Valentina Catalucci – Abstract

“Nero, ch’al nome tuo contrario chiudi candido spirto”: The Multifaceted Personality of Tommaso Del Nero in the Accademia degli Alterati

Valentina Catalucci

Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e del Turismo, Roma

My intervention aims to deepen our understanding of the figure of Tommaso Del Nero, who was an intellectually significant personality in Florence in the second half of the sixteenth century, also thanks to the wealth accumulated by his father, Agostino, and uncle, Francesco. Born in 1545, he very precociously showed a brilliant and multifaceted intellect and became extremely interested in different artistic and cultural disciplines, which he cultivated and supported throughout his short life. In particular, at an early age he began to study Latin, Greek and music and to practice in the fine arts.

Moreover, in 1568 he promoted the foundation of the Accademia degli Alterati in his palace. Analyzing different sources, the prominent role of Tommaso stands out in the organization of the meetings of the Academy and his multifaceted literary and artistic interests clearly come to light (he painted the main hall of his palace with the heraldic devices of the Academics).

Tommaso gathered around him the best Florentine youth (including his brother Nero) in the collective desire to express and produce poetic forms that elevated the spirit, as emerges from the reading of his poetic compositions and those of the other academicians (some of them in a humorous and satirical vein).

Tommaso himself sponsored theatrical works, having the comedy Il Granchio by Leonardo Salviati printed at his own expense in 1566: Salviati was one of the founders of the famous Accademia della Crusca and dedicated the work to Del Nero.

In addition to illustrating, from a historical point of view, Tommaso Del Nero’s different achievements (both poetic and artistic), the figure of his brother Nero will also be briefly discussed. Indeed, although he devoted himself mainly to the management of family economic affairs, which allowed him, as it is known, to finance the construction of the sumptuous Chapel of San Filippo Neri in S. Maria in Vallicella in Rome at the end of the century, he definitely had a role, albeit a secondary one, in the continuation of the Academy’s activities after Tommaso’s death.