Lucrezia's sister-in-law, Isabella d'Este, was perhaps the strongest, most intelligent woman of the Renaissance period. She mastered Greek and Latin and memorized the works of the ancient scholars. She frequently gave public performances, in which she demonstrated her skill at singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. In 1490 she was married to Francesco Gonzaga, the duke of Mantua, and the pair shared a happy and loving relationship. Isabella exerted a great amount of influence over the Mantua court, and it was due in great part to her presence that Mantua became known as a major center of wit, elegance, and artistic genius. After her husband, the duke, was captured in battle, she ruled Mantua herself. She also influenced the economic development of the region, encouraging the development of the textile and clothing industry that became the cornerstone of the Mantua economy. As a patron of the arts,
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