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Alessandro Nova

(b Florence, Nov 3, 1500; d Florence, Feb 13, 1571).

Italian goldsmith, medallist, sculptor and writer. He was one of the foremost Italian Mannerist artists of the 16th century, working in Rome for successive popes, in France for Francis I and in Florence for Cosimo I de’ Medici. Among his most famous works are the elaborate gold figural salt made for Francis I (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.; see fig. below) and the bronze statue of Perseus (Florence, Loggia Lanzi). His Vita is among the most compelling autobiographies written by an artist and is generally considered to be an important work of Italian literature.

Cellini came from a middle-class Florentine family. His grandfather Andrea was a mason and his father Giovanni Cellini (1451–1528), who married Elisabetta Granacci in 1480, was a well-educated and expert carpenter who built the scaffolding put up to allow Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Battle of Anghiari (destr.) and who was a member of the committee responsible for choosing the site for Michelangelo’s statue of ...


Elisabeth Scheicher

(b Wipfeld, Feb 1, 1459; d Vienna, Feb 4, 1508).

German scholar and writer. He published Ars versificandi et carminum in Leipzig in 1486 and in 1486–7 lectured on and edited the tragedies of Seneca: in 1487 he was crowned poet laureate by Emperor Frederick III. He helped produce the works of Roman dramatists and himself wrote Latin plays; he brought German humanist culture to the University of Vienna when summoned there by Maximilian in 1497. In 1492, in his inaugural speech as professor of poetics and rhetoric at Ingolstadt, Celtis talked of the link between poetry and historiography, and his main concern remained with works relating to history and genealogy, an interest shared by the Emperor. Only a fragment, however, of his projected Germania illustrata was completed.

Celtis was of great importance for the fine arts in Maximilian’s entourage. He collaborated with Albrecht Dürer, who executed the dedicatory page of his Amorum (Nuremberg, 1502), and with Hans Burgkmair I; also, the programme of paintings on the chest known as the ‘...


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 ...


Trinidad de Antonio Sáenz

(b ?Alcolea de Torote, Toledo, before1548; d Córdoba, July 26, 1608).

Spanish painter and writer. He is the most representative figure of the Córdoban school of the last third of the 16th century. Of Toledan origin, he studied arts and theology at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares c. 1556, acquiring a broad humanistic education and a knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Three years later he was in Rome, where he completed his artistic training and came under the influence of Raphael and Michelangelo. He became friends with, and studied with, Federico Zuccaro. He returned to Córdoba in 1577 and the same year became a prebendary in the cathedral, whose authorities sent him again to Rome, where he lived from 1583 to 1585. On returning to Spain he stayed for more than a year in Seville, a city that he visited on several further occasions, doubtless attracted by its rich cultural and artistic environment. In style Céspedes’s painting clearly shows Italian influence, and he developed a concept of the religious image totally dependent on Italian Mannerism. He was influenced by the formal grandeur of Michelangelo, and he faithfully also perpetuated those features of the work of Michelangelo adopted by Daniele da Volterra, being particularly interested in anatomy and precise draughtsmanship. Few works survive that can be securely attributed to Céspedes. His earliest documented work is the fresco decoration of one of the nave chapels in ...



(b Baeza, 1530; d Rome, Feb 14, 1599).

Spanish antiquary and writer. He studied theology at the university of S Catalina, Jaén, from 1548 to 1553, when he was appointed ‘collegiale perpetuo’ at the Collegio di S Tomas, Seville. His archaeological interests were spurred by his friendship with Ambrosio de Morales, author of Las antiquedades de las ciudades de España (Alcala de Henares, 1575). In 1566 Chacón was summoned to Rome as Minor Apostolic Penitentiary of St Peter’s. While there he lived as a guest of Cardinal Francesco Pacheco and wrote his first major work on Roman history, the Historia seu verissima a calumniis multorum vindicata (1576), dedicated to Pope Gregory XIII. His Historia utriusque belli Dacici a Traiano Caesare gesti ex simulacris, illustrated with engravings of the helical reliefs by Francesco Villamena after drawings by Girolamo Muziano, was completed in the same year. Chacón’s research into Early Christian archaeology began in 1578, with the discovery of the ...


Celia Carrington Riely

[Ch’en Chi-ju; zi Zhongshun; hao Meigong, Meidaoren, Migong]

(b Huating, Jiangsu Province [modern Songjiang, Shanghai Municipality], 16 Dec 1558; d 19 Oct 1639). Chinese editor, writer, calligrapher and painter. He exemplified the literati ideal of the accomplished gentleman–scholar who rejected the sordid world of political involvement and devoted himself to a life of literary, artistic and philosophical pursuit. At the age of 28, having passed the prefectural examination, the first important step leading to a career in government office, Chen renounced official life in a dramatic gesture, by burning his Confucian cap and gown. Thereafter he lived at country retreats at Kunshan and then Mt She, near Huating in Jiangsu Province: entertaining guests; writing and editing; composing the poems, prefaces, epitaphs and biographies for which he was in constant demand; and travelling to places of scenic beauty in the company of friends.

Chen followed the lead of his close friend Dong Qichang, the foremost painter, calligrapher and connoisseur of the late Ming period (...



(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 ...


(b ?Marino, ?1490; d Rome, Feb 1547).

Italian writer. She was the granddaughter of Federigo II da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, and her accomplishments suggest that she received a strong humanist education. In 1509 she married Ferrante Francesco d’Avalos, the Marchese di Pescara, a soldier in the service of Emperor Charles V. Her husband died, disgraced, in 1525, suspected of plotting against the Emperor. After his death, Vittoria wrote sonnets to commemorate him and probably to vindicate his name. She continued to write poetry and was praised by Pietro Bembo and Baldassare Castiglione for her contribution to vernacular literature. From the 1520s she was involved with Catholic reformers, including Cardinal Reginald Pole (1500–58), whose beliefs emphasizing justification through faith and direct personal communion informed her spiritual sonnets.

In Rome in the late 1530s the Marchesa became a close friend of Michelangelo and introduced him to reformist circles. Their friendship is known from their correspondence as well as through such contemporary accounts as Francisco de Holanda’s ...


François Quiviger

(b Mantua, c. 1550; d Gubbio, 1607).

Italian poet and writer. A lyric poet, influenced by Giambattista Marino, he enjoyed the friendship of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo and Torquato Tasso and had contacts with the Gonzaga court. His only work on art is a dialogue entitled Il Figino o vero del fine della pittura (1591), in which three speakers discuss the purpose of painting. The scholar Stefano Guazzo (1530–93) puts forward a hedonistic theory of painting; the ecclesiastic Ascanio Martinengo (1541–1600) demonstrates the usefulness of pictures in general, and more particularly of religious art; and the painter Ambrogio Figino transfers the Aristotelian conception of the components of tragedy to painting. The paintings that they discuss give rise to poems and digressions; these confirm the thesis being presented by Comanini that painting aims both to please and to instruct. Comanini applied to the visual arts the Neo-Platonic doctrine of imitation as presented in Jacopo Mazzoni’s ...


François Quiviger

(b Cetona, 1505; d Pavia, Oct 28, 1574).

Italian scholar and writer. A man of letters and courtier par excellence, he participated in the activities of the academies of Siena, Bologna, Rome, Milan, Venice and Pavia. His prolific writings are a blend of most of the literary genres of the 16th century, but his most notable work was a treatise on heraldic devices, Ragionamento sopra la vera proprietà delle imprese (Pavia, 1574), a collection of a series of lectures delivered at the Accademia degli Affidati in Pavia. In its first section Contile set out to classify the devices, dividing them into nine types—standards, armoury, mottos, livery, styles of dress, emblems, the reverse side of medals, ciphers and hieroglyphs, each of which he examined individually. The second part of the treatise is a commentary on the devices adopted by the members of the Accademia degli Affidati. Although Contile reached a definition of the device as ‘an ensemble of figures and motto representing a virtuous and magnanimous intention’, his treatise is distinguished above all by the digressive and somewhat pedantic style that typified the 16th-century academic’s ideal of eloquence and erudition....


(b Amsterdam, 1522; d Gouda, Oct 29, 1590).

Dutch printmaker, poet, writer, theologian and philosopher. His work as a printmaker began in Haarlem in 1547, when he made a woodcut for a lottery poster after a design of Maarten van Heemskerck. From then until 1559 Coornhert worked as Heemskerck’s principal engraver. Initially he etched his plates, but during the 1550s he turned to engraving. He was possibly also responsible for the woodcuts after Heemskerck and the publication of Heemskerck’s early prints. In addition, he engraved designs by Willem Thibaut (1524–97) in 1556–7, Lambert Lombard in 1556 and Frans Floris in 1554–7. During this period Philip Galle was his pupil. In 1560 Coornhert temporarily stopped his engraving activities, set up a print publishing house, became a clerk and devoted himself to his literary work. In 1567 he was arrested for political reasons but managed to escape to Cologne in 1568. During his exile, which lasted until 1576...



(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 family §(1). 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, ...


David Howarth

(b Denton, Cambs, Jan 22, 1571; d London, May 6, 1631).

English antiquarian, politician, collector and patron. He began his career in antiquarian studies as a protégé of William Camden; in c. 1586 this pair joined two other enthusiasts in order to found the Society of Antiquaries. (This society terminated c.1607 and was not revived until 1757.) In 1599–1600 Cotton and Camden made a visit to the ‘Picts Wall’ (Hadrian’s Wall), where they saw artefacts that were to have a significant influence on antiquarian scholarship. The historian and cartographer John Speed made use of Cotton’s cabinet of coins in his Historie of Great Britaine (1610). The first English translation of Camden’s Britannia (1610) by Philemon Holland contains an engraving after a drawing by Cotton of a Roman military altar at Alauna near Maryport, Cumbria (1600; London, BM). On Camden’s death in 1623 Cotton inherited his manuscripts and is thought to have supervised the erection of Camden’s monument, attributed to ...


Tereza-Irene Sinigalia

(b Suceava, ?mid-16th century; d Dragomirna Monastery, Moldavia, 1629).

Romanian calligrapher, illuminator and writer. He was Metropolitan of Moldavia (1608–17; 1619–29) and the founder of Dragomirna Monastery (1609), where he initiated a scriptorium remarkable for the stylistic unity of the work produced over two decades. The great similarity of the works has caused them to be attributed to Crimca, although some scholars have disputed this. The accepted opinion is that nine codices can be attributed to him: five of these are at Dragomirna Monastery, three are in Bucharest, and the Acts of the Apostles (1610) is in Vienna (Österreich. Nbib.)

Crimca assimilated elements from the copyists’ tradition, from Moldavian mural painting of the time and from apocryphal and popular texts, and in so doing he widened the thematic repertory and adopted the formula of full-page narrative illustration interspersed with the text. He replaced plastic modelling with a graphic device based on groups of parallel lines arranged in various ways, with the extensive use of gold to enhance the whole page. The finesse of the drawing and general decorativeness of the images make Crimca’s work, and that of the ...


Blanca García Vega

(b Alcázar de San Juan, c. 1565; d Madrid, 1636).

Spanish calligrapher and woodcutter. He lived in Toledo from 1591 and settled in Madrid in 1612. Renowned as a calligrapher, he devised a new system for teaching writing, the Arte nueva de escribir. In collaboration with Adrian Boon (fl 1602–18) he produced a series of plates for this work, showing ornate examples of calligraphy. These were realized using a woodcut technique, usually in negative, as a white image on a black background. Interpersed with human figures, animals, birds, fish and ornamental lettering, they are the last Spanish examples of didactic woodcuts, a technique that was to become relegated to portraying popular subjects. A copper-plate engraving of the Sea of Love, signed Morante and dated 1636, may be by a son of the same name.

Arte nueva de escribir, 5 vols (Madrid, 1616–31) Ceán Bermúdez E. Cotarelo y Mori: Diccionario de calígrafos españoles (Madrid, 1914–16) J. Ainaud de Lasarte...


Michèle-Caroline Heck

[Grapp, Wendling]

(b Pfullendorf, nr Konstanz, 1550–51; d Strasbourg, 1599).

German painter, draughtsman and engraver. He was the son of a Protestant pastor and spent his childhood in Lissenheim before moving to Strasbourg with his widowed mother. On 12 November 1570 he married Catherina Sprewer, and in 1571 he obtained Strasbourg citizenship. In 1575 he painted frescoes on the façade of the Brüderhof (destr. 1769). He was at Hagenau in 1583 and at Oberkirch in 1589. Also in 1589, he worked on the decoration of the Neu Bau (now Chambre de Commerce) in Strasbourg; the frescoes, known from engravings of the building (e.g. by Jean-Martin Weiss) and from descriptions, combined mythological and biblical scenes in an interesting iconographical relationship and emphasized the architectural structure of the façade. Dietterlin’s only authenticated easel painting is the signed and dated Raising of Lazarus (?1582 or ?1587; Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle), which has the characteristics of northern Mannerism: the centre of the composition, towards which the figures look, is deliberately brought out of symmetry to the right; the scene is viewed from below, and the ample gestures of the figures cause them to mingle and intertwine, creating arbitrary rhythmic connections. The intensity of these deliberately complicated movements and tensions is not accentuated by contrasted effects of light. The painting as a whole shows the influence of the Netherlands, while the bright colours are typically German, although some of the figures reveal an Italian influence, probably mediated through German art; others are taken directly from earlier German paintings or inspired by Tobias Stimmer. The only figure looking at the viewer may be a self-portrait (see Martin)....


Franco Bernabei

(b Venice, 1508; d Venice, 1568).

Italian writer, critic and dramatist. He belonged to a noble but impoverished Venetian family. Dolce studied in Padua and became a versatile writer, typical of his times, who took his material from the works of others, with adaptations and quotations often bordering on plagiarism. He became an ‘editorial consultant’, working mainly for the Venetian publisher Giolito de’ Ferrari, for whom he edited many contemporary works as well as translations of the classics by Virgil, Horace and Cicero. He wrote five comedies, a few tragedies, poems and treatises and a few biographies of illustrious persons, such as the Emperor Charles V. Most of these were superficial works, written to gain fame and money; but they demonstrate a response to a new interest in public cultural debate.

Thus it was natural for Dolce to take an interest in the problems of the fine arts. From about 1540 the two most celebrated artistic capitals of Italy, Florence and Venice, debated the merits of their rival traditions, of ...


François Quiviger

(b Florence, May 16, 1513; d Venice, Sept 1574).

Italian writer. The son of a scissors-maker, he joined the Servite Order at an early age but was expelled from it in 1540 for sexual malpractice. He began to study law at Piacenza (1542), then set up a printing press in Florence and finally settled in Venice in 1547, where he earned his living as a hack writer for the vernacular press. His wide-ranging interest in the visual arts was reflected in a treatise on disegno, a discourse on imprese, a book on medals, several letters and dedications to such contemporary artists as Tintoretto, Vasari, Francesco Salviati and Battista Franco, a projected artistic guide to Florence, many descriptions of paintings and countless references to painters and sculptors scattered throughout his work. In the six dialogues of the Disegno (1549) the respective merits of painting and sculpture are discussed by personifications of art and nature and by the painter ...


Marco Collareta

(b Alvito, nr Frosinone, c. 1470; d Mantua, 1525).

Italian writer. He was a courtier and man of letters, first in the service of the Cantelmo family of Sora, then at the Este court in Ferrara, and finally, for many years, at that of the Gonzaga in Mantua. His writings, not numerous but varied in subject, reflect the interests and manners prevailing in the Italian courts during the 15th and 16th centuries. He occasionally served the Gonzaga as an iconographic consultant, and in the Chronica di Mantua (1521) he wrote with admiration of Lorenzo Costa and enthusiastically cited the masterpieces of Mantegna and Alberti. It has been demonstrated (Shearman) that he conceived the subject-matter of the bacchanalian pictures by Giovanni Bellini, Titian and Dosso Dossi, intended for the camerino d’alabastro of Alfonso I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara. In the Libro di natura d’amore (1525) he considered themes dear to Renaissance artists, such as the theory of colour and the theory of proportion. However, he did not grant figurative art a more illustrious place than that usually assigned to it by contemporary men of letters—a place well below that of literature. The ...


(b ?Andernach; fl 1590s; d before 1598).

German carpenter and copyist. He made a craftsman’s copybook (Cologne, Hist. Archv, Hs. Wfo. 276*) that reproduced important verbal and graphic evidence on particular design techniques of Late Gothic master masons in Germany. He included a few biographical details, such as variant spellings of his name and the fact that he was known in his home town of Andernach as Jacob Keul. On one page of architectural drawings he wrote, ‘Drawn in Vienna in the year 1593’, and on another, ‘Drawn in Breslau in Silesia in 1593’. By 1596 he had returned to Andernach and inscribed one of his drawings accordingly. The Andernach archives have revealed that he was the son of Jacob Keul, who may also have been a carpenter. In 1596 the younger Jacob Keul was paid from the accounts of the Watch and Artillery Master for working with several other carpenters at the ‘stone lodge on the Rhine’ (Koblenz, Landeshauptarchv, MS. 612. III. H. 4, fasc. 5, p. 215). In ...