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Pope Leo XI
Pope Leo XI

Sixty members of the College of Cardinals were present at the start of the papal conclave of March 1605, and sixty-one total electors were present for the election of Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici as Pope Leo XI on 1 April 1605. The papal conclave of March 1605 was convened on the death of Pope Clement VIII. It was the first of two papal conclaves in 1605, with Leo dying on 27 April 1605, twenty-six days after he was elected, and the conclave to elect his successor being held in May. The conclave saw conflict regarding whether Cesare Baronius should be elected pope, and Philip III of Spain, the Spanish king, excluded both Baronius and the eventually successful candidate, Medici. Philip's exclusion of Medici was announced by Cardinal Ávila after his election to the papacy, and the other cardinals did not view it as valid since Medici had already been elected pope. The electors present had been created by six different popes: Pius IV, Gregory XIII, Sixtus V, Gregory XIV, Innocent IX, and Clement VIII. Of these, Clement's creations were the most numerous, having created thirty-eight of the cardinal electors. (Full list...)

Today's featured picture

Portrait of Dr. Gachet

Portrait of Dr. Gachet refers to two portraits painted by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh in 1890, depicting the homeopathic doctor and artist Paul Gachet. Van Gogh was staying with Gachet on the recommendation of his friend Camille Pissarro, having spent a year in a mental asylum following a breakdown. He produced more than seventy paintings during his time with Gachet, including the portraits of his host. The paintings show Gachet with a melancholy face, which Van Gogh described as "the heartbroken expression of our time", seated next to some foxgloves. The portraits of Dr. Gachet were completed just six weeks before Van Gogh shot himself and died from his wounds. The first version of the portrait sold for $82.5 million in 1990, making it at the time the most expensive painting in history. The second version, pictured here, hangs in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, France.

Painting: Vincent van Gogh

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