The Medici Influence and the Italian Renaissance Essays

Post-Middle Age Italy was afflicted by medieval wars and the bubonic plague. It needed a change to restore the vision of what Italy could become. This change revealed itself within the Medici family, who helped return glory and influence to Florence. The Medici family saw the value in contributing to the advancement of the greatest minds of the period. This was evident in their patronage of leading artists such as Michelangelo and of renowned teachers such as Galileo. The sphere of influence the Medicis enjoyed also extended to the political arena, which happened to be heavily influenced by the Catholic Church at the time. The Medicis capitalized on the power of the Church. Through this influence and the use of “amici degli amici,” or mutual favors from “friends of friends,” the Medici family ushered in a new Italian era: the Renaissance (Birth).While not the only wealthy and ambitious family in Florence, the Medicis were driven in their pursuits and were largely successful (Kent 177). Giovanni di Bicci de’Medici, the Patriarch of the Medici Dynasty, founded and controlled one of the most influential businesses in Italy: the Medici Bank. Giovanni’s development of the limited liability concept and the establishment of a franchise system, wherein the Medici Bank expanded into branches of banks where managers became part owners, helped to make the Medici Bank a leader amongst the competitors of the time (Kent 71). However, a key factor in the success of Giovanni’s business was a gamble that the papacy would return to Rome, which he won. In return for his financial assistance, the Pope installed him as the papal banker (Kent 82). With the Medicis holding the Pope’s personal bank accounts and financing the Vatican library, the Medic…

…aissance. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service, 2004. DVD.Gombrich, E.H. “The Medici as Patrons of art: a survey of primary sources,” ed. E.F. Jacob, Italian Renaissance Studies, 1960, 279-377; repr. in Norm and Form: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance, London: Phaidon Press, 1966, 35-57. Print.Harness, Brenda. “Botticelli: From the Birth of Venus to a Bonfire of the Vanities.” Passion for Paint, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2011.Helden, Al Van. “The Medici Family.” The Galileo Project. Rice University, 2004. Web. 02 Mar. 2011.Kent, D.V. The Rise of the Medici: faction in Florence, 1426-1434. Oxford University Press. 1978. Print.“Michelangelo.” Hyperhistory.net. Hyper History, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2011.Museums in Florence. Hidden Italy, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2011.Tour: Patrons and Artists in Late 15th-Century Florence. National Gallery of Art, 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2011.

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