Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua

Guglielmo Gonzaga

Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Duke of Mantua (as Guglielmo)
Duke of Montferrat (as Guglielmo X)
Reign 1550 - 1587
Predecessor Francesco III Gonzaga
Successor Vincenzo I Gonzaga
Born (1538-04-24)24 April 1538
Died 14 August 1587(1587-08-14) (aged 49)
Spouse Eleonora of Austria
Issue Vincenzo I, Duke of Mantua
Margherita Gonzaga
Anna Caterina Gonzaga
Father Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Mother Margaret Palaeologina

Guglielmo Gonzaga (24 April 1538 – 14 August 1587) was Duke of Mantua and Montferrat from 1550 to 1587. He was the second son of Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Margaret Palaeologina of Montferrat. In 1574, Montferrat was elevated to a Duchy and he became its first duke. He was succeeded by his son Vincenzo.

Patron of music

Guglielmo was particularly interested in sacred vocal music, and is known particularly to music historians for his extensive correspondence with the composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. He built a large new church in Mantua, dedicated to Santa Barbara. He engaged in an unprecedented negotiation with the Papacy to create his own rite for Mantua, and devoted considerable resources to developing a musical repertoire for the church, commissioning works by Giaches de Wert and Palestrina. Part of his correspondence with Palestrina discusses the work commissioned in detail, stipulating Guglielmo's requirements, and therefore giving a sense of his musical preferences. Guglielmo's musical tastes were conservative for the day. He enjoyed imitative contrapuntal music but was concerned to maintain clarity of text, thereby showing the influence of Tridentine reforms. Upon his death, his son Vincent invited followers of the more modern trends to his court.

Marriage and children

On 26 April 1561 William married Eleonora of Austria, sixth daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. They were parents to three children:


References and further reading

Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
Born: 24 April 1538 Died: 14 August 1587
Preceded by
Francesco III
Duke of Mantua
Succeeded by
Vincenzo I
Marquess and Duke of Montferrat
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