Sunday, 13 September 2015
"[Trade] had undergone continuous expansion over the preceding century - in the shape of the Hanseatic League, for example, and had altered the balance of power within society. Cities of growing commercial and financial strength now rose up alongside the feudal lords of old, and within city republics such as Florence it was the bankers and merchants who held the reins of power. It was thanks to his banks and businesses that Cosimo de' Medici became a political ruler of Florence, even if he never flaunted his power in public. Like all Florentine merchants, he dressed in a plain red cloak and a simple black cap."
From 15th century Paintings by Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen page 54
in the chapter Fra Angelico: St Nicholas of Bari, 1437 A Saint with a practical turn of mind.