Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
- Not to be confused with his son Cardinal Federico Gonzaga (1540–65).
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|Federico II Gonzaga|
|Marquis of Mantua|
|Reign||3 April 1519 – 25 March 1530|
|Duke of Mantua|
|Reign||25 March 1530 – 28 June 1540|
|Marquis of Montferrat|
|Reign||30 April 1533 – 28 June 1540|
|Born||17 May 1500|
|Died||28 August 1540 (aged 40)|
|Issue||Francesco III Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua|
Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers
Federico Gonzaga (cardinal)
|Father||Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua|
Federico II of Gonzaga (17 May 1500 – 28 August 1540) was the ruler of the Italian city of Mantua (first as Marquis, later as Duke) from 1519 until his death. He was also Marquis of Montferrat from 1536.
He was a son of his predecessor Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua and Isabella d'Este. Due to the turbulent politics of the time, from the age of ten, he spent three years as a hostage in Rome under Pope Julius II. Federico Gonzaga was crowned Marquis Mantua on 3 April 1519, initially under the regency of his mother and his uncles Sigismondo and Giovanni Gonzaga. He received the imperial investiture from emperor Charles V on 7 April 1521.
Despite his poor military experience, Pope Leo X named him Gonfalonier and Captain General of the Church (commander in chief of the Papal Army), though a clause allowed Federico to avoid fighting against the Empire, to which Mantua had always traditionally been an ally. Federico therefore did not intervene when the Imperial troops passed through his lands in 1527, indirectly causing the subsequent Sack of Rome.
Federico signed a marriage contract with the heir to the Marquisate of Monteferrat, Maria Palaeologina, with the aim of acquiring that land; its marquess Boniface IV of Montferrat was in poor health. But when Boniface seemed to recover, he set up an alleged plot on the part of Maria against Federico's mistress, Isabella Boschetti: this was sufficient to have the Pope cancel the nuptial contract.
Federico then signed another marriage contract with Charles V's third cousin, Julia of Aragon. In lieu of this move, in 1530 he was granted the ducal title, whereby their dynasty became Dukes of Mantua. However, when Boniface died by a fall from horse on 25 March of that year, Federico paid 50,000 ducats to Charles in exchange for the annulment of the contract, and pushed the pope for the restoration of his earlier marriage agreement. When Maria also died, he was able to marry her sister Margaret on 16 November 1531. At the death of the last legitimate male heir of the Palaiologos family, Giovanni Giorgio (1533), the marquisate of Montferrat passed to the Gonzaga, who held it until the 18th century.
Like his parents, he was a patron of the arts; he commissioned the Palazzo Te, designed and decorated by Giulio Romano, as his summer palace just outside Mantua. Romano spent 16 years as court artist under Federico's patronage. He also bought and commissioned several paintings from Titian, and had his portrait painted by both Titian and Raphael.
Having suffered long from syphilis, which he had inherited from his father, he died in 1540 at his villa at Marmirolo. His son Francesco briefly held the title of 2nd Duke of Mantua before dying in his teens; the second son, Gugliemo, became 3rd Duke of Mantua as well as Duke of Montferrat and carried on the line.
Family and issue
Frederick and Margaret were parents to seven children:
- Eleonora Gonzaga.
- Anna Gonzaga.
- Francesco III Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (10 March 1533 - 22 February 1550).
- Isabella Gonzaga. Married Francesco Ferdinando d'Ávalos.
- Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (24 April 1538 - 14 August 1587). Married Archduchess Eleanor of Austria
- Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers (22 October 1539 - 23 October 1595). Father of Charles I, Duke of Mantua.
- Cardinal Federico Gonzaga (1540 - 21 February 1565).
- Signorini, Rodolfo; Chambers, D. S; Brown, Clifford M.; Beamish, Gordon Marshall (2003). "Gonzaga family". Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.t033197.
- Cronaca universale della città di Mantova. Volume II
- Cockram, Sarah D. P. (2013). Isabella d'Este and Francesco Gonzaga: power sharing at the Italian Renaissance Court. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. p. 58. ISBN 9781409448310. OCLC 855504802.
- Coniglio, Giuseppe (1967). I Gonzaga. Varese: Dall'Oglio.
- Bignotti, Lorenzo (1984). La Zecca di Mantova e Casale (Gonzaga). Mantua: Grigoli.
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- Biography (in Italian)
Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of MantuaBorn: 17 May 1500 28 August
| Marquis of Mantua
|Elevated to Duke|
|New title|| Duke of Mantua
Title last held byJohn George Palaeologus
| Marquess of Montferrat|