THE MEDICI FAMILY SPANS MORE
THAN 300 YEARS OF HISTORY AND INCLUDES
NUMEROUS IMPORTANT MEMBERS.
We have selected the most important based on their roles in history.
Their accomplishments and qualities are outlined based on the Personality Chart below.
The Medici Family was one of the wealthiest and most influential dynasties in Europe. Thanks to arranged marriages they held strategic positions of power in all important courts of the time.
They invested heavily in architecture and commissioned most of the buildings, palazzi, and monuments you see today throughout Florence and Tuscany.
Their 300 years of history are filled with lovers, bloody intrigues, as well as betrayals and mysterious deaths.
Since the 14th Century the power of Florence depended on trade, especially in wool and banking. The Medici Bank became the main financial institution of the papacy, as well as one of the most prosperous and respected institutions in Europe.
The Medici family produced countless bankers, politicians, artists, and poets of great vision and talent.
OF THE ART
Through the entire Medici lineage, the family sponsored the creation of artworks, commissioned new buildings, and were the patrons of many great artists.
Giovanni Bicci De’ Medici
(1360 – 1429)
1402 – 14221
Rich and beloved by Florentine people, he created the foundation and the wealth which aided in the rise of the Medici to power.
Cosimo di Giovanni De’ Medici A.K.A. The Elder
(1389 – 1464)
5 September 1434
1 August 1464
As the son of Giovanni de’ Medici, he inherited the entire family’s patrimony and became richer and more powerful than his father. He was one of the most influential politicians at the time of the Florence Republic.
Lorenzo The Magnificent
(1449 – 1492)
2 December 1469
9 April 1492
Grandson of Cosimo, he is the most renowned member of the Medici family. The Patron of the Renaissance who sponsored works by the most important Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. He financed multiple artworks including the Birth of Venus by Botticelli and the David by Michelangelo.
Pope Leo X
(1475 – 1521)
1513 – 1521
Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici was the son of Lorenzo The Magnificent, and the 217th Pope of the Catholic Church.
He granted indulgences to those who donated money for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica.
When he became Pope in 1513 at the age of 37, he is quoted as saying “Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it.”
He used to walk around Rome with a parade that included a white elephant.
Cosimo I De’ Medici
(1519 – 1574)
1537 – 1574
Son of Mercenary Captain, Lodovico de’ Medici (a.k.a. Giovanni dalle Bande Nere) and grandson of Lorenzo the Magnificent, he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1569. He was the creator of the Uffizi and had a passion for alchemy.
In 1549 under the Loggia dei Lanzi, he exhibited a sperm whale found in Livorno.
Catherine De’ Medici
(1519 – 1589)
1547-1559 (queen consort)
1560-1563 (Regent queen of France)
She was the regent queen of France, married to King Henry II, and mother of three sons who became Kings of France. She is a culinary legend who both introduced and invented several foods and tools, including gelato and the fork.
(1549 – 1609)
1587 – 1609
Son of Cosimo I and Eleonora di Toledo, he was made Cardinal at the age of 14 but was never ordained into priesthood. He was an excellent governor and politician as well as an ambitious patron of the arts.
Gian Gastone De’ Medici
1723 – 1737
He was the last heir and the last Grand Duke of the Medici family.
He was not the typical member of the House of Medici, known in public for his depression, alcoholism, gambling, sexual exploits, and aversion to the church. Gian Gastone was highly intelligent and under his reign Florence flourished. He did not produce an heir to receive the family patrimony, which effectively ended the Medici Dynasty when he died in 1737.
Anna Maria Luisa De’ Medici
(1667 – 1743)
1691 – 1716
The woman who became Electress Palatine upon her marriage, she was the sister of Gian Gastone and a great patroness of the arts, both in Dusseldorf and Florence.
She created the famous Family Pact of 1737, preserving the artistic patrimony of the Medici family in Florence for all time.