Bona of Savoy
Bona of Savoy, Duchess of Milan was Duchess consort of Milan as the second spouse of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. She served as regent of Milan during the minority of her son 1476–1481. Born in Avigliana, Bona was a daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy and Anne de Lusignan of Cyprus, she was one of nineteen children. Her many siblings included: Amadeus IX of Savoy, Philip II, Duke of Savoy, Louis of Savoy, Count of Geneva, Marguerite of Savoy and Charlotte of Savoy, who married King Louis XI. In 1464, Bona was to have been betrothed to Edward IV of England, until his secret marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was revealed, she married Galeazzo Maria Sforza on 9 May 1468. An alliance between the Sforza and the royal house of France had been rumoured from as early as 1460, "in June 1464 Bona of Savoy was offered to Galeazzo by letters from the King of France and the Duke of Savoy." Bona's husband was assassinated, on 26 December 1476 at the age of 32 by three young noblemen on the porch of the cathedral church of San Stefano in Milan.
Galeazzo was succeeded after his 10-year reign by his 7-year-old son Gian Galeazzo Sforza under the regency of Bona. But dissensions soon arose between the regent and her brother-in-law, Ludovico Maria Sforza, nicknamed "Il Moro". In the first encounter Bona and her chief counsellor, Cicco Simonetta, were victorious, Ludovico and his brothers were made to leave the city. In order to obtain his re-admission, Ludovico took advantage of the rivalry between the young Ferrarese Antonio Tassini, the favourite of Bona, her chief counsellor, the ducal secretary Cicco Simonetta; the fall and execution of Simonetta followed. From 1479 the real government of Milan lay in the hands of Ludovico, whose power was further secured in 1480, when he seized his nephew Gian, deprived him of tItle to the duchy and assumed overt control. Bona was obliged to leave Milan and Ludovico was left to rule unchallenged. Bona of Savoy commissioned the Sforza Book of Hours, painted in about 1490 by a famous court artist, Giovan Pietro Birago.
She used the book, which contained devotional texts and is considered to be one of the most outstanding treasures of the Italian Renaissance. Gian Galeazzo Sforza, married his first cousin Isabella of Naples, by whom he had issue, including Bona Sforza, Queen consort of King Sigismund I of Poland, who in her turn had six children. Hermes Maria Sforza, Marquis of Tortona. Bianca Maria Sforza, in January 1474, married firstly Philibert Duke of Savoy. Anna Maria Sforza, married Alfonso I d'Este Duke of Ferrara, she died in childbirth
Pinacoteca di Brera
The Pinacoteca di Brera is the main public gallery for paintings in Milan, Italy. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings, an outgrowth of the cultural program of the Brera Academy, which shares the site in the Palazzo Brera; the Palazzo Brera owes its name to the Germanic braida, indicating a grassy opening in the city structure: compare the Bra of Verona. The convent on the site passed to the Jesuits underwent a radical rebuilding by Francesco Maria Richini; when the Jesuits were disbanded in 1773, the palazzo remained the seat of the astronomical Observatory and the Braidense National Library founded by the Jesuits. In 1774 were added the herbarium of the new botanical garden; the buildings were extended to designs by Giuseppe Piermarini, appointed professor in the Academy when it was formally founded in 1776, with Giuseppe Parini as dean. Piermarini taught at the Academy for 20 years, while he was controller of the city's urbanistic projects, like the public gardens and piazza Fontana.
For the better teaching of architecture and the other arts, the Academy initiated by Parini was provided with a collection of casts after the Antique, an essential for inculcating a refined Neoclassicism in the students. Under Parini's successors, the abate Carlo Bianconi and artist Giuseppe Bossi, the Academy acquired the first paintings of its pinacoteca during the reassignment of works of Italian art that characterized the Napoleonic era. Raphael's Sposalizio was the key painting of the early collection, the Academy increased its cultural scope by taking on associates across the First French Empire: David, Pietro Benvenuti, Vincenzo Camuccini, Canova and the archaeologist Ennio Quirino Visconti. In 1805, under Bossi's direction, the series of annual exhibitions was initiated with a system of prizes, a counterpart of the Paris Salons, which served to identify Milan as the cultural capital for contemporary painting in Italy through the 19th century; the Academy's artistic committee, the Commissione di Ornato exercised a controlling influence on public monuments, a precursor of today's Sopraintendenze delle Belle Arti.
The Romantic era witnessed the triumph of academic history painting, guided at the Academy by Francesco Hayez, the introduction of the landscape as an acceptable academic genre, inspired by Massimo D'Azeglio and Giuseppe Bisi, while the Academy moved towards becoming an institution for teaching the history of art. Thus in 1882 the Paintings Gallery was separated from the Academy. From 1891 the exhibitions were reduced to triennial events, architectural projects developed their autonomous course. During the period of the avant-garde when Modernism was becoming established, the director of the Academy Camillo Boito had as pupil Luca Beltrami, Cesare Tallone taught Carlo Carrà and Achille Funi; the Brera Observatory hosted the astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli for four decades, the Orto Botanico di Brera is a historic botanical garden located behind the Pinacoteca. Collections of Pinacoteca di Brera Aldo Carpi. Guida alle sale della pinacoteca. Milano: per G. B. Bianchi e C. Brera Gallery official website Accademia di Brera official website
Alfonso II of Naples
Alfonso II called Alfonso of Aragon, was King of Naples from 25 January 1494 to 22 February 1495 with the title King of Naples and Jerusalem. As Duke of Calabria he was a patron of Renaissance poets and builders during his tenure as the heir to the throne of Naples. Born in Naples, Alfonso was the eldest child of Ferdinand I of Naples by his first wife, Isabella of Clermont, she was the daughter of Count of Copertino and Caterina Del Balzo Orsini. Alfonso was the cousin of Ferdinand II of Aragon, king of Aragon and the first ruler of a unified Spain, his teacher was the humanist Giovanni Pontano, whose De splendore describes the proper virtues and manner of life becoming to a prince. When his mother Isabella of Clermont died, he succeeded to her feudal claims, which included the Brienne claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1463, when Alfonso was fifteen, his great-uncle Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini, Prince of Taranto, he obtained some lands from the inheritance. Alfonso had shown himself a skilled and determined soldier, helping his father in the suppression of the Conspiracy of the Barons and in the defence of the Kingdom's territory against the Papal claims.
As a condottiero, he fought in the most important wars of the age, such the war following the Pazzi Conspiracy and the War of Ferrara. When his father died, the kingdom's finances were exhausted and the invasion of King Charles VIII of France was imminent. Charles invaded Italy in September, 1494. Alfonso managed to regain the support of Pope Alexander VI, who invited Charles to devote his effort against the Turks instead. Alfonso received the official Papal coronation as Rex Siciliae on May 8, 1494 from Juan de Borja Lanzol de Romaní, el mayor the papal legate to Alfonso II. However, the King of France did not relent. Alfonso, terrified by a series of portents, as well as unusual dreams, abdicated in favour of his son, Ferdinand or Ferrandino, fled, entering a Sicilian monastery, he died in Messina that year. It had been 237 days since his coronation; as Crown Prince, Alfonso had participated in the brilliant Renaissance culture that surrounded his father's court. His lasting contribution to European culture was the example set at his villas of La Duchesca and Poggio Reale just outside Naples, which so captivated Charles VIII of France during his brief sojourn at Naples during February–June 1495, that he was inspired to emulation of the "earthly paradise" he encountered.
Poggio Reale, which Vasari said was designed by Giuliano da Maiano and, laid out in the 1480s, has utterly disappeared and no extensive description has survived. Decades Vasari reported, "At Poggio Reale laid out the architecture of that palazzo, always considered a most beautiful thing. There are no archives to connect his brother Benedetto with the project. Serlio's reproduction seems to show an idealized plan, identical on all four sides, ranged around a court with a double arcading, it is clear that the Aragonese court at Naples introduced the Moorish garden traditions of Valencia, with its shaded avenues and baths, sophisticated hydraulics that powered splendid waterworks, formal tanks and fountains, as a luxurious and secluded setting for court life, combined them with Roman features: Alfonso's Poggio Reale was built around three sides of an arcaded courtyard with tiers of seating round a sunken centre that could be flooded for water spectacles. It was all unlike anything experienced by the French king, who retreated from Italy, loaded with tapestries and works of art, filled with building and gardening ambitions.
Like his father, Alfonso married twice. His first wife was Ippolita Maria Sforza, his mistress, by whom he had children, was Trogia Gazzela. He had three children with Ippolita: King Ferdinand II of Naples, married Joanna of Naples Isabella of Aragon, Duchess of Milan and of Bari, Princess of Rossano, married her first cousin Gian Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, January 1490. Piero, Prince of Rossano, Lieutenant General of Apulia, died of an infection following leg surgery, and two with Trogia: Sancha of Aragon Alfonso, Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno Alfonso II of Naples is portrayed by Augustus Prew in the Showtime series The Borgias, although he is portrayed as much younger and flamboyant than his historical counterpart was in the 1490s. Sancha of Aragon is portrayed as his half-sister rather than his daughter. In Da Vinci's Demons he is played by Kieran Bew and is depicted as a sadistic warlord, bitterly jealous of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Hersey, George L.. Alfonso II and the Artistic Renewal of Naples.
New Haven: Yale University Press. Fallows, Noel. Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia; the Boydell Press. Black, Jane. Absoluti
Condottieri were Italian military leaders involved in classical formation battles, first as mercenary captains commanding free companies and as generals of multi-national armies. In medieval Italian, condottiero meant "contractor" but the term acquired the broader meaning of "military leader" in reference to Italian Catholics serving as commanders for the Roman Catholic side during the Counter-Reformation. Therefore, in Italian historiography, the term Condottiero: refers to mercenary captains, named capitani di ventura, contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy. Excludes military commanders in contemporary warfare; some authors have described Guido da Landriano as the "first condottiero" and Napoleon Bonaparte as the "last condottiero": according to this view, the condottieri tradition would span a huge diverse period from the battle of Legnano in 1176 to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Most historians would narrow it down to the years from c.1350 to c.1650, with a particular focus on the rise of the ventura captains and their transformation in captain generals fighting for the major powers during the struggle for political and religious supremacy in Europe.
In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Italian city-states of Venice and Genoa were rich from their trade with the Levant, yet possessed woefully small armies. In the event that foreign powers and envious neighbors attacked, the ruling nobles hired foreign mercenaries to fight for them; the military-service terms and conditions were stipulated in a condotta between the city-state and the soldiers, the contracted leader, the mercenary captain commanding, was titled the Condottiere. From the eleventh to the thirteenth century, European soldiers led by professional officers fought against the Muslims in the Crusades; these crusading officers provided large-scale warfare combat experience in the Holy Land. On the Crusades' conclusion, the first masnada appeared in Italy. Given the profession, some masnade were less mercenaries than desperate men; these masnada were not Italian, but German, from the Duchy of Brabant, from Aragon. The latter were Spanish soldiers who had followed King Peter III of Aragon in the War of the Sicilian Vespers in Italy in October 1282, post-war, remained there, seeking military employment.
By 1333 other mercenaries had arrived in Italy to fight with John of Bohemia as the Compagnia della Colomba in Perugia's war against Arezzo. The first well organised mercenaries in Italy were the Ventura Companies of Duke Werner von Urslingen and Count Konrad von Landau. Werner's company differed from other mercenary companies because its code of military justice imposed discipline and an equal division of the contract's income; the Ventura Company increased in number until becoming the fearsome "Great Company" of some 3,000 barbute. The first mercenary company with an Italian as its chief was the "Company of St. George" formed in 1339 and led by Lodrisio Visconti; this company was defeated and destroyed by Luchino Visconti of Milan in April 1339. In 1377, a second "Company of St. George" was formed under the leadership of Alberico da Barbiano an Italian and the Count of Conio, who taught military science to condottieri such as Braccio da Montone and Giacomuzzo Attendolo Sforza, who served in the company.
Once aware of their military power monopoly in Italy, the condottieri bands became notorious for their capriciousness, soon dictated terms to their ostensible employers. In turn, many condottieri, such as Braccio da Montone and Muzio Sforza, became powerful politicians; as most were educated men acquainted with Roman military science manuals, they began viewing warfare from the perspective of military science, rather than as a matter of valor or physical courage—a great, consequential departure from chivalry, the traditional medieval model of soldiering. The condottieri fought by outmanoeuvring the opponent and fighting his ability to wage war, rather than risk uncertain fortune—defeat, death—in battlefield combat; the earlier, medieval condottieri developed the "art of war" into military science more than any of their historical military predecessors—fighting indirectly, not directly—thus, only reluctantly endangering themselves and their enlisted men, avoiding battle when possible avoiding hard work and winter campaigns, as these all reduced the total number of trained soldiers available, was detrimental to their political and economic interest.
Niccolò Machiavelli said that condottieri fought each other in grandiose, but pointless and near-bloodless battles. However in the Renaissance the condottieri line of battle still deployed the grand armoured knight and medieval weapons and tactics after most European powers had begun employing professional standing armies of pikemen and musketeers. In 1347, Cola di Rienzo had Werner von Urslingen executed in Rome, Konrad von Landau assumed command of the Great Company. On the conclusion of the Peace of Bret
House of Sforza
The House of Sforza was a ruling family of Renaissance Italy, based in Milan. They acquired the Duchy of Milan from the previously-ruling Visconti family in the mid-15th century, lost it to the Spanish Habsburgs about a century later. Francesco I Sforza ruled Milan, having acquired the title of Duke of Milan after marrying in 1441 the natural daughter and only heir of the last Duke of Milan, Filippo Maria Visconti, Bianca Maria, making the Sforzas the heirs of the house of Visconti; the family held the seigniory of Pesaro, starting with Muzio Attendolo's second son, Alessandro. The Sforza held Pesaro after the death of Costanzo II Sforza. Muzio's third son, founded the branch of Santa Fiora, who held the title of count of Cotignola. Members of this family held important ecclesiastical and political positions in the Papal States, moved to Rome in 1674, taking the name of Sforza Cesarini; the Sforza became allied with the Borgia family through the arranged marriage between Lucrezia Borgia and Giovanni.
This alliance failed, as the Borgia family annulled the marriage once the Sforza family were no longer needed. In 1499, in the course of the Italian Wars, the army of Louis XII of France took Milan from Ludovico Sforza. After Imperial German troops drove out the French, Maximilian Sforza, son of Ludovico, became Duke of Milan until the French returned under Francis I of France and imprisoned him. Francesco I, 1450–1466 Galeazzo Maria, 1466–1476 Gian Galeazzo, 1476–1494 Ludovico, 1494–1499 Massimiliano, 1513–1515 Francesco II, 1521–1535 Alessandro, 1445–1473 Costanzo I, 1473–1483 Giovanni, 1483–1500 and 1503–1510 Costanzo II, 1510–1512 Galeazzo, 1512 Muzio Sforza with mistress Lucia da Torsano had 7 illegitimate sons son Gabriele Sforza archbishop of Milan son Francesco I Sforza married Bianca Maria Visconti son Galeazzo Maria Sforza mistress Lucrezia Landriani daughter Bianca Maria, second wife of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I son Gian Galeazzo, married Isabella of Naples son Francesco, nominally duke under the regency of Ludovico Maria daughter Bona, second wife of King Sigismund I of Poland daughter Ippolita Maria Sforza illegitimate daughter Caterina Sforza married Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano illegitimate son Ottaviano Maria Sforza bishop of Lodi son Ludovico il Moro son Ercole Massimiliano son Francesco II Maria illegitimate daughter Bianca Sforza married to Galeazzo Sanseverino illegitimate son Giovanni Paolo I, marquess of Caravaggio son Ascanio, Cardinal daughter Ippolita Maria, married king of Alfonso II d'Aragon of Naples son Alessandro, first lord of Pesaro son Costanzo I son Giovanni, first husband of Lucrezia Borgia son Costanzo II last ruler of Pesaro Bosio One of the cursed artifacts from Friday the 13th: The Series was the "Sforza Glove", attributed to the original family's possession.
Thomas Harris's character Hannibal Lecter is a descendant of the House of Sforza. In the anime and book series Trinity Blood, one of the Cardinals and Duchess of Milan is named Caterina Sforza. Caterina Sforza appears as a non-playable character in the video game Assassin's Creed 2 and its sequel, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood; the Sforza figure prominently in the Showtime series on the Borgia family. The house is mentioned in a song about the Borgia family in the British edutainment TV show Horrible Histories. Gradara House of Visconti Italian Wars List of rulers of Milan Pesaro Media related to House of Sforza at Wikimedia Commons
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza was the fifth Duke of Milan from 1466 until his death. He was famous for being lustful and tyrannical, he was born to Francesco Sforza, a popular condottiero and ally of Cosimo de' Medici who would gain the Duchy of Milan in 1450, Bianca Maria Visconti. He married into the Gonzaga family. Galeazzo Maria Sforza was born in Fermo, near the family's castle of Girifalco, the first son of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti. At the death of his father, Galeazzo was in France at the head of a military expedition to help King Louis XI of France against Charles I of Burgundy. Called back home by his mother, Galeazzo returned to Italy by an adventurous trip under a false name; the false identity was necessary as he had to pass by the territories of the family enemy, the Duke of Savoy, who made an unsuccessful attempt on Galeazzo's life. He entered Milan on 20 March. In his first years Galeazzo and his mother ruled jointly, but his ruthless character pushed him to oust Bianca Maria from Milan.
Sforza was famous as a patron of music. Under his direction, financial backing and encouragement, his chapel grew into one of the most famous and significant musical ensembles in Europe. Composers from the north the Franco-Flemish composers from the present-day Low Countries, came to sing in his chapel and write masses and secular music for him; some of the figures associated with the Sforza chapel include Alexander Agricola, Johannes Martini, Loyset Compère, Gaspar van Weerbeke. However, most of the singers at the Sforza chapel fled after Galeazzo's murder and took positions elsewhere. Galeazzo Sforza is known to have had a cruel streak, he was a notorious womanizer who passed his women on to his courtiers once he was tired of them. Sforza once had a poacher executed by forcing him to swallow an entire hare, had another man nailed alive to his coffin, he had a priest who predicted a short reign for Sforza punished by being starved to death. This made him many enemies in Milan, it was said of Galeazzo Sforza that he had raped the wives and daughters of numerous Milanese nobles, that he took sadistic pleasure in devising tortures for men who had offended him, that he enjoyed pulling apart the limbs of his enemies with his own hands.
There were three principal assassins involved in Sforza's death: Carlo Visconti, Gerolamo Olgiati and Giovanni Andrea Lampugnani, all high-ranking officials at the Milanese court. Lampugnani, descended from Milanese nobility, is recognized as the leader of the conspiracy, his motives were based on a land dispute, in which Galeazzo had failed to intervene in a matter which saw the Lampugnani family lose considerable properties. Visconti and Olgiati bore the duke enmity - Olgiati was a Republican idealist, whereas Visconti believed Sforza to have taken his sister's virginity. After studying Sforza's movements, the conspirators made their move on the day after Christmas, 1476, the official day of Santo Stefano, the namesake of the church where the deed was to be committed. Supported by about thirty friends, the three men waited in the church for the duke to arrive for mass; when Galeazzo Sforza arrived, Lampugnani knelt before him. Olgiati and Visconti soon joined in. Sforza was dead within a matter of seconds.
All the assassins escaped in the ensuing mayhem save for Lampugnani, who became entangled in some of the church's cloth and was killed by a guard. His body soon fell into the hands of a mob, which dragged the corpse through the streets and beating at it; the beheaded corpse was cut down the next day and, in an act of symbolism, the "sinning" right hand was removed and put on display. Despite the initial public reaction, the government brought swift justice, soon encouraged by the public as well; the conspirators had given little thought to the repercussions of their crime, were apprehended within days. Visconti and Olgiati were soon found and executed, as was the servant of Lampugnani who had participated in the slaying; the executions took place in a public ceremony that culminated in the display of their corpses as a warning to others. Evidence from the conspirators' confessions indicated that the assassins had been encouraged by the humanist Cola Montano, who had left Milan some months before, who bore malice against the duke for a public whipping some years before.
While being tortured, Olgiati uttered the famous words, "Mors acerba, fama perpetua, stabit vetus memoria facti". Similar elements indicate that this assassination was influential in the Pazzi Conspiracy, a subsequent attempt to dethrone the Medici family in Florence and to replace them with Girolamo Riario. With his second wife, Bona of Savoy, Sforza had four children: Gian Galeazzo Sforza, who became duke upon his father's death.