Fazio Degli Uberti. “Canzone. His Portrait of his Lady, Angiola of Verona.” [complete]

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1846-1856?
Rhyme: Abbcabbccdeedffgg; (sirima): Abbccaa
Meter: iambic pentameter and trimeter
Genre: canzone


“Table of Poets” in Early Italian Poets vol. 1, xxxiii-xxxv.

◦ Dante Alighieri, Opere Minori vol 1., 58-61.

◦ Sapegno, Poeti Minori del Trecento, 97-100.


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Dante and His Circle Text.

Scholarly Commentary


This translation is nearly as central a work in DGR's corpus as “The Blessed Damozel”. The iconograph of “The Rossetti Woman” is fully articulated in this text, but even more important is the ambiguity—enforced in the title DGR supplied for his poem—about the reference of the word “Portrait”. In one sense the portrait is the canzone; in another the canzone references a pictorial object: either a literal painting (like DGR's own related picture Fazio's Mistress), or the lady herself metaphorically imagined as an image. That way of thinking about his art, pictorial as well as textual, as well as his art's relation to the “donne” it represents, is foundational and provides the structure supporting all of DGR's “double works”.

DGR took his source text for this celebrated canzone from Fraticelli's edition of Dante's Opere Minori. Fraticelli's notes state that the poem, while often included in Dante's corpus, is probably by Fazio degli Uberti, which is in fact the case.

Fazio was born at Pisa early in the fourtenth-century and died at Verona around 1367. DGR's commentary on Fazio supplies further useful information about this well-known figure and his work. He remarks, quite justly, that the “contested Canzone is well worth fighting for” given its great power and beauty.

DGR's translation is a remarkable work in its own right, and a technical tour de force in its nearly perfect adherence to Fazio's complex rhyme scheme. Only in the sirima does DGR make a departure, and in that case he introduces a rhyme where Fazio has none.

Textual History: Composition

As with nearly all of these translations, we don't know precisely when DGR made this one.

Printing History

The translation was first published in 1861 in The Early Italian Poets; it was reprinted in 1874 in Dante and his Circle.


DGR's painting Fazio's Mistress was originally executed (in 1863) to illustrate the text of Fazio's canzone, and of course DGR's translation as well. The conception and title of the painting later changed to Aurelia, however, but when DGR repainted the picture in 1873 the new title did not get passed along.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 236d-1861.raw.xml