Anichini family [Annichini; Nichini; Nichino]
[Annichini; Nichini; Nichino]
Italian family of gem-engravers. Francesco Anichini (b Bagnacavallo, fl 1449–1526; d ?1545), active in Ferrara, was highly praised by his contemporaries, including Vasari and Jacopo Tagliacarne (fl late 15th century). He was also criticized for being self-willed and slow-working. From 1492 to 1497 he is recorded as having worked for Isabella d’Este, Marchioness of Mantua, who referred to him in a letter as ‘il migliore maestro d’Italia’. Documents indicate that Francesco supplied her in 1492 with a turquoise Head of a Child, some rubies and a cameo, in 1494 with gems for rings and in 1496 with two turquoises with figures of Orpheus and Victory, after a design by the Marchioness, and a gem with a symbolic emblem (all untraced). For a physician from Ferrara, Francesco carved a glow-worm in lapis lazuli (untraced) in such a way that the natural gold veins of the stone appeared as the luminous parts of the insect’s body. In ...