Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance

About the Show

Four-part documentary series. After centuries in which the Catholic Church controlled thought and ideas, one city at the heart of fifteenth century Europe is poised on the threshold of an intellectual and artistic revolution. Cosimo de' Medici and his father establish the world's largest banking business, whose 'clients' include popes and princes. Outwitting his political rivals and placing his family at the heart of Republican Florence, Cosimo uses his phenomenal wealth to scour the continent for relics of antiquity, breathing new life into the study of the ancient past. As Cosimo's power grows, his friend Brunelleschi builds a great dome over the cathedral of Florence. Donatello and Lippi create original works for the Medici family, and a religious festival is held in Florence, sparking a new explosion of classical learning and inventive thinking. Florence flourishes as a new Rome. When Cosimo dies, the Florentine republic declares him Father of the Nation.