Bianca Maria Sforza, 2nd wife of Emperor Maximilian
Bianca Maria Sforza (1472-1510), sister of Gian Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, was married to Emperor Maximilian in second marriage in 1493. Her uncle Lodovico Sforza contributed an opulent dowry of 400,000 florins. In return, he was given imperial investiture of the Duchy of Milan (in 1495), which the Sforza had usurped since 1450.
The marriage was not a happy one and remained without issue. Maximilian even left his wife as pawn occasionally when he could not pay his bills while travelling. The emperor lost interest in Bianca when Milan fell to the French in 1500 and was no longer a source of income. Bianca was not present at the imperial proclamation in Trient in 1508. She lived with her own court of Milanese people in various castles in Tyrol. She died in Innsbruck in 1510 - Maximilian did not arrive until after her burial.
Schauguldiner n. d. (1506), Hall
. Ø 39 mm, 18,09 g. Egg S.55; M/T p.42.
On the wedding of emperor Maximilian with Bianca Maria Sforza. Die-sinker:Gian Marco Cavalli.
REX·ET BIANCA Maria
effigies of Bianca Maria Sforza and Maximilian
with the chain (but not the order) of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Rev.: ESTO·NOBIS TVRRIS + fORtitudinis·A FACIE INIMiCiM
"Be a tower of strength in the face of enemies"
Virgin Mary with child surrounded by the heads of seven winged angels.
(Teston) n. d. (1506), Hall. Ø 27 mm, 6,37 g. Egg p.161 no.19; M/T p.42 no.85.
On the wedding of Emperor Maximilian with Bianca Maria Sforza. Die-sinker: Gian Marco Cavalli.
V'·RO·REX·ET(spiegelverkehrt und verbunden)
· - effigies side by side to the right as before.
· - as before.
Representations and paintings of Bianca Maria:
• Bianca Maria between emperor Maximilian and his 1st wife Mary of Burgundy in a section of the Balustrade under the Golden Roof ('Goldenes Dachl')
(created by Niklas Türing, 1497-1500)
• bronze statue at the tomb of Emperor Maximilian I in the 'Hofkirche' in Innsbruck
• oil painting 1475-1530 by Bernardino dei Conti [47x37cm], Louvre
• oil painting 1505-10 by Bernhard Strigel [76x43cm], Coll. Ambras, KHM, Vienna
The appearance of the St. Andrew's cross, the fire iron and flint as decorative elements in this picture is very unusual, as they were reserved for members of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Not even Mary of Burgundy or Maria Theresa, both of whom helped to ensure the survival of the Order, were ever linked to the Order of the Golden Fleece in such a way.
Back to : Duke Lodovico Il Moro or Emperor Maximilian I