Jacopo Inghirami

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Jacopo Inghirami
Jacopo Inghirami from engraving by Traballesi.jpg
Jacopo Inghirami (18th-century engraving from an earlier portrait)
BornJuly 1565
Died3 January 1624 (age 58)
Volterra, Tuscany
Military career
AllegianceGrand Duchy of Tuscany
Years of service1581-1624
Commands heldKnights of Saint Stephen
Governor of Livorno
In office

Jacopo (or Iacopo) Inghirami (July 1565 – 3 January 1624) was admiral of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and marquis of Montevitozzo.[1]


Born to an influential family in Volterra in July 1565,[2] Jacopo was orphaned as a teenager.[3] He was educated at the Palazzo della Carovana in Pisa[2] and in 1581 joined the navy of the Knights of Saint Stephen - a militia created by Cosimo I de' Medici to fight the Ottoman Empire.[3] Inghirami served on the order's galleys in the Mediterranean for some years before taking his first command. In the 1590s, he left the navy temporarily to fight for Philippe Emmanuel de Lorraine of the Catholic League during the religious wars in France.[3] Upon his return to Tuscany, Inghirami rejoined the Tuscan navy, undertaking both military engagements and diplomatic missions for the Grand Duchy (such as that in 1600 when commanding the galley transporting the Grand Duke's daughter, Marie de' Medici, to marry Henry IV of France).[2]

Galley of the Knights of St. Stephen (17th or 18th-century drawing)

In 1602, during the "Long War", he led a successful operation which resulted in a large number of Ottoman prisoners and the liberation of Christian captives.[4] Following this action, he was appointed admiral of the fleet in 1603 by Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. For the coming decade, the Tuscan fleet (under Inghirami) engaged Ottoman shipping and Berber pirates in the Mediterranean, with several successes – including the taking in 1607 of Bona (Annaba) in modern-day Algeria.[5] As admiral, Inghirami also liaised with the Catholic allies of the Grand Duchy in the Mediterranean (including representatives of the fleets of France and later Spain), and also with the Medici family's North African allies. (Including emir Fakhr-al-Din II, whom Inghirmani carried to Messina during the emir's exile from Lebanon).[6][7]

In 1616 Cosimo II de' Medici awarded Inghirami the title of Marquis, and later appointed him Governor of Livorno.[5] He remained governor until 1621 when he assumed command of the fleet again. He held this position until his death in Volterra on 3 January 1624. He is buried in the Chapel of St. Paul in the Cathedral of Volterra (the chapel had been commissioned by Inghirami himself in 1605).[3][4]


When not at sea, Inghirami maintained the family seat at the Palazzo Inghirami in Volterra, the façade of which was designed by Gherardo Silvani.[8] Inghirami also commissioned a villa by Silvani on Inghirami lands outside Volterra at Ulignano.

One of Inghirami's larger commissions was the Inghirami family chapel in the Duomo (cathedral) of Volterra.[9] This chapel (dedicated to Saint Paul) was designed by Alessandro Pieroni and includes frescos by Giovanni da San Giovanni.[10]

Notably Giambologna and Pietro Tacca's equestrian statue of Ferdinando I de' Medici (in the Piazza Santissima Annunziata in Florence) is made from the recast bronze of cannon captured by Inghirami's galleons.[5][11]


  1. ^ "Person Detail - Inghirami, Iacopo". Medici Archive Project. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Personaggi storici famosi - Jacopo Inghirami v" (in Italian). Associazione culturale "La Livornina". Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "INGHIRAMI, Iacopo (1565-1624)" (in Italian). Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b "La Famiglia Inghirami di Volterra - Personaggi" (in Italian). Website of La Famiglia Inghirami di Volterra. Archived from the original on 31 October 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "IACOPO INGHIRAMI of Volterra (Events timeline)" (in Italian). Pirates of the Mediterranean. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Document Detail - Correspondence from Inghirami Cosimo II de' Medici (July 1615)". Medici Archive Project. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  7. ^ Mariti, Giovanni (1787). Istoria di Faccardino, Grand-Emir dei Drusi (in Italian). Masi. pp. 97, 156. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  8. ^ "History of Volterra – The Renaissance". Website of Comune of Volterra. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  9. ^ "Duomo di Volterra". Website of Comune of Volterra. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  10. ^ Drake Rowland, Ingrid (2004). The Scarith of Scornello: a tale of Renaissance forgery. University of Chicago Press. pp. 27, 28. ISBN 0-226-73037-9.
  11. ^ "Equestrian statue of Ferdinando I". Website of Comune of Florence. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2011.