Cardinal Carlo de’ Medici
Cardinal Carlo de’ Medici (1596-1666) was the son of
Ferdinando I de’
Medici. His mother was Christine of Lorraine. He was created
cardinal in 1615.
While in Rome, he lived at the Villa Medici or the Palazzo
Madama, both inherited from his father.
In Florence he resided in the Casino di San Marco, which he
bought in 1621. In the following years he had this building decorated with
frescoes by Florentine artists, including Fabrizio Boschi (1570–1642), Matteo
Rosselli, Anastagio Fontebuoni, Ottavio Vannini and Michelangelo
Here he kept his rich library and his collection of more than 300 paintings, most of which are
now in public galleries in Florence.
Among contemporary artists Cardinal Carlo showed an interest in Florentine and Emilian painters
(especially Guido Reni); he also had a passion for the Florentine painting of the first half of the 16th century,
especially that of Andrea del Sarto, several of whose works he possessed. In addition to paintings of sacred and
secular subjects, the collection contained various portraits of members of the Medici family, an unusual number of
landscape paintings of medium and large size and some small landscapes on copper.
In Rome, Cardinal Carlo employed the architect Paolo Maruscelli to enlarge the Palazzo Madama
(photo bellow). Between 1638 and 1641 he had the piano nobile decorated with fresco paintings by Giovanni Antonio
Lelli, Pietro Paolo Baldini, Raffaelle Vanni and Giovanni Antonio Galli.
Palazzo Madama, Rome