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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art

Julius II, Pope

[Giuliano della Rovere]

(b Albissola [Savona], 5 Dec 1443; elected 1503; d Rome, 20–21 Feb 1513). Nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. The great patron of the High Renaissance in Rome, he commissioned Donato Bramante to build the new St Peter’s, Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling (see fig.) and Raphael to decorate his private apartments, the stanze (all Rome, Vatican). He was born into a noble but impoverished family, the son of Raffaele della Rovere (d 1477) and Theodora Manerola. Following the example of his uncle Francesco della Rovere, he entered the Franciscan Order, and from 1468 he studied law at Perugia. With the election of Francesco as Pope Sixtus IV in 1471 Giuliano became titular Cardinal of S Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, and Cardinal of SS Apostoli there the following year. He undertook the restoration and embellishment of the two churches. . . . Giuliano was elected pope, as Julius II, on 31 October 1503. During his pontificate the Papal States became dominant in Italy and were again a major European power.

Sabine Eiche