Lettere
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Lettere

Autore: BRUNETTO, Orazio (1521-1587)

Dati tipografici: [Venezia] [Andrea Arrivabene], 1548


8vo. (12, including one blank), 261, (3) leaves. A12, A-Z8, AA-KK8. With the printer's device on the title-page. Boards, contemporary entry of ownership ‘Pro Herc(ola)no Calciamiglia et suoi amici' on the title-page and ‘Leonardo Trissino 1837', Venetian nobleman and book-collector (1780-1841), on the inner front panel.

Adams, B-2915; Basso, pp. 137-138; Edit 16, CNCE 7657; Index Aureliensis, 125. 583; Quondam, p. 290; J.M. de Bujanda, ed., Index de Rome: 1590, 1593, 1596, (Sherbrooke, 1994), p. 150, no. 351.

 

FIRST EDITION, edited by Ludovico Dolce and dedicated to Renée of France, duchess of Ferrara.

The dedicatory letter by Brunetto is dated from Venice, December 1, 1547. “Alla precedente duchessa di Ferrara, madre di Alfonso II, erano invece dedicate le Lettere di Orazio Brunetto. In questo caso però la motivazione della dedica è ben diversa dalle precedenti: Renata di Francia, infatti, aveva costituito a Ferrara una vera e propria enclave calvinista in terra cattolica, rifugio di numerosi esponenti di quei movimenti eterodossi, quando non apertamente ereticali, che percorrevano la penisola alla vigilia del Concilio. Il libro di Brunetto è stampato per Andrea Arrivabene, uno stampatore la cui bottega ‘Al segno del pozzo' era luogo di discussioni eterodosse aperte e palesi. La lunga dedicatoria percorsa da un intricato ragionare inizia stabilendo che è difficile trovare chi possa seguire le cose dello spirito e allo stesso tempo le dottrine profane, ma si trovano alcuni ‘huomini molto catholici, & pij' che ci riescono. Tra questi 'uomini' cattolici e pii, Brunetto annovera di fatto Renata di Francia (che sarà stata senz'altro pia, ma di certo non cattolica, tanto che proprio nel 1548 verrà dichiarata eretica) [...] Brunetto ammette che può sembrare strano che egli le faccia dono delle lettere senza esserle stato presentato prima, anzi essendole completamente sconosciuto, ma ha fiducia nella positiva risposta della principessa che è ‘non meno pia ricevitrice dè buoni christiani, che humanamente poco meravigliosa dè virtuosi effetti' ” (C. Schiavon, Una via d'accesso agli epistolari. Le dediche dei libri di lettere d'autore nel Cinquecento. Prima parte, in: “Margini. Giornale della dedica e altro”, 3, 2009, pp. 23-24).

This collection of 155 letters (9 of which are by Brunetto's correspondents) were re-issued in 1597 at Venice by Giorgio Angelieri. “Il tipografo ha ricomposto soltanto il frontispizio, il testo della dedica e l'errata corrige - che segnala gli stessi errori del 1548 – mentre tutto il resto corrisponde esattamente all'imposizione di stampa della prima edizione. È dunque possibile che molte copie dell'opera fossero rimaste invendute nella bottega di Andrea Arrivabene e che, dopo esser sfuggite alla censura per quasi cinquant'anni, fossero intercettate da Angelieri, che decise di dar loro una nuova vita” (L. Braida, Libri di lettere. Le raccolte epistolari del Cinquecento tra inquietudini religiose e “buon volgare”, Bari, 2009, pp. 280-281).

Among Brunetto's correspondents may be remebered: Anton Giacomo Corso (who contributed with a letter containing a passionate novel about a couple of lovers in Venice, leaves 248v-253v, which was separately printed at Lucca in 1854 – see G. Passano, I novellieri italiani in prosa, Milano, 1864, p. 104), Alessandro Citolini, Francesco Priuli, Francesco Grimani, Giovan Battista Giraldi, Girolamo Parabosco, Ercole Bentivoglio, Lodovico Domenichi, Lodovico Dolce, Sperone Speroni, and Pier Paolo Vergerio (V.V.) (cf. C. Di Filippo Bareggi, Il mestiere di scrivere. Lavoro intellettuale e mercato librario a Venezia nel Cinquecento, Roma, 1988, pp. 197-202).

Noteworthy are also the three letters (ll. 181r, 215r, 216r) by Brunetto to the poetess Gaspara Stampa, ‘A la Signora G.S.', “interessanti non solo perché consentono di pensare che Gaspara Stampa tenesse in casa un ‘ridotto', ma anche perché sembrano collegarla, sia pur indirettamente, a quel movimento riformista che Brunetto frequentava” (G. Stampa, Rime, M. Zancan ed., Torino, 1993, p. 6). In one of the letter's Brunetto begs re-entry into her salon with the plea that he has missed her marvelous singing and especially her rendition of Petrarch's Chiare fresche.Stampa's profession as a virtuosa seems well etablished, but little is known of how she exactly might have performed. Thus Brunetto's remark is one of the few clues that we have (cf. M. Feldman, City Culture and the Madrigal at Venice, Berkeley, 1995, p. 108).

“We have already seen that the missives which made their way into volumes of lettere volgari cannot be treated as completely spontaneous, sincere expressions of the writers' ideas and feelings. This is particularly true of collections like Franco's, Martelli's, Tolomei's, and Tasso's, in which one featured personality had the opportunity to select and revise so as to polish his image. In Brunetto's case, however, there was no preexisting image. Before the appearance of his letters in 1548, he was a complete unknown, a young physician whose literary and other interests may have been recognized by a small circle of friends but not by the general public. Hence, in publishing his correspondence, he had the opportunity to fashion a public personality for himself. It is highly significant that the persona he decided to assume was that of an Evangelical. Brunetto went about molding his image in several ways. First, he dedicated his collection to Renee, Duchess of Ferrara, a famous Evangelical, claiming her patronage by reason of their common spiritual orientation. Not all his letters, he admitted, concerned divine things, but she would be able to choose the ‘flowers' and reject the ‘vile herbs'. The heterogeneity of themes in his letters was more strongly emphasized in his letter ‘to the friendly reader'' Here again, however, he hinted that selective perusal of the book would benefit like-minded readers, and ‘spiritual discourses' headed the list of subjects he promised to provide. Placing three Evangelical letters at the very beginning, where they would catch the eye of a potential purchaser interested in Evangelism, was another way of indicating what his primary concerns were. Yet another tactic, more ingenious and at the same time more transparent, was to write twice to one ‘V.V.', an Evangelical whom he had never met, for the express purpose of soliciting a response. The main theme of both letters-condolences to the addressee for the persecution that he was undergoing, with assurance drawn from Matthew's Gospel that persecution was a sign of election-as well as the initials would have been a clear signal to all ‘friendly readers' that the recipient was none other than Vergerio, Bishop (vescovo) of Capodistria, who was known to be in deep trouble with the ‘orthodox' ecclesiastical establishment. To a certain extent Brunetto's claim to Duchess Renee that his collection had a strongly Evangelical tone was misleading. Letters on literary, philosophical, amorous, and medical subjects form the bulk of his volume. Some of these are very long (more like short treatises than actual letters) and may never have been sent. Others, particularly love letters, are clearly fictitious creations. Still, all his efforts to make his collection appeal to Evangelically inclined readers indicate strongly that in 1548 Brunetto had reason to believe that Evangelism had not died with Contarini and Giberti or fled north with Ochino and Vermigli. It was alive, comparatively well, and living in Italy” (A. Jacobson Schutte, The Lettere Volgari and the Crisis of Evangelism in Italy, in: “Renaissance Quarterly”, vol. 28, nr. 4, 1975, pp. 666-668).

 

All'Amico Lettore (to the friendly reader) (l. 1r)

A li Assentatori (l. 3r)

Al V[escovo Pier Paolo] V[ergerio] (l. 4r)

id. (l. 5v)

Zarotto, Leandro (l. 6r)

n.r. (l. 7v)

n.r. (l. 9v)

n.r. (l. 10r)

N.L. (l. 12r)

[Duprat, Guillaume], Vescovo di Chiaramonte (Bishop of Clermont) Padova (l. 15r)

id. Padova (l. 16v)

id. Venezia (l. 17r)

id. Padova (l. 17v)

Crosano, Marco (l. 19r)

id. (l. 20r)

Pesaro, Girolamo (l. 20v)

Capello, Carlo. Porcia (l. 21v)

id. Porcia (l. 22r)

Del Monte, Giovanni Battista (l. 23r)

id. (l. 23v)

C.S. (l. 24v)

Da Porcia, Antonio. Di Casa [Porcia], March 1, 1537 (l. 25v)

Sisto da Siena. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 39r)

id. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 43v)

n.r. (l. 55v)

Corso, Anton Giacomo. Venezia (l. 60r)

n.r. (l. 61v)

from Zarotto, Leandro. Capodistria (l. 62v)

Zarotto, Leandro. Venezia (l. 63r)

Giraldi, Giovanni Battista. Venezia (l. 64v)

Bentivoglio, Ercole. Venezia (l. 66v)

Speroni, Sperone. [Venezia] (l. 60r)

G.B.S.P. (l. 71r)

n.r. (l. 73r)

G.D. (l. 74r)

A.V. (l. 75v)

n.r. (l. 80r)

n.r. (l. 85r)

Crivelli, Paolo (l. 90v)

Fiordiano, Malatesta (l. 92v)

from Fiordiano, Malatesta (l. 94r)

Fiordiano, Malatesta (l. 95v)

n.r. (l. 97v)

Della Torre, Girolamo (l. 99v)

Madonna Giovanna (l. 100v)

Madonna L. de' R. (l. 101v)

from Madonna L.de' R. (l. 102v)

Madonna L. de' R. (l. 101v)

Madonna B.B. (l. 107v)

id. (l. 109r)

A.B. [Barbarigo, Agostino?] (l. 110v)

L.S. (l. 113v)

n.r. (l. 118r)

P.S. Porcia (l. 122r)

Zarotto, Leandro. Venezia (l. 130v)

n.r. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 135v)

n.r. Venezia (l. 137r)

n.r. (l. 138r)

La Bella Dori all'Amoroso Amintha (l. 140r)

from V[escovo] V[ergerio, Pier Paolo] (l. 142r)

Dameta à Clori (l. 142v)

Della Torre, Girolamo (l. 144r)

from Signora P.G. (l. 145v)

Flora mesta all'ingiusto Menalca (l. 146v)

L'ardita Nai all'ingrato Iola (l. 148v)

G.B. (l. 150r)

Domenichi, Lodovico (l. 152r)

Mazzaleno, Cesare (l. 153r)

Parabosco, Girolamo (l. 153v)

Dolce, Lodovico (l. 154r)

from Dolce, Lodovico (l. 155r)

F. della M. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 155v)

Barbarigo, Agostino (l. 158r)

Corso, Anton Giacomo (l. 158v)

Dolce, Lodovico. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 159v)

Madonna C. di V. Padova (l. 160v)

Coridone à Galatea (l. 162v)

Galatea à Coridone (l. 163r)

Melibeo ad Amarilli (l. 163v)

Amarilli à Melibeo (l. 164v)

Brunetti, Domenico (l. 165r)

id. (l. 167v)

Brunetti, Giovanni (l. 170r)

from Domenichi, [Lodovico]. Firenze, October 15, 1547 (l. 171v)

[Domenichi, Lodovico]. Venezia (l. 172r)

Angelini, Filippo. Venezia (l. 173v)

Signora L.D. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 176v)

Brasco, Antonio (l. 179r)

Cornaro, Raffaele. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 180r)

Signora G[aspara] S[tampa] (l. 181r)

from Crivelli, Paolo. Ragusa, March 9, 1547 (l. 186v)

[Crivelli, Paolo]. Venezia (l. 188r)

Raverta, Ottaviano (l. 189r)

Brembato, Giovanni Battista. Venezia, November 2, 1547 (l. 190r)

Giustiniani, Giovanni Battista (l. 191r)

from Giustiniani, Giovanni Battista (l. 192r)

Tron, Vincenzo. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 193r)

Fiordiano, Malatesta (l. 194v)

id. Padova (l. 195v)

Priuli, Francesco (l. 196v)

n.r. (l. 197v)

G.F. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 198r)

n.r. (l. 200v)

Foscari, Luigi (l. 201v)

Contarini, Alessandro. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 203r)

Grimani, Francesco (l. 203v)

Brasco, Antonio (l. 204r)

Abioso, Agostino (l. 205v)

Emo, Gabriele (l. 206r)

n.r. (l. 206v)

n.r. (l. 207v)

Monsignor S. (l. 208r)

n.r. (l. 209r)

from Giraldi, Giovanni Battista. Ferrara, October 25, 1547 (l. 210r)

from Bentivoglio, Ercole. Ferrara, November 2, 1547 (l. 212r)

n.r. (l. 212v)

n.r. Porcia (l. 213v)

Madonna G[aspara] S[tampa]. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 215r)

id. Padova (l. 216r)

Fisso, Antonio (l. 217r)

Dolce, Lodovico. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 217v)

id. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 218v)

id. Padova (l. 219v)

Dionigi, Paolo. Padova (l. 220r)

n.r. (l. 221r)

n.r. (l. 222r)

n.r. (l. 222v)

n.r. Porcia (l. 223r)

Baldù, Giulio (l. 224r)

G.C. Venezia (l. 225r)

De' Fabbri, Matteo (l. 226r)

n.r. (l. 227r)

Madonna Iancofiore S.T. (l. 228r)

Madonna Lionora T.C. (l. 230r)

Madonna Cornelia Q.D. (l. 231r)

Bellina Hebrea (l. 232v)

Madonna Ginevra F.B. (l. 233r)

Madonna Isabella de' A. (l. 234r)

Madonna Fiordispina D.P. (l. 235v)

P.N. (l. 236v)

n.r. (l. 237r)

Fiordiano, Malatesta. Venezia (l. 237v)

Dalmata, Lorenzo (l. 238v)

P.Q.D.T. (l. 240r)

F.D.H. (l. 241r)

G.M.C. (l. 241v)

Finetti, Giovanni (l. 242r)

Citolini, Alessandro (l. 243v)

Madonna Fiordiligi A.R.N.B. (l. 245r)

Madonna Angelica P.G.D. (l. 246r)

Madonna P.B. (l. 247r)

from Corso, Anton Giacomo. Ferrara, October 10, 1547 (l. 249v)

Corso, Anton Giacomo (l. 254r)

Madonna Camilla L.N.O. (l. 254v)

Uspero, Matteo. Di Casa [Porcia] (l. 257r)

Gombi, Rocco dei (l. 261r)

 

Orazio Brunetto, a native of Porcia in Friuli, started his career as a soldier, but then studied philosophy and medicine at Padua under Giambattista del Monte. He settled as a physician in Venice, where, through his friend and colleague Leandro Zarotto, he came into contact with Pier Paolo Vergerio. Through another of his friends, Paolo Crivelli, poet and jeweller, he met Ludovico Dolce, the editor of his letters and other literary men as Aretino, Doni, and Domenichi. At the end of his life he moved to Pordenone, where he died in 1587 (cf G.G. Liruti, Notizie delle vite ed opere scritti da' letterati del Friuli, Udine, 1780, IV, pp. 353-354; A. Del Col, Note sull'eterodossia di fra Sisto da Siena: i suoi rapporti con Orazio Brunetto e un gruppo veneziano di spirituali, in: “Collectanea Franciscana”, 47, 1977, pp. 27-64; and id., Lucio Paolo Rosello e la vita religiosa veneziana verso la metà del secolo XVI, in: “Rivista di storia della Chiesa in Italia”, XXXII, 1978, pp. 428-430).


Lettere