Thursday, 14 March 2013

Faustine Maratti

Maratti was born in Rome, the natural daughter of the painter Carlo Maratta. From an early age, she received a good education, which included music, fine arts and, above all, poetry. Her beauty attracted the attention of Giangiorgio Sforza Cesarini, a cadet son of the Duke of Genzano, near Rome, where Maratta had retired. After her refusal, Sforza Cesarini tried to kidnap her. He failed, and was forced to leave to Naples and then to Spain. In 1704, her heroic resistance gained her a place in the Arcadia Literary Academy, under the name of Aglauro Cidonia. Here she met the poet Giambattista Felice Zappi, a lawyer from Imola whom she married in 1705.

Their house became a renowned literary circle: people attending included, among the others, Georg Friedrich Händel, Domenico Scarlatti, Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina and Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni. The two had two sons: Rinaldo in 1709 and Luigi in 1712. She became a widow in 1719. Her works include 38 sonnets published in her husband's Rime collection in 1723. They are in Petrarchesque style, according to the rules established by the poetry theorist Crescimbeni. Some of them are inspired by her father's works, while others pivot around female figures of the Roman Republic.

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