Shirley Smith

Renaissance Art Historian

Tel. +44 (0)1728 638 271

Email. [email protected]


The Garden House, Bruisyard,

Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 2ED

Duke Cosimo I de' Medici: A Machiavellian Prince


In 1537 the 17 year old Cosimo de’ Medici was made Duke of Florence and became one of the most powerful rulers of Europe. Promoting his image of the just ruler and military leader he believed that the end justified the means, the epitome of Machiavelli’s Prince. 

Agnolo Bronzino Venus Cupid and Time

(Allegory of Lust) 1540-45

Image source: Web Gallery of Art


venus_cu 1uffizi1

This lecture will study his patronage of art and architecture, from the building of the Uffizi as a centre for bureaucratic control to the sophisticated and enigmatic works of Bronzino, Cellini and Ammannati.

Giorgio Vasari Galleria degli Uffizi (façade) 1560

Image source: Web Gallery of Art