Guidobaldo II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino

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Guidobaldo II
Angelo Bronzino 053.jpg
Guidobaldo II by Agnolo Bronzino
Duke of Urbino
Reign 1539-1574
Predecessor Francesco Maria I
Successor Francesco Maria II
Born (1514-04-02)2 April 1514
Urbino, Duchy of Urbino
Died 28 September 1574(1574-09-28) (aged 60)
Pesaro, Duchy of Urbino
Spouse Giulia Varano
Vittoria Farnese
Issue Virginia, Duchess of Gravina
Francesco Maria II, Duke of Urbino
Isabella, Princess of Bisignano
Lavinia, Princess of Francavilla
House Rovere
Father Francesco Maria I della Rovere
Mother Eleonora Gonzaga

Guidobaldo II della Rovere (2 April 1514 – 28 September 1574) was an Italian condottiero, who succeeded his father Francesco Maria I della Rovere as Duke of Urbino from 1538 until his death in 1574. He was a member of the House of La Rovere. Guidobaldo was an important patron of the arts in general, and of Titian in particular, commissioning Titian's Venus of Urbino.


He was the son of Francesco Maria I della Rovere and Eleonora Gonzaga. In 1534, he married Giulia da Varano (b. 1523), daughter of the lord of Camerino but the couple had no issue. At the assassination of his father, Guidobaldo became duke of Urbino in 1538.

In 1546 he received a condotta as military leader (Governatore) by the Republic of Venice, for which his father had been a valiant commander during the Italian Wars. After the 1547 death of Giulia da Varano, in 1548 he married Vittoria Farnese - the daughter of Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Parma and Gerolama Orsini, daughter of Lodovico Orsini and wife and first cousin Giulia Conti. Later he was made Papal governor of Fano, receiving also the title of capitano generale (commander-in-chief) of the Papal States, as well as that of Prefect of Rome.

In 1559 he was hired by the King of Spain, helping Bernardo Sanseverino (who had married Isabelle, one of Guidobaldo's daughters) in the war against the Ottoman Turks.

On 1 January 1573 a revolt rose against Guidobaldo in Urbino, due to the excessive tax burden that he was exerting over his state. He reacted by bloodily suppressing the riot.

After falling ill during a voyage to Ferrara and Pesaro, he died in the latter town in 1574. His son Francesco Maria II succeeded him as Duke of Urbino. His additional children were:

  • Isabelle, wife of Niccolò Bernardino Sanseverino, 6° Prince of Bisignano.
  • Lavinia, wife of marquis de Vasto.



  • Bicchierai (1854). Lettere d'illustri capitani mai stampate. Florence. 
  • Litta, P. (1834). Famiglie celebri italiane. Milan. 
  • Feliciangeli, B. (1891). Notizie e documenti su la vita di Caterina Cibo-Varano, duchessa di Camerino. Camerino. 
Preceded by
Francesco Maria I della Rovere
Duke of Urbino
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Succeeded by
Francesco Maria II della Rovere