Pietro Francesco Orsini

Pier Francesco Orsini

Pier Francesco Orsini, also called Vicino Orsini (July 4, 1523 - 1583) was an Italian condottiero and patron of the arts. He is famous as the commissioner of the Mannerist Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo (northern Lazio).


Born in Bomarzo, he was the son of Giovanni Corrado Orsini and Clarice Anguillara.

He inherited the duchy of Bomarzo seven years after the death of the father, thank to intercession of cardinal Alessandro Farnese (the future Pope Paul III). He later married Alessandro's relative Giulia Farnese.

His career as condottiero ended in the 1550s, when he was taken prisoner and the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis ended the French-Spanish Wars in Italy. Orsini then retired to Bomarzo where he surrounded himself with literates and artists, and devoted to an Epicurean style of life, which negated any contact with religion. Here he had the family completed and, starting from 1547, the famous Park, whose enigmatic constructions and sculptures are one of the most suggestive example of late Renaissance art in Italy.

After the death of his wife he dedicated the park to her memory.

Pier Francesco Orsini died in 1583.

Artistic tributes

  • Alberto Ginastera's 1967 opera Bomarzo is based on the life of Orsini, as narrated in the book of the same name by argentinian writer Manuel Mujica Láinez.

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