Giovanni de' Medici (cardinal)

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Giovanni de' Medici
Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church
File:Lomi, Baccio (attr.) - Cardinale Giovanni di Cosimo I de' Medici, Arcivescovo di Pisa.jpg
Giovanni de' Medici
Born (1545-09-29)29 September 1545
Florence, Italy
Died 20 November 1562(1562-11-20) (aged 19)
Livorno, Italy
Burial Medici Chapel
House House of Medici
Father Cosimo I
Mother Eleanor of Toledo
Religion Roman Catholicism
Agnolo Bronzino, Portrait of Giovanni de' Medici (c. 1545), Uffizi, Florence.

Giovanni di Cosimo I de' Medici (29 September 1544 – 20 November 1562), also known as Giovanni de' Medici the Younger, was an Italian cardinal.

Early years

He was born in Florence, the second son of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Eleonora of Toledo. While his elder brother Francesco went on to a political and military career, Giovanni had reserved for him the ecclesiastical career.

He was the subject of two famous portraits by Agnolo Bronzino, one as an infant and another of some years later, together with Eleonora of Toledo (although the subject of the latter has been identified also as Francesco or Garzia).

After having been Archbishop of Pisa, he was created cardinal in Santa Maria in Domnica by Pope Pius IV in the consistory of 31 January 1560, aged only seventeen.


Probably already suffering from tuberculosis, Giovanni died two years later in Livorno, from a malaria attack. His mother and his brother Garzia died of the latter illness a few days later.

Centuries after his death, a myth arose saying that his brother Garzia killed him, following a dispute in 1562. In turn, his father Cosimo, furious, killed Garzia with his own sword. However, modern exhumations showed no signs of violence on the bodies and found to have died together of malaria in 1562.

His father Cosimo had another son in 1563, who was called with the same name (he is best known as Don Giovanni de' Medici).