Medici Family In The Renaissance

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At the start of the 10th century the upper half of the Italian peninsula was fragmented; the area was claimed by the Germans, who also ruled the Holy Roman Empire north of the alps, but there was no true central government to prevent city-states from forming and becoming independent. This fragmentation led to the rise of rich and powerful men and powerful families in the cities of Milan, Sicily and Florence during the Italian Renaissance. In this paper, I will highlight a true powerhouse family, the Medici of Florence. First, I’ll describe how changes in attitudes towards nobility afforded the Medici family an opportunity for power. Next, I will discuss how patronage and art were connected to the political scene in Renaissance Italy that created an air of prestige for the upper class. Finally, I will highlight a few of the most powerful members of the Medici’s long lineage to show the influence one family had on the history of Italy. The attitudes towards nobility changed during the Renaissance. The emergence of the middle class, including…show more content…
When the Medici rose to power they were called, “parvenus, people who had recently “arrived””(Brion) This name was not meant to be derogatory but to illuminate the ideals of the age. The new class of merchants and bankers were not the blue blood royalty and had to find a way to bring prominence to their families. New wealthy families would patronize Renaissance artist to bring prestige to their families. An example of this was the Medici family's commission of, “Brunelleschi to rebuild San Lorenzo. . .”(Brion) Though not exclusively used to overshadow other banking families in Florence, it did have that effect. Now the Medici family had an icon to establish themselves as the upper class of society. This patronizing of artist was used through all of Renaissance Italy and had a profound effect on the standing of wealthy merchant families like the
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