Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara

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Alfonso II d'Este
Duke of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio
Girolamo da Carpi 002.jpg
Alfonso II d'Este by Girolamo da Carpi
Spouse(s) Lucrezia di Cosimo de' Medici
Barbara of Austria
Margherita Gonzaga
Noble family House of Este
Father Ercole II d'Este
Mother Renée of France
Born (1533-11-22)22 November 1533
Died 27 October 1597(1597-10-27) (aged 63)
Ferrara

Alfonso II d'Este (22 November 1533 – 27 October 1597) was Duke of Ferrara from 1559 to 1597. He was a member of the House of Este.

Biography[edit]

He was the elder son of Ercole II d'Este and Renée de France, the daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne of Brittany.

As a young man, he fought in the service of Henry II of France, fighting against the Habsburgs. Soon after his accession to the throne, he was forced by Pope Pius IV to send back his mother to France, due to her Calvinist creed. He commanded Ferrara at the time of the 1570 Ferrara earthquake.

In 1583 he allied with Emperor Rudolf II in the war against the Turks in Hungary.

Marriages[edit]

He married three times:

He had no known children, legitimate or otherwise.

Succession[edit]

The legitimate line ended in 1597 with him. Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor recognized as heir his cousin Cesare d'Este, member of a cadet branch, who continued to rule in the imperial duchies and carried on the family name. The succession, however, was recognized only by the Emperor but not by the Popes. In 1598 Ferrara was therefore incorporated into the Papal States by Pope Clement VIII, on grounds of doubtful legitimacy.

Patron of the arts and sciences[edit]

Alfonso II raised the glory of Ferrara to its highest point, and was the patron of Torquato Tasso, Giovanni Battista Guarini, and Cesare Cremonini—favouring the arts and sciences, as the princes of his house had always done. Luzzasco Luzzaschi served as his court organist.

In addition, he was the sponsor of the Concerto delle donne, a type of group which was to be copied all over Italy. He also restored the Castello Estense, damaged by an earthquake in 1570.

His expenses, however, went at damage of the public treasure.

Ancestors[edit]

Trivia[edit]

Some specialists claim that Alfonso II is the duke upon whom Robert Browning based his poem My Last Duchess.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, Caroline P. Murder of a Medici Princess. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-19-531439-7

External links[edit]

Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara
Born: 22 November 1533 Died: 27 October 1597
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ercole II
Duke of Modena and Reggio
1559–1597
Succeeded by
Cesare
Preceded by
Ercole II
Duke of Ferrara
1559–1597
Succeeded by
The Papal States