People – those who created the city

Dictators and leaders

Aetius (390–454) – the tragic end of „the last Roman”

Significant Roman families

Agostino Chigi (1466–1520) – a financial genius, an enthusiast of lavish lifestyle and art

The wayward, hostile and sinful

Alaric (370–411) – revenge of an underestimated ally, meaning a strike at the very heart of the Empire

Dictators and leaders

Alberic II (909? – 954) – an annihilator of his own mother and a prince of Rome

Sculptors

Alessandro Algardi (1598–1654) – unappreciated master of the Baroque art

Painters

Andrea Pozzo (1642–1709) – a master of painting illusion

Sculptors

Andrea Sansovino (approx. 1467–1529) – the one who was able to bring the dead back to life

Painters

Annibale Carracci (1560–1609) – a straightforward recluse in the world of Roman splendor

Roman emperors and their associates

Antinous (approx. 110–130 A.D.) – a youth, for whom the emperor lost his mind

Painters

Antiveduto Grammatica (1571–1626) – an expert on heads with an extraordinary name

Painters

Antoniazzo Romano (1430? – 1512?) – an outstanding imitator of great masters

Popes and their associates

Antonio Barberini (1607–1671) – one of the three “musketeers” of Urban VIII

Sculptors

Antonio Canova (1757–1822) – praised by his contemporaries, disregarded by later generations

Sculptors

Antonio Raggi (1624–1686) – a second pair of hands for master Bernini

Architects

Armando Brasini (1879–1965) – creator of a bombastically draped architecture

Painters

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1653) – an unwomanly painter, humiliated and forgotten for centuries

The wayward, hostile and sinful

Attila (approx. 400–453) – divine whip and the nemesis of Rome, a figure between myth and reality

Painters

Baciccio (1639–1709) – the creator of heaven and hell on Earth

Significant Roman families

Barberini – a recipe for immortality

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Beatrice Cenci (1577–1599) – a patricide absolved by Romans, commemorated by the city

Dictators and leaders

Benito Mussolini (1883–1945) – successor of emperors; a charismatic and adored leader

Painters

Bronzino (1503–1572) – subtle, refined, and mysterious

Popes and their associates

Camillo Francesco Maria Pamphilj (1622–1666) – an arthritis-filled expiation of the papal nephew

Sculptors

Camillo Rusconi (1658–1728) – a little known genius of the turn of the centuries

Painters

Caravaggio (1571–1610) - a subtle interpreter of the Bible and a common criminal

Architects

Carlo Maderno (1556–1629) – a sought-after, hard-working and talented architect

Painters

Carlo Maratti (Maratta) (1625–1713) – an outstanding portraitist and a father of an equally outstanding daughter

Architects

Carlo Rainaldi (1611–1691) – an architect with a love for music

Painters

Carlo Saraceni (1579–1620) – an artist somewhere between verismo and idealism

Dictators and leaders

Cesare Borgia (1476–1507) – papal offspring whom the whole world feared

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Antoninus Pius (86–161) – a god-fearing, reasonable and just host

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Domitian (51–96) - a great constructor and a despot hated by the Senate

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Hadrian (76–138) – a traveler and an admirer of Greek culture

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Honorius (384–423) – the one, who allowed Rome to be plundered

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Caracalla (188–217) – a brutal madman or a victim of propaganda?

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Commodus (161–192) – an unfortunate son of a great father

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121–180)– a philosopher on the imperial throne

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Nerva (30–98) – a reasonable, gentle and wise emperor

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Septimius Severus (145–211) – the one, who made the army into a leading force in the empire

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Theodosius the Great (347–395) – the one, who turned imperium Romanum into imperium Christianum

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Trajan (53–117) – the ideal Roman ruler – courageous, generous and on good terms with the Senate

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Titus (39–81) – the conqueror of Jerusalem and lover of Berenice

Roman emperors and their associates

Emperor Velentinian III (419–455) – the pathetic mutiny of a marginalized ruler

Roman emperors and their associates

Empress Domitia Longina (53?–128?) – respected and condemned, the fate of the wife of the last Flavian

Roman emperors and their associates

Helena – from an innkeeper to a saint, meaning how legends are made

Roman emperors and their associates

Empress Julia Domna (150/160? – 217) – an ambitious ruler and an unhappy mother

Significant Roman families

Chigi – the ups and downs of a powerful family

Sculptors

Cosimo Fancelli (1618–1688), a great, but second-tier master of the Roman Baroque

Painters

Domenichino (1581–1641), the Roman rise and Neapolitan fall of little Dominic

Architects

Domenico Fontana (1543–1607) – an exceptional architect of an entrepreneurial pope

Sculptors

Domenico Guidi (1625–1701) – meaning Bernini in the French style

Architects

Donato Bramante (1444 –1514) – a famous wrecker, who changed the face of Rome

Significant Roman families

The Theodosian dynasty (379–455) – thoroughly Christian, yet marginalized and weak

Sculptors

Ercole Ferrata (1610–1686) – an imitator of extraordinary talent

Significant Roman families

Farnese - the triumph of nepotism

Popes and their associates

Ferdinando I de’ Medici (1549–1609) – a lover of antiquity, who avoided papal disfavor

Popes and their associates

Francesco Barberini (1597–1679) – papal nepot, admirer of books and art, defender of Galileo

Architects

Francesco Borromini (1599–1667) – a distrustful melancholic and an extravagant architect

Sculptors

Francesco Cavallini (1640–1703) – a sculptor of garlands and swaying saints

Popes and their associates

Francesco Maria del Monte (1549–1626) – a cardinal full of passion for alchemy, music and painting

Sculptors

Francesco Mochi (1580–1654) – ousted, forgotten, disconsolate

The wayward, hostile and sinful

Galileo (1564–1642) – the one who dared to ridicule the pope

Roman emperors and their associates

Galla Placidia (390–450) – an exceptional woman, worth as much as several tons of grain

The wayward, hostile and sinful

Genseric (approx. 390–477) – a Vandal, who brought Rome to its knees

Architects

Giacomo della Porta (1533–1602), an author of Roman fountains and the most famous façade in the history of art

Sculptors

Giovanni (Gian) Lorenzo Bernini (1599–1680) – Impulsive, arrogant and ingenious favorite of the popes

The wayward, hostile and sinful

Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) – a long life after death of the martyr of defiant thought

Sculptors

Giovanni Battista Maini (1690–1752) – elegance of late Baroque

Painters

Giovanni Lanfranco (1582–1647) – painter of the Church triumphant

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Giulia Farnese Orsini – black-eyed ad black-haired papal mistress

Sculptors

Giuliano Finelli (1602–1653) – a sculptor of lace, leaves and collars, but also more

Painters

Giuseppe Cesari (1568–1640) – in the past popular, today a forgotten favorite of the popes

Painters

Guercino (1591–1666) – short career of the Pope’s chosen one in Rome

Painters

Guido Reni (1575–1642) – a gambler with subtle manners

Roman emperors and their associates

Honoria (418–455?) – an emancipator or a tool of political calculations?

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Imperia Cognati - the most famous courtesan of Renaissance Rome

Sculptors

Jacopo Sansovino (1486–1570) – unappreciated in Rome, famous in Venice

Popes and their associates

Cardinal Flavio Chigi (1631–1693) – a true dandy and a Roman trendsetter

Popes and their associates

Charles Borromeo (1538–1584) – an extraordinary nepot, critic and saint of the Church

Roman emperors and their associates

Constantina – an imperial daughter and an enigmatic saint

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Christina of Sweden (1626–1689) – a significant, yet cumbersome papal guest

The wayward, hostile and sinful

Liutprand of Cremona (920? – 972?) – a vicious, biased and partial chronicler

Popes and their associates

Ludovico Ludovisi (1595–1632) – lover of Antiquity and an extremely bright papal nepot

Architects

Luigi Moretti (1907–1973) – a rationalist, Fascist and postmodern architect

Architects

Marcello Piacentini (1881–1960) – praised and criticized creator of Fascist Rome

Popes and their associates

Maria Clementina Sobieska (1701–1735) between reality and a dream

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Marozia (892? – 936?) – „beautiful as a goddess and fiery as a wench”

Painters

Melozzo da Forlì (1438–1494) – the one who introduced the delicate touch of Renaissance to Rome

Sculptors

Michelangelo (1475–1564), a painter by force – divine, yet miserable

People – those who created the city

Monophysitism – meaning the disintegration of Christian unity

Dictators and leaders

Odoacer (433–493) – the fall of the empire, meaning how an intelligent illiterate became a Roman king

Popes and their associates

Olimpia Maidalchini (1591–1657) – a very entrepreneurial papal sister-in-law

Architects

Onorio Longhi (1568–1619) – a vagabond architect

Painters

Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1639) – an intimate realist prone to rowdiness

Popes and their associates

Pope Alexander I (? – 116?) – a holy shepherd of the holy water

Popes and their associates

Pope Alexander VI (1431–1503) – an ambitious strategist with a great heart for women

Popes and their associates

Pope Alexander VII (1599–1667) – a great constructor with a lead coffin in his bedroom

Popes and their associates

Pope Alexander VIII (1610–1691), Pietro Vito Ottoboni – a profligate enthusiast of old books

Popes and their associates

Pope Boniface VIII (1235?–1303), Benedetto Caetani – pope from the eighth circle of hell

Popes and their associates

Pope Celestine I (?–432) – philosopher striving for the divinity of the mother of Jesus

Popes and their associates

Pope Felix III (Felix II) (?–492) – a saintly, uncompromising and strict pope

Popes and their associates

Pope Formosus (?816–896) – meaning, how to posthumously become a martyr

Popes and their associates

Pope Gelasius I (?–496) – meaning Christ’s first Vicar on Earth

Popes and their associates

Pope Gregory I the Great (approx. 540–604) – a monk by conviction, who changed the face of the Church for centuries

Popes and their associates

Pope Gregory XIII (1502–1585) – a tireless counter-reformer and an efficient reformer of the calendar

Popes and their associates

Pope Gregory XV (1554–1623) – a sickly and phlegmatic protector of the Jesuits

Popes and their associates

Pope Hilarius (?–468) – a generous donor and a defender of orthodoxy

Popes and their associates

Pope Hippolytus (approx. 170–235) – an overzealous saintly rigorist

Popes and their associates

Pope Honorius I (?–638), a fallible pontifex maximus, in addition to being a heretic

Popes and their associates

Pope Honorius III (1150–1227) – a significant Church strategist and an uncompromising ruler

Popes and their associates

Pope Innocent I (? – 417) – a charismatic leader of the Church in times of chaos and uncertainty

Popes and their associates

Pope Innocent III (1160–1216) – the first Vicar of Christ on Earth

Popes and their associates

Pope Innocent VIII (1432–1492) – sickly, yet resourceful protector of his own children

People – those who created the city

Pope Innocent X (1574–1655) – a modest brother-in-law of a greedy popess

Popes and their associates

Pope Innocent XI (1611–1689) – a strict reformer, moralist and subduer of art

Popes and their associates

Pope Innocent XII (1615–1700) – an exemplary shepherd and a protector of castrates

Popes and their associates

Pope John XII (?937–964) – meaning the one who was mortally wounded by the devil in the bed of a married woman

Popes and their associates

Pope Julius II (1443–1513) – a valiant ruler, courageous politician and a great protector of art

Popes and their associates

Pope Callixtus III (1378–1458) – a disliked aesthetic from the Pyrenean Peninsula

Popes and their associates

Pope Clement IX (1600–1669) – a librettist and humanist devoted to God

Popes and their associates

Pope Clement VII (1478–1534) – a powerless politician and a firm protector of artists

Popes and their associates

Pope Clement VIII (1536–1605) – an enemy of nudity, a pious and kind despot

Popes and their associates

Pope Clement X (1590–1676) – a humble pope with an ambitious nepot

Popes and their associates

Pope Leo I the Great (400?–461) – defender of Rome and the man behind the power of the Church

Popes and their associates

Pope Leo X (1475–1521) – a generous patron of art and an enthusiast of parties and feasts

Popes and their associates

Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455) – the one, who made art into a foundation of faith

Popes and their associates

Pope Paschal I (?–824) – a collector of relics and a self-admirer

Popes and their associates

Pope Paul II (1417–1471) – an enthusiast of carnival parties

Popes and their associates

Pope Paul III (1468–1549) – an uncompromising patron of artists and his own family

Popes and their associates

Pope Paul V (1552–1621) – a generous funder and a foresighted city manager

Popes and their associates

Pope Pelagius II (?–590) – a protector of the needy and of Gregory the Great

Popes and their associates

Pope Pius II (1405–1464) – a complete humanist on St. Peter’s throne

Popes and their associates

Pope Pius XII (1876–1958) – a silent pontifex maximus

Popes and their associates

Pope Sergius III (approx. 870–911) – meaning „ the slave of every vice”

Popes and their associates

Pope Stephen VI (? – 897) – a story of the battle between the pope and a cadaver

Popes and their associates

Pope Sixtus III (390–440) – a great constructor of Christian Rome

Popes and their associates

Pope Sixtus IV (1414–1484) – a man of Renaissance and the creator of a new Rome

Popes and their associates

Pope Sixtus V (1521–1590) – the bane of bandits and womanizers

Popes and their associates

Pope Symmachus (? – 514) – a controversial but unrelenting shepherd

Popes and their associates

Pope Simplicius (? – 483) – a bishop of Rome on the border of two eras

Popes and their associates

Pope Urban VIII (1568–1644) – pontifex maximus of the Baroque art

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Pauline Borghese (1780–1825) – a French provocateur in the papal chapel

Sculptors

Pietro Bracci (1700–1773) – a master of elegance and theatrical gestures

Painters

Pietro da Cortona (1596–1669) – a virtuoso of glories, triumphs and apotheoses of all kinds

Painters

Pinturicchio (1454–1513) – a creator of a simple, filled with grace storylines

Popes and their associates

Platina (Bartolomeo Sacchi) (1421–1481) – humanist, rebel, courtier

Painters

Raphael (1483–1520) – the prematurely deceased genius of the Renaissance

Roman emperors and their associates

Romulus Augustulus (approx. 463–ok. 536) – the last emperor of the Western Empire and….nothing more

Popes and their associates

Scipione Caffarelli Borghese (1577–1633) – cardinal and papal nepot with truly earthly passions

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Silvia Ruffini (approx. 1475–1561) – a lonely, quiet widow, with a group of a cardinal’s children

Sculptors

Stefano Maderno (c. 1570–1636) – an artist famous for just one statue

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Theodora the Elder (? – 928?) – a prostitute or a woman of „truly manly strength”?

Dictators and leaders

Theodoric the Great (441–526) – a barbarian, for whom Romans erected monuments

Painters

Trophime Bigot (1597–1650) – a mysterious master of candlelight

Courageous and politically incorrect women

Vanozza Cattanei (1442–1518) – the unofficial wife of the pope and the official mother of his children

House of Savoy and contemporary leaders

Victor Emanuel III (1869–1947) – a king rejected and unwanted

Bronzino’s John the Baptist – between cold eroticism and refined devotion

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Bronzino’s John the Baptist – between cold eroticism and refined devotion

The muscular, beautiful, manly body with a delicately glowing skin seems to be taken out of a refined act of, as we would have said today, homoerotic nature, however, the title of the painting and the requisites visible on it, point to something completely different. This is a saint, and not just any saint – the patron of Florence, John the Baptist. But is it possible that this is simply a religious painting?

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Bernini’s Colonnade – to strengthen faith, Enlightenment and to convince the infidels

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Bernini’s Colonnade – to strengthen faith, Enlightenment and to convince the infidels

Its grandeur is best appreciated, looking on from the perspective of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. In front of our very eyes stretches one of the last monumental works of the Baroque – a symbol of the significance of the Holy See and its representative on Earth - Pope Alexander VII. It was he, who ordered his trusted architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini to begin work on shaping the square in such a way so that it would astound and arouse respect. Both the pontifex and his architect succeeded in this task.

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Bronzino (1503–1572) – subtle, refined, and mysterious

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Bronzino (1503–1572) – subtle, refined, and mysterious

A painter, and at the same time a poet, he resided in Rome only a short time and in reality, we do not know what he did there. And despite the fact, that this chief representative of Mannerism and the court painter of the de ’Medici family did not leave the fruits of his labor in the city, the Roman museums keep several significant (obtained at a later date) works of his – surprising, seducing in their beauty and mysterious aura.

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