[Lodovico di Jacopo di Piero Guicciardini]
(b Florence, Aug 19, 1521; d Antwerp, March 22, 1589).
Italian merchant and writer, active in the southern Netherlands. He was the son of Jacopo Guicciardini (d 1552) and Camilla d’Agnolo des Bardi (d 1557) and nephew of the historian Francesco Guicciardini (1483–1540); as a member of a patrician family, he received a good education and learnt to read Latin and a little Greek. He spent most of his adult life in Antwerp, where he is first documented in 1542. He was briefly imprisoned in 1567 and his house confiscated for his criticism of the regime of the Duque de Alba, Governor of the Netherlands. He published a number of works, including collections of anecdotes and maxims, but the most celebrated is his account of the Low Countries, the Descrittione di…tutti i Paesi Bassi, first published in Antwerp in 1567 and dedicated to Philip II, King of Spain; a French edition, dedicated to Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain, appeared later in the same year. The volume is one of the most valuable sources of information for the country in the 16th century, describing the geographical, social and political aspects of the region and referring to notable Netherlandish artists....