Cane Corso Art History

The Cane Corso Art History has a plethora of connections to Italian Literature and Art. This breed was  mentioned many times from famous writers of the  fifteenth century onwards. I have only mentioned a few, however, there are many more connections that can be researched.  As a history buff, I like to connect history to our favorite four legged friends. Cane Corso Art History is filled with many popular artists mentioning this great breed. I hope you enjoy!


Teofilo Folengo (1491-1544) tratteggia il Cane Corso nel mortale assedio all’orso o al leone ferito dal cacciatore: in quest’ultimo caso il Cane Corso viene come tale descritto in alternativa al nome usuale Molosso (“canes inter seu corsos sive molossus”).

Folengo Theophilus (1491-1544) outlines the Cane Corso in the deadly siege of  a bear or lion wounded by a hunter in the latter case, the Cane Corso is described as such an alternative to the usual name Molosso ( ” canes inter seu corsos sive molossus ” ) .



Nicolo Macchiavelli (1469-1527) nel poemetto “L’asino”:
“Vidi una volpe maligna e ‘mportuna che non truova ancor rete che la pigli; e un Can Còrso abbaiar alla luna”.

Nicolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) in his poem ” The Donkey ”
“I saw a fox and a Cane Corso barking at the moon .”




Erasmo di Valvason (1523-1593), letterario trasferitosi dal suo feudo in Friuli alla corte mantovana (1591), comprende nel termine corso sia un tipo di mastino – oltre che alla presa – dell’orso, del lupo e del cinghiale. Ecco la descrizione efficacissima di quest’ultimo:

“Come il Veltro sia destro et sia spedito

ma di persona più gagliarda et magna:

sia grosso, ma non grave od impedito

da tanta mole, che la lena fragna;

abbondi di grand’osso et di gran nerbo

et sia facile a l’ira, aspro et superbo.

Si noti che il Valvason, per descrivere il Cane Corso, meglio non trova che stabilire confronti con gli estremi opposti: da una parte, espressamente, con il Veltro (grossomodo l’attuale Levriero), di cui possiede l’agilità ma non l’esilità fisica; dall’altra, implicitamente, con il cane di grossissima mole (sul tipo del mastino napoletano o del mastiff inglese), dalla cui pesantezza si distanzia per liberarsi nella corsa resistente e nevrile.

Valvason of Erasmus (1523-1593) , who moved from his literary feud in Friuli in the court of Mantua ( 1591 ) , includes within the course is a type of mastiff – in addition to the socket – the bear, the wolf and the wild boar . Here is the description of the latter very effective :

” As the Greyhound is dexterous and is shipped

but in person more vigorous

is big , but not serious or disabled

by such amount abundant in great vigor and strength

is easy to anger, harsh and proud.

Note that the Valvason to describe the Cane Corso , which is better not to draw comparisons with the extremes : on the one hand, specifically , with the Greyhound ( roughly the current Greyhound ) , which possesses the agility but not the ‘ physical thinness and on the other , by implication, with the dog of very big mole ( the type of the Neapolitan mastiff mastiff or English), from which distances itself heaviness in the race to get rid of resistant and nervous behavior .

Tito Scandiano John , in the ” Poem of the Hunt” ( 1556 ) , portrays the Cane Corso in the powerful and formidable assault socket ( ” to attack , bite and tear boars, bears and wolves ” ) .

And yet another poetic testimony of Giovan Battista Marino (1569-1625) , which tells the myth of Actaeon , a formidable hunter turned into a stag by Artemis for vengeance , because he dared to compete with the goddess to practice hunting and spied her while diving naked in a source , then chased and then torn to pieces by his own dogs .

The same is depicted along with Actaeon Diana fountain in the palace of Caserta ( 1790 ) along with his dogs, among which stands out a dog with cropped ears very similar to today’s Cane Corso .

Giovanni Verga, in ” Medlar Tree” (1881 ) says: ” He bites worse than a Cane Corso ” The Tommaseo , in his vocabulary , a parable : ” Can the course , a man of fair appearance and attitude ”

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