The Medici family comes from a long-reigning dynasty. The Stibbert Museum has an impressive collection of their portraits. During this exhibition, paintings are displayed thematically. This is a unique opportunity for the visitor to see the huge collection Stibbert created, which covers almost three centuries of the Medici family’s history.
This family tree shows a path that encourages one to learn and discover Stibbert’s private collection of portraits of the Medici dynasty. This Italian family consisted of bankers, militaries, and later on, cardinals. It is thanks to Cosimo Il Vecchio’s distinction in the Republic of Florence that they reigned from the mid-15th to mid-18th century.
Lorenzo Il Magnifico is the symbolic figure of the family. He maintained the balance of power within the political conditions of his period. It was after the death of his brother, Giuliano dei Medici, that Lorenzo understood the importance of portrait representations to maintain the memory of the family. Although the real developments in their portraits began in the 16th century, during this period, it is easier to see more paintings of the family emphasizing their power and stability. The Medici revolutionized the traditional painting method of the epoch. They demanded portrait paintings from leading artists.
Their reign was accompanied by a succession of scandals and alliances that paved their long-time dynasty. The dynasty ended with Anna Maria Luisa. Her brother died leaving no sovereigns, and she did not have any sons. Without doubt, the European powers of the time would never have allowed a woman to succeed and reign as a grand duchess. She spent her last years under the rule of Lorraine’s government. It was at that time that Maria Luisa stipulated that the family’s collection of art and scientific objects must be given to Florence, and further specified that it may stay in the city.
Today we are presenting these largely unknown family portraits of this Florentine dynasty, which relate their family history.