Abstract Pierluigi Farnese (1503–47) was the 1st Duke of Parma and Piacenza (r.1545–7). His fortune heavily relied on the political and diplomatic ability of his father, Paul III (1468–1549). Pierluigi took an active and severe attitude towards local feudatories; as a result, he had many enemies and was assassinated in September 1547. While Pierluigi was unsuccessful as a ruler, he was aware of the impact of the arts for his political strategies: he collected artworks and tried to establish a musical household. This article presents previously unknown documents showing Pierluigi’s attempts to recruit musicians for Piacenza, including a travelling band from Brescia; a certain Girolamo Leone, presumably a singer of the Brescian cathedral; the Genoa musician ‘Jacomo tenorista’; and the Roman musician ‘Bolognia’, presumably Galeazzo Baldi, member of Paul III’s musica segreta. Pierluigi enlisted the help of Jean Michel, a French singer active in Ferrara, to look for singers there. Princely patronage was a key characteristic of 16th-century Italian culture, and especially of music. Rulers maintained music in their households to assert their power and authority, in line with the ‘Renaissance’ ideology of magnificence.1 While scholars have explored this theme in relation to various dynasties, including the Este family in Ferrara, the Gonzaga in Mantua and the Medici in Florence, the musical patronage of the Farnese dynasty in Parma and in Piacenza has hitherto received little attention. In particular, the case of Pierluigi Farnese (1503–47; Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1545) has so far attracted no published notice; newly discovered archival documents nonetheless reveal a great deal about the musical project he undertook in the context of his princely governance. Pierluigi was the 1st duke of Parma and Piacenza, and took an active approach in establishing his power in Piacenza. Music was a part of his programme, and his efforts to set up his musical household were made alongside politically urgent matters, such as defence and urban planning. The Farnese family may be described as a latecomer among Italian dynasties. The fashion for princely music was already widespread in Italy when Pierluigi was building up his court in Piacenza in 1545–7. He was no pioneer in this respect, but at the same time his case can give us an insight into contemporary ideas about princely music because it was certainly influenced by preceding examples and, therefore, reflected the musical trends of his time. In this sense, Pierluigi Farnese’s case is not merely a marginal one but a kind of model paradigm, worthy of further research since it sheds light on Italian music and culture in the mid-16th century. Early life Pierluigi was born in Rome (or possibly in Pitigliano) on 9 November 1503 as the first son of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and his mistress Silvia Ruffini.2 Little is known about his childhood, except that he studied with the humanist Baldassarre Molossi, called Tranquillo, in Rome from 1509 onwards. Some time later Molossi resigned from his post as tutor, and Stefano Negri took his place.3 Pierluigi married Gerolama Orsini in 1519. Pierluigi pursued a military career, as symbolized by the armour he wore for Titian’s portrait of him (illus.1). In July 1521 he was appointed a captain of the imperial-ecclesiastical army in Milan. When Clement VII and Charles V came into conflict, he chose the imperial force and joined in the Sack of Rome in 1527. He continued to serve Charles V up to 1536. 1 View largeDownload slide Titian, portrait of Pierluigi Farnese (1546). Oil on canvas, 111cm × 87cm (Naples, Museo Nazionale Di Capodimonte / De Agostini Picture Library / A. Dagli Orti / Bridgeman Images) 1 View largeDownload slide Titian, portrait of Pierluigi Farnese (1546). Oil on canvas, 111cm × 87cm (Naples, Museo Nazionale Di Capodimonte / De Agostini Picture Library / A. Dagli Orti / Bridgeman Images) Pierluigi’s fortune changed radically when his father was elected pope as Paul III in 1534. While Paul III took active initiative both as the ruler of Rome and as the head of the Church,4 he also practised blatant nepotism. When Pierluigi returned to Rome, Paul III nominated him commander-in-chief (gonfaloniere) of the papal forces on 2 February 1537. Paul III created the new Duchy of Castro for Pierluigi on 31 October the same year and furthermore purchased the Marquisate of Novara, a territory to which Pierluigi had aspired for years, on 27 February 1538. In 1540 Pierluigi led the papal forces in the Salt War against Perugia (whose rebellion was initiated by Paul III’s imposition of a new tax on salt) and decisively defeated the city.5 Pierluigi achieved notoriety among his contemporaries for his illegitimate origin and for his exceptional promotion. A scandalous rumour circulated about him: that he was a homosexual and raped Cosimo Gheri, the Bishop of Fano, in 1537, and that Gheri died from the shock. Though this story was groundless,6 the rumour suggests that the rise of the Farnese was regarded as a threat to political balance in Italy. Pierluigi was an expert in urban planning. When he was nominated Duke of Castro, this city was in a state of decay owing to its sacking by Galeazzo Farnese on 28 December 1527 in the aftermath of the Sack of Rome.7 Pierluigi ordered the architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger to rebuild it. Their programme was so efficient that Annibal Caro, the writer employed as secretary to Pierluigi, described the revival of Castro as ‘the birth of Carthage’ in 1543.8 Ruler of Piacenza Paul III wanted to promote the Farnese to the rank of a major ruling family. After difficult negotiations with Emperor Charles V, Paul III created the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza for Pierluigi on 19 August 1545 and issued a papal bull for its creation on 26 August. This investiture was exceptional because it was neither a dynastic succession (as when Francesco Maria I Della Rovere succeeded Guidobaldo da Montefeltro as the Duke of Urbino in 1508), nor a result of military conquest (as with the Florentine annexation of Siena in 1559), but a fruit of Paul III’s diplomacy. Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga satirically described this new state as ‘born in one day like a mushroom’.9 Pierluigi settled in Piacenza in May or June 1545 before the formal issue of the papal bull.10 Though a small city, Piacenza was an important locus on transport routes in northern Italy: standing at the terminal point of the Via Aemilia, it was a gateway to Lombardy, while its location on the River Po also made it a centre for water transportation. In fact, Genoese merchants chose this city as the site of a new fair in 1579.11 As an expert in military science and urban planning, Pierluigi found it necessary to remodel the city for the purposes of defence (illus.2). He created new streets for more efficient logistics, and removed trees and buildings around the city wall to protect it from fire attack. He also built a new pentagonal citadel of the latest design. Local feudatories opposed these undertakings because they destroyed Piacenza’s traditional streets and imposed a heavy financial burden on the local community.12 2 View largeDownload slide Map of Piacenza, 16th century (De Agostini Picture Library / A. De Gregorio / Bridgeman Images) 2 View largeDownload slide Map of Piacenza, 16th century (De Agostini Picture Library / A. De Gregorio / Bridgeman Images) Pierluigi behaved as an absolute ruler towards the feudatories and imposed severe rules on them, for example forbidding them to stay away from their domains. When Girolamo Pallavicino, the Marquis of Cortemaggiore, failed to return to his land at the scheduled time, Pierluigi captured his castle and arrested his mother Ludovica and his wife Camilla.13 It is also said that Pierluigi arrested Camilla because she was absent from a carnival feast in 1546 against his order.14 In any case, Pierluigi’s tyrannical attitude stirred up the feudatories’ hostility. Pierluigi had problems with the Habsburgs too. He planned to form an anti-Habsburg league with France, Venice and the Swiss Confederation. He also participated in the Fieschi family’s 1547 assassination plot against Andrea Doria, the head of the Habsburg naval force.15 The Piacentine feudatories and the Habsburgs ultimately conspired to eliminate the Farnese from Piacenza. On 11 September 1547 Giovanni Anguissola and his fellow conspirators murdered Pierluigi at the citadel and welcomed Ferrante Gonzaga’s Spanish army from Milan.16 Pierluigi’s attempts to recruit musicians Piacenza was an artistic centre in the 1540s, with the Accademia degli Ortolani playing a central role in the city’s cultural life.17 Its host, Luigi Cassola, was a leading nobleman there and a poet himself, whose light-hearted verses were favoured by early madrigalists.18 Antonfrancesco Doni was a principal member of the Ortolani. He wrote the first part of his Dialogo della musica in Piacenza and described the musical life there in it: ‘The music made at Your Lordship’s [Annibale Malvicino’s] palace with lutes, keyboard instruments, shawms, recorders and voices, and that made at the house of the honourable Messer Alessandro Colombo are really wonderful. Signor Guido dalla Porta’s viols are miraculous’ (‘La Musica, che si fà in casa V[ostra] S[ignoria] di Liuti, di stromenti, di pifferi, di flauti, di voci, et in casa dell’honorato M. Alessandro Colombo è dignissima, et quella de i violoni del S. Guido dalla Porta mirabile’).19 Local musicians included Claudio Veggio, an early madrigalist and a notable keyboard player.20 As for church music, a number of organs were built in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and Giacomo Raimondi was employed as a full-time organist by 1532.21 Pierluigi did not take this musical tradition into his possession, however. It belonged to the local community of Piacenza, in which he was an outsider. For example, Claudio Veggio did not serve him.22 It is likely that Pierluigi chose not to share the local tradition with the feudatories in order to avoid standing on common ground with them. Moreover, as an absolute ruler, he needed his own musical household to serve him exclusively. Consequently he decided to look for musicians for himself. Evidently Pierluigi intended to promote music in Piacenza from the beginning or at an early phase of his reign. This attitude is in contrast to his strategy in Castro, where he did not maintain a permanent choir at the cathedral. On 9 June 1545 the canons of Castro proposed employing two Franciscan musicians in addition to Fra Lione, which would allow them to establish a choir.23 But Pierluigi settled his court in Piacenza and promoted music there instead. He appointed Vincenzo Parabosco, the organist of the Cathedral of Brescia, to negotiate with a travelling band. Parabosco was a native Piacentine and thus had good reasons to work for Pierluigi, although I have not discovered how their contact was established.24 On 28 January 1546 Parabosco made the following report about this band to Alessandro Viustino, Pierluigi’s legal advisor:25 ...messer Jovanni Pietro Rizetto mi a risposto in questa forma che elli sonno sei e che venendo al servitio di Sua Eccellentia el servirani de queste sorte de concerti dico eccelentissimamente. Primo di trombeta a tute le sorte che si possa sonare trombeta Poi in musica di tromboni sei Poi di pifari sei Poi di corneti sei Poi di cornemuse sei Poi di flauti sei Poi di fiferi ala alemana sei Poi di viole da brazo sei Poi se riserva ancho qualchi altri concerti de nominar che poi forsi Sua Eccellentia si goldera piu che di tuti li altri per essere cossa inusitata e nova, anchora che per mio credere credo che li piacera ultramodo la unione de quelli instrumenti sopra detti a sorte per sorte e acompagnati in varii modi de la musica vocale[:] tuti sonni ecelenti in musicha per sonare ala improvista a libro.26 ...Messer Giovanni Pietro Rizetto [the band master] told me that they were six in number and coming into Your Lordship’s service they would play these kinds of ensembles excellently. First, trumpets of all kinds that can be played. Then, six trombones in music; Then, six shawms; Then, six cornetts; Then, six bagpipes; Then six recorders; The six German flutes; And then six violins. There are some other ensembles to name that perhaps His Excellency may enjoy more than the others because they are unusual and new. In my opinion, moreover, you will be pleased above all with the mixed ensemble of the above-said instruments in various combinations, and accompanying vocal music in various ways. All [the players] are excellent in playing instrumental music and improvising from books. John Walter Hill points out that these players’ versatility and their performance style were related to the Brescian all’improvviso practice.27 Parabosco’s negotiation was unsuccessful, or perhaps the players were not satisfactory to Pierluigi, for they were not registered on the payroll.28 Pierluigi kept on looking for musicians in Brescia. In a letter presumably written on 25 February 1547, he blamed the canons of Brescia Cathedral for resenting his hiring of one Hieronymo Leone and he claimed that the canons were molesting Hieronymo’s father, Pierantonio.29 On 13 March, the canons replied to Pierluigi that they had received his letter dated 25 February, and that they were pleased that Hieronymo was in his service; they reported that he was well liked by the Brescian musicians, denying that any ill-wisher was disturbing him or his family. However, the father was refusing to pay the debt that his son owed.30 Details of this episode are unclear because the information is too fragmentary, but since the canons were directly involved in this dispute, Leone had probably been a singer in the cathedral choir and left without paying a debt. We are not party to what transpired after that, but Leone is not registered on Pierluigi’s payroll.31 Pierluigi sent a certain Guglielmo to Ferrara in search of musicians in 1546, where he was helped by Zoanne Michele, actually the French singer and copyist Jean Michel, who served the House of Este from 1503 to the 1550s.32 I have not discovered how Pierluigi established a link with Michel. On 16 June 1546 Michel sent a report to Pierluigi that he had failed to secure a boy singer that Pierluigi wanted, but had found another: Io ho visto quanto sie degnato scrivere Vostra Excellentia per il vostro messer Guillelmo e ho fatto quanto m’he stato possibile per fargli havere quel puto che desidera ne mai e stato possibile voltar il padre ale voglie nostre, excusandosi non volerlo mettere a lo exercitio d’il cantare ma al suo di la mercantia, Et adcio che il detto messer Guillelmo non tornasse da la Excellentia Vostra senza un poco di satisfatione havemo operato di modo che ne havemo trovato un’altro il quale conduce da quella, non gia comme saria il desiderio mio che Vostra Excellentia fusse servito per che con gran difficulta si trovano di qua che siano perfetti ne di voce et mancho del cantare, anchora condure un compagno il quale in verita e sufficiente in musicha et canta bene comme ne potera fare Vostra Excellentia inditio, se satisfara a quella penso ne sara molto ben servito, perche e bon giovine.33 I have seen what your Excellency wrote regarding your Messer Guglielmo and I have done as much as I could do for him to acquire the boy you hope to get, but it has been impossible to persuade his father to our wishes, because he does not want to put his son into the profession of singing but his own as a merchant. And lest the said Messer Guglielmo should return to Your Excellency without any satisfaction, I have arranged that we have found another, whom he will bring to you. He is not as I would have wished Your Excellency to be served because only with great difficulty can one find here those who are perfect in voice, let alone singing; still he brings a companion who is in fact sufficient in music and sings well, as Your Excellency can judge. If he satisfies you I think you will be well served, since he is a good young man. In a letter of 17 September 1546 to an unnamed addressee, Pierluigi again mentioned Guglielmo, now called his ‘musico’, and requested the addressee to favour his negotiation for two boys for his chapel, and to reassure their relatives that they would be treated well.34 Perhaps the boy that Jean Michel had sent was found to be insufficient and Pierluigi turned to another court. But in the end, however, no boys or any other musicians arriving through this route were registered on Pierluigi’s payroll.35 In Rome, Pierluigi entrusted Vincenzo Perini da Fabbriano, a physician, with the negotiations concerning a boy and a musician called Bolognia. The link between Pierluigi and Perini was probably the painter Francesco de Rossi called Salviati, who served Pierluigi in the late 1530s. Perini was Salviati’s close friend and the executor of his will. In addition, Pierluigi’s son Alessandro was a great patron of arts in Rome and a personal supporter of Salviati.36 I am not sure whether Pierluigi ordered or requested Perini to work for him, though the distinction made little difference, because a duke’s request to a physician was practically an order to him in any case. Perini made the following report about his recruitment attempts on 28 June 1546: Quanto al menare del putto e il Bolognia quella si po ricordare che io gli scrissi che non m’era figliolo et non ne potevo disponere piu che tanto ma se quella gli cavava suo padre di galera che per detta liberatione li soi parenti gli lo haverebbono dato: et medesmamente il Bolognia se havesse intesa la sua provisione con le altre offerte che li facevo como da me sarebbe venuto: hora occorre che li parenti de detto putto non havendo hauta resolutione del patre me lo lassano tenere con una gran gelosia et non vogliono che per niente io il cavvi di Roma … Et il Bolognia per haver lui il guadagnio grasso qui in Roma non ne vole uscire che non sappia la sua provisione et il putto quando ben venesse sarebbe inutile come altre volte ho scripto senza lui.37 As for acquiring the boy and Bolognia, you may remember that I wrote to you that he was not my own son; and that I cannot do any more than I have. However, if Your Excellency had saved his father from the prison, his family might have given him in return for the release. Similarly, if Bolognia had understood your provision with the other offers that I made him myself, he would have come. Since the boy’s family has not had the decision about the father, they are leaving the boy with me but have a deep suspicion of me and are adamant that I should not take him from Rome ... Since Bolognia has a fat income here in Rome, he doesn’t want to leave without knowing what the provision would be, and if the boy came without him, he would be useless, as I have written before. Bolognia may possibly be identified with Galeazzo Baldi of Bologna, a viol and lute player of Paul III’s musica segreta.38 Since Pierluigi was undoubtedly familiar with Paul III’s musicians, it is possible that he wanted particular ones among them. As for the boy, I have found nothing about his identity. Ultimately, neither the boy nor Bolognia was registered on Pierluigi’s payroll.39 Pierluigi’s network extended to Genoa. A certain Patrizio was in charge of negotiating with Jacomo tenorista, a singer at the Genoese cathedral. I am not certain of the relationship between Pierluigi and Patrizio because Patrizio’s identity has not been established. Since he was expected to talk to a cathedral singer, he was possibly a singer too or working in close proximity to the choir. In an undated letter to Patrizio, Pierluigi wrote: Havendo io risoluto di radunar’ qualche numero di cantori per fornir’ una mia capella e mi hanno accennato che costi in Genoa nel duomo è un padre Jacomo tenorista la suffitientia del quale mi è celebrato molto. Et per questo desidero grandemente di haverlo con quelle conditioni honeste che meritano la sua virtù … Et quanto presto verra tanto maggiore ne sara il piacer che ne sentiro.40 Having decided to collect a number of singers to establish my chapel, I was told that there in Genoa in the cathedral is a Father Jacomo tenorista whose reputation is highly celebrated. Consequently, I greatly desire to employ him with handsome treatment suitable to his talent ... The sooner he comes, the greater the pleasure shall I have. It is obvious that this letter was written at the beginning or at an early stage of the negotiations. The identity of Jacomo tenorista is unclear because documentation of the Genoese cathedral choir is scarce. A possible candidate is Giacomo Belloni, a member of the cathedral choir and presumably a tenor, in service from 1543 to 1552.41 This negotiation seems also to have come to nothing, for Jacomo is not registered on Pierluigi’s payroll.42 But it is possible that the negotiation was not concluded before Pierluigi’s death in September 1547. Antonio Brandici’s offer While Pierluigi was looking for musicians through his networks, Antonio Brandici da Treviso made an offer of his service. Brandici was a member of Paul III’s musica segreta and taught music to Pierluigi’s daughter Vittoria.43 On 22 December 1545 he wrote to Pierluigi’s son Ottavio to ask for help. After outlining his desire to live and die in Farnese service, he promised: Et portero uno delli migliori instrumenti di Italia. Et sera pur quello, destinato alli [one word lost] di quella, per tenirla alegra, il che causera la prolongatione della vita sua … Io volevo tacer queste parole pur per l’amor et fidel servitu ch’io porto a Vostra Sublimita[;] le dico et la sia certissima che s’io fusi ricercato da quel signor si volesi con provisione di scudi 200 al’ano non mi moverei per Dio.44 I will bring one of the best instruments in Italy. It will serve to keep you cheerful and to prolong your life ... I wanted to keep silent out of the affection and faithful service which I keep towards Your Sublimity[;] I tell you and you can be sure that if I were sought by that lord with a salary of 200 scudi [d’oro in oro] per year I would not be seduced for the world. Vittoria recommended Brandici to Pierluigi on 9 June 1546:45 Messer Antonio musico desidereria venire alli servitii di Vostra Eccellenza[;] la prego me faccia gratia averlo per rechomandato hesendo lui servitor de tante anni non ho possuto manchar de rechomandarlo.46 Messer Antonio the musician is eager to come into the service of Your Excellency. I beg you to grant me a favour by employing him because he was my servant for many years. I cannot fail to recommend him. Pierluigi’s payroll suggests that Brandici received three scudi d’oro in oro for his services in Parma in 1548 (i.e. after Pierluigi’s death in Piacenza and during Ottavio’s reign in Parma), but there was no regular payment to him.47 Since there could be a time lag between an actual payment and its official registration, we cannot know whether this payment was made in the last phase of Pierluigi’s reign or even after his assassination. This entry is the only musical item in Pierluigi’s payroll. In short, Pierluigi’s payroll records (presuming they provide an accurate and up-to-date account of court personnel) suggest that his recruitment efforts were unsuccessful and he did not employ any musicians after all. Pierluigi’s princely image and the arts Pierluigi recognized the impact of the arts on princely politics and actively collected artworks. For example, he obtained a set of Giovanni Bernardi’s crystal intaglios upon Cardinal Ippolito de’ Medici’s death in 1535, and commissioned a second set of crystals from Bernardi in the early 1540s.48 When Pierluigi was murdered, his collection was valued at more than 5,000 ducats.49 He was also aware of the propaganda value of the arts, giving specific instructions to his secretary Annibal Caro for the latter’s comedy in praise of Paul III, Gli straccioni (1543).50 We can understand Pierluigi’s musical project in the context of his artistic policy. He considered music, just like precious works of art, to be an essential item to dignify his power and, in a broad sense, to qualify him as a ruler. He tried to provide a wide variety of music to cater for the different situations of courtly life. The instrumental band with which Vincenzo Parabosco made contact in Brescia included various wind instruments, such as shawms and trombones, and would have been suited to outdoor political occasions, such as entries and state visits. If Bolognia, with whom Vincenzo Perini negotiated in Rome, was Galeazzo Baldi, he is known to have been a specialist in chamber music. Jacomo tenorista in Genoa was a church singer, as—most likely—was Girolamo Leone in Brescia. Thus Pierluigi tried to have an outdoor instrumental band, chamber music and church music. These were the three principal categories of music which rulers were expected to supply. Pierluigi’s foresight becomes clear when we compare his case with that of Lorenzo II de’ Medici, the Duke of Urbino (1492–1519). Pope Leo X promoted Lorenzo, his nephew, through a risky undertaking against Francesco Maria I della Rovere and nominated him as Duke of Urbino in 1516. Lorenzo was the first Medici ruler to hold a formal title in Italy. He did not have to conceal his political ambitions, as his ancestors had done, but was rather expected to behave as a prince. He loved pifferi and took a wind band of the Florentine signoria under his control, recruiting two wind players, Gianjacomo de Cesena and Johannes Justi d’Alamania, from Cesena in 1514.51 However, his enthusiasm for pifferi was not matched by an interest in elite polyphony; Richard Sherr speculates that Leo X found him insufficient as a Medici prince and sent the ‘Medici Codex’ to encourage him to promote elite polyphony.52 However, Lorenzo’s situation differs from that of Pierluigi Farnese because he could rely to some extent on the Medici’s established position as a principal family of Florence that had endured (officially or unofficially) for about a century. This situation may have been one reason why Lorenzo II did not have an overall plan for his new dukedom, at least in terms of music. In a sense, he was not fully ready to behave as a ruler in his own right. In contrast, Pierluigi Farnese was a brand new ruler in Piacenza, where he was an outsider. He could not rely on any local traditions or family allegiances but had to provide everything for himself. Well aware of this situation, he nonetheless decided to establish Piacenza as his home ground, in the process attempting to provide music for various occasions, not only to indulge his personal taste but also as a part of his political programme. Our images of historical figures are often shaped by their contemporaneous image and by historiographical traditions. Pierluigi Farnese’s reputation was generally negative: cruel, tyrannical and lascivious (and homosexual). The rumour about Cosimo Gheri mentioned above is clear evidence of this image. Giuliano Gosellini (1525–87) gave an account of the 1547 assassination of Pierluigi and quoted Giovanni Luigi Confalonieri’s comment on him: Noi ci siamo, Signor Camillo, più volte rammaricati della fiera natura, e de’ tirannici modi e costumi di questo nostro Duca, nè abbiamo conchiusa la misera condizione nostra, e la rovina quasi inevitabile, nè lontana della nostra Città, l’abbiamo maledetto, e giudicato degno d’ogni supplizio; ma non abbiamo per mai detto che egli sia grandissimo vituperio a’ nostri pari il tolerarlo, il non trovar via e modo da ripararci.53 Signor Camillo [Pallavicino], we have often lamented about the brutal nature and over the tyrannical manners and behaviour of our duke. We have cursed and judged worthy of all punishment our miserable condition and our ruin, which is almost inevitable, and not far away. However, we have never said that it was a great fault of our fellows to tolerate him, since they found no way and means to remedy it. Gosellini further attributed the tragic revolt to Pierluigi’s cruelty: Li congiurati furono alcuni nobili piacentini, i quali nè innanzi il fatto si trovarono mai tutti insieme a trattarne, nè con modo alcuno di giuramento si legarono in fede; il che nella congiura di Bruto e di Cassio racconta Plutarco per cosa molto notabile. La cagione della congiura fu il voler vendicare, come essi per impresse scritture giustificandosi divulgarono, molte pubbliche e private ingiurie fatte e ricevute, e a molte altre occorrere che n’aspettavano, e la patria e sè stessi liberare dal danno e dalla paura imminente.54 The rebels were some Piacentine nobles, who neither before the fact gathered together to plot it, nor pledged allegiance as Plutarch noted was remarkable in the account of Brutus’s and Cassius Longinus’s conspiracy. The reason for the plot was a wish to take revenge—they justified [their opinions or acts] through printed pamphlets and publicized many humiliations, both public and private, given and received and many other situations which they predicted—and to liberate their homeland and themselves from damage and urgent fear. We should not take Gosellini’s words at face value because he was a faithful vassal of the Gonzaga and of the highly influential Habsburg dynasty, and, consequently, his opinion was strongly biased against Pierluigi and his newly ascendant family. At the same time, however, Gosellini’s view seems to have reflected a sentiment which contemporaries shared. Pierluigi’s image, especially its negative aspects, was also kept alive long after his death. For example, his eventful life and tragic death inspired 19th-century dramatists,55 and still excite modern writers’ curiosity, especially in relation to his (possible) homosexuality.56 Such a negative image of Pierluigi may contain an element of truth but still represents only one side of his personality. He was a decisive—if not prudent—politician, and an expert in urban planning and military science. He had a clear vision for his dominion in Piacenza, although he lacked real experience of ruling. He also had an insight into artistic matters for his new court. His musical project (albeit largely unrealized) demonstrates that he was ready to be a ruler and knew what he would need for this purpose. In a broader sense, Pierluigi’s case confirms that music was an essential element of a princely court in Italy in the mid-16th century. Seishiro Niwa studied at the International Christian University, Tokyo, and in 2003 finished his PhD on Ottavio Farnese’s patronage of music. His research area was the socio-historical background of music, especially the patronage system in early modern Europe. His book La musica di Ottavio Farnese, Parma 1561–1586 (Parma: Battei, 2015)—an expanded and rewritten version of his PhD dissertation—was based on extensive archival research. He died on 29 November 2016. The author died before submitting a final version of his article to Early Music. This published version has been revised by Helen Deeming and Stephen Rose. We are extremely grateful to Bonnie Blackburn for checking the transcriptions and translations of primary sources, and making many suggestions for improvements. The referees’ reports on the article recommended that the author explain what was unique about Pierluigi Farnese’s self-fashioning through the arts, and interested readers may wish to make comparisons with the patronage of other Italian rulers of this period. Other recent publications on the musical patronage of the Farnese include M. L. Bussi, Musica e musicisti presso i ser.mi duchi Farnese in Piacenza (1545–1731) (Piacenza, 1991) and F. Bussi, ‘Musica e musicalità dei duchi Farnese nell’ottica dei “Monumenti musicali Piacentini e Farnesiani”’, Studi in onore di Alberto Spigaroli = Biblioteca storica Piacentina, xxii (2007), pp.1–12. Footnotes 1 R. Strong, Art and power: Renaissance festivals: 1450–1650 (Woodbridge, 1984), p.22. 2 Pierluigi’s biography is generally based on G. Brunelli, ‘Pier Luigi Farnese, duca di Parma e di Piacenza’, Dizionario biografico degli italiani, lxxxi (Rome, 2014), pp.98–107; and G. Fragnito, ‘Paolo III, papa’, Dizionario biografico degli italiani, lxxxiii (Rome, 2015), pp.328–36. 3 G. Bertini, ‘Molossi, Baldassare’, Dizionario biografico degli italiani, lxxv (Rome, 2011), p.444. 4 G. Rebecchini, ‘After the Medici: the new Rome of Pope Paul III Farnese’, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, xi (2007), pp.154–64; and E. G. Gleason, ‘Who was the first Counter-Reformation pope?’, The Catholic Historical Review, lxxxi (1995), pp.179–83. 5 Luigi Bonazzi, Storia di Perugia dalle origini al 1860, ii (Perugia, 1879), pp.177–89; and C. F. Black, ‘Perugia and papal absolutism in the sixteenth century’, The English Historical Review, xcvi (1981), pp.511–13. 6 G. B. Parks, ‘The Pier Luigi Farnese scandal: an English report’, Renaissance News, xv (1962), pp.193–200. Pierluigi seems to have had a homosexual and paederastic tendency, for which Ambrosio Ricalcati, Paul III’s secretary, reproached him on 17 October 1535. According to Ricalcati, Pierluigi took some boys with him when he visited Perugia. L. von Pastor, Geschichte der Päpste, v (Freiburg, 1909), p.224. 7 A distant relative of Pierluigi, Galeazzo Farnese was a member of the Latera branch of the Farnese clan (1477–1536) and the Lord of Latera. 8 F. Giurleo, La famiglia Farnese: il ducato di Castro fra storia e leggenda (1537–1649) (Viterbo, 2012), pp.26–7; and Annibal Caro, Delle lettere familiari del commendatore Annibal Caro, ii (Bologna, 1819), p.63. We may be inclined to discount Caro’s expression because he was Pierluigi’s secretary. However, it was not simple flattery towards his patron because he wrote it in a letter to his friend Claudio Tolomei. 9 G. Drei, I Farnese: grandezza e decadenza di una dinastia italiana (Rome, 1954), p.41. 10 B. Adorni, L’architettura farnesiana a Piacenza 1545–1600 (Parma, 1982), p.26. 11 F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the age of Philip II, i (Berkeley, 2/1995), pp.504–05. 12 This citadel was one of the earliest examples of pentagonal fortresses in Italy and thus illustrates Pierluigi’s familiarity with military architecture. Adorni, L’architettura farnesiana, pp.25–34 and 151–8; and M. Pollak, Cities at war in early modern Europe (New York, 2010), pp.29–30. 13 Drei, I Farnese, p.53. 14 G. Fiori, ‘Il governo di Pier Luigi Farnese (1545–57)’, Storia di Piacenza dai Farnese ai Borbone (1545–1802), i (Piacenza, 1999), p.19. 15 H. Gamrath, Farnese: pomp, power and politics in Renaissance Italy (Rome, 2007), pp.61–4; and Brunelli, ‘Pier Luigi Farnese’, p.334. 16 Antonino Bertolotti, La morte di Pier Luigi Farnese (Modena, 1878), pp.7–11; Gamrath, Farnese: pomp, power and politics, pp.64–6. 17 M. Maylender, Storia delle accademie d’Italia, iv (Bologna, 1976), pp.146–9. 18 G. Bellorini, ‘Luigi Cassola madrigalista’, Aevum: rassegna di scienze storiche, linguistiche e filologiche, lxiv (1995), pp.595–6; and A. Einstein, The Italian madrigal (Princeton, 1949), pp.172–4. 19 Transcribed in J. A. Bernstein, Music printing in Renaissance Venice: the Scotto press (1539–1572) (New York, 1998), p.305. 20 I. Fenlon and J. Haar, The Italian madrigal in the early sixteenth century: sources and interpretation (Cambridge, 1989), pp.74–5 and 209; and H. C. Slim, ‘Keyboard music at Castell’Arquato by an early madrigalist’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, xv (1964), pp.36–47. 21 L. Swich, ‘Gli organi’, in Storia di Piacenza dalla signoria viscontea al principato farnesiano (1313–1545) (Piacenza, 1997), pp.947–8; and F. Bussi, ‘La musica a Piacenza dai Visconti e gli Sforza sino all’avvento dei Farnese’, in Storia di Piacenza dalla signoria viscontea, p.939. 22 F. Bussi, ‘Veggio’, Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Personenteil, xvi (Kassel, 2006), cols.1381–2. 23 ‘À questi giorni passati furno qui dui frati conventovali di San Francesco de’ quagli il maggiore ha nome fra Giovanni Battista cantori & sonatori ambedue de varii instrumenti et offersisi stare in questa citta. Quando à Vostra Eccellenza piacesse darli il luogo di Santo Francesco con quelle provisioni che dà à frate Lione et obligarebesi havere continuo dua altri compagni, almeno & forsi tre che serrebbeno voci consertate da far del continuo capella’; Archivio di Stato Parma (hereafter ASP), Teatri e spettacoli di età farnesiana (hereafter Teatri), 1-2-1-1. Giurleo claimed that Pierluigi enjoyed music and spectacles at his palace in Castro, although I have found no evidence to support or to reject this opinion. Giurleo, La famiglia Farnese, p.59. 24 P. Guerrieri, ‘Di alcuni organisti della cattedrale di Brescia nel Cinquecento’, Note d’archivio per la storia musicale, iii (1926), pp.247–50. 25 L. Mensi (ed.), Dizionario biografico piacentino (Bologna, 1978), p.470. The band-master Rizetto was possibly Giovanni Pietro Ricetto, who served Maximilian II around 1548 and/or Pietro Rizetti, the leader of a string band in Treviso in 1552. However, he was not Pietro Giovanelli da Gandino called Ricetto, who published a large collection of motets, Novi thesauri musici, in 1568. Giovanelli was not a musician but a merchant. R. Lunelli, ‘Contributi trentini alle relazioni musicali fra l’Italia e la Germania nel Rinascimento’, Acta musicologica, xxi (1949), p.62; G. D’Alessi, ‘Maestri e cantori fiamminghi nella cappella musicale del duomo di Treviso (Italia) (1411–1561)’, Tijdschrift der Vereeniging voor noord-Nederlands muziekgeschiedenis, xv (1938), p.161; and D. Crawford, ‘Immigrants to the Habsburg courts and their motets composed in the 1560s’, in Giaches de Wert (1535–1596) and his time: migration of musicians to and from the Low Countries (c.1400–1600), ed. E. Schreurs and B. Bouckaert (Leuven, 1999), pp.135–9. 26 ASP, Teatri, 1-2-2-2. 27 J. W. Hill, ‘The emergence of violin playing into the sphere of art music in Italy: compagnie di suonatori in Brescia during the sixteenth century’, in Musica franca: essays in honor of Frank A. D’Accone (Stuyvesant, NY, 1996), pp.344–5. 28 ASP, Ruoli farnesiani (hereafter Ruoli), i. 29 ‘Hieronimo de Leoni mio musico et servitore mi dice che per essere venuto à li miei servitii viene à persuasione d’alcuni suoi malivoli di costa viene molestato da le Signorie Vostre Pierantonio suo padre non per altro che per esser [added egli] venuto a miei servitii non mala soto sodisfattione et che tutta via non cessano di molestarlo [added quel tenero vecchio] piu gravemente. Di che in effetto ne ho sentito dispiacere. Onde mi son mosso confidentemente a pregar le Signorie Vostre che la servitu che si contentino non recarsi a mala sodisfattione o, discontentezza che la servitii che esso Hieronimo verso di me che detto Gieronimo possi continuare al servitio mio riposatamente et senza alcuono disturbo…’; ASP, Teatri, 1-2-2-5. 30 ‘… Noi certo di la servitu, che Hieronymo Leone fa a Vostra Eccellenza n’havemo apiaceri, et tanto piu, quanto che gli è grato, et non solamente de’ Cantori nostri, anzi delle proprie persone siamo per esponere, per fare cosa grata a Vostra Eccellenza. Per cio, manco è da credere, che ne per mala sodisfattione, che noi habbiamo, che Hieronymo li serva, ne a persuasione d’alcuno suo malevolo se moviamo a dare disturbo ne a l’uno, ne a l’altro di loro . . . Pur a niuno si fa iniuria dimandando il suo solamente, et anche con modestia, che divengono insolenti, a tale, che il padre di Hieronymo non solamente non si contenta della commodità se gli vol fare a renderne quello, che suo figliuolo ne è debitore, anzi dice non volersi ubligare per modo alcuno. Pero Vostra Eccellenza consideri di qua, che costoro mancano a noi, et a lei referiscono il falso’; ASP, Teatri, 1-2-2-5. 31 ASP, Ruoli, i. 32 L. Lockwood, ‘Jean Mouton and Jean Michel: new evidence on French music and musicians in Italy, 1505–1520’, Journal of the American Musicological Society, xxxii (1979), p.192. 33 ASP, Teatri, 1-2-1-2. 34 ‘Mando Guglielmo presente mio musico, per trovar costi due putti che cantino per una mia capella, et ha commissione da mè di far’ ogni diligentia perche si trovino, et far ricorso da Vostra Signoria. La prego, che in questo gli presti il suo solito favore, et se bisognera sia contenta parlare con li parenti di detti putti trovati che saranno et far con loro tutti quelli uffitii, che conoscera conveniente perche venghino à miei servitii, ove saranno trattati amorevolmente, et di sorte che essi parenti ne restaranno sodisfatti, come più a pieno Vostra Signoria intendera dal detto mio musico, alquale mi fara piacere di prestare quella fede che faria a me istesso sopra questo caso’; ASP, Teatri, 1-2-1-3. 35 ASP, Ruoli, i. 36 I. Cheney, ‘De Rossi, Francesco, detto il Salviati’, Dizionario biografico degli italiani, xxxix (Rome, 1991), p.191; L. Sickel, ‘Francesco Salviati’s inventory and his lost Life of Christ on silver cloth’, Studiolo. Revue d’histoire de l’art de l’Académie de France à Rome, vii (2009), p.126; and C. Robertson, ‘Il gran cardinal’ Alessandro Farnese, patron of the arts (New Haven, 1992), pp.39–45. It is unlikely, however, that Salviati directly introduced Perini to Pierluigi, because Pierluigi and Salviati were on bad terms. 37 ASP, Teatri, 1-2-2-4. 38 L. Dorez, La cour du pape Paul III (Paris, 1932). 39 ASP, Ruoli, i. 40 ASP, Teatri, 1-2-1-10. 41 I surmise that Belloni was a tenor because he was replaced by Antonio Rossi, a tenor, in 1552. D. Calcagno, G. E. Cortese and G. Tanasini, La scuola musicale genovese tra XVI e XVII secolo (Genoa, 1992), p.38; and M. R. Moretti, Musica & costume a Genova tra Cinquecento & Seicento (Genoa, 1990), pp.76 and 79. 42 ASP, Ruoli, i. 43 Dorez, La cour du pape Paul III. 44 ASP, Teatri, 1-2-2-1. 45 Brandici was not in Vittoria’s service after her marriage in 1547. F. Piperno, L’immagine del duca: musica e spettacolo alla corte di Guidubaldo II duca d’Urbino (Florence, 2001), p.61. 46 ASP, Teatri, 1-2-2-3. 47 ‘1548. Messer Antonio da Trevisi musicho de dare scudi 3 d’oro in oro avuti in Parma da messer Pietro Ceuli [the treasurer] a bon conto di provisione—scudi 4.68’; ASP, Ruoli, i. 48 L. Syson and D. Thornton, Objects of virtue: art in Renaissance Italy (Los Angeles, 2001), p.179. 49 G. Bertini, ‘Center and periphery: art patronage in Renaissance Piacenza and Parma’, in The court cities of Northern Italy: Milan, Parma, Piacenza, Mantua, Ferrara, Bologna, Urbino, Pesaro, and Rimini, ed. C. M. Rosenberg (Cambridge, 2010), p.109. 50 K. Philips-Court, ‘Emblematic narrative in Caro’s Gli straccioni (with an eye to Titian’s Paul III)’, Italica, lxxxi (2004), p.193. 51 T. J. McGee, ‘Giovanni Cellini, piffero of Florence’, Historic Brass Society Journal, xii (2000), p.222. 52 R. Sherr, ‘Lorenzo de’ Medici, Duke of Urbino, as a patron of music’, in Renaissance studies in honour of Craig Hugh Smyth (Florence, 1985), pp.628–3. 53 Anigio Bonucci (ed.), Congiura di Piacenza contro Pier Luigi Farnese descritta per Giuliano Gosellino scrittore contemporaneo (Florence, 1864), p.49. 54 Bonucci, Congiura di Piacenza, p.28. 55 For example, Aristide Caimi, Pier Luigi Farnese dramma in cinque atti (Milan, 1848); Braccio Bracci, Pier Luigi Farnese dramma tragico (Florence, 1855); and Arrigo Boito, Pier Luigi Farnese dramma lirico in quattro atti (Milan, 1891). 56 For example, G. Dall’Orto, ‘Pier Luigi Farnese’, in Who’s who in gay and lesbian history from antiquity to World War II, ed. R. Aldrich and G. Wotherspoon (London and New York, 2002), pp.187–8; and T. F. Mayer, Reginald Pole: prince & prophet (Cambridge, 2000), pp.71–2. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Early Music – Oxford University Press
Published: Jun 2, 2018
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