The Last Condottiere

This statue, found in Florence, depicts Lodovico de Medici. who was a young fighting captain also known as Giovanni delle Bande Nere, after his mercenary group (the Black Bands).

By all accounts he was quite the thug, and enjoyed his time as a condottiero – a kind of mercenary captain. He was fatally wounded in November 1526, and his death (as well as advances in warfare technology) effectively brought an end to the knights for hire on horseback lifestyle of the condotierri.

He came from a famous and powerful family, his great-great grandfather was the founder of the House of Medici.

What did this image teach me?

That Lodovico’s famous connections extend down his family tree as well as up; his great-great granddaughter was queen of England, as the wife of Charles I.