Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II, born Giuliano della Rovere, nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope", was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1 November 1503 to his death in 1513. His nine-year pontificate was marked by an active foreign policy, ambitious building projects, patronage of the arts, his military and diplomatic interventions averted a take-over by France of the Italian States. He proved a bulwark against Venetian expansionism. Pope Julius II commissioned the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, Michelangelo's decoration and full-scale painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, his discerning eye in hiring the artist Raphael as a young man brought numerous improvements to the Vatican. Giuliano della Rovere Albisola, was born near Savona in the Republic of Genoa, he was of a noble but impoverished family, the son of Raffaelo della Rovere. and Theodora Manerola, a lady of Greek ancestry. He had: Bartolomeo, a Franciscan friar who became Bishop of Ferrara, he had a sister, Lucina.
Giuliano was educated by Fr. Francesco della Rovere, O. F. M. among the Franciscans, who took him under his special charge. He was sent by this same uncle, to the Franciscan friary in Perugia, where he could study the sciences at the University. Della Rovere, as a young man, showed traits of being rough and given to bad language. During the late 1490s he became more acquainted with Cardinal Medici and his nephew, the two dynasties became uneasy allies in the context of papal politics. Both houses desired an end to the occupation of Italian lands by the armies of France, he seemed less enthused by theology. After his uncle was elected Pope Sixtus IV on 10 August 1471, Giuliano was appointed Bishop of Carpentras in the Comtat Venaissin on 16 October 1471. In an act of literal nepotism he was raised to the cardinalate on 16 December 1471, assigned the same titular church as that held by his uncle, San Pietro in Vincoli. Guilty of serial simony and pluralism he held several powerful offices at once: in addition to the archbishopric of Avignon he held no fewer than eight bishoprics, including Lausanne from 1472, Coutances.
In 1474, Giuliano led an army to Todi and Città di Castello as papal legate. He returned to Rome in May, in the company of Duke Federigo of Urbino, who promised his daughter in marriage to Giuliano's brother Giovanni, subsequently named Lord of Senigallia and of Mondovì. On 22 December 1475, Pope Sixtus IV created the new Archdiocese of Avignon, assigning to it as suffragan dioceses the Sees of Vaison and Carpentras, he appointed Giuliano as the first archbishop. Giuliano held the archdiocese until his election to the papacy. In 1476 the office of Legate was added, he left Rome for France in February. On 22 August 1476 he founded the Collegium de Ruvere in Avignon, he returned to Rome on 4 October 1476. In 1479, Cardinal Giuliano served his one-year term as Chamberlain of the College of Cardinals. In this office he was responsible for collecting all the revenues owed to the cardinals as a group and for the proper disbursements of appropriate shares to cardinals who were in service in the Roman Curia.
Giuliano was again named Papal Legate to France on 28 April 1480, left Rome on June 9. As Legate, his mission was threefold: to make peace between King Louis XI and the Emperor Maximilian of Austria, he reached Paris in September, on 20 December 1480, Louis gave orders that Balue be handed over to the Archpriest of Loudun, commissioned by the Legate to receive him in the name of the Pope. He returned to Rome on 3 February 1482. Shortly thereafter the sum of 300,000 ecus of gold was received from the French in subsidy of the war. On 31 January 1483 Cardinal della Rovere was promoted suburbicarian Bishop of Ostia, in succession to Cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville who had died on January 22, it was the privilege of the Bishop of Ostia to consecrate an elected pope a bishop, if he were not a bishop. This occurred in the case of Pius III, ordained a priest on 30 September 1503 and consecrated a bishop on 1 October 1503 by Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere. Around this time, in 1483, an illegitimate daughter was born, Felice della Rovere.
On 3 November 1483, Cardinal della Rovere was named Bishop of Bologna and Papal Legate, succeeding Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga, who had died on 21 October. He held the diocese until 1502. On 28 December 1484, Giuliano participated in the investiture of his brother Giovanni as Captain-General of the Papal Armies by Pope Innocent VIII. By 1484 Giuliano was living in the new palazzo which he had constructed next to the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles, which he had restored. Pope Sixtus IV paid a formal visit to the newly restored building on 1 May 1482, it may be that Giuliano was in residence then. Sixtus IV died on 12 August 1484 and was succeeded by Innocent VIII. After the ceremonies of the election of Pope Innocent were completed, the cardinals were dismissed to their own homes, but Cardina
Guidobaldo da Montefeltro
Guidobaldo da Montefeltro known as Guidobaldo I, was an Italian condottiero and the Duke of Urbino from 1482 to 1508. Born in Gubbio, he succeeded his father Federico da Montefeltro as Duke of Urbino in 1482. Guidobaldo married the sister of Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua. Guidobaldo was impotent, they had no children, but Elisabetta refused to divorce him, he fought as one of Pope Alexander VI's captains alongside the French troops of King Charles VIII of France during the latter's invasion of southern Italy. In 1496, while fighting for the pope near Bracciano, Guidobaldo was taken prisoner by the Orsini and the Vitelli, being freed the following year. Guidobaldo was forced to flee Urbino in 1502 to escape the armies of Cesare Borgia, but returned after the death of Cesare Borgia's father, Pope Alexander VI, in 1503, he adopted as his heir Francesco Maria della Rovere, his sister's child and nephew of Pope Julius II, thus uniting the seigniory of Senigallia with Urbino. He aided Pope Julius II in reconquering the Romagna.
The court of Urbino was at that time one of the most elegant in Italy. Many men of letters met there; the Italo-English historian Polydore Vergil may have worked in the service of Guidobaldo and Elisabetta as well as Baldassare Castiglione, the author of the book The Book of the Courtier, which describes the court of Urbino. Suffering from pellagra, Guidobaldo died in Fossombrone at the age of 36, was succeeded by his nephew. Holy Conversation Portrait of Luca Pacioli Saint George and the Dragon Rendina, Claudio. I capitani di ventura. Rome: Newton Compton. Pp. 393–394. Pietro Bembo, Vita dello illustrissimo s. Guidobaldo duca d'Vrbino. E della illustriss. Sig. Helisabetta Gonzaga sua consorte, Lorenzo Torrentino 1555 P. Giovio. Istorie dei suoi tempi, Venezia 1570 F. Ugolini. Guidobaldo da Montefeltro in «Imparziale fiorentino», 1857 Bernardino Baldi, Della vita e de' fatti di Guidobaldo I da Montefeltro, Duca d'Urbino libri dodici, Silvestri 1821 G. Franceschini. I Montefeltro, Milano 1970 C. H. Clough, A. Conti, Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, duca di Urbino: fu mai gonfaloniere di Sancta Romana Ecclesia? in «Studi Montefeltrani», n.
27, San Leo 2006 The Gubbio Studiolo and its conservation, volumes 1 & 2, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries, which contains material on Guidobaldo da Montefeltro
The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope, in Vatican City. Known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the process by which a new pope is selected; the fame of the Sistine Chapel lies in the frescos that decorate the interior, most the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo. During the reign of Sixtus IV, a team of Renaissance painters that included Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli, created a series of frescos depicting the Life of Moses and the Life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe-l'œil drapery below; these paintings were completed in 1482, on 15 August 1483 Sixtus IV celebrated the first mass in the Sistine Chapel for the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Between 1508 and 1512, under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted the chapel's ceiling, a project which changed the course of Western art and is regarded as one of the major artistic accomplishments of human civilization. In a different climate, after the Sack of Rome, he returned and, between 1535 and 1541, painted The Last Judgment for Popes Clement VII and Paul III; the fame of Michelangelo's paintings has drawn multitudes of visitors to the chapel since they were revealed five hundred years ago. While known as the location of Papal conclaves, the primary function of the Sistine Chapel is as the chapel of the Papal Chapel, one of the two bodies of the Papal household, called until 1968 the Papal Court. At the time of Pope Sixtus IV in the late 15th century, the Papal Chapel comprised about 200 people, including clerics, officials of the Vatican and distinguished laity. There were 50 occasions during the year on which it was prescribed by the Papal Calendar that the whole Papal Chapel should meet.
Of these 50 occasions, 35 were masses, of which 8 were held in Basilicas, in general St. Peter's, were attended by large congregations; these included the Christmas Easter masses, at which the Pope himself was the celebrant. The other 27 masses could be held in a smaller, less public space, for which the Cappella Maggiore was used before it was rebuilt on the same site as the Sistine Chapel; the Cappella Maggiore derived its name, the Greater Chapel, from the fact that there was another chapel in use by the Pope and his retinue for daily worship. At the time of Pope Sixtus IV, this was the Chapel of Pope Nicholas V, decorated by Fra Angelico; the Cappella Maggiore is recorded as existing in 1368. According to a communication from Andreas of Trebizond to Pope Sixtus IV, by the time of its demolition to make way for the present chapel, the Cappella Maggiore was in a ruinous state with its walls leaning; the present chapel, on the site of the Cappella Maggiore, was designed by Baccio Pontelli for Pope Sixtus IV, for whom it is named, built under the supervision of Giovannino de Dolci between 1473 and 1481.
The proportions of the present chapel appear to follow those of the original. After its completion, the chapel was decorated with frescoes by a number of the most famous artists of the High Renaissance, including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Perugino, Michelangelo; the first mass in the Sistine Chapel was celebrated on 15 August 1483, the Feast of the Assumption, at which ceremony the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Sistine Chapel has maintained its function to the present day, continues to host the important services of the Papal Calendar, unless the Pope is travelling. There is a permanent choir, the Sistine Chapel Choir, for whom much original music has been written, the most famous piece being Gregorio Allegri's Miserere. One of the functions of the Sistine Chapel is as a venue for the election of each successive pope in a conclave of the College of Cardinals. On the occasion of a conclave, a chimney is installed in the roof of the chapel, from which smoke arises as a signal.
If white smoke,which is created by burning the ballots of the election, appears, a new Pope has been elected. If a candidate receives less than a two-thirds vote, the cardinals send up black smoke—created by burning the ballots along with wet straw and chemical additives—it means that no successful election has yet occurred; the first papal conclave to be held on the Sistine Chapel was the conclave of 1492, which took place from August 6 from August 11 of the same year and in which Pope Alexander VI known as Rodrigo Borja, was elected. The conclave provided for the cardinals a space in which they could hear mass, in which they could eat and pass time attended by servants. From 1455, conclaves have been held in the Vatican. Since 1996, John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis requires the cardinals to be lodged in the Domus Sanctae Marthae during a papal conclave, but to continue to vote in the Sistine Chapel. Canopies for each cardinal-elector were once used during conclaves—a sign of equal dignity.
After the new Pope accepts his election, he would give his new name. Until reforms instituted by Saint Pius X, the canopies were of different colours to designate which Cardinals had been appointed by which Pope. Paul
Vittoria della Rovere
Vittoria della Rovere was Grand Duchess of Tuscany as the wife of Grand Duke Ferdinando II. She had four children with her husband, two of whom would survive infancy: the future Cosimo III, Tuscany's longest-reigning monarch, Francesco Maria, a prince of the Church. At the death of her grandfather Francesco Maria della Rovere, she inherited the duchy of Urbino which reverted to her second son, Francesco Maria, at her death, she was entrusted with the care of her three grandchildren. Her marriage brought a wealth of treasures to the House of Medici, which can today be seen in the Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Rovere was the only child of Federico Ubaldo della Rovere, son of the incumbent Duke of Urbino, Francesco Maria, her mother was Claudia de' Medici, a sister of Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Duchess of Mantua. As an infant it was expected that she would inherit her grandfather's Duchy of Urbino, but Pope Urban VIII convinced Francesco Maria to resign it to the Papacy.
The duchy was annexed to the Papal States by Pope Urban VIII. Instead, she received the Rovere allodial possessions, the Duchies of Rovere and Montefeltro, art collection which became her property in 1631 aged nine. At the age of one, Rovere was betrothed to her Medici first cousin Ferdinando II, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Under the influence of her Medici mother, she was sent to Florence to be brought up at the Tuscan court; the marriage was arranged by the Grand Duke's grandmother, Christina of Lorraine, acting as joint regent with her daughter-in-law Maria Maddalena of Austria since 1621. Despite Ferdinando II reaching his majority in 1628, Dowager Grand Duchess Christina remained the power behind the throne till her demise in 1636. On 26 September 1633 she married the Grand Duke of Tuscany and her inheritance was included in her dowry, offered to the Medici; these rich art collections of the family, now in the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti, thus became the property of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Brought up in the convent of Crocetta, Rovere's education was a religious one administered by the Dowager Grand Duchesses who had aligned Tuscany with the Papal States.
Her education caused her to be ruled by priests in life much to the annoyance of her liberal husband. The marriage was consummated six years after the marriage ceremony and Rovere gave birth to a son who died at the age of two days. Another son died at birth. In 1642 the couple had another son named Cosimo de' Medici, styled the Grand Prince of Tuscany. Under the influence of their mother, her children received a Roman Catholic education, arguments between the Grand Ducal couple were sparked when there was a disagreement about the education of the Grand Prince. Shortly after the birth of Cosimo, the couple became estranged: Rovere caught her husband and a page, Count Bruto della Molera, in bed together; the incident caused Rovere to refuse to speak to her husband. When she decided to try to come to terms with him, however, he declined to be reconciled, it was twenty years before their quarrel was properly made up, they reconciled in 1659, which resulted in the birth of their last child, Prince Francesco Maria, in 1660.
The estranged couple had, at best, an unhappy marriage, lived separately by mutual agreement for many years. Ferdinando II died in 1670 and was thus succeeded by the Grand Prince as Cosimo III, he had been married to Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, first cousin of Louis XIV of France, in 1661. A son, Prince Ferdinando, a daughter, Princess Anna Maria Luisa, were born within four years, weeks after the accession of Cosimo III, Marguerite Louise was pregnant again. Rovere and her haughty daughter-in-law vied with each other for power. Thanks to her influence over her son, it was Rovere. Cosimo III went so far as to assign his mother the day-to-day administration of Tuscany; as a result, Rovere was formally admitted into the Grand Duke's Consulta, or "Privy Council", leaving an embittered Marguerite Louise to her own devices. The two Grand Duchesses quarrelled over precedence and the Consulta, but Cosimo III always took his mother's side, which only fuelled the ever-growing rages of Orléans. Orléans was left to the supervision of the Grand Prince Ferdinando.
By early 1671, fighting between Marguerite Louise and Vittoria became so heated that a contemporary remarked that "the Pitti Palace has become the devil's own abode, from morn till midnight only the noise of wrangling and abuse could be heard". Rovere triumphed when news of her daughter-in-law's pending departure to France came in 1674; the younger grand duchess had lived in virtual imprisonment at the Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano outside Florence for sometime. The Grand Ducal couple decided to separate on the condition that Orléans stay at the Abbey Saint Pierre de Montmartre in Paris. Orléans left Tuscany in 1675 never to return; as a result of the abandonment of her children, Rovere was made guardian of her grandchildren: Grand Prince Ferdinando, Princess Anna Maria Luisa and Prince Gian Gastone. Retiring from politics, in her old age, she made long stays in the convent of the Montalve, known as Villa La Quiete, as well as in the Villa del Poggio Imperiale, to which she transferred some of the art collection she had inherited.
Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, died in Pisa in 1694 at the age of seventy-two. She was buried at the Basilica of Florence. At her death her son Francesco Maria, Cardinal since 1686, inherited the Rovere duchies; the titles became extinct with the extinction of the House of Medici with the death of her grandson Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1737. He
Francesco Maria de' Medici, Duke of Rovere and Montefeltro
Francesco Maria de' Medici was a member of the House of Medici. He was successively a Governor of Siena and the heir of the duchy of Montefeltro by right of his mother. Medici was born in Florence and was the second son of Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife Vittoria della Rovere, he was the product of a reconciliation between his parents after his mother found the Grand Duke of Tuscany in bed with one of his pages. He was the younger brother of Grand Prince of Tuscany, his maternal cousins included the Duke of Mantua. In 1683 he was appointed to governor of Siena, a position he maintained until his death. Three years in September 1686 he was created cardinal with the permission of Pope Innocent XI. Francesco Maria exerted a notable influence in the conclaves of 1689 and 1700. Despite having this influence with the Papal States, he lived at Villa di Lappeggi outside Florence. In his tenancy of the villa, Lappeggi was restored and became known as the seat of his personal court where various parties and much revelry took place.
At the death of his mother in March 1694, Medici succeeded to the Duchies of Rovere and Montefeltro, her allodial possessions, once the possession of the House of La Rovere. He acted as mentor to his nephew Grand Prince of heir to the Tuscan throne; when it became clear that the Grand Prince and his wife Violante Beatrice of Bavaria were not going to produce an heir, Cosimo III looked towards his brother to solve the problem facing the Tuscan succession. The question of an heir was further exacerbated when the union between Prince Gian Gastone and Anna Maria of Saxe-Lauenburg remained barren. In 1709, when his health had deteriorated, he obtained the Papal dispensation from the cardinalate, was forced to marry Eleonora Luisa Gonzaga, daughter of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Guastalla, in an attempt to save the dynasty. Married by proxy on 16 June 1709, the couple were married in person on 14 July 1709. Contemporaries agreed that Gonzaga was an attractive woman with beautiful skin, eyes and waist.
However, it was soon clear. Gonzaga was repulsed by her husband, refusing to fulfil her marital duties with a man twenty-six years her senior. Despite requisitioning the assistance of her old confessor from Guastalla, Cosimo III could not cajole her into submitting, as she feared contracting venereal diseases. Medici had her surmount this predicament and the marriage was consummated. However, no heirs were born leaving Francesco Maria devastated. Medici retired to Bagno a Ripoli, his wife outlived him till 1742 having gone mad. Acton, Harold: The Last Medici, London, 1980, ISBN 0-333-29315-0 Moroni, Gaetano: Dizionario di Erudizione Storico Ecclesiastica da San Pietro, Tipografia Emiliana, 1847 Media related to Francesco Maria de' Medici at Wikimedia Commons
Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo III de' Medici was the penultimate Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany. He reigned from 1670 to 1723, was the elder son of Grand Duke Ferdinando II. Cosimo's 53-year-long reign, the longest in Tuscan history, was marked by a series of ultra-reactionary laws which regulated prostitution and banned May celebrations, his reign witnessed Tuscany's deterioration to unknown economic lows. He was succeeded by his elder surviving son, Gian Gastone, when he died, in 1723, he married Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a cousin of Louis XIV. The marriage was solemnized by proxy in the King's Chapel at the Louvre, on Sunday, 17 April 1661, it was a marriage fraught with tribulation. Marguerite Louise abandoned Tuscany for the Convent of Montmartre. Together, they had three children: Ferdinando in 1663, Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine, in 1667, Gian Gastone, the last Medicean ruler of Tuscany, in 1671. In life, he attempted to have Anna Maria Luisa recognised as the universal heiress of Tuscany, but Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, would not allow it because Tuscany was an imperial fief, he felt he alone could alter the Tuscan laws of succession.
All Cosimo's efforts to salvage the plan foundered, in 1737, upon his younger son's death, Tuscany passed to the House of Lorraine. Cosimo de' Medici was born on 14 August 1642, the eldest surviving son of Vittoria della Rovere of Urbino, Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, their previous two children had died shortly after birth. Grand Duke Ferdinando wished to give his son the finest scientific education available, but the pious Grand Duchess Vittoria opposed; the latter got her way. Volunnio Bandinelli, a Sienese theologian, was appointed Cosimo's tutor, his character was analogous to the Grand Duchess's. As a youth, Cosimo revelled in sports, his uncle Gian Carlo once wrote to another family member with "news that should surprise you.... The young prince has killed a goose in mid-air." Cosimo, at the age of 11, killed five pigs with five shots. The Luchese Ambassador praised the young Cosimo to the skies, his successor, noticed a somewhat different person, whom he described as "melancholy."By 1659, Cosimo had ceased smiling in public.
He visited places of religious worship and surrounded himself with friars and priests, concerning Grand Duke Ferdinando. Cosimo's only sibling, Francesco Maria de' Medici, the fruit of his parents' brief reconciliation, was born the next year. Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a granddaughter of Henry IV of France, was married to Cosimo by proxy on 17 April 1661 at the Palais du Louvre, she arrived in Tuscany on 12 June, disembarking at Livorno, made her formal entry to Florence on 20 June to much pageantry. As a wedding gift, Grand Duke Ferdinando presented her with a pearl the "size of a small pigeon's egg."The marriage was unhappy from the start. A few nights following the formal entry, Marguerite Louise demanded the Tuscan crown jewels for her own personal use; the jewels that she did manage to extract from Cosimo were smuggled out of Tuscany by her attendants but for the efforts of Ferdinando's agents. Marguerite Louise's extravagances perturbed Ferdinando because the Tuscan exchequer was nearly bankrupt.
Accordingly, the interest rate was lowered by 0.75%. The economy, was so decrepit that barter trade became prevalent in rural market places. In August 1663 Marguerite Louise delivered a boy: Ferdinando. Two more children followed: Anna Maria Luisa in 1667 and Gian Gastone in 1671. Ferdinando beseeched Louis XIV to do something about his daughter-in-law's behaviour. Marguerite Louise wanted to return to France, Saint-Mesme sympathised with this, as did much of the French court, so he left without finding a solution to the heir's domestic disharmony, incensing both Ferdinando and Louis XIV, she humiliated Cosimo at every chance she got: she insisted on employing French cooks, as she feared the Medici would poison her. In September 1664 Marguerite Louise abandoned her apartments in the grand ducal palace. Cosimo moved her into Villa Lapeggi. Here, she was watched by forty soldiers, six courtiers, appointed by Cosimo, had to follow her everywhere; the next year she reconciled with the grand ducal family, gave birth to Anna Maria Luisa, future Electress Palatine, in August 1667.
The delicate rapprochement that existed between Marguerite Louise and the rest of the family collapsed after Anna Maria Luisa's birth, when Marguerite Louise caught smallpox and decided to blame Cosimo for all her problems. Grand Duke Ferdinando encouraged Cosimo to go on a European tour to distract him from Marguerite Louise's renewed hostility. On 28 October 1667 he arrived in Tyrol, where he was entertained by his aunt, Anna de' Medici, Archduchess of Further Austria, he took a barge down the Rhine to Amsterdam, where he was well received by the art community, meeting painter Rembrandt van Rijn. From Amsterdam, he travelled to Hamburg, he reached Florence in May 1668. The excursion did Cosimo good, his health was better than as was his self-esteem. His wife's unrelenting enmity towards him, undid the aforesaid progressions. Grand Duke Ferdinando, once again, feared for his health, so he sent him on a second tour in September 1668; when he went to Spain, the King, Carlos II, received him in a private interview.
By January, he had arrived in Portugal, from there endeavoured to England, where he met Charles II and Samuel Pepys, who described him as "a jolly and good comely man." Cosimo was amiably welcomed by the Universities of Ox