1434 in Florence

The Medici family seize power in Florence, marking the beginning of a fifty year rule.


Lorenzo de' Medici calculates that since 1434, his family has spent some 663,000 florins (approx. 460 million USD today) on charity, buildings and taxes. He writes,


June 13

It was voted in Council to put on many new taxes, Sesti and Decime(1); and 50 thousand florins on the priests.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 20


The Anonimo Gaddiano claims that Leonardo da Vinci is living with the Medici and working in the Garden of the Piazza San Marco in Florence, a Neo-Platonic academy of artists, poets and philosophers.

Source: Leonardo da Vinci

1488 in Florence

Michelangelo's first years in Florence were marked by his apprenticeship to Ghirlandaio and the patronage of the Medici.

1494 in Pisa, Empoli and Florence

November 11

A man arrived in the Piazza, having entered the city by the Porta alla Croce, and said that he had passed men-at-arms and infantry on the road to Florence, belonging to Piero de' Medici. Cries of Popolo e Liberta immediately resounded everywhere, and in less than half an hour the whole city was in arms, men of classes rushing to the Piazza with incredible haste, and with deafening cries of Popolo e Liberta. I verily believe that if the whole world had come against them, such a union could not have been broken; it being permitted by the Lord that the people should make such a demonstration, during this danger from the French, who had come to Florence with the evil intent of sacking it. But when they saw of what sort the people were, their heart failed them. As soon as the truth was known, that no armed men were approaching, a proclamation was made ordering all to lay aside their weapons, an this was about the dinner-hour. The Gonfaloni, however, remained on guard day and night, with a good number of men; and horsemen and foot-soldiers belonging to the King of France were continually entering. The Signoria had had the Porta di San Friano(1) opened. This evening the King of France remained at Empoli; and more than 6 thousand men came before the king, and as many with him, and another 6 thousand behind him. And at this time the taxes were lightened and many pardons granted.(2)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 63

November 26

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:


May 12

Extract from a letter from Francesco Malatesta to Isabella d'Este mentioning Leonardo's viewing and valuation of some antique vases formerly owned by the Medici:

1513 in Florence

The fragment of Leonardo's mural, the Battle of Anghiari, was protected with a wooden frame soon after the return of the Medici to Florence, when the rest of the room was dismantled and eliminated, as we everything referring to the preceding republican government.

1527 in Florence

April 29

A note from Michelangelo shows the disturbed state of Florence at the time of the uprising against the Medici:

May 16

In Florence, the Piagnon, a group devoted to the memory of Girolamo Savonarola, drive out the Medici for a second time, re-establishing the Republic of Florence until 1530.

1530 in Florence

August 3

In the Battle of Gavinana, Florence is captured by Spanish troops under Prince Philibert. The Piagnon (followers of the memory of Girolamo Savonarola) are overthrown, ending the Siege of Florence, and the Medici are restored, in the person of the Pope's nephew Alessandro de' Medici.


February 26

Cellini's apprentice Fernando di Giovanni di Montepulciano accuses his mentor of having sodomised him many times. This time the penalty was a hefty fifty golden scudi fine, and four years of prison, remitted to four years of house arrest thanks to the intercession of the Medicis.

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