The condottiere on horseback at the top of this post – reproduced here every weekday to give the blog class and authority – is not a Borgia. It is Bartolomeo Colleoni (1400–1475), who was an entirely honourable mercenary leader. (His equestrian status on the Piazza San Marco in Venice was created by Verocchio.)
He should not be confused with Rodrigo Borgia who, according to Mario Puzo, quoted by Charles McGrath in The New York Times on March 27, is a Corleone of the Renaissance. Borgia became Pope Alexander VI and, played by Jeremy Irons, will be seen as the ultimate godfather. The nine-part miniseries opens on Showtime in the U.S. and on Bravo in Canada this Sunday, April 3, and will be seen later on CTV. It is a Canadian-Irish-Hungarian co-production.
“The Borgias,” Charles McGrath writes, “were rich, ruthless, scheming and so sexually voracious that, if you believe the rumours, they slept with everybody, including one another.”
The producers count on audiences – not only in Canada, Ireland and Hungary – to identify with them.
The readers of this blog certainly will.