Veronica Franco (1546-91) is the most famous cortigiana onesta (honored courtesan) of the Italian Renaissance. She recast virtue as intellectual integrity and offered wit and refinement in return for patronage and a place in public life. Franco was revered in her day by fellow poets for her creativity and literary acumen, by some women for championing their causes, and by kings and princes for her cultural and social refinements.

In this section, you will find a full biography, a catalogue of primary documents concerning Franco’s life, and a discussion of her published work. You will also find an examination of Franco’s portrait possibly by Jacopo Tintoretto.

Inquisition Trials
Poems & Letters
Portrait of Franco

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