The Medici family, a powerful Florentine banking family and political dynasty, became the main patrons of 15th century art in Italy along with the Catholic Church. This may seem like two separate groups, but the Medicis had a couple of popes and a couple of cardinals in the family (thank God for nepotism), so they were able to maintain their dominance as patrons of the arts.

Above are two dashing portraits of Medici men, but you can also play the game of “spot the patron” when looking at religious 15th-century Italian artwork, which often included depictions of the men with the money.

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