Titian: portrait of Federico II Gonzaga, Ist Duke of Mantua (1529)


(Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)

A painting by the Italians artist Tiziano Vecelli (1488/90-1576), better known as Titian. Depicted on this painting is Federico II of Gonzaga (1500-1540), duke and the ruler of the Italian city of Mantua. Federico commissioned this painting as a part of his matrimonial intentions and shows the duke as affable and pious while retaining his aristocratic dignity. The Maltese dog refers to loyalty while his sword refers to his social status. He is wearing a red hose with codpiece and a doublet of blue velvet with gold embroidery. On his neck hangs a costly gold and lapis lazuli rosary. The matrimonial intentions of Federico was successful: he eventually married in 1533 with Margaret Palaeologa (1510-1566), the ruling Marchioness of Montferrat, with whom he got 7 children. Painting from 1529.

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