Lorenzo de' Medici | The Magnificent
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Renaissance art patron Lorenzo de' Medici
(1449-1492) ruled Florence with his brother Giuliano de'
Medici from 1469-78 when Giuliano was
assassinated. Lorenzo de' Medici ruled alone until his own
death in 1492. Lorenzo de' Medici's rule was that of
a benevolent dictator, tempering his tyranny with popular
entertainments like balls, tournaments, carnivals, and other
In a move to overthrow both
Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici at Easter Mass on
April 26, 1478, an attack was launched by the Pazzi
bank in league with Pope Sixtus IV, his nephew,
and Francesco Salviati, the archbishop of Pisa. Lorenzo
de' Medici survived, and his forces seized the
archbishop and hung him from a window of the Palazzo Vecchio.
The pope demanded Lorenzo de' Medici's arrest, but
the Florentines rejected his demand. Garnering the help of
King Ferdinand I of Naples, peace was restored and
the pope capitulated, greatly enhancing Lorenzo de'
Medici's standing. Soon after, the Florentine people began to
refer to Lorenzo de' Medici as "Lorenzo the
Brenda Harness, Art Historian