Cardinal Rodolfo Pio Da Carpi is the last known owner of the 1514 original Madonna of Divine Love painting by Raffaello.
His life as a Cardinal was from 1536 to his death in 1564. In his life of 64 years, 36 years as Episcopate, 26 years as a Cardinal, and two years as Deacon of the College of Cardinals.
In 1539 he was at the French Court of Francis I to plea the King for Pope Paul III to withdraw his troops from Italy. Unfortunately for Rodolfo, his mission in France took a toll on his reputation because of a letter accusing his Uncle Prince Albert III after the Pavia war of 1539. Rodolfo set up a meeting between the Pope and the King that eventually was held in Nice, in the heat of summer, and everybody was disappointed.
In 1539 the Pope nominated Rodolfo to represent him in Ancona because the territory was strategically essential to prevent Turks and Pirates from invading the area.
Left to Right: The Port of Ancona, The Fortress in Ancona in defense of the Turk assault., The emblem of Ancona capital city of the Le Marche region, Italy
In 1543 the Pope left Rome to meet Emperor Charles V of Spain at Busseto and Bologna meetings. He left Rodolfo in charge of governing the estate of Saint Peter. The Pope’s sessions were critical because the famous pirate Barbarossa, Lord of Alger and Mediterranean, Admiral of the Navy of Suleman the Magnificent, was returning to attack the Italian Coast, bringing ruin and devastation while menacing Rome.
Rodolfo’s actions toward the House of Farnese, particularly toward Pope Paul III, were always dignified. He acted with devotion but never with blind submission.
Among the Cardinals on August 12 and 17, 1545, there was a shock when Rodolfo disapproved the Pope’s action when he assigned Parma and Piacenza to his illegitimate son, Pier Luigi. It appeared that Rodolfo was critical of what he considered wrongdoing to the Church. He was a gentleman who would not hide his position, not even when he knew it displeased the Pope.
The story will continue in the next blog.