Agnolo Firenzuola

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Firenzuola, Agnolo


Born Sept. 18, 1493, in Florence; died June 17 or 27, 1543, in Prato. Italian writer.

Firenzuola, who was a monk from 1518 to 1526, is the author of Discourses on Love (1523–24; published 1548), a book of short stories modeled on Boccaccio’s Decameron. The stories are narrated by aristocrats who profess Firenzuola’s own aesthetic ideals of Neoplatonic love and beauty. Traditional in plot, they depict the joys of sensual love and the hypocrisy of monks.

Firenzuola had a superb command of the classical Italian literary language. His most artistically important books of short stories were The Golden Ass (published 1550) and First Version of the Discourses of the Animals (1541), which he described as “translations in a modern version” of Apuleius and the Panchatantra. Firenzuola formulated aesthetic ideals typical of the literature and art of the High Renaissance in his Discourses on Women’s Beauty (1540). He also wrote the comedies Trinuzia and I Lucidi (an adaptation of Plautus’ Menaechmi).


Opere. Edited by A. Seroni. Florence, 1958.
In Russian translation:
Soch. Introductory article by A. K. Dzhivelegov. [Moscow-Leningrad] 1934.


Fatini, G. “A. Firenzuola.” In Autori vari: I minori, vol. 2. Milan, 1961.


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
34) Therefore theorists recommended that particularly desirable and excellent parts of diverse women should be combined into a perfect image of female beauty, as described for example by Agnolo Firenzuola in Delle bellezze delle donne (1540).
47-87; and, Agnolo Firenzuola, On the Beauty of Women, 1548, trans.
Agnolo Firenzuola, Dialogo delle bellezze delle donne in Opera scelte, ed.
62) Later, the soul-kiss became a leitmotif for Baldassare Castiglione, whose lengthy, lyrical description of a kiss as a 'union of souls', in his Book of the Courtier (1528), seems to have influenced many other Italian writers, including Agnolo Firenzuola and Michelangelo Biondo.
Women like looking at the beauty of men, as men like looking at the beauty of women', said the Florentine Agnolo Firenzuola in his Dialogue on the Beauties of Women (1548).
In the Dialog on the Beauty of Women, published in 1541, Agnolo Firenzuola - or Celso Selvaggio, his spokesman - anatomizes a woman's face and body, from her eyes to her feet, then reassembles the parts in describing the qualities that characterize the loveliest and most lovable of beautiful women, from leggiadria to maesta.