Gonzaga, Federigo II


Gonzaga, Federigo II
(1500-1540)
   Federigo Gonzaga succeeded his father, Francesco II, as Marquis of Mantua in 1519, and, in 1530, he was conferred the title of duke by Emperor Charles V. In 1531, he married Maria Palaeologo, daughter of the Marquis of Monferrato, which gained Mantua that territory in 1536. Federigo was an able military commander. In 1521, as Captain of the Church, he was involved in the siege of Pavia and, in 1529, was appointed captain to the Imperial troops in Italy. Federigo was also a major patron, his passion for the arts inherited from his mother, Isabella d'Este, who was an avid art collector. As a child, Federigo was kept hostage at the Vatican in the court of Julius II, along with his father whose political inclinations did not accord with those of the pope. This coincided with the time when Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donato Bramante were working at the Vatican, which would have piqued Federigo's interest in art. Federigo was the patron of Correggio who rendered for him mythologies depicting the loves of Jupiter, including Danaë (c. 1531; Rome, Galleria Borghese), Ganymede, and Io (both early 1530s; Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum). Giulio Romano built for him the Palazzo del Tè (1527-34) and frescoed the Sala dei Giganti with his greatest painted master-piece, the Fall of the Giants (1530-1532).

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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