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Angelo Firenzuola

Florencia, 1493 - Vaiano, 1543
Angelo Firenzuola

Michelangelo Gerolamo Giovannini da Firenzuola (also known as Agnolo Firenzuola) was born in Florence, on September 28th, 1493, at the heart of a humanist family. He studied in Siena and Perugia. After finishing his studies, he entered the monastic religious order of the Vallombrosians and moved to Rome, where he lived a period of intense literary activity. In these years he wrote an epistle in defense of women (Epistola in difesa delle donne, 1525) and a compendium of dialogues dedicated to his beloved, Costanza Amaretta, which were later collected with the title Ragionamenti (1548). In parallel with this period, Firenzuola was also devoted to the realization of an updated translation of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass. In 1526, after some uncertain vicissitudes, he obtained a dispensation from his vows and underwent a period of isolation. He returned to Florence almost a decade later and settled in Prato, where he lived some years of great literary production. It was precisely at that time when he wrote his most famous works such as I dialoghi della belleza delle donne (1541) and La prima veste dei discorsi degli animali (published posthumously in 1548). During his period in Prato, he contributed to the founding of the Accademia dell’Addiacciao and composed the works I Lucidi and Trinunzia following the classic canons of the comedy of the time. He spent the last years of his life as pensioner of the Abbey of San Salvatore in Vaiano, where he died in absolute solitude on June 27th, 1543.

Agnolo Firenzuola devoted his life to the study and writing and, throughout his works, he expressed his deep admiration for aesthetics and feminine beauty. Some of the texts that he wrote at different times in his life are collected in the anthological work Prose, published posthumously in 1548.