Thе article gives a brief sketch of the life of Niccolò Tommaseo and general account of his literary criticism in the context of his aesthetic ideas. The most important premise of Tommaseo’s practical literary judgments was the interrelationship of morality, truth, and poetry. It determined his position in the discussion of the historical novel, in his comparative evaluations of the Italian classics or contemporary poets and prose writers. At the same time, the morality that Tommaseo sought and demanded of the poetry was not abstract and should not be reduced to a few general precepts; the ethical in the poetry, according to the critic, is effective only when it comes from the heart of the poet.
Niccolò Tommaseo; literature and ethics; folk poetry; Romanticism; aesthetics of integrity.