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Gaspara Stampa was an Italian poet.


Born in Padua, Stampa's father, Bartolomeo, originally from Milan, was a jewel and gold merchant in Padua. When Stampa was eight, her father died and her mother, Cecilia, moved to Venice with her children Gaspara, Cassandra, and Baldassarre; whom she educated to literature, music, history, and painting. Gaspara and Cassandra excelled at singing and playing the lute, possibly due to training by Tuttovale Menon. Early on, the Stampa household became a literary club, visited by many well-known Venetian writers, painters and musicians.

When her brother died in 1544, Stampa suffered greatly and formed the intention of becoming a nun. However, after a long period of crisis, she came back to "la dolce vita" (the sweet life) in Venice, and was believed to have been involved in a love affair with Count Collaltino di Collalto. It was to him that she eventually dedicated most of the 311 poems she is known to have written. The relationship broke off in 1551, apparently resulting from a cooling of the count's interest, and perhaps in part due to his many voyages out of Venice. Stampa was devastated.

Stampa went into a physical prostation and depression, but the result of this period is a collection of beautiful, intelligent and assertive poems in which she triumphs over Collaltino, creating for herself a lasting reputation. It might be noted in passing that Collaltino is only remembered because of Stampa. She makes clear in..
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