Alessandro Farnese

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Farnese, Alessandro

(älĕs-sän`drō färnā`zā), 1545–92, duke of Parma and Piacenza (1586–92), general and diplomat in the service of Philip II of Spain. He was the son of Duke Ottavio Farnese and Margaret of Parma and thus a nephew of Philip II and of John of Austria, under whom he distinguished himself at the battle of Lepanto (1571). In 1577, Farnese joined John in the Low Countries to fight the rebels against Spain. Appointed (1578) governor of the Netherlands, he took Tournai, Maastricht, Breda, Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp from the rebels and secured continued possession of the southern part of the Netherlands for Spain (see Netherlands, Austrian and SpanishNetherlands, Austrian and Spanish,
that part of the Low Countries that, from 1482 until 1794, remained under the control of the imperial house of Hapsburg. The area corresponds roughly to modern Belgium and Luxembourg.
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). In 1590 he was sent to France at the head of a Spanish army to assist the Catholic LeagueLeague
or Holy League,
in French history, organization of Roman Catholics, aimed at the suppression of Protestantism and Protestant political influence in France.
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 against Henry IV of France. He relieved the siege of Paris (1590) and the siege of Rouen (1592), but was wounded soon afterward and retired to Arras, where he died. Farnese showed exceptional skill in military art and diplomacy.


See R. Solari, The House of Farnese (1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Farnese, Alessandro


Born Aug. 27, 1545, in Rome; died Dec. 3, 1592, in Arras. Military commander and official of the Spanish monarchy. Vicegerent in the Netherlands for the Spanish king from 1578 (officially, from 1581). Duke of Parma and Piacenza. Son of Ottavio Farnese, duke of Parma and Piacenza, and Margaret of Parma.

During the struggle of the Spanish monarchy to put down the Dutch bourgeois revolution, Farnese succeeded in recapturing the Walloon provinces for Spain, concluding a treaty with the Union of Arras in May 1579. After a series of victories over the revolutionary forces, he was able to seize most of the southern Netherlands. In the early 1590’s, Farnese was defeated by the troops of Maurice of Nassau. On orders from Phillip II of Spain, Farnese invaded France, forcing Henry of Navarre to lift the siege of Paris in 1590 and the siege of Rouen in 1592.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(At the command of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, Vice Chancellor, because the sudden occasion required a painted work not already begun, Giorgio of Arezzo completed the work on the one-hundredth day in such a manner that the obligation to obey would righdy have excused his haste were it not that his remarkable speed added dignity [to the work].
Highlights included the small-scale copy of the Last Judgment, commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese of Marcello Venusti in 1549, which shows the imposing fresco before the strategic coverings and changes made by Daniele da Volterra to hide the nudity and other perceived vulgarities (earning Volterra the nickname of Il braghettone, the breeches painter).
(21) The painting combines likeness (a naturalistic rendering of Alessandro Farnese) and fiction (Alessandro Farnese as Paul the Apostle) in a way that communicates Lessing's later appraisal of portraiture as a mode which, "admitting idealization, is dominated by likeness.
It was through Ahoviti's connections that Vasari was introduced into the circle of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. It was not long after this introduction that Farnese commissioned Vasari to paint an Allegory of Justice in 1543 for the Palazzo Cancelleria.
Maybe not another novel, but a postscript about the life of Archbishop Alessandro Farnese, might tempt West back for one more Sinatralike appearance.
17) and that probably made by Lucio Marliano, called Piccinino, of Milan for Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma, about 1576-80 (nos.
Butler), Durer as patronized by Frederick the Wise and Emperor Maximillian I (Larry Silver), Giulio Clovio in the court of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (Elena Calvillo), and Dosso Dossi in Ferrara (Giancarlo Fiorenza).
23), painted for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1544-46, and one of the most sensuous and masterly of all Titian's mythologies.
1175-1275) in the Stanza della Segnatura (1508-11), the pope (with the features of Julius II) is seated on a raised throne but without cloth of honor or canopy, wears a tiara and pluviale (ornate cope), and is flanked by two cardinal assistants (with the faces of Giovanni de' Medici and Alessandro Farnese) and numerous attendants.
Within two years of the new placement of the Fasti, Cardinal Farnese's nephew, Duke Alessandro Farnese, had had his own monument, recording his own military victories, inserted in the middle of the scene showing Aemilius Paullus.
Under Alessandro Farnese's protection the Gesu pioneered Counter-Reformation church design with its wide nave and large transept arms.
The ensuing years of turmoil ended when Ottavio Farnese, under the guidance of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, agreed to marry Charles V's natural daughter, Margarita of Austria (1552); by 1559, the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza was reality and Ottavio, its duke.