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Aretino [del Tura], Pietro  

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 ...


Astrology in medieval art  

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....


Bourbon del Monte, Francesco Maria  

Pietro Roccasecca

(b Venice, July 5, 1549; d Rome, Aug 17, 1626).

Italian cardinal and patron. He was the younger brother of Guidobaldo (1545–1607), the scientist, mathematician and patron of Galileo Galilei, who wrote a treatise on perspective (1600). Francesco was educated at the della Rovere court at Urbino, where he probably studied with the poet Agostino Gallo (1499–1570) and the mathematician Federico Commandino (1509–75); certainly he developed a passion for music and for art. It is traditionally believed that he left the della Rovere court while still very young to join that of Cardinal Alessandro Sforza (1534–81) in Rome. When Sforza died Francesco entered the service of Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici, who, on his succession as Grand Duke of Tuscany, renounced his cardinalate and persuaded Pope Sixtus V to confer it on Francesco (1588).

Francesco was a man of wide culture and varied interests: he was a connoisseur of music and painting, he practised alchemy and had a great interest in science. Politically, he was always a partisan of the French, and the writers who described him as an uncultured libertine (for Dirck Amayden’s biography see Spezzaferro) were adherents of the pro-Spanish party and intended to block his election to the papacy. His collection contained about 700 paintings, ancient statuary, the ...


Chantilly Inferno  

Libby Karlinger Escobedo

Illustrated manuscript (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 597/1424) of the Inferno by Dante Alighieri, probably made in Pisa c. 1345. Dante’s Inferno is the first part of his Divine Comedy, written sometime between 1308 and 1321, in which Dante himself, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, travels through the nine circles of Hell, encountering a variety of notable historical figures guilty of the various sins associated with each successive level. The many surviving manuscripts attest to the popularity of the text; more than 600 copies survive from the 14th century alone, including the Chantilly manuscript.

The Chantilly manuscript contains the Inferno as well as a Latin commentary on the text by Guido da Pisa. Most of the manuscript’s 55 miniatures accompany the commentary, though their iconography is drawn from the Inferno itself. The Chantilly manuscript is among the earliest illustrated copies of the Inferno and the only known illustrated copy of Guido da Pisa’s commentary. The manuscript includes the arms of the ...


Cornaro [Corner], Alvise  


(b Venice, 1484; d Padua, May 8, 1566).

Italian architectural theorist, patron, humanist and architect. Inheriting his uncle’s estate in Padua, he combined the activities of a landowner with interests in literature, drama and architecture and became an important figure in the city’s humanist circle, which included Giovanni Maria Falconetto, Andrea Palladio, Giangiorgio Trissino and Barbaro, Daniele. He encouraged Falconetto, previously a painter, into architecture, visiting Rome with him in 1522 and commissioning him to design his first works of architecture: two garden structures at his palazzo (now Palazzo Giustiniani) in the Via del Santo, Padua, a loggia for theatrical performances (1524) and the Odeon for musical performances (1530–33), both extant. The buildings derived from ancient Roman prototypes and followed their detailing closely; they formed a ‘forum’ in the courtyard. Although Cornaro may have helped in the design, it is more probable that his humanist interests influenced Falconetto. However, when Cornaro commissioned Falconetto to design the Villa dei Vescovi (now Villa Olcese, ...


Courajod, Louis(-Charles-Léon)  

Geneviève Bresc-Bautier

(b Paris, Feb 22, 1841; d Paris, June 26, 1896).

French art historian and collector. After studying at the Ecole des Chartes in Paris (1864–7), he worked at the Cabinet des Estampes of the Bibliothèque Nationale and then at the Louvre (1874), becoming curator of the newly formed department of medieval and modern sculpture in 1893. Courajod’s initial interests were in local history, but his work at the Bibliothèque Nationale kindled an enthusiasm for art history, and he became noted for his study of documents and precocious attention to the social context of art. Sculpture was his particular interest. He collected Italian plaquettes, and, as curator at the Louvre, he secured the acquisition of such prestigious Italian works as the Virgin and Child by Jacopo della Quercia. He bequeathed to the museum the Courajod Christ, one of the finest examples of Burgundian Romanesque wood sculpture, which the Louvre committee had refused to acquire.

Courajod was professor of the history of sculpture at the Ecole du Louvre (...


Ephrussi, Charles  

(b Odessa, Dec 24, 1849; d Paris, Sept 30, 1905).

Russian collector and writer. He studied in Odessa and Vienna before settling in Paris in 1871. The following year he visited Italy and started collecting Italian Renaissance work. His interest in drawings and engravings and his desire to provide information for an enthusiastic public led to his collaboration on a catalogue of a collection of drawings bequeathed to the Louvre by Horace His de La Salle in 1878. Between 1879 and 1881 he bought about 20 contemporary paintings, including Monet’s Bathers at La Grenouillère (1869; London, N.G.), and he was represented in Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881; Washington, DC, Phillips Col.). In 1881 he stopped buying and writing about contemporary work and returned to his Renaissance studies, helping the Louvre to acquire two frescoes by Botticelli from the Villa Lemmi, Florence, in 1882 (Lorenzo Tornabuoni Presented by Grammar to Prudentia and the Liberal Arts and ...


Molinier, Emile  

Bertrand Jestaz

(b Nantes, April 26, 1857; d Paris, May 5, 1906).

French art historian, museum curator and dealer. Under the influence of his brother Auguste Molinier (1851–1904), a great medievalist scholar, he trained at the Ecole des Chartes (1875–8) in Paris and then worked for a year in the Cabinet des Estampes at the Bibliothèque Nationale, before joining the Département des Objets d’art at the Louvre in 1879. He became a curator noted for his erudition, energy and perspicacity. On leaving the Ecole des Chartes, he at first edited medieval texts but soon turned to the history of the decorative arts and, without abandoning his study of the Middle Ages, developed a passion for the Italian Renaissance, publishing such works as Les Plaquettes (Paris, 1886), a pioneer study of the art form, which has remained indispensable. At the same time he compiled many catalogues of works of art, in the Louvre and other collections, including the ...


Fréart, Paul, Sieur de Chantelou  

Malcolm Bull

(b Le Mans, March 25, 1609; d ?1694).

French administrator, writer, and collector, brother of Roland Fréart, Sieur de Chambray. In 1638 he became secretary to his cousin, François Sublet de Noyers, and it was in this capacity that he visited Italy (where he may already have spent some time with Roland) in 1639 and 1640. On the latter occasion he brought Poussin back to Paris and, although Poussin’s subsequent period as Premier Peintre du Roi was not a success, it marked the beginning of a long friendship between him and Chantelou. After the death of Richelieu, and the dismissal of Sublet de Noyers in 1643, Chantelou declined a post as intendant of buildings and continued to serve his cousin until 1645, when he became secretary to the Duc d’Enghien (later Prince de Condé). In 1647 he became a royal steward. When Bernini moved to France in 1665 to work for Louis XIV, Chantelou was instructed by Jean-Baptiste Colbert to act as his guide and companion. During the five months he spent with the artist, he kept a diary, which remains a valuable document. In ...


Richter, Jean Paul  

Jaynie Anderson

(b Dresden, Jan 7, 1847; d Lugano, Aug 25, 1937).

German art historian, collector and dealer. The son of a Lutheran clergyman, he first studied theology at Leipzig but while travelling in Italy in 1869 became interested in early Christian archaeology, in which field he determined to continue. His first publications were on the sources of Byzantine art history and the mosaics of Ravenna. In 1876 he met Giovanni Morelli, whose disciple he became. Their lengthy correspondence constitutes an important source for the early history of connoisseurship. Richter published a short biography of Leonardo in 1880, then a series of articles in the Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst and finally his edition of the Literary Works of Leonardo (1883), the work that established his reputation as a scholar. This was the first scholarly edition of Leonardo’s writings, illustrated, moreover, with a selection of mostly authentic drawings at a time when books on Leonardo were normally illustrated by his pupils’ works....


Fréart, Roland, Sieur de Chambray  

Amal Asfour

(b Le Mans, July 13, 1606; d Le Mans, Dec 11, 1676).

French administrator, writer, and collector, also active in Italy. In 1630 he travelled to Italy, where he remained until 1635. He studied the architecture in Rome and associated with collectors, for example Cassiano dal Pozzo, and with artists, among them Poussin. In 1639 Chambray travelled to Rome with his brother Paul Fréart, Sieur de Chantelou, principally to convey the king’s invitation to Poussin to return to France as Premier Peintre du Roi. While in the city the brothers took casts of bas-reliefs from Trajan’s Column and of antique capitals and medals. In 1640 they accompanied Poussin to Paris, but the death of Cardinal Richelieu and the consequent dismissal in 1643 of the Fréarts’ cousin Sublet de Noyers temporarily brought an end to Chambray’s public role, and he devoted himself to writing. In particular he took an interest in the principles of architecture. He translated Palladio’s I quattro libri dell’architettura (...