Giulio Rospigliosi

male / Italian
art collector, philosopher, poet, author, diplomat, cardinal
Elected Pope in 1667: Clement IX. Rospigliosi started collecting paintings in the 1930s and had a great predilection for literary and pastoral themes. He was client of Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Gianlorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona. He also owned paintings by Paul Bril and Salvator Rosa.
Pistoia 1600-01-28
Rome 1669-12-09
Family relationships
this field records any family relationship to one or more other artist(s).
son of Giacomo and Caterina Rospigliosi
Biographical information
Active in
  • Pistoia
  • Pisa 1623 - 1625
    He studied at the Seminario Romano and later at the University of Pisa as a pupil of the Jesuits, receiving doctorates in theology, philosophy and both canon and civil law in 1623. After receiving his doctorates, he taught theology there as a professor from 1623 to 1625.
  • Rome 1625 - 1644
    Rospigliosi worked closely with Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644) where he worked in the diplomatic corps as the Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura. He was appointed as the Titular Archbishop of Tarsus in 1644 and later received episcopal consecration in the Vatican
  • Spanje 1644 - 1653
    Rospigliosi also served as the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain from 1644 until 1653 when he decided to retire from that post.
  • Rome 1655 - 1669
    He lived in retirement throughout the pontificate of Pope Innocent X who disliked and distanced himself from those associated with his predecessor. He was also made vicar of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Pope Alexander VII appointed him to the cardinalate in 1657 as the Cardinal-Priest of San Sisto Vecchio and was also appointed as the Cardinal Secretary of State in 1655 which he held until 1667. Rospigliosi was an accomplished man of letters who wrote poetry, dramas and libretti, as well as what may be the first comic opera (1637) He was also a patron of Nicolas Poussin, commissioning 'A Dance to the Music of Time' from him and dictating its iconography. A conclave to choose a successor for Pope Alexander VII, who died in 1667, was called. King Louis XIV of France instructed the French faction to turn their support to Rospigliosi and believed also that he would appease the Spanish faction of Charles II due to the fact that he had once been the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. On 20 June 1667, he was elected as pontiff and took the pontifical name of "Clement IX". The new pope was crowned on 26 June 1667 by the protodeacon, Cardinal Rinaldo d'Este. He later took possession of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran on 3 July 1667. As pope, Clement IX continued his interest in the arts. He embellished the city of Rome with famous works commissioned to Gian Lorenzo Bernini, including the angels of Ponte Sant'Angelo and the colonnade of Saint Peter's Basilica. He also opened the first public opera house in Rome.
born in
active in
died in
wrote libretti for operas for the teatro musicale romano at the court of the Barberini
Creation date: 2012-04-18; Last modified date: 2021-11-24


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