Pier Francesco Orsini

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Vicino Orsini
Accademia - Ritratto di giovane gentiluomo nel suo studio - Lorenzo Lotto cat.912.jpg
Duke of Bomarzo
Patron of the arts
Personal details
Born Pier Francesco Orsini
(1523-07-04)July 4, 1523
Italy Rome, Italy
Died October 28, 1585(1585-10-28) (aged 62)
Italy Lazio, Italy
Nationality Italian
Spouse(s) Giulia Farnese
Mother Giovanni Corrado Orsini
Father Clarice Anguillara
Occupation Politician
Religion Epicureanism
Military service
Battles/wars Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis

Pier Francesco Orsini (July 4, 1523 – January 28, 1583), also called Vicino Orsini, was an Italian condottiero, patron of the arts and duke of Bomarzo.[1] He is famous as the commissioner of the Mannerist Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo (northern Lazio).[1]


Born in Corigliano Calabro, he was the son of Giovanni Corrado Orsini and Clarice Anguillara.

He inherited the duchy of Bomarzo seven years after the death of his father, thanks to an intercession by Alessandro Cardinal Farnese (the future Pope Paul III). He later married Alessandro's relative Giulia Farnese.

His career as condottiero ended in the 1550s, when he was taken prisoner and the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis ended the French-Spanish Wars in Italy. Orsini then retired to Bomarzo where he surrounded himself with writers and artists, and devoted himself to an Epicurean style of life, which negated any contact with religion. Here he had a family and, starting from 1547, created the famous Park, whose enigmatic constructions and sculptures are one of the most suggestive example of late Renaissance art in Italy.

After the death of his wife he dedicated the park to her memory.

Pier Francesco Orsini died on the 28 of January 1583.

Artistic tributes[edit]