Pietro Bembo

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Bembo, Pietro


Born May 20, 1470, in Venice; died Jan. 18, 1547, in Rome. Italian writer, historian, and theoretician concerned with questions of literary language and style. Born into a patrician family. Became a cardinal in 1539.

In his works Bembo drew from the tradition of Cicero (in works written in Latin), G. Boccaccio, and especially F. Petrarch (in works written in Italian). Bembo’s lyric poetry showed little originality. As a prose writer, he became famous for his treatises in dialogue about platonic love, Conversations of Asolani (1505). The aristocratic humanism of Bembo received the name Bembism. The most valuable of his works is Prose in the Vernacular (1525), devoted to style, meter, and the bases of normative grammar of the Italian language. Bembo was an advocate of a national literary language (based on the Florentine dialect). He wrote (in Latin) a history of Venice from 1487 to 1513 in 12 volumes (published 1551) and translated it into Italian.


Opere, vols. 1–12. Milan, 1808–10.
In Russian translation:
Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow, 1959.


De Sanctis, F. Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1963.
Hilborn, H. The Life of P. Bembo. New York, 1958.
References in periodicals archive ?
The programme may have been devised by Cardinal Bembo, tutor to Affonso's son.
It has been absurdly suggested that Titian did not come from Florence and so could not be aware of Florentine Neo-Platonism; yet he knew Cardinal Bembo well and painted his portrait -- Bembo, who kept a candle burning before a bust of Plato.