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 born in about 1400 and died in 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. Together the couple had two children: Piero 'il Gottoso' and Giovanni. She agreed to take charge of Cosimo's illegitimate son, Charles de Medici. She 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 the grandchildren. She also had a good relationship with her daughter-in-law Lucrezia Tornabuoni and she lived with her and her son Piero di Cosimo de' Medici after her husband's death. Her relationship with Lorenzo and Giuliano was close from childhood, and allowed her political influence as they became leaders. This 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.
- Pernis, Maria Grazia; Adams, Laurie (2006). Lucrezia Tornabuoni de' Medici and the Medici family in the fifteenth century. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0820476455.
- Tomas, Natalie R. (2003). The Medici Women: Gender and Power in Renaissance Florence. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0754607771.