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The Sforza — Ginevra Sforza

Ginevra Sforza
Ginevra Sforza

in 1440

17. May 1507


Alessandro Sforza (1409-1473), youngest brother of Francesco Sforza (1401-1466), Duke of Milan


unknown mistress of her father



  • her half-sister or sister Antonia (1445-1500), since 1460 married to Ottaviano, Count of Martinengo delle Palle († 1485)
  • her half-sister Battista (1446-1472), since 10. February 1460 married to Federigo da Montefeltro († 1482), Count and later Duke of Urbino
  • her half-brother Costanzo I. (1447-1483), Lord of Pesaro; two illegitimate sons: Giovanni (1466-1510) and Galeazzo (1470-1519)

  1. Sante Bentivoglio (1426-1463), Lord of Bologna; marriage on 8. March 1452
  2. Giovanni II. Bentivoglio (1443-1508), Lord of Bologna, son of Annibale I. Bentivoglio († 1445); marriage on 2. May 1464; apart from his children with Ginevra Sforza he had 7 illegitimate sons and 4 - 5 illegitimate daughters


from her first marriage to Sante Bentivoglio:

  1. her daughter Costanza (1458-1491); since 1473 married to Antonmaria Pico da Mirandola
  2. her son Ercole, born in 1459, he lived as a Condottiere
  3. and two further daughters who died, when they were still small children

from her second marriage to Giovanni II. Bentivoglio: she gave birth to 16 children, 11 of which reached adulthood:

  1. her daughter Bianca, married to Count Niccolò Rangoni of Spilamberto (Captain-General of the Bolognese troops)
  2. her daughter Francesca († 1504), her first husband was Galeotto Manfredi of Faenza, whom she murdered in 1488 (in this painting she is still depicted as a widow with a black veil); her second husband was Guido Torelli; her daughter Ippolita (1501-1521) from this marriage married in 1516 the court poet of Urbino, Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529)
  3. her son Annibale II. (1469-1540), since 1487 married to Lucrezia d'Este (1472-1518), an illegitimate daughter of Duke Ercole I. of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio
  4. her daughter Leonora, born in 1470, married to Ghiberto Pio of Carpi and Sassuolo; her son Alessandro († 1518) married the beautiful Angela Borgia Lanzol
  5. her daughter Camilla, who had to spend her life as a nun
  6. her son Antongaleazzo (1472-1525), who became Protonotary in the Papal Chancery
  7. her daughter Violanta, married to Pandolfo Malatesta of Rimini
  8. her son Alessandro (1476-1532), Count of Campagna, married to Ippolita Sforza († 1520/21), a niece of Lodovico Maria il Moro Sforza, Duke of Milan
  9. her daughter Laura († 1523), since 1491 married to Giovanni Gonzaga (1474-1523), youngest brother of Margrave Gian Francesco II. Gonzaga of Mantua
  10. her son Ermes (1482-1513), married to Jacopa Orsini – he was said to be a cruel and violent man
  11. her daughter Isotta, who like her sister Camilla spent her life as a nun

More Images:
Ginevra Sforza Ginevra Sforza

Reading Suggestions:
  • Cecilia M. Ady: The Bentivoglio of Bologna – A Study in Despotism. Oxford, London 1937

Erster Band der Sforza Serie
Buch Cover: Bianca Maria Visconti

Die Sforza I: Bianca Maria Visconti – Die Stammmutter der Sforza

240 Seiten, mit 186 Bildern und Stammtafeln, Books on Demand GmbH, ISBN 978-3-8334-3558-4, € 18,90

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