Robert of Geneva (French: Robert de Genève) was elected to the papacy as Clement VII (French: Clément VII) by the French cardinals who opposed Pope Urban VI, and was the first antipope residing in Avignon, France.
Clement owed the immediate support of Queen Joanna of Naples and of several of the Italian barons. Charles V of France, who seems to have been sounded beforehand on the choice of the Roman pontiff, soon became his warmest protector. Clement eventually succeeded in winning to his cause Scotland, Castile, Aragon, Navarre, a great part of the Latin East, and Flanders. He had adherents, besides, scattered through Germany, while Portugal on two occasions acknowledged him, but afterwards forsook him. Burgundy and Savoy also acknowledged his authority. Unable to maintain himself in Italy, he took up his residence at Avignon in the southern French Comtat Venaissin, where he became dependent on the French court.
By the bait of a kingdom to be carved expressly out of the States of the Church and to be called the kingdom of Adria, coupled with the expectation of succeeding to Queen Joanna, Clement incited Louis I, Duke of Anjou, the eldest of the brothers of Charles V, to take arms in his favour. These tempting offers gave rise to a series of expeditions into Italy carried out almost exclusively at Clement’s expense, in the first of which Louis went to war with some 40,000 troops. The campaign was unsuccessful: Louis suddenly died at Bisceglie on 20 September 1384. Still, these enterprises on several occasions planted Angevin domination in the south of the Italian peninsula, and their most decisive result was the assuring of Provence to the dukes of Anjou and afterwards to the kings of France. After the death of Louis, Clement hoped to find equally brave and interested champions in Louis’ son and namesake Louis II of Anjou, to which he donated the larger part of the Pontifical States. Clement then tried to ally with Louis I, Duke of Orléans, the brother of Charles VI; with Charles VI himself; and with John III, Count of Armagnac. The prospect of his brilliant progress to Rome was ever before Clement's eyes; and in his thoughts force of arms, of French arms, was to be the instrument of his glorious triumph over his competitor.
There came a time, however, when Clement and more particularly his following had to acknowledge the vanity of these elusive dreams; and at the end of his life he realized the impossibility of overcoming by brute force an opposition which was founded on the convictions of the greater part of Catholic Europe. Moreover, his ambitions and the financial needs of his court had resorted to simony, the loss of land and extortion which discerned among his adherents the germs of disaffection. He had created excellent cardinals, but he seems never to have sincerely desired the termination of the schism.
He died at Avignon on 16 September 1394. Eventually it was determined that he would be recorded as an antipope rather than as a pope.