Palazzo Medici

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Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, 1396–1472

Florence, Italy, 1444

The Medici bank made the Medicis one of the richest families in Europe. Cosimo de’ Medici, who commissioned the Palazzo Medici in Florence, never held political office but exercised immense power behind the scenes. He had the wealth and influence of a ruler and lived at a time when fortunes such as his – made by commercial activity rather than by annexing lands through military strength – were a novelty.

The Renaissance, which the Medici family did so much to support with its commissions, represented more than a change in artistic style; it also marked a great social upheaval: ...

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