9: Rebuilding Rome, Rebuilding the Church

Martin V (Oddone Colonna)                               1417-31
Eugenius IV (Gabriele Condulmer)                    1431-47
Nicholas V (Tommaso Parentucelli)                 1447-55
Callixtus III (Alfonso Borgia)                                1455-58
Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini)                         1448-64
Paul II (Pietro Barbo)                                            1464-71
Sixtus IV (Francesco dello Rovere)                    1471-84
Innocent VIII (Giovanni Battista Cibo)              1484-92
Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia)                            1494-1503
Pius III (Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini)     1503      (22 sept-18 Oct)
Julius II (Giuliano dello Rovere)                         1503-13
Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici)                                1513-22
Hadrian VI (Adrian Florensz)                              1522-23
Clement VII (Giulio de’ Medici)                          1523-34
Paul III (alessandro Farnese)                               1534-49
Julius III (Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte) 1550-55
Marcellus II  (Marcello Cevini degli Spannochi) 1555 (9 April-1 May)
Paul IV (Gian Pietro Carafa)                                1555-59
Pius IV (Giovanni Angelo Medici                       1559-65


Restoring papal administration

Financing papal administration: another whole story

Rome as regional leader

  • New balance of power across peninsula
  • Europe’s political leaders: a power and a diplomatic center
  • Old elite families play on a wider stage

Popes from Italy (except Hadrian VI)

College of Cardinals: international favors as well as local clout

Nepotism and church positions

Nicholas V: a humanist and more (1447-55)

Rise to power: Council of Florence

1453 fall of Constantinople

1454 Peace of Lodi; Lega Italica 1455

  • Milan-Venice-Florence-Rome-Naples

Diplomacy: Portugal, Aragon and Atlantic trade

Humanists: College of Abbreviatores, more

Rebuilding Rome

Began new Vatican Library
Rome Reborn: from the Vatican Library exhibit at Library of Congress


Callixtus III 1455-58  Pope Callixtus III Siena (cropped).jpg

  • Law professor
  • Efforts to organize Christian troops against Ottoman Expansion
  • Detail: Callixtus III, Sano di Pietro ca 1455



Pius II 1458-64 Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini

  • Humanist education
  • Patronage of humanists
  • Council at Mantua: effort to organize against Ottomans
  • Diplomacy: succession in Naples   from Alfonso (d.1458) to Ferrante (d. 1494)
  • 1460 revolts in Rome

Bernardino Pinturicchio (ca 1452-1513): Pius II canonizing Saint Catherine of Siena in 1461, 1505-1508. Siena, Piccolomini Library

Paul II 1464-71  Pietro Barbo, nephew of Eugenius IV

  • A bundle of contradictions
  • 1468 suspected conspiracy
  • Secret cardinals
  • Dissolved College of Abbreviatores
  • supporter of arts

Mino da Fiesole, ca. 1464-1470: portrait bust of Paul II. Museo del Palazzo Venezia, Rome


Sixtus IV (1471-84)  Francesco della Rovere

  • supporter of humanists
  • nepotism: 6 nephews as cardinals; lay lordships in papal states
  • Girolamo Riario, a leader in Pazzi conspiracy of 1478 (Florence and region)
  • Rebuilding of city continues


Innocent VIII (1484-92). Giovanni Battista Cibo

1485 another revolt of barons against Ferrante I of Naples; invites Charles VIII to succeed

Alexander VI (1492-1503) Roderigo BorgiaFile:Pope Alexander VI.jpg


Pope as political power in Italy

1494 death of Ferrante of Naples; Alfonso II succeeds; Charles VIII (France) exercises claim

Roman barons ally with various powers

1495 Holy league formed: Rome, HRE, Venice, Milan, Spain


1498: alliance with Louis XII: duchy in France for Cesare (Valentinois); Cesare ruler of    Romagna; papal states (parts) as potential family dynasty



Pius III 1503   Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini nephew of Pius II

Plans for peacemaking  Pius III , pope on 1503. Anonymous painting. Pienza , museum of the... News Photo - Getty Images


Julius II 1503-13 Giuliano della Rovere (nephew of Sixtus IV)

Pope Julius II.jpg

Efforts to recover papal states

Multiple roles of pope


Raphael, portrait of Julius II, 1511-12. London, National Gallery




Popes Building Renaissance Rome


Revolutions in painting, architecture, sculpture

Florence, first half 15th century

Leon Battista Alberti, his circle: Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio

Donatello, Filippo Brunelleschi probably in Rome 1402-4

From Council of Florence to Rome: era of Nicholas V


What needs building, rebuilding, or renovating:

  • Churches
  • Residences
  • city infrastructure:  bridges, aqueducts, fountains, roads, walls


Early commissions (Martin V, Eugenius IV): mostly smaller art works

S Clemente: another fresco by Masolino


Nicholas V

maestri delle strade

Acqua Vergine (later Trevi Fountain)

plans for Borgo

Palazzo dei Conservatori remodeled

St Peters

Vatican Palace

Niccoline Chapel

Library (early stages)


Paul II (1464-71)

Palazzo Venezia: Renaissance palazzo, papal residence

San Marco: grand portal and loggia


Sixtus IV (1471-84)

more work on Acqua Vergine

Ponte Sisto

streets in Borgo

Sistine chapel (first mass 15 Aug 1483)

Reconstruction as of ca. 1480




1475 Vatican Library opened


Innocent VIII (1484-92).

Papal residence at Vatican


Alexander VI (1492-1503)

Vatican Borgia apartments

Domus Aurea  discovered

Vatican Library

1451: Nicholas V, personal collection plus purchases from Constantinople (imperial library)

1475 Sixtus IV “Palatine Library”

early circulation record: Pico della Mirandola checks out works of Roger Bacon

Platina: Lives of Jesus and the Popes


Papal image: from The Young Pope (Paolo Sorrentino)

Pius XIII gets dressed to address cardinals

Pius XIII enters Sistine Chapel

Vatican Map