d’Alarçon de Mendoza, Ferdinando

Active 1592

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Person Born Died Gender Person ID
Ferdinando d’Alarçon de Mendoza 1518 1592 M P0153

Instrument(s) Professional group Social status Social sphere Why is the person listed?
Nobility Court - noble Owned a vihuela Instrumentalist (unspecified) Singer

Years active Place active Century Region
1592 Naples 16cent/3/late Naples
Biographical information

Son of Pedro Gonzales de MENDOZA ‭(b.1466) and Isabella de ALARCÓN, marquise della Valle Siciliana, Ferdinando d’Alarçon de Mendoza was 3rd Marqués de Valle Siciliana. He was a great-grandson of Inigo Lopez de Mendoza, 2nd Duke of the Infantado (‭†1500‬). Mammerelli reports that “the d'Alarcons were an aristocratic Spanish family that probably settled in Italy at the time of don Ferdinando Ruiz d'Alarcon. Lodovico Antinori4 described him as 'one of Charles V's most distinguished generals, who lead the Spanish infantry with great valour and courage during the Italian war; Francis I and Clement VII's soldiers fell into the Imperial hands and gave themselves up to him; among other privileges, he received from the Emperor the seigniory ofthe Valle Siciliana'.5 Don Ferdinando, who was highly esteemed as general and as a royal advisor to Pedro de Toledo,6 proved to be one of the most valuable elements of the Imperial army in the Italian war against France. He was commander in chief of the first army in the battle of Pavia (1525) and was in charge of taking Francis I to Spain as a prisoner. He had no male heirs, but his only daughter, Isabella Ruiz d'Alarcon, married Pietro Gonzales Hurtado de Mendoza…Among other privileges, in 1532 don Ferdinando received from Charles V a palace. It was in Naples near Porta Donnorso, next to the monastery of San Pietro a Maiella, and had once belonged to the pro French Enrico Pandone. … Ferdinando d'Alarcon was the first nobleman to build a palace on the Neapolitan coast of Chiaia, at that time often exposed to barbarian incursions.12 Palazzo Chiaia, with its watch tower, was the most ancient and impressive palace on the coast. … This short outline indicates the political importance, wealth and fame ofthe Marquises of the Valle and their rise as feudal lords ofthe Kingdom of Naples. Their rise was connected to humanistic ideas and characterized by 'an intimate relationship that had to be established between virtues and nobility, so that the latter would not shape its rights of supremacy as a simple chain of abuses'.14(mammarelli2006, 187-188).

The Marquis was able to sing well and to play several instruments, as well as to having such a good knowledge of music history and theory that he deserves the title of 'prince and true professor of music' (prencipe e di vero professore della musica).

Mammerelli’s article is a detailed study of the “recent discovery of the Inventory of the objects found in the cabinet left by the late Marquis of the Valle on the last day of September 1592. This inventory is preserved in the State Archive in Naples (section 'Notai') and consists of twelve numbered folios, inserted between f. 328v-329r of document 332/12 of the notary Damiano De Forte.” (p.190)

Related persons

Source documents
Date Document
1592.09.30 Ferdinando d'Alarçon, Inventory of musical instruments

Ref Author Item Pages
mammarella2006 Mammarella Alberto “Musical Instruments in a 1592 Inventory of the Marquis Ferdinando d'Alarçon.” The Galpin Society Journal 59 (2006): 187-205.

John Griffiths