- A style of lyric poetry modelled on the poems of Petrarch and his Italian disciples, particularly on the love poetry of his Canzoniere / Book of Songs. Influenced by the late medieval Ital-ian poetry of Dante and the dolce stil nuovo that dominated early Italian lyric, it was consciously embraced by major poets of the 15th century such as Angelo Poliziano and Jacopo Sannazaro, but the poet and humanist Pietro Bembo was the person who established its canonical status in his treatise on vernacular literature, Prose della volgar lingua (1525), which designated Petrarch as the perfect model for imitation by poets. Bembo also exemplified the Petrarchan style in his own poetry, published under the title Rime (1530). This devel-opment occurred at precisely the moment when Italian poetry was be-ginning to establish a centuries-long dominance over the poetry of other nations. Pioneers such as Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Sur-rey in England, Pierre de Ronsard in France, and Juan Boscán in Spain adapted the Petrarchan style to their own lyric poetry. Later Re-naissance poets closely associated with the style include Vittoria Colonna, Maurice Scève, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.