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(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 ...


Catherine R. Puglisi

(b Bologna, March 17, 1578; d Bologna, Oct 4, 1660).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He was a distinguished artist of the Bolognese school, deeply influenced by Annibale Carracci’s classicism, who worked in Rome as well as Bologna, painting altarpieces, frescoes and and cabinet pictures. His fame rests on his idyllic landscapes and small mythological pictures, the lyrical qualities of which earned him the soubriquet ‘the Anacreon of painters’.

The 12-year-old Albani began his studies in the Bolognese studio of the Flemish-born painter Denys Calvaert, after which he transferred (c. 1595) to the Carracci Accademia degli Incamminati, also in Bologna, where life drawing and theoretical discussion predominated. For the next four years he studied with Ludovico Carracci and through him obtained his first public commissions. These were for Bolognese palazzi and churches, such as the oratory of S Colombano, where his fresco of the Repentance of St Peter (c. 1597–8) closely imitates the dramatic and emotional qualities of Ludovico’s manner, particularly in the expressive figure of the apostle and in the nocturnal lighting. The oratory’s altarpiece, painted in the same period, showing the ...


Alessandra Frabetti


(b Argenta, nr Ferrara, 1546; d Ferrara, Dec 9, 1636).

Italian architect, engineer and designer. He was the son of Vincenzo Aleotti (not Francesco Aleotti, as is sometimes erroneously stated), from whom Giovanni Battista claimed he ‘learnt the art … as much as from all the other teachers I had’ (letter, 1583; see Coffin, p. 121). In 1575 he succeeded Galasso Alghisi as architect to Alfonso II d’Este (ii), Duke of Ferrara and Modena, who nicknamed him l’Argenta after the town of his birth. When, on the death of the Duke, the Este duchy devolved to the Papal States (1598), Aleotti was confirmed as official architect, with a stipend of 20 scudi per month. His activity extended to various parts of the Po plain, embracing different architectural genres and including some important urban projects.

Among Aleotti’s religious buildings were several churches in Ferrara, including S Barbara (1586–8), S Maria della Rotonda at Castel Tedaldo (1597...



Kirk Ambrose

Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in 1249. Further excavations could shed much light on this history.

Highlights in the Algarve include remains at Milreu of a villa with elaborate mosaics that rank among the most substantial Roman sites in the region. The site further preserves foundations of a basilica, likely constructed in the 5th century, and traces of what may be a baptistery, perhaps added during the period of Byzantine occupation in the 6th and 7th centuries. The period of Islamic rule, from the 8th century through to the 13th, witnessed the construction of many fortifications, including examples at Aljezur, Loulé and Salir, which were mostly levelled by earthquakes. Silves, a city with origins in the Bronze Age, preserves a substantial concentration of relatively well-preserved Islamic monuments. These include a bridge, carved inscriptions, a castle, cistern and fortified walls, along which numerous ceramics have been excavated. Most extant medieval churches in Algarve date to the period after the Reconquest. These tend to be modest in design and small in scale, such as the 13th-century Vera Cruz de Marmelar, built over Visigothic or Mozarabic foundations. The relatively large cathedrals at Silves and at Faro preserve substantial portions dating to the 13th century, as well as fabric from subsequent medieval campaigns. Renaissance and Baroque churches and ecclesiastical furnishings can be found throughout Algarve....


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). ...


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....


(b Voltri, Aug 24, 1584; d Genoa, Aug 18, 1638).

Italian painter. His first teacher was Orazio Cambiaso, son of Luca Cambiaso, from whom he learnt the principles of design and acquired his proficiency in the use of colour. Ansaldo’s appreciation of colour must also have owed something to Veronese, whose works he copied as a student. Orazio Cambiaso’s large canvas of St James Converting Josiah (c. 1600; Genoa, Oratory of S Giacomo delle Fucine) is one of many sources for Ansaldo’s multi-figured and highly detailed compositions, set in a deep architectural space. The elegant figures and subtle tonalities of his early works are derived also from the work of Tuscan Mannerist artists in Genoa, such as Pietro Sorri (1556–1621), Ventura Salimbeni and Aurelio Lomi (1556–1622). The sumptuous draperies and strong chiaroscuro contrasts of Giovanni Battista Paggi, who had adopted the Tuscan manner after a period in Florence, influenced Ansaldo, as did the rich impasto of Bernardo Strozzi and Simone Barabbino (...


[Cesari, Giuseppe]

(b Arpino, nr Sora, 1568; d Rome, July 3, 1640).

Italian painter and draughtsman . His father, Muzio Cesari, was probably a painter; his brother, Bernardino Cesari (1571–1622), became his principal assistant. Giuseppe’s precocious talent for drawing led his mother to take him to Rome in 1581–2, where he became a colour mixer under Niccolò Circignani, then directing the decoration of the third of the great Vatican Logge for Gregory XIII. Circignani promoted him to the painting team; a tiny figure of Abundance on the vault of the seventh compartment has been identified as his earliest known work. During 1583 Giuseppe also worked at the Vatican on the monochrome figure of Samson with the Gates of Gaza in the Sala Vecchia degli Svizzeri and the restoration of the Prophets and Virtues painted by the Raphael workshop in the Sala dei Palafrenieri. Towards the end of the year the Pope granted Giuseppe a salary. Probably in 1584–5 he contributed a fresco of the ...


(b Cefalù, Sicily, c. 1572; d Naples, Dec 12, 1645).

Sicilian painter and sculptor. He was probably trained in Sicily, yet he is recorded in Naples from 1594, and his artistic roots are Neapolitan. The painting of the Presentation in the Temple (1599; Naples, S Maria la Nova) is his earliest datable work. It demonstrates that Azzolino was already aware of trends in late 16th-century Neapolitan painting and that he knew the art of Belisario Corenzio, Fabrizio Santafede and Luigi Rodriguez (fl 1594–1606). He took his lead at first from Corenzio and was, like him, an expert fresco painter. In 1599 Azzolino was commissioned to execute the decoration (untraced) for the church of the Spirito Santo, Naples. In the canvases and frescoes that he painted between 1606 and 1610 for the church of Gesù e Maria, Naples, and in the earlier Pentecost for the church of S Francesco at Caiazzo (in situ; his only signed work) it is possible to discern the influences of both Corenzio and Santafede. An awareness of the new clarity and naturalism of the Florentine reformers Lodovico Cigoli, Agostino Ciampelli and Domenico Passignano had spread in Naples through Santafede, whose role in the development of Azzolino’s style was fundamental. Both artists subsequently remained faithful to the devotional art of the Counter-Reformation, although they later demonstrated an awareness of the innovative work of Caravaggio. Azzolino countered both the excessive intellectual subtleties of Mannerism and the experimental naturalism of Caravaggio with serene and familiar renderings of sacred stories such as the ...


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...


Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez

(b Rome, c. 1575; d Rome, Jan 15, 1616).

Italian painter and etcher, also active in Spain. He was the son of a Florentine carpenter and stepbrother of the sculptor and architect Giulio Lasso. He accompanied Lasso to Sicily, and his earliest known work is a modest painting, in a Mannerist tradition, of St Gregory in his Study (1593; Catania, Villa Cerami, see Moir, pl. 48). He finished his training in Rome, and his study of the art of ancient Rome is evident in his early paintings, both in his use of Classical ruins and in the sculptural folds of his drapery. He must also have painted from nature and responded to the naturalism of Caravaggio. About 1598 Borgianni was in Spain and in 1601 he was in Pamplona. He stayed at least until June 1603, when he signed a petition for the establishment of an Italian-style academy of painting in Madrid. Among the other signatories was the Madrid-born Eugenio Cajés, whom Borgianni may have met in Rome, since Cajés was in Italy about ...


Carola Wenzel

(b Monte, nr Balerna; d Prague, 1628).

Italian stuccoist, active in Prague. He settled in Prague in 1590 and was granted citizenship in Malá Strana in January 1591. One of his major commissions was the oval chapel of the Assumption (1590–1600), which was built for the Italian community in Karlova Ulice and was the first centralized Baroque building to be erected in Prague. In 1603 Bossi built the north part of the Augustinian monastery near the church of St Thomas in Malá Strana. In the following year he was involved with renovations to the same monastery. From 1602 he built the hospital for the Italian congregation opposite the site of the present Lobkowicz Palace (1703–69; now the German Embassy). This early Baroque building comprises four wings around an arcaded courtyard (later glassed over). The hospital church (1608–17), dedicated to S Carlo Borromeo and also built by Bossi, was one of the first domed Baroque buildings in Prague. In the construction of these buildings Bossi played an important role in the dissemination of Italian architectural concepts in Prague....


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 ...


Daniele Benati

(b Bologna, c. 1574; d Bologna, 1623).

Italian painter, draughtsman and engraver. He studied with Bartolomeo Passerotti and afterwards at the Accademia degli Incamminati, founded by the Carracci, where he participated in group projects supervised by Ludovico Carracci. These included frescoes (c. 1598–1600) in the Palazzo Fava in Bologna depicting scenes from the Aeneid (here it seems that he worked on the last room, in collaboration with Leonello Spada); decorations (c. 1600) in the oratory of S Maria dell’Orazione annexed to the oratory of S Colombano, Bologna (Road to Calvary); and others (1604–05; almost invisible) in the octagonal cloister of the monastery of S Michele in Bosco, Bologna (Three Stories of St Benedict). He was left in charge of the workshop while Ludovico made a brief visit to Rome in 1602, suggesting that he held a prestigious position (although the best pupils had by then already left). Brizio continued to work with ...


(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 ...


Maria Angela Mattevi

[Buon Consiglio; Trent; Trento]

Vast monumental complex built between the north and east gates of the ancient city walls (c. 1200–20) of Trent, the capital of Trentino in Italy. It has three main nuclei: the Castelvecchio, the Magno Palazzo and the Giunta Albertiana. The oldest part, Castelvecchio, was built (1239–55) around the strong donjon, the Torre d’Augusto, by the Imperial Podestà of Trent, Sodegerio da Tito (d 1255), who took up office in 1238. Its function was predominantly military. In 1277 it passed to the Church and became the residence of the prince–bishop of Trent. In subsequent centuries a series of modifications and extensions have brought the castle to its present form. Of fundamental importance were the works completed in 1475 by Giovanni Hinderbach (d 1486) with the aid of Venetian craftsmen, who built the Renaissance Gothic internal court with tiered open galleries and the small loggia on the third floor. At that time the walls of the upper loggia were frescoed with portraits of the bishops of Trent from the city’s origin to the year ...


[Merisi, Michelangelo ]

(b Milan, Sept 29, 1571; d Porto Ercole, July 18, 1610).

Italian painter. After an early career as a painter of portraits, still-lifes, and genre scenes he became the most persuasive religious painter of his time. His bold, naturalistic style, which emphasized the common humanity of the apostles and martyrs, flattered the aspirations of the Counter-Reformation Church, while his vivid chiaroscuro enhanced both three-dimensionality and drama, as well as evoking the mystery of the faith. He followed a militantly realist agenda, rejecting both Mannerism and the classicizing naturalism of his main rival, Annibale Carracci. In the first 30 years of the 17th century his naturalistic ambitions and revolutionary artistic procedures attracted a large following from all over Europe.

Michelangelo (or Michele) was the first child of Fermo Merisi (d 1577) and his second wife, Lucia Aratori (d 29 Nov 1590). He was born on 29 September, the feast day of his name saint, the Archangel Michael, and christened the following day in the parish church of S Stefano in Brolo, Milan. Fermo Merisi hailed from Caravaggio, after which Michelangelo was to be called, and was majordomo and architect to ...


Adam Miłobędzki

Italian family of architects and sculptors, active in Rome and Poland. Together they created the only significant body of work beyond the Alps in the early Roman Baroque style of Carlo Maderno. Matteo Castelli (b Melide, c. 1560; d 1632) was apprenticed in Rome to his relative Domenico Fontana, and then for 20 years, from c. 1593, he worked with Maderno. By the beginning of the 17th century he was Maderno’s leading collaborator, involved in such works as the decoration (1595; with the sculptor Francesco Rossi) of the chapel of Cardinal Rusticucci in Il Gesù, Rome, to plans by Maderno, and on the façade of S Susanna (1597–1603), Rome, as well as the stone-built Palazzo Mattei (1599–1601). Matteo’s independent projects (after 1601) were largely developments of designs by Maderno, interpreting his moderately linear forms in a more decorative manner. The most important were the interiors of three chapels in S Andrea della Valle, Rome, notably the Barberini Chapel (...


Laura M. Giles

(b Sassuolo, 1577; d Bologna, 1660).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He is best known for his monumental altarpieces but he also executed numerous frescoes and narrative easel paintings. Except for his late Self-portrait (early 1630s; Florence, Uffizi), all of the 92 extant paintings and frescoes are religious. In 1591 his father Pellegrino, a minor decorative painter from Sassuolo, obtained from the local authorities a three-year stipend that enabled Giacomo to study painting in Bologna with Bernardino Baldi and Annibale Carracci. In 1595 Annibale moved to Rome, but Cavedone remained in Bologna and by the late 1590s had become one of Ludovico Carracci’s principal assistants, participating in such projects as the decoration of the cloister of S Michele in Bosco outside Bologna, where he frescoed the Death of St Benedict (1604–5). Cavedone inherited the title of Caposindaco of the Accademia degli Incamminati from Ludovico Carracci on the latter’s death in 1619.

Cavedone’s early development is indebted to both Annibale and Ludovico. In his earliest works, such as the ...



Nancy Ward Neilson

[Crespi, Giovanni Battista]

(b ?Cerano, nr Novara, c. 1575; d Milan, Oct 23, 1632).

Italian painter and designer. He is one of the most prominent of the Milanese artists of the early 17th century whose work represents a transitional phase between Mannerism and Baroque. He was highly esteemed in his day and patronized by the Fabbrica of Milan Cathedral, the civic authorities and highly distinguished private patrons, such as the Borromeo and Gonzaga families and the House of Savoy. Much of his work for private patrons is lost. Although he is chiefly famous as a painter, he also did much work as a designer, from church façades to sacred vestments.

From 17th-century sources both Busto Arsizio and Cerano have been proposed as his birthplace. The latter seems the more likely since the artist adopted its name, but it is also possible that he was born in Milan, where his father, Raffaele Crespi, a minor decorative fresco painter, was active from the late 1550s. His date of birth is based on his age as given in the Milanese census of ...