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The Rise of the Medici

Art-full Fridays

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Friday, March 4, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0673
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Medici family depicted allegorically in a fresco (detail) by Benozzo Gozzoli ca 1459

Spend a fascinating Friday with art historian Elaine Ruffolo as she explores the influence of the powerful Medici family.

At its height, Renaissance Florence was a center of enormous wealth, power, and influence. A republican city-state funded by trade and banking, its often-bloody political scene was dominated by rich mercantile families, the most famous being the Medici. From relatively modest beginnings, the Medici became bankers to rich and powerful families in Europe and bankers to the Pope. But perhaps their most enduring legacy—for which the world owes the Medici a debt of gratitude—is their patronage of the arts. Artists such as Brunelleschi, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, and Michelangelo all thrived under Medici patronage.

Join Ruffolo as she charts the family’s influence on the political, economic, and cultural history of Florence, beginning in the early 1430s with the rise of the dynasty under the near-legendary Cosimo de Medici, to the golden era under Lorenzo il Magnifico, to the family’s ultimate goal: a Papal tiara.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Note: There is another Medici program on Friday, March 18, 2022.

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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.