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Danese Scrittore: On the Writing Career of a Renaissance Sculptor

Adrienne DeAngelis


Danese Cattaneo (Carrara, c. 1512-1572, Padua) has been recognized as both a sculptor and a writer, a unique figure among the artistic and literary society of Cinquecento Venice. Danese the sculptor was famous for his portraits, whether as busts, medals, or most notably his monument of 1565 to the former Doge of Genoa and later Captain-General of Venice, Giano II Fregoso. Despite the evidence of his recognized qualities as a sculptor there are still questions about Danese's literary identity within the context of his Venetian contemporaries. This article, a first consideration of this subject, seeks to trace the fluctuations of his literary reputation as reflected in the comments of the two most important professional writers of the Cinquecento, Pietro Aretino and Torquato Tasso, and to consider the afterlife of their comments in our own day. The emphasis here will be on contemporary rather than modern critics.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.