The Medici of Florence were a powerful dynasty, but unlike many such they used their wealth in a manner that has benefitted the world for six centuries. The Medici were an Italian banking family, political dynasty and later royal house that traces back to the 13th century and first began to gain prominence under Cosimo de’ Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family grew into the largest bank in Europe giving the family significant influence in business, politics, and religion.
The Medici family together were the wealthiest family in Europe and from this base they acquired political power far beyond the city limits. Initially they held sway in Florence and later throughout most of northern Italy as they acquired dominance over smaller and less wealthy neighboring cities. Their prestige and connections gave rise to three popes, two queens, and eventually the Grand Duchy of Tuscany which they ruled and their power did not decline until the early 18th century.
In the business world the Medici revolutionized a system of bank accounting but it was for their love and support for the arts that they are remembered. The family, as businessmen and as popes, allocated tremendous amounts of money and oversaw the evolution of art from medieval to the glories of the Italian Humanist Renaissance.
Think of an artist’s name from that period and chances are that the Medici hired him to do their bidding: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Raphael, Donatello, Fra Angelica, Rubens, and more. They undertook the creations of numerous collections exhibited in the Uffici Gallery, the Boboli Gardens, the Palazzo Medici, and many more. And they were the daring supporters of Galileo Galilei until he ran afoul of the Inquisition.
A video teaser of the Medici presentations: Medici Video
Our new series of presentations with art scholar Rose DiGrottole is based on the lives, history, and art of the Medici dynasty. Rosa, who lived in the Medici city of Firenze for ten years, has sketched out a plan for your stroll through art and time in three 90 minute events:
June 4th – The Early Medici and their artists: Cosimo il Vecchio e Lorenzo il Magnifico and the beginning of a new era in Florence. Art in the Duomo, Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Chiesa di San Marco, Palazzo Medici in Via Larga. Works by Brunelleschi, Donatello, Fra Angelico,
June 11th – The Medici power: Medici’s Popes, Medici’s Queens, Cosimo I, Francesco I and Ferdinando I, the Renaissance and the Granduchy. The Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, works by Vasari, Michelangelo, Raffaello
June 18th – The Last Medici: Cosimo II, Ferdinando II, Leopoldo II, Cosimo III, Gian Gastone, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici. The Cappelle Medicee, Palazzo Pitti, works by Giardini di Boboli, Ville Medicee
The Medici forever changed the art of the western world and the family left their mark on Italian culture that has endured for nearly 600 years.
Join Rosa and other enthusiasts of Italian art, history, and culture. Dates are Sundays June 4, 11, and 18 with presentations at 5 PM. The cost for the 3-class series is just $60. Location is the Italia in Ohio offices, 4663 Executive Drive, Columbus 43220.
Sign-up on-line under the “Classes” tab.
For more details e-mail
or phone 614.538.8000