Charles II, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat
|Charles II Gonzaga|
Portrait of Duke Charles II
|Duke of Mantua and Montferrat|
|Predecessor||Charles I Gonzaga|
|Successor||Ferdinand Charles Gonzaga|
|Born||3 October 1629|
|Died||14 August 1665 (aged 35)|
|Spouse||Isabella Clara, Archduchess of Austria|
|Issue||Ferdinand Charles, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat|
|Father||Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers|
Charles Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat (31 October 1629 – 14 August 1665) was the son of Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers (+ 1631) of Rethel, Nevers, Mantua and Montferrat, and Maria Gonzaga. He followed his grandfather Charles I, Duke of Mantua in 1637 as ruler of these lands, the first 10 years under regency of his mother Duchess Maria. On 22 March 1657 Charles II receives the appointment as Sosai Cesareo in Italy and Imperial Vicar. Charles sold the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel in 1659 to Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the factual Regent of France, and they became part of France.
On 7 November 1649 Charles II married Isabella Clara of Austria (12 August 1629 – 24 February 1665), a daughter of Leopold V, Archduke of Austria, and thus into the imperial family. The marriage was an act of diplomacy and they had only one child, his successor Ferdinand Charles, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat (1652–1708). The relationship between husband and wife effectively ended, and Charles continued a relationship with a noblewoman Margherita della Rovere, and also had affairs with men including the castrato Atto Melani. In his book "The Last Medici" Harold Acton records that his death occurred in the midst of lascivious intercourse.
|Ancestors of Charles II, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat|
- Roger Freitas, The Eroticism of Emasculation: Confronting the Baroque Body of the Castrato, The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 20, No. 2. (Spring, 2003), pp. 196–249.
- Acton, Harold. The Last Medici. p. 84.
|Duke of Mantua
|Duke of Montferrat