|Director of the branch in Rome|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Leonardo Vernacci|
|Succeeded by||Francesco Sassetti|
|Ambassador in the Papal court|
|Gonfaloniere di Giustizia|
Republic of Florence, Italy
|Died||1497 (aged 69)|
|Occupation||Merchant, banker and patron of art|
He had strong connections with the House of Medici, being the brother of Lucrezia Tornabuoni, and therefore Lorenzo il Magnifico's uncle. In 1443 was named director of the branch in Rome, being Leonardo Vernacci the predecessor, as treasurer of Pope Sixtus IV.
He was also Florentine ambassador in the Papal court in 1480 and 1484, and gonfaloniere di Giustizia in 1482. In 1485 he signed a contract with painter Domenico Ghirlandaio for a grand cycle of frescoes in what was to become the Tornabuoni Chapel in the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Tornabuoni and his wife, Francesca Pitti, are portrayed as donors in the choir wall. He had been already portrayed by Ghirlandaio in the Sistine Chapel in the Vocation of Andrew and Paul.
Giovanni and Lorenzo were probably commissioned for the wedding in 1486 of Giovanni's son Lorenzo to Giovanna of the Albizzi family, and are therefore thought to depict the two on A Young Man Being Introduced to the Seven Liberal Arts.
By 1490, when the large Tornabuoni Chapel fresco cycle by Domenico Ghirlandaio was completed, family members and political allies of the Tornabuoni populate several scenes in considerable numbers, in addition to conventional kneeling portraits of Giovanni Tornabuoni and his wife.
With Lorenzo's death on 8 April 1492, the succession passed to his 20-year-old son Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici (1472–1521). Piero had no talent for running the bank and depended on his secretary and his great-uncle Giovanni Tornabuoni to handle everything. The two mismanaged the bank and balked the new ministro's, Giovambattista Bracci, efforts.
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