According to behealthybytomorrow.com, Juan de Padilla is the author of the most demanding and complex poem in the context of Castilian Dante imitation, provided we obviously think of Los doce triunfos de los doce Apóstoles (1521) and not, as erroneously stated by Farinelli and Giannini, to the Retablo de la vida de Cristo (1505). I Doce triunfos, a title that also demonstrates the connection with Petrarch, is the work that presents the greatest possibility of comparisons with the Comedy at all levels, from the structural conception – the journey through the three realms of the afterlife – to the way of the encounters with the different characters; from the countless lexical borrowings to the adoption of periphrases, metaphors and comparisons.
In the first two decades of the sixteenth century, therefore, the culmination and subsequent decline of the pre-Renaissance current of Dante’s imprint was reached, immediately replaced by the Petrarchian lyric renaissance. However, none of these works will be reprinted in the sixteenth century, while the Catalan Sentencias by Ferrer de Blanes will be printed, through which a series of triplets of the original Italian will form, with the Castilian translation of Hell, the only Dante’s material published in the Spain of the Golden Age. Of the ancient editions, it is enough to remember that as many as six incunabula of the Commedia with commentary by Landino, all from the decade between 1484 and 1493, are in the National Library of Madrid.
The renewal of forms and contents carried out by the lyrical generation of Boscán (about 1490 – 1542), and of Garcilaso de la Vega in particular (1503-1536), will affect not only the history of Spanish poetry but also that of Hispanic Dante henceforth Petrarch and the Petrarchists the new idols and the new poetic school. And to this differential character between the mature Italianism of the sixteenth century and the Italian pre-Renaissance period, we must add the interruption of bilingual Dante in Spain, due to the adoption of Castilian as a national literary language. Although from Barcelona, Juan Boscán, who already hears and proclaims the difference in the use of the hendecasyllable between D. and Petrarch, wrote exclusively in Castilian. This second phase, therefore, of Hispanic Dante be interpreted from a different methodological angle. We must not exaggerate certain data or certain elements, which must be interpreted in terms of the much more complex cultural context, but we must not even give them an inert meaning. It is necessary to avoid falling back into the clichés of the absolute forgetfulness of Dante’s work in the Golden Age, attributing it, among other things, to inquisitorial censures. Friederich had well assumed when affirming that D. must have been much better known in the Spanish sixteenth and seventeenth centuries than was apparent from the testimonies of scholars; although it is almost customary to say the opposite, D. is mentioned dozens and dozens of times. Of course, a poet’s luck cannot be measured by the number of mentions; but also admitting a substantial ‛absence ‘of the poet,
Very significant, in the technical-rhetorical aspect, is the Dante’s tercet, which is introduced into Castilian poetry not through imitations of the Comedy, but (and not before the decade 1530-1540) in the adaptation of the stanza by the Spanish Petrarchists to the genre of the epistle and satire. If some isolated trace of Dante has also been reported in Garcilaso’s poetry, more unmistakable echoes are those found in Luis de León (1527-1591), who seems to have been inspired by some sonnets of the Vita Nuova and which coincides with D. – according to O. Macrí – in the vision of a musician God and architect of the universe.
In the Comentarios to the poetry of Garcilaso (1580), Fernando de Herrera (1534-1597) quotes D. five times and reports verses from Purgatory and Hell. And in the poet Francisco de Aldana (1537? -1578) Meregalli caught “Dante’s expressive habits and his returning images”. Also in the sixteenth century, both a historian like G. Fernández de Oviedo (1478-1557), as well as an epic poet like Jerónimo Arbolanche (in 1566) and a treatise on mythology like Martín de Azpilicueta (in 1594) refer to Dante. Much more abundant are the quotations – about forty verses in Italian – reported by P. Sánchez de Viana in his Anotaciones to Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1589). On another path, already in 1527, Alfonso de Valdés had proposed to Erasmus of Rotterdam to edit an edition of the Monarchy. But the an evident change in taste is explicit in Hernando de Hozes, translator of the Petrarchian Triumphs (1554), who, if he does not hesitate to call D. “persona muy docta”, judges his style “menos polido” than that of Petrarch. And an already clearly negative judgment comes at the end of the century with Luis Zapata who, in his Miscelánea (1591-1595), says with undeniable ease: “Dante es tan pesado que jamás pude leer una hoja [page] entera de él”, while he praises Petrarch instead.