Cosimo de’Medici ‘Cosimo the Elder’ is the founder of the Medici political dynasty which dominated Florence from 1434 until 1494 (Cosimo was followed by his son Piero (1464-69), his grandson Lorenzo (the Magnificent, 1469-92), and his ill-fated great-grandson Piero who lasted only two years before a French invasion and his own ineptness conspired to have him and his brothers kicked out of town.
Cosimo the Elder was an able banker who financed his controlling web of political influence, but who also spent lavishly on his own family palace (Palazzo Medici-Riccardi), on art and literary patronage (Donatello, and Filippo Lippi were among his protégés) and on an astonishing list of architectural projects at sites in and around Florence as well as one important building complex in Venice. He was buried just in front of (but well below) the high altar in San Lorenzo.
He is the only Florentine to be awarded the Roman Republican honorific title pater patriae, Father of the Fatherland.
Not to be confused with Cosimo I de’Medici