In 1512 Giuliano, the youngest son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, (later called the Duck of Nemours) made his way back to Florence and he Governed the city on behalf of his brother Giovanni, then still a Cardinal, but elected Pope one year later in 1513 taking the Name of Leo X.
From Lorenzo the Magnificent, his father, the new pope had inherited a taste for art and the refined generosity of a great patron, perhaps his only real virtue. His pontificate, which lasted only nine years, would be the most tormented, as a consequence of the indiscriminate sale of indulginces, and would witness the spread through much of Northern Europe of the theories of Martin Luther and his followers.
Giuliano, Duck of Nemours, childless, died in 1516. Lorenzo Duke of Urbino son of Piero (grand son of Lorenzo "the unfortunate") married a beautiful french young girl Madleine de la Tour d'Auvergne. Both of them died very young and they left a newborn baby girl Caterina. A great destiny awaited her, for at the age of fourteen she would become dauphine of France and later the queen of France.
Thus the legitimate branch of the Cafaggiolo Medici came to on end.
Upon the death of Lorenzo, duke of Urbino, the acknowledged head of the Medici family was Cardinal Giulio, the illegitimate son of Giuliano, the brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent who had been killed in the Pazzi Conspiracy, who had been brought up with his cousins by Lorenzo and his wife. He would become pope, the second Medici pontiff in 1523, following the death of Adriano VI. Like a good Medici he was an open-minded and intelligent patron of the arts as a cardinal and as pope.
His papacy, however, was one of the most tumultuous of the XVI century. It came during the worst period of the world between Francis I of France and Charles V of Spain which brought to the Sack of Rome (1527). The other serious problem Clemente VII had to face, was the English Schism.
Chapter 4 - COSIMO I AND THE POWER OF THE MEDICI GRAND DUKES
Family Portrait: The Medici of Florence (back to index...)