Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici (January 1, 1449 - 8 April 1492) was an
Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during
the height of the Italian Renaissance.
Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (il Magnifico) by his contemporary
Florentines, he had a very active life
and was an avid patron of the arts; he was also fascinated by
technology. However, he was also a very religious man, one who deeply
loved his country.
Lorenzo's support for artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Andrea del Verrocchio and Michelangelo Buonarroti was instrumental in the development of Florence as the epicenter of 15th century Renaissance Europe. Although his financial straits made it impossible for him to commission many works himself, he saw to it that they received commissions from other patrons.