Matteo Maria Boiardo

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Boiardo, Matteo Maria


Count of Scandiano. Born 1441, in the castle of Scandiano; died Dec. 19, 1494, in Regglo. Italian poet.

Boiardo’s Three Books of Loves (1472–76) are among the best examples of Italian love lyrics of the 15th century. His most important work is the poem Orlando innamorato. (The first two books appeared in 1495, along with the beginning of a third, unfinished book.) At the center of the poem is the unhappy love of Orlando, the nephew of Charlemagne, for the beautiful Angelica. Boiardo’s poem is a chain of sometimes fantastic and sometimes satiric novellas. Their themes are taken from legends of the Middle Ages, but their treatment reveals that Boiardo was a humanist. In Russia, the first translation of Orlando innamorato appeared in 1799. Boiardo translated the works of Herodotus, Xenophon, Apuleius, and Cornelius Nepos from the Greek and Latin and wrote Latin verse (the cycle Epigrammata, 1476, and Verses of Praise for the Acts of the d’Este Family).


Tutte le opere, vols. 1–2. Edited by A. Zottolie. Milan, 1936–37.
In Russian translation:
“Iz Vliublennogo Rolanda.” In Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow, 1959.


De Sanctis, F. Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1963–64. (Translated from Italian.)
Reichenbach, G. L’Orlando Innamorato di M. M. Boiardo. Florence, 1936.
Zottoli, A. Dal Boiardo all Ariosto. Milan, 1934.
Bigi, E. La poesia di Boiardo. Florence, 1941.
References in periodicals archive ?
Il coup de foudre collettivo provocato da Angelica nell'Innamorato del Boiardo, con la sua inattesa comparsa nella sala dove sono riuniti i baroni di Carlomagno, quando lo stesso imperatore ne resta turbato per l'inconsueta avvenenza, trova le sue premesse in questo episodio dell'Entree.
Like Boiardo, the poet flatters his patrons of the Ferrara court in this imaginary genealogy.
Sempre a Ferrara, sul finire del Quattrocento, Matteo Maria Boiardo volgarizza le Metamorfosi che vengono pubblicate con il titolo di Apulegio volgare dallo Zoppino di Venezia a partire dal 1518.
If the four first books of Amadis de Gaula, Tirante el Blanco among the Spaniards, Boiardo and Ariosto among the Italians, have furnished out some amusement independent of my searches, Felixmarte of Hircania, Palmerin de Oliva, Maestro Elizabat with his Sergas de Esplandian, I was about to add Pulci in his Morgante maggiore, but surely Alamanni in his Girone il Cortese, have in many places overpowered mine.
The exploits of the knights surrounding the court of Charlemagne, the Chanson de Roland, as set down by Boiardo in Orlando Innamorato and then Ariosto in Orlando Furioso, had a huge diVusion in Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Roland in Love) A romantic epic of Matteo Maria Boiardo, who first blended the chivalric material of the Carolingian stories with the amorous motifs of the Arthurian cycle.
Boiardo, Ariosto e i libri di battaglia: atti del convegno, Scandiano-Reggio Emilia-Bologna, 3-6 ottobre 2005.
Among the many subjects treated, three loom especially large: the Este dynasty and its more distinctive traits, ranging from its cultural patronage to the unusually high levels of illegitimate successors to the lordship; local historical writing, both within humanist court circles and by civic chroniclers working in the vernacular; and texts by the stars of the local literary firmament, above all Boiardo, Ariosto, and Tasso.
In this way Boiardo creates some continuity between various traditions: the biblical, the classical, and the chivalric.
In 1994, the quincentennial of Boiardo's death was commemorated by no fewer than four conferences in four countries: Italy ('Il Boiardo e il mondo estense nel Quattrocento', Scandiano, Modena, Reggio Emilia, and Ferrara, 13-17 September), the United States ('Boiardo 1994 in America', New York, 7-9 October), France ('Sagesse, demesure et folie dans la litterature chevaleresque, le poeme heroique et l'epopee en Europe a la Renaissance', St-Etienne, 21-23 October), and Great Britain ('Culture in Crisis: Italy in the 1490s', London, 2-3 December).
Such reactivation explains his deep interest in the epic poems of the Renaissance, particularly in the work of Boiardo, rewritten in prose by Celati in 1994 as Boiardo innamorato raccontato in prosa, and read aloud publicly on many occasions.
Mazzocco demonstrates how Boiardo subverts his material, thus questioning the celebration of Arthurian chivalry at the Este court; for James I.