Isabella Boschetti

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Isabella Boschetti (* c. 1502, † after 1542), called la bella Boschetta (the beautiful Boschetta) was an Italian noblewoman from a count's house and a niece of the important diplomat and writer Baldassare Castiglione (born December 6, 1478 in Casatico near Mantua ; † February 7, 1529 in Toledo , Spain ), the author of the famous guide for the ideal courtier " Il Libro del Cortegiano " (The Courtman's Book). She was the muse and lover of Federico II Gonzaga (* 1500, † 1540) the margrave and later Duke of Mantua , who inspired him to build the Palazzo del Te in Mantua and who - undeterred by the repeated attempts of his family to marry him off undeterred by his and her own marriage - remained bound to him in love until his end. Through their common (illegitimate) daughter, Emilia Cauzzi Gonzaga (* 1524, † 1573), she left behind a female line that is still blooming today.


The Romanesque Church of San Cesario

Isabella Boschetti came from the old Italian noble family of Boschetti, (n †. 1428) from the Alberto II. Boschetti on March 26, 1404 by Pope Innocent VII. (1404-1406) with the city and rule San Cesario was invested, which is about 12 Kilometers southeast of Modena in Emilia-Romagna on the Panaro River . The Boschetti tried, however, to protect themselves against any acts of violence by their overpowering neighbors, the Margraves of Este , who were lords of Modena and Ferrara , and allowed themselves to be mortgaged by them with San Cesario. In 1446, Leonello d'Este Margrave of Ferrara (1441–1450) raised the rule of San Cesario to a county, which he gave to his merited captain, Alberto III. Boschetti and his descendants. The family remained in the possession of this county until the feudal rights were repealed under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796. Even today you can see the remains of the rectangular "Rocca" (fortress), originally surrounded by walls and moats, in which the Boschetti palace was located, where Isabella grew up, of which only the Torre dell'orologio (clock tower) remains .

Isabella's father was Giacomo Boschetti (* 1471, † v. 1520?), Conte (Count) and co-lord of San Cesario sul Panaro in the province of Modena , patrician of Mantua - a great-grandson of Count Alberto III. Boschetti - who served as courtier and general in the service of the Margraves of Mantua. He was knighted in 1494 and distinguished himself on July 6, 1495 as a condottiere in the battle of Fornovo (30 km southeast of Parma ), in which the troops of the Holy League of Venice under the command of Francesco II Gonzaga against those from Naples returning army of the King of France Charles VIII achieved a decisive victory.

Baldassare Castiglione, portrait of Raphael

Isabella's mother was Polissena Castiglione, a daughter of Conte Palatino ( Count Palatine ) Cristoforo Castiglione (* 1459, † 1499), the Signore (Lord) di Casatico and patrician of Mantua and his wife Luigia (Aloisia) Gonzaga (* 1458 in Mantua, † 1542), who came from a branch line of the Gonzaga, the line of Gonzaga di Palazzolo, and who married Isabella's father on February 26, 1498.

Isabella was therefore a niece of the great statesman, diplomat and writer Baldassare Castiglione , who through his work “ Il Libro del Cortegiano ” (The Court Man's Book) modeled on the discussions at the court of the Duchess of Urbino , Elisabetta Gonzaga , the ideal of a perfect Hofmannes had designed. This role model of the universally educated, versatile, brave and elegant “uomo universale” ( universal man ) had an effect - despite the criticism of a lack of realism - for centuries as a model of an idealized aristocratic world.

Isabella's brother Francesco Boschetti (* 1501, †?) Was enfeoffed in 1520 by Pope Leo X (Giovanni de ' Medici ; *  December 11, 1475 in Florence , †  December 1, 1521 in Rome ) with the county of San Cesario, was patrician of Modena, 1517 Governor General of Urbino , Pesaro , Fano and Senigallia , 1526 Governor General of Benevento and was appointed ambassador in the same year by Alfonso I d´Este (* 1476, † 1534, Duke of Ferrara , Modena and Reggio nell'Emilia ) Pope Clement VII (Giulio de 'Medici; born May 26, 1478 in Florence, † September 25, 1534 in Rome). He was married to Susanna Pico, an illegitimate daughter of Galeotto Pico, Imperial Count of Concordia and Imperial Vicar to Mirandola , and had descendants.



The Basilica of Sant'Andrea in Mantua

Isabella Boschetti was the younger daughter of her parents, received a comprehensive upbringing in the spirit of humanism and grew up in the cultural atmosphere of the court of the Marquis of Mantua, in whose service her father was. It was precisely then that Mantua lost its medieval appearance, as the Renaissance culture made its breakthrough there. A few decades before her birth, Leon Battista Alberti (* February 14, 1404 in Genoa ; † April 25, 1472 in Rome ) worked in Mantua , whom the important Swiss cultural historian Jacob Burckhardt (* May 25, 1818 in Basel ; † 8. August 1897 ibid) describes in his work "The Culture of the Renaissance in Italy" (1860) as the embodiment of the "uomo universale". Alberti had built the church of San Sebastiano there in 1460 and designed the astonishing Basilica of Sant'Andrea in 1470 according to the proportions of the Solomonic temple . A little later (1474) Andrea Mantegna (* 1431, † 1506), the most important painter of the Northern Italian Early Renaissance in Mantua, completed the magnificent frescoes in the Camera degli Sposi (wedding room) in the Castello di San Giorgio in the Palazzo Ducale . It was these developments that helped shape Isabella's mind.

Her uncle Baldassare Castiglione , who lived as a diplomat in the service of the Marquis of Mantua at the court of Urbino and later served as envoy to the Dukes of Urbino in Rome , undoubtedly had an important influence on the adolescent Isabella . His book about the ideal courtier: Il Libro del Cortegiano was already famous back then and is now one of the most important achievements of Italian Renaissance literature, alongside Ariost's (* 1474, † 1533) " Orlando Furioso " and Machiavelli's Il Principe (1513) . Isabella was particularly interested in the fact that her uncle Castiglione not only described the "courtier", but also for the first time in detail the high demands on elegance, varied education, grace, quick-wittedness and artistry of a perfect lady-in-waiting, a "donna di palazzo" described that Isabella could serve as a model.

Tower of the Calvisano Castle

Isabella was married by her parents at a young age to Francesco Cauzzi Conte (Count) di Calvisano , a court man and captain of the Marquis of Mantua. She therefore lived alternately in Mantua and in Calvisano, which is in the province of Brescia . There you can still see parts of the former fort that she lived in.

Beginning of the relationship with Federico II Gonzaga

Portrait of Federico II Gonzaga by Titian , around 1525

However, her fate was not to be shaped by her husband, but by another man, namely Federico II Gonzaga , (* May 17, 1500 in Mantua ; † June 28, 1540 in Marmirolo ). This came from the Italian Gonzaga dynasty , which ruled Mantua since the 14th century, was a son of Francesco II Gonzaga , Margrave of Mantua (1484–1519) and his wife Isabella d'Este (born May 18, 1474; † February 13, 1539), the witty salon lady, politician, art collector and patron, who is considered one of the most important women of the Italian Renaissance.

Isabella's family and the Gonzaga were closely related. Her grandmother, Luigia (Aloisia) Gonzaga , herself came from a sidelines of the Gonzaga family. But Isabella belonged to the "extended family". In addition, not only her father, but also her uncle Baldassare Castiglione was in the service of the Marquis of Mantua. Despite these connections, no one could have suspected that a closer relationship could develop between her and the heir of the Margraviate of Mantua.

Federico II's father had big plans for his son and heir, as the margraviate's limited power base was to be increased through his son's marriage to an important heiress. His choice fell on the still childish Maria Palaiologos from the house of the Margraves of Montferrat (* 1509, † 1530). She was the eldest daughter of Margrave Wilhelm XI. von Montferrat (* 1486, † 1518) and Anne d'Alençon (* October 30, 1492, † October 18, 1562), who was a daughter of René , Duke of Alençon from the House of Valois. Maria Palaiologos was considered a "brilliant match", as her family descended in male line from the emperors of Byzantium from the house of the palaeologists , who had inherited the margraviate from the older marquis of Montferrat, who were not only among the oldest families in Italy, but were also one of the leading families of the Crusades and had provided two kings of Jerusalem , Conrad of Montferra († 1192) and Baldwin of Montferrat († 1186) . Her status as a bride was even higher because Maria was a possible heir to the important Margraviate of Montferrat in Piedmont , as her family had only a few male representatives.

The then seventeen year old Federico II Gonzaga was therefore betrothed to the eight year old Maria Palaiologos and in 1517 a marriage contract was concluded. The consummation of the marriage was, however, postponed to a later date in view of the young age of the bride.

Federico had the opportunity to refine his education at the court of the young knightly king of France, Francis I (1515–1547), who saw in Federico a future ally for his expansion plans in Italy. The carefree stay in France was suddenly ended with the death of his father, Margrave Francesco II Gonzaga in 1519. He had to return to Mantua to take the throne there as 5th Margrave of Mantua. Given his youth - just 19 years old - he ruled under the tutelage of his mother Isabella d'Este Gonzaga and his uncles, Cardinal Sigismondo Gonzaga (* 1469 - October 4, 1525 in Mantua ), and Giovanni Gonzaga (* 1474 , † 1525), Lord of Vescovardo.

Soon after Federico's return to Mantua, seventeen-year-old Isabella Boschetti - famous for her beauty and education - caught the young margrave's attention. A passionate relationship developed from this, but this was not entirely unproblematic, as Isabella was married to Francesco Cauzzi Conte (Count) di Calvisano , a courtier and vassal of the Marquis of Mantua. In view of the magnitude of the passion - and the unequal balance of power - Isabella's husband allowed himself to be “persuaded” to renounce his marital rights and was “compensated” for this with goods and with the grace that he had his own family name, the ruler of Mantua was allowed to add and could therefore call himself Cauzzi Gonzaga.

This relationship, which was initially kept secret, was not without consequences: The two children from the relationship between Isabella and Federico Gonzaga were therefore officially regarded as the legitimate children of their husband and were therefore given the family name Cauzzi Gonzaga.

Federico's “marriage” with Maria von Montferrat

The lightheartedness of the relationship was increasingly marred by Isabella's concern that she might lose the love of Federico through his agreed marriage to Maria von Montferrat. This concern was not entirely unjustified, because news about this notorious love affair did not go unnoticed in the Margraviate of Montferrat either. There Federico's bride had grown from a child to a young woman who was pushing to take on her new role as wife and Margravine of Mantua.

A wish that Federico's mother Isabella d´Este Gonzaga shared in the dynastic interest of strengthening the power base of the Gonzaga house and therefore urged Federico to have his bride come from Montferrat and consummate the marriage in order to ensure the continuity of the dynasty. The nominal mother-in-law - the Margravine of Montferrat, widowed since 1518, Anne d'Alençon - was questioned in a very similar way , who had meanwhile taken over the reign of the Margraviate of Montferrat for her underage son Bonifacio IV and was now pushing for the marriage contract to be fulfilled.

Portrait of Anna of Alençon by Macrino d'Alba

Federico, on the other hand, saw no need to rush, because he was not ready to give up his beautiful lover, so he was constantly finding new excuses to postpone the marriage. Since written admonitions did not help, the worried mother-in-law Anne d´Alencon went to Mantua to remove the now notorious obstacle to marriage Isabella Boschetti - her son-in-law's lover - from the court in order to finally enable her daughter to marry Federico II.

Federico was in dire straits. Since he saw no other way to prevent this unwanted marriage, he decided to undertake a daring maneuver. Isabella was suddenly supposed to fall ill, whereupon he would spread the suspicion that Anne d´Alencon had tried out of hatred to poison “Isabella Boschetti, the wife of the Count of Calvisano”. The drama was staged so credibly by both that Anne d´Alencon - to avoid public abuse or attacks - fled Mantua.

Federico and Isabella were relieved. Federico was happy to have escaped marriage to an unloved woman and declared the marriage contract with Maria von Montferrat as terminated. Isabella was glad that the danger of Federico's marriage, which would have severely impaired her position, had been averted. She therefore remained - although she was otherwise married - still the undisputed muse and lover of Federico.

This disturbing situation changed when Isabella's husband Francesco Cauzzi Gonzaga died of a sudden and violent death in 1524 under circumstances that were not entirely clear. As Federico officially declared Isabella Boschetti his lover shortly afterwards and introduced her to his court, rumors arose that there might be a connection between these events.

The Palazzo del Te

Palazzo Te in Mantoua, portico
Palazzo Te in Mantua, interior view

Isabella - elegant, art-loving and ambitious - found a congenial partner in Federico who endeavored to have Mantua beautified by the best artists of his time. Isabella had a good connection to contemporary art, as her uncle Baldassare Castiglione was meanwhile envoy of the Duke of Urbino Francesco Maria I della Rovere (* 1490, † 1538) at the papal court in Rome. Castiglione had built up an extensive circle of friends there, which also included outstanding artists - such as Raphael (* 1483, † 1520) - who painted his portrait. Through the mediation of Castiglione, it was possible in 1524 to win over the artistic successor of Raphael, the painter, architect and builder Giulio Romano (* 1499 in Rome, † 1546 in Mantua) as court artist for Mantua.

Banquet of Amor and Psyche by Giulio Romano

Since Federico and Isabella wanted to enjoy their happiness undisturbed by the gossipy court society and by the disapproving comments of their mother Federico, Giulio Romano was commissioned outside the city, on an island in a swampy but idyllic area, the Isola del Te, which was previously used as a horse pasture had served to build a “Villa Suburbana” - a pleasure palace - as a romantic place to stay for the couple, the Palazzo del Te . The building, planned together with Giulio Romano, was to be erected in the spirit of the rules that the humanist, art theorist and architect Leon Battista Alberti (* 1404, † 1472) set out in his textbook “De re edificatoria” , deviating from the style of the High Renaissance would have. The building is rectangular, not very impressive from the outside and only reveals its beauty when you stand inside. In the Palazzo del Te, in addition to the architecture - it is considered to be one of the main works of Mannerism - especially the huge frescoes with which Giulio Romano, Benedetto Pagni and Rinaldo Mantovano the halls such as the “Sala di Psiche”, the “Sala dei Cavalli” are impressive ”, The“ Sala dei Giganti ”, or the“ Casino della Grotta ”etc. had decorated.

Correggio - Danaë (detail) - WGA05342

The dominant theme of the project was love, which is why Federico Gonzaga commissioned the painter Antonio Allegri, better known as Antonio da Correggio (1489–1534), to paint a series of paintings that dealt with the love affairs of Jupiter, such as the Roman Poet Ovid had described in his work Metamorphoses . Since Isabella Boschetti was at the center of his admiration, it is likely that Federico wanted to immortalize Isabella's beauty in the artistic design and therefore caused the individual mythological figures of the frescoes and the paintings that adorn the Palazzo del Te, their shape and facial features received. Since no authentic portrait of Isabella is known, only guesses can be made in this regard. One possibility is the most important fresco by Giulio Romano, the banquet of Cupid and Psyche - where Isabella could have been the model for the figure of Psyche.

Another possible portrait could be the picture of Danae painted by Correggio, which Federico Gonzaga had made for his private area, for the room in the Palazzo del Te dedicated to the poet Ovid.

Federico's "marriage" with Giulia d'Aragona

For Isabella, this time of the romantic idyll was doubly precious because she knew it was impermanent. Predictably, after a short time there was another attempt to marry her lover Federico appropriately.

In the face of his disputes with King Francis I of France, Emperor Charles V was concerned about the Francophile tendencies of his vassal and general Federico Gonzaga, promoted by Isabella d'Este, Federico's mother. In order to bind him more tightly to his side, the emperor offered him the hand of his cousin Giulia d'Aragona (* 1492, † March 10, 1542). She was the daughter of Federico I. d'Aragona, King of Naples (1496-1502) and his wife, Princess Anna of Savoy (* 1455, † 1480).

This was an offer that could not be refused, because it came from Federico's supreme liege lord and employer, concerned his relatives and, moreover, a princess from the royal house, who ranked far above the Marquis of Mantua.

Despite the considerable gain in prestige that such a marriage would mean for his house, Federico was not very enthusiastic. Quite apart from the fact that he was not interested in giving up his beloved Boschetta, the offer did not seem attractive to him: the father of this bride had been deposed in 1502 and died as a prisoner in Tours in 1504, the bride was eight years older than himself - and thus as old as his first supposed mother-in-law Anne d'Alencon - which is why it was feared that she could be sterile and that Federico would therefore have no offspring.

Federico's concerns - and more so, Isabella's - were understandable, but were brushed aside by the emperor. Charles V was crowned Roman emperor on February 24, 1530 by Pope Clement VII (Giulio de 'Medici) (1523-1534) in Bologna and took the opportunity to honor his generals and vassals by serving him in Mantua visit, where the emperor and a large retinue entered on March 25th in triumph. He did not come empty-handed, but brought two presents with him: the certificate of the elevation of Federico to the first Duke of Mantua - and the contract for the conclusion of the marriage between him and the imperial cousin Giulia d'Aragona.

Federico had no choice: to become Duke, he first had to sign the contract for his marriage to Giulia d'Aragona. He did this - with a heavy heart - on April 6th, 1530. The deed of the elevation of Federico to 1st Duke of Mantua was only signed two days ago. This was undoubtedly a black day for Isabella Boschetti, who now had serious fear of losing her place at the side of the new duke, as there was no prospect that this royal princess, like Maria von Montferrat before, would allow herself to be driven away by tricks.

Project: Federico's new marriage to Maria von Montferrat

Soon afterwards, however, mournful news arrived in Mantua, which was received with satisfaction in Mantua. The ruling Margrave Bonifazio V of Montferrat (1518-1530) - the eighteen-year-old brother of his first bride Maria - died on October 17, 1530 after falling from a horse while hunting for wild boars. Since he was childless, his uncle, Giovanni Giorgio Palaiologos (* 1488, † 1533), who had previously been abbot and bishop of Casale, succeeded him as Margrave of Montferrat (1530-1533).

The reference to the fact that this was the only male offspring of his house and that his health was seriously damaged, suddenly reminded Federico of two things: that the Margraviate of Montferrat was a tempting inheritance and that since 1517 he had been contracting with the next heiress of the Margraviate, Maria von Montferrat, was married. Compared to the elderly bride without a great inheritance offered to him by the emperor, Federico suddenly appeared extremely attractive to the bride that had previously been spurned. The task now was to secure the inheritance that was within reach by renewing the marriage to Maria von Montferrat.

Isabella Boschetti followed this new development with mixed feelings, as the interests of her lover Federico were important to her, but she had to fear that she would lose him through this marriage.

The negotiations with Emperor Charles V to realize this project were not easy. Federico had to ask him to take back the cousin of the Emperor Giulia d'Aragona he had offered as bride and to renounce the marriage contract that was solemnly signed on the occasion of Federico's elevation to Duke. The emperor was not very happy, but ultimately agreed to waive this contract in exchange for the huge sum of 50,000 gold scudi.

However, this only solved part of the problem, because Federico had signed a valid marriage contract with Maria Palaiologos in 1517 and another contract with Giulia d'Aragona in 1530, while at the same time living in an extramarital relationship with Isabella Boschetti. He was therefore not just an ordinary sinner in the eyes of the Church, but a bigamist. Federico therefore humbly turned to the Pope and asked for the second marriage contract to be canceled and for the validity of the first marriage contract to be confirmed.

Pope Clement VII finally decided that the first marriage contract with Maria Palaiologos was valid.

The anticipation of this decision, which would have settled the question in Federico's interest, however, turned out to be premature. Five days before the Pope's breve, another message had come in that dashed all hopes in this regard: Maria Palaiologina, Federico's unwanted and then again much sought-after bride, was different.

Isabella Boschetti received this news with due respect and probably also with relief, since it was another marriage project that would have seriously questioned her role as Duke Federico's lover.

Federico's marriage to Margherita of Montferrat

At that moment, when Isabella's hopes were rising and Federicos' power to increase his power by acquiring the Margraviate of Montferrat was fading, help came from an unexpected source. Anne d'Alencon, who was insulted, rejected and then accepted a second time as mother-in-law, widowed Margravine of Montferrat, followed international political developments and had to recognize that there was a great danger that the Margraviate of Montferrat would either be of France when the house of Palaiologos went out or annexed by Savoy and thus disappeared from history. She therefore chose the lesser evil and offered Federico the hand of her younger daughter, Margherita Palaiologos (* 1510, † 1566), who is now the heir to the Margraviate of Montferrat.

This offer was the last minute salvation for Federico, which is why he accepted it immediately, so that on November 16, 1531, Margherita Palaiologos of Montferrat married me.

While for Federico this was an important step towards fulfilling his political ambitions, for Isabella Boschetti it represented a major setback. Now, after a long struggle, she finally had to step back behind an official wife and Duchess of Mantua and share Federico with her. As a clever woman, she knew how to differentiate between state or dynastic duties and a relationship of the heart. She therefore accepted her new role by making his interests hers and giving him the support of a persistent love beyond official obligations.

The "marriage" of Giovanni Giorgio Palaiologos

The hope for the inheritance, which appeared certain, was shaken by another wedding. What no one expected happened: The new Margrave of Montferrat, Giovanni Giorgio Palaiologos (* 1488, † 1533) the uncle Margheritas, was old and very sick, but felt obliged to marry as the only remaining man in his house to avoid extinction to prevent his family. The bride he had chosen was not entirely unknown as she was the cousin of Emperor Charles V, Giulia d'Aragona Princess of Naples. There was therefore the risk that Giovanni Giorgio could create an heir with the bride rejected by Federico Gonzaga, who would finally exclude Federico from the inheritance of the Margraviate of Montferrat.

Ingresso del castello dei Paleologi

The uncertainty lasted for about two years, then fate decided. The solemn marriage of Giovanni Giorgio to Giulia d'Aragona Princess of Naples did not take place until April 29, 1533 in Ferrara after lengthy preparations. Margrave Giovanni Georgio then rode ahead with his companion to his royal seat of Casale to prepare for his wife's solemn entry. Everything went as planned. His wife rode into town accompanied by her long escort and Giovanni Giorgio rode to meet her. Suddenly he collapsed, fell and eventually died in the arms of his mature but virgin wife. Whether it is from understandable excitement, exhaustion or illness is unclear.

Isabella Boschetti will undoubtedly have congratulated Federico on the elimination of this last obstacle that prevented the acquisition of the Margraviate of Montferrat. However, just like Federico herself, she could not have known that this was by no means the last obstacle.

After the death of the last Marquis of Montferrat in 1533, a dispute broke out between the Dukes of Mantua and the Dukes of Savoy over the succession in the possession of the margravate. In order to avoid military conflicts, Emperor Charles V had the margraviate sequestered until the dispute was resolved. It was not until 1526 that the emperor transferred the margraviate to the only surviving heiress of the House of Montferrat - to Margherita Palaiologos, the wife of Federico II Gonzaga - and to the latter himself.

Later fate of Isabella Boschetti

Isabella had now experienced four different marriage projects at the side of Federico Gonzaga, in each of which the aim was to marry Federico appropriately and thus turn him away from her. She had stood by him unchanged, because she knew all too well Federico's duties as ruler and ancestor of the dynasty and knew that the moment would come when Federico would fulfill his duty - a marriage befitting his status - and she had to resign. That moment came, had come with Federico's marriage to Margherita von Montferrat. Isabella withdrew from court life, but it was Federico who could not get away from her - despite his marriage and the children born from it. Internally, she remained the most important woman in Federico's life and remained connected to him as a soul mate until the end of his life; she shared his inclinations, such as collecting old and exquisite art, shared his worries and devoted herself to raising their two children.

The big turning point in Isabella Boschetti's life came with the death of Duke Federico II on June 28, 1540. Federico was followed by his eldest son Francesco III. Gonzaga (* 1533, † 1550), as the second Duke of Mantua and Margrave of Montferrat under the reign of his mother Margherita Palaiolos and his uncle, Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga (* 1505, † 1563).

Isabella withdrew completely into her private life and married Count Filippo Tornielli in 1542. She subsequently disappeared from contemporary chronicles, so that the time of her death is not certain. Both Federico's wife - Margherita von Montferrat († December 28, 1566) - and her mother Anne d'Alençon († October 18, 1562) survived Isabella Boschetti, but both of them are likely to have envied her ability to live together for decades despite all the vicissitudes to preserve the love of Federico Gonzaga. The Palazzo del Te - now deprived of its furniture and pictures - reminds of them as a place of their idyll, as well as frescoes by Giulio Romano or the image of Danae des Correggio.

Marriages and offspring

Isabella Boschetti married Francesco Cauzzi Gonzaga, Conte di Calvisano († n. 1524), from 1519 she was the lover of Frederico II Gonzaga (born May 17, 1500 in Mantua ; † June 28, 1540 in Marmirolo ) 1519 Margrave, then 1st Duke of Mantua (1530–1540) and married Count Filippo Tornielli in 1542 as a second marriage.


From the relationship with Federico II Gonzaga, Isabella Boschetti had a son and a daughter:

  • Alessandro Cauzzi Gonzaga (* 1520, † 1580). He was State Councilor of the Duke of Mantua - his nephew - and was in the military service of the House of Austria in Flanders .
  • Emilia Cauzzi Gonzaga (* 1524, † 1573) was married to the condottiere Carlo Gonzaga . From 1530 he was the 1st Marchese (Margrave) of Gazzuolo , Conte (Count) of San Martino, Lord of Dosolo a . Commessaggio (all in the province of Mantua in Lombardy ) (* 1523, † 1555) and was a son of Pirro Gonzaga († 1529) and Camilla Bentivoglio († 1529). Emilia Cauzzi Gonzaga had numerous children, through which the descendants of Isabella Boschetti - and thus also the relationship to Baldassare Castiglione - spread to numerous families:
    • Pirro II. Gonzaga (* 1540, † 1592), since 1591 Principe di Bozzolo , Conte di San Martino, ∞ Francesca Guerrieri, a daughter of Conte Tullio Guerrieri
    • Scipione Gonzaga (* 1542, † January 11, 1593) since December 18, 1587 Cardinal, Patriarch of Jerusalem ,
    • Annibale Francesco Gonzaga (* July 31, 1546, † March 11, 1620), Bishop of Mantua (1593–1620), Bishop of Cefalù (1587–1593), Franciscan (OFM)
    • Alfonso Gonzaga (* 1549, † 1569), condotters
    • Ferrante Gonzaga (* 1550, † 1605), Marchese di Gazzuolo , ∞ Isabella Gonzaga di Novellara (* 1576, † 1630), daughter of Alfonso Gonzaga Conte di Novellara
    • Giulio Cesare Gonzaga (* 1552, † 23 June 1609), since 1591 Principe (Prince) di Bozzolo, Signore di Pomponesco, ∞ Flaminia Colonna († 9 April 1633)
    • Camilla Gonzaga, ∞ Sforza d'Appiano d´Aragona
    • Polissena Gonzaga, ∞ Francesco Rossi, Marchese di San Secondo
    • Laura Gonzaga, Benedictine as Suor Emilia in the monastery of San Giovanni delle Carrette in Mantua
    • Giulio Cesare, † as a child.


  • Kate Simon: The Gonzaga - A ruling family of the Renaissance. Translated from the American by Evelyn Voss, Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1991
  • Giuseppe Coniglio: I Gonzaga. dall'Oglio, editore, 1967.
  • Conte Pompeo Litta: Famiglie Celebri Italiane. Milano 1834.
  • Volker Reinhardt (Ed.): The great families of Italy (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 485). Kröner, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-520-48501-X .

Web link

Individual evidence

  1. titolo = Boschetti: Linea Comitale Conti di San Cesario e Marchesi di Magreta e Marsaglia ( Memento of the original from March 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Marchesi di Monferrato - Federico II
  3. Detlev Schwennike: European family tables, Verlag JA Stargardt, Marburg, 1984 New Series, Volume II, Plate 174
  4. Detlev Schwennike: European family tables, o. Cit. Plate 183
  5. See article “Palazzo del Te” in Wikipedia
  6. Detlev Schwennike: European family tables, op. Cit. Plate 67
  7. Detlev Schwennike: European family tables, op. Cit. Plate 185
  8. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from April 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. See Wikipedia in Italian: Article “Isabella Boschetti”.
  10. [1]  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /