(This is the a first glance of a future writing project, that was born after the comments of this post. I have written it in Spanish and my friend Tanja has been so kind to translate it, exception made of the poem.)
Yo pienso si me muriese / Y con mis males finase / Desear / Tan grande amor feneciese / Que todo el mundo quedase / Sin amar / Mas esto considerando / Mi tarde morir es luego / Tanto bueno / Que debo, razón usando / Gloria sentir en el fuego / donde peno. (López de Estúñiga – Cobla)
Methinks should I die / And together with my pains ended / My desire / Such a great love would die /That the whole world would remain / Loveless/ Therefore, considering this / It’s a good thing to live still / And I should, according to reason / Feel blessed in the fire / Where I suffer
– “Are you finally going to tell me who he is?” – Jacopo Pesaro pointed to one of the figures depicted in the altarpiece. After months of work, the painting was finally finished, the work officially handed over to the Franciscans after a brief ceremony and a blessing. Usually the master would not bother to deliver the work in person, but this morning he made an exception. The church was almost empty, with only a couple of lay sisters sitting on one of the benches, telling their beads while waiting for the confessor.
– “Yes, I think I will” – Tiziano Vecelio turned to look at the interlocutor’s face, Bishop Jacopo Pesaro. It was he who paid for the piece, well and on time, as usual, and was within his rights. He acknowledged, with a hint of pride, that he managed to capture the man’s face on canvas to perfection: proud, arrogant … and very rich. He looked back at the painting, at the figure that aroused so much curiosity in its patron, a soldier carrying the victorious banner of the Borgias, and recalled that night, months ago. It was raining the way it only can in Venice, soaking to the bone; haste to return home after taking care of some urgent matters, he almost bumped into a man waiting outside his door. He was tall, covered with a black hooded cape and judging by the amount of water dripping from the folds of it, he had been waiting for a long time. The man moved, and he could see the hilt of the sword hanging from his belt; his servant was about to push him aside rudely, but the painter stopped him with a hand gesture, he recognized the weapon the moment the stranger said hoarsely. – “She’s dead. For bearing him another child … damn him! Damn him! May he be damned a thousand times! “. Tiziano interrupted the man and lead him inside the house.
– “So? I have been asking you ever since the first sketches … Who is he? “– The resounding voice of Pesaro echoed in the deserted church, bringing the painter back to reality.
– “Now I can tell you, Monsignor. He returned to his homeland, Venice was not a safe place for him; there had been a price on his head. “
– “By whom? The Doge? “
– “No. The Duke of Ferrara “
Jacopo Pesaro turned suddenly, surprised. Tiziano continued.
– “I met him years ago, and then saw him again a few months ago. He is an Englishman.”
– “And what gives an Englishman the right to carry the banner of the Borgias?” – Bishop Pesaro was not a common cleric; the blood in his veins was much more of a warrior than a religious man, and more than just proud, he was loyal. It was Alexander VI, the Borgia Pope, who gave him a squadron of galleys with which he defeated the Turks. When “the Catalan” died he was among the few who did not renounce him and even commissioned Tiziano to do a portrait of the two together.
– “Believe me, Monsignor, with every right. Come with me, I’ll tell you all about it after a good meal. Although I think you might be staying even after dinner, it’s a long story. “