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Women of the Medici: From Patrons to Queens

Art-full Friday, Live from Tuscany

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Friday, November 3, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1D0031
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Portrait of Eleonora di Toledo and her son Giovanni de' Medici by Bronzino

The story of the Medici's consolidation of power between Cosimo the Elder's assumption of power in 1434 and the accession of Duke Cosimo I in 1537 is well-known and documented. Less familiar is that of the wives, daughters, and sisters who bolstered the family's rise and furthered its interests.

Significant and fascinating Medici women include Contessina Bardi, wife of Cosimo the Elder; Lucrezia Tornabuoni, wife of Piero (son of Cosimo the Elder) and mother of Lorenzo the Magnificent; Lucrezia's daughter-in-law Clarice Orsini, wife of Lorenzo the Magnificent; Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Duke Cosimo I; and two Medici queens of France, Catherine and Marie.

As authority gravitated toward the palace of the Medici and away from the palace of the Florentine government during the late years of Cosimo the Elder's rule, it brought increased opportunities for female influence. Medici women exercised power, acting as patrons within extended networks and as intercessors. With each successive generation, they assumed influence at an earlier age, trained by the preceding one.

Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo as she highlights the influential women of the Medici family of Florence in the 15th and early-16th centuries and examines their contributions as patrons of the architectural, religious, and literary arts.

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

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General Information

*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.