Medici Family and the Renaissance Essay

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Lorenzo de Medici especially helped doubling the art collection of the family and provided a liberal and generous material support for the artists. Moreover, his great critical thinking ensured that the true artistic values of the time were promoted. He constructed schools for painting and sculpture and monitored the artists that attended them in his search for artistic value. Under his rule, some of the greatest painters produced their greatest work entirely for him: "Verrocchio did almost all his work for him; that sculptor's graceful tomb in San Lorenzo over Lorenzo's father and uncle, his bronze David, and his fountain of the Boy with a Dolphin, were all executed for Lorenzo."(Young, 205) Botticelli's works in his second period were also produced in totality for Lorenzo the Magnificent. Another dimension of the family's influence over art is the fact that the atmosphere at the court clearly left its mark on the works of the artists. According to Young, this fact is easily identifiable in the works of Botticelli, who saw the change of the rule from Piero de Medici to Lorenzo: "When to the graver atmosphere of the time of Piero il Gottoso there succeeded all that season of youthful joy and light-heartedness which marked the first nine years of the rule of Lorenzo the Magnificent, this change in the spirit of the time caused a corresponding change in Botticelli's painting."(Young, 208) the overarching influence of the family is therefore obvious in the spirit that these nobles gave to the age. At that time of artistic patronage, the connection between the nobility and the artists, between the political life and the artistic one was very tight. Thus, the works of art were also influenced by the political leaders, especially since the paintings and literature were to a great extent realistic, and therefore inspired from the surrounding circumstances.

Thus, it can be argued that de Medici family played a crucial part in the artistic development of the Renaissance, especially since at that time the Renaissance art was in full bloom and at its greatest level of achievement: "The Renaissance in Art was now approaching the full blaze of its zenith. Every one of the great masters, except Tintoretto, was living in the time of Lorenzo the Magnificent. And although of these Luini, Fra Bartolommeo, Michelangelo, Giorgione, Titian, Palma Vecchio, Sodoma, Andrea del Sarto, and Raphael were as yet children, the following were all at work, viz.: Verrocchio, Botticelli, Ghirlandajo, Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci, Filippino Lippi, and Lorenzo di Credi."(Young, 206) Therefore, the Medici family can very well be associated with the period of the greatest artistic development in Florence during the Renaissance. According to Mark Jurdjevig, the rise of the Medici family as an important political power played a tremendous role in the development of the Renaissance philosophy, also termed as "civic humanism" and its inclination towards art and philosophy: "The most distinctive intellectual development was the genesis of what Hans Baron dubbed "civic humanism," a movement that influenced and shaped Italian philosophy throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and western European philosophy in subsequent centuries."(Jurdjevig, 15) Thus, this philosophy encouraged the belief in man's intellect and his capacity for enlightenment and advancement: "Cosimo de' Medici, in his capacity as a literary, architectural, artistic, and political patron, sought to create a personal ideology that emphasized his prudence, wisdom, learning, magnificence, and, when necessary, his humility. Cosimo's genuine identity and personality may have fallen short of his idealized image, but that had little effect on the popularity of the ideal Cosimo."(Jurdjevig, 17) Thus, role of the Medici family in the development of Renaissance art is multivalent, starting from the actual material support they offered and being completed by their enlightened vision of the world and of art, which enabled them to promote the actual values.

Works Cited

Jurdjevig, Mark. "Civic Humanism and the Rise of the Medici." Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 52, 1999.

Mack, Charles R. "The Aesthetics of Italian Renaissance Art: A Reconsideration of Style." Renaissance Quarterly 53.2 (Summer 2000): 569.

Young, G.F. The Medici. New York:…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Jurdjevig, Mark. "Civic Humanism and the Rise of the Medici." Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 52, 1999.

Mack, Charles R. "The Aesthetics of Italian Renaissance Art: A Reconsideration of Style." Renaissance Quarterly 53.2 (Summer 2000): 569.

Young, G.F. The Medici. New York: The Modern Library, 1933.

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