La “Wunderkammer” e la raccolta d’arte del cardinale Flavio Chigi
Margherita Anselmi Zondadari

Flavio Chigi was birth on May 10, 1631 in Siena. Son of Mario Chigi and Berenice della Ciaia, a noblewoman from Siena, was the nephew of Pope Alexander VII and the uncle of Cardinal Anton Felice Zondadari (1712). The other cardinals of the family were Sigismondo Chigi (1667), Flavio Chigi, iuniore (1753) and Flavio III Chigi (1873).
He studied philosophy and law obtaining a doctorate in utroque iuris, both canon and civil law.

In his youth he accompanied his uncle Cardinal Fabio Chigi in his legation to Germany to negotiate and conclude the peace; the cardinal, either unhappy with his performance or for another reason, made him return to Italy. He continued his studies. Protonotary apostolic supernumerary participant. He had the permission to receive the sacred orders outside Ember days on May 23, 1656. He was the governor of the city of Fermo for a triennium, June 3, 1656 and the referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace on December 1, 1656. Was also the governor of the city of Tivoli on January 28, 1658.

He was created cardinal priest in the consistory of April 9, 1657; he received the red hat and the title of S. Maria del Popolo on April 23, 1657. He was the superintendent of the general affairs of the Holy See, on April 16, 1657 and the Prefect of the Congregation of Health (Sanitatibus) on April 21, 1657. Was legate a latere in Avignon, the 23 April 1657 until 1668 and archpriest of the patriarchal Lateran basilica. Was also the Librarian of the Holy Roman Church on June 21, 1659 until September 19, 1681. Was the Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Justice, July 28, 1661 and the Prefect of the Congregation of the Boundaries of the Ecclesiastical State (Confini), November 29, 1661.   

Legate a latere of His Holiness before the King of France to solve the controversy caused by the incident between the urban militia and the family of the duke of Crécquy, the French ambassador before the Holy See, March 24, 1664 to November 8, 1664. He participated in the conclave of 1667, which elected Pope Clement IX. He participated in the conclave of 1669-1670, which elected Pope Clement X. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 16, 1673 until January 15, 1674. Was a legate a latere for the opening and closing of the holy door of the patriarchal Lateran basilica in the Holy Year of 1675. Participated in the conclave, which elected Pope Innocent XI.

He opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Albano on 18 March 1686. He consecrated, on March 24, 1686, by Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Porto e Santa Rufina, October 19, 1689. Vice-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Participated in the conclave of 1689, which elected Pope Alexander VIII. Participated in the conclave of 1691, which elected Pope Innocent XII.

He died the 13 September 1693, at 11 p.m., in Rome. Was exposed in the church of S. Maria del Popolo, Rome, and buried in his family's chapel in that church.


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