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Lorenzo de' Medici

A Short History of Medici

The Medici Society Ltd was founded in 1908 by Philip Lee Warner and Eustace Gurney. The company's original aim was to bring artists' work to the appreciation of a wider public through technically cutting edge high-end colour reproductions, with subjects chosen for their artistic value, beauty or sentiment sold "for the lowest price commercially possible".

The name Medici was chosen as a homage to the great Florentine family who did so much to encourage art in the Italian Renaissance. The profile of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449 - 1492), known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, was incorporated into the trade mark.

Initially, the business was run as a society, and members were invited to join and pay a subscription which entitled them to copies of prints as they were published at no extra charge. This structure was later revised and the prints were sold commercially through shops and galleries, but the company retains the Medici Society name to this day. As a result of this comparatively unusual name, many people think that it might be a charitable organisation, but this is not the case. Medici started to publish greeting cards in the 1930s, and some of the artists whose work was published in those days are still in print today.

In 2008 the company sold its greeting card division to the The Great British Card Company, who now publish greeting cards using the name ‘Medici’ under licence as Medici Cards. However, The Medici Society Ltd continues to publish its Fine Art Reproduction Prints, and to licence out permissions to reproduce our extensive archive of imagery through Mary Evans Picture Library. It also continues to retail cards and prints at Medici Gallery South Kensington and to sell original Fine Art at Medici Gallery in Mayfair.