Competition: Win a Weekend in Florence

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
ONE OF the central figures of the Italian Renaissance was not a painter or sculptor, but the nobleman son of a family of bankers. Lorenzo de' Medici is best known as the patron of Michelangelo, but his influence in 15th-century Florence was felt in all branches of the arts, from architecture to jewellery.

Lorenzo was born in 1449 into the most powerful family in Tuscany, and was only 20 when his father died and he had to take on the leadership of the family, the business and the city of Florence. His youth, combined with his love of the arts and his political acumen, is often cited as providing the conditions which allowed the arts in Florence to blossom as never before.

Last year the 500th anniversary of his death was marked by exhibitions in Florence and other Italian cities. Now his treasures are coming to London. A major exhibition at the Accademia Italiana features paintings and sculpture, including works by Botticelli and Fra Angelico never before seen in this country, as well as manuscripts and books from Lorenzo's library.

To mark 'The Age of Lorenzo de' Medici' (see listings, page 107), the IoS is running a competition in conjunction with American Express. The prize is a long weekend for two in Italy. The winners will fly to Florence, stay for three nights at a four-star hotel, and receive pounds 200 in travellers' cheques. To enter, simply answer the following question:

Lorenzo de' Medici is credited with giving the young Michelangelo his first commission. What was it?

Answers on a postcard to: Medici, Arts Desk, 'IoS', 40 City Rd, London EC1Y 2DB, to arrive by Mon 18 Oct. Usual competition rules apply; the editor's decision is final.

(Photograph omitted)