Francesco Berni

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Berni, Francesco


Born circa 1497, in Lamporecchio, Val di Nievole; died May 26, 1535, in Florence. Italian poet and satirist.

In his free adaptation of M. Boiardo’s narrative poem Orlando In Love, Berni spoke out against the invaders of Italy. By lowering the heroic element he ridiculed the fantastic characters of the chivalric romances. Berni created a unique genre of parody which came to be called the bernesco. In his satires, written in terza rima (the so-called capitoli), Berni wrote in an elevated style about prosaic everyday objects, piling up contradictory images in the spirit of baroque poetry. Berni was the originator of the genre of the mock-heroic epic poem, which was developed in literature during the 17th and 18th centuries. In his satirical sonnets he attacked popes, tyrants, and hypocrites.


Poesie e prose. Genoa-Florence, 1934.
In Russian translation:
Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Epokha Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1. Compiled by B. I. Purishev. Moscow, 1959.


De Sanktis, F. Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1963–64.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Abstract: This article analyzes three works by Francesco Berni in order to reevaluate the place of his burlesque poetry in the broader vernacular lyric tradition.
In particular, this contribution analyzes Galileo's long poem Capitolo contro il portar la toga ('Against the Donning of the Gown'), written by the great scientist in Dante's terza rima but in the parodie spirit of Francesco Berni's poetry and Ludovico Ariosto's Satires, mocking the custom of professors at the University of Pisa of wearing the academic gown.
Away from the papal court but close to it in spirit as we shall see, the Ferrarese Francesco Berni dedicated to Matilda one out of five lives in his De gli eroi della Casa d'Este (1640).
For example, anyone writing on Francesco Berni in his context in Rome in the 1520s, as Antonio Santosuosso does in his 'Society in Disarray', should know Anne Reynolds' Renaissance Humanism at the Court of Clement VII (New York, 1997).
(52) The word ends Francesco Berni's long, derisive description of the Archbishop of Florence, Andrea Buondelmonti, which sarcastically imagines Michelangelo using the man as a model in 1533-34; "Whenever Buonarroto / paints Lent and hunger, / they say he wants to portray this carcass.
I shall give a few more examples, with the titles, and a summary indication of the content: Section II 'La satira dialettale nella Firenze del Quattrocento e la tradizione rusticale' includes La Nencia; Burchiello; Luigi Pulci; Francesco Berni; Michelangelo Buonarroti il Giovane.
Besides youthful satirical verse in the manner of Francesco Berni, Della Casa produced lyrical poems in a majestic style and several political works, such as Orazioni politiche (1707; "Political Discourses"), in which he expressed his sorrow for the calamities of Italy.
(9) In tale luce, non e un caso che il passo finisse per sedimentare nella mente estrosa di un altro satirico, Francesco Berni, il quale lo riproponeva negli stessi anni all'interno del suo Dialogo contra i poeti:
But Michelangelo's fellow poet Francesco Berni praised him for just the opposite, taunting orthodox Petrarchists, "You say words, but he says things." Michelangelo was concerned above all with things - with tangible ideas about grave issues.
Drawing upon his findings, the following essay, by Andrea Masini, provides a linguistic analysis of the capitoli, concentrating mainly, as a result of the unreliability of the textual tradition, on lexical aspects, and noting Casa's debt to the Florentine burlesque tradition, and in particular to Francesco Berni. Pointing out the great lexical divergence between Casa's comic and serious verse, he discusses Casa's mastery of a low, comic register, with its predilection for humble, everyday objects, and sexual innuendo.
Among the contemporaries named in Bronzino's poems are Pier Francesco Ricci, Cosimo's majordomo and secretary, the woodworker Giovan Battista Tasso, the poets Francesco Berni, Giovanni Della Casa, and Benedetto Varchi, Ciano, a perfume maker, and Giovanni Mazzuoli (also known as Lo Stradino).
Thus Francesco Berni in his Capitolo di Papa Adriano: "Look at these people, look at this Court!