Elena Clara Antonia Carrara Spinelli (b. 13 March 1814, Bergamo – d. 13 July 1886, Milan, of meningitis) was an Italian woman of letters and backer of the Risorgimento, usually known by her married name of countess Clara Maffei or Chiarina Maffei.
Bergamo is a city in the alpine Lombardy region of northern Italy, approximately 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Milan, and about 30 km (19 mi) from Switzerland, the alpine lakes Como and Iseo and 70 km (43 mi) from Garda and Maggiore. The Bergamo Alps begin immediately north of the city.
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan area has a population of 3,244,365. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.
Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, and neck stiffness. Other symptoms include confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light or loud noises. Young children often exhibit only nonspecific symptoms, such as irritability, drowsiness, or poor feeding. If a rash is present, it may indicate a particular cause of meningitis; for instance, meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria may be accompanied by a characteristic rash.
At 17 years old she married Andrea Maffei, but they separated by mutual consent on 15 June 1846. She had a long and lasting relationship with Carlo Tenca.
Andrea Maffei was an Italian poet, translator and librettist. He was born in Molina di Ledro, Trentino. A follower of Vincenzo Monti, he formed part of the 19th-century Italian classicist literary culture. Gaining laurea in jurisprudence, he moved for some years to Verona, then to Venice and finally to Milan, where in 1831 he married contessa Clara Spinelli. They separated by mutual consent on 15 June 1846.
Carlo Tenca was an Italian man of letters, journalist, deputy and supporter of the Risorgimento. He was the central figure in the salon of Countess Clara Maffei, to whom he was romantically linked.
She is well known for the salon she hosted in via dei Tre Monasteri in Milan, known as the "Salotto Maffei". Starting in 1834 and organised by Tommaso Grossi and Massimo d'Azeglio, it attracted several well-known literati, artists, scholars, composers and pro-Risorgimento figures to meet to discuss art and literature. These included Alessandro Manzoni, Francesco Hayez (who painted a portrait of Clara which he then gave to her husband), Giuseppe Verdi and Giovanni Prati.
A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate". Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until as recently as the 1940s in urban settings.
Tommaso Grossi was an Italian poet and novelist.
Massimo Taparelli, Marquess of Azeglio, commonly called Massimo d'Azeglio, was a Piedmontese-Italian statesman, novelist and painter. He was Prime Minister of Sardinia for almost three years, until his rival Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour succeeded him. D'Azeglio was a moderate liberal who hoped for a federal union between Italian states. As Prime Minister, he consolidated the parliamentary system, getting the young king to accept his constitutional status, and worked hard for a peace treaty with Austria. Although himself a Roman Catholic, he introduced freedom of worship, supported public education, and sought to reduce the power of the clergy in local political affairs. As senator, following the annexation of the United Provinces of Central Italy, Azeglio attempted to reconcile the Vatican with the new Italian Kingdom. His brother Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio was a Jesuit priest.
Alessandro Francesco Tommaso Antonio Manzoni was an Italian poet and novelist. He is famous for the novel The Betrothed (1827), generally ranked among the masterpieces of world literature. The novel is also a symbol of the Italian Risorgimento, both for its patriotic message and because it was a fundamental milestone in the development of the modern, unified Italian language. Manzoni also sat the basis for the modern Italian language and helped creating linguistic unity throughout Italy. He was an influential proponent of Liberal Catholicism in Italy.
Cesare Cantù was an Italian historian.
Rossano Brazzi was an Italian actor.
Alessandro Magnasco, also known as il Lissandrino, was an Italian late-Baroque painter active mostly in Milan and Genoa. He is best known for stylized, fantastic, often phantasmagoric genre or landscape scenes. Magnasco's distinctive style is characterized by fragmented forms rendered with swift brushstrokes and darting flashes of light.
Ida Baccini (1850–1911) was an Italian writer for children. Baccini edited Cordelia, a journal for girls, from 1884 to 1911.
Clorinda Corradi was an Italian opera singer and one of the most famous contraltos in history.
The Five Days of Milan were a major event in the Revolutionary Year of 1848 and the start of the First Italian War of Independence. On 18 March, a rebellion arose in the city of Milan, and in five days of street fighting drove Marshal Radetzky and his Austrian soldiers from the city.
Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso was an Italian noblewoman, princess of Belgiojioso, who played a prominent part in Italy's struggle for independence. She is also notable as a writer and journalist.
Antonio Cagnoni was an Italian composer. Primarily known for his twenty operas, his work is characterized by his use of leitmotifs and moderately dissonant harmonies. In addition to writing music for the stage, he composed a modest amount of sacred music, most notably a Requiem in 1888. He also contributed the third movement, Quid sum miser, to the Messa per Rossini, a collaborative work created by thirteen composers to honor Gioacchino Rossini.
Mosè Bianchi was an Italian painter and printmaker.
Grazioso Rusca was a Swiss sculptor who was also active in northern Italy.
Giuseppe Verdi is a 1938 Italian biographical film directed by Carmine Gallone and starring Fosco Giachetti, Gaby Morlay and Germana Paolieri. The film portrays the life of the composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). The casting of Giachetti as Verdi was intended to emphasise the composer's patriotism, as he had recently played patriotic roles in films such as The White Squadron. The film was made at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. The film is also known by the alternative title The Life of Giuseppe Verdi.
Laudomia Bonanni was an Italian writer and journalist. Although she started publishing when she was a teenager, her literary career took off in 1948 when she won a national contest; she went on to be a prolific and award-winning author. The Nobel laureate Eugenio Montale compared her realism to James Joyce’s Dubliners, and other distinguished critics considered her one of the most important and original voices in Italy’s post-World War II literature.
Angiolina Ortolani-Tiberini was an Italian soprano who sang many leading roles in European opera houses during a career spanning over twenty years. After their marriage in 1858, her career was closely entwined with that of her husband, the tenor Mario Tiberini, with the couple often appearing together on stage. Amongst the roles she created was Ofelia in Franco Faccio's Amleto.
Mauro Ceruti is an Italian philosopher.
Giulietta Pezzi was an Italian writer and journalist whose work included poetry, four novels, and a five-act play. Born and educated in Milan, she was a devoted follower of Mazzini and active in the Italian republican and unification movements. In her later years she wrote for several newspapers and dedicated herself to the establishment of free public schools in Italy based on Mazzini's educational philosophy. She died in the city of her birth at the age of 71. During her lifetime several art songs were dedicated to her, including Bellini's "Vaga luna, che inargenti".
Giovanni "Gino" Visconti Venosta was a Milanese writer-scholar and, as a young man, an activist Italian patriot.
Romolo Griffini was a Milanese physician, social reformer and patriot-activist. He was also, at various stages in his career, a newspaper journalist-editor