Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici

Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici

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Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici (August 4, 1463 – May 20, 1503), nicknamed the Popolano, was an Italian banker and politician, the brother of Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano
Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano
Giovanni de' Medici, later known as il Popolano was an Italian nobleman of the Medici House of Florence. He was the son of Pierfrancesco di Lorenzo de' Medici, and therefore a member of a secondary branch of the family.-Biography:Giovanni was born in Florence...

.

He was born in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, the son of Pierfrancesco de' Medici
Pierfrancesco di Lorenzo de' Medici
Pierfrancesco de' Medici the Elder was an Italian banker and diplomat, a member of the House of Medici of Florence.Born in Florence, he was the son of Lorenzo the Elder and Ginevra Cavalcanti, and thus nephew of Cosimo de' Medici and cousin to Piero the Gouty, de facto lords of the city from...

 (the Elder) and Laudomia Acciaioli. After his father's death, he went under the tutelage of his cousin Lorenzo
Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets...

 (il Magnifico), and studied under figures such as Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance, an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism who was in touch with every major academic thinker and writer of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin...

 and Angelo Poliziano. In 1483 he was sent as ambassador to France.

His grandson Lorenzino de' Medici
Lorenzino de' Medici
Lorenzino de' Medici , sometimes called Lorenzaccio de' Medici, was an Italian writer remembered primarily as the assassin of Alessandro de' Medici, duke and ruler of Florence.-Biography:...

 was the assassin of Alessandro de' Medici
Alessandro de' Medici, Duke of Florence
Alessandro de' Medici called "il Moro" , Duke of Penne and also Duke of Florence , ruler of Florence from 1530 until 1537...

, the last ruler of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 from the "senior" branch of the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

, thereby passing power to Lorenzo's great-grandson Cosimo I de' Medici
Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo I de' Medici was Duke of Florence from 1537 to 1574, reigning as the first Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1569.-Biography:...

. He was the proprietor of the Villa del Trebbio and Villa di Castello.

Relations with Lorenzo il Magnifico deteriorated when he denied Lorenzo and Giovanni their inheritance. When il Magnifico died (1492), Lorenzo and Giovanni sided against the latter's son, Piero (il Fatuo)
Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici
Piero de' Medici , called Piero the Unfortunate, was the Gran maestro of Florence from 1492 until his exile in 1494.-Life and death:...

. Two years later they were exiled, but returned when King Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

 invaded Italy and Piero was ousted from Florence by a Republican government. The two brothers sided with the Republican party, and received the nickname Popolano ("Popular"). Lorenzo became one of the most outstanding figures of the new administration, and was regarded by many as the cultural heir of il Magnifico. He protected Botticelli, Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, Filippino Lippi
Filippino Lippi
Filippino Lippi was an Italian painter working during the High Renaissance in Florence, Italy.-Biography:...

, Bartolomeo Scala
Bartolomeo Scala
Bartolomeo Scala was an Italian politician, author and historian.Born in Colle Val d'Elsa, he become a protegé of Cosimo and Piero de' Medici, being appointed at the highest positions in the Florentine Republic .He wrote an unfinished History of Florence...

, and in 1494 he founded a workshop of ceramics at Cafaggiolo.

He was overshadowed by Savonarola, but after the latter's death it was rumoured he would receive the effective personal rule of the Republic; however, he refused. In 1501, Lorenzo was suspected of a plot with Cesare Borgia
Cesare Borgia
Cesare Borgia , Duke of Valentinois, was an Italian condottiero, nobleman, politician, and cardinal. He was the son of Pope Alexander VI and his long-term mistress Vannozza dei Cattanei. He was the brother of Lucrezia Borgia; Giovanni Borgia , Duke of Gandia; and Gioffre Borgia , Prince of Squillace...

 to favour the latter in the conquest of the city, but the accusations were never confirmed. He died in Florence in 1503.

Patron of arts


Lorenzo il Popolano may have commissioned from Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

 the Allegory of Spring
Primavera (painting)
Primavera, also known as Allegory of Spring, is a tempera panel painting by Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. Painted ca. 1482, the painting is described in Culture & Values as "[o]ne of the most popular paintings in Western art"...

 
and The Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)
The Birth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli. It depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore...

, the latter one of the most famous paintings of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

.

He was also supposedly the metaphorical subject of Botticelli's Pallas Athene Taming a Centaur
Pallas and the Centaur
Pallas and the Centaur is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, circa 1482. It is housed in the Uffizi of Florence. The painting was discovered in 1895....

, which was a gift to him from his distant cousin Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets...

 (il Magnifico), on the occasion of his marriage to Semiramide d'Appiani. Il Magnifico apparently knew Lorenzo to be of brutal and debauched character, and it is supposed that in this painting he was trying to indicate that she should bring Lorenzo under control.