Piero de' Medici, 'il Gottoso'

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Piero di Cosimo de' Medici

Also Known As: "a.k.a. the Gouty", "Le Goutteux"
Birthdate: (53)
Birthplace: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Death: December 2, 1469 (53)
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Place of Burial: Church of San Lorenzo
Immediate Family:

Son of Cosimo de' Medici and Lotta aka Contessina de' Bardi
Husband of Lucrezia Tornabuoni and Lucrezia Tournabuoni
Father of Maria di Piero de' Medici; Giovanni di Piero de' Medici; Bianca de' Medici; Maria de' Medici; Lucrezia ("Nannina") de' Medici and 3 others
Brother of Giovanni de' Medici and Andrea Verrocchio
Half brother of Carlo de' Medici

Occupation: Seigneur de Florence, Ruler of Florence and Gonfaloniere, banker
Managed by: Flemming Allan Funch
Last Updated:

About Piero de' Medici, 'il Gottoso'

Piero di Cosimo de' Medici (the Gouty), (Italian: Piero "il Gottoso") (1416 – December 2, 1469), was the de facto ruler of Florence from 1464 to 1469, during the Italian Renaissance. He was the father of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Giuliano de' Medici


Piero was born in Florence, the son of Cosimo de' Medici the Elder and Contessina de' Bardi. In 1444 Piero married the wise, tolerant and cultured Lucrezia Tornabuoni (1425-1482), a link to the old Florentine nobility.

During his father's life he did not play an extensive role due to his perpetual poor health, the source of his nickname. His brother Giovanni was named as Cosimo's executor, but predeceased his father. In 1461, Piero was the last Medici elected to the office of Gonfaloniere.

Upon taking over the family Medici bank from his father, Piero had a financial overview prepared. The results led him to call up a number of long-standing loans, many to various Medici supporters, which his father had let stand. This immediately drove a good number of the merchants involved into bankruptcy, and added to the ranks of those who opposed the Medici.

His time as leader of Florence was marked by an attempted coup led by Luca Pitti, Niccolò Soderini, Diotisalvi Neroni, Angelo Acciaiuoli and his cousin Pierfrancesco de' Medici, using troops provided by Borso d'Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio, and commanded by his brother Ercole d'Este (planned for August 26, 1466). Piero was warned by Giovanni II Bentivoglio, and was able to escape the coup, in part because his son Lorenzo discovered a road-block set up by the conspirators to capture Piero in his trip towards the Medici villa at Careggi; he was not recognized, and was able to warn his father. The coup failed, as did an attempted repeat backed by Venice, using troops commanded by Bartolomeo Colleoni.

In 1467 Piero had to face the war against the Republic of Venice, prompted by the Florentine support given to Francesco I Sforza, the new duke of Milan. However, the Venetian army under Colleoni was defeated at the Battle of Molinella by the league of Florence, Naples, Papal States and Milan.

He also continued the family's tradition of artistic patronage, including Gozzoli's fresco Procession of the Magi (in which are also present both of Piero's sons, Lorenzo and Giuliano, as well as Piero himself). His taste was more eclectic than that of his father, extending to Dutch and Flemish work.

He also continued to collect rare books, adding many to the Medici collections. Although not as brilliant a banker as his father, he was able to keep things running smoothly during his tenure.

He died in 1469, due to gout and lung disease, and is buried in the Church of San Lorenzo, next to his brother Giovanni. The tomb, created by Andrea del Verrocchio, was commissioned by his sons Lorenzo and Giuliano.


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Piero de' Medici, 'il Gottoso''s Timeline

September 19, 1416
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
September 10, 1445
Age 29
Florence, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Age 28
February 14, 1448
Age 31
Florence, Italy
January 1, 1449
Age 32
Firenze, Toscana
Age 33
March 25, 1453
Age 36
Florence, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Age 38
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
December 2, 1469
Age 53
Florence, Tuscany, Italy