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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

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

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

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

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

(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 ...

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

Donatella Pegazzano

(b Florence, c. 1537; d Florence, Dec 26, 1588).

Italian writer. He was born into a noble Florentine family and epitomizes the courtly and literary world of Florence in the second half of the 16th century. As a young man he was connected with those Florentine nobles who opposed the Medici, but later he became a supporter of the powerful family. Most of his life was spent in Florence, except for a period (1572–5) in France, where he was perhaps forced to stay for economic reasons, and where he enjoyed the patronage of the Comte de Carcès and his wife Marguerite.

On his return to Florence, Borghini began his prodigious activity as a man of letters, poet and writer of comedies, producing La donna costante in 1575 and L’amante furioso in 1584. He also began to frequent the cultured society around the court of Francesco I de’ Medici and moved in the circles of the Capponi, Vecchietti, Valori and Pitti families. In this milieu, under the influence of Francesco I, he assembled a collection that included not only works of art but also bizarre and curious natural objects, achieving a mixture of ‘naturalia’ and ‘artificialia’ that was typical of the German ...

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

François Quiviger

(b Friuli, c. 1480; d Milan, May 15, 1544).

Italian writer. He held a professorship in Bologna for some time, but dedicated the greater part of his life to elaborating his Teatro del Mondo (destr.). This was a wooden amphitheatre in Venice, constructed after the Vitruvian model, divided by seven gangways into seven sections that corresponded to the seven pillars of wisdom of the Temple of Solomon. The theatre was built on seven levels: the first, governed by the seven planets, was followed by others embodying a series of allegories dominated by mythological themes (Apollo, the Cave, the three Gorgons, Pasiphaë and the Bull, Mercury’s sandals, and Prometheus). Derived from both the Classical mnemonic and the hermetic tradition (Yates), the Teatro was intended to guarantee instant access to universal knowledge. Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo’s Tempio della pittura (Milan, 1590) took its inspiration from this. Towards 1530, Camillo wrote a treatise on imitation, in which he argued against Erasmus’s Ciceronianus...

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 ...