Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo De’Medici

Written by Miles J. Unger
Review by John R. Vallely

Few time periods in the European past are as captivating as the Renaissance, and few characters from this world are as fascinating as Lorenzo De’Medici. Lorenzo, known to history as Lorenzo the Magnificent, served as the leader of the Medici family’s banking interests and played a pivotal role both Florence’s politics and Renaissance culture. Lorenzo’s lasting contribution lay in his support for the arts. The young Michelangelo rose to fame largely owing to Lorenzo’s financial and emotional support. Lorenzo numbered Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli among artists whose talents he recognized and whose careers he advanced. Miles Unger, a contributing writer for The New York Times, brings Florentine politics, the Medici family, Renaissance art and culture, and the “Magnifico” to life. Historical novelists searching for time periods and people to write about will find few more exciting topics than the Florence of the Medicis.