Gaspara Stampa

GASPARA STAMPA was born in Padua in 1523. After the death of her father in 1530 Stampa’s mother moved with her children to Venice. In 1548 at Christmas time Stampa met Collaltino di Collalto who was the focal point of many of her poems. In 1549, however, Collaltino left for France to fight against the English.

In 1550 Stampa became a member of the Accademia dei Dubbiosi under the name of “Anaxilla.” Toward the end of the year Collaltino returned to Venice, and Stampa spent time with him at his estate, but by the end of the year, deeply depressed, she returned to Venice, marking the end of her relationship with Collaltino and the beginning of a new relationship with Bartolomeo Zen.

Between 1551 and 1552, Stampa enjoyed a period of relative tranquillity. But the following year her health worsened, and she spent a few months in Florence hoping that the milder climate might cure her. She then returned to Venice, became ill with a high fever, and after fifteen days she died on April 23, 1554.

The register of her parish noted that she died of fever and colic, and of mal de mare (Venetian literally for disease of the matrix). In October 1554, Pietrasanta published the first edition of Stampa’s poetry, edited by her sister Cassandra.

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