• Henley DFAS

Bankrolling the Renaissance - a History of the Medici Family

Bankrolling the Renaissance - a History of the Medici Family
Thursday 7th November 2024 (booking Thursday 19th September2024)
Douglas Skeggs
Botticelli: Birth of Venus
Ruthless in pursuit of profit for their Florentine bank, they were greedy for success, merciless to those who opposed their ambition and vicious in their own internal squabbles. And yet without them we wouldn’t have Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’, the Fra Angelico frescoes in San Marco, Donatello’s ‘David’ or the majestic Michelangelo sculptures in the Medici chapel. This lecture looks into the turbulent history of this extraordinary family - the triumphs, the intrigues and plots. Their perpetual desire to glorify their name in works of art resulted in some of the greatest achievements of the Italian Renaissance.
The Medici Family from 1360 to 1743
(Please click on blue print above to continue reading)
As described above, although in many ways an unattractive family, without the Medicis we would not have many Renaissance masterpieces.  The day will look at how the family became unofficial rulers of Florence and leading patrons of the arts under Cosimo de Medici. After their exile at the time of Savonarola they re-emerged triumphant as Popes of Rome until their decadent ways opened the door to the Reformation. Finally we consider the family’s impact on the history of France through the marriage of Catherine de Medici to Henry II of France.
Douglas Skeggs read Fine Art at Magdalen College Cambridge and since 1980 has given more than 7000 lectures to Universities, colleges and art societies. He has written and presented TV documentaries, notably the Omnibus programme on Whistler. He has exhibited his own paintings here and in Switzerland and has published five novels, which have been translated into 8 languages.