Two Sets of Double Doors with Inscriptions of Lucretia della Rovere

Inventory Number: 53839


Inventory Number: 53850

The two double doors of walnut wood, each one divided into five panels, were carved and inlayed by an unknown cabinet-maker in the first half of the 1500s.

In the upper panels, the name of the commissioner Lucrezia della Rovare: LVCRE/TIA RVVE/RE is displayed in Roman capitals and designed in the inlay. In the lower frames, there is a carving of the herald emblem of the oak, otherwise known as the rovere. Another detailed carving of a tortoise carrying an hourglass on its back symbolizes slowness, prudence and wisdom, emphasizing the importance of using time well.

Lucrezia della Rovere was born in 1485 and died at the age of 67 in 1552, as is mentioned on her tombstone at Trinità dei Monti in Rome. Her mother was Luchina della Rovere, niece of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere and sister of Pope Julius II. Luchina had two marriages: the first with Gabriele Gara di Savona who died in 1479 and the second with banker Giovanni Francesco Franciotti di Lucca, father of Lucrezia.

In 1508, the young Lucrezia married the commander Marcantonio Colonna (1470/80 -1522) as she was urged to by her uncle, Julius II. Julius II highly regarded Colonna, as he had fought with him in the campaign against Bologna, and was the one whom the pope entrusted command on October 20,1506. Guicciardini reports in the History of Italy that Julius II “complained about all the captains except Marcantonio Colonna, whom he had summoned from Modena”.

To the newlyweds, Julius II gave the building near to the church of the Santi Apostoli in the place that had belonged to the Protonotary Lorenzo Colonna. On August 21, 1511 Julius II also handed over to Marcantonio and Lucrezia the Castello di Frascati with the bull. These pieces are expected to return to display after a brief time in storage.