Justus Sustermans: Eleonora of Gonzaga, second wife of Ferdinand II, in her bridal gown, 1621, oil on canvas

Eleonora of Mantua

* 1598, † 1655

Eleonora Gonzaga, also called Eleonora of Mantua, was from the ducal family of Mantua. On her marriage to Emperor Ferdinand II in 1622, she brought the opera, then a very new art form, to the court at Vienna. Under her father Vincenzo, Mantua had become a centre of Italian art. Claudio Monteverdi, whose Orfeo (1607) was one of the first operas in the history of music, lived and worked at the Mantuan court.

Justus Sustermans: Eleonora of Gonzaga, second wife of Ferdinand II, in her bridal gown, 1621, oil on canvas