Treasures of the Medicis on Display in Paris

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The Medicis, a family of illustrious Florentine bankers that rose to power in the 14th and 15th centuries, produced popes, princes and two queens of France. Patrons of the arts and arbiters of taste and fashion over a period of more 300 years, they used art as a tool of diplomacy and as an expression of power.

On Sept. 29, the Musée Maillol in Paris, now under the direction of the Italian Renaissance expert Patrizzia Nitti, will open “Treasures of the Medicis,” a four-month-long show of art from the collection of the house of Medici, tracing their centuries-old influence on art, politics and everyday life.

The Medicis surrounded themselves with major figures in the arts: painters like Fra Angelico, Botticelli and Raphael; sculptors like Michelangelo; goldsmiths like Benvenuto Cellini; as well as musicians, poets and thinkers. Galileo was a protégé. Machiavelli wanted to be but found himself on the wrong side of the byzantine politics of the Medicis....

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