Pietro Aretino /3c

➡️Part 1
➡️Part 2
➡️Part 3a
➡️Part 3b

Pietro Aretino & His Sonnets

When the papacy banned this second edition of “I modi” and destroyed every copy they could find, Pietro Aretino went to Venice, where he spent the rest of his life, while Raimondi, the engraved, managed to escape a second imprisonment, but was financially ruined.

It was that version that became a European bestseller: Ben Jonson mentioned it more than once in his plays and Giulio Romano is also the only Renaissance artist named by Shakespeare in “The Winter’s Tale” , where during a scene there is a mention of “that rare Italian master, Julio Romano”.

Following the severe censorship campaign by the papal authorities, the engravings were lost, but their exceptional popularity is attested by the proliferation of erotic images inspired by them in engraved gems, drawings, bronzes and decorations on historiated majolica.

Pietro Aretino’s sonnets continued to circulate secretly and in England they became known as ‘Aretino’s Postures’, and Aretino was even believed to have painted the original series of images.

For example Act 1 of “Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery”, an obscene Restoration closet drama (a play not intended to be performed onstage, but read by a solitary reader or sometimes aloud in a small group) published in 1684. is set in “an antechamber hung with Aretine’s postures.”

Poet Samuel Sheppard wrote an epigram “Modest, Martha” (1651) describing the wife of a friend who feigns innocence, but privately reads ‘the filthy works of Aretino’:

When to thy Husband I resort,
Wee sometimes jest, and talk in sport,
And if that any word obsceane,
Do passe, thou askt’s us, what me meane,
With lookes demure thou silently
Dost sit, as one lov’d Pietie,
Yet I one day unwares came in
Ere thou had’st time to shrowd thy sin,
And found in those faire hands of thine
The filthy workes of Aretine.

One of the most daring aspects of the Sonnets, for that time, was that the woman also expressed her desire and pleasure just like the man: they both craved for the same ecstasy. just like the man: they both wanted to achieve the same ecstasy.

In 2007, the English composer Michael Nyman set some of these Sonnets to music under the title “8 Lust Songs”. They premiered in Venice with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, conducted by the composer, commissioned by the Venice Biennale.
The following year at a 2008 performance London’s Cadogan Hall, however, they proved once more controversial: it was necessary to withdraw the printed programmes, accused of containing obscene texts.

Quando il papato proibì anche seconda edizione de “I modi” e fece distruggere tutte le copie che riuscivano a trovare, Pietro Aretino andò a Venezia, dove trascorse il resto della sua vita, mentre Raimondi, l’incisore, riuscì a sottrarsi a una seconda carcerazione, ma fu finanziariamente rovinato.

Fu quella versione che divenne un bestseller europeo: Ben Jonson ne fece menzione più di una volta nelle sue opere e Romano è anche l’unico artista rinascimentale nominato da Shakespeare in “The Winter’s Tale/Il racconto d’inverno“, dove durante una scena si parla di “quel raro Maestro italiano, Giulio Romano”.

A seguito di una severa campagna di censura da parte delle autorità pontificie, le incisioni andarono perdute, ma la loro eccezionale popolarità è attestata dal proliferare di immagini erotiche ad esse ispirate in gemme incise, disegni, bronzi e decorazioni su maiolica istoriata.

I sonetti di Pietro Aretino continuarono a circolare segretamente e in Inghilterra divennero noti come ‘Posture di Aretino’, nella convinzione che Aretino fosse anche l’autore delle immagini.

Ad esempio l’Atto 1 di “Sodoma, o la Quintessenza della dissolutezza”, uno scabroso closet drama (cioè un testo teatrale non destinato a essere messo in scena, ma letto da un lettore solitario o talvolta ad alta voce in un piccolo gruppo) pubblicato nel 1684. è ambientato in “un’anticamera in cui sono appese le posture di Aretino”.

Il poeta Samuel Sheppard scrisse un epigramma “Modest, Martha” (1651) descrivendo la moglie di un amico che si finge innocente, ma legge in privato “le opere sconce di Aretino”:

Quando a tuo marito mi rivolgo,
A volte scherziamo e parliamo piacevolmente
E se una qualsiasi parola oscena,
Passa, ci chiedi che cosa vuol dire,
Con sguardi pudici tu silenziosamente
Siedi, come un’amata Pietà,
Eppure un giorno entrai all’improvviso
Prima che tu avessi il tempo di nascondere il tuo peccato,
E trovai tra quelle tue belle mani
Le opere sconce di Aretino.

Uno degli aspetti più audaci dei Sonetti, per quel tempo, era che anche la donna esprimeva il suo desiderio e il suo piacere proprio come l’uomo: entrambi volevano raggiungere la stessa estasi.

Nel 2007, il compositore inglese Michael Nyman mise in musica alcuni di questi sonetti con il titolo “8 Lust Songs”, che debuttarono a Venezia con l’Orchestra di Santa Cecilia, diretta dal compositore, su commissione della Biennale di Venezia.
L’anno successivo in uno spettacolo del 2008 alla Cadogan Hall di Londra, l’esibizione però suscito delle polemiche e fu necessario ritirare i programmi stampati sono stati ritirati, accusati di contenere testi osceni.

59 thoughts on “Pietro Aretino /3c

  1. Luisa! I went through your blog . The crux of the blog appears to be the fact coming out of the sonnets that the women also expressed her desire and pleasure just like that of men . This proves that human instincts are similar irrespective of gender everywhere . And the Papal wanted to crush those natural human instincts, was the saddest part of the human history . On the name of morality and religion, the human beings and human society have undergone through such a phase of history explanation and excuse of which today couldn’t be possible . A very nice series of blogs . Had Shakespeare alive today he would have been pleased to read this blog of yours . Thanks !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Some censorship goes on forever and yet, we never seem to censor scenes of violence (war/hate/riot/assault). Some might say humankind’s sense of morality is a bit askew. Thanks for this post Luisa. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Pazzesco, 😮! Mi sa che a quei tempi bastava la minima cosa per gridare allo scandalo… anche se certi “scandali” erano a senso unico, 🙄. Hai perfettamente ragione cara Luisa: un vera e propria ipocrisia censoria, 🤦‍♀️.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Censorship is still alive and well today Luisa as you probably know. As a male I have to be very careful what I say in responding to posts like this in case my views are interpreted as misogyny. It’s not true that I dislike females of course, but there are people out there who are hell bent on distorting the truth if you disagree with them. For now I’ll just say that it’s an experience that both partners should enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, opinions are often misinterpreted: the tragic is when they are deliberately distorted
      That sex should be a joyful and satisfying experience for both partners is beyond doubt, but perhaps centuries ago it was not conceived that even a woman could feel pleasure: she immediately became a woman of ill repute.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a detailed continuation. Aretine’s arts deserved space in the artistic world. The things that people do in the dark are more heinous than mere art. Thanks for bringing this to our attention dear

    Like

  5. Eh tanto per cambiare è sempre e soltanto il sesso a essere condannato!!! E pensare che senza il sesso nessuno di noi sarebbe mai nato,,,, anche i benpensanti… Personalmente sono sempre stata molto critica sulle censure dell’eros!!! Buonanotte carissima Luusa, domani con calma leggerò le altre parti che m8 sono persa di questo racconto 🥀🥀🥀😘👏

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