Vivid and dramatic, this is a dazzling history of the modest family which rose to become one
of the most powerful in Europe.The Medici
is a remarkably modern story of power, money and ambition. Against the background of an age which saw the rebirth of ancient and classical learning, Paul Strathern explores the intensely dramatic rise and fall of the Medici family in Florence, as well as the Italian Renaissance which they did so much to sponsor and encourage. Interwoven into the narrative are the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings, including Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello, as well as scientists like Galileo and Pico della Mirandola, both of whom clashed with the religious authorities.
In his enthralling study, Strathern also follows the fortunes of those members of the Medici family who achieved success away from Florence, including the two Medici popes and Catherine de Medici, who became Queen of France and played a major role in that country through three turbulent reigns.
Vivid and accessible, the book ends with the gloriously decadent decline of the Medici family in Florence as they strove to be recognized as European princes.