The Visual World of Cardinal Carvajal and its Global Afterlife
Edoardo Rossetti received his PhD from the Universities of Padua and Venice (2017) with a dissertation on the schismatic Council of Pisa-Milan (1510-1512) and religious debate in the early sixteenth century. His research also focuses on Milanese urban space and the settlement strategies of aristocratic families from 1300s to the 1500s, Renaissance and Neo-Renaissance, and the patronage of religious orders, Lombard cardinals and nobles. He was post-doctoral researcher at the Università Cattolica of Milan (2017-20) and in Swiss National Science Foundation project (2019-22). He curated exhibitions on Bramantino (Lugano, 2014) and Caroto (Verona, 2022), and was part of the scientific committee of Arte Lombarda and Bramante (Milan, 2015).
The period between the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century—between the "discovery" of the New World and before the Reformation—marked a dramatic turning point in the religious and political history of Europe. In this, the Castilian Cardinal Bernardino López de Carvajal (1456-1523) played a key role and contributed to creating impactful visual models. He was a cultured ecclesiastic, the last antipope, a prophetic and apocalyptic visionary of great political farsightedness. Carvajal combined archaic aspirations (such as the re-conquest of Jerusalem) with instances of Church reform and a millenarian vision of imperial authority. He bridged different worlds, ranging from Rome to the Duchy of Milan and Spain, from the Empire to the Near East and Latin America. Carvajal was also sensitive to visual communication and images in different media. His patronage, his peculiar way of interpreting the past and the present, and his use of images and symbols in the grand artistic operations he launched, had a lasting impact. The visual language that Carvajal created was extremely successful and, after his demise, was adopted and connected to other discourses and new contexts, becoming part of the communication rhetoric of the Hispanic Empire.