Gianfrancesco Gonzaga (1446–1496)
was Antico’s first patron. A younger son of the Marchese of Mantua, Ludovico Gonzaga, he inherited lands to the west and south of Mantua on his father’s death in 1478 and set up a small but elegant court at Bozzolo. The 1496 inventory produced at Gianfrancesco’s death is a key documentary source for Antico’s life and art.
Gianfrancesco Gonzaga di Ròdigo, c. 1486-1490, bronze, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Widener Collection
Battle of the Sea Gods [left half], c. 1485/1488, engravinig, 28.6 x 42.6 cm (11 1/4 x 16 3/4 in.), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund
Battle of the Sea Gods [right half], c. 1485/1488, engraving, 28.8 x 38.1 cm (11 5/16 x 15 in.), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of W.G. Russell Allen
Antonia del Balzo (c. 1460–1538)
was the wife of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga. The daughter of a Neapolitan prince, she married Gianfrancesco in 1479, soon after he came into his inheritance. The first documentary reference for Antico is a 1487 letter from Antonia to the Marchese Francesco Gonzaga. After Gianfrancesco’s death Antonia moved to the newly built Gonzaga castle in Gazzuolo near Bozzolo, as did Antico.
Antonia del Balzo, c. 1487, bronze, Widener Collection
Hope on the Prow of a Broken-Masted Vessel [reverse], c. 1487
National Gallery of Art, Widener Collection