Giambattista Andreini

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Giambattista Andreini
Portrait of Giambattista Andreini reading a book by Tacitus by Angelo Caroselli
Born9 February 1579 Edit this on Wikidata
Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Died7 June 1654 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 75)
Reggio Emilia, Duchy of Modena and Reggio
OccupationPlaywright, stage actor, poet, writer Edit this on Wikidata

Giambattista Andreini (9 February 1576 – 7 June 1654) was an Italian actor and the most important Italian playwright of the 17th century.[1]


Born in Florence to stage stars Isabella Andreini and Francesco Andreini, he had a great success as a comedian in Paris under the name of Leylio. He was a favourite with Louis XIII, and also with the public, especially as the young lover.[2]

His wife Virginia Ramponi-Andreini, whom he married in 1601, was also a celebrated actress and singer.[3]


He left a number of plays full of extravagant imagination. The best known are L'Adamo (Milan, 1613), The Penitent Magdalene (Mantua, 1617), and The Centaur (Paris, 1622). From the first of these three volumes, which are extremely rare, Italians have often asserted that Milton, travelling at that time in their country, took the idea of Paradise Lost.[2]

This image of commedia dell'arte actors from The Feather Book of Dionisio Minaggio is thought to depict Andreini as "Lelio" and his wife Virginia Ramponi-Andreini as "Florinda".[4]


  1. ^ Snyder 2007, pp. 37–38; Jakubcová, Alena (2007). Starší divadlo v českých zemích do konce 18. století (in Czech). Prague: Academia. p. 19. ISBN 978-80-200-1486-3.
  2. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ Snyder 2007, p. 37.
  4. ^ Katritzky 2006, p. 244.


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