- Aretino, Pietro
- (1492-1556)Poet and satirist from the region of Arezzo who spent his formative years in Perugia, where he wrote his earliest poems. In 1517, Aretino went to Rome where he worked for Agostino Chigi, the wealthy banker and patron of Raphael, becoming a part of the Chigi-Pope Leo X circle. After Leo's death, Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, the pope's cousin, was Aretino's main patron. For the cardinal, he wrote scurrilous pieces on his competitors. When in 1522 Hadrian VI was elected to the throne instead of Cardinal Giulio, Aretino saw the wisdom to seek patrons outside of Rome. He moved to Mantua, where he worked for Federigo Gonzaga. Once Giulio attained the throne as Clement VII (1523), Aretino returned to Rome, yet soon death threats prompted by the sonnets he had written to accompany Giulio Romano's banned engravings of sexual positions (I modi) and his insults directed at the influential Bishop Gio-vanni Giberti forced him to leave. After wandering through the north of Italy, he finally settled in Venice in 1527, where he spent the rest of his life. There he became a close friend of Titian, who painted his portrait (1545; Florence, Palazzo Pitti), and Jacopo Sansovino, whom he defended when imprisoned for the collapse of the roof of the Library of St. Mark. Among Aretino's plays are Il Marescalco (published in 1533) and La Talanta (1542), and among his comedies is La Cortigiana (1534), a parody on Baldassare Castiglione's Il Cortegiano. His Raggionamenti (1534) includes a Neoplatonic discussion in a brothel.
Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. Lilian H. Zirpolo. 2008.