She had eight children during this marriage and was considered a respectable and accomplished Renaissance duchess, effectively rising above her previous reputation and surviving the fall of the Borgias following her father's death. Alexander annulled the marriage in 1497 on the dubious grounds of nonconsummation. …the king of Naples; and Lucrezia was given first to Giovanni Sforza of Milan, and, when that marriage was annulled by papal decree on the grounds of impotence, she was married to Alfonso of Aragon. After resigning as his father’s cardinal in 1498 — the only person in history to do so — Cesare Borgia participated in various military conquests across Italy. Appearance [edit | edit source]. Rodrigo Borgia better known as Pope Alexander VI is the pope and father to four children: Cesare Borgia, Juan Borgia, Joffre Borgia, and Lucrezia Borgia . [4] When Rodrigo became Pope Alexander VI, he sought to be allied with powerful princely families and founding dynasties of Italy. [3], They were married in 1498, making Lucrezia the Duchess consort of Bisceglie and Princess consort of Salerno. Like many aspects of Cesare Borgia's life, the date of his birth is a subject of dispute. Cesare Borgia (q.v. Lucrezia Borgia is rated "Good" by our guests. The answer is really very simple. After a long history of complicated pregnancies and miscarriages, on 14 June 1519 Lucrezia gave birth to her tenth child, named Isabella Maria in honour of Alfonso's sister Isabella d'Este. Jofré Borgia (1481-1517), Prince of Squillace, his first spouse was Sancia of Aragon († 1506), an illegitimate daughter of King Alfonso II. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. The King of Naples refuses to accept Lucrzia's child as part of the marriage agreement and pointedly invites Caterins Sforza and other Borgia enemies to the wedding. Lucrezia Borgia (Italian pronunciation: [luˈkrɛttsja ˈbɔrdʒa]; Valencian: Lucrècia Borja [luˈkrɛsia ˈbɔɾdʒa]; 18 April 1480 – 24 June 1519) was a Spanish-Italian noblewoman of the House of Borgia who was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei. He had two mistresses Vanozza Dei Cattenei and Giulia Farnese. June 1519. The first, Giovanni or Juan, was born in Rome in 1474. The second, contradictory, bull recognized him as the son of Pope Alexander VI. April 1480. Another description said, "her mouth is rather large, the teeth brilliantly white, her neck is slender and fair, and the bust is admirably proportioned."[28]. [5] Giovanni was an illegitimate son of Costanzo I Sforza and a Sforza of the second rank. She studied at Convent of St. Sixtus located very near to her temporary residence, where she was staying with her father’s third cousin Adriana de Mila since 1… In Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia: Brother and Sister of History’s Most Vilified Family, Samantha Morris expertly separates rumour from fact to provide a balanced appraisal of these famous siblings; their strengths and weakness. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Her three successive marriages into prominent families helped augment the political and territorial power of the Borgias. We’ll even let you know about secret offers and sales when you sign up to our emails. 1. After two failed marriages, one of which had ended in the murder of Alfonso Duke of Bisceglie, Lucrezia Borgia was once more on the marriage market in the year 1500. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Lucrezia-Borgia. As cardinal and pope, Rodrigo fathered a number of children by his mistress Vannozza Catanei. In 1481 or 1482, a fourth child, Gioffre, was born. Lucrezia Borgia, Italian noblewoman and a central figure of the infamous Borgia family of the Italian Renaissance. Giovanni was offered her dowry in return for his cooperation. The Dark Marquis - Duchess of Ferrara 1502–19 - Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy - by Sarah Bradford. Lucrezia Borgia, duchess of Ferrara, daughter of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, afterwards Pope Alexander VI, by his mistress Vanozza dei Cattanei, was born at Rome in 1480. ; c. 1475/76–1507), son of Rodrigo, achieved political power while ruthlessly attempting to establish a secular kingdom in central Italy. Lucrezia played an active role in the defence of her new home, Ferrara. [17] It has been claimed that the affair ended when Francesco contracted syphilis and had to end sexual relations with Lucrezia. But after her father became pope in 1492, he sought an alliance with the Sforza family of Milan against the Aragonese dynasty of Naples. He was born in Subiaco. He therefore called off Lucrezia's previous engagements and arranged for h… While some of the claims about the Borgias are … Cesare takes care of his sister, and just wants to make her happy. Her mother Vannozza dei Cattanei was one of the mistresses of her father, Spanish Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who later became Pope Alexander VI. Lucrezia Borgia is rated "Good" by our guests. She is known to have retired to the convent of San Sisto in June 1497 to await the outcome of the annulment proceedings, which were finalized in December of the same year. Take a look through our photo library, read reviews from real guests and book now with our Price Guarantee. She received an extensive and thorough education according to her social stature. Alexander asked Giovanni's uncle, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, to persuade Giovanni to agree to an annulment of the marriage. Take a look through our photo library, read reviews from real guests and book now with our Price Guarantee. Lucrezia was the third child born to Alexander and his mistress, the thrice-married Vannozza (Giovanna) dei Cattanei. Lucrezia Borgia was born on 18 April 1480, in Subiaco, near the city of Rome, Italy. See, Durant, Will. She reigned as the Governor of Spoleto, a position usually held by cardinals, in her own right. Cesare is Lucrezia's older brother. The problem is that this will make … Born: 18. Another notable child of Rodrigo’s was Lucrezia, used by her father as a diplomatic pawn. 1498, d. 1548. Rodrigo Borgia (later Pope Alexander VI) and especially his children, Lucrezia Borgia and Cesare Borgia, wreaked havoc around Rome. In 1491 the young Lucrezia was successively betrothed to two Spanish nobles. In September 1475, Cesare Borgia was born. The two had several children, and Lucrezia came into her own as a Renaissance woman, overcoming her scandalous reputation - despite several affairs - and maintaining her position and power as the Borgia family's influence and fortunes fell following Alexander's death. [11], It was widely rumored[12] that Lucrezia's brother Cesare was responsible for Alfonso's death, as he had recently allied himself (through marriage) with France against Naples. He became the leading figure in the saga of the Borgia family, both as a perpetuator of evil and a facilitator of the activities of these two most famous of his children. He was named Giovanni but is known to historians as the "Infans Romanus". There has been speculation that during the prolonged process of the annulment, Lucrezia consummated a relationship with someone, perhaps Alexander's chamberlain Pedro Calderon, also named Perotto. Her family arranged several marriages for her that advanced their own political position including Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro and Gradara, Count of Catignola; Alfonso of Aragon, Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno; and Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara. When Alexander VI died in 1503, Lucrezia ceased to play a political role and led a more normal life at the brilliant court of Ferrara, which became a centre for the arts and letters of the Italian Renaissance. Two papal bulls recognized the child as the illegitimate son first of Cesare, then of Alexander, who was probably the true father. The second bull was kept secret for many years, and Giovanni was assumed to be Cesare's son. ; 1480–1519), a daughter of Rodrigo and a patron of the arts, became famous for her skill at political intrigue. He even persuaded Pope Sixtus IV to pronounce Cesare legitimate so that he could hold an office in the Church. He already had four children by a selection of mistresses and Cesare was the first of four others he would father by Vannozza Catanei. Lucrezia's name is not mentioned in either, and rumors that she was his mother have never been proven. {Some sources state that Giovanni returned the dowry. Lucrezia Borgia had four children, Rodrigo (12) , Ercole (51) , Ippolito (63) and Isabella (1) . A child was born, however, in the Borgia household the year before Lucrezia's marriage to Alfonso of Aragon. On the death of Pope Innocent VIII (1492), Cardinal Borgia was elected pope as Alexander VI, and, contemplating a yet more ambitious marriage for his daughter, he annulled the union with Procida; in February 1493 Lucrezia was betrothed to Giovanni Sforza, lord of Pesaro, with whose family Alexander was now in close alliance. While recovering, he was strangled by one of Cesare’s servants. Lucrezia Borgia (q.v. Ercole II d'Este, Duca di Ferrara+1 b. Daughter of the Spanish cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope Alexander VI, and his Roman mistress Vannozza Catanei, and sister of Cesare, Lucrezia is often accused of sharing in their many crimes and excesses. 18-year-old Sancia allegedly began having an affair with either one or both of her husband’s brothers, probably because her 14-year-old husband wasn’t done with puberty yet. As he was ruthlessly ambitious and had absolutely no scruples when it came to using all his children to make his political influence even stronger, he was also almost maddeningly devoted to all of … Vannozza bore four children during her relationship with Cardinal Borgia. The child was sickly and – fearing she would die unbaptised – Alfonso ordered her to be baptised straightaway with Eleonora della Mirandola and Count Alexandro Serafino as godparents. [18] This last assertion is problematic as Francesco had contracted syphilis before 1500 as it was known that he passed the disease onto his eldest son Federico Gonzaga who was born in 1500. When Rodrigo became Pope Alexander VI, he sought to be allied with powerful princely families and founding dynasties of Italy. Rumors about her and her family cast Lucrezia as a femme fatale, a role in which she has been portrayed in many artworks, novels and films. She was a thoroughly accomplished princess, fluent in Spanish, Catalan, Italian, and French, which prepared her for advantageous marriage to any European monarch or prince, and literate in both Latin and Greek. He therefore called off Lucrezia's previous engagements and arranged for her to marry Giovanni Sforza, a member of the House of Sforza who was Lord of Pesaro and titled Count of Catignola. Daughter of pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) and Vanozza Catanei. When Alexander allied himself with Naples, and Milan with the French, Giovanni, fearing for his life, fled from Rome and became an enemy of the Borgias, later charging incestuous relations between Lucrezia and Alexander. Her mother Vannozza dei Cattanei was one of the mistresses of her father, Spanish Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who later became Pope Alexander VI. Lucrezia retired to Nepi, and during this period the mysterious Infans Romanus (Roman Infant) was first seen, the three-year-old boy named Giovanni, with whom Lucrezia appeared in 1501. According to his biographer, the Chevalier became a great admirer of Lucrezia's, considering her a "pearl on this Earth".[25]. [citation needed] Giovanni refused and accused Lucrezia of paternal incest. Her education would primarily take place in the Piazza Pizzo de Merlo, a building adjacent to her father's residence. Lucrezia Borgia was born in Rome in 1480. Giovanni Borgia (1) b. Children. Rodrigo Borgia better known as Pope Alexander VI is the pope and father to four children: Cesare Borgia, Juan Borgia, Joffre Borgia, and Lucrezia Borgia.He had two mistresses Vanozza Dei Cattenei and Giulia Farnese.. Lucrezia Borgia (q.v. The … In September 1475, Cesare Borgia was born. In July 1500 he was wounded by four would-be assassins on the steps of St. Peter’s. Fathering children was not an odd occurrence for popes in Rome. Lucrezia Borgia, (born April 18, 1480, Rome—died June 24, 1519, Ferrara, Papal States), Italian noblewoman and a central figure of the infamous Borgia family of the Italian Renaissance. Three marriages, which were politically advantageous for the Borgias, were arranged for her. The biggest testament to her intelligence is her capability in administration, as later on in life she took care of Vatican City correspondence and governance of Ferrara. [34] Several other paintings, such as Veneto's fanciful portrait, have also been said to depict her, but none have been accepted by scholars at present. According to lore, Lucrezia was trained to be a sly courtier by … Their love letters were deemed "The prettiest love letters in the world" by the Romantic poet Lord Byron when he saw them in the Ambrosian Library of Milan on 15 October 1816. Birthplace: Subiaco, Italy Location of death: Ferrara, Italy Cause of death: unspecified Remains: Buried, Convento del Corpus . Lucrezia Borgia was born on 18 April 1480 at Subiaco, near Rome. [7] The pope asserted that his daughter's marriage had not been consummated and was thus invalid. Alfonso d’Este, son of Ercole I, duke of Ferrara, married Lucrezia on December 30, 1501, although he shunned the union for a time because of the Borgias’ unsavoury reputation. Her long golden hair, her sweet childish face, her pleasant expression and her graceful ways, seem to have struck all who saw her.". [39], At least one biographer (including Maria Bellonci) claims that Lucrezia gave birth to three more children, one by Alfonso of Aragon and two by Alfonso d'Este, who did not survive infancy. Lucrezia Borgia was born in April of 1480 in Subiaco. The Controversial Queen of Beauty: Lucrezia Borgia. Giovanni finally signed confessions of impotence and documents of annulment before witnesses. Child of Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso de Aragón-1. [19], Lucrezia also had a love affair with the poet Pietro Bembo during her third marriage. From overcoming oppression, to breaking rules, to reimagining the world or waging a rebellion, these women of history have a story to tell. Father: Pope Alexander VI. [10], Following her annulment from Sforza, Lucrezia was married to the Neapolitan Alfonso of Aragon, the half-brother of Sancha of Aragon who was the wife of Lucrezia's brother Gioffre Borgia. In 1475 Rodrigo Borgia was a cardinal. Infamous poisoner. Lucrezia Borgia was the daughter of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, later to become Pope Alexander VI, and his mistress Vannozza Cattanei, who was also the mother of Lucrezia's two older brothers, Cesare and Giovanni. [2] Her mother was Vannozza dei Cattanei, one of the mistresses of Lucrezia's father, Cardinal Rodrigo de Borgia (later Pope Alexander VI). There is little doubt that she was adored by her father, who was, by all accounts, a parent many would today call “a helicopter parent,” though Alexander certainly took things to the extreme. With Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley. A fourth child – … [27] These physical attributes were highly appreciated in Italy during that period. The family produced many other persons of lesser importance. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Lucrezia had several children by Alfonso d'Este. Giovanni went to stay with Lucrezia in Ferrara after Alexander's death, where he was accepted as her half-brother. 5 Apr 1508, d. 3 Oct 1559-2. He later married into the family of French King Louis XII, another alliance forged by his father. Storyline Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, has three adult children: Juan, who is virtuous and has a sweetheart who is a woman of the people, Lucrezia, who is virtuous and wants to marry Alfonso, and Cesare, who is wicked and lusts after Lucrezia, Juan's girlfriend, and probably others. In historical perspective, however, she seems to have been more an instrument for the ambitious projects of her brother and father than an active participant in their crimes. [40], Spanish-Italian duchess-consort of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio (1480-1519), This article is about the historical person. Many believed he was the child of a relationship between Lucrezia and either her father Pope Alexander or her brother Cesare. After resigning as his father’s cardinal in 1498 — the only person in history to do so — Cesare Borgia participated in various military conquests across Italy. Lucrezia Borgia was a woman of and ahead of her time. According to Mandell Creighton in his History of the Papacy "Lucrezia ... was personally popular through her beauty and her affability. The first, Giovanni or Juan, was born in Rome in 1474. [20][21] On the same occasion Byron claimed to have stolen a lock of Lucrezia's hair – "the prettiest and fairest imaginable"[21] – that was also held there on display. The marriage was a short one. [14], Neither partner was faithful: beginning in 1503, Lucrezia enjoyed a long relationship with her brother-in-law, Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua. In September 1475, Cesare Borgia was born. [3], After the death of Lucrezia's second husband, her father, Pope Alexander VI, arranged a third marriage. This marriage was arranged by Cesare to consolidate his position in the Romagna. Lucrezia Borgia was born on 18 April 1480, in Subiaco, near the city of Rome, Italy. Several rumours have persisted throughout the years, primarily speculating as to the nature of the extravagant parties thrown by the Borgia family. Lucrezia and Alfonso’s court was held in high esteem and they would go on to have eight children – though only four of them would survive to adulthood. He married Lucrezia on 12 June 1493 in Rome. She is also thought to have had at least four miscarriages. He had a total of three children with Vannozza, and Lucrezia had two elder brothers, Cesare and Juan. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Meet extraordinary women who dared to bring gender equality and other issues to the forefront. Upon his assassination Lucrezia received as a third husband Alfonso I d’Este, duke of Ferrara.…. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The mysterious origin of the child as well as Lucrezia’s presence at a celebrated night orgy at the Vatican have been used to support the rumours of incest in the Borgia family. For other uses, see, Duchess-consort of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio, The only confirmed Lucrezia portrait painted from life (attributed to, First marriage: Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro and Gradara), Second marriage: Alfonso d'Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno), Third marriage: Alfonso d'Este (Duke of Ferrara). Cesare was Rodrigo's favourite son. She was buried in the Clarissan convent of Corpus Domini in Ferrara, dressed in her habit of a Franciscan tertiary. Lucrezia had become very weak during the pregnancy and fell seriously ill after the birth. The murder provoked the desired rupture with Naples. Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara, was the daughter of Alexander VI, the future pope and she had married thrice into famous families that helped her own family to have a flourishing political career. Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519) was the only daughter of Pope Alexander Vl. Pope Alexander VI was far from the only scandalous Borgia. On a spring day in 1480, Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia ordered various astrologers to his home in Rome to tell him the future of a newborn child. Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519), daughter of Pope Alexander VI has been painted in very dark colors, and she has been accused of many crimes and excesses. On a spring day in 1480, Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia ordered various astrologers to his home in Rome to tell him the future of a newborn child. Children of Lucrezia Borgia and Alfonso I d'Este, Duca di Ferrara-1. In 1510, Pope Julius II excommunicated Alfonso as part of his machinations to add Ferrara to the Papal States. Lucrezia Borgia was born in April of 1480 in Subiaco. 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