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[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 ...

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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 ...

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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

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....

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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...

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Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina

(b San Marino, Sept 27, 1506; d Pieve S Paolo, nr Pisa, March 25, 1554).

Italian architect. He was the son of Bartolo di Simone Belluzzi, an important political figure in the Republic of San Marino. He spent his youth in commerce and at the age of 18 was sent by his father to Bologna, where he remained for two years. In 1535 he settled in Rome, entering the service of Ascanio Colonna, whom he followed to Naples to meet Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. At the end of that year he returned to San Marino to marry a daughter of Girolamo Genga. From that time, without abandoning his business interests, he worked with his father-in-law, who was then employed by Francesco Maria I della Rovere, 4th Duke of Urbino, to enlarge the Villa Imperiale at San Bartolo, near Pesaro (for illustration see Genga family, §1), and on other architectural projects for the state. In September 1538 Belluzzi worked with his father-in-law on the fortifications of Pesaro and at the same time began to study Vitruvius. In ...

Article

Clare Robertson

(b Venice, May 20, 1470; d Rome, Jan 18, 1547).

Italian ecclesiastic, writer, collector and patron. His literary fame rests chiefly on his contributions to the development of Italian vernacular literature and to his revival of the Petrarchan style in poetry. Among his best-known works is Gli Asolani (written c. 1497; pubd 1505), which consists of Platonic dialogues on love. Born of a patrician family, he made several attempts to follow his father’s distinguished political career before deciding to devote himself to literature. In 1492 he left Venice, going first to Messina, then Padua and Ferrara. For a time he was part of the cultivated circle of the della Rovere court in Urbino, where he was described by Baldassare Castiglione in Il libro del cortegiano (1528) as the archetypal humanist. After taking minor orders in 1508, he moved to Rome in 1512 and worked there as a papal secretary, together with Jacopo Sadoleto (1477–1547). On the death of Leo X in ...

Article

(b Venice, Aug 14, 1530; d Turin, Jan 20, 1590).

Italian scientist, mathematician and writer. He studied mathematics with Niccolò Tartaglia (1500–59) and became one of the most progressive scientific thinkers of the later 16th century. From 1558 to 1567 he was in the service of Ottavio Farnese, 2nd Duke of Parma, and then moved to Turin at the invitation of Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Savoy, where he remained for the rest of his life. His interests extended to most branches of contemporary science, including astronomy (in De gnomonum he refers to his making of a meridian), acoustics, music and geometry. His studies of mechanics in particular made him an important forerunner of Galileo Galilei. The breadth of his interests is reflected in his principal published work, the Diversarum speculationum mathematicarum (1585), which includes a section on perspective and is dedicated to the Milanese architect at the court of Turin, Giacomo Soldati (fl 1561–1600)....

Article

David Cast

(fl 1500–?1530).

Italian connoisseur. He was possibly the owner and perhaps also the compiler of a collection of notes about the lives and works of the artists of Florence in the Renaissance. The text of this collection, first published in 1891 by Cornelius von Fabriczy, has survived in two versions in two different manuscripts in the Biblioteca Nazionale, Florence: the so-called Codice Strozziano (Cod. Magliabechiano cl XXV 636) and the Codice Petrei (Cod. Magliabechiano cl XIII 89). The first of these seems to be in fragments but is more accurate, the second somewhat careless but more complete; the two texts may be compared in the edition of 1892 by Karl Frey. The association of the texts with Billi was first made in writings by Fabriczy and Frey following Gaetano Milanesi’s 1872 citing of Billi’s name after an investigation of the Codice dell’Anonimo Magliabechiano (Florence, Bib. N. Cent. Cod. Magliabechiano cl XVII 17). Billi was a member of a distinguished family in Florence, who owned a chapel in SS Annunziata, for which, according to Vasari, they commissioned from ...

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M. J. T. M. Stompé

(b Lohr, c. 1525).

German architect, engraver and writer. After training as an architect in his native town, Hans Blum left Lohr because two architects were already working there: Peter Volckner (fl 1539–48) and Jost Wenzel (fl 1548–70). He then moved to Zurich, where he married Ragali Kuchymeister in 1550. Their eldest son Christoffel Blum (bapt 21 Jan 1552) was named after the publisher Christoffel Froschauer (?1490–1564), who later published Hans Blum’s treatises on architecture.

Hans Blum is primarily known as the author of Quinque columnarum exacta descriptio atque delinaeatio cum symmetrica (1550), a book on the five orders of architecture. He based his work on the fourth volume of Serlio’s Regole generali di architettura (Venice, 1537), a German edition of which was published in 1542. The second source for Blum’s book was Gualtherus Rivius’s edition of Vitruvius, published in 1548 and illustrated by Peter Flettner (...

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Z. Waźbiński

(b Florence, 1549; d Florence, March 31, 1613/18).

Italian scholar and writer. His literary output (only partly published) was immense: largely speeches and other occasional works, but also many historical writings. In the field of art literature he wrote (in 1571) Eccellenza della statua del San Giorgio di Donatello. Dedicated initially to Cosimo I de’ Medici, it was published in 1584 with a new dedication to the Florentine Accademia del Disegno. Also significant is Le bellezze di Firenze (1591), the first Renaissance guide to Florence. The treatise on Donatello’s sculpture is an important academic document on the theory of art in Florence in the 16th century. His Discorso sopra l’eccellenza dell’opere del Andrea del Sarto, pittore fiorentino (1567; Florence, Bib. Uffizi, MS.9, ins. 1) and Oratio … de laudibus Michaelis Angeli florentini pictoris, sculptoris atque architecti nobilissimum (London, BL MS. 1978, fols 1–25) were also written for the Accademia del Disegno.

London, BL [MS. of F. Bocchi Oratio … de laudibus Michaelis Angeli florentini pictoris, sculptoris atque architecti nobilissimum]...