Almost Pope, Symposium

Quasi Papa (Almost Pope)
Scholars examining the multiple interests of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte 
June 2, 2021

Symposium “Almost Pope”

The aim of the conferences that will be held in honour of the reopening following the reopening of the Museo is to shed light on the historical importance of a character such as Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte. The title “Almost Pope” was chosen due to the fact that he was not elected in the Conclave of 1621 (black smoke signal) because of the Spanish faction’s hostility: Del Monte favoured a pro-French and pro-Medici stance.

The relevance of his varied cultural interests will be explored, with a closer look at his study of music, astronomy, optics, mathematics, and alchemy.

A clever politician, he managed to hold on to the administration of his marquisate in Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, a region located  between the Church State and the Granducate of Tuscany. There reigned a certain freedom for the times: Jews were welcome, justice was distributed fairly, it had its own currency, goods were imported and exported, and there was one of the only legal enclosures where mortal combats could still take place.

He was a remarkable scientist and a refined art collector, taking a special interest in Caravaggio of whom he became the most noteworthy patron.

His brother Guidobaldo was a friend of Galileo Galilei.

Due to the Covid pandemic, booking is required for seats in the conference room.