- Lorenzo de' Medici
name = Lorenzo de' Medici
caption = A portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici by
birth_date = birth date|1449|1|1
death_date = death date and age|1492|4|9|1449|1|1
Philippina of Savoy
children = Lucrezia de' Medici
Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici Maddalena di Lorenzo de' Medici
Giovanni de' Medici
Luisa de' Medici Contessina de' Medici Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici (January 1, 1449 – 9 April 1492) was an Italian statesman and de facto [cite book | last = Kent | first = F.W. | date = 2006 | location = USA | title = Lorenzo De' Medici and the Art of Magnificence | publisher =
JHU Press| pages = 248 | isbn = 0801886279 ] ruler of the Florentine Republicduring the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent ("Lorenzo il Magnifico") by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists, and poets. His life coincided with the high point of the early Italian Renaissance; his death marked the end of the Golden Age of Florence. The fragile peace he helped maintain between the various Italian states collapsed with his death; two years later the French invasion of 1494 began and led to nearly 400 years of foreign occupation of the Italian peninsula.
Cosimo de Medici, became the first of the Medici to combine running the Medici bank with leading the Republic in both government and philanthropy, spending an enormous portion of his fortune (he was one of the wealthiest men in all of Europe) on art and public works. Lorenzo's father, Piero 'the Gouty' de' Medici, was also at the center of Florentine life, and extremely active as a patron and collector. His mother Lucrezia Tornabuoniwas also a poet and friend to figures like Luigi Pulciand Agnolo Poliziano.
He was considered the brightest of the five children. He was tutored by
Gentile Becchi, a diplomat. He partook in jousting, hawking, hunting, and breeding horses for the palio, a horse race in Siena. His own horse was named Morello.
Piero sent Lorenzo on many important diplomatic missions when he was still a youth. These included trips to Rome to meet with the pope and other important religious and political figures.
Lorenzo and politics
Lorenzo, groomed for power, assumed a leading role in the state upon the death of his father in 1469, when Lorenzo was twenty. Lorenzo had little success in running the bank, and its assets contracted seriously during the course of his lifetime.
Lorenzo, like his father and grandfather, ruled Florence indirectly, through surrogates in the city councils, through threats, payoffs, strategic marriages - all the tools of despotism.Fact|date=July 2008 Although Florence flourished under Lorenzo's rule, he effectively ruled as a despot and people had little freedom.Fact|date=July 2008 It was inevitable that rival families should harbor resentments as to Medici dominance, and enemies of the Medici remained a factor in Florentine life long after Lorenzo's passing.Fact|date=July 2008
EasterSunday, April 26, 1478, in an incident called the Pazzi Conspiracy, a group including members of the Pazzifamily, backed by the Archbishop of Pisaand his patron Pope Sixtus IV, attacked Lorenzo and his co-ruler brother Giuliano in the cathedral of Florence. Lorenzo was stabbed but escaped; however the attackers managed to kill Giuliano. The conspiracy was brutally put down, with measures including the lynching of the archbishop.
In the aftermath of the Pazzi conspiracy and the punishment of the Pope's supporters, the Medici and Florence suffered from the wrath of the Pope. He seized all the Medici assets he could find, excommunicated Lorenzo and the entire government of Florence, and ultimately put the city under interdict. When that had little effect, the Pope formed a military alliance with King
Ferdinand I of Naples, whose son, Alfonso, Duke of Calabria launched an invasion.
Lorenzo rallied the citizens. However, with little help being provided by traditional Medici allies in
Bolognaand Milan(the latter being convulsed by power struggles among the Sforza), the war dragged on, and only diplomacy by Lorenzo, who personally traveled to Naples, resolved the crisis. This enabled him to secure constitutional changes that enhanced his power.
Thereafter, Lorenzo, like his grandfather
Cosimo de' Medici, pursued a policy of maintaining both peace and a balance of power between the northern Italian states and of keeping other states out of Italy.
Lorenzo kept good relations with
Mehmed IIof the Ottoman Empire, as the trade with Ottomans was a major source of wealth for the Medicis. [cite book | last = Inalcik | first = Halil | date = 2000 | location = London | title = The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300-1600 | publisher = Orion Publishing Group| pages = 135 | isbn = 978-1-8421-2442-0 ]
Lorenzo and the Renaissance
Lorenzo's court included artists such as Piero and
Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Andrea del Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Michelangelo Buonarrotiwho were involved in the 15th century Renaissance. Although he did not commission many works himself, he helped them secure commissions from other patrons. Michelangelo lived with Lorenzo and his family for several years, dining at the family table and attending meetings of the Neo-Platonic Academy.
Lorenzo was an artist himself, writing poetry in his native Tuscan. In his poetry he celebrates life even while—particularly in his later works—acknowledging with melancholy the fragility and instability of the human condition. Love, feasts and light dominate his verse.
Cosimo had started the collection of books which became the Medici Library (also called the
Laurentian Library) and Lorenzo expanded it. Lorenzo's agents retrieved from the East large numbers of classical works, and he employed a large workshop to copy his books and disseminate their content across Europe. He supported the development of humanismthrough his circle of scholarly friends who studied Greek philosophers, and attempted to merge the ideas of Platowith Christianity; among this group were the philosophers Marsilio Ficinoand Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.
During his tenure, several branches of the family bank collapsed because of bad loans, and, in later years, he got into financial difficulties and resorted to mis-appropriating trust and state funds.
Toward the end of Lorenzo's life, Florence came under the spell of
Savonarola, who believed Christians had strayed too far into Greco-Roman culture. Lorenzo played a role in bringing Savonarola to Florence.
Lorenzo de' Medici died during the night of April 8th/9th, 1492, at the long-time family
villaof Careggi(Florentine reckoning considers days to begin at sunset, so his death date is the 9th in that reckoning). Savonarolavisited Lorenzo on his death bed. The rumor that Savonarola damned Lorenzo on his deathbed has been refuted by Roberto Ridolfiin his book, "Vita di Girolamo Savonarola". Letters written by witnesses to Lorenzo's death report Lorenzo died a consoled man, on account of the blessing Savonarola gave him. As Lorenzo died, the tower of the church of Santa Reparatawas allegedly struck by lightning. He and his brother Giuliano are buried in a chapel designed by Michelangelo, the New Sacristy; it is located adjacent to the north transept of the Church of San Lorenzo and is reached by passing through the main Capella di Medici; the chapel is ornamented with famous sculptures, and some of the original working drawings of Michelangelo can still be distinguished on two of the walls.
He died at the dawn of "The Age of Exploration";
Christopher Columbuswould reach the "New World" only six months later. With his death, the center of the Renaissance shifted from Florence to Rome, where it would remain for the next century and beyond.
Marriage and children
Lorenzo first married
Clarice Orsiniby proxy on February 7, 1469. She was a daughter of Giacomo Orsini, Lord of Monterotondoand Braccianoby his wife and cousin Maddalena Orsini. They had nine children:
Lucrezia di Lorenzo de' Medici(August 4, 1470 - November, 1553). She married Giacomo Salviati. Their daughter Francesca Salviatiwas mother to Pope Leo XI.
Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici(February 15, 1471 - December 28, 1503).
Twins born in March, 1472. Died shortly after birth.
*Maddalena de' Medici (July 25, 1473 - December, 1528). Married
Franceschetto Cybo, an illegitimate son of Pope Innocent VIII.
Pope Leo X(born Giovanni de' Medici; December 11, 1475 - December 1, 1521).
Luisa de' Medici(1477 - 1488). She was betrothed to her cousin Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano.
Contessina de' Medici(1478 - 1515). Married Piero Ridolfi.
Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Nemours(March 12, 1479 - March 17, 1516).
After Clarice's death, he married Philippina (Philippa) of Savoy, daughter of
Philip II, Duke of Savoy. The couple had no children.Fact|date=April 2008
Two of his sons later became powerful popes. His second son, Giovanni, became
Pope Leo X, and his adopted son Giulio (who was the illegitimate son of his slain brother Giuliano) became Pope Clement VII.
His first son and his political heir, Piero 'the Unfortunate', squandered his father's patrimony and brought down his father's dynasty in Florence. Another Medici, his brother Giovanni, restored it, but it was only made wholly secure again on the accession of a distant relative from a branch line of the family,
Cosimo I de' Medici.
* The Medici Family
*Miles J. Unger, "Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici" (Simon and Schuster 2008) is a vividly colorful new biography of this true "renaissance man", the uncrowned ruler of Florence during its golden age.
* Christopher Hibbert, "The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall" (Morrow-Quill, 1980) is a highly readable, non-scholarly general history of the family, and covers Lorenzo's life in some detail
*F. W. Kent, "Lorenzo de- Medici and the Art of Magnificence (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History" (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) A summary of 40 years of research with a specific theme of Il Magnifico's relationship with the visual arts
* Linda Proud, "A Tabernacle for the Sun" (Godstow Press, 2005), a literary novel set in Florence during the Pazzi Conspiracy adheres closely to known facts.
* Linda Proud, "Pallas and the Centaur" (Godstow Press, 2004), deals with the aftermath of the Pazzi Conspiracy and Lorenzo de' Medici's strained relations with his wife and with Poliziano.
* Linda Proud, "The Rebirth of Venus" (Godstow Press, 2008), the final volume of "The Botticelli Trilogy", covers the 1490s and the death of Lorenzo.
* [http://xoomer.alice.it/ilmagnifico/index.html Texts of Lorenzo de' Medici]
* [http://www.clariceorsini.it Associazione Culturale "Clarice Orsini" - Monterotondo (Italy)]
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Lorenzo de Medici — Lorenzo de Medici, florentinsk statsmand, medlem af den betydelige Medici familie og søn af Pietro 1. Medici og sønnesøn af Cosimo de Medici. Efter faderens død i 1469 styrede Lorenzo Firenze, den mest betydningsfulde af de italienske stater,… … Danske encyklopædi
Lorenzo de' Medici — Lorenzo de Medici, s. Medici … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Lorenzo de' Medici — Dieser Artikel beschäftigt sich mit dem Florentinischen Stadtherrn Lorenzo I. de’ Medici, „dem Prächtigen“. Für andere Personen des Hauses Medici mit gleichem oder ähnlichem Namen, siehe Lorenzo de’ Medici (Begriffsklärung). Lorenzo I. de’ Medici … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lorenzo de Medici — Dieser Artikel beschäftigt sich mit dem Florentinischen Stadtherrn Lorenzo I. de’ Medici, „dem Prächtigen“. Für andere Personen des Hauses Medici mit gleichem oder ähnlichem Namen, siehe Lorenzo de’ Medici (Begriffsklärung). Lorenzo I. de’ Medici … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lorenzo de’ Medici — Dieser Artikel beschäftigt sich mit dem Florentinischen Stadtherrn Lorenzo I. de’ Medici, „dem Prächtigen“. Für andere Personen des Hauses Medici mit gleichem oder ähnlichem Namen, siehe Lorenzo de’ Medici (Begriffsklärung). Lorenzo I. de’ Medici … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lorenzo de Médici — Para otros usos de este término, véase Lorenzo de Médici (desambiguación). Lorenzo de Médici Señor de Florencia Nacimiento 1 de enero … Wikipedia Español
Lorenzo de' Medici — Laurent de Médicis Laurent le Magnifique par Girolamo Macchietti. Laurent de Médicis dit aussi Laurent le Magnifique, (en italien Lorenzo il Magnifico) Lorenzo di Piero de Medici (Florence, 1er janvier 1449 Florence, 9 avril 1492) fut un homme d… … Wikipédia en Français
Lorenzo de'Medici — noun Italian statesman and scholar who supported many artists and humanists including Michelangelo and Leonardo and Botticelli (1449 1492) • Syn: ↑Lorenzo the Magnificent • Instance Hypernyms: ↑statesman, ↑solon, ↑national leader, ↑scholar, ↑ … Useful english dictionary
Lorenzo de' Medici — … Useful english dictionary
Lorenzo de' Medici (disambiguation) — Lorenzo de Medici may refer to one of the following members of the House of Medici:*Lorenzo il Vecchio (1395 1440) *Lorenzo il Magnifico (1449 1492) *Lorenzo il Popolano (1463 1503) *Lorenzo II de Medici, Duke of Urbino (1492 1519) *Lorenzino de… … Wikipedia