Sonetti Lussuriosi di Pietro Aretino

Excerpts from a lovely book on Florence and the Sonnets of Pietro Aretino:

“This was Mama’s city, her spiritual home, the place where it all began: Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo, the Medici…, the cradle of the Renaissance, the discovery of the world and of man.”

“I I were to describe and ideal day, it would be this: up early and out for fresh bread and fruit, drink caffelatte with Sandro, boiled egg for me, say good-bye to Sandro; work on the Aretino until noon (wash and clean every page, mend every tear, pare down leather), salami and cheese and pane toscano for lunch, with maybe a small glass of Chianti; lie down on my back for an hour and relax until my mind becomes perfectly calm, like the smooth surface of a pond, so that it can reflect divine radiance; resume work; take a long walk with no destination in mind; sit on an orange crate by window and watch piazza until Sandro comes home; mess around, go out to dinner, talk about the day’s work, come home… read, sleep.”

sonetti-pietro-aretino

“According to art historian Giorgio Vasari, Giulio Romano, Raphael’s greatest pupil employed Marcantonio Raimondi to make a series of engravings of sixteen erotic drawings, sometimes known as the Sixteen Pleasures, and Pietro Aretino made matters worse by writing a sequence of indecent sonnets to accompany the engravings… the engravings were mentioned in Ariosto’s Supposti (1526) but were originally published in 1523.”

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