Galeotto I Pico

Galeotto I Pico
Anonimo - Vicino da Ferrara - sec. XV - Ritratto di Galeotto I Pico della Mirandola.jpg
Galeotto I ( Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara)
Duke of Mirandola
Reign 8 November 1467 - 9 April 1499
Predecessor Gianfrancesco I Pico
Successor Giovanni Francesco Pico della Mirandola
Born (1442-08-03)3 August 1442
Mirandola, Italy
Died 9 April 1499(1499-04-09) (aged 56)
Mirandola, Italy
Buried Church of San Francesco, Mirandola
Noble family Pico Family
Spouse(s) Bianca Maria d'Este
Father Gianfrancesco I Pico
Mother Giulia Boiardo

Galeotto I Pico della Mirandola (3 August 1442 - 9 April 1499) was an Italian condottieri and nobleman, Duke of Mirandola and Count of Concordia. He was noted by contemporaries for his tyranny. The son of Gianfrancesco I Pico, Galeotto initially allied himself to the Duchy of Ferrara, first fighting for Duke Borso d'Este and then Ercole I d'Este, with whom he formed a strong bond. In 1486, he switched allegiance to Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. He fought his brother Antonio for the Duchy of Mirandola. He was ultimately successful in the last battle, taking his brother's place in 1491, which was reaffirmed two years later. He died in 1499 and was succeeded by his son Giovanni Francesco.


Born on 3 August 1442, Galeotto was the eldest son of Gianfrancesco I Pico, ruler of the Duchy of Mirandola, and Giulia Boiardo, daughter of Feltrino Boiardo, Count of Scandiano, and Guiduccia of Correggio.[1][2] He had two younger brothers, Antonio and Giovanni, and three younger sisters, Caterina, Giulia and Lucrezia.[3]

Galeotto was knighted in Ferrara in 1452 by Emperor Frederick III, when he appointed Duke Borso d'Este to become the Duke of the city.[4] In 1467 he fought for the Duke beside Bartolomeo Colleoni against the Medici, returning to Mirandola after the death of his father on 8 November to take over the dukedom.[5] On the death of Borso on 20 August 1471, Galeotto strengthened his friendship with the new Duke, Ercole I d'Este, by entering into a treaty of alliance.[6] On 9 January 1476, he joining a coterie of ambassadors sent to Naples to escort his bride, Eleonora of Aragon to Ferrara.[7]

In 1470 he imprisoned his brother Antonio on the pretext of wanting to suppress disorder. Although Antonio was released after two years, this did not quell his hatred against Galeotto. Instead, on 19 November, he led a rebellion against his brother, which was followed by counter rebellion on 8 December.[8] Galeotto was left in charge until the Pazzi conspiracy of 26 April 1478. He was exiled to the Republic of Venice after the riots that followed the conspiracy but was still active, sending aid to Tuscany to help the Florentines. Accused of having betrayed the Venetians, in 1486 he changed his allegiance to the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, who elected him governor of Parma. He fought for the Duchy of Milan in the Battle of Fornovo on 6 July 1495.[4]

Through the mediation of Ludovico with the emperor, Galeotto managed to regain his status in Mirandola in 1491. Old grudges toward his brother Antonio, however, continued for two years, when Antonio was declared guilty of felony and Galeotto confirmed in his titles.[9] His action led him to be considered a tyrant by contemporaries, including the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, who wrote two letters to him, the second dated 26 March 1496, commending him to reform his ways and to "live as it became a Christian."[10]

Galeotto died on 9 April 1499.[9] He was buried in the Church of San Francesco in Mirandola, despite his excommunication for the usurpation of his brother Antonio, for which he obtained a papal dispensation. His wife Bianca erected a monument in the church.[4] He was succeeded by his son Giovanni Francesco.[9]

The Pico family memorial in the Church of San Francesco in Mirandola


Galeotto married Bianca d'Este (1440-1506), daughter of Niccolò III d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara, in Mirandola in 1468.[11] At the wedding, a tournament was held with a prize of a piece of silk greenery.[12] They had six children:[13]

  • Giovanni Francesco (1469-1533), his successor as Lord of Mirandola and Concordia
  • Federico (1470-1503), future co-ruler of Mirandola and Concordia
  • Ludovico (1472-1509), future co-ruler of Mirandola and Concordia
  • Maddalena (1473-1542), Clarisse nun in Santa Clara Monastery of Florence
  • Galeotto (1474-1533), killed by his nephew Galeotto II
  • Eleanor (1478-c. 1525), who married firstly Paolo Bolognini Attendolo and secondly Galeazzo Pallavicino.

Galeotto also had two illegitimate children named Susanna and Lucrezia.[13]



  1. ^ Papotti 1877, p. 286.
  2. ^ Bratti & Papazzoni 1872, p. 93.
  3. ^ "Pico family". 16 September 2002. Retrieved 31 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c Litta 1823, p. 6.
  5. ^ Bratti & Papazzoni 1872, p. 98.
  6. ^ Bratti & Papazzoni 1872, pp. 99–102.
  7. ^ Bratti & Papazzoni 1872, p. 106.
  8. ^ Bratti & Papazzoni 1872, p. 107.
  9. ^ a b c Schmitt 1967, p. 17.
  10. ^ Madden 1853, pp. 256–257.
  11. ^ Panizza 2000, p. 73.
  12. ^ "Galeotto of Mirandola". Condottieri di Ventura. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b "Pico family". 6 November 2003. Retrieved 31 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)


  • Bratti, Ingrano; Papazzoni, Battista (1872). Cronaca della Mirandola, dei figli di Manfredo e della corte di Quarantola (in Italian). Mirandola: Tipografia di Gaetano Cagarelli. OCLC 1124202486.
  • Litta, Pompeo (1823). Famiglie celebri di Italia: Pico della Mirandola (in Italian). Milam: Ferrario, Giulio. OCLC 799349206.
  • Madden, Richard Robert (1853). The Life and Martyrdom of Savonarola, Illustrative of the History of Church and State Connexion. London: Thomas Cautley Newby. OCLC 1025451461.
  • Panizza, Litta (2000). Women in Italian Renaissance culture and society. Oxford: Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing. ISBN 978-1-90075-509-2.
  • Papotti, Francesco Ignazio (1877). Annali: Memorie storiche della citta e dell'antico ducato della Mirandola (in Italian). 4. Mirandola: Tipografia di Gaetano Cagarelli. OCLC 459100829.
  • Schmitt, Charles B. (1967). Gianfrancesco Pico Della Mirandola (1469–1533) and His Critique of Aristotle. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN 978-9-40119-681-9.

Galeotto I Pico
House of Pico
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Gianfrancesco I
Duke of Mirandola
Succeeded by
Gianfrancesco II

Other Languages