Giovanni de' Medici (cardinal)

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Giovanni de' Medici
Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church
Lomi, Baccio (attr.) - Cardinale Giovanni di Cosimo I de' Medici, Arcivescovo di Pisa.jpg
Giovanni de' Medici
Born29 September 1544
Florence, Italy
Died(1562-11-20)20 November 1562 (aged 18)
Livorno, Italy
HouseHouse of Medici
FatherCosimo I
MotherEleanor of Toledo
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Agnolo Bronzino, Portrait of Giovanni de' Medici (c. 1545), Uffizi, Florence.

Giovanni di Cosimo I de' Medici (29 September 1544 – 20 November 1562), also known as Giovanni de' Medici the Younger, was an Italian cardinal.

Early years[edit]

He was born in Florence, the second son of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Eleanor of Toledo. While his elder brother Francesco went on to a political and military career, Giovanni had reserved for him the ecclesiastical career.

He was the subject of two famous portraits by Bronzino, one as an infant and another of some years later, together with Eleonora of Toledo (although the subject of the latter has been identified also as Francesco or Garzia).

After having been Archbishop of Pisa, he was created cardinal in Santa Maria in Domnica by Pope Pius IV in the consistory of 31 January 1560, aged only seventeen.


Probably already suffering from tuberculosis, Giovanni died two years after he was made a cardinal in Livorno, from a malaria attack. His mother and his brother Garzia died of the latter illness a few days later.

Centuries after his death, a myth arose saying that his brother Garzia killed him, following a dispute in 1562. In turn, his father Cosimo, furious, killed Garzia with his own sword. However, modern exhumations showed no signs of violence on the bodies and found to have died together of malaria in 1562.

His father Cosimo had another son in 1563, who was called with the same name (he is best known as Don Giovanni de' Medici).