Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the Serchio, in a fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital of the Province of Lucca, it is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans and became a Roman colony in 180 BC; the rectangular grid of its historical centre preserves the Roman street plan, the Piazza San Michele occupies the site of the ancient forum. Traces of the amphitheatre may still be seen in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. At the Lucca Conference, in 56 BC, Julius Caesar and Crassus reaffirmed their political alliance known as the First Triumvirate. Frediano, an Irish monk, was bishop of Lucca in the early sixth century. At one point, Lucca was plundered by the first Germanic King of Italy. Lucca was an important city and fortress in the sixth century, when Narses besieged it for several months in 553. Under the Lombards, it was the seat of a duke; the Holy Face of Lucca, a major relic carved by Nicodemus, arrived in 742.
During the eighth-tenth centuries Lucca was a center of Jewish life, the community being led by the Kalonymos family. Lucca became prosperous through the silk trade that began in the eleventh century, came to rival the silks of Byzantium. During the tenth–eleventh centuries Lucca was the capital of the feudal margraviate of Tuscany, more or less independent but owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor. After the death of Matilda of Tuscany, the city began to constitute itself an independent commune with a charter in 1160. For 500 years, Lucca remained an independent republic. There were many minor provinces in the region between southern Liguria and northern Tuscany dominated by the Malaspina. Dante’s Divine Comedy includes many references to the great feudal families who had huge jurisdictions with administrative and judicial rights. Dante spent some of his exile in Lucca. In 1273 and again in 1277, Lucca was ruled by a Guelph capitano del popolo named Luchetto Gattilusio. In 1314, internal discord allowed Uguccione della Faggiuola of Pisa to make himself lord of Lucca.
The Lucchesi expelled him two years and handed over the city to another condottiero, Castruccio Castracani, under whose rule it became a leading state in central Italy. Lucca rivalled Florence until Castracani's death in 1328. On 22 and 23 September 1325, in the battle of Altopascio, Castracani defeated Florence's Guelphs. For this he was nominated by Louis IV the Bavarian to become duke of Lucca. Castracani's tomb is in the church of San Francesco, his biography is Machiavelli's third famous book on political rule. In 1408, Lucca hosted. Occupied by the troops of Louis of Bavaria, the city was sold to a rich Genoese, Gherardino Spinola seized by John, king of Bohemia. Pawned to the Rossi of Parma, by them it was ceded to Mastino II della Scala of Verona, sold to the Florentines, surrendered to the Pisans, nominally liberated by the emperor Charles IV and governed by his vicar. Lucca managed, at first as a democracy, after 1628 as an oligarchy, to maintain its independence alongside of Venice and Genoa, painted the word Libertas on its banner until the French Revolution in 1789.
Lucca had been the second largest Italian city state with a republican constitution to remain independent over the centuries. In 1805, Lucca was conquered by Napoleon, who installed his sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi as "Princess of Lucca". From 1815 to 1847 it was a Bourbon-Parma duchy; the only reigning dukes of Lucca were Maria Luisa of Spain, succeeded by her son Charles II, Duke of Parma in 1824. Meanwhile, the Duchy of Parma had been assigned for life to Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, the second wife of Napoleon. In accordance with the Treaty of Vienna, upon the death of Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma in 1847, Parma reverted to Charles II, Duke of Parma, while Lucca lost independence and was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany; as part of Tuscany, it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1860 and part of the Italian State in 1861. The walls encircling the old town remain intact as the city expanded and modernized, unusual for cities in the region. Built as a defensive rampart, once the walls lost their military importance they became a pedestrian promenade, the Passeggiata delle Mura Urbane, a street atop the walls linking the bastions.
It passes through the Bastions of Santa Croce, San Frediano, San Martino, San Pietro/Battisti, San Salvatore, La Libertà/Cairoli, San Regolo, San Colombano, Santa Maria, San Paolino/Catalani, San Donato. Each of the four principal sides of the structure is lined with a different tree species than the others; the walled city is encircled by Piazzale Boccherini, Viale Lazzaro Papi, Viale Carlo Del Prete, Piazzale Martiri della Libertà, Via Batoni, Viale Agostino Marti, Viale G. Marconi, Piazza Don A. Mei, Viale Pacini, Viale Giusti, Piazza Curtatone, Piazzale Ricasoli, Viale Ricasoli, Piazza Risorgimento, Viale Giosuè Carducci; the town includes a number of public squares, most notably the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, site of ancient Roman amphitheater. Ducal Palace: built on the site of Ca
Netherlands Institute for Art History
The Netherlands Institute for Art History or RKD is located in The Hague and is home to the largest art history center in the world. The center specializes in documentation and books on Western art from the late Middle Ages until modern times. All of this is open to the public, much of it has been digitized and is available on their website; the main goal of the bureau is to collect and make art research available, most notably in the field of Dutch Masters. Via the available databases, the visitor can gain insight into archival evidence on the lives of many artists of past centuries; the library owns 450,000 titles, of which ca. 150,000 are auction catalogs. There are ca. 3,000 magazines, of which 600 are running subscriptions. Though most of the text is in Dutch, the standard record format includes a link to library entries and images of known works, which include English as well as Dutch titles; the RKD manages the Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, a thesaurus of terms for management of information on art and architecture.
The original version is an initiative of the Getty Research Institute in California. The collection was started through bequests by Frits Lugt, art historian and owner of a massive collection of drawings and prints, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, a collector, art historian and museum curator, their bequest formed the basis for both the art collection and the library, now housed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Though not all of the library's holdings have been digitised, much of its metadata is accessible online; the website itself is available in both an English user interface. In the artist database RKDartists, each artist is assigned a record number. To reference an artist page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/ followed by the artist's record number. For example, the artist record number for Salvador Dalí is 19752, so his RKD artist page can be referenced. In the images database RKDimages, each artwork is assigned a record number.
To reference an artwork page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/ followed by the artwork's record number. For example, the artwork record number for The Night Watch is 3063, so its RKD artwork page can be referenced; the Art and Architecture Thesaurus assigns a record for each term, but these can not be referenced online by record number. Rather, they are used in the databases and the databases can be searched for terms. For example, the painting called "The Night Watch" is a militia painting, all records fitting this keyword can be seen by selecting this from the image screen; the thesaurus is a set of general terms, but the RKD contains a database for an alternate form of describing artworks, that today is filled with biblical references. This is the iconclass database. To see all images that depict Miriam's dance, the associated iconclass code 71E1232 can be used as a special search term. Official website Direct link to the databases The Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena; the historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008. Siena is famous for its cuisine, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. Siena, like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans when it was inhabited by a tribe called the Saina; the Etruscans were a tribe of advanced people who changed the face of central Italy through their use of irrigation to reclaim unfarmable land, their custom of building their settlements in well-defended hill forts. A Roman town called; some archaeologists assert that Siena was controlled for a period by a Gaulish tribe called the Senones. According to local legend, Siena was founded by Senius and Aschius, two sons of Remus and thus nephews of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. After their father's murder by Romulus, they fled Rome, taking with them the statue of the she-wolf suckling the infants, thus appropriating that symbol for the town.
Additionally they rode white and black horses, giving rise to the Balzana, or coat of arms of Siena with a white band atop a dark band. Some claim the name. Other etymologies derive the name from the Etruscan family name Saina, the Roman family name Saenii, or the Latin word senex "old" or its derived form seneo "to be old". Siena did not prosper under Roman rule, it lacked opportunities for trade. Its insular status meant that Christianity did not penetrate until the 4th century AD, it was not until the Lombards invaded Siena and the surrounding territory that it knew prosperity. After the Lombard occupation, the old Roman roads of Via Aurelia and the Via Cassia passed through areas exposed to Byzantine raids, so the Lombards rerouted much of their trade between the Lombards' northern possessions and Rome along a more secure road through Siena. Siena prospered as a trading post, the constant streams of pilgrims passing to and from Rome provided a valuable source of income in the centuries to come.
The oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their line to the Lombards' surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. At this point, the city was inundated with a swarm of Frankish overseers who married into the existing Sienese nobility and left a legacy that can be seen in the abbeys they founded throughout Sienese territory. Feudal power waned, by the death of Countess Matilda in 1115 the border territory of the March of Tuscany, under the control of her family, the Canossa, broke up into several autonomous regions; this resulted in the creation of the Republic of Siena. The Republic existed for over four hundred years, from the 12th century until the year 1555. During the golden age of Siena before the Black Death in 1348, the city was home to 50,000 people. In the Italian War of 1551–59, the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence in alliance with the Spanish crown. After 18 months of resistance, Siena surrendered to Spain on 17 April 1555, marking the end of the republic; the new Spanish King Felipe II, owing huge sums to the Medici, ceded it to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy in the 19th century.
A Republican government of 700 Sienese families in Montalcino resisted until 1559. Siena is located in the central part of Tuscany, in the middle of a vast hilly landscape between the Arbia river valley, the Merse valley, the Elsa valley, the Chianti hills, the Montagnola Senese and the Crete Senesi; the city lies at 322 m above sea level. Siena has a typical inland Mediterranean climate. Average rainfall is 750 mm, with the minimum in July. July is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 22.2 °C, January the coldest. The Siena Cathedral, begun in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture, its main façade was completed in 1380. The original plan called for an ambitiously massive basilica, the largest in the world, with, as was customary, an east-west nave. However, the scarcity of funds, in part due to war and plague, truncated the project, the Sienese created a subdued version from the original plan's north-south transept; the east wall of the abandoned original folly of a nave still stands.
The Siena Cathedral Pulpit is an octagonal 13th-century masterpiece sculpted by Nicola Pisano with lion pedestals and biblical bas-relief panels. The inlaid marble mosaic floor of the cathedral and labored on by many artists, is among the most elaborate in Italy; the Sacristy and Piccolomini library have well preserved Renaissance frescos by Ghirlandaio and Pinturicchio respectively. Other sculptors active in the church and in the subterranean baptistry are Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia and others; the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo contains Duccio's famous Maestà and various other works by Sienese masters. More Sienese paintings are to be found in the Pinacoteca, e.g. 13th-century works by Dietisalvi di Speme. The Piazza del Campo, the shell-shaped town square, unfurls before the Palazzo Pubblico with its tall Torre del Mangia; this is part of the site for the Palio horse race. The Palazzo Pubblico, itself a great wor
Mannerism known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style replaced it. Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century. Stylistically, Mannerism encompasses a variety of approaches influenced by, reacting to, the harmonious ideals associated with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and early Michelangelo. Where High Renaissance art emphasizes proportion and ideal beauty, Mannerism exaggerates such qualities resulting in compositions that are asymmetrical or unnaturally elegant; the style is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial qualities. It favors compositional tension and instability rather than the balance and clarity of earlier Renaissance painting. Mannerism in literature and music is notable for its florid style and intellectual sophistication; the definition of Mannerism and the phases within it continue to be a subject of debate among art historians.
For example, some scholars have applied the label to certain early modern forms of literature and music of the 16th and 17th centuries. The term is used to refer to some late Gothic painters working in northern Europe from about 1500 to 1530 the Antwerp Mannerists—a group unrelated to the Italian movement. Mannerism has been applied by analogy to the Silver Age of Latin literature; the word mannerism derives from the Italian maniera, meaning "style" or "manner". Like the English word "style", maniera can either indicate a specific type of style or indicate an absolute that needs no qualification. In the second edition of his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects, Giorgio Vasari used maniera in three different contexts: to discuss an artist's manner or method of working. Vasari was a Mannerist artist, he described the period in which he worked as "la maniera moderna", or the "modern style". James V. Mirollo describes how "bella maniera" poets attempted to surpass in virtuosity the sonnets of Petrarch.
This notion of "bella maniera" suggests that artists who were thus inspired looked to copying and bettering their predecessors, rather than confronting nature directly. In essence, "bella maniera" utilized the best from a number of source materials, synthesizing it into something new; as a stylistic label, "Mannerism" is not defined. It was used by Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt and popularized by German art historians in the early 20th century to categorize the uncategorizable art of the Italian 16th century — art, no longer found to exhibit the harmonious and rational approaches associated with the High Renaissance. “High Renaissance” connoted a period distinguished by harmony and the revival of classical antiquity. The term Mannerist was redefined in 1967 by John Shearman following the exhibition of Mannerist paintings organised by Fritz Grossmann at Manchester City Art Gallery in 1965; the label “Mannerism” was used during the 16th century to comment on social behaviour and to convey a refined virtuoso quality or to signify a certain technique.
However, for writers, such as the 17th-century Gian Pietro Bellori, "la maniera" was a derogatory term for the perceived decline of art after Raphael in the 1530s and 1540s. From the late 19th century on, art historians have used the term to describe art that follows Renaissance classicism and precedes the Baroque, yet historians differ as to whether Mannerism is a movement, or a period. By the end of the High Renaissance, young artists experienced a crisis: it seemed that everything that could be achieved was achieved. No more difficulties, technical or otherwise, remained to be solved; the detailed knowledge of anatomy, light and the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture, the innovative use of the human form in figurative composition, the use of the subtle gradation of tone, all had reached near perfection. The young artists needed to find a new goal, they sought new approaches. At this point Mannerism started to emerge; the new style developed between 1510 and 1520 either in Florence, or in Rome, or in both cities simultaneously.
This period has been described as a "natural extension" of the art of Andrea del Sarto and Raphael. Michelangelo developed his own style at an early age, a original one, admired at first often copied and imitated by other artists of the era. One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries was his terribilità, a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur, subsequent artists attempted to imitate it. Other artists learned Michelangelo's impassioned and personal style by copying the works of the master, a standard way that students learned to paint and sculpt, his Sistine Chapel ceiling provided examples for them to follow, in particular his representation of collected figures called ignudi and of the Libyan Sibyl, his vestibule to the Laurentian Library, the figures on his Medici tombs, above all his Last Judgment. The Michelangelo was one of the great role models of Mannerism. Young artists stole drawings from him. In his book Lives of the Most Eminent Painters and Architects
San Cristoforo, Lucca
San Cristoforo is a Romanesque and Gothic-style, former Roman Catholic church located on the narrow Via Fillungo in the center of Lucca, region of Tuscany, Italy. Now deconsecrated and stripped of its former interior altars and decoration, the chapel served as a memorial for those fallen in the wars.. A church at the site is documented since 1053; the architect of much of the structure is attributed to Diotisalvi. The façade has a patern of alternating white and dark stone, influenced by the style of churches in Pisa; the lower part of the façade dates to 12th-century while the superior façade with a rose window to the 14th-century. In 1939 to 1940, much of the interior decoration was stripped, the church deconsecrated, it was made as a chapel to recall those fallen in the Second World War; the names of the dead were engraved on the nave walls. The former church is now used for cultural events
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian opera composer, called "the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi". Puccini's early work was rooted in traditional late-19th-century romantic Italian opera, he developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents. Puccini's most renowned works are La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, all of which are among the important operas played as standards. Puccini was born Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini in Lucca, Italy in 1858, he was one of nine children of Michele Albina Magi. The Puccini family was established in Lucca as a local musical dynasty by Puccini's great-great-grandfather – named Giacomo; this first Giacomo Puccini was maestro di cappella of the Cattedrale di San Martino in Lucca. He was succeeded in this position by his son, Antonio Puccini, by Antonio's son Domenico, Domenico's son Michele; each of these men studied music at Bologna, some took additional musical studies elsewhere.
Domenico Puccini studied for a time under Giovanni Paisiello. Each composed music for the church. In addition, Domenico composed several operas, Michele composed one opera. Puccini's father Michele enjoyed a reputation throughout northern Italy, his funeral was an occasion of public mourning, at which the then-famed composer Giovanni Pacini conducted a Requiem. With the Puccini family having occupied the position of maestro di cappella for 124 years by the time of Michele's death, it was anticipated that Michele's son Giacomo would occupy that position as well when he was old enough. However, when Michele Puccini died in 1864, his son Giacomo was only six years old, thus not capable of taking over his father's job; as a child, he participated in the musical life of the Cattedrale di San Martino, as a member of the boys' choir and as a substitute organist. Puccini was given a general education at the seminary of San Michele in Lucca, at the seminary of the cathedral. One of Puccini's uncles, Fortunato Magi, supervised his musical education.
Puccini got a diploma from the Pacini School of Music in Lucca in 1880, having studied there with his uncle Fortunato, with Carlo Angeloni, who had instructed Alfredo Catalani. A grant from Queen Margherita, assistance from another uncle, Nicholas Cerù, provided the funds necessary for Puccini to continue his studies at the Milan Conservatory, where he studied composition with Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti, Amilcare Ponchielli, Antonio Bazzini. Puccini studied at the conservatory for three years. In 1880, at the age of 21, Puccini composed his Mass, which marks the culmination of his family's long association with church music in his native Lucca. Puccini wrote an orchestral piece called the Capriccio sinfonico as a thesis composition for the Milan Conservatory. Puccini's teachers Ponchielli and Bazzini were impressed by the work, it was performed at a student concert at the conservatory on 14 July 1883, conducted by Franco Faccio. Puccini's work was favorably reviewed in the Milanese publication Perseveranza, thus Puccini began to build a reputation as a young composer of promise in Milanese music circles.
After the premiere of the Capriccio sinfonico and Puccini discussed the possibility that Puccini's next work might be an opera. Ponchielli invited Puccini to stay at his villa, where Puccini was introduced to another young man named Ferdinando Fontana. Puccini and Fontana agreed to collaborate on an opera; the work, Le Villi, was entered into a competition sponsored by the Sozogno music publishing company in 1883. Although it did not win, Le Villi was staged at the Teatro Dal Verme, premiering on 31 May 1884. G. Ricordi & Co. music publishers assisted with the premier by printing the libretto without charge. Fellow students from the Milan Conservatory formed a large part of the orchestra; the performance was enough of a success. Revised into a two-act version with an intermezzo between the acts, Le Villi was performed at La Scala in Milan, on 24 January 1885. However, Ricordi did not publish the score until 1887. Giulio Ricordi, head of G. Ricordi & Co. music publishers, was sufficiently impressed with Le Villi and its young composer that he commissioned a second opera, which would result in Edgar.
Work was begun in 1884. Puccini finished primary composition in 1887 and orchestration in 1888. Edgar premiered at La Scala on 21 April 1889 to a lukewarm response; the work was withdrawn for revisions after its third performance. In a Milanese newspaper, Giulio Ricordi published a defense of Puccini's skill as a composer, while criticizing Fontana's libretto. A revised version met with success at the Teatro del Giglio in Puccini's native Lucca on 5 September 1891. In 1892, further revisions reduced the length of the opera from four acts to three, in a version, well received in Ferrara and was performed in Turin and in Spain. Puccini made further revisions in 1901 and 1905. Without the personal support of Ricordi, Edgar might have cost Puccini his career. Puccini had eloped with his former piano student, the married Elvira Gemignani, Ricordi's associates were willing to turn a blind eye to his life style as long as he was successful; when Edg
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician and journalist, the leader of the National Fascist Party. He ruled Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943. Known as Il Duce, Mussolini was the founder of Italian Fascism. In 1912, Mussolini had been a leading member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party, but was expelled from the PSI for advocating military intervention in World War I, in opposition to the party's stance on neutrality. Mussolini served in the Royal Italian Army during the war until he was wounded and discharged in 1917. Mussolini denounced the PSI, his views now centering on nationalism instead of socialism and founded the fascist movement which came to oppose egalitarianism and class conflict, instead advocating "revolutionary nationalism" transcending class lines. Following the March on Rome in October 1922, Mussolini became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history until the appointment of Matteo Renzi in February 2014. After removing all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes and his followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship.
Within five years, Mussolini had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means and aspired to create a totalitarian state. In 1929, Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty with the Vatican, ending decades of struggle between the Italian state and the Papacy, recognized the independence of Vatican City. After the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935–1936, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in the Second Italo–Ethiopian War; the invasion was condemned by the Western powers and was answered with economic sanctions against Italy. Relations between Germany and Italy improved due to Hitler's support of the invasion. In 1936, Mussolini surrendered Austria to the German sphere of influence, signed the treaty of cooperation with Germany and proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin Axis. From 1936 through 1939, Mussolini provided huge amounts of military support to Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War; this active intervention further distanced Italy from Britain. Mussolini had sought to delay a major war in Europe, but Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, resulting in declarations of war by France and the UK and the start of World War II.
On 10 June 1940—with the Fall of France imminent—Italy entered the war on the side of Germany, though Mussolini was aware that Italy did not have the military capacity and resources to carry out a long war with the British Empire. He believed that after the imminent French armistice, Italy could gain territorial concessions from France, he could concentrate his forces on a major offensive in North Africa, where British and Commonwealth forces were outnumbered by Italian forces. However, the British government refused to accept proposals for a peace that would involve accepting Axis victories in Eastern and Western Europe. In October 1940, Mussolini sent Italian forces into Greece; the invasion failed and the following Greek counter-offensive pushed the Italians back to occupied Albania. The Greek debacle and simultaneous defeats against the British in North Africa reduced Italy to dependence on Germany. Beginning in June 1941, Mussolini sent Italian forces to participate in the invasion of the Soviet Union, Italy declared war on the United States in December.
In 1943, Italy suffered one disaster after another: by February the Red Army had destroyed the Italian Army in Russia. As a consequence, early on 25 July, the Grand Council of Fascism passed a motion of no confidence for Mussolini. After the king agreed the armistice with the allies, on 12 September 1943 Mussolini was rescued from captivity in the Gran Sasso raid by German paratroopers and Waffen-SS commandos led by Major Otto-Harald Mors. Adolf Hitler, after meeting with the rescued former dictator put Mussolini in charge of a puppet regime in northern Italy, the Italian Social Republic, informally known as the Salò Republic. In late April 1945, in the wake of near total defeat and his mistress Clara Petacci attempted to flee to Switzerland, but both were captured by Italian communist partisans and summarily executed by firing squad on 28 April 1945 near Lake Como, his body was taken to Milan, where it was hung upside down at a service station to publicly confirm his demise. Mussolini was born on 29 July 1883 in Dovia di Predappio, a small town in the province of Forlì in Romagna.
During the Fascist era, Predappio was dubbed "Duce's town" and Forlì was called "Duce's city", with pilgrims going to Predappio and Forlì to see the birthplace of Mussolini. Benito Mussolini's father, Alessandro Mussolini, was a blacksmith and a socialist, while his mother, was a devout Catholic schoolteacher. Owing to his father's political leanings, Mussolini was named Benito after liberal Mexican president Benito Juárez, while his middle names Andrea and Amilcare were from Italian socialists Andrea Costa and Amilcare Cipriani. Benito was the eldest of his parents' three children, his siblings Arnaldo and Edvige fol