Alessandro Torlonia: The Pope’s Banker by Daniela Felisini

By Daniela Felisini

This ebook presents a vibrant biography of a towering Italian banker, pioneer and entrepreneur. It weaves the entrepreneurial ventures of Alessandro Torlonia (1800-1886) throughout the narratives of industrial and politics within the 19th century, the expansion of eu monetary markets and the decline of Papal energy throughout the Italian Risorgimento. The dialogue is based in rigorous ancient study utilizing unique resources equivalent to the Archivum Secretum Vaticanum papers and different respectable files; the information of the Torlonia kin, and of the Rothschild financial institution in Paris; memoirs; correspondences, and newspapers. via this booklet readers examine that Alessandro Torlonia used to be a guy of many faces, who used to be some of the most complicated and influential characters of Italian financial lifestyles within the 19th century. Felisini additionally presents a professional critique of the monetary heritage of the papacy: a space of heightened curiosity given the notoriety of kin among the Holy See and its bankers within the 20th and twenty-first centuries. Focal themes comparable to the background of eu elites and the historical past of eu monetary markets can have an interdisciplinary charm for students and researchers.

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See Madelin, La Rome de Napoléon, 43 and 388–89. 60 Boutry, “Nobiltà romana e curia,” 411. ”61 Almost everywhere, the upheavals resulting from changes in regime and the European economic crisis of the first two decades of the nineteenth century stimulated the merging of ascending new groups and the old aristocracy. Although financially damaged during the French period and ceding ground over its ancient jurisdictional rights, Rome’s patriciate maintained its social and economic pre-eminence. 64 Giuseppe Valadier, Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen were the most wellknown names among a larger group of artists who worked for this newly noble family.

Giovanni’s wife Anna Maria had proved to be a skilful weaver of social relationships; she supported him in a strategy of constructing the family’s image, which was uninterrupted by the changes of regime in the capital. 72 In addition, she was regarded as having inspired her husband’s protection of the religious orders: in 1806 Torlonia engaged in charity and patronage at the same time by entrusting the architect Giuseppe Valadier with construction of the facade of the church of San Pantaleo, the base for the Poor Clerics of the Mother of God, an order dedicated to the education of young people.

Supplies, contracts, industrial initiatives, purchases of national assets and other landholdings, lending to the Curia and the aristocracy, banking services for foreign notables residing in Rome during the European upheavals caused by Napoleonic expansionism: these were the elements, boldly mixed together, that contributed to the consolidation of the banker’s fortune and status. ” 48 2 Origins and Rise of the Torlonia Family and Bank 31 “alertness”, meaning his readiness to read the signals from the market,49 and his ability to operate in crisis situations and contain their risks.

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