DOI: 10.1111/rest.12921 ISSN: 0269-1213

All roads lead from Rome: the transcultural career of Francisco de Reynoso

Piers Baker‐Bates
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Religious studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History
  • Cultural Studies


This article discusses the transcultural career of one particular Spanish ecclesiastic, the Palencian, Francisco de Reynoso (1534–1601). Reynoso is a far more significant historical and cultural figure than has previously been thought, although never the subject of a holistic study. He began his ecclesiastical life as major domo and secretary of Pope Pius V and ended it as Bishop of Córdoba. Through a novel and detailed analysis of Reynoso's career and patronage the article sheds new light on the dynamics of a broader Iberian world that co‐existed between Spain and Italy. It reveals the ties that continued to bind Reynoso to Rome, where he had lived for some ten years, throughout his long career and demonstrates how easily individuals could now transition between Spain and Italy. In particular, the extensive opportunities for cultural patronage that were offered thereby are analysed, Reynoso was to prove a discerning patron in many fields – art, architecture, music and literature. Finally, it makes a revealing comparison between Reynoso and the career trajectory of his exact Bolognese contemporary and colleague, Alessandro Casale, as to the different possibilities this Iberian world now offered the ambitious cleric.