The Info List - Marie De' Medici

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Marie de' Medici
(French: Marie de Médicis, Italian: Maria de' Medici; 26 April 1575 – 3 July 1642) was Queen of France
Queen of France
as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon. She was a member of the wealthy and powerful House of Medici. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until 1617, when he came of age.[1] She was noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court and extensive artistic patronage.[2]


1 Early life 2 Queen of France 3 Politics

3.1 Regency 3.2 Revolt of 1619 3.3 Conflict with Richelieu 3.4 Exile

4 Artistic patronage 5 Posthumous appraisal 6 Issue 7 Ancestry 8 See also 9 References 10 Sources 11 External links

Early life[edit] She was born as Maria at the Palazzo Pitti
Palazzo Pitti
of Florence, Italy, the sixth daughter of Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany,[3] and Archduchess Joanna of Austria. Marie was not a male-line descendant of Lorenzo the Magnificent
Lorenzo the Magnificent
but from Lorenzo the Elder, a branch of the Medici
family sometimes referred to as the 'cadet' branch. She did descend from Lorenzo in the female-line however, through his daughter Lucrezia de' Medici. Marie was one of seven children, but only she and her sister Eleonora survived to adulthood.

Portrait of Marie de' Medici
as a young girl.

A portrait of Marie as a young girl shows her with regular features and a high forehead. Her wavy hair was light brown in colour, and she had honey-brown eyes and fair skin. The painter was from the school of Santi di Tito. Queen of France[edit]

Styles of Queen Marie of France as consort

Reference style Her Majesty

Spoken style Your Majesty

Alternative style Madam

She married Henry IV of France
Henry IV of France
in October 1600 following the annulment of his marriage to Margaret of Valois. The wedding ceremony in Florence, Italy, which Henry who married her by proxy did not attend was celebrated with 4,000 guests and lavish entertainments, including examples of the newly invented musical genre of opera, Jacopo Peri's Euridice. She brought as part of her dowry 600,000 crowns. Her eldest son, the future King Louis XIII, was born at Fontainebleau
the following year. Her husband was almost 47 at the marriage and had a long succession of mistresses. Dynastic considerations required him to take a second wife, his first spouse Margaret of Valois
Margaret of Valois
never having produced children by Henry or by her lovers. Henry chose Marie de' Medici because Henry "owed the bride's father, Francesco de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who had helped support his war effort, a whopping 1,174,000 écus and this was the only means Henry could find to pay back the debt...."[4] The marriage was successful in producing children, but it was not a happy one. The queen feuded with Henry's mistresses in language that shocked French courtiers. She quarreled mostly with her husband's leading mistress, Catherine Henriette de Balzac d'Entragues, whom he had promised he would marry following the death of his former "official mistress", Gabrielle d'Estrées.[5] When he failed to do so, and instead married Marie, the result was constant bickering and political intrigues behind the scenes. Catherine referred to Maria as "the fat banker's daughter"; Henry used Maria for breeding purposes exactly as Henry II had treated Catherine de' Medici.[6] Although the king could have easily banished his mistress, supporting his queen, he never did so. She, in turn, showed great sympathy and support to her husband's banished ex-wife Marguerite de Valois, prompting Henry to allow her back into the realm. Marie was crowned Queen of France
Queen of France
on 13 May 1610, a day before her husband's death. Hours after Henry's assassination, she was confirmed as regent by the Parliament of Paris. She immediately banished his mistress, Catherine Henriette de Balzac, from the court.[7] Politics[edit]

María de Médici, by Frans Pourbus, c. 1606, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao.

Regency[edit] During her husband's lifetime Marie showed little sign of political acumen, and her abilities scarcely improved after she assumed the regency. Extremely stubborn and of limited intellect, she was heavily influenced by her maid Leonora "Galigai" Dori. (They shared the Italian-Portuguese physician of Jewish extraction Elijah Montalto.) Dori conspired with her unscrupulous Italian husband, Concino Concini, who was created Marquis d'Ancre and a Marshal of France, even though he had never fought a battle. The Concinis had Henry IV's able minister, the Duke of Sully, dismissed, and Italian representatives of the Roman Catholic Church hoped to force the suppression of Protestantism
in France by means of their influence. Half-Habsburg herself, Marie abandoned the traditional anti-Habsburg French foreign policy. She lent support to Habsburg Spain by arranging the marriage of her daughter Elisabeth to the future Philip IV of Spain. Marie overturned the Treaty of Bruzolo, an alliance signed between Henry's representatives and Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy. Under the regent's lax and capricious rule, the princes of the blood and the great nobles of the kingdom revolted. The queen, too weak to assert her authority, consented to buy them off on 15 May 1614. The opposition to the regency was led by Henri de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien, who pressured Marie into convoking the Estates General in 1614 and 1615. In 1616 Marie's rule was strengthened by the addition to her councils of Armand Jean du Plessis (later Cardinal Richelieu), who had come to prominence at the meetings of the Estates General. However, her son Louis XIII, already several years into his legal majority, asserted his authority the next year. The king overturned the pro-Habsburg, pro-Spanish foreign policy pursued by his mother, ordered the assassination of Concini, exiled the queen to the Château de Blois and appointed Richelieu to his bishopric.

of Marie de' Medici
in St. Denis (detail), by Peter Paul Rubens, 1622–1625.

Revolt of 1619[edit] After two years of virtual imprisonment "in the wilderness", as she put it, Marie escaped from Blois in the night of 21/22 February 1619 and became the figurehead of a new aristocratic revolt headed by Louis's brother Gaston, Duke of Orléans, Gaston d'Orléans, whose forces Louis easily dispersed. Through the mediation of Richelieu the king was reconciled with his mother, who was allowed to hold a small court at Angers. She resumed her place in the royal council in 1621. The portrait by Rubens was painted at this time. When Marie rebuilt the Luxembourg Palace, Palais du Luxembourg, in Paris, she added this extravagantly flattering cycle of her paintings by Rubens as part of the luxurious decoration. This collection was called the Marie de' Medici

Engraving of Marie de' Medici

Conflict with Richelieu[edit] After the death of his favourite, the duke of Luynes, Louis turned increasingly for guidance to Richelieu. Marie de' Medici's attempts to displace Richelieu ultimately led to her attempted coup; for a single day, the "Day of the Dupes", in November 1630, she seemed to have succeeded; but the triumph of Richelieu was followed by her self-exile to Compiègne[8] in 1630, from where she escaped to Brussels
in 1631 and Amsterdam
in 1638. Exile[edit] Her visit to Amsterdam
was considered a diplomatic triumph by the Dutch, as it lent official recognition to the newly formed Dutch Republic; accordingly she was given an elaborate ceremonial royal entry, of the sort the Republic avoided for its own rulers. Spectacular displays (by Claes Corneliszoon Moeyaert) and water pageants took place in the city's harbour in celebration of her visit. There was a procession led by two mounted trumpeters, and a large temporary structure erected on an artificial island in the Amstel River was built especially for the festival. The structure was designed to display a series of dramatic tableaux in tribute to her once she set foot on the floating island and entered its pavilion. Afterwards she was offered an Indonesian rice table
Indonesian rice table
by the burgomaster Albert Burgh. He also sold her a famous rosary, captured in Brazil. The visit prompted Caspar Barlaeus to write his Medicea hospes ("The Medicean Guest", 1638). She also visited England in 1638 (her youngest daughter was Queen Henrietta Maria), staying en route to London in Gidea Hall. Marie subsequently travelled to Cologne, where she died in 1642, scheming against Richelieu to the end. She was buried in the Basilica of St Denis
Basilica of St Denis
in northern Paris. Artistic patronage[edit] The construction and furnishing of the Palais du Luxembourg, which she referred to as her "Palais Médicis", formed her major artistic project during her regency. The site was purchased in 1612 and construction began in 1615, to designs of Salomon de Brosse. Her court painter was Peter Paul Rubens. It was well known that Henry of Navarre (her husband) was not wealthy. She brought her own fortune from Florence
to finance various construction projects in France. But more importantly, she contributed to the financing of several expeditions including Samuel de Champlain's to North America, which saw France lay claim to Canada.[26] Posthumous appraisal[edit] Honoré de Balzac, in his essay Catherine de Medicis, encapsulated the Romantic generation's negative view. She was born and raised in Italy and the French never really accepted her; hence, the negative reviews. However, Henry IV of Navarre was not a rich man and needed Marie's money. The French were still not pleased with his choosing an Italian wife.

Marie de' Medici, all of whose actions were prejudicial to France, has escaped the shame which ought to cover her name. Marie de' Medici wasted the wealth amassed by Henry IV; she never purged herself of the charge of having known of the king's assassination; her intimate was d'Épernon, who did not ward off Ravaillac's blow, and who was proved to have known the murderer personally for a long time. Marie's conduct was such that she forced her son to banish her from France, where she was encouraging her other son, Gaston.

Marie de' Medici
and her family (1607; by Frans Pourbus the younger).

The French were in need of money, yet were quick to bite the hand of the giver. It is a fact that she brought her own wealth to France. Her money was used to finance wars, build palaces and clear the many pre-existing debts of Henry IV. Issue[edit]

Name Birth Death Notes

Louis XIII, King of France 27 September 1601 14 May 1643 Married Anne of Austria
Anne of Austria
(1601–1666) in 1615. Two sons survived to adulthood.

Elisabeth, Queen of Spain 22 November 1602 6 October 1644 Married Philip IV, King of Spain (1605–1665) in 1615. A son and a daughter survived to adulthood.

Christine, Duchess of Savoy 10 February 1606 27 December 1663 Married Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy
Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy
(1587–1637) in 1619. One son and three daughters survived to adulthood.

Nicholas Henri, Duke of Orléans 16 April 1607 17 November 1611 Died young.

Gaston, Duke of Orléans 25 April 1608 2 February 1660 Married (1) Marie de Bourbon (1605–1627) in 1626. 1 daughter survived to adulthood. Married (2) Marguerite of Lorraine
Marguerite of Lorraine
(1615–1672) in 1632. Three daughters survived to adulthood.

Henrietta Maria, Queen of England 25 November 1609 10 September 1669 Married Charles I, King of England (1600–1649) in 1625. Three sons and two daughters survived to adulthood.


Ancestors of Marie de' Medici

16. Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de' Medici

8. Ludovico di Giovanni de' Medici

17. Caterina Sforza

4. Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

18. Jacopo Salviati

9. Maria Salviati

19. Lucrezia de' Medici

2. Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

20. Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Enríquez de Guzmán

10. Pedro Álvarez de Toledo y Zúñiga

21. Isabel de Zúñiga y Pimentel

5. Eleanor of Toledo

22. Luis Pimentel y Pacheco

11. María Osorio y Pimentel

23. Juana Osorio y Bazán

1. Marie de' Medici

24. Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

12. Philip I of Castile

25. Mary, Duchess of Burgundy

6. Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor

26. Ferdinand II of Aragon

13. Joanna I of Castile

27. Isabella I of Castile

3. Joanna of Austria

28. Casimir IV Jagiellon

14. Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary

29. Elisabeth of Austria

7. Anne of Bohemia and Hungary

30. Gaston de Foix, Count of Candale

15. Anne of Foix-Candale

31. Catherine of Foix

See also[edit]

Kingdom of France portal Biography portal

Henry IV of France's wives and mistresses House of Medici


^ Lawrence, Cynthia Miller (1997). Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs. Pennsylvania State Univ Pr. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-271-01568-2.  ^ Lawrence, Cynthia Miller (1997). Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collectors, and Connoisseurs. Marie de Médici's Patronage of Art and Architecture: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr. ISBN 978-0-271-01568-2.  ^ Leonie Frieda (14 March 2006). Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France. HarperCollins. pp. 386–. ISBN 978-0-06-074493-9. Retrieved 21 February 2011.  ^ Goldstone, Nancy, The Rival Queens, (Little Brown and Company, 2015), p. 377 ^ THE AMERICAN CYCLOPEADIA. 1874. pp. 671–. Retrieved 21 February 2011.  ^ Goldstone, Nancy, The Rival Queens, (Little Brown and Company, 2015), footnote: p. 377 ^ Herman, Eleanor (2005). Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge. p. 80.  ^ Bergin, Joseph (1 March 1990). Cardinal Richelieu: Power and the Pursuit of Wealth. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-300-04860-5. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 


Helga Hübner and Eva Regtmeier (2010), Maria de' Medici: eine Fremde; hrsg. v. Dirk Hoeges (Dialoghi/Dialogues: Literatur und Kultur Italiens und Frankreichs; Band 14). Frankfurt: Peter Lang ISBN 978-3-631-60118-1

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maria de' Medici.

Rubens cycle of paintings apotheosizing Marie de Medici
Definitive statements of Baroque
art. National Maritime Museum Drawing by Claes Cornelisz. Moeyaert
Claes Cornelisz. Moeyaert
the entrance of Maria de Medici in Amsterdam Festival Books  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Maria de' Medici". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  Life of Marie dei Médicis. Engravings after Rubens from the De Verda Collection "Medicea Hospes, Sive Descripto Pvblicae Gratvlations: qua Serenissiman, Augustissimamque reginam, Mariam de Meicis, except Senatvs popvlvvsqve Amstelodamensis" (1638), Illustrated with engravings of Maia de' Meici

Marie de' Medici House of Medici Born: 26 April 1575 Died: 3 July 1642

French royalty

Vacant Title last held by Margaret of Valois Queen consort of France
Queen consort of France
and Navarre 17 December 1600 – 14 May 1610 Vacant Title next held by Anne of Austria

v t e

House of Medici


Lords of Florence

Cosimo il Vecchio Piero "The Gouty" Lorenzo il Magnifico Giuliano Piero il Fatuo Giovanni (Leo X) Giuliano Lorenzo II Giulio (Clement VII) Ippolito Alessandro "The Moor"

Dukes of Florence

Alessandro "The Moor" Cosimo I

Grand Dukes of Tuscany

Cosimo I Francesco I Ferdinando I Cosimo II Ferdinando II Cosimo III Gian Gastone


Caterina Maria


Leo X Clement VII Leo XI


male line: Giovanni (Leo X) Giulio (Clement VII) Ippolito Alessandro (Leo XI) Giovanni Ferdinando I Carlo Giovan Carlo Leopoldo Francesco Maria Francesco female line: Luigi de' Rossi Giovanni Salviati Innocenzo Cybo Bernardo Salviati Niccolò Ridolfi Lorenzo Strozzi Ferrante Gonzaga Vincenzo II Gonzaga

Bishops and archbishops

Filippo Bernardo Antonio Giuliano Zanobi


Giovanni dalle Bande Nere Don Giovanni Mattias


Genealogical tables of the House of Medici

Festina Lente



Cafaggiolo Trebbio Careggi Fiesole La Quiete Collesalvetti Poggio a Caiano Castello Mezzomonte Agnano Spedaletto La Petraia Camugliano Stabbia La Topaia Cerreto Guidi Marignolle Arena Metato Poggio Imperiale Lapeggi L'Ambrogiana La Màgia Liliano Coltano Montevettolini Artimino Buti Seravezza Madama


Casino Mediceo di San Marco Palazzo Medici
Riccardi Palazzo Madama Palazzo Pitti Villa Medici Palazzo Medici
Tornaquinci Livorno Palazzo delle Vedove Pisa Materdei Palazzo Medici
di Ottaviano

Fountains and gardens

fountain Villa di Pratolino


Arezzo Grosseto Piombino Pistoia San Piero a Sieve Siena Volterra


Cappelle medicee The Chapel of Medici
di Gragnano


Painters, sculptors and architects

Bartolomeo Ammannati Sandro Botticelli Filippo Brunelleschi Michelangelo Bernardo Buontalenti Leonardo da Vinci Donatello Michelozzo Antonio del Pollaiolo Jacopo della Quercia Giorgio Vasari

Poets and other literary figures

Agnolo Poliziano Niccolò Machiavelli

Humanists and philosophers

Pico della Mirandola Marsilio Ficino


Galileo Galilei


Emilio de' Cavalieri Jacopo Peri


coat of arms Crown of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Order of Saint Stephen




lions Medici
porcelain Medici
Vase Venus de' Medici Arazzeria Medicea


giraffe Galilean moons Stories set to music: "opera" Albizzi Pazzi conspiracy Savonarola

v t e

Queens and empresses of France

Adelaide of Aquitaine Rozala of Italy Bertha of Burgundy Constance of Arles Matilda of Frisia Anne of Kiev Bertha of Holland Bertrade de Montfort Adelaide of Maurienne Eleanor of Aquitaine Constance of Castile Adela of Champagne Isabella of Hainault Ingeborg of Denmark Agnes of Merania Blanche of Castile Margaret of Provence Isabella of Aragon Maria of Brabant Joan I of Navarre Margaret of Burgundy Clementia of Hungary Joan II of Burgundy Blanche of Burgundy Marie of Luxembourg Jeanne d'Évreux Joan the Lame Blanche of Navarre Joan I of Auvergne Joanna of Bourbon Isabeau of Bavaria Marie of Anjou Charlotte of Savoy Anne of Brittany Joan of France Mary Tudor Claude of France Eleanor of Austria Catherine de' Medici Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots Elisabeth of Austria Louise of Lorraine Margaret of Valois Marie de' Medici Anne of Austria Maria Theresa of Spain Marie Leszczyńska Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
of Austria Marie Joséphine of Savoy* Joséphine de Beauharnais Marie Louise of Austria Marie Thérèse of France* Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily Eugénie de Montijo


v t e

Tuscan princesses by birth

1st generation

Princess Maria Isabella, Duchess of Bracciano Lucrezia de' Medici, Duchess of Ferrara Princess Maria Virginia, Duchess of Modena^

2nd generation

Eleonora, Duchess of Mantua Princess Rommola Princess Anna Princess Isabella Princess Lucrezia Marie, Queen of France Princess Eleonora Princess Caterina Princess Maria Maddalena Claudia, Archduchess of Further Austria

3rd generation

Princess Maria Cristina Margherita, Duchess of Parma Anna, Archduchess of Further Austria Catherine, Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat

4th generation


5th generation

Anna Maria Luisa, Electress Palatine

6th generation


7th generation

Princess Maria Anna* Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen* Princess Maria Elisabeth* Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma* Princess Maria Johanna Gabriela* Princess Maria Josepha* Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples and Sicily* Maria Antonia, Queen of France*

8th generation

Maria Theresia, Queen of Saxony* Princess Maria Anna* Princess Maria Amalia* Maria Clementina, Hereditary Princess of Naples*

9th generation

Princess Carolina Ferdinande* Princess Maria Luisa* Maria Theresa, Queen of Sardinia*

10th generation

Princess Maria Carolina* Auguste Ferdinande, Princess Luitpold of Bavaria* Princess Maria Maximiliana* Maria Isabella, Countess of Trapani* Princess Maria Theresia* Princess Maria Cristina* Princess Maria Anna* Maria Luisa, Princess of Ysenburg and Büdingen*

11th generation

Princess Maria Antonietta* Louise, Crown Princess of Saxony* Anna, Princess of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein* Princess Margareta* Princess Germana* Princess Agnes* Maria Theresa, Archduchess Charles Stephen of Austria* Karoline Marie, Princess Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha* Princess Maria Antonietta* Maria Immakulata, Duchess Robert of Württemberg* Princess Henriette*

12th generation

Helena, Duchess Philipp of Württemberg* Rosa, Duchess of Württemberg* Princess Dolores* Maria Immaculada, Nobile Inigo Neri Sereneri* Margarita, Marchioness Taliani di Marchio* Princess Maria Antonia, Mrs. Luis Pérez* Princess Assunta, Mrs. Joseph Hopfinger* Elisabeth, Countess of Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems* Hedwig, Countess of Stolberg-Stolberg* Gertrud, Countess of Waldburg-Zeil-Trauchburg* Princess Maria Elisabeth* Princess Agnes*

13th generation

Elisabeth, Edle Hubert von Braun* Alice, Baroness Vittorio Manno* Marie Antoinette, Freifrau von Proff zu Irnich* Princess Marie Christine* Princess Walburga, Mrs. Carlos Tasso* Princess Verena* Princess Katharina, Mrs. Roland Huber* Agnes, Freifrau Peter von Fürstenberg* Maria Ileana, Countess Adam Kottulinski* Alexandra, Freifrau Viktor von Baillou* Maria Magdalena, Freifrau von Holzhausen* Princess Elisabeth, Mrs. Friedrich Sandhofer* Agnes, Princess Karl Alfred of Liechtenstein* Princess Maria Margaretha* Princess Ludovica* Princess Allix* Josepha, Countess Clemens of Waldstein-Wartenberg* Valerie, Margravine of Baden* Alberta, Freifrau Alexander von Kottwitz-Erdödy* Theresa, Princess Rasso of Bavaria* Maria Inmakulata, Countess Reinhart of Hoensbroech*

14th generation

Princess Marie Bernadette, Mrs. Rupert Wolff* Princess Katharina, Mrs. Niall Brooks* Princess Alicia* Princess Maria Christina* Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Andreas Baumgartner* Princess Marie Valerie, Mrs. Martin Josef Wagner* Princess Hedwig* Princess Veronika*

15th generation

Princess Tatyana* Princess Anabella* Princess Tara*

* also an archduchess of Austria ^did not have a royal or noble birth

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 12420076 LCCN: n82006848 ISNI: 0000 0001 2121 0013 GND: 118577778 SELIBR: 207580 SUDOC: 034735240 BNF: cb12545791d (data) ULAN: 500122326 RKD: 439