Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi. In his formative years he assisted Ghiberti in Florence with the bronze doors for the baptistery.
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, GhibertiGhiberti, Lorenzo
, c.1378–1455, Florentine sculptor. He received his early training in the workshop of Bartoluccio. In 1401 he entered the competition for a bronze portal for the baptistery in Florence. He won the contest against his closest rival, Brunelleschi.
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, and Luca della RobbiaDella Robbia
, Florentine family of sculptors and ceramists famous for their enameled terra-cotta or faience. Many of the Della Robbia pieces are still in their original settings in Florence, Siena, and other Italian cities, but the finest collections are in Florence in the
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. After his death Florence voted him the official title Pater Patriae. His son, Piero de' MediciMedici, Piero de'
, 1416–69, Italian merchant prince. He succeeded his father, Cosimo de' Medici, as head of the Medici family and as leader of the Florentine state. His ill health earned him the nickname Il Gottoso [the gouty].
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, known as Il Gottoso [the gouty], succeeded as head of the family.


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

References in periodicals archive ?
4) For a recent summary of the tapestries commissioned by Cosimo I during this period, see Thomas Campbell, "Tapestry production in Italy 1520-1560', in Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence, exh.
Florence was ruled by Duke Cosimo I de' Medici who, like many of his contemporaries, gathered huge collections of classical art and artifacts as a means of demonstrating a higher order of culture and power.
The portraits of "Medici women" presented in this book are paintings of the mother, wife, and daughters of Cosimo I, as well as of two girls raised at his court, Giulia, the illegitmate daughter of his predecessor, Alessandro, and Dianora de Toledo, his wife's niece.
The reign of Cosimo I as Duke of Florence, then Grand Duke of Tuscany, began early in 1537 with a series of tentative steps inside a narrow local space.
Upon the death of Cosimo I in 1574, his son Francesco became Grand Duke of Tuscany.
More important, perhaps - because it gives clues to the make-up of the musical establishment in Florence in general - is the information that the most prominent musicians under Cosimo I and Francesco I were all members of the Accademia Fiorentina, the institution (controlled by the dukes and their emissaries) that determined the shape of Florence's culture in the early decades of the principate: not just Corteccia, as is generally known, but also Antonio da Lucca (No.
The Cultural Politics of Duke Cosimo I [2001], 80).
Gabrielle Langdon's Medici Women explores the many layers of meaning embedded in portraits of women connected with the sixteenth-century Florentine court of Cosimo I de' Medici.
In 1561 Cosimo I de' Medici finds it necessary to establish the Holy Military Order of the Knights of St.
Carol Bresnahan Menning's book investigates how a charitable organization, the Monte di Pieta of Florence, evolved from a pawnshop for the poor into a full-service bank, serving the Florentine elite and becoming a tool for the Florentine dukes' absolutist desires, especially those of Cosimo I (1530-74).
Gabrielle Langdon reads female portraiture as a pictorial strategy inseparable from other propagandistic programs of the sixteenth-century Florentine court of Duke Cosimo I and his wife, Eleonora di Toledo.
Cosimo I de' Medici and his self-representation in Florentine art and culture.