Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
|Vincenzo I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua|
Vincenzo I Gonzaga in Coronation Robes (1587)
|Duke of Mantua and Montferrat|
|Reign||14 August 1587 – 9 February 1612|
|Coronation||22 September 1587|
|Successor||Francesco IV Gonzaga|
|Born||21 September 1562|
|Died||9 February 1612 (aged 49)|
|Burial||9 February 1612|
Eleonora de' Medici
|House||House of Gonzaga|
|Mother||Eleanor of Austria|
Vincenzo was a major patron of the arts and sciences, and turned Mantua into a vibrant cultural center. On September 22, 1587, Vincent was crowned the fourth Duke of Mantua, with a glitzy ceremony in which were present the highest authority of the duchy to pay homage to the new Duke of Mantua: he then moved with a ride through the city streets. Vincenzo employed the composer Claudio Monteverdi and the painter Peter Paul Rubens. In 1590 Monteverdi became a viol-player and cantor in the music chapel of Vincenzo; in 1602 Vincenzo appointed him master of music on the death of Benedetto Pallavicino. Vincenzo was also a friend of the poet Torquato Tasso. A small book published in Verona in 1589 describes how a comic actor named Valerini in the service of Vincenzo imagines an ideal gallery of art, in which statues of the most important art collectors are featured rather than the work of the artists themselves. Vincenzo was described as a colossus who would dominate the entire ideal gallery, called the Celestial Gallery of Minerva.
Magini's life’s work was the preparation of the Atlante geografico d'Italia (Geographic Atlas of Italy), printed posthumously by Magini’s son in 1620. This was intended to include maps of each Italian region with exact nomenclature and historical notes. A major project, its production (begun in 1594) proved. Vincenzo, to whom the atlas is dedicated, assisted him with this project and allowed for maps of the various states of Italy to be brought to Magini.
During the winter of 1603–1604, Galileo visited the Mantuan court in an effort to obtain a position there, and was offered a salary, but could not agree on the terms with Vincenzo, who instead presented Galileo with a gold chain and two silver dishes.
Vincenzo's spendthrift habits are considered to have accelerated Mantua's economic and cultural decline.
On 20 July 1588, Emperor Rudolf II granted Vincenzo the right to an escutcheon of Austria, surmounted by an archducal coronet. Vincenzo created the Order of the Redemptor (or of the Most Precious Blood), approved by Pope Paul V, on 25 May 1608.
Vincenzo married Margherita Farnese in 1581; their marriage was childless and they divorced. On 29 April 1584 he married his first cousin Eleonora de' Medici, the daughter of Francesco I de' Medici and Joanna of Austria.
Vincenzo and Eleonora's marriage produced six children. They were:
- Francesco (7 May 1586 – 22 December 1612), who ruled as Francesco IV Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Duke of Montferrat between 9 February and 22 December 1612.
- Ferdinando (26 April 1587 – 29 October 1626), who ruled as Ferdinando I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Duke of Montferrat from 1612 until his death.
- Guglielmo Domenico (4 April 1589 – 12 May 1591), nicknamed "(Lungaspada)", Marquis of Monferrato. Died in infancy.
- Margherita (2 October 1591 – 7 February 1632), wife of Henry II, Duke of Lorraine
- Vincenzo (7 January 1594 – 25 December 1627), ruled as Vincenzo II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Marquess of Montferrat from 1626 until his death.
- Eleonora (23 September 1598 – 27 June 1655), second wife of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.
He had several illegitimate children, including:
- by the noble Agnes Argotta, wife of Prospero del Carretto:
- Francesco Gonzaga (1588-1673), bishop of Nola in 1657
- Silvio (1592-1612), Knight of Malta, the court poet Mantovana, and Marquis Cavriana
- Giovanni (? -1679), Minister of Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga to Turin, where he was the 'task to prevent the riding of Ercole Mattioli for the sale of the Monferrato to France of Louis XIV
- Eleanora, nun.
- By the noble FelicitaGuerrieri, daughter of Tullo Guerrieri, master of room of Duke Vincent I, had a daughter:
- Bellonci, Maria (1956). A Prince of Mantua: The Life and Times of Vincenzo Gonzaga. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
- Brinton, Selwyn (1927). The Gonzaga. Lords of Mantua. London: Methuen.
- Fenlon, Iain (1980). Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of MantuaBorn: 21 September 1562 Died: 9 February 1612
| Duke of Mantua
| Duke of Montferrat|