The Medici Family

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The Medici Family As Walt Disney once said, “It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true.” The Medici family demonstrated the importance of money to achieving one’s dreams during the rebirth of the Classical age. If the family had not gained the immense amount of wealth that they did, the creations of many famous Renaissance works of art and ideas would never have taken place. This would have resulted in a halt in the advancements of culture, thus, keeping people fixed in a period of Dark Ages. The funding from the Medici bank sparked a change in art, society, and politics that would shatter the standards of Medieval economy and result in the conversion from the Middle Ages to Renaissance times. The Medici family ruled Florence for…show more content…
In the year 1386, a young boy named Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi, better known as Donatello, was born. Donatello was a talented sculptor who quickly became friends with Cosimo de’ Medici likely due to their shared interest in the ancient world (Donatello). Donatello’s sculptures were popular due to their exceptional attention to detail and their lifelike form. In 1434 CE, Donatello created his most controversial work of art, the bronze “David” (refer to appendix A). It was the first life-sized male nude statue created since the Classical Era that defied the acceptable standards of art at the time and was a clear expression of Donatello’s homosexuality, an illegal practicea practice that was illegal in the Catholic Church (Strathern 52). However, under Cosimo’s protection, artists, such as Donatello, were “encouraged to exercise their ‘artistic temperament” meaning they did not need to worry about their own safety and well-being (Donatello). Donatello never cared about the money that he earned, so he would give away any money that he gained (Vasari). Inevitably he became impecunious, so “when he got old and could not work, he was supported by Cosimo and his friends” until he passed away in 1466 (Vasari). Once Donatello became a client to Cosimo, he ensured his financial stability, thus giving him the freedom to produce dangerous pieces of art that could otherwise get him into a large amount of trouble. Donatello’s sculptures are some of the most admired pieces of Renaissance art, but without the patronage of the Medici family, Donatello most likely would have been exiled or executed for his homosexuality, dead from the lack of money or starvation, or never gained enough popularity to shape his
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