Giambattista Marino (1569-1625) was an Italian (or, more specifically, Neapolitan) poet, best known for his famous, epic poem, “L’Adone.” Born in Naples, Marino lived in his hometown for most of his life. Although his father hoped that Marino would pursue a career in law, Marino broke ties with his family and lived a rather luxurious lifestyle. Marino surrounded himself with influential nobles, politicians, artists, and thinkers. Although much of his life is shrouded in mystery, history shows that Marino studied literature while living “a life of pleasure,” and got himself arrested at least twice because of his exuberant lifestyle.
After some controversy over his poetry, Marino fled Naples and moved to Rome, where he worked for Cardinal Aldobrandini; later, he moved to the court of Duke Carlo Emanuele I in Torino. His rival in poetry attempted to assassinate him (he survived) and he later was sentenced to a year in prison for writing “malicious gossip” about the Duke of Torino. In 1615, Marino moved to Paris for nearly ten years, before finally returning to his native Naples, where he spent his final two years before passing away. Marino is considered to be the founder of the school of Marinism, a style of poetry and writing. Today, he remains a crucial point of reference for Baroque poetry. His most famous poem, “L’Adone,” was 20-cantos-long, and followed the story of Prince Adonis and the goddess Venus.