Bentivoglio, Giovanni II (1443–1508)

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Bentivoglio, Giovanni II (14431508)

Ruler of the Italian city of Bologna who made important improvements to the city and reigned over a splendid Renaissance court. He was the son of the city's chief magistrate, Annibale I Bentivoglio, who was murdered in 1445 at the hands of a rival, Battista Canneschi. With Annibale's son still too young to rule the city; the people of Bologna sent to Florence for Annibale's cousin Sante, who reigned until his death in 1463. Then twenty years of age, Giovanni made himself signore, or lord of the city. He put his skill as a military commander to use on behalf of the more powerful cities of Florence, Naples, and Milan.

Bologna's court flourished during Bentivoglio's reign. He commissioned paintings for churches and civic buildings and also ordered the building of the Palazzo Bentivoglio, a magnificent town hall. In 1506, Bentivoglio was excommunicated and deposed by Pope Julius II, who had designs of his own on Bologna. He fled the city at the approach of the pope's army. After his sons attempted to retake the city, the citizens of Bologna rebelled against him and destroyed his property. Bentivoglio was then captured by the forces of the French king Louis XII, and died in Milan as the king's prisoner.

See Also: Julius II