The Medici Of Florence Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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things. Secular literature also became prominent. Writers such as Dante, Petrach, and Boccacio introduced secular works to the West. Dante’s Divine Comedy introduced the Tuscan as the dialect of the scholarly world. Both Dante and Petrach were greatly influenced by Vergil. Dante even chose to use Vergil as guide through the layers of Hell in his greatest work. All three men greatly admired the Greek writings and ideas. The Greek’s interest in science also made its way to Renaissance Italy. The era’s greatest scientific thinker was probably Leonardo da Vinci. Many of his ideas were so advanced and antiesablishment he was greatly criticized. He had to keep secret many of his ideas and findings for fear of persecution. Another historic change was a seriuos interest in past

events, and a concentrated effort to maintain the written historical record of the Western world. This is a very old idea throughout most of the world. In the Middle East, Alexandria was a center for libraries of ancient writings. The Chinese collected works of past dynasties. Also collecting the artifacts of the Ancient Greeks and Ro4mans became popular. Expeditions to Greece and the Greek Isles to purchase these articles were common. The Crusades sent people across the lands to the East to theive and plunder. The Italians sent people East to buy the antiquities or people came to them with the antiquities in hopes of selling them. There was no physical fight, simply business transactions. For Western Europe these were all firsts. The most significant change the Renaissance

brought about was the advance of critical thought and education. More people were educated in Italy than in any time in the past. Education opened the doors for an increase in free thinking. This free thinking caused people to examine their lives, and the most blatant problem they saw was religion. They saw themselves believing on faith and this was no longer acceptable. People started to ask why. They also saw how the church had kept them under its pious thumb and been itself corrupt. Western Culture did not turn its back on religion, but it no longer was the dominant factor in their lives. In the centuries to come the advance in knowledge would result in the protestant reformation. The Reformation went almost nowhere in Italy, but the ideas Italians bore spread north. It is

said that Italians are like a stone in the water. Remove the stone, break it in two and the center is dry. The Italians for centuries have been surrounded by the church, but the church cannot penatrate the Italian people. This trend started with the Renaissance. At the forefront of these changes was the city of Florence, and leading Florence was The Medici. Their financial gifts and passion for all aspects of the humanities were invaluable for the promotion of Renaissance Culture. 5Giovanni di Bicci de Medici Giovanni was born in 1360, the son of a middle class banker. His father was reasonably successful, Giovanni took his business to the top of the industry. By 1400 he was even banker to the Papacy, and in 1429, the year he turned his family business over to his son Cosimo, the

Medici Family was the wealthiest in Florence. The whole of Florence was under the thumb of a family called Albizzi. Giovanni was content with living under the Albizzi. He simply wanted to continue to make money and live “inconspicuously”. Giovanni even went so far as to be their Gonfalonier of Justice. He was their puppet and content to be so as long as he continued to amass a greater fortune. Giovanni was Florence’s most generous patron of the arts. He began a tradition of collecting and commissioning of art that would become a trademark of the Medici family for generations. It is as a judge in a contest for design of the bronze doors of The Baptistry in Florence that Giovanni is first mentioned in historical record. Three artists were up for the commission, Ghiberti,

Brunelleschi and Quercia. Giovanni cast the deciding vote and judged for Ghiberti. Young Ghiberti created the bronze doors with a depth and realism that had not been seen before in a relief work. Brunelleschi was so desponded when his design was not chosen he quit bronze relief and moved to architechture. He went on to become the greatest architect of his age, possibly Italy’s finest archi 6tect ever. Giovanni commissioned many works, mostly statues of saints by Donatello and Ghiberti. These statues were put in his gardens and anonymously given to churches and chapels. Although Giovanni donated art anonymously, word of his generosity spread and he quickly, but quietly became one of Florence’s most respected and popular sons. Cosimo de Medici In 1429 at the age of forty Cosimo