Italian Renaissance bankers arguably invented the concepts and tools of modern banking, including bills of exchange, letters of credit, deposit banking, branch banks, and double-entry bookkeeping.
A recent exhibition on Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence displays links between Renaissance banking and art, hinting at connections between banking and and luxury goods today.
Palazzo Strozzi has a website for the exhibition, which includes a digital tour. NPR’s Syvia Poggioli reports on the show. I was unable to see this exhibition myself, but hope that some of my Medici Archive Project colleagues will be able to review it soon.
NIU students in HIST 420 The Renaissance may be interested in this exhibition and the catalog.