Cosimo de' Medici, ruler of Florence

Cosimo de' Medici, ruler of Florence

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Caption: Cosimo de' Medici (1389-1464), ruler of Florence. Cosimo founded the Medici political dynasty that ruled Florence and wielded great power and influence. Their wealth, which came from the textile industry, was used to found the Medici Bank. The Medicis were also patrons of the artists and scientists, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. This woodcut portrait is from the 1575 Basle edition of Elogia virorum bellica virtute illustrium (Praise of Men Illustrious for Courage in War) by the Italian historian and biographer Paolo Giovio (1483-1552).

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