Francesco IV Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua

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Francesco IV Gonzaga
Teatro Olimpico (Vicenza) - Francesco IV Gonzaga - Frans Pourbus il Giovane - A63 96,6x77,2.jpg
Francesco IV Gonzaga
Duke of Mantua and Montferrat
PredecessorVincenzo I Gonzaga
SuccessorFerdinando Gonzaga
Born(1586-05-07)7 May 1586
Died22 December 1612(1612-12-22) (aged 26)
Noble familyGonzaga
FatherVincenzo I Gonzaga
MotherEleonora de' Medici

Francesco IV Gonzaga (7 May 1586 – 22 December 1612), was Duke of Mantua and (as Francesco II) Duke of Montferrat between 9 February and 22 December 1612.


Born in Mantua, he was the eldest son of Duke Vincenzo I and Eleonora de' Medici.

In 1607, Claudio Monteverdi dedicated his opera L'Orfeo to Francesco. The title page of the opera bears the dedication "Al serenissimo signor D. Francesco Gonzaga, Prencipe di Mantoua, & di Monferato, &c."

Francesco became Duke upon his father's death on 9 February 1612. He died at Mantua on 22 December 1612 without male heirs. He was succeeded by his brother Ferdinand; however, Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, the father of Francesco's wife Margaret of Savoy, disputed this, leading to the War of the Montferrat Succession (1613–1617).


On 19 February 1608 he married in Turin, Margaret of Savoy (1589–1655), daughter of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy. They had three children (one son and two daughters), only one of whom survived into adulthood:

  • Maria (29 July 1609 – 14 August 1660); married in 1627 Charles II of Gonzaga, Duke of Rethel end Nevers.
  • Ludovico (27 April 1611 – 3 August 1612).
  • Eleanore (12 September 1612 – 13 September 1612).



Francesco IV Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Born: 7 May 1586 Died: 22 December 1612
Preceded by
Vincenzo I
Duke of Mantua
Succeeded by
Duke of Montferrat