Ludovico (Maria) Sforza [Ludovico il Moro], Duke of Milan
(b Abbiategrasso, 3 Aug 1452; reg 1494–99; d Loches, Touraine, 27 May 1508).
Son of Francesco I Sforza and Bianca Maria Sforza. In 1480, several years after the death of his brother Galeazzo Maria Sforza in 1476, he succeeded in gaining control of the regency but did not become duke in name until his nephew Gian Galeazzo Sforza died in 1494. His commissions, both public and private, were divided between Lombard and Tuscan masters. . . . Of the artistsLudovico encouraged to come to Lombardy, an undated letter reveals that he was considering Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, Perugino and Ghirlandaio as court artists. About 1482 Leonardo da Vinci arrived in Milan, where he remained as an intimate member of Ludovico’s household for 18 years. As court painter, Leonardo is documented as having portrayed two of Ludovico’s mistresses, Lucrezia Crivelli and Cecilia Gallerani. . . . Much of his work was for such courtly ephemera as the designs for the spectacle Festa del Paradiso, composed in 1490.
E. S. Welch