Ippolito de' Medici
|Ippolito de' Medici|
Portrait of Ippolito de' Medici by Titian.
|Father||Giuliano de' Medici|
Florence, Republic of Florence
|Died||10 August 1535 (aged 24)
Itri, Kingdom of Naples
When Giulio de' Medici was elected pope as Clement VII, Ippolito ruled Florence on his behalf. After the siege of Florence (1529–1530), however, Clement favored his other illegitimate nephew Alessandro, and made Ippolito first archbishop of Avignon and then cardinal instead (1529), sending him as Papal legate to Hungary, where he evinced a talent for soldiering.
He was a friend to, and possibly had a liaison with, Giulia Gonzaga, the Countess of Fondi. He loved Catherine de' Medici but they never married. Alessandro de' Medici caught him and Catherine de' Medici in a private embrace. But when he was sent away as a Cardinal, they weren't allowed to see each other any longer. Some theories suggest that is the reason Clement made him Cardinal: to keep the two lovers separated.
In 1535 he acted as Florentine ambassador to emperor Charles V. Ippolito died from malaria in Itri, in southern Lazio, although there were rumors that he had been poisoned by Alexander, whose abuses he was intending to denounce.
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