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Laura Rivkin

[Wang Shih-chen; zi Yuanmei; hao Fengzhou, Yanzhou Shanren]

(b Taicang, near Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, 1526; d Taicang, 1590).

Chinese art patron, literary critic, poet and scholar–official. Born into a wealthy, aristocratic family, Wang passed the national civil-service examinations to gain the title of jinshi at the early age of 21. He spent most of his life in public service, retiring temporarily from 1560 to 1567 after his father was tried and executed at the instigation of Grand Secretary Yan Song (the feud between the families was the subject of great contemporary interest and notoriety), and again from 1570 to 1574 after his mother died. From then on he remained more or less on active duty almost until his death.

Wang is best known for his patronage of painters, but in his own day he was most celebrated for his literary achievements. He became an influential member of the guwen movement, which advocated a revival of the Qin (221–206 bc) and Han (206 bcad 220...


Ellen Johnston Laing

[Chun; Ch’en Shun; zi Daofu, Fufu; hao Baiyang, Baiyang Shanren]

(b Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, 1483; d 1544).

Chinese painter, calligrapher and poet. Born into a wealthy family of the scholar–official class, he is known for his landscapes (see fig.) and flower paintings. He was once a student of Wen Zhengming and was loosely associated with the Wu school.

He is best known for his landscapes in the style of the Northern Song-period (960–1127) master Mi Fu and his son, Mi Youren, and of their Yuan-period (1279–1368) interpreter, Gao Kegong (see fig.). The Mi style was rarely appreciated by Suzhou artists, but Chen’s affinity for it could be explained by the fact that his family owned a painting by Mi Youren. The style is characterized by cone-shaped or rounded hills composed of large, horizontal, wet blobs of ink applied in vertical layers. Chen added motifs and techniques borrowed from the Suzhou artist Shen Zhou, such as rhomboid plateaux outlined with dry brush lines and squat, blocky figures. Chen further modified the Mi style, giving it a rich, colouristic effect by introducing fluid colour washes and large blobs of blue and buff, as in his ...


Ian Chilvers

(d London, Sept 25, 1563).

English writer and painter. He was the author of the first treatise on architecture in English, The First and Chief Groundes of Architecture, published in 1563. On the title-page Shute is described as a ‘Paynter and Archytecte’, but although there is evidence that he worked as a painter in miniature and buildings have sometimes been speculatively attributed to him, The First and Chief Groundes is his only certain work. In the dedication (to Elizabeth I) Shute described how he was sent to Italy in 1550 by John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, ‘to confer with the doings of ye skilful maisters in architectur, & also to view such auncient Monumentes hereof as are yet extant’. He evidently intended writing a comprehensive treatise on architecture, of which The First and Chief Groundes was to have been the first part. After some general remarks in praise of architecture and architects (in which Shute more or less paraphrased Vitruvius’s ...


Graham Reynolds

(b Penshurst, Kent, Nov 30, 1554; d Zutphen, nr Arnhem, Oct 17, 1586).

English statesman, soldier, poet and writer. He was the son of Sir Henry Sidney, who served three terms as Lord Deputy of Ireland. While still in his teens, Philip Sidney travelled for three years in Europe, witnessing the St Bartholomew’s Eve massacre of Protestants in Paris in 1572 and visiting Germany, Austria and Italy under the guidance of the Huguenot statesman Hubert Languet (1518–81). The medallist Antonio Abondio the younger (?1538–91) made his portrait (untraced); in 1574 he sat in Venice to Paolo Veronese, whom he had chosen in preference to Domenico Tintoretto. This painting was sent to Languet, who thought it made Sidney look too young and too sad; it has since disappeared, and his main surviving portrait, by John de Critz (version, Penshurst Place, Kent), is of lesser note. There is also a well-known portrait (London, N.P.G.) by an unknown artist. On a subsequent journey in ...


Annie Cloulas

(b Sigüenza, c. 1544; d El Escorial, 1606).

Spanish Hieronymite monk, writer and critic. In the third part of the Historia de la Orden de San Jerónimo (1605) he recorded his thoughts on the building and decoration of the Escorial (see Escorial §2), where he had taken his vows on 4 May 1590. Sigüenza had to devise an artistic vocabulary to describe the innovations he witnessed at the Escorial. His writings represent a very early awareness of a specifically Spanish Renaissance in which art is subject to a spiritual and moral order and is not an end in itself but created to the glory of God and to enlighten the faithful.

Sigüenza considered that through his great undertaking of the Escorial (1563–84) Philip II (see Habsburg, House of family §II, (2)) had re-established the arts in Spain after centuries of barbarity and had revived ideals that had been lost since Antiquity, namely proportion, symmetry, measure and reason, which, he said, made the royal creation comparable to the Temple of Solomon, although not in any formal way. While Sigüenza’s views on the architecture of the Escorial are related mainly to Antiquity, his account of the paintings it contained shows a consideration of contemporary art. He approved of the paintings of ...


Laura Rivkin

[ Yen Sung ]

(b Fenyi, Jiangxi Province, 1480; d 1565). Chinese government official, collector and poet. He came from an artisan family and passed the civil-service examination in 1505 to gain his jinshi degree. He subsequently held a variety of public posts before being appointed a Grand Secretary in 1542 and becoming a favourite of the Jiajing emperor (reg 1522–66). After intense political manoeuvring he became the chief Grand Secretary in 1548 and remained in that position until 1562, when he and his son Yan Shifan were dismissed from their posts and degraded to the status of commoner.

After his dismissal, an inventory of Yan’s possessions from his various properties was compiled and published by Zhou Shilin in the Tian shui bingshan lu (‘Record of heaven reducing the ice mountain to water’); this included estimates of the market value of the items. An abbreviated version, the Qian shan tang shuhua ji...


Yi Sŏng-mi

[myŏng Yi Kong or Kyun]

(reg 1567–1608).

Korean ruler, poet and painter. He reigned during the Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1910). As an artist he excelled in ink paintings of bamboo and orchid as well as calligraphy (see Korea §V 5.) and promoted scholarship and good government by inviting such famous Neo-Confucian scholars as Yi Yi to court. No paintings by Sŏnjo survive. Only the poetic inscriptions he wrote on his ink bamboo paintings that were given to the High Priest Sŏsan Taesa have been recorded. Kim Chŏng-hŭi, the noted scholar–painter and calligrapher, commented on King Sŏnjo’s ink orchid painting: ‘In our country no one before King Sŏnjo did ink orchid well. When I see the King’s orchid painting, I feel his heaven-sent talent. His orchid leaves and flowers follow the methods of Cheng Sixiao [fl c. 1240–1310], a Chinese scholar–painter of the late Southern Song period [1027–1279; also of the early Yuan, ...


Antonio Manno

(b Verona, 1506 or 1510; d after 1594).

Italian painter, cartographer, engineer and theorist. The son of Giovanni Antonio, an engineer in the service of Bernardo Cles, Cardinal-Bishop of Trent, he learnt painting in childhood and furthered his education at the court of the Gonzaga in Mantua. According to his own account in the Osservazioni nella pittura (written in February 1573, and published in 1580), he refined his knowledge of foreshortening under the guidance of Giulio Romano while engaged in a commission from Federico Gonzaga, 1st Duke of Mantua, to fresco a room in the Palazzo Ducale overlooking the lake of the city. None of his paintings is known to survive, but this concise treatise contains sufficient detailed information to place him within the tradition of late Mannerism. It explains the techniques of watercolour, gouache, fresco and oil painting, also giving recipes for colours and dealing with stylistic questions involved in landscape painting; examples of subject-matter are derived from the repertory of Classical mythology and, true to the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, there are also allusions to the theme of divine light with emphatic reference to the Bible....


M. J. T. M. Stompé

(b Strasbourg, 1536; d Strasbourg, 1589

Alsatian architect, engineer and cartographer. After completing his apprenticeship as a silk embroiderer, he left Strasbourg in 1552 to go on a study tour. By 1555 he was in Vienna, where he first trained as a master mason and later became an architect. He worked on the fortifications of Komorn and Raab. He visited Antwerp in 1560 and subsequently travelled to Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Prussia. In 1564 he returned to Strasbourg, married there in 1565 and in 1567 went abroad again. He worked in Düsseldorf for Duke William V of Jülich (reg 1539–92), in Regensburg for Lazarus von Schwendi and in Vienna for Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, who asked him to reorganize his armoury and chamber of antiquities. Speckle worked with the architect Wilhelm Egckl on fortifications in Ingolstadt (1575) for Duke Albert IV of Bavaria (reg 1550–79). In 1576 he was back in Strasbourg, where he made a topographical map of Alsace (Strasbourg, Archvs Mun.) as well as a model of the city of Strasbourg. It was on the basis of this model that Speckle was appointed City Architect at a meeting of the city council on ...


Christopher Foley

(b Farndon, Ches, 1552; d London, July 28, 1629).

English cartographer and antiquary. He was the son of a Freeman of the Merchant Taylors’ Livery. The family moved to London and he followed his father as Freeman of the guild in 1580. He soon developed an interest in drawing and topography. Financial assistance from the courtier Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554–1628), enabled him to abandon his trade and to set out on his project to survey, draw, map and prepare for publication a series of county maps, which are among the most significant early contributions to English topography and to the development of engraving in England.

Speed’s principal work is the Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain, published in a folio edition in London in 1611. For this he designed the maps and prepared them for the engravers (he seems not to have been a printmaker himself). He was fortunate in employing as engraver Jodocus Hondius I, who ran the most important firm of map makers in Amsterdam. Of the 67 maps engraved to Speed’s designs that comprise the ...


Jane Campbell Hutchison

(b Liège, c. 1510; d Frankfurt am Main, 1574–6).

South Netherlandish printmaker, architect and poet. He was the son of the episcopal goldsmith Henri Zutman (1460–1512). He became a follower of his brother-in-law, Lambert Lombard, with whose work his own was formerly confused. Suavius became an independent master in 1539, when he married and bought a house in Liège. In the same year he purchased a glazier’s stylus with a diamond point, which he used in addition to the standard engraver’s burin to obtain a wider range of effects in his prints. He travelled to Italy, probably in the 1550s. His updated series of Views of Various Ruins (Hollstein, nos 90–117), including the Colosseum, evidently done in Rome, is executed entirely in etching, while his extensive series of portraits of the Roman emperors (Hollstein, nos 52–60) is done in a highly original mixture of engraving, drypoint and etching. He also engraved portraits of Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle...


Riccardo Naldi

(b Naples, April 10, 1463; d Naples, Aug 14, 1526).

Italian writer. He was a pupil of the Umbrian humanist Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503) with whom he collaborated closely, acting as his amanuensis in the Neapolitan Academy. Like Pontano, he took an active part in the political life of Naples. In 1498 he was nominated elector of the people and from 28 September 1504, in an honorary capacity, a functionary in the Naples Customs Office, retaining the right to draw a salary. In 1514 he was Chancellor of the city. Between 1520 and 1525 he occupied his first teaching post as lecturer in humanities at Naples University.

Summonte’s surviving literary output is somewhat sparse, comprising two couplets and a six-line verse in Latin, and the Disfida di Barletta, a poem of 23 couplets, addressed to an Italian condottiere, Ettore Fieramosca (d 1515). Of much greater importance was his work as an editor, in which capacity he supervised the publication of ...


Dennis Looney

(b Sorrento, March 11, 1544; d Rome, April 25, 1595).

Italian writer. He was born near Naples, where the noble family of his mother, Porzia de’ Rossi, lived. His Bergamasque father, Bernardo Tasso (1493–1569), was one of the most famous literary courtiers of the day. When the elder Tasso found himself caught between the shifting political allegiances of the Neapolitan court, he sided with the French (against the Spanish) and was exiled from Naples in 1552, leaving his family behind. Torquato joined his father in Rome in 1554 but the boy’s mother could not come without forfeiting her rights to the sizeable dowry her family owed Bernardo. Porzia died in 1556, separated from husband and son, and Torquato continued the ultimately unsuccessful legal battle for her dowry into the 1580s.

Lacking the financial independence that would have come with his mother’s money, Tasso was forced to spend most of his life moving among the courts, academies and universities of central and northern Italy in search of a beneficent patron. Between ...


(b Vicenza, 1478; d Vicenza, 1550).

Italian writer, scholar, amateur architect, patron and teacher. He was an active and well-known man of letters who did much to promote the new learning and the principles of Renaissance architecture in the Veneto region, running an informal residential school mostly for the sons of the local aristocracy at his home near Vicenza, where his most famous pupil was Andrea Palladio. Trissino was a keen scholar of linguistics and rhetoric and was very familiar with both Greek and Latin texts. He attempted to revive the Greek epic and introduced Greek tragedy into Italy through his Sofonisba of 1514–15. Later he drew on Plautus and Pindar respectively for his comedy I Simillimi (1548) and his Canzoni. His interest in Greek forms of language culminated in his attempt to hellenize Italian spelling and pronunciation.

Trissino also produced books on grammar and an Ars Poetica and even tried to develop a common language in Italy. He also translated Horace and wrote pastoral and other poems in Latin. These include the heroic epic poem ...


Philip J. Jacks

(b ?Brescia; fl 1572; d Rome, 1614).

Italian antiquary and writer. In 1572 he accepted a clerical office in the Basilica Vaticana, Rome. During the 1570s he served as librarian and antiquary to the patron and collector Cardinal Ascanio Colonna (1560–1608). He subsequently held the post of Professor of Rhetoric and Theology at the Archiginnasio Romano and at the Collegio Salviati, Rome, where he delivered numerous orations, beginning with De lingua Latina Oratio (Rome, 1586). His fellow antiquary Fulvio Orsini called Ugonio ‘giovane Romano et assai incaminato nelle lettere’. In 1587 Ugonio commemorated Sixtus V’s removal of the obelisk of Nero to Piazza S Pietro in a collection of poems entitled De sanctissima cruce in vertice obelisci vaticani. The following year he completed his most important work, the Historia delle stationi di Roma (Rome, 1588), which was dedicated to Sixtus’s sister Camilla Peretti. Unlike Onofrio Panvinio’s earlier Sette chiese it was composed in the form of a guide for pilgrims. Ugonio’s later role at the papal court was primarily as eulogist....


Ugo Ruggeri

(b Crema, c. 1510–20; d Crema, after 1585).

Italian painter, draughtsman and theorist. He has been identified, and is principally of interest, as the author of the Codex Huygens (New York, Pierpont Morgan Lib., MS. M.A. 1139), a collection of studies of proportion and perspective based, in part, on the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Urbino’s earliest works were frescoes (destr.) depicting scenes from Jerusalem Delivered for the Palazzo Zurla, Crema, and altarpieces painted between 1554 and 1557 in S Maria presso S Celso, Milan. Contact with the school of Leonardo and also with Gaudenzio Ferrari is evident in the decoration of the Taverna Chapel, S Maria della Passione, Milan, and in the organ shutters in the same church. He subsequently worked with Bernardino Campi, for whom he made preparatory drawings for paintings executed by his partner and for fresco cycles in the Palazzo Ducale, Sabbioneta, and the chapel of St Cecilia in S Sigismondo, Cremona. In the frescoes in the sanctuary of S Maria in Campagna, Pallanza, executed with ...


Hans J. Van Miegroet

(b Ghent, Dec 21, 1516; d Ghent, Feb 20, 1569).

South Netherlandish writer and poet. He was a public servant in Ghent: guardian of the poorhouse in 1563, alderman in 1564, headman of seven craft corporations, and in 1566 he became controller of the grain depot. He was a fervent Catholic and led the civic guard responsible for reporting to the authorities on the religious convictions of the people of Ghent and foreigners in the city. In 1560 he published Vlaemsche audvremdigheyt, a poem on Flemish history in four parts. Den spieghel der Nederlandscher audtheyt was published eight times between 1568 and 1829; in essence a history of Flanders from antiquity until 1568, this bizarre mixture of reality and fantasy is historically unreliable. However, the last chapters contain interesting information concerning the city of Ghent and its art treasures, including the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert van Eyck. Vaernewijck’s diary, consisting of 10 books written between 1566 and 1568...


François Quiviger

(b Florence, March 1503; d Florence, Dec 1565).

Italian humanist and theorist. After travels in the 1530s during which he studied Aristotle and frequented the circle of Pietro Bembo he settled permanently in Florence in 1543. A chronicler and writer, he became one of the most active members of the Accademia Fiorentina, writing many commentaries on the works of Dante and Petrarch. He was in close contact with artists: he exchanged numerous sonnets with Agnolo Bronzino and Bartolomeo Ammanati and, according to Vasari, advised Niccolò Tribolo on iconographic matters. He also helped Benvenuto Cellini revise the manuscript of his Vita. Varchi’s writings on art comprise a short discourse of unknown date entitled Della beltà e grazia (‘Of beauty and grace’); two lectures delivered in 1547 in S Maria Novella, Florence, and published in 1549 as Due lezzioni; an unpublished treatise on proportion; and the funeral oration for Michelangelo (Florence, 1564).

Della beltà e grazia synthesizes commonplaces of Renaissance aesthetics stemming from Marsilio Ficino’s commentary on Plato’s ...


Olimpia Theodoli

(b Florence, Jan 1438; d Florence, May 10, 1516).

Italian humanist and poet. He was a pupil of Cristoforo Landino whose influence is apparent in such early works as Flametta (1458–64), a collection of 62 love elegies and epigrams, and Paradisus (undated), which blends classical culture with Christianity. In his later work, however, Verino rejected pagan influences and concentrated more straightforwardly on religious themes, as in the Epigrammata, seven books of religious poems written in 1485. Verino’s writings contain numerous economiastic allusions to recent and contemporary artists and, although the favourable comparisons drawn with the ancients follow a standard formula, Verino appears to have been genuinely interested in the artistic developments of his time. In Flametta he praised the work of Apollonio di Giovanni and the patronage of Cosimo de’ Medici. In his most important work, the epic Carliades (1480–93), in which Charlemagne is presented as a champion of the Church, Verino eulogized Botticelli, who is again singled out for praise in the short poem ...


Anne Darlington

[Wesel, Andries van]

(b Brussels, Dec 31, 1514; d Zacynthus, Venice Repub. [now Greece], ?June 1564).

Flemish scientist and writer. He was a pioneer and reformer of the study of anatomy. In 1537 he was appointed professor of anatomy at the University of Padua, where his lectures were well received, attracting large audiences. His De humani corporis fabrica [On the fabric of the human body], published when he was still only 28, marked a new era in anatomical illustration and knowledge. The Fabrica, as it is known, and its companion volume, the Epitome, were the accomplishment of four years’ work. The woodcut illustrations in the Fabrica represent the first published attempts at accurate Anatomical studies, with partially dissected figures set in landscapes (30 years earlier Leonardo da Vinci had produced similar studies but none was printed in book form). The identity of the artists who illustrated the Fabrica is not known, though various names have occasionally been suggested. As early as the mid-16th century the designs were ascribed to ...