Maria Spinola

Maria Spinola

Year of death: 1642

Maria Spinola was the daughter of Filippo Spinola of San Luca, son of Ambrogio, marquis of Sesto and Venafro, Lord of Casalnoceto and of Polissena Grimaldi, daughter of Nicolò, Prince of Salerno. She married Giovanni Battista Spinola, first Duke of San Pietro in Galatina in 1596.

The board

Maria Spinola was the daughter of Filippo Spinola of San Luca, son of Ambrogio, marquis of Sesto and Venafro, Lord of Casalnoceto, and of Polissena Grimaldi, daughter of Nicolò, Prince of Salerno. She married Giovanni Battista Spinola, first Duke of San Pietro in Galatina in 1596. This union not only consolidated the parental network of the spouse in the feudal and pro-Spanish aristocracy, linking his descendants to that of the Marquises of Los Balbases, but also appeared very solid and happy.

The Marquis Filippo died in the villa of Terralba in February 1584, leaving his sons Ambrogio, Federico and Lelia, future wife of Gio. Francesco Grimaldi, Duke of Terranova, Placidia, wife of Federico Landi, prince of Valdidaro, and Maddalena, wife of Michele Imperiale, son of David, marquis of Oria in the Kingdom of Naples as his heirs.

Maria Spinola’s mother, Polissena Grimaldi, was a woman of many qualities, as reported by several chronicles of the time. In 1574, Gasparo Fiorino praised her simple and composed character:

In your beautiful eyes, Love
so gentile and so human
and her wits never grieved in vain
And from her gentle laugh
oh Polisena, such a flame spreads
that in those who receive it, of high flames ignite.
Every word then,
and every act gentle of the person/worthy makes you to bear the crown.

In the testament of the magnificent Maria Spinola, dictated on December 17, 1611, the Genoese noblewoman decided to be buried in the usualburial ground … in the church of Santo Nicolò del Boschetto», with the funeral obsequies that her husband had ordered .. After having allocated substantial sums to pious legates, she appointed her husband usufructary of her own possessions and her sons as heirs in equal parts. If all her children died without leaving heirs, the Marquis Ambrogio Spinola, her brother or his descendants, would have succeeded in the inheritance. However, her spouse was appointed as the sole Commissioner with ample authority.

After the death of her husband in 1625, Maria Spinola and her son Gio Maria had the heavy commitment to take care of the newly acquired Palazzo. In 1635 she charged Bartolomeo Bianco (1590-1657) with the building of the gallery annexed to the Palace (today no longer visible because it was destroyed at the end of the 19th century by the opening of the present Via Roma) which she had frescoed with the works of the brothers Ambrogio and Federico, sons of Giovanni Carlone.

At the same time it is very difficult to believe that she has not taken part in the decoration of the Villa Spinola of San Pietro in Sampierdarena, where on the Noble floor, the deeds of the most famous enterprises of her brother Ambrogio, general of the Catholic King in the war of Flanders, marquis de los Balbases, Great of Spain and Governor of the State of Milan, are recalled.

Maria Spinola died in Genoa in 1642 and, according to her wishes, was buried at the Abbey of San Nicolò del Boschetto. She was buried in the Chapel of our Lady without any marble epitaph in remembrance. However, her funeral pillow in lead is preserved with the following inscription Maria Spinola Duchess of San Pietro, died on August 15, 1642.

For news about Polissena Grimaldi Spinola https://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/polissena-spinola_%28Dizionario-Biografico%29/

Freely taken from “Palazzo Doria Spinola. Architettura ed arredi di una dimora aristocratica genovese, da un inventario del 1727″ by Roberto Santamaria, 2011 Recco (GE), Le Mani Editore. An image taken from the same book shows a detail of a fresco by Carlone of Villa Spinola of San Pietro.

Genealogy

Maria Spinola (?-1642) was the daughter of Filippo Spinola, (1536-1584), Marquis of Sesto and Venafro, Lord of Casalnoceto, son of Ambrogio and of Polissena Grimaldi (1540-?) who was the daughter of Nicolò Grimaldi, Lord of Salerno and Eboli, and of Giulia Cybo of the Princes of Massa.
Brothers: Ambrogio Spinola(1569-1630), 1st Marquis of Los Balbases, marquis of Sesto and Venafro, married Giovanna Basadonne in 1592; Federico Spinola (1571-1603), Admiral, Lord of Casalnoceto; Placida Spinola in 1598 married Don Federico Landi, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire and of Val di Taro, Marquis of Bardi, Count of Compiano, Baron and Lord of  Turbigio; Maddalena Spinola (1570-1634) married Michele Imperiale (1565- 1616); 1565-1616); Lelia Spinola married Gian Francesco Grimaldi Oliva (?-1594) in 1585, 2nd Duke of Terranova, 2nd Lord of Gerace, Gioia and 3rd Lord of Mount Sant’Angelo.

Marriage
Maria Spinola married Giovanni Battista Spinola, 1st Duke of San Pietro (1575-1625) in 1596.
Children
Pellina Spinola (1599-?) married Luca Spinola son of Gaspare, Principe di Molfetta, brother of Brigida Spinola portrayed by Rubens in 1606, and heir to half of the remarkable patrimony of her paternal uncle, Gio Stefano Doria; Polissena (1600-?), nun; Veronica (1601-?) married David Imperiale, marquis of Oria; Gio Maria Spinola (1602-1666), Second Duke of San Pietro, married Paola Maria daughter of Gio Filippo Saluzzo in 1629; Angela Serafina, nun; Gio Federico (1604-1605), dead as an infant; Gio Geronimo (1605-1606), dead as an infant; Maria Camilla (1608-?) nun; Gio Filippo Spinola (1609-1660), Prince of Molfetta married his niece Veronica Spinola ( ?-1688), daughter of his sister Pellina and Luca Spinola son of Gaspare; Gio Carlo ( 1611-?) Friar; Gio Stefano (1612-1614), dead as an infant; Gio Ambrogio (1614-1646); Gio Pietro Spinola (1616-1675) married Maria Brigida Franzone daughter of Agostino; Violante (1619-?) married Lorenzo Sauli, son of Ottavio Maria, in her first marriage and Carlo Centurione, son of Luigi, in her second marriage; Gio Domenico (1620-1660), priest.

The genealogy for the Dukes of San Pietro is entirely taken from “Palazzo Doria Spinola. Architettura e arredi di una dimora aristocratica genovese, da un inventario del 1727″  by Roberto Santamaria, 2011 Recco (GE), Le Mani Editore.

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