Veronica Franco and Courtesans in Sixteenth-Century Venice

In the sixteenth-century, Venice was a city that was flourishing both economically and culturally. With the influx from the trade routes, it was necessary for Venice to sustain the tourists and merchants that came and went from the city.[1] To amuse male travelers in Venice, the predominant entertainment of the city resides in the use of courtesans. The women flooded the city of Venice, and it was with the support of the citizens that the women were allowed to work. Among the high-class courtesans was Veronica Franco, one of the most famous courtesans in Venice. With her intelligence and charm, Franco lured her customers to her bedside, and maintained her grasp through poetry and letters. The role of women in the sixteenth-century was limited, and it was with their knowledge that courtesans of Venice became powerful and influential.

Avian Spiller

Follow the Links to information about Veronica Franco and the influences of courtesans in Venice.

Veronica Franco

Franco’s Poems and Letters

Women in Venice

Franco and Women

Marcantonio Raimondi, The Judgment of Paris

Fantasy and Titian’s Venus of Urbino

Franco and King Henri III

Courtesan Bibliography


[1] Margaret Rosenthal, 11.

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