Posted on 12 Comments

Medici family

Medici family, or my reasoning on the topic: I am an artist, and this is my opinion.

I recently read the story of the Medici family. Of course, I very impressed with the portrait and story of the little girl Bianca Medici.

Bia de’ Medici

Bianca de’ Medici, usually known as Bia de’ Medici, (c. 1536 – 1 March 1542) was the illegitimate daughter of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, born before his first marriage.

The identity of Bia’s mother is not known, but Cosimo I was likely no older than sixteen when he fathered her. According to Edgcumbe Staley’s The Tragedies of the Medici, some stories said the girl’s mother was a village girl from Trebbio, where the Medicis had built one of their first villas, while others said she was a gentlewoman from Florence. Only Cosimo I and the girl’s paternal grandmother, Maria Salviati, knew the identity of the girl’s mother, but Salviati refused to reveal it, though she did acknowledge Bia was the daughter of Cosimo.

La Bia

Staley wrote that the little girl was called La Bia, short for Bambina (little girl or baby). The name might also have been short for Bianca. Staley wrote that her father’s new wife, Eleonora di Toledo, refused to tolerate her presence in the palace after their marriage, so Cosimo sent her off to the Villa di Castello, her paternal grandmother’s chief residence north of Florence. However, other more reliable reports indicate that her stepmother “brought her up very lovingly”. Her paternal grandmother supervised the nurseries for all of the children of Cosimo I.

All of them, not only Cosimo’s illegitimate daughter, spent most of their time at the Villa di Castello and were raised by nurses, with minimal day-to-day contact with their parents, though both Cosimo and Eleonora heard reports of their progress and offered directions for their education, their living arrangements, and the clothing they wore. Bia shared her nursery with Giulia de’ Medici, the illegitimate daughter of Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence, who was close to her in age. She grew into a high-spirited, loving little girl who kept her grandmother and nurses entertained with her antics. Bia’s father adored his first-born child, and her paternal grandmother, Maria Salviati, said the little girl “was the comfort of our court, being so very affectionate.”

Bia’s parents

Both Bia and her cousin Giulia contracted a fast-moving fever in February 1542, from which Giulia recovered but Bia did not. Cosimo I received almost daily reports of Bia’s worsening condition from his mother, Maria Salviati. The child grew weaker between 25 February and 28 February and finally died on 1 March 1542.

When her legitimate half-sister Isabella de’ Medici was born six months after her death, her father rejoiced to have another daughter. Contemporaries who might normally have consoled him on his wife’s failure to present him with a second son instead congratulated him on her birth, knowing how he had grieved for the loss of Bia. ” congratulate you on the beautiful baby girl God has conceded to you in recompense for the one he has taken to join him in paradise,” wrote Paolo Giovio after the birth of Isabella.

This is a portrait of Bia de Medici by the artist Angelo Bronzino.

Please note the brown medallion. Yes, I thought about this locket when I created my new pendant. But I can see they turned out to be absolutely different! So I have a question. Should I repeat exactly the things that I liked? I’m talking about the exact repetition of all the details. Or is it enough for me to say: I am an artist and this is my opinion? Of course, I can create whatever I want. But do I need to tell the stories of my products? How do you think?

You can see my medallion here, please:

I also invite you to watch the tatting process on my YouTube channel:

Subscribe to my blog, comment and ask questions. I really look forward to your feedback!

12 thoughts on “Medici family

  1. Beautiful story, fantastic blog.

    1. Thank You soooo much, dear Polina, for kind words and support my blog!

  2. I enjoyed sharing your journey of inspiration for this piece, Elena. I do, however, feel that the only critic you should honor as an artist is yourself. 😊

    1. Oh, I doubt myself so often, alas. Thanks for the support, Kathleen!

  3. I always enjoy the backstory for any creation – it imparts more significance, more meaning, and more appreciation to the designer’s work. It is also an acknowledgement to the original. 💜
    I’ve read about the Medicis in a few books. Always interesting.

    1. Thank You, Muskaan! I agree with You.

  4. Thank you for the history of Bia Medici. I love your rendering of her necklace. Very nice! I love history. And of course, I love tatting. A perfect combination, in my opinion!

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dawn, for the wonderful words! And, of course, I share your love for history and tatting!

  5. Thank you for sharing this story! I love your interpretation of Bia’s medallion in tatted lace. Inspiration is all around!

    1. Thank You so much, Diane! Yes, You are right! I get inspiration from the most unexpected things!

  6. I always enjoy the stories of an artist’s inspiration. Very often I learn new things which is always good.

    1. Thank You, Jeanne, for comment and support my blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *