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Article

Janis Callen Bell

(di Fabrizio)

(b ?Arezzo, 1579; d Florence, 1642).

Italian writer, painter and architect. He was descended from an illustrious Aretine family (his grandfather was Cardinal Benedetto Accolti (1497–1549), Archbishop of Ravenna and Secretary to Pope Clement VII). He was librarian and architect in the service of Cardinal Carlo Medici, and a member of the Florence Accademia and the Accademia di Disegno. He is known for Lo inganno degli occhi (1625), a three-part treatise (on plane figures, solids and shading) in which he showed how perspective practice derived from principles of visual perception. In this he examined classical and modern theories of vision, including those by Euclid (fl c. 300 bc), Witelo (c. 1230–80), Franciscus Aguilonius (1567–1617) and Guidobaldo del Monte, and criticized contemporary writers on perspective for underestimating the importance of light and shadow. He emphasized the need to distinguish parallel solar rays from diverging point sources of light, such as candlelight, and presented some original ideas on arranging compositions with multiple vanishing points and on foreshortening pictures within pictures. Chapters on anamorphosis and ...

Article

[Machati, Gratiadio]

(b Bologna, Nov 20, 1570; d San Salvatore, Jan 1, 1632).

Italian prelate, diplomat and theorist. He had a successful career as a papal diplomat, serving his uncle Filippo Sega, the Apostolic nuncio to France, in 1591, and later the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini; from 1621 he was private secretary to Pope Gregory XV, and in 1623 he was appointed Bishop of Amasea by Urban VIII and Apostolic nuncio to the Republic of Venice, where he remained until 1630. He then left Venice to escape the plague, moving first to Oderzo and then, in 1631, to San Salvatore.

A man of letters and a member of Bologna’s Accademia dei Gelati, Agucchi was also a lover of mathematics and astronomy: he conducted a lengthy correspondence with Galileo Galilei in 1611–13. His importance for art history is considerable, even though his reputation rests mainly on the surviving fragment of his Trattato della pittura (Bologna, Bib. U., MS. 245). This was published in the preface by ...

Article

[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

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

[Fr. Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes]

Name given to a debate that involved both the arts and the sciences, concerning the notion of progressive improvement since Classical antiquity. Reaching its apogee in 17th-century France, it marked a move away from belief in the supreme authority of antique tradition and example, towards a readiness to question and challenge the accepted norms and propose new approaches. The idea that the modern age might surpass the Antique originated with the 15th-century Florentine humanists and was fuelled by the growth of scientific knowledge in the 16th century; but the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns as such erupted in literary circles in late 17th-century France. It essentially concerned the status of writers of the ancient Greek and Roman world: whether they had reached a state of perfection that could not be bettered, as the so-called ‘Ancients’ believed; or whether, as the ‘Moderns’ asserted, the absolute authority of the Antique was open to challenge from later authors....

Article

Tatsushi Takahashi

(b Leiden, c. 1618; d ?Batavia [Jakarta] after July 11, 1664).

Dutch writer, painter and etcher. He is now known chiefly as the author of Lof der schilder-konst (Dut.: Praise of painting). Originally a lecture given to Leiden artists on 18 October 1641, St Luke’s Day, it was published the following year. At present virtually no works of art are attributed to this Philips Angel except the etching Head of an Old Man (1637), a rather coarse imitation of Rembrandt. Although nothing is known about his training, this etching and certain ideas within Lof der schilder-konst suggest that Angel had been in contact with Rembrandt shortly before becoming a master painter in Leiden in 1638. The first half of this small book enumerates the most famous painters from antiquity to Angel’s contemporaries and makes the traditional comparisons between painting, sculpture and poetry. The second half discusses the skills necessary for a good painter. The latter section is more original as the author occasionally refers to such new genres as seascapes, battle scenes and guardroom scenes. His interest in the exact depiction of appearances has a close relation to the extremely minute renderings for which Gerrit Dou and other Leiden painters became famous....

Article

An antiquary (Lat. antiquarius) is a lover, collector and student of ancient learning, traditions and remains. Antiquarianism originated from the revived interest in Classical antiquity during the Renaissance and became a scientific and historical method in the 17th century. The difference between literary and non-literary sources distinguishes humanism from antiquarianism, the latter being based on those tangible remains of antiquity (inscriptions, coins and ruins) related to literary sources. From the 16th century new attitudes towards antiquity were discussed in antiquarian circles, later giving rise to antiquarian societies. Thereafter, antiquarianism was firmly linked to archaeological excavations and to the study and collecting of ancient art. It was also linked to the search for a national identity in the arts and for the origins of Western culture and was sustained by a curiosity about civilizations outside Europe. Antiquarianism, in fact, was associated with the Grand Tour and with travel more generally. Antiquaries and artist–antiquaries were responsible for producing numerous drawings, prints and illustrated volumes. High-quality illustrations of archaeological sites and ancient sculpture contributed to the growth of art history as an autonomous discipline. They also contributed to the popularization of the Antique and to the transformation of commercial dealing in objects associated with antiquarian interests (...

Article

(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

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches.

Historically, the patrons who commissioned Old Masters placed a premium on subject-matter rather than originality, and popular narratives were requested by multiple patrons, creating conditions in which the demand for copies could flourish (see Copy). Popular compositions were often reproduced many times: by the master himself, an apprentice in his workshop, or even a later follower or imitator. A master trained his apprentices to approximate his manner as closely as possible, and sold the finished work under his own name. In some cases a master would paint the most important part of a work (such as the faces of the central figures) before delegating the rest to apprentices. Through the 19th century, pupils at prestigious institutions were taught by making copies of works by acknowledged masters. Many pieces, particularly drawings (which for much of their history were working tools, rather than art objects), were unsigned. Damaged or incomplete works of art were subjected to extensive restoration or reworking by later artists, a process that can cloud the question of attribution....

Article

(b Paris, 1653; d Montpellier, June 23, 1701).

French architect, theorist and writer . He trained at the new Académie Royale d’Architecture, Paris, and in 1674 was appointed royal pensionary of the Académie Française in Rome. While travelling by sea from Marseille to Genoa, however, his boat was seized by corsairs and he was detained in Tunis, where he is said to have provided the design for the Sidi Mahrez Mosque. In 1676 he was released from captivity and arrived in Rome, where he studied ancient and modern architecture for nearly four years. On returning to France in 1680, he continued his studies, and in 1684 he entered the office of Jules Hardouin Mansart, with whom he was involved in work on the château of Versailles for almost eight years.

During this period d’Aviler published a translation (1685) of the sixth book of Vincenzo Scamozzi’s treatise on architecture, followed by his Cours complet d’architecture (1691). This included a commentary on the life and work of Jacopo Vignola but was also a practical ...

Article

(b London, Jan 22, 1561; d London, April 9, 1626).

English courtier, statesman, lawyer, philosopher and writer . He was the younger son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper under Elizabeth I; he was educated at Cambridge and trained as a lawyer at Gray’s Inn, London. He became a member of parliament in 1584; in his political career he enjoyed the patronage of the Queen’s favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, but after the latter’s fall from favour acted as prosecutor at his trial. Bacon’s political career prospered under James I, and in 1618 he was ennobled and became Lord Chancellor. However, in 1621 he was charged with corruption and, being disgraced, retired into private life.

Bacon was a polymath, who in 1592 wrote: ‘I have taken all knowledge to be my province.’ He wrote on philosophy, politics, history and law and is now most highly regarded for his contribution to the philosophy of science and the development of scientific method. However, his best-known book is the ...

Article

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

Peter Boutourline Young

(b Urbino, 1553; d Urbino, Oct 10, 1617).

Italian writer and architect . He studied medicine and later philosophy at Padua without achieving any academic qualifications. In 1580 he was invited to the court of Mantua by Ferrante Gonzaga (later 1st Duca di Guastalla); in 1585 he was appointed abbot of Guastalla and ordained. In 1609 he passed into the service of Duke Francesco Maria II della Rovere at Urbino, where he stayed until his death. Baldi was responsible for a number of public works in the duchy of Ferrara, including the Baccanello Bridge at Guastalla, works at the palace and fortress of Guastalla, and the church of S Chiara at Urbino, which was not begun, however, until 1627. The convent to which it was attached is now an office building, to which the former church serves as a vestibule. It is square in plan, with a circular hall inset. Eight Corinthian pilasters support an entablature, from which rises a vaulted ceiling with a small dome in the centre. The altars stood between the pilasters. Baldi’s extensive writings, most of which remain in manuscript, include a description of the Ducal Palace at Urbino, and essays on the technical vocabulary of Vitruvius....

Article

Edward L. Goldberg

(b Florence, June 3, 1625; d Florence, Jan 1, 1697).

Italian businessman, art historian, collector and writer . He was born into a pious and moderately prosperous Florentine commercial family and educated by the Jesuits. He reluctantly abandoned his studies and a religious vocation for a lifelong career as a business agent and bookkeeper for local noble families, an occupation that provided him with many acquaintances in cultivated Florentine society. He had many friends among writers, including the painter and dialect poet Lorenzo Lippi, and painters, including Matteo Rosselli, Baccio del Bianco, Baldassare Franceschini and Carlo Dolci. He was an amateur artist himself with considerable skill in drawing and clay modelling and made chalk portraits of Tuscan notables (one set extant; Florence, Uffizi) and copies of venerated religious images. As a collector, he assembled two successive collections of mainly Florentine drawings from the 14th to the 17th century, with an emphasis on the later 16th century and early 17th. The first collection (Florence, Uffizi) was ceded to ...

Article

Joseph Connors

(fl Milan, 1588–1639).

Italian engineer and architect . From 1588 he is recorded in the service of Philip II of Spain as a military engineer. His most important commission was for the Palazzo della Giustizia (New Prison; c. 1570–after 1624) in Milan, its varied massing and powerful entrance portal proclaiming Spanish hegemony over Milan. In 1605 Barca opened up a new street between the prisons and the Palazzo di Corte (Governor’s Palace) ‘so that the way from justice to clemency should be short and easy’. The other major design attributed to Barca is the façade of Sant’Angelo in Milan, begun c. 1600.

Barca was an active polemicist against the ideas and influence of the rising generation of Milanese architects. In 1607 he disputed with Francesco Maria Ricchini over the issue of pedestals for the columns on the proposed façade of Milan Cathedral. Barca’s report is interesting for the wide knowledge of Classical architecture it reveals and for the combination of a negative attitude to the Gothic style of the cathedral and an admiration for its grandeur. He lost the dispute to Ricchini, and although he failed the younger man in the examination for military architect in ...

Article

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

Claire Pace

(b Rome, Jan 15, 1613; d Rome, Feb 19, 1696).

Italian antiquarian, biographer, critic and theorist. He was brought up by the antiquarian Francesco Angeloni, whose private museum included an extensive archaeological collection, paintings, prints and 600 drawings by Annibale Carracci. In Angeloni’s circle were leading scholars and artists, such as the classical theorist Giovanni Battista Agucchi and Domenichino, with whom Bellori may have studied painting. Bellori’s only known work is the original design of a landscape (inscribed with his name) in a series of eight small etchings by Giovanni Angelo Canini (1617–66). After Angeloni’s death, his collection was dispersed, prompting Bellori to form his own. Modelled on Angeloni’s, it also included paintings by Titian and Tintoretto and a self-portrait by Annibale Carracci besides a collection of antiquities, prized especially for its coins and medals. From the 1650s Bellori gathered information for his collection of biographies, Le vite de’ pittori, scultori et architetti moderni. This, with its preface, ‘L’idea del pittore, dello scultore, e dell’architetto’ (originally delivered as a lecture to the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, in ...

Article

Christiaan Schuckman

(b Lier, nr Antwerp, Feb 10, 1627; d after Feb 18, 1711, before 1716).

Flemish writer and lawyer. He was the son of the painter Adriaan de Bie (1594–1668) and Clara van Bortel and spent most of his life in his birthplace, where he practised as a notary. He married twice and had 14 children. His fame rests on his authorship of 50 or more books, particularly Het gulden cabinet vande edele vry schilder const (‘The golden cabinet of the noble and free art of painting’), published by Johannes Meyssens in Antwerp in 1661. The starting-point and one of the sources for this was a series of artists’ portraits that Meyssens had published in 1649.

The book is in three sections, dealing respectively with deceased artists, contemporary living painters, and 17th-century engravers, sculptors and architects. Much of the information was provided by de Bie’s patron Anthonie van Leyen, by Hendrick ter Brugghen’s son Richard, by de Bie’s father and by Erasmus Quellinus II and ...

Article

Christopher Tadgell

(b Ribemont, Somme, 1628; d Paris, Jan 21, 1686).

French engineer, architect, teacher and writer. He was born to a newly ennobled member of the household of the queen-mother, Marie de’ Medici. He joined the army and became a military engineer, attaining the rank of Maréchal de Camp by 1652. In that year he was seconded by one of the secretaries of state for foreign affairs, the Comte de Brienne, to accompany his son on a comprehensive Grand Tour of Europe. On his return in 1655 Blondel was equipped with an unrivalled range of first-hand experience that recommended him for a diplomatic career, although the following year he was appointed Professor of Mathematics at the Collège de France. Diplomatic missions took him to Prussia, Sweden and Turkey and, while waiting on the Sultan, he visited Greece and Egypt. He was ambassador to Denmark in 1659–63. Thereafter he rejoined the armed services and was assigned to the navy as an engineer responsible for port and coastal defences in Normandy and Brittany, most notably transforming Saintes and constructing the new port and arsenal of Rochefort....

Article

Andreas Kreul

(b Cronheim, c. 1617; d Ansbach, Feb 22, 1687).

German architect and writer. He was recorded in Strasbourg, as a student in 1641 and as teaching in 1654, and was active there and in Nuremberg and Frankfurt am Main between 1644 and 1687. In 1679 he entered the service of Johann Friedrich, Markgraf von Ansbach (reg 1672–86), for whom he designed several buildings. Details of his work as architect and fortifications engineer are unknown: the only recorded work was the gate-tower at Herried (1684–5; destr. 1750–51), a sketch of which was published in Neue Auslag in Ansbach (1686). He probably built a theatre at Ansbach in 1679, which has been identified with a summer-house that was pulled down in 1726 to be replaced by an Orangerie. However, Böckler published numerous books on architectural theory and mechanical arts, especially hydraulics, as well as handbooks on military building techniques and economics. An Ars heraldica (Nuremberg, 1687...