Clarice Strozzi

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Clarice Strozzi, b. de 'Medici (1493-1528)

Clarice Strozzi (also Clara or Clarissa Strozzi, née de 'Medici; * 1493 in Florence ; † May 3, 1528 ) was a member of the older Medici line and had been married to Filippo Strozzi the Younger , a Florentine banker, since 1508 .


Clarice Strozzi, née de 'Medici, was a disciplined, thrifty, undemanding, yet educated woman, proud of her ancestry, who devoted her life essentially to the upbringing and education of her ten children. She also took care of Ippolito de 'Medici (1511-1535), who was an illegitimate son of the Duke of Nemours, and for Alessandro de' Medici (1511-1537), whose origin is disputed and who is either an illegitimate son of Giulio de 'Medici, later Pope Clement VII , or by Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, father of Caterina de 'Medici.

In 1519, Pope Leo X entrusted the guardianship of the orphaned Caterina de 'Medici to his cousin Giulio de' Medici, who gave the baby to the Strozzi family living in Rome . Caterina had a strict but loving childhood in the Strozzi house and was therefore grateful to Clarice and the fun-loving Filippo and their children throughout her life. Clarice remained the primary caregiver for her niece until her death in 1528.

In 1525 Pope Clement VII ordered the return of the Medici offspring to Florence and entrusted them to the governor Cardinal Silvio Passerini , who ruled the Arno city despotic from 1523 to 1527. Passerini minimized the contacts between the Strozzis and their former pupils, but neglected his duty to supervise Ippolito and Alessandro, whose debauchery soon led to the rejection of Medici rule in Florence. Finally, after learning of the sacking of Rome ( Sacco di Roma ) by Imperial and Spanish troops, the Florentines decided to rise up against the Medici.

It is mainly thanks to Clarice Strozzi that Caterina de 'Medici was brought to safety in Poggio in good time and thus did not become a hostage of the rebels.

Clarice turned away from the Pope since 1525 because of Clement VII's preference for the illegitimate Alessandro to the detriment of the legitimate Caterina. When the papal power was restricted after the Sacco di Roma, displeasure with the city government took off in Florence. Clarice decided to support the Anti-Medici Party and motivated her husband accordingly. At the request of her husband as well as on her own initiative, she took an active role in the expulsion of the Medici. She appeared in person in the Palazzo Medici in May 1527 , where she denied Alessandro and Ippolito and their guardian Silvio Passerini, the Cardinal of Cortona, their (questionable) claims to the political heritage of the Medici. She resolutely urged the three of them to immediately “leave a house and a land that you have no right to own, neither by birth nor by spiritual abilities” . On May 17, the three hated people left Florence and moved to Lucca.

Clarice now openly joined the anti-Medicean party in Florence. She then tried to convince her husband to take up political office. Filippo Strozzi, however, preferred to remain a private citizen and support Niccolò Capponi, who was soon appointed Gonfaloniere of the Republic of Florence. The Strozzis then withdrew to their country estates in Tuscany. Clarice Strozzi died there on May 3, 1528, sincerely mourned by her family and niece, as a result of a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Origin and family

Paternal grandparents:

Maternal grandparents:

  • Roberto Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo
  • Caterina Sanseverino




  • Caterina de 'Medici (1519–1589), wife of Henry II, King of France (1547–1559), politically influential Queen Mother until 1589.

Paternal uncle:

Marriage and children

His marriage to Filippo Strozzi (* 1488/89; † December 18, 1538 in Florence) in 1508 resulted in the following ten children:

  • Piero Strozzi (around 1510 - June 21, 1558); Condottiere, political opponent of the Duke of Florence, later Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I (1519–1574); became Marshal of France in 1554. In 1539 he married Laudomia de 'Medici, daughter of the younger Pierfrancesco de' Medici (1487–1525) and his wife Maria Soderini. From this marriage comes the Condottiere Filippo Strozzi (1541–1582). Piero Strozzi played an important role in the conquest of Calais in 1557 and died in 1558 of the consequences of his wounding at the Battle of Thionville.
  • Roberto Strozzi (also Ruberto Strozzi) († 1566); was friends with Michelangelo in his youth . In 1539 he married Maddalena de 'Medici († 1583), another daughter of Pierfrancesco de' Medici (1487–1525) and his wife Maria Soderini, and after 1547 settled in Lyon as a banker.
  • Lorenzo Strozzi (December 3, 1513 - † December 14, 1571 in Avignon); Abt was in 1548 Bishop of Bezier and on 15 March 1557 by Pope Paul IV. To Cardinal appointed. Lorenzo Strozzi also became Archbishop of Albi in 1561, Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence in 1562 and Archbishop of Siena in 1568.
  • Leone Strozzi (October 15, 1515 - June 28, 1554); joined the Order of Malta in 1530. The Knight of Malta became prior of Capua and served as the galley commander of his order from 1536 to 1552. Leone Strozzi was the Maltese ambassador to Constantinople in 1544 and died in 1554 while defending the Republic of Siena against Florentine and imperial troops.
  • Giulio Strozzi († 1537)
  • Vincenco Strozzi († 1537)
  • Alessandro Strozzi († 1541)
  • Maria Strozzi, married to Lorenzo Ridolfi
  • Luigia Strozzi († 1534), married to Luigi Capponi
  • Maddalena or Addalena Strozzi, married to Flaminio, Count of Anguillara


  • Franco Cesati: The Medici. The story of a European dynasty . La Mandragora, 1999, ISBN 88-85957-39-0 .
  • James Cleugh: The Medici. Power and splendor of a European family. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1996, ISBN 3-86047-155-4 .
  • Irene Mahoney: Catherine de Medici. Queen of France - Princess of the Renaissance. 3rd corrected edition. Callwey, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-7667-0891-0 .

Individual evidence

  1. quoted from James Cleugh; "The Medici - Power and Splendor of a European Family" ; Approved license issue for Bechtermünz Verlag in Weltbild Verlag GmbH; Augsburg 1996; P. 274