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Clare Robertson

(b Rome, Dec 11, 1529; d Rome, May 18, 1600).

Italian antiquarian and collector. He was an illegitimate son of the Orsini family. He devoted himself early to the study of manuscripts under the guidance of Gentile Delfini, Cardinal Ranuccio Farnese’s Vicario at S Giovanni in Laterano, Rome. In 1554 he became a canon of the same church, and on Delfini’s death in 1559 entered Farnese service, in which he remained for the rest of his career.

Orsini was secretary and librarian to Ranuccio Farnese until the latter’s death in 1565. He was then ‘inherited’ by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (see Farnese family §(3)) as librarian and as keeper of the antiques and works of art in the Palazzo Farnese. Orsini fulfilled his duties with care, acquiring many new works for the Farnese collection and advising his patron on the choice of artists for several commissions. He also composed inscriptions for the Cardinal’s frescoes and devised iconographic programmes, including that for the Sala d’Ercole in the Villa Farnese at Caprarola....

Article

Donata Battilotti

(d Verona, May 8, 1550).

Italian humanist, historian and patron. He was the author of the first printed book on the history and antiquities of Verona, published in 1540, with woodcuts after drawings by Giovanni Battista Caroto that are still extant (Verona, Bib. Civ.). De origine et amplitudine civitatis Veronae, written in Latin, takes the form of a conversation between members of a group of Veronese humanists including, apart from the author, Giacomo Villafranca and Giovanni Nicola Capella, and the artist Giovanni Battista Caroto. Caroto is given the task of providing technical information on the monuments that are the subject of the second book, which he himself had illustrated.

De origine was the first complete catalogue of Veronese antiquities, from the most prominent, such as the Arena, to miscellaneous remains such as displaced capitals. Also worthy of note are the Latin inscriptions, of which the author must have possessed a collection. The measurements are minute, and the monuments (except for the Arena) are completely reconstructed in the illustrations. Each is placed chronologically in relation to the salient moments of Roman history, and due recognition is given to the architects....