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Joseph Connors

(Alta Emps, Hohenems)

Italian family of patrons, of German origin. The Hohenems family from Salzburg Italianized their name when Cardinal Marcus Sitticus Altemps (1533–95) brought the dynasty to Rome. A soldier by training, he pursued an ecclesiastical career under the patronage of his uncle, Pope Pius IV (reg 1559–65). Marcus was made Bishop of Konstanz in 1561 and legate to the Council of Trent. He began the development of the massive Villa Mondragone (see Frascati), to the designs of his house architect Martino I Longhi (i); Pope Gregory XIII (reg 1572–85) often visited it. Through papal favour he accumulated enormous wealth, which he used to rebuild the Palazzo Riario near Piazza Navona, Rome, into a magnificent family palace (known thereafter as the Palazzo Altemps) and to build the Altemps Chapel in S Maria in Trastevere; both of these designs were by Longhi. Effects of the Cardinal’s patronage or his generosity survive in the many estates that he purchased or received as gifts, at Loreto, Gallese and in the area around Frascati (e.g. at Mondragone, Monte Compatri and Monte Porzio). ...

Article

Donatella L. Sparti

(b Terni, after 1559; d Rome, ?Nov 29, 1652).

Italian writer, historian and collector. He produced about 38 novels and several comedies, although his literary works have been little studied. In Perugia he was a member of the Accademia degli Insensati, under the name Tenebroso. He is documented as having been in Rome in the late 16th century as secretary to Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini (later Pope Clement VIII) and chief Apostolic Notary. At his home on the Pincio hill he accumulated a substantial collection, containing scientific instruments, examples of flora and fauna, a picture gallery, a large collection of Kleinkunst, medals, and a vast assortment of drawings by contemporary artists especially Annibale Carracci. The collection was accompanied by a rich library. The organization and contents of the collection are described by Angeloni himself in a manuscript in Venice (Fletcher, 1974). From 1634 his nephew Giovanni Pietro Bellori lived in the house; Angeloni educated him in art, literature and antiquities, and introduced him into the circle of classicist artists with whom he had formed a relationship, more in the role of erudite mentor than that of patron....

Article

Pietro Roccasecca

(b Venice, July 5, 1549; d Rome, Aug 17, 1626).

Italian cardinal and patron. He was the younger brother of Guidobaldo (1545–1607), the scientist, mathematician and patron of Galileo Galilei, who wrote a treatise on perspective (1600). Francesco was educated at the della Rovere court at Urbino, where he probably studied with the poet Agostino Gallo (1499–1570) and the mathematician Federico Commandino (1509–75); certainly he developed a passion for music and for art. It is traditionally believed that he left the della Rovere court while still very young to join that of Cardinal Alessandro Sforza (1534–81) in Rome. When Sforza died Francesco entered the service of Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici, who, on his succession as Grand Duke of Tuscany, renounced his cardinalate and persuaded Pope Sixtus V to confer it on Francesco (1588).

Francesco was a man of wide culture and varied interests: he was a connoisseur of music and painting, he practised alchemy and had a great interest in science. Politically, he was always a partisan of the French, and the writers who described him as an uncultured libertine (for Dirck Amayden’s biography see Spezzaferro) were adherents of the pro-Spanish party and intended to block his election to the papacy. His collection contained about 700 paintings, ancient statuary, the ...

Article

(b Florence, bapt Nov 4, 1568; d Florence, Jan 11, 1646).

Italian scholar and patron. A great-nephew of the great Michelangelo, he studied from 1586 to 1591 in Pisa, where for a while he shared lodgings with Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII. On his return to Florence, he frequented literary circles and the Medici court. He was elected to the Accademia della Crusca in 1589 and became a member of the Accademia Fiorentina in 1591. He worked on both the first (1612) and the second (1623) editions of the Vocabolario della Crusca.

Buonarroti was friendly with many artists, including Cristofano Allori, Luigi Arrigucci, Lodovico Cigoli, Sigismondo Coccapani, Cosimo Gamberucci (fl 1600–19) and, after 1637, Pietro da Cortona. He was frequently asked to give opinions in artistic matters and was an operaio (member of the cathedral building committee) for the projected façade of S Maria del Fiore, Florence. Later, in his proposals for the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, he combined literary and artistic interests in proposing an architecture that would have the quality of ...

Article

Peter Higginson

(b Albenga, 1554; d Rome, Jan 13, 1639).

Italian banker and patron. He was from a rich, mercantile family from Albenga on the Ligurian coast. From 1547 the family held rights over the neighbouring fiefdom of Conscente. His brothers, Pier Francesco Costa (1545–1625) and Alessandro Costa (1555–1624), obtained important ecclesiastical positions, while Ottavio remained responsible for the family business affairs and built up a significant art collection. He moved to Rome some time before 1576, purchased a number of properties in the city and established an important banking business with Giovanni Enriquez de Herrera (d 1610). By the end of the 16th century he was a major banker, holding financial contracts with the Curia. Under Pope Gregory XIV he became Depositor General. An energetic collector of painting and sculpture, it appears that Costa most valued his Roman collection of contemporary paintings (for the 1639 inventory, see Spezzaferro, 1975, p. 118). Caravaggio, d’Arpino and Reni were his stated favourites, with Caravaggio heading the list. He may have owned up to five or more works by the artist. ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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) (...

Article

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....

Article

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 ...

Article

(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 (...

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Alessandra Civai

Italian family of patrons and collectors. Members of the family held important political positions in Florence, especially during the 15th century. One of their most important acts of patronage, recorded by Vasari, was the commissioning by Roberto Martelli (1408–64) of several sculptures from Donatello, including the famous statue of St John the Baptist as a Youth (c. 1455; Florence, Bargello). Although the accuracy of Vasari’s information has been questioned, some recently discovered unpublished documents have enabled a partial confirmation of the attribution (see Civai, 1988–9, pp. 40–59; 1989). During the 16th century the family gave important commissions to Lorenzo di Credi, Giorgio Vasari, Andrea Sansovino and Giovanni Francesco Rustici in connection with the decoration of family chapels in the basilica of S Lorenzo and the churches of S Frediano in Florence and S Agostino in Rome. In the 17th century the Martelli constructed their sumptuous chapel (...

Article

Veronique van Passel

(b Antwerp, Dec 14, 1560; d Antwerp, Dec 12, 1640).

Flemish magistrate, patron, collector, numismatist and philanthropist. He came from an affluent Antwerp family. After studying law, he began a glittering political career in Antwerp, first as an alderman, later, up to eight times, as burgomaster. In 1589 he married Adriana Perez, daughter of a rich merchant. One year later he was knighted. For 50 years without a break he played an important part in Antwerp’s public life.

Rockox is now best known for his patronage of Peter Paul Rubens. After Rubens’s return from Italy, Rockox gave him numerous commissions, through which the painter gained official recognition. On behalf of the city of Antwerp, Rockox commissioned the Adoration of the Magi(c. 1609–10; Madrid, Prado) for the Stadhuis and, as leader of the city’s Arquebusiers’ Guild (a position he held for 30 years), he commissioned the Descent from the Cross (1612–14; Antwerp Cathedral) for the Guild’s altar. On the inside of the right-hand wing Rubens painted the portrait of his friend and patron....

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...