Clelia Grillo Borromeo. A femme savante from 18th century Milan in the family archives

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The entire proceeds will be devoted to Airc - the Italian Association for Cancer Research.

The biographical essay d Read more...


The entire proceeds will be devoted to Airc - the Italian Association for Cancer Research.

The biographical essay describes Clelia Grillo Borromeo, a prominent personality in the cultural world of 18th century Milan, through the wealth of papers collected in the Borromeo Archive on Isola Bella. From the very first archive documents, which refer to negotiations for her marriage to Giovanni Benedetto Borromeo, her personality emerges as exuberant and marked by an intellectual vivacity that would create many conflicts with her father-in-law Carlo IV Borromeo. The children's education and the "conversation" salon that Clelia organized every evening in her home, where she hosted the most important Italian and foreign men of science and culture, were only two reasons for the complicated relationship. The arguments continued with her husband and then their eldest son for reasons related to heredity. Clelia left Borromeo Palace to move to another family home on Via Rugabella in Milan, where she organized a salon that would be described as the most worldly in the city, and would become a benchmark for Philip de Bourbon, who joined it in 1745. Upon the return of Austrian occupation, however, the countess, accused of having Spanish sympathies, was forced into a long exile in the Republic of Venice until 1749, when the empress Maria Teresa granted her freedom. Clelia Grillo Borromeo thus returned to her role as an aristocrat with an interest in science, which she advanced over the following decades until her death in 1777. Even at her advanced age, she was fully engaged in her cultural interests, as testified by the inventory of books in her library.

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255 pages. Format 21x14 cm.
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