The moderate Baroque had its champion in Gian Battista Marino, the greatest poet of the seventeenth century and one of the greatest Italian poets of all time. Born in Naples in 1569 into a lawyer's family, he led an adventurous life pucturated with violent quarrels and spells of imprisonment. He appeared relatively late in the literary limelight. After an early fame which he won with a canzone about kisses, he published his rime(1602) in two parts and republished them later under the new title of La lira(1614), containing a third section. The Adone is Marino's most famous work. Initially conceived as a poem of twenty cantos comprising morn than 8,000 ottave. It is thus the longest Italian poem, but also the poorest in narrative elements; and the main story, coming from a classical source, is well known and is repeated twice in the poem. The Adone is rich in colourful digressions and narrative episodes, sections dedicated to science and politics, and endless descriptions of colours, gems, sounds and flowers. La galleria(1620) is a vast collection of ecphrases, that is descriptions of works of art: Marino was a great connoisseur of art, and in La galleria, the first modern work of its kind, he is engaged not only in judging art but in translating into words the lines, colours and volumes of the works described.
Marino's influence was great, but we now know not as much as it was assumed to have been in the past, when 'Marinism' and 'Baroque' or secentismo, all meaning bad taste, were synonymous. In any case, there was never a manifesto or a worked a considerable degree of autonomy.