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ID: 500114961
Page Link: http://vocab.getty.edu/page/ulan/500114961

 

Record Type: Corporate Body
Medici, House of (Italian rulers, bankers, 15th-18th centuries)

Note: Italian family of middle-class, not noble descent, that ruled Florence and Tuscany during most of the period from 1434 to 1737, except for two brief intervals. Their name and coat-of-arms, displaying five to nine "palle" (spheres or balls, said to represent pills), were not truly derived from medical ancestors, since the family had always been merchants. However, they appropriated this interpretation, claiming the physicians Cosmas and Damian as their patron saints. They dominated the political and cultural life of Florence from the 15th century to the mid-18th centuries. They were one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Italy through their success in banking, as suppliers of credit to the most important Italian courts, and via international trade in wool, silk, metals and spices. The family seat was in Cafaggiolo in the Mugello region, north of Florence, but by 1201 several towers belonging to them in Florence are documented in notarial records. The three primary lines of the Medici family successively influenced or held positions of power in Florence, as Popes of Rome, and through marriage with royalty of Europe. In the 14th century, the line of Chiarissimo II failed to actually gain power in Florence. In the 15th century, the line of Giovanni di Averardo and his son, Cosimo the Elder, set up a hereditary principate in Florence, but without legal right or title and thus subject to sudden overthrow. Due to their wealth, they belonged to the wealthy class of the "popolo grasso" but continued to ostensibly support the middle class "popolo minuto" in their political pronouncements. They produced Lorenzo the Magnificent, Pope Leo X, Pope Clement VII, and Catherine de Médicis, Queen of France. This line was especially successful as patrons of the arts and sciences. Their final offspring, Alessandro, a bastard, was duke of Florence. In the 16th century, a third line, of Cosimo I de' Medici, renounced republican pretensions and the members openly made themselves a dynasty of grand dukes of Tuscany. Cosimo's successors Francesco I and Ferdinando I attempted to maintain the family's role as art patrons. The last Grand Duke, Gian Gastone, was outlived by his sister, Anna Maria Luisa, who bequeathed the entire Medici collection to the city of Florence.

Names:
Medici, House of (preferred,V,index,LC)
House of Medici (V,display)
Medici family (O,English,NA,U)
Medici, de' (V,Italian,NA,U)
Médicis (V,French,NA,U)

Nationalities:
Italian (preferred)
Florentine

Roles:
family (preferred)
patrons
collectors
merchants
bankers

Gender: not applicable

Related People or Corporate Bodies:
associated with ....  Munari, Cristoforo  
............................  (Italian painter, 1667-1720) [500123614]
member was ....  Anna de' Medici, Archduchess of Austria  
..................  (Austrian archduchess, 1616-1676) [500353955]
member was ....  Bicci, Giovanni di  
..................  (Italian banker and patron, 1360-1429) [500372612]
member was ....  Catherine de Médicis, Queen consort of Henry II  
..................  (French queen consort, 1519-1589) [500241471]
member was ....  Clement VII, Pope  
..................  (Italian pope, 1478-1534) [500353928]
member was ....  Cosimo I, Grand-Duke of Tuscany  
..................  (Italian grand duke, patron, 1519-1574) [500125867]
member was ....  Cosimo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany  
..................  (Italian noble, 1590-1621) [500353754]
member was ....  Cosimo III, Grand-Duke of Tuscany  
..................  (Italian noble, patron, 1642-1723) [500238556]
member was ....  Ferdinando I, Grand-Duke of Tuscany  
..................  (Italian noble, 1549-1609) [500260482]
member was ....  Ferdinando II, Grand-Duke of Tuscany  
..................  (Italian noble, patron, 1610-1670) [500339079]
member was ....  Francesco I, Grand-Duke of Tuscany  
..................  (Florentine noble, patron, 1541-1587) [500212585]
member was ....  Leo XI, Pope  
..................  (Roman pope, 1535-1605) [500354045]
member was ....  Leo X, Pope  
..................  (Italian pope, patron, 1475-1521) [500121783]
member was ....  Marie de Médicis, Queen consort of Henry IV  
..................  (French queen consort, 1573-1642) [500122326]
member was ....  Medici, Claudia de'  
..................  (Italian aristocrat, patron, 1604-1648) [500080128]
member was ....  Medici, Cosimo de'  
..................  (Florentine statesman, banker, 1389-1464) [500114962]
member was ....  Medici, Francesco de'  
..................  (Italian noble, 1614-1634) [500353794]
member was ....  Medici, Giovan Carlo de', Cardinal  
..................  (Italian cardinal, 1611-1663) [500353788]
member was ....  Medici, Giovanni de'  
..................  (Italian diplomat, architect, 1566-1621) [500002454]
member was ....  Medici, Giuliano de’  
..................  (Italian aristocrat, 1453-1478) [500356779]
member was ....  Medici, Leopoldo de', Cardinal  
..................  (Italian cardinal, amateur artist, 1617-1675) [500090968]
member was ....  Medici, Lorenzo de'  
..................  (Italian noble, 1599-1648) [500353950]
member was ....  Medici, Lorenzo de'  
..................  (Florentine statesman, patron, 1449-1492) [500114960]
member was ....  Medici, Piero de’  
..................  (Italian ruler, 1416-1469) [500356780]
member was ....  Pius IV, Pope  
..................  (Italian pope, 1499-1565) [500324153]
member was ....  Vittoria, Grand Duchess, consort of Ferdinando II, Grand-Duke of Tuscany,  
..................  (Italian consort of Ferdinando II, Grand-Duke of Tuscany, 1622-1694) [500353933]
patron of ....  Caroni, Gian Stefano  
................  (Italian gem carver, died 1611) [500090903]
patron of ....  Caroni, Giovanni Ambrogio  
................  (Italian gem carver, died 1611) [500066991]
patron of ....  Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora  
................  (Italian painter, illuminator, and mosaicist, 1445-1497) [500022991]
patron of ....  Giambologna  
................  (Flemish sculptor and architect, 1529-1608, active in Italy) [500016387]
patron of ....  Stockamer, Balthasar  
................  (German sculptor and ivory carver, died ca. 1700, active in Italy) [500054814]
patron of ....  Tacca, Pietro  
................  (Italian sculptor and architect, 1577-1640) [500007371]
related to (familial) ....  Gonzaga, Ferdinando, Duke of Mantua  
......................................  (Mantuan duke, 1587-1626) [500115128]

List/Hierarchical Position:
 ....  Corporate Bodies
 ........  Medici, House of (I)

Biographies:
(Italian rulers, bankers, 15th-18th centuries) ..... [VP Preferred]
(patrons, contemporary) ..... [AVERY]
(artist) ..... [GRL]

Additional Names:

Sources and Contributors:
House of Medici ........ [AVERY, GRL, VP]
..............................  Avery Authority files (1963-)
Medici, de' ........ [VP]
.......................  Grove Dictionary of Art online (1999-2002) "Medici, de'." Accessed 02/13/2002.
Medici family ........ [VP]
...........................  Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (1994-2001) "Medici Family." Accessed 02/13/2002.
Medici, House of ........ [AVERY Preferred, GRL Preferred, VP]
................................  Avery Authority files (1963-)
................................  Library of Congress Authorities database (n.d.) sh 85083062
Médicis ........ [VP]
.................  Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (1994-2001) Accessed 02/13/2002.

Subject: ........ [AVERY, GRL, VP]
....................  Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (1994-2001) Accessed 02/13/2002.; "Medici Family." Accessed 02/13/2002.
....................  Grove Dictionary of Art online (1999-2002) "Medici, de'." Accessed 02/13/2002.
....................  LCNAF Library of Congress Name Authority File [n.d.]
....................  Library of Congress Authorities database (n.d.)
 
Note:
English .......... [VP]
.......... Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (1994-2001) "Medici Family." Accessed 02/13/2002.
.......... Grove Dictionary of Art online (1999-2002) "Medici, de'." Accessed 02/13/2002.
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