Florence's cultural history during the Renaissance is intimately associated with the Medici family, arguably the most famous and powerful of all Italian dynasties. Successful merchants and the city's most prominent patrons of the arts and sciences, the Medici ruled Florence from the 15th century until the mid-18th century. This volume focuses upon the Medici grand dukes, who were at the height of their powers from 1537 to 1631. Under the grand dukes, Cosimo I, his sons Francesco I and Ferdinando I, and his grandson Cosimo II, Florence experienced a flowering of the arts, with commissions going to artists such as Michelangelo, Pontormo, Bronzino, Vasari and Giambologna. The Medici used the resulting buildings and works of art as a means to promote and reflect their political and cultural aspirations within their native city and throughout Europe.;Michelangelo, celebrated in his own lifetime as the greatest and most influential sculptor, architect and painter, overshadowed much of the city's cultural and artistic life during the 16th century. His legacy is evident in the designs, painting, sculpture and decorative arts of many of his Florentine followers, who continued working for the Medici family. Minimal wear all- round with small tear on inside to cover but otherwise in good condition.