The Medici Of Florence Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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de Medici took over the family business from his father. Cosimo was not content to quietly allow the Albizzi family to run Florence. Shortly after Giovanni’s death, Cosimo entered politics at the request of some members of the city council. Most citizens in Florence were unhappy with the Albizzi clan and looked to Cosimo as their leader. He had the financial means, the courage and a reputation of honesty. The Albizzi had the electoral process fixed, and Cosimo’s first attempt to oust them failed. Cosimo was exiled to Venice in 1433. Cosimo had assumed his first attempt to gain control of Florence would fail, so he sent a large sum of money to Venice knowing that was where he would be sent. He knew he would be sent to Venice through the same city council contacts who urged him

to face Albizzi. When he arrived he was greeted like a king. In return for the Venetian’s affection he rebuilt the library and monastery of San Giorgio. One year later he returned to Florence and was the cities new unofficial political leader. Although he ran the city for thirty-six years, he ruled officially for only six months. In spite of his obvious total control of the political system no Florentine would ever admit to living in a undemocratic 7system. Cosimo was beloved by the Florentines. They even went so far as to call him Pater Patriae, which is Italian for Father of Our Country. Cosimo was the first prominent secular patron of the arts in Italy. Giovanni di Bicci had commissioned works for himself, but not on the grand scale that Cosimo would. He not only

commissioned paintings and sculptures, but chapel and libraries, and he filled these buildings with some of the most magnificent works of the modern world. Cosimo promoted secular art. Before him, the only art produced in mass quantities was of religious subject, and arts only consistent patron was the church. Cosimo was most proud of his advances in humanistic studies, especially The Platonic Academy and Marsilio Ficino. The Platonic Academy was a dream of Cosimo’s. It would be an educational institution for the promotion of the thought and understanding of the Greeks lifestyles and philosophies. The first “think tank” of the western world. Its chief scholar would be Ficino. The Medici through Piero would be his benefactors. The plan was to groom him with the best scholars

from Greece and the Near East to head up the Academy and foster its growth from the scholarship end while the Medici financed the project. Cosimo also supported many artists’ work. Brunelleschi, Donatello, Pisano and Fra Angelico are only of few of the countless artists he employed. All of the chapels, libraries, monasteries, palaces, cottages and other public buildings constructed under the Medici name were adorned with fine art, and the architecture itself was a fine art. Cosimo had such a passion and respect for the artist and the work he produced, he even pensioned some of the artists in their later years. 8The artist Vasari relays this story about Donatello, who had been given a small farm in the Mugello region. Before a year had gone by following Cosimo’s bequest, the

old sculptor appeared at the door of the Medici palace to ask that the farm be taken back. He could not keep it, he said, because the peasant who worked it gave him no peace. One day he showed up with a complaint that the wind had blown down the dove-coat, on another that the government had shown up and seized his cattle for back taxes, and on still another that a storm had ruined his vines and olive trees. A small cash annuity, he let it be modestly inferred, was infinitely preferable. Cosimo granted his request. This account is to establish the amount of respect this man, Cosimo, had for artists and their ways. Donatello was extraordinarily ungracious and arrogant, but Cosimo overlooked it because of his admiration for Donatello’s artistic skill. Piero de Medici and his son,

Lorenzo Cosimo died of many ills, imparticularly gout, in early 1464 after a long and successful reign as boss, for lack of a better word, of Florence. If there was any doubt about whether or not the Medici family controlled the political system in Florence, Piero was a clincher. He was not a poor ruler, he was not a foolish ruler, he was at best an unexceptional ruler. The Florentines referred to him as Il Gottoso. Translated to English Il Gottoso means “The Gouty”. It’s a bad thing when a group calls your father “Father of Our Country” and the best they can do for you is “The Gouty”. If his father’s name had not been Cosimo De Medici, he never would have come to power. He did however have a great mind for finance and continued to grow the Medici fortunes.9 Piero