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Barbara of Brandenburg, Marquise of Mantua

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Barbara of Brandenburg (1422[1] – 7 November 1481) was a Marchioness consort of Mantua, married in 1433 to Ludovico III Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua.

Barbara of Brandenburg
Marchioness of Mantua
Andrea Mantegna - The Court of Mantua - detail
Andrea Mantegna- The Court of Mantua (1471–74, Fresco, 805 x 807 cm, Camera degli Sposi, Ducal Palace, Mantua, Italy). At the left, Ludovico III Gonzaga. Besides him Barbara of Brandenburg and three of their children.
Died7 November 1481 (aged 58–59)
Noble familyHouse of Hohenzollern
Spouse(s)Ludovico III Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua
FatherJohn, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
MotherBarbara of Saxe-Wittenberg

Barbara was the daughter of John, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, and Barbara of Saxe-Wittenberg and a niece of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. Her marriage took place in 1433, when she was only ten years old, and she spent the latter part of her childhood in Mantua. She was active as the political adviser of her spouse with the responsibility of foreign diplomatic correspondence, in particular when it pertained to relations between Mantua and Germany. She is regarded as an important figure in the Italian Renaissance and was a student of Vittorino da Feltre.

Barbara is portrayed in the novel The Princess of Mantua by French writer Marie Ferranti.



During her marriage, Barbara gave birth to fourteen children:[2][3]

  • Federico (1438? – died in infancy).
  • Maddalena (1439? – died in infancy).
  • Elisabetta (1440? – died in infancy).
  • Federico I (1441 – 1484), Marquis of Mantua.
  • Francesco (1444 – 1483), created Cardinal by Pope Pius II.
  • Paola Bianca (1445 – 1447), died in infancy.
  • Gianfrancesco (1446 – 1496), Count of Sabbioneta and Lord of Bozzolo; married Antonia del Balzo.
  • Susanna (1447 – 1481), a nun at Santa Paola di Mantua.
  • Dorotea (1449 – 1467), married to Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan.
  • Cecilia (1451 – 1472), a nun at Santa Chiara di Mantua.
  • Rodolfo (1452 –1495), Lord of Castiglione delle Stiviere, Solferino, Suzzara and Poviglio; married firstly Antonia Malatesta and then Caterina Pico.
  • Barbara (1455 – 1503), married in 1474 Eberhard I, Duke of Württemberg.
  • Ludovico (1460 – 1511), Bishop of Mantua.
  • Paola (1463 – 1497), married Leonhard, Count of Gorizia.



  1. ^ a b Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 6 (1964)
  2. ^ Note: not mentioned Paola Bianca. GONZAGA: LINEA SOVRANA DI MANTOVA in: [retrieved 13 March 2015].
  3. ^ Note: not mentioned the three first children. Christopher H. Johnson, David Warren Sabean, Simon Teuscher, Francesca Trivellato: Transregional and Transnational Families in Europe and Beyond, 2011, p. 58 [retrieved 12 March 2015].

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