BANDELLO, Matteo

(1485-1561)
Matteo Bandello was a Dominican priest and courtier whose life and novelle reveal the vicissitudes of the tumultuous political environment of sixteenth-century Italy. Bandello, born in Castelnuovo Scrivia in Lombardy, was educated from age twelve by his uncle Vincenzo, vicar general of the Dominican order, at the Milanese monastery S. Maria delle Grazie. He studied law and theology at Pavia, but favored literature, history, and Platonic philosophy. He made his first religious vows in Genoa, probably in 1504.
Cosmopolitan perspectives were opened to him on an inspection tour of mon­asteries throughout Italy with his uncle. In Florence he composed love poetry for "Viola" (Violante Borromeo); at Rome he knew courtesan culture and was introduced to the famous courtesan Imperia; in Naples Matthias Corvinus's widow, Beatrice d'Aragona, became his protector after his uncle Vincenzo died there. Bandello returned to Lombardy, where he befriended humanists and the poets Cecilia Gallerana and Camilla Scrampa and attached himself to the house­hold of Alessandro Bentivoglio and Ippolita Sforza. Enmeshed in the struggle for control of Milan between King Louis XII of France and the Sforza, after the French victory at Marignano (1515), he had to flee to the Gonzaga court at Mantua. He remained there until 1522 as secretary to Isabella d'Este* and com­posed poetry to a second platonic love, "Mincia." After the French withdrawal from Milan, Bandello returned briefly but fled a second time when Spanish troops advanced on the city after the French defeat at Pavia (1525). His house sacked and his books and manuscripts dispersed, he became an itinerant courtier. From 1526 he worked first for Federigo Gonzaga di Bozzolo, then for Giovanni delle Bande Nere while making the acquaintance of Niccolo Machiavelli,* next for Ranuccio Farnese, and by 1528 for Cesare Fregoso at Verona while partic­ipating in intellectual circles at the houses of the Canossa, Saula, and Serego. In 1537 he met Lucrezia Gonzaga and celebrated her in verse; on a subsequent trip to France he dedicated other compositions to Marguerite de Navarre.* When Fregoso died in 1541, Bandello stayed on to serve his widow, Costanza Ran-gone, accompanying her eventually to Bordeaux. In 1550 he was given a ben­efice and lived quietly in France until his death in 1561.
Of significant literary note are Bandello's 240 novelle, composed over many years. They are divided into four parts. The first three were edited by Bandello himself and were published in Lucca by Busdraghi (1554); the fourth appeared posthumously at Lyons (1573). Bandello introduces each tale with a dedicatory letter to a prominent individual; once thought to be authentic biographical in­dicators, these letters are now understood to be mere literary conventions. The tales, rather, convey aspects of real life: the dismantling of the Italian state system, the divisive impact of the Reformation, the encroachment of the Turks in eastern Europe, and the tenor of life across social classes. They draw upon the interest of humanist and vernacular writers in classical literature and ancient and recent history: the rape of Lucretia, the marriages of Henry VIII,* and most famously a version of the story of Romeo and Juliet that served as one of Shakespeare's sources.
Bibliography
T. Griffith, Bandello's Fiction: An Examination of the Novelle, 1955.
Luci Fortunato DeLisle

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bandello, Matteo — • Writer, born at Castelnuovo di Scrivia in Piedmont, Italy, in 1480; died Bishop of Agen, France, in 1565 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Bandello, Matteo — ▪ Italian author and bishop born 1485, Castelnuovo Scrivia, duchy of Milan [Italy] died 1561, Agen, France       Italian writer whose Novelle (stories) started a new trend in 16th century narrative literature and had a wide influence in England,… …   Universalium

  • Bandello, Matteo — (1485 1561)    Italian courtier and author, born in Lombardy. He entered the Dominican order at Genoa about 1504 but eventually abandoned his monastic vows and pursued a career as court poet at the princely courts of Ferrara and Mantua and in the …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Matteo Bandello — (French: Mathieu Bandel) (c. 1480 – 1562) was an Italian writer. Biography Matteo Bandello was born at Castelnuovo Scrivia, near Tortona (current Piedmont), c. 1480 or 1485. He received a good education, and entered the church, but does not seem… …   Wikipedia

  • Bandello — Matteo Bandello (* um 1485 (1480?) in Castelnuovo Scrivia, Italien; † 1561 (1565?) in Agen, Frankreich) war ein italienischer Dichter. Bandello wurde zwar Dominikanermönch, führte jedoch ein wechselvolles, wenig priesterliches Leben: er war… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Matteo Bandello —     Matteo Bandello     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Matteo Bandello     Born at Castelnuovo di Scrivia in Piedmont, Italy, in 1480; died Bishop of Agen, France, in 1565. [According to other sources, he was born in 1485 and died in 1561. Ed.] He… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Bandello — Bandello, Matteo, ital. Novellist, geb. 1485 in Castelnuovo (Provinz Alessandria), gest. nach 1561, ward zu Rom Dominikaner, lebte eine Zeitlang in Mantua (1537) als Lehrer der Lucrezia Gonzaga, zu deren Preis er ein Gedicht in elf Gesängen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Bandello — Bandello, Matteo, geb. um 1480 zu Castelnuovo im Piemontesischen; wurde Dominicanermönch; als Anhänger der französischen Partei ging er, als Karl V. siegte u. die Spanier sein Eigenthum zerstörten, nach Frankreich, ward 1550 Bischof zu Agen,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Bandello — Bandello, Matteo, ital. Novellendichter, geb. 1480 zu Castelnuovo in Piemont, Dominikanermönch, 1550 Bischof zu Agen in Frankreich, gest. 1562; schrieb schlüpfrige »Novelle« (1554 73 u.ö.; deutsch 1818 19) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Bandello — Bandello, Matteo, geb. 1480 zu Castelnuovo in Piemont, Dominikaner, Anhänger der Franzosen, floh vor Karl V. nach Frankreich, wo er Inhaber der Einkünste des Bisthums Agen wurde, st. 1582, Novellendichter, nach Bocaccio der beliebteste in Italien …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.