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Alessandro Farnese (cardinal)

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Cardinalfarnese

Alessandro Cardinal Farnese, by Titian

Alessandro Farnese (5 October 1520–2 March 1589), an Italian cardinal and diplomat and a great collector and patron of the arts, was the grandson of Pope Paul III (who also bore the name Alessandro Farnese), and the son of Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Parma, who was murdered in 1547.[1]

BiographyEdit

Born at Valentano (current province of Viterbo), he studied at Bologna, and was appointed administrator of the Diocese of Parma.

On 18 December 1534, at the age of 14, he was appointed Cardinal Deacon of the Title of Sant'Angelo by Paul III, his grandfather, who had been elected to the papacy two months previously.

The Gran Cardinale received many other offices and benefices, becoming Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, Governor of Tivoli, Archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, Administrator of Jaen, Spain, of Vizeu, Portugal, of Würzburg[citation needed], Germany and of Avignon, France. In 1536 he became Bishop of Monreale, Sicily; after he interited estate after the murder of his father (1547), in 1552 he founded a Jesuit college there.

He became Bishop of Massa in 1538, Archbishop of Tours in 1553, and Bishop of Cahors; Archbishop of Benevento, and Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia and Velletri and Dean of the College of Cardinals in 1580.

Tizian 068

Titian's triple portrait of Pope Paul III with his grandsons, cardinal-nephew Alessandro Farnese (left) and Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma (right)

He also became a Papal Legate, arranging peace between the perpetually warring Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Francis I of France. In 1546 he accompanied the troops sent by the pope to the aid of Charles V against the Schmalkaldic League. In 1580, he was the unsuccessful candidate for the papacy. Among the buildings that Cardinal Farnese built or restored are the Church of the Gesù in Rome, the Villa Farnese at Caprarola, and the Farnese palace near Lake Bracciano, and the monastery Tre Fontane.

Alessandro Farnese is remembered for assembling the greatest collection of Roman sculpture assembled in private hands since Antiquity, now mostly in Naples, after passing by inheritance to the Bourbon-Parma kings.[2] His generosity towards artists made a virtual academy[3] at the power house he built at Caprarola and in his lodgings at Palazzo della Cancellaria and, after his brother Cardinal Ranuccio Farnese died in 1565, at the Palazzo Farnese. In the Palazzo Farnese the best sculptors worked under his eye, to restore fragments of antiquities as complete sculptures, with great scholarly care. He was also a great patron of living artists. Under the direction of his curator and librarian, the antiquarian iconographer Fulvio Orsini, the Farnese collections were enlarged and systematised. Farnese collected ancient coins and commissioned modern medals. He had paintings by Titian, Michelangelo, and Raphael, and an important collection of drawings. He commissioned the masterpiece of Giulio Clovio, arguably the last major illuminated manuscript, the Farnese Hours, which was completed in 1546 after being nine years in the making (now Morgan Library, New York). The studiolo built to house this collection appears to be the one reerected at the Musée de la Renaissance, Ecouen.[4]

In 1550, Farnese acquired a northern portion of Palatine hill in Rome and had Roman ruins from the time of Tiberius at the northwest end filled in, and converted to a summer home and formal gardens. The Farnese Gardens became the one of the first botanical gardens in Europe. [5] From these gardens are derived the names of Acacia farnesiana and from its floral essence, the important biochemical farnesol.

Photograph of an Inlaid Table in the Metropolitan—New York City

Table to a design by Vignola, marble inlaid with alabaster and hardstones, made for Alessandro Farnese (detail of top Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Cardinal's only daughter, Clelia, married firstly Giangiorgio Cesarini, marchese of Civitanova, and secondly Marco Pio di Savoia, Lord of Sassuolo.

Farnese was buried before the high altar in the Church of Gesù.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Giovanna R. Solari and Frederic Tuten, The House of Farnese (New York: Doubleday) 1968; Clare Robertson, "Il Gran Cardinale": Alessandro Farnese, Patron of the Arts (New Haven: Yale University Press) 1992
  2. It ranked with the papal collections, in the Cortile del Belvedere and the city's collection housed at the Campidoglio.
  3. Christina Riebesell, Die Sammlung des Kardinal Farnese: ein "studio" fur Kunstler und Gelehrte (Weinheim:VCH, Acta Humaniora) 1989
  4. The identification was convincingly made by Riebesell 1989.
  5. http://www.aviewoncities.com/rome/palatinehill.htm History of Palatine Hill.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Alessandro Farnese
Bishop of Parma
1534-1535
Succeeded by
Guido Ascanio Sforza di Santa Fiora
Preceded by
Esteban Gabriel Merino
Bishop of Jaén
1535-1537
Succeeded by
Francisco Mendoza
Preceded by
Ippolito de' Medici
Archbishop of Avignon
1535–1551
Succeeded by
Annibale Bozzuti
Preceded by
Ippolito de' Medici
Archbishop of Monreale
1536-1573
Succeeded by
Luis Torres
Preceded by
?
Bishop of Bitonto
1537-1538
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Girolamo Ghianderoni
Bishop of Massa
1538
Succeeded by
Bernardino Maffei
Preceded by
?
Bishop of Cavaillon
1540-1541
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Miguel II. da Silva
Bishop of Viseu
1547-1552
Succeeded by
Gonçalo Pinheiro
Preceded by
Étienne Poncher
Archbishop of Tours
1553-1554
Succeeded by
Simon de Maillé
Preceded by
Pau de Caretto
Bishop of Cahors
1554-1557
Succeeded by
Pere de Bertrand
Preceded by
Giovanni della Casa
Archbishop of Benevento
1556-1560
Succeeded by
Alfonso Caraffa
Preceded by
Giovanni Girolamo Morone
Cardinal-bishop of Sabina
1564-1565
Succeeded by
Ranuccio Farnese
Preceded by
Giovanni Girolamo Morone
Cardinal-bishop of Frascati
1565-1578
Succeeded by
Giacomo Savelli
Preceded by
Cristoforo Madruzzi
Cardinal-bishop of Porto
1578-1580
Succeeded by
Fulvio Corneo
Preceded by
Giovanni Girolamo Morone
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
1580-1589
Succeeded by
Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni
Preceded by
Giovanni Girolamo Morone
Dean of the College of Cardinals
1580–1589
Succeeded by
Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni
ca:Alexandre Farnese (cardenal)eu:Alexandro Farnese (kardinala)ko:알레산드로 파르네세 (추기경)hu:Alessandro Farnese (1520–1589)

ja:アレッサンドロ・ファルネーゼ (枢機卿) no:Alessandro Farnese den yngrept:Alessandro Farnese (cardeal) ru:Фарнезе, Алессандро (кардинал) sl:Alessandro Farnese mlajši sv:Alessandro Farnese (kardinal)

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