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Is Trump the Second Coming of the Renaissance’s Most Famous Patron?

If you know anything about the Renaissance or watch Medici: Masters of Florence on Netflix, then you know that Florentine patron Cosimo de’ Medici almost single-handedly bankrolled the most creative and spiritual time of the last millennium. The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica report on the below information about Medici’s life, how he died in 1464 after 30 years of unofficial rule, but is it possible that he’s back in the form of President-elect Donald J. Trump? (Just look at those matching red hats!) A few other reasons why this may not just be a conspiracy:

Both Cosimo and The Donald were sons of successful businessmen. Cosimo’s father Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici was born into relative poverty but made a fortune as a banker. Trump’s father Fred was a Bronx-born carpenter by trade who eventually built a profitable construction company. Like Cosimo, he took over his father’s business as a young man.

Cosimo was a trained artist and supported numerous Florentine artists, including Donatello, who sculpted the world-famous “David” on Cosimo’s commission. He also paid for Brunelleschi to finish one of the world’s largest cathedrals Il Duomo de Firenze. Trump also renovated New York’s Plaza Hotel and the landmarked Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, showing as much interest in their aesthetics as their real estate value.

cosimo de medici photo

Photo by Cea.

Cosimo was a man of the people. He never accepted a title or dressed ostentatiously and after spending a year in jail and exile, rallied public support for a political comeback. Likewise, Trump has bounced back from numerous career setbacks to emerge a political victor, thanks in large part to his ability to connect with middle America.

Though his father is considered the progenitor of the Medici line, Cosimo is widely credited as the man who cemented the family’s power, which it held without interruption for over 100 years. Trump’s family is also on the verge of dynasty status, thanks to his politically-ambitious daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Cosimo founded the Platonic Academy in Florence in 1445. Trump’s namesake university has had a smaller effect than Cosimo’s on the intellectual life of his day but is just as famous.

Cosimo brought peace to northern Italy in part by discouraging foreign influences from Rome, Germany and Spain to meddle in Florence’s affairs. Trump, as we all know, is vehemently America First. Only time will tell if Trump’s term as President of the United States has as lasting an impression on our culture, politics and penchant for famous families.

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