Giuliano di Piero de’ Medici (1453-1478)
So here’s the second post of the blog and another tragic, sad young death. (Like I said, you’ll find many tragic deaths on this blog).
Young scion of the Medici clan, the most powerful family in Florence, he was raised like a prince. The more popular, good looking (of course) brother, he was the second half of the perfect family heirs and the younger brother of Lorenzo de’ Medici (later on to be known as Il Magnifico, the magnificent). . Poor sweet golden boy Giuliano got the shorter end of the deal, quite literally, when he was brutally murdered in the Pazzi Consiracy in 1478.
Here’s why Giuliano butters every nerdette’s parsnips:
1) Was a Medici. At one point the richest family in Europe. (Think Rothchild, but more classy). Boy was loaded.
2) Painted by Botticelli in many of his most famous works. He was the inspiration for Mercury in Primavera, Mars (above) for Venus and Mars and the kneeling Magi in Adoration of the Magi. So yes, two Roman gods and a Magi. That’s practically the modern day equivalent of a Times magazine cover.
3) Lover of Simonetta Vespucci, shown to be Venus in many of Botticelli’s paintings, such as Venus and Mars (above), Birth of Venus etc. She was so beautiful that Botticelli was never able to paint another woman after her and he was buried at her feet. Oh yes, Giuliano tapped that.
4) Father of Pope Clement VII, the English Reformation, Sack of Rome guy, who was technically illegitimate. Loopholes!
5) Murdered violently in a Cathedral as part of a conspiracy. At Easter. Stabbed 19 times. He was so badass they had to stab him 19 times to make sure he was really dead.
His portrait and bust are both in the Washington National Gallery of Art, which I was at this winter. I spent hours in front of his bust.
Oh Giuliano. Why so fine?