Este, Isabella d'


Este, Isabella d'
(1474-1539)
   Marchioness of the Italian principality of Mantua and a noted a patron of arts and literature. Brought up as the daughter of Duke Ercole I of Ferrara and given the rare privilege of sharing the humanistic education given in the court school founded by Guarino Guarini, she became famous for her learning. In 1490 she married Francesco Gonzaga, marquis of Mantua. She bore six children and carefully prepared the girls to become prominent princesses or nuns, and her sons to pursue careers as soldiers or clerics. She collected books and paintings by leading authors and artists of her time. During her husband's frequent absences for military service, Isabella administered the state and gained a reputation for justice. She also ruled during the interval between Francesco's death and the majority of their son Federico II.
   See also Este, House of.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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