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Article

Aguilonius [de Aguilón; Aguillon], Franciscus  

Frans Baudouin

[François]

(b Brussels, ?Jan 4, 1567; d Antwerp, March 20, 1617).

Flemish scientist and architect. His father was a Spaniard, Pedro de Aguilón; his mother, Anna Pels, was of Flemish origin. Aguilonius studied at the Jesuit Collège de Clermont in Paris and at Douai. He entered the novitiate of the Jesuits in Tournai. After a brief visit to Salamanca in 1596 he was ordained. He taught philosophy at Douai for five years, and in 1598 moved to Antwerp, where he became confessor to the Spaniards and Italians and a teacher at the city’s Jesuit college. In 1614 he was appointed rector of the college.

Aguilonius’s reputation rests on his book on optics, illustrated by Peter Paul Rubens, and on the part he played in building the Jesuit church in Antwerp (S Carlo Borromeo), which contributed to the popularity of Italian Baroque architecture with Flemish Jesuits. By December 1611 Aguilonius had written Opticorum libri sex, which was published by the Plantin press in ...

Article

Alberti, Leon Battista  

Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

Article

Alessi, Galeazzo  

Aurora Scotti Tosini

(b Perugia, 1512; d Perugia, Dec 30, 1572).

Italian architect and writer. He was the leading High Renaissance architect in both Genoa and Milan, his villas and town palazzi establishing a definitive pattern for the genre. His greatest sacred building was S Maria Assunta in Carignano, the central planning of which shows the influence of Donato Bramante and Michelangelo.

The Perugia of Alessi’s youth was an important centre of the Papal States, with a lively humanist and philosophical cultural life. Alessi received his early training in the school of the architect and painter Giovan Battista Caporali, whose edition of Vitruvius is notable for its tendency to rationalize the Antique and for its reference to music as a means of further perfecting the study of harmonic proportion in the visual arts. Alessi was also friendly with the architect Giulio Danti (1500–75), who was equally well versed in rhetoric and philosophy.

Alessi’s diverse cultural experience recommended him to the papal court in Rome, where he moved in ...

Article

Alghisi, Galasso  

(b Carpi, nr Modena, c. 1523; d Ferrara, 1573).

Italian architect and writer. He worked intermittently in Rome from 1549 to 1558, probably on the Palazzo Farnese under Michelangelo and on the city fortifications decreed by Pope Paul III. He was in Loreto in 1549, working on the basilica of S Maria, and in 1550, outside Macerata, began the church of S Maria delle Vergini, on which work continued for the rest of his life. The plan is a Greek cross, with a tall, octagonal drum over the crossing, in which are set large rectangular windows that transmit a bright but diffused light to the centre of the church. The interior is impressive in its refined simplicity, with almost all architectural elements reduced to their most essential forms. The great square nave piers, for example, are devoid of decoration other than their simple plinths and cornice-like capitals. The church is built throughout in brick, which is left exposed, with decorative inlaid panels, in the cross-vaulting to the right-hand eastern chapel. The façade (...

Article

Amat (y Junyent), Manuel  

Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(de )

(b Vacarisses, 1704; d Barcelona, Feb 14, 1782).

Spanish architect, engineer, and administrator, active in Peru. He was the second son of the Marquis de Castellbell and received military training at an early age. He served as Spanish governor in Chile (1755–61), acquiring a reputation there as a fortifications expert. In 1761 he was appointed Viceroy of Peru, where he launched a vast campaign of public works (see Peru, Republic of §III 1.). During his administrative term, which lasted until 1776, the city of Lima enjoyed a period of prosperity and splendour marked by the French Baroque taste favoured by the Spanish Court. The evidence strongly suggests that Amat was the designer of several monuments in Lima that were executed by the alarife (surveyor and inspector of works) Juan de la Roca, who may have also collaborated in the elaboration of some of the plans. Amat’s masterpiece was the church of Las Nazarenas (consecrated ...

Article

Amato, Paolo  

Helen M. Hills

(b Ciminna, Jan 24, 1634; d Palermo, July 3, 1714).

Italian architect, writer and painter. He trained as a priest in Palermo and entered the Padri Ministri degl’Infermi. Another member of this Order was Giacomo Amato, with whom he worked, although they were not related. While serving as a chaplain Amato studied geometry, architecture, optics and engraving. His earliest known artistic work is a painting on copper of the Miracle of S Rosalia (1663), the patron saint of Palermo. After 1686 he created many works of an ephemeral character. For the feasts of S Rosalia and for important political events he provided designs for lavish triumphal chariots, probably developed from those by Jacques Callot, triumphal arches and other ceremonial apparatus set up on principal roads and piazzas, and he painted hangings, papier-mâché models and massive altarpieces for the cathedral. These works influenced Amato’s permanent architecture. The spiral columns of the campanile of S Giuseppe dei Teatini, Palermo, recall the festival designs of ...

Article

Ardemans, Teodoro  

(b Madrid, 1664; d Madrid, Feb 15, 1726).

Spanish architect, painter and writer. He was trained in architecture by the Jesuits and in painting by Claudio Coello and worked mainly as an architect. Two overdoors showing multiple allegorical scenes of the Battle of Lepanto (1721; Madrid, Pal. Arzobisp.) and a St Barbara (1723; Madrid, Mus. Lázaro Galdiano) reveal Ardemans as a talented painter working in the tradition of Francisco Rizi, Juan Carreño de Miranda and Francisco de Herrera the younger, and partially influenced by Luca Giordano. His debt to Coello is apparent in a ceiling fresco attributed to him in the Capilla del Cristo de los Dolores of the Venerable Orden Tercera de San Francisco, Madrid, which shows St Francis riding in a chariot of fire with figures watching from a balcony. Also attributed to Ardemans is the portrait of Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra (c. 1689; Granada, Pal. Arzobisp.)

As an architect, Ardemans belongs to a period of transition, continuing into the 18th century the Baroque tradition of the Madrid school. He worked in Granada (...

Article

Astrology in medieval art  

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Ávila, Hernando de  

Isabel Mateo Gómez

(b ?Toledo; d 1595).

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (d 1565). He worked as painter to Toledo Cathedral from 1565 to 1581 and was painter (Pintor del Rey) to Philip II from 1583. He acted frequently as a valuer for the work of other artists.

Between 1563 and 1564, in collaboration with Luis de Velasco, Hernando de Ávila painted the retable of the church of Miraflores (Madrid Province) with the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (untraced); these are probably among his earliest works. He was commissioned to paint the retables of St John the Baptist and the ...

Article

Baglione, Giovanni  

Maryvelma O’Neil

(b Rome, c. 1566; d Dec 30, 1643).

Italian painter, draughtsman and writer . He executed canvases and frescoes of religious and mythological subjects, and portraits. He was given important commissions by popes and aristocrats and sold his works to patrons in Italy and abroad. Baglione’s arguably greater fame as a writer derives from Le nove chiese di Roma (1639) and especially from his Vite de’ pittori, scultori, architetti (1642), containing biographies of more than 200 artists who worked in Rome between 1572 and 1642.

Although born in Rome, where he spent most of his life, Baglione claimed descent from a noble Perugian family. His only acknowledged training (in the autobiography appended to Le vite, 1642) was an apprenticeship with Francesco Morelli, a little-known Florentine painter in Rome. However, drawings for works from the late 1580s and 1590s (such as the Finding of Moses, the Denial of St Peter and the Arrest of Christ...

Article

Bartoli, Papirio  

Louise Rice

(fl Rome, 1620).

Italian jurist and amateur architect . A learned dilettante active during the reign of Pope Paul V, he wrote and illustrated a series of proposals for the improvement and embellishment of St Peter’s, Rome. His Discorso was composed in 1620, and in 1623, following the election of Urban VIII, his designs were published at the expense of his nephew Simone Bartoli in a set of four engravings by Matthäus Greuter. Bartoli proposed the construction of an elaborate pontifical choir in the crossing of St Peter’s, to be built in the form of a navicella (a ship symbolic of the Church) and to encompass within its complex iconography the tomb of the Apostles, the papal high altar and the chair of St Peter. He also advocated transforming St Peter’s from a three-aisled to a five-aisled basilica by modifying the chapels on either side of the nave; demolishing the attic storey of Carlo Maderno’s façade in order to restore a view of Michelangelo’s drum and dome; and regularizing the piazza in front of the church by means of a vast three-storey arcuated portico built on an elongated rectangular plan. Bartoli’s projects, costly and impractical, were never executed and are chiefly of interest as precedents to Bernini’s great works at St Peter’s....

Article

Belluzzi [Bellucci], Giovanni [Giovan] Battista  

Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina

(b San Marino, Sept 27, 1506; d Pieve S Paolo, nr Pisa, March 25, 1554).

Italian architect. He was the son of Bartolo di Simone Belluzzi, an important political figure in the Republic of San Marino. He spent his youth in commerce and at the age of 18 was sent by his father to Bologna, where he remained for two years. In 1535 he settled in Rome, entering the service of Ascanio Colonna, whom he followed to Naples to meet Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. At the end of that year he returned to San Marino to marry a daughter of Girolamo Genga. From that time, without abandoning his business interests, he worked with his father-in-law, who was then employed by Francesco Maria I della Rovere, 4th Duke of Urbino, to enlarge the Villa Imperiale at San Bartolo, near Pesaro (for illustration see Genga, Girolamo), and on other architectural projects for the state. In September 1538 Belluzzi worked with his father-in-law on the fortifications of Pesaro and at the same time began to study Vitruvius. In ...

Article

Blum [Bloem; Bloome], Hans  

M. J. T. M. Stompé

(b Lohr, c. 1525).

German architect, engraver and writer. After training as an architect in his native town, Hans Blum left Lohr because two architects were already working there: Peter Volckner (fl 1539–48) and Jost Wenzel (fl 1548–70). He then moved to Zurich, where he married Ragali Kuchymeister in 1550. Their eldest son Christoffel Blum (bapt 21 Jan 1552) was named after the publisher Christoffel Froschauer (?1490–1564), who later published Hans Blum’s treatises on architecture.

Hans Blum is primarily known as the author of Quinque columnarum exacta descriptio atque delinaeatio cum symmetrica (1550), a book on the five orders of architecture. He based his work on the fourth volume of Serlio’s Regole generali di architettura (Venice, 1537), a German edition of which was published in 1542. The second source for Blum’s book was Gualtherus Rivius’s edition of Vitruvius, published in 1548 and illustrated by Peter Flettner (...

Article

Bottschild, Samuel  

Christian Dittrich

(b Sangerhausen, July 30, 1641; d Dresden, May 29, 1706).

German painter, draughtsman, graphic artist and writer on art. He was a son and pupil of Andreas Bottschild II (c. 1590–1657), a painter and engraver, who decorated churches in Sangerhausen. Samuel had further training with his brother Johann Andreas Bottschild (b 1630; d after 1670), with whom he went to Saxony. In 1658–61 they worked jointly on gallery paintings of 19 scenes from the Passion (heavily restored 1852) in the Dorfkirche at Hohnstädt, near Leipzig. The decorations for the banqueting hall of Schloss Rötha, near Leipzig (c. 1668–70; destr.), were Bottschild’s first complete programme of mythological themes. At Rötha he also completed two group portraits of the female and male lines of the Friesen family (Dresden, Inst. Dkmlpf.)

In 1673 Bottschild painted a Presentation in the Temple for Freiberg Cathedral. It was probably after this that he left for Italy with his cousin and pupil ...

Article

Castelli, Domenico  

Alessandra Anselmi

(b Melide, Ticino, c. 1582; d Rome, Oct 12, 1657).

Italian architect, surveyor and writer. The earliest documents on him concern his work in Rome as superintendent, together with Giovanni Fontana, of the construction of the Acqua Paola and the monumental fountain on the Janiculum (1607–14; see Fontana, Giovanni). Between 1614 and 1621 he was employed as superintendent architect on drainage works in the Romagna. In 1619 he also designed the monumental fountain (completed 1621) in the main square of Faenza and in 1620 the iron gate that was meant to complete it; this was made by Domenico Gamberini but never installed. When Castelli returned to Rome his technical knowledge together with the backing of the Barberini family enabled him to obtain numerous public and private commissions. In 1621 he was appointed curator of the Acqua Paola, and in 1624 he became superintendent of the Camera Apostolica, the papal office of works, serving there until 1657 as superintendent, surveyor or both together. This enabled him to work with such architects as ...

Article

Cataneo, Pietro  

Ian Campbell

(b c. 1510; d after 1571).

Italian architect, engineer, theorist and writer. He was the son of Giacopo Cataneo, a stationer from Novara. The earliest secure date for his activity (23 March 1533) occurs in his sketchbook (Florence, Uffizi, U 3275-3391 A), which has the general character of an exercise-book and hence of a youthful work. Virtually every drawing in it is copied from the treatises of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The first 42 folios include drawings of ornaments and civil architecture from Francesco’s codices Ashburnham (Florence, Bib. Laurenziana) and Saluzziano (Turin, Bib. Reale), while the remaining 64 folios contain drawings of fortifications and machines derived from the Codex Magliabechiano (Florence, Bib. N.). A peculiarity of the drawings of fortifications is their frequent juxtaposition with calligraphic exercises, the intention of which seems primarily decorative. It is as a ‘scrittore’ that Cataneo first appears in Sienese communal records in 1539, and also as ‘computista’, which looks forward to his first publication, ...

Article

Du Cerceau, Jacques Androuet  

Naomi Miller

(engraver)

(b ?Paris, c. 1515; d ?Annecy, 1585).

French engraver, ornamentalist, writer and architect.

Du Cerceau’s surname probably derives from the sign of the circle that marked his house and shop in Orléans. There is some confusion regarding his early years, particularly about a trip he is supposed to have made to Italy in the 1530s, which was perhaps followed by another in the train of Cardinal Georges d’Armagnac, Ambassador to Rome from 1539 to 1544. Drawings in the Staatsbibliothek, Munich, once considered as proof of the first Italian voyage, have since been reattributed to Philibert de L’Orme (Blunt, 1958), but it still seems probable that Du Cerceau made the journey at some point. Even if he did not, he would have known about both contemporary developments in Italy and Classical architecture from the wide circulation of prints, from the work of architects who studied in Italy and from Italians working in France, most notably Sebastiano Serlio....

Article

Cesariano [Ciserano], Cesare  

Francesco Paolo Fiore

(b 1476–8; d Milan, 1543).

Italian architect, theorist and painter. He was active mainly in Milan and is famous for publishing the first Italian translation, with commentary and illustrations, of Vitruvius (1521). The brief autobiography that this contains is also the principal source of information regarding Cesariano’s own life, education and aims.

Cesariano’s date of birth has been disputed, but it is now thought to be 1476–8, following the documentation from the time of his father’s death in 1482. In 1482 Cesariano was introduced to the court of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, where he came into contact with courtiers and artists and met Bramante, whom he named as his chief teacher. He doubtless observed the preparatory phases and building of S Maria presso S Satiro, the only work by Bramante in Milan to which he refers specifically in his commentary on Vitruvius. He could not have followed Bramante’s subsequent career, for he was forced to leave his home town ...

Article

Cobergher [Coeberger; Coebergher], Wenceslas  

Frans Baudouin

[Wensel]

(b Antwerp,?1560; d Brussels, Nov 23, 1632).

Flemish painter, architect, antiquarian, numismatist, engineer and economist. In 1573 he became a pupil of the painter Marten de Vos in Antwerp; in 1579 he stayed briefly in Paris, returning to Antwerp and travelling thence to Italy. He settled in Naples, where he is mentioned in a document dated 5 October 1580. There he first worked under contract with the Flemish painter and art dealer Cornelis de Smet, then in 1591 for another compatriot, the painter Jacob Francart the elder (before 1551–1601). In 1597 he established himself in Rome. After the death of his first wife he married Susanna Francart, daughter of Jaques Francart and sister of the architect Jacob Francart the younger, who was also living in Rome.

During his stay in Italy Cobergher was mainly active as a painter. Altarpieces painted by him in a somewhat mixed style, incorporating both Mannerist and classical elements and characteristic of post-Tridentine art in Italy, are still extant in churches in Naples, for example a ...

Article

Cornaro [Corner], Alvise  

[Luigi]

(b Venice, 1484; d Padua, May 8, 1566).

Italian architectural theorist, patron, humanist and architect. Inheriting his uncle’s estate in Padua, he combined the activities of a landowner with interests in literature, drama and architecture and became an important figure in the city’s humanist circle, which included Giovanni Maria Falconetto, Andrea Palladio, Giangiorgio Trissino and Barbaro, Daniele. He encouraged Falconetto, previously a painter, into architecture, visiting Rome with him in 1522 and commissioning him to design his first works of architecture: two garden structures at his palazzo (now Palazzo Giustiniani) in the Via del Santo, Padua, a loggia for theatrical performances (1524) and the Odeon for musical performances (1530–33), both extant. The buildings derived from ancient Roman prototypes and followed their detailing closely; they formed a ‘forum’ in the courtyard. Although Cornaro may have helped in the design, it is more probable that his humanist interests influenced Falconetto. However, when Cornaro commissioned Falconetto to design the Villa dei Vescovi (now Villa Olcese, ...