Florence was the Athens of the Renaissance. Cosimo de Medici laid the foundation for Medici power in Florence through his international banking power and patronage of art, architecture, and humanism. Using modern methods of war and diplomacy, Cosimo was instrumental in maintaining Florentine power and prestige. A shrewd judge of character, Cosimo ruled from behind the scenes. He was a benefactor of the church and the lower classes. His financial connections spanned the European continent and brought the Medici into contact with the Pope (the Medici eventually produced four popes of their own).Most importantly, Cosimo became a patron of the arts. A brilliant politician and leader, he set the stage for Florence’s immense cultural influence. The classical revival he helped promote ultimately spread across Europe and changed the course of Western history. Florence led the way. And Cosimo led Florence. The accomplishments of his grandson, Lorenzo the Magnificent, would not have been possible without Cosimo’s skilled manipulation of the Medici fortune. Ewart’s biography provides valuable insight into Cosimo’s character and ability. It is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the lives which shaped our world. What makes this book even more unique is that this is the only biography of Cosimo de Medici in the English language. Gryphon Editions is proud to have this book available to its customers as a special genuine leather edition.