Italian Statesman. He was the founder of the Medici political dynasty, and the first of the De Medici family to rule Florence, Italy. Known as "Cosimo the Elder" and "Cosimo Pater Patriae", in 1434, he consolidated the power of Florence in his and his family's hands, beginning the reign of the Medici that would last in Florence until the end of the Renaissance. He built up strong connections throughout Italy and Europe in his capacity as a banker, and applied the wealth of Florence in patronage of artistic and intellectual endeavors. He was noted for his patronage of culture and the arts, liberally spending the family fortune (which his astute business sense considerably increased) to enrich Florence. He was a patron and confidante of artists Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, and Donatello, whose famed "David" and "Judith Slaying Holofernes" were Medici commissions. In spite of his riches and the lavish entertainments he provided for his guests, he lived modestly. He ate and drank moderately and simply and worked long, regular hours. He dressed without ostentation and was accessible to the humblest Florentine. His generosity, mildness, and wit were legendary.
Bio by: MC
Contessina de Bardi de Medici