Albrizzi, Isabella Teotochi(1760-1836). Venetian noblewoman and, from 1796, hostess of the main literary salon in Venice, which hosted the most prominent Italian literary and artistic figures, as well as a strong international component. Author of a set of Ritratti [Portraits] (first edition 1806; fourth and final edition 1826), which included her frequent guest Byron.
Alfieri, Vittorio (1749-1803). Probably the most influential 18th-century Italian author, his fame rests especially on his powerful tragedies, which explore the theme of oppression and tyranny, and his autobiography where he recounts his extremely adventurous life.
Ariosto, Ludovico (1474-1533). Poet and dramatist, author of the epic poem Orlando Furioso (1516-1532), one of the most influential works of literature composed during the Renaissance in Italy. Moore quotes Ariosto in his Edinburgh Review articles.
Beauharnais, Eugène de (1781-1824). Son of Napoleon’s first wife, Josephine, and her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais. Nominated Viceroy of Italy (1805) and commander-in-chief of the Army of Italy, which he capably led during the Russian campaign (1812).
Borromeo, Carlo, Saint (1538-1584). Archbishop of Milan (1565-1584), famous for his charity towards the poor and his severity towards heretics. Born in Arona, where a colossal statue of him was built in 1698.
Bonaparte, Napoleon II, King of Rome (1811-1832). Son of Napoleon and his second wife, Marie-Louise of Austria, proclaimed King of Rome at birth. Never reigned and died of tuberculosis in Austria aged 21.
Canova, Antonio (1757-1822). Venetian master of the neoclassical style, regarded during his lifetime as the leading European sculptor. Napoleon and his family commissioned several notable portraits. His works can be found in all the major museums of the world. Based mostly in Rome, where Moore met him in 1819.
Caprara Montecuccoli, Giovanni Battista (1733-1810). Cardinal of the Catholic Church, papal legate to France (1801-1810) and archbishop of Milan (1802-1810). Presided over Napoleon’s coronation as King of Italy (1805).
Catullus, Gaius Valerius (c.84 BCE-c.54 BCE). One of the foremost Roman poets, famous for his carmina on love, desire, and life as a young intellectual in Rome. He is a direct contemporary of Caesar and Cicero.
Faliero, Marino (1285-1355). Doge of Venice (1354-1355) who attempted a coup d’etat to gain supreme personal power. Executed in 1355, his portrait was erased from the Ducal Palace in 1366, leaving the inscription Moore witnesses. He is the subject of a tragedy by Byron (1820) and an opera by Gaetano Donizetti (1835).
Galilei, Galileo (1564-1642). Physicist, astronomer, and philosopher, founder of the scientific method. Author of numerous treatises on physics and astronomy, which are also highly regarded for their prose style. Professor of mathematics at the University of Padua (1592-1610). Forced to retract his support of Copernicus’ theories by the Inquisition in 1632.
Gallienus, Publius Licinius Egnatius (c.218-268). Roman emperor first with his father Valerian (253-260) and then as sole emperor (260-268). He faced attacks from Sassanid Persia, various Germanic tribes, and usurpation in Gaul and in the East. Fortified Verona in 265. Murdered while besieging Milan in 268.
Giorgione, Zorzi da Castelfranco, known as (?1477/8-1510). Influential Italian painter from the Veneto region, regarded as the founder of the Venetian school of painting. Relatively little is known about his life and the exact extent of his work. See National Gallery biography.
Guercino, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as (1591-1666). Baroque painter from the Emilia region, famous for his ability as a draftsman and his mastery of colour. His dramatic early manner gave way to a more classical, constrained style towards the end of his career, influenced by another famous painter from Emilia, Guido Reni. The painting Moore admires, Abraham Driving out Hagar and Ishmael (1657) belongs to this latter phase of his career. See National Gallery biography.
Kinnaird, Charles, Lord Kinnaird (1780-1826). Politician and art collector who purchased extensive collections of Greek, Roman, and Italian art. Brother of Douglas Kinnaird (1788-1830), who was one of Byron’s closest friends.
Livius, Titus [Livy] (59 BCE-17 CE). Roman historian,born in Padua, author of the monumental Ab urbe condita, a history of Rome from its foundation to the rise of Augustus. Hailed as the undisputed master of historical prose style during the Italian Renaissance.