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As part of the celebrations for 500 years from Cosimo I's birth, father of modern Tuscany, the Laurentian Library shows his magnificent books.

Cosimo I De 'Medici, son of the commander Giovanni delle Bande Nere and Maria Salviati,,Med.Palat.-68-c.-1r was born on June 12, 1519 and on January 9, 1537 he became Duke of Florence; with the extension of the Dukedom of Florence to Grand Dukedom of Tuscany he has been the first Grand Duke since 1569  to his death in 1574 and it was a dukedom rich in transformations and "festina lente", that is going on carefully but straightaway.

Fifty-four precious books from the library of Cosimo I are now shown in this very important exhibit, including private manuscripts and those for Michelangelo's Library.

The exhibition thus is divided into two sections, the private collection and the public one: in one you can admire the books he kept in his private library, these are his biographies, donations, manuscripts he collected, all works that focus his various  and multiple interests, ranging moreover from architecture to maths, from music to geography, here further represented by the two armillary spheres for the study of astronomy.

The second section is dedicated to the great increase of manuscripts for the Public Library, of which Michelangelo had planned the building and which was opened in 1571. During fifty years the Medici library collected from 1000 codes to more than 3000, with five different origins, purchase or transfer from other libraries, both Florentine and from other parts of Tuscany.

The exhibit also shows a never seen painting by Jacopo Ligozzi, the sketch of one of the paintings in the northern part of Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, which also completed the decoration requested by Cosimo I.

Also on display is the autograph manuscript of the three-choir mass composed by Costanzo Porta for the Grand Duke and visitors can listen to these XVI century music during the visit.


The Books of Grand Duke Cosimo I De' Medici until October 18, 2019 at Laurentian Library

Published: 22/3/2019

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