Andreini, Isabella

, wife to the preceding, was born at Padua in 1562, became an actress of great fame, and was flattered by the applauses of the men of wit and learning in her time. She is described as a woman of elegant figure, beautiful countenance, and melodious voice, of taste in her profession, and conversant with the French and Spanish languages; nor was she unacquainted with philosophy and the sciences. She was a votary of the muses, and cultivated poetry with ardour and success. The Intend, academicians of Pavia, conferred upon her the honours of their society, and the titles of Isabella Andreina, Comica Gelosa, Academica Intenta, delta l’Accesa. She dedicated her works to cardinal Cinthio Aldobrandini (nephew to Clement VIIL), by whom she was greatly esteemed, and for whom many of her poems were composed.

In France, whither she made a tour, she met with the most flattering reception from the king, the queen, and the court. She composed several sonnets in praise of her royal patrons, which are inserted in the second volume of her poems. She married Francis Andreini, whom we have just noticed, and died at Lyons, June 10th, 1604, in consequence of a premature delivery during a state of pregnancy, in the forty -second year of her age. Her husband, whom her loss overwhelmed with affliction, had her interred in the city in which she expired, and erected a monument to her memory, on which he caused an epitaph to be inscribed, enumerating her virtues, her piety, and her talents. Her death was lamented in many Latin and Italian elegies and panegyrics, and even a medal was struck to her memory, with the inscription, “JEterna Fama.” The justice of these high praises may still be appreciated by a perusal of her works 1. “Mirtilla, favola pastorale,Verona, 1588, 8vo, and often reprinted. She is said to have begun this in her infancy, but it does not appear to have been very successful on the stage. 2. “Rime,Milan, 1601, 4to; Paris, 1603, 12mo, &c. Most of these had appeared in various collections, and there are others of her writing in “Componimenti poetici delle piu illustri rimatrici d’ogni seculo,Venice, 1726, 12mo. 3. “Lettere,Venice, 1607, 4to. These letters are mostly on love subjects. It has-been remarked as somewhat singular in bibliography, that the dedication of this work to the duke of Savoy, as well as the title-page, bears date 1607, three | years after the author’s death. 4. “Fragmenti d’alcune scritture,” &c. a collection of fragments, dialogues, &c. on love subjects, published by her husband, Venice, 1616, the date of the preface, but in the frontispiece, 1625, 8vo. 1


Gen. Dict.—Moreri.—Biographie Universelle.