Petrarch

(Francesco Petrarca; 1304-1374)
   Born in Arezzo, the Italian poet Petrarch was the son of an exiled Florentine notary. In 1311, his family moved to Provence, France, to benefit from the patronage of the papal court of Avignon. Petrarch remained there until 1353, though he traveled extensively during these years in Italy and France. He became one of the humanists at the papal court and spent his time studying the ancient texts, especially those written by Livy. It was in the Church of St. Claire in Avignon that he met his great love, Laura, the woman he celebrated in his Canzionere, written in the vernacular. In 1330, he took minor orders and came under the protection of the Colonna, among the most powerful feudal families of the era. At this time, Petrarch began to write. His biographies of famous Romans, De viris illustribus; his Africa, an account of the life of Scipio Africanus; and his Rerum memorandarum libri, on the cardinal virtues; all belong to this period in his life. Petrarch recovered a number of ancient texts, including Cicero's Pro Archia, which he found in Liège in 1333, and his letters, which he obtained in Verona in 1345. His writings earned him a laurel crown from the pope, an honor he received on the Capitoline Hill in Rome in April 1341. This was a practice carried out by the ancients to honor their poets, and Petrarch was the first among modern poets to be granted that tribute. Among the works Petrarch composed in Rome is his De vita solitaria in which he sought to reconcile humanism with Christianity. In 1353, he went to work for the Visconti in Milan, but later moved to Padua, Venice, and Pavia. He died in Arquà where Francesco da Carrara, Lord of Padua, had given him some land. Considered by many the father of the Renaissance, Petrarch was responsible for perfecting the Italian sonnet form, aptly called the Petrarchan sonnet. His belief in the value of studying the writings of the ancients marked the course of Renaissance intellectual and philosophical thought, while the internal conflicts he expressed in his writings became the basis for humanist debate for the next 200 years.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Petrarch — (1304 1374) an Italian poet whose best known works include the Canzoniere, a collection of poems, mostly ↑sonnets, about his love for a woman named Laura …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Petrarch — [pē′trärk΄] (It. name Francesco Petrarca) 1304 74; It. lyric poet & scholar …   English World dictionary

  • Petrarch — Infobox Writer name = Francesco Petrarca imagesize = 150 px caption = pseudonym = birthdate = Birth date|1304|7|20|df=yes birthplace = Arezzo deathdate = Death date and age|1374|7|19|1304|7|20|df=yes deathplace = Arquà Petrarca occupation =… …   Wikipedia

  • Petrarch — /pee trahrk, pe /, n. (Francesco Petrarca) 1304 74, Italian poet and scholar. * * * Italian Francesco Petrarca born July 20, 1304, Arezzo, Tuscany died July 18/19, 1374, Arquà, near Padua, Carrara Italian scholar, poet, and humanist. After 1326… …   Universalium

  • Petrarch — (Francesco Petrarca, 1304 1374)    Italian poet and hu manist, commonly ranked as second only to Dante among Italian poets and conventionally designated as the first humanist (more ac curately, the first humanist to gain a widespread reputation)… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Petrarch — Petrarca, Ausschnitt eines Freskos von Andrea di Bartolo di Bargilla (um 1450) Francesco Petrarca (auch Petrarca oder Petrarch, * 20. Juli 1304 in Arezzo; † 18. Juli 1374 in Arquà) war ein italienischer Dichter und Ge …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Petrarch — n. family name; Francesco Petrarch or Francesco Petrarca (1304 1374), Italian humanist and poet who was famous for love lyrics …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Petrarch — biographical name 1304 1374 It. Francesco Petrarca Italian poet • Petrarchan adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Petrarch — Francesco Petracco …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Petrarch — Pe•trarch [[t]ˈpi trɑrk, ˈpɛ [/t]] n. big (Francesco Petrarca), 1304–74, Italian poet and scholar Pe•trar•chan pɪˈtrɑr kən adj …   From formal English to slang

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