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 ?
delle mie saccenterie [scilicet cognizioni tecniche], il suo maiordomo, che continuamente cercava di qualche lacciuolo per farmi rompere il collo, e perche gli aveva l'autorita di comandare a' bargelli e a tutti gli uffizi della povera isventurata citta di Firenze, che un pratese, nimico nostro, figliuol d'un bottaio, ignorantissimo, per essere stato pedante fradicio di Cosimo de' Medici innanzi che fussi duca, fussi venuto in tanta grande autorita [.
Two objections can be raised against reading Machiavelli's life of Cosimo de' Medici as an example worthy of admiration.
His writing on the subject preceded the boom in palace building in the second half of the century and also Don Timoteo Maffei's dialogue of the 1450s, On the Magnificence of Cosimo de' Medici Against [His] Detractors.
During this period, the enforcement arm was the Eight on Security, which Ricciardelli suggests increased its power, from the time Cosimo de' Medici the Elder returned from exile in 1434, to become a police force directly appended to the executive.
13) In her book on Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance, Dale Kent observes that "the fully-fledged Renaissance form of the debate about magnificence surfaced only in the 1450s," and that "[b]efore 1450 magnus and its derivatives, the adjective magnificens, and much more rarely the abstract noun magnificentia, are used in ordinary speech to refer mainly to size.
is a study in topophilia, or geopiety in the words of its author Amanda Lillie, whose research confirms why Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici built his villa on the steepest, most inaccessible part of a hill in Fiesole.
One way to get at this might be to compare two translations of the same Life--perhaps the Themistocles of Guarino translated for a Venetian admiral in 1417 with that of Lapo da Castiglionchio translated for Cosimo de' Medici in the 1430s, or the translations of Timoleon by Antonio Pacini, Andrea Biglia, and Giovanni Aurispa.
For example, Donatello achieved fame and enjoyed the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici, but he died in poverty.
Ficino started writing them to explain nine of the ten dialogues that he translated for his dying patron, Cosimo de' Medici (d.
In Chapter 2, Galucci paints a portrait of a man who was fiercely anti-authoritarian, as evidenced most especially by his transgressions against the injunctions set forth by Cosimo de' Medici, a man whom Cellini viewed as a tyrant who wanted to exert power and control over the "cultural" and "legal" bodies of his subjects.
Duke Cosimo de' Medici is also occasionally portrayed in a negative light.
45) It may be worth adding here that when in the mid-Quattrocento Piero di Cosimo de' Medici assumed patronage of the reliquary chapel and the tabernacle over the miracle-working image of the Annunciation on the retrofacade of SS.