Click to view higher-resolution image

MADDALENA SALVETTI ACCIAIUOLI

Maddalena Salvetti Acciaiuoli
(ca. 1557–1610).
Il David perseguitato o vero fuggitivo.
Florence: Giovanni Antonio Caneo, 1611.

The poet Maddalena Salvetti Acciaiuoli was a member of the noble Salvetti family of Florence. Little is known of her life other than that she married the Florentine general Zanobio Acciaiuoli (1548–1613) in 1572. In 1590, she published a volume of poetry in praise of Grand Duke Ferdinando de’ Medici and his wife, Cristina of Lorraine. Exhibited here is her most widely acclaimed work, a heroic poem on the theme of the biblical King David. Dedicated to Maria Maddalena de’ Medici, the Archduchess of Austria and Grand Duchess of Tuscany, the poem also included flattering allusions to contemporary Florentine nobles. Although unfinished at the poet’s death, its three complete cantos were published in this sole edition of 1611 with twenty-five of her spiritual sonnets and a prose memorial to the Acciaiuoli family.