Francesco IV Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua

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.

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
Mantua, Duchy of Mantua
Died22 December 1612(1612-12-22) (aged 26)
Mantua, Duchy of Mantua
Noble familyGonzaga
(m. 1608)
FatherVincenzo I Gonzaga
MotherEleonora de' Medici


Born in Mantua, he was the eldest son of Duke Vincenzo I and Eleonora de' Medici.[1]

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),[1] daughter of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy.[2] They had:




  1. ^ a b Bourne 2010, p. 182.
  2. ^ a b Raviola 2016, p. 59.
  3. ^ Bourne 2016, p. 162.


  • Bourne, Molly (2010). "The Art of Diplomacy: Mantua and the Gonzaga". In Rosenberg, Charles M. (ed.). The Court Cities of Northern Italy: Milan, Parma, Piacenza, Mantua, Ferrara, Bologna, Urbino, Pesaro, and Rimini. Cambridge University Press. p. 138-195.
  • Bourne, Molly (2016). "From court to cloister and back again: Margherita Gonzaga, Caterina dé Medici and Lucrina Fetti at the convent of Sant'Orsola in Mantua". In Cavallo, Sandra; Evangelisti, Silvia (eds.). Domestic Institutional Interiors in Early Modern Europe. Routledge. p. 153-180.
  • Raviola, Blythe Alice (2016). "The Three Lives of Margherita of Savoy-Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua and Vicereine of Portugal". In Cruz, Anne J.; Stampino, Maria Galli (eds.). Early Modern Habsburg Women: Transnational Contexts, Cultural Conflicts. Routledge. p. 59-78.
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