Portrait of Cosimo II de' Medici (1590-1621), Grand Duke of Tuscany (1609-1621)
Cosimo II de' Medici (12 May 1590 – 28 February 1621) was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1609 until his death. He was the elder son of Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Christina of Lorraine. For the majority of his eleven-year reign, he delegated the administration of Tuscany to his ministers. He is best remembered as the patron of Galileo Galilei, his childhood tutor. Cosimo's father Ferdinando I took care to provide him with a modern education. Indeed, Galileo Galilei was Cosimo's tutor between 1605 and 1608. Ferdinando arranged for him to marry Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria, daughter of Archduke Charles II, in 1608. Together they had eight children, among whom was Cosimo's eventual successor, Ferdinando II, an Archduchess of Inner Austria, a Duchess of Parma and two cardinals. Ferdinando I died in 1609. Due to his precarious health, Cosimo did not actively participate in governing his realm, but he was a great patron of science and letters. In spite of his lack of interest in governance, the grand duke did assiduously enlarge the navy. He died on 28 February 1621 from tuberculosis and was succeeded by his elder son, Ferdinando II, still a minor at the time of his father's death. The regency for the new grand duke was bestowed upon Cosimo II's wife and mother, as per his wishes.
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