Lorenzo the Magnificent

Lorenzo de’ Medici, known more popularly as Lorenzo the Magnificent, was the grandson of Cosimo the Elder and was an influential statesman, diplomat, and political figure in Florence from 1469 until his death in 1492..

He was born in Florence in 1449, the son of Pietro the Gouty. Upon the death of his father in 1469, he became the head of Medici banking family and ruled Florence “indirectly, through surrogates in the city councils, threats, payoffs, and strategic marriages.” He was a partron of the arts and helped many artist in the Medici court to secure commissions. He survived the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478, an assassination attempt in 1478 in the Duomo—later called the Pazzi Conspiracy—though his brother Giuliano died in the

He died in 1492, at a time when Giralamo Savanarola had become a powerful political and religious figure in Florence. Savanarola, in fact, visited Lorenzo on his death bed. Lorenzo is buried in the Medici Chapel in the Church of San Lorenzo.

About the Art

The image is a detail from Dominic Ghirlandaio’s Confirmation of the Rule, a fresco in the Sassetti Chapel of the Church of Santa Trinita. It is dated to around 1485.

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