Giulio Rospigliosi, who eventually became Pope Clement IX (r. 1667-9), was born on 28 January 1600 in Pistoia.

By Anne Leader

Giulio Rospigliosi, who eventually became Pope Clement IX (r. 1667-9), was born on 28 January 1600 in Pistoia. Well educated and talented as a poet and playwright, Giulio began collecting art in the 1630s. He was good friends with the painter Nicolas Poussin, a French expatriate living in Rome. In addition to collecting several of his works, Rospigliosi suggested themes for several of Poussin’s paintings, including his Dance to the Music of Time and his Arcadian Shepherds. Rospigliosi also collected pictures by Claude Lorrain, another French artist living in Rome. He commissioned Gianlorenzo Bernini to sculpt angels to adorn the Ponte Sant’Angelo in Rome and to design a new high altar for the church of Sant’Ignazio in his hometown of Pistoia. The altarpiece was made by Pietro da Cortona.

Carlo Maratta, Portrait of Pope Clement IX (Giulio Rospigliosi), 1669. Rome: Pinacoteca Vaticana

Nicolas Poussin, Dance to the Music of Time, ca. 1639. London, The Wallace Collection

Nicolas Poussin, Arcadian Shepherds, ca. 1637-9. Paris, Musée du Louvre

Claude Lorrain, Landscape with a Goatherd, ca. 1636-7. London: National Gallery

Giovanni Battista Gaulli, Pope Clement IX, 1667-9

Gianlorenzo Bernini, Angel with the Crown of Thorns, 1667-9, marble, over life-size. Sant’Andrea della Fratte, Rome

Gianlorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona, Altar of Sant’Ignazio, 1668, Pistoia

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