Lettere [...] con gran diligentia raccolte, et a gloria del sesso Feminile nuovamente in luce poste
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Lettere [...] con gran diligentia raccolte, et a gloria del sesso Feminile nuovamente in luce poste

Autore: GONZAGA, Lucrezia (1522-1576) - LANDO, Ortensio ed. (ca. 1512-1556)

Dati tipografici: Venezia [Gualtiero Scoto], 1552


8vo. 328, (8) pp. A-X8 (X8 is a blank). With the printer's device on the title-page. Contemporary limp vellum.

Basso, pp. 169-170; Edit 16, CNCE 32716; Quondam, p. 298; L. Gonzaga, Lettere con appendice di nuovi documenti, R. Bragantini & P. Griguolo, eds., (Rovigo, 2009), p. XXXIII.

 

FIRST EDITION dedicated by the editor, Ortensio Lando, to Pietro Paolo Manfrone, governor of Verona (Venice, September 30, 1552).

“La dedica a Pietro Paolo Manfrone, governatore di Verona, delle Lettere di Lucrezia Gonzaga di Gazzuolo, pur non essendo firmata è sicuramente di Ortensio Lando. La maggior parte dei commentatori ha ritenuto che tutto l'epistolario, in verità, fosse in tutto o in parte opera del letterato (come lo è, del tutto o in parte, la raccolta di Lettere di molte valorose donne), ma nessuno è riuscito finora a produrre prove definitive a sostegno di una tesi o dell'altra. In ogni caso è evidente che il dedicatario del volume è stato scelto in quanto parente della Gonzaga; l'unico aspetto della sua personalità che viene ricordato nella dedicatoria è l'ammirazione per la ‘prontezza d'ingegno' e la ‘tenace memoria' della Gonzaga. Forse il richiamo alla famiglia Manfrone fin dalla dedicatoria serve ad attirare l'attenzione sulle vicende riguardanti il marito di Lucrezia, Giampaolo Manfrone, condottiero a servizio della repubblica di Venezia catturato e condannato a morte dal Duca Ercole II d'Este, condanna poi commutata nel carcere a vita (e in carcere Manfrone morì nel 1552). Per il resto, la dedicatoria non sembra mirare ad ottenere specifici benefici, se non, nel caso di apocrifia della raccolta, una presunta legittimazione dell'autenticità dell'opera” (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. 27-28).

“Recueil de 311 [i.e. 312] lettres dont les thèmes s'entrelacent ou, parfois, se condensent en séries de 2 à 10 lettres. Les événements relatés rendent sensible un ordre chronologique de l'ensemble; cependant, les lettres datées ne portent que le lieu, le jour et le mois, jamais l'année. Les principaux destinataires sont Ortensio Lando secrétaire de Lucrezia (33 l.), Isabella Gonzaga sa soeur (14 l.). Les écrivains destinataires de lettres (M. Bandello, R. Corso, L. Dolce, O. Lando, G. Muzio, G. Parabosco, G. Ruscelli, B. Tasso) et d'autres simplement cités (L. Bonfadio) firent tous une place à la forme épistolaire dans leur oeuvre. Sujets variés mais dominés par des préoccupations morales et religieuses, par la captivité et la mort de l'époux de Lucrèce, G.P. Monfrone condottiere (33 l.), par les rapports affectueux de l'épistolière avec O. Lando à qui est adressée la dernière lettre et qui fut supçonné d'être l'auteur du recueil et de la dédicace” (J. Basso, Le genre épistolaire en langue italienne (1538-1662). Répertoire chronologique et analytique, Roma & Nancy, 1990, I, p. 170).

“Like Ortensio Lando's Lettere di molte valorose donne, the Lettere della… donna Lucrezia Gonzaga seem initially to locate themselves within the defense of women genre. As in the Valorose Donne, this laudatory intent is made evident on the frontispiece, which declares that the letters have been published for the glory of all women: ‘a gloria del sesso femminile… in luce poste'. In this case, however, it is the collected letters of a single, celebrated woman that are to reflect and promote women's literary skills […] Yet, like the Valorose Donne, Gonzaga's collection raises complex issues regarding the epistolary construction of gender and notions of the woman letter writer. If the Valorose Donne provide an often paradoxical epistolary portrait of women that borders at points on parody, Gonzaga's Lettere function as a serious response to that ambiguous portrait of women's epistolary discourse […] Gonzaga's letters, by contrast, are devoid of parody (although not of humour), and showcase her reflections on literary, moral, and spiritual matters. While the letters are expected to redound to the ‘glory of the female sex', it is Gonzaga herself who takes centre stage as a model of exemplary womanhood. Drawing on the sensational circumstances of her life, particularly her marriage to the notorious condottiere Giampaolo Manfrone, the letters sketch a detailed epistolary portrait not of the many facets of women's experience, as in the Valorose Donne, but of the complexities of one woman's life […] Some modern critics, however, pointing to the textual similarities between Gonzaga's Lettere and the Valorose Donne anthology of 1548, have argued that Ortensio Lando, with whom Gonzaga had a close association, was in fact the author of both texts. The suggestion raises the intriguing but also problematic possibility of an even more extensive project of ventriloquism of Lando's part than that undertaken in the Valorose Donne. Could he have been behind Gonzaga's letters as well? The two were well acquainted. Lando frequented the informal cenacolo that arose at Gonzaga's Fratta palace, while she, for her part, makes frequent cameos in Lando's texts between 1548 and 1552 […] It is plausible that Lando, a friend and an experienced author and editor with a demonstrated interest in women's letters, assisted the novice writer with the publication and perhaps even the composition of the Lettere. At the very least, he played the role alluded in the unsigned dedicatoria of having gathered and edited the letters for publication. However, a wholesale attribution of Gonzaga's letters to Lando overreaches, for several reasons. First, the Lettere correspond closely to the historical events of Gonzaga's life, particularly with regard to her husband's imprisonment, and surviving autograph letters by Gonzaga demonstrate that she actively composed and exchanged letters on this subject as well as other treated in the collection. Second the testimony of her contemporaries shows that she was recognized to be a learned woman and writer in her own right. Finally, it is unlikely that Lando could have made such flagrant use of Gonzaga's name and persona without her collaboration and cooperation. It is therefore inaccurate to discount Gonzaga as the author of her own letters. We might better characterize this work as the product of a kind of literary partnership, one that meshed Lando's editorial expertise and knowledge of the literary market with the literary talent, reputation, and gripping story of Gonzaga. She generated the core material; he helped shape it into a form that capitalized on current literary tastes, addressing reader's interest in female epistolarity, the questione della donna, and current events all at once” (M.K. Ray, ‘A gloria del sesso femminile': The Lettere of Lucrezia Gonzaga as Exemplary Narrative, in: “Writing Gender in Women's Letter Collections of the Italian Renaissance”, Toronto & London, 2009, pp. 81-84; see also M.K. Ray, Textual Collaboration and Spiritual Partnership in Sixteenth Century Italy: The Case of Ortensio Lando and Lucrezia Gonzaga, in: “Renaissance Quarterly”, 62/3, 2009, pp. 694-747; and D. Steland, Ortensio Landos ‘Lettere di Lucrezia Gonzaga' und Girolamo Garimbertos ‘Concetti': Plagiat, Imitatio, Parodie, in: “Italienisch”, 30, 2006, pp. 3-19).

“La stampa delle lettere di Lucrezia pare, da alcuni segnali, essere operazione ambiziosa. Eloquente è già che la scelta cada su Gualtiero Scotto, che nello stesso 1552 pubblica per la prima volta i quattro volumi delle Lettere di Bembo […] Né va trascurato che i titoli correnti segnalano che quello delle lettere di Lucrezia è il ‘libro primo' (non solo non ne compare un altro, ma l'edizione rimane unica): il fatto che l'indicazione non sia presente nel frontespizio indica forse il rapido abbandono di un progetto cui, per ragioni che non si possono indicare con sicurezza, non viene dato compimento […] Le lettere portano in genere l'indicazione del luogo, del giorno e del mese (rarissime le eccezioni), mai dell'anno, il che genera non poche incertezze. Gli avvenimenti cui si fa cenno sono inscrivibili comunque in un arco temporale compreso tra l'estate del 1546 e l'incipiente autunno del 1552; date drammaticamente centrali nella vita di Lucrezia, la prima corrispondendo all'imprigionamento del marito, Giampaolo Manfrone, la seconda essendo poco successiva a quella della sua morte in carcere, avvenuta nel febbraio, appunto, del 1552 […] La raccolta è senz'altro etichettabile all'insegna della tipologia epistolare ‘familiare'. Non è tuttavia difficile rintracciare, all'interno di tale macrocategoria, l'emergere di tipologie specifiche: la lettera exhortatoria, la consolatoria, la gratulatoria, la laudatoria, la obiurgatoria sono ampiamente presenti, e tendono ad aggrumarsi circa alla metà del libro, a testimonianza di una probabile volontà di organizzazione della materia avvenuta in corso d'opera, senza che mai essa trovi forma stabile […] L'ispezione delle Lettere non può non far avvertire una forte polarità. Giacché in esse, naturalmente in mezzo ad altri spunti minori e non riconducibili a nuclei consistenti, trovano sfogo da un lato preoccupazioni quotidiane e personali (su tutte quelle relative alla sorte del marito Giampaolo Manfrone), mentre si disegna dall'altro un piano di rinnovamento religioso, innanzi tutto vissuto in prima persona, poi ferventemente propagandato verso amici e conoscenti. Qui non dovrebbe sussistere dubbio che il nume tutelare sia Lando, e che esso porti Lucrezia verso una considerazione attenta della religiosità di Erasmo” (R. Bragantini, Introduzione, in: L. Gonzaga, “op. cit.”, pp. XXIII and XXIV-XXV).

Born in Milan, Ortensio Lando studied there under Alessandro Minuziano, Celio Rhodogino, and Bernardino Negro. He continued his studies at the University of Bologna and obtained a degree in medicine. For five years (1527 to 1531) he retired in different Augustinian convents of Padua, Genoa, Siena, Naples, and Bologna, studying various humanistic disciplines, among them Greek.

In these years he became acquainted with the works of Erasmus and kept friends with various scholars with Evangelical inclinations as Giulio Camillo Delminio and Achille Bocchi. After a short stop in Rome he preferred to leave Italy and settled at Lyon, where he worked as editor in the printing house of Sébastien Gryphe. Here he also met Étienne Dolet and published his first work Cicero relagatus et Cicero revocatus (1534).

Then he began a wandering life and in the next twelve years he is found in Basel, where he published Erasmi funus (1540) and attracted the anger of the city's Reformed church. He visited France and was received at the court of King Francis I. He reappeared at Lyon in 1543, where he printed his first Italian and most successful book Paradossi (1543). He then visited Germany, and claims also to have seen Antwerp and England. At Augsburg he was welcomed by the wealthy merchant Johann Jakob Fugger. In 1545 he is found in Picenza, where he was received by Lodovico Domenichi and Anton Francesco Doni in the Accademia degli Ortolani. Then followed a decade of relative peace in which Lando's life became stabilized on Venetian territory. He was present at the opening of the Council of Trent and found a patron in bishop Cristoforo Madruzzo. In Venice he worked for various printers, mainly for Giolito, and often met Pietro Aretino, with whom he had already a correspondence since several years.

In 1548 he translated Thomas More's Utopia, wrote the Commentario delle più notabili mostruose cose d'Italia, and published the Lettere di molte valorose donne, the first collection of letters by women. He was also very active in the coming years and published numerous works, in which he criticized the traditional scholarship and learning and in which he showed close sympathy with the Evangelical movement. In fact all his writings appeared first in the Venetian indices and later in the Index Romanus (cf. S. Seidel Menchi, Chi fu Ortensio Lando?, in: “Rivista Storica Italiana”, 106/3, 1994, pp. 501-564).

“Lando's genius is essentially humorous and paradoxical. His faculty for seeing the other side of things, and his readiness to challenge the most settled convictions of mankind, were accompanied by an equal readiness to refute his own conclusions. Thus the advocate of intellectual topsy-turvy was also the defender of the conventional. In reality, Lando with all his dialectical skill and wealth of illustration, is an inveterate joker, and it could be said that in his most elaborate disquisitions he is, with however grave a face, only laughing in his sleeve” (W.E.A. Axon, Ortensio Lando, a Humorist of the Renaissance, in: “Transactions R.S.L.”, vol. XX, 1899, p. 37).

“Ortensio Lando treated the important issues and esteemed authorities of learning with a studied nihilism which mocked the whole structure. He defended first one side and then the other of sixteenth-century debates, leaving the impression with his readers that neither opinion was worth commitment. He criticized through ironic paradoxes […] If Niccolò Franco was humorous, Lando was bitter and he named his targets more often” (P. Grendler, The Rejection of Learning in Mid-Cinquecento Italy, in: “Studies in the Renaissance”, XIII, 1966, p. 239).

 

[Cauzzi], Emilia. Fratta, April 10 (p. 2, i.e. 5)

Thiene, Francesco. Fratta (p. 6)

M.[anfrone], Giampaolo. Fratta, April 12 (p. 6)

Ubaldini, Gian Paolo. Fratta, August 13 (p. 7)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, August 25 (p. 8)

Al Reverendo Don Francesco amico carissimo. Fratta, April 29 (p. 8)

A M.[adama]. Fratta, April 20 (p. 9)

n.r. Fratta, July 30 (p. 9)

[Paleologa, Margherita], Madama di Mantova. Fratta (p. 10)

Frate Francesco Ferrarese dell'Ordine Minore. Fratta, May 20 (p. 12)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, August 2 (p. 13)

Messer Galeotto. Rovigo (p. 15)

[Este, Ercole II], Duke of Ferrara. Rovigo (p. 16)

Bonardo, Giovanni Maria. Fratta, 3 (p. 18)

[Manfredi, Pietro called] Moro, Castellano di Ferrara. Fratta (p. 19)

Farnese, Ottavio, Duke of Parma. Fratta (p. 21)

Lazzara, Giovanni. Fratta, May 27 (p. 23)

Mainoldi, Isabella. Verona. (p. 24)

[Pio], Giberto da Sassuolo. Fratta, April 12 (p. 24)

Maturo, Bartolomeo. Fratta, April 12 (p. 26)

Suor Maria dell'Ordine Eremitano (p. 27)

Doria, [Andrea]. Fratta (p. 27)

Alla S. (p. 29)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, June 15 (p. 30)

Parabosco, Girolamo. Fratta, August 20 (p. 31)

Bonardo, Giovanni Maria. Rovigo, May 12 (p. 32)

Polidori, Cassandra. Dalla Costa, January 3 (p. 34)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, March 20 (p. 35)

Pestalozzi, Bartolomeo. Salla Costa, April 12 (p. 37)

Dal Negro, Traiano. Luzzara, March 12 (p. 41)

Al Signor Luigi. Fratta, February 15 (p. 42)

Sandella, Lelia. Fratta (p. 44)

Roncaruolo, Giberto. Fratta, February 12 (p. 44)

Pignacca, Ludovico. Fratta, February 14 (p. 46)

Delfini, Maria. Fratta, February 15 (p. 47)

Pico, Ludovico. Fratta, February 16 (p. 50)

Grimani, Vincenzo. Fratta, February 21 (p. 51)

Benvoglienti, Riccardo. Fratta, February 12 (p. 52)

Lanfranchi, Zenobio. Rovigo, August 11 (p. 53)

Gonzaga, Rodolfo. Gazzuolo, March 3 (p. 54)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, April 15 (p. 55)

Manfrone, Giampaolo. Fratta, February 15 (p. 56)

id. Fratta, August 4 (p. 57)

id. Fratta, July 3 (p. 58)

[Gonzaga], Isabella. Fratta, June 5 (p. 59)

Gonzaga, Rodolfo. Fratta, January 2 (p. 60)

Bandello, [Matteo]. Fratta, February 10 (p. 61)

Mainoldi, Isabella. Rovigo, July 13 (p. 63)

Bandello, [Matteo]. Rovigo, April 2 (p. 63)

Lando, Orensio. Fratta, 10 del presente (p. 64)

Ferretto, Paolo. Gazzuolo, 3 del presente (p. 65)

A sua Eccellenza. Dosolo, March 4 (p. 66)

Lando, Ortensio. Rovigo, July 14 (p. 66)

Al S. N.R. Fratta, August 15 (p. 67)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, April 15 (p. 67)

Gonzaga, Camilla. Rovigo, August 10 (p. 68)

A M. N.R. Gazzuolo, September 20 (p. 69)

Lando, Ortensio. Luzzara, April 12 (p. 69)

Coccapani, Tommaso (p. 69)

Nogarola, Alessandro. Rovigo, July 15 (p. 70)

Bonardo, Giovanni Maria. Luzzara, April 20 (p. 71)

Masippa, Lucrezia. Fratta, May 13 (p. 71)

Coccapani, Tommaso. Fratta, July 15 (p. 72)

Diedo, Bortola [i.e. Bartolomea]. Fratta, March 15 (p. 73)

Lando, Ortensio. Gazzuolo, August 5 (p. 73)

Gonzaga, Rodolfo. Fratta, February 9 (p. 74)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Rovigo, April 16 (p. 75)

Dalla Badia, Stefano. Fratta, June 9 (p. 75)

Ruscelli, Girolamo. Fratta, August 15 (p. 76)

Núñez de Reinoso, Alfonso. Fratta, June 15 (p. 77)

Robortello, Francesco. Fratta, May 15 (p. 78)

Loredan, [Antonio]. Fratta, August 15 (p. 79)

Mussi, Cornelio. Rovigo, May 15 (p. 79)

Gonzaga, Federico. Rovigo, August 5 (p. 80)

M. Orianna in Dosolo. Rovigo, April 3 (p. 81)

Don Giovanni da Crema. Fratta, February 15 (p. 82)

Bonardo, [Giovanni Maria]. Rovigo, March 15 (p. 83)

Gonzaga, Federico. Venezia, May 7 (p. 84)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, August 8 (p. 84)

Don Giovanni da Crema. Rovigo, August 3 (p. 86)

Gonzaga, Carlo. Rovigo, June 8 (p. 87)

Gonzaga, Luigi. Fratta, March 15 (p. 89)

id. Fratta, May 16 (p. 89)

Martinengo Gonzaga, Vittoria. Fratta, August 10 (p. 90)

Diedo, Piero. Rovigo, January 7 (p. 91)

Lando, Ortensio. Gazzuolo, August 20 (p. 92)

Spinola, Camena. Fratta, February 10 (p. 93)

Gonzaga, Federico. Dalla Costa, February 12 (p. 94)

Negri, Francesco. Fratta, January 12 (p. 95)

n.r. Fratta, December 13 (p. 97)

Paul III, Pope. Fratta, March 12 (p. 99)

Julius III, Pope. Fratta, January 20 (p. 101)

Al Venerabil Collegio de' Cardinali. Fratta, February 14 (p. 102)

[Cauzzi], Emilia. Rovigo, April 10 (p. 103)

Don Clemente Ferrarese, Vicario di San Bartolomeo. Fratta, May 10 (p. 106)

Alle Convertite della Giudecca. Fratta, January 15 (p. 107)

Tagliacozzi, Giulio (p. 108)

Adriano, Lelio. Fratta, March 15 (p. 109)

Canale, Cristoforo. Fratta, April 15 (p. 110)

Dalla Tripalda, Giulio. Fratta, March 16 (p. 110)

Longo, Doroteo. Fratta, August 15 (p. 111)

Gonzaga, Rodolfo. Fratta, 10 (p. 111)

Aretino, Tullio. Rovigo, April 12 (p. 112)

Raimondi, Leonardo. Fratta, April 15 (p. 113)

Raina, Antonio. Fratta, March 12 (p. 113)

Neri, Baccio. Fratta, April 14 (p. 114)

Gariboldi, Antonio. Fratta, 12 del presente (p. 115)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, August 12 (p. 115)

Angiolella, Elena. Fratta, March 12 (p. 117)

Torrentino, Lelio. Rovigo (p. 118)

Renée de Valois (Renata di Francia). Fratta, March 15 (p. 118)

Da Spoleti, Nicandro. Fratta, March 22 (p. 120)

Piperello, Nicolò. Fratta, August, 12 (p. 121)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, July 12 (p. 121)

Messer Galeotto. Rovigo, July 12 (p. 122)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, April 12 (p. 123)

Del Negro, Luigi. Fratta, March 12 (p. 124)

Pontino, Gasparo. Fratta, April 20 (p. 125)

Ferdinand of Habsburg, king of Bohemia. Fratta, February 12 (p. 125)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, May 13 (p. 126)

Gonzaga, Rodolfo. Fratta, August 30 (p. 127)

n.r. Fratta, June 10 (p. 128)

Moschino, Bartolomeo. Fratta, March 10 (p. 129)

Ruscelli, Girolamo. Rovigo, May 12 (p. 131)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, May 5 (p. 132)

id. Fratta, July 15 (p. 133)

n.r. Fratta, March 15 (p. 134)

n.r. Fratta, September 12 (p. 136)

Colonna Gonzaga, Caterina. Fratta, March 15 (p. 137)

Mergotto, Antonio Maria. Fratta, May 15 (p. 138)

Roncalli, Giovanni Domenico. Fratta, February 9 (p. 139)

Lando, Ortensio. Di casa nostra, March 20 (p. 140)

Manfrone, Isabella. Fratta, April 3 (p. 141)

Manfrone, Leonora. Fratta, August 20 (p. 141)

Bentivoglio, Lucrezia. Fratta (p. 142)

[Manfrone Pompei], Giulia. Rovigo, October 17 (p. 143)

Gratafilea. Fratta (p. 143)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, May 20 (p. 144)

id. Fratta, July 10 (p. 145)

Angiolella, Elena. Fratta, July 15 (p. 145)

Muzio, Girolamo. Fratta, April 15 (p. 147)

Tasso, Bernardo. Fratta, April 15 (p. 147)

Campo, Adriana. Fratta, August 11 (p. 148)

D'Acquaviva, Andrea Matteo. Fratta, April 3 (p. 149)

Thiene, Francesco. Fratta, May 15 (p. 150)

[Cardona] Della Palude, [Maria]. Fratta, March 15 (p. 150)

Buonacciolo, Ercole. Fratta, April 15 (p. 151)

[Zerbinati, Bartolomeo], Vicario di Adria. Fratta, June 4 (p. 152)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta (p. 152)

Don Giovanni da Crema. Fratta, April 16 (p. 153)

Littegato, Marcello. Fratta, September 7 (p. 153)

Charles V, Emperor. Fratta, May 12 (p. 154)

[Rangone] Fregoso, [Costanza]. Fratta, May 20 (p. 155)

[Foscarini] Lazzara, Maria. Fratta, June 15 (p. 155)

Manfrone, Giampaolo. Fratta, March 3 (p. 156)

id. Fratta, July 7 (p. 156)

id. Fratta, April 10 (p. 157)

Este, Ercole II d', Duke of Ferrara. Fratta, August 10 (p. 158)

Al mangifico Podestà di Malamocco. Fratta (p. 159)

Margutto, Vincente. Fratta, April 20 (p. 160)

id. Fratta, April 20 (p. 161)

Lando, Ortensio. Rovigo, August 12 (p. 161)

Pico, Ludovico. Fratta, March 15 (p. 162)

Lando, Ortensio. Dalla Costa, April 4 (p. 162)

Manfrone, Giampaolo. Fratta, March 25 (p. 163)

Gonzaga, Rodolfo. Fratta, March 15 (p. 165)

n.r. Fratta, March 12 (p. 166)

Pico, Ludovico. Fratta, April 12 (p. 168)

Manfrone, Giampaolo. Fratta, March 3 (p. 168)

Gonzaga, Camilla. Fratta, March 20 (p. 170)

Gonzaga, Carlo. Fratta, March 15 (p. 171)

Thiene, Francesco. Fratta, June 18 (p. 172)

Porto, Manfredo. Fratta, 15 del presente (p. 172)

Lando, Ortensio. Dalla Costa, August 18 (p. 173)

Ad un suo amico che di superbia sopra modo peccava, a Padova (to a friend who sinned of arrogance, in Padua). Fratta, April 15 (p. 174)

Ad un amico che molto desiderava di diventar vecchio, a Ravenna (to a friend who very much wanted to grow old, in Ravenna). Fratta, August 15 (p. 175)

Ad un suo benvogliente, dissipatore delle paterne facultà, a Vinegia (to a benevolente, dissipator of the paternal fortune, in Venice). Fratta, July 15 (p. 176)

Concorezzo [or Guiniforti], Federico. Fratta, May 19 (p. 178)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, April 10 (p. 179)

Gonzaga, Ippolita. Rovigo, November 20 (p. 180)

[Margutto], Vincente. Fratta, September 30 (p. 181)

Anguissola, Caterina. Fratta, August 15 (p. 183)

Gonzaga, Carlo. Fratta, August 17 (p. 183)

Lando, Ortensio. Dalla Costa, August 20 (p. 184)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Rovigo, August 9 (p. 184)

Gonzaga, Federico. Fratta, May 15 (p. 185)

Campo, Costanza. Fratta, August 7 (p. 186)

Gonzaga, Camilla. Fratta, August 20 (p. 186)

A Madama Elisabetta N. Fratta, March 19 (p. 188)

Don Giovanni da Crema. Fratta, September 10 (p. 189)

A Madonna Elena B. Fratta, August 15 (p. 190)

Gonzaga, Federico. Fratta, September 19 (p. 190)

Fra Pier Antonio da Udine. Fratta, 10 del presente (p. 191)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, December 12 (p. 193)

[Francis I or Henri II], King of France. Fratta, July 10 (p. 195)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, August 12 (p. 198)

A Madama Elena B. Rovigo, August 12 (p. 199)

Ad una religiosa femina, a Mantova (to a religious woman – a nun?-, in Mantua). Dalla Frattesina, April 3 (p. 200)

A Sor Domitilla N., a Brescia. Rovigo, March 3 (p. 202)

A Sor Nicolosa B., a Milano. Fratta, January 10 (p. 203)

Alla… Fratta, April 16 (p. 205)

Frescobaldi, Francesca. Fratta, 12 del presente (p. 206)

Coccapani, Tommaso. Fratta, 12 del presente (p. 208)

Bonardo, [Giovanni Maria]. Rovigo, May 12 (p. 209)

id. Fratta, March 15 (p. 210)

Trotti [Machiavelli], Violante. Fratta, 15 dell'istante (p. 211)

[Paleologo Gonzaga, Margherita]. Fratta, 15 del presente (p. 211)

[Gonzaga, Ercole], Cardinal of Mantua. Fratta, March 16 (p. 212)

Gonzaga, Ferrante. Fratta, March 16 (p. 212)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, 14 del presente (p. 212)

Pellegrini, Orsola. Fratta, May 15 (p. 213)

Trivulzio, Adriana. Fratta, March 12 (p. 214)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, April 12 (p. 215)

Bragadino, Gian Paolo. Fratta, May 2 (p. 215)

Tiepolo, Stefano. Fratta, April 10 (p. 216)

Diedo, Bortola [i.e. Bartolomea]. Rovigo. August 5 (p. 217)

Pobbia, Margherita. Fratta, March 15 (p. 217)

Almerico, Paolo. Fratta, April 4 (p. 218)

Al S. Gioan Paulo T., a Verona. Rovigo, August 15 (p. 219)

Pico, Ludovico. Fratta, March 15 (p. 220)

Giannotti, Cornelia. Venezia, May 15 (p. 220)

Al mio bottigliere (to my cellarman). Rovigo, August 3 (p. 222)

A Scipione mio ragazzo. Rovigo, March 16 (p. 222)

Pico, Ludovico. Fratta, July 15 (p. 223)

Gonzaga, Isabella. Fratta, 10 del presente (p. 224)

Stanga, [Giovanni] Francesco. Fratta, May 30 (p. 225)

Al mio staffiero (to my lacquey). Rovigo, April 10 (p. 226)

A M. Lucia nostra dispensiera (to Lucia, our keeper of the provisions). Rovigo, July 15 (p. 227)

Stampa, Giovanni. Fratta, June 9 (p. 228)

Nogarola, Francesco. Fratta, March 15 (p. 229)

Tolomei, Claudio. Fratta, March 15 (p. 229)

Saliceto, Aliprando. Dalla Costa, April 15 (p. 231)

Al S… Fratta, September 16 (p. 232)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, March 25 (p. 236)

Bertoldo, Lucio. Fratta, May 6 (p. 237)

Spinella, Camena. Fratta, January 25 (p. 238)

Garimberti, Luciana. Fratta, May 15 (p. 239)

Suardini, Giulia. Fratta, August 8 (p. 242)

Feruffino, Tommaso. Dalla Costa, May 6 (p. 242)

Roncalli, Giovanni Domenico. Fratta, August 15 (p. 247)

Pio, Isabella. Venezia, March 19 (p. 247)

id. Fratta, May 7 (p. 248)

id. Fratta, May 19 (p. 248)

Bembo, Torquato. Fratta, 5 del presente (p. 249)

Vigonza, Elena. Fratta, August 12 (p. 250)

Al Magnifico Messer. Fratta, August 15 (p. 250)

[Foscarini] Lazzara, Maria. Fratta, April 11 (p. 252)

Carrettone, Francesca. Fratta, February 16 (p. 254)

A M. N, a Lendinara. Fratta, February 16 (p. 256)

Suleiman I. Fratta, September 20 (p. 257)

Da Noale, Alvise. Rovigo, February 28 (p. 259)

Altieri, Baldassarre. Fratta, August 15 (p. 259)

Martirano, Pietro. Fratta, November 19 (p. 260)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, November 16 (p. 262)

[Foscarini] Lazzara, Maria. Fratta, August 15 (p. 262)

Corso, Rinaldo. Fratta, May 15 (p. 263)

Micas, Giovanni. Fratta, May 12 (p. 264)

Gambarella, Leonora. Fratta, March 15 (p. 265)

Loredan, [Antonio]. Fratta, January 15 (p. 269)

Arlenius, Arnoldus [Eynthouts, Arnold van]. Fratta, February 12 (p. 270)

Libertà, Giovanni Francesco. Fratta, April 16 (p. 271)

Maggi, Lucrezia. Fratta, August 12 (p. 272)

Raspona, Giulia. Rovigo, July 12 (p. 273)

n.r. Fratta, January 20 (p. 274)

Gonzaga, Camilla. Fratta, January 15 (p. 275)

Nogarola, Caterina. Fratta, June 12 (p. 277)

Manfrone, Franceschina. Fratta, 12 del presente (p. 277)

Alla S. Fratta, September 15 (p. 278)

Scarampa, Lelia. Fratta, August 13 (p. 278)

Gonzaga, Federico. Rovigo, August 10 (p. 279)

Spinelloccio, Antonio. Fratta, October 15 (p. 280)

Lando, Ortensio. Dalla Costa, October 20 (p. 281)

id. Fratta, September 12 (p. 282)

id. Fratta, August 12 (p. 282)

A Messer Orazio R., a Terrazza. Dalla Costa, August 16 (p. 283)

Dolce, Ludovico. Fratta, August 12 (p. 283)

Angiolella, Elena. Fratta, August 20 (p. 284)

Lando, Ortensio. Rovigo, August 12 (p. 285)

A Messer Galeotto. Rovigo, September 25 (p. 285)

Montagna, Giovanni Battista. Fratta, February 16 (p. 289)

Pellegrina, Giulia. Fratta, October 15 (p. 291)

Mielich, Cristoforo. Fratta, August 19 (p. 291)

A Francesca. Fratta, October 15 (p. 292)

A Ludovica, a Mantova. Fratta, October 16 (p. 293)

Al Curato Prete N., alla Pieve. Fratta, October 9 (or 11) (p. 297)

Al Mangifico M., a Padova. Fratta, November 12 (p. 298)

A Messer Emilio N., a Venezia. Fratta, May 12 (p. 299)

Volterra, Andronico. Fratta, October 13 (p. 300)

Rullo, Antonio. Fratta, March 11 (p. 301)

Alla S. Rovigo, April 20 (p. 304)

Al S., a Bergamo. Fratta, November 15 (p. 306)

Al S. Rovigo, September 25 (p. 310)

Bembo, Torquato. Fratta, July 15 (p. 310)

[Leonardi da Pesaro, Giangiacomo], Earl of Montelabate. Fratta, July 11 (p. 311)

Olivi, Camillo. Fratta, July 8 (p. 312)

Obizzi, Pio [Enea] and Obizzi, Roberto. Fratta, August 15 (p. 313)

Lauro, Pietro. Fratta, October 18 (p. 314)

Bevilacqua, Nicolò. Fratta, September 15 (p. 316)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, March 20 (p. 317)

Alla Contessa di Montelabate, a Venezia. Fratta, August 5 (p. 317)

Pestalozzi, Abbondio. Fratta, July 15 (p. 318)

Lando, Ortensio. Rovigo, March 15 (p. 319)

Mainoldi, Isabella. Fratta, July 7 (p. 320)

Dalla Motta, Mattea. Fratta, August 12 (p. 320)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, October 12 (p. 323)

id. November 12 (p. 323)

Carrettone, Francesca. Fratta, October 13 (p. 324)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, October 12 (p. 325)

Emo, Leonardo. Fratta, October 9 (p. 326)

Da Dressino, Franceschina. Fratta, August 10 (p. 326)

Lando, Ortensio. Fratta, October 12 (p. 327)

id. Fratta, October 10 (p. 328)

 

Lucrezia Gonzaga was probably born in Gazzuolo (or in Mantua) from Pirro, Lord of Gazzuolo, and Emilia Bentivoglio, nephew of Giovanni II, Lord of Bologna. Orphaned at an early age, she grew up in her paternal grandmother's house, learning Italian and Latin poetry and eloquence. After the grandmother's death, cardinal Ercole Gonzaga entrusted Lucrezia to her cousin Luigi Gonzaga, Marquis of Castiglione delle Stiviere. With the help of Ginevra Rangone, Luigi's wife, and Costanza Rangone, Cesare Fregoso's wife, Lucrezia could continue her studies under the guide of Matteo Bandello. The latter was so impressed by his pupil's skills that he wrote some verses in praise of her (Canti XI de le lodi de la signora G. di Gazuolo, e del vero amore, col tempio di pudicizia, e con altre cose entro poeticamente descritte, published at Agen in 1545) and also dedicated to her one of his famous Novelle.

After Fregoso's death in 1541, Bandello remained at the service of the widow Costanza Rangone, following her in exile to France. In the same year Lucrezia was forced to marry Giampaolo Manfrone, commander for the Republic of Venice, a man who soon revealed a violent nature. With him she moved to La Fratta, near Rovigo.

In 1546 Manfrone, who had been previously banned from Mantua for the murder of his valet, was arrested with the charge of conspiracy against the Duke Ercole II d'Este. Sentenced to death, his pain was commuted to life imprisonment through the intercession of his wife. Manfrone died in prison in 1552.

Lucrezia refused to remarry. She spent the rest of her life enjoying the reading of devotional texts and poetry by contemporary Italian authors, such as Ludovico Dolce, Bernardo Tasso, Gaspara Stampa, Vittoria Colonna, and Veronica Gambara. She also loved to converse with learned man, who, impressed by her qualities, never got tired to celebrate her. Among them Luca Contile, Lodovico Paternò, Diomede Borghesi, Orazio Toscanella, Giovanni Maria Bonardo, Luigi Groto, and, above all, Ortensio Lando, who dedicated to her the Dialogo nel quale si ragiona della consolatione et utilità che si gusta leggendo la Sacra Scrittura (Venice, 1552) and wrote in praise of her the Panegirico in comendatione della S. Donna Lucretia Gonzaga da Gazuolo (Venice, 1552).

In 1565 Cornelio Cattaneo decided to collect in one volume all the poems written until then celebrating Lucrezia and, with the help of Ludovico Domenichi and Giuseppe Betussi, publish the anthology at Bologna under the title Rime di diversi nobilissimi, et eccellentissimi auttori in lode dell'illustrissima signora, la Signora Donna Lucretia Gonzaga, Marchesana.

In 1567 Lucrezia was indicted for heresy by the Holy Office of Inquisition. The trial concluded in the following year with her abjuration. Lucrezia died at Mantua on February 1576 (cf. R.M. Ridolfi, Gonzaga, Lucrezia, in:Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani”, LVII, 2002, s.v.).


Lettere [...] con gran diligentia raccolte, et a gloria del sesso Feminile nuovamente in luce poste