Vincenzo I Gonzaga, IV. duca di Mantova

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About Vincenzo I Gonzaga, IV. duca di Mantova

Vincenzo I Gonzaga

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vincenzo I of Gonzaga (September 21, 1562-February 9, 1612) was ruler of the Duchy of Mantua and Montferrat from 1587 to 1612.

He was a son of William I, Duke of Mantua and Eleonora of Austria. His maternal grandparents were Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary.

Vincenzo I was a major patron of the arts and sciences, and turned Mantua into a vibrant cultural center. Vincenzo employed the composer Claudio Monteverdi and the painter Peter Paul Rubens. In 1590 Monteverdi became a viol-player and cantor in the music cappella of Vincenzo; in 1602 Vincenzo appointed him maestro di musica 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 Celeste Galeria di Minerva.[1]

The astronomer Giovanni Antonio Magini also served as tutor to Vincenzo's sons, Francesco and Ferdinando.

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 allow 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 him Galileo with a gold chain and two silver dishes.

Vincenzo's spendthrift habits are considered to have accelerated Mantua's economic and cultural decline.

Vincenzo was rumored to have been impotent and he is said to have sent a secret expedition to the New World in order to obtain a legendary aphrodisiac.[2]

On July 20, 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 May 25, 1608[3].


Vincenzo married Margherita Farnese in in 1581; their marriage was childless so they divorced. On April 29, 1584 he married Eleonora de' Medici, the daughter of Francesco I de' Medici and Johanna of Austria. Johanna was his mother's sister.

Vincenzo and Eleonora's marriage produced five children. They were:

Francesco IV Gonzaga (May 7, 1586 – December 22, 1612), Duke of Mantua and Duke of Montferrat between February 9 and December 22, 1612.

Ferdinando I Gonzaga (April 26, 1587 – October 29, 1626), Duke of Mantua and Duke of Montferrat from 1612 until his death.

Guglielmo Dominico (1589 – 1591) - Died young

Margerita Gonzaga (2 October 1591 – 7 February 1632) , wife of Henry II, Duke of Lorraine

Vincenzo II Gonzaga (January 7, 1594 – December 25, 1627), Duke of Mantua and Marquess of Montferrat from 1626 until his death.

Eleonora Gonzaga (September 23, 1598 – June 27, 1655), wife of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor


Bellonci, Maria (1956). A Prince of Mantua: The Life and Times of Vincenzo Gonzaga. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Brinton, Selwyn (1927). The Gonzaga. Lords of Mantua. Methuen.

Fenlon, Iain (1980). Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua. Cambridge University Press.


Vincenzo I Gonzaga, 4th Duca di Mantova1 M, #112050, b. 21 September 1562, d. 9 February 1612

Vincenzo I Gonzaga, 4th Duca di Mantova|b. 21 Sep 1562\nd. 9 Feb 1612|p11205.htm#i112050|Guglielmo Gonzaga, 3rd Duca di Mantova|b. 1538\nd. 1587|p11204.htm#i112031|Eleonora Erzherzogin von Österreich|b. 1534\nd. 1594|p11203.htm#i112030|Federico I. Gonzaga, 1st Duca di Mantova|b. 1500\nd. 1540|p16417.htm#i164169|Margherita Paleologa|b. 1510\nd. 1566|p34230.htm#i342293|Ferdinand I. von Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor|b. 10 Mar 1503\nd. 25 Jul 1564|p10353.htm#i103524|Anna Jagellon|b. 23 Jul 1503\nd. 27 Jan 1547|p10587.htm#i105868|

Last Edited=14 Mar 2009

Vincezo I, Duke of Mantua2 Vincenzo I Gonzaga, 4th Duca di Mantova was born on 21 September 1562.2 He was the son of Guglielmo Gonzaga, 3rd Duca di Mantova and Eleonora Erzherzogin von Österreich.3 He married, firstly, Margherita Farnese in 1581.4 He married, secondly, Eleonora de Medici, daughter of Francesco I de Medici, Granduca di Toscana and Joanna Erzherzogin von Österreich, on 29 April 1584.5 He and Margherita Farnese were divorced in 1584 for non-consummation.4 He died on 9 February 1612 at age 49.3

    Vincenzo I Gonzaga, 4th Duca di Mantova succeeded to the title of 4th Duca di Mantova in 1587.3

Children of Vincenzo I Gonzaga, 4th Duca di Mantova and Eleonora de Medici 1.Francesco IV Gonzaga, 5th Duca di Mantova+3 b. 7 May 1586, d. 22 Aug 1612 2.Ferdinando Gonzaga, 6th Duca di Mantova3 b. 1587, d. 1626 3.Margherita Gonzaga+5 b. 2 Oct 1591, d. 7 Feb 1632 4.Vincenzo II Gonzaga, 7th Duca di Mantova3 b. 1594, d. 1627 5.Eleanora Gonzaga, Principessa di Mantova1 b. 1598, d. 1655 Citations 1.[S16] Jirí Louda and Michael MacLagan, Lines of Succession: Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe, 2nd edition (London, U.K.: Little, Brown and Company, 1999), table 80. Hereinafter cited as Lines of Succession. 2.[S130] Wikipedia, online http;// Hereinafter cited as Wikipedia. 3.[S38] John Morby, Dynasties of the World: a chronological and genealogical handbook (Oxford, Oxfordshire, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1989), page 107. Hereinafter cited as Dynasties of the World. 4.[S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family." 5.[S102] Roglo Geneweb Website, online <>. Hereinafter cited as Roglo Geneweb Website.

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Vincenzo I Gonzaga, IV. duca di Mantova's Timeline

September 21, 1562
Mantua, Mantua, Lombardy, Italy
May 7, 1586
Age 23
Mantua, Lombardy, Italy
April 26, 1587
Age 24
Mantua, Lombardy, Italy
October 2, 1591
Age 29
Mantua, Lombardy, Italy
January 7, 1594
Age 31
September 23, 1598
Age 36
Mantua, Lombardy, Italy
February 9, 1612
Age 49
Mantua, Mantua, Lombardy, Italy