Battiferra degli Ammannati, Laura (1523–1589)

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Battiferra degli Ammannati, Laura (15231589)

Italian poet, known for several volumes of her writings as well as her marriage to Bartolomeo Ammannati, a renowned sculptor who worked closely with Michelangelo Buonarroti. She was born in Urbino, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man of the church, Giovanni' Antonio Battiferri, and his concubine, Maddalena Coccapani. First married to a professional musician, Vittorio Sereni, Laura was widowed in 1549. Some time in her youth she had met Ammannati, an up-and-coming artist who carried out commissions for the church and for the duke of Urbino, who hired him to decorate a country villa in the Umbrian town of Pesara.

Laura Battiferra's marriage to Ammannati was arranged by her influential father and took place in the spring of 1550, not long after the death of her first husband. The couple lived in Rome, where he worked on several important commissions. After the death of his patron, Pope Julius III, they moved to Florence, where Ammannati was taken into the court of Cosimo de' Medici. There, Battiferra earned her reputation as a poet. In 1560 her poems appeared in the First Book of Tuscan Works, a collection of several different poets from Florence and its surroundings. Inspired by the Italian poets Petrarch and Dante Alighieri, and the ancient Roman poets Ovid and Virgil, she wrote more than three hundred sonnets in which she used great skill in language and a wide-ranging knowledge of philosophy, mythology, and literature. A pious woman and a devout Catholic, she also created Italian translations of the penitential psalms in the 1560s and donated much of her wealth to the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits.

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Battiferra degli Ammannati, Laura (1523–1589)

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