Originally published in 1974, The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall is a study of the whole Medici family from when they first rose to prominence in the 14th century to the end of the line in the 18th. Obviously, that covers a lot of territory so this is very much an overview, discussing each prominent member for a short while and moving on. If you already know about the Medici or Florentine history, this is not the book for you. However, if you’re curious about this famous Italian family and their extraordinary influence on the art world and their history, it’s great. Interesting, telling the most prominent stories, but never getting bogged down, I doubt there’s a better quick survey out there. It also lists all the pictures, statues, and buildings that still existed in 1974 (and presumably most of them still do) and where they’re located. Handy if you’re going to Florence and want to see as many Medici associated pieces of art and architecture as you can.
I’ve not much to say beyond this. It’s a quick read and some people may find that it is too quick. I don’t feel like I learned anything about Leonardo da Vinci, for example, but there’s considerably more on Michelangelo. There are plenty of books out there to fill in the details if you find yourself fascinated by one or more of them. I found it interesting how different their personalities and characters were.
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. My computer and I were separated and I haven’t learnt how to do this on an ipad. But we are reunited, so I should be able to catch up on my embarrassingly short backlog of read books. And knuckle down and read some more. I’ve been doing more than their fair share of other things.