Phase 1. 1537-1547
The first phase of the legal dispute spans between 1537 and 1547, from the murder of Duke Alessandro de’ Medici to when Caterina de’ Medici became Queen of France. During this period, Margaret of Austria – the widow of Alessandro, daughter of Charles V and newly wed to Ottavio Farnese in 1538 – inherited much of the goods of the Medici family as compensation for her dowry. Protected by Pope Paul III, who was Ottavio’s grandfather, and by her own father Charles V, she could affirm her rights over the embattled Duke Cosimo, who owed his position as Duke of Florence to the emperor’s will and support. During this period, Duke Cosimo was forced to pay to Margaret a monthly rent for the Medici estate in Tuscany.
Antonis Mor, Portrait of Margaret of Austria, oil on panel, c. 1559, The Philadelphia Museum of Art