Prato, Giovanni da
(ca. 1367-ca. 1442)
   Florentine vernacular author, unusual in a generation when writing in Latin had eclipsed writing in the vernacular. At a time when some classical purists dis-dained the three great Florentine authors of the Trecento, Dante, Pe-trarch, and Boccaccio, Prato was an outspoken defender of their ex-cellence. He gave public lectures on Dante (1417-1425) and modelled his own works on those of his Florentine predecessors. His most important work is Il Paradiso degli Alberti, a romance tracing the author's imaginary pilgrimage to Crete and Cyprus, which ended at a noble castle in Casentino and the villa near Florence from which a later editor derived the title for the whole work. The last two seg-ments, in Casentino and the villa del Paradiso, are peopled by con-temporary intellectual and political figures, including Petrarch's closest disciple, Luigi Marsili, and Coluccio Salutati, the first hu-manist chancellor of Florence. Interest in Dante and Boccaccio is also evident in two other works, Trattato d'una angelica cosa mostrata per una divotissima visione / Treatise on an Angelic Event Demonstrated by a Most Pious Vision, and the poem Philomena.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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