Francesco Colonna  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Francesco Colonna (1433(?) – 1527), was an Italian Dominican priest and monk who was credited with the authorship of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by an acrostic in the text.

Little is known of Colonna. He lived in Venice, and preached at St. Mark's Cathedral. Besides Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, he definitely wrote an Italian epic poem called Delfili Somnium, the "Dream of Delfilo"; this poem went unpublished in his lifetime and was not in fact published until 1959. Colonna spent part of his life in the monastery of St. John and St. Paul in Venice, but the monastery was apparently not of the strictest observance and Colonna was granted leave to live outside its walls. In Ian Caldwell's and Dustin Thomason's book, The Rule of Four, Francesco Colonna is said to be a Roman, rather than a monk and the true author of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.

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