Girolamo Benivieni

Girolamo Benivieni (Italian: [dʒiˈrɔːlamo beniˈvjɛːni]; 6 February 1453 – August 1542)[1] was a Florentine poet[2] and a musician.[1] His father was a notary in Florence.[3] He suffered poor health most of his life, which prevented him from taking a more stable job.[4] He was a leading member of the Medicean Academy, a society devoted to literary study.[2] He was a friend of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), whom he met for the first time in 1479;[5] it was Pico della Mirandola who encouraged him to study Neoplatonism.[4] In the late 1480s, he and Pico della Mirandola became students of Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498).[6] In 1496, he translated the teachings of Savonarola from Italian to Latin.[6] After he began following Savonarola, he rejected his earlier poetry and attempted to write more spiritually.[6] He participated in Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities, and documented the destruction of art worth "several thousand ducats".[7]

Girolamo Benivieni
Portrait of Benivieni as an old man wearing a black cassock and hat seated in front of a snowy landscape painting.
Portrait of Benivieni at the National Gallery in London, painted between 1510 and 1520, and attributed to Ridolfo Ghirlandaio
Born6 February 1453
DiedAugust 1542

He was supported in his writing by noblewoman Lucrezia de' Medici (1470–1553).[2] They were both interested in the works of poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321).[2] In 1506, Benivieni published an edition of the Divine Comedy with maps by Antonio Manetti (1423–1497) and commentary by Manetti and Benivieni.[8] In March 1515 Benivieni drafted a letter to be sent from Lucrezia to her brother, Pope Leo X (s. 1513–21), seeking his assistance in bringing the body of Dante back to Florence.[2] On 20 October 1519, Benivieni signed a Medicean Academy petition to Pope Leo, again requesting the return of Dante from Ravenna.[9] Benivieni also used his connection with Lucrezia to advance his ideas on church reform with her brother, and later with her cousin, Pope Clement VII (s. 1523–34).[2] In 1530, he wrote a letter to Pope Clement in defense of Savonarola, seeking to have his reputation restored within the church.[10] He is buried together with Giovanni Pico della Mirandola at San Marco, Florence, Italy.


  1. ^ a b Cummings 2004, p. 190.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Tomas 2003, p. 95.
  3. ^ Gardner 1914, p. xix.
  4. ^ a b Gardner 1914, p. xxiv.
  5. ^ Gardner 1914, pp. xvi–xvii.
  6. ^ a b c Baldassarri & Saiber 2000, p. 271.
  7. ^ Villari 1969, p. 138.
  8. ^ Heilbron 2010, p. 28.
  9. ^ Cummings 2004, pp. 79–80.
  10. ^ Gardner 1914, pp. xxiv–xxv.


  • Baldassarri, Stefano Ugo; Saiber, Arielle (2000). Images of Quattrocento Florence: Selected Writings in Literature, History and Art. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300080520. Retrieved 11 Jan 2016.
  • Cummings, Anthony M. (2004). "The Maecenas and the Madrigalist: Patrons, Patronage, and the Origins of the Italian Madrigal". Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. 253. ISBN 9780871692535.
  • Mirandola, Giovanni Pico della; Benivieni, Girolamo (1914). Gardner, Edmund Garratt (ed.). A Platonick Discourse Upon Love. Translated by Stanley, Thomas. Merrymount Press. Retrieved 11 Jan 2016.
  • Heilbron, John (2010). Galileo. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199583522.
  • Tomas, Natalie R. (2003). The Medici Women: Gender and Power in Renaissance Florence. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0754607771.
  • Villari, Pasquale (1969). Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola. 2. Translated by Villari, Linda. New York: Haskell House Publishers, Ltd. ISBN 08383-0174-6.

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