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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

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

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

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 ...

Article

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

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 (...

Article

F. Hamilton Hazlehurst

(b Saint-Jean-d’Angely, Charente-Maritime, c. 1562; d Paris, c. 1634).

French garden designer and theorist. Of Huguenot origin, he seems early to have enjoyed the favour of Henry of Navarre, later Henry IV. A respected member of the royal entourage, Boyceau was appointed Surintendant des Jardins du Roi in the succeeding reign of Louis XIII. Consequently, he was in a position to exert substantial influence in determining the nature of garden design at that time. In his Traité du jardinage, published in 1638, Boyceau succinctly summarized the history of French gardening and codified the rules that would govern the 17th-century formal garden. For the first time a French designer adopted an aesthetic point of view, thereby promoting the intellectual climate that was to establish gardening as a fine art. He introduced a new feeling for monumental scale to the French garden, insisting that it should reflect a strong sense of organic unity in which order, symmetry, and visual harmony would be all-pervasive....

Article

Janet Cox-Rearick

[Agniolo di Cosimo di Mariano Tori]

(b Monticelli, nr Florence, Nov 17, 1503; d Florence, Nov 23, 1572).

Italian painter and poet. He dominated Florentine painting from the 1530s to the 1560s. He was court artist to Cosimo I de’ Medici, and his sophisticated style and extraordinary technical ability were ideally suited to the needs and ideals of his ducal patron. He was a leading decorator, and his religious subjects and mythological scenes epitomize the grace of the high maniera style; his cool and highly disciplined portraits perfectly convey the atmosphere of the Medici court and of an intellectual élite.

Bronzino was the pupil first of the conservative Raffaellino del Garbo and then of Jacopo Pontormo, who portrayed him c. 1518 in the foreground of Joseph in Egypt (London, N.G.). Pontormo’s Mannerist style was the major formative influence on Bronzino’s art. He worked with Pontormo in 1523–6 in the cloister at the Certosa di Galluzzo, near Florence, where he painted lunettes (damaged) of the Martyrdom of St Lawrence...

Article

Ian Campbell

(b c. 1510; d after 1571).

Italian architect, engineer, theorist and writer. He was the son of Giacopo Cataneo, a stationer from Novara. The earliest secure date for his activity (23 March 1533) occurs in his sketchbook (Florence, Uffizi, U 3275-3391 A), which has the general character of an exercise-book and hence of a youthful work. Virtually every drawing in it is copied from the treatises of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The first 42 folios include drawings of ornaments and civil architecture from Francesco’s codices Ashburnham (Florence, Bib. Laurenziana) and Saluzziano (Turin, Bib. Reale), while the remaining 64 folios contain drawings of fortifications and machines derived from the Codex Magliabechiano (Florence, Bib. N.). A peculiarity of the drawings of fortifications is their frequent juxtaposition with calligraphic exercises, the intention of which seems primarily decorative. It is as a ‘scrittore’ that Cataneo first appears in Sienese communal records in 1539, and also as ‘computista’, which looks forward to his first publication, ...

Article

Alessandro Nova

(b Florence, Nov 3, 1500; d Florence, Feb 13, 1571).

Italian goldsmith, medallist, sculptor and writer. He was one of the foremost Italian Mannerist artists of the 16th century, working in Rome for successive popes, in France for Francis I and in Florence for Cosimo I de’ Medici. Among his most famous works are the elaborate gold figural salt made for Francis I (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.; see fig. below) and the bronze statue of Perseus (Florence, Loggia Lanzi). His Vita is among the most compelling autobiographies written by an artist and is generally considered to be an important work of Italian literature.

Cellini came from a middle-class Florentine family. His grandfather Andrea was a mason and his father Giovanni Cellini (1451–1528), who married Elisabetta Granacci in 1480, was a well-educated and expert carpenter who built the scaffolding put up to allow Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Battle of Anghiari (destr.) and who was a member of the committee responsible for choosing the site for Michelangelo’s statue of ...

Article

Francesco Paolo Fiore

(b 1476–8; d Milan, 1543).

Italian architect, theorist and painter. He was active mainly in Milan and is famous for publishing the first Italian translation, with commentary and illustrations, of Vitruvius (1521). The brief autobiography that this contains is also the principal source of information regarding Cesariano’s own life, education and aims.

Cesariano’s date of birth has been disputed, but it is now thought to be 1476–8, following the documentation from the time of his father’s death in 1482. In 1482 Cesariano was introduced to the court of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, where he came into contact with courtiers and artists and met Bramante, whom he named as his chief teacher. He doubtless observed the preparatory phases and building of S Maria presso S Satiro, the only work by Bramante in Milan to which he refers specifically in his commentary on Vitruvius. He could not have followed Bramante’s subsequent career, for he was forced to leave his home town ...

Article

Trinidad de Antonio Sáenz

(b ?Alcolea de Torote, Toledo, before1548; d Córdoba, July 26, 1608).

Spanish painter and writer. He is the most representative figure of the Córdoban school of the last third of the 16th century. Of Toledan origin, he studied arts and theology at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares c. 1556, acquiring a broad humanistic education and a knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Three years later he was in Rome, where he completed his artistic training and came under the influence of Raphael and Michelangelo. He became friends with, and studied with, Federico Zuccaro. He returned to Córdoba in 1577 and the same year became a prebendary in the cathedral, whose authorities sent him again to Rome, where he lived from 1583 to 1585. On returning to Spain he stayed for more than a year in Seville, a city that he visited on several further occasions, doubtless attracted by its rich cultural and artistic environment. In style Céspedes’s painting clearly shows Italian influence, and he developed a concept of the religious image totally dependent on Italian Mannerism. He was influenced by the formal grandeur of Michelangelo, and he faithfully also perpetuated those features of the work of Michelangelo adopted by Daniele da Volterra, being particularly interested in anatomy and precise draughtsmanship. Few works survive that can be securely attributed to Céspedes. His earliest documented work is the fresco decoration of one of the nave chapels in ...

Article

Celia Carrington Riely

[Ch’en Chi-ju; zi Zhongshun; hao Meigong, Meidaoren, Migong]

(b Huating, Jiangsu Province [modern Songjiang, Shanghai Municipality], 16 Dec 1558; d 19 Oct 1639). Chinese editor, writer, calligrapher and painter. He exemplified the literati ideal of the accomplished gentleman–scholar who rejected the sordid world of political involvement and devoted himself to a life of literary, artistic and philosophical pursuit. At the age of 28, having passed the prefectural examination, the first important step leading to a career in government office, Chen renounced official life in a dramatic gesture, by burning his Confucian cap and gown. Thereafter he lived at country retreats at Kunshan and then Mt She, near Huating in Jiangsu Province: entertaining guests; writing and editing; composing the poems, prefaces, epitaphs and biographies for which he was in constant demand; and travelling to places of scenic beauty in the company of friends.

Chen followed the lead of his close friend Dong Qichang, the foremost painter, calligrapher and connoisseur of the late Ming period (...

Article

[Wensel]

(b Antwerp,?1560; d Brussels, Nov 23, 1632).

Flemish painter, architect, antiquarian, numismatist, engineer and economist. In 1573 he became a pupil of the painter Marten de Vos in Antwerp; in 1579 he stayed briefly in Paris, returning to Antwerp and travelling thence to Italy. He settled in Naples, where he is mentioned in a document dated 5 October 1580. There he first worked under contract with the Flemish painter and art dealer Cornelis de Smet, then in 1591 for another compatriot, the painter Jacob Francart the elder (before 1551–1601). In 1597 he established himself in Rome. After the death of his first wife he married Susanna Francart, daughter of Jaques Francart and sister of the architect Jacob Francart the younger, who was also living in Rome.

During his stay in Italy Cobergher was mainly active as a painter. Altarpieces painted by him in a somewhat mixed style, incorporating both Mannerist and classical elements and characteristic of post-Tridentine art in Italy, are still extant in churches in Naples, for example a ...