Frescoes tell a story of power and influence
In the past, I had been dealing with the Magi Chapel’s frescoes and the hidden messages connected to this Renaissance masterpiece. We know that the Medici were the sponsors of the frescoes, so it is normal that they wanted to show everyone their power in Florence.
But was trust important in the Renaissance era? Yes, it was extremely important. In order to conquer power in a city like Florence, and especially to maintain it, it was necessary to trust key people in the city, and also trust your allies outside the city. So Friendship and Trust were virtues of critical importance.
This situation is clear in the frescoes. We can see Cosimo de’ Medici, a.k.a. Cosimo the Elder, who was able to create the Medici dynasty in Florence. He is the old man on the left. Benozzo Gozzoli, the artist who painted these frescoes, was instructed by the Medici to show Cosimo’s power and, at the same time, his humbleness. These were the main virtues of a leader, particularly important in the dangerous times of the Renaissance.
But how could the artist deliver this subtle message to the astonished viewers of the frescoes? Cosimo is riding a donkey, which is, according to the Bible, a universal symbol of humbleness. But one can also see the golden, magnificent decorations over the donkey, so everyone was aware of his rank in Florence.
His son Piero de’ Medici, in front of him, is his heir, the current leader of the Medici family and the ruler of Florence. He is riding on a white horse, symbol of power and noblesse. All the Medici’s trusted friends and allies are on their side.
Written by, Sergio Porrini – Next Generation Virtual Reality Expert ✧ Luxury Hotels ✧ Museums ✧ Exhibitions ✧ International Sponsorship Projects ✧ ItaliaLiving.com contributor
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