Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
|Vincenzo I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua|
Vincenzo I Gonzaga in Coronation Robes (1587)
|Duke of Mantua and Montferrat|
|22 Sept 1587|
|Successor||Francesco IV Gonzaga|
|Successor||Francesco IV Gonzaga|
Eleonora de' Medici
|House||House of Gonzaga|
|Mother||Eleanor of Austria|
21 September 1562|
|Died||9 February 1612
|Burial||9 February 1612
Basilica of Sant'Andrea
He was a son of Guglielmo X Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Archduchess Eleanor of Austria. His maternal grandparents were Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. Duke Vincenzo was one of the most representative men of his time, one of the great Renaissance princes: under his lordship Mantua became a center of the arts in Italy. Character completely opposite to that of his father, who always had little sympathy for him, Vincent was noted for his generosity, for his excesses, and love for the lap of luxury. Vincent loved also devote to partying with beautiful ladies and night excursions in the company of friends, which often ended in brawls. In one of these, on July 3 1582, accompanied by a courtier vicious and scrounger, detested by his father, had to struggle with t young Scottish scientist, James Crichton, said "Crichton", held in high regard by his father instead of Vincent, who had made the director preferred. Vincenzo hated in turn the Crichton and the clash ended in a double murder: Chrichton killed Lanzoni and Vincenzo in turn killed Chrichton. Begged forgiveness to his father, furious over the killing of his adviser, Vincenzo was acquitted. In the 1590 Duke Sort building an arsenal in the port chain, building that will serve to benefit the defense of the state of Mantua, during the first part of his duchy of Mantua now financed by the taxes of the citizens a wide operation police domains Gonzaga against the gangs of criminals. In the same year the Duke vincenzo allocates 25,109 Ducat for the costs of the state and to increase services in the countryside of Mantua.
Vincenzo was a major patron of the arts and sciences, and turned Mantua into a vibrant cultural center. In 1587 Vincent was crowned the fourth Duke of Mantua, with a glitzy ceremony in which were present the highest authority of the duchy to pay homage to the new Duke of Mantua: he then moves with a ride through the city streets. Vincenzo employed the composer Claudio Monteverdi and the painter Peter Paul Rubens. In 1590 Monteverdi became a viol-player and cantor in the music chapel of Vincenzo; in 1602 Vincenzo appointed him master of music on the death of Benedetto Pallavicino. Vincenzo was also a friend of the poet Torquato Tasso. A small book published in Verona in 1589 describes how a comic actor named Valerini in the service of Vincenzo imagines an ideal gallery of art, in which statues of the most important art collectors are featured rather than the work of the artists themselves. Vincenzo was described as a colossus who would dominate the entire ideal gallery, called the Celestial Gallery of Minerva.
Magini's life’s work was the preparation of the Atlante geografico d'Italia (Geographic Atlas of Italy), printed posthumously by Magini’s son in 1620. This was intended to include maps of each Italian region with exact nomenclature and historical notes. A major project, its production (begun in 1594) proved. Vincenzo, to whom the atlas is dedicated, assisted him with this project and allowed for maps of the various states of Italy to be brought to Magini.
During the winter of 1603–1604, Galileo visited the Mantuan court in an effort to obtain a position there, and was offered a salary, but could not agree on the terms with Vincenzo, who instead presented Galileo with a gold chain and two silver dishes.
Vincenzo's spendthrift habits are considered to have accelerated Mantua's economic and cultural decline.
On 20 July 1588, Emperor Rudolf II granted Vincenzo the right to an escutcheon of Austria, surmounted by an archducal coronet. Vincenzo created the Order of the Redemptor (or of the Most Precious Blood), approved by Pope Paul V, on 25 May 1608.
Vincenzo married Margherita Farnese in 1581; their marriage was childless and they divorced. On 29 April 1584 he married his first cousin Eleonora de' Medici, the daughter of Francesco I de' Medici and Joanna of Austria.
Vincenzo and Eleonora's marriage produced six children. They were:
- Francesco (7 May 1586 – 22 December 1612), who ruled as Francesco IV Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Duke of Montferrat between 9 February and 22 December 1612.
- Ferdinando (26 April 1587 – 29 October 1626), who ruled as Ferdinando I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Duke of Montferrat from 1612 until his death.
- Guglielmo Domenico (1589–1591), died young
- Margherita Gonzaga (2 October 1591 – 7 February 1632), wife of Henry II, Duke of Lorraine
- Vincenzo (7 January 1594 – 25 December 1627), ruled as Vincenzo II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Marquess of Montferrat from 1626 until his death.
- Eleonora Gonzaga (23 September 1598 – 27 June 1655), second wife of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
- Bellonci, Maria (1956). A Prince of Mantua: The Life and Times of Vincenzo Gonzaga. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
- Brinton, Selwyn (1927). The Gonzaga. Lords of Mantua. London: Methuen.
- Fenlon, Iain (1980). Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Cronaca universale della città di Mantova. Volume III
- LA CELESTE GALERIA. mostragonzaga.it
- Heraldry in Pre-Unification Italy. heraldica.org
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Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of MantuaBorn: 21 September 1562 Died: 9 February 1612
|Duke of Mantua
|Duke of Montferrat