Strozzi is the name of an ancient later noble Florentine family, who
like their great rivals the
Medici family, began in banking before
moving into politics. Until its exile from
Florence in 1434, the
Strozzi family was by far the richest in the city, and was rivaled
only by the
Medici family, who ultimately took control of the
government and ruined the Strozzi both financially and politically.
This political and financial competition was the origin of the
Medici rivalry. Later, while the
Medici ruled Florence, the
Strozzi family ruled Siena, which
Florence attacked, causing great
animosity between the two families. Soon afterwards, the Strozzi
married into the
Medici family, essentially giving the Medici
2 Later family members
3 See also
Palla Strozzi (1372–1462) neglected the family bank, but played an
important part in the public life of Florence, and founded the first
public library in
Florence in the monastery of Santa Trinita, as well
as commissioning the important Strozzi Altarpiece of the Adoration of
the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano. He played a leading part in forcing
the exile of
Cosimo de' Medici
Cosimo de' Medici in 1434, but after Cosimo's pardon a
year later, was himself exiled, and never returned.
Niccolò Strozzi (portrait bust by Mino da Fiesole, 1454)
Filippo Strozzi il Vecchio (1428–1491), son of Matteo Strozzi and of
Alessandra Macinghi, was exiled as a young man and became a successful
banker in Naples. He was also a condottiero or leader of mercenary
soldiers and after his reconciliation with the
Medici and return in
1462, began the Palazzo Strozzi, which was finished by his son Filippo
Filippo II (1488–1538) is probably the most well known member of the
family. Although married to Clarice de' Medici, a daughter of Piero di
Medici and member herself of the
Medici family, he was
vehemently opposed to the hegemony the Medicis had acquired as the
unofficial rulers of the Florentine republic and was among the leaders
of the uprising of 1527. Michelangelo's
Doni Tondo was probably
commissioned by Agnolo Doni to commemorate his marriage to Maddalena
After the republic was overthrown in 1530 Alessandro de' Medici
attempted to win Filippo Strozzi's support, but Strozzi declined and
instead retired to Venice. After the murder of Alessandro in 1537 he
assumed leadership of a group of republican exiles with the object of
re-entering the city but having been captured and subsequently
tortured he committed suicide.
Filippo Strozzi's older son Piero (1500–1558), married Laudomia de'
Medici, and fought in Scotland against the English, and in France
against the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, and was made a Marshal of
France in 1554. He took part in the French siege of
Calais (1557), and
died of wounds incurred in battle at Thionville, in Lorraine, in 1558.
A younger son Leone (1515–1554) was a distinguished admiral in the
service of France and fought against the Medici. He died of a wound
received while attacking Sarlino in 1554. Another son, Lorenzo Strozzi
(1513–1571) went into the Church, also in France, and ended as a
cardinal and Archbishop of
Siena from 1565. The son of Piero, Filippo
Piero Strozzi (1541–1582) was born in exile in France and served
as a royal page and then in the French army, before being captured and
killed by the Spaniards at the Battle of Terceira.
Later family members
Senator Carlo Strozzi (1587–1671) formed an important library and
collected a valuable miscellany known as the Carte Strozziane, of
which the most important part is now in the state archives of
Florence. He was the author of a Storietta della città di Firenze dal
1219 al 1292 (unpublished) and a Storia della casa Barberini (Rome,
Count Peter Strozzi (1626–1664), Austrian general, killed by the
Ottomans during the Siege of Novi Zrin (1664)
It is unclear whether
Bernardo Strozzi (c.1581–1644), a prominent
and prolific Italian Baroque painter born and active mainly in Genoa
and Venice, was a part of this immediate family.
Giulio Strozzi was a member of the family. He adopted the
Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677), who was presumably his natural
The Strozzi acquired by marriage the titles of Princes of Forano and
Dukes of Bagnolo. A branch of the family moved to
Vienna and built the
Palais Strozzi there. The
Palazzo Strozzi in
Florence belonged to the
family until 1937 when it was sold to the Istituto Nazionale delle
Assicurazioni (INA). From 1999 it became property of the Italian
State. Today, Strozzi descendents are still living in Florence,
America and elsewhere.
The Villa Cusona is the Tuscan home of the family, operated as a
vineyard by Prince Girolamo Strozzi and his family. British Prime
Tony Blair and his family were regular holiday visitors to
the Villa Cusona. In 2013, the villa was allegedly seized as part of a
^ "Winemaker spotlight on Prince Girolamo Strozzi". Virgin
^ "Tony Blair's holiday villa is 'seized as aristocratic Italian owner
faces fraud inquiry'". London: Daily Mail. 30 May 2013.
Bardi, Filippo Strozzi (Florence, 1894)
Niccolini, Filippo Strozzi (Florence)
Guasti, Le Carte Strozziane (Florence, 1884–1891).
Other Women's voices
Wittkower, Rudolf (1993). "14". Pelican History of Art, Art and
Architecture Italy, 1600–1750. 1980. Penguin Books Ltd.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Strozzi".
Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Womentalking.co.uk: Feature article on Strozzi Princesses
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