Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Libro de novelle, et di bel parlar gentile
  • Carlo Gualteruzzi
    born: Fano, Italy ; died: Rome, Italy
    Vincenzo Borghini
    born: Florence, Italy ; died: Florence, Italy ; active: Italy
  • Libro de novelle, et di bel parlar gentile, 1572
  • Where object was made: Italy
  • book
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.033
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Giorgio Vasari and Court Culture in Late Renaissance Italy," Sep-2012, Sally Cornelison and Susan Earle
This collection of short stories (novelle) from the 14th century was originally published in 1525 by Carlo Gualteruzzi, a philologist like Borghini who was concerned with establishing rules for writing in the most pure Italian language possible. Borghini’s later edition of the Libro di novelle reflects his attention to detail, concern with following newly established grammatical rules, and desire to mitigate inappropriate content in the moralizing climate of the Counter Reformation. He removed 17 of the original tales, five for what he felt was scandalous content and the rest for their apparent potential to corrupt readers. He then added 18 new stories, calling the first novella a preface in order to maintain the total of 100 stories. Borghini’s revisions of the language and style of the novelle reflect his noble Florentine view that contemporary Tuscan was a corrupted, eroded version of its better, previous self.