Historical Library

Filippa di Martiniana Carlo Giuseppe

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The archive contains the letters of Cardinal Carlo Giuseppe Filippa di Martiniana. Born in Turin on 19th June 1724, he died on 7 December 1802. He was Bishop of Moriana, Abbot of Santa Maria di Casanova (from 28th July 1778), then Bishop of Vercelli from 1779.

In 1786 he consecrated the new parish of Brusasco. In April 1789 he hosted in the bishopric the royal couple of the son of Vittorio Amedeo III Vittorio Emanuele Duca d'Aosta (later King as Vittorio Emanuele I), returning from the marriage occurred in Novara with Maria Teresa of Austria daughter of Archduke Ferdinando. Cardinal Filippa was a prelate particularly open to the arts, particularly painting and literature. He was a refined collector: it has been handed down the memory of a rich collection of works by the leading artists of the time, Maratta, Trevisani, Conca, Solimena, Olivero, Nogari, Van Loo, Palmieri, Mayerle. The collection was the subject of a particular visit by the great art historian Luigi Lanzi, who took place in 1793 to update his History of Italy. Particularly significant were his relations with the literary world of the Arcadian Shepherds, who paid homage to him of a pamphlet of poems printed in Vercelli by Panialis in 1790. The same Giovanni Antonio Ranza, then fervent Jacobin, in 1779 had welcomed the entry of the Bishop Filippa of Martiniana with an original and erudite Patriotic dissertation containing notes on the ceremonial of an ancient Vercelli bishop’s entrance (that of Bishop Saint Albert, in 1185), but many others were the works dedicated to him by poets and writers, ecclesiastical and not. The epistolary contains only the letters received, and amply testifies to the richness of the relationships and exchanges maintained by the humanist prelate.