Massimo Taparelli, Marquess of Azeglio, commonly called Massimo d'Azeglio, was a Piedmontese-Italian statesman, novelist and painter. He was Prime Minister of Sardinia for almost three years, until his rival Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour succeeded him. D'Azeglio was a moderate liberal who hoped for a federal union between Italian states. As Prime Minister, he consolidated the parliamentary system, getting the young king to accept his constitutional status, and worked hard for a peace treaty with Austria. Although himself a Roman Catholic, he introduced freedom of worship, supported public education, and sought to reduce the power of the clergy in local political affairs. As senator, following the annexation of the United Provinces of Central Italy, Azeglio attempted to reconcile the Vatican with the new Italian Kingdom. His brother Luigi Taparelli d'Azeglio was a Jesuit priest.