Torquato Tasso (/ˈtæsoʊ/ TASS-oh, also US: /ˈtɑːsoʊ/ TAH-soh, Italian: [torˈkwaːto ˈtasso]; 11 March 1544 – 25 April 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered, 1581), in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the Siege of Jerusalem. Tasso suffered from mental illness and died a few days before he was due to be crowned on the Capitoline Hill as the king of poets by the Pope. His work was widely translated and adapted, and until the beginning of the 20th century, he remained one of the most widely read poets in Europe.
From 1565, Tasso's life was centered on the castle at Ferrara, the scene of many later glories and cruel sufferings. After the publication of Rinaldo he had expressed his views upon the epic in some Discourses on the Art of Poetry, which committed him to a distinct theory and gained for him the additional celebrity of a philosophical critic. The next five years seem to have been the happiest of Tasso's life, although his father's death in 1569 caused his affectionate nature profound pain. Young, handsome, accomplished in all the exercises of a well-bred gentleman, accustomed to the society of the great and learned, illustrious by his published works in verse and prose, he became the idol of the most brilliant court in Italy. The first two books of his five-hundred-odd love poems were addressed to Lucrezia Bendidio and Laura Peverara. The princesses Lucrezia and Eleonora d'Este, both unmarried, both his seniors by about ten years, took him under their protection. He was admitted to their familiarity. He owed much to the constant kindness of both sisters. In 1570 he traveled to Paris with the cardinal.
Proof on vellum paper.
60,5 x 77 cm 23.81 x 30.31 inches subject
70 x 84 cm 27.55 x 33 inches plate mark
76 x 95,5 cm 29.92 x 37.59 inches sheet
Printed and published by Goupil on August 1, 1863
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