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Claire Baines

(b Dec 12, 1479; d ?Bologna, c. April 1552).

Italian historian, topographer, writer and patron. He was a friar and first entered the Dominican Order at Forlì but was in Bologna from 1495 and was officially transferred to the monastery there in 1500. Alberti received an extensive grounding in humanist studies under the Bolognese rhetorician Giovanni Garzoni. After acting as companion to the head of the order, Tomaso de Vio Cajetan, Alberti was made Provinciale di Terra Santa in Rome in 1520. This included the role of travelling companion to Tomaso’s successor, Fra Silvestri da Ferrara (‘il Ferrariense’). His travels with Silvestri throughout Italy, including the islands, laid the foundations for his most important work, the Descrittione di tutta l’Italia (1550), modelled on the Italia illustrata of Flavio Biondo. It was reprinted many times: the Venice edition of 1561 was the first to include Alberti’s sections on the islands of Italy, which were not covered by Biondo; the Venice edition of ...



(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, ...


Ismael Gutiérrez Pastor

(b Valladolid, 1586; d Valladolid, Dec 1660).

Spanish painter and collector. He was the son and pupil of the painter Pedro Díaz Minaya (c. 1555–1624), who worked in Valladolid, the location of Philip III’s court from 1600 to 1606. For more than 50 years, Diego Valentín Díaz was Valladolid’s most important painter, producing a great number of religious works and portraits containing colourful imagery; many of these are widely dispersed in collections and churches throughout Spain. Although his early works were executed in a style of late Mannerism, he gradually introduced more naturalistic elements, resulting in paintings with precise drawing, a varied but rather dull colouring, an emphasis on decorative details and a sweet expression on the faces of his religious figures. His earliest surviving works are the altarpiece (1608) of the convent of S Catalina, Valladolid, and the Martyrdom of St Sebastian and the Penitent St Peter (both 1610; Zamora, Hosp. Encarnación). In ...


Ismael Gutiérrez Pastor

(b El Escorial, Madrid, 1590; d Madrid, 1679).

Spanish painter and collector of Flemish descent. He was the grandson of Anton van Wingaerde and was trained in Madrid in the family tradition. After the death of Bartolomé González in c. 1627–8, he aspired to occupy the vacant post of Pintor del Rey, having served as Arquero de Corps since 1611. In spite of his lengthy career as a painter, his work is scarce. In 1620 a portrait of Philip III (untraced) is documented. Among his other works are SS Isidore, Teresa, Philip Neri, Ignatius and Francis Xavier (untraced) and a series of six canvases (e.g. St Mark, 1627) in the chapel of Mosén Rubí de Bracamonte, Ávila. A portrait of Doña María Gasca de la Vega (Pastrana, Colegiata), depicting the sitter kneeling, was also painted in the 1620s; its horizontal format is similar to the Mater Dolorosa with St John and the Magdalene (1645; Madrid, Convento de la Encarnación). Two dated portraits survive of male members of the Ibarra family (both ...


F. Hamilton Hazlehurst

(b Paris, March 12, 1613; d Paris, Sept 15, 1700).

French garden designer and collector. He was outstanding in his time for his innovation and skill in garden design, particularly in his work at Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles, and Chantilly, and his ardent disciples carried his gardening principles throughout France and beyond, so spreading his influence. Popular among contemporaries, he also enjoyed a special relationship with the traditionally aloof Louis XIV, who bestowed upon him the Order of St Lazare (later replaced by the even more prestigious Order of St Michel), a coat of arms, and, on his retirement, a princely pension. Although the original spelling of his name was Le Nostre, by the late 20th century the form of Le Nôtre had gained most currency.

His career was doubtless determined at an early age, since his grandfather, Pierre, and his father, Jean, were both royal gardeners, who worked principally at the Palais des Tuileries. He was thus initiated into gardening practice by his father and a coterie of distinguished gardeners that included Claude Mollet (i) (...


Oliver Millar, Diana Dethloff and Lin Barton

(b Soest, Westphalia, Sept 14, 1618; d London, Nov 30, 1680).

Dutch painter, draughtsman, and collector, active in England. By a combination of ability and good fortune, he rapidly established himself in mid-17th-century London as the natural successor in portrait painting to Anthony van Dyck. Between van Dyck’s death in 1641 and the emergence of William Hogarth in the 1730s, Lely and his successor, Godfrey Kneller, were the leading portrait painters in England. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Lely dominated the artistic scene, and his evocation of the court of Charles II is as potent and enduring as was van Dyck’s of the halcyon days before the English Civil War. Although Lely’s reputation was seriously damaged by portraits that came from his studio under his name but without much of his participation, his development of an efficient studio practice is of great importance in the history of British portrait painting. The collection of pictures, drawings, prints, and sculpture he assembled was among the finest in 17th-century England after the dispersal of the legendary royal collections....


Edgar Peters Bowron

(b Florence, Nov 17, 1666; d Rome, June 17, 1724).

Italian painter, draughtsman, collector, dealer and teacher. He was one of the most significant and influential artists active in Rome in the first quarter of the 18th century. The son of a Florentine artisan, he trained in his native city under the direction of Anton Domenico Gabbiani and thoroughly absorbed the style of Pietro da Cortona and his late Baroque successors. In 1690 he left Florence for Rome, where in 1692 he made his artistic début in the annual St Bartholomew’s Day exhibition with a monumental painting of God Cursing Cain after the Murder of Abel (Kedleston Hall, Derbys). He quickly rose to prominence and in 1694 was elected to the Accademia di S Luca. He produced a variety of works for the leading Roman families—the Torri, Colonna, Pallavicini, Barberini and Odescalchi—and enjoyed the patronage of Pope Clement XI, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, Cardinal Carlo Agosto Fabbroni and Padre Antonin Cloche, Master General of the Dominican Order. He was invited to participate in the most important papal commission to painters in Rome in the first quarter of the 18th century, that for the series of Old Testament prophets above the nave arcade in S Giovanni in Laterano; his contribution was ...


(bapt Seville, March 3, 1627; d Seville, May 9, 1679).

Spanish patron, painter and writer. He was the most remarkable of the patrons of the Baroque period in Seville. He came from a wealthy family, and his father owned an unremarkable collection of paintings. Mañara was a painter of some ability; his works were in several Sevillian collections. He led a dissolute existence until a series of family deaths prompted him to repent and adopt a devout and ascetic way of life. In 1662 he joined the Hermandad de la Santa Caridad, a Sevillian confraternity dedicated to providing Christian burial for criminals condemned to death. The following year he was elected head of the brotherhood, retaining the post until his death. Under Mañara’s leadership the brotherhood became a dominant spiritual and social force in caring for the sick and poor of Seville. He oversaw all aspects of the society’s activities, from writing the new rule to raising funds for new buildings. He paid close attention to the completion and decoration of the church in the Hospital de la Caridad (...


Jürgen Zimmer

(b Lugano, May 1, 1544; d Dresden, Sept 20, 1620).

Swiss sculptor, architect, painter, writer and collector, active in Germany. He was the son of Bernardinus Zamelinus Nosseni and Lucia Verda. His move to Dresden, via Florence, was organized by the intermediary Johann Albrecht von Sprintzenstein, and in 1575 he was appointed court sculptor, architect, painter and decorative artist on an annual salary of 400 taler. He was commissioned to exploit the sources of alabaster and marble in Saxony for the Electors Augustus and Christian I (reg 1586–91). In the following years Nosseni worked in the fields of sculpture and painting (including portraiture), made furniture and other stone and wooden objects for the royal art collection and designed buildings. He also devised triumphal processions, masked celebrations, allegorical plays and tournaments. The precious and semi-precious stones that he acquired were used for epitaphs, monuments, altars, sculptures and other works. It appears that he designed or conceived all these works but actually executed only a few of them. He created his own workshop, in which he employed Italian artists and craftsmen, whom he had engaged during a trip to Italy at the end of ...


(bapt Bologna, June 28, 1529; d Bologna, June 3, 1592).

Italian painter, draughtsman, engraver and collector. His first biographer, Raffaele Borghini, records that he travelled to Rome with Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, returned briefly to Bologna, then made a second visit to Rome and stayed with Taddeo Zuccaro. Documentary evidence attests to his presence in Rome in June 1551. By 1560 Passarotti was established in Bologna, where he opened a workshop and joined the Compagnia delle Quattro Arti. His activity in these years as a prestigious portraitist of popes (e.g. portrait of Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni; c. 1572; Gotha, Mus. Nat.) and Roman cardinals, mentioned by Borghini, and his interest in anticaglie (miscellaneous antiquities), for example those sent to him from Rome on 9 September 1572, indicate his continued links with the capital.

The earliest documented Bolognese paintings by Passarotti show a pictorial language rooted in Emilian soil, clearly influenced by Correggio and Parmigianino, and his anatomical interest in powerful, acrobatic figures appears to be derived from the Bolognese works of Pellegrino Tibaldi. On the other hand, his minute, lively illustration of detail is reminiscent of the Flemish tradition. During his youthful visits to Rome, he may have encountered northern Romanists such as Marten de Vos, active there in the 1550s. In Bologna the painting school opened by Denys Calvaert in ...


Monica Visioli

(b Cremona; d Cremona, May 19, 1512).

Italian nobleman, patron and ?architect . He belonged to a rich commercial family whose members had held prestigious positions in Cremona from the 13th century. In 1482, as executor of his uncle Andrea Raimondi’s will, he commissioned the master builder Guglielmo de Lera (d 1490), of a noted family of Cremonese builders, to construct the church and oratory of S Monica, Cremona, for the order of Augustinian nuns. In 1508 he commissioned Guglielmo’s brother, Bernardino de Lera ( fl c. 1477–1518), to renovate the choir and two adjacent chapels in the ancient church of S Francesco, Cremona, where he wished to be buried. The documents do not show who actually carried out the project, but some critics have attributed it to Eliseo himself, giving him the reputation of an architect. Two inscriptions (dated 1496) over the portal of Eliseo’s Palazzo Raimondi (completed 1490–99; façade begun 1495) in ...


Hans Vlieghe

(b Siegen, Westphalia, June 28, 1577; d Antwerp, May 30, 1640).

Flemish painter, draughtsman, and diplomat. He was the most versatile and influential Baroque artist of northern Europe in the 17th century. An educated and urbane member of the Antwerp patriciate, he was employed by the rulers of the southern Netherlands as their ambassador and became painter to the courts of Europe, producing magnificent cycles of allegorical painting glorifying his princely patrons. Rubens’s art blends features of the Italian High Renaissance, with which he became acquainted during a prolonged visit to Italy, with northern realism and a love of landscape, derived from Pieter Bruegel the elder. He had a deep knowledge and understanding of Classical art and literature and was unrivalled in his power to turn its most complex themes into vivid images of flesh and blood; his work was a perfect example of the humanistic ideal of ‘Ut pictura poesis’. Apart from his paintings—which included altarpieces, history and mythological scenes, portraits, and landscapes—he designed tapestries, book illustrations, and pageant decorations, as well as his own house and small items of sculpture and metalwork. His affinity with 16th-century Italian traditions is also demonstrated in his wide correspondence, by his art collection, and by the organization of his studio. It was this last that alone enabled him to meet the immense demand for his work; often a composition would be executed by assistants from a drawing or sketch by Rubens, who then added the finishing touches to the work. His numerous pupils and assistants included ...


Carl Van de Velde

(b Antwerp, bapt March 17, 1591; d Antwerp, March 18, 1651).

Flemish painter, dealer and collector, active also in Italy and Spain. He grew up in Antwerp, a city that had only recently been liberated from the rebels by the Spanish troops. His father, a keeper of a wine tavern, originally had Calvinist sympathies but returned to the Catholic faith after 1585. Gerard possibly trained, as did afterwards his younger brother Jan Baptist Seghers, who later became a goldsmith, with Gaspar de Crayer (b 1551), the father of the well-known painter of the same name. At the age of 12 Seghers was listed as a pupil in the Guild of St Luke in Antwerp; the documents, unfortunately, fail to mention the name of his teacher. Florent Le Comte (1699) called him a pupil of Abraham Janssen; Houbraken (1718) said he studied with Hendrick van Balen.

In 1608 Seghers became a master in the Guild and three years later joined the Society of the Aged Bachelors (Sodaliteit der Bejaarde Jongmans). Shortly afterwards, and certainly before ...


Malcolm Airs

(b Kingscliffe, Northants, c. 1565; d ?London, ?1655).

English surveyor and collector. Both his father and his grandfather were masons and he was brought into contact at an early age with the world of country house builders. A record that as a child in 1570 he laid the first stone in the rebuilding of Kirby Hall, Northants, suggests that his father, Thomas Thorpe, was Sir Humphrey Stafford’s principal mason for this important house. John’s younger brother, Thomas, also became a successful mason employed by the Office of Works and was the major contractor for the stonework at Blickling Hall, Norfolk (1619–23).

In 1582 John Thorpe entered the Royal Works, and for the next 19 years he served either as a clerk or as a storekeeper at various royal palaces in and around London. During this time he cultivated connections at court and developed his skills as a draughtsman. In 1601 he left the public service to set up on his own as a land- and building-surveyor. He enjoyed the patronage of numerous eminent clients. In addition to his private work he was engaged on various royal surveys from ...


(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 ...