The Death of the Child Valerio Marcello by Margaret L. King

By Margaret L. King

Margaret King indicates what the demise of a bit boy named Valerio Marcello over years in the past can let us know approximately his time. This baby, scion of a kinfolk of energy and privilege at Venice's time of greatness, left his father in a nation of melancholy so profound and so public that it occasioned an outpouring of consoling letters, orations, treatises, and poems. In those records, we discover a firsthand account, richly coloured through humanist conventions and expectancies, of the lifetime of the fifteenth-century boy, the passionate devotion of his father, the sentiments of his brothers and sisters, the amazing absence of his mom. The father's tale is right here besides: the occupation of a Venetian nobleman and student, buyer and soldier, a player in Venice's fight for dominion within the north of Italy. via those resources additionally King strains the cultural tendencies that made Marcello's century recognized. Her paintings enlarges our view of the literature of comfort, which had a particular culture in Venice, and transferring attitudes towards loss of life from the past due center a long time onward. For the intensity and acuity of its insights into political, cultural, and personal lifestyles in fifteenth-century Venice, this publication can be crucial examining for college students of the Renaissance. For the grace and drama of its storytelling, it will likely be savored by way of an individual who needs to seem into existence and loss of life in a palace, and a urban, some time past.

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Ralerio used to go daily into the church there for worship at his father's side. 9 The statue was erected by order of the Senate, ordinarily reluctant to cast glory upon merely human greatness: a rare prize understandably valued by the little boy who began to yearn for his own monument. By 1450, there was completed in Padua Donatello's peerless equestrian monument to the soldier Gattamelata-a valorous servant of Venice, and a man the elder Marcello had known wel1. 80 When Valerio saw it, he asked the same question he had posed ofthe Pisani monument: who was this man?

From Milan, Filelfo issued moral exhortations and career advice to his son, and expressions ofgratitude to the royal patron who had granted such opportunities to his brilliant but vagrant offspring. 35 In this milieu, FUelfo must also have encountered Marcello, who had 'J1je tlJirt6cjatlJook. 31 for several years been Sforza's colleague. That encounter took place even before the death ofValerio, and is documented by a letter of 14 May 1460. " 37 The links between Filelfo and Sforza and Filelfo and Marcello also involve those between Sforza and Rene, Sforza and Marcello, and Marcello and Rene, as later chapters will show.

An angel, Valerio triumphantly enters the heavens; and we who are still on earth suffer. Unhappy, sorrowful, entombed by this calamity, we unwillingly live our lives. " 119 He is not dead, but changed: alive and glorified. He has achieved blessedness, and in his present bliss awaits his aged father, destined soon to join him. Free ofcare, he exults 22 Chapter One amid the angel chorus, and prepares for his beloved father a home in heaven beside him: 120 "He has not deserted you, nor has he left his dear mother, his sweet brothers," but has gone to prepare your way.

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