Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi’s life from 1546 to his death in 1564

He inherited the 1514 painting of the Sacred Family by Raffaello (know as “Madonna of Divine Love”), as it is in his will.

In 1546 Cardinal Rodolfo was elected Bishop of Girgenti, Latium (Rome) a small place in the region named Pescoracchiani, province of Rieti, which he had to administer since 1544.

He received many honorable positions, and one was when he suggested a noble and dignified solution to the Duchy of Milan possession of Charles V, father of Philip II.

He was an influential member of the Commission for St. Peter in Rome and followed the Temple of Christianity altar construction completion.

During the construction, he connected with Michelangelo Buonarroti while painting the Sistine Chapel, and they were sometimes involved in animated conversation.

In 1545 he assisted Pope Paul III (Farnese), who was the promoter of the Council of Trento, to defend Catholicism from Chauvinism and Lutheranism.

Cardinal Rodolfo was not present at the Council. Still, he did correspond in the opening and the ending with the Council’s members to make them aware of his opinion, keeping the utmost rigid principles of the College of Cardinals. He demonstrated moderation as an influential member of the Supreme Inquisition.

image: Council of Trento began in 1545 and ended in 1563

Rodolfo was one of the most esteemed Cardinal to Saint Peter’s Cathedral. On December 11, 1559, he did not have sufficient votes to become Pope. One would hear the Cardinals calling “Carpi, Carpi,” but the French hostility, particularly Cardinal Sforza and Este, suppressed his nomination. Not only did the French mistrust his politics, but they were also terrified that if the Cardinal became Pope, he would return the State of Carpi to his family, causing damage to the Estensi of Ferrara, who took possession with the concord of Charles V, in 1527.

After the death of Pope Paul III (Farnese), a new Pope, Pius IV, born Giovanni Angelo Medici, was elected in 1562 when Rodolfo became Deacon of the College of Cardinals.

Giovanni Angelo Medici was elected Pope Pius IV in 1559. He was born in 1499 and died in 1565.

By that time, Cardinal Rodolfo had reached the apex of his career. He was rich and held the most important place in the College of Cardinal. He could choose anything at his pleasure, like precious stones, and even wear a gemmed Papal’s cloak.

After his death, Pope Pius IV ordered a monument by the sculptor Papadopoli in the Chapel of Saint Michael in Trinita Dei Monti as a perpetual testimony of what Rodolfo deserved in his life.

Rodolfo kept the famous 1514 painting by Raffello in his private room during all his lifetime. What happened to this famous painting after his death in 1564?

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