Cvijeta Zuzorić

Cvijeta Zuzorić (Flora Zuzori, Floria Zuzzeri)  was born in Dubrovnik in 1552, and died in Ancona in 1648. As a little girl she went with her father to Ancona where she acquired higher education and where she socialize with many artists.

Sadly, about her life we lack reliable data, but the story we get in the heritage is anything but poor or spare. For two paintings (which you can see here) was considered to represent her, but today we know that they don’t.

In 1570 she married Bartolomeo Pescionia, wealthy nobleman who was appointed Florentine ambassador to the Dubrovnik Republic. In the same year, the couple moved to Ragusa, where they lived for thirteen years, until Pescioni’s debts and bankruptcy forced them to move back to Ancona.
In her hometown, to her country house in Čibača, she organises artistic and scientific discussions and debates.

Zuzorić was an exceptionally beautiful and intelligent woman, was said to have written excellent epigrams and gentle rhymes, which, however, have not survived.

Her great friend Nikola Gučetić described her physical and spiritual beauty in his famous philosophical works: Dialogue about the Beauty and the Dialogue on Love (Dialogo della bellezza, Dialogo d’amore), 1581.

After she returned to Dubrovnik many envied and attacked her. In 1584 Mara Gundulić Gučetić, in the inscription written in the preface for philosophical work of her husband Nikola (A treatise on the Meteors of Aristotle (Discorsi sopra le Metheore d’Aristotle), 1584), stood in her defense and defense of all the women and then violently attacked the envious.

Cvijeta is known only by reputation, since she was mentioned and celebrated in countless poems by many famous Croatian and Italian poets who have glorified her in their songs and devoted her their works. It is interesting to note that she was also mentioned in the sonnets of the famous Italian poet Torquato Tasso, who praised her virtues and beauty even though he had never met her.

Cvijeta is still to be discovered and in the end, we are left with the question of who was Cvijeta Zuzorić?


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