Anno XIII / n.s. 3 – 2016
Documents and evidences

Antonia de Ribera dal palcoscenico al chiostro. In fuga dalla violenza maschile

Published 2017-11-16


  • Antonia de Ribera,
  • commedia dell'arte,
  • actresses,
  • history of women

How to Cite

Megale, T. (2017). Antonia de Ribera dal palcoscenico al chiostro. In fuga dalla violenza maschile. Drammaturgia, 13(3), 103–128.


Based on a new reading of archival sources still only partially known, the essay reconstructs an historical episode concerning the life of the spanish actress Antonia de Ribera, prima donna of Roque de Figueroa’s company, active in Naples around the fourth decade of the seventeenth century. The well known flight to Livorno of de Ribera and prince Pompeo Colonna, that jeopardized relations between some of the most powerful families of the first half of the seventeenth century (Colonna, d’Avalos, Medici), caused embarrassment to the diplomacy of some states (the viceroyal and the archducal) and, for some months, threatened political relations between Spain and Tuscany, was neither romantic nor adventurous. The episode, on the contrary, acquires a paradigmatic value of the violence (physical and psychic) perpetrated against theatrical women and, also, of the enduring historiographical prejudices regarding the profession of actress. The case of de Ribera, who preferred the convent to the stage, is proposed as a ‘case-study’ that proves the need to examine actresses’ behaviours avoiding long lasting stereotypes involving symbolic aspects of feminine archetypes.


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