Clarice Orsini was born circa 1453 in Monterotondo, Papal States, Italy to Giacomo Orsini (-1482) and Maddalena Orsini (c1410) and died 30 July 1488 Florence, Republic of Florence, Italy of tuberculosis. She married Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492) 7 February 1469 JL .

Clarice Orsini and her sister in law Bianca de' Medici (1445-1488)

Clarice Orsini (c. 1453 – 30 July 1488) was the daughter of Jacopo (Giacomo) Orsini (see Orsini family), lord of Monterotondo and Bracciano, and his wife and cousin Maddalena Orsini. Born in Rome, she is most known as the wife of Lorenzo de' Medici (Lorenzo the Magnificent), de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic. She was the mother of Pope Leo X.

Lorenzo and Clarice were married by proxy on 7 February 1469. The marriage was arranged by Lorenzo's mother Lucrezia Tornabuoni, who wanted her eldest son to marry a woman from a noble family, in order to enhance the social status of the Medicis. Clarice's dowry was 6,000 florins. She arrived in Florence on 4 June 1469.

Clarice was not popular in Florence, because her strict religious personality was in deep contrast with the humanist ideals of the age. Even Lorenzo preferred a Florentine woman, Lucrezia Donati, to whom he dedicated his poems, but he had children only from Clarice. Of the nine children born to them, three died in infancy.

During the Pazzi Conspiracy, which was aimed at murdering Lorenzo and his younger brother Giuliano, Clarice and her children were sent to Pistoia. (The Pazzis succeeded in murdering Giuliano, but Lorenzo survived the attack, thus the conspirators' plan to replace the Medicis as de facto rulers of Florence failed.)

Clarice returned to Rome several times to visit her relatives; she also visited Volterra, Colle Val d'Elsa, Passignano, and other places in the 1480s. On 30 July 1488 she died unexpectedly from tuberculosis in Florence.


Clarice and Lorenzo's children were:

  • Lucrezia (1470–1553), married Jacopo Salviati: their sons were Cardinals Giovanni Salviati and Bernardo Salviati, their daughter Maria Salviati was the mother of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany; another daughter, Francesca Salviati was the mother of Pope Leo XI
  • Twins died after birth (March 1471)
  • Piero (1472–1503), ruler of Florence after his father's death; married Alfonsina Orsini
  • Maddalena (1473–1519), married Franceschetto Cybo, illegitimate son of Pope Innocent VIII
  • Giovanni (1475–1521) became Pope Leo X
  • Luisa de' Medici|Luisa (or Luigia; 1477–1488), was betrothed to Giovanni il Popolano, but died young
  • Contessina de' Medici (1478–1515) married Piero Ridolfi
  • Giuliano (1479–1516), Duke of Nemours, married Filiberta di Savoia


Offspring of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492) and Clarice Orsini
Name Birth Death Joined with
Lucrezia de' Medici (1470-1553) 4 August 1470 November 1550 Jacopo Salviati (1461-1533)
Piero de' Medici (1472-1503) 15 February 1472 Florence, Italy 28 December 1503 Garigliano, Italy Alfonsina Orsini (c1472-1520)
Maddalena de' Medici (1473-1528)
Contessina Beatrice de' Medici (1474-1474)
Giovanni de' Medici (1475-1521) 11 December 1475 Florence, Italy 1 December 1521 Rome, Italy
Luigia de' Medici (1477-1488)
Contessina de' Medici (1478-1515)
Giuliano de' Medici (1479-1516)

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Footnotes (including sources)


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Clarice Orsini. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.