Contessina de' Bardi
|Contessina de' Bardi|
Cristofano dell'Altissimo, posthumous portrait of Contessina de' Bardi
|Spouse(s)||Cosimo de' Medici|
|Father||Alessandro di Sozzo Bardi, count of Vernio|
Contessina de' Bardi was an Italian noblewoman from the House of Bardi. She was born in 1390 and died in October 1473. Her marriage into the House of Medici provided her husband's family with much needed nobility, prestige, and military support as they established their power in Florence.
The Bardi family had been exceptionally rich for some time but, following the collapse of the family bank in 1343, its importance was considerably reduced. They enjoyed some fame as suzerains and condottieri. The Medici called on them in this guise, on certain occasions, for armed support of the Medici's political hegemony.
Contessina de' Bardi married Cosimo de' Medici around 1415 and they went to live with his parents, Piccarda Bueri and Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici. Like Giovanni's marriage to Piccarda, this marriage brought noble connections to the common family of the Medici. Contessina was known for being careful with money and the managing of their household.
She survived her husband by about ten years. He died in 1464 and she remained a point of reference for their grandchildren. She had a good relationship with her daughter-in-law Lucrezia Tornabuoni, and she lived with her and her son Piero after her husband's death. Her relationship with Piero's sons, Lorenzo di Piero di' Medici and Giuliano di Piero de' Medici, was close from their childhood and allowed her political influence as they became leaders. This influence included negotiating tax benefits for those she supported. She was also regularly involved in negotiating and approving marriages for the more important families in Florence.
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- Pernis & Adams 2006, p. 15-16.
- Tomas 2003, p. 46.
- Tomas 2003, p. 47.
- Tomas 2003, p. 64.
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- Tomas, Natalie R. (2003). The Medici Women: Gender and Power in Renaissance Florence. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0754607771.