The Florence of the Medici:

In the fifteenth century, the Tuscan city housed not a real court, because it formally remained a republic, with its government and its judiciary, proud of their independence, represented by the Palazzo Vecchio. Before Cosimo Medici (1389-1464) it was indeed the cradle of so-called “civil humanism. ” characterized by the direct participation of humanists in the city government by Coluccio Salutati to Leonardo Bruni. The Medici exerted their strong influence by electing the right people at the right place, and effectively control the life of the state. A real court began to develop in the Medici Palace (now Palazzo Medici-Riccardi), where Benozzo Gozzoli (1421-97) painted the power of the family in mid-fifteenth century. Other places are the symbol of the presence Medici church of San Lorenzo Maggiore, the family graves, and the convent of San Marco and the adjoining library by Cosimo (Laurentian Library). With Lorenzo, the cultural center of gravity shifted to the Medici villas in the area: Careggi and Castello Poggio a Caiano.

Below, the alleged portrait of Clarice Orsini, the wife of Lorenzo, designed by Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510)

{Article by Carlo Vecce professor at the University of Naples – Magazine “Civiltà” – April 2011 Italy}


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