Lorenzo de’ Medici ruled Florence during its golden age.
Lorenzo de’ Medici, who ruled Florence when the city was at the height of its power, died on this day in 1492. He was probably the most successful member of the Medici dynasty and earned the nickname “The Magnificent”. He was especially notable for sponsoring artists. Great names such a Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli Michelangelo Buonarroti, Andrea del Verrocchio and Domenico Ghirlandaio were linked to his court. Michelangelo even lived with the de’ Medicis for a few years and dined with them. Another man who worked for the de’ Medicis was Amerigo Vespucci, the explorer after whom America was named.
Lorenzo de’ Medici was the most powerful man in Florence from his father’s death in 1469. The city enjoyed a sort of golden age during this time, being a centre of Renaissance artists. Florence was nominally a republic, but the de’ Medicis held real power in the city. In the beginning, Lorenzo ruled together with his brother Giuliano, but he was assassinated during Mass in the Florence Cathedral. This was part of the so-called Pazzi conspiracy of 1478, in which Lorenzo was also wounded, but survived.
One of Lorenzo’s sons, Giovanni de’ Medici, later became the pope, taking the name Leo X, while Lorenzo’s nephew Giulio de’ Medici (Giuliano’s son) became Pope Clemens VII.