Maffei, Clara

PATRIOT, WOMAN OF LETTERS (ITALY)
BORN 13 Mar 1814, Bergamo, Lombardia - DIED 13 Jul 1886, Milano, Lombardia
REAL NAME Spinelli, Elena Chiara Maria Antonia Carrara
GRAVE LOCATION Milano, Lombardia: Cimitero Monumentale, Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale (Rialzato AB Ponente Giardino 675)

Clara Spinelli's parents both belonged to aristocratis families in Bergamo. Her father was count Giovanni Battista Carrara-Spinelli. When she was nine year old her mother left the family to live with someone else. Her father moved to Milan to avoid the scandal and she lived with Countess Mosconi in Verona. There she studied at the College of Angels and Teresa Mosconi, the daughter of the countess, became a close friend. After her mother died she moved to Milan where she continued her studies.

There she married the poet and librettist Andrea Maffei on 10 March 1832. She was only seventeen years old at the time. From 1834 she hosted a salon at the Via dei Tre Monasteri in Milan where she was visited by many celebrities. In 1837 she received Honoré de Balzac who was very impressed by her. In 1842 Verdi visited her house and other guests were Manzoni and Hayez.

In 1844 she was visited by the patriot Carlo Tenca and on 15 June 1846 Clara and Andrea agreed to separate. A long relationship with Tenca followed. She moved to 46 Via Giardini (now Via Manzoni). Her home became a meeting point for supporters of the Risorgimento.

During the revolution of 1848 they fled to Locarno, but they were able to return to Milan in 1850 and settled at 21 Via Bigli. In 1859 the separation from Andrea was concluded in court in Riva del Garda. She continued to support the Risorgimento and after the Austrians had given up Milan Napoleon III sent her an autographed photo through Count Francesco Arese Lucini, thanking her for the part she had played with her Salon. When she died in 1886 in Milan, Verdi was very sad and noted that she had been his friend for 44 years.

Related persons
• was painted by Hayez, Francesco
• was visited by Manzoni, Alessandro
• was visited by Verdi, Giuseppe

Images

The grave of Clara Maffei at the Cimitero Monumentale, Milano.
Picture by Androom (21 Feb 2019)

 

Sources
Clara Maffei - Wikipedia


Magaloff, Nikita

Published: 29 Jun 2019
Last update: 29 Jun 2019