The Medici Of Florence Essay Research Paper — страница 5

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demoralized a city as much as removing the church. Eventually, Lorenzo had to conceed in late 1479. In August of 1480 the Turks landed at Otranto and put the city in peril. Pope Sixtus immediately called on Florence to help, and removed the heretical taint he had branded them with. The ended any problems between Sixtus IV and Florence and The Medici. The Italians banded together and fought off the Muslim Turks, Florence was granted Otranto. Lorenzo the Magnificent Florence experienced an age of economic growth and prosperity it had never seen before, nor has seen since. In the years befor the Pazzi War, Florence was the center of the commercial world. Trade with Britain and the world boomed. Florentines were proud of their city’s success as well they12should have been. It was

born not only from the Medici, but of the hard work of the people themselves. A merchant Benedetto Dei expressed these sentiments in a letter to a Venetian friend: Florence is more beautiful and five hundred forty years older than your Venice. We spring from triply noble blood. We are one-third Roman, one third Frankish and one-third Fiesolan. . . .We have round about thirty estates. . . .yielding us yearly bread and meat, wine and oil, vegetables and cheese, hay and wood, to the value of nine hundred thousand ducats in cash, as you Venetians, Genoese, Chians, Rhodians who come to buy them know well enough. We have two trades [wool and silk] greater than any four of yours put together. Florence remained on the cutting edge of the art world. Michelangelo was a part time resident

of Florence and house guest of Lorenzo for four years. Although Lorenzo would die before Michelangelo did his most famous work. The Magnificent saw something in his early work that made him want to see Michelangelo blossom. The one artist who without a doubt did his greatest works under Lorenzo’s patronage was Boticelli. The artist’s Birth of Venus, Mars and Venus, and Return of Spring were all commissions by Lorenzo and some of the best examples of pure High Italian Renaissance art. These works are classic in subject, boisterous in color and show man at his physical epoch. High Renaissance art is supposed to do just that, show man and color that are beyond any perfection that humans know. The organizations in the twentieth century that complain about women and their

depiction in magazines and in other media would have really had something to complain about had they been in Florence during the Renaissance. Lorenzo also continued funding schools of thought and philosophy and libraries. 13 The years of prosperity did not last. The Medici bank declined under Lorenzo through not so much neglet, but over-delegation of power. The Medici had branches across Italy in Rome, Venice, Milan, Naples and Pisa and internationally in London, Bruges, Geneva, Lyon, Basel and Avignon. And the vast banking empire was too large to control. The biggest single blow was when the Papacy denied its debt. This forced the branches in Milan, Venice and Avignon to close. Author Charles Mee put it this way: What Lorenzo had discovered is what the banking families of a

century or two before had discovered—the inherently vicious circle in Renaissance business. Wealth brings political power; political power brings obliga- tions to support foreign leaders. . . .and support of political leaders is a risky business that brings bankruptcy. The circle is complete. Florence, as the banking capital, began to fall. In 1400 there were seventy one banks in Florence, by 1500 only seven banks remained. It was a reflection of the city it once was. Patronage of the arts stalled. Florence was in financial peril. Lorenzo was the scapegoat. He was charged with rumors of embezzlement. Nothing coould have been further from the truth. No family had given more to the community of Florence before or since. In addition to the arts, libraries and other philanthropic

projects of the family. The Medici was expected to host heads of state and church leaders and fund wars at home and abroad. The money was rarely if ever reimbursed. Lorenzo died and a small, simple service was held. He was buried with his father and grandfather and brother. 14George Young, author of The Medici quotes this in his Epilogue, “Florence has not repaid the generous recognition to Lorenzo which he himself gave to others”. Piero II The Unfortunate Piero was Lorenzo’s oldest son whose reign lasted only months. Many blamed his short reign on inexperience or his lack of charisma and common sense. However, even Lorenzo the Magnificent could not have handled Charles VIII of France and his militarty might closing in on Tuscany from the west. Piero was fearful for his