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The Medici family, also known as the House of Medici, first attained wealth and political power in Florence in the 13th century through its success in commerce and banking.Beginning in 1434 with the rise to power of Cosimo de’ Medici (or Cosimo the Elder), the family’s support of the arts and humanities made Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance, a cultural flowering rivaled only by that of ancient Greece.During Cosimo’s time, as well as that of his sons and particularly his grandson, Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492), Renaissance culture flourished, and Florence became the cultural center of Europe.Lorenzo was a poet himself, and supported the work of such Renaissance masters as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo (whom the Medicis commissioned to complete their family tombs in Florence).The Medicis produced four popes (Leo X, Clement VII, Pius IV and Leon XI), and their genes have been mixed into many of Europe’s royal families.The last Medici ruler died without a male heir in 1737, ending the family dynasty after almost three centuries.Browse through every TV series and movie and sort by title, release year, genre, IMDB rating, and, most important -- see where to watch it.
After only two years in power, he was forced out of the city in 1494, and died in exile.
Giovanni’s elder son, Cosimo (1389-1464), rose to political power in 1434 and ruled Florence as an uncrowned monarch for the rest of his life.
Known to history as Cosimo the Elder, he was a devoted patron of the humanities, supporting artists such as Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Donatello and Fra Angelico.
Their influence had declined by the late 14th century, however, when Salvestro de’ Medici (then serving as gonfaliere, or standard bearer, of Florence) was forced into exile.
When Cosimo I (1519-1574) moved the Florentine administrative offices into a building known as the Uffizi, he also established a small museum.