Savonarola, Girolamo

   Ascetic friar from Ferrara who entered the Dominican Order in 1475 in Bologna after hearing a powerful sermon. In 1490, at the request of Lorenzo "the Magnificent" de' Medici, Savonarola transferred to the San Marco Monastery in Florence where he was appointed prior in the following year. No sooner had he received this post than he began criticizing the Medici's materialism and misuse of power, accusing them of promoting paganism. Lorenzo died in 1492 and his son Piero, who lacked his father's political savvy, took over the leader-ship of Florence. When Charles VIII of France threatened invasion, Piero ceded to him the city of Pisa, causing great anger among the Florentines and his subsequent exile. In the Medici's absence, Savonarola became the regulator of morality. He persuaded the Florentines to bring to San Marco articles of luxury and texts deemed to be pagan and immoral for public burning. This, unfortunately, resulted in the destruction of a number of important works of art and other precious items. Additionally, Savonarola established a group of brothers who went door to door to remove luxury and gambling objects and to persuade Florentines to renounce the frivolous life. Savonarola's downfall began when he attacked Pope Alexander VI from the pulpit. The pope ordered him to stop preaching and yet the monk continued to do so even after his excommunication in 1497. By now, the Florentines had tired of Savonarola's fanaticism and, in 1498, he and his followers were tried for heresy, tortured, and hung in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Savonarola, Girolamo — (1452 1498)    Dominican friar, a na tive of Ferrara but best known as the spellbinding preacher who af ter the expulsion of the Medici from Florence in 1494 dominated the city s political life in order to impose political, religious, and moral… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Savonarola, Girolamo — (1452–98)    Preacher and Reformer.    Savonarola was born in Ferrara, Italy. He joined the Dominican Order in 1475 and in 1490 he settled in Florence. He was a famous and inspiring preacher, calling for the reform of corruption and justice for… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Savonarola, Girolamo — ► (1452 98) Predicador y reformador dominico italiano. Prior del convento de san Marcos en la ciudad de Florencia. Su proyecto de reformar las costumbres de la sociedad y de la Iglesia nació de la observación de la corte de Ferrara. Fue… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Savonarola,Girolamo — Sa·vo·na·ro·la (săv ə nə rōʹlə, sä vō nä ), Girolamo. 1452 1498. Italian reformer. A Dominican friar, he gained a vast popular following and drove the Medici family out of Florence in 1494. He was later excommunicated and executed for criticizing …   Universalium

  • SAVONAROLA, GIROLAMO —    Italian reformer, born at Ferrara of a noble family; was in his youth of a studious ascetic turn, became at 24 a Dominican monk, was fired with a holy zeal for the purity of the Church, and issued forth from his privacy to denounce the vices… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Savonarola, Girolamo —  (1452–1498) Italian religious and political reformer …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • SAVONAROLA, Girolamo — (1452 1498)    Italian REFORMER whose oratorical skill brought him temporary fame before he was burnt as a HERETIC for his criticism of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH in 1490 …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Savonarola — Savonarola, Girolamo …   Enciclopedia Universal

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