|Duke of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio|
Alfonso II d'Este by Girolamo da Carpi
|Born||22 November 1533|
|Died||27 October 1597 (aged 63)|
|Noble family||House of Este|
|Spouse(s)||Lucrezia di Cosimo de' Medici|
Barbara of Austria
|Father||Ercole II d'Este|
|Mother||Renée of France|
As a young man, he fought in the service of Henry II of France against the Habsburgs. Soon after his accession, he was forced by Pope Pius IV to send back his mother to France due to her Calvinist creed. The 1570 Ferrara earthquake fell into his reign. In 1583 he allied with Emperor Rudolf II in the war against the Turks in Hungary.
Throughout the 1550s, Alfonso had an interest in Castrato singing voices. Given his childlessness amongst multiple marriages, this additional fact has prompted some historians to speculate that the Duke was homosexual.
He married three times:
He had no known children, legitimate or otherwise.
The legitimate line of the House of Este ended in 1597 with him. Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor recognized as heir his cousin Cesare d'Este, member of a cadet branch, who continued to rule in the imperial duchies and carried on the family name. The succession as Duke of Este, however, was recognized only by the Emperor but not by the Popes. In 1598 Ferrara was therefore incorporated into the Papal States by Pope Clement VIII, on grounds of doubtful legitimacy. As a result of Alfonso's death Cesare d'Este and his family were "obliged to leave the city" and the power of the government was there after turned over to the cardinal legate.()
Alfonso II raised the glory of Ferrara to its highest point, and was the patron of Torquato Tasso, Giovanni Battista Guarini, and Cesare Cremonini--favouring the arts and sciences, as the princes of his house had always done. Besides being fluent in Italian he was also proficient in Latin and French.Luzzasco Luzzaschi served as his court organist.
His expenses, however, went at damage of the public treasure.
|Ancestors of Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara|