Matteo Maria Boiardo
Matteo Maria Boiardo was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 Renaissance poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...


Boiardo was born at, or near, Scandiano
Scandiano is a town and comune in Emilia-Romagna, in the northeast part of Italy country, near Reggio nell'Emilia city and Secchia river . It had some 24,700 inhabitants as of 31 March 2009....

 (today's province of Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia is an affluent city in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region. It has about 170,000 inhabitants and is the main comune of the Province of Reggio Emilia....

); the son of Giovanni di Feltrino and Lucia Strozzi, he was of noble lineage, ranking as Count of Scandiano, with seignorial power over Arceto, Casalgrande
Casalgrande is a comune in the Province of Reggio Emilia in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, located about 50 km west of Bologna and about 15 km southeast of Reggio Emilia...

, Gesso
Gesso is a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these...

, and Torricella
Torricella can refer to the following places in Italy:*Torricella-Taverne*Torricella Sicura*Torricella Verzate*Torricella Peligna*Torricella *Torricella del Pizzo*Torricella in Sabina...

. Boiardo was an ideal example of a gifted and accomplished courtier, possessing at the same time a manly heart and deep humanistic learning.
Up to the year of his marriage to Taddea Gonzaga, the daughter of the Count of Novellara (1472), he had received many marks of favour from Borso d'Este
Borso d'Este
thumb|Borso d'Este, attributed to [[Vicino da Ferrara]], [[Pinacoteca]] of the [[Castello Sforzesco|Sforza Castle]] in [[Milan]], [[Italy]].Borso d'Este was the first Duke of Ferrara, which he ruled from 1450 until his death...

, duke of Ferrara, having been sent to meet Frederick III
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick the Peaceful KG was Duke of Austria as Frederick V from 1424, the successor of Albert II as German King as Frederick IV from 1440, and Holy Roman Emperor as Frederick III from 1452...

 (1469), and afterwards visiting Pope Paul II
Pope Paul II
Pope Paul II , born Pietro Barbo, was pope from 1464 until his death in 1471.- Early life :He was born in Venice, and was a nephew of Pope Eugene IV , through his mother. His adoption of the spiritual career, after having been trained as a merchant, was prompted by his uncle's election as pope...

 (1471) in the train of Borso. In 1473 he joined the retinue which escorted Eleonora of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I of Naples
Ferdinand I , also called Don Ferrante, was the King of Naples from 1458 to 1494. He was the natural son of Alfonso V of Aragon by Giraldona Carlino.-Biography:...

, to meet her spouse, Ercole, at Ferrara
Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km north...

. Five years later Boiardo was invested with the governorship of Reggio, an office which he filled with noted success till his death, except for a brief interval (1481-86) when he was governor of Modena
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....


In his youth Boiardo had been a successful imitator of Petrarca
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

's love poems. More serious attempts followed with the Istoria Imperiale, some adaptations of Nepos
Cornelius Nepos
Cornelius Nepos was a Roman biographer. He was born at Hostilia, a village in Cisalpine Gaul not far from Verona. His Gallic origin is attested by Ausonius, and Pliny the Elder calls him Padi accola...

, Apuleius
Apuleius was a Latin prose writer. He was a Berber, from Madaurus . He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the...

, Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, Xenophon
Xenophon , son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, also known as Xenophon of Athens, was a Greek historian, soldier, mercenary, philosopher and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates...

, etc., and his Eclogues. These were followed by a comedy, Il Timone (1487?).

He is best remembered, however, for his grandiose poem of chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

 and romance Orlando Innamorato
Orlando Innamorato
Orlando Innamorato is an epic poem written by the Italian Renaissance author Matteo Maria Boiardo. The poem is a romance concerning the heroic knight Orlando .-Composition and publication:...


Rime, another work from 1499, was largely forgotten until the English-Italian librarian Antonio Panizzi published it in 1835.

It is uncertain when Boiardo wrote a poem about a selfcomposed, unusual Tarot
The tarot |trionfi]] and later as tarocchi, tarock, and others) is a pack of cards , used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot...

game, which is of relevance to Tarot research of 15th century and the question of when Tarot developed. A deck, which was produced according the poem (probably shortly after Boiardo's death) has partially survived.

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