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PIETRO ARETINO (1492 – 1556)

A literary man of extraordinary genius, witty and open-minded, he enjoyed great fame among the Princes and the distinguished men of his time. He was a friend of Emperor Charles the Fifth and of the King of France, Francis the first. Born in this house, he soon left Arezzo and moved to Perugia, where in 1512 he worked as a painter. He then went to Rome to the Papal Court of Leone X and afterwards that of Clemente VII, where he carried out a clamourous, scandalistic campaign against the Roman Curia with his pasquinades (witty, satirical verse). Following Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, who was his friend and protector, he left Rome, miraculously escaping an attempt on his life, and settled in Venice, where he remained until his death. His activity as caustic narrator about men and events (he was given the title of the “scourge of Princes” by Ariosto), often by means of letters, rhymes and ironical remarks, is outlined in his abundant work, in which he experimented with all forms of writing: novels, dialogues and plays, licentious verse and religious prose. His desecrating energy attracted inevitable criticism, and not least posthumous condemnation from the Church of the Counter-Reformation. He was buried in his Parish church of S. Luca in Venice


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