Italian Renaissance, financial institutions, Cosimo de Medici


One of the most distinguishing traits of the Italian Renaissance was the development of new financial institutions, which helped develop a modern capitalist economy. At the center of this trend was Cosimo de Medici, one of the key figures who built his family's bank into the largest European financial institution of the Quattrocento-and made himself one of the richest men in Europe in the process. Cosimo was a gifted entrepreneur who managed to make the Medici bank of Florence an international institution during the rise of capitalism.