Massarani, Tullo

views updated


MASSARANI, TULLO (1826–1905), Italian author and statesman. Born in Mantua, Massarani studied law and painting, at the same time taking part in the conspiratorial struggle for the unification of Italy. As a result of the failure of the 1848 revolution and his collaboration with Mazzini's followers, he had to take shelter in Switzerland and later lived the life of a refugee in Germany and France. On the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860 he returned to Milan. He was elected to parliament for three legislative periods (1860–67), and in 1876 was appointed senator. He also held municipal offices.

An extremely prolific writer, Massarani introduced the works of Heinrich *Heine to Italian readers. He left a great number of critical essays, historical, political, and autobiographical writings, translations and verse, which were collected after his death in 24 volumes (1906–11). Massarani's criticism does not delve beneath the surface, but reveals a broad and up-to-date culture in which scholarship is blended with a journalistic approach. Among his most important works are L'idea italiana attraverso i tempi (1869), Eugenio Camerini, i suoi studi e i suoi tempi (1877), and Carlo Tenca e il pensiero civile del suo tempo (1886). During his latter years he devoted himself to an original and erudite study of laughter (1900–02). Massarani's essays earned him a high reputation among European art critics, and in 1878 he was elected chairman of the international jury of art at the Paris Exhibition.


G. Natali, Il pensiero e l'arte di Tullo Massarani (1910); B. Croce, La letteratura della nuova Italia (19503).

[Giorgio Romano]

About this article

Massarani, Tullo

Updated About content Print Article