- related to: Veronica Franco
Veronica Franco was born to a family in the Cittadini class. She developed her position in Renaissance Venetian society as a cortigiana onesta (Honored Courtesan), who were intellectual sex workers that derived their position in society from refinement and cultural prowess.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Franco
Veronica Franco was born to a family in the Cittadini class. She developed her position in Renaissance Venetian society as a cortigiana onesta (Honored Courtesan), who were intellectual sex workers that derived their position in society from refinement and cultural prowess.
Veronica Franco (1546-1591), a Venetian courtesan poet, was born in Venice, the daughter of a procuress, Paola Fracassa, and a merchant, Francesco Franco. Her family had a coat of arms because they were native-born citizens who belonged by hereditary right to a professional caste that made up the government bureaucracy and Venetian confraternities. She was the only daughter among the family's three sons. Married off to Paolo Panizza in the early 1560s in what was probably an arranged marriage, she separated from him soon after. She bore six children from different men but only three survived beyond infancy.
Franco became a cortigiana onesta (honest courtesan) in the mid to late 1560s; she provided men with intellectual and cultural pleasures as well as physical ones. Her intellectual life began with sharing her brothers' education by private tutors in the family home. She continued her education by frequenting literary gatherings of writers and painters in Venice during the 1570s and 1580s. She captured the interest of Domenico Venier (1517-1582), a Venetian poet and the head of the most renowned vernacular literary academy in Venice, who became her reader and protector. A frequent visitor to his private literary salon at Ca' Venier (the Venier palace), Franco composed sonnets and capitoli in terza rima for exchange with male poets.
By her mid-twenties, Franco was requesting sonnets for publication from male poets for anthologies that she assembled to commemorate men of the Venetian elite. One such volume, the Rime di diversi eccellentissimi autori nella morte dell'Illustre Sign. Estor Marteninengo Conte di Malapaga, in honor of the Count Martinengo, was published in 1575; she was not only the editor but also included nine sonnets she herself had written.
In the same year, she published a volume of her own poetry, the Terze rime, dedicated to Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua. The volume consists of twenty-five capitoli in terza rima: nineteen are by Franco, the others are attributed to an unnamed male interlocutor (incerto autore). In some copies of the Terze rime, the first poem is attributed to Marco Venier, an illustrious Venetian aristocrat. The first page was changed in the course of publication so that the first poem is attributed to the incerto autore. In the poems, Franco is forthright about her profession; she is often erotic, even sexually explicit. Her frankness challenges the literary poses adopted by male poets who repeat the idealizing cliches of Petrarchan poetry that praises a reserved, unattainable woman, rarely represented as speaking in her own voice. In the sixteenth century, the capitolo in terza rima was a poem of variable length, written in eleven-syllable verse, and was used by vernacular poets for poetic debate. Its proposta/risposta (challenge/response) pattern appealed to a courtesan poet who used the form to sharpen and foreground her verbal skills. In response to three obscene poems written against her in Venetian dialect by Maffio Venier, she composes her most fierce and persuasive responses. An important source for her poems are the ancient Roman love elegies of Ovid, Catallus, Propertius, and Tibullus, which were translated from Latin into Italian in capitoli in terza rima by members of the Venier academy and salon. Their first-person laments about infidelity, jealousy and loss provided the themes for Franco's poetry. She transforms the male-gendered voice of Latin love poetry that ventriloquized the female voice by assuming herself the speaking \\"I.\\" Franco also published in 1580 a volume of fifty letters, Lettere familiari a diversi, dedicated to Cardinal Luigi d'Este. Only two of these letters bear the name of the person to whom they are addressed. The first is written to Henri III of Valois and the twenty-first is written to Jacopo Tintoretto, the Venetian painter. The letters show her in a variety of daily activities--playing music, sitting for a portrait, organizing a dinner party, engaged in literary activities. They are inspired by ancient authors, particularly Cicero's and Seneca's familiar epistles, which were translated into Italian by members of the Venier academy. The epistolary genre allowed Franco to position herself as judge and stoic advisor, writing as a courtesan-secretary to advise patricians who have been led astray by passion unmoderated by reason.
In 1580, Franco was brought to trial by the Venetian Inquisition. Ridolfo Vannitelli, her sons' tutor, accused her of practicing magical incantations in her home. Her own defense, the help of Venier, and probably the predisposition of the Inquisitor, freed her from the charges. When she died in Venice at forty-five, she was impoverished. The trial had damaged her reputation and she experienced grave financial losses owing to the plague of 1575-1577.
Veronica Franco (1546–1591) was an Italian poet and courtesan in 16th century Venice. Life as a courtesan Renaissance Venetian society recognized two different classes of courtesans: the cortigiana onesta, the intellectual courtesan, and the cortigiana di lume, lower-class courtesans (closer kin to prostitutes today) who tended to live and practice their trade near the Rialto Bridge.
- Poems And Selected Letters
Feb 03, 2021 · When Veronica Franco was born, the role of Renaissance courtesans often went beyond sex work. Many were considered intellectuals — and Franco was one such woman. In the half-century before Franco was born, Venice boasted around 12,000 prostitutes out of a total population of 100,000 people.
Oct 02, 2019 · Veronica Franco, the free-minded female intellectual, fell, as would be expected, in 1577. Charged by the Venetian Inquisition of practicing witchcraft, brought to trial, she defended herself with dignity and was acquitted. The damage however, both social and financial, was irreparable. Veronica died in obscure poverty in 1591.
Franco, Veronica (1546-1591), Venetian Courtesan Poet. Portrait Biographic Details Digitized Texts Editions of Works. Veronica Franco was born in Venice into a family who were native-born citizens with hereditary rights. As a professional caste, the cittadini originari made up the Venetian government bureaucracy and the religious confraternities.
Veronica Franco was a 16th century Italian courtesan and poetess who was celebrated both for her beauty as well as her intellect. An independent-minded woman who took to the life of a courtesan to support herself and her infant son, she soon rose to become one of the most prominent Venetian courtesans.
Jul 29, 2009 · Veronica Franco was a prostitute, an accomplished poet, and a hero for her people, and also one of the most fascinating characters to emerge from Renaissance Venice. Franco used sex to further the political and economic causes of her beloved home of gondolas, canals, and shining towers.
Mar 21, 2018 · —Veronica Franco, from Lettere Familiari 1 March is Women’s History Month, and I want to tell you about a woman I dearly hope I whispered behind a fan with in a past life. I still look for remnants of her in this one, and continue to find her in the most unexpected places—and people.
- Emily Linstrom
Veronica Franco (1546-1591) was such a woman, a writer and citizen of Venice, whose published poems and familiar letters offer rich testimony to the complexity of the honest courtesan's position. Margaret F. Rosenthal draws a compelling portrait of Veronica Franco in her cultural social, and economic world.
- Margaret F. Rosenthal
- University of Chicago Press