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What does Rinascimento mean?
- Rebirth
What verb comes from Rinascimento?
- nascere = to be born
- rinascere = to be born again
Who specifically are the Godfather’s of the Renaissance?
- Giovanni de Medici – a banker
- Cosimo de Medici – Giovanni’s son
What were men seeking prior to the Renaissance?
- knowledge of the lost secrets from the ancient world
What was Florence (Firenze) like in the 1400s?
- It was a major trading center and a republic in which powerful families
fought over political control.
Was Giovanni de Medici born a wealthy man?
- No, he had risen up from poverty and his bank started out very small.
Why did Giovanni give patronage to the ex-pirate, Baldesare Costa in 1410? What
did Baldesare Costa plan to do with the money he received from the Medici bank?
- He was planning to become the Pope.
Did the ex-pirate achieve his goal?
- Yes, he became Pope John 23.
What is the name of the self-taught genius who is obsessed with ideas from the
ancient world and who has an unorthodox style, few friends and a bad temper?
- Filippo Brunelleschi
What was his main line of work?
- He was an architect.
What project did Cosimo hire him for initially?
- to complete the dome on Florence’s main cathedral which later became
known as “Il Duomo”.
Why did he write in code?
- He was fearful that his plans would be stolen.
What riddle did he pose which finally got him the job?
- He asked his competitors to stand an egg on one end. He was able to do this by
smashing the egg in such a way that the bottom end broke off the top dome
What building in Rome was Brunelleschi trying to emulate (copy) and why couldn’t
he do it in the same way that the Romans did?
- The Pantheon.
- Because the Romans used timber to support the dome before pouring
concrete inside and then removing the timber; but there was not enough
timber in Florence to support such a large dome.
How many steps did the workers need to climb? How was lunch served? What were
they given to drink and why?
- There were between 350 to 400 steps to reach the base of the dome.
- Therefore, he did not want the workers to come up and down for lunch so it
was brought up in buckets on a pully.
- They were given water with wine in it (the same drink that was served to
pregnant women) to prevent illness from bad water.
What revolutionary idea did he come up with in 1419 that was the first time this
idea was used since after the times of ancient Rome?
- Roman columns.
Was Brunelleschi known only in Italy?
- No, he sparked an architectural revolution across Europe.
What advise did the father give to his son?
1. Not to display pride
2. To keep out of the public eye.
What was done with Giovanni de Medici’s body after his death?
- His body was passed through an opening made in the walls of his home.
- His body was then buried in the church of San Lorenzo.
What family were the political enemies of the Medici?
- the Albizi family.
What happened in 1443 that brought the Albizi to power in Florence?
- Cosimo was arrested and imprisoned at the very top of the tower.
What was Cosimo’s “crime” and how was his innocence or guilt determined? Was
Cosimo found innocent or guilty and why?
- He was arrested for treason to the city of Florence. There was no trial or
court; citizens of Flornece met in the main piazza and a vote was taken by
placing red or black chips into a sack.
- Cosimo was found guilty because the Albizi kept Cosimo’s friends out of the
piazza so that they couldn’t vote in his favor.
When the Albizi turned on the people of Florence, who came to save Florence and
ultimately to offer control of Florence to Cosimo?
- the Pope who Giovanni de Medici had helped to become Pope years earlier.
When Cosimo modestly accepted the offer of control of Florence, what symbolic
gesture was done to the enemies in Florence who had helped in plotting against
- Their faces were marked with a sword to represent a loss of good face.
Name two reasons why the Medici bank became the most popular bank in Europe?
- Cosimo de Medici had earned the respect of the people through his patronage
of the arts in Florence.
- The Pope not only opened up credit with the Medici but he also mandated
that others did the same.
What does it mean to be a patron of the arts? And how is it a key to understanding
the Renaissance?
- A patron of the arts is someone who financially supports artists
- If it weren’t for the financial support of the Medici, it is not certain that some
of the most important and influential Renaissance artists would have ever
been able to create their masterpieces.
Did Cosimo become a patron solely out of his love of the arts or did he have another
- It was a political strategy to win the hearts of the people.
Why did artists need patrons in the 1400s?
- There were no art shops or galleries for artists to sell their work.
What does it mean to commission an artist?
- It means that they are paid (usually in advance) to create a particular work of
What is the name of the Renaissance painter who was supposed to be a monk but he
snuck out and chased after women?
- Filoppo Lippi
What new technique did Brunelleschi unveil in 1434?
- Linear perspective (3 dimensional space)
What was Donatello known for (name 2 things: one about his personality; the other
his work)?
- He was known for his violent temper; he would smash his work rather than
give it to an unappreciative client.
- His bronze sculptor of David was the first time a nude statue was done since
the Roman period. It was revolutionary and risky, not only because it was a
nude, but also because of the feather going up the thigh which was seen as an
erotic gesture. Note that sodomy was a crime in the 15th century.
How did Brunelleschi convince his workers that it was safe to lay the bricks on the
innermost part of the dome?
- He first did it himself to practice what he preached.
What story is painted inside of the Duomo?
- The story of the Renaissance, completed later (Vasari's fresco begun in 1568,
and completed by Federico Zuccaro in 1579.)
What is the name of the river that passes through Florence?
- The River Arno.
How did Cosimo celebrate the finishing of il Duomo? Who was invited to this
celebration? Who paid for it all?
- Cosimo held a grand celebration inviting people from around the world, from
the east and the west; he paid for everyone’s travels.
Did Cosimo leave a direct heir?
- No, his son and grandson both died before he did.
When did Cosimo die?
- 1464
What did they call Cosimo de Medici and what does it stand for?
- Pater Patriae = Latin or Father of the Fatherland