Cosimo de Medici
I’m writing articles on the members of the Medici family and realized that it might be confusing for a reader who doesn’t know Florence Italy history perfectly. The problem is the Medici family used the same names many times, to honor a brother, an uncle, a grand-father and so on. Today the article is dedicated to Cosimo de Medici. Cosimo de Medici who? That’s the question, let’s try to shed some light. Coming soon, other Medici common names like Lorenzo, Giovanni, Giuliano, Piero, Ferdinando, Francesco. You can also use the Medici family tree for more info.
If you’re searching for Cosimo de Medici, you probably mean one of these two:
Also known as Cosimo The Elder and Cosimo Pater Patriae, was son of Giovanni di Bicci, the Medici bank founder. Cosimo de Medici inherited a fortune by his father and was a great businessman, probably tripling the fortunes of his family. He is considered the first Medici to actually rule Florence, even though he wasn’t officially involved in any institution. Cosimo de Medici was a great patron of arts, sponsoring Donatello, Brunelleschi, Michelozzo, Andrea del Verrocchio, Beato Angelico, Filippo Lippi and many more artists. Among his nicknames, “pater patriae” means sort of “founding father”. This tells a lot on what the citizens of Florence thought about this man. Detailed biography of Cosimo The Elder.
Cosimo I became important accidentally, against all odds. His line of succession was not the same as all the other members of the family that ruled Florence, but when his cousin Alessandro, Duke of Florence, was assassinated, Cosimo, just 17, was choosen as the new Duke because there was no choice. He revealed to be the smartest of his family, consolidating the power of the Medici family that, after Cosimo I, was not in discussion anymore. During his life, Cosimo de Medici expanded his domination to Siena, becoming the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. He’s the Medici who moved the family to Palazzo Vecchio, later bought the Pitti Palace, and his favorite architect, Giorgio Vasari, built for him the Uffizi and the Vasari Corridor.
The other Cosimos
Cosimino de Medici (1455-1459?), grand-son of Cosimo the Elder: we don’t have many news on him, as he died too soon;
Cosimo II Grand Duke of Tuscany (1590-1621), grand-son of Cosimo I, remembered as a good Grand Duke, great patron of arts, also defending the scientist Galileo Galilei when he was accused of heresy by the Catholic Church;
Cosimo III Grand Duke of Tuscany (1642-1723), grand-son of Cosimo II. Symbol of a dying dynasty, Cosimo III tried with any mean to give the Medici family a chance to remain a reigning family, but his first-born Ferdinando died before him and the second-born Gian Gastone, considered incompetent by his own father, was the last Grand Duke of Tuscany.