First Lady of the Renaissance





There are many incredible women that have done great things for this country. One in particular goes by the name of Isabella d’Este. She was known as the “First Lady of the Renaissance.” During her time she greatly affected the lives of artists and writers.


Isabella d\'Este was born in 1474 into the ruling family of Ferra. Isabella\'s father believed in the equality of men and women and so Isabella and her siblings were very well-educated. At the age of sixteen Isabella married Francesco Gonzaga. She then became the Princess of Mantua because Francesco was the Prince. After the death of her husband, Isabella ruled Mantua alone.


During her life she accomplished many great things. At the age of sixteen, Isabella d\'Este was able to speak Greek and Latin as well as play the lute, sing, dance and debate with people much older than her. She was very well-educated and her political talent benefited Mantua while she was ruling. When her husband left, Isabella governed the city on her own, and after he died she took over his whole job.


She showed great leadership skills in 1509 when she became Chief of State in Mantua. While she was ruling, she set an example for women showing them that they do not have to be like a traditional woman is supposed to be. At this time she also founded a school for young women where they had to observe a strict code of morals. She was a sponsor of the Arts and she also set artistic fashions and standards. She also wrote over two thousand letters in which she commented on everything from politics to war. So far this is the closest that any woman has ever got to writing history.


Isabella made a huge impact in Italy. She promoted the arts and often went to art events. Writers, artists and poets were often found at her home exchanging their ideas. By doing this and many other things she was known as the "First Lady of the Renaissance." Her accomplishments have changed Italian lives forever. Unfortunately Isabella d’Este died in 1539 at the age of sixty-four.