Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Biography - Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519)


Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519) was the illegitimate daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, who later became Pope Alexander VI, & Vannozza dei Cattanei, one of her father's many mistresses. Lucrezia spoke & wrote 5 languages: Italian, Valencian, French, Latin, & Greek.


Cristofano dell'Altissimo (1525–1605) Pope Alexander VI 1401-1503

Lucrezia's family epitomized the ruthless Machiavellian politics & sexual corruption often alleged to characterize both Renaissance politics & the papacy.  Very few facts seem to be known of the extent of her complicity in the political, murderous dealings of her father & brothers.


Assumed to be Vannozza Cattanei Lucrezia Borgia's mother 1442-1518

Her family arranged several marriages for her to men from important families in order to advance their own political & financial ambitions. Lucrezia was married to Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro), Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie), & Alfonso I d'Este (Duke of Ferrara).

Lucretia was described by contemporaries as strikingly beautiful with heavy blonde hair which fell past her knees, a beautiful complexion, hazel eyes which seemed to change color, a full, high bosom, & a natural grace which made her appear to "walk on air." Another description states that "her mouth is rather large, the teeth brilliantly white, her neck is slender & fair, & the bust is admirably proportioned."


Bartolomeo Veneto (1470–1531) Assumed to be Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519)

When Rodrigo became Pope Alexander VI, he sought to be allied with the most powerful princely families & founding dynasties of Italy. To achieve these ends, he called off Lucrezia's previous engagements & arranged for her to marry Giovanni Sforza, a member of the house of Sforza who was Lord of Pesaro & titled Count of Catignola.  Giovanni was an illegitimate son of Costanzo I Sforza. He married Lucrezia, who was just 13-years-old, in 1493 Rome. The Sforzas ruled the Duchy of Milan from 1450 to 1535. Much like the Borgia family, the Soforzas gained & maintained their power through military force; advantageous marriage alliances; court intrigues; & brute force.

Soon the Borgia family no longer needed the Sforzas.  The Pope needed new, more advantageous political alliances. It is speculated, that he may have ordered the execution of Giovanni. It is said that Lucrezia was informed of this by her brother Cesare, & that she warned her husband, who escaped from Rome.  It is also possible, that his departure resulted from a plot on the part of Cesare & Lucrezia to drive her husband away. In any event, the family was said to be pleased with the chance to arrange another advantageous marriage for Lucrezia. A papal annulment would end her previous marriage without bloodshed. 

Pope Alexander IV asked Giovanni's uncle, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, to persuade Giovanni to agree to a divorce. Giovanni refused & accused Lucrezia & her family of paternal & fraternal incest. The pope then claimed, that his daughter's marriage had not been consummated & was thus invalid. Escaping an unfortunate end, Giovanni signed confessions of impotence & documents of annulment before witnesses.


Pinturicchio (1454–1513), 1494 painting Disputation of Saint Catherine, is said to be modeled after Lucrezia Borgia (1480–1519)

Lucretia became pregnant just at the time her marriage was annulled for non-consummation, and just when she had testified that she was a virgin. In June 1497, she "retired" to the convent of San Sisto to await the outcome of the annulment which was finalized in December of 1497.  Two months later, in February 1498, the bodies of a her servant, Pedro Calderon, & her maid, Pantasilea, were found floating in the Tiber.  In March 1498, the Ferrarese ambassador reported, that Lucrezia had given birth. A son was born in the year before Lucrezia's marriage to Alfonso of Aragon. The baby was named Giovanni, after her "impotent" former husband, but is known to historians as the Roman Infante.


Pinturicchio (1454–1513) Pope Alexander VI. (Rodrigo Borgia) Detail from a Fresco of the Resurrection, painted in 1492-1495

In 1501, two papal bulls were issued concerning the identity of child, Giovanni Borgia (1498–1548). In the 1st, he was recognized as brother Cesare's child from an affair before his marriage. The 2nd contradictory bull recognized him as the son of Pope Alexander VI. Lucrezia's name was not mentioned in either document.  Only circumstantial evidence supports the assertion, that she was the child's mother. The 2nd bull was kept secret for many years, & baby Giovanni was assumed to be brother Cesare's son. In 1502, Giovanni became Duke of Camerino, one of brother Cesare's recent conquests, assumed to be the natural inheritance of the his oldest son. Giovanni Borgia was passed from guardian to guardian; before conveniently ending up with Lucrezia Borgia in Ferrara, where he was claimed to be her half-brother rather than her son.

Following her annulment from Sforza, Lucrezia was married to the Neapolitan Alfonso of Aragon (1481–1500), the half-brother of Sancha of Aragon, who was the wife of Lucrezia's brother Gioffre Borgia. The marriage was a short one, lasting from 1498, until Alfonso's murder in 1500. It was widely rumored that Lucrezia's brother Cesare was responsible for Alfonso's death, as he had recently allied himself (through marriage) with France against Naples.


Pinturicchio (1454–1513), Alfonso of Aragon (age 7) 1481-1500

After the death, of her 2nd husband, Lucrezia's father, Pope Alexander VI, arranged a 3rd politically advantageous marriage. She then married 24-year-old widower Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara in early 1502 Ferrara. Lucrezia hoped she would have a better chance of leading her own life in Ferrara, away from her ambitious father & brother.

Neither partner in this newly arranged marriage was accustomed to being involved with just one person. Beginning in 1503, Lucrezia entered into a long relationship with her brother-in-law, Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua, plus a love affair with the poet Pietro Bembo. The affair between Francesco & Lucrezia was passionate as reflected in their love letters. The affair ended, when Francesco contracted syphilis & had to end the sexual aspects of his relationship with Lucrezia.


Alfonso I. d'Este, Duke of Ferrara 1476-1534

The people of Ferrara seemed to adore Lucrezia, praising her for her beauty & "inner grace of personality."  Surrounding herself with artists, courtiers, poets, & writers, she helped make Ferrara a center for culture.

Rumors about the Borgia family have persisted throughout the centuries. Many of these concern allegations of partying, incest, poisoning, & murder; however, no actual evidence exists to support these rumors. It was claimed that she possessed a hollow ring, which she used frequently to poison drinks. Many historians view Lucrezia Borgia as a political pawn, whose marriages were used for her family's political gains. Born into a power hungry & greedy family, Lucrezia seemed to be the product of her upbringing. She seemed to accepted her family's ambitions & the personal consequences the exacted on her life for the good of her family.

In 1512, Lucrezia began to withdraw from public life to spend more time in her apartments or in nearby convents, apparently turning her thoughts to religion. Lucrezia Borgia died in Ferrara in 1519, from complications after giving birth to her 8th child.  She was only 39. She was buried in the convent of Corpus Domini.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Biography- Queen Anna de Foix-Candale 1484-1506 married an elderly king & died at age 21



1509 Queen Anna de Foix-Candale of Hungary and Bohemia (1484-1506)

Anne was the daughter of Gaston of Foix, Count of Candale, & Infanta Catherine of Navarre. Her mother was the youngest daughter of Queen Eleanor of Navarre, & Gaston IV, Count of Foix.

Anne grew up at the French royal court in Blois. She was educated in Latin & the classics. The nephew of the French monarch, the Duke of Longueville, is reported to have been in love with her & wished to marry her; but it was prevented, because a more advantageous political marriage was planned for Anne.

The elderly, twice-divorced & childless King Vladislaus II of Hungary of the Jagiellon dynasty had been searching a wife capable of giving him a son. His sights were set on a powerful alliance, closely related to French royalty was acceptable.

Anne was engaged to the elderly king in 1500, the marriage contract confirmed in 1501, & wed in 1502 at the French court. On her way to Hungary, she was much celebrated in Italy, & In Venice, a conflict was caused when France & Hungary were unable to agree about who should pay the expenses. On 29 September 1502, Anne wed Vladislaus in Székesfehérvár & she was crowned Queen of Hungary there that same day.

Anne brought a French court & French advisors with her to Hungary. The relationship was happy at least from the king's view, & he is reported to have regarded her as a friend, assistant & a trusted advisor. She was economically indebted to Venice. In 1506, her signature was placed on a document alongside the king's regarding an alliance with the Habsburg.

Anne enjoyed great popularity after the birth of a son, but the pregnancy ruined her health. She died a little more than 3 weeks later, as the result of complications from her son's delivery, at the age of 21 or 22.


Friday, May 27, 2016

1500s Women attributed to father & son Lucas Cranach (Elder 1472 - 1553) & (Younger 1515-1586) + their workshops & followers



Lucas Cranach the Younger (Northern Renaissance Painter, (1515-68)) and his workshop Princess Elizabeth of Saxony



1562 Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-68) and his workshop Lucretia Freifrau von Berlepsch



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Woman 1528



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop 1526 - Portrait of Margareth von Ponickau



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Young Woman 1530



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Katharina Luther 1528



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of Magdalena of Saxony, Electress of Brandenburg Wife of Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg, 1529



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Margaret of Austria 1520s



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Woman 1539



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop The Saxon Princesses (Sibyl, Emilia and Sidonia of Saxe) c 1535



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Martha Luther wife of Hans 1527



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Young Lady Holding Grapes



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Princess Maria of Saxony



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Donatrix



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Sibylle von Kleve c 1531



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a young Girl 1540



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop St. Helena with the True Cross, Lucas Cranach the Elder



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Young Woman 1522



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop St Catherine and St Barbara



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Christiana Eulenau 1534


Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  A Princess of Saxonly 1517


Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  A Young Woman 1525


Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Portrait of Catherine Bore wife of Martin Luther 1529


Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Portrait of Anna Cuspinian 1502


Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Young Mother and Child


Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Portrait of Frau Reuss 1503



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Magdalena of Saxony Margravine of Brandenburg 1520



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Portrait of a Woman 1513



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  María Magdalena



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  María Magdalena



1520 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Barbara Jagielion (1478-1534)



1526 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Portrait of a Woman



1526 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553)  and his workshop  Porträt der Prinzessin Sibylle von Cleve als Braut



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Bethrothal portrait of Sybelle of Cleves



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Female Half Figure with Hat



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop St Dorthea



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Sybelle of Cleves, sister of Anne of Cleves



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Lady 1541



 1518 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Anna Buchner



 1525-30 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Young woman with a red hat



 1526 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Sybille of Cleves,Electress Saxony



 1534 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Christiana Eulenau



 1540 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a lady



 1543 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Anna von Minckwitz



 1547 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Katherine of Mecklenburg, Duchess of Saxony



 1550 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Anna of Denmark electress of saxony 1550



 1555 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of Katharina Jagiellonka



 1555 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Queen Bona Sforza d'Aragona (1494-1557)



 1564 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of a Lady



 1565 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Barbara Radziwill



 1565 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Miniature of Elisabeth of  Habsburg



 1579 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop  Margarethe Elisabeth von Ansbach-Bayreuth



1555 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of Anna Jagiellonka



 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Portrait of Sibylle von Cleve, Electress of Saxony (1510-1554)


 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Sybille of Cleves, Electress of Saxony in Coburg dress



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Wife of Duke Heinrichs des Frommen, Katharina von Mecklenburg Detail



1503 Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) Portrait of Frau Reuss



1527 Lucas Cranach the Elder, Catharina von Bora wife of Martin Luther



1526 Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) Portrait of a Woman


1526 Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) Porträt der Prinzessin Sibylle von Cleve als Braut



1525 Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) Maria Magdalena



1532 Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Melancholy

Cranach & his relatives & followers painted the suicide of Lucretia in almost 40 versions.


Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop  Lucretia Committing Suicide 



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Lucretia c 1509 Cranach painted the suicide of Lucretia in almost 40 versions.



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Lucretia Committing Suicide 1512



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Lucretia Committing Suicide 1529



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Lucretia Committing Suicide



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Lucretia Committing Suicide



Lucas Cranach (Northern Renaissance Painter, 1472-1553) and his workshop Lucretia Committing Suicide



Lucas Cranach the Elder 1550