About Giovanni de' Medici
Giovanni de' Medici (3 July 1421 - 23 September 1463) was an Italian banker and patron of arts.
Born in Florence, he was the son of Cosimo de' Medici the Elder and Contessina de' Bardi, and brother to Piero the Gouty.
Unlike the latter, he enjoyed good health and was seen by Cosimo as his probable successor. From 1438 he directed the branch of the family bank in Ferrara. He received also a quality humanistic education, showing a major interest in music.
In 1454 he was elected Prior of Florence and the following year he was a member of the delegation which received Pope Pius II in the city. The following year Cosimo made him general director of the Medici bank, but, unsatisfied because of Giovanni's distraction in arts and other activities, assigned to him Francesco Sassetti as tutor.
Giovanni by Mino de Fiesole
Giovanni married Ginevra degli Alessandrini on 20 January 1453. The two had only one child, Cosimino, who died in 1459 at the age of eight. Giovanni had probably two more illegitimate children, who both died young.
He died prematurely in 1463, and was buried in the Basilica di San Lorenzo. Later a monument was sculpted for him and his brother by Andrea Verrocchio.
Giovanni Medici was a famous patron of arts. He had the Villa Medici a Fiesole built by Michelozzo Michelozzi (but probably in collaboration with Giovanni's friend, Leon Battista Alberti). He had a large collection of sculptures, coins, manuscripts, jewels, musical instruments and other material. Artists who worked for him included: Mino da Fiesole, Desiderio da Settignano, Donatello, Domenico Veneziano, Filippo Lippi and Pesellino.