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Raphael Sanzio (Italian: Raffaello) (1483 - 1520)  Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga  Oil on wood, 1504  52.9 cm × 37.4 cm (20.8 in × 14.7 in)  Uffizi, Florence, Italy
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Title: Elisabetta Gonzaga
Description:
Raphael Sanzio (Italian: Raffaello) (1483 - 1520)
Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga
Oil on wood, 1504
52.9 cm × 37.4 cm (20.8 in × 14.7 in)
Uffizi, Florence, Italy

The Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga is a picture painted around 1504 by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael in the Uffizi, Florence. The woman portrayed is Elisabetta Gonzaga. Details include the black dress with applied trim in a patchwork pattern, and the scorpion-like diadem on the front of the woman.
Elisabetta Gonzaga (1471 1526) was a noblewoman of the Italian Renaissance, renowned for her cultured and virtuous life. A member of the noble House of Gonzaga, she was a sister of Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua and by marriage the Duchess of Urbino. Because her husband, Duke Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, was impotent, Elisabetta never had children of her own, but did adopt her husband's nephew and heir, Francesco Maria I della Rovere.
Elisabetta was born in Mantua, Italy, the second daughter of Federico I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua and Margaret of Wittelsbach. Her brother was Francesco II Gonzaga.

She married Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, the duke of Urbino, in 1489. Guidobaldo was sickly and impotent, and they had no children, but Elisabetta refused to divorce him and nursed him through his illnesses. In 1504 they adopted Francesco Maria I della Rovere, the child of Guidobaldo's sister, who was then fourteen.

Elisabetta's education led her to a life in the company of some the greatest minds of late fifteenth-century Italy. Her court attracted writers, artists, and scholars.

Her nobility gave her contact and involvement in the power politics of sixteenth-century Italy. She was the sister-in-law of Isabella d'Este, an influential Renaissance patron and political figure. In 1506 Elizabeth reluctantly accompanied Lucrezia Borgia on her journey to Ferrara, Lucrezia was married to Alfonso I d'Este. An eyewitness described her at the wedding thus: On entering Ferrara she rode a black mule caparisoned in black velvet embroidered with woven gold,and wore a mantle of black velvet strewn with triangles of beaten gold; another day indoors she wore a mantle of brown velvet slashed, and caught up with chains of massive gold; another day a gown of black velvet striped with gold, with a jewelled necklace and diadem; and still another day, a black velvet robe embroidered with ciphers.
On 21 June 1502 Cesare Borgia occupied Urbino, putting to flight Guidobaldo and forcing Elizabeth to remain in Mantua, she had been staying as a guest. She remained there until 1503 and then joined Guidobaldo in Venice. They were restored to power in 1504. The adoption of Franseco in that year hoped to secure the succession.

In 1508 Francesco was betrothed to Eleonora Gonzaga, Elisabetta's niece, further consolidating the dynasty.

Following Guidobaldo's death in 1508 at the age of 36 she continued to live in Urbino as regent to the underage heir.

However in June 1516 she was expelled from Urbino by Pope Leo X, who wanted to give the duchy to his nephew Lorenzo de Medici. Together with her niece Leonora and without a penny, they found refuge in Ferrara, Italy. She died in Ferrara.


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Raphael Sanzio (Italian: Raffaello) (1483 - 1520)  Sibyls  Fresco, 1514  Santa Maria della Pace, Rome, ItalyRaphael Sanzio (Italian: Raffaello) (1483 - 1520)  Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga  Oil on wood, 1504  52.9 cm × 37.4 cm (20.8 in × 14.7 in)  Uffizi, Florence, ItalyRaphael Sanzio (Italian: Raffaello) (1483 - 1520)  Deliverance of Saint Peter  Fresco, 1514  ? cm × 560 cm (?? × 220 in)  Apostolic Palace, Vatican City, Rome, Italy
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