Iacopo Sannazaro, la Chiesa di Santa Maria del Parto e il Diavolo di Mergellina


  • Antonio V. Nazzaro


Iacopo Sannazzaro, the Church of Santa Maria del Parto, and the shedevilof MergellinaThis paper deals with a painting of the Archangel Michael who pierceswith his spear the throat of a dragon who has white arms and the faceof a beautiful young woman. The painting (1542) by Leonardo Graziafrom Pistoia is kept in the Church of Santa Maria del Parto in Mergellina,built by the humanist poet Iacopo Sannazaro (1455/56-1530). Ithas given rise to an interesting legend with an esoteric flavour that goesunder the name of The she-devil of Mergellina, which is handed down,among others, by Ignaz Heinrich von Wessenberg, Matilde Serao andBenedetto Corce. To the painting and to the connected legend MicheleZezza dedicated in 1800 a short poem in 78 Ariosto’s octaves, which ishere studied for the first time.