Categories
season three

Episode 40: New World Order

We look at Pope Leo X’s reign, from how he got an edition of a pivotal Jewish text dedicated to him to the elaborate practical joke he engineered involving his pet elephant and an old-fashioned Roman triumph. But Leo also has to face the fact that  the fate of Europe now lays in the hands of three young, ambitious, and powerful monarchs. 

A portrait of Giuliano de’ Medici, duc de Nemours, who was Lorenzo the Magnificent’s youngest son (c. 1515) by Raphael’s workshop. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
King Henry VIII as a young man. Date and artist unknown. Source: National Portrait Gallery, London.
King Fran├žois I of France (c. 1530) from the workshop of Joos van Cleve. Source: Private collection.
Portrait of Emperor Charles V as a young man by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (1535). Source: Private collection.

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Categories
season three

Episode 39: The Lion of God

The unlikely partnership between the bookish, affable Giovanni de’ Medici and the rough-and-tumble Pope Julius II will finally bring the Medici back to power and set the stage for Giovanni’s turn as Pope Leo X, which would prove to be one of the most consequential papal reigns in history for reasons no one could have predicted.

A contemporaneous portrait of Giuliano della Rovere, Pope Julius II, by Raphael (1511). Despite their very different personalities, Pope Julius was Giovanni de’ Medici’s mentor and biggest benefactor, playing an essential role in the Medici’s restoration. Source: The National Gallery, London.

Raphael’s portrait of Pope Leo X with his cousins, Giulio de’ Medici (the future Pope Clement VII) and Luigi de’ Rossi, who were both cardinals (1518). Source: Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Sketches of Hanno the Elephant by Giulio Romano (c. 1515). Hanno proved to be the most popular attraction at Leo X’s coronation and essentially became the Pope’s pet.

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