Full Article - (in: Medicea – Rivista interdisciplinare di studi medicei, n. 10, ottobre 2011, S. 74-95; this is an updated version)
Maike Vogt-Lüerssen: The True Faces of the Daughters and Sons of Cosimo I de' Medici
Nowadays every second person in the portrait paintings of the 15th and 16th century is wrongly identified by today’s art historians. The famous Florentine dynasty of the Medici presents no exception. For the correct identification of their members we have to learn the specific symbols or devices and specific colours of the Medici; we have to know the history of the costume – what was in fashion at what time –; and we have to collect descriptions of the various members of the Medici from as many primary and secondary historical sources as possible. The correct use of the relevant primary historical sources to confirm one’s theory or opinion is also of utmost importance. In the following article we will hence show the true faces of the 16 legitimate and illegitimate children of Cosimo I de’ Medici and also clear up the confusion between his second wife, Camilla Martelli, his daughter Isabella de’ Medici and his daughter-in-law Bianca Capello.
Anyone visiting Florence between September 2010 and January 2011 could have had the great pleasure of seeing the magnificent works of art of the Renaissance painter Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) at the Palazzo Strozzi. Yet the titles of these paintings reaffirm my theory that every second person in the portrait paintings of the 15th and 16th century is nowadays wrongly identified by today’s art historians. Prior to the 1950s it was only every fourth or fifth person. Therefore I believe it is absolutely necessary to put this area of art-history on a sound factual basis in order to clean up the confusion, especially regarding the members of the famous Florentine dynasty of the Medici. Let us start with the daughters and sons of Cosimo I de’ Medici.
For the correct identification of their members we have to equip ourselves with knowledge about the specific symbols or devices and specific colours of the Medici; we have to know the history of the costume – what was in fashion at what time –; and we have to collect descriptions of the various members of the Medici from as many primary and secondary historical sources as possible. The correct use of the relevant primary historical sources to confirm one’s theory or opinion is also of utmost importance. Only if these historical sources contain a detailed description of a painting that is the subject of our research are we allowed to use them as a confirmation for our theory. If these historical sources give no information about the facial features, the style of the hair and its colour, or the costume and the background of the depicted person, then they cannot support the opinion of the researcher with respect to the identity of the sitter.
Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574), the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, had altogether 16 children: three illegitimate ones, 11 by his first wife, Eleonora of Toledo (1522-1562), and two by his second wife, Camilla (or Cammilla) Martelli (1545/47-1590). All 16 children were very much loved and cared for by their father.1 Cosimo’s first child, his illegitimate daughter Bianca, nicknamed "Bia", was born around 1536. We do not know the name of her mother, who had only been described as a Florentine Lady in the contemporary historical sources, but we know what Bia looked like (Fig. 1). In 1937 her portrait was discovered when the overpaint of a portrait painting of her grandmother Maria Salviati (1499-1543) had been removed.2 The portrait paintings of the 15th and 16th century that display more than one person are mainly family portraits. They show husbands and wives, parents with their children, siblings, grandfathers with their grandsons and grandmothers with their granddaughters. Maria Salviati must have been closely related to the child that is holding her right hand with its right hand. Since the child has been dressed like a girl and has the typical hairstyle of a girl of the 1530s and 1540s with little curls surrounding her face, the first choice of candidates for the little girl have to be the granddaughters of Maria Salviati: Bia; Maria, born in 1540; and Isabella, born in 1542. Since Maria and Isabella were too young – Maria was only three years old and Isabella only one year old, when their grandmother died in December 1543 – the depicted girl can only be Bia.
Although there can be little doubt that the depicted child has to be a girl of five or six years of age, Edward S. King declared in 1940 that the child is Cosimo I de’ Medici as a little boy. There was immediate protest from Bernhard (or Bernard) Berenson. In his view it had to be a girl. The portrait painting of Maria Salviati and her granddaughter Bia belonged to a certain Riccardo Riccardi. In 1955 Herbert Keutner found the following entry in the 1612 inventory of the Riccardi possessions: "A painting of one and one-half braccia of Signora Donna Maria Medici with a little girl, by the hand of Jacopo da Puntormo."3 This historical source, which contains no detailed description of the depicted persons, could not change the mind of Edward S. King and other art historians like Janet Cox-Rearick4. For them the depicted child has always been the little boy Cosimo I. However, this is impossible, because Maria Salviati was depicted on this portrait painting as an older lady and not as a young woman of 25 years of age and mother of a six year old son. At this age she would not have been depicted as a widow, since she had not yet lost her husband, the great Condottiere Giovanni dalle Bande Nere. The child with its red hair, its small mouth with its full, pouting lips and its delicate round nose also cannot be Cosimo I, who had a broad mouth, consisting of two thin lips, and an aquiline nose with its prominent curved bridge (Fig. 2). And why should Cosimo I be dressed like a girl?
In 2006 Gabrielle Langdon identified the depicted child as Giulia de’ Medici (1535-after 1588)5, an illegitimate daughter of the late Alessandro de’ Medici (1511-1537). Giulia de’ Medici was indeed recorded as being in the Medici nursery and under the care of Maria Salviati6, though the relationship between them is far too distant to be remembered in a portrait painting.7 Besides, Giulia de’ Medici inherited the dark black hair from her father and had a very broad mouth with a thin upper lip and a full lower lip (Fig. 3). Ultimately, there is really only one candidate for the depicted girl, and this is Bia. The art historians made an absolute mess in identifying the daughters of Cosimo I. Nowadays, Maria de’ Medici’s portrait (Fig. 4) accounts for a portrait of Bia, and Virginia de’ Medici’s portrait (Fig. 31 ) accounts for a portrait of Maria de’ Medici, and a portrait of Maria Magdalena of Inner-Austria (Fig. 36), the future Grand Duchess of Tuscany, accounts for a portrait of Virginia de’ Medici.
Gabrielle Langdon tried to support her opinion that the girl depicted in Figure 4 has to be Bia by claiming that the white satin dress and the pearls around her neck are metaphors for the name "Bianca".8 In fact, the necklace of big white pearls is one of the main symbols of the House of the Medici since the 1540s, with which their legitimate female members are very often decorated on their portraits. There is only one metaphor used and recorded for a female name in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: the marguerite flower, for the name Margaret. The flower was either embroidered on the dress or it was a part of the jewellery of the dynasty of the Valois in Burgundy and the Habsburgs in the Spanish Netherlands.9 Conversely, the juniper tree for example has nothing to do with the name "Ginevra".10 In the whole Middle Ages and the Renaissance this tree stood as symbol for pain, sorrow and mourning and thus was added to a portrait of a widow. The ermine has nothing to do with the name "Gallerani". It was the main symbol of the Neapolitan dynasty of Aragon.11
The contemporary historical sources tell us that Bia was a lively, very affectionate and entertaining little girl, loved by everybody, from family members to court officials.12 Especially close was the bond between Bia and her grandmother, Maria Salviati, who adored and loved her very much. In one of her letters, Maria Salviati wrote the following to her son Cosimo I from Arezzo in July 1540: "No news to report ... [T]he Lady Bia is the solace of this Court".13 Thus everybody at the Medici court was shaken by the news that Bia closed her eyes for ever on 1 March 1542. She was buried in San Lorenzo.14
Cosimo’s second child, his first legitimate daughter, Maria (Fig. 4), was born in the Medici palace in the Via Larga on 3 April 1540.15 She was named after both of her grandmothers, Maria Salviati and Maria Pimentel y Osorio († 1530). For Cosimo I Maria was the great love in his life, his favourite daughter, who was described like her mother, Eleonora of Toledo, as a "breathtaking beauty"16 or "rare beauty"17 by her contemporaries: "... she was already so pretty by 1550 that Bishop Jacopo Cortesi commented that nature had gone out of her way to lavish such beauty and charm on her that she looked like an angel."18 According to Giorgio Vasari, Cosimo’s eldest legitimate daughter, "the Lady Maria", was "a very great and truly beautiful girl"19. Like her very beautiful great-grandmother, the famous Caterina Sforza (1463-1509), and her father, Maria was "a lover of the outdoors"20. She was very fond of hunting. From her contemporaries we know that she was not only very beautiful, but gentle, charming, gracious, decorous, humane, elegant, gifted, learned and very clever21: "... the children’s tutor would set Maria to help her brother Francesco ... when he struggled with his Greek.”22 It was recorded that she had "a fair shock of hair and a delicate pale little face”23, when she was a little girl.
For around 400 years until the first half of the 20th century the portrait (Fig. 4) was correctly attributed to Cosimo’s daughter Maria. In the second volume of G. F. Young’s two books about the Medici, which were printed in 1909 and reprinted in 1930, the author’s commentary regarding the portrait of Maria de’ Medici (Fig. 5) runs: "his [Cosimo’s] eldest daughter Maria ... whose portrait at about the age of ten, by Bronzino, in the Uffizi Gallery is well known".24 In the 1950s the portrait of Maria de’ Medici was abruptly re-defined as a portrait of her illegitimate half-sister Bia. Responsible for this change was the art historian Detlef Heikamp. He found a historical source of 1550/51, which tells us that Cosimo’s major-domo, Pierfrancesco Riccio, called the court painter Agnolo Bronzino to Pisa in December 1550 to make a portrait of the seven-year-old Giovanni de’ Medici, the future cardinal, which should be sent to Pope Julius III as a gift. However, Giovanni de’ Medici’s portrait was only the first of a series of portraits of the children of Cosimo I and Eleonora of Toledo by this artist. After finishing the next portrait of the ten-year-old Maria de’ Medici, which was completed by 27 January 1551, Bronzino wrote the following to the major-domo Pierfrancesco Riccio from Pisa: "I find myself painting [where] they [the children of Cosimo] are being taught Latin and Greek and take great pleasure in seeing that these tender and well-born plants are so well raised and tended, and perfectly guided and directed to an excellent result ... I have completed the portrait of Lord Giovanni and that of Lady Maria and so tomorrow or so I will have provided Lord Garcia’s ... and, when their Excellencies return, I [will] make Lord Francesco’s."25
This primary historical source of 1550/51 contains no descriptions whatsoever of the portraits of Giovanni, Maria, Garzia, or Francesco. We do not know what they looked like. We have no information about their costumes, and we have no information about the background of these paintings. This historical source tells us only that the court painter of the Medici, Agnolo Bronzino, made portraits of these four children of Cosimo I in 1551. But in 1955 Detlef Heikamp nevertheless identified all these four portraits, although none of his suggested portraits were dated by the artist. Hence his conclusion is seriously flawed. Nowadays Detlef Heikamp’s personal opinion regarding these four portraits, which is not supported by any historical source, seems to be accepted by all art historians. The portraits he identified as the works made by Agnolo Bronzino in 1551 are: the portrait painting of Virginia de’ Medici, Figure 31, now declared as a portrait of Maria de’ Medici, the portrait painting of Francesco de’ Medici, Figure 8, the portrait painting of Giovanni de’ Medici, Figure 29, and the portrait painting of Garzia de’ Medici, Figure 24. Let us begin with the portrait painting of Garzia de’ Medici (Fig. 24), which is indeed a portrait of Garzia (1547-1562). He is two or only just three years old. This portrait was painted at the latest in summer 1550. Therefore it cannot be the portrait of Garzia identified by Detlef Heikamp as a work made by Agnolo Bronzino in January 1551.
The alleged portrait of Giovanni de’ Medici (Fig. 29) shows a boy who is around seven or eight years old. However, he is not Giovanni (1543-1562) (Figs. 17 and 18), the legitimate son of Cosimo I and future cardinal. He is his illegitimate half-brother Giovanni (1563-1621) with his characteristic curly hair. The portrait was made around 1570/71. The portrait painting of Francesco de’ Medici (Fig. 8) is indeed showing Cosimo’s eldest son Francesco (1541-1587), when he was around eight to ten years old. Hence it was made between 1549 and 1551. The portrait of Virginia de’ Medici (Fig. 31), claimed by Detlef Heikamp to be a portrait of Maria de’ Medici, is a so-called identification portrait. The double row of pearls of her necklace tells us that she is a daughter by a second marriage, and the only surviving daughter from Cosimo’s second marriage was Virginia. Virginia is dressed in a costume which was in fashion only in the 1570s and the 1580s. At that time her half-sister Maria de’ Medici had already been dead for at least 13 years. Virginia was depicted at the age of around eight to ten years. Therefore this portrait was made between 1576 and 1578. The painter cannot be Agnolo Bronzino, who died in 1572. It has to be one of his assistants or students, for example Alessandro Allori (1535-1607), who in contrast to his master liked to decorate his portraits with symbols or devices of the Medici.
While Cosimo’s first child, his illegitimate daughter Bia, died when she was around six years old, his favourite daughter Maria deceased when she was 17 years old. We still possess another portrait painting of the latter when she was around 15 years of age (Fig. 6). Compare her facial features, her beautiful eyes, her delicate nose and her very characteristic mouth with the smaller upper lip and the full lower lip on both of her portraits, and you will recognise it is the same person. Her hair became darker in her teens. The necklace which she is wearing was a necklace of her mother, Eleonora of Toledo, which the Duchess of Tuscany wore in at least one of her portraits (Fig. 7). In the original portrait painting of the 15-year-old Maria de’ Medici (Fig. 6), Agnolo Bronzino painted her alone. After her death her late brother Antonio, who died as a four-year-old and of whom we will speak later, was added to her portrait. The same could have happened to the portrait painting of Maria Salviati (Fig. 1). Her beloved granddaughter Bia was probably likewise added to her portrait after the little girl died in March 1542.
Maria de’ Medici, who had been betrothed to the eldest son of Duke Ercole II d’Este of Ferrara, Alfonso II d’Este (1533-1597), in 1554, died of a fever on 19 November 1557 at the Castello Mediceo in Livorno. Her contemporaries tell us that her father was inconsolable about her passing and wept bitterly. Her death was one of the saddest events in his life. Until his dying day he kept one of her portraits in his room "often staring for hours on end at the sole picture on the wall, a portrait of his beloved daughter Maria."26
Cosimo’s third child, his eldest legitimate son, Francesco, was born on 25 March 1541. With his black or dark brown hair and his brown eyes he had much in common with his mother, Eleonora of Toledo, and his grandfather, Don Pedro Alvarez of Toledo († 1553). As we can expect from the first son of Cosimo I and the future Grand Duke of Tuscany, we have many portrait paintings of him (Figs. 8 and 9)27. He is easily recognisable owing to his always sad eyes – he suffered severely from melancholy and depression28 –, his aquiline nose, and his dark hair. His contemporaries described him as not very handsome, mistrustful, circumspect, arrogant, uncommunicative, a loner, taciturn, "terribly moody"29 and contemplative. Francesco had a great interest in sciences, especially in chemistry/alchemy, cosmography and mathematics, and he liked to experiment in his laboratory at the palace. Beyond that he supported the literature and the arts, and he was the first of the Medici who placed the art treasures of his family in the Uffizi.30 On 15 December 1565 he had to marry Giovanna (or Johanna) of Austria (1547-1578)31, the youngest daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I († 1564) and youngest sister of Emperor Maximilian II († 1576), whom his father had chosen for him as his wife for political reasons. It was a very unhappy marriage. His great love in his life was his mistress and eventual second wife, Bianca Capello (1548-1587) (Figs. 10 and 11)32. He had eight children by his first wife, and one son, Antonio (Fig. 12)33, by his second wife. When Francesco I de’ Medici died on 20 October 1587, his younger brother Ferdinand I (Fig. 26) became the next Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Cosimo’s fourth child, his second legitimate daughter, Isabella, was born on 31 August 1542. She was named after the eldest sister of her mother, Isabella of Toledo († after 1551), the Duchess of Castrovillari. We have many portrait paintings of Isabella de’ Medici (Figs. 13 and 14)34, which are inexplicably often attributed to Bianca Capello by many art historians. Owing to the many medals depicting her, which still exist and which show us her facial features (Fig. 15), she can easily be identified on her portraits. Isabella had reddish-blonde hair35, an aquiline nose, a thin upper lip and a larger and slightly protruding lower lip. Her sister-in-law Bianca Capello (1548-1587) (Figs. 10 and 11) had reddish-blonde hair like her, but a wavy nose – it had a typical bump at the tip –, full and pouting lips, and the face, the hands and the throat were very white.36 The young girl depicted in Figure 16 is not Isabella de’ Medici, despite it being written in big letters on the painting. These inscriptions, which badly spoil the beautiful portraits of the 15th and 16th century, were added to the paintings from the beginning of the 17th century onwards, particularly during the 19th century. They express the personal opinions of the owners of these paintings or the curators of the museums in which they hung. My research over the last seven years has shown that every second such inscription is wrong. The depicted young girl with her dark eyes was one of the younger daughters of Isabella’s uncle Garzia of Toledo (1514-1577), either Ines or Anna. The fashion of the sitter tells us that the painting was made in the 1570s.
Isabella de’ Medici was described by her contemporaries as lively, ebullient, playful, witty, brilliant, very tolerant, conciliating, wise, fun-loving, trustworthy, gregarious, lazy – she did not like to rise early in the morning –, and she had a sarcastic sense of humour.37 Like her father and her elder sister Maria she loved hunting and was an audacious and bold horsewoman and huntress.38 In her leisure time she also liked to paint.39 After the death of her sister Maria and her mother Eleonora of Toledo, the relationship between Isabella and her father became very close.40 She was now the "star of the Medici court"41 and organised the feasts, balls, plays and other court celebrations. As her father’s companion she enjoyed his absolute confidence and trust.42
In 1558 she was married by her father to Paolo Giordano I Orsini (1541-1585)43, Duke of Bracciano, for political reasons. Isabella gave birth to two children, her daughter Eleonora (1571-1634) and her son Virginio (1572-1615)44. On 16 July 1576 she died suddenly at the age of 33, either by a heart attack or a stroke or – as some of her contemporaries believed – she was strangled by her husband, because she allegedly had a love affair with another man.45
Cosimo’s fifth child, his second legitimate son, Giovanni, was born on 28 September 1543. He was named after his grandfather, the great Condottiere Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (1498-1526), the father of Cosimo, and he was the favourite brother of Isabella de’ Medici.46 Brother and sister had the same interests – hunting, music, collecting antiquities – , and they liked to spend as much time as possible together.47 As it was common practice in the 16th century, Giovanni as the second-born son of Cosimo was destined for a career within the church hierarchy. He became a priest in 1550, a cardinal in 1560 and the archbishop of Pisa in 1561.48 His contemporaries described him as handsome with beautiful eyes, gentle, good-natured, cheerful, gregarious, playful and fun-loving.49 We still have at least three portraits of him, showing him at the age of around two years (Fig. 17), at the age of around seven years and at the age of 17 or 18 years, when he already was a cardinal (Fig. 18). The little boy in Figure 17 is without doubt Cosimo’s second son Giovanni, but not because of the historical source found by Luisa Becherucci in 1944, with which she tried to make a case that the depicted little boy in Figure 20, who according to her and many of her colleagues resembles the little boy in Figure 17, had to be Cosimo’s second son Giovanni. In this primary historical source, Pierfrancesco Riccio, the major-domo of Cosimo I, wrote the following to Lorenzo Pagni in early May 1545: "Bronzino has perfectly finished the portrait of Prince Giovanni and it is truly lifelike." Since there is no description of the facial features, the colour of the hair and the costume of the twenty-month-old Giovanni, this historical source cannot be used as a confirmation for the personal opinion of Luisa Becherucci regarding the identity of the little boy in Figure 20.
The same applies to the second primary historical source that art historians have used as a confirmation that the depicted little boy on Figure 20 has to be Giovanni de’ Medici. In this case, a certain Cristiano Pagni wrote to Pierfrancesco Riccio on 28 August 1545: "I am filled with wonder and entranced whenever I happen to gaze upon the Lord Giovanni – that most cheerful, gentle and regal likeness, and beautiful countenance of his; so how greater must be your pleasure, Sir, who can so often see him and fête him."50 In neither this historical source nor the previous one is there any mention of the goldfinch51 in the right hand of the little boy or his broad smile, which let us see the two little teeth in his lower jaw. Unsurprisingly, not all art historians agree with the identification of the little boy on Figure 20 as that of Giovanni de’ Medici. In recent years the suggestion was made that the little boy had to be Garzia, a younger brother of Giovanni.52 However, the depicted little boy is neither Giovanni nor Garzia, but their brother Antonio (1544-1548), of whom we will speak later.
Although we cannot provide any historical source that gives us a detailed description of Cosimo’s second son, the depicted little boy on Figure 17 has to be him, because we possess portraits of all his brothers, Francesco, Antonio, Garzia, Ferdinand, and Pietro – his brother Pedricco died when he was only 10 months old –, when they still were children. This allows us to exclude them as candidates for the little boy on this portrait painting. In short, there is nobody left except for Giovanni.
The second portrait of him (Fig. 18) was made between 1560 and 1562, when he was already a cardinal. For over 400 years this painting was regarded as a portrait of Giovanni de’ Medici. Nowadays the sitter is wrongly identified as a certain Camillo Pamphilj, who became cardinal in 1644. The new identification was probably initiated owing to the wrong attribution of this painting to Justus Suttermans, who lived from 1597 to 1681. Since the painter was born 37 years after Giovanni’s death, he was unable to make a portrait of him between 1560 and 1562. When you look at the many portraits of the various cardinals in the 16th century, you will note that every chair on which they sit is different. Nobody used the chair of another cardinal in one’s portrait, with the exception of Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici. His cousin, Cardinal Carlo de’ Medici (1596-1666) (Fig. 19), the third son of Ferdinand I, sat on the same chair as him when the court painters of the Medici painted his portrait. The close, familiar relationship between these two cardinals of the House of the Medici is hence confirmed by sitting on the same chair. Therefore the sitter of Figure 18 can logically only be Cosimo’s second son, Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici.
On 20 November 1562 Giovanni died of malarial fever in his father’s arms in Livorno. He was just 19 years old.53 About his passing we are well informed due to a letter of Cosimo I to his eldest son Francesco, written on the day that Giovanni died: "In the first of these [letters], dated 20th November 1562, he [Cosimo I] tells his son [Francesco] that on the 15th Giovanni had been attacked by malignant fever at Rosignano, that they had promptly moved from thence to Leghorn [Livorno], but that he became worse, and had died there on the date of the letter; that Garzia and Ferdinand also had fever, but less severely, and that he was going to take them next day to Pisa, where it was hoped they would recover; and that this exceptionally malignant type of fever was very bad all over the part of the country that they had been traversing.”54
Cosimo’s sixth child, his third legitimate son, Antonio (Figs. 20, 21, and 22), died in 1548. We have not found a written historical source telling us when he was born. However, with the help of a pictorial historical source (Fig. 6), we can determine the year of his birth. When his sister Maria died in 1557, the latest portrait of him was added to hers (Fig. 6). Cosimo had to be very fond of this son with his reddish-blond hair and his small mouth with its full lips that he allowed to add a portrait of him to that of his favourite daughter Maria. Looking at the latest portrait of Antonio (Fig. 22), we would estimate that he was around four or five years old when he died. Therefore he was born in 1543 or 1544. Since Giovanni de’ Medici was born in September 1543, Antonio could only have been born in 1544. As yet, his mother, Eleonora of Toledo, had given birth to a child each year: Maria was born on 3 April 1540, Francesco I on 25 March 1541, Isabella on 31 August 1542 and Giovanni on 28 September 1543. The next child of whom we possess more information about its birth is her daughter Lucrezia, born in June 1545. Therefore the only time when Antonio could have been born was July or August 1544, and we have a primary historical source confirming that Eleonora of Toledo was pregnant in June 1544. The great Italian historian Paolo Giovio wrote the following to her from Rome on 28 June 1544: "My congratulations that the most Excellent and most fortunate Lady Duchess [Eleonora of Toledo] has from single been doubled in body [she was carrying another child], and may God see fit that it be male and neither more handsome nor more delicious than Lord Don Francesco [Eleonora’s eldest son]."55 This child could only be Antonio. His sister Lucrezia was born a little more than 11 months later. Antonio seems to have been the favourite brother of Francesco I, who named his only son by his beloved Bianca Capello after him (Fig. 12).
Cosimo’s seventh child, his third legitimate daughter, Lucrezia (Fig. 23), was born on 7 June 1545. She was named after her great-grandmother Lucrezia de’ Medici (1470-1553)56, the eldest daughter of Lorenzo "il Magnifico" de’ Medici (1449-1492). Apart from having very dark hair and eyes like her mother we hardly know anything about this daughter of Cosimo. In the contemporary court correspondence she was described as dignified and gracious.57 After the death of her sister Maria in 1557 she had to marry the fiancé of the latter, Alfonso II d’Este (1533-1597), the future Duke of Ferrara, for political reasons on 3 July 1558. Only three years later, on 21 April 1561, Lucrezia died from consumption.58
Cosimo’s eighth child, his fourth legitimate son, Pedricco or Piero, was born on 10 August 1546 and died as early as 10 June 1547.
Cosimo’s ninth child, his fifth legitimate son, Garzia or Garcia (Figs. 24 and 25), was born on 5 July 1547. He was named after a brother of his mother, Garzia of Toledo (1514-1577). Garzia de’ Medici was the favourite son of Eleonora of Toledo. An old chronicler wrote: "She loved him as her own eyes."59 He had an aquiline nose, a small mouth with full lips and dark-blond hair as a little child, which became dark brown when he was around eight to ten years old.60 As it was common practice in the 16th century, Garzia as a younger son of Cosimo was destined for a career within the military hierarchy. In October 1560, Pope Pius IV already gave him the title of Commander of the Papal Fleet.61 However, Garzia became, like his elder brother Giovanni and his mother Eleonora of Toledo, a victim of the malaria fever epidemic, which raged in Italy throughout autumn and winter 1562. Due to a letter of his father to his eldest brother Francesco I we are well-informed about his last days: "This is followed by a second letter from Cosimo to his eldest son, dated 18th December , written amidst all the grief at the death that day of his wife Eleonora62, in which he tells Francis [Francesco] that Garzia’s fever had increased after their arrival at Pisa, that after a severe illness of twenty-one days he had died on the 12th December, and that his mother, worn out by her exertions in nursing him while she was herself also ill, had succumbed six days later ..."63
Cosimo’s tenth child, his sixth legitimate son, Ferdinand I or Ferdinando I (Fig. 26), was born on 30 July 1549. His contemporaries described him as pragmatic, smart, very proud, arrogant and very ambitious. He had a straight nose with a pointed tip and no curvature or any form of depression in the centre, dark hair and a broad mouth with equally proportioned lips of medium size. The lower lip is slightly protruding. Again, Ferdinand was like his brother Garzia destined for a career within the military. But this changed after the deaths of his brothers Giovanni and Garzia in December 1562. Now he had to follow in Giovanni’s footsteps. He had to be the next cardinal of his family. Cosimo I already negotiated with Pope Pius IV regarding the transfer of the cardinalate of Giovanni to Ferdinand on 23 December 1562, and in 1563 Ferdinand became, as expected, the next Medici Cardinal.64 After the death of his eldest brother, Francesco I, in 1587, Ferdinand I gave up his cardinalate after 24 years and declared himself the next Grand Duke of Tuscany. With his wife Christina of Lorraine (1565-1637), whom he married on 3 May 1589, he had nine children.65 He died on 7 February 1609.
Cosimo’s eleventh child, his fourth legitimate daughter, Anna, was born on 22 February 1553 and died within that year. She was named after the youngest sister of her mother and the youngest daughter of her uncle Garzia of Toledo.
Cosimo’s twelfth and last child by his first wife, Eleonora of Toledo, and his seventh legitimate son, Pietro (Figs. 27 and 28), was born on 3 June 1554. His contemporaries described him as short-tempered, thick-headed, dissolute, deeply-disturbed and violent.66 Pietro had dark blond hair (as an adult), a broad mouth with a very small upper lip and a somewhat protruding lower lip and an aquiline nose, which – like the nose of his half-sister Virginia (Figs. 31, 32 and 33) – was almost hooked. Like his brothers Garzia and Ferdinand he was destined for a career within the military hierarchy. As a result he was appointed General of the Seas of Tuscany.67 In April 1571 he was married to his cousin Eleonora of Toledo the Younger (1553-1576)68, the eldest daughter of his uncle Garzia of Toledo. It was a very unhappy marriage. Eleonora of Toledo the Younger gave birth to one son, Cosimo (1573-1576). On 7 July 1576 she was killed by her husband Pietro – allegedly accidentally suffocated in bed – because she had an affair with another man. Francesco I de’ Medici admitted to the Spanish King Philip II that his sister-in-law and cousin Eleonora of Toledo the Younger had been murdered by his brother Pietro.69 After the death of Francesco I in 1587, Pietro was excluded from the Medici succession by his brother Ferdinand I.70 He died on 25 April 1604.
Cosimo’s thirteenth child, his illegitimate son Giovanni (Figs. 29 and 30), was born on 13 May 1563 by his mistress Eleonora degli Albizzi (1543-1634), with whom he had a sexual relationship since at least 1562, but probably much earlier, since a contemporary of Cosimo I wrote about Eleonora degli Albizzi the following: "... reduced, by the Duke, to his will while she was still at a tender age, and a virgin ..."71 Giovanni, who was named after his deceased half-brother Giovanni, had a straight nose like his half-brother Ferdinand I, a small mouth with full lips – the lower lip was slightly protruding – and reddish-blond hair with many curls, which he lost from about the age of 37.72 He died on 19 July 1621.
Cosimo’s fourteenth child, his second illegitimate daughter, whose name we do not know, was born in May 1566. She died within that year.73 Her mother was Eleonora degli Albizzi.
Cosimo’s fifteenth child, his fifth legitimate daughter, Virginia (Figs. 31, 32 and 33), was born on 29 May 1568 by his second wife, Camilla (or Cammilla) Martelli (1545/47-1590) (Figs. 34 and 35) who at the time of the birth of her daughter was not yet his wife, but his mistress. Therefore Virginia was born illegitimate. She was acknowledged as Cosimo’s child and legitimated when her parents married on 29 March 1570. Virginia had piercing eyes like her elder half-sister Isabella (Fig. 13) – which were blue or light brown –, blonde hair that became darker when she was an adult, a hooked nose and a medium-sized mouth with equally proportioned, medium-sized lips. Nowadays a portrait of Maria Magdalena of Inner-Austria (1587-1631) (Fig. 36) is very often declared as a portrait of Virginia or of her mother Camilla Martelli, although the portrait of Maria Magdalena of Inner-Austria, who was a younger daughter of Archduke Karl II of Inner-Austria (1540-1590) and Maria of Bavaria (1551-1608), is an identification portrait. Owing to the symbols or devices of the necklace of big pearls (= Medici dynasty) and the heavy Habsburg link chain with red and black stones and pearls (= Habsburg dynasty) and the feathers on the top of the crown with the specific colours of Inner-Austria and Austria-Tyrol, red, yellow and white (= member of the House of Habsburg Inner-Austria or Austria-Tyrol) and the specific collar of her costume (which was in fashion from around 1580 to 1600), we are clearly able to identify her. There were seven women in the 16th and 17th century who had the right to be decorated with the above-mentioned three symbols: Maria Magdalena of Inner-Austria (1587-1631), the Grand Duchess of Tuscany; Claudia de’ Medici (1604-1648)74, Archduchess of Austria-Tyrol; Isabella Klara of Austria-Tyrol (1629-1685)75, Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat; Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Tyrol (1632-1649)76, the wife of Emperor Ferdinand III; Anna de’ Medici (1616-1676)77, Archduchess of Austria-Tyrol; Claudia Felicitas of Austria-Tyrol (1653-1676)78, the wife of Emperor Leopold I; and Maria Magdalena of Austria-Tyrol (1656-1669). But only one candidate was already born and had become a young lady by around 1600 to be dressed like the depicted on Fig. 36. Her name is Maria Magdalena of Inner-Austria, the future Grand Duchess of Tuscany and wife of Cosimo II de' Medici, who was born 21 years after Virginia de' Medici.
On 6 February 1586 Virginia de’ Medici (Fig. 33) was married to Cesare I d’Este (1562-1628), Duke of Modena and Reggio, by her eldest half-brother Francesco I for political reasons. She gave birth to ten children and died on 13 January 1615. The portrait paintings of her mother Camilla Martelli are currently all identified as portraits of Bianca Capello by art historians, which, however, is unjustified. The same happened to the portraits of Isabella de’ Medici. The only thing these three women have in common is their reddish-blonde hair. They all have very different facial features: Isabella de’ Medici (Figs 13, 14 and 15) had piercing eyes, an aquiline nose, a thin upper lip and a fuller and slightly protruding lower lip; Bianca Capello (1548-1587) (Figs 10 and 11) had a wavy nose and full and pouting lips; and Camilla Martelli had – like her daughter Virginia – a medium-sized mouth with equally proportioned, medium-sized lips and a very characteristic nose with a little bridge in the middle and a bump at the tip.
Cosimo’s sixteenth child, his eighth legitimate son, Fagoro (Fig. 37), was born in 1570 by his second wife Camilla Martelli. We know from contemporary sources that Camilla Martelli was pregnant with a second child when she married Cosimo I on 29 March 1570: "... kehrte der neue Großherzog ruhig heim und führte seine langjährige Geliebte Camilla Martelli zum Traualter (29. März). Camilla, die Tochter Antonio Martellis, eines ganz heruntergekommenen, armen Edelmannes, war die Nachfolgerin der Eleonora degli Albizzi geworden; ein geheimer Gang vom Palazzo Pitti in ihr Elternhaus vermittelte den Verkehr der Liebenden, der ebenfalls nicht ohne Folgen geblieben war: eine Tochter hatte sie ihm bereits geboren ... und sie sah damals einer neuerlichen Niederkunft entgegen. (= ... the new Grand Duke calmly returned home and lead his mistress of many years to the altar (29 March). Camilla, the daughter of Antonio Martelli, a totally run-down, poor nobleman, had become the successor of Eleonora degli Albizzi; a secret corridor from the Palazzo Pitti to the house of her parents put the lovers in contact to each other, which likewise did not remain without consequences: a daughter had already been born ... and she [Camilla Martelli] expected at that time [29 March 1570] another child.)“79 The gender of her child is revealed in Figure 37. It was a son, who had reddish-blond hair and a wavy nose. The boy, who is around eight to ten years old, is not Francesco de’ Medici’s and Bianca Capello’s son, Don Antonio (Fig. 12), who had black hair and an aquiline nose like his father and his Spanish forefathers, the Alvarez of Toledo. The name of the last child of Cosimo is manifested on a medal which was found in the Bargello, Florence, by Marco Ferri. It was made by Antonio Selvi (1679-1753). On the observe of the medal we see a profile portrait of Fagoro with his short hair and his wavy nose. He is around eight to ten years old and is dressed with a costume (collar!) of the 1570s and 1580s. The inscription on the observe tells us that Fagoro de’ Medici is a son of Cosimo I : "FAGORUS • MEDICES • COSM • I • M • D • E • FIL." On the reverse the family tree of the Medici is depicted with one lateral branch which presents two sub-branches, one for Virginia and one for Fagoro. The inscription on the reverse reads: "SIMILI • FRONDESCIT • VIRGA • METALLO (= a branch of similar metal sprouts)." Fagoro died probably at the age of eight to ten years such as he was depicted on the medal.
When Cosimo I died on 21 April 1576, nine of his beloved 16 children were already dead. But his sixth son, Ferdinand I, made sure that the Medici dynasty ruled Florence and Tuscany for another 177 years.80
List of Images:
- Fig. 1: Jacopo da Pontormo: Maria Salviati with her granddaughter Bia, 1442. Baltimore, Walters Art Museum
- Fig. 2: Francesco Salviati: Cosimo I. de’ Medici, c. 1542. Milan, Koelliker Collection
- Fig. 3: Alessandro Allori: Giulia de’ Medici, 1559. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 4: Agnolo Bronzino: Maria de’ Medici, c. 1445/46. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 5: Portrait painting of Maria de’ Medici, in: G. F. Young, The Medici, Volume 2, London 1909 (reprinted in 1930), Plate LV
- Fig. 6: Agnolo Bronzino, Maria de’ Medici and her brother Antonio, c. 1555/1558, Washington, National Gallery of Art
- Fig. 7: Agnolo Bronzino: Eleonora of Toledo, c. 1539. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 8: Agnolo Bronzino: Francesco I de’ Medici, c. 1549-1551. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 9: Agnolo Bronzino: Francesco I de’ Medici, c. 1556/57. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 10: Alessandro Allori: Bianca Capello. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 11: Unknown painter (Alessandro Allori?): Bianca Capello. England, Private Collection
- Fig. 12: Alessandro Allori: Don Antonio, son of Francesco I de’ Medici and his second wife, Bianca Capello, c. 1588. St. Petersburg, Hermitage
- Fig. 13: Alessandro Allori: Isabella de’ Medici, c. 1567. Florence Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 14: Workshop of Alessandro Allori: Isabella de’ Medici. Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina
- Fig. 15: Domenico Poggini: Isabella de’ Medici, Duchess of Bracciano, 1560. London, Victoria and Albert Museum
- Fig. 16: Attributed to Agnolo Bronzino or his workshop: Ines or Anna of Toledo, 1570s. Stockholm, National Museum
- Fig. 17: Agnolo Bronzino: Eleonora of Toledo and her son Giovanni, 1545. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 18: Court painter of the Medici (but not Justus Sustermans): Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici, 1560-62. Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina
- Fig. 19: Justus Sustermans: Cardinal Carlo de’ Medici, c. 1630. Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina
- Fig. 20: Agnolo Bronzino: Antonio de’ Medici, at the end of 1545 or the beginning of 1546. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 21: Unknown painter: Antonio de’ Medici, c. 1547. Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina
- Fig. 22: Agnolo Bronzino: Antonio de’ Medici. Detail of Fig. 6
- Fig. 23: Alessandro Allori: Lucrezia de’ Medici, Duchess of Ferrara, c. 1560. Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art
- Fig. 24: Agnolo Bronzino: Garzia de’ Medici, c. 1549/50. Lucca, Palazzo Mansi
- Fig. 25: Francesco Salviati: Garzia de’ Medici, c. 1559/60. Milan, Museo Poldi Pezzoli
- Fig. 26: Scipione Pulzone: Cardinal Ferdinand (I) de’ Medici, c. 1575. Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum
- Fig. 27: Alessandro Allori: Pietro de’ Medici, c. 1566/67. Private Collection
- Fig. 28: Attributed to Agnolo Bronzino: Pietro de’ Medici (not his brother-in-law Paolo Giordano Orsini!) Detail. Strasbourg, Musée des Beaux-Arts
- Fig. 29: Agnolo Bronzino: Giovanni de’ Medici, the illegitimate son of Cosimo I, 1570-1571. Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
- Fig. 30: Giorgio Vasari: Giovanni de’ Medici, the illegitimate son of Cosimo I, 1573-1575. Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie
- Fig. 31: Alessandro Allori? (certainly not Agnolo Bronzini): Virginia de’ Medici, 1576-1578. Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 32: Unknown painter: Virginia de’ Medici, c. 1583. Whereabouts unknown
- Fig. 33: Unknown painter: Virginia de’ Medici, 1586. Florence, Uffizi Gallery. As with her mother Camilla Martelli, the symbol for a wedding, the red carnation, was put in the top of the bodice of her dress. In the right background we see the Palazzo Pitti, what it looked like in the 1580s and in which Virginia spent most of her years as a Medici Princess
- Fig. 34: Scipione Pulzone: Camilla Martelli, 1570. Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum. The symbol for a wedding, the red carnation, was put in the top of her bodice.
- Fig. 35: Alessandro Allori(?): Camilla Martelli, 1570. Florence, Uffizi Gallery. The symbol for a wedding, the red carnation, was again put in the top of her bodice.
- Fig. 36: Attributed to Jacopo Ligozzi: Maria Magdalena of Inner-Austria (1587-1631). Florence, Uffizi Gallery
- Fig. 37: Alessandro Allori: Camilla Martelli with her son Fagoro. Dallas Museum of Art, The Karl and Esther Hoblitzelle Collection
- Paul Strathern, The Medici – Godfathers of the Renaissance, London 1903, p. 337; and Caroline Murphy, Isabella de’ Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, London 2008, p. 24: "... he [Cosimo] would sit down to eat with his children ... Cosimo abandoned matters of state in order to spend time with them [his children] ..."
- Virtue and Beauty – Leonardo's Ginevra de'Benci and Renaissance Portraits of Women, Princeton and Oxford 2001, p. 222
- Virtue and Beauty – Leonardo's Ginevra de'Benci and Renaissance Portraits of Women, id., p. 222
- Janet Cox-Rearick, Dynasty and Destiny in Medici Art – Pontormo, Leo X, and the two Cosimos, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey 1984, Figure 158
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, Toronto, Buffalo and London 2006, p. 40
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., p. 41
- the family tree of the Medici regarding the relationship between Maria Salviati and Giulia de' Medici
- Gabrielle Langdon, A 'Laura' for Cosimo: Bronzino's Eleonora di Toledo with her Son Giovanni, pp. 40-70, in: The Cultural World of Eleonora di Toledo – Duchess of Florence and Siena, edited and with an introduction by Konrad Eisenbichler, Aldershot and Burlington 2004, p. 49
- the family tree of the Valois of Burgundy (only in German) and the family tree of the Habsburgs (only in German)
- Fioretta Gorini
- the Neapolitan Queen Giovanna of Aragon
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id, pp. 99-100; and Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 17
- Gaetano Pieraccini, La stirpe de' Medici di Cafaggiolo: Saggio di richerche sulla transmissione ereditaria dei caratteri biologici, Florence 1947 (reprint 1986), 2nd Volume, p. 79
- Cecily Booth, Cosimo I, Duke of Florence, Cambridge 1921, pp. 116-117
- G. F. Young, The Medici, Volume 2, London 1909 (reprint of 1930), p. 247
- Emma Micheletti, Portrait einer Familie – Die Medici in Florenz, Florenz 1998, S. 51
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 46
- Simone Giordani, in: Bronzino – Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici, Florence 2011, p. 140
- Simone Giordani, in: Bronzino – Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici, id., p. 138
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., p. 115
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 46/50; and Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id, pp. 115, 140
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 41
- Emma Micheletti, Portrait einer Familie – Die Medici in Florenz, id., pp. 49-50
- G. F. Young, The Medici, Volume 2, id. p. 271
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id, p. 110; and Detlef Heikamp, Angelo Bronzinos Kinderbildnisse aus dem Jahr 1551, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 7, S. 133-138, Jahrgang 1953-56, S. 138
- Paul Strathern, The Medici – Godfathers of the Renaissance, id., p. 341
- further portraits of Francesco I de' Medici
- Maike Vogt-Lüerssen, Frauen in der Renaissance – 30 Einzelschicksale, Norderstedt 2006, S. 363
- Ethel Colburn Mayne, Enchanters of Men, London 1909 (second edition), p. 22
- Emma Micheletti, Portrait einer Familie – Die Medici in Florenz, S. 64; and Maike Vogt-Lüerssen, Frauen in der Renaissance – 30 Einzelschicksale, id., S. 363; and Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 92, 247
- portraits of Giovanna or Johanna of Austria
- further portraits of Bianca Capello
- portraits of Antonio de' Medici, the son of Francesco I de' Medici and Bianca Capello
- further portraits of Isabella de' Medici (only a small selection)
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de’ Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 232
- Laughton Osborn, Bianca Capello: a tragedy, New York 1868, pp. 414, 419
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 47, 94, 161, 168, 350; and Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., pp. 147- 148
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 160
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 243
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id, p. 147
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp.168, 114
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., pp. 147- 148
- two portraits of Paolo Giordano I Orsini
- portraits of Virginio Orsini
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 324-326
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p.103: on occasion of the death of Giovanni de' Medici, his eldest brother Francesco I wrote to his sister Isabella: "I know most certainly that nobody feels the loss of the cardinal [Giovanni de' Medici] our brother more deeply than you ... because I know the love between you was infinite."
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 92-94; p. 93: Giovanni de' Medici wrote to his sister Isabella from Pisa early in 1561: "... how much more I would enjoy things with the concession of your company, without which I find life truly imperfect."
- Andrea Baldinotti, in: Bronzino – Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici, id., p. 134
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 92-100
- Andrea Baldinotti, in: Bronzino – Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici, id., p. 134
- The goldfinch has never been used as a "Christological symbol" as Andrea Baldinotti claimed in: Bronzino – Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici, id., p. 134. It was always a political symbol, mostly used by the Visconti and the Sforza. Besides the specific colours of Milan and Florence, red and white, the goldfinch-head had the black colour of the the eagle of the Holy Roman Empire. Cosimo I tried everything he could to add this black colour to the colours of Florence, because he wanted to be elevated to Grand Duke or King of Tuscany by the Emperors Ferdinand I and Maximilian II.
- Andrea Baldinotti, in: Bronzino – Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici, id., p. 134
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 100
- G. F. Young, The Medici, Volume 2, id., pp. 284-285
- Paolo Giovio, Dialogi et descriptiones, edited by Ernesto Travi and Mariagrazia Penco, Opera IX, Rome 1984, lettere, 1:342; and Bruce L. Edelstein: La fecundissima Signora Duchessa: The Courtly Persona of Eleonora di Toledo and the Iconography of Abundance, pp. 71-97, in: The Cultural World of Eleonora di Toledo – Duchess of Florence and Siena, id., p. 76
- portraits of Lucrezia de' Medici (1470-1553)
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., pp. 140-142
- Emma Micheletti, Portrait einer Familie – Die Medici in Florenz, S. 51
- G. F. Young, The Medici, Volume 2, id., p. 285
- portraits of Garzia de' Medici
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 78
- Eleonora of Toledo suffered from consumption since the early 1550s. She lost the fight against the malaria fever on 18th December 1562, because her body became too weak while caring for her very ill favourite son Garzia.
- G. F. Young, The Medici, Volume 2, id., p. 285
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 109; and Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., p. 147
- the family tree of Ferdinand I de' Medici and his wife Christina of Lorraine
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., p. 176; and Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 191, 278, 291
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 279
- portraits of Eleonora of Toledo the Younger
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 329
- Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Woman – Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal, id., p. 307
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., p. 192
- portraits of Giovanni, the illegitimate son of Cosimo I
- Caroline P. Murphy, Isabella de' Medici – The Glorious Life and Tragic End of a Renaissance Princess, id., pp. 192-194
- portraits of Claudia de' Medici, Archduchess of Austria-Tyrol
- portraits of Isabella Klara of Austria-Tyrol, Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat
- portrait of Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Tyrol
- portraits of Anna de' Medici, Archduchess of Austria-Tyrol
- portrait of Claudia Felicitas
- Viktor Bibl, Erzherzogin Johanna, erste Großherzogin der Toskana, S. 20-34, in: Beiträge zur neueren Geschichte Österreichs 4, Wien 1908, S. 31: vertraulicher Bericht aus Florenz an Herzog Albrecht von Bayern vom 12. Mai 1570, München. Staatsarchiv, schw. 317/13, fol. 103; Viktor Bibl's other main historical source regarding Camilla Martelli was: Guglielmo Enrico Saltini, Tragedie medicee domestice (1557-87), Firenze 1898
- the Medici family tree
- Maike Vogt-Lüerssen: Wer ist Mona Lisa – Identifizierung einer Unbekannten mit Hilfe historischer Quellen