Gaspara Stampa was born in Padua in 1525, in a middle class family. At the death of her father, Bartolomeo, her family moved to Venice in 1531. There, she got in touch with some academical societies which bring her few important knowledge of that time; joined Petrarc current wrote some poems and rhymes considered the most well done and sensual writings of the italian women letterature.
Few times after the moving in Venice her brother Baldassarre, a good intellectual too, died and this event impressed her and her sister Cassandra, who attended the most important authorities of the venetian society too, very much.
Her personal life, or better her personal way of life, definied "libertine" has always divide the historical to consider her or not as a courtesan, inscribed in the venetian catalogue in which courtesans of high and raffinate education were inscribed with the relative prize but there weren't such tests, as for example Veronica Franco, an other italian writer of that same period.
Her sentimental life was of inspiration, she felt in love with an important aristocratic called Collaltino di Collalto who reciprocated her love in a very surface way after his abandonment, her heart become shaken and choose to think about a new flame: Bartolomeo Zen.
Her artistic expression is tracked in "The Rhymes" (Rime) a huge volume of her works (311 compositions) but she was also a good singer and musician.
She died in Venice in 1554 for an intestinal fever, and her work "The Rhymes" was published by her sister Cassandra.
This poem is an example of her talent:
S'avien ch'un giorno Amor a me mi renda,e mi ritolga a questo empio signore;di che paventa e non vorrebbe, il core,tal gioia del penar suo par che prenda;voi chiamerete invan la mia stupendafede, e l'immenso e smisurato amore,di vostra crudeltà, di vostro erroretardi pentite, ove non è chi intenda.Ed io cantando la mia libertade,da così duri lacci e crudi sciolta,passerò lieta a la futura etade.E, se giusto pregar in ciel s'ascolta,vedrò forse anco in man di crudeltadela vita vostra a mia vendetta involta.
"Rime d'amore" ,IX, Gaspara Stampa
Her malaise for her lover duke Collaltino di Collalto, who had never time for her, probably inspired this poem full of passion and pain:
Se voi non foste a maggior cose vòlto,onde 'l vostro splendor, Venier, sormonte,avendo sì gran stil, rime sì pronte,e de' lacci d'Amore essendo sciolto,vi pregherei che 'l valor e 'l bel voltoe l'altre grazie del mio chiaro contea la futura età faceste cònte,poi che 'l poterlo fare a me è tolto;e faceste ancor cònto il foco mioe la mia fede oltra ogni fede ardente,degna d'eterna vita, e non d'oblio.Ma, poi degno rispetto nol consente,vedrò, tal qual io sono, adombrarn'iouna minima parte solamente.
Rime, CCLII, Gaspara Stampa