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Sailor Petals, 31.8 x 40.9 cm, Acrylic on Canvas
HBICs of history » Isabella d’Este
Isabella d’Este (1474 – 1539) was Marchesa of Mantua and one of the leading women of the Italian Renaissance as a major cultural and political figure. She was a patron of the arts as well as a leader of fashion, whose innovative style of dressing was copied by women throughout Italy and at the French court. The poet Ariosto lauded her as the “liberal and magnanimous Isabella”. She served as the regent of Mantua during the absence of her husband, Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua and the minority of her son, Federico. In 1500 she met King Louis XII of France in Milan on a diplomatic mission to persuade him not to send his troops against Mantua.
She was a prolific letter-writer, and maintained a lifelong correspondence with her sister-in-law Elisabetta Gonzaga. Lucrezia Borgia was another sister-in-law; she later became the mistress of Isabella’s husband Francesco. Lucrezia had previously made overtures of friendship to Isabella which the latter had coldly and disdainfully ignored. From the time Lucrezia had first arrived in Ferrara as Alfonso d’Este’s intended bride, Isabella, despite having acted as hostess during the wedding festivities, had regarded Lucrezia as a rival, whom she sought to outdo at every opportunity. Isabella, being naturally gifted and intellectually precocious in her youth, received an excellent education. She studied Roman history, and rapidly learned to translate Greek and Latin (the former would become her favourite language). Because of her outstanding intellect, she often discussed the classics and the affairs of state with ambassadors. Moreover, she was personally acquainted with artists and scholars who lived in and around the court. Besides her knowledge of history and languages, she could also recite Virgil and Terence by heart.
During her lifetime and after her death, poets, popes, and statesmen paid tribute to her - Niccolò da Correggio, a diplomat of the time, entitled her “The First Lady of the world”.
Do you guys think we could ever live in a world without any crime? In high school, I had this discussion with my sociology teacher, and one theory was no, we can’t. Even if we had a world without murder, rape, and all that, the definition of crime itself would change in the hypothetical community. So perhaps something like dropping plates will have as much penalty as murder. And by this theory, a Utopian community can never exist.
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