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Joseph Connors

(Alta Emps, Hohenems)

Italian family of patrons, of German origin. The Hohenems family from Salzburg Italianized their name when Cardinal Marcus Sitticus Altemps (1533–95) brought the dynasty to Rome. A soldier by training, he pursued an ecclesiastical career under the patronage of his uncle, Pope Pius IV (reg 1559–65). Marcus was made Bishop of Konstanz in 1561 and legate to the Council of Trent. He began the development of the massive Villa Mondragone (see Frascati), to the designs of his house architect Martino I Longhi (i); Pope Gregory XIII (reg 1572–85) often visited it. Through papal favour he accumulated enormous wealth, which he used to rebuild the Palazzo Riario near Piazza Navona, Rome, into a magnificent family palace (known thereafter as the Palazzo Altemps) and to build the Altemps Chapel in S Maria in Trastevere; both of these designs were by Longhi. Effects of the Cardinal’s patronage or his generosity survive in the many estates that he purchased or received as gifts, at Loreto, Gallese and in the area around Frascati (e.g. at Mondragone, Monte Compatri and Monte Porzio). ...

Article

Alessandra Civai

Italian family of patrons and collectors. Members of the family held important political positions in Florence, especially during the 15th century. One of their most important acts of patronage, recorded by Vasari, was the commissioning by Roberto Martelli (1408–64) of several sculptures from Donatello, including the famous statue of St John the Baptist as a Youth (c. 1455; Florence, Bargello). Although the accuracy of Vasari’s information has been questioned, some recently discovered unpublished documents have enabled a partial confirmation of the attribution (see Civai, 1988–9, pp. 40–59; 1989). During the 16th century the family gave important commissions to Lorenzo di Credi, Giorgio Vasari, Andrea Sansovino and Giovanni Francesco Rustici in connection with the decoration of family chapels in the basilica of S Lorenzo and the churches of S Frediano in Florence and S Agostino in Rome. In the 17th century the Martelli constructed their sumptuous chapel (...