Online Encyclopedia

MAURICE SCEVE (c. 1500-1564)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 309 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
MAURICE SCEVE (c. 1500-1564), French poet, was born at Lyons, where his father practised law. Besides following his father's profession he was a painter, architect, musician and poet. He was the centre of the Lyonnese coterie that elaborated the theory of spiritual love, derived partly from Plato and partly from Petrarch, which was enunciated in Antoine Heroet's Parfaicte Amye. Sceve's chief works are Delie, objet de plus haulte vertu (1544); two eclogues, Arlon (1536) and La Saulsaye (1547) ; and Le Microcosme (1562), an encyclopaedic poem beginning with the fall of man. Delie consists of 450 dizaines and about 5o other poems in praise of his mistress. These poems, now little read, were even in Sceve's own day so obscure that his enthusiastic admirer Etienne Dolet confesses he could not understand them. Sceve was a musician as well as a poet, and cared very much for the musical value of the words he used. In this and in his erudition he forms a link between the school of Marot and the P16iade. Delie (an anagram for l'idee) set the fashion of a series of poems addressed to a mistress real or imaginary, followed by Ronsard in Cassandre and by Du Bellay in Olive. The Lyonnese school of which Sceve was the leader included his friend Claude de Taillemont and many women writers df verse, Jeanne Gailiarde—placed by Marot on an equality with Christine de Pisan—Pernette du Guillet, Cl6mence de Bourges and the poet's sisters, Claudine and Sibylle Sceve. Sceve died in 1564. See also LABE, LOUISE). See E. Bourciez, La Litterature polie et les mmeurs de cons sous Henri II (Paris, 1886) ; Pernetti, Recherches pour semis d l'histoire de Lyon (2 vols., Lyons, 1757) , and F. Brunetibre, " Un Pr6curseur de la Pleiade, Maurice Sceve," in his Etudes critiques, vol. vi. (1899).
End of Article: MAURICE SCEVE (c. 1500-1564)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.