1-20 of 174 results  for:

  • Writer or Scholar x
  • 1500–1600 x
Clear all

Article

Jane Geddes

Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in Adam Naming the Animals and Christ in Majesty. A portrait or narrative illustration of each animal precedes every text description.

The manuscript contains the press mark of King Henry VIII’s library, mainly assembled after the dissolution of the monasteries, but its provenance before 1542 is not known. Muratova (1986, pp. 118–144) uses cumulative information from a group of related manuscripts to suggest a provenance in the north-east Midlands; Geddes (...

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

Philip J. Jacks

(b Saragossa, 1517; d Tarragona, 1586).

Spanish ecclesiastic and antiquarian. He studied law at the University of Alcalá, then received his doctorate in civil law at Salamanca in 1534. In 1536 Agustín entered the Collegio di Spagna in Bologna, where he was exposed to the revolutionary method of the nova jurisprudentia being propounded by Andrea Alciati. Agustín’s reputation as a philologist was established with his critical collation of the Florentine codex of the Digest, published as the Emendationum et opinionum libri (Venice, 1543). In Rome, where he was appointed in 1544 as an Auditor of the Rota, Agustín’s interests turned to numismatics and epigraphy, fostered by his friendship with such antiquarians as Pirro Ligorio, Onofrio Panvinio and Fulvio Orsini. Following a period of diplomatic missions as papal nunciate, Agustín devoted his time to redactions of Varro’s De lingua latina (1557) and the 2nd-century Sextus Pompeius Festus’ De verborum significatu (1559). Between ...

Article

Philip J. Jacks

(b Florence; d Rome, 1517–21).

Italian antiquary. He was appointed chaplain of S Lorenzo in Florence in 1493 and canon of the basilica six years later. In Florence he learnt painting from Domenico Ghirlandaio and poetry from the Medici courtier Naldo Naldi. In 1502 he went to Rome, where from 1505 he served as chaplain to the cardinal of S Sabina, Fazio Santori. Only one copy of Albertini’s Memoriale di molte statue e pitture della città di Firenze (Florence, Bib. N. Cent.), published by Antonio Tubini in Florence on 2 October 1510, survives; there is also a revised and corrected manuscript copy of the printed text (Rome, Bib. Angelica, MS. 2053). Dedicated to the Florentine sculptor Baccio da Montelupo, it was written as a brief guide to the city by quartieri, beginning with the Baptistery. Albertini is better known for his Opusculum de mirabilibus novae et veteris urbis Romae, published in Rome by Giacomo Mazzochio on ...

Article

Alchemy  

Laurinda Dixon

Ancient science from which modern chemistry evolved. Based on the concept of transmutation—the changing of substances at the elemental level—it was both a mechanical art and an exalted philosophy. Practitioners attempted to combine substances containing the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) in perfect balance, ultimately perfecting them into a fifth, the quintessence (also known as the philosopher’s stone) via the chemical process of distillation. The ultimate result was a substance, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, or ‘elixir of life’, believed capable of perfecting, or healing, all material things. Chemists imitated the Christian life cycle in their operations, allegorically marrying their ingredients, multiplying them, and destroying them so that they could then be cleansed and ‘resurrected’. They viewed their work as a means of attaining salvation and as a solemn Christian duty. As such, spiritual alchemy was sanctioned, legitimized, and patronized by the Church. Its mundane laboratory procedures were also supported by secular rulers for material gain. Metallurgists employed chemical apparatus in their attempts to transmute base metals into gold, whereas physicians and apothecaries sought ultimately to distill a cure-all elixir of life. The manifold possibilities inherent in such an outcome caused Papal and secular authorities to limit and control the practice of alchemy by requiring licences and punishing those who worked without authorization....

Article

Aurora Scotti Tosini

(b Perugia, 1512; d Perugia, Dec 30, 1572).

Italian architect and writer. He was the leading High Renaissance architect in both Genoa and Milan, his villas and town palazzi establishing a definitive pattern for the genre. His greatest sacred building was S Maria Assunta in Carignano, the central planning of which shows the influence of Donato Bramante and Michelangelo.

The Perugia of Alessi’s youth was an important centre of the Papal States, with a lively humanist and philosophical cultural life. Alessi received his early training in the school of the architect and painter Giovan Battista Caporali, whose edition of Vitruvius is notable for its tendency to rationalize the Antique and for its reference to music as a means of further perfecting the study of harmonic proportion in the visual arts. Alessi was also friendly with the architect Giulio Danti (1500–75), who was equally well versed in rhetoric and philosophy.

Alessi’s diverse cultural experience recommended him to the papal court in Rome, where he moved in ...

Article

(b Carpi, nr Modena, c. 1523; d Ferrara, 1573).

Italian architect and writer. He worked intermittently in Rome from 1549 to 1558, probably on the Palazzo Farnese under Michelangelo and on the city fortifications decreed by Pope Paul III. He was in Loreto in 1549, working on the basilica of S Maria, and in 1550, outside Macerata, began the church of S Maria delle Vergini, on which work continued for the rest of his life. The plan is a Greek cross, with a tall, octagonal drum over the crossing, in which are set large rectangular windows that transmit a bright but diffused light to the centre of the church. The interior is impressive in its refined simplicity, with almost all architectural elements reduced to their most essential forms. The great square nave piers, for example, are devoid of decoration other than their simple plinths and cornice-like capitals. The church is built throughout in brick, which is left exposed, with decorative inlaid panels, in the cross-vaulting to the right-hand eastern chapel. The façade (...

Article

Sheila S. Blair

[Muẓaffar ‛Alī ibn Haydar ‛Alī al-Tabrīzī]

(fl late 1520s–70s; d Qazvin, c. 1576).

Persian calligrapher, illustrator, painter and poet. He was a versatile artist who belonged to the second generation working for Tahmasp I (reg 1524–76) at the Safavid court in north-west Iran (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(a)). His career has been reconstructed by Dickson and Welch on the basis of brief notices by Safavid artists and historians, signed calligraphies and ascribed paintings. He studied calligraphy with the master Rustam ‛Ali, and several folios in the album compiled for Bahram Mirza in 1544–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2154) are signed jointly by Rustam ‛Ali for the writing and Muzaffar ‛Ali for the découpage (Arab. qat‛). He was a master of nasta‛lıq script, and two examples in the album prepared for Amir Ghayb Beg in 1564–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2161) are signed by him. In the introduction to this album, Malik Daylami wrote of his skill in calligraphic decoration and gold illumination, and the chronicler Qazi Ahmad reported that he also excelled in gold-flecking, gilding and varnished painting. Muzaffar ‛Ali reportedly studied painting with the renowned master ...

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

Norman E. Land

(b Arezzo, 19 or April 20, 1492; d Venice, 1556).

Italian art critic, writer, poet and collector. He was one of the most engaging literary figures of the Italian Renaissance, known not only for his famous Lettere but also for political lampoons, erotic books and religious writings. He was the son of a shoemaker, Luca del Tura. From before 1510 until 1517 he lived in Perugia. A book of poems that he published during these years, Opera nova (1512), suggests by its subtitle, in which the author is called ‘Pietro pictore Aretino’, and by a note to the first sonnet in which he claims to be ‘studioso … in pictura’, that he had some training as an artist. About 1517 he moved to Rome, after a short period in Siena, and joined the household of Agostino Chigi. He became friendly with Raphael, Michelangelo, Sebastiano del Piombo and Jacopo Sansovino. At this time too he became known for his political lampoons. For a period Aretino was a valet to Pope Leo X; on Leo’s death in ...

Article

Natividad Sánchez Esteban

(b Seville, 1548; d Las Palmas, Canary Islands, 1596).

Spanish soldier, writer and collector. As a reward for his military achievements, Philip II appointed him Alférez Mayor of Andalusia, and he also received honours from the kings of France, Portugal and Poland. He became royal chronicler, which gave him access to numerous libraries throughout Spain, in which he discovered rare Spanish books dating from the Middle Ages. These were important for his La historia de la nobleza de Andaluzia, only the first part of which was published (1588). Among other things, this includes histories of Seville, Ubeda and Baeza and a genealogy of Argote de Molina’s family. Argote de Molina was also Veinticuatro of Seville, a commissioner of the Inquisition and first Provincial de la Santa Hermandad. In addition he was a member of the circle of humanists and writers around the Duques de Gelves in their villa, called La Merlina. His marriage to the daughter of the Marqués of Lanzarote obliged him to move to that island, and on the death of his wife he settled in Gran Canaria. His humanist interests led him to create a private museum in his home, a typical example of a 16th-century collection of art and exotic objects, a ...

Article

Gregorio de Andrés

(b Fregenal de la Sierra, Badajoz, c. 1527; d Seville, July 6, 1598).

Spanish theologian and poet. He studied humanities in Seville from 1546 to 1547 and Latin, rhetoric and theology at Alcalá de Henares from 1548 to 1552. In 1559 he retired to a hermitage in Castaño del Robledo (Huelva) called La Peña de Aracena, where he devoted himself to the study of Greek, Hebrew and oriental languages. In 1560 he was ordained a priest in the Orden Militar de Santiago at the Convent of S Marcos, León. He attended the Council of Trent from 1562 to 1563 and in 1564 was appointed chaplain and Historiador Real (royal historian) to Philip II.

The King, as patron of the projected Biblia políglota, a multilingual Bible that was to be published by the Flemish printer, Christoph Plantin, appointed Montano director of this extensive project with the title of Doctor theologus delegatus. In May 1568 Montano arrived in Antwerp having first travelled in Ireland and England, where he visited the University of Oxford. The ...

Article

Dennis Looney

(b Reggio Emilia, Sept 8, 1474; d Ferrara, July 6, 1533).

Italian poet. His father was a captain in the service of the ruling Este family of Ferrara, and Ariosto studied Latin literature and philosophy at the studium (university) there. From 1503 he served first Cardinal Ippolito I d’Este and then his brother, Alfonso I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, in various administrative and diplomatic capacities, finally retiring around 1526. His supervision (1526–33) of the ducal theatre at Ferrara enabled him to collaborate with, among others, Dosso Dossi and Battista Dossi, who designed sets for several of his comedies (Fiorenza). Despite the brilliance of these plays and of his seven Satires (1517–25), Ariosto’s fame rests on his romance-epic in Italian, Orlando furioso (Ferrara, 1516, 1521, 1532). The poem, begun around 1506 and completed only shortly before his death, uses Charlemagne’s war against the Saracens as a backdrop to explore typical Renaissance themes such as love, madness, and fidelity. In an early reference to his narrative in a letter, the poet describes his creative process with the intriguing phrase, ‘my muse will have a story to paint’ (Ariosto, pp. 4 and 30–31). The poem highlights Ariosto’s interest in art in several ways, containing many ...

Article

François Quiviger

(b Faenza, c. 1525; d Faenza, April 1609).

Italian painter and writer. He probably began his apprenticeship at Faenza and at the beginning of the 1550s settled in Rome, where he worked as a copyist of ancient and modern works. Around 1556 he made a series of journeys across Italy before settling in Faenza in 1564, where he took orders. Of his artistic works, which he himself held in low esteem, we know only an Ascension of the Virgin (Faenza, Pin. Com.) and a few leaves from an album of drawings, dating from the 1550s, which show Raphael’s Logge. His most important contribution to the history of art is his treatise entitled De’ veri precetti della pittura (1587).

With this book Armenini wished to revive painting, which he felt had declined. He attributed its downfall to three main causes: the indifference of the great masters of the early 16th century to teaching, the lack of artists of sufficient stature to succeed them and a general depreciation of the art of painting. The ...

Article

Isabel Mateo Gómez

(b ?Toledo; d 1595).

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (d 1565). He worked as painter to Toledo Cathedral from 1565 to 1581 and was painter (Pintor del Rey) to Philip II from 1583. He acted frequently as a valuer for the work of other artists.

Between 1563 and 1564, in collaboration with Luis de Velasco, Hernando de Ávila painted the retable of the church of Miraflores (Madrid Province) with the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (untraced); these are probably among his earliest works. He was commissioned to paint the retables of St John the Baptist and the ...

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

Josèphe Jacquiot

[Pierre-Antoine de Rascas]

(b Aix-en-Provence, bapt 3 Feb 1562; d Aix-en-Provence, 14 April 1620). French collector and administrator. In 1602 Henry IV appointed him Maître des Cabinets de Médailles et Antiquités. His task was to reconstitute, in a hall of the château of Fontainebleau, the royal collection of medals and antiques, starting from what remained of the royal treasures after the disorders of the Wars of Religion. In order to increase the museum’s growing collection, Bagarris offered the King his own collection, consisting of 957 engraved gems, including 200 cameos. He took it back after Henry IV’s death; but in 1670 it was bought back by Louis XIV, and returned to the royal collection, enhanced by the addition of three famous intaglios: the so-called ‘Seal of Michelangelo’, attributed to Pietro Maria Serbaldi di Pescia, a Triumph of Silenus and a Cicero (all Paris, Bib. N., Cab. Médailles). Two documents highlight the importance that Henry IV attached to restoring the Cabinets des Médailles et Antiquités. The first contains the instructions that Bagarris received in ...

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

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 ...