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Raphael's Portrait Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi: a religious interpretation *.

For twelve years, beginning in 1984, the group portrait Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi (fig. 1) painted by Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520) underwent a thorough cleaning along with ultraviolet-ray, reflectographic, and radiographic studies that revealed not only underlying sketches, but additions and alterations to the original design and important iconographic details. (1) The discovery of new archival materials has helped to date more precisely its production, and has shed new light on the relationships among the figures there depicted. (2) These findings mandate modifications in some interpretations of the painting, suggest new arguments in support of old theories, and offer fresh perspectives on this famous portrait.



Various interpretations of this painting have been offered. Joseph Archer Crowe and Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle, in 1885, noted that Leo X's head is turned as if he were "granting an audience." They pointed out that the portrait was painted in the aftermath of the condemnation of the Sienese cardinal Alfonso Petrucci (1478-1517). Cardinal Giulio de' Medici (1478-1534) was there when the humanist and papal domestic secretary Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) read the sentence against Petrucci, and the cardinal's appearance in Raphael's painting bears the "grave and calm" expression of that occasion. (3) Building on these observations, other scholars have recently suggested that the scene represents Leo X and his cousin Giulio de' Medici listening to the sentence of 4 July 1517 that condemned Petrucci to death for plotting to kill the pope. They remain calm, while Luigi de' Rossi (ca. 1471/74-1519), who was raised to the cardinalate three days earlier as a reaction to the conspiracy, looks out at the observer, as if displaying his new robes. (4)

In his survey of Raphael's "state portraits," Konrad Oberhuber (1971) claimed that the portrait of Leo X attempted to combine "the monumentality and grandeur of a papal state portrait with the human intimacy the devotional context required." (5) Although its subject matter is a group of three ecclesiastics, James H. Beck (1974) saw the painting as primarily secular and dynastic in intent, one in a series of state portraits by Raphael that memorialize the appearance and status of members of the Medici family. The objects on the pope's table (a magnifying glass, a bell, and an illuminated manuscript) are personal possessions which the pope collected following his father's advice to acquire "a certain refinement of antique things and beautiful books." (6) Roger Jones and Nicholas Penny (1983) have similarly described the painting as "a dynastic portrait." (7)

Other scholars have denied this characterization. John K. G. Shearman (1992) explicitly stated that a state portrait was a "meaningless category" at the time it was painted. He saw the group portrait as a testimonial to the Medici family's rise to the highest rank in the Church and as a representation of the pope "as protagonist of the life of the mind," as well as "a memorial to the perceived enduring role of the Medici as men of peace and men of culture." (8) Arnold Nesselrath (1999) also rejects the categorization of "official state portrait," insisting instead that the work is "obviously a private family picture." (9) Sherr (1983) suggested that the painting was commissioned by Leo X so that his effigy would be present at the banquet celebrating the wedding of Lorenzo de' Medici (1492-1519) and Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne (I 502-19), which was an event scheduled for 8 September 1518 in Florence and which he personally could not attend. According to a report of Alfonsina Orsini de' Medici (d. 1520), Lorenzo's mother, her son placed the portrait above the middle of the banquet table next to where his bride sat, thus allowing his papal uncle and cardinal cousins to be symbolically present at the festivities. (10) Sheryl E. Reiss (2001) agreed, adding the suggestion that Alfonsina may have been involved in commissioning the painting. (11) Perhaps based on the earlier suggestions of Klaus Schwager (1970), Valerio Guazzoni (1996) claimed that the scene depicts a papal audience, a contention rejected by Shearman. (12)

Taking a different approach, Bernice F. Davidson in her study of the Vatican Logge (1985) saw the portrait as one of "a powerful ruler and a devout priest" who is presented to us as "an icon that we are urged to regard with reverence for the sake of our own salvation." Unfortunately, what Davidson called "the basic ecclesiastical content" of the painting, "which must have seemed too obvious to contemporaries to be worthy of comment, has since been forgotten." (13) A few scholars have mentioned in passing that the text of the Bible on Leo's table includes the verse: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John" (John 1:6) and that this is probably an allusion to Giovanni de' Medici, Leo X. (14)

Josephine Jungic (1992) responded to Davidson's call to recover the ecclesiastical content of the painting by providing a persuasive but not fully developed religious interpretation of the portrait of Leo X. In two pages appended to her study of the painting of Cardinal Bandinello Sauli, His Secretary, and Two Geographers (fig. 2), painted in 1516 by Sebastiano del Piombo (ca. 1485-1547), she proposed a dependence of Raphael's work on Sebastiano's, not only regarding iconography (a prelate seated at a table on which lies an opened book and a bell, with attendants standing behind him to his left and right), but also theme (the prelate is presented as the "Angelic Pastor" who was predicted by the Franciscan Beato Amadeo Menez de Sylva [d. 1482] and who, as pope, will reform the Church, usher in peace among Christians, and defeat Islam). Indeed, Raphael's painting was a rebuttal to Sebastiano's in that it represented, on a similarly large canvas, the "Angelic Pastor" Leo X, who had been the target of a recent poisoning conspiracy, instead of Bandinello Sauli (d. 1518), who publicly confessed his complicity in the plot and whose own election as pope had been prophesied by astrologers. Thus, Leo X wanted to present himself in place of a rival as the fulfillment of widespread prophetic expectations. (15)


Another scholar who carefully considered a possible religious theme is Francesco Paolo Di Teodoro. In his 1998 study he noted that the pope's finger turns the folio (fig. 3) of the Bible to the text at the end of St. Luke's Gospel (24:47-53). He has surmised, from the reference there to preaching penance and praying continually in the Temple, that the portrait was commissioned as an answer to Luther's protest against the indulgence for contributing to the reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica which had been approved by Leo X. (16)


Despite these brief, initial efforts to respond to Davidson's call for a more religious interpretation of the painting, this approach has not been given its due in the scholarly literature. In keeping with Shearman's calls to read a Renaissance work of art by using the code of the sixteenth century, (17) this paper will consider the secular and dynastic resonances undoubtedly present in the painting, but will focus on the various scriptural, liturgical, and devotional themes also present that would have been evident to contemporaries. It will thus provide a religious interpretation of the painting that also takes into account the findings that have emerged as a result of the recent scientific examinations and the cleaning of the painting.


In order to arrive at a proper interpretation of a painting, it is important to examine carefully and to identify correctly and in detail the various objects depicted in it. These should then be fitted together into a coherent explanation of the paintings theme.

The setting of this painting is a large room that, according to Davidson, "does not appear to describe a specific, real location." Depicted in shadows are "monumentally scaled piers" and a cornice that is "inexplicably low in relation to the figures." (18) Similar architectural features can be found in Raphael's frescoes in the rooms (stanze) of the papal apartment in the Vatican Palace, especially in the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple and the Coronation of Charlemagne. (19) A careful optical examination has revealed that the original composition of Leo's portrait depicted the pope seated before a green curtain or cloth of honor, as was the case in Raphael's Julius II (fig. 4). (20) Clues as to the identity of the rooms in which Raphael painted these papal portraits can be found in the window reflections on the two burnished acorns on Julius' chair and on the gilded bronze ball (palla) on Leo's chair. Tom Henry (2001) rejects the interior of Santa Maria del Popolo, suggested by Xavier Bray (1999), and proposes one of the rooms in the Vatican papal apartment as the setting of the Julian portrait. Based on the style of the windows reflected on the palla (fig. 5), he also rejects a room in the Vatican Library and offers, as a more likely candidate for the setting of the Leonine portrait, the wardrobe or treasury room (guardaroba) in the Torre Borgia, next to the Sala dell' Incendio. (21) The background of this painting was later changed to a dark room with large architectural features dimly visible in the shadows. The architectural elements of the revised painting seem to suggest a church or large room. (22) The massive pier behind Giulio de' Medici and the arch framing Luigi de' Rossi seem to have been added at the same time that the cardinals were inserted into the painting, and the function of these architectural features may have been to open the space for these additional figures. (23) Frederick Hartt claimed to discern in the burnished surface of the golden ball or palla on the back of the pope's chair the reflection of a wooden ceiling, a detail Raphael failed to alter when he changed the original de sign. (24) It is daytime; illumination comes not from a candle but from sunlight entering from the right. The light source is identified by Vasari as the windows (i lumi delle finestre) mirrored on the upper right portion of the golden palla. (25) Brilliant light streams through the window on the left, while the light from the window on the right appears to be filtered by tinted glass in a mullioned and transomed windowframe, or by a rectangular translucent curtain or shade on which is depicted a large, dark cross. (26)


The color scheme used in the painting is notable for its various shades of red. While the robes of the pope and cardinals are appropriately red, Raphael even depicted the table covering as red. This seems to conform to the practice of using red or golden coverings for the furniture used by the pope in his chapel. The floor covering of the papal dais could be red for a public consistory, or green on other occasions. The cloth of honor and canopy could be red, green, or gold, and in the papal chapel colors changed according to the liturgical seasons and specific ceremonies. (27) Red was considered the traditional papal color. (28)

The chair on which Leo X is seated has armrests and is covered with a thick red fabric. Gold tassels hang from the back of the chair and the back post is crowned with a gold ball. The pope is vested in heavy garments. His cream-colored, fur-inner-lined brocade rochet (a priestly liturgical robe) is decorated with patterns in gold thread, and his dark-red velvet mozzetta (an elbow-length cape with a hood) is edged with ermine, as is his camauro, or felt cap. These garments suggest winter. Indeed, for the ceremony of Matins of Christmas, the pope wore a dark red mozzetta (cappa purpurea). (29) The heavy robes and draped table mask his corpulence. His gaze is fixed on someone or something to the left beyond the border of the painting. While his left hand rests on the table and holds a magnifying glass, his right hand is turning the page of the book on the table. Reflectography using infrared rays, radiography, and X-ray photography have revealed a preparatory design for Leo X's left eye and neck with lines made by a metal object over preparatory brush strokes, but nothing of this preliminary nature has been found for the two cardinals. Also revealed is that Luigi de' Rossi's left hand was painted onto the previously painted back of the papal throne. The figure of Leo X by itself seems to fill the space. Scholars have therefore concluded that in its original conception and execution the portrait of Leo X contained a solitary figure, similar to Raphael's earlier portrait of Julius II. (30)

The man in red cardinal's robes who rests his hand on the back of the pope's chair has been identified in a letter of Alfonsina Orsini of 8 September 1518 as Luigi de' Rossi. (31) He was Leo's first cousin, born to Maria de' Medici (an illegitimate daughter of Piero il Gottoso [1416-69]) and Leonetto de' Rossi, Lorenzo il Magnifico's agent in France. (32) Luigi, slightly older than his cousin, was a particular favorite of Leo X since they had been educated together and had shared the same misfortunes. (33) Soon after Leo's election, Luigi is described as his chamber servant (cubicularius) and familiar, or member of the papal household (familiarius), as having a room in the Torre Borgia in the complex of papal apartments, and as being considered one of the pope's most confidential familiars. (34) A cleric of the archdiocese of Lyons, he was also a papal notary, then apostolic protonotary (protonotarius apostolicus), protodatary (protodatarius), and papal assistant, and was finally raised to the cardinalate in the mass promotion of 1 July 1517, succeeding Giulio as cardinal priest of San Clemente five days later. (35) He collected monastic benefices in France, with the consent of Louis XII, but was never given an episcopal see. He seems to have favored an alliance of the pope with France. (36) Luigi was on good terms with his pleasure-loving cousin Lorenzo de' Medici (1492-1519) in Florence. (37) According to Marino Sanuto (1466-1536), a member of the Venetian government and contemporary diarist who recorded much of what he heard or read in his copious diaries covering 1496-1533, Luigi accompanied three fellow cousin cardinals, together with three of the more famous cortigiane of Rome, to a carnival banquet in March 1519 hosted by the banker Lorenzo Strozzi, who offered dancers dressed as specters for entertainment. (38) Rossi's death from gout in mid-August 1519 struck Leo X deeply and he was said to have mourned for him more than he had for his brother Giuliano and nephew Lorenzo. (39) Raphael seems to capture this special relationship between Leo and Luigi by having Luigi place his hands on Leo's chair, as if indicating an almost protective intimacy. (40) Luigi is wearing a mantellatta, or cape with lateral slits, covered by the mozzetta. The mantellatta was worn by cardinals in the presence of the pope to indicate their inferiority to him. Unless he were an apostolic legate and therefore could wear red, the mozzetta worn in the papal chapel or in public by a cardinal was to be off-violet, obscure purple, or dusty bronze in color. (41) The mozzetta worn by Luigi in the painting is red, implying that the scene depicted is not a public occasion.

The other cardinal in Raphael's painting is Giulio de' Medici, the future Clement VII (1523-34). He is standing to the pope's right and his right arm seems to terminate and to be transmuted into the pope's right hand. Giulio did function at the papal court as his cousin's right hand, an alter ego, "a man of great management and of the greatest authority," as noted in June of 1520 by the Venetian ambassador Marco Minio in his final report. (42) If this painting can be dated to around Christmastime 1517, it is interesting to note that it was only a few days earlier that Giulio definitively committed himself to a clerical career by being ordained to the priesthood on the nineteenth of December and consecrated a bishop on the twenty-first. Six months earlier, on 26 June 1517, he had been transferred from the cardinal deacon church of Santa Maria in Domnica to the cardinal priest church of San Clemente, and about a week later, on 6 July, to the cardinal priest church of San Lorenzo in Damaso, formerly held by the dean of the Sacred College, Rafaello Riario (ca. 1460/61-1521), prior to his loss of the office of vice-chancellor due to his complicity in the conspiracy to poison Leo X. (43) Giulio took his responsibilities as archbishop of Florence seriously by ordering a provincial council to be held there in 1516-17 in order to implement the reform decrees of the Fifth Lateran Council (1512-17). As archbishop he ordered, on 8 March 1518, that the provincial council's decrees be observed, since Leo X had approved them after they had been examined by cardinals Tommaso de Vio (Cajetan) and Domenico Giacobazzi. On 12 April 1518 the decrees were formally promulgated in his archdiocese. (44) It should be noted that at the time this portrait was being painted Giulio also held a number of sees in France: he was archbishop of Narbonne (1515-24), and administrator of the archdiocese of Embrum (1518) and the diocese of Lavaur (1514-24). (45)

On the table in the foreground with its red covering there is an object identified by the artist and first critical historian of Renaissance art, Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), as "a little bell of wrought silver, which is more beautiful than words can tell" (fig. 6). (46) The bell, in fact, is both silver and gold, the gold sections being its scalloped dome, a border line toward the bottom as the cup flares out to form the base, and the base itself. On the side of the bell is a raised design of acanthus leaves, flowers, and two Medici symbols. In the upper right, mixed in with the scrolling leaves, is a diamond ring and three feathers, a Medici insignia. (47) Barely visible in the shadows to the left is the six-palle coat of arms of Leo X, which is surmounted by the crossed papal keys and tiara. The bell was made for Leo after his election, perhaps according to a design by Raphael, and cast by the celebrated goldsmith Antonio da San Marino. It was lost, as were many other precious objects, in the Sack of Rome in 1527. (48) Atop the dome of the bell is a knob made of a sheaf of tufted red silk and gold threads, with two longer braided tassels trailing down the side of the bell to the tabletop.


Because of its coat of arms or inscription, a bell can identify its owner. In contemporary portraits, Cardinals Albrecht von Brandenburg (1490-1545) of Mainz and Bernhard II von Cles (1485-1539) of Trent are each seated at a table on which rests a handbell displaying his coat of arms. The silver and gold handbell on the table of Cardinal Bandinello Sauli (d. 1518) bears the inscription "B. DE. SAVLIS. CAR." (fig. 7). Cardinal Ippolito I d'Este (1479-1520) is shown standing next to a table on which is prominently placed a bell. (49)


Bells also had secular functions. They were rung to assemble city councilors or a citizen assembly and to announce such things as a legal sentence, a fire or an attack, news, the opening of a market or a beer hall, or the arrival of itinerant merchants. They were also hung around the necks of animals so that the bell's clanging would indicate the animal's location. Bells also signified a fool. (50) They could also function as symbols of authority and were used to summon a servant. For example, a small bell (tintinabulum seu campanella) was used by the last cardinal deacon seated in a secret consistory to summon a guard, should the pope or one of the cardinals want something. (51)

Bells also have religious significance. According to the popular compendium of liturgical knowledge, the Rationale divinorum officiorum of Guillaume Durandus (1230-96), the bell is a symbol of a preacher who needs first to correct his own faults (and thus provide a dapper) before he calls others to faith and reform. The rope that hangs from the bell and allows it to be rung symbolizes the life of the preacher that should be marked by humility. Durandus distinguishes six types of churchbells. When rung, the larger ones that hang from towers ward off storm-causing demons. (52) According to Alberto Pio, imperial ambassador at the court of Leo X and his relative by marriage, such bells destroy malignant forces in the air. (53) The small bell depicted in Raphael's painting is apparently a nola (a handbell or table-bell), which was rung in the choir where priests gather to pray the divine office. (54) The religious function of a bell is usually described as praising God, honoring the saints, proclaiming a peace, announcing a death, inviting prayers for the dead, and summoning the faithful to prayer (the Angelus, Mass, Matins, and so on) or calling priests and monks to assemble for the recitation of the divine office. (55) Jungic identifies the bell in Sebastiano's painting of Sauli as a "Sanctus bell rung during Mass to announce the Advent of Christ," and notes that "here the bell symbolizes the presence of Christ." (56) The only reference to bells in the Bible is in the Old Testament (Exodus 28:33-34 and 39:25-26), where golden bells were to be part of the attire of Aaron the high priest according to a command given to Moses by God; and they were to sound whenever he went in or out of the holy place before the Lord, lest he die.

To the right of the bell is the pope's left hand, resting on the table and holding a magnifying glass. Its crystal lens is encircled by a gold hoop and its handle is hidden from view in the pope's hand. Leo X was noted for his nearsightedness and owned various optical glasses that have been studied by scholars. The magnifying glass would have allowed him to admire the miniatures and to read the book on which his right hand rests. (57)

The book on the pope's table is a Bible, identified by scholars as the Hamilton Bible currently preserved in the Kupferstichkabinett of Berlin. According to their research, the Hamilton Bible was copied in the mid-fourteenth century in Naples by Giovanni di Ravenna, decorated with miniatures by either Cristoforo Orminina da Napoli or Matteo di Planisio, and belonged to the family of Pierre Roger de Beaufort, who became Clement VI (1342-52). At some later date it came into the possession of Leo X. In Raphael's painting, the parchment manuscript is opened to folios 400v-401r. (58) Di Teodoro, however, has noted differences between the Hamilton Bible and the one depicted in Raphael's portrait: the Beaufort coat of arms has been replaced with the Medici one in the lower right corner (fig. 8), and the Raphael Bible has one verse written on two lines of larger lettered text across the bottom of the folio which contains the seventeen miniatures, while the Hamilton Bible has seven verses written on five lines of smaller text. He thus suggests that Leo X owned a copy of the Hamilton Bible made for him by his father, Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-92), and therefore it was a treasured personal possession. (59)


What seems to be one of the book's clasps or a paperweight attached to the cover by a red ribbon lies on the margin area of the left folio, as if to weigh the page down to keep it flat. The other clasp, also attached to a red ribbon, lies on the table next to the bell. (60) The smooth surface of this clasp suggests that either its setting (elaborate if it was similar to the other clasp) has fallen out, leaving the blank cavity exposed, or "a convex transparent stone, perhaps a rock-crystal" has been set in the clasp. (61)

On the verso of the left folio of the Bible are seventeen illuminations, sixteen of which depict scenes from Christ's Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, and at the bottom can be read the opening words of St. John's Gospel: "In principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud Deum." The rest of the prologue continues on the recto of the right folio. Leo's left hand seems to be turning the illuminated folio. This gesture may suggest that the pope was paging through his Bible when his attention was suddenly shifted to someone or something outside the frame of the painting. It may also be a reference to the end of the Gospel of St. Luke. The conclusion of this gospel had special significance among the followers of Beato Amadeo (d. 1482), the founder of the Franciscan Amadeite congregation and author of the Apocalypsis Nova. In this work he predicted the advent of an "Angelic Pastor" who would be elected pope, bring about a reform of the Church, and usher in the final age of history according to the tripartite schema of history devised by Joachim of Flora (ca. 1132-1202). Amadeo's followers, who included such noted cardinals as Bernardino Carvajal (the learned theologian and president of the schismatic Pisan Council) and Bandinello Sauli (co-conspirator in the plot to poison Leo X), held that Amadeo had supplied in his Apocalypsis Nova the "last chapter" of St. Luke's "incomplete" Gospel. The evangelist failed to include this material because the time was not then ripe for the fullness of revelation. Amadeo's chapter narrated Christ's death in Jerusalem with the Apostles present and the Assumption into heaven of the Mother of God--events parallel to those of Christ depicted in miniatures on the obverse of the folio (fig. 9). (62) Di Teodoro and Kemper see in the pope's fingering of the folio a reference to the traditional concluding words of St. Luke's Gospel, which record that the apostles were commissioned to preach penance and were frequently praying in the Temple. (63)


The symbolism of the Bible opened to the beginning of St. John's Gospel is interpreted by some scholars as a reference to Leo X's first baptismal name of Giovanni, his other names being Damaso and Romolo. It is unclear if he was named after St. John the Evangelist or St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Florence. Perhaps the son of Lorenzo de' Medici and Clarice Orsini was named after his mother's cousin, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Orsini (d. 1503), or some member of the Medici family such as his great-great-grandfather, Giovanni di Bicci (1380-1429), the founder of the Medici dynasty. (64) Persons named after St. John the Baptist were called variously John Baptist, John, or Baptist. If Leo X had been baptized with the name of St. John the Evangelist, it would be appropriate that the Bible on his table should be opened to the beginning of his gospel. But it seems more likely that he was named after the St. John the Baptist. Two of his contemporaries who knew him well suggest that such was the case. In 1489, on the occasion of Giovanni's appointment as cardinal, Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) dedicated his Latin translation of Jamblichus, De Mysteriis (finally printed in 1497), to the youthful prelate. In his dedicatory letter, he applied to the new cardinal a paraphrase of the verse from the gospel prologue regarding the mission of John the Baptist: "There is a man of Florence sent by God whose name is John, born of the heroic stock of the Medici. This man has come for testimony that he might bear witness about the greatest authority among us of his father, the magnanimous Lorenzo." Ficino, who was familiar with members of the Medici family, would probably not have alluded to this scriptural text had he not known that Giovanni was named after the Baptist. In addition, Paride de Grassi (1470-1528), who was the papal master of ceremonies of Leo X, commented in his diary entry for 24 June 1513, the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, that the pope's name was John; he did not do the same for the entry of 27 December 1513, the feast of St. John the Evangelist. (65) Also serving the function of identifying the pope, but not his baptismal name, is the presence of the bell with the Leonine papal coat of arms.

The Gospel of St. John, to which Leo's Bible is opened, had special significance in Joachimite and Amadeite circles. St. John the Evangelist was seen as the Apostle of the Spirit, a symbol of the contemplative life that typifies the third age or status, that of the Holy Spirit. According to Joachim of Flora, the active life represented by St. Peter will be replaced by the contemplative one associated with St. John the Evangelist, but the institution and authority of the papacy will remain in the new age. (66) The role of the papacy will be to provide spiritual understanding and leadership amidst tribulations, and to promote Church unity and the conversion of the world to Christ. (67)

Both ordinary and learned Christians of the Renaissance viewed the prologue of St. John's Gospel as an instrument of blessing and protection. In his dedicatory letter of 1523 to Archduke Ferdinand, Erasmus complained that "Some people even have part of St. John's Gospel copied out and wear it hanging round their necks to shield them from sickness or unhappy accidents of other kinds." (68) In his colloquy "The Exorcist" Erasmus has "a sacred stole (as it's called), with the opening verses of St. John's Gospel hanging from it" draped over the shoulder of the exorcist to give him protection from the demon. (69) A reading from the prologue was used for centuries when visiting the sick. (70) The prologue was also used in Rogation Day processions as a prayer to obtain divine protection against the plague or against damage to cattle or crops. (71) In the thirteenth century the Dominicans used it as a blessing at the end of Mass. The custom spread to other religious orders and to Rome, where Leo X's master of ceremonies, Paride de Grassi, considered it an option for the celebrant to use. The "last Gospel," as it was called, was not viewed as a lesson, but as a blessing. (72)

The prologue was also used in the matins of the divine office for Christmas. In the 1519 Breviarium Romanum it was the ninth lesson of the third nocturn. When the divine office was solemnly sung at the papal court in the early morning of Christmas Day, the ninth reading that climaxed the ceremony was sung by the pope himself. (73) In the city of Rome, the new year began with Christmas, and papal briefs were dated from the Nativity of the Lord. (74) The prologue thus helped to mark a new beginning.


Having examined in some detail the major iconographic clues found in this painting, one is now in a better position to determine the validity of the various interpretations proposed by scholars. In favor of the thesis that it is a "state portrait" are the facts that Raphael had painted a series of Medici portraits (of Giuliano and Lorenzo de' Medici) (75) and that the portrait of Leo X with the cardinals was later kept in the Palazzo Medici in Florence, and that palace "was the central part of the patrimony of Cosimo Pater Patriae [father of the fatherland] and of Lorenzo ii Magnifico [the Magnificent], now concentrated in the person of the Pope" who gave libera administrazione (free administration) of it to his sister-in-law, Alfonsina Orsini de' Medici. The painting became part of the ducal collection of precious objects, or guardaroba. (76)

Against such an interpretation are a number of considerations. It is not clear that the painting of Leo X was intended for installation as an official portrait in the Palazzo Medici in Florence. Other papal portraits were kept in churches in Rome. (77) It was sent to Florence for a specific occasion, to make the pope present in effigy at the wedding banquet of his nephew. Why it stayed in Florence has never been explained. State portraits are usually large in size, "grandly conceived," entailing "monumentality in scale and design," concentrating on the social rank and position rather than the personality of the person, and displaying a significant portion (usually three-quarters length) of the person's body. (78) While Raphael's portrait of Leo X is large in size (a panel 154 x 119 cm.) and depicts much of the pope's body in a seated position, (79) it lacks monumentality and seems to be more like a private family picture, as observed by Nesselrath. (80) Also, Raphael clearly gave attention to the personality of Leo X in this portrait (81) and, as Shearman notes, the category of "state portrait" did not exist at the time of Raphael. Raphael's painting of Lorenzo was not executed to be part of an official series of Medici state portraits. Rather, it was painted as a betrothal portrait that represented the prospective groom in French garb to his future bride, the French princess Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne (who had sent him her own portrait in January of 1518), thus allowing the spouses in an arranged marriage to visualize each other's features. (82) The presence of three persons in the painting of Leo X is also atypical of a state portrait, and it seems somewhat ironic that Leo X would choose two men whose legitimacy was tainted to represent the Medici dynasty. Luigi de' Rossi's mother was the natural daughter of Piero de' Medici, and Giulio de' Medici's status was so questioned that the pope had to get the Sacred Consistory to issue a constitution declaring his legitimacy. (83) If the intention were to document the pope and his cardinal relatives, why were the other Medici cardinal relatives not also included, such as Innocenzo Cybo (nephew by Leo's sister Maddalena), Niccolo Ridolfi (nephew by Leo's sister Contessina), Giovanni Salviati (nephew by Leo's sister Lucrezia), and Franciotto Orsini (Leo's first cousin, who was raised and educated in the Medici house together with Giovanni)? In addition, the intent to create something other than a state portrait is suggested by the presence of items with spiritual significance: the ecclesiastical robes, Bible, bell, and image of a cross formed on the palla by the reflection of a cross-decorated curtain or of the cross-shaped framing bars of a trabeated mullioned window, with its tinted, but predominately clear, glass panes. When Ludovico Buti set out in 1585 to make a painting of Leo X based on Raphael's for an official series of Medici portraits, he eliminated the cardinal cousins and replaced the Bible with a musical score. (84)

The suggestion of Crowe and Cavalcaselle, seconded by others, that the painting was commissioned to record both Leo X's hearing of the condemnation of the conspirator Alfonso Petrucci and Luigi de' Rossi's earlier promotion to the cardinalate (he looks out as if showing off his new robe and thanking his papal benefactor) (85) does not conform to the alteration in design from one to three figures and the production of the painting in two stages.

The interpretation of Sherr, Guazzoni, and Reiss holds that the painting was produced as an occasional piece. The argument that Raphael's portrait was painted to make possible in effigy the presence of Leo at the wedding banquet in Florence, as if blessing the union of the Medici and Valois houses and testifying to the pope's affection for, and protection of, the couple, would be consistent with the alliance Leo X had negotiated earlier with France at Bologna. (86) This interpretation is also supported by the presence in the painting of the images of two relatives with strong French connections: de' Rossi seems to have been born in France (a cleric of Lyon), and both he and Giulio de' Medici held French benefices and were seen as supporters of a Franco-papal alliance. (87) In addition, de' Rossi seems to have been a close friend and was a cousin of Lorenzo the Younger de' Medici, hence deserving of a place at his wedding banquet. The Bible in the painting had a French connection, in that it was either the original or a copy of the one that had belonged to the French Pope Clement VI (1342-52). As archbishop of Florence and cousin of the groom, Giulio de' Medici should also have been present at the wedding festivities, even if only in effigy. (88) Sherr claims that the semi-formal scene depicted, of Leo X "shown sitting at a table where he has been engaged in the private act of reading, surrounded by two members of his family," was "particularly appropriate to the use to which it was put on this occasion," namely, being placed at the banquet table. (89) The painting, according to Guazzoni, brought a private and familiar dimension into a dynastic celebration of the Medici family's marriage alliance with the house of Valois. (90)

There are, however, several reasons for not accepting this interpretation. The winter clothing of the pope in the painting suggests that the portrait was begun many months earlier, when it would be doubtful that Leo X already knew that he would be unable to attend the Florentine wedding festivities in person. Moreover, it is unclear how a picture of the pope reading from the Bible was an appropriate scene for a banquet table, unless the text read, the prologue, was seen as a blessing on the recently married couple. The next chapter in the Gospel of St. John (2:1-11) tells the story of Christ blessing the marriage feast at Cana. If the Bible had been opened to that passage, then the picture would have been appropriate. And why was Luigi de' Rossi included in the portrait when he apparently attended, in person, the festivities in Florence? Did his plans suddenly change so that he could attend? (91) Was he really a strong supporter of a Franco-papal alliance, or were his efforts with the French aimed at nothing more than getting possession of his rich benefices in France? (92) Finally, the "highly wrought" quality of this painting argues against the view that the painting was commissioned merely to make Leo X and his cardinal cousins present in effigy at the wedding festivities. Such "occasional pieces with short-term significance" were not so carefully thought out and executed. (93)

To salvage this interpretation some modifications are proposed. Raphael's painting was originally designed and executed as a formal portrait of Leo X seated alone before a green cloth of honor. It was probably initially intended as a votive image or ex voto to be hung in a sacristy or church, perhaps in the new St. Peter's, for whose construction he was having an indulgence preached, or in Santa Maria in Domnica, his titular church as cardinal, which later passed to his cousin Giulio de' Medici and then to his nephew Innocenzo Cybo (1491-1550). (94) The portraits of his predecessors were put to similar use: the portrait of Eugenius IV (painted sometime between 1443 and 1446 by Jean Fouquet, ca. 1420-81) hung in the sacristy of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, (95) and Raphael's portrait of Julius II (painted between 1511 and 1512) probably hung in the sacristy of Santa Maria del Popolo, but on special occasions at the altar of Our Lady, thus presenting Julius as her special client and the patron of her church. (96) Before Raphael could complete the painting of Leo X, however, a new function was assigned to it. It was to represent him at the wedding festivities in Florence. Because cardinals Giulio and Luigi were similarly thought to be unable to attend, the painting was altered to include them. The green cloth of honor was replaced with dark architectural features to open up the space and help frame the new figures. Because the portrait of the seated pope already dominated the canvas, Raphael had to play tricks of perspective in order to insert Giulio and Luigi: they seem to be standing next to the pope's chair. But are the chair and the table on a raised dais, or is Giulio kneeling or even sitting on another chair not in view? (97) How short was Luigi? And is he looking out in greeting to his close friend Lorenzo the Younger?

Perhaps the revised painting was intended to be a wedding gift to Lorenzo and his bride, a representation of their closest relatives in the Medici family (uncle and cousins), their patrons (pope and archbishop of Florence), and their personal friend (Luigi de' Rossi, Lorenzo's advocate in Rome and recreational friend). Just as the future spouses presented each other with formal portraits prior to their arranged marriage (so that they would know each other's appearance), perhaps now on the occasion of their wedding celebrations, some of the groom's closest relatives gave the couple a formal painting of some of the bride's new in-laws, whom she had never seen. The religious character of the original painting, however, depicting Leo X as a prophetic figure, a new John the Baptist or Angelic Pastor, had already been set. So that the addition of the cardinal cousins would be consistent with such a theme, Raphael created a scene in which they are portrayed as responding to his spiritual role, or joining him in prayer. The transformation of the votive image of a pope into a wedding gift portraying some of the groom's closest relatives would help to account for the private and familiar quality of the painting, the urgency in getting the painting to Florence in time for the wedding, its display at the banquet table, and its remaining in the palace where Lorenzo resided.

That the painting originally had a primarily spiritual message, as suggested by Bernice Davidson, seems very likely, but what is that message? She claims that it is not "the portrait of a contemplative man, whose averted gaze might imply thoughts that are turned inward. The pope is listening and looking, his interest is drawn toward something beyond the confines of the picture space." (98) But what provoked this searching look seems to be in the picture itself, namely, the opening words of St. John's Gospel. This extraordinary passage tells of the divine plan of salvation: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.... The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world" (John 1:6-7, 9) (fig. 10). Later on in that gospel, John the Baptist is described by Jesus as "a witness to the truth.... a burning and shining lamp" (John 5:33-35). One of the striking elements in Raphael's portrait of Leo X is the brightness of the light that falls on the pope's face and hand. The same light is much less radiant on the features of his accompanying cardinal cousins. The pope's gaze to the left suggests that he is looking for someone, just as the Baptist looked for the Messiah (Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:7-9; Luke 3:15-17). Zechariah, the Baptist's father, assigned to his son the mission "to guide our feet in the ways of peace" (Luke 1:79), a task Leo saw as central to his papacy. The bell sitting on his table, like the bell rung at most Masses prior to the consecration, announces Christ's coming. Leo X, in the original version of Raphael's portrait, is the new John the Baptist, who gives testimony to the Light, promotes peace among Christians, and looks for the second coming of Christ.

One way of combining these elements into a coherent theory would be to appropriate the dynastic interpretations of this painting and incorporate them into a larger vision that uses religious categories. Just as Raphael had painted the portraits of Giuliano and Lorenzo, the hoped-for founders of a secular Medici dynasty, he was now commissioned by Leo X to paint the key members of an ecclesiastical Medici dynasty. The pope, whose baptismal name was Giovanni, reads from the prologue of St. John's Gospel where John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, is described as the precursor, the witness to the Light. (99) Behind Leo are his hoped-for successors as pope, his cousins Giulio and Luigi. (100) The questionable status of Giulio's birth and that of Luigi's mother are of no concern in the eyes of God, for, as St. John's prologue states, by their belief in the Light they have "become children of God, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13). Several months earlier, on 1 July 1517, the pope had packed the Sacred College with Medici partisans who could help secure such a succession. Another person named after St. John the Baptist, Innocent VIII (1484-92, Giovanni Battista Cybo), had served as the precursor of the Medici ecclesiastical dynasty, initiating it on the highest level by raising to the cardinalate the brother (Giovanni de' Medici) of his daughter-in-law, Maddalena de' Medici Cybo (1473-1519). Leo X's great-uncle, Carlo (1428?-92), the natural son of Cosimo il Vecchio, had achieved only the ranks of protonotary, canon of the cathedral of Florence, and provost of Prato, but not that of bishop or cardinal. (101) The three clerics in Raphael's painting are lost in wonderment at the divine favor and their own roles in God's plan, and at what the future may hold in store for the Medici family, whose symbol, the palla on the papal chair, is marked by the sign of the cross, created by the heavenly light that is filtered through the curtain with its cross design or through the mullioned window and reflected on the gold ball, imprinting on it a cross as a symbol of blessing.

Di Teodoro's interpretation, that the painting was commissioned as a response to Luther's protest over the indulgence preached in Germany for donations to finance the reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, does not seem likely for reasons of excessive subtlety and improbable chronology. (102) The pope's gesture of turning the folio (as if referring to the final section of St. Luke's Gospel, where the Apostles, who are commissioned to preach penance, prayed continually in the Temple [Luke 24:47-53]) is so understated (and the inferences to be drawn from it are so subtle) as to make it difficult to see in this finger movement the key to interpreting the whole painting. Other iconographical elements, such as Leo's gaze to the left, the presence of two cardinal cousins, the bell, and the cross reflection on the palla, are not integrated into this interpretation. Besides, at the time of the picture's painting in the winter of 1517-18, the case of Luther's protest did not command much of the pope's attention. Leo X initially tried to deal with it on 3 February 1518 by asking the vicar general of the Augustinian Hermits to silence his subject. A canonical process against Luther was not initiated until late May, and it was not until July that Luther was summoned to appear within sixty days in Rome. This chronology is inconsistent with Di Teodoro's theory, since the basic iconographic scheme of the painting was set before Rome became aware of the potential seriousness of Luther's case. (103)

More persuasive is the theory of Josephine Jungic. She begins by interpreting Sebastiano del Piombo's 1516 painting Cardinal Bandinello Sauli, His Secretary, and Two Geographers (fig. 2) according to Amadeite categories. The central figure, Sauli, seated in a pose reminiscent of Julius II as depicted by Raphael, is similarly robed in a white rochet. But instead of the mappa (handkerchief) indicative of imperial authority that was held by Julius, Sauli has in his right hand a pair of gloves, symbolic of his "purity and righteousness," because priests wore gloves when consecrating the Eucharist. The bell, rung during most Masses at the consecration, indicates the coming of Christ. The Turkish tablecovering on which Sauli has placed his left hand suggests that the Turks will be subjugated and converted to Christianity under his reign as Angelic Pastor. The open book of maps refers to the entire world that will receive the message of Christ and be united in one fold under one shepherd, the fulfillment of Joachimite prophecies. (104) The two figures to the left of Sauli are identified as the humanist Giovanni Maria Cattaneo of Novara (d. ca. 1531), whose poem Genua (1514) urged the election of Sauli as pope and called on him to defeat the Turks and to bring about the Golden Age; and Paolo Giovio of Como (1483-1552), the humanist historian and later bishop of Nocera dei Pagani (1528-51), whose raised index finger indicates he is debating with Cattaneo about whether Sauli's election, also predicted by astrologers, will occur and be part of a divine plan. (105) The attendant to Sauli's right is identified as his younger brother, the apostolic protonotary and friend of leading humanists and reform figures, Stefano, who was personally much devoted to church reform and probably commissioned the painting to testify to his belief that his older brother was the Angelic Pastor. (106) Jungic speculates that the fly prominently sitting on Sauli's rochet, considered a symbol of death and decay, was added later to the painting to indicate that Sauli had died without having fulfilled the prophecies. (107)

Jungic notes parallels in form and content between Sebastiano's portrait of Sauli and Raphael's painting of Leo. She finds particularly telling the presence of a bell and book in both paintings. She notes that the Bible is open to the Gospel of St. John, who in the Joachimite scheme represents the third age, the stage of the Holy Spirit and of the contemplative life. The bell symbolizes the coming of Christ, who will usher in the new age. Leo gazes off to the left as if looking for the arrival of the new age and of his own appointment as the Angelic Pastor who will lead the Church into the final epoch. He thus replaces his rival Sauli as the fulfillment of popular expectations and asserts his own leadership. (108)

Jungic's theory is persuasive. The reign of Leo X was indeed a time of intense and widespread apocalyptic anticipation. (109) Leo X for a time seems to have harbored the notion that he might be the Angelic Pastor. In Florence Girolamo Benivieni, a disciple of Savonarola, and Francesco da Meleto, a layman who published prophetic works, assigned to Leo X, the conquering lion of Judah, a role in the end times. Guglielmo de' Nobili, who wrote a poem in praise of Leo X, saw him as "the good pastor" who will defeat the Turks and unite the world under one God. A Carmelite preaching in Florence in 1514 explicitly identified Leo X as the Angelic Pastor. As Donald Weinstein has observed about Leo X, "He could hardly have failed to see the advantages to be gained for his position both in Rome and Florence, by appropriating the enthusiasm of the millenarians to his cause." (110)

Leo took a number of steps that could be seen as attempting to fulfill the role assigned to the Angelic Pastor. His reform decrees issued at the Lateran Council could be interpreted as his renewal of Jerusalem, the Roman Church. (111) His confirmation in office of the patriarchs of the Ethiopian (1514) and Maronite (1515) churches was evidence of his wish to unite the Eastern and Western churches. (112) In 1513 he sent apostolic legates to the kings and princes of Christendom, and Cardinal Tamas Bakocz to the Hussites to urge peace. In 1517 he imposed a crusade tithe, and in 1518 sent cardinal legates to the rulers of Christendom to solicit their cooperation in a crusade against the Turks. (113) He entertained the idea of lionizing Francis I of France as the great king, or new Charlemagne, who would collaborate with the pope in carrying out God's will. (114)

Left unaccomplished or only partially achieved by Leo X at the time of the painting were three sets of appointments to be made by the Angelic Pastor: of two Eastern churchmen as cardinals, of two great patriarchs of the West, and of seven most worthy prelates as papal assistants. The Greek prelates Alexios Celadenus and Marcos Musurus and the Bosnian prelate Juraj Dragisiae were all disappointed in failing to be created cardinals by Leo X. (115) The Renaissance popes resisted creating more than honorific patriarchs, preferring instead to appoint legates a latere ("from the side" of the pope; that is, with full papal power), whose commission would expire. Only in 1524 was the new patriarchate of the Indies (that is, the West Indies) created. (116) Of the twenty prelates Leo appointed as papal assistants by 1517, many were distinguished and twelve (among whom were Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi) were promoted to the cardinalate. (117)

Jungic could have strengthened her argument by noting that the gesture of Leo X's finger in the painting was a reference to the last and missing section of St. Luke's Gospel, which would be revealed in the fullness of time and was recently supplied in Amadeo's Apocalysis Nova. She fails, however, to integrate into her interpretation the presence of the two cardinal cousins and the dark room, both elements added in the revision of the painting, and the reflection of the cross-marked light on the palla, an unrevised detail. Leo X's flirtation with the idea of himself as the Angelic Pastor seems to have been brief, for such ideas were seen as potentially disruptive of established authority. (118) Did the painting begin under the influence of prophecy and have to be altered once Leo X recognized the dangers of its prophetic message?

The addition to the painting's composition of Leo X's two cardinal cousins, men who were his most intimate advisers and who had lived with him since childhood, sharing his fate, raises the question: what is the nature of the scene being depicted? Some scholars suggest a papal audience. The papal ceremonial laid down no prescriptions concerning how such an audience was to be conducted. (119) Contemporary paintings show a variety of formats. When Giovanni Tortelli presented his De orthographia to Nicholas V, the pope, in the miniature, is shown wearing a tiara and is seated on a throne with red cloth of honor and canopy. No other figures are depicted. (120) In the representation of George of Trebizond (1396-ca. 1473) presenting his In evangelium s. Matthei commentarius to Nicholas V (1447-55), the pope is wearing a tiara, seated on a throne covered with a red cloth but without the cloth of honor or canopy, and cardinals and courtiers are standing behind and to the pope's left. (121) In the miniature of Cristoforo Persona presenting his translation from the Greek of Theophylact's In Athanasii super epistolas Pauli interpretationem to Sixtus IV (1471-84), the pope, wearing a white rochet, red mozzetta, and red camauro, is seated at a small table with a green cloth covering and holds a book in his hands. Behind and above him are a green cloth of honor and canopy, and various persons watching from the side. (122) In Melozzo da Forli's (1438-94) fresco of Sixtus IV naming Bartolomeo Sacchi--also known as Platina (1421-81)--as custodian of the Vatican Library (ca. 1477), the pope is similarly garbed, seated on a throne with no table and no cloth of honor or canopy, while court figures stand to his right. In the miniature of Alexios Celadenus (1450-1517) presenting a Greek lectionary to Julius II--probably painted between 1510 and 1512--the bearded pope wears a tiara and is flanked by two cardinals with large cardinal hats. (123) In Raphael's fresco of Gregory IX (ca. 1148-1241) receiving, in 1234, the Decretals of Raymond da Penaforte (ca. 1175-1275) in the Stanza della Segnatura (1508-11), the pope (with the features of Julius II) is seated on a raised throne but without cloth of honor or canopy, wears a tiara and pluviale (ornate cope), and is flanked by two cardinal assistants (with the faces of Giovanni de' Medici and Alessandro Farnese) and numerous attendants. (124) While Sixtus IV was depicted in the Persona miniature holding a book (perhaps a reference to his being the author of theological works and patron of the Vatican Library), the presence in Raphael's portrait of the opened Bible on Leo X's table and the absence of the tiara, pluviale, cloth of honor, and canopy suggests that the scene is not a public audience. (125) The opened Bible seems inappropriate even for a private audience, and suggests instead a religious scene.

At public liturgical ceremonies, the pope wore an alb, stole, pluviale, and either a mitre or red biretta. He was assisted by the two senior cardinal deacons, although cardinal priests or cardinal bishops could substitute. (126) Such papal garments are not worn in Raphael's painting. The scene seems to represent some private occasion. The presence of the Bible and assisting cardinals is suggestive of a private recitation of the divine office. The bell on the pope's desk can be seen as symbolizing a call to prayer. The Bible from the original composition of Raphael's painting remained; he did not transform it into a breviary. He may not have deemed it as necessary in order to suggest a private recitation of the divine office. The breviary did not contain the Gospel readings but only their incipits, or first words. (127) One had to use another book or lectionary (liber lectionum [book of readings] or liber evangeliorum [book of Gospels]) for an evangelica lectio (Gospel reading) that had the full text. (128) A large quarto Roman breviary was commonly printed at the time and it or a lectionary could be mistaken for a Bible by the casual viewer. (129) In the painting Leo X could thus seem about to begin a private recitation of the divine office, with his cardinal cousins joining in the prayer. The moment represented would be just after the bell has rung to announce the beginning of the prayer. Leo X and Cardinal Giulio would be engaged in the customary, preliminary prayer before the start of the divine office, while Luigi looks out to invite the observer to join in.

It would not be out of character for Leo X to want to represent himself as a man of piety, a dutiful priest; nor would it have been an act of pretense. Contrary to the common view of Leo X as a worldly man totally dedicated to pleasure and politics, Leo X was a genuinely pious man who took his priestly office seriously and wished to present himself as a religious, even reforming, figure. At the beginning of his pontificate he participated diligently in the liturgy, personally washing the feet in the Holy Week services and telling his master of ceremonies that he did not want to wear the silk and velvet vestments of his predecessors, "asserting that he wished above all to reform himself within and without so that he could also the better reform others." (130) The Florentine ambassador reported in 1515 that the pope had spent the whole of Holy Week "in confession and Masses and offices." (131) The Venetian ambassadors also commented on his piety. Pastor summarized their reports by concluding that the pope was "rigidly exact in reciting his daily office." (132) Paolo Giovio claimed that Leo X "celebrated always and performed all the offices of the ceremonies with singular majesty, in such a way that one could truly say that there was never one of the previous popes who more honorably or with greater respect offered the sacrifice [of the Mass] than did Pope Leo." (133) The Great Reform Bull, Supernae dispositionis arbitrio, that he had issued at the ninth session of the Fifth Lateran Council on 5 May 1514, urged cardinals to be "vigilant and constant at the divine office and the celebration of Masses" and mandated that anyone who held a benefice was obliged to pray the divine office or else suffer the loss of the revenues from the benefice. Should he persist in neglecting the divine office he was to be deprived of the benefice "since it was for the sake of the office that the benefice was given ... and he will be obliged to offer to God an explanation for the said omission." (134) Lest humanistically educated clerics offer its poor Latin style as an excuse for not reading the divine office, Leo X asked Zaccarla Ferreri (1479-1524), a noted poet, theologian, canonist, and one of his domestic prelates, to revise the breviary (so as to remove any false meters and barbaric Latinity) and to rewrite it in good classical fashion. Zaccaria began work on the hymns and had almost completed his revisions by the time of Leo's death. He claimed in his dedicatory letter that "Pontiff Leo carefully read and approved each of the hymns as they were daily being produced by me." (135) Perhaps because Leo X did not always follow through with his reform proposals and acted, on occasion, as a typical Renaissance pope, preoccupied with political and financial questions, the religious dimensions of his character are often overlooked by scholars.

To a significant degree, the scene portrayed in Raphael's revised painting conforms to contemporary rules regulating how the divine office was to be prayed. (136) According to Roman practice, a secular cleric was obliged to say or at least hear the office in a church, preferably the one in which he was beneficed, unless legitimately impeded, in which case he could say it anywhere appropriate, such as in a room where he would not be disturbed in his devotions. (137) He was to face the East; in Rome, where the entrance door of a church was on the eastern side of the church, this meant facing the rear of the church. The scene in Raphael's painting is either a church or a large room where the three clerics will not be disturbed in their devotions. Because there is no way of determining the direction of the window or time of day, it is impossible to ascertain the direction the pope is facing.

That only Leo X has the scriptural text before him and his cousins are without their texts could indicate that he is the one to read aloud the office while they listen. Canonists had differing views on the need to say the office aloud. Guido Baysio (d. 1313, known as "Archdiaconus" from his post as archdeacon of Bologna) held that the lips must move while reading the office; Alberto Trotti argued in 1480 that a mental reading sufficed, since the heart was raised only to God while praying. Saint Antonino Pierozzi, O.P. (1389-1459), held that when a group of clerics join in saying the office, it suffices that only one person speak and the others should listen attentively. (138) To prevent excessive speed in recitation of the office, the Council of Basel ordered in 1435 that the office be celebrated reverently, "not hurriedly, but gravely and slowly with reasonable pauses"; and the Council of Breslau decreed in 1446 that each priest have at least one other cleric with him while he prayed the office. (139) Before beginning the divine office, the clerics were to pause to say silently the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Creed. The Council of Basel also admonished clerics to begin the divine office with the sound of a bell and "to dispose and prepare themselves, as the scripture [Ecclesiasticus 18:23] says, 'Before prayer prepare your soul, and do not be like someone who tempts God.'" (140) This may be the scene Raphael wished to represent in his revised portrait.

Why Raphael chose to represent the room in darkness may be suggested by the Bible prominently featured on the table, which is the terminus of the major visual lines constructed of the light-bathed sleeves and hands of Leo and Luigi. As noted above, the prologue of St. John's Gospel, whose opening words are clearly visible in the painting, contains the verse (John 1:6) about the mission of John the Baptist, for whom the pope was probably named. The previous and next three verses (5, 7-9) describe John's role as giving testimony to the Light (the incarnate Word) that is coming into the world, a light that shines in the darkness and is not overcome by it. The themes of witness and light are echoed in the canticle of the Baptist's father Zechariah, found in St. Luke's Gospel (1:76-79) and known as the Benedictus, that is traditionally recited during lauds, the morning prayer of the divine office. In this canticle John is described as "prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Raphael chose to place Leo and his cousins in a dark room with piers, cornices, and arches reminiscent of the buildings in pagan Rome and Athens and in Jewish Jerusalem--the same architectural features he used in his Stanze frescoes. The light source comes from on high, from an upper window whose cross-marked curtain or guelph mullion is visible in the reflection on the burnished palla, as if the light of Christ is reflected by the Medici pope, who, like his namesake, gives witness to the light. Leo X is the new John the Baptist. Just as the old John closed the Joachimite age of the Father and announced the coming of the age of the Son, so the new John ushers in the age of the Spirit. Leo looks outside the frame of the painting for the arrival of the Spirit, while his cousin Giulio is lost in wonderment and his other cousin Luigi looks out to the viewer as if asking if this can be true.

When the decision was made to alter the original design of the painting so that Leo X was no longer alone but now accompanied by two cardinal cousins, Raphael needed to portray them in a way consistent with the religious scene already represented. He chose to place the cardinals to the left and right of the pope, creating a scene reminiscent of the ceremony at the third nocturn of the Christmas vigil or matins, when the pope, flanked by two cardinals in the dark, candlelit Basilica of St. Peter's in Rome, chanted the prologue of St. John's Gospel, signaling the end of Advent and announcing, as did John the Baptist, the arrival of Christ. (141) Not only do the cardinals appear to be joining the pope in the private recitation of the divine office, they also seem to be reacting to the prospect of Leo X as the new Baptist, a role additionally suggested by the biblical text the pope is reading. But both cardinals were also the pope's cousins. John the Baptist was the precursor of his cousin Jesus the Christ. The revised program suggests that either Giulio or Luigi or both will succeed Leo as the vicar of Christ and Angelic Pastor, a truly remarkable ecclesiastical dynasty. Perhaps Leo X gave up the idea of himself as the Angelic Pastor and had his cousins inserted into the painting as possible candidates.


The first recorded public appearance of the painting was at the celebrations honoring the marriage of Lorenzo de' Medici and Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne held at the Palazzo Medici in Florence in early September of 1518. The painting was placed above the banquet table near to where the bride sat. It made the most prestigious of her new in-laws present in effigy and was reported by the groom's mother to have "brightened everything up." (142) This use of the painting suggests some dynastic theme or a wedding gift.

The painting remained in Florence after the wedding ceremonies. Unlike the previous papal portraits of Eugenius IV and Julius II, which were hung in the sacristies of Roman churches, Leo's was hung in the Palazzo Medici. Perhaps the Medici considered it a too private and familial portrait to be displayed in public. The decision to retain the painting in the family palace was probably a joint decision made by the pope, his nephew Lorenzo de' Medici, and his sister-in-law Alfonsina Orsini de' Medici. She lived in the palace with her son before and after the wedding, while Lorenzo relocated briefly to Poggio a Caiano in the hope that a change of air would improve his health. On 29 April 1519 Lorenzo's wife, Madeleine, died soon after giving birth to their daughter Caterina. Following the death of Lorenzo on 4 May, his mother was given the free administration of the Palazzo Medici and Cardinal Giulio became the de facto manager of Medici political affairs in Florence. The painting remained in Florence. Alfonsina died on 7 February 1520. (143) Why Leo X and Cardinal Giulio did not have the painting returned to Rome is unclear. Perhaps they saw it as part of Lorenzo's estate, to be inherited by his daughter Caterina, or as a significant addition to the Medici family patrimony, to be retained in the family palace. Giulio de' Medici was appointed guardian of his cousin Caterina and supervised the administration of her possessions. In the wedding contract he negotiated for her in 1531, Clement VII excluded from the dowry her possessions in Tuscany. (144)

Raphael's painting was greatly admired by contemporaries. When Federigo II Gonzaga (1500-40), marchese of Mantua since 1519, passed through Florence on his way to see the pope in 1524, he was shown this portrait, which was hanging above a door in the Medici palace. (145) He was so impressed that he later requested it as a gift from the pope through his agent in Rome, the satirical Italian writer Pietro Aretino (1492-1556). According to Giorgio Vasari, Clement VII ordered the surprised Ottaviano de' Medici, who watched over the pope's affairs in Florence, to have a copy of Raphael's painting made and to send the original to the marchese in Mantua. Instead, Ottaviano secretly had Andrea del Sarto make a copy; it was sent in August of 1525 to Mantua. (46) So skillful was Andrea's copy that only later was the deception revealed by Vasari, who as Andrea's pupil in 1524 saw him paint it. (147) Clement VII may have wished to keep the original in Florence but could not deny the request of the marchese, who would be an important ally of the pope in the struggle between Charles V and Francis I for control of Italy. Just as he had commissioned Raphael in 1516 to paint the Transfiguration for his cathedral church in Narbonne, but later kept it in Rome-installing it in 1523 above the major altar of the church of San Pietro in Montorio and sending a copy to France (148)--so now he probably ordered Ottaviano in secret to have a copy of the Leo X made and sent to Mantua while the original was to be retained in the family palace. As a client of the Medici, Vasari could not put the blame for the deception on Clement VII, so he shifted it to his agent Ottaviano.

If Clement VII had a special attachment to the painting, the question remains why he did not have it brought to Rome to be installed in his quarters in the Vatican, especially if it were a familial and private painting and his immediate family had all died. Perhaps he found it a painful reminder of the incredible loss of close family members. Perhaps he disliked how he was represented by Raphael. The possibility also exists that he was out of sympathy with the painting's theme. This would not be likely if the theme were the Medici dynasty that he also worked so hard to preserve, nor if the painting represented Leo's hopes that he or Luigi would someday succeed him. But if the theme were the coming of a new age predicted by Joachim of Flora, Beato Amadeo, and a host of other apocalyptic writers, he may not have been sympathetic to its message. With the advent of Martin Luther and his disciples, the climate had so changed that many men, especially in Protestant lands, were no longer inclined to see the current pope as the predicted Angelic Pastor, but rather as the Antichrist of Lutheran propaganda, who should be deposed from office and whom God would punish. (149)

If one of the themes of the painting was an implied strong devotion to the breviary, something Leo X saw as central to his priestly identity but a viewpoint that Clement did not share, perhaps that theme made Clement reluctant to bring the painting to Rome. As archbishop of Florence (1513-23/24) when implementing the decrees of Lateran V, through his provincial council's legislation he surprisingly omitted the provisions of Supernae dispositionis arbitrio regarding the breviary. (150) As pope he quietly dropped from his bull Meditatio cordis nostri of 21 November 1524--which he claimed implemented the Great Reform Bull of Lateran V--the same provisions that punished those who failed to pray the breviary. (151) As someone humanistically trained, perhaps he disliked the medieval Latin prose style of the old Roman breviary. In a letter of 30 November 1523 he de scribed how he had enjoyed studying from his youth "good disciplines" and had remained deeply devoted to them even after becoming pope. (152) He allowed anyone praying the breviary to use the new hymns composed in classical style by Ferreri. (153) Clement VII supported the effort to reform the breviary so that it would be "brief, convenient, and purged from all errors." (154) In 1529 he commissioned Cardinal Francisco de los Angeles de Quinones, O.F.M., to compose a new breviary, "so to arrange the canonical hours" that "once the prolixities and difficult details were removed, clerics would be enticed also by the greater convenience to pray." (155) Work on this breviary was not finished until 1535 and was thus approved by his successor, Paul III. (156) A painting that implied a special devotion to the breviary and an obligation to recite it daily under threat of penalty, even the loss of one's church, may have been something Clement did not want to be constantly reminded of, especially in the environment that led to the Sack of Rome in 1527.

That Ludovico Buti, in 1585, when painting a series of Medici state portraits, eliminated from his copy of the Raphael painting the figures of cardinals Giulio and Luigi and the Bible (substituting a musical score for the Bible), suggests that contemporaries saw Raphael's painting not as a state portrait but as a representation of prelates engaged in an activity centering on a biblical text, a light from on high, and an approaching unseen figure. Its religious, if not prophetic, content was probably still recognized in the time of Buti, a content that has been forgotten until recently.


* "The author is deeply grateful to Kenneth Gouwens, Sheryl Reiss, Heinfich Pfeiffer, S.J., Frank A.C. Mantello, the late John Shearman, Marcia B. Hall, Barbara Lockhart, and the anonymous reviewers of RQ for their extraordinary patience, careful reading of this paper, and helpful comments, and for generously supplying me with materials I found difficult to locate. A grant from the Faculty Research Fund of the Catholic University of America underwrote the cost of the illustrations. The following abbreviations are used in this article: ASF = Archivio di Stato, Firenze; BAV = Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana; MaP = Fondo Mediceo avanti il Principato.

(1) Allegri, 195; Del Serra, 67-69.

(2) Notable among the recent publications are the letters reporting the presence of the painting at a wedding banquet in Florence in early September 1518 (see below n. 10) and Leo X's special affection for his cousin Luigi de' Rossi (see below n. 34).

(3) Crowe and Cavalcaselle, 2:410-11.

(4) Natali, 66; Guazzoni, 114; Di Teodoro, 71.

(5) Oberhuber, 1971, 130.

(6) Beck, 129, 132, 138; Creighton, 4:162, n. 1: "Qualche gentilezza di cose antiche e belli libri."

(7) Jones and Penny, 166.

(8) Shearman, 1992, 128-30.

(9) Nesselrath, 441-42 ("nicht als offizielles Staatsportrat, sondern offensichtlich als privates Familienbild").

(10) While the letter of Alfonsina Orsina to Giovanni Lapucci da Poppi, dated 8 September 1518, was published by E. Saltini in 1882, and republished by O. Tommasini in 1911 and again by Alessandro Parronchi in 1962, and the letters of Benedetto Buondelmonti in Rome to Goro Gheri in Florence of 1 and 2 September were cited by Gaetano Pieraccini in 1924 to fix the dating of this portrait (see Di Teodoro, 72-73), the two letters of Buondelmonti were only published in 1983 by Richard Sherr, 32-33, where he argues that, because of the need to rush the painting to Florence in time for the celebration of the wedding of Lorenzo de' Medici to Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne, the portrait was just finished and perhaps commissioned for the wedding celebrations.

(11) Reiss, 137.

(12) Oberhuber, 1971, 128, notes Klaus Schwager's thesis that the portrait is based on audience scenes depicted by Filarete and Jean Fouquet; Guazzoni, 120-21; Shearman, 1992, 128.

(13) Davidson, 10-11.

(14) Ibid., 12-13; Guazzoni, 119; Di Teodoro, 64; Nesselrath, 442.

(15) Jungic, 1992b, 353, 363, 365,368-70.

(16) Di Teodoro, 64-67.

(17) Shearman, 1992, 4.

(18) Davidson, 12.

(19) Allegri, 195; Di Teodoro, 10.

(20) Del Serra, 75; Natali, 64; Di Teodoro, 50, 67, 69; on the green cloth of honor behind Julius II in Raphael's painting, a detail apparently borrowed from Jean Fouquet's portraits of Charles VII and of Eugenius IV, see Partridge and Starn, 10-11, 13.

(21) Henry, 19, 21-22, 25, nn. 5 and 7.

(22) Del Serra, 73. Allegri, 189, suggests that the location depicted in the painting of Leo X was a room in the Vatican Library. Nesselrath, 442, proposes an intimate studiolo. Shearman, in a communication to me, notes that there is no space "anything like this" in the papal palace. The space was not the interior of the church of S. Maria in Domnica, held as cardinals by both Giovanni and Giulio de' Medici--see the illustration of the interior (fig. 4) in Matthiae, 35.

(23) These architectural features are visible in the reproduction in Pope-Hennessy, 125, pl. 111, and more clearly in Fischel, vol. 2, pl. 128.

(24) Di Teodoro, 50; Leo replaced the golden acorns on the papal throne of Julius II with the Medici palle; on Julius' acorn ornament in Raphael's portrait of him, see Partridge and Starn, 50, 56-59.

(25) Vasari, 1878-82, 4:352.

(26) The detail of the two windows is clearly discernible in the reproductions in Natali, 55 and 61; on contemporary windows that were screened either by "waxed or oiled paper on wooden frames" or by "woven curtains," see Shearman, 1971, 53, n. 125. On windows with a cross-shaped mullion and transom (known as guelph windows) that were used in the papal palace's stanze by Julius II, see Henry, 19 and 25, n. 7. Because the cross reflected on the palla has a second crossbar near the bottom while the window to its left has no mullion and transom, it is unlikely that a guelph window is depicted here.

(27) Dykmans, 278-79; Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 122v.

(28) Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 135v ("Nam ruber color proprie ad papam pertinet.")

(29) Davidson, 11; Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 135r.

(30) Del Serra, 67-88; Allegri, 195-96; Natali, 64; Di Teodoro, 67-68; Nesselrath, 442; and Obethuber, 1982, 177, 184. Jungic, 1992a, 339, n. 76, theorizes that Raphael's Transfiguration, painted in 1517, had a similar significant change in its iconography that modified its meaning.

(31) Beck, 132, n. 6; Guazzoni, 113; Di Teodoro, 72. Based in part on a claim found in Vasari, 1878-82, 5:42, and 1979, 1032, scholars speculate on what role Raphael's assistant, Giulio Romano (ca. 1492-1546), may have had in the painting of Rossi. Allegri, 195, suggests that the clothing and hands of Rossi were painted by Giulio under the direction of Raphael; Natali, 57, 60, also suggests collaboration; Nesselrath, 442, limits Giulio's role to filling in with insignificant brushstrokes what Raphael had already painted.

(32) Picotti, 73,214, n. 12; Falconi, 6.

(33) Roscoe, 2:91; Guazzoni, 110; Di Teodoro, 12, n. 5.

(34) Hergenroether, 1884-91,586 (hr. 9282, 1 June 1514): "cler. Lugdunen. notar. et fam. suo"; 587 (hr. 9302, 2 June 1514): "suo consauguineo et cubiculario"; the letters of Baldassare Castiglione revealing the special affection Leo X has for his cousin cardinal dei Rossi were published in La Rocca's edition, 462 (nr. 370, letter to Isabella Gonzaga, Rome, 17 August 1519), 466 (nr. 372, letter to Federico Gonzaga, Rome, 19 August 1519), 473 (nr. 376, letter to Federico Gonzaga, Rome, 27 August 1519).

(35) Van Gulik and Eubel, 16, no. 23 (Eubel describes him as "protonot. aplic.," apparently a typographical error), 62 (cardinal priest of San Clemente); Frenz, 278, no. 119a; BAV, Vat. Lat. 12275, fol. 191 v: Paride de Grassi records in his diary that on 26 December 1516 Leo X made "R.P.D. Aloysius Prothonotarius de Rubeis florentinus affinis Papae" a new papal assistant.

(36) Hergenroether, 1884-91,586 (nr. 9282, 1 June 1514--Rossi is given in commendam the Augustinian priory of Argentre in the diocese of Le Mans), 587 (nr. 9302, 2 June 1514--given in commendam the Benedictine monastery of S. Salvator de Rothonio in the diocese of Vannes and will become its abbot if he takes the monastic vows), 587 (nr. 9303, 2 June 1514--Leo X recommends Rossi to Louis XII); 597 (nr. 9458, 2 June 1514--Leo X exhorts Louis XII to help Rossi get possession of S. Salvator); ASF, MaP, filza 107, nr. 10, fol. 10r-v (letter of Baltassare Tuderini to Lorenzo dei Medici, Rome, 18 April 1514: Rossi has spent a half year on these things and he told me that Leo X will ally with the French and Swiss); MaP, filza 107, nr. 31 (letter of Baltassare Tuderini to Lorenzo dei Medici, Rome, 4 June 1514: Luigi dei Rossi yesterday was given a rich monastery in Brittany valued at over 3,000 ducats [apparently S. Salvator de Rothonio] and Tuderini hopes Luigi will get possession of it for he has worked hard with the French--"et lui se aiuta forte con questi franzesi"). Rossi was considered an ardent proponent in 1514 of the marriage of Giuliano de' Medici (d. 1516) with Filiberta de Savoie (1498-1524), the aunt of Francis I--see Caviglia, 295. On Rossi's numerous benefices and pensions in France and elsewhere, on his role as an intermediary between France and the Roman curia, and on his inclusion in the Raphael portrait as representing the Medici-French alliance, see Tewes, 97-102. All of the above translations and paraphrases from the original documents are the author's.

(37) ASF, MaP, filza 71, nr. 71 (letter of Luigi dei Rossi to Lorenzo dei Medici, Rome, 21 October 1513: Luigi had hoped to spend time relaxing with Lorenzo in Viterbo, he will come to him secretly and asks that a room be put in order for him). Lorenzo looked to Luigi to watch out for his interests in Roman circles--see Butters, 236-37. Falconi, 286, describes Lorenzo as "desideroso ... di tutti piaceri possibili" (desirous ... of all possible pleasures). The famous Roman courtesan, Beatrice [De Bonis] Ferrarese, wrote to the wounded Lorenzo on 23 April 1517 in very personal terms stating that she hoped "you will come back to me in Rome" and that she "wanted to make myself worthy ... when I see Your Excellency once again, restored to health," to a state of "manly vigor"--see Masson, 64-66.

(38) Cesareo, 234.

(39) Guazzoni, 110; Di Teodoro, 27. Luigi's tomb, carved by Raffaello da Montelupo, is found under the portico (Corridoio vasariano) of the church of Santa Felicita in Florence.

(40) Guazzoni, 110; Di Teodoro, 27.

(41) Hunter, 214; Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 135r-v.

(42) Pastor, 8:87, n. citing the report of Minio: "Il card. di Medici a gran poder col Papa, e homo do gran maneggio, ha grandissima autorita; tamen sa viver col Papa e non fa nulla se prima non domanda a Papa di cosse da conto--Il card. Bibiena e appresso assa' dil Papa, ma questo Medici fa ii tutto" (The cardinal de' Medici has great power with the Pope, is a man of great management, has the greatest authority; nonetheless he knows how to behave with the Pope and does nothing without first asking the Pope about important things--the cardinal Bibbiena is also close to the Pope, but this Medici does everything); Prosperi, 242; Guazzoni, 110. A role for Giulio Romano in the painting of Giulio de' Medici has been hypothesized by scholars. Allegri, 196, sees the depiction of Giulio dei Medici as closest to the style of Giulio Romano; C. Gamba also suspects Giulio Romano's intervention--see Di Teodoro, 84.

(43) Giulio's clerical status was not clear. He seems, as far as one can estimate, to have been signed with the clerical character (clericale charactere dumtaxat insignitum)--Hergenroether, 1884-91, 1:148 (nr. 2516, 9 May 1513). While he publicly wore the habit of a Knight of St. John of Rhodes, his profession in that order may have been only tacite--ibid., (nr. 2522, 9 May 1513). Although Giulio had been ordained a deacon on 17 December 1513 by Leo X in the capella secreta (ibid., 1:367), this ordination would not have prevented his subsequent laicization. Cesare Borgia was eventually dispensed from his deaconate and laicized by his father Alexander VI, and later married--de Roo, 1:273 (Cesare's ordination to the deaconate on 26 March 1496), 283-84 (Cesare's speech in the Sacred Consistory of 17 August 1498 requesting laicization, but the actual date is unknown). On 12 May 1499 Cesare's marriage to Charlotte d'Albret was solemnized and consummated--Yriarte, 84. Roberto Latino Orsini, archbishop-elect of Reggio-Calabria, resigned his archbishopric to marry in 1520--van Gulik and Eubel, 284. Jacques Spifame (1500-65), a deacon and recipient of many benefices, received a papal dispensation allowing him to marry, according to the deliberations of the Faculty of Theology of Paris in 1528, which concluded that the dispensation was "not decent, licit, or expedient" ("illud non esse decens, licitum aut expediens")--see Farge, 197. In 1505 and 1524 the Faculty condemned as very harmful to the Church the proposition that a pope could dispense a priest, bishop, or archbishop from celibacy--ibid., 34, n. 67. Giulio's priestly ordination and episcopal consecration are recorded by de Grassi, 58-59, 65, and Prosperi, 239. On his cardinalatial churches, see van Gulik and Eubel, 62, 64, 74. Raphael's painting of Giulio in ecclesiastical robes was done soon after his priestly ordination and episcopal consecration.

(44) See the prefatory letters of Giulio and Leo in Mansi, vol. 35: cols. 215-18; the Constitutiones seu ordinationes Florentinae synodi anno ab incarnatione Domini MDXVII are reprinted on col s. 217-318. On this provincial council, see Trexler.

(45) Van Gulik and Eubel, 190, 253, 327; he had earlier held Alby (1513-15), ibid., 101.

(46) Vasari, 1878-82, 4:352 and 1979, 899, ("un campanello d' argento lavorato, che non si puo dire quanto e belo.") Contrary to Vasari's identification of the item on the table as a bell, Emmanuel P. Rodocanachi reports the opinion of some unnamed persons who suggest that it is a dice-box--see Rodocanachi, 101 and n. 4; for the small bell of Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg that is sitting on his table, decorated with his coat of arms, said to resemble a powder-flask for gunpowder, and depicted in his portrait that is preserved in the Corsini Gallery of Rome, see ibid., pl. 2 facing page 10.

(47) The family device of a diamond ring symbolized eternity, while the feathers could indicate justice or the theological virtues; the ring and feathers together implyied "eternal faithfulness and strength"; Ames-Lewis, 129. In Giorgio Vasari's fresco of Giovanni as a new cardinal meeting his father Lorenzo, painted in the Sala di Lorenzo ii Magnifico of the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence, a soldier holds a banner on which is depicted the device of Lorenzo consisting of a red, a white, and a black ostrich feather, encircled at their base by a diamond ring--see Vaughan, 18, and the facing plate.

(48) Di Teodoro, 51-56; for clear reproductions of the bell, see Natali, 54, and Guazzoni, 116.

(49) Rodocanachi, 10, pl. 2 (Albrecht von Brandenburg); Lange, 62, and Haidacher, 304 (Bernhard von Cles by Bartholomaeus Bruyn der Alter, ca. 1531); Haidacher, 232 (Ippolito I d'Este by an unknown artist, ca. 1500), Jungic, 1992b, 346; a bell also sits on the table of St. Augustine in the highly symbolic painting of Vittore Carpaccio, The Vision of St. Augustine in His Study (ca. 1502), in the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni in Venice. Most contemporary cardinals did not have themselves depicted with a bell; instead they seem more often to have been represented alone or with some other item--as in Rodocanachi, 10, pl. 2 (Albrecht von Brandenburg with a bell, Ascanio Sforza alone, Bernardo Dovoizi alone, unidentified cardinal holding paper); Haidacher, 231 (Georges d'Amboise alone), 232 (Raymund Peraudi holding a scroll and Ippolio I d'Este with a bell on table but also holding a piece of paper), 233 (Alessandro Farnese holding paper), 246 (Bernardino Carvajal kneeling), 247 (Matthaeus Schiner holding a book and sword), 250 (Matthaeus Lang alone and Antonio del Monte holding paper), 252 (Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros and Sigismondo Gonzaga alone), 260 (Bernardo Dovizi holding paper), 265 (Raffaele Riario and Alfonsdo Petrucci alone), 266 (Bandinello Sauli alone), 268 (Ferdinando Ponzetti and Francesco Armellini alone), 269 (Tommaso de Vio alone and Lorenzo Campeggio with book), 272 (Albrecht von Brandenburg alone), 275 (Girolamo Meandro holding a book), 288 (Willem van Enkevoirt resting hand on a piece of furniture?), 297 (Pompeo Colonna holding a piece of paper and with his hand on a dog), 299 (Mercurino Arborio di Gattinara alone), 305 (Thomas Wolsey holding paper and a staff), 304 (Bernhard von Cles with a bell on the table), 305 (Francois Tournon alone).

(50) Lange, 27, 36-37, 74-78.

(51) Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 46v; in a letter of 4 March 1569 to his father, Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici wrote of his need for a large retinue "so that at the touch of a bell my servants can be ready at once to do me honour."--cited by Guarini, 62.

(52) Durandus, chap. 4: "De campanis" (On Bells), fols. 19v-21r.

(53) Pio, fol. 133r-vZ.

(54) Durandus, 20v; the significance of the word nola seems to have changed over time. It initially identified a large churchbell, and was believed to have originated in the southern Italian city of Nola or to have been invented by St. Paulinus of Nola--see Thurston, 419.

(55) Pio, fol. 133rZ; Trotti, question 5, fol. 7r-v; Rupert yon Deutz, bk. 1, chap. 16: "De Campanis" (On Bells), 5; Leclercq, col. 1968; Thurston, 421-22.

(56) Jungic, 1992b, 352, echoing the description of Ferguson, 162. It should be noted, however, that bells were not used in Rome at Masses said by the pope or cardinals; reverence for the elevated Host was done through incensing--see Thurston, 422, and Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 137v.

(57) Among the principal studies are Boffito, 559; Albertotti, 539-40; Ilardi, 341-60; Hamburgh, 697-99.

(58) Wescher, 1931, 61, cited by Di Teodoro, 61, n. 17; Boese, 45-46, nr. 85 (K.-K.) 78 E 3; Zimelien, 68-69, entry 48; Davidson, 12-13; Kemper, 443; for the dispute between E Bologna (1969) favoring Orimina, and M.G. Ciardi Dupre Dal Poggetto (1997) claiming Matteo as the miniaturist, see Di Teodoro, 61.

(59) Di Teodoro, 61-64.

(60) For a clear reproduction of this object see Natali, 54.

(61) I am grateful to Professor Shearman for the suggestion of the transparent stone.

(62) Morisi, 10, 12-25, 72-80; Morisi-Guerra, 42; Jungic, 1992b, 351-68.

(63) Di Teodoro, 65-66; Kemper, 443.

(64) For scholars who see the scriptural text as a reference to Leo X's baptismal name of Giovanni, see above, n. 14. On his baptismal names, see Picotti, 647, and Falconi, 9; on his mother's cousin, Battista Orisini, named a cardinal in 1483, see Eubel, 19, nr. 33.

(65) On Ficino's relationship with Giovanni de' Medici, see Marcel, 210, 481, n. 5, 491, 519, n. 1,576; for the text of Ficino's statement, see Ficino, vol. 2, bk. 2,897: "Est homo Florentine missus a Deo, cui nomen est Ioannes, heroica Medicum stirpe natus, hic venit in testimonium, ut de summa Patris sui magnanimi Laurentij, apud omnes, authoritate testimonium perhiberet." In the prooemiun to his translation of Proculus and Porphyrius, Ficino referred to Giovanni as "Ioanni Farro Medicae domus Flori"--ibid., 898. The word Farms seems to be a form of the Latin pharus or Italian faro, meaning a beacon or light. In the Gospel of St. John (5:35), Jesus is reported to have described John as "a burning and shining lamp." For the diary entries of de Grassi, see BAV, Vat. Lat. 12275, fols. 53r and 95v.

(66) Reeves, 1969, 131-32; ibid., 1976, 3, 7-8, 12, 72, 170.

(67) Ibid., 1969, 395-97.

(68) Erasmus, 1924, 5:169, Ep. 1333:253-55, and 1989, 9:239, Ep. 1333:270-72.

(69) Ibid., 1972, 419: lines 86-87, and 1997, 537: lines 2-7.

(70) Jungmann, 2:447.

(71) Ibid., 2:448; Scribner, 64-65.

(72) Jungmann, 2:448-51.

(73) Breviarium Romanum, fols. 16v-17r or sigs. [b8v]-cjr; Parsch, 257; Patrizi Piccolomini, fols. 77v-78r.

(74) Cappelli, 15.

(75) Beck, 130-31.

(76) Vasari, 1878-82, 5:41 ("sopra una porta in casa Medici"), and 1979, 1031 ("over a door in the house of the Medici"). I am grateful to Professor Shearman for this explanation of the significance of the paintings presence in the Palazzo Medici.

(77) Jean Fouquet's painting of Eugenius IV was kept in the sacristy of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (Schwager, 207), and Raphael's portrait of Julius II was probably kept in the sacristy of Santa Maria del Popolo (Partridge and Starn, 96).

(78) Beck, 128-29, summarizing the defining characteristics as given by M. Jenkins and K. Oberhuber (1971).

(79) Langedijk, 2:1403, nr. 9 (154 x 119 cm.); Beck, 138 (154 x 119 cm.); Allegri, 189 (155.2 x 118.9 cm.).

(80) Nesselrath, 442.

(81) Crowe and Cavalcaselle, 2:411-12; Vaughan, 242-43; Guazzoni, 114-15, 120.

(82) Beck, 132, n. 7; Jones and Penny, 163; Di Teodoro, 16. Lorenzo did not leave for France until 22 March, arriving in Paris on 15 April to represent Leo at the baptism of Francis I's son, and finally marrying his French princess at a ceremony in Amboise on 2 May 1518--Di Teodoro, 73.

(83) Hergenroether, 1884-91, 1:281, (nr. 4598, 20 September 1513); Pastor, 7:81.

(84) Beck, 129; Langedijk, 2:1401-02, nr. 6; Natali, 64, fig. 43.

(85) Crowe and Cavalcaselle, 2:410-11; Natali, 66; Guazzoni, 114; Di Teodoro, 71.

(86) Allegri, 193; Guazzoni, 112. Nesselrath, 442, sees the painting as a "diplomatic icon"; Sanuto, 24:86-87 (report of Marin Zorzi of March 1517 on maintaining the agreements at Bologna during peacetime).

(87) See above, n. 36, for Rossi's French connections; Prosperi, 241-42. Giulio wanted to be seen as supporting Francis I without, however, being able to help him; and he saw an alliance with the French as a counterbalance to the election of Charles Hapsburg (already ruler of Naples) as King of the Romans.

(88) It should be noted that the formal wedding ceremony took place four months earlier. The Florentine festivities were merely symbolic in the home of the groom--Nesselrath, 442. There could be no "second marriage." Francesco Vettori's claim that Lorenzo "fece di nuovo nozze e feste" (made again the nuptials and festivities; cited in Di Teodoro, 73) should perhaps be interpreted as Lorenzo having led his wife into his own home, the domum-ductio, or solemn taking of the bride to the home of the groom, an ancient rite seen as finalizing the marriage. In Renaissance Florence escorting the bride to the home of the groom and bedding her there was considered more important than a verbal commitment. See Black, 178; and Schillebeeckx, 258, 287-88.

(89) Sherr, 31.

(90) Guazzoni, 114.

(91) Di Teodoro, 73-74.

(92) The statement in Tuderini's letter of 4 June 1514 (MAP, filza 107, nr. 31) can be interpreted either way--see above, n. 36.

(93) I am grateful to Professor Shearman for this observation.

(94) Van Gulik and Eubel, 74.

(95) Schwager, 207-08.

(96) Partridge and Starn, 95-98.

(97) Freedberg, 1:342; Allegri, 195-96; Guazzoni, 110; Natali, 64; Di Teodoro, 67; Nesselrath, 442. Giulio was known to be tall in stature--Pastor, 11:247. Guazzoni, 110-11, notes a possible borrowing from Sebastiano del Piombo's painting of Cardinal Bandinello Sauli (1516) in that this composition also includes advisers behind the cardinal, who is seated at a table on which is a bell and book.

(98) Davidson, 12.

(99) Falconi, 9.

(100) The history of the Renaissance papacy is full of instances of popes scheming to have their relatives succeed them, which, in fact, many eventually did: Eugenius IV (1431-47) succeeded his uncle Gregory XII (1406-15) and Eugenius' nephew Paul II (1464-71) followed him. Alexander VI (1492-1503) followed his uncle Callistus III (1455-58) and tried to turn the Papal States into a Borgia hereditary state. Plus III (1503) was the nephew of Plus II (1458-64), and Julius II (1503-13) the nephew of Sixtus IV (1471-84)--see Kelly, 234-56. While Giulio was widely seen as a potential successor to Leo X (Pastor, 9:17, 231-44), Luigi died too soon to develop any following.

(101) Pipicotti, 2.

(102) Di Teodoro, 64-67.

(103) Pastor, 7:361-66; Wicks, 523-29.

(104) Jungic, 1992b, 350-53.

(105) Ibid., 347, 354-55.

(106) Ibid., 360-61.

(107) Ibid., 368. The fly on the white robes may also suggest that Sauli was not as holy as portrayed, that beneath the spotless exterior was corruption.

(108) Ibid., 368-70.

(109) See, for example, Niccoli, 1990, 54-88; ibid., 1992, 207-13, 219-22; Minnich, 1992, 63-87.

(110) Weinstein, 350-53; Polizzotto, 248; Jungic, 1992b, 370.

(111) Tanner, 1:608-09, 614-25.

(112) The Ethiopian Abuna Marquos was confirmed probably in May of 1514--see the brief of Leo X to King Manuel of Portugal in Silva, 248-50. The Maronite Patriarch Siman ibn Dawud ibn Hassan al-Hadati was confirmed on 18 July 1515--see Hergenroether, 1887, 832-39--and paid his obeisance through orators at the Lateran Council in 1516--Mansi, vol. 32: cols. 942-44.

(113) For the list of tasks to be accomplished by the Angelic Pastor, see Morisi Guerra, 36. Tanner, 1:606-08, 650-55. On Leo X's crusade efforts and sending in 1518 of legates (Cardinals Egidio Antonini to Spain, Bernardo Dovizi to France, Lorenzo Campeggio to England, Tommaso de Vio to the Empire, and Friar Nicholas von Schonberg to Poland and Hungary), see Pastor, 7:213-54.

(114) In Raphael's fresco The Coronation of Charlemagne in the Stanza dell' Incendio, the features of Charlemagne are those of Francis I--see Redig de Campos, 76.

(115) Minnich, 1988a, 56.

(ll6) Van Gulik and Eubel, 213 (Antonio de Rojas appointed in 1524 as patriarch of the Indies), 5, nr. 19, nn. 4-5 (Raymund Peraudi appointed in 1500, and lasting until 1505, as legate to Germany), 6, nr. 25, n. 6 (Georges d'Amboise appointed in 1502 and reconfirmed in 1503 for life as legatus a latere in France), 7, nr. 34, n. 1 (Tamas Bakbcz appointed in 1513 and reconfirmed in 1518 on an annual basis thereafter as legatus a latere to Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland), 14, nr. 5, n. 5 (Thomas Wolsey appointed in l 518 as legate in England), 204, Gneznen., n. 3 (Jan Laski appointed in 1513 as legatus natus in Poland). In 1510 Emperor Maximilian I seriously considered the establishment of a legatus perpetuus, or patriarch for the Empire, but Jakob Wimpheling warned him of the difficulties involved--see Hergenroether, 1887, 448-50.

(117) Minnich, 1988b, 217, n. 11.

(118) Weinstein, 353.

(119) Guazzoni, 120.

(120) Grafton, 22, pl. 18.

(121) Ibid., 68, pl. 60.

(122) Guazzoni, 120-21; Grafton, iv, 67, pl. 59.

(123) Minnich, 1988a, fig. 2, between pages 54 and 55.

(124) Di Teodoro, 31, fig. 11.

(125) At public ceremonies receiving rulers or ambassadors, the pope wore a pluviale and mitre--see Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 58v.

(126) Ibid., fol. 53r, 128r-v, 135r.

(127) For contemporary examples of the incipits, see Breviarium Romanum, fols. 16v-17r: "(Secundum Johannem.) In principio erat vethum et verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat verbum. Et reliqua."; and Breviarium Aberdonense, fol. 28r: "Initium Sancti Evangelii secundum Johannem, caput 1. In principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat verbum. Hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Omnia per ipsum facta sunt et sine ipso factum est nichil. Et caetera."

(128) Patrizi Piccolomini, fol. 76v, 78r, 106v.

(129) Of the fifty-nine printed Roman breviaries surveyed by Hanns Bohatta that bear an indeterminate date or a date between 1501 and 1518 and whose format he indicated, thirteen were in 4[degrees], thirty in 8[degrees], eleven in 12[degrees], four in 16[degrees], and one in 24[degrees]--see Bohatta, 1-8. The examples in van Buren, (here figs. 1, 2, 5, 11, and 17) appear to be in the smaller formats, but these seem to be devotional books of hours rather than the Roman breviary. The Hamilton Bible measures 37.5 by 26.5 cm.--see Boese, 45. That the nature of Leo's book is unclear is evident in Crowe and Cavalcaselle, 2:409, where they describe the book as "a breviary too with illuminations more lively than the life," and in Allegri, 189, who claims that it is "un prezioso messale" (a precious missal).

(130) De Grassi, Diarium, BAV, Vat. Lat. 12275, fol. 36r: "asserens velie se imprimis reformare intus et extra ut sic etiam melius possit reliquos reformare."

(131) Francesco Vettori to the Dominis Octoviris Practicae, Rome, 6 April 1515, ASF, Otto di Practica, Carteggi, Responsive, nr. 12, fol. 21r: "in confessione et messe et officii."

(132) Pastor, 8:59, 79, n., cites an entry for 15 August 1517 in the diary of de Grassi: "capella parva superior, in qua papa quotidie parvam missam audit quaeque dicata est S. Laurentio et Stephano" (the small upper chapel in which the pope daily hears a low Mass and which is dedicated to Saints Lawrence and Steven).

(133) Giovio, fol. 148v: "celebro sempre, et fece tutti gli uffici delle ceremonie con singolar maesta: di modo, che col vero si diceva, che non fu mai alcuno de' passati Pontefici, ilquale ne con maggior riputatione sacrificasse, di quello, che faceva Papa Leone." Credence should be given to Giovio's account, not only because it agrees with evidence from independent sources, but because Giovio is known for telling the truth and he made unflattering comments about Leo elsewhere--see Zimmermann, 23, 29.

(134) Tanner, 1:617 *, 623 *. Leo X's personal role in having this measure included in the conciliar bull may be suspected since the memorial of Stefano Taleazzi (ca. 1445-1515), the Venetian elderly papal court prelate and titular archbishop of Patras, which seems to have been the basis for much of the bull did not include any explicit recommendations regarding the recitation of the breviary--see Minnich, 1995-96, 563-70; Saint Antonino Pierozzi held that it was a mortal sin to neglect the divine office out of negligence--see Pierozzi, vol. 3: col. 581B (Pars III, Titulus XIII: De clericis et divinis officiis, caput IV: De horiis canonicis [Pt. 3, title 13: On clerics and the divine office, chap. 4: On the canonical hours]).

(135) Letter of Ferreri to Clement VII, Rome, 26 November 1523, in Ferreri, sig. Biir: "Singulos quidem hymnos, prout a me quotidle prodibant, perlegit Leo Pontifex ac probauit."; the letter of Marinus Becichemus Scodrensis (Patavinae Academie Rhetor) to the Reader dated 29 November 1523 criticized the old hymns as "uti sunt omnes fete mendosi, inepti, barbarie referti, nullaque pedum rarione, nullo syllabarum mensu compositi, ut ad risum eruditos concitent, et ad contemptum ecclesiastici ritus vel litteratos sacerdotes inducant?" (as they are almost all delivered in a false, inept, and barbarous way, and composed with no system of meter and no measure of syllables, so that they cause the learned to laugh or induce priests with literary skills to have contempt of ecclesiastical rites)--sigs. Aivv-Bir; Baumer, 386. On Ferreri, see Ferrajoli, 538, 543-44, and Stove, 810-11.

(136) Pierozzi, vol. 3: cols. 578D, 579B; Durandus, fol. 222r (Liber V, Caput II: Quid sit officium et de eius institutione et partibus [bk. 5, chap. 2: What may be considered the office and on its arrangement and parts]); Trotti, 21v; Salmon, 18.

(137) See Antonio da Carreggio's A Monsignore Reading His Breviary, in Shearman, 1992, 132 , fig. 102, in which painting the reader, outdoors with trees and sky as background, gazes at a small book held in his right hand.

(138) Pierozzi, vol. 3: cols. 581D, 583C-84A; Trotti, 23r.

(139) Tanner 1:489; Salmon, 141, n. 82; Trotti, 22r.

(140) Tanner, 1:489, 491; Castellano, 354v, 376v (Albertus Castellanus Venetus, Ordinis Praedicatorum auctor).

(141) Breviarium Romanum, fols. 16v-17r; Patrizi Piccolomini, fols. 77v-78r; Batiffol, 125.

(142) Reiss, 137: "veramente rallegrava ogni cosa."

(143) Ibid., 138.

(144) Heritier, 16-17, 30-31. Rohlmann holds that the portrait of Leo X was originally commissioned as part of a dynastic series to be installed in the Medici palace in Florence above a doorway, just as the individual busts of his father and uncle had been similarly placed there. But Beck, 132, notes that the portraits of the Medici were placed in quite different locations within the palace, and this placement does not suggest a dynastic series.

(145) Vasari, 1878-82, 5:41, and 1979, 1031.

(146) Allegri, 190. Allegri speculates that Ottaviano decided to send the copy because he was thus interpreting Clement's true wishes--ibid., 193.

(147) Vasari, 1878-82, 5:42, and 1979, 1032; Nesselrath, 442.

(148) Jungie, 1992a, 338, 341-43; Vaughan, 294; Oberhuber, 1982, 177, 181.

(149) Chastel, 34, 67-90.

(150) Mansi, vol. 35: cols. 232D-34B, 236B, 238B-D; Trexler, 56, 244, lines 22-27, and 266, lines 17-18, cites legislation regarding the recitation of the divine office in the decrees of 1310 and 1327, but not in those of 1517.

(151) Clement VII, Meditatio cordis nostri, sigs. Aivv-Bir (BAV, Racc. I, IV, 1680, int. 14).

(152) Ferreri, sig. Aiir: "Etsi a teneris annis nobis semper cordi vehementer fuerit bonarum disciplinarum, sacrae praecipue doctrinae exercitia, et in eis se cum optimo virtutum odore versantes omni studio fovere, et specialis amoris gratia complecti, id tamen animo nostro longe vehementius inhaesit postquam ad summum pontificatum divina favente claementia [sic] asumpti fuimus, quo scilicet una cum Christi ecclesia spiritualis intercedente desponsationis vincolo omnium Christianorum curam suscepimus" (Although from childhood we have strongly cherished the fostering and the embracing, with the grace of a special love, of the exercises of good disciplines [and especially of sacred doctrine] and of those people who involve themselves in those exercises with the flagrance of the virtues, that fostering and embracing nevertheless remained fixed in our mind all the more strongly after we were chosen, through the favor of divine clemency, for the highest pontificate, by which, that is, together with the church of Christ, the bond of spiritual marriage intervening, we undertook the care of all Christians).

(153) Ibid., sig. Aiiv: "ut quilibet etiam sacerdos eosdem hymnos etiam in divinis legere et eis uti possit" (so that anyone, even a priest, may recite the same hymns even in divine services and use them).

(154) Ibid., sig. Air: "Brevarium ecclesiasticum ab eodem Zach[aria] Pont[ifice] longe brevius et facilius redditum, et ab omni errore purgatum propediem exibit" (The ecclesiastical breviary, rendered much shorter and more convenient and purged of every error by the same bishop Zacharias, will appear any day now). Batiffol, 181.

(155) Batiffol, 182; and Legg, xx: "Quibus rebus animaduersis, felicis recordationis Clemens VIII. Pontifex Maximus cum intelligeret officij sui esse, cum aliorum Christianorum commoditatibus prospicere, turn in primis clericorum, quibus ministris vteretur in commisso sibi grege administrando: me hortatus est, negociumque dedi, vt quantum cura et diligentia niti possem, preces horarias ea ratione disponerem, vt sublatis, quas dixi, difficultatibus et dispendijs, clerici majoribus etiam commodis ad precandum allicerentur" (Which things having been considered, the supreme pontiff Clement VII of happy memory, since he understood it to belong to his office both to look out for the benefit of other Christians and especially of clerics, whose ministries he was using in the administration of the flock entrusted to him, exhorted me and I saw to it that in so far as I could rely on care and diligence, I would arrange the hourly prayers, so that, as I said, along with the difficulties and losses of time having been removed, even the clergy might be won over to praying by the greater conveniences).

(156) Batiffol, 183.


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Author:Minnich, Nelson H.
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Date:Dec 22, 2003
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