Andrea Vitali ...
... has published so much new findings in the last year, that it is rather difficult to keep oneself up-to-date to the newest developments. A larger number of articles exists only in Italian language (but the intention is given to translate them - I can read Italian a little bit, but naturally I have difficulties to understand details) - and a smaller part is already translated to English (however, the translations have weaknesses and often I've difficulties to understand them, too; often enough I have to read in both versions to get somehow the meaning).
Italian versions: 46 articles
English version: 26 articles
Actually Andrea needs help by native English speakers to realize versions, which are easily understandable in English. If there is somebody ... this would be fine. Just for correcting the already translated articles, this would be great.
One of the articles is of special value in the question of my recent post, that is the theme "Isabella d'Este in 1512":
Taroch: nulla latina ratione
With Barbaric rite, without relationship with the Latin, now they call it [b]taroch[/b][/b]
As the title suggests, a writer (Francesco Vigilio) protests against the new word Taroch and the related action takes place in September 1512. For the word "Taroch" it's one of the earliest appearances in context to playing cards, first it was noted in Ferrara and Avignon in 1505 - so this is an important document. The protesting statement is given inside a theater play.
Vigilio became installed "official teacher" of Isabella' eldest son (later duke of Mantova) around April 1511 ...Francesco Mantovano, commonly identified with Francesco Vigilio (1446-1534), was a playwright and writer, the most authoritative of the teachers who taught in Mantua after Vittorino of Feltre. Thanks to the favours of Isabella, wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, he became public preceptor of grammar, beginning with his pupils different performances of comedies, among which the Formigone "cavato da Apuleio" (drowned from Apuleius) that had as spectators the same Isabella and the young Federico of whom Vigilio became the preceptor. A performance crowned by extraordinary success.
Among the other works he wrote the "Lautrec", centred upon contemporary historical stories and particularly upon the facts happened in Milan around 1521, whose governor was the French captain Lautrec, and the Dialogo de Italia (Dialogue of Italy), represented "in modo di actione comica, in lingua Latina" (in way of comic action, in Latin language) in Mantua and Verona in 1512, at the presence of Mattia Lang, archbishop Gurgense (1).
Footnote 1: 1 - In Verona the representation happened between September the 18th and the 22nd 1512, period in which Gurgense lived in that city. About the Verona acting of the Dialogo the text has been handed down by Marin Sanudo, Vita dei Dogi (Life of the Doges), in "RR. II. SS", XXII, Città di Castello, 1902, I, XV, pages 146-151.
http://books.google.com/books?id=XvCTFZ ... io&f=false
.. but he's called also Francesco Mantovano, so it might well be, that he earlier had other function. For the moment I found no nearer life description. In 1503 - already 57 years old - he had a flourishing humanist school, which in this year made a first theater experiment, which the pupils showed to Isabella d'Este.
http://books.google.com/books?id=GpUk5g ... io&f=false
The life of Federico Gonzaga, Isabella's husband, was very difficult in these years, he is prisoner in Venice, changed the sides, is mistrusted etc. ... these intrigues are very complicated.
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/cond ... antova.htm
Wiki has not much content
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_ ... _of_Mantua
For this reason Isabella got a lot of responsibilities in Mantova - and freedom.
For April 1512 we have, that Federico Gonzaga (Mantova) offered his service (again) to the Serenissima ... after the bloody battle of Ravenna, which was a loss for Venice and a win for the French party, but which exhausted the French army (but his service wasn't taken ). Short time after the "war of the League of Cambray" was finished and the French troops disappeared from Italy. In August 1512 Federico seems to have presented the interests of Alfonso d'Este in a delegation to the pope ...short before or parallel the French army retreated from Italy. But this didn't help too much: the d'Este in Ferrara, close relatives to Isabella, had to suffer. Ferrara was happy again three years later, when the new French king Francois I. successfully returned.
Battle of Ravenna
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_ ... %281512%29
War of the League of Cambrai (1508-12)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the ... of_Cambrai
In Winter 1512/13 France and Venice (former foes) suddenly agreed on a cooperative action against Milan. In the same winter Massimiliano Sforza returned from Austrian exile to become a duke in Milan.
If it's true, that the French army was retreated in August 1512 (and the French invasion of 1499/1500 impressed as "totally defeated"), then the theater play of September 1512 clearly had a specific political meaning. Everybody in Italy had then to behave according the "new situation". For the theater play of September 1512 one likely has to assume, that it naturally might have existed before in parts ... but naturally it was adapted to the moment and nobody could have predicted the situation right after the battle of Ravenna ... well, nobody beside Pope Julius.
Let's assume, that the liberation of Bologna by Trivulzio and the French army in 1511 caused a Pro-French Tarocchi production in Bologna. I gave arguments for this in the labyrinth of the thread "Bolognese Sequence, somehow here, but the relevant arguments are spread in the discussion...
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&p=5312&hilit=I ... 1499#p5312
... in simple words, there was a French Lille at the triumphal CHARIOT of the BAR ...
here a part of it, totally it are 12 cards
... and the military situation of the war (French troops had freed Bologna from papal control in spring 1511)
offered an opportunity to a French friendly triumphal activity, which well might have been accompanied . Trivulzio was then a deciding French general (and a long time French governor of Milan) and he had been a Milanese Pro-Sforza general long time before and he knew very well about Italian Trionfi customs.
So Trivulzio might have influenced the edition of this deck - spring 1511.
Then the public discussion was around a council in Pisa, pope Julius had a weak stand. In Juli 1511 he promised a council in Rome, in August he suddenly suffered a break-down of his personal health. Everybody thought he would die, emperor Maximilian even prepared to become the next pope. But Julius survived.
The battle of Ravenna 1512 took place at an Easter sunday (!!!!), maybe 13.000 dead soldiers and a lot others wounded. 1/3 of of them French, 2/3 a papal/Spanish army, a great French victory mainly thanks to the very good cannons of Alfonso d'Este. But it was a Pyrrhus victory for France. Fresh Swiss troops under cardinal-bishop Schiner had an easy game with the rest of the French army.
In August/September 1512
Isabella d'Este arranged the matters in a way, that she looked like a winner of the war - naturally.
The theater activities took place in September ... with the cardinal of Gurk. It's best to know this man a little bit ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matth%C3%A ... Wellenburg
http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/ADB:Matth ... ardinal%29 (German)
Born in Augsburg, he was of humble birth, but rather clever, and he seems to be rather good in talking. Still rather young about 23, he became already the first secretary for emperor Frederick III. He proceeded in this sense in Maximilian's time and earned the friendship of the 10 years older new emperor. His special became "mighty diplomatic missions" and in 1511 he became bishop of Gurk and 1513 a cardinal - without being a priest. He had the balls, to talk to Pope Julius from even to even, something, which Julius wasn't used to, but likely that, what Maximilian expected him to do. Gurk is said to have been always loyal to Maximilian, but occasionally rather difficult for others. The interesting aspect [Tarocchi history] of Gurk is this ...
This btw. also ...
Gurk had been likely one of the first, who knew about the Emperor-becomes-Pope-ideas. However, this was caused
by the Pope's sickness in late August 1511. Before, in spring 1511, these activities are recorded:
http://www.archive.org/stream/isabellad ... j_djvu.txt
From this "peace congress" in March/April 1511, which didn't work, we have Isabella (for the first time ?) as a central figure of European dimensions as the host. Also we have an expanding sign of friendship between Mantova and Austrian court (the relations between Mantova and German Empire were already before better than those of most other Italian cities ... this at least since Barbara of Brandenburg). Later we see that Mantovan princesses had a chance to become the Empress.The Duke of Urbino succeeded in taking Modena
and Mirandola, and the Pope satisfied his warlike
spirit by climbing the walls on a scaling ladder, and
entering the city through the breach made by his
guns. But, in spite of these reverses, Alfonso still
kept the papal forces at bay, and the advance of a
large French army, under the veteran Trivulzio, to
his relief, compelled the Pope to retire to Bologna.
A truce was now proclaimed, and, at Isabella's sug-
gestion, ambassadors from England, France, Spain,
and Germany met at Mantua to discuss terms of
peace. Here the Emperor's favourite minister,
Matthaus Lang, Bishop of Gurk, arrived early in
March, and was splendidly entertained by the
This haughty German prelate is described by
Paride Grassi, papal master of ceremonies, as a tall
and handsome man with long fair hair, and the
manners of a barbarian. He assumed royal airs,
wore lay dress, and sat down in the Pope's presence
with his biretta on his head. But he was by no
means insensible to feminine charms, and before long
was completely captivated by the clever Marchesa.
"The illustrious Signora Marchesana," wrote Guido
Silvestri from Mantua to his master. Cardinal
d'Este, "is bent on obtaining this peace, although
that wretch Casola told her the other day, before us
all, that Cupid's arrows were the only weapons she
ought to fear, which sent us into fits of laughter I
So now we are rejoicing at the prospect of peace,
and hope to see all this ruin and misery end happily
for the honour of your princely house." And
Casola himself, a comic poet in the service of
Cardinal d'Este, sent his master the following strange
account of an interview between the German bishop
and the Marchesa. "The other day the Bishop of
Gurk paid the Marchesa a visit, when I caused great
amusement by acting as interpreter, and we all
laughed till our sides ached." That day politics were
not even mentioned. 'The whole talk was of kissing
and romping, merry songs were sung and witty
sayings repeated, and all manner of gay fooling went
on between the German envoys and Isabella and her
ladies. Unfortunately, when Lang proceeded to
Bologna, the Pope quite refused to listen to the
Emperor's proposals of peace, and the bishop left
suddenly, with no attempt to conceal his disgust.
Hostilities were immediately resumed, and hardly
had the Pope left Bologna, than Trivulzio surprised
and defeated the Duke of Urbino's army and seized
the town. On the 23rd of May, the Bentivogli
returned in triumph, Michel Angelo's bronze statue
of Julius II. was overthrown by the mob, and the
bronze melted down by Alfonso d'Este and cast into
a cannon, which he christened La Giulia. The
next day the papal legate. Cardinal AUdosi, was
openly stabbed in the streets of Ravenna by the
Duke of Urbino, who accused him of treacherously
surrendering Bologna to the foe. A month after-
wards the old Pope returned to Rome, broken in
health and worn out with fatigue and anxieties. His
armies were defeated, his hopes disappointed. Bologna
was lost, and his favourite had been brutally murdered
by his own nephew almost before his eyes.
This note refers to meetings in Bologna in April 1511 ...
http://books.google.com/books?id=THs24Y ... pe&f=false
So Bologna had already a sort of revolutionary state ... For 23 May 1511 we have then, that Trivulzio took Bologna and gave it to a "new freedom of papal authority", after Bologna had lost it in 1506. A reason for a triumphal activities. Well, and possibly an opportunity to have a Trionfi alias Taroch deck. Now the BAR has this card, the Star ... I talked about this here, in the labyrinth of the thread "Bolognese sequences":
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=334&p=5288&hilit=B ... ogna#p5288
Here is the BAR-Star:
... and here is probably the key-text of my earlier consideration in the heavy discussion two years ago:
So - from this argumentation - it should be of interest, when precisely the related actions happened. The Pope was sick ...When had Bologna reason to honor the French king ... actually I come only to one moment and that's 1511, Bologna had been freed by French troops and was happy to have the pope outside of the city, with enthusiasm the new build castle of political control was destroyed again.
Pope Julius got a breakdown and was kept as "soon dying" ... already it was discussed, what will happen soon after his death. One of the discussed possibilities was, that Emperor Maximilian, recently a widower since 1510, should become the new pope.
If we now look at the star card (which serves also your argumentation for an early Bolognese Tarot) we've there 3 men (you assume 3 Magi), but I see there an
... an Emperor apple over the head of a crowned person
... with his left he holds an object, which has similarities to a crown or Tiara and it looks, as if he gets it
... in the same time his right hand seems to pass something to the person to the right, who stretches his left arm to take it
... or they are trading and negotiating, cause the crowned figure stretches one finger
... well, ever heard of finger counting and trading with fingers to keep the negotiations secret?
... it's said, that this still was far spread in 15th century. Georges Ifrah, who studied old cipher systems in detail, tells interesting stories about it
... the scene might describe precisely finger negotiation and we see a closed bag bound at the left hip of the crowned person indicating, that this person has money
... the third figure in the back observes the action. From its tiara-like hat it might present Pope Julius, who for the moment is hopeless and "out of order", but it might be also just a partner of the person to the right.
... the right figure has not a crown or an tiara, but something like a citizen's hat (?) or that of a normal person. It might present the "Bolognese" or the "people of Bologna".
And the negotiation seem to say: "We can make you pope, what do you pay ... " and the possible buyer, probably Maximilian seems to be interested.
This situation was only true in a specific moment of history. Julius turned back to life and turned the tables very quickly.
In later Bologna decks the left person is a pope with triple tiara and he has a crown, which he seems to give to one of the two other persons. One of the other two persons is (not always) already crowned. The scene seems to present the crowning of an Emperor ... which as a ritual became lost to the pope precisely in 1508, when Maximilian had declared himself Emperor, cause Venice didn't allow him to cross to Rome. This was accepted by Julius, but with restrictions. Charles V. then formally fulfilled the crowning ceremony 1530 (this happened in BOLOGNA), but this was the last done by the pope.
The Bolognese star card has as forerunner the Ferrarese d'Este cards (probably ca. 1475) ...
... in a phase, in which the Ferrarese court was interested in astronomical studies and even produced astronomy books, had a famous astrologer with astronomical tendencies and a Palazzo project with astronomical frescoes, at which we find a lot of details, but not 3 Magi.
And there are only two astronomers at the card, not 3.
Before we have NO STAR in the Charles VI and NO STAR in the Cary-Yale-reconstruction, but a Star woman in the 6 added stars, which probably in it's composition sun-moon-star goes back to the Medici chapel, which objects are indeed the 3 Magi.
... but not long. But once a news was spread with some intensity, it likely was difficult to keep the reactions silent. TV, radio, internet, quick transport of news didn't exist. And if a person is said to have been nearly dead, there are many, who don't believe that the recovered state would last very long.From 25 to 27 August, 1511, his life was despaired of. It was during this sickness of Julius II that Emperor Maximilian conceived the fantastic plan of uniting the tiara with the imperial crown on his own head (see Schulte, "Kaiser Maximilian als Kandidat für den papstlichen Stuhl", Leipzig, 1906; and Naegle, "Hat Kaiser Maximilian I in Jahre 1507 Papst werden wollen" in "Historisches Jahrbuch", XXVIII, Munich, 1907, pp. 44-60, 278-305). But Julius II recovered on 28 August, and on 4 October the so-called Holy League was formed for the purpose of delivering Italy from French rule. In the beginning the League included only the pope, the Venetians, and Spain, but England joined it on 17 November, and was soon followed by the emperor and by Switzerland.
Anyway, there was not much time, in which the BAR might have been produced. Bologna was attacked in January 1512, Annibale Bentivoglio abandoned the city forever in June 1512.
http://www.condottieridiventura.it/cond ... ologna.htm
So likely one has to assume a production between September - December 1511.
The months after the battle of Ravenna were very explosive. Still in August 1512, one month before the theater play in Mantova, following development took place:
A seemingly peaceful congress in Mantova [again Isabella in the mid of the concert] mid of August 1512 and then - with a short action of a few days end of August - the destiny of Florence was totally changed for more than 200 years. And the interests were still not satisfied. The pope desired, that the earlier Ferrara ALSO should more or less disappear - similar to Bologna's earlier freedom and similar to the 20 years old Medici-free Florence. Luckily there were many others, who observed the process.
However, it was already agreed, that the Sforzas should be restored in Milan.
Matthias Lang, the vital bishop of Gurk, was of importance then, presenting the Empire and balancing the hungry demands of Pope Julius. This is from November 1512, a few months after the theater play of September 1512.
and this ...
So we have:Created cardinal and reserved in pectore, March 10, 1511; published in the consistory of November 24, 1512 (2); received the red hat and the title of S. Angelo in Pescheria, deaconry assigned as a title, before March 22, 1514. Named archbishop coadjutor of Salzburg, with right of succession, April 5, 1512; the cathedral chapter was prohibited from making a new election; the archbishop of that see, Leonard Keutschach, expressed his opposition to the appointment (3). He initially supported the schismatic Council of Pisa but later joined the Fifth Lateran Council on December 3, 1512.
March 10, 1511 ; Gurk was promised to become cardinal (in pectore) ... short after this he saw Isabella d'Este
April 5, 1512 ; Gurk got something; this had been before the battle of Ravenna (April 11)
November 24, 1512 ; Gurk got the cardinals hat, short before the above described scene
December 3, 1512 ; Gurk agreed with the pope
Well, returning back to August 1512 and now in the perspective of Isabella ...
http://www.archive.org/stream/isabellad ... j_djvu.txt
The pope died in February 1513 and Ferrara survived. The new pope became Giovanni Medici as Leo, a man, who seems to have been easier to handle for Isabella.Early in the month of August 1512, the represen-
tatives of the allied powers met at Mantua, where
a prolonged conference took place, and Isabella
d'Este displayed her usual tact and ability in the
conduct of negotiations. On this occasion, her friend
the Bishop of Gurk again represented the Emperor,
and Raimondo de Cardona, Viceroy of Naples, visited
Mantua for the first time as King Ferdinand's deputy.
Giuliano dei Medici and his clever secretary, Bernardo
da Bibbiena, were the agents accredited by the Pope,
while Giovanni Soderini, the brother of the Gonfa-
loniere, was the nominal representative of Florence,
but soon found that he possessed little authority.
The Pope was determined to punish the Republic for
her adhesion to France, and the restoration of the
Medici had already been secretly agreed upon, but
the great question which occupied the envoys was
the settlement of Milan. Both Maximilian and Fer-
dinand would have liked to bestow the Duchy on
their young grandson, Charles, but neither the Pope
nor Venice and Mantua would agree to this, and the
Swiss, who held Milan, and were the real masters of
the situation, declared at once in favour of Maximilian
Sforza, the Moro's elder son. Since the first con-
quest of Milan by the French in 1499, this youth
had been brought up at Innsbruck, with his brother
Francesco, in the care of his cousin, the Empress
Bianca, and was more of a German than an Italian
in his habits and tastes. He was now nineteen, and
showed little signs of his father's talent or his mother's
high spirit ; but Isabella could not forget that he was
her nephew, and not only rejoiced that Beatrice's son
should reign on his father's throne, but saw in his
accession a new opportunity for the advancement of
her family's interests. She threw herself heart and
soul into the young prince's cause, and lost no oppor-
tunity of urging his claims on Lang and Cardona, as
well as on Giuliano dei Medici and Bibbiena, who
were already her sworn friends and allies. The
Viceroy soon fell a prey to the charms of the brilliant
Marchesa and her lovely maids-of-honour. The
intervals of business were filled with music and song,
with pleasant society and gay jests, and while Giuliano
and the handsome Bernardo declared themselves to be
in love with fair Alda Boiarda, Cardona and the Bishop
were at the feet of the fascinating beauty Brognina.
Isabella herself had a happy knack of discussing grave
political questions at these lively little dances and
suppers, and she knew, above all, how to govern
others without ever allowing her influence to appear.
In this case, the choice of Maximilian Sforza agreed
particularly well with the interests of the confederates,
as one of the most clear-sighted Florentine statesmen
of the day remarked : " The Pope wished to have a
weak Duke of Milan, so as to dispose of the wealthy
benefices in the Duchy at his will. The Bishop of
Gurk only cared to raise as much money as possible
for his imperial master. The Viceroy wished to
quarter his Spanish troops in Lombardy and receive
pay for them. The Swiss counted on getting their
hire from the Duke, and remaining the real masters
of Milan ; and Venice looked forward to an easy
triumph over a feeble prince." So the business of
the conference was speedily despatched in a manner
agreeable to all parties, saving the unfortunate Floren-
tine envoy, whose opinion was seldom asked. When
he left Mantua, the doom of Florence was already
On the 21st of August, the Spanish army entered
Tuscany with the Medici brothers .... etc
.... (a little time later, now September 1512, the month of the theater play:)
The next day the two [Medici] brothers entered Florence
in state, and Isabella sent Giuliano her warmest
congratulations. " I thank Your Signory," she writes,
" for this happy news, and assure you that nothing
could give me greater pleasure. I rejoice to think
that your return to your own house should be
accomplished without any tumult, and with the
consent of the Republic, and hold this for a good
augury of your future peace and prosperity. I feel
sure that your return will excite the less opposition,
and will be the more grateful to all, since it has
been so fortunately effected without any bloodshed.
And tell Moccicone how much we all rejoice with
him, in this the greatest joy that he has ever had."
So Isabella wrote, in unconscious irony, ignorant
of the horrible cruelties of the Spanish soldiers, and
of the thousands of innocent women and children
who had fallen victims to their greed and lust. She
was not without her own anxieties at the time,
and, in a letter to Cardinal d'Este,^ she tells him
of a stormy interview that had taken place between
the Pope and the Mantuan envoy, in which His
Holiness complained bitterly of the Marquis saying
that, owing to him, the Diet had been held at
Mantua instead of in Rome, to the shame and dis-
honour of the Church, and that now Gurk refused
to appear before him. " He accuses us,'" continues
Isabella, "of giving shelter to the Ferrarese, and
swears that if you and the Duchess and her children
come to Mantua, he will order his army to march
against this state instead of Ferrara, regardless of
the Emperor's wishes, and will send Federico to
the Torresella of Venice, together with many bad
The old Pope's anger would have been still more
fierce if he could have seen the letters and messages
which Isabella sent repeatedly to her son-in-law of
Urbino, begging him, for her sake, to spare Ferrara,
and do as little injury as possible to her brother's
subjects. Castiglione, who was at Urbino, and who
had, as Isabella told her brothers, more influence
with the Duke than any one else, sent her consoling
assurances, and while the Marquis wrote groveling
letters to the Pope, promising to send him the first
of the Este traitors who dared set foot on his ter-
ritory, Francesco Maria wasted so much time over
his preparations that it became necessary to suspend
military operations until the spring.
Cardinal Gurk and Isabella had played their part quite well, both took some profit, Isabella out of a rather difficult position with her husband as a Venetian prisoner only short time before.
During 15th century Mantova was smaller and by far less important than Milan and than Ferrara. With the later run of the time we see, that Milan lost its independence and Ferrara a lot of his glamor, then finally losing the city Ferrara at the end of the 15th century and having only Modena and Reggio for some further time, finally dying.
Medici-Florence and Mantova definitely were winners in the course of 16th century, with Florence-Toscana getting weaker during 17th and dying at begin of 18th and Mantova becoming stronger in 17th century and still living in 19th.
So these meetings between Isabella and the "nobody" cardinal of Gurk, who just only presented "Habsburg", have a really far reaching perspective.
We discussed this painting earlier
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t= ... light=1514
No Mantova, no cardinal Gurk
Let's return back to Andrea's article ... September 1512, a theater play and his text:
School of Athen
"1: Zeno of Citium 2: Epicurus 3: (Federico II of Mantua?) 4: Boethius or Anaximander or Empedocles? 5: Averroes 6: Pythagoras"
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... mbered.svg
http://books.google.com/books?id=e-70zL ... 12&f=false
She visited the carnival of Milan in January 1513 with a lot of beautiful women (between them the Brognina, who caused a scandal and took her way to a cloister; part of the scandal was Matthias Lang, cardinal of Gurk, who also visited the theater show in September 1512). Isabella's husband stayed at home at this opportunity.
Julius is said to have marked the call "Fuori i barbari" in about 1510, when he disvovered suddenly, that he didn't want to fight Venice, but France. The "Barbari" were in this case the French. When Vigilio also used the word Barbari in Taroch context in September 1512, he naturally also meant France. So we've with his words simply the confirmation, that the word Taroch comes from "a not clear connection to France or French army".
It seems likely, that Isabella d'Este (who loved cards) in 1512 wished, that her brother Ercole hadn't introduced this word taroch for Trionfi cards.
Another factor in Mantova:
Cardinal GONZAGA, Sigismondo (1469-1525)
Birth. 1469, Mantua. Third of the six children of Federico I "il Gobbo" Gonzaga, third marquis of Mantova, and Margherita, duchess of Bavaria and Monaco. Venetian patrician. Uncle of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga (1527). Grand-uncle of Cardinals Francesco Gonzaga (1561) and Giovanni Vincenzo Gonzaga, O.S.Io.Hier. (1578). Other cardinals of the family are: Francesco Gonzaga (1461); Pirro Gonzaga (1527); Scipione Gonzaga (1587); Ferdinando Gonzaga (1607); and Vincenzo Gonzaga (1615).
Early life. Received the ecclesiastical tonsure in 1479. He distinguished himself first in the military career and later in the ecclesiastical one. Commander of the troops of his brother, Francesco Gonzaga, duke of Mantua, sent to assist Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Primicerio commendatario of S. Andrea, Mantova, resigned in his favor by his uncle Francesco Gonzaga. Protonotary apostolic.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of December 1, 1505; published, December 12, 1505; received the red hat, December 17, 1505; and the deaconry of S. Maria Nuova, December 16, 1506. Protector of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carmelites).
Episcopate. Administrator of the see of Mantua, February 10, 1511; resigned the post in favor of his nephew Ercole Gonzaga, May 10, 1521. He gained the esteem of the schismatic cardinals who unsuccessfully tried to make him take their side; he supported the the rights of Pope Julius II against the attacks of the schismatic Council of Pisa. Legate to the army of the League, 1512. Legate in Bologna, 1512; he replaced Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici, who had been named on October 1, 1511 and was made prisoner by the French in the battle of Ravenna in 1512; Cardinal Gonzaga entered the city as legate on June 13, 1512; when Cardinal de' Medici was freed in that same year, he occupied his post as legate in Bologna and Cardinal Gonzaga retired to Mantua. Participated in the conclave of 1513, which elected Pope Leo X. Invested of Salarolo by the pope in 1514. Legate in Marca d'Ancona, 1521. Named by Pope Leo X legate a latere in Mantua. Participated in the conclave of 1521-1522, which elected Pope Adrian VI. Participated in the conclave of 1523, which elected Pope Clement VII. Administrator of the see of Aversa, at the beginning of 1524; resigned the post, July 1, 1524. He was a good friend of the Franciscans.
Death. October 3, 1525 (1), Mantua. Buried on October 13, 1525 in the cathedral of S. Pietro, Mantua (2). Pope Clement VII sent his condolences on October 13, 1525. His remains were transferred to the new cathedral of Mantua by Bishop Francesco Gonzaga.