The History Of Cosimo Di Giovanni De Medici

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The first well-known name of the Medici family in Italian Renaissance Age is Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici (1421-1463), also known as Cosimo the Elder (il Vecchio). His father, Giovanni di Bicci (1360-1429) started the family business as a great banker. 5 Having watched and learned the business world since very little, Cosimo successfully inherited the family business. Adding on his own talent, Cosimo expanded the Medici banking empire throughout Europe. He launched branches in London, Bruges, Lyon and some main cities within Italy such as Milan, Venice and Rome. His success in business financially supported him to invest in enormous amount of art pieces including architectures, paintings, sculptures, ancient manuscripts and antiques.
The most famous commission by Cosimo is probably his home place - the Palazzo Medici. Remembering his father's word: "do not draw attention to yourself," Cosimo abandoned the original plan by Brunelleschi, which was twice as large as the actual building; and adopted Michelozzo's more humble design. Yet the exterior look of the building is still forbidding and fortress-like. Three layers, with each layer indicating a different level, compose the exterior wall. Rustication, an element that was also applied to the city hall, was used on the ground floor of the palace. Along with the double arched windows, the Palazzo Medici reminds anyone who looks at it of the actual role of its master. Unlike the low-key exterior look, the inside of the house is expensively decorated with frescos, paintings, sculptures, valuable antiques, and the finest furniture.11 For instance, The Bronze David by Donatello and Judith and Holofernes by the same sculptor, the famous fresco masterpiece Procession of th...

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... the youth.13 He also sponsored other universities in Pisa and Florence. Lorenzo brought culture to people, like his grandfather did.
From Cosimo the Elder to Lorenzo, the three generations witnessed the most glorious time of the grand Medici family. Cosimo accumulated enormous fortune for his successors and set up a great example as a generous patron. Piero maintained the family position in the last five years of his life and preserved the family tradition. Lorenzo had the most art talent and accelerated the blossom of Renaissance in many ways. But the latter two of the Medici rulers wasn't able to keep expanding the banking business. On the contrast, the Medici bank had been shrinking even since the death of Cosimo. Two years after Lorenzo died in 1492, the bank finally failed due to system flaws and other reasons after almost a hundred years' existance.10
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