The New Student's Reference Work/Alfieri
Alfieri (äl-fē-ā' rē), the founder of Italian tragedy. He was born in Piedmont in 1749, and after a brief period of study at Turin traveled several years on the continent, spending his time, however, in dissipation. A few chance verses, written at the bedside of a friend, stirred in him a passion for tragedy, and he turned his energies to the study of literature. He wrote twenty-one tragedies, besides other poetry, including five odes on the American Revolution. His dramas, though simple in style, held an Italian audience spellbound. Saul is his most successful tragedy. Count Vittorio Alfieri died at Florence in 1803. His tomb is in the church of Santa Croce, in Florence, next to the tomb of Michael Angelo, and over it stands a monument by the sculptor Canova.