Baldassarre Turini

The Impresa of Turini

The constructor of the villa, Baldassarre Turini, was born in 1486 in the small town of Pescia in Tuscany. A son of a local wealthy patron family, Baldassarre studied law and therefore got into the service of the powerful Florentine family of Medici. In 1512 he was in the retinue of the Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici. The men were later imprisoned together by the French inthe battle of Ravenna. When the Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici in 1513 was elected by Pope Leo X, Turini followed him to Rome. Soon, his faithfulness was rewarded with an eminent nomination as the pope’s datary. Leo planned to nominate Turini as a cardinal but died suddenly in 1521 – as a result, Turini never reached the position.
During the short pontificate of Adrian VI, Turini was forced to resign all his duties. As soon as Giulio de’ Medici, a cousin of Leo X, was chosen as Pope Clement VII, he nominated Turini as nuncio, a trusted representative of the pope as well as of the Medici family. In addition, Turini had important administrative posts in Rome, he was “magister viarum”, a supervisor of constructions in the town, and managed the palaces of the Medici and Strozzi families. Pope Paul III nominated Turini finally as a papal legate and he represented the pope on important occasions, such as during the visit of Charles V in Italy.
Baldassarre Turini died in October 1543 and his funeral was held in the church of S. Eustachio. Turini’s coffin was moved back to his native town Pescia and in the cathedral a sepulchral monument made by Raffaello da Montelupo was erected. Turini had close relations with the most important artists of the early 16th century. As Vasari relates, Turini ordered works from both Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello and was the executor of the latter’s will. He was also a close friend of a young apprentice of Raphael, the architect and painter known as Giulio Romano.