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Ludovico Ariosto
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Poet
    (September 8, 1474-July 6, 1533)
    Born in Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Italian Renaissance poet
    Also known by the single name, 'Ariosto'
    Best known as the author of the romance epic Orlando Furioso (1516)
    Also wrote 'Cassaria' (1528), 'Cinqu Canti' (1474 - 1533), 'Lena' (1528), 'Orlando Enraged' (1532), and 'Rime' (1474-1533)
    Appointed Governor of the Garfagnana province, in Italy (1522)
    He is confused with Torquato Tasso.
    His father wanted him to study law, but he chose to become a poet, instead (his father died soon afterward).
    He was believed for centuries to be the sitter for Titian's 'Man with a Quilted Sleeve' painting (c. 1509), but contemporary experts & historians seriously doubt it's him.
    He received patronage from the Cardinal Ippolito d'Este early in his career, but he badmouthed him later as 'ungrateful.'
    He was allegedly almost put to death by Pope Julius II on a diplomatic mission (he was caught in the middle of the Pope's dispute with the Cardinal d'Este's brother).
    He is widely believed to have been secretly married to a widow named Alessandra Benucci, even while he bedded any number of his female admirers.
    He was one of the foremost poets of the Italian Renaissance, but has been largely forgotten outside of Italy, overshadowed by his contemporaries Dante, Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
    He flew into a rage when he heard a potter singing & mangling one of his stanzas while working, proceeding to rush into his shop and start shattering his pottery.
    When the potter protested, he allegedly replied 'you complain of the loss of half a dozen pots not worth six-pence, and you have spoiled a stanza of mine which is invaluable!'
    He lived modestly after his retirement.
    He influenced William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser.
    He cared for his sick and aging mother until her death.
    He shared a patron with Leonardo Da Vinci in the Cardinal d'Este's daughter, Isabella.
    He was known for his sharp witticisms. For example, he said 'when the devil grows old, he turns hermit.'
    He was versatile, writing epic poetry, satire, comedies, sonnets, and songs with equal skill.
    He received no financial compensation for his forty-six canto 'Orlando Furioso,' which took him over a decade to complete.
    'Orlando Furioso' is one of the earliest pieces of Western poetry to make reference to same-sex romance.
    Margaret Fuller was a huge fan, teaching his works regularly in her Boston 'conversations' for women in the 1830s.
    He was kidnapped by a group of highwaymen, but they released him when they learned he was the author of 'Orlando Furioso.'
    He remains a household name in his home country, and his likeness was featured on Italian postage (1932, 1974).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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