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Jeffrey Chipps Smith

(b ?Munich, fl 1535; d Munich, 1567).

German sculptor, mason and medallist. In 1536 he became a master sculptor in Munich and shortly afterwards entered the service of Ludwig X, Duke of Bavaria. He moved to Landshut in 1537 to work on the construction of the Italian wing of the ducal Stadtresidenz. In 1555 he travelled to Neuburg an der Donau to oversee the shipment of stone for the palace’s chimneys. He was influenced by and may have assisted Thomas Hering, the sculptor of these chimneys (See under Hering, Loy). Also in 1555 he reverted to Munich citizenship.

The few surviving examples of his sculpture show him to have been an accomplished if somewhat derivative artist. Many seem to have been commissioned by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, who paid him an annual salary from 1558 (and perhaps as early as 1551) to 1567. Aesslinger’s limestone reliefs (both 1550) of the Massacre of the Innocents...

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Peter Strieder

In 

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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....

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Emma Packer

(b ?London, c. 1470; d ?London, 1532).

English goldsmith. He was the son of a London goldsmith and was the most successful goldsmith working at the Tudor court; his work bridged the transition between the Gothic and the Renaissance styles. He was an official at the Mint from 1504 to almost the end of his life, his appointment possibly facilitated by his marriage to Elizabeth, granddaughter of Sir Hugh Bryce (d 1496), Court Goldsmith to Henry VIII. In 1524 Amadas became the first working goldsmith to become Master of the Jewel House to Henry VIII, an office he retained until 1532, supplying spangles, wire and ribbons to the court. In the 1520s his orders included a large amount of plate for gifts to foreign ambassadors; he also supplied a number of New Year’s gifts for the court. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was one of Amadas’ most important clients, and Amadas supplied him with a number of lavish objects. Other clients included ...

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Antico  

Charles Avery

[Alari-Bonacolsi, Pier Jacopo di Antonio]

(b Mantua, c. 1460; d Gazzuolo, 1528).

Italian sculptor. An expert in goldsmith work, bronze sculpture and medals, he earned his nickname ‘Antico’ because of his ‘astonishing penetration of antiquity’ (Nesselrath). He achieved lasting fame through his small-scale re-creations (often also reinterpretations) of famous, but often fragmentary, statues of antiquity (e.g. the Apollo Belvedere, Rome, Vatican, Mus. Pio-Clementino, and the Spinario, Rome, Mus. Conserv.). Most of these bronze statuettes were made for the Gonzaga family, notably for Ludovico, Bishop of Mantua, and for Isabella d’Este, wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, 4th Marchese of Mantua. Antico also restored ancient marble statues and acted as an adviser to collectors.

A birth date of 1460 has been calculated on the basis of Antico’s earliest recorded commission (1479), and he is presumed to have been born in Mantua because his father, a butcher, owned a house there and he himself was granted the privilege of owning a stall in the meat market by Federico I Gonzaga, 3rd Marchese of Mantua. A training as a goldsmith is inferred from the fact that he began as a medallist in relief and in intaglio. In addition, he is documented (see below) as the maker of a pair of silver gilt vases and later demonstrated great skill at casting and chasing bronze statuettes, and at gilding and inlaying them with silver. His restoration of antique marble statues also implies an expertise in working that material, but nothing is known of how he acquired this skill....

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Marion Hagenmann-Bischoff

[Franciscus]

(b Brussels, c. ?1570–80).

Flemish goldsmith, draughtsman, sculptor, copper engraver and embosser, active in Germany . As a skilled goldsmith from Brussels, he is documented at Augsburg between 1598 and 1604, and from 1603 as a tax-paying citizen; before this he was probably living in Friedberg nearby. After he is recorded as paying taxes three years in advance, traces of Aspruck fade away in 1604. Since he was not accepted as a master craftsman by the Augsburg goldsmiths’ trade, he worked with them as a ‘free artist’. His skills included draughtsmanship, modelling and casting as well as copper engraving, which he also taught to goldsmith apprentices and journeymen. Aspruck’s drawings from 1597 to 1601 show an individual style influenced by Hendrick Goltzius and Bartholomäus Spranger, for example Venus and Amor (1598; Hamburg, Ksthalle). He also sketched for other engravers, as is known, first of all, from the surviving publishing production of the Antwerp engraver Dominicus Custos in Augsburg. In ...

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José Manuel Cruz Valdovinos

(b Toledo, c. 1525; d Madrid, 1594).

Spanish silversmith . He worked for the cathedral and various churches in Toledo until his departure for Alcalá de Henares in 1557. While in Toledo he made an altarpiece (1554) for Segovia Cathedral. In Alcalá he made the crosses of Daganzo de Arriba, of which only the cuadrón (Madrid, priv. col.) and the cross of Algete (Toledo, Mus. Santa Cruz) remain. Both are Mannerist in structure and ornamentation. By 1563 Babia had established himself in Madrid, where the court had already settled, and shortly afterwards was appointed silversmith to Philip II. In this capacity he executed over a period of years several chalices for alms donated by the king during the feast of Epiphany (examples at Juan de la Penitencia de Alcalá, 1571; Elvas, Portugal, 1581; Lisbon, Mus. N. A. Ant., 1582; Augustinian convent, Segovia, 1589). The chalices made by him for Carranque, Madrid, and the Escorial were not made for alms, despite their similarity to the royal chalices. Babia also executed a reliquary for the Escorial. In ...

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Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

(b c. 1495; d Nuremberg, Aug 3, 1577).

German gold- and silversmith. He may have been descended from a family of artists who settled in Nuremberg, where on February 6, 1525 he was recorded as a citizen and master goldsmith . From 1534 to 1537 he was a master of the guild. Despite the lack of biographical details, his importance among the German goldsmiths of his day is uncontested; as early as 1546 Johann Neudörfer in his Nachrichten gave him special emphasis. Additional material in archives (Bösch; Hampe) provides further information about Baier’s life and work. It is clear that Baier collaborated closely with Peter Flötner, who produced the models for almost all Baier’s gold figures (Kohlhausen), and he also worked with Dürer family, §2, Labenwolf family, §1 and . Baier probably had a large workshop, as evinced by the number of documented works dating from 1530 to 1547. Since few of the extant pieces are marked, Baier’s direct contribution to the works attributed to him must be questionable....

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Tadeusz Chrzanowski

(b c. 1515; d Kraków, 1575).

German metalworker and gunsmith, active in Poland . He ran workshops in Nuremberg (1540–59) and in Kraków and Vilnius (1559–75). He specialized in casting guns decorated with abstract patterns and figurative compositions, after the designs of the ‘small masters’ of Nuremberg, for example Peter Flötner. While still in Germany he established close contacts with the Polish royal court in Kraków. In 1557 the Nuremberg city council granted him permission to send his guns to Poland, thereby confirming his status as a master gunsmith. Baldner’s signature appears on two falconets (1557; Stockholm, Kun. Armémus.) produced for the Polish King Sigismund II Augustus and a gun (1561; Berlin, Zeughaus) cast in Kraków. Other works which are not signed but are undoubtedly by him are two small guns from Silesia (Berlin, Zeughaus) and two others at Wawel Castle in Kraków (Kraków, N. A. Cols), where polychrome gun carriages have also been preserved. The only other kind of work featuring Baldner’s signature is a bell (...

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Charles Avery

[Brandini, Bartolomeo]

(b Gaiole in Chianti, Oct 17, 1493; d Florence, Feb 7, 1560).

Italian sculptor, painter and draughtsman . He was the son of Michelagnolo di Viviano (1459–1528), a prominent Florentine goldsmith who was in the good graces of the Medici and who taught Cellini and Raffaello da Montelupo. Baccio remained loyal to the Medici, despite their being in exile from 1494 to 1513, and this led to a flow of commissions after the elections to the papacy of Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici) in 1513 and of Clement VII (Giulio de’ Medici) a decade later; after Cosimo de’ Medici became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1537, these increased still further. This political stance made him unpopular with most Florentines, including Michelangelo, who were Republican at heart, and this lay at the root of much of the adverse criticism—not always justified—that greeted Bandinelli’s statues.

Baccio seems to have had an ambitious and impatient temperament, which led to frequent changes of master and of direction when he was learning his art. Until ...

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Gordon Campbell

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Marianne Grivel

(b Thionville, 1507, or Lunéville, 1515; d Rome, c. 1565).

French engraver. He was probably related to a family of goldsmiths from Nancy, but his working life was spent in Italy. He produced many engravings for publishers in Rome and specialized mostly in reproducing Italian paintings, views of ancient Rome and to a lesser extent portraits. He worked for the engraver and publisher Tommaso Barlacchi in 1541 and 1550, producing Joseph Interpreting Pharaoh’s Dreams (Robert-Dumesnil, no. 2), the Ascension (rd 14) and Christ Delivering Souls from Limbo (rd 15) after Raphael. He also worked for Antonio Salamanca, for whom he made versions of paintings by Raphael, Michelangelo (e.g. Virgin of Sorrows, 1547; rd 18) and Baccio Bandinelli (e.g. Struggle between Reason and the Passions, 1545; rd 36).

After 1547 Beatrizet seems to have worked for Antoine Lafréry, for whom he made engravings of views of Roman monuments and antique sculptures—for example The Pantheon (rd 103) and the ...

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José Manuel Cruz Valdovinos

(b Cuenca, 1506–7; d Cuenca, 1573).

Spanish silversmith. His principal work, which made him famous in Castile during his lifetime, was the monumental standing monstrance (destr. 1808) for Cuenca Cathedral, begun in 1528 and unveiled in 1546, although unfinished until 1573; only five statuettes (c. 1550; London, V&A) are preserved out of the hundreds that adorned it. Between 1527–8 and 1537 Becerril made the standing monstrance of Villaescusa de Haro (Cuenca, Mus. Dioc.-Catedralicio), with the collaboration of Juan Ruiz and Luis del Castillo. He later created three other tower-shaped monstrances: those in Iniesta (1556) and Buendía—both with three layers: the lower two square, the upper one circular—and the monstrance of S Pedro de Huete (untraced). Becerril was silversmith for Cuenca Cathedral and made a set of coronas (1543) and a set of paxes (1550–51) for use there. He executed several crosses: those made in the mid-16th century (e.g. the cross of La Puerta; 1000 ×550 mm, ...

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John R. Melville-Jones

(b Vicenza, c. 1468; d Vicenza, 1546).

Italian gem-engraver, goldsmith and medallist. The most important part of his career was spent in Rome, where he worked for Clement VII and his successor Paul III. He also spent a short period in Venice, returning from there to Vicenza in 1530 and remaining in the latter city for most of the time until his death. In Rome he was a well-established member of artistic and literary circles, associating, for example, with Michelangelo and the humanist scholar Pietro Bembo. No specimens of his work as a goldsmith survive, but he is called ‘aurifex’ in contemporary documents and may have made the settings for his carved gems.

Belli specialized in cutting gems and crystal and in carving dies for coins and medals. Although his work demonstrates technical ability of the highest order, his talent was not an original one. His style followed that of his contemporaries working in the major arts or was governed by his study of ancient coins and gems. His best-known works are those made for his papal patrons, many consisting of or incorporating carvings in rock crystal or semiprecious stones. The most splendid of these is a silver-gilt casket adorned with 24 carvings in crystal showing scenes from the ...

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Valentino Donati

(Desiderio) [Giovanni da Castel Bolognese]

(b Castel Bolognese, 1494; d Faenza, May 22, 1553).

Italian gem-engraver and medallist. He was first instructed as a gem-engraver by his father, the goldsmith Bernardo Bernardi (1463–1553). His earliest works, which dated from the three years he spent in Ferrara at the court of Alfonso I d’Este, were an engraving on crystal of the Battle of La Bastia and steel dies for struck medals representing Alfonso d’Este and Christ Taken by the Multitude (untraced; see Vasari). By 1530 Giovanni Bernardi was in Rome, where he worked for the cardinals Giovanni Salviati and Ippolito de’ Medici. He was commissioned to produce a portrait of Pope Clement VII for the obverse of a medal struck with two different reverses: Joseph Appearing to his Brothers (e.g. Modena, Gal. & Mus. Estense; London, V&A) and the Apostles Peter and Paul (e.g. Milan, Castello Sforzesco; Paris, Bib. N.). For Clement VII he engraved on rock crystal the Four Evangelists (Naples, Capodimonte), a work that was much praised and admired; even Benvenuto Cellini, in his ...

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Stephen K. Scher

(fl 1574–92).

Italian medallist. Although he worked in the papal mint from 1580 to 1592, virtually nothing is known about his life and career, which may say something about the relative unimportance of a die-engraver, a job that he is documented as having in 1591 (‘incisore della Zecca Romana’). He seems to have moved with his brother, Emilio de’ Bonis, from Venice to Rome and signed a medal in 1574 for the inauguration of the Collegio Germanico in Rome. Thereafter, virtually all of his medals were produced for his papal employers. According to Forrer, he struck medals for Gregory XIII (1572–85), Sixtus V (1585–90; five variants), Gregory XIV (1590–91; eight variants), Innocent IX (1591; seven variants) and Clement VIII (1592–1605; four variants). As was usually the case with papal commemorative medals, an official portrait of the pontiff was established, coupled with a series of reverses devoted to significant acts or events that occurred during that particular papacy. Such medals were invariably struck and were relatively monotonous and dry in technique and style. Nonetheless, the medals of de’ Bonis do possess certain distinctive qualities. The portraits of Sixtus V, for example, are quite vigorous and capture the gruff features of this former peasant. The medal struck to commemorate the building of the Ponte Felice over the Tiber in the Borghetto section of Rome (...

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Franco Panvini Rosati

[Federigo Parmense]

(b Parma, 1508; d after 1586).

Italian medallist and goldsmith. His first signed medal was made in 1549 for Pope Paul III. Bonzagna is documented in 1554 working in the papal mint in Rome with his brother Gian Giacomo Bonzagna (1507–65) and Alessandro Cesati. He worked for the papal mint until 1575, when he prepared a medal for Pope Gregory XIII. He also worked in the mint at Parma, where he engraved the dies for medals of Pier Luigi Farnese, 1st Duke of Parma and Piacenza, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and Ottavio Farnese, 2nd Duke of Parma and Piacenza. Bonzagna also executed medals for Cardinal Federico Cesi and, in 1560, Gian Battista di Collalto. In 1561 Bonzagna worked as a goldsmith with Cesati and Gian Alberto de’ Rossi on a silver-gilt pax for Milan Cathedral. Bonzagna was one of the most prolific medallists of the 16th century. Because many of his medals were unsigned, it is difficult to distinguish his dies from those of Cesati. In some medals the obverse is by Bonzagna and the reverse by another artist. These were produced when several medals were restruck by Mazio in the 19th century. Bonzagna’s work is varied and shows considerable technical accomplishment, but his style is cold and academic....

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[Mehmed-i Bosna]

(fl Istanbul, 1588–1605).

Ottoman Turkish goldsmith. As one of the craftsmen attached to the Ottoman court, he produced a number of elaborate pieces that are either signed by him or can be attributed to him on stylistic grounds. The latter group includes the crown presented by Sultan Ahmed I to his vassal Stephen Bocskay of Transylvania in ...

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Charles Robertson

[Suardi, Bartolomeo]

(b ?Milan, c. 1465; d Milan, 1530).

Italian painter and architect. He was one of the leading artists in Milan in the early 16th century. His early training as a goldsmith may indicate a relatively late start to his activity as a painter, and none of his work may be dated before 1490. The style of his early work parallels that of such followers of Vincenzo Foppa as Bernardino Butinone, Bernardo Zenale and Giovanni Donato da Montorfano. He assumed the name Bramantino very early in his career, indicating that he was in close contact with Donato Bramante, whose influence is uppermost in his early work.

Bramantino’s earliest surviving painting is probably the Virgin and Child (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.). It is an adaptation of a type of half-length Virgin with standing Christ Child well known in Milan. The linear emphasis and the dramatic treatment of light are aspects derived from Bramante’s work. Bramantino stressed graphic quality in this picture, and throughout his early work he was considerably influenced by Andrea Mantegna and by the visual aspects of prints. His ...