Giulia Gonzaga was a noblewoman from the illustrious Gonzaga family of Mantua who became an important patron of the Italian reformist movement.
When she was fourteen, Gonzaga was married to Vespasiano Colonna, a wid­owed prince from southern Italy. Two years later Colonna died, bequeathing his vast property at Fondi to his young wife. Giulia had many admirers and suitors, but she never remarried. Her villa at Fondi became a salon for religious figures, artists, and writers, many of whom paid tribute to her in their works. Sebastiano del Piombo* and Titian* were among those who painted her portrait, and Lu-dovico Ariosto* and Torquato Tasso* were only two of the many authors who praised her in their poetry.
Surrounded by creative and intellectual figures, Giulia seemed quite content in her early widowhood, but her peaceful life was soon interrupted by a tragic incident. Hearing of her beauty, the notorious pirate Barbarossa decided to kid­nap Gonzaga as a gift for Suleiman II's harem. During a raid on the Italian coast, Barbarossa massacred many of the villagers near Fondi and then advanced toward Gonzaga's castle, but Gonzaga escaped to a nearby fortress. In his fury, Barbarossa continued his murderous assault until he was finally stopped by an Italian army. In the aftermath of this tragedy, which caused numerous deaths and vast destruction, Gonzaga devoted herself to restoring order and repairing damage.
In 1534 Gonzaga moved near Naples to a monastery where she lived the remainder of her life, though she did not take the veil. She became connected with the Italian reformist movement through two of its leaders, the charismatic preacher Bernardino Ochino* and the Spanish humanist Juan de Valdes,* who dedicated a number of his works to her. Gonzaga dedicated her life to perform­ing charitable works and carrying on Valdes's teachings after his death. When many of the reformists fled to Geneva to escape persecution from the Roman Inquisition, Gonzaga refused to leave. She supported the exiles, however, send­ing financial and emotional support to her friend Isabella Bresenga and others for years. The Italian inquisitors had long suspected Gonzaga of heresy; after her death some of her letters were brought to the attention of Pope Pius V, who proclaimed, "Had I known of this, she would have been burned alive."
C. Hare, A Princess ofthe Italian Reformation, 1912.
Jo Eldridge Carney

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Giulia Gonzaga — (Sabbioneta,Италия) Категория отеля: 1 звездочный отель Адрес: Vai Vespasiano Gonzaga …   Каталог отелей

  • Giulia Gonzaga — (1513 April 16, 1566) was an Italian noblewoman of Renaissance age.BiographyGiulia was born in Gazzuolo (near Mantua) in 1513. In 1526 (at age 13) she was married to count Vespasiano Colonna (1480 1528), count of Fondi and duke of Traetto… …   Wikipedia

  • Giulia — is the Italian translation of Julia. The Italian male Name is Giulio. Giulia is a name given to some women and places: Name * Giulia Farnese (1475 1525), mistress of Pope Alexander VI. * Giulia Grisi (1811 1869), Italian singer * Giulia Gonzaga… …   Wikipedia

  • Giulia (Vorname) — Giulia ist die italienische Form des Vornamens Julia. Varianten Eine weitere Form ist Giulietta. Die entsprechende männliche Form ist Giulio, französisch Jules, deutsch Julius. Bekannte Namensträgerinnen Giulia Farnese (1475–1525), genannt la… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gonzāga [2] — Gonzāga, ital. Fürstengeschlecht, benannt nach dem gleichnamigen Ort, aus dem es stammt, ist seit dem 12. Jahrh. in Mantua nachweisbar. Der Begründer seiner Größe ist Luigi G., der 1328 nach der Ermordung des Passerino de Bonacolsi und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Eleonora Gonzaga della Rovere — (* 31. Dezember 1493 in Mantua; † 13. Februar 1550 in Urbino) aus dem Haus der Gonzaga, Markgrafen von Mantua, wurde durch ihre Ehe mit Francesco Maria I. della Rovere zur Herzogin von Urbino, wo sie trotz wechselndem Schicksal die seit Federico… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Margherita Gonzaga, Duchess of Ferrara — Margherita Gonzaga d Este, Duchess of Ferrara (May 27, 1564 – January 6, 1618) was an Italian noblewoman, the daughter of William I, Duke of Mantua (Guglielmo Gonzaga) and Eleonora of Austria, and the sister of Vincent I, Duke of Mantua and Anna… …   Wikipedia

  • Vespasiano I Gonzaga — (1531 – 1591), fue un noble italiano. Biografía Vespasiano Gonzaga. Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna nació en Fondi (Latina) el 6 de diciembre de 1531, hijo de Isabel Colonna y Luis Gonzaga (1500 1532), que a su …   Wikipedia Español

  • José Álvarez de Toledo y Gonzaga — XV Duque de Medina Sidonia Nacimiento 16 de julio de 1756 Madrid …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sebastiano del Piombo — Piedad de Sebastiano del Piombo. Museo Cívico de Viterbo. Sebastiano Luciani (Venecia, 1485 …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.