Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609, having succeeded his older brother Francesco I. Ferdinando was the fifth son of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Eleanor of Toledo, the daughter of Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca, the Spanish viceroy of the Kingdom of Naples, he was never ordained into the priesthood. At Rome, he proved an able administrator, he founded the Villa Medici in Rome and acquired many works of art, which he brought back to Florence with him. When his brother Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, died in 1587, Ferdinando succeeded as grand duke at the age of 38. In many ways, Ferdinando was the opposite of his brother. Approachable and generous, he set out to rule mildly, he was genuinely concerned about the welfare of his subjects. During his reign, Tuscany regained the independence his brother had given up. Ferdinando fostered commerce and gained great wealth through the Medici banks, which were established in all the major cities of Europe.
He enacted an edict of tolerance for Jews and heretics, Livorno became a haven for Spanish Jews as well as other persecuted foreigners. He established the Medici Oriental Press, he improved the harbor Cosimo I had built and diverted part of the flow of the Arno River into a canal called the Naviglio, which aided commerce between Florence and Pisa. He fostered an irrigation project in the Val di Chiana, which allowed the flatlands around Pisa and Fucecchio and in the Val di Nievole to be cultivated; the greatest cultural achievement in Florence during Ferdinando's reign was the introduction of opera to Europe. For the wedding of Ferdinando's niece Marie de' Medici to King Henry IV of France in 1600, his court sponsored a lavish performance of one of the first notable operas, Jacopo Peri's Euridice. For the first two years of his reign, he retained his position as cardinal, but he gave it up in order to marry Christina of Lorraine in 1589; the couple had a large reception at the Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano.
Christina's dowry was large. The rights of the Duchy of Urbino were transferred to Christina after the death of Queen Catherine de' Medici of France and thus assumed by future Medici rulers. Ferdinando's foreign policy attempted to free Tuscany from Spanish domination. After the assassination of Henry III of France in 1589, he supported Henry IV of France in his struggles against the Catholic League. Ferdinando lent Henry money and encouraged him to convert to Catholicism, which he did. Ferdinando used his influence with Pope Clement VIII to get him to accept Henry's conversion. Henry showed no appreciation for these favors, Ferdinando let the relationship cool, maintaining his cherished independence, he supported Philip III of Spain in his campaign in Algeria and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II in his against the Turks. For these undertakings, he found it necessary to raise taxes on his subjects, he obtained the formal investiture of Siena, which his father had conquered. Ferdinando strengthened the Tuscan fleet, it saw victories against pirates on the Barbary coast in 1607 and against a superior Turkish fleet the following year.
He dreamed of a small African empire, considered the possibility of a colony in Brazil. Ferdinando organised an expedition in 1608 under the command of Captain Robert Thornton to northern Brazil and the Amazon river in order to create a colony. Cosimo II, who succeeded as Grand Duke of Tuscany. Hibbert, Christopher. "XXI". In Pelican History of Art; the Rise and Fall of the House of Medici. Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 279–281. Works by Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany at Internet Archive Works by or about Grand Duke of Tuscany at Internet Archive
Christiaan Huygens was a Dutch physicist, mathematician and inventor, regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time and a major figure in the scientific revolution. In physics, Huygens made groundbreaking contributions in optics and mechanics, while as an astronomer he is chiefly known for his studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan; as an inventor, he improved the design of the telescope with the invention of the Huygenian eyepiece. His most famous invention, was the invention of the pendulum clock in 1656, a breakthrough in timekeeping and became the most accurate timekeeper for 300 years; because he was the first to use mathematical formulae to describe the laws of physics, Huygens has been called the first theoretical physicist and the founder of mathematical physics. In 1659, Huygens was the first to derive the now standard formula for the centripetal force in his work De vi centrifuga; the formula played a central role in classical mechanics and became known as the second of Newton's laws of motion.
Huygens was the first to formulate the correct laws of elastic collision in his work De motu corporum ex percussione, but his findings were not published until 1703, after his death. In the field of optics, he is best known for his wave theory of light, which he proposed in 1678 and described in 1690 in his Treatise on Light, regarded as the first mathematical theory of light, his theory was rejected in favor of Isaac Newton's corpuscular theory of light, until Augustin-Jean Fresnel adopted Huygens' principle in 1818 and showed that it could explain the rectilinear propagation and diffraction effects of light. Today this principle is known as the Huygens–Fresnel principle. Huygens invented the pendulum clock in 1656. In addition to this invention, his research in horology resulted in an extensive analysis of the pendulum in his 1673 book Horologium Oscillatorium, regarded as one of the most important 17th-century works in mechanics. While the first part of the book contains descriptions of clock designs, most of the book is an analysis of pendulum motion and a theory of curves.
In 1655, Huygens began grinding lenses with his brother Constantijn in order to build telescopes to conduct astronomical research. He designed a 50-power refracting telescope with which he discovered that the ring of Saturn was "a thin, flat ring, nowhere touching, inclined to the ecliptic." It was with this telescope that he discovered the first of Saturn's moons, Titan. He developed in 1662 what is now called the Huygenian eyepiece, a telescope with two lenses, which diminished the amount of dispersion; as a mathematician, Huygens was a pioneer on probability and wrote his first treatise on probability theory in 1657 with the work Van Rekeningh in Spelen van Gluck. Frans van Schooten, the private tutor of Huygens, translated the work as De ratiociniis in ludo aleae; the work is a systematic treatise on probability and deals with games of chance and in particular the problem of points. The modern concept of probability grew out of the use of expectation values by Huygens and Blaise Pascal; the last years of Huygens, who never married, were characterized by loneliness and depression.
As a rationalist, he refused to believe in an immanent supreme being, could not accept the Christian faith of his upbringing. Although Huygens did not believe in such a supernatural being, he did hypothesize on the possibility of extraterrestrial life in his Cosmotheoros, published shortly before his death in 1695, he speculated that extraterrestrial life was possible on planets similar to Earth and wrote that the availability of water in liquid form was a necessity for life. Christiaan Huygens was born on 14 April 1629 in The Hague, into a rich and influential Dutch family, the second son of Constantijn Huygens. Christiaan was named after his paternal grandfather, his mother was Suzanna van Baerle. She died in 1637, shortly after the birth of Huygens' sister; the couple had five children: Constantijn, Lodewijk and Suzanna. Constantijn Huygens was a diplomat and advisor to the House of Orange, a poet and musician, his friends included Marin Mersenne and René Descartes. Huygens was educated at home until turning sixteen years old.
He liked to play with miniatures of other machines. His father gave him a liberal education: he studied languages and music and geography, mathematics and rhetoric, but dancing and horse riding. In 1644 Huygens had as his mathematical tutor Jan Jansz de Jonge Stampioen, who set the 15-year-old a demanding reading list on contemporary science. Descartes was impressed by his skills in geometry, his father sent Huygens to study law and mathematics at the University of Leiden, where he studied from May 1645 to March 1647. Frans van Schooten was an academic at Leiden from 1646, a private tutor to Huygens and his elder brother, replacing Stampioen on the advice of Descartes. Van Schooten brought his mathematical education up to date, in particular introducing him to the work of Fermat on differential geometry. After two years, from March 1647, Huygens continued his studies at the newly founded Orange College, in Breda, where his father was a curator: the change occurred because of a duel between his brother Lodewijk and another student.
Constantijn Huygens was involved in the new College, which lasted only to 1669. Christiaan Huygens lived at the home of the jurist Johann Henryk Dauber, and
The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works from the period of the Italian Renaissance. After the ruling house of Medici died out, their art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress; the Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, in 1765 it was opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865. Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world; the building of Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, "offices".
The construction was continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti. The top floor was made into a gallery for the family and their guests and included their collection of Roman sculptures; the cortile is so long and open to the Arno at its far end through a Doric screen that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe. Vasari, a painter and architect as well, emphasised its perspective length by adorning it with the matching facades' continuous roof cornices, unbroken cornices between storeys, as well as the three continuous steps on which the palace-fronts stand; the niches in the piers that alternate with columns of the Loggiato filled with sculptures of famous artists in the 19th century. The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive; the project was intended to display prime art works of the Medici collections on the piano nobile.
He commissioned the architect Buontalenti to design the Tribuna degli Uffizi that would display a series of masterpieces in one room, including jewels. The octagonal room was completed in 1584. Over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. For many years, 45 to 50 rooms were used to display paintings from the 13th to 18th century; because of its huge collection, some of the Uffizi's works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence—for example, some famous statues to the Bargello. A project was finished in 2006 to expand the museum's exhibition space some 6,000 metres2 to 13,000 metres2, allowing public viewing of many artworks, in storage; the Nuovi Uffizi renovation project which started in 1989 was progressing well in 2015 to 2017. It was intended to modernize all of more than double the display space; as well, a new exit was planned and the lighting, air conditioning and security systems were updated.
During construction, the museum remained open, although rooms were closed as necessary with the artwork temporarily moved to another location. For example, the Botticelli rooms and two others with early Renaissance paintings were closed for 15 months but reopened in October 2016; the major modernization project, New Uffizi, had increased viewing capacity to 101 rooms by late 2016 by expanding into areas used by the Florence State Archive. The Uffizi hosted over two million visitors in 2016, making it the most visited art gallery in Italy. In high season, waiting times can be up to five hours. Tickets are available on-line in advance, however, to reduce the waiting time. A new ticketing system is being tested to reduce queuing times from hours to just minutes; the museum is being renovated to more than double the number of rooms used to display artwork. On 27 May 1993, the Sicilian Mafia carried out a car bomb explosion in Via dei Georgofili and damaged parts of the palace, killing five people.
The blast destroyed five pieces of art and damaged another 30. Some of the paintings were protected by bulletproof glass; the most severe damage was to the Niobe room and classical sculptures and neoclassical interior, although its frescoes were damaged beyond repair. In early August 2007, Florence experienced a heavy rainstorm; the Gallery was flooded, with water leaking through the ceiling, the visitors had to be evacuated. There was a much more significant flood in 1966 which damaged most of the art collections in Florence including some of the works in the Uffizi; the collection contains some ancient sculptures, such as the Arrotino and the Two Wrestlers. Collections of the Uffizi Official website Uffizi – Google Art Project Uffizi Gallery
Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca
Pedro Álvarez de Toledo y Zúñiga, jure uxoris Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo was a Spanish politician. The first effective Spanish viceroy of Naples, in 1532–1552, he was responsible for considerable social and urban change in the city and southern Italian kingdom, in general, he was born in 1484 near Salamanca in Spain, the second son of Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo, 2nd Duke of Alba. His paternal grandmother was Maria Enriquez, the step-sister of Juana Enríquez, Queen Consort of Aragon through her marriage to widower king of Aragon Juan II of Aragon, the mother of Ferdinand II of Aragon and ancestress of Habsburgs. Through this relation, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain was a second cousin of Don Pedro. Spain took over the Kingdom of Naples in 1503 and solidified her grasp after the final, failed attempt by France in 1529 to retake the kingdom. For the first three decades of the century, a succession of inconsequential viceroys ruled the vicerealm. Don Pedro arrived as viceroy in September 1532.
Don Pedro’s rebuilding of the city went on for years. Old city walls were expanded and an new wall was built along the sea front. Fortresses along those walls and further up and down the coast from the city were modernized, the Arsenale—the naval shipyards—were expanded considerably. Don Pedro built the viceregal palace as well as a dozen blocks of barracks nearby, a square grid of streets lined with multi-storied buildings—unique in Europe for its time. Today, that section of Naples is still called the “Spanish Quarter”; the goal was to make not just the city of Naples, but the Gulf of Naples and the entire vice-realm invulnerable—that is, the entire southern Italian peninsula. Don Pedro ruled harshly. In 1542 he closed the Accademia Pontaniana, he instituted summary execution for petty theft on public streets and made it a capital crime to go armed at night in the city. He was ruthless in dealing with feudal barons in the countryside and encouraged their moving into the city within reach of a central authority.
This breaking-up of land holdings began a trend to urbanization as both the landed class and the landless peasant class poured into Naples. By 1550, the population of 200,000 was second only to Paris in all of Europe. Within the city, he centralized administration, moving all courts onto the same premises, the Castel Capuano known as the "Vicaria". Don Pedro is remembered as the viceroy who tried without success to institute the Spanish Inquisition in Naples, in 1547; when the announcement of the Inquisition came in May 1547, the protest was immediate, turning violent quickly. It was not a "popular" revolution, but rather a revolt by many of the landed nobility in and around Naples and Salerno, property owners who knew that the Inquisition had a reputation for confiscating the wealth and property of those whom it questioned. Don Pedro, upon the order of the emperor Charles V, backed down and the Inquisition was called off. In 1552, Charles V calmed the populace further by sending Toledo off to Siena to handle a local problem.
The viceroy died in Florence, where one of his daughters, Eleanor of Toledo was duchess consort of Medici the following year. Don Pedro's reputation as a city-builder has stood the test of time; the city of Naples still bears his stamp in countless places. He was supposed to be entombed in the church of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli in Naples, but his sudden death in Florence meant he was buried in the Cathedral of Florence then. Don Pedro Álvarez de Toledo married in 1508 Maria Osorio Pimentel, 2nd Marquise of Villafranca del Bierzo, they had seven children: Eleanor of Toledo, married in 1539 Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. With issue. Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 3rd Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo. 3rd Marquis on the death of his mother in 1539. He married no issue. García Álvarez de Toledo, 4th Marquis of Villafranca, a.k.a. García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio became the 4th Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo in 1569, when his brother Fadrique died without issue, albeit being married.
He married Vittoria Colonna, having issue, who survived till 1627. Ana de Toledo, married Lopo de Moscoso Osório, 4th count of Altamira. Juana Álvarez de Toledo, married Fernando Ximenez de Urrea, 2nd Count of Aranda Isabel de Toledo, married Gian Battista Spinelli, 2nd Prince of Cariati Luis Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, interim Viceroy of Naples for 2 months in 1552, commander in the Order of Santiago
Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo I de' Medici was the second Duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569, when he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, a title he held until his death. Cosimo was born in Florence on 12 June 1519, the son of the famous condottiere Ludovico de' Medici and his wife Maria Salviati, herself a granddaughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent, he was the Countess of Forlì and Lady of Imola. Cosimo came to power in 1537 at age 17, just after the 26-year-old Duke of Florence, Alessandro de' Medici, was assassinated. Cosimo was from a different branch of the Medici family, descended from Giovanni il Popolano, the great-grandson of Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, founder of the Medici Bank, it was necessary to search for a successor outside of the "senior" branch of the Medici family descended from Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici, since the only male child of Alessandro, the last lineal descendant of the senior branch, was born out-of-wedlock and was only four years' old at the time of his father's death. Up to the time of his accession, Cosimo had lived only in Mugello and was unknown in Florence.
However, many of the influential men in the city favoured him as the new duke. Several hoped to rule through him. However, as the Florentine literatus Benedetto Varchi famously put it, "The innkeeper's reckoning was different from the glutton's." Cosimo proved strong-willed and ambitious and soon rejected the clause he had signed that entrusted much of the power of the Florentine duchy to a Council of Forty-Eight. When the Florentine exiles heard of the death of Alessandro, they marshalled their forces with support from France and from disgruntled neighbors of Florence. During this time, Cosimo had an illegitimate daughter, portrayed shortly before her premature death in a marvelous painting by Bronzino. Toward the end of July 1537, the exiles marched into Tuscany under the leadership of Bernardo Salviati and Piero Strozzi; when Cosimo heard of their approach, he sent his best troops under Alessandro Vitelli to engage the enemy, which they did at Montemurlo. After defeating the exiles' army, Vitelli stormed the fortress, where Strozzi and a few of his companions had retreated to safety.
It fell after only a few hours, Cosimo celebrated his first victory. The prominent prisoners were subsequently beheaded in the Bargello. Filippo Strozzi's body was found with a bloody sword next to it and a note quoting Virgil, but many believe that his suicide was faked. In 1537, Cosimo sent Bernardo Antonio de' Medici to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to gain recognition for his position as head of the Florentine state; that recognition came in June 1537 in exchange for help against France in the course of the Italian Wars. With this move, Cosimo restored the power of the Medici, who thereafter ruled Florence until the death of the last of the Medici ruler, Gian Gastone de' Medici, in 1737; the help granted to Charles V allowed him to free Tuscany from the Imperial garrisons and to increase as much as possible its independence from the overwhelming Spanish influence in Italy. Cosimo next turned his attention to Siena. With the support of Charles V, he defeated the Sienese at the Battle of Marciano in 1554 and laid siege to their city.
Despite the inhabitants' desperate resistance, the city fell on 17 April 1555 after a 15-month siege, its population diminished from forty thousand to eight thousand. In 1559, the last redoubt of Sienese independence, was annexed to Cosimo's territories. In 1569, Pope Pius V elevated him to the rank of Grand Duke of Tuscany. In the last 10 years of his reign, struck by the death of two of his sons by malaria, Cosimo gave up active rule of the Florentine state to his son and successor Francesco I, he retreated to live in the Villa di Castello, outside Florence. Cosimo was an authoritarian ruler and secured his position by employing a guard of Swiss mercenaries. In 1548, he managed to have his relative Lorenzino, the last Medici claimant to Florence who had earlier arranged the assassination of Cosimo's predecessor Alessandro, assassinated himself in Venice. Cosimo was an active builder of military structures, as a part of his attempt to save the Florentine state from the frequent passage of foreign armies.
Examples include the new fortresses of Siena, Sansepolcro, the new walls of Pisa and Fivizzano and the strongholds of Portoferraio on the island of Elba and Terra del Sole. He laid heavy tax burdens on his subjects. Despite his economic difficulties, Cosimo was a lavish patron of the arts and developed the Florentine navy, which took part in the Battle of Lepanto, which he entrusted to his new creation, the Knights of St. Stephen. Cosimo is best known today for the creation of the Uffizi. Intended as a means of consolidating his administrative control of the various committees and guilds established in Florence's Republican past, it now houses one of the world's most important collections of art, much of it commissioned and/or owned by various members of the Medici family, his gardens at Villa di Castello, designed by Niccolò Tribolo when Cosimo was only seventeen years old, were designed to announce a new golden age for Florence and to demonstrate the magnificence and virtues of the Medici.
They were decorated with fountains, a labyrinth, a grotto and ingenious ornamental water features, were a prototype for the Italian Renaissance garden. They had a profound influence on Italian and French gardens through the eighteenth century. Cosimo finished the Pitti Palace as a home for the Medici and created the ma
Christina of Denmark
Christina of Denmark was a Danish princess, the younger surviving daughter of King Christian II of Denmark and Norway and Isabella of Austria. She became the duchess-consort of Milan duchess-consort of Lorraine, she served as the regent of Lorraine from 1545 to 1552 during the minority of her son. She was a claimant to the thrones of Denmark and Sweden in 1561-1590, she was sovereign Lady of Tortona in 1578-1584. Christina was born in Nyborg in central Denmark in 1521. In January 1523, nobles rebelled against her father and offered the throne to his uncle, Duke Frederick of Holstein. Christina and her sister and brother followed their parents into exile in April of the same year, to Veere in Zeeland, the Netherlands, were raised by the Dutch regents, their grandaunt and aunt, Margaret of Austria and Mary of Hungary, her mother died on 19 January 1526. In 1532, her father Christian II of Denmark was imprisoned in Denmark after an attempt to retake his throne; the same year, her brother died, she became second in line to her father's claim to the Danish throne after her elder sister Dorothea.
Christina was given a good education by her aunt, the regent of the Netherlands, under supervision of her governess, Madame de Fiennes. She was described as a great beauty and lively, enjoyed hunting and riding; as a ward of her uncle the Emperor, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, a member of the Imperial house, she was a valuable pawn on the political marriage market. In 1527, Thomas Wolsey, Primate of England, suggested that the illegitimate son of Henry VIII be married to Christina or Dorothea, but the Habsburgs did not wish for them to marry someone born out of wedlock. In 1531, Francesco II Sforza, Duke of Milan proposed to marry either of the sisters, as he wished to make an alliance to the Imperial house. Charles V agreed to a marriage with Christina. On 23 September 1533 in Brussels, Christina was married by proxy to Francesco II Sforza, Duke of Milan, through his representative Count Massimiliano Stampa. On 3 May 1534, Christina made her official entry in Milan among great festivities, on 4 May, the second wedding ceremony was celebrated in the hall of the Rocchetta.
Christina's relationship with Francesco was good, she was popular in Milan, where she was regarded as a symbol of peace and hope for the future after decades of war, her beauty was much admired. She enjoyed hunting parties, the palace was redecorated and beautified for her; when she was given her own court, her chief lady in waiting was Francesca Paleologa of Montferrat, spouse of Constantine Comnenus, titular Prince of Macedonia, to become one of her most intimate lifelong friends. Francesco II Sforza was at that time weak, as his health had never recovered after he survived a poison attempt years before, there was concern that he would never be able to have children, die without heirs. According to the marriage settlement, the Duchy of Milan was to become a part of the Empire if it did not result in issue, she and Francesco had no children. Francesco II Sforza died in October 1535, her rights as a widow to the town of Tortona for life was secured, while the Duchy was incorporated with the Empire.
However, Massimiliano Stampa remained in charge as castellan of Milan, Christina remained in the ducal residence. Charles V supported her wish to stay in Milan, as she was popular there and her presence was regarded as a protection to Milanese independence and calm; as a way to save Milanese independence, Stampa suggested that she marry the heir to the throne of Savoy, prince Louis of Piedmonte, but the plan failed because of his death shortly thereafter. Pope Paul III suggested that she marry the son of his niece Cecilia Farnese, though a few years older than her, was raised as her foster son in the court of Milan after the death of his mother; when the French king repeated his claims to the throne of Milan on behalf of his son, the duke of Orléans, a marriage was suggested to the youngest son of the French monarch, the duke of Angoulême, but Charles V refused the match unless Angoulême, instead of Orléans, was granted the Duchy of Milan, should he recognize the French claims on the Duchy.
Christina welcomed duchess Beatrice of Savoy when Savoy was occupied by the French, was present on the meeting between Beatrice and the Emperor in Pavia in May 1536. In December of that year, Milan was given over to the command of an Imperial official, Christina was escorted to Pavia. Before she left, she took the title Lady of Tortona, had a governor named to manage her dower city for her. On October 1537, Christina went to live at the court of her aunt, the Governor of the Low Countries, Dowager Queen Mary of Hungary, by way of Innsbruck, visiting her sister at the palatinate before arriving in Brussels in December. Christina was a favorite of Mary. After Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIII, died in 1537, Christina was considered as a possible bride for the English king; the German painter Hans Holbein was commissioned to paint portraits of noblewomen eligible to become the English queen. On 10 March 1538, Holbein arrived in Brussels with the diplomat Philip Hoby to meet Christina. Hoby arranged for a sitting the next day.
Christina sat for the portrait for three hours wearing mourning dress. Her rooms in Brussels were hung with black damask and a black cloth-of-estate. Christina only sixteen years old, made no secret of her opposition to marrying the English king, who by this time had a reputation around Europe for his mistreatment of wives: Henry had divorced his first wife Catherin
Giovanni Battista Gaulli
Giovanni Battista Gaulli known as Baciccio or Baciccia, was an Italian artist working in the High Baroque and early Rococo periods. He is best known for his grand illusionistic vault frescos in the Church of the Gesù in Italy, his work was influenced by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Gaulli was born in Genoa, where his parents died from the plague of 1654, he apprenticed with Luciano Borzone. In mid-17th century, Gaulli's Genoa was a cosmopolitan Italian artistic center open to both commercial and artistic enterprises from north European countries, including countries with non-Catholic populations such as England and the Dutch provinces. Painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck stayed in Genoa for a few years. Gaulli's earliest influences would have come from an eclectic mix of these foreign painters and other local artists including Valerio Castello, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Bernardo Strozzi, whose warm palette Gaulli adopted. In the 1660s, he experimented with linear style of Bolognese classicism.
He was first noticed by the Genoese merchant of artworks, Pellegrino Peri, living in Rome. Peri introduced him to Gianlorenzo Bernini, he found patrons among a prominent Jesuit. In 1662, he was accepted into the Roman artists' guild, the Accademia di San Luca, where he was to hold several offices; the next year, he received his first public commission for an altarpiece, in the church of San Rocco, Rome. He received many private commissions for religious works. From 1669, after a visit to Parma, Correggio's frescoed dome-ceiling in the cathedral of Parma, Gaulli's painting took on a more painterly aspect, the composition, organized di sotto in su, would influence his masterpiece. At his height, Gaulli was one of Rome's most esteemed portrait painters. Gaulli is not well known for any other medium but paint, though many drawings in many media have survived. All are studies for paintings. Gaulli died in Rome, shortly after 26 March 1709 2 April. By the first half of the 17th century, the extensive interior decoration had been completed for the two contemporaneous "mother" churches, of two major counter-reformation orders, the Theatines and Oratorians.
This was not true for the two large Jesuit churches in Rome, while rich in marble and stone, remained artistically barren by the mid-17th century. This void would have been evident for Il Gesù with its cavernous blank plaster nave ceiling. Funding and inertia stalled its decoration. In 1661, the election of a new General of the Jesuit order, Gian Paolo Oliva, advanced the decoration. A new inductee into the order, the French Jacques Courtois had become a respected painter and was the main candidate for its decoration. Oliva and the leader of the main patron family, the Duke of Parma, Ranuccio II Farnese whose uncle Cardinal Alessandro Farnese had endowed the construction of the church, began negotiating whether Borgognone should decorate the vault. Oliva wanted his fellow Jesuit for the commission, yet other prominent names such as Maratta and Giacinto Brandi were suggested. With Bernini's persuasive support and strong guidance thereafter, Oliva awarded the prestigious commission to the mere 22-year-old Gaulli.
This choice may have been somewhat controversial, since Gaulli's naked figures frescoed in the pendentives for Sant'Agnese in Agone had offended some eyes, and, as had happened to Michelangelo's Sistine chapel altar frescoes, had required repainting to impose painted clothes. Gaulli decorated the entire dome including lantern and pendentives, central vault, window recesses, transepts' ceilings; the original contract stipulated the dome was to be completed in two years, the remainder by the end of ten years. If it met the approval of a panel, Gaulli was to be paid 14,000 scudi plus expenses. Gaulli's main vault fresco was unveiled on Christmas Eve, 1679. After this, he continued frescoing of the vaults of the tribune and other areas in the church until 1685. Gaulli's program for the nave was heavily overseen by Oliva and Bernini. During this time, Bernini espoused some quietist teachings of the Spanish priest Miguel de Molinos, condemned as heretical in no small part due to Jesuit efforts. Molinos proposed that God was accessible internally through an individual experience, while the Jesuits saw the church and clergy as an essential intermediary for access to Christ's salvation.
Thus Oliva would have asked Gaulli to memorialize the role of frequently-martyred Jesuits as the apostolic shock troops in heretical and pagan societies, leading the charge of the papal Counter-Reformation. Just as Bernini approved of the intermixing fresco and plaster in this new plastic conception, Gaulli blends these ideas in a fashion acceptable to his patron. Gaulli's nave masterpiece, the Triumph of the Name of Jesus, is an allegory of the work of the Jesuits that envelops worshippers below into the whirlwind of devotion. Swirling figures in the dark distal border of the composition frame base the open sky rising upward toward a celestial vision of infinite depth; the light from Jesus' name - IHS - and symbol of the Jesuit order is gathered by patrons and saints above the clouds.