Biography of Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola (1559-1613)

Poet and dramatist Spanish, born in Barbastro (Huesca) in 1559, and died in Naples (Italy) in 1613.


He was the eldest son of the marriage between Juan Leonardo, descendants of Italians, and Aldonza Tudela de Argensola, of the Catalan nobility. His father came to get the Secretary of Maximiliano II. We do not have data about his education, although this must have borne by some religious in Barbastro and Huesca. He studied philosophy and law at the universities of Zaragoza and Huesca. It it is to have attended classes of Andrés Schotto and Simón Abril, known translator of Aristotle and Plautus. It was a great latinist, great reader of the classics, especially of Horacio, but also read the satirical martial, Juvenal and Persius.

He moved to Lleida in 1582 to greet his father, who was traveling in the Entourage of Doña María de Austria, widow of Maximiliano II. In these years was writing his three tragedies, praised by Cervantes in Don Quixote: Phyllis, Isabela and Alejandra. In 1586 he entered the service of don Fernando de Aragón, Duke of Villahermosa, who was named Secretary; exercising this office had to write several letters addressed by the Duke and the count of Aranda to Felipe II, on the occasion of the alterations that occurred in Aragon by the flight of the former Secretary of Felipe II Antonio Pérez. Even years later the own Lupercio wrote information about those events.

In 1587 he married Doña Mariana Bárbara of Albion. On the death of the Duke of Villahermosa obtained the Empress María Secretariat. At this time it was well known among his contemporaries his poetry; many of his poems were collected by Pedro Espinosa in its flowers of illustrious poets, published in 1605. In 1595 he was appointed chronicler and began to write a general history of Spain Tarraconense. Like his brother, he felt certain predilection for history, and pretended to write a Regal Preheminencias and translate the annals of Tacitus. In 1608, the Earl of Lemos named viceroy of Naples, offered him the position of Secretary. In 1610 he went to Naples, where he was one of the founders of the Academy of the Ociosos. He died in Naples in 1613.

Poetic work.

Lupercio not published his lyrical work, and even to burn his verses in Naples. It was his son, Gabriel Leonardo, who published them alongside the of his brother Bartolomé, in Zaragoza, in 1634. In this edition were printed 94 poems of Lupercio, although their production is broader. Lupercio poetic ideas are based on the belief that literary creation must be linked to ethics and morality. As is the case with his brother, their maximum model is Horacio; It takes the concept that the poet must file much what he writes: "Lean much, write little, amen delete thousand times each word, by not doing so the poets of his time, says Horacio ponies".

Horacio took certain issues, like the taste for the aurea mediocritas, satire of the vices and the gravity. But even if you follow the horaciana doctrine, takes into account his time literary fashions, as can be seen in the appearance of topics of special connotation Baroque poetry: ruins, tempus fugit. In what refers to its style, it is characterized by the syntactic and stylistic simplicity, classicism and the scarcity of jargon. It shows a great sobriety in the use of adjectives colourful or sensual. Opposed Góngora and the comedies of Lope, to write a Memorial in 1597 to Felipe II against the representation of comedies, in which demonstrates, according to José Manuel Blecua, "a certain inability to the understanding of the theatrical phenomenon, since it almost does not distinguish between reality and fantasy", even to suggest the need to prohibit the sacramental, "because [the actors] in their costumes are drinking, swearing, blaspheming and playing with the habit and outside form of Saints, Angels, the Virgin Nuestra Señora and of God himself".

His poems can be divided into three groups: poems loving, moral and satirico-burlescos, and circumstances and translations. In the amorous poems, Lupercio continues the tradition of the neoplatonic filografia with petrarquistas traits, but in some of these poems mix themes Baroque as the ruins, life and death. Blecua says that should the filografia of Argensola Castiglione or Bembo. The poems of this group are full of mythological allusions. The loved ones receive the typical names of the poetry of the time: Phillies, Cloris, Laura, Galatea, Amarilis, Flerida.

The description of feminine beauty continues to be the topics of the time supported the Platonic doctrine of an intellectual love; So says the cause of his love for Ana isn't physical beauty, but the spiritual: "your soul, which, can be seen in your works / is that hold could mine / because their captivity was immortal". His love poems, like the rest of his poetry, characterized by its technical perfection; José Manuel Blecua is defined by its antisensualismo, in images and comparisons, his flight from a language that had crystallized as Renaissance poem, and find topics and situations very original, apart from mixing with other topics.

The second group in which his son divided his poems includes the morales, the satirical and the burlesque. The moral issues which are reiterated in his poetry are the usual ones of his time: the providencia, award and punishment, the fortune, the domain itself, contempt of riches, secluded life. In these poems is undoubted Horacio footprint; examples are "Back field the tired ploughman" or the most famous of them: "Was behind the October shoots".

Satirical poems have the same concerns and influences than those indicated in the poetry of his brother Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola: Horace, Persius, Juvenal and Marcial. There are also many of the topics covered by other satirical of the 16th and 17TH centuries: the drunks, the lewd, sycophants, the cute, etc. This gallery of types appears in his Epistle to don Juan of Albion, which States their inability to improvise and laborious effort that cost him to write: "because to make a verse, and that armed, / I first have to sweat from every pore".

In the Epistle to which Green rejected the horaciana influence cited a large number of classical authors: César, Aristophanes, Terence, Suetonius, etc. The poem ends with a call to young people of his time so they leave contemporary vices and to live the heroic way of grandparents: "will make do with shame to thousand mozuelos / living themselves satisfied, / how different were their grandparents". Another important satire is directed "to Flora", which paints a magnificently with HARLOTS, which is described with grotesque and dehumanizing features. Some satirical sonnets he wrote, have been preserved in which addresses the same themes of Baroque: the Procuress, the deceitful marriage ("who has seen a marriage scam-free?") and provided hair ("those hairs on your face enjertos").

The Group of poems of circumstances inside a series of compositions of religious theme; Thus the triplets to the transfer of the relics of Saint Euphrasius to Andújar or writings with motifs of fair and events, such as those dedicated to san Diego de Alcalá or san Lorenzo; all of them presented, in the words of José Manuel Blecua, "the same characters from lack of intimacy with the rhetoric to use". These religious poems include the song "To the assumption of our Lady".

Other poems of circumstances are the praise contained in front of Martín de Bolea, Juan Rufo or Cristóbal of Virués books. This Group emphasizes the writing for the Aranjuez book of the soul, of fray Juan de Tortosa, where he becomes a compliment of Felipe II and his daughter. Finally, Gabriel Leonardo placed at the end of its Edition translations of six Odes horacianas, of which the most often cited is the of the "Beatus ille" ("blessed is that paragraph / business, mimics").


ARGENSOLA, Lupercio Leonardo de. Rhymes. (Ed. José Manuel Blecua). (Madrid: Classic)

Castellanos, 1972).

BLECUA, José Manuel. The Aragonese poetry of the Baroque. (Zaragoza: Guara, 1986).

EGIDO, Aurora. The Aragonese poetry of the 17TH century (culteranas estate). (Zaragoza: institution Fernando el Católico, 1979).

GREEN, Otis H. life and work of Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola. (Zaragoza: institution Fernando el Católico, 1945).