The Medici: one of the most important dynasties in the history of the Italian Renaissance and the early modern age. The Medici family reached political and economic importance in the city of Florence as early as the thirteenth century, thanks to the activities of bankers and traders. Cosimo de 'Medici (1389-1464) was the architect of the expansion of the family's power, establishing in effect the real Medici dominion over Florence.
The flourishing of Medici patronage in the 15th century established the family as the greatest Florentine dynasty ever and helped to introduce a new aesthetic into artistic culture.
Lorenzo dei Medici, known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (Florence, 1 January 1449 - Careggi, 8 April 1492) embodied the ideal of the Renaissance man, both for having taken on the role of the perfect humanist prince, and for the very careful management of power from put him in place. Lorenzo surrounded himself with intellectuals - Poliziano, Ficino, Pico della Mirandola - and artists such as the young Leonardo da Vinci, Antonio del Pollaiolo, Filippino Lippi, Sandro Botticelli and the young Michelangelo, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, architect Giuliano da Sangallo just to name a few ... Lorenzo as a farsighted man he was, wished not only to support established artists, but also to promote the birth of future generations of Florentine artists. It was with this intention that he decided to found the first Academy of Art in history in the Garden of San Marco, a place where the most promising artists who came out of the Verrocchio and Ghirlandaio workshops were welcomed. The garden was enriched with a large number of classical statues, which artists could use to study and practice, like the advice of Donatello's pupil, Bertoldo di Giovanni. Among these there was also a very young Michelangelo Buonarroti, who frequented the Medici Garden from 1489 to 1492 and won the admiration of the Magnificent for his innate gifts, so much so that the Lord of Florence welcomed him and raised him like a son, making him even eat at his own table.