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Clarice Orsini

Clarice Orsini Wife of Lorenzo de' Medici

Wife of Lorenzo de' Medici
Clarice Orsini
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Wife of Lorenzo de' Medici
Was Noble Aristocrat
From Italy
Type Royals
Gender female
Birth 1453, Monterotondo, Italy
Death 30 July 1488, Florence, Kingdom of Italy (aged 35 years)
Family
Spouse: Lorenzo de' Medici
Children: Lucrezia de' Medici (1470–1553)Piero the UnfortunateMaddalena de' Medici (1473–1528)Leo XGiuliano de' Medici, Duke of NemoursContessina de MédiciLuisa de' Medici
The details

Biography

Clarice Orsini (1450–1488) was the daughter of Iacopo Orsini, and his wife and cousin Maddalena Orsini. She was the wife of Lorenzo de' Medici and mother of Pope Leo X.

Life

Clarice and Lorenzo married 4 June 1469, with a four-day celebration. The marriage was arranged by Lorenzo's mother Lucrezia Tornabuoni, who wanted her eldest son to marry a woman from a noble family to enhance the social status of the Medicis. Clarice was a descendant of King John of England, through his daughter Eleanor, though this likely did not play a role in her betrothal. This also made her a distant cousin of Elizabeth of York, a contemporary Queen Consort of England. Their marriage was unusual for Florence at the time in that they were nearly the same age. Clarice's dowry was 6,000 florins.

The political nature of her marriage meant that she was often called upon by each side of her family to influence the other. This included Lorenzo helping her brother Rinaldo get selected as Archbishop of Florence. She was also called on by others throughout the area to support their requests to her husband. People sought her support in the easing of taxes and releasing family members from exile or prison. She would also use her network to gather information about political and military events away from where she was, including troop movements and battles.

Clarice's religious upbringing was a bit in contrast with the humanist ideals of the age popular in Florence. Nevertheless, sources and letters suggest that there was a great deal of affection and respect between her and Lorenzo. Of the ten children born to them, three died in infancy.

During the Pazzi Conspiracy, which was aimed at murdering Lorenzo and his younger brother Giuliano, Clarice and her children were sent to Pistoia. (The Pazzis succeeded in murdering Giuliano, but Lorenzo survived the attack, thus the conspirators' plan to replace the Medicis as de facto rulers of Florence failed).

Clarice returned to Rome several times to visit her relatives; she also visited Volterra, Colle Val d'Elsa, Passignano sul Trasimeno, and other places in the 1480s. During these visits, she was treated as a representative of her husband, an unusual role for a woman in that time and place.

On 30 July 1488 she died in Florence, and was buried two days later. Her husband was not with her when she died, nor did he attend the funeral, because he himself was very ill and was in Bad Filetta near Siena to get cured. In a letter to Pope Innocent VIII he wrote that he dearly missed his late wife.

Issue

Clarice and Lorenzo had 10 children:

  • Lucrezia Maria Romola de' Medici (Florence, 4 August 1470 – 15 November 1553); married 10 September 1486 Iacopo Salviati and had 10 children, including Cardinal Giovanni Salviati, Cardinal Bernardo Salviati, Maria Salviati (mother of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany), and Francesca Salviati (mother of Pope Leo XI).
  • Twins who died after birth (March 1471).
  • Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici (Florence, 15 February 1472 – Garigliano River, 28 December 1503), ruler of Florence after his father's death, called "the Unfortunate"
  • Maria Maddalena Romola de' Medici (Florence, 25 July 1473 – Rome, 2 December 1528), married 25 February 1487 Franceschetto Cybo (illegitimate son of Pope Innocent VIII) and had seven children
  • Contessina Beatrice de' Medici (23 September 1474 - September 1474), died young
  • Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici (Florence, 11 December 1475 – Rome, 1 December 1521), ascended to the Papacy as Pope Leo X on 9 March 1513.
  • Luisa Contessina Romola di Lorenzo de' Medici (Florence, 1477 – May 1488), also called Luigia, was betrothed to Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano but died young.
  • Contessina Antonia Romola de' Medici (Pistoia, 16 January 1478 – Rome, 29 June 1515); married 1494 Piero Ridolfi (1467 - 1525) and had five children, including Cardinal Niccolò Ridolfi.
  • Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Nemours (Florence, 12 March 1479 – Florence, 17 March 1516), created Duke of Nemours in 1515 by King Francis I of France.

Their children were taught by Angelo Poliziano for a time. In 1478, he wanted to teach the children humanism, Latin, and Greek, but Clarice insisted on their lessons being more religious, and being delivered in Italian. She had also removed the family and their teacher from Florence after the scare of the Pazzi conspiracy, and he chafed under the exile. In May 1479, she tried to dismiss the tutor over another change in the curriculum, though Lorenzo continued to pay him.

Ancestry

16. Giordana Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
16. Giordana Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
8. Francesco Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
17. Anastasia Orsini
4. Orso Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
18. Nicola Annibaldeschi
9. Costanza Annibaldeschi
2. Iacopo Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo and Bracciano
20. Giovanni Conti
10. Aldobrandino Conti, Signore of Valmontone
5. Lucrezia Conti
11. Caterina di Sangro
1. Clarice Orsini
24. Francesco Orsini
12. Giovanni Orsini, Lord of Bracciano
25. Giacoma Carraciolo
6. Carlo Orsini, Lord of Bracciano
26. Nicola Spinelli
13. Bartolomea Spinelli
27. Simona della Marra
3. Maddalena Orsini
28. Giovanni Orsini
14. Giacomo Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo
29. Nicoletta Orsini
7. Paola Orsini
15. Isabella Marzano
16. Giordana Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
8. Francesco Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
17. Anastasia Orsini
4. Orso Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
18. Nicola Annibaldeschi
9. Costanza Annibaldeschi
2. Iacopo Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo and Bracciano
20. Giovanni Conti
10. Aldobrandino Conti, Signore of Valmontone
5. Lucrezia Conti
11. Caterina di Sangro
1. Clarice Orsini
24. Francesco Orsini
12. Giovanni Orsini, Lord of Bracciano
25. Giacoma Carraciolo
6. Carlo Orsini, Lord of Bracciano
26. Nicola Spinelli
13. Bartolomea Spinelli
27. Simona della Marra
3. Maddalena Orsini
28. Giovanni Orsini
14. Giacomo Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo
29. Nicoletta Orsini
7. Paola Orsini
15. Isabella Marzano
8. Francesco Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
17. Anastasia Orsini
4. Orso Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
18. Nicola Annibaldeschi
9. Costanza Annibaldeschi
2. Iacopo Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo and Bracciano
20. Giovanni Conti
10. Aldobrandino Conti, Signore of Valmontone
5. Lucrezia Conti
11. Caterina di Sangro
1. Clarice Orsini
24. Francesco Orsini
12. Giovanni Orsini, Lord of Bracciano
25. Giacoma Carraciolo
6. Carlo Orsini, Lord of Bracciano
26. Nicola Spinelli
13. Bartolomea Spinelli
27. Simona della Marra
3. Maddalena Orsini
28. Giovanni Orsini
14. Giacomo Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo
29. Nicoletta Orsini
7. Paola Orsini
15. Isabella Marzano

In popular culture

She appears in the second season of Medici: Masters of Florence, played by Synnøve Karlsen. She also appears in the Starz series Da Vinci's Demons played by Lara Pulver.

Sources

  • Pernis, Maria Grazia; Adams, Laurie (2006). Lucrezia Tornabuoni De' Medici and the Medici Family in the Fifteenth Century. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-0820476452.
  • Tomas, Natalie R. (2003). The Medici Women: Gender and Power in Renaissance Florence. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0754607771.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 03 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~fesschequy/genealogy/PopesLeoandPaul.html
https://books.google.it/books?id=POTaDEJ2YWgC&pg=PA66
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2094262/?ref_=nv_sr_1
http://www.clariceorsini.it
https://d-nb.info/gnd/1154515303
http://isni.org/isni/0000000139751723
https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no92000401
http://data.bibliotheken.nl/id/thes/p23975817X
https://www.idref.fr/147989787
https://viaf.org/viaf/213356367
https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no92000401
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