"> Name: Pietro Aretino, Italian writer and satirist

Date:  1500 - 1799

Location:  Europe

SubjectExplicit Sexuality


Artist: Pietro Aretino

Confronting Bodies: Catholic church authorities

Date of Action: 1527

Specific Location: Rome, Italy

Description of Artwork: Aretino is known for his lewdness and satire. The "Sonnetti lussuriosi" (1524) was written to accompany pornographic engravings by Marcantonio Raimondi, called "posizioni", or positions of sexual intercourse.

Description of Incident: Pope Clement VII banned the "Sonnetti" in 1527. Aretino's succeeding pornographic works were also forbidden by the church. His writing was considered dangerous because of its unashamed celebration of sexuality in its many forms and Aretino's "refusal to restrict his audience to men of virtue."

Results of Incident: In Venice, book printers were allowed to print 50 copies of Aretino's works each year, despite the ban. Translations circulated in Dutch, English, French, Spanish and Latin. European writers referenced his work throughout the century.

Source: Censorship, A World Encyclopedia, ed. D. Jones

Submitted By: NCAC

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