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Gian Carlo de' Medici


Gian Carlo de' Medici

Gian Carlo
Gian Carlo de' Medici painted by Baldassare Franceschini.
Grand Ducal House of Medici
Father Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Mother Maria Maddalena of Austria
Born (1611-07-04)4 July 1611
Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Tuscany
Died 22 January 1663(1663-01-22) (aged 51)
Burial The Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Tuscany
Religion Roman Catholicism

Gian Carlo de' Medici (4 July 1611 – 22 January 1663) was an Italian cardinal. He was the second son of Grand Duke Cosimo II of Tuscany and his wife, Maria Maddalena of Austria.


Born a Prince of Tuscany, Gian Carlo was the second son and third child of Grand Duke Cosimo II and his wife, Maria Maddalena of Austria.

Unlike his predecessor Urban VIII, Pope Innocent X practised cordial relations with Ferdinando II, Gian Carlo's elder brother, and thus created Gian Carlo in 1644 cardinal as a token of his affection toward the Medici.[1] Thus forced to give up his military career and with it the title of "General of the Spanish Seas", Gian Carlo could not reconcile himself to his new "religious" lifestyle.[2] Pope Alexander VII made Gian Carlo responsible for welcoming Queen Christina of Sweden, a new convert to Roman Catholicism, to Rome in 1655.[3] Upon discovering of the closeness that had formed between the two, the Pope sent Gian Carlo back to Florence, declaring him "too handsome and too young" to be "spiritual advisor" to the Queen. Here, Gian Carlo led a life of dissipation, taking many mistresses; nevertheless, Ferdinando II delegated to him the management of the state's financial affairs.[4][5]

In later years, Gian Carlo donated his sizeable art collection to form the Pitti Gallery.[6] He died of apoplexy, and was interred in the Medicean necropolis, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence.[7]





  • Acton, Harold: The Last Medici, Macmillan, London, 1980, ISBN 0-333-29315-0
  • Young, G.F.: The Medici: Volume II, John Murray, London, 1920
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