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Augusta Stylianou Gallery



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Title page

7 GRAFTON ST. LONDON, W. 1912-14


Fra Giocondo, Liberale, and Others 1
Francesco Granacci [Il Granaccio] 55
Baccio d' Agnolo 63
Valerio Vicentino [Valerio Belli], Giovanni da Castel Bolognese [Giovanni Bernardi], Matteo dal Nassaro, and Others 73
Marc' Antonio Bolognese, and Others 89
Antonio da San Gallo 121
Giulio Romano 143
Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo 171
Perino del Vaga 187
Giorgio Vasari, to the Craftsmen in Design 227
Domenico Beccafumi 233
Giovanni Antonio Lappoli 253
Niccolò Soggi 267
Index of Names 281



Giovan Francesco Caroto Elisabetta Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua Florence: Uffizi, 1121 16
Francesco Monsignori (Bonsignori) Portrait of a Gentleman London: N.G., 736 28
Francesco Morone Madonna and Child London: N.G., 285 32
Girolamo dai Libri Madonna and Child, with S. Anne London: N.G., 748 48
Francesco Granacci (Il Granaccio) The Holy Family Florence: Pitti, 199 58
Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo Portrait of a Lady Florence: Uffizi, 1123 174
Domenico Beccafumi S. Catharine before the Crucifix Siena: Pinacoteca, 420 238


Liberale of Verona S. Mary Magdalene with Saints Verona: S. Anastasia 10
Liberale of Verona Miniature Siena: Duomo Library 14
Giovan Francesco Caroto Madonna and Child, with S. Anne and Saints Verona: S. Fermo Maggiore 18
Francesco Turbido (Il Moro) Portrait of a Man Munich: Pinacothek, 1125 24
Francesco Monsignori (Bonsignori) S. Sebastian Berlin: Kaiser Friedrich Museum, 46c 30
Francesco Morone The Crucifixion Verona: S. Bernardino 34
Paolo Cavazzuola The Deposition Verona: Museo Civico, 392 40
Giovan Maria (Falconetto) Palazzo del Capitanio Padua 46
[Pg viii] Girolamo dai Libri Madonna and Child, with Saints Verona: Museo Civico, 290 50
Francesco Granacci (Il Granaccio) The Madonna giving the Girdle to S. Thomas Florence: Uffizi, 1280 62
Giovanni da Castel Bolognese (Giovanni Bernardi) Cassetta Farnese Naples: Museo Nazionale 78
Valerio Vicentino Valerio Belli Casket of Rock Crystal Florence: Uffizi 82
Alessandro Cesati
Benvenuto Cellini
Medals London: British Museum 84
Pastorino of Siena
Domenico Poggini
Medals London: British Museum 84
Martin Schongauer Christ and the Virgin Enthroned London: British Museum, B. 71 92
Albrecht Dürer Hercules London: British Museum, B. 73 92
Albrecht Dürer Christ taking leave of His Mother London: British Museum, B. 92 94
Albrecht Dürer S. Jerome in his Study London: British Museum, B. 60 96
Lucas van Leyden "Ecce Homo" of 1510 London: British Museum 98
Marc' Antonio Bolognese The Death of Lucretia London: British Museum, B. 192 102
Marc' Antonio Bolognese (after Bandinelli) The Martyrdom of S. Lawrence (engraving) London: British Museum 104
Antonio da San Gallo (The Younger) (with Michelagnolo Buonarroti) Palazzo Farnese Rome 138
Giulio Romano Detail: The Battle of Constantine Rome: The Vatican 146
Giulio Romano The Marriage Banquet of Cupid and Psyche Mantua: Palazzo del Tè 154
Giulio Romano The Destruction of the Giants by the Thunderbolts of Jove Mantua: Palazzo del Tè, Sala dei Giganti 160
Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo The Flagellation Rome: S. Pietro in Montorio 176
Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo Andrea Doria Rome: Palazzo Doria 182
Perino del Vaga The Passage of the Red Sea Rome: The Vatican, Loggia 192



If writers of history were to live a few years longer than the number commonly granted as the span of human life, I, for my part, have no manner of doubt that they would have something to add to the accounts of the past previously written by them, for the reason that, even as it is not possible for a single man, be he ever so diligent, to learn the exact truth in a flash, or to discover all the details of his subject in the little time at his command, so it is as clear as the light of day that Time, who is said to be the father of truth, is always revealing new things every day to the seeker after knowledge. If, many years ago, when I first wrote and also published these Lives of the Painters and other Craftsmen, I had possessed that full information which I have since received concerning Fra Giocondo of Verona, a man of rare parts and a master of all the most noble faculties, I would without a doubt have made that honourable record of him which I am now about to make for the benefit of craftsmen, or rather, of the world; and not of him only, but also of many other masters of Verona, who have been truly excellent. And let no one marvel that I place them all under the image of one only, because, not having been able to obtain portraits of them all, I am forced to do this; but, so far as in me lies, not one of them shall thereby have his excellence defrauded of its due.

Now, since the order of time and merit so demands, I shall speak first of Fra Giocondo. This man, when he assumed the habit of S. Dominic, was called not simply Fra Giocondo, but Fra Giovanni Giocondo. How the name Giovanni dropped from him I know not, but I do know that he was always called Fra Giocondo by everyone. And although his [Pg 4] chief profession was that of letters, and he was not only a very good philosopher and theologian, but also an excellent Greek scholar (which was a rare thing at that time, when learning and letters were just beginning to revive in Italy), nevertheless he was also a very fine architect, being a man who always took supreme delight in that art, as Scaliger relates in his epistle against Cardan, and the learned Budé in his book "De Asse," and in the observations that he wrote on the Pandects.

Fra Giocondo, then, who was a fine scholar, a capable architect, and an excellent master of perspective, spent many years near the person of the Emperor Maximilian, and was master in the Greek and Latin tongues to the learned Scaliger, who writes that he heard him dispute with profound learning on matters of the greatest subtlety before the same Maximilian. It is related by persons still living, who remember the facts very clearly, that at the time when Verona was under the power of that Emperor the bridge which is called the Ponte della Pietra, in that city, was being restored, and it was seen to be necessary to refound the central pier, which had been destroyed many times in the past, and Fra Giocondo gave the design for refounding it, and also for safeguarding it in such a manner that it might never be destroyed again. His method of safeguarding it was as follows: he gave orders that the pier should be kept always bound together with long double piles fixed below the water on every side, to the end that these might so protect it that the river should not be able to undermine it; for the place where it is built is in the main current of the river, the bed of which is so soft that no solid ground can be found on which to lay its foundations. And excellent, in truth, as is evident from the result, was the advice of Fra Giocondo, for the reason that the pier has stood firm from that time to our own, as it still does, without ever showing a crack; and there is hope that, by the observation of the suggestions given by that good monk, it will stand for ever.

In his youth Fra Giocondo spent many years in Rome, giving his attention to the study of antiquities, and not of buildings only, but also of the ancient inscriptions that are in the tombs, and the other relics of antiquity, both in Rome itself and its neighbourhood, and in every part [Pg 5] of Italy; and he collected all these inscriptions and memorials into a most beautiful book, which he sent as a present, according to the account of the citizens of Verona mentioned above, to the elder Lorenzo de' Medici, the Magnificent, to whom, by reason of the great friendliness and favour that he showed to all men of talent, both Fra Giocondo and Domizio Calderino, his companion and compatriot, were always most deeply devoted. Of this book Poliziano makes mention in his Mugellane, in which he uses various parts of it as authorities, calling Fra Giocondo a profound master in antiquities.

The same Giocondo wrote some observations, which are in print, on the Commentaries of Cæsar; and he was the first who made a drawing of the bridge built by Cæsar over the River Rhone, and described by him in those same Commentaries, but misunderstood in the time of Fra Giocondo. Him the aforesaid Budé confesses to have had as his master in the study of architecture, thanking God that he had been taught his Vitruvius by a teacher so learned and so diligent as was that monk, who corrected in that author a vast number of errors not recognized up to that time; and this he was able to do with ease, because he was a master of every kind of learning, and had a good knowledge of both the Greek tongue and the Latin. This and other things declares Budé, extolling Fra Giocondo as an excellent architect, and adding that by the researches of the same monk there were discovered in an old library in Paris the greater part of the Epistles of Pliny, which, after having been so long out of the hands of mankind, were printed by Aldus Manutius, as may be read in a Latin letter written by him and printed with the same.

When living in Paris in the service of King Louis XII, Fra Giocondo built two superb bridges over the Seine, covered with shops—works truly worthy of that magnanimous King and of the marvellous intellect of Fra Giocondo. Wherefore that master, in addition to the inscription in his praise that may still be seen on those works, won the honour of being celebrated by Sannazzaro, a rare poet, in this most beautiful distich:

Jocundus geminum imposuit tibi, Sequana, pontem;
Hunc tu jure potes dicere pontificem.

[Pg 6] Besides this, he executed a vast number of other works for that King throughout all his kingdom; but of these, after having made mention of those above, as being the greatest, I shall say no more.

Then, happening to be in Rome at the death of Bramante, he was placed, in company with Raffaello da Urbino and Giuliano da San Gallo, in charge of the Church of S. Pietro, to the end that the structure begun by Bramante might be carried forward. Now, from the circumstance that it had been erected in haste, and for other reasons given in another place, it was threatening to fall in many parts, and by the advice of Fra Giocondo, Raffaello, and Giuliano, the foundations were in great measure renewed; in which work persons who were present and are still living declare that those masters adopted the following method. They excavated below the foundations many large pits after the manner of wells, but square, at a proper distance one from another, which they filled with masonry; and between every two of these piers, or rather pits filled with masonry, they threw very strong arches across the space below, insomuch that the whole building came to be placed on new foundations without suffering any shock, and was secured for ever from the danger of showing any more cracks.

But the work for which it seems to me that Fra Giocondo deserves the greatest praise is one on account of which an everlasting gratitude is due to him not only from the Venetians, but from the whole world as well. For he reflected that the life of the Republic of Venice depended in great measure on the preservation of its impregnable position on the lagoons on which that city, as it were by a miracle, is built; and that, whenever those lagoons silted up with earth, the air would become infected and pestilential, and the city consequently uninhabitable, or at the least exposed to all the dangers that threaten cities on the mainland. He set himself, therefore, to think in what way it might be possible to provide for the preservation of the lagoons and of the site on which the city had been built in the beginning. And having found a way, Fra Giocondo told the Signori that, if they did not quickly come to some resolution about preventing such an evil, in a few years, to judge by that which could be seen to have happened in part, they would become [Pg 7] aware of their error, without being in time to be able to retrieve it. Roused by this warning, and hearing the powerful arguments of Fra Giocondo, the Signori summoned an assembly of the best engineers and architects that there were in Italy, at which many opinions were given and many designs made; but that of Fra Giocondo was held to be the best, and was put into execution. They made a beginning, therefore, with excavating a great canal, which was to divert two-thirds or at least one-half of the water brought down by the River Brenta, and to conduct that water by a long détour so as to debouch into the lagoons of Chioggia; and thus that river, no longer flowing into the lagoons at Venice, has not been able to fill them up by bringing down earth, as it has done at Chioggia, where it has filled and banked up the lagoons in such a manner that, where there was formerly water, many tracts of land and villas have sprung up, to the great benefit of the city of Venice. Wherefore it is the opinion of many persons, and in particular of the Magnificent Messer Luigi Cornaro, a Venetian gentleman of ripe wisdom gained both by learning and by long experience, that, if it had not been for the warning of Fra Giocondo, all the silting up that took place in the lagoons of Chioggia would have happened, and perhaps on a greater scale, in those of Venice, inflicting incredible damage and almost ruin on that city. The same Messer Luigi, who was very much the friend of Fra Giocondo, as he is and always has been of all men of talent, declares that his native city of Venice owes an eternal debt of gratitude for this to the memory of Fra Giocondo, who on this account, he says, might reasonably be called the second founder of Venice; and that he almost deserves more praise for having preserved by that expedient the grandeur and nobility of that marvellous and puissant city, than do those who built it at the beginning in such a weak and ill-considered fashion, seeing that the benefit received from him will be to all eternity, as it has been hitherto, of incalculable utility and advantage to Venice.

Not many years after Fra Giocondo had executed this divine work, the Venetians suffered a great loss in the burning of the Rialto, the place in which are the magazines of their most precious merchandise—the treasure, as it were, of that city. This happened at the very time when [Pg 8] that Republic had been reduced by long-continued wars and by the loss of the greater part, or rather almost the whole, of her dominions on the mainland to a desperate condition; and the Signori then governing were full of doubt and hesitation as to what they should do. However, the rebuilding of that place being a matter of the greatest importance, they resolved that it should be reconstructed at all costs. And wishing to give it all possible grandeur, in keeping with the greatness and magnificence of that Republic, and having already recognized the talent of Fra Giocondo and his great ability in architecture, they gave him the commission to make a design for that structure; whereupon he drew one in the following manner. He proposed to occupy all the space that lies between the Canale delle Beccherie,[1] in the Rialto, and the Rio del Fondaco delle Farine,[2] taking as much ground between one canal and the other as would make a perfect square—that is, the length of the sides of this fabric was to be as great as the space which one covers at the present day in walking from the debouchure of one of those canals into the Grand Canal to that of the other. He intended, also, that the same two canals should debouch on the other side into a common canal, which was to run from the one to the other, so that the fabric might be left entirely surrounded by water, having the Grand Canal on one side, the two smaller canals on two other sides, and on the last the new canal that was to be made. Then he desired that between the water and the buildings, right round the square, there should be made, or rather should be left, a beach or quay of some breadth, which might serve as a piazza for the selling in duly appointed places of the vegetables, fruits, fish, and other things, that come from many parts to the city. It was also his opinion that right round the outer side of the buildings there should be erected shops looking out upon those same quays, and that these shops should serve only for the sale of eatables of every kind. And in these four sides the design of Fra Giocondo had four principal gates—namely, one to each side, placed in the centre, one directly opposite to another. But before going into the central piazza, by whichever side one entered, one would have found both on the right hand and on the left a street which [Pg 9] ran round the block of buildings and had shops on either side, with handsome workshops above them and magazines for the use of those shops, which were all to be devoted to the sale of woven fabrics—that is, fine woollen cloth and silk, which are the two chief products of that city. This street, in short, was to contain all the shops that are called the Tuscan's and the silk-merchant's.

From this double range of shops there was to be access by way of the four gates into the centre of the whole block—that is to say, into a vast piazza surrounded on every side by spacious and beautiful loggie for the accommodation of the merchants and for the use of the great number of people who flock together for the purposes of their trade and commerce to that city, which is the custom-house of all Italy, or rather of Europe. Under those loggie, on every side, were to be the shops of the bankers, goldsmiths, and jewellers; and in the centre was to be built a most beautiful temple dedicated to S. Matthew, in which the people of quality might be able to hear the divine offices in the morning. With regard to this temple, however, some persons declare that Fra Giocondo changed his mind, and wished to build two under the loggie, so as not to obstruct the piazza. And, in addition, this superb structure was to have so many other conveniences, embellishments, and adornments, all in their proper places, that whoever sees at the present day the beautiful design that Fra Giocondo made for the whole, declares that nothing more lovely, more magnificent, or planned with better order, could be imagined or conceived by the most excellent of craftsmen, be his genius never so happy.

It was proposed, also, with the advice of the same master, and as a completion to this work, to build the Bridge of the Rialto of stone, covered with shops, which would have been a marvellous thing. But this enterprise was not carried into effect, for two reasons: first, because the Republic, on account of the extraordinary expenses incurred in the last war, happened to be drained dry of money; and, secondly, because a gentleman of great position and much authority at that time (of the family, so it is said, of Valereso), being a man of little judgment in such matters, and perchance influenced by some private interest, chose to [Pg 10] favour one Maestro Zanfragnino,[3] who, so I am informed, is still alive, and who had worked for him on buildings of his own. This Zanfragnino—a fit and proper name for a master of his calibre—made the design for that medley of marble which was afterwards carried into execution, and which is still to be seen; and many who are still alive, and remember the circumstances very well, are even yet not done with lamenting that foolish choice.

Fra Giocondo, having seen that shapeless design preferred to his beautiful one, and having perceived how much more virtue there often is in favour than in merit with nobles and great persons, felt such disdain that he departed from Venice, nor would he ever return, although he was much entreated to do it. And the design, with others by the same monk, remained in the house of the Bragadini, opposite to S. Marina, in the possession of Frate Angelo, a member of that family and a friar of S. Dominic, who, by reason of his many merits, afterwards became Bishop of Vicenza.

Fra Giocondo was very versatile, and delighted, in addition to the pursuits already mentioned, in simples and in agriculture. Thus Messer Donato Giannotti, the Florentine, who was very much his friend for many years in France, relates that once, when living in that country, the monk reared a peach-tree in an earthen pot, and that this little tree, when he saw it, was so laden with fruit that it was a marvellous sight. On one occasion, by the advice of some friends, he had set it in a place where the King was to pass and would be able to see it, when certain courtiers, who passed by first, plucked all the peaches off that little tree, as suchlike people were sure to do, and, playing about with one another, scattered what they could not eat along the whole length of the street, to the great displeasure of Fra Giocondo. The matter coming to the ears of the King, he first laughed over the jest with the courtiers, and then, after thanking the monk for what he had done to please him, gave him a present of such a kind that he was consoled.

The Magdalene with Saints.

(After the painting by Liberale da Verona.
Verona: S. Anastasia)
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Fra Giocondo was a man of saintly and most upright life, much beloved by all the great men of letters of his age, and in particular by [Pg 11] Domizio Calderino, Matteo Bosso, and Paolo Emilio, the writer of the History of France, all three his compatriots. Very much his friends, likewise, were Sannazzaro, Budé, and Aldus Manutius, with all the Academy of Rome; and he had a disciple in Julius Cæsar Scaliger, one of the most learned men of our times. Finally, being very old, he died, but precisely at what time and in what place this happened, and consequently where he was buried, is not known.

Even as it is true that the city of Verona is very similar to Florence in situation, manners, and other respects, so it is also true that in the first as well as in the second there have always flourished men of the finest genius in all the noblest and most honourable professions. Saying nothing of the learned, for with them I have nothing to do here, and continuing to speak of the men of our arts, who have always had an honourable abode in that most noble city, I come to Liberale of Verona, a disciple of Vincenzio di Stefano, a native of the same city, already mentioned in another place, who executed for the Church of Ognissanti, belonging to the Monks of S. Benedict, at Mantua, in the year 1463, a Madonna that was a very praiseworthy example of the work of those times. Liberale imitated the manner of Jacopo Bellini, for when a young man, while the said Jacopo was painting the Chapel of S. Niccolò at Verona, he gave his attention under Bellini to the studies of design in such thorough fashion that, forgetting all that he had learned from Vincenzio di Stefano, he acquired the manner of Bellini and retained it ever after.

The first paintings of Liberale were in the Chapel of the Monte della Pietà in S. Bernardino, in his native city; and there, in the principal picture, he painted a Deposition from the Cross, with certain Angels, some of whom have in their hands the Mysteries (for so they are called) of the Passion, and all with their weeping faces show grief at the Death of the Saviour. Very natural, in truth, are these figures, as are other works of the same kind by this master, who strove to show in many places that he was able to paint weeping countenances. This may also be seen in S. Anastasia, a church of Friars of S. Dominic, likewise in Verona, where he painted a Dead Christ with the Maries mourning for [Pg 12] Him on the pediment of the Chapel of the Buonaveri; and he executed many pictures in the same manner of painting as the work mentioned above, which are dispersed among the houses of various gentlemen in Verona.

In the same chapel he painted a God the Father surrounded by many Angels who are playing instruments and singing, with three figures on either side—S. Peter, S. Dominic, and S. Thomas Aquinas on one side, and S. Lucia, S. Agnese, and another female Saint on the other; but the first three are much the finer, being executed in a better manner and with more relief. On the main wall of that chapel he painted Our Lady, with the Infant Christ marrying S. Catharine, the Virgin-Martyr; and in this work he made a portrait of Messer Piero Buonaveri, the owner of the chapel. Around this group are some Angels presenting flowers, with some heads that are smiling, executed with such grace in their gladness, that they prove that he was able to paint a smiling face as well as he had painted tears in other figures. In the altar-piece of the same chapel he painted S. Mary Magdalene in the air, supported by some Angels, with S. Catharine below—a work which was held to be very beautiful. On the altar of the Madonna in the Church of S. Maria della Scala, belonging to the Servite Friars, he executed the story of the Magi on two folding-doors that enclose that Madonna, which is held in vast veneration in that city; but the work did not long remain there, for it was removed because it was being spoilt by the smoke of the candles, and placed in the sacristy, where it is much admired by the painters of Verona.

In the tramezzo[4] of the Church of S. Bernardino, above the Chapel of the Company of the Magdalene, he painted in fresco the story of the Purification, wherein is a figure of Simeon that is much extolled, as also is that of the Infant Christ, who with great affection is kissing that old man, who is holding Him in his arms; and very beautiful, likewise, is a priest standing there on one side, who, with his arms extended and his face uplifted towards Heaven, appears to be thanking God for the salvation of the world. Beside this chapel is a picture of the story of the Magi by the hand of the same Liberale; and in the pediment of the [Pg 13] picture there is the Death of the Madonna, executed with little figures, which are highly extolled. Great, indeed, was his delight in painting works with little figures, with which he always took such pains that they seem to be the work rather of an illuminator than of a painter, as may be seen in the Duomo of the same city, where there is a picture by his hand of the story of the Magi, with a vast number of little figures, horses, dogs, and various other animals, and near them a group of rosy-coloured Cherubim, who serve as a support to the Mother of Jesus. In this picture the heads are so finished, and everything is executed with such diligence, that, as I have said, it appears to be the work of an illuminator.

He also painted stories of Our Lady on a small predella, likewise after the manner of miniatures, for the Chapel of the Madonna in the Duomo. But this was afterwards removed from that chapel by order of Monsignor Messer Giovan Matteo Giberti, Bishop of Verona, and placed in the Palace of the Vescovado, which is the residence of the Bishops, in that chapel wherein they hear Mass every morning. And there that predella stands in company with a most beautiful Crucifix in relief, executed by Giovanni Battista Veronese, a sculptor, who now lives in Mantua. Liberale also painted a panel-picture for the Chapel of the Allegni in S. Vitale, containing a figure of S. Mestro, the Confessor, a Veronese and a man of great sanctity, whom he placed between a S. Francis and a S. Dominic. For the Chapel of S. Girolamo in the Vittoria, a church and convent of certain Eremite Friars, he executed at the commission of the Scaltritegli family an altar-piece of S. Jerome in the habit of a Cardinal, with a S. Francis and a S. Paul, all much extolled. And in the tramezzo[5] of the Church of S. Giovanni in Monte he painted the Circumcision of Christ and other works, which were destroyed not long since, because it was considered that the tramezzo impaired the beauty of the church.

Being then summoned to Siena by the General of the Monks of Monte Oliveto, Liberale illuminated many books for that Order; and in these he succeeded so well, that he was commissioned in consequence to illuminate some that had been left unfinished—that is to say, only written—in [Pg 14] the library of the Piccolomini. He also illuminated some books of plain-song for the Duomo of that city, where he would have remained longer, executing many works that he had in hand; but, being driven away by envy and persecution, he set off to return to Verona, with eight hundred crowns that he had earned, which he lent afterwards to the Monks of Monte Oliveto at S. Maria in Organo, from whom he drew interest to support him from day to day.

Having thus returned to Verona, he gave his attention for the rest of his life more to illumination than to any other kind of work. At Bardolino, a place on the Lake of Garda, he painted a panel-picture which is now in the Pieve; and another for the Church of S. Tommaso Apostolo. For the Chapel of S. Bernardo, likewise, in the Church of S. Fermo, a convent of Friars of S. Francis, he painted a panel-picture of the first-named Saint, with some scenes from his life in the predella. In the same place, also, and in others, he executed many nuptial pictures, one of which, containing the Madonna with the Child in her arms marrying S. Catharine, is in the house of Messer Vincenzio de' Medici at Verona.

On the corner of the house of the Cartai, on the way from the Ponte Nuovo to S. Maria in Organo, in Verona, he painted a Madonna and S. Joseph in fresco, a work which was much extolled. Liberale would have liked to paint the Chapel of the Riva family, which had been built in order to honour the memory of Giovanni Riva, a captain of men-at-arms at the battle of the Taro, in the Church of S. Eufemia; but he did not receive the commission, which was given to some strangers, and he was told that he was too old and that his sight was failing him. When this chapel was opened, a vast number of faults were perceived in it, and Liberale said that he who had given the commission had been much more blind than himself.


(After Liberale da Verona.
Siena: Duomo Library)
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Finally, being eighty-four years of age, or even more, Liberale allowed himself to be ruled by his relatives, and particularly by a married daughter, who, like the rest, treated him very badly. At which, having grown angry both with her and with his other relatives, and happening to have under his charge one Francesco Turbido, called Il Moro, then a young man, who was a diligent painter and much affected towards him, [Pg 15] he appointed him as heir to the house and garden that he had at S. Giovanni in Valle, a very pleasant part of the city; and with him he took up his quarters, saying that he would rather give the enjoyment of his property to one who loved virtue than to those who ill-treated their nearest of kin. But no long time passed before he died, which was on the day of S. Chiara in the year 1536, at the age of eighty-five; and he was buried in S. Giovanni in Valle.

His disciples were Giovan Francesco Caroto and Giovanni Caroto, Francesco Turbido, called Il Moro, and Paolo Cavazzuola, of whom, since they were truly excellent masters, I shall make mention in their due order.

Giovan Francesco Caroto was born at Verona in the year 1470, and after having learned the first rudiments of letters, being drawn to painting, he abandoned the studies of grammar and placed himself to learn painting under the Veronese Liberale, undertaking to recompense him for his pains. Young as he was, then, Giovan Francesco devoted himself with such love and diligence to design, that even in his earliest years he was a great assistance to Liberale both in that and in colouring. No long time after, when his judgment had increased with his years, he saw the works of Andrea Mantegna in Verona; and thinking, as indeed was the truth, that these were of another manner and better than those of his master, he so wrought upon his father that he was given leave, with the gracious consent of Liberale, to apprentice himself to Mantegna. Having gone to Mantua, therefore, and having placed himself under Mantegna, in a short time he made such proficience that Andrea sent out works by Caroto as works by his own hand. In short, before many years had passed by, he had become an able master. The first works that he executed after leaving the discipline of Mantegna were on the altar of the three Magi in the Church of the Hospital of S. Cosimo at Verona, where he painted on the folding-doors that enclose that altar the Circumcision of Christ and the Flight into Egypt, with other figures. In the Church of the Frati Ingiesuati, called S. Girolamo, in two angles of a chapel, he painted the Madonna and the Angel of the Annunciation. And for the Prior of the Friars of S. Giorgio he executed a little panel-picture [Pg 16] of the Manger, in which he may be seen to have greatly improved his manner, since the heads of the shepherds and of all the other figures have expressions so sweet and so beautiful, that this work was much extolled, and that rightly; and if it were not that the priming of gesso is peeling off through having been badly prepared, so that the picture is gradually perishing, it would be enough by itself to keep him alive for ever in the memory of his fellow-citizens.

Next, having been commissioned by the men who governed the Company of the Angel Raphael to paint their chapel in the Church of S. Eufemia, he executed therein two stories of the Angel Raphael in fresco, and in the altar-piece, in oils, three large Angels, Raphael in the centre, and Gabriel and Michael on either side, and all with good draughtsmanship and colouring. He was reproached, indeed, for having made the legs of those Angels too slender and wanting in softness; to which he made a pleasant and gracious answer, saying that even as Angels were represented with wings and with bodies, so to speak, celestial and ethereal, as if they were birds, so it was only right to make their legs lean and slender, to the end that they might fly and soar upwards with greater ease. For that altar of the Church of S. Giorgio where there is a Christ bearing His Cross, he painted S. Rocco and S. Sebastian, with some scenes in the predella executed with very beautiful little figures. And by order of the Company of the Madonna he painted on the predella of the altar of that Company, in S. Bernardino, the Nativity of the Madonna and the Massacre of the Innocents, with a great variety of attitudes in the murderers and in the groups of children whom their mothers are defending with all their might. This work is held in great veneration, and is kept covered, the better to preserve it; and it was the reason that the men of the Fraternity of S. Stefano commissioned him to paint three pictures with similar figures for their altar in the old Duomo of Verona, containing three little scenes from the life of Our Lady—her Marriage, the Nativity of Christ, and the story of the Magi.

Elisabetta Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua.

(Florence: Uffizi, 1121. Panel)
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After these works, thinking that he had gained enough credit in Verona, Giovan Francesco was minded to depart and make trial of other places; but his friends and relatives, pressing him much, persuaded him [Pg 17] to take to wife a young woman of noble birth, the daughter of Messer Braliassarti Grandoni, whom he married in 1505. In a short time, however, after he had had a son by her, she died in child-birth; and Giovan Francesco, thus left free, departed from Verona and went off to Milan, where Signor Anton Maria Visconti received him into his house and caused him to execute many works for its adornment.

Meanwhile there was brought to Milan by a Fleming a head of a young man, taken from life and painted in oils, which was admired by everyone in that city; but Giovan Francesco, seeing it, laughed and said: "I am confident that I can do a better." At which the Fleming mocked him, but after many words the matter came to this, that Giovan Francesco was to try his hand, losing his own picture and twenty-five crowns if he lost, and winning the Fleming's head and likewise twenty-five crowns if he won. Setting to work, therefore, with all his powers, Giovan Francesco made a portrait of an aged gentleman with shaven face, with a falcon on his wrist; but, although this was a good likeness, the head of the Fleming was judged to be the better. Giovan Francesco did not make a good choice in executing his portrait, for he took a head that could not do him honour; whereas, if he had chosen a handsome young man, and had made as good a likeness of him as he did of the old man, he would at least have equalled his adversary's picture, even if he had not surpassed it. But for all this the head of Giovan Francesco did not fail to win praise, and the Fleming showed him courtesy, for he contented himself with the head of the shaven old man, and, being a noble and courteous person, would by no means accept the five-and-twenty crowns. This picture came after some time into the possession of Madonna Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua, who paid a very good price for it to the Fleming and placed it as a choice work in her study, in which she had a vast number of very beautiful coins, pictures, works in marble, and castings.

After completing his work for Visconti, Giovan Francesco, being invited by Guglielmo, Marquis of Montferrat, went willingly to serve him, as Visconti straitly besought him to do. On his arrival, a fine provision was assigned to him; and, setting to work, he painted for that noble at [Pg 18] Casale, in a chapel where he heard Mass, as many pictures as were necessary to fill it and adorn it on every side, with subjects from the Old Testament and the New, which were executed by him with supreme diligence, as was also the chief altar-piece. He then executed many works throughout the apartments of that Castle, which brought him very great fame. And in S. Domenico, by order of that Marquis, he painted the whole of the principal chapel for the adornment of the tomb wherein he was to be laid to rest; in which work Giovan Francesco acquitted himself so well, that he was rightly rewarded with honourable gifts by the liberality of his patron, who also favoured him by making him one of his own chamberlains, as may be seen from an instrument that is in the possession of his heirs at Verona. He made portraits of that lord and of his wife, with many pictures that they sent to France, and also the portrait of Guglielmo, their eldest child, who was then a boy, and likewise portraits of their daughters and of all the ladies who were in the service of the Marchioness.

On the death of the Marquis Guglielmo, Giovan Francesco departed from Casale, after first selling all the property that he had in those parts, and made his way to Verona, where he so arranged his affairs and those of his son, to whom he gave a wife, that in a short time he found himself in possession of more than seven thousand ducats. But he did not therefore abandon his painting; indeed, having a quiet mind, and not being obliged to rack his brain for a livelihood, he gave more attention to it than ever. It is true that either from envy or for some other reason he was accused of being a painter who could do nothing but little figures; wherefore, in executing the altar-piece of the Chapel of the Madonna in S. Fermo, a convent of Friars of S. Francis, wishing to show that the accusation was a calumny, he painted the figures larger than life, and so well, that they were the best that he had ever done. In the air is Our Lady seated in the lap of S. Anne, with some Angels standing upon clouds, and beneath are S. Peter, S. John the Baptist, S. Rocco, and S. Sebastian; and not far away, in a most beautiful landscape, is S. Francis receiving the Stigmata. This work, indeed, is held by craftsmen to be not otherwise than good.

Madonna and Child with S. Anne and Saints.

(After the painting by Giovan Francesco Caroto.
Verona: S. Fermo Maggiore)
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[Pg 19] For the Chapel of the Cross in S. Bernardino, a seat of the Frati Zoccolanti, he painted Christ kneeling on one knee and taking leave of His Mother. In this work, stirred to emulation by the many notable pictures by the hands of other masters that are in that place, he strove to surpass them all; wherefore, in truth, he acquitted himself very well, and was praised by all who saw it, save only by the Guardian of that convent, who, like the boorish and solemn fool that he was, reproved Giovan Francesco with biting words, saying that he had made Christ show such little reverence to His Mother as to kneel only upon one knee. To which Giovan Francesco answered by saying: "Father, first do me the favour of kneeling down and rising up again, and I will then tell you for what reason I have painted Christ so." The Guardian, after much persuasion, knelt down, placing on the ground first his right knee and then his left; and in rising up he raised first the left and then the right. Which done, Giovan Francesco said: "Did you observe, Father Guardian, that you neither knelt down nor rose up with both knees together? I tell you, therefore, that this Christ of mine is right, because one might say that He is either coming to His knees before His Mother, or beginning, after having knelt a while, to raise one leg in order to rise." At which the Guardian had to appear a little appeased, although he went off muttering under his breath.

Giovan Francesco was very sharp in his answers; and it is also related of him that once, being told by a priest that his figures were too seductive for altar-pieces, he replied: "A lusty fellow you must be, if painted figures so move you. Think how much you are to be trusted in places where there are living people for you to touch." At Isola, a place on the Lake of Garda, he painted two panel-pictures for the Church of the Zoccolanti; and at Malsessino, a township above that same lake, he painted a very beautiful Madonna over the door of a church, and some Saints within the church, at the request of Fracastoro, a very famous poet, who was much his friend. For Count Giovan Francesco Giusti, executing a subject conceived by that nobleman, he painted a young man wholly naked except for the parts of shame, and in an attitude of indecision as to whether he shall rise up or not; and on one side he had [Pg 20] a most beautiful young woman representing Minerva, who with one hand was pointing out to him a figure of Fame on high, and with the other was urging him to follow her; but Sloth and Idleness, who were behind the young man, were striving to detain him. Below these was a figure with an uncouth face, rather that of a slave and a plebeian than of one of noble blood, who had two great snails clinging to his elbows and was seated on a crab, and near him was another figure with the hands full of poppies. This invention, in which are other beautiful details and fancies, was executed by Giovan Francesco with supreme diligence and love; and it serves as the head-board of a bedstead at that nobleman's lovely place near Verona, which is called S. Maria in Stella.

The same master painted the whole of a little chamber with various scenes in little figures, for Count Raimondo della Torre. And since he delighted to work in relief, he executed not only models for his own purposes and for the arrangement of draperies, but also other things of his own fancy, of which there are some to be seen in the house of his heirs, and in particular a scene in half-relief, which is not otherwise than passing good. He also executed portraits on medallions, and some are still to be seen, such as that of Guglielmo, Marquis of Montferrat, which has on the reverse a Hercules slaying ..., with a motto that runs: "Monstra domat." He painted portraits of Count Raimondo della Torre, Messer Giulio his brother, and Messer Girolamo Fracastoro.

But when Giovan Francesco became old, he began gradually to lose his mastery over art, as may be seen from the organ-doors in S. Maria della Scala, from the panel-picture of the Movi family, wherein is a Deposition from the Cross, and from the Chapel of S. Martino in S. Anastasia. Giovan Francesco had always a great opinion of himself, and not for anything in the world would he have ever copied another man's work in his own. Now Bishop Giovan Matteo Giberti wished him to paint some stories of the Madonna in the great chapel of the Duomo, and had the designs for these drawn in Rome by Giulio Romano, who was very much his friend (for Giberti was Datary to Pope Clement VII). But, when the Bishop had returned to Verona, Giovan Francesco would never [Pg 21] consent to execute these designs; at which the Bishop, in disdain, caused them to be put into execution by Francesco, called Il Moro.

Giovan Francesco held an opinion, in which he was not far from the truth, that varnishing pictures spoiled them, and made them become old sooner than they otherwise would; and for this reason he used varnish in the darks while painting, together with certain purified oils. He was also the first who executed landscapes well in Verona; wherefore there are some by his hand to be seen in that city, which are very beautiful. Finally, when seventy-six years of age, Giovan Francesco died the death of a good Christian, leaving his grandchildren and his brother, Giovanni Caroto, passing well provided. This Giovanni, after first applying himself to art under his brother, and then spending some time in Venice, had just returned to Verona when Giovan Francesco passed to the other life; and thus he took a hand with the grandchildren in inspecting the things of art that had been left to them. Among these they found a portrait of an old man in armour, very beautiful both in drawing and in colour, which was the best work by the hand of Giovan Francesco that was ever seen; and likewise a little picture containing a Deposition from the Cross, which was presented to Signor Spitech, a man of great authority with the King of Poland, who had come at that time to some baths that are in the territory of Verona. Giovan Francesco was buried in the Madonna dell' Organo, in the Chapel of S. Niccolò, which he himself had adorned with his paintings.

Giovanni Caroto, brother of Giovan Francesco, although he followed the manner of the latter, yet gained less reputation in the practice of painting. This master painted the altar-piece in the above-mentioned Chapel of S. Niccolò, wherein is the Madonna enthroned on clouds; and below this he placed a portrait of himself, taken from life, and that of his wife Placida. He also painted some little figures of female Saints for the altar of the Schioppi in the Church of S. Bartolommeo, together with a portrait of Madonna Laura degli Schioppi, who had caused that chapel to be built, and who was much celebrated by the writers of those times no less for her virtues than for her beauty. Giovanni likewise painted a S. Martin in a little altar-piece for S. Giovanni in Fonte, near [Pg 22] the Duomo; and he made a portrait of Messer Marc' Antonio della Torre (who afterwards became a man of learning and gave public lectures at Padua and Pavia) as a young man, and also one of Messer Giulio; which heads are in the possession of their heirs at Verona. For the Prior of S. Giorgio he painted a picture of Our Lady, which, as a good painting, has been kept ever since, as it still is, in the chamber of the Priors. And he painted another picture, representing the transformation of Actæon into a stag, for the organist Brunetto, who afterwards presented it to Girolamo Cicogna, an excellent embroiderer, and engineer to Bishop Giberti; and it now belongs to Messer Vincenzio Cicogna, his son.

Giovanni took ground-plans of all the ancient buildings of Verona, with the triumphal arches and the Colosseum. These were revised by the Veronese architect Falconetto, and they were meant for the adornment of the book of the Antiquities of Verona, which had been written after his own original research by Messer Torello Saraina, who afterwards had the book printed. This book was sent to me by Giovanni Caroto when I was in Bologna (where I was executing the work of the Refectory of S. Michele in Bosco), together with the portrait of the reverend Father, Don Cipriano da Verona, who was twice General of the Monks of Monte Oliveto; and the portrait, which was sent to me by Giovanni to the end that I might make use of it, as I did, for one of those pictures, is now in my house at Florence, with other paintings by the hands of various masters.

Finally, having lived without children and without ambition, but with good means, Giovanni died at about the age of sixty, full of gladness because he saw some of his disciples, particularly Anselmo Canneri and Paolo Veronese, already in good repute. Paolo is now working in Venice, and is held to be a good master; and Anselmo has executed many works both in oils and in fresco, and in particular at the Villa Soranza on the Tesino, and in the Palace of the Soranzi at Castelfranco, and also in many other places, but more at Vicenza than anywhere else. But to return to Giovanni; he was buried in S. Maria dell' Organo, where he had painted a chapel with his own hand.

Francesco Turbido, called Il Moro, a painter of Verona, learned the [Pg 23] first rudiments of art, when still quite young, from Giorgione da Castelfranco, whom he imitated ever afterwards in colouring and in softness of painting. But just when Il Moro was making progress, he came to words with I know not whom, and handled him so roughly, that he was forced to leave Venice and return to Verona. There, abandoning his painting, since he was somewhat ready with his hands and associated with the young noblemen, being a person of very good breeding, he lived for a time without doing any work. And associating in this way, in particular, with the Counts Sanbonifazi and the Counts Giusti, two illustrious families of Verona, he became so intimate with them that he lived in their houses as if he had been born in them; and, what is more, no long time passed before Count Zenovello Giusti gave him a natural daughter of his own for a wife, and granted him a commodious apartment in his own house for himself, his wife, and the children that were born to them.

It is said that Francesco, while living in the service of those noblemen, always carried a pencil in his pouch; and wherever he went, if only he had time, he would draw a head or something else on the walls. Wherefore the same Count Zenovello, seeing him to be so much inclined to painting, relieved him of his other duties, like the generous nobleman that he was, and made him give his whole attention to art; and since Francesco had all but forgotten everything, he placed himself, through the good offices of that patron, under Liberale, a famous painter and illuminator of that time. And thus, practising under that master without ever ceasing, he went on making such progress from one day to another, that not only did all that he had forgotten awaken in his memory, but he also acquired in a short time as much more knowledge as sufficed to make him an able craftsman. It is true, however, that, although he always held to the manner of Liberale, he yet imitated the softness and well-blended colouring of Giorgione, his first instructor, believing that the works of Liberale, while good in other respects, suffered from a certain dryness.

Now Liberale, having recognized the beauty of Francesco's spirit, conceived such an affection for him, that he loved him ever afterwards [Pg 24] as a son, and, when death came upon him, left him heir to all his possessions. And thus, after the death of Liberale, Francesco followed in his steps and executed many works, which are dispersed among various private houses. Of those in Verona which deserve to be extolled above all others, the first is the great chapel of the Duomo, on the vaulting of which are four large pictures painted in fresco, wherein are the Nativity of the Madonna and the Presentation in the Temple, and, in the picture in the centre, which appears to recede inwards, three Angels in the air, who are seen foreshortened from below, and are holding a crown of stars wherewith to crown the Madonna, who is in the recess, in the act of ascending into Heaven, accompanied by many Angels, while the Apostles are gazing upwards in attitudes of great variety; and these Apostles are figures twice the size of life. All these pictures were executed by Il Moro after the designs of Giulio Romano, according to the wish of Bishop Giovan Matteo Giberti, who gave the commission for the work, and who, as has been said, was very much the friend of that same Giulio.

After this Il Moro painted the façade of the house of the Manuelli, which stands on the abutment of the Ponte Nuovo, and a façade for Torello Saraina, the doctor, who wrote the above-mentioned book of the Antiquities of Verona. In Friuli, likewise, he painted in fresco the principal chapel of the Abbey of Rosazzo, for Bishop Giovan Matteo, who held it "in commendam," and, being a noble and truly religious dignitary, rebuilt it; for it had been allowed to fall completely into ruin, as such buildings are generally found to be, by those who had held it "in commendam" before him, attending only to the drawing of the revenues and spending not a farthing in the service of God and of the Church.

Portrait of a Man.

(After the painting by Francesco Turbido [Il Moro].
Munich: Pinacoteca, 1125)
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Il Moro afterwards painted many works in oils at Verona and in Venice. On the outer wall (of a chapel) in S. Maria in Organo he executed in fresco the figures that are still there, with the exception of the Angel Michael and the Angel Raphael, which are by the hand of Paolo Cavazzuola. For the same chapel he painted an altar-piece in oils, wherein he made a portrait of Messer Jacopo Fontani, who gave the commission for the work, in a figure of S. James, in addition to the Madonna and other very beautiful figures. And in a large semicircle above that altar-piece, [Pg 25] occupying the whole width of the chapel, he painted the Transfiguration of Our Lord, and the Apostles beneath, which were held to be among the best figures that he ever executed. For the Chapel of the Bombardieri, in S. Eufemia, he painted an altar-piece with S. Barbara in the heavens, in the centre, and a S. Anthony below, with his hand on his beard, which is a most beautiful head, and on the other side a S. Rocco, which is also held to be a very good figure; whence this work is rightly looked upon as one executed with supreme diligence and unity of colouring. In a picture on the altar of the Santificazione, in the Madonna della Scala, he painted a S. Sebastian, in competition with Paolo Cavazzuola, who executed a S. Rocco in another picture; and he afterwards painted an altar-piece that was taken to Bagolino, a place in the mountains of Brescia.

Il Moro executed many portraits, and his heads are in truth beautiful to a marvel, and very good likenesses of those whom they were meant to represent. At Verona he executed a portrait of Count Francesco Sanbonifazio, who, on account of the length of his body, was called the Long Count; with that of one of the Franchi, which was an amazing head. He also painted the portrait of Messer Girolamo Verità, which remained unfinished, because Il Moro was inclined to be dilatory in his work; and this, still unfinished, is in the possession of the sons of that good nobleman. Among many other portraits, likewise, he executed one of the Venetian, Monsignor de' Martini, a knight of Rhodes, and to the same man he sold a head of marvellous beauty and excellence, which he had painted many years before as the portrait of a Venetian gentleman, the son of one who was then Captain in Verona. This head, through the avarice of the Venetian, who never paid him, was left in the hands of Francesco, and he disposed of it to Monsignor de' Martini, who had the Venetian dress changed into that of a shepherd or herdsman. It is as rare a portrait as ever issued from the hand of any craftsman, and it is now in the house of the heirs of the same Monsignor de' Martini, where it is rightly held in vast veneration. In Venice he painted a portrait of Messer Alessandro Contarini, Procurator of S. Mark and Proveditor of the forces, and one of Messer Michele San Michele for one of Messer [Pg 26] Michele's dearest friends, who took the portrait to Orvieto; and it is said that he executed another of the same architect, Messer Michele, which is now in the possession of Messer Paolo Ramusio, the son of Messer Giovan Battista. He also painted a portrait of Fracastoro, a very famous poet, at the instance of Monsignor Giberti, by whom it was sent to Giovio, who placed it in his museum.

Il Moro executed many other works, of which there is no need to make mention, although they are all well worthy of remembrance, because he was as diligent a colourist as any master that lived in his day, and because he bestowed much time and labour on his work. So great, indeed, was his diligence, that it brought upon him more blame than praise, as may also be seen at times to happen to others, for the reason that he accepted any commission and took the earnest-money from every patron, and trusted to the will of God to finish the work; and if he did this in his youth, everyone may imagine what he must have done in his last years, when to his natural slowness there was added that which old age brings in its train. By this method of procedure he brought upon himself more entanglements and annoyances than he cared for; and Messer Michele San Michele, therefore, moved by compassion for him, took him into his house in Venice and treated him like a friend and man of talent.

Finally, having been invited back to Verona by his former patrons, the Counts Giusti, Il Moro died among them in their beautiful Palace of S. Maria in Stella, and was buried in the church of that villa, being accompanied to his tomb by all those loving noblemen, and even laid to rest with extraordinary affection by their own hands; for they loved him as a father, since they had all been born and brought up while he was living in their house. In his youth Il Moro was very courageous and agile in body, and handled all kinds of arms with great skill. He was most faithful to his friends and patrons, and he showed spirit in all his actions. His most intimate friends were the architect, Messer Michele San Michele, Danese da Carrara, an excellent sculptor, and the very reverend and most learned Fra Marco de' Medici, who often went after his studies to sit with him, watching him at work, and discoursing [Pg 27] lovingly with him, in order to refresh his mind when he was weary with labour.

A disciple and son-in-law of Il Moro, who had two daughters, was Battista d' Agnolo, who was afterwards called Battista del Moro. This master, although he had his hands full for a time with the complications of the inheritance that Il Moro bequeathed to him, has yet executed many works which are not otherwise than passing good. In Verona he has painted a S. John the Baptist in the Church of the Nuns of S. Giuseppe, and in the tramezzo[6] of S. Eufemia, above the altar of S. Paolo, a scene in fresco showing the latter Saint presenting himself to Ananias after being converted by Christ; which work, although he executed it when still a lad, is much extolled. For the noble Counts Canossi he painted two apartments, and in a hall two friezes with battle-pieces, which are very beautiful and praised by everyone. In Venice he painted the façade of a house near the Carmine, a work of no great size, but much extolled, in which he executed a figure of Venice crowned and seated upon a lion, the device of that Republic. For Camillo Trevisano he painted the façade of his house at Murano, and in company with his son Marco he decorated the inner court with very beautiful scenes in chiaroscuro. And in competition with Paolo Veronese he painted a large chamber in the same house, which proved to be so beautiful that it brought him much honour and profit.

The same master has also executed many works in miniature, of which the most recent is a very beautiful drawing of S. Eustachio adoring Christ, who has appeared to him between the horns of a deer, with two dogs near him, which could not be more excellent, and a landscape full of trees, receding and fading away little by little into the distance, which is an exquisite thing. This drawing has been very highly praised by the many persons who have seen it, and particularly by Danese da Carrara, who saw it when he was in Verona, carrying out the work of the Chapel of the Signori Fregosi, which is one of rare distinction among all the number that there are in Italy at the present day. Danese, I say, having seen this drawing, was lost in astonishment at its beauty, [Pg 28] and exhorted the above-mentioned Fra Marco de' Medici, his old and particular friend, not for anything in the world to let it slip through his hands, but to contrive to place it among the other choice examples of all the arts in his possession. Whereupon Battista, having heard that Fra Marco desired it, and knowing of his friendship with his father-in-law, gave it to him, almost forcing him to accept it, in the presence of Danese; nor was that good Father ungrateful to him for so much courtesy. However, since that same Battista and his son Marco are alive and still at work, I shall say nothing more of them for the present.

Il Moro had another disciple, called Orlando Fiacco, who has become a good master and a very able painter of portraits, as may be seen from the many that he has painted, all very beautiful and most lifelike. He made a portrait of Cardinal Caraffa when he was returning from Germany, which he took secretly by torch-light while the Cardinal was at supper in the Vescovado of Verona; and this was such a faithful likeness that it could not have been improved. He also painted a very lifelike portrait of the Cardinal of Lorraine, when, coming from the Council of Trent, he passed through Verona on his return to Rome; and likewise portraits of the two Bishops Lippomani of Verona, Luigi the uncle and Agostino the nephew, which Count Giovan Battista della Torre now has in a little apartment. Other portraits that he painted were those of Messer Adamo Fumani, a Canon and a very learned gentleman of Verona, of Messer Vincenzio de' Medici of Verona, and of his consort, Madonna Isotta, in the guise of S. Helen, and of their grandson, Messer Niccolò. He has likewise executed portraits of Count Antonio della Torre, of Count Girolamo Canossi, and his brothers, Count Lodovico and Count Paolo, of Signor Astorre Baglioni, Captain-General of all the light cavalry of Venice and Governor of Verona, the latter clad in white armour and most beautiful in aspect, and of his consort, Signora Ginevra Salviati. In like manner, he has portrayed the eminent architect Palladio and many others; and he still continues at work, wishing to become in the art of painting as true an Orlando as once was that great Paladin of France.

Portrait of a Gentleman.

(London: National Gallery, 736. Tempera Panel)
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In Verona, where an extraordinary degree of attention has been given to design ever since the death of Fra Giocondo, there have flourished [Pg 29] at all times men excellent in painting and architecture, as will now be seen, in addition to what has been observed hitherto, in the Lives of Francesco Monsignori, of Domenico Morone and his son Francesco, of Paolo Cavazzuola, of the architect Falconetto, and, lastly, of the miniaturists Francesco and Girolamo.

Francesco Monsignori, the son of Alberto, was born at Verona in the year 1455; and when he was well grown he was advised by his father, who had always delighted in painting, although he had not practised it save for his own pleasure, to give his attention to design. Having, therefore, gone to Mantua to seek out Mantegna, who was then working in that city, he exerted himself in such a manner, being fired by the fame of his instructor, that no long time passed before Francesco II, Marquis of Mantua, who found an extraordinary delight in painting, took him into his own service; and in the year 1487 he gave him a house for his habitation in Mantua, and assigned him an honourable provision. For these benefits Francesco was not ungrateful, for he always served that lord with supreme fidelity and lovingness; whence the Marquis came to love and favour him more and more every day, insomuch that he could not leave the city without having Francesco in his train, and was once heard to say that Francesco was as dear to him as the State itself.

Francesco painted many works for that lord in his Palace of S. Sebastiano at Mantua, and also in the Castello di Gonzaga and in the beautiful Palace of Marmirolo without the city. In the latter Francesco had finished painting in the year 1499, after a vast number of other pictures, some triumphs and many portraits of gentlemen of the Court; and on Christmas Eve, on which day he had finished those works, the Marquis presented to him an estate of a hundred fields in the territory of Mantua, at a place called La Marzotta, with a mansion, garden, meadows, and other things of great beauty and convenience. He was most excellent at taking portraits from life, and the Marquis caused him to paint many portraits, of himself, of his sons, and of many other lords of the house of Gonzaga, which were sent to France and Germany as presents for various Princes. And many of these portraits are still in Mantua, such as those of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa; of Doge [Pg 30] Barbarigo of Venice; of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan; of Massimiliano, also Duke of Milan, who died in France; of the Emperor Maximilian; of Signor Ercole Gonzaga, who afterwards became a Cardinal; of his brother, Duke Federigo (then a young man); of Signor Giovan Francesco Gonzaga; of Messer Andrea Mantegna, the painter; and of many others; of all which Francesco preserved copies drawn on paper in chiaroscuro, which are now in the possession of his heirs at Mantua.

Above the pulpit of S. Francesco de' Zoccolanti, in the same city, is a picture that he painted of S. Louis and S. Bernardino holding a large circle that contains the name of Jesus; and in the refectory of those friars there is a picture on canvas as large as the whole of the head-wall, of the Saviour in the midst of the twelve Apostles, painted in perspective and all very beautiful, and executed with many proofs of consideration. Among them is the traitor Judas, with a face wholly different from those of the others, and in a strange attitude; and the others are all gazing intently at Jesus, who is speaking to them, being near His Passion. On the right hand of this work is a S. Francis of the size of life, a very beautiful figure, the countenance of which is the very presentment of that sanctity which was peculiar to that most saintly man; and he is presenting to Christ the Marquis Francesco, who is kneeling at his feet, portrayed from life in a long coat pleated and worked with a curly pattern, according to the fashion of those times, and embroidered with white crosses, perchance because he may have been at that time Captain of the Venetians. And in front of the Marquis is a portrait, with the hands clasped, of his eldest son, who was then a very beautiful boy, and afterwards became Duke Federigo. On the other side is painted a S. Bernardino, equal in excellence to the figure of S. Francis, and likewise presenting to Christ the brother of the Marquis, Cardinal Sigismondo Gonzaga, a very beautiful kneeling figure, robed in the habit of a Cardinal, with the rochet, which is also a portrait from life; and in front of that Cardinal is a portrait of Signora Leonora, the daughter of the same Marquis, who was then a girl, and afterwards became Duchess of Urbino. This whole work is held by the most excellent painters to be a marvellous thing.

S. Sebastian.

(After the painting by Francesco Monsignori [Bonsignori].
Berlin: Kaiser Friedrich Museum, 46 c)
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[Pg 31] The same master painted a picture of S. Sebastian, which was afterwards placed in the Madonna delle Grazie, without the city of Mantua; and to this he devoted extraordinary pains, copying many things in it from the life. It is related that the Marquis, going one day, while Francesco was executing this picture, to see him at work, as he used often to do, said to him: "Francesco, you must take some fine figure as your model in painting this Saint." To which Francesco answered: "I am using as my model a porter with a very handsome figure, whom I bind in a fashion of my own in order to make the work natural." "But the limbs of this Saint of yours," rejoined the Marquis, "are not true to life, for they have not the appearance of being strained by force or by that fear which one would expect in a man bound and shot with arrows; and by your leave I will undertake to show you what you ought to do in order to make this figure perfect." "Nay, but I beg you to do it, my lord," said Francesco; and the Marquis added: "When you have your porter bound here, send for me, and I will show you what you must do." The next day, therefore, when Francesco had the porter bound in the manner that he wished, he sent a secret summons to the Marquis, but without knowing what he intended to do. And the Marquis, bursting out of a neighbouring room in a great fury, with a loaded cross-bow in his hand, rushed towards the porter, crying out at the top of his voice, "Traitor, prepare to die! At last I have caught thee as I would have thee," and other suchlike words; which hearing, the wretched porter, thinking himself as good as dead, struggled in a frenzy of terror with the ropes wherewith he was bound, and made frantic efforts to break them, thus truly representing one about to be shot with arrows, and revealing fear in his face and the horror of death in his strained and distorted limbs, as he sought to escape from his peril. This done, the Marquis said to Francesco, "There he is in the state that he ought to be: the rest is for you to do"; which the painter having well considered, made his figure as perfect as could be imagined.

Francesco painted in the Gonzaga Palace, besides many other things, the Election of the first Lords of Mantua, with the jousts that were held on the Piazza di S. Piero, which is seen there in perspective. When [Pg 32] the Grand Turk sent one of his men with a most beautiful dog, a bow, and a quiver, as presents for the Marquis, the latter caused the dog, the Turk who had brought it, and the other things, to be painted in the same Gonzaga Palace; and, this done, wishing to see whether the painted dog were truly lifelike, he had one of his own dogs, of a breed very hostile to the Turkish dog, brought to the place where the other one stood on a pedestal painted in imitation of stone. The living dog, then, arriving there, had no sooner seen the painted one than, precisely as if it had been a living animal and the very one for whom he had a mortal hatred, he broke loose from his keeper and rushed at it with such vehemence, in order to bite it, that he struck his head full against the wall and dashed it all to pieces.

Madonna and Child.

(London: National Gallery, 285. Panel)
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Another story is told by persons who were present at the scene, of a little picture by the hand of Francesco, little more than two span in height, and belonging to his nephew Benedetto Baroni, in which is a Madonna painted in oils, from the breast upwards, and almost life-size, and, lower down, in the corner of the picture, the Child, seen from the shoulders upwards, with one arm uplifted and in the act of caressing His Mother. It is related, I say, that, when the Emperor was master of Verona, Don Alfonso of Castille and Alarcon, a very famous Captain, happened to be in that city on behalf of His Majesty and the Catholic King; and that these lords, being in the house of the Veronese Count Lodovico da Sesso, said that they had a great desire to see that picture. Whereupon it was sent for; and one evening they were standing contemplating it in a good light, and admiring its masterly workmanship, when Signora Caterina, the wife of the Count, entered into the room where those noblemen were, together with one of her sons, who had on his wrist one of those green birds—called in Verona "terrazzani,"[7] because they make their nests on the ground—which learn to perch on the wrist, like hawks. It happened, then, that, while she stood with the others contemplating the picture, the bird, seeing the extended arm and wrist of the painted Child, flew to perch upon it; but, not having been able to find a hold on the surface of the painting, and having [Pg 33] therefore fallen to the ground, it twice returned to settle on the wrist of that painted Child, precisely as if it had been one of those living children who were always holding it on their wrists. At which those noblemen, being amazed, offered to pay a great price to Benedetto for the picture, if only he would give it to them; but it was not possible by any means to wrest it from him. Not long afterwards the same persons planned to have it stolen from him on the day of the festival of S. Biagio in S. Nazzaro; but the owner was informed of this, and their design did not succeed.

For S. Paolo, in Verona, Francesco painted a panel-picture in gouache, which is very beautiful, and another, also most beautiful, for the Chapel of the Bandi in S. Bernardino. In Mantua he executed for Verona a picture with two most lovely nudes, a Madonna in the sky, with the Child in her arms, and some Angels, all marvellous figures, which is in the chapel where S. Biagio is buried, in the Black Friars Church of S. Nazzaro.

Francesco was a man of saintly life, and the enemy of every vice, insomuch that he would never on any account paint licentious works, although he was very often entreated to do so by the Marquis; and equal to him in goodness were his brothers, as will be related in the proper place. Finally, being old, and suffering in the bladder, Francesco, with the leave of the Marquis and by the advice of the physicians, went with his wife and many servants to the Baths of Caldero, in the territory of Verona, to take the waters. There, one day, after he had drunk the water, he allowed himself to be overcome by drowsiness, and slept a little, being indulged in this by his wife out of compassion; whereupon, a violent fever having come upon him in consequence of his sleeping, which is a deadly thing for one who has just taken that water, he finished the course of his life on the second day of July, 1519; which having been reported to the Marquis, he straightway sent orders by a courier that the body of Francesco should be brought to Mantua. This was done, although it gave little pleasure to the people of Verona; and he was laid to rest with great honour in the burial-place of the Compagnia Segreta in S. Francesco at Mantua. Francesco lived to the age of [Pg 34] sixty-four, and the portrait of him which belongs to Messer Fermo was executed when he was fifty. Many compositions were written in his praise, and he was mourned by all who knew him as a virtuous and saintly man, which he was. He had for wife Madonna Francesca Gioacchini of Verona, but he had no children.

The eldest of his three brothers was called Monsignore; and he, being a person of culture and learning, received offices with good salaries in Mantua from the Marquis, on account of that nobleman's love of Francesco. He lived to the age of eighty, and left children, who keep the family of the Monsignori alive in Mantua. Another brother of Francesco had the name of Girolamo when in the world, and of Fra Cherubino among the Frati Zoccolanti di San Francesco; and he was a very beautiful calligrapher and illuminator. The third, who was a Friar of S. Dominic and an Observantine, and was called Fra Girolamo, chose out of humility to become a lay-brother. He was not only a man of good and holy life, but also a passing good painter, as may be seen in the Convent of S. Domenico in Mantua, where, besides other works, he executed a most beautiful Last Supper in the refectory, with a Passion of Christ, which remained unfinished on account of his death. The same friar painted the beautiful Last Supper that is in the refectory of the very rich abbey which the Monks of S. Benedict possess in the territory of Mantua. In S. Domenico he painted the altar of the Rosary; and in the Convent of S. Anastasia, in Verona, he painted in fresco the Madonna, S. Remigio the Bishop, and S. Anastasia; with a Madonna, S. Dominic, and S. Thomas Aquinas, all executed with mastery, on a little arch over the second door of entrance in the second cloister.

The Crucifixion.

(After the painting by Giovan Francesco Morone.
Verona: S. Bernardino)
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Fra Girolamo was a person of great simplicity, wholly indifferent to the things of the world. He lived in the country, at a farm belonging to his convent, in order to avoid all noise and disturbance, and the money sent to him in return for his works, which he used for buying colours and suchlike things, he kept in a box without a cover, hung from the ceiling in the middle of his chamber, so that all who wished could take some; and in order not to have the trouble of thinking every day [Pg 35] what he was to eat, he used to cook a pot of beans every Monday to last him the whole week.

When the plague came to Mantua and the sick were abandoned by all, as happens in such cases, Fra Girolamo, with no other motive but the purest love, would never desert the poor plague-stricken monks, and even tended them all day long with his own hands. And thus, careless of his life for the love of God, he became infected with that malady and died at the age of sixty, to the great grief of all who knew him.

But to return to Francesco Monsignori: he painted a life-size portrait, which I forgot to mention above, of Count Ercole Giusti of Verona, in a robe of cloth of gold, such as he was wont to wear; and this is a very beautiful likeness, as may be seen in the house of his son, Count Giusto.

Domenico Morone, who was born at Verona about the year 1430, learned the art of painting from some masters who were disciples of Stefano, and from works by the same Stefano, by Jacopo Bellini, by Pisano, and by others, which he saw and copied. Saying nothing of the many pictures that he executed after the manner of those times, which are now in monasteries and private houses, I begin by recording that he painted in chiaroscuro, with "terretta verde," the façade of a house belonging to the city of Verona, on the square called the Piazza de' Signori; and in this may be seen many ornamental friezes and scenes from ancient history, with a very beautiful arrangement of figures and costumes of bygone days. But the best work to be seen by the hand of this master is the Leading of Christ to the Cross, with a multitude of figures and horses, which is in S. Bernardino, on the wall above the Chapel of the Monte di Pietà, for which Liberale painted the picture of the Deposition with the weeping Angels. The same Domenico received a commission to paint the chapel that is next to that one, both within and without, at great expense and with a lavish use of gold, from the Chevalier, Messer Niccolò de' Medici, who was considered to be the richest man of his day in Verona, and who spent great sums of money on other pious works, being a man who was inclined to this by nature. This gentleman, after he had built many monasteries and churches, and [Pg 36] had left scarcely any place in that city where he had not executed some noble and costly work to the honour of God, chose as his burial-place the chapel mentioned above, for the ornamentation of which he availed himself of Domenico, at that time more famous than any other painter in that city, Liberale being in Siena.

Domenico, then, painted in the interior of this chapel the Miracles of S. Anthony of Padua, to whom it is dedicated, and portrayed the Chevalier in an old man with shaven face and white hair, without any cap, and wearing a long gown of cloth of gold, such as Chevaliers used to wear in those times. All this, for a work in fresco, is very well designed and executed. Then, in certain medallions in the outer vaulting, which is all overlaid with gold, he painted the four Evangelists; and on the pilasters both within and without he executed figures of Saints, among which are S. Elizabeth of the Third Order of S. Francis, S. Helen, and S. Catharine, which are very beautiful figures, and much extolled for the draughtsmanship, colouring, and grace. This work, then, can bear witness to the talent of Domenico and to the magnificent liberality of that Chevalier.

Domenico died very old, and was buried in S. Bernardino, wherein are the works by his hand described above, leaving his son, Francesco Morone, heir to his property and his talents. This Francesco, who learned the first principles of art from his father, afterwards exerted himself in such a manner that in a short time he became a much better master than his father had been, as the works that he executed in emulation of those of his father clearly demonstrate. Below his father's work on the altar of the Monte, in the aforesaid Church of S. Bernardino, Francesco painted in oils the folding-doors that enclose the altar-piece of Liberale; on the inner side of which he depicted in one the Virgin, and in the other S. John the Evangelist, both life-size figures, with great beauty in the faces, which are weeping, in the draperies, and in every other part. In the same chapel, at the foot of the face of that wall which serves as head-wall to the tramezzo,[8] he painted the Miracle that Our Lord performed with the five loaves and two fishes, which satisfied [Pg 37] the multitude; and in this are many beautiful figures and many portraits from life, but most of all is praise given to a S. John the Evangelist, who is very slender, and has his back partly turned towards the spectator. He then executed in the same place, beside the altar-piece, in the vacant spaces on the wall against which it rests, a S. Louis, Bishop and Friar of S. Francis, and another figure; with some heads in foreshortening in a sunk medallion on the vaulting. All these works are much extolled by the painters of Verona. And for the altar of the Cross, on which are so many painted pictures, between that chapel and the Chapel of the Medici, in the same church, he executed a picture which is in the centre above all the others, containing Christ on the Cross, the Madonna, and S. John, and very beautiful. In another picture, which is above that of Caroto, on the left-hand side of the same altar, he painted Our Lord washing the feet of the Apostles, who are seen in various attitudes; in which work, so men say, this painter made a portrait of himself in the figure of one who is serving Christ by bringing water.

For the Chapel of the Emilii, in the Duomo, Francesco executed a S. James and a S. John, one on either side of Christ, who is bearing His Cross; and the beauty and excellence of these two figures leave nothing to be desired. The same master executed many works at Lonico, in an abbey of Monks of Monte Oliveto, whither great multitudes flock together to adore a figure of the Madonna which performs many miracles in that place. Afterwards, Francesco being very much the friend, and, as it were, the brother of Girolamo dai Libri, the painter and illuminator, they undertook to paint in company the organ-doors of S. Maria in Organo, a church of Monks of Monte Oliveto. In one of these, on the outer side, Francesco painted a S. Benedict clothed in white, and S. John the Evangelist, and on the inner side the Prophets Daniel and Isaiah, with two little Angels in the air, and a ground all full of very beautiful landscapes. And then he executed the great altar-piece of the altar of the Muletta, painting therein a S. Peter and a S. John, which are little more than one braccio in height, but wrought so well and with such diligence, that they have the appearance of miniatures. The carvings [Pg 38] of this work were executed by Fra Giovanni da Verona, a master of tarsia and carving.

In the same place, on the wall of the choir, Francesco painted two scenes in fresco—one of Our Lord riding on an ass into Jerusalem, and the other of His Prayer in the Garden, wherein, on one side, is the armed multitude coming to take Him, guided by Judas. But more beautiful than all the rest is the vaulted sacristy, which is all painted by the same master, excepting only the S. Anthony being scourged by Demons, which is said to be by the hand of his father, Domenico. In this sacristy, then, besides the Christ and some little Angels that are seen in foreshortening on the vaulting, he painted in the lunettes, two in each niche, and robed in their pontifical vestments, the various Popes who have been exalted to the Pontificate from the Order of S. Benedict. Round the sacristy, below the lunettes of the vaulting, is drawn a frieze four feet high, and divided into compartments, wherein are painted in the monastic habit various Emperors, Kings, Dukes, and other Princes, who have abandoned the States and Principalities that they ruled, and have become monks. In these figures Francesco made portraits from life of many of the monks who had their habitation or a temporary abode in that monastery, the while that he was working there; and among them are portraits of many novices and other monks of every kind, which are heads of great beauty, and executed with much diligence. In truth, by reason of these ornaments, that was then the most beautiful sacristy that there was in all Italy, since, in addition to the beauty of the room, which is of considerable size and well proportioned, and the pictures described above, which are also very beautiful, there is at the foot of the walls a range of panelled seats adorned with fine perspective-views, so well executed in tarsia and carving, that there is no work to be seen of those times, and perchance even of our own, that is much better. For Fra Giovanni da Verona, who executed this work, was most excellent in that art, as was said in the Life of Raffaello da Urbino, and as is demonstrated not only by his many other works in houses of his Order, but also by those that are in the Papal Palace at Rome, in Monte Oliveto di Chiusuri in the territory of Siena, and in other places. But those of this sacristy [Pg 39] are the best of all the works that Fra Giovanni ever executed, for the reason that it may be said that in them he surpassed himself by as much as he excelled in the rest every other master. Among other things, Fra Giovanni carved for this place a candelabrum more than fourteen feet in height to hold the Paschal candle, all made of walnut-wood, and wrought with such extraordinary patience that I do not believe that there is a better work of the same kind to be seen.

But to return to Francesco: he painted for the same church the panel-picture which is in the Chapel of the Counts Giusti, in which he depicted the Madonna, with S. Augustine and S. Martin in pontifical robes. And in the cloister he executed a Deposition from the Cross, with the Maries and other Saints, works in fresco which are much extolled in Verona. In the Church of the Vittoria he painted the Chapel of the Fumanelli, which is below the wall that supports the choir which was built by the Chevalier Messer Niccolò de' Medici; and a Madonna in fresco in the cloister. And afterwards he painted a portrait from life of Messer Antonio Fumanelli, a physician very famous for the works written by him in connection with his profession. He painted in fresco, also, on a house which is seen on the left hand as one crosses the Ponte delle Navi on the way to S. Paolo, a Madonna with many Saints, which is held to be a very beautiful work, both in design and in colouring; and on the house of the Sparvieri, in the Brà, opposite to the garden of the Friars of S. Fermo, he painted another like it. Francesco painted a number of other works, of which there is no need to make mention, since the best have been described; let it suffice to say that he gave grace, unity, and good design to his pictures, with a colouring as vivid and pleasing as that of any other painter. Francesco lived fifty-five years, and died on May 16, 1529. He chose to be carried to his tomb in the habit of a Friar of S. Francis, and he was buried in S. Domenico, beside his father. He was so good a man, so religious, and so exemplary, that there was never heard to issue from his mouth any word that was otherwise than seemly.

A disciple of Francesco, and much more able than his master, was the Veronese Paolo Cavazzuola, who executed many works in Verona; I [Pg 40] say in Verona, because it is not known that he ever worked in any other place. In S. Nazzaro, a seat of Black Friars at Verona, he painted many works in fresco near those of his master Francesco; but these were all thrown to the ground when that church was rebuilt by the pious munificence of the reverend Father, Don Mauro Lonichi, a nobleman of Verona and Abbot of that Monastery. On the old house of the Fumanelli, in the Via del Paradiso, Paolo painted, likewise in fresco, the Sibyl showing to Augustus Our Lord in the heavens, in the arms of His Mother; which work is beautiful enough for one of the first that he executed. On the outer side of the Chapel of the Fontani, in S. Maria in Organo, he painted, also in fresco, two Angels—namely, S. Michael and S. Raphael. In the street into which there opens the Chapel of the Angel Raphael, in S. Eufemia, over a window that gives light to a recess in the staircase of that chapel, he painted the Angel Raphael, and with him Tobias, whom he guided on his journey; which was a very beautiful little work. And in S. Bernardino, in a round picture over the door where there is the bell, he painted a S. Bernardino in fresco, and in another round picture on the same wall, but lower down, and above the entrance to a confessional, a S. Francis, which is beautiful and well executed, as is also the S. Bernardino. These are all the works that Paolo is known to have painted in fresco.

The Deposition.

(After the panel by Paolo Cavazzuola.
Verona: Museo Civico, 392)
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As for his works in oils, he painted a picture of S. Rocco for the altar of the Santificazione in the Church of the Madonna della Scala, in emulation of the S. Sebastian which Il Moro painted for the other side of the same place; which S. Rocco is a very beautiful figure. But the best figures that this painter ever executed are in S. Bernardino, where all the large pictures that are on the altar of the Cross, round the principal altar-piece, are by his hand, excepting that with the Christ Crucified, the Madonna, and S. John, which is above all the others, and is by the hand of his master Francesco. Beside it, in the upper part, are two large pictures by the hand of Paolo, in one of which is Christ being scourged at the Column, and in the other His Coronation, painted with many figures somewhat more than life-size. In the principal picture, which is lower down, in the first range, he painted a Deposition from the Cross, with the [Pg 41] Madonna, the Magdalene, S. John, Nicodemus, and Joseph; and he made a portrait of himself, so good that it has the appearance of life, in one of these figures, a young man with a red beard, who is near the Tree of the Cross, with a coif on his head, such as it was the custom to wear at that time. On the right-hand side is a picture by Paolo of Our Lord in the Garden, with the three Disciples near Him; and on the left-hand side is another of Christ with the Cross on His shoulder, being led to Mount Calvary. The excellence of these works, which stand out strongly in comparison with those by the hand of his master that are in the same place, will always give Paolo a place among the best craftsmen.

On the base he painted some Saints from the breast upwards, which are all portraits from life. The first figure, wearing the habit of S. Francis, and representing a Beato, is a portrait of Fra Girolamo Rechalchi, a noble Veronese; the figure beside the first, painted to represent S. Bonaventura, is the portrait of Fra Bonaventura Rechalchi, brother of the aforesaid Fra Girolamo; and the head of S. Joseph is the portrait of a steward of the Marchesi Malespini, who had been charged at that time by the Company of the Cross to see to the execution of this work. All these heads are very beautiful.

For the same church Paolo painted the altar-piece of the Chapel of S. Francesco, in which work, the last that he executed, he surpassed himself. There are in it six figures larger than life; one being S. Elizabeth, of the Third Order of S. Francis, who is a most beautiful figure, with a smiling air and a gracious countenance, and with her lap full of roses; and she seems to be rejoicing at the sight of the bread that she, great lady as she was, had been carrying to the poor, turned by a miracle of God into roses, in token that her humble charity in thus ministering to the poor with her own hands was acceptable to God. This figure is a portrait of a widowed lady of the Sacchi family. Among the other figures are S. Bonaventura the Cardinal and S. Louis the Bishop, both Friars of S. Francis. Near these are S. Louis, King of France, S. Eleazar in a grey habit, and S. Ivo in the habit of a priest. Then there is the Madonna on a cloud above them all, with S. Francis and other figures [Pg 42] round her; but it is said that these are not by the hand of Paolo, but by that of a friend who helped him to execute the picture; and it is evident, indeed, that these figures are not equal in excellence to those beneath. And in this picture is a portrait from life of Madonna Caterina de' Sacchi, who gave the commission for the work.

Now Paolo, having set his heart on becoming great and famous, made to this end such immoderate exertions that he fell ill and died at the early age of thirty-one, at the very moment when he was beginning to give proofs of what might be expected from him at a riper age. It is certain that Paolo, if Fortune had not crossed him at the height of his activity, would without a doubt have attained to the highest, best, and greatest honours that could be desired by a painter. His loss, therefore, grieved not only his friends, but all men of talent and everyone who knew him, and all the more because he had been a young man of excellent character, untainted by a single vice. He was buried in S. Paolo, after making himself immortal by the beautiful works that he left behind him.

Stefano Veronese, a very rare painter in his day, as has been related, had a brother-german, called Giovanni Antonio, who, although he learned to paint from that same Stefano, nevertheless did not become anything more than a mediocre painter, as may be seen from his works, of which there is no need to make mention. To this Giovanni Antonio was born a son, called Jacopo, who likewise became a painter of commonplace works; and to Jacopo were born Giovan Maria, called Falconetto, whose Life we are about to write, and Giovanni Antonio. The latter, devoting himself to painting, executed many works at Rovereto, a very famous township in the Trentino, and many pictures at Verona, which are dispersed among the houses of private citizens. He also painted many works in the valley of the Adige, above Verona, and a panel-picture of S. Nicholas, with many animals, at Sacco, opposite to Rovereto, with many others; after which he finally died at Rovereto, where he had gone to live. This master was particularly excellent in making animals and fruits, of which many very beautiful drawings, executed in miniature, were taken to France by the Veronese Mondella; and many of them were [Pg 43] given by Agnolo, the son of Giovanni Antonio, to Messer Girolamo Lioni, a Venetian gentleman of noble spirit.

But to come at last to Giovan Maria, the brother of Giovanni Antonio. He learned the rudiments of painting from his father, whose manner he rendered no little better and grander, although even he was not a painter of much reputation, as is evident from the Chapels of the Maffei and of the Emilii in the Duomo of Verona, from the upper part of the cupola of S. Nazzaro, and from works in other places. This master, recognizing the little value of his work in painting, and delighting beyond measure in architecture, set himself with great diligence to study and draw all the antiquities in his native city of Verona. He then resolved to visit Rome, and to learn architecture from its marvellous remains, which are the true masters; and he made his way to that city, and stayed there twelve whole years. That time he spent, for the most part, in examining and drawing all those marvellous antiquities, searching out in every place all the ground-plans that he could see and all the measurements that he could find. Nor did he leave anything in Rome, either buildings or their members, such as cornices, capitals, and columns, of whatsoever Order, that he did not draw with his own hand, with all the measurements; and he also drew all the sculptures which were discovered in those times, insomuch that when he returned to his own country, after those twelve years, he was rich in all the treasures of his art. And, not content with the things in the city of Rome itself, he drew all that was good and beautiful in the whole of the Roman Campagna, going even as far as the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Spoleto, and other parts. It is said that Giovan Maria, being poor, and therefore having little wherewith to live or to maintain himself in Rome, used to spend two or three days every week in assisting some painter with his work; and with his earnings, since at that time masters were well paid and living was cheap, he was able to live the other days of the week, pursuing the studies of architecture. Thus, then, he drew all those antiquities as if they were complete, reconstructing them in his drawings from the parts and members that he saw, from which he imagined all the other parts of the buildings in all their perfection and integrity, and [Pg 44] all with such true measurements and proportions, that he could not make an error in a single detail.

Having returned to Verona, and finding no opportunity of exercising himself in architecture, since his native city was in the throes of a change of government, Giovan Maria gave his attention for the time to painting, and executed many works. On the house of the Della Torre family he painted a large escutcheon crowned by some trophies; and for two German noblemen, counsellors of the Emperor Maximilian, he executed in fresco some scenes from the Scriptures on a wall of the little Church of S. Giorgio, and painted there life-size portraits of those two Germans, one kneeling on one side and one on the other. He executed a number of works at Mantua, for Signor Luigi Gonzaga; and some others at Osimo, in the March of Ancona. And while the city of Verona was under the Emperor, he painted the imperial arms on all the public buildings, and received for this from the Emperor a good salary and a patent of privilege, from which it may be seen that many favours and exemptions were granted to him, both on account of his good service in matters of art, and because he was a man of great spirit, brave and formidable in the use of arms, with which he might likewise be expected to give valiant and faithful service: and all the more because he drew after him, on account of the great credit that he had with his neighbours, the whole mass of the people who lived in the Borgo di San Zeno, a very populous part of the city, in which he had been born and had taken a wife from the family of the Provali. For these reasons, then, he had all the inhabitants of his district as his following, and was called throughout the city by no other name but that of the "Red-head of San Zeno."

Now, when the city again changed its government and returned to the rule of its ancient masters the Venetians, Giovan Maria, being known as one who had served the party of the Emperor, was forced to seek safety in flight; and he went, therefore, to Trento, where he passed some time painting certain pictures. Finally, however, when matters had mended, he made his way to Padua, where he was first received in audience and then much favoured by the very reverend Monsignor Bembo, who presented him not long afterwards to the illustrious Messer Luigi [Pg 45] Cornaro, a Venetian gentleman of lofty spirit and truly regal mind, as is proved by his many magnificent enterprises. This gentleman, who, in addition to his other truly noble qualities, delighted in the study of architecture, the knowledge of which is worthy of no matter how great a Prince, had therefore read the works of Vitruvius, Leon Batista Alberti, and others who have written on this subject, and he wished to put what he had learned into practice. And when he saw the designs of Falconetto, and perceived with what profound knowledge he spoke of these matters, and rendered clear all the difficulties that can arise through the variety of the Orders of architecture, he conceived such a love for him that he took him into his own house and kept him there as an honoured guest for twenty-one years, which was the whole of the rest of Giovan Maria's life.

During this time Falconetto executed many works with the help of the same Messer Luigi. The latter, desiring to see the antiquities of Rome on the spot, even as he had seen them in the drawings of Giovan Maria, went to Rome, taking him with him; and there he devoted himself to examining everything minutely, having him always in his company. After they had returned to Padua, a beginning was made with building from the design and model of Falconetto that most beautiful and ornate loggia which is in the house of the Cornari, near the Santo; and the palace was to be erected next, after the model made by Messer Luigi himself. In this loggia the name of Giovan Maria is carved on a pilaster.

The same architect built a very large and magnificent Doric portal for the Palace of the Captain of that place; and this portal is much praised by everyone as a work of great purity. He also erected two very beautiful gates for the city, one of which, called the Porta di S. Giovanni, and leading to Vicenza, is very fine, and commodious for the soldiers who guard it; and the other, which is very well designed, was called the Porta Savonarola. He made, likewise, for the Friars of S. Dominic, the design and model of the Church of S. Maria delle Grazie, and laid the foundations; and this work, as may be seen from the model, is so beautiful and well designed, that one of equal size to rival it has [Pg 46] perhaps never been seen up to our own day in any other place. And by the same master was made the model of a most superb palace for Signor Girolamo Savorgnano, at his well fortified stronghold of Usopo in Friuli; for which all the foundations were then laid, and it had begun to rise above the ground, when, by reason of the death of that nobleman, it was left in that condition without being carried further; but if this building had been finished, it would have been a marvel.

About the same time Falconetto went to Pola, in Istria, for the sole purpose of seeing and drawing the theatre, amphitheatre, and arch that are in that most ancient city. He was the first who made drawings of theatres and amphitheatres and traced their ground-plans, and those that are to be seen, particularly in the case of Verona, came from him, and were printed at the instance of others after his designs. Giovan Maria was a man of exalted mind, and, being one who had never done anything else but draw the great works of antiquity, he desired nothing save that there should be presented to him opportunities of executing works similar to those in greatness. He would sometimes make ground-plans and designs for them, with the very same pains that he would have taken if he had been commissioned to put them into execution at once; and in this he lost himself so much, so to speak, that he would not deign to make designs for the private houses of gentlemen, either in the country or in the city, although he was much besought to do so.

Giovan Maria was in Rome on many occasions besides those described above; whence that journey was so familiar to him, that when he was young and vigorous he would undertake it on the slightest opportunity. Persons who are still alive relate that, falling one day into a discussion with a foreign architect, who happened to be in Verona, about the measurements of I know not what ancient cornice in Rome, after many words Giovan Maria said, "I will soon make myself certain in this matter," and then went straight to his house and set out on his way to Rome.

Palazzo Del Capitanio.

(After Falconetto. Padua)
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This master made for the Cornaro family two very beautiful designs of tombs, which were to be erected in S. Salvatore, at Venice—one for the Queen of Cyprus, a lady of that family, and the other for Cardinal [Pg 47] Marco Cornaro, who was the first of that house to be honoured with that dignity. And in order that these designs might be carried out, a great quantity of marble was quarried at Carrara and taken to Venice, where the rough blocks still are, in the house of the same Cornari.

Giovan Maria was the first who brought the true methods of building and of good architecture to Verona, Venice, and all those parts, where before him there had not been one who knew how to make even a cornice or a capital, or understood either the measurements or the proportions of a column or of any Order of architecture, as is evident from the buildings that were erected before his day. This knowledge was afterwards much increased by Fra Giocondo, who lived about the same time, and it received its final perfection from Messer Michele San Michele, insomuch that those parts are therefore under an everlasting obligation to the people of Verona, in which city were born and lived at one and the same time these three most excellent architects. To them there then succeeded Sansovino, who, not resting content with architecture, which he found already grounded and established by the three masters mentioned above, also brought thither sculpture, to the end that by its means their buildings might have all the adornments that were proper to them. And for this a debt of gratitude—if one may use such a word—is due to the ruin of Rome, by reason of which the masters were dispersed over many places and the beauties of these arts communicated throughout all Europe.

Giovan Maria caused some works in stucco to be carried out in Venice, and taught the method of executing them. Some declare that when he was a young man he had the vaulting of the Chapel of the Santo, at Padua, decorated with stucco by Tiziano da Padova and many others, and also had similar works executed in the house of the Cornari, which are very beautiful. He taught his work to two of his sons, Ottaviano, who was, like himself, also a painter, and Provolo. Alessandro, his third son, worked in his youth at making armour, and afterwards adopted the calling of a soldier; he was three times victor in the lists, and finally, when a captain of infantry, died fighting valiantly before Turin in Piedmont, having been wounded by a harquebus-ball.

Giovan Maria, on his part, after being crippled by gout, finished [Pg 48] the course of his life at Padua, in the house of the aforesaid Messer Luigi Cornaro, who always loved him like a brother, or rather, like his own self. And to the end that there might be no separation in death between the bodies of those whose minds had been united together in the world by friendship and love of art, Messer Luigi had intended that Giovan Maria should be laid to rest beside himself in the tomb that was to be erected for his own burial, together with that most humorous poet, Ruzzante, his very familiar friend, who lived and died in his house; but I do not know whether this design of the illustrious Cornaro was ever carried into effect. Giovan Maria was a fine talker, pleasant and agreeable in conversation, and very acute in repartee, insomuch that Cornaro used to declare that a whole book could have been made with his sayings. And since, although he was crippled by gout, he lived cheerfully, he preserved his life to the age of seventy-six, dying in 1534.

He had six daughters, five of whom he gave in marriage himself, and the sixth was married by her brothers, after his death, to Bartolommeo Ridolfi of Verona, who executed many works in stucco in company with them, and was a much better master than they were. This may be seen from his works in many places, and in particular at Verona, in the house of Fiorio della Seta on the Ponte Nuovo, in which he decorated some apartments in a very beautiful manner. There are others in the house of the noble Counts Canossi, which are amazing; and such, also, are those that he executed in the house of the Murati, near S. Nazzaro; and for Signor Giovan Battista della Torre, for Cosimo Moneta, the Veronese banker, at his beautiful villa, and for many others in various places, all works of great beauty. Palladio, most excellent of architects, declares that he knows no person more marvellous in invention or better able to adorn apartments with beautiful designs in stucco, than this Bartolommeo Ridolfi. Not many years since, Spitech Giordan, a nobleman of great authority with the King of Poland, took Bartolommeo with him to that King; and there, enjoying an honourable salary, he has executed, as he still does, many works in stucco, large portraits, medallions, and many designs for palaces and other buildings, with the assistance of a son of his own, who is in no way inferior to his father.

Madonna and Child, with S. Anne.

(London: National Gallery, 748. Canvas)
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[Pg 49] The elder Francesco dai Libri of Verona lived some time before Liberale, although it is not known exactly at what date he was born; and he was called "Dai Libri"[9] because he practised the art of illuminating books, his life extending from the time when printing had not yet been invented to the very moment when it was beginning to come into use. Since, therefore, there came to him from every quarter books to illuminate—a work in which he was most excellent—he was known by no other surname than that of "Dai Libri"; and he executed great numbers of them, for the reason that whoever went to the expense of having them written, which was very great, wished also to have them adorned as much as was possible with illuminations.

This master illuminated many choral books, all beautiful, which are at Verona, in S. Giorgio, in S. Maria in Organo, and in S. Nazzaro; but the most beautiful is a little book, or rather, two little pictures that fold together after the manner of a book, on one side of which is a S. Jerome, a figure executed with much diligence and very minute workmanship, and on the other a S. John in the Isle of Patmos, depicted in the act of beginning to write his Book of the Apocalypse. This work, which was bequeathed to Count Agostino Giusti by his father, is now in S. Leonardo, a convent of Canons Regular, of which Don Timoteo Giusti, the son of that Count, is a member. Finally, after having executed innumerable works for various noblemen, Francesco died, content and happy for the reason that, in addition to the serenity of mind that his goodness brought him, he left behind him a son, called Girolamo, who was so excellent in art that before his death he saw him already a much greater master than himself.

This Girolamo, then, was born at Verona in the year 1472, and at the age of sixteen he painted for the Chapel of the Lischi, in S. Maria in Organo, an altar-piece which caused such marvel to everyone when it was uncovered and set in its place, that the whole city ran to embrace and congratulate his father Francesco. In this picture is a Deposition from the Cross, with many figures, and among the many beautiful [Pg 50] weeping heads the best of all are a Madonna and a S. Benedict, which are much commended by all craftsmen; and he also made therein a landscape, with a part of the city of Verona, drawn passing well from the reality. Then, encouraged by the praises that he heard given to his work, Girolamo painted the altar of the Madonna in S. Paolo in a masterly manner, and also the picture of the Madonna with S. Anne, which is placed between the S. Sebastian of Il Moro and the S. Rocco of Cavazzuola in the Church of the Scala. For the family of the Zoccoli he painted the great altar-piece of the high-altar in the Church of the Vittoria, and for the family of the Cipolli the picture of S. Onofrio, which is near the other, and is held to be both in design and in colouring the best work that he ever executed.

For S. Leonardo nel Monte, also, near Verona, he painted at the commission of the Cartieri family the altar-piece of the high-altar, which is a large work with many figures, and much esteemed by everyone, above all for its very beautiful landscape. Now a thing that has happened very often in our own day has caused this work to be held to be a marvel. There is a tree painted by Girolamo in the picture, and against it seems to rest the great chair on which the Madonna is seated. This tree, which has the appearance of a laurel, projects considerably with its branches over the chair, and between the branches, which are not very thick, may be seen a sky so clear and beautiful, that the tree seems to be truly a living one, graceful and most natural. Very often, therefore, birds that have entered the church by various openings have been seen to fly to this tree in order to perch upon it, and particularly swallows, which had their nests among the beams of the roof, and likewise their little ones. Many persons well worthy of credence declare that they have seen this, among them Don Giuseppe Mangiuoli of Verona, a person of saintly life, who has twice been General of his Order and would not for anything in the world assert a thing that was not absolutely true, and also Don Girolamo Volpini, likewise a Veronese, and many others.

Madonna and Child with Saints.

(After the painting by Girolamo dai Libri.
Verona: Museo Civico, 290)
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In S. Maria in Organo, where was the first work executed by Girolamo, he also painted two Saints on the outer side of one of the folding doors of the organ—the other being painted by Francesco Morone, his [Pg 51] companion—and on the inner side a Manger. And afterwards he painted the picture that is opposite to his first work, containing the Nativity of Our Lord, with shepherds, landscapes, and very beautiful trees; but most lifelike and natural of all are two rabbits, which are executed with such diligence that each separate hair may actually be seen in them. He painted another altar-piece for the Chapel of the Buonalivi, with a Madonna seated in the centre, two other figures, and some Angels below, who are singing. Then, in the ornamental work made by Fra Giovanni da Verona for the altar of the Sacrament, the same Girolamo painted three little pictures after the manner of miniatures. In the central picture is a Deposition from the Cross, with two little Angels, and in those at the sides are painted six Martyrs, kneeling towards the Sacrament, three in each picture, these being saints whose bodies are deposited in that very altar. The first three are Cantius, Cantianus, and Cantianilla, who were nephews of the Emperor Diocletian, and the others are Protus, Chrysogonus, and Anastasius, who suffered martyrdom at Aquæ Gradatæ, near Aquileia; and all these figures are in miniature, and very beautiful, for Girolamo was more able in that field of art than any other master of his time in Lombardy and in the State of Venice.

Girolamo illuminated many books for the Monks of Montescaglioso in the Kingdom of Naples, some for S. Giustina at Padua, and many others for the Abbey of Praia in the territory of Padua; and also some at Candiana, a very rich monastery of the Canons Regular of S. Salvatore, to which place he went in person to work, although he would never go to any other place. While he was living there, Don Giulio Clovio, who was a friar in that place, learned the first rudiments of illumination; and he has since become the greatest master of that art that is now alive in Italy. Girolamo illuminated at Candiana a sheet with a Kyrie, which is an exquisite work, and for the same monks the first leaf of a psalter for the choir; with many things for S. Maria in Organo and for the Friars of S. Giorgio, in Verona. He executed, likewise, some other very beautiful illuminations for the Black Friars of S. Nazzaro at Verona. But that which surpassed all the other works of this master, which were all divine, was a sheet on which was depicted in miniature the Earthly Paradise, [Pg 52] with Adam and Eve driven forth by the Angel, who is behind them with a sword in his hand. One would not be able to express how great and how beautiful is the variety of the trees, fruits, flowers, animals, birds, and all the other things that are in this amazing work, which was executed at the commission of Don Giorgio Cacciamale of Bergamo, then Prior of S. Giorgio in Verona, who, in addition to the many other courtesies that he showed to Girolamo, gave him sixty crowns of gold. This work was afterwards presented by that Father to a Roman Cardinal, at that time Protector of his Order, who showed it to many noblemen in Rome, and they all declared it to be the best example of illumination that had ever been seen up to that day.

Girolamo painted flowers with such diligence, and made them so true, so beautiful, and so natural, that they appeared to all who beheld them to be real; and he counterfeited little cameos and other engraved stones and jewels in such a manner, that there was nothing more faithfully imitated or more diminutive to be seen. Among his little figures there are seen some, as in his imitations of cameos and other stones, that are no larger than little ants, and yet all the limbs and all the muscles can be perceived so clearly that one who has not seen them could scarcely believe it. Girolamo used to say in his old age that he knew more in his art then than he had ever known, and saw where every stroke ought to go, but that when he came to handle the brushes, they went the wrong way, because neither his eye nor his hand would serve him any longer. He died on the 2nd of July in the year 1555, at the age of eighty-three, and was laid to rest in the burial-place of the Company of S. Biagio in S. Nazzaro.

He was a good and upright man, who never had a quarrel or dispute with anyone, and his life was very pure. He had, besides other children, a son called Francesco, who learned his art from him, and executed miracles of illumination when still a mere lad, so that Girolamo declared that he had not known as much at that age as his son knew. But this young man was led away from him by a brother of his mother, who, being passing rich, and having no children, took him with him to Vicenza and placed him in charge of a glass-furnace that he was setting up. When Francesco had spent his best years in this, his uncle's wife dying, he fell [Pg 53] from his high hopes, and found that he had wasted his time, for the uncle took another wife, and had children by her, and thus Francesco did not become his uncle's heir, as he had thought to be. Thereupon he returned to his art after an absence of six years, and, after acquiring some knowledge, set himself to work. Among other things, he made a large globe, four feet in diameter, hollow within, and covered on the outer side, which was of wood, with a glue made of bullock's sinews, which was of a very strong admixture, so that there should be no danger of cracks or other damage in any part. This sphere, which was to serve as a terrestrial globe, was then carefully measured and divided under the personal supervision of Fracastoro and Beroldi, both eminent physicians, cosmographers, and astrologers; and it was to be painted by Francesco for Messer Andrea Navagiero, a Venetian gentleman, and a most learned poet and orator, who wished to make a present of it to King Francis of France, to whom he was about to go as Ambassador from his Republic. But Navagiero had scarcely arrived in France after a hurried journey, when he died, and this work remained unfinished. A truly rare work it would have been, thus executed by Francesco with the advice and guidance of two men of such distinction; but it was left unfinished, as we have said, and, what was worse, in its incomplete condition it received some injury, I know not what, in the absence of Francesco. However, spoiled as it was, it was bought by Messer Bartolommeo Lonichi, who has never consented to give it up to anyone, although he has been much besought and offered vast prices.

Before this, Francesco had made two smaller globes, one of which is in the possession of Mazzanti, Archpriest of the Duomo of Verona, and the other belonged to Count Raimondo della Torre, and is now in the hands of his son, Count Giovan Batista, who holds it very dear, because this one, also, was made with the measurements and personal assistance of Fracastoro, who was a very familiar friend of Count Raimondo.

Finally, growing weary of the extraordinary labour that miniatures demand, Francesco devoted himself to painting and to architecture, in which he became very skilful, executing many works in Venice and in Padua. About that time the Bishop of Tournai, a very rich and noble Fleming, had come to Italy in order to study letters, to see the country, [Pg 54] and to learn our manners and ways of living. This man, delighting much in architecture, and happening to be in Padua, became so enamoured of the Italian method of building that he resolved to take the modes of our architecture with him to his own country; and in order to facilitate this purpose, he drew Francesco, whose ability he had recognized, into his service with an honourable salary, meaning to take him to Flanders, where he intended to carry out many magnificent works. But when the time came to depart, poor Francesco, who had caused designs to be made of all the best and greatest and most famous buildings in Italy, was overtaken by death, while still young and the object of the highest expectations, leaving his patron much grieved by his loss.

Francesco left an only brother, in whom, being a priest, the Dai Libri family became extinct, after producing in succession three men most excellent in their field of art. Nor have any disciples survived them to keep this art alive, excepting the above-mentioned churchman, Don Giulio, who, as we have related, learned it from Girolamo when he was working at Candiana, where the former was a friar; and this Don Giulio has since raised it to a height of excellence which very few have reached and no one has ever surpassed.

I knew for myself some of the facts about the excellent and noble craftsmen mentioned above, but I would never have been able to learn the whole of what I have related of them if the great goodness and diligence of the reverend and most learned Fra Marco de' Medici of Verona, a man profoundly conversant with all the most noble arts and sciences, and with him Danese Cattaneo of Carrara, a sculptor of great excellence, both being very much my friends, had not given me that complete and perfect information which I have just written down, to the best of my ability, for the convenience and advantage of all who may read these our Lives, in which the courtesy of many friends, who have taken pains with the investigation of these matters in order to please me and to benefit the world, has been, as it still is, of great assistance to me. And let this be the end of the Lives of these craftsmen of Verona, the portraits of each of whom I have not been able to obtain, because this full notice did not reach my hands until I found myself almost at the close of my work.




Great, indeed, is the good fortune of those craftsmen who are brought into contact, either by their birth or by the associations that are formed in childhood, with those men whom Heaven has chosen out to be distinguished and exalted above all others in our arts, for the reason that a good and beautiful manner can be acquired with the greatest facility by seeing the methods and works of men of excellence, not to mention that rivalry and emulation, as we have said elsewhere, have great power over our minds.

Francesco Granacci, of whom we have already spoken, was one of those who were placed by the Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici to learn in his garden; whence it happened that, recognizing, boy as he was, the great genius of Michelagnolo, and what extraordinary fruits he was likely to produce when full grown, he could never tear himself away from his side, and even strove with incredible attention and humility to be always following that great brain, insomuch that Michelagnolo was constrained to love him more than all his other friends, and to confide so much in him, that there was no one with whom he was more willing to confer touching his works or to share all that he knew of art at that time, than with Granacci. Then, after they had been companions together in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandajo, it came to pass that Granacci, because he was held to be the best of Ghirlandajo's young men, the strongest draughtsman, and the one who had most grace in painting in distemper, assisted David and Benedetto Ghirlandajo, the brothers of Domenico, to finish the altar-piece of the high-altar in S. Maria Novella, [Pg 58] which had been left unfinished at the death of the same Domenico. By this work Granacci gained much experience, and afterwards he executed in the same manner as that altar-piece many pictures that are in the houses of citizens, and others which were sent abroad.

And since he was very gracious, and made himself very useful in certain ceremonies that were performed in the city during the festivals of the Carnival, he was constantly employed by the Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici in many similar works, and in particular for the masquerade that represented the Triumph of Paulus Emilius, which was held in honour of the victory that he gained over certain foreign nations. In this masquerade, which was full of most beautiful inventions, Granacci acquitted himself so well, although he was a mere lad, that he won the highest praise. And here I will not omit to tell that the same Lorenzo de' Medici, as I have said in another place, was the first inventor of those masquerades that represent some particular subject, and are called in Florence "Canti";[10] for it is not known that any were performed in earlier times.

In like manner Granacci was employed in the sumptuous and magnificent preparations that were made in the year 1513 for the entry of Pope Leo X, one of the Medici, by Jacopo Nardi, a man of great learning and most beautiful intellect, who, having been commanded by the Tribunal of Eight to prepare a splendid masquerade, executed a representation of the Triumph of Camillus. This masquerade, in so far as it lay in the province of the painter, was so beautifully arranged and adorned by Granacci that no man could imagine anything better; and the words of the song, which Jacopo composed, began thus:

Contempla in quanta gloria sei salita,
Felice alma Fiorenza,
Poichè dal Ciel discesa,

with what follows. For the same spectacle Granacci executed a great quantity of theatrical scenery, as he did both before and afterwards. And while working with Ghirlandajo he painted standards for ships, and [Pg 59] also banners and devices for certain Knights of the Golden Spur, for their public entry into Florence, all at the expense of the Captains of the Guelph Party, as was the custom at that time, and as has been done in our own day, not long since.

The Holy Family.

(Florence: Pitti, 199. Panel)
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In like manner he made many beautiful embellishments and decorations of his own invention for the Potenze[11] and their tournaments. These festivals were of a kind which is peculiar to the Florentines, and very pleasing, and in them were seen men standing almost upright on horseback, with very short stirrups, and breaking a lance with the same facility as do the warriors firmly seated on their saddles; and all this was done for the above-mentioned visit of Leo to Florence. Granacci also made, besides other things, a most beautiful triumphal arch opposite to the door of the Badia, covered with scenes in chiaroscuro and very lovely things of fancy. This arch was much extolled, and particularly for the invention of the architecture, and because he had made an imitation of that same door of the Badia for the entrance of the Via del Palagio, executed in perspective with the steps and every other thing, so that the painted and supposititious door was in no way different from the real and true one. To adorn the same arch he executed with his own hand some very beautiful figures of clay in relief, and on the summit of the arch he placed a great inscription with these words: LEONI X PONT. MAX. FIDEI CULTORI.

But to come at length to some works by Granacci that are in existence, let me relate that, having studied the cartoon of Michelagnolo Buonarroti while the latter was executing it for the Great Hall of the Palace, he found it so instructive and made such proficience, that, when Michelagnolo was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II to the end that he might paint the vaulting of the Chapel in his Palace, Granacci was one of the first to be sent for by Buonarroti to help him to paint that work in fresco after the cartoons that he himself had prepared. It is true that Michelagnolo, being dissatisfied with the manner and method [Pg 60] of every one of his assistants, afterwards found means to make them all return to Florence without dismissing them, by closing the door on them all and not allowing himself to be seen.

In Florence Granacci painted for Pier Francesco Borgherini a scene in oils on the head-board of a couch which stood in an apartment wherein Jacopo da Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto, and Francesco Ubertini had painted many stories from the life of Joseph, in Pier Francesco's house in Borgo Sant' Apostolo; and in this scene were little figures representing a story of the same Joseph, executed with extraordinary finish and with great charm and beauty of colouring, and a building in perspective, wherein he depicted Joseph ministering to Pharaoh, which could not be more beautiful in any part. For the same man, also, he painted a round picture, likewise in oils, of the Trinity, or rather, God the Father supporting a Christ Crucified. And in the Church of S. Piero Maggiore there is a picture of the Assumption by his hand, with many Angels and a S. Thomas, to whom the Madonna is giving the Girdle. The figure of S. Thomas is very graceful, turning to one side in a beautiful attitude worthy of the hand of Michelagnolo, and such, also, is that of Our Lady. The drawing for these two figures by the hand of Granacci is in our book, together with others likewise by him. On either side of this picture are figures of S. Paul, S. Laurence, S. James, and S. John, which are all so beautiful that the work is held to be the best that Francesco ever painted; and in truth this work alone, even if he had never executed another, would ensure his being considered to be, as indeed he was, an excellent painter.

For the Church of S. Gallo, without the Gate of the same name, and formerly a seat of the Eremite Friars of S. Augustine, he painted an altar-piece with the Madonna and two children, S. Zanobi, Bishop of Florence, and S. Francis. This altar-piece, which was in the Chapel of the Girolami, to which family that S. Zanobi belonged, is now in S. Jacopo tra Fossi at Florence.

Michelagnolo Buonarroti, having a niece who was a nun in S. Apollonia at Florence, had therefore executed an ornament for the high-altar of that church, and a design for the altar-piece; and Granacci painted [Pg 61] there some scenes in oils with figures large and small, which gave much satisfaction to the nuns at that time, and also to the other painters. For the same place he painted another altar-piece, which stood lower down, but this was burned one night, together with some draperies of great value, through some lights being inadvertently left on the altar; which was certainly a great loss, seeing that the work was much extolled by craftsmen. And for the Nuns of S. Giorgio in sulla Costa he executed the altar-piece of their high-altar, painting in it the Madonna, S. Catharine, S. Giovanni Gualberto, S. Bernardo Uberti the Cardinal, and S. Fedele.

Granacci also executed many pictures, both square and round, which are dispersed among the houses of gentlemen in the city; and he made many cartoons for glass-windows, which were afterwards put into execution by the Frati Ingiesuati of Florence. He delighted much in painting on cloth, either alone or in company with others; wherefore, in addition to the works mentioned above, he painted many church-banners. And since he practised art more to pass the time than from necessity, he worked at his ease, always consulting his own convenience, and avoiding discomforts as much as he was able, more than any other man; and yet, without being covetous of the goods of others, he always preserved his own. Allowing but few cares to oppress him, he was a merry fellow, and took his pleasures with a glad heart. He lived sixty-seven years, at the end of which he finished the course of his life after an ordinary malady, a kind of fever; and he was buried in the Church of S. Ambrogio at Florence, on the day of S. Andrew the Apostle, in 1544.

The Madonna giving the Girdle to S. Thomas.

(After the panel by Francesco Granacci.
Florence: Uffizi, 1280)
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Great is the pleasure that I take in studying at times the beginnings of our craftsmen, for one sees some rising from the lowest depth to the greatest height, and especially in architecture, a science which has not been practised for several years past save by carvers and cunning impostors who profess to understand perspective without knowing even its terms or its first principles. The truth, indeed, is that architecture can never be practised to perfection save by those who have an excellent judgment and a good mastery of design, or have laboured much in painting, sculpture, or works in wood, for the reason that in it have to be executed with true measurements the dimensions of their figures, which are columns, cornices, and bases, and all the ornaments, which are made for the adornment of the figures, and for no other reason. And thus the workers in wood, by continually handling such things, in course of time become architects; and sculptors likewise, by having to find positions for their statues and by making ornaments for tombs and other works in the round, come in time to a knowledge of architecture; and painters, on account of their perspectives, the variety of their inventions, and the buildings that they draw, are compelled to take the ground-plans of edifices, seeing that they cannot plant houses or flights of steps on the planes where their figures stand, without in the first place grasping the order of the architecture.

Working in his youth excellently well at wood-inlaying, Baccio executed the backs of the stalls in the choir of S. Maria Novella, in the principal chapel, wherein are most beautiful figures of S. John the Baptist and S. Laurence. In carving, he executed the ornaments of [Pg 66] that same chapel, those of the high-altar in the Nunziata, the decorations of the organ in S. Maria Novella, and a vast number of other works, both public and private, in his native city of Florence. Departing from that city, he went to Rome, where he applied himself with great zeal to the study of architecture; and on his return he made triumphal arches of wood in various places for the visit of Pope Leo X. But for all this he never gave up his workshop, where there were often gathered round him, in addition to many citizens, the best and most eminent masters of our arts, so that most beautiful conversations and discussions of importance took place there, particularly in winter. The first of these masters was Raffaello da Urbino, then a young man, and next came Andrea Sansovino, Filippino, Maiano, Cronaca, Antonio da San Gallo and Giuliano da San Gallo, Granaccio, and sometimes, but not often, Michelagnolo, with many young Florentines and strangers.

Having thus given his attention to architecture in so thorough a manner, and having made some trial of his powers, Baccio began to be held in such credit in Florence, that the most magnificent buildings that were erected in his time were entrusted to him and were put under his direction. When Piero Soderini was Gonfalonier, Baccio took part, with Cronaca and others, as has been related above, in the deliberations that were held with regard to the great Hall of the Palace; and with his own hand he executed in wood the ornament for the large panel-picture which was begun by Fra Bartolommeo, after the design by Filippino. In company with the same masters he made the staircase that leads to that Hall, with a very beautiful ornamentation of stone, and also the columns of variegated marble and the doors of marble in the hall that is now called the Sala de' Dugento.

He built a palace for Giovanni Bartolini, which is very ornate within, on the Piazza di S. Trinità; and he made many designs for the garden of the same man in Gualfonda. And since that palace was the first edifice that was built with ornaments in the form of square windows with pediments, and a portal with columns supporting architrave, frieze, and cornice, these things were much censured by the Florentines with spoken words and sonnets, and festoons of boughs were [Pg 67] hung upon them, as is done in churches for festivals, men saying that the façade was more like that of a temple than of a palace; so that Baccio was like to go out of his mind. However, knowing that he had imitated good examples, and that his work was sound, he regained his peace of mind. It is true that the cornice of the whole palace proved, as has been said in another place, to be too large; but in every other respect the work has always been much extolled.

For Lanfredino Lanfredini he erected a house on the bank of the Arno, between the Ponte a S. Trinità and the Ponte alla Carraja; and on the Piazza de' Mozzi he began the house of the Nasi, which looks out upon the sandy shore of the Arno, but did not finish it. For Taddeo, of the Taddei family, he built a house that was held to be very beautiful and commodious. For Pier Francesco Borgherini he made the designs of the house that he built in Borgo S. Apostolo, in which he caused ornaments for the doors and most beautiful chimney-pieces to be executed at great expense, and made for the adornment of one chamber, in particular, coffers of walnut-wood covered with little boys carved with supreme diligence. Such a work it would now be impossible to execute with such perfection as he gave to it. He also prepared the design for the villa that Borgherini caused to be built on the hill of Bellosguardo, which was very beautiful and commodious, and erected at vast expense. For Giovan Maria Benintendi he executed an antechamber, with an ornamental frame for some scenes painted by excellent masters, which was a rare thing. The same Baccio made the model of the Church of S. Giuseppe near S. Nofri, and directed the construction of the door, which was his last work. He also caused to be built of masonry the campanile of S. Spirito in Florence, which was left unfinished, and is now being completed by order of Duke Cosimo after the original design of Baccio; and he likewise erected the campanile of S. Miniato sul Monte, which was battered by the artillery of the camp, but never destroyed, on which account it gained no less fame for the affront that it offered to the enemy than for the beauty and excellence with which Baccio had caused it to be built and carried to completion.

Next, having been appointed on account of his abilities, and because [Pg 68] he was much beloved by the citizens, as architect to S. Maria del Fiore, Baccio gave the design for constructing the gallery that encircles the cupola. This part of the work Filippo Brunelleschi, being overtaken by death, had not been able to execute; and although he had made designs even for this, they had been lost or destroyed through the negligence of those in charge of the building. Baccio, then, having made the design and model for this gallery, carried into execution all the part that is to be seen facing the Canto de' Bischeri. But Michelagnolo Buonarroti, on his return from Rome, perceiving that in carrying out this work they were cutting away the toothings that Filippo Brunelleschi, not without a purpose, had left projecting, made such a clamour that the work was stopped; saying that it seemed to him that Baccio had made a cage for crickets, that a pile so vast required something grander and executed with more design, art, and grace than appeared to him to be displayed by Baccio's design, and that he himself would show how it should be done. Michelagnolo having therefore made a model, the matter was disputed at great length before Cardinal Giulio de' Medici by many craftsmen and competent citizens; and in the end neither the one model nor the other was carried into execution. Baccio's design was censured in many respects, not that it was not a well-proportioned work of its kind, but because it was too insignificant in comparison with the size of the structure; and for these reasons that gallery has never been brought to completion.

Baccio afterwards gave his attention to executing the pavement of S. Maria del Fiore, and to his other buildings, which were not a few, for he had under his particular charge all the principal monasteries and convents of Florence, and many houses of citizens, both within and without the city. Finally, when near the age of eighty-three, but still of good and sound judgment, he passed to a better life in 1543, leaving three sons, Giuliano, Filippo, and Domenico, who had him buried in S. Lorenzo.

Of these sons, who all gave their attention after the death of Baccio to the art of carving and working in wood, Giuliano, who was the second, was the one who applied himself with the greatest zeal to architecture [Pg 69] both during his father's lifetime and afterwards; wherefore, by favour of Duke Cosimo, he succeeded to his father's place as architect to S. Maria del Fiore, and continued not only all that Baccio had begun in that temple, but also all the other buildings that had remained unfinished at his death. At that time Messer Baldassarre Turini da Pescia was intending to place a panel-picture by the hand of Raffaello da Urbino in the principal church of Pescia, of which he was Provost, and to erect an ornament of stone, or rather, an entire chapel, around it, and also a tomb; and Giuliano executed all this after his own designs and models, and also restored for the same patron his house at Pescia, making in it many beautiful and useful improvements. For Messer Francesco Campana, formerly First Secretary to Duke Alessandro, and afterwards to Duke Cosimo de' Medici, the same Giuliano built at Montughi, without Florence, beside the church, a house which is small but very ornate, and so well situated, that it commands from its slight elevation a view of the whole city of Florence and the surrounding plain. And a most beautiful and commodious house was built at Colle, the native place of that same Campana, from the design of Giuliano, who shortly afterwards began for Messer Ugolino Grifoni, Lord of Altopascio, a palace at San Miniato al Tedesco, which was a magnificent work.

For Ser Giovanni Conti, one of the secretaries of the Lord Duke Cosimo, he made many useful and beautiful improvements in his house at Florence; although it is true that in the two ground-floor windows, supported by knee-shaped brackets, which open out upon the street, Giuliano departed from his usual method, and so cut them up with projections, little brackets, and off-sets, that they inclined rather to the German manner than to the true and good manner of ancient or modern times. Works of architecture, without a doubt, must first be massive, solid, and simple, and then enriched by grace of design and by variety of subject in the composition, without, however, disturbing by poverty or by excess of ornamentation the order of the architecture or the impression produced on a competent judge.

Meanwhile Baccio Bandinelli, having returned from Rome, where he had finished the tombs of Leo and Clement, persuaded the Lord Duke Cosimo, then a young man, to make at the head of the Great Hall of the [Pg 70] Ducal Palace a façade full of columns and niches, with a range of fine marble statues; and this façade was to have windows of marble and grey-stone looking out upon the Piazza. The Duke having resolved to have this done, Bandinelli set his hand to making the design; but finding that the hall, as has been related in the Life of Cronaca, was out of square, and having never given attention to architecture, which he considered an art of little value, marvelling and even laughing at those who gave their attention to it, he was forced, on recognizing the difficulty of this work, to confer with Giuliano with regard to his model, and to beseech him that he, as an architect, should direct the work. And so all the stone-cutters and carvers of S. Maria del Fiore were set to work, and a beginning was made with the structure. Bandinelli had resolved, with the advice of Giuliano, to let the work remain out of square, following in part the course of the wall. It came to pass, therefore, that he was forced to make all the stones irregular in shape, preparing them with great labour by means of the pifferello, which is the instrument otherwise called the bevel-square; and this made the work so clumsy, that, as will be related in the Life of Bandinelli, it has been difficult to bring it to such a form as might be in harmony with the rest. Such a thing would not have happened if Bandinelli had possessed as much knowledge in architecture as he did in sculpture; not to mention that the great niches in the side-walls at each end proved to be squat, and that the one in the centre was not without defect, as will be told in the Life of that same Bandinelli. This work, after having been pursued for ten years, was abandoned, and so it remained for some time. It is true that the profiled stones as well as the columns, both of Fossato stone and of marble, were wrought with the greatest diligence by the stone-cutters and carvers under the care of Giuliano, and were afterwards so well built in that it would not be possible to find any masonry better put together, all the stones being accurately measured. In this respect Giuliano may be celebrated as most excellent; and the work, as will be related in the proper place, was finished in five months, with an addition, by Giorgio Vasari of Arezzo.

Giuliano, meanwhile, not neglecting his workshop, was giving his attention, together with his brothers, to the execution of many carvings [Pg 71] and works in wood, and also to pressing on the making of the pavement of S. Maria del Fiore; and since he was superintendent and architect of that building, he was requested by the same Bandinelli to make designs and models of wood, after some fantasies of figures and other ornaments of his own, for the high-altar of that same S. Maria del Fiore, which was to be constructed of marble; which Giuliano did most willingly, being a good and kindly person and one who delighted in architecture as much as Bandinelli despised it, and being also won over by the lavish promises of profit and honour that Bandinelli made him. Setting to work, therefore, on that model, Giuliano made it much after the simple pattern formerly designed by Brunelleschi, save that he enriched it by doubling both the columns and the arch above. And when he had brought it to completion, and the model, together with many designs, had been carried by Bandinelli to Duke Cosimo, his most illustrious Excellency resolved in his regal mind to execute not only the altar, but also the ornament of marble that surrounds the choir, following its original octagonal shape, with all those rich adornments with which it has since been carried out, in keeping with the grandeur and magnificence of that temple. Giuliano, therefore, with the assistance of Bandinelli, made a beginning with that choir, without altering anything save the principal entrance, which is opposite to the above-mentioned altar; for which reason he wished that it should be exactly similar to that altar, with the same arch and decorations. He also made two other similar arches, which unite with the entrance and the altar in forming a cross; and these were for two pulpits, which the old choir also had, serving for music and other ceremonies of the choir and of the altar. In this choir, around the eight faces, Giuliano made an ornament of the Ionic Order, and placed at every corner a pilaster bent in the middle, and one on every face; and since each pilaster so narrowed that the extension-lines of its side-faces met in the centre of the choir, from inside it looked narrow and bent in, and from outside broad and pointed. This invention was not much extolled, nor can it be commended as beautiful by any man of judgment; and for a work of such cost, in a place so celebrated, Bandinelli, if he despised architecture, or had no knowledge of it, should have availed himself of someone living at that time with [Pg 72] the knowledge and ability to do better. Giuliano deserves to be excused in the matter, because he did all that he could, which was not a little; but it is very certain that one who has not strong powers of design and invention in himself, will always be too poor in grace and judgment to bring to perfection great works of architecture.

Giuliano made for Filippo Strozzi a couch of walnut-wood, which is now at Città di Castello, in the house of the heirs of Signor Alessandro Vitelli. For an altar-piece which Giorgio Vasari painted for the high-altar of the Abbey of Camaldoli in the Casentino, he made a very rich and beautiful frame, after the design of Giorgio; and he carved another ornamental frame for a large altar-piece that the same Giorgio executed for the Church of S. Agostino in Monte Sansovino. The same Giuliano made another beautiful frame for another altar-piece by the hand of Vasari, which is in the Abbey of Classi, a seat of the Monks of Camaldoli, at Ravenna. He also executed the frames for the pictures by the hand of the same Giorgio of Arezzo that are in the refectory of the Monks of the Abbey of S. Fiore at Arezzo; and in the Vescovado in the same city, behind the high-altar, he made a most beautiful choir of walnut-wood, after the design of Giorgio, which provided for the bringing forward of the altar. And, finally, a short time before his death, he made the rich and beautiful Ciborium of the most Holy Sacrament for the high-altar of the Nunziata, with the two Angels of wood, in full-relief, which are on either side of it. This was the last work that he executed, and he passed to a better life in the year 1555.

Nor was Domenico, the brother of that Giuliano, inferior to him in judgment, seeing that, besides carving much better in wood, he was also very ingenious in matters of architecture, as may be seen from the house that was built for Bastiano da Montaguto in the Via de' Servi after his design, wherein there are also many works in wood by Domenico's own hand. The same master executed for Agostino del Nero, in the Piazza de' Mozzi, the buildings that form the street-corner and a very beautiful terrace for that house of the Nasi formerly begun by his father Baccio. And it is the common belief that, if he had not died so young, he would have surpassed by a great measure both his father and his brother Giuliano.



Since the Greeks were such divine masters in the engraving of Oriental stones and so perfect in the cutting of cameos, it seems to me certain that I should commit no slight error were I to pass over in silence those of our own age who have imitated those marvellous intellects; although among our moderns, so it is said, there have been none who in this present and happy age have surpassed the ancients in delicacy and design, save perchance those of whom we are about to give an account. But before making a beginning, it is proper for me to discourse briefly on this art of engraving hard stones and gems, which was lost, together with the other arts of design, after the ruin of Greece and Rome. Of this work, whether engraved in intaglio or in relief, we have seen examples discovered daily among the ruins of Rome, such as cameos, cornelians, sardonyxes, and other most excellent intagli; but for many and many a year the art remained lost, there being no one who gave attention to it, and even if any work was done, it was not in such a manner as to be worthy to be taken into account. So far as is known, it is not found that anyone began to do good work or to attain to excellence until the time of Pope Martin V and Pope Paul II; after which the art continued to grow little by little down to the time of Lorenzo de' Medici, the Magnificent, who greatly delighted in the engraved cameos of the ancients. Lorenzo and his son Piero collected a great quantity of these, particularly chalcedonies, cornelians, and other kinds of the choicest engraved stones, which contained various fanciful designs; and in consequence of [Pg 76] this, wishing to establish the art in their own city, they summoned thither masters from various countries, who, besides restoring those stones, brought to them other works which were at that time rare.

By these masters, at the instance of the Magnificent Lorenzo, this art of engraving in intaglio was taught to a young Florentine called Giovanni delle Corniole,[12] who received that surname because he engraved them excellently well, of which we have testimony in the great numbers of them by his hand that are to be seen, both great and small, but particularly in a large one, which was a very choice intaglio, wherein he made the portrait of Fra Girolamo Savonarola, who was adored in Florence in his day on account of his preaching. A rival of Giovanni was Domenico de' Cammei,[13] a Milanese, who, living at the same time as Duke Lodovico, Il Moro, made a portrait of him in intaglio on a balas-ruby greater than a giulio, which was an exquisite thing and one of the best works in intaglio that had been seen executed by a modern master. This art afterwards rose to even greater excellence in the pontificate of Pope Leo X, through the talents and labours of Pier Maria da Pescia, who was a most faithful imitator of the works of the ancients; and he had a rival in Michelino, who was no less able than Pier Maria in works both great and small, and was held to be a graceful master.

These men opened the way in this art, which is so difficult, for engraving in intaglio is truly working in the dark, since the craftsman can use nothing but impressions of wax, as spectacles, as it were, wherewith to see from time to time what he is doing. And finally they brought it to such a condition that Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, Valerio Vicentino, Matteo dal Nassaro, and others, were able to execute the many beautiful works of which we are about to make mention.

Let me begin, then, by saying that Giovanni Bernardi of Castel Bolognese, who worked in his youth in the service of Duke Alfonso of Ferrara, made for him, in the three years of honourable service that he gave him, many little works, of which there is no need to give any description. Of his larger works the first was an intaglio on a piece of crystal, in which he represented the whole of the action of Bastia, which [Pg 77] was very beautiful; and then he executed the portrait of that Duke in a steel die for the purpose of making medals, with the Taking of Jesus Christ by the Multitude on the reverse. Afterwards, urged by Giovio, he went to Rome, and obtained by favour of Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici and Cardinal Giovanni Salviati the privilege of taking a portrait of Clement VII, from which he made a die for medals, which was very beautiful, with Joseph revealing himself to his brethren on the reverse; and for this he was rewarded by His Holiness with the gift of a Mazza, an office which he afterwards sold in the time of Paul III, receiving two hundred crowns for it. For the same Clement he executed figures of the four Evangelists on four round crystals, which were much extolled, and gained for him the favour and friendship of many prelates, and in particular the good-will of Salviati and of the above-mentioned Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici, that sole refuge for men of talent, whose portrait he made on steel medals, besides executing for him on crystal the Presentation of the Daughter of Darius to Alexander the Great.

After this, when Charles V went to Bologna to be crowned, Giovanni made a portrait of him in steel, from which he struck a medal of gold. This he carried straightway to the Emperor, who gave him a hundred pistoles of gold, and sent to inquire whether he would go with him to Spain; but Giovanni refused, saying that he could not leave the service of Clement and of Cardinal Ippolito, for whom he had begun some work that was still unfinished.

Having returned to Rome, Giovanni executed for the same Cardinal de' Medici a Rape of the Sabines, which was very beautiful. And the Cardinal, knowing himself to be much indebted to him for all these things, rewarded him with a vast number of gifts and courtesies; but the greatest of all was this, that the Cardinal, when departing for France in the midst of a company of many lords and gentlemen, turned to Giovanni, who was there among the rest, and, taking from his own neck a little chain to which was attached a cameo worth more than six hundred crowns, he gave it to him, telling him that he should keep it until his return, and intending to bestow upon him afterwards such a recompense as he knew to be due to the talent of Giovanni.

[Pg 78] On the death of the Cardinal, that cameo fell into the hands of Cardinal Farnese, for whom Giovanni afterwards executed many works in crystal, and in particular a Christ Crucified for a Cross, with a God the Father above, Our Lady and S. John at the sides, and the Magdalene at the foot; and in a triangle at the base of the Cross he made three scenes of the Passion of Christ, one in each angle. For two candelabra of silver he engraved six round crystals. In the first is the Centurion praying Christ that He should heal his son, in the second the Pool of Bethesda, in the third the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, in the fourth the Miracle of the five loaves and two fishes, in the fifth the scene of Christ driving the traders from the Temple, and in the last the Raising of Lazarus; and all were exquisite. The same Cardinal Farnese afterwards desired to have a very rich casket made of silver, and had the work executed by Manno, a Florentine goldsmith, of whom there will be an account in another place; but he entrusted all the compartments of crystal to Giovanni, who made them all full of scenes, with marble in half-relief; and he made figures of silver and ornaments in the round, and all with such diligence, that no other work of that kind was ever carried to such perfection. On the body of this casket are the following scenes, engraved in ovals with marvellous art by the hand of Giovanni: The Chase of Meleager after the Calydonian Boar, the Followers of Bacchus, a naval battle, Hercules in combat with the Amazons, and other most beautiful fantasies of the Cardinal, who caused finished designs of them to be executed by Perino del Vaga and other masters. Giovanni then executed on a crystal the triumph of the taking of Goletta, and the War of Tunis on another. For the same Cardinal he engraved, likewise on crystal, the Birth of Christ and the scenes when He prays in the Garden; when He is taken by the Jews; when He is led before Annas, Herod, and Pilate; when He is scourged and then crowned with thorns; when He carries the Cross; when He is nailed upon it and raised on high; and, finally, His divine and glorious Resurrection. All these works were not only very beautiful, but also executed with such rapidity, that every man was struck with astonishment.

Cassetta Farnese.

(After Giovanni da Castel Bolognese (Giovanni Bernardi).
Naples: Museo Nazionale)
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Michelagnolo had made for the above-mentioned Cardinal de' Medici [Pg 79] a drawing, which I forgot to mention before, of a Tityus whose heart was being devoured by a vulture; and Giovanni engraved this beautifully on crystal. And he did the same with another drawing by Buonarroti, in which Phaethon, not being able to manage the chariot of the Sun, has fallen into the Po, and his weeping sisters are transformed into trees.

Giovanni executed a portrait of Madama Margherita of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Charles V, who had been the wife of Duke Alessandro de' Medici, and was then the consort of Duke Ottavio Farnese; and this he did in competition with Valerio Vicentino. For these works executed for Cardinal Farnese, he received from that lord a reward in the form of the office of Giannizzero, from which he drew a good sum of money; and, in addition, he was so beloved by that Cardinal that he obtained a great number of other favours from him, nor did the Cardinal ever pass through Faenza, where Giovanni had built a most commodious house, without going to take up his quarters with him. Having thus settled at Faenza, in order to rest after a life of much labour in the world, Giovanni remained there ever afterwards; and his first wife, by whom he had not had children, being dead, he took a second. By her he had two sons and a daughter; and with them he lived in contentment, being well provided with landed property and other revenues, which yielded him more than four hundred crowns, until he came to the age of sixty, when he rendered up his soul to God on the day of Pentecost, in the year 1555.

Matteo dal Nassaro, who was born in Verona, and was the son of Jacopo dal Nassaro, a shoemaker, gave much attention in his early childhood not only to design, but also to music, in which he became excellent, having had as his masters in that study Marco Carrà and Il Tromboncino, both Veronese, who were then in the service of the Marquis of Mantua. In matters of intaglio he was much assisted by two Veronese of honourable family, with whom he was continually associated. One of these was Niccolò Avanzi, who, working privately in Rome, executed cameos, cornelians, and other stones, which were taken to various Princes; and there are persons who remember to have seen a lapis-lazuli by his hand, three fingers in breadth, containing the [Pg 80] Nativity of Christ, with many figures, which was sold as a choice work to the Duchess of Urbino. The other was Galeazzo Mondella, who, besides engraving gems, drew very beautifully.

After Matteo had learned from these two masters all that they knew, it chanced that there fell into his hands a beautiful piece of green jasper, marked with red spots, as the good pieces are; and he engraved in it a Deposition from the Cross with such diligence, that he made the wounds come in those parts of the jasper that were spotted with the colour of blood, which caused that work to be a very rare one, and brought him much commendation. That jasper was sold by Matteo to the Marchioness Isabella d'Este.

He then went to France, taking with him many works by his own hand which might serve to introduce him to the Court of King Francis I; and when he had been presented to that Sovereign, who always held in estimation every manner of man of talent, the King, after taking many of the stones engraved by him, received him into his service and ordained him a good salary; and he held Matteo dear no less because he was an excellent musician and could play very well upon the lute, than for his profession of engraving stones. Of a truth, there is nothing that does more to kindle men's minds with love for the arts than to see them appreciated and rewarded by Princes and noblemen, as has always been done in the past, and is done more than ever at the present day, by the illustrious House of Medici, and as was also done by that truly magnanimous Sovereign, King Francis.

Matteo, thus employed in the service of that King, executed many rare works, not only for His Majesty, but also for almost all the most noble lords and barons of the Court, of whom there was scarcely one who did not have some work by his hand, since it was much the custom at that time to wear cameos and other suchlike gems on the neck and in the cap. For the King he made an altar-piece for the altar of the chapel which His Majesty always took with him on his journeys; and this was full of figures of gold, partly in the round and partly in half-relief, with many engraved gems distributed over the limbs of those figures. He also engraved many pieces of crystal in intaglio, impressions [Pg 81] of which in sulphur and gesso are to be seen in many places, and particularly in Verona, where there are marvellous representations of all the planets, and a Venus with a Cupid that has the back turned, which could not be more beautiful. In a very fine chalcedony, found in a river, Matteo engraved divinely well the head of a Deianira almost in full-relief, wearing the lion's skin, the surface being tawny in colour; and he turned to such good advantage a vein of red that was in that stone, representing with it the inner side of the lion's skin at its junction with the head, that the skin had the appearance of one newly flayed. Another spot of colour he used for the hair, and the white for the face and breast, and all with admirable mastery. This head came into the possession of King Francis, together with the other things; and there is an impression of it at the present day in Verona, which belongs to the goldsmith Zoppo, who was Matteo's disciple.

Matteo was a man of great spirit and generosity, insomuch that he would rather have given his works away than sold them for a paltry price. Wherefore when a baron, for whom he had made a cameo of some value, wished to pay him a wretched sum for it, Matteo besought him straitly that he should accept it as a present. To this the other would not consent, and yet wished to have it for the same miserable price; whereupon Matteo, flying into a rage, crushed it to powder with a hammer in his presence. For the same King Matteo executed many cartoons for tapestries, and with these, to please His Majesty, he was obliged to go to Flanders, and to stay there until they had been woven in silk and gold; which being finished and taken to France, they were held to be very beautiful. Finally, Matteo returned to his own country, as almost all men do, taking with him many rare things from those foreign parts, and in particular some landscapes on canvas painted in Flanders in oils and in gouache, and executed by very able hands, which are still preserved and treasured in Verona, in memory of him, by Signor Luigi and Signor Girolamo Stoppi. Having returned to Verona, Matteo took up his abode in a cave hollowed out under a rocky cliff, above which is the garden of the Frati Ingiesuati—a place which, besides being very warm in winter and very cool in summer, commands a most beautiful [Pg 82] view. But he was not able to enjoy that habitation, thus contrived after his own fancy, as long as he would have liked, for King Francis, as soon as he had been released from his captivity, sent a special messenger to recall Matteo to France, and to pay him his salary even for all the time that he had been in Verona; and when he had arrived there, the King made him master of dies for the Mint. Taking a wife in France, therefore, Matteo settled down to live in those parts, since such was the pleasure of the King his master. By that wife he had some children, but all so unlike himself that he had little satisfaction from them.

Matteo was so gentle and courteous, that he welcomed with extraordinary warmth anyone who arrived in France, not only from his own city of Verona, but from every part of Lombardy. His dearest friend in those regions was Paolo Emilio of Verona, who wrote the history of France in the Latin tongue. Matteo taught many disciples, among them a fellow-Veronese, the brother of Domenico Brusciasorzi, two of his nephews, who went to Flanders, and many other Italians and Frenchmen, of whom there is no need to make mention. And finally he died, not long after the death of King Francis of France.

But to come at length to the marvellous art of Valerio Vicentino, of whom we have now to speak: this master executed so many works, both great and small, either in intaglio or in relief, and all with such a finish and such facility, that it is a thing incredible. If Nature had made Valerio a good master of design, even as she made him most excellent in engraving, in which he executed his works with extraordinary patience, diligence, and rapidity, he would not merely have equalled the ancients, as he did, but would have surpassed them by a great measure; and even so he had such judgment, that he always availed himself in his works of the designs of others or of the intagli of the ancients.

Casket of Rock Crystal.

(After Valerio Vincentino (Valerio Belli).
Florence; Uffizi, Cabinet of Gems)
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Valerio fashioned for Pope Clement VII a casket entirely of crystal, wrought with admirable mastery, for which he received two thousand crowns of gold from that Pontiff in return for his labour. In those crystals Valerio engraved the whole Passion of Jesus Christ, after the designs of others; and that casket was afterwards presented by Pope Clement to King Francis at Nice, at the time when his niece went to be [Pg 83] married to the Duke of Orleans, who afterwards became King Henry. For the same Pope Valerio made some most beautiful paxes, and a divine cross of crystal, and likewise dies for striking medals, containing the portrait of Pope Clement, with very beautiful reverses; and through him that art produced in his day many masters, both from Milan and from other parts, who had grown to such a number before the sack of Rome, that it was a marvel. He made the medals of the twelve Emperors, with their reverses, copying the most beautiful antiques, with a great number of Greek medals; and he engraved so many other works in crystal, that the shops of the goldsmiths, or rather, the whole world, may be seen to be full of impressions taken in gesso, sulphur, or other compositions, from the intagli in which he made scenes, figures, or heads. He had, indeed, a skill of hand so extraordinary, that there was never anyone in his profession who executed more works than Valerio.

He also fashioned many vases of crystal for Pope Clement, who presented some to various Princes, and others were placed in the Church of S. Lorenzo at Florence, together with many vases that were formerly in the Palace of the Medici and had belonged to the elder Lorenzo, the Magnificent, and to other members of that most illustrious family, that they might serve to contain the relics of many Saints, which that Pontiff presented to that church in memory of himself. It would not be possible to find anything more varied than the curves of those vases, some of which are of sardonyx, agate, amethyst, and lapis-lazuli, and some of plasma, heliotrope, jasper, crystal, and cornelian, so that in point of value or beauty nothing more could be desired. For Pope Paul III he made a cross and two candelabra, likewise of crystal, engraved with scenes of the Passion of Jesus Christ in various compartments; with a vast number of stones, both great and small, of which it would take too long to make mention. And in the collection of Cardinal Farnese may be seen many things by the hand of Valerio, who left no fewer finished works than did the above-named Giovanni. At the age of seventy-eight he performed miracles, so sure were his eye and hand; and he taught his art to a daughter of his own, who works very well. He so delighted to lay his hands on antiquities in marble, impressions in gesso of works [Pg 84] both ancient and modern, and drawings and pictures by rare masters, that he shrank from no expense; wherefore his house at Vicenza is adorned by such an abundance of various things, that it is a marvel. It is clearly evident that when a man bears love to art, it never leaves him until he is in the grave; whence he gains praise and his reward during his lifetime, and makes himself immortal after death. Valerio was well remunerated for his labours, and received offices and many benefits from those Princes whom he served; and thus those who survived him are able, thanks to him, to maintain an honourable state. And in the year 1546, when, by reason of the infirmities that old age brings in its train, he could no longer attend to his art, or even live, he rendered up his soul to God.

At Parma, in times past, lived Marmita, who gave his attention for a period to painting, and then turned to intaglio, in which he imitated the ancients very closely. Many most beautiful works by his hand are to be seen, and he taught the art to a son of his own, called Lodovico, who lived for a long time in Rome with Cardinal Giovanni de' Salviati. Lodovico executed for that Cardinal four ovals of crystal engraved with figures of great excellence, which were placed on a very beautiful casket of silver that was afterwards presented to the most illustrious Signora Leonora of Toledo, Duchess of Florence. He made, among many other works, a cameo with a most beautiful head of Socrates, and he was a great master at counterfeiting ancient medals, from which he gained extraordinary advantage.

There followed, in Florence, Domenico di Polo, a Florentine and an excellent master of intaglio, who was the disciple of Giovanni delle Corniole, of whom we have spoken. In our own day this Domenico executed a divine portrait of Duke Alessandro de' Medici, from which he made dies in steel and most beautiful medals, with a reverse containing a Florence. He also made a portrait of Duke Cosimo in the first year after his election to the government of Florence, with the sign of Capricorn on the reverse; and many other little works in intaglio, of which there is no need to make record. He died at the age of sixty-five.


(London: British Museum)

(After Alessandro Cesati)



(After Benvenuto Cellini)

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(London: British Museum)





(After Pastorino of Siena)



(After Domenico Poggini)

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Domenico, Valerio, Marmita, and Giovanni da Castel Bolognese [Pg 85] being dead, there remained many who have surpassed them by a great measure; one in Venice, for example, being Luigi Anichini of Ferrara, who, with the delicacy of his engraving and the sharpness of his finish, has produced works that are marvellous. But far beyond all others in grace, excellence, perfection, and versatility, has soared Alessandro Cesati, surnamed Il Greco, who has executed cameos in relief and gems in intaglio in so beautiful a manner, as well as dies of steel in incavo, and has used the burin with such supreme diligence and with such mastery over the most delicate refinements of his art, that nothing better could be imagined. Whoever wishes to be amazed by his miraculous powers, should study a medal that he made for Pope Paul III, with his portrait on one side, which has all the appearance of life, and on the reverse Alexander the Great, who has thrown himself at the feet of the High-Priest of Jerusalem, and is doing him homage—figures which are so marvellous that it would not be possible to do anything better. And Michelagnolo Buonarroti himself, looking at them in the presence of Giorgio Vasari, said that the hour of death had come upon the art, for nothing better could ever be seen. This Alessandro made the medal of Pope Julius III for the holy year of 1550, with a reverse showing the prisoners that were released in the days of the ancients at times of jubilee, which was a rare and truly beautiful medal; with many other dies and portraits for the Mint of Rome, which he kept busily employed for many years. He executed portraits of Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Castro, and his son, Duke Ottavio; and he made a portrait of Cardinal Farnese in a medal, a very choice work, the head being of gold and the ground of silver. The same master engraved for Cardinal Farnese in intaglio, on a cornelian larger than a giulio, a head of King Henry of France, which has been considered in point of design, grace, excellence, and perfection of finish, one of the best modern intagli that have ever been seen. There may also be seen many other stones engraved by his hand, in the form of cameos; truly perfect is a nude woman wrought with great art, and another in which is a lion, and likewise one of a boy, with many small ones, of which there is no need to speak; but that which surpassed all the others was the head of the Athenian Phocion, which is marvellous, and the most beautiful cameo that is to be seen.

[Pg 86] A master who gives his attention to cameos at the present day is Giovanni Antonio de' Rossi, an excellent craftsman of Milan, who, in addition to the various beautiful works that he has engraved in relief and in intaglio, has executed for the most illustrious Duke Cosimo de' Medici a very large cameo, one-third of a braccio in height and the same in width, in which he has cut two figures from the waist upwards—namely, His Excellency and the most illustrious Duchess Leonora, his consort, who are both holding with their hands a medallion containing a Florence, and beside them are portraits from life of the Prince Don Francesco, Don Giovanni the Cardinal, Don Garzia, Don Ernando, and Don Pietro, together with Donna Isabella and Donna Lucrezia, all their children. It would not be possible to find a more amazing or a larger work in cameo than this; and since it surpasses all the other cameos and smaller works that he has made, I shall make no further mention of them, for they are all to be seen.

Cosimo da Trezzo, also, has executed many works worthy of praise in this profession, and has won much favour on account of his rare gifts from Philip, the great Catholic King of Spain, who retains him about his person, honouring and rewarding him in return for his ability in his vocation of engraving in intaglio and in relief. He has no equal in making portraits from life; and in other kinds of work, as well as in that, his talent is extraordinary.

Of the Milanese Filippo Negrolo, who worked at chasing arms of iron with foliage and figures, I shall say nothing, since copper-engravings of his works, which have given him very great fame, may be seen about. By Gasparo and Girolamo Misuroni, engravers of Milan, have been seen most beautiful vases and tazze of crystal. For Duke Cosimo, in particular, they have executed two that are marvellous; besides which, they have made out of a piece of heliotrope a vase extraordinary in size and admirable for its engraving, and also a large vase of lapis-lazuli, which deserves infinite praise. Jacopo da Trezzo practises the same profession in Milan; and these men, in truth, have brought great beauty and facility to this art. Many masters could I mention who, in executing in incavo heads and reverses for medals, have equalled and even surpassed the ancients; as, for example, Benvenuto Cellini, who, during the time when [Pg 87] he exercised the goldsmith's art in Rome under Pope Clement, made two medals with a head of Pope Clement that is a living likeness, and on the reverse of one a figure of Peace that has bound Fury and is burning her arms, and on the other Moses striking the rock and causing water to flow to quench the thirst of his people: beyond which it is not possible to go in that art. And the same might be said of the coins and medals that Benvenuto afterwards made for Duke Alessandro in Florence.

Of the Chevalier, Leone Aretino, who has done equally well in the same art, and of the works that he has made and still continues to make, there will be an account in another place.

The Roman Pietro Paolo Galeotto, also, has executed for Duke Cosimo, as he still does, medals with portraits of that lord, dies for coins, and works in tarsia, imitating the methods of Maestro Salvestro, a most excellent master, who produced marvellous works in that profession at Rome.

Pastorino da Siena, likewise, has executed so many heads from life, that he may be said to have made portraits of every kind of person in the whole world, great nobles, followers of the arts, and many people of low degree. He discovered a kind of hard stucco for making portraits, wherewith he gave them the colouring of nature, with the tints of the beard, hair, and flesh, so that they had the appearance of life itself; but he deserves much more praise for his work in steel, in which he has made excellent dies for medals.

It would take too long if I were to speak of all those who execute portrait-medals of wax, seeing that every goldsmith at the present day makes them, and a number of gentlemen have given their attention to this, and still do so; such as Giovan Battista Sozzini at Siena, Rosso de' Giugni at Florence, and very many others, of whom I shall not now say more. And, to bring this account to conclusion, I return to the steel-engravers, of whom one is Girolamo Fagiuoli of Bologna, a master of chasing and of copper-engraving, and another, at Florence, is Domenico Poggini, who has made, as he still does, dies for the Mint, with medals of Duke Cosimo, and who also executes statues of marble, imitating, in so far as he is able, the rarest and most excellent masters who have ever produced choice works in these professions.



Seeing that in the Treatise on the Technique of Painting there was little said of copper-plate engraving, since it was enough at that time to describe the method of engraving silver with the burin, which is a square tool of iron, cut on the slant, with a sharp point, I shall use the occasion of this Life to say as much on that subject as I may consider to be sufficient. The beginning of print-engraving, then, came from the Florentine Maso Finiguerra, about the year of our salvation 1460; for of all the works which that master engraved in silver with designs to be filled up with niello, he took impressions in clay, over which he poured melted sulphur, which reproduced the lines of the design; and these, when filled with smoke-black mixed with oil, produced the same effect as the silver. He also did the same with damped paper and with the same tint, going over the whole with a round and smooth roller, which not only gave the designs the appearance of prints, but they also came out as if drawn with the pen. This master was followed by Baccio Baldini, a goldsmith of Florence, who, not having much power of design, took all that he did from the invention and design of Sandro Botticelli. And this method, coming to the knowledge of Andrea Mantegna in Rome, was the reason that he made a beginning with engraving many of his works, as was said in his Life.

This invention having afterwards passed into Flanders, a certain Martin, who was held to be an excellent painter in Antwerp at that time, executed many works, and sent to Italy a great number of printed designs, which were all signed in the following manner: "M.C." The first of these were the Five Foolish Virgins with their lamps extinguished, [Pg 92] the Five Wise Virgins with their lamps burning, and a Christ Crucified, with S. John and the Madonna at the foot of the Cross, which was so good an engraving, that Gherardo, the Florentine illuminator, set himself to copy it with the burin, and succeeded very well; but he went no further with this, for he did not live long. Martin then published four round engravings of the four Evangelists, and Jesus Christ with the twelve Apostles, in small sheets, Veronica with six Saints, of the same size, and some coats of arms of German noblemen, supported by men, both naked and clothed, and also by women. He published, likewise, a S. George slaying the Dragon, a Christ standing before Pilate, who is washing his hands, and a Passing of Our Lady, with all the Apostles, a work of some size, which was one of the best designs that this master ever engraved. In another he represented S. Anthony beaten by Devils, and carried through the air by a vast number of them in the most varied and bizarre forms that could possibly be imagined; which sheet so pleased Michelagnolo, when he was a mere lad, that he set himself to colour it.

Christ and the Virgin enthroned.

(After the engraving by Martin Schongauer.
London: British Museum, B. 71)
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After this Martin, Albrecht Dürer began to give attention to prints of the same kind at Antwerp, but with more design and better judgment, and with more beautiful invention, seeking to imitate the life and to draw near to the Italian manners, which he always held in much account. And thus, while still quite young, he executed many works which were considered as beautiful as those of Martin; and he engraved them with his own hand, signing them with his name. In the year 1503 he published a little Madonna, in which he surpassed both Martin and his own self; and afterwards many other sheets with horses, two in each sheet, taken from nature and very beautiful. In another he depicted the Prodigal Son, in the guise of a peasant, kneeling with his hands clasped and gazing up to Heaven, while some swine are eating from a trough; and in this work are some most beautiful huts after the manner of German cottages. He engraved a little S. Sebastian, bound, with the arms upraised; and a Madonna seated with the Child in her arms, with the light from a window falling upon her, a small work, than which there is nothing better to be seen. He also made a Flemish woman on horseback, with a groom at her feet; and on a larger copper-plate he engraved [Pg 93] a nymph being carried away by a sea-monster, while some other nymphs are bathing. On a plate of the same size he engraved with supreme delicacy of workmanship, attaining to the final perfection of this art, a Diana beating a nymph, who has fled for protection to the bosom of a satyr; in which sheet Albrecht sought to prove that he was able to make nudes.


(After the engraving by Albrecht Dürer.
London: British Museum, B. 73)
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But although those masters were extolled at that time in those countries, in ours their works are commended only for the diligent execution of the engraving. I am willing, indeed, to believe that Albrecht was perhaps not able to do better because, not having any better models, he drew, when he had to make nudes, from one or other of his assistants, who must have had bad figures, as Germans generally have when naked, although one sees many from those parts who are fine men when in their clothes. In various little printed sheets he executed figures of peasant men and women in different Flemish costumes, some playing on the bagpipes and dancing, some selling fowls and suchlike things, and others in many other attitudes. He also drew a man sleeping in a bathroom who has Venus near him, leading him into temptation in a dream, while Love is diverting himself by mounting on stilts, and the Devil blows into his ears with a pair of bellows. And he engraved two different figures of S. Christopher carrying the Infant Christ, both very beautiful, and executed with much diligence in the close detail of the hair and in every other respect.

Christ taking Leave of His Mother.

(After the woodcut by Albrecht Dürer.
London: British Museum, B. 92)
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After these works, perceiving how much time he consumed in engraving on copper, and happening to have in his possession a great abundance of subjects drawn in various ways, he set himself to making woodcuts, a method of working in which those who have the greatest powers of design find the widest field wherein to display their ability in its perfection. And in the year 1510 he published two little prints in this manner, in one of which is the Beheading of S. John, and in the other the scene of the head of the same S. John being presented in a charger to Herod, who is seated at table; with other sheets of S. Christopher, S. Sixtus the Pope, S. Stephen, and S. Laurence. Then, having seen that this method of working was much easier than engraving on copper, he [Pg 94] pursued it and executed a S. Gregory chanting the Mass, accompanied by the deacon and sub-deacon. And, growing in courage, in the year 1510 he represented on a sheet of royal folio part of the Passion of Christ—that is, he executed four pieces, with the intention of afterwards finishing the whole, these four being the Last Supper, the Taking of Christ by Night in the Garden, His Descent into the Limbo of Hell in order to deliver the Holy Fathers, and His glorious Resurrection. That second piece he also painted in a very beautiful little picture in oils, which is now at Florence, in the possession of Signor Bernardetto de' Medici. As for the eight other parts, although they were afterwards executed and printed with the signature of Albrecht, to us it does not seem probable that they are the work of his hand, seeing that they are poor stuff, and bear no resemblance to his manner, either in the heads, or in the draperies, or in any other respect. Wherefore it is believed that they were executed after his death, for the sake of gain, by other persons, who did not scruple to father them on Albrecht. That this is true is also proved by the circumstance that in the year 1511 he represented the whole life of Our Lady in twenty sheets of the same size, executing it so well that it would not be possible, whether in invention, in the composition of the perspective-views, in the buildings, in the costumes, or in the heads of old and young, to do better. Of a truth, if this man, so able, so diligent, and so versatile, had had Tuscany instead of Flanders for his country, and had been able to study the treasures of Rome, as we ourselves have done, he would have been the best painter of our land, even as he was the rarest and most celebrated that has ever appeared among the Flemings. In the same year, continuing to give expression to his fantasies, Albrecht resolved to execute fifteen woodcuts of the same size, representing the terrible vision that S. John the Evangelist described in his Apocalypse on the Isle of Patmos. And so, setting his hand to the work, with his extravagant imagination, so well suited to such a subject, he depicted all those things both of heaven and of earth so beautifully, that it was a marvel, and with such a variety of forms in those animals and monsters, that it was a great light to many of our craftsmen, who have since availed themselves of the vast abundance [Pg 95] of his beautiful fantasies and inventions. By the hand of the same master, also, is a woodcut that is to be seen of a nude Christ, who has round Him the Mysteries of His Passion, and is weeping for our sins, with His hands to His face; and this, for a small work, is not otherwise than worthy of praise.

Then, having grown both in power and in courage, as he saw that his works were prized, Albrecht executed some copper-plates that astonished the world. He also set himself to make an engraving, for printing on a sheet of half-folio, of a figure of Melancholy, with all the instruments that reduce those who use them, or rather, all mankind, to a melancholy humour; and in this he succeeded so well, that it would not be possible to do more delicate engraving with the burin. He executed three small plates of Our Lady, all different one from another, and most subtle in engraving. But it would take too long if I were to try to enumerate all the works that issued from Albrecht's hand; let it be enough for the present to tell that, having drawn a Passion of Christ in thirty-six parts, and having engraved these, he made an agreement with Marc' Antonio Bolognese that they should publish the sheets in company; and thus, arriving in Venice, this work was the reason that marvellous prints of the same kind were afterwards executed in Italy, as will be related below.

While Francesco Francia was working at his painting in Bologna, there was among his many disciples a young man called Marc' Antonio, who, being more gifted than the others, was much brought forward by him, and, from having been many years with Francia and greatly beloved by him, acquired the surname of De' Franci. This Marc' Antonio, who was more able in design than his master, handled the burin with facility and grace, and executed in niello girdles and many other things much in favour at that time, which were very beautiful, for the reason that he was indeed most excellent in that profession. Having then been seized, as happens to many, with a desire to go about the world and see new things and the methods of other craftsmen, with the gracious leave of Francia he went off to Venice, where he was well received by the craftsmen of that city. About the same time there arrived in Venice some [Pg 96] Flemings with many copper-plate engravings and woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer, which were seen by Marc' Antonio on the Piazza di S. Marco; and he was so amazed at the manner and method of the work of Albrecht, that he spent on those sheets almost all the money that he had brought from Bologna. Among other things, he bought the Passion of Jesus Christ, which had been engraved on thirty-six wood-blocks and printed not long before on sheets of quarter-folio by the same Albrecht. This work began with the Sin of Adam and the scene of the Angel expelling him from Paradise, and continued down to the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

Marc' Antonio, having considered what honour and profit might be acquired by one who should apply himself to that art in Italy, formed the determination to give his attention to it with all possible assiduity and diligence. He thus began to copy those engravings by Albrecht Dürer, studying the manner of each stroke and every other detail of the prints that he had bought, which were held in such estimation on account of their novelty and their beauty, that everyone sought to have some. Having then counterfeited on copper, with engraving as strong as that of the woodcuts that Albrecht had executed, the whole of the said Life and Passion of Christ in thirty-six parts, he added to these the signature that Albrecht used for all his works, which was "A.D.," and they proved to be so similar in manner, that, no one knowing that they had been executed by Marc' Antonio, they were ascribed to Albrecht, and were bought and sold as works by his hand. News of this was sent in writing to Albrecht, who was in Flanders, together with one of the counterfeit Passions executed by Marc' Antonio; at which he flew into such a rage that he left Flanders and went to Venice, where he appeared before the Signoria and laid a complaint against Marc' Antonio. But he could obtain no other satisfaction but this, that Marc' Antonio should no longer use the name or the above-mentioned signature of Albrecht on his works.

S. Jerome in his Study.

(After the engraving by Albrecht Dürer.
London: British Museum, B. 60)
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After this affair, Marc' Antonio went off to Rome, where he gave his whole attention to design; and Albrecht returned to Flanders, where he found that another rival had already begun to execute many most delicate engravings in competition with him. This was Lucas of [Pg 97] Holland,[14] who, although he was not as fine a master of design as Albrecht, was yet in many respects his equal with the burin. Among the many large and beautiful works that Lucas executed, the first were two in 1509, round in shape, in one of which is Christ bearing the Cross, and in the other His Crucifixion. Afterwards he published a Samson, a David on horseback, and a S. Peter Martyr, with his tormentors; and then he made a copper-plate engraving of Saul seated with the young David playing in his presence. And not long after, having made a great advance, he executed a very large plate with the most delicate engraving, of Virgil suspended from the window in the basket, with some heads and figures so marvellous, that they were the reason that Albrecht, growing more subtle in power through this competition, produced some printed sheets of such excellence, that nothing better could be done. In these, wishing to display his ability, Albrecht made an armed man on horseback, representing Human Strength, which is so well finished, that one can see the lustre of the arms and of the black horse's coat, which is a difficult thing to reproduce in design. This stalwart horseman had Death, hour-glass in hand, beside him, and the Devil behind. There was also a long-haired dog, executed with the most subtle delicacy that can possibly be achieved in engraving. In the year 1512 there issued from the hand of the same master sixteen little scenes of the Passion of Jesus Christ, engraved so well on copper, that there are no little figures to be seen that are more beautiful, sweet, and graceful, nor any that are stronger in relief.

Spurred likewise by rivalry, the same Lucas of Holland executed twelve similar plates, very beautiful, and yet not so perfect in engraving and design; and, in addition to these, a S. George who is comforting the Maiden, who is weeping because she is destined to be devoured by the Dragon; and also a Solomon, who is worshipping idols; the Baptism of Christ; Pyramus and Thisbe; and Ahasuerus with Queen Esther kneeling before him. Albrecht, on his part, not wishing to be surpassed by Lucas either in the number or in the excellence of his works, engraved a nude figure on some clouds, and a Temperance with marvellous wings, holding [Pg 98] a cup of gold and a bridle, with a most delicate little landscape; and then a S. Eustachio kneeling before the stag, which has the Crucifix between its horns, a sheet which is amazing, and particularly for the beauty of some dogs in various attitudes, which could not be more perfect. Among the many children of various kinds that he made for the decoration of arms and devices, he engraved some who are holding a shield, wherein is a Death with a cock for crest, the feathers of which are rendered in such detail, that it would be impossible to execute anything more delicate with the burin.

Finally, he published the sheet with S. Jerome in the habit of a Cardinal, writing, with the Lion sleeping at his feet. In this work Albrecht represented a room with windows of glass, through which stream the rays of the sun, falling on the place where the Saint sits writing, with an effect so natural, that it is a marvel; besides which, there are books, timepieces, writings, and so many other things, that nothing more and nothing better could be done in this field of art. Not long afterwards, in the year 1523, he executed a Christ with the twelve Apostles, in little figures, which was almost the last of his works. There may also be seen prints of many heads taken from life by him, such as that of Erasmus of Rotterdam, that of Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg, Elector of the Empire, and also his own. Nor, with all the engravings that he produced, did he ever abandon painting; nay, he was always executing panels, canvases, and other paintings, all excellent, and, what is more, he left many writings on matters connected with engraving, painting, perspective, and architecture.

The Ecce Homo of 1610.

(After the engraving by Lucas van Leyden.
London: British Museum)
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But to return to the subject of engraving: the works of Albrecht Dürer induced Lucas of Holland to follow in his steps to the best of his power. After the works already mentioned, Lucas engraved on copper four scenes from the life of Joseph, and also the four Evangelists, the three Angels who appeared to Abraham in the Valley of Mamre, Susannah in the Bath, David praying, Mordecai riding in Triumph on Horseback, Lot made drunk by his Daughters, the Creation of Adam and Eve, God commanding them that they shall not eat of the Fruit from the Tree that He points out to them, and Cain killing his brother Abel; all which [Pg 99] sheets were published in the year 1529. But that which did more than anything else to bring renown and fame to Lucas, was a large sheet in which he represented the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ; with another wherein Pilate is showing Him to the people, saying, "Ecce Homo!" These sheets, which are large, and contain a great number of figures, are held to be excellent; as are, likewise, one with a Conversion of S. Paul, and another showing him being led, blind, into Damascus. And let these works suffice to prove that Lucas may be numbered among those who have handled the burin with ability.

The scenes of Lucas are very happy in composition, being executed with such clearness and so free from confusion, that it seems certain that the action represented could not have taken place in any other way; and they are arranged more in accordance with the rules of art than those of Albrecht. Besides this, it is evident that he used a wise discretion in the engraving of his works, for the reason that all those parts which recede little by little into the distance are less strongly defined in proportion as they are lost to view, even as natural objects become less clear to the eye when seen from afar. Indeed, he executed them with such thoughtful care, and made them so soft and well blended, that they would not be better in colour; and his judicious methods have opened the eyes of many painters. The same master engraved many little plates: various figures of Our Lady, the twelve Apostles with Christ, many Saints, both male and female; arms and helmet-crests, and other suchlike things. Very beautiful is a peasant who is having a tooth drawn, and is feeling such pain, that he does not notice that meanwhile a woman is robbing his purse. All these works of Albrecht and Lucas have brought it about that many other Flemings and Germans after them have printed similar sheets of great beauty.

But returning to Marc' Antonio: having arrived in Rome, he engraved on copper a most lovely drawing by Raffaello da Urbino, wherein was the Roman Lucretia killing herself, which he executed with such diligence and in so beautiful a manner, that Raffaello, to whom it was straightway carried by some friends, began to think of publishing in engravings some designs of works by his hand, and then a drawing that [Pg 100] he had formerly made of the Judgment of Paris, wherein, to please himself, he had drawn the Chariot of the Sun, the nymphs of the woods, those of the fountains, and those of the rivers, with vases, the helms of ships, and other beautiful things of fancy all around; and when he had made up his mind, these were engraved by Marc' Antonio in such a manner as amazed all Rome. After them was engraved the drawing of the Massacre of the Innocents, with most beautiful nudes, women and children, which was a rare work; and then the Neptune, with little stories of Æneas around it, the beautiful Rape of Helen, also after a drawing by Raffaello, and another design in which may be seen the death of S. Felicita, who is being boiled in oil, while her sons are beheaded. These works acquired such fame for Marc' Antonio, that his engravings were held in much higher estimation, on account of their good design, than those of the Flemings; and the merchants made very large profits out of them.

Raffaello had kept an assistant called Baviera for many years to grind his colours; and since this Baviera had a certain ability, Raffaello ordained that he should attend to the printing of the engravings executed by Marc' Antonio, to the end that all his compositions might thus be finished, and then sold in gross and in detail to all who desired them. And so, having set to work, they printed a vast number, which brought very great profit to Raffaello; and all the plates were signed by Marc' Antonio with the following signatures, "R.S." for the name of Raffaello Sanzio of Urbino, and "M.F." for that of Marc' Antonio. Among these works were a Venus embraced by Love, after a drawing by Raffaello, and a scene in which God the Father is blessing the seed of Abraham, with the handmaiden and two children. Next were engraved all the round pictures that Raffaello had painted in the apartments of the Papal Palace, such as the Universal Knowledge, Calliope with the musical instrument in her hand, Foresight, and Justice; and then, after a small drawing, the scene which Raffaello had painted in the same apartment, of Mount Parnassus, with Apollo, the Muses, and the Poets; and also that of Æneas carrying Anchises on his back while Troy is burning, of which Raffaello had made the drawing in order to paint a little picture. [Pg 101] After this they engraved and printed another work of Raffaello, Galatea in a car drawn over the sea by Dolphins, with some Tritons who are carrying off a Nymph.

These works finished, Marc' Antonio engraved many separate figures, likewise on copper, and after drawings by Raffaello; an Apollo with a lyre in his hand; a figure of Peace, to whom Love is offering an olive-branch; the three Theological and the four Moral Virtues, and a Jesus Christ with the twelve Apostles, of the same size; a half-folio plate of the Madonna that Raffaello had painted in the altar-piece of the Araceli, and likewise one of that which went to S. Domenico in Naples, with Our Lady, S. Jerome, the Angel Raphael, and Tobias; and a little plate of Our Lady seated on a chair and embracing the Infant Christ, who is half clothed, with many other figures of the Madonna copied from the pictures which Raffaello had painted for various persons. After these he engraved a young S. John the Baptist, seated in the desert, and then the picture which Raffaello executed for S. Giovanni in Monte, of S. Cecilia with other Saints, which was held to be a most beautiful sheet. When Raffaello had finished all the cartoons of the tapestries for the Papal Chapel, which were afterwards woven in silk and gold, with stories of S. Paul, S. Peter, and S. Stephen, Marc' Antonio engraved the Preaching of S. Paul, the Stoning of S. Stephen, and the Blind Man receiving his Sight; which plates, what with the invention of Raffaello, the grace of the design, and the diligent engraving of Marc' Antonio, were so beautiful, that there was nothing better to be seen. He then engraved, after the invention of the same Raffaello, a most beautiful Deposition from the Cross, with a Madonna in a swoon, who is marvellous; and not long afterwards a plate, which is very beautiful, of that picture by Raffaello which went to Palermo, of a Christ who is bearing the Cross, and also one of a drawing that Raffaello had executed of a Christ in the air, with Our Lady, S. John the Baptist, and S. Catharine kneeling on the ground, and S. Paul the Apostle standing, which was a large and very lovely engraving. This and the others, after becoming spoiled and almost worn out through being too much used, were carried away by Germans and others in the sack of Rome.

[Pg 102] The same Marc' Antonio engraved the portrait of Pope Clement VII in profile, with the face shaved, in the form of a medallion; one of the Emperor Charles V at the time when he was a young man, and another of him at a riper age; and also one of Ferdinand, King of the Romans, who afterwards succeeded Charles V as Emperor. He also made in Rome a portrait from life of Messer Pietro Aretino, a very famous poet, which was the most beautiful that Marc' Antonio ever executed; and, not long afterwards, portraits of the twelve ancient Emperors in medallions. Of these sheets Raffaello sent some into Flanders to Albrecht Dürer, who praised Marc' Antonio highly, and sent in return to Raffaello, in addition to many other sheets, his own portrait, which was held to be a miracle of beauty.

Now, the fame of Marc' Antonio having grown very great, and the art of engraving having come into credit and repute, many disciples had placed themselves under him in order to learn it. And of their number, two who made great proficience were Marco da Ravenna, who signed his plates with the signature of Raffaello, "R.S.," and Agostino Viniziano, who signed his works in the following manner: "A.V." These two engraved and printed many designs by Raffaello, such as one of Our Lady with Christ lying dead at full length, and at His feet S. John, the Magdalene, Nicodemus, and the other Maries; and they engraved another plate of greater size, in which is a Madonna, with the arms outstretched and the eyes raised towards Heaven, in an attitude of supreme pity and sorrow, with Christ, in like manner, lying dead at full length.

Agostino afterwards engraved a large plate of the Nativity, with the Shepherds and Angels about the hut, and God the Father above; and he executed many vases, both ancient and modern, and also a censer, or rather, two women with a vase perforated at the top. He engraved a plate with a man transformed into a wolf, who is stealing towards a bed in order to kill one who is sleeping in it. And he also executed one of Alexander with Roxana, to whom that Prince is presenting a royal crown, while some Loves are hovering about her and adorning her head, and others are playing with the arms of Alexander.

The Death of Lucretia.

(After the engraving by Marcantonio Bolognese.
London: British Museum, B. 192)
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The same masters together engraved the Last Supper of Christ [Pg 103] with the twelve Apostles, on a plate of some size, and an Annunciation, all after the designs of Raffaello; and then two stories of the Marriage of Psyche, which had been painted by Raffaello not long before. In the end, Agostino and the above-mentioned Marco between them engraved almost all the works that Raffaello ever drew or painted, and made prints of them; and also many of the pictures painted by Giulio Romano, after copies drawn for that purpose. And to the end that there might remain scarcely a single work of Raffaello that had not been engraved by them, they finally made engravings of the scenes that Giulio had painted in the Loggie after the designs of Raffaello.

There may still be seen some of the first plates, with the signature "M.R." for Marco Ravignano, and others with the signature "A.V." for Agostino Viniziano, re-engraved by others after them, such as the Creation of the World, and God forming the Animals; the Sacrifices of Cain and Abel, and the Death of Abel; Abraham sacrificing Isaac; Noah's Ark, the Deluge, and the Animals afterwards issuing from the Ark; the Passage of the Red Sea; the Delivery of the Laws from Mount Sinai through Moses, and the Manna; David slaying Goliath, already engraved by Marc' Antonio; Solomon building the Temple; the Judgment of the same Solomon between the two women, and the Visit of the Queen of Sheba; and, from the New Testament, the Nativity and the Resurrection of Christ, and the Descent of the Holy Spirit. All these were engraved and printed during the lifetime of Raffaello.

After the death of Raffaello, Marco and Agostino separated, and Agostino was retained by Baccio Bandinelli, the Florentine sculptor, who caused him to engrave after his design an anatomical figure that he had formed out of lean bodies and dead men's bones; and then a Cleopatra. Both these were held to be very good plates. Whereupon, growing in courage, Baccio drew, and caused Agostino to engrave, a large plate—one of the largest, indeed, that had ever been engraved up to that time—full of women clothed, and of naked men who are slaughtering the little innocents by command of King Herod.

Marc' Antonio, meanwhile, continuing to work at engraving, executed some plates with small figures of the twelve Apostles, in various [Pg 104] manners, and many Saints, both male and female, to the end that the poor painters who were weak in design might be able to avail themselves of these in their need. He also engraved a nude young man, who has a lion at his feet, and is seeking to furl a large banner, which is swollen out by the wind in a direction contrary to his purpose; another who is carrying a pedestal on his back; and a little S. Jerome who is meditating on death, placing a finger in the hollow of a skull that he has in his hand, the invention and design of which were by Raffaello. Then he executed a figure of Justice, which he copied from the tapestries of the Chapel; and afterwards an Aurora, drawn by two horses, on which the Hours are placing bridles. He also copied the Three Graces from the antique; and he engraved a scene of Our Lady ascending the steps of the Temple.

After these things, Giulio Romano, who in his modesty would never have any of his works engraved during the lifetime of his master Raffaello, lest he should seem to wish to compete with him, caused Marc' Antonio, after the death of Raffaello, to engrave two most beautiful battles of horsemen on plates of some size, and all the stories of Venus, Apollo, and Hyacinthus, which he had painted in the bathroom that is at the villa of Messer Baldassarre Turini da Pescia. And he did the same with the four stories of the Magdalene and the four Evangelists that are in the vaulting of the chapel of the Trinità, which were executed for a courtezan, although the chapel now belongs to Messer Agnolo Massimi. By the same master was drawn and reproduced in engraving a very beautiful ancient sarcophagus containing a lion-hunt, which was formerly at Maiano, and is now in the court of S. Pietro; as well as one of the ancient scenes in marble that are under the Arch of Constantine; and, finally, many scenes that Raffaello had designed for the corridor and Loggie of the Palace, which have since been engraved once more by Tommaso Barlacchi, together with those of the tapestries that Raffaello executed for the public Consistory.

The Martyrdom of S. Lawrence.

(Engraved after Bandinelli by Marcantonio Bolognese.
London: British Museum)
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After this, Giulio Romano caused Marc' Antonio to engrave twenty plates showing all the various ways, attitudes, and positions in which licentious men have intercourse with women; and, what was worse, for each plate Messer Pietro Aretino wrote a most indecent sonnet, insomuch [Pg 105] that I know not which was the greater, the offence to the eye from the drawings of Giulio, or the outrage to the ear from the words of Aretino. This work was much censured by Pope Clement; and if, when it was published, Giulio had not already left for Mantua, he would have been sharply punished for it by the anger of the Pope. And since some of these sheets were found in places where they were least expected, not only were they prohibited, but Marc' Antonio was taken and thrown into prison; and he would have fared very badly if Cardinal de' Medici and Baccio Bandinelli, who was then at Rome in the service of the Pope, had not obtained his release. Of a truth, the gifts of God should not be employed, as they very often are, in things wholly abominable, which are an outrage to the world.

Released from prison, Marc' Antonio finished engraving for Baccio Bandinelli a large plate that he had previously begun, with a great number of nude figures engaged in roasting S. Laurence on the gridiron, which was held to be truly beautiful, and was indeed engraved with incredible diligence, although Bandinelli, complaining unjustly of Marc' Antonio to the Pope while that master was executing it, said that he was committing many errors. But for this sort of gratitude Bandinelli received the reward that his lack of courtesy deserved, for Marc' Antonio, having heard the whole story, and having finished the plate, went, without Baccio being aware of it, to the Pope, who took infinite delight in the arts of design; and he showed him first the original drawing by Bandinelli, and then the printed engraving, from which the Pope recognized that Marc' Antonio not only had committed no errors, but had even corrected with great judgment many committed by Bandinelli, which were of no small importance, and had shown more knowledge and craftsmanship in his engraving than had Baccio in his drawing. Wherefore the Pope commended him greatly and ever afterwards received him with favour; and it is believed that he might have done much for him, but the sack of Rome supervening, Marc' Antonio became little less than a beggar, seeing that, besides losing all his property, he was forced to disburse a good ransom in order to escape from the hands of the Spaniards. Which done, he departed from Rome, never to return; [Pg 106] and there are few works to be seen which were executed by him after that time. Our arts are much indebted to Marc' Antonio, in that he made a beginning with engraving in Italy, to the advantage and profit of art and to the convenience of her followers, in consequence of which others have since executed the works that will be described hereafter.

Now Agostino Viniziano, of whom we have already spoken, came to Florence, after the circumstances described above, with the intention of attaching himself to Andrea del Sarto, who was held to be about the best painter in Italy after Raffaello. And so Andrea, persuaded by this Agostino to have his works engraved, made a drawing of a Dead Christ supported by three Angels; but since the attempt did not succeed exactly according to his fancy, he would never again allow any work of his to be engraved. After his death, however, certain persons published engravings of the Visitation of S. Elizabeth and of the Baptism of the people by S. John, taken from the work in chiaroscuro that Andrea painted in the Scalzo at Florence. Marco da Ravenna, likewise, in addition to the works already mentioned, which he executed in company with Agostino, also engraved many others by himself, which are all good and worthy of praise, and are known by his signature, which has been described above. Many others, also, have there been after these, who have worked very well at engraving, and have brought it about that every country has been able to see and enjoy the honoured labours of the most excellent masters.

Nor has there been wanting one who has had the enterprise to execute with wood-blocks prints that possess the appearance of having been made with the brush after the manner of chiaroscuro, which is an ingenious and difficult thing. This was Ugo da Carpi, who, although he was a mediocre painter, was nevertheless a man of most subtle wit in strange and fanciful inventions. He it was, as has been related in the thirtieth chapter of the Treatise on Technique, who first attempted, and that with the happiest result, to work with two blocks, one of which he used for hatching the shadows, in the manner of a copper-plate, and with the other he made the tint of colour, cutting deeply with the strokes of the engraving, and leaving the lights so bright, that when the impression [Pg 107] was pulled off they appeared to have been heightened with lead-white. Ugo executed in this manner, after a design drawn by Raffaello in chiaroscuro, a woodcut in which is a Sibyl seated who is reading, with a clothed child giving her light with a torch. Having succeeded in this, Ugo took heart and attempted to make prints with wood-blocks of three tints. The first gave the shadow; the second, which was lighter in tone, made the middle tint, and the third, cut deeply, gave the higher lights of the ground and left the white of the paper. And the result of this, also, was so good, that he executed a woodcut of Æneas carrying Anchises on his back, while Troy is burning. He then made a Deposition from the Cross, and the story of Simon Magus, which had been used by Raffaello for the tapestries of the above-mentioned Chapel; and likewise David slaying Goliath, and the Flight of the Philistines, of which Raffaello had prepared the design in order to paint it in the Papal Loggie. And after many other works in chiaroscuro, he executed in the same manner a Venus, with many Loves playing about her.

Now since, as I have said, he was a painter, I must not omit to tell that he painted in oils, without using a brush, but with his fingers, and partly, also, with other bizarre instruments of his own, an altar-piece which is on the altar of the Volto Santo in Rome. Upon this altar-piece, being one morning with Michelagnolo at that altar to hear Mass, I saw an inscription saying that Ugo da Carpi had painted it without a brush; and I laughed and showed the inscription to Michelagnolo, who answered, also with a laugh, that it would have been better if he had used a brush, for then he might have done it in a better manner.

The method of executing these two kinds of woodcuts, in imitation of chiaroscuro, thus invented by Ugo da Carpi, was the reason that, many following in his steps, a great number of most beautiful prints were produced by others. For after him Baldassarre Peruzzi, the painter of Siena, made a similar woodcut in chiaroscuro, which was very beautiful, of Hercules driving Avarice, a figure laden with vases of gold and silver, from Mount Parnassus, on which are the Muses in various lovely attitudes. And Francesco Parmigiano engraved a Diogenes for a sheet of royal folio laid open, which was a finer print than any that Ugo ever [Pg 108] produced. The same Parmigiano, having shown the method of making prints from three blocks to Antonio da Trento, caused him to execute a large sheet in chiaroscuro of the Beheading of S. Peter and S. Paul. And afterwards he executed another, but with two blocks only, of the Tiburtine Sibyl showing the Infant Christ in the lap of the Virgin to the Emperor Octavian; a nude man seated, who has his back turned in a beautiful attitude; and likewise an oval print of the Madonna lying down, with many others by his hand that may be seen in various places, printed after his death by Joannicolo Vicentino. But the most beautiful were executed later by Domenico Beccafumi of Siena, after the death of Parmigiano, as will be related at greater length in the Life of Domenico.

Not otherwise than worthy of praise, also, is the method that has been invented of making engravings more easily than with the burin, although they do not come out so clear—that is, with aquafortis, first laying on the copper a coat of wax, varnish, or oil-colour, and then drawing the design with an iron instrument that has a sharp point to cut through the wax, varnish, or colour, whichever it may be, after which one pours over it the aquafortis, which eats into the copper in such a manner that it leaves the lines of the design hollow, and impressions can be taken from it. With this method Francesco Parmigiano executed many little things, which are full of grace, such as the Nativity of Christ, a Dead Christ with the Maries weeping over Him, and one of the tapestries executed for the Chapel after the designs of Raffaello, with many other works.

After these masters, fifty sheets with varied and beautiful landscapes were produced by Battista, a painter of Vicenza, and Battista del Moro of Verona. In Flanders, Hieronymus Cock has executed engravings of the liberal arts; and in Rome, engravings have been done of the Visitation in the Pace, painted by Fra Sebastiano Viniziano, of that by Francesco Salviati in the Misericordia, and of the Feast of Testaccio; besides many works that have been engraved in Venice by the painter Battista Franco, and by many other masters.

But to return to the simple copper-plate engravings; after Marc' Antonio had executed the many works that have been mentioned above, [Pg 109] Rosso arrived in Rome, and Baviera persuaded him that he should have some of his works engraved; wherefore he commissioned Gian Jacopo Caraglio of Verona, who was one of the most skilful craftsmen of that day, and who sought with all diligence to imitate Marc' Antonio, to engrave a lean anatomical figure of his own, which holds a death's head in the hand, and is seated on a serpent, while a swan is singing. This plate succeeded so well, that the same Rosso afterwards caused engravings to be made, on plates of considerable size, of some of the Labours of Hercules: the Slaying of the Hydra, the Combat with Cerberus, the Killing of Cacus, the Breaking of the Bull's Horns, the Battle with the Centaurs, and the Centaur Nessus carrying off Deianira. And these plates proved to be so beautiful and so well engraved, that the same Jacopo executed, likewise after the design of Rosso, the story of the daughters of Pierus, who, for seeking to contend with the Muses and to sing in competition with them, were transformed into crows.

Baviera having then caused Rosso to draw twenty Gods in niches, with their attributes, for a book, these were engraved by Gian Jacopo Caraglio in a very beautiful and graceful manner; and also, not long afterwards, their Transformations; but of these Rosso did not make the drawings, save only of two, for he had a difference with Baviera, and Baviera had ten of them executed by Perino del Vaga. The two by Rosso were the Rape of Proserpine and the Transformation of Philyra into a horse; and all were engraved with such diligence by Caraglio, that they have always been prized. Caraglio afterwards began for Rosso the Rape of the Sabines, which would have been a very rare work, but, the sack of Rome supervening, it could not be finished, for Rosso went away, and the plates were all lost. And although this work has since come into the hands of the printers, it has proved a miserable failure, for the engraving has been done by one who had no knowledge of the art, and thought only of making money.

After this, Caraglio engraved for Francesco Parmigiano a plate of the Marriage of Our Lady, and other works by the same master; and then another plate for Tiziano Vecelli, which was very beautiful, of a Nativity that Tiziano had formerly painted. This Gian Jacopo Caraglio, after [Pg 110] having executed many copper-plates, being an ingenious spirit, gave his attention to engraving cameos and crystals, in which he became no less excellent than he had been in the engraving of copper-plates. And since then, having entered the service of the King of Poland, he has occupied himself no longer with engraving on copper, now in his opinion a mean art, but with the cutting of gems, with working in incavo, and with architecture; for which having been richly rewarded by the liberality of that King, he has spent large sums in investments in the territory of Parma, in order to be able to retire in his old age to the enjoyment of his native country among his friends and disciples, after the labours of so many years.

After these masters came another excellent copper-plate engraver, Lamberto Suave,[15] by whose hand are thirteen plates of Christ and the twelve Apostles, in which the execution of the engraving is perfect in its delicacy. If Lamberto had possessed a more thorough mastery of design in addition to the industry, patience, and diligence that he showed in all other points, he would have been marvellous in every respect; as may be perceived clearly from a little sheet of S. Paul writing, and from a larger sheet with the story of the Raising of Lazarus, in which there are most beautiful things to be seen. Worthy of note, in particular, are the hollow rock in the cavern which he represented as the burial-place of Lazarus, and the light that falls upon some figures, all of which is executed with beautiful and fanciful invention.

No little ability, likewise, has been shown in this profession by Giovan Battista Mantovano, a disciple of Giulio Romano; among other works, in a Madonna who has the Child in her arms and the moon under her feet, and in some very beautiful heads with helmet-crests after the antique; in two sheets, in which are a captain of mercenaries on foot and one on horseback, and also in a sheet wherein is a Mars in armour, who is seated upon a bed, while Venus gazes on a Cupid whom she is suckling, which has in it much that is good. Very fanciful, also, are two large sheets by the hand of the same master, in which is the Burning of Troy, executed with extraordinary invention, design, and grace. [Pg 111] These and many other sheets by the same hand are signed with the letters "J.B.M."

And no less excellent than any of those mentioned above has been Enea Vico of Parma, who engraved the well-known copper-plate of the Rape of Helen by Rosso, and also another plate after the design of the same painter, of Vulcan with some Loves, who are fashioning arrows at his forge, while the Cyclopes are also at work, which was truly a most beautiful engraving. He executed the Leda of Michelagnolo on another, and also an Annunciation after the design of Tiziano, the story of Judith that Michelagnolo painted in the Chapel, the portrait of Duke Cosimo de' Medici as a young man, in full armour, after the drawing by Bandinelli, and likewise the portrait of Bandinelli himself; and then the Contest of Cupid and Apollo in the presence of all the Gods. And if Enea had been maintained and rewarded for his labours by Bandinelli, he would have engraved many other beautiful plates for him. Afterwards, Francesco, a protégé of the Salviati, and an excellent painter, being in Florence, and assisted by the liberality of Duke Cosimo, commissioned Enea to engrave the large plate of the Conversion of S. Paul, full of horses and soldiers, which was held to be very beautiful, and gave Enea a great name. The same Enea then executed the portrait of Signor Giovanni de' Medici, father of Duke Cosimo, with an ornament full of figures. He engraved, also, the portrait of the Emperor Charles V, with an ornament covered with appropriate Victories and trophies, for which he was rewarded by His Majesty and praised by all; and on another plate, very well engraved, he represented the victory that the Emperor gained on the Elbe. For Doni he executed some heads from nature in the manner of medallions, with beautiful ornaments: King Henry of France, Cardinal Bembo, Messer Lodovico Ariosto, the Florentine Gello, Messer Lodovico Domenichi, Signora Laura Terracina, Messer Cipriano Morosino, and Doni himself. He also engraved for Don Giulio Clovio, a most excellent illuminator, a plate of a S. George on horseback who is slaying the Dragon, in which, although it was, one might say, one of the first works that he engraved, he acquitted himself very well.

Afterwards, being a man of lofty genius, and desiring to pass on to [Pg 112] greater and more honourable undertakings, Enea applied himself to the study of antiquities, and in particular of ancient medals, of which he has published several books in engraving, wherein are the true effigies of many Emperors and their wives, with every kind of inscription and reverse that could bring all who delight in them to a clear understanding of their stories; for which he has rightly won great praise, as he still does. And those who have found fault with him for his books of medals have been in the wrong, for whoever shall consider the labours that he has performed, and how useful and beautiful these are, must perforce excuse him, even though he may have erred in a few matters of little importance; and such errors, which are not committed save from faulty information, from a too ready credulity, or from having opinions differing from others with some show of reason, are worthy to be excused, seeing that Aristotle, Pliny, and many others have been guilty of the like.

Enea also designed to the common satisfaction and benefit of all mankind fifty costumes of different nations, such as were worn by men and women, peasants and citizens, in Italy, in France, in Spain, in Portugal, in England, in Flanders, and in other parts of the world; which was an ingenious work, both fanciful and beautiful. He executed, also, a genealogical tree of all the Emperors, which was a thing of great beauty. And finally, after much toil and travailing, he now lives in repose under the shadow of Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara, for whom he has made a genealogical tree of all the Marquises and Dukes of the House of Este. For all these works and many others that he has executed, as he still continues to do, I have thought it right to make this honourable record of him among so many other men of the arts.

Many others have occupied themselves with copper-plate engraving, who, although they have not attained to such perfection, have none the less benefited the world with their labours, by bringing many scenes and other works of excellent masters into the light of day, and by thus giving the means of seeing the various inventions and manners of the painters to those who are not able to go to the places where the principal works are, and conveying to the ultramontanes a knowledge of many things that they did not know. And although many plates have been [Pg 113] badly executed through the avarice of the printers, eager more for gain than for honour, yet in certain others, besides those that have been mentioned, there may be seen something of the good; as in the large design of the Last Judgment of Michelagnolo Buonarroti on the front wall of the Papal Chapel, engraved by Giorgio Mantovano, and in the engravings by Giovan Battista de' Cavalieri of the Crucifixion of S. Peter and the Conversion of S. Paul painted in the Pauline Chapel at Rome. This Giovan Battista has also executed copper-plate engravings, besides other designs, of the Meditation of S. John the Baptist, of the Deposition from the Cross that Daniello Ricciarelli of Volterra painted in a chapel in the Trinità at Rome, of a Madonna with many Angels, and of a vast number of other works. Moreover, many things taken from Michelagnolo have been engraved by others at the commission of Antonio Lanferri, who has employed printers for the same purpose. These have published books of all the kinds of fishes, and also the Phaethon, the Tityus, the Ganymede, the Archers, the Bacchanalia, the Dream, the Pietà, and the Crucifix, all done by Michelagnolo for the Marchioness of Pescara; and, in addition, the four Prophets of the Chapel and other scenes and drawings have been engraved and published, but executed so badly, that I think it well to be silent as to the names of those engravers and printers.

But I must not be silent about the above-mentioned Antonio Lanferri and Tommaso Barlacchi, for they, as well as others, have employed many young men to engrave plates after original drawings by the hands of a vast number of masters, insomuch that it is better to say nothing of these works, lest it should become wearisome. And in this manner have been published, among other plates, grotesques, ancient temples, cornices, bases, capitals, and many other suchlike things, with all their measurements.

Seeing everything reduced to a miserable manner, and moved by compassion, Sebastiano Serlio, an architect of Bologna, has engraved on wood and copper two books of architecture, in which, among other things, are thirty doors of the Rustic Order, and twenty in a more delicate style; which book is dedicated to King Henry of France. Antonio [Pg 114] L'Abacco, likewise, has published plates in a beautiful manner of all the notable antiquities of Rome, with their measurements, executed with great mastery and with very subtle engraving by ... Perugino. Nor has less been accomplished in this field by the architect Jacopo Barozzo of Vignola, who in a book of copper-plate engravings has shown with simple rules how to enlarge or to diminish in due proportion every part of the five Orders of Architecture, a work most useful in that art, for which we are much indebted to him; even as we are to Giovanni Cugini[16] of Paris for his engravings and writings on architecture.

In Rome, besides the masters named above, Niccolò Beatricio[17] of Lorraine has given so much attention to engraving with the burin, that he has executed many plates worthy of praise; such as two pieces of sarcophagi with battles of horsemen, engraved on copper, and other plates full of various animals very well executed, and a scene showing the Widow's Daughter being restored to life by Jesus Christ, engraved in a bold manner from the design of Girolamo Mosciano, a painter of Brescia. The same master has engraved an Annunciation from a drawing by the hand of Michelagnolo, and has also executed prints of the Navicella of mosaic that Giotto made in the portico of S. Pietro.

From Venice, likewise, have come many most beautiful engravings on wood and on copper; on wood, after Tiziano, many landscapes, a Nativity of Christ, a S. Jerome, and a S. Francis; and on copper the Tantalus, the Adonis, and many other plates, which have been engraved by Giulio Bonasone of Bologna, together with some others by Raffaello, by Giulio Romano, by Parmigiano, and by all the other masters whose drawings he has been able to obtain. And Battista Franco, a painter of Venice, has engraved, partly with the burin and partly with aquafortis, many works by the hands of various masters, such as the Nativity of Christ, the Adoration of the Magi, the Preaching of S. Peter, some plates from the Acts of the Apostles, and many stories from the Old Testament. So far, indeed, has this practice of making prints been carried, that those who make a profession of it keep draughtsmen continually employed in copying every beautiful work as it appears, and [Pg 115] put it into prints. Wherefore there came from France, after the death of Rosso, engravings of all the work by his hand that could be found, such as Clelia with the Sabine women passing the river; some masks after the manner of the Fates, executed for King Francis; a bizarre Annunciation; a Dance of ten women; and King Francis advancing alone into the Temple of Jupiter, leaving behind him Ignorance and other similar figures, which were executed during the lifetime of Rosso by the copper-plate engraver Renato.[18] And many more have been drawn and engraved since Rosso's death; among many other works, all the stories of Ulysses, and, to say nothing of the rest, vases, chandeliers, candelabra, salt-cellars, and a vast number of other suchlike things made in silver after designs of Rosso.

Luca Penni, also, has published engravings of two Satyrs giving drink to a Bacchus, a Leda taking the arrows from the quiver of a Cupid, Susannah in the Bath, and many other plates copied from the designs of the same Rosso and of Francesco Primaticcio of Bologna, now Abbot of S. Martin in France. And among these engravings are the Judgment of Paris, Abraham sacrificing Isaac, a Madonna, Christ marrying S. Catharine, Jove changing Callisto into a bear, the Council of the Gods, Penelope weaving with her women, and other things without number, engraved on wood, and executed for the most part with the burin; by reason of which the wits of the craftsmen have become very subtle, insomuch that little figures have been engraved so well, that it would not be possible to give them greater delicacy. And who can see without marvelling the works of Francesco Marcolini of Forlì? Who, besides other things, printed the book of the Garden of Thoughts from wood-blocks, placing at the beginning an astrologer's sphere and a head of himself after the design of Giuseppe Porta of Castelnuovo della Garfagnana; in which book are various fanciful figures, such as Fate, Envy, Calamity, Timidity, Praise, and many others of the same kind, which were held to be most beautiful. Not otherwise than praiseworthy, also, were the figures that Gabriele Giolito, a printer of books, placed in the Orlando Furioso, for they were executed in a beautiful manner [Pg 116] of engraving. And even such, likewise, were the eleven large anatomical plates that were done by Andrea Vessalio after the drawings of Johann of Calcar, a most excellent Flemish painter, which were afterwards copied on smaller sheets and engraved on copper by Valverde, who wrote on anatomy after Vessalio.

Next, among the many plates that have issued from the hands of Flemings within the last ten years, very beautiful are some drawn by one Michele,[19] a painter, who worked for many years in two chapels that are in the Church of the Germans at Rome. These plates contain the story of Moses and the Serpents, and thirty-two stories of Psyche and Love, which are held to be most beautiful. Hieronymus Cock, also a Fleming, has engraved a large plate after the invention and design of Martin Heemskerk, of Delilah cutting off the locks of Samson; and not far away is the Temple of the Philistines, in which, the towers having fallen, one sees ruin and destruction in the dead, and terror in the living, who are taking to flight. The same master has executed in three smaller plates the Creation of Adam and Eve, the Eating of the Fruit, and the Angel driving them out of Paradise; and in four other plates of the same size, in the first the Devil imprinting avarice and ambition into the heart of man, and in the others all the passions that result from those two. There may also be seen twenty-seven plates of the same size by his hand, with stories from the Old Testament after the expulsion of Adam from Paradise, drawn by Martin in a bold, well-practised, and most resolute manner, which is very similar to the Italian. Hieronymus afterwards engraved six round plates with the history of Susannah, and twenty-three other stories from the Old Testament, similar to those of Abraham already mentioned—namely, six plates with the story of David, eight plates with that of Solomon, four with that of Balaam, and five with those of Judith and Susannah. And from the New Testament he engraved twenty-nine plates, beginning with the Annunciation of the Virgin, and continuing down to the whole Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. He also engraved, after the drawings of the same Martin, the seven Works of Mercy, and the story of the rich Lazarus and the poor Lazarus, and [Pg 117] four plates with the Parable of the Samaritan wounded by thieves, with four other plates of the Parable of the Talents, written by S. Matthew in his eighteenth chapter.

At the time when Hans Liefrinck executed in competition with him ten plates of the Life and Death of S. John the Baptist, he engraved the Twelve Tribes on an equal number of plates; Reuben upon a hog, representing Sensuality; Simeon with a sword as a symbol of Homicide; and in like manner the other heads of Tribes with attributes appropriate to the nature of each. He then executed ten plates, engraved with greater delicacy, with the stories and acts of David, from the time of his being anointed by Samuel to his going before Saul; and he engraved six other plates with the story of how Amnon became enamoured of his sister Tamar and ravished her, and the death of that same Amnon. And not long afterwards he executed ten plates of similar size with the history of Job; and from thirteen chapters of the Proverbs of Solomon he drew subjects for five plates of the same kind. He also engraved the story of the Magi; and then, on six plates, the Parable that is in the twelfth chapter of S. Matthew, of those who for various reasons refused to go to the King's Feast, and of him who went without having a wedding-garment; and six plates of equal size with some of the acts of the Apostles. And in eight similar plates he engraved figures of women of perfect excellence, in various costumes: six from the Old Testament—Jael, Ruth, Abigail, Judith, Esther, and Susannah; and two from the New—Mary the Virgin, Mother of Jesus Christ, and Mary Magdalene.

After these works he carried out the engraving of the Triumphs of Patience in six plates, with various things of fancy. In the first, in a chariot, is Patience, who has in her hand a standard, on which is a rose among thorns. In the second may be seen a burning heart, beaten by three hammers, upon an anvil; and the chariot of this second plate is drawn by two figures—namely, by Desire, who has wings upon the shoulders, and by Hope, who has an anchor in the hand, and behind them Fortune, with her wheel broken, is led as a prisoner. In the next plate is Christ on a chariot, with the standard of the Cross and of His Passion, with the Evangelists at the corners in the form of animals; and [Pg 118] this chariot is drawn by two lambs, and has behind it four prisoners—the Devil, the World, or rather, the Flesh, Sin, and Death. In another Triumph is Isaac, nude, upon a camel; on the banner that he holds in his hand are a pair of prisoner's irons; and behind him is drawn the altar with the ram, the knife, and the fire. In the next plate he made Joseph riding in triumph on an ox crowned with ears of corn and fruits, with a standard on which is a bee-hive; and the prisoners that are led behind him are Anger and Envy, who are devouring a heart. He engraved in another Triumph David on a lion, with the harp, and with a standard in his hand, on which is a bit; and behind him is Saul as a prisoner, and Shimei, with his tongue protruding. In another plate is Tobias riding in triumph on an ass, and holding in his hand a banner, on which is a fountain; and behind him Poverty and Blindness, bound, are led as prisoners. And in the last of the six Triumphs is S. Stephen the Proto-martyr, who is riding in triumph on an elephant, and has a standard with a figure of Charity; and the prisoners behind him are his persecutors. All these were inventions full of fancy, and very ingenious; and they were all engraved by Hieronymus Cock, whose hand is very bold, sure, and resolute.

The same master engraved a plate of Fraud and Avarice, fantastic and beautiful, and another very lovely plate of a Feast of Bacchanals, with children dancing. On another he represented Moses passing across the Red Sea, according as it had been painted by Agnolo Bronzino, a painter of Florence, in the upper chapel in the Palace of the Duke of Florence; and in competition with him, also after the design of Bronzino, Giorgio Mantovano engraved a Nativity of Jesus Christ, which was very beautiful. After these works, Hieronymus engraved twelve plates of the victories, battles, and deeds of arms of Charles V, for him who was the inventor of the subjects; and for Verese, a painter and a great master of perspective in those parts, twenty plates with various buildings. For Hieronymus Bosch he executed a plate of S. Martin, with a barque full of Devils in the most bizarre forms. And he made another of an alchemist who loses all his possessions, distilling away his brains and consuming all that he has in various ways, insomuch that in the end he takes refuge [Pg 119] in the hospital with his wife and children; which plate was designed for him by a painter, who caused him to engrave the Seven Mortal Sins, with Demons of various forms, which was a fantastic and laughable work. He also engraved a Last Judgment; an old man who is seeking with a lantern for peace among the wares of the world, and finds it not; likewise a great fish that is devouring some little fishes; a figure of Carnival enjoying the pleasures of the table with many others, and driving Lent away, and another of Lent driving away Carnival; and so many other whimsical and fantastic inventions, that it would be wearisome to attempt to speak of them all.

Many other Flemings have imitated the manner of Albrecht Dürer with the greatest care and subtlety, as may be seen from their engravings, and in particular from those of ...[20] who has engraved in little figures four stories of the Creation of Adam, four of the lives of Abraham and of Lot, and four others of Susannah, which are very beautiful. In like manner, G... P...[21] has engraved the Seven Works of Mercy in seven small round plates, eight stories taken from the Books of Kings, Regulus placed in the barrel filled with nails, and an Artemisia, which is a plate of great beauty. J... B...[22] has executed figures of the four Evangelists, which are so small that it seems scarcely possible that he could have done them; and also five other very fine plates, in the first of which is a Virgin drawn into the grave by Death in all the freshness of her youth, and in the second is Adam, in the third a peasant, in the fourth a Bishop, and in the fifth a Cardinal, each, like the Virgin, called by Death to his last account. And in some others are many Germans going on parties of pleasure with their wives, and some beautiful and fantastic Satyrs. By ... are plates of the four Evangelists, engraved with great care, and no less beautiful than are twelve stories of the Prodigal Son executed with much diligence by the hand of M.... And, finally, Franz Floris, a painter famous in those parts, has produced a great number of works and drawings which have since been engraved, for the most part by Hieronymus Cock, such as ten plates of the Labours of Hercules, a large plate with all the activities of the life of man, another [Pg 120] with the Horatii and Curiatii engaged in combat in the lists, the Judgment of Solomon, and the Battle between Hercules and the Pygmies. The same master, also, has engraved a Cain who has killed Abel, over whose body Adam and Eve are weeping; an Abraham who is about to sacrifice Isaac on the altar, and a vast number of other plates, so full of variety and invention, that it is indeed marvellous to think of all that has been done in engravings on copper and wood. Lastly, it is enough to draw attention to the engravings of the portraits of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects in this our book, which were drawn by Giorgio Vasari and his pupils, and engraved by Maestro Cristofano ...,[23] who has executed in Venice, as he still continues to do, a vast number of works worthy of record.

In conclusion, for all the assistance that the ultramontanes have received from seeing the various Italian manners by means of engravings, and that the Italians have received from having seen those of the ultramontanes and foreigners, thanks should be rendered, for the most part, to Marc' Antonio Bolognese, in that, besides the circumstance that he played a great part in the beginning of this profession, as has been related, there has not as yet been one who has much surpassed him, although some few have equalled him in certain points. This Marc' Antonio died at Bologna, not long after his departure from Rome. In our book are some drawings of Angels by his hand, done with the pen, and some other very beautiful sheets drawn from the apartments that Raffaello da Urbino painted. In one of these apartments Marc' Antonio, as a young man, was portrayed by Raffaello in one of those grooms who are carrying Pope Julius II, in that part where the High-Priest Onias is praying.

And let this be the end of the Lives of Marc' Antonio Bolognese and of all the other engravers of prints mentioned above, of whom I have thought it right to give this long but necessary account, in order to satisfy not only the students of our arts, but also all those who delight in works of that kind.




How many great and illustrious Princes, abounding with infinite wealth, would leave behind them a name renowned and glorious, if they possessed, together with their store of the goods of Fortune, a mind filled with grandeur and inclined to those things that not only embellish the world, but also confer vast benefit and advantage on the whole race of men! And what works can or should Princes and great persons undertake more readily than noble and magnificent buildings and edifices, both on account of the many kinds of men that are employed upon them in the making, and because, when made, they endure almost to eternity? For of all the costly enterprises that the ancient Romans executed at the time when they were at the supreme height of their greatness, what else is there left to us save those remains of buildings, the everlasting glory of the Roman name, which we revere as sacred things and strive to imitate as the sole patterns of the highest beauty? And how much these considerations occupied the minds of certain Princes who lived in the time of the Florentine architect, Antonio da San Gallo, will now be seen clearly in the Life of him that we are about to write.

Antonio, then, was the son of Bartolommeo Picconi of Mugello, a maker of casks; and after having learned the joiner's craft in his boyhood, hearing that his uncle, Giuliano da San Gallo, was working at Rome in company with his brother Antonio, he set out from Florence for that city. And there, having devoted himself to the matters of the art of architecture with the greatest possible zeal, and pursuing that art, he gave promise of those achievements that we see in such abundance throughout all Italy, in the vast number of works executed by him at [Pg 124] a more mature age. Now it happened that Giuliano was forced by the torment that he suffered from the stone to return to Florence; and Antonio, having become known to the architect Bramante of Castel Durante, began to give assistance to that master, who, being old and crippled in the hands by palsy, was not able to work as before in the preparation of his designs. And these Antonio executed with such accuracy and precision that Bramante, finding that they were correct and true in all their measurements, was constrained to leave to him the charge of a great number of works that he had on his hands, only giving him the order that he desired and all the inventions and compositions that were to be used in each work. In these he found himself served by Antonio with so much judgment, diligence, and expedition, that in the year 1512 he gave him the charge of the corridor that was to lead to the ditches of the Castello di S. Angelo; for which he began to receive a salary of ten crowns a month; but the death of Julius II then took place, and the work was left unfinished. However, the circumstance that Antonio had already acquired a name as a person of ability in architecture, and one who had a very good manner in matters of building, was the reason that Alessandro, who was first Cardinal Farnese, and afterwards Pope Paul III, conceived the idea of commissioning him to restore the old palace in the Campo di Fiore, in which he lived with his family; and for that work Antonio, desiring to grow in reputation, made several designs in different manners. Among which, one that was arranged with two apartments was that which pleased his very reverend Highness, who, having two sons, Signor Pier Luigi and Signor Ranuccio, thought that he would leave them well accommodated by such a building. And, a beginning having been made with that work, a certain portion was constructed regularly every year.

At this time a church dedicated to S. Maria di Loreto was being built at the Macello de' Corbi, near the Column of Trajan, in Rome, and it was brought to perfection by Antonio, with decorations of great beauty. After this, Messer Marchionne Baldassini caused a palace to be erected from the model and under the direction of Antonio, near S. Agostino, which is arranged in such a manner that, small though it may be, it [Pg 125] is held to be, as indeed it is, the finest and most convenient dwelling in Rome; and in it the staircases, the court, the loggie, the doors, and the chimney-pieces, are all executed with consummate grace. With which Messer Marchionne being very well satisfied, he determined that Perino del Vaga, the Florentine painter, should decorate one of the halls in colour, with scenes and other figures, as will be related in his Life; which decorations have given it infinite grace and beauty. And near the Torre di Nona Antonio directed and finished the building of the house of the Centelli, which is small, but very convenient.

No long time passed before he went to Gradoli, a place in the dominions of the very reverend Cardinal Farnese, where he caused a most beautiful and commodious palace to be erected for that Cardinal. On that journey he did a work of great utility in restoring the fortress of Capo di Monte, which he surrounded with low and well-shaped walls; and at the same time he made the design of the fortress of Caprarola. And the very reverend Monsignor Farnese, finding himself served by Antonio in all these works in a manner so satisfactory, was constrained to wish him well, and, coming to love him more and more, he showed him favour in his every enterprise whenever he was able. After this, Cardinal Alborense, wishing to leave a memorial of himself in the church of his nation, caused a chapel of marble, with a tomb for himself, to be erected and brought to completion by Antonio in S. Jacopo degli Spagnuoli; which chapel, as has been related, was all painted in the spaces between the pilasters by Pellegrino da Modena, and on the altar stood a most beautiful S. James of marble executed by Jacopo Sansovino. This is a work of architecture that is held to be truly worthy of the highest praise, since the marble ceiling is divided very beautifully into octagonal compartments. Nor was it long before M. Bartolommeo Ferratino, for his own convenience and for the benefit of his friends, and also in order to leave an honourable and enduring memorial of himself, commissioned Antonio to build a palace on the Piazza d' Amelia, which is a beautiful and most imposing work; whereby Antonio acquired no little fame and profit. During this time Antonio di Monte, Cardinal of Santa Prassedia, was in Rome, and he desired that the same architect [Pg 126] should build for him the palace that he afterwards occupied, looking out upon the Agone, where there is the statue of Maestro Pasquino; and in the centre, which looks over the Piazza, he wished to erect a tower. This was planned and brought to completion for him by Antonio with a most beautiful composition of pilasters and windows from the first floor to the third—a good and graceful design; and it was adorned both within and without by Francesco dell' Indaco with figures and scenes in terretta. And Antonio having meanwhile become the devoted servant of the Cardinal of Arimini, that lord caused him to erect a palace at Tolentino in the March, for which, in addition to the rewards that Antonio received, the Cardinal ever afterwards held himself indebted to him.

While these matters were in progress, and the fame of Antonio was growing and spreading abroad, it happened that old age and various infirmities made Bramante a citizen of the other world; at which three architects were appointed straightway by Pope Leo for the building of S. Pietro—Raffaello da Urbino, Giuliano da San Gallo, the uncle of Antonio, and Fra Giocondo of Verona. But no long time passed before Fra Giocondo departed from Rome, and Giuliano, being old, received leave to return to Florence. Whereupon Antonio, who was in the service of the very reverend Cardinal Farnese, besought him very straitly that he should make supplication to Pope Leo, to the end that he might grant the place of his uncle Giuliano to him, which proved to be a thing very easy to obtain, first because of the abilities of Antonio, which were worthy of that place, and then by reason of the cordial relations between the Pope and the very reverend Cardinal Farnese. And thus, in company with Raffaello da Urbino, he continued that building, but coldly enough.

The Pope then went to Cività Vecchia, in order to fortify it, and in his company were many lords; among others, Giovan Paolo Baglioni and Signor Vitello, and such persons of ability as Pietro Navarra and Antonio Marchissi, the architect for fortifications at that time, who had come from Naples at the command of the Pope. Discussions arising as to the fortification of that place, many and various were the opinions about this, one man making one design, and another a different one; [Pg 127] but among so many, Antonio displayed before them a plan which was approved by the Pope and by those lords and architects as superior to all the others in strength and beauty and in the handsome and useful character of its arrangements; wherefore Antonio came into very great credit with the Court. After this, the genius of Antonio repaired a great mischief brought about in the following manner: Raffaello da Urbino, in executing the Papal Loggie and the apartments that are over the foundations, had left many empty spaces in the masonry in order to oblige some friends, to the serious damage of the whole building, by reason of the great weight that had to be supported above them; and the edifice was already beginning to show signs of falling, on account of the weight being too great for the walls. And it would certainly have fallen down but for the genius of Antonio, who filled up those little chambers with the aid of props and beams, and refounded the whole fabric, thus making it as firm and solid as it had ever been in the beginning.

Meanwhile the Florentine colony had begun their church in the Strada Giulia, behind the Banchi, from the design of Jacopo Sansovino. But they had chosen a site that extended too far into the river, so that, compelled by necessity, they spent twelve thousand crowns on foundations in the water, which were executed in a very secure and beautiful manner by Antonio, who found the way after Jacopo had failed to discover it; and several braccia of the edifice were built over the water. Antonio made a model so excellent, that, if the work had been carried to completion, it would have been something stupendous. Nevertheless, it was a great error, giving proof of little judgment, on the part of those who were at that time the heads of that colony in Rome, for they should never have allowed the architects to found so large a church in so terrible a river, for the sake of gaining twenty braccia of length, and to throw away so many thousands of crowns on foundations, only to be compelled to contend with that river for ever; particularly because, by bringing that church forward and giving it another form, they might have built it on solid ground, and, what is more, might have carried the whole to completion with almost the same expense. And if they [Pg 128] trusted in the riches of the merchants of that colony, it was seen afterwards how fallacious such a hope was, for in all the years that the pontificate was held by Leo and Clement of the Medici family, by Julius III, and by Marcellus, who all came from Florentine territory, although the last-named lived but a short time, and for all the greatness of so many Cardinals and the riches of so many merchants, it remained, as it still does, in the same condition in which it was left by our San Gallo. It is clear, therefore, that architects and those who cause buildings to be erected should look well to the end and to every matter, before setting their hands to works of importance.

But to return to Antonio: the fortress of Monte Fiascone had been formerly built by Pope Urban, and he restored it at the commission of the Pope, who took him to those parts one summer in his train. And at the request of Cardinal Farnese he built two little temples on the island of Visentina in the Lake of Bolsena, one of which was constructed as an octagon without and round within, and the other was square on the outer side and octagonal on the inner, with four niches in the walls at the corners, one to each; which two little temples, executed in so beautiful a manner, bore testimony to the skill with which Antonio was able to give variety to the details of architecture. While these temples were building, Antonio returned to Rome, where he made a beginning with the Palace of the Bishop of Cervia, which was afterwards left unfinished, on the Canto di S. Lucia, where the new Mint stands. He built the Church of S. Maria di Monferrato, which is held to be very beautiful, near the Corte Savella, and likewise the house of one Marrano, which is behind the Cibo Palace, near the houses of the Massimi.

Meanwhile Leo died, and with him all the fine and noble arts, which had been restored to life by him and by his predecessor, Julius II; and his successor was Adrian VI, in whose pontificate all arts and talents were so crushed down, that, if the government of the Apostolic Seat had remained long in his hands, that fate would have come upon Rome under his rule which fell upon her on another occasion, when all the statues saved from the destruction of the Goths, both the good and the bad, were condemned to be burned. Adrian, perhaps in imitation of [Pg 129] the Pontiffs of those former times, had already begun to speak of intending to throw to the ground the Chapel of the divine Michelagnolo, saying that it was a bagnio of nudes; and he despised all good pictures and statues, calling them vanities of the world, and shameful and abominable things, which circumstance was the reason that not only Antonio, but all the other beautiful intellects were kept idle, insomuch that, not to mention other works, scarcely anything was done in the time of that Pontiff on the building of S. Pietro, to which at least he should have been friendly, since he wished to prove himself so much the enemy of worldly things.

For that reason, therefore, attending under that Pontiff to works of no great importance, Antonio restored the aisles of the Church of S. Jacopo degli Spagnuoli, and furnished the façade with most beautiful windows. He also caused a tabernacle of travertine to be constructed for the Imagine di Ponte, which, although small, is yet very graceful; and in it Perino del Vaga afterwards executed a beautiful little work in fresco.

The poor arts had already come to an evil pass through the life of Adrian, when Heaven, moved to pity for them, resolved by the death of one to give new life to thousands; wherefore it removed him from the world and caused him to surrender his place to one who would fill that position more worthily and would govern the affairs of the world in a different spirit. And thus a new Pope was elected in Clement VII, who, being a man of generous mind, and desiring to follow in the steps of Leo and of the other members of his illustrious family who had preceded him, bethought himself that, even as he had created beautiful memorials of himself as Cardinal, so as Pope he should surpass all others in restoring and adorning buildings. That election, then, brought consolation to many men of talent, and infused a potent and heaven-sent breath of life in those ingenious but timid spirits who had sunk into abasement; and they, thus revived, afterwards executed the beautiful works that we see at the present day. And first, having been set to work at the commission of His Holiness, Antonio straightway reconstructed a court in front of the Loggie, which had been painted previously under [Pg 130] the direction of Raffaello, in the Palace; which court was a vast improvement in beauty and convenience, for it was formerly necessary to pass through certain narrow and tortuous ways, and Antonio, widening these and giving them better form, made them spacious and beautiful. But this part is not now in the condition in which Antonio left it, for Pope Julius III took away the columns of granite that were there, in order to adorn his villa with them, and altered everything. Antonio also executed the façade of the old Mint of Rome, a work of great beauty and grace, in the Banchi, making a rounded corner, which is held to be a difficult and even miraculous thing; and in that work he placed the arms of the Pope. And he refounded the unfinished part of the Papal Loggie, which had remained incomplete at the death of Pope Leo, and had not been continued, or even touched, through the negligence of Adrian. And thus, at the desire of Clement, they were carried to their final completion.

His Holiness then resolving to fortify Parma and Piacenza, after many designs and models had been made by various craftsmen, Antonio was sent to those places, and with him Giuliano Leno, the supervisor of those fortifications. When they had arrived there, Antonio having with him his pupil L'Abacco, Pier Francesco da Viterbo, a very able engineer, and the architect Michele San Michele of Verona, all of them together carried the designs of those fortifications into execution. Which done, the others remaining, Antonio returned to Rome, where Pope Clement, since the Palace was poorly supplied in the matter of apartments, ordained that Antonio should begin those in which the public consistories are held, above the Ferraria, which were executed in such a manner, that the Pontiff was well satisfied with them, and caused other apartments to be constructed above them for the Chamberlains of His Holiness. Over the ceilings of those apartments, likewise, Antonio made others which were very commodious—a work which was most dangerous, because it necessitated so much refounding. In this kind of work Antonio was in truth very able, seeing that his buildings never showed a crack; nor was there ever among the moderns any architect more cautious or more skilful in joining walls.

[Pg 131] In the time of Pope Paul II, the Church of the Madonna of Loreto, which was small, and had its roof immediately over brick piers of rustic work, had been refounded and brought to that size in which it may be seen at the present day, by means of the skill and genius of Giuliano da Maiano; and it had been continued from the outer string-course upwards by Sixtus IV and by others, as has been related; but finally, in the time of Clement, in the year 1526, without having previously shown the slightest sign of falling, it cracked in such a manner, that not only the arches of the tribune were in danger, but the whole church in many places, for the reason that the foundations were weak and wanting in depth. Wherefore Antonio was sent by the said Pope Clement to put right so great a mischief; and when he had arrived at Loreto, propping up the arches and fortifying the whole, like the resolute and judicious architect that he was, he refounded all the building, and, making the walls and pilasters thicker both within and without, he gave it a beautiful form, both as a whole and in its well-proportioned parts, and made it strong enough to be able to support any weight, however great. He adhered to one and the same order in the transepts and in the aisles of the church, making superb mouldings on the architraves, friezes, and cornices above the arches, and he rendered beautiful and well constructed in no common way the socles of the four great piers around the eight sides of the tribune which support the four arches—namely, three in the transepts, where the chapels are, and the larger one in the central nave. This work certainly deserves to be celebrated as the best that Antonio ever executed, and that not without sufficient reason, seeing that those who erect some new building, or raise one from the foundations, have the power to make it high or low, and to carry it to such perfection as they desire or are able to achieve, without being hindered by anything; which does not fall to the lot of him who has to rectify or restore works begun by others and brought to a sorry state either by the craftsman or by the circumstances of Fortune; whence it may be said that Antonio restored a dead thing to life, and did that which was scarcely possible. Having finished all this, he arranged that the church should be covered with lead, and gave directions for the execution of all that [Pg 132] still remained to do; and thus, by his means, that famous temple received a better form and more grace than it had possessed before, and the hope of a long-enduring life.

He then returned to Rome, just after that city had been given over to sack; and the Pope was at Orvieto, where the Court was suffering very greatly from want of water. Thereupon, at the wish of the Pontiff, Antonio built in that city a well all of stone, twenty-five braccia wide, with two spiral staircases cut in the tufa, one above the other, following the curve of the well. By these two spiral staircases it is possible to descend to the bottom of the well, insomuch that the animals that go there for water, entering by one door, go down by one of the two staircases, and when they have come to the platform where they receive their load of water, they pass, without turning round, into the other branch of the spiral staircase, which winds above that of the descent, and emerge from the well by a different door, opposite to the other. This work, which was an ingenious, useful, and marvellously beautiful thing, was carried almost to completion before the death of Clement; and the mouth of the well, which alone remained to be executed, was finished by order of Pope Paul III, but not according to the directions drawn up by Clement with the advice of Antonio, who was much commended for so beautiful a work. Certain it is that the ancients never built a structure equal to this in workmanship or ingenuity, seeing, above all, that the central shaft is made in such a way that even down to the bottom it gives light by means of certain windows to the two staircases mentioned above.

While this work was in progress, the same Antonio directed the construction of the fortress of Ancona, which in time was carried to completion. Afterwards, Pope Clement resolving, at the time when his nephew Alessandro de' Medici was Duke of Florence, to erect an impregnable fortress in that city, Signor Alessandro Vitelli, Pier Francesco da Viterbo, and Antonio laid out that castle, or rather, fortress, which is between the Porta al Prato and the Porta a S. Gallo, and caused it to be built with such rapidity, that no similar structure, whether ancient or modern, was ever completed so quickly. In a great tower, which was [Pg 133] the first to be founded, and was called the Toso, were placed many inscriptions and medals, with the most solemn pomp and ceremony; and this work is now celebrated over all the world, and is held to be impregnable.

By order of Antonio were summoned to Loreto the sculptor Tribolo, Raffaello da Montelupo, Francesco da San Gallo, then a young man, and Simone Cioli, who finished the scenes of marble begun by Andrea Sansovino. To the same place Antonio summoned the Florentine Mosca, a most excellent carver of marble, who was then occupied, as will be related in his Life, with a chimney-piece of stone for the heirs of Pellegrino da Fossombrone, which proved to be a divine work of carving. This master, I say, at the entreaty of Antonio, made his way to Loreto, where he executed festoons that are absolutely divine. Thus, with rapidity and diligence, the ornamentation of that Chamber of Our Lady was completely finished, although Antonio had five works of importance on his hands at one and the same time, to all of which, notwithstanding that they were in different places, distant one from another, he gave his attention in such a manner that he never neglected any of them; for when at any time he could not conveniently be there in person, he availed himself of the assistance of his brother Battista. These five works were the above-mentioned Fortress of Florence, that of Ancona, the work at Loreto, the Apostolic Palace, and the well at Orvieto.

After the death of Clement, when Cardinal Farnese was elected supreme Pontiff under the title of Paul III, Antonio, having been the friend of the Pope while he was a Cardinal, came into even greater credit; and His Holiness, having created his son, Signor Pier Luigi, Duke of Castro, sent Antonio to make the designs of the fortress which that Duke caused to be founded in that place; of the palace, called the Osteria, that is on the Piazza; and of the Mint, built of travertine after the manner of that in Rome, which is in the same place. Nor were these the only designs that Antonio made in that city, for he prepared many others of palaces and other buildings for various persons, both natives and strangers, who erected edifices of such cost that it would seem incredible to one who has not seen them, so ornate are they all, so commodious, [Pg 134] and built with so little regard for expense; which was done by many, without a doubt, in order to please the Pope, seeing that even by such means do many contrive to procure favours for themselves, flattering the humour of Princes; and this is a thing not otherwise than worthy of praise, for it contributes to the convenience, advantage, and pleasure of the whole world.

Next, in the year in which the Emperor Charles V returned victorious from Tunis, most magnificent triumphal arches were erected to him in Messina, in Apulia, and in Naples, in honour of so great a victory; and since he was to come to Rome, Antonio, at the commission of the Pope, made a triumphal arch of wood at the Palace of S. Marco, of such a shape that it might serve for two streets, and so beautiful that a more superb or better proportioned work in wood has never been seen. And if in such a work splendid and costly marbles had been added to the industry, art, and diligence bestowed on its design and execution, it might have been deservedly numbered, on account of its statues, painted scenes, and other ornaments, among the Seven Wonders of the world. This arch, which was placed at the end of the corner turning into the principal Piazza, was of the Corinthian Order, with four round columns overlaid with silver on each side, and capitals carved in most beautiful foliage, completely overlaid with gold. There were very beautiful architraves, friezes, and cornices placed with projections over every column; and between each two columns were two painted scenes, insomuch that there were four scenes distributed over each side, which, with the two sides, made eight scenes altogether, containing, as will be described elsewhere in speaking of those who painted them, the deeds of the Emperor. In order to enhance this splendour, also, and to complete the pediment above that arch on each side, there were two figures in relief, each four braccia and a half in height, representing Rome, with two Emperors of the House of Austria on either side, those on the front part being Albrecht and Maximilian, and those on the other side Frederick and Rudolph. And upon the corners, likewise, were four prisoners, two on each side, with a great number of trophies, also in relief, and the arms of His Holiness and of His Majesty; which were all [Pg 135] executed under the direction of Antonio by excellent sculptors and by the best painters that there were in Rome at that time. And not only this arch was executed under the direction of Antonio, but also all the preparations for the festival that was held for the reception of so great and so invincible an Emperor.

The same Antonio then set to work on the Fortress of Nepi for the aforesaid Duke of Castro, and on the fortification of the whole city, which is both beautiful and impregnable. He laid out many streets in the same city, and made for its citizens the designs of many houses and palaces. His Holiness then causing the bastions of Rome to be constructed, which are very strong, and the Porta di S. Spirito being included among those works, the latter was built with the direction and design of Antonio, with rustic decorations of travertine, in a very solid and beautiful manner, and so magnificent, that it equals the works of the ancients. After the death of Antonio, there were some who sought, moved more by envy than by any reasonable motive, and employing extraordinary means, to have this structure pulled down; but this was not allowed by those in power.

Under the direction of the same architect was refounded almost the whole of the Apostolic Palace, which was in danger of ruin in many other parts besides those that have been mentioned; in particular, on one side, the Sistine Chapel, in which are the works of Michelagnolo, and likewise the façade, which he did in such a way that not the slightest crack appeared—a work richer in danger than in honour. He enlarged the Great Hall of that same Sistine Chapel, making in two lunettes at the head of it those immense windows with their marvellous lights, and with compartments pushed up into the vaulting and wrought in stucco; all executed at great cost, and so well, that this hall may be considered the richest and the most beautiful that there had been in the world up to that time. And he added to it a staircase, by which it might be possible to go into S. Pietro, so commodious and so well built that nothing better, whether ancient or modern, has yet been seen; and likewise the Pauline Chapel, where the Sacrament has to be placed, which is a work of extraordinary charm, so beautiful and so well [Pg 136] proportioned and distributed, that through the grace that may be seen therein it appears to present itself to the eye with a festive smile.

Antonio built the Fortress of Perugia, at the time when there was discord between the people of that city and the Pope; and that work, for which the houses of the Baglioni were thrown to the ground, was finished with marvellous rapidity, and proved to be very beautiful. He also built the Fortress of Ascoli, bringing it in a few days to such a condition that it could be held by a garrison, although the people of Ascoli and others did not think that it could be carried so far in many years; wherefore it happened that, when the garrison was placed in it so quickly, those people were struck with astonishment, and could scarce believe it. He also refounded his own house in the Strada Giulia at Rome, in order to protect himself from the floods that rise when the Tiber is swollen; and he not only began, but in great part completed, the palace that he occupied near S. Biagio, which now belongs to Cardinal Riccio of Montepulciano, who has finished it, adding most ornate apartments, and spending upon it vast sums in addition to what had been spent by Antonio, which was some thousands of crowns.

But all that Antonio did to the benefit and advantage of the world is as nothing in comparison with the model of the venerable and stupendous fabric of S. Pietro at Rome, which, planned in the beginning by Bramante, he enlarged and rearranged with a new plan and in an extraordinary manner, giving it dignity and a well-proportioned composition, both as a whole and in its separate parts, as may be seen from the model made of wood by the hand of his disciple, Antonio L'Abacco, who carried it to absolute perfection. This model, which gave Antonio a very great name, was published in engraving after the death of Antonio da San Gallo, together with the ground-plan of the whole edifice, by the said Antonio L'Abacco, who wished to show in this way how great was the genius of San Gallo, and to make known to all men the opinion of that architect; for new plans had been proposed in opposition by Michelagnolo Buonarroti, and out of this change of plans many contentions afterwards arose, as will be related in the proper place. It appeared to Michelagnolo, and also to many others who saw the model of San [Pg 137] Gallo, and such parts as were carried into execution by him, that Antonio's composition was too much cut up by projections and by members which are too small, as are also the columns, the arches upon arches, and the cornices upon cornices. Besides this, it seems not to be approved that the two bell-towers in his plan, the four little tribunes, and the principal cupola, should have that ornament, or rather, garland of columns, many and small. In like manner, men did not much approve, nor do they now, of those innumerable pinnacles that are in it as a finish to the work; and it appears that in that model he imitated the style and manner of the Germans rather than the good manner of the ancients, which is now followed by the best architects. The above-mentioned model of S. Pietro was finished by L'Abacco a short time after the death of Antonio; and it was found that, in so far as appertained merely to the woodwork and the labour of the carpenters, it had cost four thousand one hundred and eighty-four crowns. In executing it, Antonio L'Abacco, who had charge of the work, acquitted himself very well, having a good knowledge of the matters of architecture, as is proved by the book of the buildings of Rome that he printed, which is very beautiful. This model, which is now to be found in the principal chapel of S. Pietro, is thirty-five palme[24] in length, twenty-six in breadth, and twenty palme and a half in height; wherefore, according to the model, the work would have been one thousand and forty palme in length, or one hundred and four canne,[25] and three hundred and sixty palme in breadth, or thirty-six canne, for the reason that the canna which is used in Rome, according to the measure of the masons, is equal to ten palme.

For the making of this model and of many designs, there were assigned to Antonio by the Wardens of the building of S. Pietro fifteen hundred crowns, of which he received one thousand in cash; but the rest he never drew, for a short time after that work he passed to the other life. He strengthened the piers of the same Church of S. Pietro, to the end that the weight of the tribune might be supported securely; and he filled all the scattered parts of the foundations with solid material, and [Pg 138] made them so strong, that there is no reason to fear that the building may show any more cracks or threaten to fall, as it did in the time of Bramante. This masterly work, if it were above the ground instead of being hidden below, would amaze the boldest intellect. And for these reasons the name and fame of this admirable craftsman should always have a place among the rarest masters.

We find that ever since the time of the ancient Romans the men of Terni and those of Narni have been deadly enemies with one another, as they still are, for the reason that the lake of the Marmora, becoming choked up at times, would do injury to one of those communities; and thus, when the people of Narni wished to release the waters, those of Terni would by no means consent to it. On that account there has always been a difference between them, whether the Pontiffs were governing Rome, or whether it was subject to the Emperors; and in the time of Cicero that orator was sent by the Senate to compose that difference, but it remained unsettled. Wherefore, after envoys had been sent to Pope Paul III in the year 1546 for the same purpose, he despatched Antonio to them to settle that dispute; and so, by his good judgment, it was resolved that the lake should have an outlet on the side where the wall is, and Antonio had it cut, although with the greatest difficulty. But it came to pass by reason of the heat, which was great, and other hardships, that Antonio, being now old and feeble, fell sick of a fever at Terni, and rendered up his spirit not long after; at which his friends and relatives felt infinite sorrow, and many buildings suffered, particularly the Palace of the Farnese family, near the Campo di Fiore.

Palazzo Farnese.

(After Antonio di San Gallo (with Michelangelo).
View larger image

Pope Paul III, when he was Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, had carried that palace a considerable way towards completion, and had finished part of the first range of windows in the façade and the inner hall, and had begun one side of the courtyard; but the building was yet not so far advanced that it could be seen in its perfection, when the Cardinal was elected Pontiff, and Antonio altered the whole of the original design, considering that he had to make a palace no longer for a Cardinal, but for a Pope. Having therefore pulled down some houses that were round it, and the old staircase, he rebuilt it with a more gentle [Pg 139] ascent, and increased the courtyard on every side and also the whole palace, making the halls greater in extent and the rooms more numerous and more magnificent, with very beautiful carved ceilings and many other ornaments. And he had already brought the façade, with the second range of windows, to completion, and had only to add the great cornice that was to go right round the whole, when the Pope, who was a man of exalted mind and excellent judgment, desiring to have a cornice richer and more beautiful than any that there had ever been in any other palace whatsoever, resolved that, in addition to the designs that Antonio had made, all the best architects of Rome should each make one, after which he would choose the finest, but would nevertheless have it carried into execution by Antonio. And so one morning, while he was at table at the Belvedere, all those designs were brought before him in the presence of Antonio, the masters who had made them being Perino del Vaga, Fra Sebastiano del Piombo, Michelagnolo Buonarroti, and Giorgio Vasari, who was then a young man and in the service of Cardinal Farnese, at the commission of whom and of the Pope he had prepared for that cornice not one only, but two different designs. It is true that Buonarroti did not bring his own himself, but sent it by the same Giorgio Vasari, who had gone to show him his designs, to the end that he might express his opinion on them as a friend; whereupon Michelagnolo gave him his own design, asking that he should take it to the Pope and make his excuses for not going in person, on the ground that he was indisposed. And when all the designs had been presented to the Pope, his Holiness examined them for a long time, and praised them all as ingenious and very beautiful, but that of the divine Michelagnolo above all.

Now all this did not happen without causing vexation to Antonio, who was not much pleased with this method of procedure on the part of the Pope, and who would have liked to do everything by himself. But even more was he displeased to see that the Pope held in great account one Jacomo Melighino of Ferrara, and made use of him as architect in the building of S. Pietro, although he showed neither power of design nor much judgment in his works, giving him the same salary as he paid to Antonio, on whom fell all the labour. And this happened [Pg 140] because this Melighino had been the faithful servant of the Pope for many years without any reward, and it pleased His Holiness to recompense him in that way; not to mention that he had charge of the Belvedere and of some other buildings belonging to the Pope.

After the Pope, therefore, had seen all the designs mentioned above, he said, perchance to try Antonio: "These are all beautiful, but it would not be amiss for us to see another that our Melighino has made." At which Antonio, feeling some resentment, and believing that the Pope was making fun of him, replied: "Holy Father, Melighino is but an architect in jest." Which hearing, the Pope, who was seated, turned towards Antonio, and, bowing his head almost to the ground, answered: "Antonio, it is our wish that Melighino should be an architect in earnest, as you may see from his salary." Having said this, he dismissed the company and went away; and by these words he meant to show that it is very often by Princes rather than by their own merits that men are brought to the greatness that they desire. The cornice was afterwards executed by Michelagnolo, who reconstructed the whole of that palace almost in another form, as will be related in his Life.

After the death of Antonio there remained alive his brother Battista Gobbo, a person of ability, who spent all his time on the buildings of Antonio, although the latter did not behave very well towards him. This Battista did not live many years after Antonio, and at his death he left all his possessions to the Florentine Company of the Misericordia in Rome, on the condition that the men of that Company should cause to be printed a book of Observations on Vitruvius that he had written. That book has never come into the light of day, but it is believed to be a good work, for he had a very fine knowledge of the matters of his art, and was a man of excellent judgment, and he was also upright and true.

But returning to Antonio: having died at Terni, he was taken to Rome and carried to the grave with the greatest pomp, followed by all the craftsmen of design and by many others; and then, at the instance of the Wardens of S. Pietro, his body was placed in a tomb near the Chapel of Pope Sixtus in S. Pietro, with the following epitaph:


And in truth Antonio, who was a most excellent architect, deserves to be celebrated and extolled, as his works clearly demonstrate, no less than any other architect, whether ancient or modern.




Among his many, or rather innumerable, disciples, the greater number of whom became able masters, Raffaello da Urbino had not one who imitated him more closely in manner, invention, design, and colouring, than did Giulio Romano, nor one who was better grounded, more bold, resolute, prolific, and versatile, or more fanciful and varied than Giulio; not to mention for the present that he was very pleasant in his conversation, gay, amiable, gracious, and supremely excellent in character. These qualities were the reason that he was so beloved by Raffaello, that, if he had been his son, he could not have loved him more; wherefore it came to pass that Raffaello always made use of him in his most important works, and, in particular, in executing the Papal Loggie for Leo X; for after Raffaello had made the designs for the architecture, the decorations, and the scenes, he caused Giulio to paint many of the pictures there, among which are the Creation of Adam and Eve, that of the animals, the Building of Noah's Ark, his Sacrifice, and many other works, which are known by the manner, such as the one in which the daughter of Pharaoh, with her ladies, finds Moses in the little ark, which had been cast adrift on the river by the Hebrews—a work that is marvellous on account of a very well executed landscape. Giulio also assisted Raffaello in painting many things in that apartment of the Borgia Tower which contains the Burning of the Borgo, more particularly the base, which is painted in the colour of bronze, with the Countess Matilda, King Pepin, Charlemagne, Godfrey de Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, and other benefactors of the Church—all excellent figures; and prints of a part of this scene, taken from a drawing by the hand of Giulio, [Pg 146] were published not long since. The same Giulio also executed the greater part of the scenes in fresco that are in the Loggia of Agostino Chigi; and he worked in oils on a very beautiful picture of S. Elizabeth, which was painted by Raffaello and sent to King Francis of France, together with another picture, of S. Margaret, painted almost entirely by Giulio after the design of Raffaello, who sent to the same King the portrait of the Vice-Queen of Naples, wherein Raffaello did nothing but the likeness of the head from life, and the rest was finished by Giulio. These works, which were very dear to that King, are still in the King's Chapel at Fontainebleau in France.

Working in this manner in the service of his master Raffaello, and learning the most difficult secrets of art, which were taught to him by Raffaello himself with extraordinary lovingness, before a long time had passed Giulio knew very well how to draw in perspective, take the measurements of buildings, and execute ground-plans; and Raffaello, designing and sketching at times inventions after his own fancy, would afterwards have them drawn on a larger scale, with the proper measurements, by Giulio, in order to make use of them in his works of architecture. And Giulio, beginning to delight in that art, gave his attention to it in such a manner, that he afterwards practised it and became a most excellent master. At his death, Raffaello left as his heirs Giulio and Giovan Francesco, called Il Fattore, on the condition that they should finish the works begun by him; and they carried the greater part of these to completion with honour.

The Battle of Constantine.

(Detail, after the fresco by Giulio Romano.
Rome: The Vatican)
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Now Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, who afterwards became Pope Clement VII, took a site under Monte Mario at Rome, in which, besides a beautiful view, there were running waters, with some woods on the banks and a lovely plain which, running along the Tiber as far as the Ponte Molle, formed on either side a wide expanse of meadowland that extended almost to the Porta di S. Pietro; and on the highest point of the bank, where there was a level space, he proposed to build a palace with all the best and most beautiful conveniences and adornments that could be desired in the form of apartments, loggie, gardens, fountains, groves, and other things. Of all this he gave the charge to Giulio, who, undertaking [Pg 147] it willingly, and setting his hand to the work, brought that palace, which was then called the Vigna de' Medici, and is now known as the Villa Madama, to that condition which will be described below. Accommodating himself, then, to the nature of the site and the wishes of the Cardinal, he made the façade in the form of a semicircle, after the manner of a theatre, with a design of niches and windows of the Ionic Order; which was so excellent, that many believe that Raffaello made the first sketch for it, and that the work was afterwards pursued and carried to completion by Giulio. The same Giulio painted many pictures in the chambers and elsewhere; in particular, in a very beautiful loggia beyond the first entrance vestibule, which is adorned all around with niches large and small, wherein are great numbers of ancient statues; and among these was a Jupiter, a rare work, which was afterwards sent by the Farnese family to King Francis of France, with many other most beautiful statues. In addition to those niches, the said loggia is all wrought in stucco and has the walls and ceilings all painted with grotesques by the hand of Giovanni da Udine. At the head of this loggia Giulio painted in fresco an immense Polyphemus with a vast number of children and little satyrs playing about him, for which he gained much praise, even as he did for all the designs and works that he executed for that place, which he adorned with fish-ponds, pavements, rustic fountains, groves, and other suchlike things, all most beautiful and carried out with fine order and judgment.

It is true that, the death of Leo supervening, for a time this work was carried no further, for when a new Pontiff had been elected in Adrian, and Cardinal de' Medici had returned to Florence, it was abandoned, together with all the public works begun by Adrian's predecessor. During this time Giulio and Giovan Francesco brought to completion many things that had been left unfinished by Raffaello, and they were preparing to carry into execution some of the cartoons that he had made for the pictures of the Great Hall of the Palace—in which he had begun to paint four stories from the life of the Emperor Constantine, and had, when he died, covered one wall with the proper mixture for painting in oils—when they saw that Adrian, being a man who took no delight in [Pg 148] pictures, sculptures, or in any other good thing, had no wish that the Hall should be finished. Driven to despair, therefore, Giulio and Giovan Francesco, and with them Perino del Vaga, Giovanni da Udine, Sebastiano Viniziano, and all the other excellent craftsmen, were almost like to die of hunger during the lifetime of Adrian. But by the will of God, while the Court, accustomed to the magnificence of Leo, was all in dismay, and all the best craftsmen, perceiving that no art was prized any longer, were beginning to consider where they might take refuge, Adrian died, and Cardinal Giulio de' Medici was elected Supreme Pontiff under the name of Clement VII; and with him all the arts of design, together with the other arts, were restored to life in one day. Giulio and Giovan Francesco, full of joy, set themselves straightway by order of the Pope to finish the above-mentioned Hall of Constantine, and threw to the ground the preparation that had been laid on one wall for painting in oils; but they left untouched two figures that they had painted previously in oils, which serve as adornments to certain Popes; and these were a Justice and another similar figure.

The distribution of this Hall, which is low, had been designed with much judgment by Raffaello, who had placed at the corners, over all the doors, large niches with ornaments in the form of little boys holding various devices of Leo, such as lilies, diamonds, plumes, and other emblems of the House of Medici. In the niches were seated some Popes in pontificals, each with a canopy in his niche; and round those Popes were some little boys in the form of little angels, holding books and other appropriate things in their hands. And each Pope had on either side of him a Virtue, chosen according to his merits; thus, the Apostle Peter had Religion on one side and Charity, or rather Piety, on the other, and so all the others had similar Virtues; and the said Popes were Damasus I, Alexander I, Leo III, Gregory, Sylvester, and some others. All these figures were so well placed in position and executed by Giulio, who painted all the best parts of this work in fresco, that it is clear that he endured much labour and took great pains with them; as may also be seen from a drawing of S. Sylvester, which was designed very well by his own hand, and is perhaps a much more graceful work than the painted figure. [Pg 149] It may be affirmed, indeed, that Giulio always expressed his conceptions better in drawings than in finished work or in paintings, for in the former may be seen more vivacity, boldness, and feeling; and this may have happened because he made a drawing in an hour, in all the heat and glow of working, whereas on paintings he spent months, and even years, so that, growing weary of them, and losing that keen and ardent love that one has at the beginning of a work, it is no marvel that he did not give them that absolute perfection that is to be seen in his drawings.

But to return to the stories: Giulio painted on one of the walls Constantine making an address to his soldiers; while in the air, in a splendour of light, appears the Sign of the Cross, with some little boys, and letters that run thus: "In hoc signo vinces." And there is a dwarf at the feet of Constantine, placing a helmet on his head, who is executed with great art. Next, on the largest wall, there is the battle of horsemen which took place at the Ponte Molle, in which Constantine routed Maxentius. This work is worthy of the highest praise, on account of the dead and wounded that may be seen in it, and the various extravagant attitudes of the foot-soldiers and horsemen who are fighting in groups, all painted with great spirit; not to mention that there are many portraits from life. And if this scene were not too much darkened and loaded with blacks, which Giulio always delighted to use in colouring, it would be altogether perfect; but this takes away much of its grace and beauty. In the same scene he painted the whole landscape of Monte Mario, and the River Tiber, in which Maxentius, who is on horseback, proud and terrible, is drowning. In short, Giulio acquitted himself in such a manner in this work, that it has been a great light to all who have painted battle-pieces of that kind since his day. He himself learned so much from the ancient columns of Trajan and Antoninus that are in Rome, that he made much use of this knowledge for the costumes of soldiers, armour, ensigns, bastions, palisades, battering-rams, and all the other instruments of war that are painted throughout the whole of that Hall. And beneath these scenes, right round, he painted many things in the colour of bronze, which are all beautiful and worthy of praise.

On another wall he painted S. Sylvester the Pope baptizing Constantine, [Pg 150] representing there the very bath made by Constantine himself, which is at S. Giovanni Laterano at the present day; and he made a portrait from life of Pope Clement in the S. Sylvester who is baptizing, with some assistants in their vestments, and a crowd of people. Among the many attendants of the Pope of whom he painted portraits there, also from life, was the Cavalierino, who was very influential with His Holiness at that time, and Messer Niccolò Vespucci, a Knight of Rhodes. And below this, on the base, he painted a scene with figures in imitation of bronze, of Constantine causing the Church of S. Pietro to be built at Rome, in allusion to Pope Clement. There he made portraits of the architect Bramante and of Giuliano Lemi,[26] holding the design of the ground-plan of the said church, and this scene is very beautiful.

On the fourth wall, above the chimney-piece of that Hall, he depicted in perspective the Church of S. Pietro at Rome, with the Pope's throne exactly as it appears when His Holiness chants the Pontifical Mass; the body of Cardinals and all the other prelates of the Court; the chapel of singers and musicians; and the Pope seated, represented as S. Sylvester, with Constantine kneeling at his feet and presenting to him a figure of Rome made of gold in the manner of those that are on the ancient medals, by which Giulio intended to signify the dowry which that Constantine gave to the Roman Church. In this scene Giulio painted many women kneeling there to see that ceremony, who are very beautiful; a beggar asking for alms; a little boy amusing himself by riding on a dog; and the Lancers of the Papal Guard, who are making the people give way and stand back, as is the custom. And among many portraits that are in this work may be seen portraits from life of Giulio himself, the painter; of Count Baldassarre Castiglioni, the author of the "Cortigiano," and very much his friend; of Pontano and Marullo; and of many other men of letters and courtiers. Right round the Hall and between the windows Giulio painted many devices and poetical compositions, which were pleasing and fanciful; and everything was much to the satisfaction of the Pope, who rewarded him liberally for his labours.

While this Hall was being painted, Giulio and Giovan Francesco, [Pg 151] although they could not meet the demands of their friends even in part, executed an altar-piece with the Assumption of Our Lady, a very beautiful work, which was sent to Perugia and placed in the Convent of the Nuns of Monteluci. Then, having withdrawn to work by himself, Giulio painted a picture of Our Lady, with a cat that was so natural that it appeared to be truly alive; whence that picture was called the Picture of the Cat. In another picture, of great size, he painted a Christ being scourged at the Column, which was placed on the altar of the Church of S. Prassedia at Rome. And not long after this, M. Giovan Matteo Giberti, who was then Datary to Pope Clement, and afterwards became Bishop of Verona, commissioned Giulio, who was his very familiar friend, to make the design for some rooms that were built of brick near the gate of the Papal Palace, looking out upon the Piazza of S. Pietro, and serving for the accommodation of the trumpeters who blow their trumpets when the Cardinals go to the Consistory, with a most commodious flight of steps, which can be ascended on horseback as well as on foot. For the same M. Giovan Matteo he painted an altar-piece of the Stoning of S. Stephen, which M. Giovan Matteo sent to a benefice of his own, called S. Stefano, in Genoa. In this altar-piece, which is most beautiful in invention, grace, and composition, the young Saul may be seen seated on the garments of S. Stephen while the Jews are stoning him; and, in a word, Giulio never painted a more beautiful work than this, so fierce are the attitudes of the persecutors and so well expressed the patience of Stephen, who appears to be truly seeing Jesus Christ on the right hand of the Father in the Heaven, which is painted divinely well. This work, together with the benefice, M. Giovan Matteo gave to the Monks of Monte Oliveto, who have turned the place into a monastery.

The same Giulio executed at the commission of the German Jacob Fugger, for a chapel that is in S. Maria de Anima at Rome, a most lovely altar-piece in oils, in which are the Madonna, S. Anne, S. Joseph, S. James, S. John as a little boy kneeling, and S. Mark the Evangelist with a lion at his feet, which is lying down with a book, its hair curving in accordance with its position, which was a beautiful consideration, and difficult to [Pg 152] execute; not to mention that the same lion has short wings on its shoulders, with feathers so soft and plumy, that it seems almost incredible that the hand of a craftsman could have been able to imitate nature so closely. Besides this, he painted there a building that curves in a circular form after the manner of a theatre, with some statues so beautiful and so well placed that there is nothing better to be seen. Among other figures there is a woman who is spinning and gazing at a hen with some chickens, than which nothing could be more natural; and above Our Lady are some little boys, very graceful and well painted, who are upholding a canopy. And if this picture, also, had not been so heavily loaded with black, by reason of which it has become very dark, it would certainly have been much better; but this blackness has brought it about that the greater part of the work that is in it is lost or destroyed, and that because black, even when fortified with varnish, is the ruin of all that is good, always having in it a certain desiccative quality, whether it be made from charcoal, burnt ivory, smoke-black, or burnt paper.

Among the many disciples that Giulio had while he was executing these works, such as Bartolommeo da Castiglione, Tommaso Papacello of Cortona, and Benedetto Pagni of Pescia, those of whom he made the most particular use were Giovanni da Lione and Raffaello dal Colle of Borgo a San Sepolcro, both of whom assisted him in the execution of many things in the Hall of Constantine and in the other works of which we have spoken. Wherefore I do not think it right to refrain from mentioning that these two, who were very dexterous in painting, and followed the manner of Giulio closely in carrying into execution the works that he designed for them, painted in colours after his design, near the old Mint in the Banchi, the escutcheon of Pope Clement VII, each of them doing one-half, with two terminal figures, one on either side of that escutcheon. And the same Raffaello, not long after, painted in fresco from a cartoon drawn by Giulio, in a lunette within the door of the Palace of Cardinal della Valle, a Madonna who is covering the Child, who is sleeping, with a piece of drapery, with S. Andrew the Apostle on one side and S. Nicholas on the other, which was held, with justice, to be an excellent picture.

[Pg 153] Giulio, meanwhile, being very intimate with Messer Baldassarre Turini da Pescia, built for him on Mount Janiculum, where there are some villas that have a most beautiful view, after making the design and model, a palace so graceful and so well appointed, from its having all the conveniences that could be desired in such a place, that it defies description. Moreover, the apartments were adorned not only with stucco, but also with paintings, for he himself painted there some stories of Numa Pompilius, who was buried on that spot; and in the bathroom of this palace, with the help of his young men, Giulio painted some stories of Venus, Love, Apollo, and Hyacinthus, which are all to be seen in engraving.

After having separated himself completely from Giovan Francesco, he executed various architectural works in Rome, such as the design of the house of the Alberini in the Banchi (although some believe that the plan of this work came from Raffaello), and likewise a palace that may be seen at the present day on the Piazza della Dogana in Rome, which, being beautiful in design, has been reproduced in engraving. And for himself, on a corner of the Macello de' Corbi, where stood his own house, in which he was born, he made a beginning with a beautiful range of windows, which is a small thing, but very graceful.

By reason of all these excellent qualities, Giulio, after the death of Raffaello, was celebrated as the best craftsman in Italy. And Count Baldassarre Castiglioni, who was then in Rome as ambassador from Federigo Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, and was much the friend, as has been related, of Giulio, having been commanded by his master the Marquis to send him an architect of whom he might avail himself for the necessities of his palace and of the city, the Marquis adding that he would particularly like to have Giulio—the Count, I say, so wrought upon him with entreaties and promises, that Giulio said that he would go, provided that he could do this with the leave of Pope Clement; which leave having been obtained, the Count, setting out for Mantua, from which he was then to go on behalf of the Pope to the Emperor, took Giulio with him; and having arrived there, he presented him to the Marquis, who, after welcoming him warmly, caused an honourably [Pg 154] appointed house to be given to him, together with a salary and also a good table for himself, for his disciple Benedetto Pagni, and for another young man who was in his service; and, what is more, the Marquis sent him several canne of velvet, satin, and other kinds of silk and cloth wherewith to clothe himself. Then, hearing that he had no horse to ride, he sent for a favourite horse of his own, called Luggieri, and presented it to him; and when Giulio had mounted upon it, they rode to a spot a bow-shot beyond the Porta di S. Bastiano, where His Excellency had a place with some stables, called the Tè, standing in the middle of a meadow, in which he kept his stud of horses and mares. Arriving there, the Marquis said that he would like, without destroying the old walls, to have some sort of place arranged to which he might resort at times for dinner or supper, as a recreation.

Giulio, having heard the will of the Marquis, and having examined the whole place, took a ground-plan of that site and set his hand to the work. Availing himself of the old walls, he made in the principal part the first hall that is to be seen at the present day as one enters, with the suite of rooms that are about it. And since the place has no living rock, and no quarries from which to excavate material for hewn and carved stone, such as are used in building by those who can obtain them, he made use of brick and baked stone, which he afterwards worked over with stucco; and with this material he made columns, bases, capitals, cornices, doors, windows, and other things, all with most beautiful proportions. And he executed the decorations of the vaults in a new and fantastic manner, with very handsome compartments, and with richly adorned recesses, which was the reason that the Marquis, after a beginning so humble, then resolved to have the whole of that building reconstructed in the form of a great palace.

The Marriage Banquet of Cupid and Psyche.

(After the fresco by Giulio Romano.
Mantua: Palazzo del Tè)
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Thereupon Giulio made a very beautiful model, all of rustic work both without and within the courtyard, which pleased that lord so much, that he assigned a good sum of money for the building; and after Giulio had engaged many masters, the work was quickly carried to completion. The form of the palace is as follows: The building is quadrangular, and has in the centre an open courtyard after the manner of a meadow, or rather, [Pg 155] of a piazza, into which open four entrances in the form of a cross. The first of these traverses straightway, or rather, passes, into a very large loggia, which opens by another into the garden, and two others lead into various apartments; and these are all adorned with stucco-work and paintings. In the hall to which the first entrance gives access the vaulting is wrought in various compartments and painted in fresco, and on the walls are portraits from life of all the favourite and most beautiful horses from the stud of the Marquis, together with the dogs of the same coat or marking as the horses, with their names; which were all designed by Giulio, and painted in fresco on the plaster by the painters Benedetto Pagni and Rinaldo Mantovano, his disciples, and so well, in truth, that they seem to be alive.

From this hall one passes into a room which is at one corner of the palace, and has the vaulting most beautifully wrought with compartments in stucco-work and varied mouldings, touched in certain places with gold. These mouldings divide the surface into four octagons, which enclose a picture in the highest part of the vaulting, in which is Cupid marrying Psyche in the sight of Jove, who is on high, illumined by a dazzling celestial light, and in the presence of all the Gods. It would not be possible to find anything executed with more grace or better draughtsmanship than this scene, for Giulio foreshortened the figures so well, with a view to their being seen from below, that some of them, although they are scarcely one braccio in length, appear when seen from the ground to be three braccia high; and, in truth, they are wrought with marvellous art and ingenuity, Giulio having succeeded in so contriving them, that, besides seeming to be alive (so strong is the relief), they deceive the human eye with a most pleasing illusion. In the octagons are all the earlier stories of Psyche, showing the adversities that came upon her through the wrath of Venus, and all executed with the same beauty and perfection; in other angles are many Loves, as likewise in the windows, producing various effects in accordance with the spaces where they are; and the whole of the vaulting is painted in oils by the hands of the above-mentioned Benedetto and Rinaldo. The rest of the stories of Psyche are on the walls below, and these are the [Pg 156] largest. In one in fresco is Psyche in the bath; and the Loves are bathing her, and then wiping her dry with most beautiful gestures. In another part is Mercury preparing the banquet, while Psyche is bathing, with the Bacchantes sounding instruments; and there are the Graces adorning the table with flowers in a beautiful manner. There is also Silenus supported by Satyrs, with his ass, and a goat lying down, which has two children sucking at its udder; and in that company is Bacchus, who has two tigers at his feet, and stands leaning with one arm on the credence, on one side of which is a camel, and on the other an elephant. This credence, which is barrel-shaped, is adorned with festoons of verdure and flowers, and all covered with vines laden with bunches of grapes and leaves, under which are three rows of bizarre vases, basins, drinking-cups, tazze, goblets, and other things of that kind in various forms and fantastic shapes, and so lustrous, that they seem to be of real silver and gold, being counterfeited with a simple yellow and other colours, and that so well, that they bear witness to the extraordinary genius and art of Giulio, who proved in this part of the work that he was rich, versatile, and abundant in invention and craftsmanship. Not far away may be seen Psyche, who, surrounded by many women who are serving and attiring her, sees Phœbus appearing in the distance among the hills in the chariot of the sun, which is drawn by four horses; while Zephyr is lying nude upon some clouds, and is blowing gentle breezes through a horn that he has in his mouth, which make the air round Psyche balmy and soft. These stories were engraved not many years since after the designs of Battista Franco of Venice, who copied them exactly as they were painted from the great cartoons of Giulio by Benedetto of Pescia and Rinaldo Mantovano, who carried into execution all the stories except the Bacchus, the Silenus, and the two children suckled by the goat; although it is true that the work was afterwards retouched almost all over by Giulio, so that it is very much as if it had been all painted by him. This method, which he learned from Raffaello, his instructor, is very useful to young men, who in this way obtain practice and thereby generally become excellent masters. And although some persuade themselves that they are greater than those who keep them at work, [Pg 157] such fellows, if their guide fails them before they are at the end, or if they are deprived of the design and directions for the work, learn that through having lost or abandoned that guidance too early they are wandering like blind men in an infinite sea of errors.

But to return to the apartments of the Tè; from that room of Psyche one passes into another full of double friezes with figures in low-relief, executed in stucco after the designs of Giulio by Francesco Primaticcio of Bologna, then a young man, and by Giovan Battista Mantovano, in which friezes are all the soldiers that are on Trajan's Column at Rome, wrought in a beautiful manner. And on the ceiling, or rather soffit, of an antechamber is painted in oils the scene when Icarus, having been taught by his father Dædalus, seeks to rise too high in his flight, and, after seeing the Sign of Cancer and the chariot of the sun, which is drawn by four horses in foreshortening, near the Sign of Leo, is left without his wings, the wax being consumed by the heat of the sun; and near this the same Icarus may be seen hurtling through the air, and almost falling upon those who gaze at him, his face dark with the shadow of death. This invention was so well conceived and imagined by Giulio, that it seems to be real and true, for in it one sees the fierce heat of the sun burning the wretched youth's wings, the flaming fire gives out smoke, and one almost hears the crackling of the burning plumes, while death may be seen carved in the face of Icarus, and in that of Dædalus the most bitter sorrow and agony. In our book of drawings by various painters is the original design of this very beautiful scene, by the hand of Giulio himself, who executed in the same place the stories of the twelve months of the year, showing all that is done in each of them in the arts most practised by mankind—paintings which are notable no less for their fantastic and delightful character and their beauty of invention than for the judgment and diligence with which they were executed.

After passing the great loggia, which is adorned with stucco-work and with many arms and various other bizarre ornaments, one comes to some rooms filled with such a variety of fantasies, that the brain reels at the thought of them. For Giulio, who was very fanciful and ingenious, wishing to demonstrate his worth, resolved to make, at an [Pg 158] angle of the palace which formed a corner similar to that of the room of Psyche described above, an apartment the masonry of which should be in keeping with the painting, in order to deceive as much as possible all who might see it. He therefore had double foundations of great depth sunk at that corner, which was in a marshy place, and over that angle he constructed a large round room, with very thick walls, to the end that the four external angles of the masonry might be strong enough to be able to support a double vault, round after the manner of an oven. This done, he caused to be built at the corners right round the room, in the proper places, the doors, windows, and fireplace, all of rustic stones rough-hewn as if by chance, and, as it were, disjointed and awry, insomuch that they appeared to be really hanging over to one side and falling down. Having built this room in such strange fashion, he set himself to paint in it the most fantastic composition that he was able to invent—namely, Jove hurling his thunderbolts against the Giants. And so, depicting Heaven on the highest part of the vaulting, he placed there the throne of Jove, representing it as seen in foreshortening from below and from the front, within a round temple, supported by open columns of the Ionic Order, with his canopy over the centre of the throne, and with his eagle; and all was poised upon the clouds. Lower down he painted Jove in anger, slaying the proud Giants with his thunderbolts, and below him is Juno, assisting him; and around them are the Winds, with strange countenances, blowing towards the earth, while the Goddess Ops turns with her lions at the terrible noise of the thunder, as also do the other Gods and Goddesses, and Venus in particular, who is at the side of Mars; and Momus, with his arms outstretched, appears to fear that Heaven may be falling headlong down, and yet he stands motionless. The Graces, likewise, are standing filled with dread, and beside them, in like manner, the Hours. All the Deities, in short, are taking to flight with their chariots. The Moon, Saturn, and Janus are going towards the lightest of the clouds, in order to withdraw from that terrible uproar and turmoil, and the same does Neptune, who, with his dolphins, appears to be seeking to support himself on his trident. Pallas, with the nine Muses, stands wondering what [Pg 159] horrible thing this may be, and Pan, embracing a Nymph who is trembling with fear, seems to wish to save her from the glowing fires and the lightning-flashes with which the heavens are filled. Apollo stands in the chariot of the sun, and some of the Hours seem to be seeking to restrain the course of his horses. Bacchus and Silenus, with Satyrs and Nymphs, betray the greatest terror, and Vulcan, with his ponderous hammer on one shoulder, gazes towards Hercules, who is speaking of this event with Mercury, beside whom is Pomona all in dismay, as are also Vertumnus and all the other Gods dispersed throughout that Heaven, in which all the effects of fear are so well expressed, both in those who are standing and in those who are flying, that it is not possible, I do not say to see, but even to imagine a more beautiful fantasy in painting than this one.

In the parts below, that is, on the walls that stand upright, underneath the end of the curve of the vaulting, are the Giants, some of whom, those below Jove, have upon their backs mountains and immense rocks which they support with their stout shoulders, in order to pile them up and thus ascend to Heaven, while their ruin is preparing, for Jove is thundering and the whole Heaven burning with anger against them; and it appears not only that the Gods are dismayed by the presumptuous boldness of the Giants, upon whom they are hurling mountains, but that the whole world is upside down and, as it were, come to its last day. In this part Giulio painted Briareus in a dark cavern, almost covered with vast fragments of mountains, and the other Giants all crushed and some dead beneath the ruins of the mountains. Besides this, through an opening in the darkness of a grotto, which reveals a distant landscape painted with beautiful judgment, may be seen many Giants flying, all smitten by the thunderbolts of Jove, and, as it were, on the point of being overwhelmed at that moment by the fragments of the mountains, like the others. In another part Giulio depicted other Giants, upon whom are falling temples, columns, and other pieces of buildings, making a vast slaughter and havoc of those proud beings. And in this part, among those falling fragments of buildings, stands the fireplace of the room, which, when there is a fire in it, makes it appear as if the Giants are burning, for Pluto is painted there, flying towards [Pg 160] the centre with his chariot drawn by lean horses, and accompanied by the Furies of Hell; and thus Giulio, not departing from the subject of the story with this invention of the fire, made a most beautiful adornment for the fireplace.

In this work, moreover, in order to render it the more fearsome and terrible, Giulio represented the Giants, huge and fantastic in aspect, falling to the earth, smitten in various ways by the lightnings and thunderbolts; some in the foreground and others in the background, some dead, others wounded, and others again covered by mountains and the ruins of buildings. Wherefore let no one ever think to see any work of the brush more horrible and terrifying, or more natural than this one; and whoever enters that room and sees the windows, doors, and other suchlike things all awry and, as it were, on the point of falling, and the mountains and buildings hurtling down, cannot but fear that everything will fall upon him, and, above all, as he sees the Gods in the Heaven rushing, some here, some there, and all in flight. And what is most marvellous in the work is to see that the whole of the painting has neither beginning nor end, but is so well joined and connected together, without any divisions or ornamental partitions, that the things which are near the buildings appear very large, and those in the distance, where the landscapes are, go on receding into infinity; whence that room, which is not more than fifteen braccia in length, has the appearance of open country. Moreover, the pavement being of small round stones set on edge, and the lower part of the upright walls being painted with similar stones, there is no sharp angle to be seen, and that level surface has the effect of a vast expanse, which was executed with much judgment and beautiful art by Giulio, to whom our craftsmen are much indebted for such inventions.

In this work the above-mentioned Rinaldo Mantovano became a perfect colourist, for he carried the whole of it into execution after the cartoons of Giulio, as well as the other rooms. And if this painter had not been snatched from the world so young, even as he did honour to Giulio during his lifetime, so he would have done honour (to himself) after Giulio's death.

The Destruction of the Giants by the Thunderbolts of Jove.

(After the fresco by Giulio Romano.
Mantua: Palazzo del Tè, Sala dei Giganti)
View larger image

[Pg 161] In addition to this palace, in which Giulio executed many other works worthy to be praised, of which, in order to avoid prolixity, I shall say nothing, he reconstructed with masonry many rooms in the castle where the Duke lives at Mantua, and made two very large spiral staircases, with very rich apartments adorned all over with stucco. In one hall he caused the whole of the story of Troy and the Trojan War to be painted, and likewise twelve scenes in oils in an antechamber, below the heads of the twelve Emperors previously painted there by Tiziano Vecelli, which are all held to be excellent. In like manner, at Marmirolo, a place five miles distant from Mantua, a most commodious building was erected after the design of Giulio and under his direction, with large paintings no less beautiful than those of the castle and of the palace of the Tè. The same master painted an altar-piece in oils for the Chapel of Signora Isabella Buschetta in S. Andrea at Mantua, of Our Lady in the act of adoring the Infant Jesus, who is lying on the ground, with S. Joseph, the ass and the ox near a manger, and on one side S. John the Evangelist, and S. Longinus on the other, figures of the size of life. Next, on the walls of the same chapel, he caused Rinaldo to paint two very beautiful scenes after his own designs; on one, the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with the Thieves, some Angels in the air, and on the ground the ministers of the Crucifixion and the Maries, with many horses, in which he always delighted, making them beautiful to a marvel, and many soldiers in various attitudes; and, on the other, the scene when the Blood of Christ was discovered in the time of the Countess Matilda, which was a most beautiful work.

Giulio then painted with his own hand for Duke Federigo a picture of Our Lady washing the little Jesus Christ, who is standing in a basin, while a little S. John is pouring out the water from a vase. Both of these figures, which are of the size of life, are very beautiful; and in the distance are small figures, from the waist upwards, of some ladies who are coming to visit the Madonna. This picture was afterwards presented by the Duke to Signora Isabella Buschetta, of which lady Giulio subsequently made a most beautiful portrait in a little picture of the Nativity of Christ, one braccio in height, which is now in the possession of Signor [Pg 162] Vespasiano Gonzaga, together with another picture presented to him by Duke Federigo, and likewise by the hand of Giulio, in which are a young man and a young woman embracing each other on a bed, in the act of caressing one another, while an old woman peeps at them secretly from behind a door—figures which are little less than life-size, and very graceful. In the house of the same person is another very excellent picture of a most beautiful S. Jerome, also by the hand of Giulio. And in the possession of Count Niccola Maffei is a picture of Alexander the Great, of the size of life, with a Victory in his hand, copied from an ancient medal, which is a work of great beauty.

After these works, Giulio painted in fresco over a chimney-piece, for M. Girolamo, the organist of the Duomo at Mantua, who was very much his friend, a Vulcan who is working his bellows with one hand and holding with the other, with a pair of tongs, the iron head of an arrow that he is forging, while Venus is tempering in a vase some already made and placing them in Cupid's quiver. This is one of the most beautiful works that Giulio ever executed; and there is little else in fresco by his hand to be seen. For S. Domenico, at the commission of M. Lodovico da Fermo, he painted an altar-piece of the Dead Christ, whom Joseph and Nicodemus are preparing to lay in the sepulchre, and near them are His Mother, the other Maries, and S. John the Evangelist. And a little picture, in which he also painted a Dead Christ, is in the house of the Florentine Tommaso da Empoli at Venice.

At the same time when he was executing these and other pictures, it happened that Signor Giovanni de' Medici, having been wounded by a musket-ball, was carried to Mantua, where he died. Whereupon M. Pietro Aretino, who was the devoted servant of that lord, and very much the friend of Giulio, desired that Giulio should mould a likeness of him with his own hand as he lay dead; and he, therefore, having taken a cast from the face of the dead man, executed a portrait from it, which remained for many years afterwards in the possession of the same Aretino.

For the entry of the Emperor Charles V into Mantua, Giulio, by order of the Duke, made many most beautiful festive preparations in the form of arches, scenery for dramas, and a number of other things; [Pg 163] in which inventions Giulio had no equal, nor was there ever any man more fanciful in preparing masquerades and in designing extravagant costumes for jousts, festivals, and tournaments, as was seen at that time with amazement and marvel by the Emperor Charles and by all who were present. Besides this, at different times he gave so many designs for chapels, houses, gardens, and façades throughout the whole of Mantua, and he so delighted to embellish and adorn the city, that, whereas it was formerly buried in mud and at times full of stinking water and almost uninhabitable, he brought it to such a condition that at the present day, thanks to his industry, it is dry, healthy, and altogether pleasing and delightful.

While Giulio was in the service of that Duke, one year the Po, bursting its banks, inundated Mantua in such a manner, that in certain low-lying parts of the city the water rose to the height of nearly four braccia, insomuch that for a long time frogs lived in them almost all the year round. Giulio, therefore, after pondering in what way he might put this right, so went to work that for the time being the city was restored to its former condition; and to the end that the same might not happen another time, he contrived to have the streets on that side raised so much, by command of the Duke, that they came above the level of the water, and the buildings stood in safety. In that part of the city the houses were small, slightly built, and of no great importance, and he gave orders that they should be pulled down, in order to raise the streets and bring that quarter to a better state, and that new houses, larger and more beautiful, should be built there, to the advantage and improvement of the city. To this measure many opposed themselves, saying to the Duke that Giulio was doing too much havoc; but he would not hear any of them—nay, he made Giulio superintendent of the streets at that very time, and decreed that no one should build in that city save under Giulio's direction. On which account many complaining and some even threatening Giulio, this came to the ears of the Duke, who used such words in his favour as made it known that if they did anything to the despite or injury of Giulio, he would count it as done to himself, and would make an example of them.

[Pg 164] The Duke was so enamoured of the excellence of Giulio, that he could not live without him; and Giulio, on his part, bore to that lord the greatest reverence that it is possible to imagine. Wherefore he never asked a favour for himself or for others without obtaining it, and when he died it was found that with all that he had received from the Duke he had an income of more than a thousand ducats.

Giulio built a house for himself in Mantua, opposite to S. Barnaba, on the outer side of which he made a fantastic façade, all wrought with coloured stucco, and the interior he caused to be all painted and wrought likewise with stucco; and he found place in it for many antiquities brought from Rome and others received from the Duke, to whom he gave many of his own. He made so many designs both for Mantua and for places in its neighbourhood, that it was a thing incredible; for, as has been told, no palaces or other buildings of importance could be erected, particularly in the city, save after his design. He rebuilt upon the old walls the Church of S. Benedetto, a rich and vast seat of Black Friars at Mantua, near the Po; and the whole church was embellished with most beautiful paintings and altar-pieces from designs by his hand. And since his works were very highly prized throughout Lombardy, it pleased Gian Matteo Giberti, Bishop of Verona, to have the tribune of the Duomo of that city all painted, as has been related in another place, by Il Moro the Veronese, after designs by Giulio. For the Duke of Ferrara, also, he executed many designs for tapestries, which were afterwards woven in silk and gold by Maestro Niccolò and Giovan Battista Rosso, both Flemings; and of these there are engravings to be seen, executed by Giovan Battista Mantovano, who engraved a vast number of things drawn by Giulio, and in particular, besides three drawings of battles engraved by others, a physician who is applying cupping-glasses to the shoulders of a woman, and the Flight of Our Lady into Egypt, with Joseph holding the ass by the halter, and some Angels bending down a date-palm in order that Christ may pluck the fruit. The same master engraved, also after the designs of Giulio, the Wolf on the Tiber suckling Romulus and Remus, and four stories of Pluto, Jove and Neptune, who are dividing the heavens, the earth, and the sea among [Pg 165] them by lot; and likewise the goat Amaltheia, which, held by Melissa, is giving suck to Jove, and a large plate of many men in a prison, tortured in various ways. There were also printed, after the inventions of Giulio, Scipio and Hannibal holding a parley with their armies on the banks of the river; the Nativity of S. John the Baptist, which was engraved by Sebastiano da Reggio, and many other works engraved and printed in Italy. In Flanders and in France, likewise, have been printed innumerable sheets from designs by Giulio, of which, although they are very beautiful, there is no need to make mention, nor of all his drawings, seeing that he made them, so to speak, in loads. Let it be enough to say that he was so facile in every field of art, and particularly in drawing, that we have no record of any one who has produced more than he did.

Giulio, who was very versatile, was able to discourse on every subject, but above all on medals, upon which he spent large sums of money and much time, in order to gain knowledge of them. And although he was employed almost always in great works, this did not mean that he would not set his hand at times to the most trifling matters in order to oblige his patron and his friends; and no sooner had one opened his mouth to explain to him his conception than he had understood it and drawn it. Among the many rare things that he had in his house was the portrait from life of Albrecht Dürer on a piece of fine Rheims cloth, by the hand of Albrecht himself, who sent it, as has been related in another place, as a present to Raffaello da Urbino. This portrait was an exquisite thing, for it had been coloured in gouache with much diligence with water-colours, and Albrecht had executed it without using lead-white, availing himself in its stead of the white of the cloth, with the delicate threads of which he had so well rendered the hairs of the beard, that it was a thing scarcely possible to imagine, much less to do; and when held up to the light it showed through on either side. This portrait, which was very dear to Giulio, he showed to me himself as a miracle, when I went during his lifetime to Mantua on some affairs of my own.

At the death of Duke Federigo, by whom Giulio had been beloved beyond belief, he was so overcome with sorrow, that he would have left [Pg 166] Mantua, if the Cardinal, the brother of the Duke, on whom the government of the State had descended because the sons of Federigo were very young, had not detained him in that city, where he had a wife and children, houses, villas, and all the other possessions that are proper to a gentleman of means. And this the Cardinal did (aided by those reasons) from a wish to avail himself of the advice and assistance of Giulio in renovating, or rather building almost entirely anew, the Duomo of that city; to which work Giulio set his hand, and carried it well on in a very beautiful form.

At this time Giorgio Vasari, who was much the friend of Giulio, although they did not know one another save only by reputation and by letters, in going to Venice, took the road by Mantua, in order to see Giulio and his works. And so, having arrived in that city, and going to find his friend, when they met, although they had never seen each other, they knew one another no less surely than if they had been together in person a thousand times. At which Giulio was so filled with joy and contentment, that for four days he never left him, showing him all his works, and in particular all the ground-plans of the ancient edifices in Rome, Naples, Pozzuolo, and Campania, and of all the other fine antiquities of which anything is known, drawn partly by him and partly by others. Then, opening a very large press, he showed to Giorgio the ground-plans of all the buildings that had been erected after his designs and under his direction, not only in Mantua and in Rome, but throughout all Lombardy, which were so beautiful, that I, for my part, do not believe that there are to be seen any architectural inventions more original, more lovely, or better composed. After this, the Cardinal asking Giorgio what he thought of the works of Giulio, Giorgio answered in the presence of Giulio that they were such that he deserved to have a statue of himself placed at every corner of the city, and that, since he had given that city a new life, the half of the State would not be a sufficient reward for the labours and abilities of Giulio; to which the Cardinal answered that Giulio was more the master of that State than he was himself. And since Giulio was very loving, especially towards his friends, there was no mark of love and affection that Giorgio did not receive from [Pg 167] him. The same Vasari, having left Mantua and gone to Venice, returned to Rome at the very time when Michelagnolo had just uncovered his Last Judgment in the Chapel; and he sent to Giulio by M. Nino Nini of Cortona, the secretary of the aforesaid Cardinal of Mantua, three sheets containing the Seven Mortal Sins, copied from that Last Judgment of Michelagnolo, which were welcome in no ordinary manner to Giulio, both as being what they were, and because he had at that time to paint a chapel in the palace for the Cardinal, and they served to inspire him to greater things than those that he had in mind. Putting forward all possible effort, therefore, to make a most beautiful cartoon, he drew in it with fine fancy the scene of Peter and Andrew leaving their nets at the call of Christ, in order to follow Him, and to be thenceforward, not fishers of fishes, but fishers of men. And this cartoon, which proved to be the most beautiful that Giulio had ever made, was afterwards carried into execution by the painter Fermo Ghisoni, a pupil of Giulio, and now an excellent master.

Not long afterwards the superintendents of the building of S. Petronio at Bologna, being desirous to make a beginning with the façade of that church, succeeded after great difficulty in inducing Giulio to go there, in company with a Milanese architect called Tofano Lombardino, a man in great repute at that time in Lombardy for the many buildings by his hand that were to be seen in that country. These masters, then, made many designs, those of Baldassarre Peruzzi of Siena having been lost; and one that Giulio made, among others, was so beautiful and so well ordered, that he rightly received very great praise for it from that people, and was rewarded with most liberal gifts on his return to Mantua.

Meanwhile, Antonio da San Gallo having died at Rome about that time, the superintendents of the building of S. Pietro had been thereby left in no little embarrassment, not knowing to whom to turn or on whom to lay the charge of carrying that great fabric to completion after the plan already begun; but they thought that no one could be more fitted for this than Giulio Romano, for they all knew how great were his worth and excellence. And so, surmising that he would accept such a charge more than willingly in order to repatriate himself in an honourable [Pg 168] manner and with a good salary, they caused some of his friends to approach him, but in vain, for the reason that, although he would have gone with the greatest willingness, two things prevented him—the Cardinal would in no way consent to his departure, and his wife, with her relatives and friends, used every possible means to dissuade him. Neither of these two reasons, perchance, would have prevailed with him, if he had not happened to be in somewhat feeble health at that time; for, having considered how much honour and profit he might secure for himself and his children by accepting so handsome a proposal, he was already fully disposed to make every effort not to be hindered in the matter by the Cardinal, when his malady began to grow worse. However, since it had been ordained on high that he should go no more to Rome, and that this should be the end and conclusion of his life, in a few days, what with his vexation and his malady, he died at Mantua, which city might well have allowed him, even as he had embellished her, so also to honour and adorn his native city of Rome.

Giulio died at the age of fifty-four, leaving only one male child, to whom he had given the name of Raffaello out of regard for the memory of his master. This young Raffaello had scarcely learned the first rudiments of art, showing signs of being destined to become an able master, when he also died, not many years after, together with his mother, Giulio's wife; wherefore there remained no descendant of Giulio save a daughter called Virginia, who still lives in Mantua, married to Ercole Malatesta. Giulio, whose death was an infinite grief to all who knew him, was given burial in S. Barnaba, where it was proposed that some honourable memorial should be erected to him; but his wife and children, postponing the matter from one day to another, themselves died for the most part without doing anything. It is indeed a sad thing that there has been no one who has treasured in any way the memory of a man who did so much to adorn that city, save only those who availed themselves of his services, who have often remembered him in their necessities. But his own talent, which did him so much honour in his lifetime, has secured for him after death, in the form of his own works, an everlasting monument which time, with all its years, can never destroy.

[Pg 169] Giulio was neither tall nor short of stature, and rather stout than slight in build. He had black hair, beautiful features, and eyes dark and merry, and he was very loving, regular in all his actions, and frugal in eating, but fond of dressing and living in honourable fashion. He had disciples in plenty, but the best were Giovanni da Lione, Raffaello dal Colle of Borgo, Benedetto Pagni of Pescia, Figurino da Faenza, Rinaldo Mantovano, Giovan Battista Mantovano, and Fermo Ghisoni, who still lives in Mantua and does him honour, being an excellent painter. And the same may be said for Benedetto, who has executed many works in his native city of Pescia, and an altar-piece for the Duomo of Pisa, which is in the Office of Works, and also a picture of Our Lady in which, with a poetical invention full of grace and beauty, he painted a figure of Florence presenting to her the dignities of the House of Medici; which picture is now in the possession of Signor Mondragone, a Spaniard much in favour with that most illustrious lord the Prince of Florence.

Giulio died on the day of All Saints in the year 1546, and over his tomb was placed the following epitaph:





The first profession of Sebastiano, so many declare, was not painting, but music, since, besides being a singer, he much delighted to play various kinds of instruments, and particularly the lute, because on that instrument all the parts can be played, without any accompaniment. This art made him for a time very dear to the gentlemen of Venice, with whom, as a man of talent, he always associated on intimate terms. Then, having been seized while still young with a desire to give his attention to painting, he learned the first rudiments from Giovanni Bellini, at that time an old man. And afterwards, when Giorgione da Castelfranco had established in that city the methods of the modern manner, with its superior harmony and its brilliancy of colouring, Sebastiano left Giovanni and placed himself under Giorgione, with whom he stayed so long that in great measure he acquired his manner. He thus executed in Venice some portraits from life that were very like; among others, that of the Frenchman Verdelotto, a most excellent musician, who was then chapel-master in S. Marco, and in the same picture that of his companion Uberto, a singer, which picture Verdelotto took with him to Florence when he became chapel-master in S. Giovanni; and at the present day the sculptor Francesco da San Gallo has it in his house. About that time he also painted for S. Giovanni Grisostomo at Venice an altar-piece with some figures which incline so much to the manner of Giorgione, that they have been sometimes held by people without much knowledge of the matters of art to be by the hand of Giorgione himself. This altar-piece is very beautiful, and executed with such a manner of colouring that it has great relief.

[Pg 174] The fame of the abilities of Sebastiano thus spreading abroad, Agostino Chigi of Siena, a very rich merchant, who had many affairs in Venice, hearing him much praised in Rome, sought to draw him to that city, being attracted towards him because, besides his painting, he knew so well how to play on the lute, and was sweet and pleasant in his conversation. Nor was it very difficult to draw Sebastiano to Rome, since he knew how much that place had always been the benefactress and common mother-city of all beautiful intellects, and he went thither with no ordinary willingness. Having therefore gone to Rome, Agostino set him to work, and the first thing that he caused him to do was to paint the little arches that are over the loggia which looks into the garden of Agostino's palace in the Trastevere, where Baldassarre of Siena had painted all the vaulting, on which little arches Sebastiano painted some poetical compositions in the manner that he had brought from Venice, which was very different from that which was followed in Rome by the able painters of that day. After this work, Raffaello having executed a story of Galatea in the same place, Sebastiano, at the desire of Agostino, painted beside it a Polyphemus in fresco, in which, spurred by rivalry with Baldassarre of Siena and then with Raffaello, he strove his utmost to surpass himself, whatever may have been the result. He likewise painted some works in oils, for which, from his having learned from Giorgione a method of colouring of no little softness, he was held in vast account at Rome.

Portrait of a Lady.

(Florence; Uffizi, 1123. Canvas)
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While Sebastiano was executing these works in Rome, Raffaello da Urbino had risen into such credit as a painter, that his friends and adherents said that his pictures were more in accord with the rules of painting than those of Michelagnolo, being pleasing in colour, beautiful in invention, and charming in the expressions, with design in keeping with the rest; and that those of Buonarroti had none of those qualities, with the exception of the design. And for such reasons these admirers judged that in the whole field of painting Raffaello was, if not more excellent than Michelagnolo, at least his equal; but in colouring they would have it that he surpassed Buonarroti without a doubt. These humours, having spread among a number of craftsmen who preferred [Pg 175] the grace of Raffaello to the profundity of Michelagnolo, had so increased that many, for various reasons of interest, were more favourable in their judgments to Raffaello than to Michelagnolo. But Sebastiano was in no way a follower of that faction, since, being a man of exquisite judgment, he knew the value of each of the two to perfection. The mind of Michelagnolo, therefore, drew towards Sebastiano, whose colouring and grace pleased him much, and he took him under his protection, thinking that, if he were to assist Sebastiano in design, he would be able by this means, without working himself, to confound those who held such an opinion, remaining under cover of a third person as judge to decide which of them was the best.

While the matter stood thus, and some works that Sebastiano had executed were being much extolled, and even exalted to infinite heights on account of the praise that Michelagnolo bestowed on them, besides the fact that they were in themselves beautiful and worthy of praise, a certain person from Viterbo, I know not who, much in favour with the Pope, commissioned Sebastiano to paint a Dead Christ, with a Madonna who is weeping over Him, for a chapel that he had caused to be built in S. Francesco at Viterbo. That work was held by all who saw it to be truly most beautiful, for the invention and the cartoon were by Michelagnolo, although it was finished with great diligence by Sebastiano, who painted in it a dark landscape that was much extolled, and thereby Sebastiano acquired very great credit, and confirmed the opinions of those who favoured him. Wherefore Pier Francesco Borgherini, a Florentine merchant, who had taken over a chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, which is on the right as one enters the church, allotted it at the suggestion of Michelagnolo to Sebastiano, because Borgherini thought that Michelagnolo would execute the design of the whole work, as indeed he did. Sebastiano, therefore, having set to work, executed it with such zeal and diligence, that it was held to be, as it is, a very beautiful piece of painting. From the small design by Michelagnolo he made some larger ones for his own convenience, and one of these, a very beautiful thing, which he drew with his own hand, is in our book. Thinking that he had discovered the true method of painting in oils on walls, Sebastiano [Pg 176] covered the rough-cast of that chapel with an incrustation which seemed to him likely to be suitable for this purpose; and the whole of that part in which is Christ being scourged at the Column he executed in oils on the wall. Nor must I omit to tell that many believe not only that Michelagnolo made the small design for this work, but also that the above-mentioned Christ who is being scourged at the Column was outlined by him, for there is a vast difference between the excellence of this figure and that of the others. Even if Sebastiano had executed no other work but this, for it alone he would deserve to be praised to all eternity, seeing that, in addition to the heads, which are very well painted, there are in the work some hands and feet of great beauty; and although his manner was a little hard, on account of the labour that he endured in the things that he counterfeited, nevertheless he can be numbered among the good and praiseworthy craftsmen. Above this scene he painted two Prophets in fresco, and on the vaulting the Transfiguration; and the two Saints, S. Peter and S. Francis, who are on either side of the scene below, are very bold and animated figures. It is true that he laboured for six years over this little work, but when works are executed to perfection, one should not consider whether they have been finished quickly or slowly, although more praise is due to him who carries his labours to completion both quickly and well; and he who pleads haste as an excuse when his works do not give satisfaction, unless he has been forced to it, is accusing rather than excusing himself. When this work was uncovered, it was seen that Sebastiano had done well, although he had toiled much over painting it, so that the evil tongues were silenced and there were few who found fault with him.

The Flagellation.

(After the oil fresco by Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo.
Rome: S. Pietro in Montorio)
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After this, when Raffaello painted for Cardinal de' Medici, for sending to France, that altar-piece containing the Transfiguration of Christ which was placed after his death on the principal altar of S. Pietro a Montorio, Sebastiano also executed at the same time another altar-piece of the same size, as it were in competition with Raffaello, of Lazarus being raised from the dead four days after death, which was counterfeited and painted with supreme diligence under the direction of Michelagnolo, and in some parts from his design. These altar-pieces, when [Pg 177] finished, were publicly exhibited together in the Consistory, and were vastly extolled, both the one and the other; and although the works of Raffaello had no equals in their perfect grace and beauty, nevertheless the labours of Sebastiano were also praised by all without exception. One of these pictures was sent by Cardinal Giulio de' Medici to his episcopal palace at Narbonne in France, and the other was placed in the Cancelleria, where it remained until it was taken to S. Pietro a Montorio, together with the ornamental frame that Giovan Barile executed for it. By means of this work Sebastiano became closely connected with the Cardinal, and was therefore honourably rewarded during his pontificate.

Not long afterwards, Raffaello having passed away, the first place in the art of painting was unanimously granted by all, thanks to the favour of Michelagnolo, to Sebastiano, and Giulio Romano, Giovan Francesco of Florence, Perino del Vaga, Polidoro, Maturino, Baldassarre of Siena, and all the others had to give way. Wherefore Agostino Chigi, who had been having a chapel and tomb built for himself under the direction of Raffaello in S. Maria del Popolo, came to an agreement with Sebastiano that he should paint it all; whereupon the screen was made, but the chapel remained covered, without ever being seen by anyone, until the year 1554, at which time Luigi, the son of Agostino, resolved that, although his father had not been able to see it finished, he at least would do so. And so, the chapel and the altar-piece being entrusted to Francesco Salviati, he carried the work in a short time to that perfection which it had not received from the dilatory and irresolute Sebastiano, who, so far as one can see, did little work there, although we find that he obtained from the liberality of Agostino and his heirs much more than would have been due to him even if he had finished it completely, which he did not do, either because he was weary of the labours of art, or because he was too much wrapped up in comforts and pleasures. And he did the same to M. Filippo da Siena, Clerk of the Chamber, for whom he began a scene in oils on the wall above the high-altar of the Pace at Rome, and never finished it; wherefore the friars, in despair about it, were obliged to take away the staging, which obstructed their church, [Pg 178] to cover the work with a cloth, and to have patience for as long as the life of Sebastiano lasted. After his death, the friars uncovered the work, and it was found that what he had done was most beautiful painting, for the reason that in the part where he represented Our Lady visiting S. Elizabeth, there are many women portrayed from life that are very beautiful, and painted with consummate grace. But it may be seen here that this man endured extraordinary labour in all the works that he produced, and that he was not able to execute them with that facility which nature and study are wont at times to give to him who delights in working and exercises his hand continually. And of the truth of this there is also a proof in the same Pace, in the Chapel of Agostino Chigi, where Raffaello had executed the Sibyls and Prophets; for Sebastiano, wishing to paint some things on the stone in the niche that remained to be painted below, in order to surpass Raffaello, caused it to be incrusted with peperino-stone, the joinings being filled in with fired stucco; but he spent so much time on cogitations that he left the wall bare, for, after it had remained thus for ten years, he died.

It is true that a few portraits from life could be obtained with ease from Sebastiano, because he could finish these with more facility and promptitude; but it was quite otherwise with stories and other figures. To tell the truth, the painting of portraits from life was his proper vocation, as may be seen from the portrait of Marc' Antonio Colonna, which is so well executed that it seems to be alive, and also from those of Ferdinando, Marquis of Pescara, and of Signora Vittoria Colonna, which are very beautiful. He likewise made a portrait of Adrian VI when he first arrived in Rome, and one of Cardinal Hincfort. That Cardinal desired that Sebastiano should paint for him a chapel in S. Maria de Anima at Rome; but he kept putting him off from one day to another, and the Cardinal finally had it painted by the Fleming Michael, his compatriot, who painted there in fresco stories from the life of S. Barbara, imitating our Italian manner very well; and in the altar-piece he made a portrait of the same Cardinal.

But returning to Sebastiano: he also took a portrait of Signor Federigo da Bozzolo, and one of a captain in armour, I know not who, [Pg 179] which is in the possession of Giulio de' Nobili at Florence. He painted a woman in Roman dress, which is in the house of Luca Torrigiani; and Giovan Battista Cavalcanti has a head by the same master's hand, which is not completely finished. He executed a picture of Our Lady covering the Child with a piece of drapery, which was a rare work; and Cardinal Farnese now has it in his guardaroba. And he sketched, but did not carry to completion, a very beautiful altar-piece of S. Michael standing over a large figure of the Devil, which was to be sent to the King of France, who had previously received a picture by the hand of the same master.

Then, after Cardinal Giulio de' Medici had been elected Supreme Pontiff and had taken the name of Clement VII, he gave Sebastiano to understand through the Bishop of Vasona that the time to show him favour had come, and that he would become aware of this when the occasion arose. And in the meantime, while living in these high hopes, Sebastiano, who had no equal in portrait-painting, executed many from life, and among others one of Pope Clement, who was not then wearing a beard, or rather, two of him, one of which came into the possession of the Bishop of Vasona, and the other, which is much larger, showing a seated figure from the knees upwards, is in the house of Sebastiano at Rome. He also painted a portrait of the Florentine Anton Francesco degli Albizzi, who happened to be then in Rome on some business, and he made it such that it appeared to be not painted but really alive; wherefore Anton Francesco sent it to Florence as a pearl of great price. The head and hands of this portrait were things truly marvellous, to say nothing of the beautiful execution of the velvets, the linings, the satins, and all the other parts of the picture; and since Sebastiano was indeed superior to all other men in the perfect delicacy and excellence of his portrait-painting, all Florence was amazed at this portrait of Anton Francesco.

At this same time he also executed a portrait of Messer Pietro Aretino, and made it such that, besides being a good likeness, it is an astounding piece of painting, for there may be seen in it five or six different kinds of black in the clothes that he is wearing—velvet, satin, ormuzine, [Pg 180] damask, and cloth—and, over and above those blacks, a beard of the deepest black, painted in such beautiful detail, that the real beard could not be more natural. This figure holds in the hand a branch of laurel and a scroll, on which is written the name of Clement VII; and in front are two masks, one of Virtue, which is beautiful, and another of Vice, which is hideous. This picture M. Pietro presented to his native city, and the people of Arezzo have placed it in their public Council Chamber, thus doing honour to the memory of their talented fellow-citizen, and also receiving no less from him. After this, Sebastiano made a portrait of Andrea Doria, which was in like manner an admirable work, and a head of the Florentine Baccio Valori, which was also beautiful beyond belief.

In the meantime Fra Mariano Fetti, Friar of the Piombo, died, and Sebastiano, remembering the promises made to him by the above-mentioned Bishop of Vasona, master of the household to His Holiness, asked for the office of the Piombo; whereupon, although Giovanni da Udine, who had also done much in the service of His Holiness "in minoribus," and still continued to serve him, asked for the same office, the Pope, moved by the prayers of the Bishop, and also thinking that the talents of Sebastiano deserved it, ordained that Sebastiano should have the office, but should pay out of it to Giovanni da Udine an allowance of three hundred crowns. Thus Sebastiano assumed the friar's habit, and straightway felt his soul changed thereby, for, perceiving that he now had the means to satisfy his desires, he spent his time in repose without touching a brush, and recompensed himself with his comforts and his revenues for many misspent nights and laborious days; and whenever he happened to have something to do, he would drag himself to the work with such reluctance, that he might have been going to his death. From which one may learn how much our reason and the little wisdom of men are deceived, in that very often, nay, almost always, we covet the very opposite to that which we really need, and, as the Tuscan proverb has it, in thinking to cross ourselves with a finger, poke it into our own eyes. It is the common opinion of men that rewards and honours spur the minds of mortals to the studies of those arts which [Pg 181] they see to be the best remunerated, and that, on the contrary, to see that those who labour at these arts are not recompensed by such men as have the means, causes the same students to grow negligent and to abandon them. And for this reason both ancients and moderns censure as strongly as they are able those Princes who do not support every kind of man of talent, and who do not give due honour and reward to all who labour valiantly in the arts. But, although this rule is for the most part a good one, it may be seen, nevertheless, that at times the liberality of just and magnanimous Princes produces the contrary effect, for the reason that many are more useful and helpful to the world in a low or mediocre condition than they are when raised to greatness and to an abundance of all good things. And here we have an example, for the magnificent liberality of Clement VII, bestowing too rich a reward on Sebastiano Viniziano, who had done excellent work as a painter in his service, was the reason that he changed from a zealous and industrious craftsman into one most idle and negligent, and that, whereas he laboured continually while he was living in poor circumstances and the rivalry between him and Raffaello da Urbino lasted, he did quite the opposite when he had enough for his contentment.

Be this as it may, let us leave it to the judgment of wise Princes to consider how, when, towards whom, in what manner, and by what rule, they should exercise their liberality in the case of craftsmen and men of talent, and let us return to Sebastiano. After he had been made Friar of the Piombo, he executed for the Patriarch of Aquileia, with great labour, Christ bearing the Cross, a half-length figure painted on stone—a work which was much extolled, particularly for the head and the hands, parts in which Sebastiano was truly most excellent. Not long afterwards the niece of the Pope, who in time became Queen of France, as she still is, having arrived in Rome, Fra Sebastiano began a portrait of her; but this remained unfinished in the guardaroba of the Pope. And a short time after this, Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici having become enamoured of Signora Giulia Gonzaga, who was then living at Fondi, that Cardinal sent Sebastiano to that place, accompanied by four light horsemen, to take her portrait; and within a month he finished that portrait, which, [Pg 182] being taken from the celestial beauty of that lady by a hand so masterly, proved to be a divine picture. Wherefore, after it had been carried to Rome, the labours of that craftsman were richly rewarded by the Cardinal, who declared that this portrait surpassed by a great measure all those that Sebastiano had ever executed up to that day, as indeed it did; and the work was afterwards sent to King Francis of France, who had it placed in his Palace of Fontainebleau.

Andrea Doria.

(After the painting by Fra Sebastiano del Piombo,
Rome: Palazzo Doria)
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This painter then introduced a new method of painting on stone, which pleased people greatly, for it appeared that by this means pictures could be made eternal, and such that neither fire nor worms could harm them. Wherefore he began to paint many pictures on stone in this manner, surrounding them with ornaments of variegated kinds of stone, which, being polished, formed a very beautiful setting; although it is true that these pictures, with their ornaments, when finished, could not be transported or even moved, on account of their great weight, save with the greatest difficulty. Many persons, then, attracted by the novelty of the work and by the beauty of his art, gave him earnest-money, in order that he might execute some for them; but he, delighting more to talk about such pictures than to work at them, always kept delaying everything. Nevertheless he executed on stone a Dead Christ with the Madonna, with an ornament also of stone, for Don Ferrante Gonzaga, who sent it to Spain. The whole work together was held to be very beautiful, and Sebastiano was paid five hundred crowns for the painting by Messer Niccolò da Cortona, agent in Rome for the Cardinal of Mantua. In this kind of painting Sebastiano was truly worthy of praise, for the reason that whereas Domenico, his compatriot, who was the first to paint in oils on walls, and after him Andrea dal Castagno, Antonio Pollaiuolo, and Piero Pollaiuolo, failed to find the means of preventing the figures executed by them in this manner from becoming black and fading away very quickly, Sebastiano did find it; wherefore the Christ at the Column, which he painted in S. Pietro in Montorio, has never changed down to our own time, and has the same freshness of colouring as on the first day. For he went about the work with such diligence that he used to make the coarse rough-cast of lime with a mixture [Pg 183] of mastic and colophony, which, after melting it all together over the fire and applying it to the wall, he would then cause to be smoothed over with a mason's trowel made red-hot, or rather white-hot, in the fire; and his works have therefore been able to resist the damp and to preserve their colour very well without suffering any change. With the same mixture he worked on peperino-stone, white and variegated marble, porphyry, and slabs of other very hard kinds of stone, materials on which paintings can last a very long time; not to mention that this has shown how one may paint on silver, copper, tin, and other metals.

This man found so much pleasure in cogitating and discoursing, that he would spend whole days without working; and when he did force himself to work, it was evident that he was suffering greatly in his mind, which was the chief reason that he was of the opinion that no price was large enough to pay for his works. For Cardinal Rangoni he painted a picture of a nude and very beautiful S. Agatha being tortured in the breasts, which was an exquisite work, and this picture is now in the guardaroba of Signor Guidobaldo, Duke of Urbino, and is in no way inferior to the many other most beautiful pictures that are there, by the hands of Raffaello da Urbino, Tiziano, and others. He also made a portrait from life of Signor Piero Gonzaga, painted in oils on stone, which was a very fine work; but he toiled for three years over finishing it.

Now, when Michelagnolo was in Florence in the time of Pope Clement, engaged in the work of the new Sacristy of S. Lorenzo, Giuliano Bugiardini wished to paint for Baccio Valori a picture with the head of Pope Clement and that of Baccio himself, and another for Messer Ottaviano de' Medici of the same Pontiff and the Archbishop of Capua. Michelagnolo therefore sent to Sebastiano to ask him to despatch from Rome a head of the Pope painted in oils with his own hand; and Sebastiano painted one, which proved to be very beautiful, and sent it to him. After Giuliano had made use of the head and had finished his pictures, Michelagnolo, who was a close companion of the said Messer Ottaviano, made him a present of it; and of a truth, among the many heads that Fra Sebastiano executed, this is the most beautiful of all and the best likeness, [Pg 184] as may be seen in the house of the heirs of Messer Ottaviano. The same master also took the portrait of Pope Paul Farnese, as soon as he was elected Supreme Pontiff; and he began one of the Duke of Castro, his son, but left it unfinished, as he did with many other works with which he had made a beginning.

Fra Sebastiano had a passing good house which he had built for himself near the Popolo, and there he lived in the greatest contentment, without troubling to paint or work any more. He used often to say that it was a great fatigue to have to restrain in old age those ardours which in youth craftsmen are wont to welcome out of emulation and a desire for profit and honour, and that it was no less wise for a man to live in peace than to spend his days in restless labour in order to leave a name behind him after death, for all his works and labours had also in the end, sooner or later, to die. And even as he said these things, so he carried them into practice as well as he was able, for he always sought to have for his table all the best wines and the rarest luxuries that could be found, holding life in more account than art. Being much the friend of all men of talent, he often had Molza and Messer Gandolfo to supper, making right good cheer. He was also the intimate friend of Messer Francesco Berni, the Florentine, who wrote a poem to him; to which Fra Sebastiano answered with another, passing well, for, being very versatile, he was even able to set his hand to writing humorous Tuscan verse.

Having been reproached by certain persons, who said that it was shameful that he would no longer work now that he had the means to live, Fra Sebastiano replied in this manner: "Why will I not work now that I have the means to live? Because there are now in the world men of genius who do in two months what I used to do in two years; and I believe that if I live long enough, and not so long, either, I shall find that everything has been painted. And since these stalwarts can do so much, it is well that there should also be one who does nothing, to the end that they may have the more to do." With these and similar pleasantries Fra Sebastiano was always diverting himself, being a man who was never anything but humorous and amusing; and, in truth, a better companion never lived.

[Pg 185] Sebastiano, as has been related, was much beloved by Michelagnolo. But it is also true that when the front wall of the Papal Chapel, where there is now the Last Judgment by the same Buonarroti, was to be painted, there did arise some disdain between them, for Fra Sebastiano had persuaded the Pope that he should make Michelagnolo paint it in oils, whereas the latter would only do it in fresco. Now, Michelagnolo saying neither yea nor nay, the wall was prepared after the fashion of Fra Sebastiano, and Michelagnolo stood thus for some months without setting his hand to the work. But at last, after being pressed, he said that he would only do it in fresco, and that painting in oils was an art for women and for leisurely and idle people like Fra Sebastiano. And so, after the incrustation laid on by order of the friar had been stripped off, and the whole surface had been covered with rough-cast in a manner suitable for working in fresco, Michelagnolo set his hand to the work; but he never forgot the affront that he considered himself to have received from Fra Sebastiano, against whom he felt hatred almost to the day of the friar's death.

Finally, after Fra Sebastiano had come to such a state that he would not work or do any other thing but attend to the duties of his office as Friar of the Piombo, and enjoy the pleasures of life, at the age of sixty-two he fell sick of a most acute fever, which, being a ruddy person and of a full habit of body, threw him into such a heat that he rendered up his soul to God in a few days, after making a will and directing that his body should be carried to the tomb without any ceremony of priests or friars, or expenditure on lights, and that all that would have been spent thus should be distributed to poor persons, for the love of God; and so it was done. He was buried in the Church of the Popolo, in the month of June of the year 1547. Art suffered no great loss in his death, seeing that, as soon as he assumed the habit of Friar of the Piombo, he might have been numbered among those lost to her; although it is true that he was regretted for his pleasant conversation by many friends as well as craftsmen.

Many young men worked under Sebastiano at various times in order to learn art, but they made little proficience, for from his example they [Pg 186] learned little but the art of good living, excepting only Tommaso Laureti, a Sicilian, who, besides many other works, has executed a picture full of grace at Bologna, of a very beautiful Venus, with Love embracing and kissing her, which picture is in the house of M. Francesco Bolognetti. He has also painted a portrait of Signor Bernardino Savelli, which is much extolled, and some other works of which there is no need to make mention.




A truly great gift is art, who, paying no regard to abundance of riches, to high estate, or to nobility of blood, embraces, protects, and uplifts from the ground a child of poverty much more often than one wrapped in the ease of wealth. And this Heaven does in order to show how much power the influences of its stars and constellations have over us, distributing more of its favours to one, and to another less; which influences are for the most part the reason that we mortals come to be born with dispositions more or less fiery or sluggish, weak or strong, fierce or gentle, fortunate or unfortunate, and richer or poorer in talent. And whoever has any doubt of this, will be enlightened in this present Life of Perino del Vaga, a painter of great excellence and genius.

This Perino, the son of a poor father, having been left an orphan as a little child and abandoned by his relatives, was guided and governed by art, whom he always acknowledged as his true mother and honoured without ceasing. And the studies of the art of painting were pursued by him with such zeal and diligence, that he was enabled in due time to execute those noble and famous decorations which have brought so much glory to Genoa and to Prince Doria. Wherefore we may believe without a doubt that it is Heaven that raises men from those infinite depths in which they were born, to that summit of greatness to which they ascend, when they prove by labouring valiantly at their works that they are true followers of the sciences that they have chosen to learn; even as Perino chose and pursued as his vocation the art of design, in which he proved himself full of grace and most excellent, or rather, absolutely perfect. And he not only equalled the ancients in stucco-work, [Pg 190] but also equalled the best modern craftsmen in the whole field of painting, displaying all the excellence that could possibly be desired in a human intellect that seeks, in solving the difficulties of that art, to achieve beauty, grace, charm, and delicacy with colouring and with every other kind of ornament.

But let us speak more particularly of his origin. There lived in the city of Florence one Giovanni Buonaccorsi, who entered the service of Charles VIII, King of France, and fought in his wars, and, being a spirited and open-handed young man, spent all that he possessed in that service and in gaming, and finally lost his life therein. To him was born a son, who received the name of Piero; and this son, after being left as an infant of two months old without his mother, who died of plague, was reared in the greatest misery at a farm, being suckled by a goat, until his father, having gone to Bologna, took as his second wife a woman whose husband and children had died of plague; and she, with her plague-infected milk, finished nursing Piero, who was now called Pierino[27] (a pet name such as it is a general custom to give to little children), and retained that name ever afterwards. He was then taken to Florence by his father, who, on returning to France, left him with some relatives; and they, either because they had not the means, or because they would not accept the burdensome charge of maintaining him and having him taught some ingenious vocation, placed him with the apothecary of the Pinadoro, to the end that he might learn that calling. But, not liking that profession, he was taken as shop-boy by the painter Andrea de' Ceri, who was pleased with the air and the ways of Perino, and thought that he saw in him a certain lively spirit of intelligence from which it might be hoped that in time some good fruits would issue from him. Andrea was no great painter; quite commonplace, indeed, and one of those who stand openly and publicly in their workshops, executing any kind of work, however mean; and he was wont to paint every year for the festival of S. John certain wax tapers which were carried as offerings, as they still are, together with the other tributes of the city; for which reason he was called Andrea de' Ceri, [Pg 191] and from that name Perino was afterwards called for some time Perino de' Ceri.

Andrea, then, took care of Perino for some years, teaching him the rudiments of art as well as he could; but when the boy had reached the age of eleven, he was forced to seek for him some master better than himself. And so, having a straight friendship with Ridolfo, the son of Domenico Ghirlandajo, who, as will be related, was held to be able and well practised in painting, Andrea de' Ceri placed Perino with him, to the end that he might give his attention to design, and strive with all the zeal and love at his command to make in that art the proficience of which his great genius gave promise. Whereupon, pursuing his studies, among the many young men whom Ridolfo had in his workshop, all engaged in learning art, in a short time Perino came to surpass all the rest, so great were his ardour and his eagerness. Among them was one named Toto del Nunziata, who was to him as a spur to urge him on continually; which Toto, likewise attaining in time to equality with the finest intellects, departed from Florence and made his way with some Florentine merchants to England, where he executed all his works, and was very richly rewarded by the King of that country, whom he also served in architecture, erecting, in particular, his principal palace. He and Perino, then, working in emulation of one another, and pursuing the studies of art with supreme diligence, after no long time became very excellent. And Perino, drawing from the cartoon of Michelagnolo Buonarroti in company with other young men, both Florentines and strangers, won and held the first place among them all, insomuch that he was regarded with that expectation which was afterwards fulfilled in the beautiful works that he executed with so much excellence and art.

There came to Florence at that time the Florentine painter Vaga, a master of no great excellence, who was executing commonplace works at Toscanella in the province of Rome. Having a superabundance of work, he was in need of assistance, and he desired to take back with him a companion and also a young man who might help him in design, in which he was wanting, and in the other matters of art. Now this painter, having seen Perino drawing in the workshop of Ridolfo together [Pg 192] with the other young men, found him so superior to them all, that he was astonished; and, what is more, he was pleased with his appearance and his ways, for Perino was a very beautiful youth, most courteous, modest, and gentle, and every part of his body was in keeping with the nobility of his mind; wherefore Vaga was so charmed with him, that he asked him whether he would go with him to Rome, saying that he would not fail to assist him in his studies, and promising him such benefits and conditions as he might demand. So great was the desire that Perino had to attain to excellence in his profession, that, when he heard Rome mentioned, through his eagerness to see that city, he was deeply moved; but he told him that he must speak to Andrea de' Ceri, who had supported him up to that time, so that he was loth to abandon him. And so Vaga, having persuaded Ridolfo, Perino's master, and Andrea, who maintained him, so contrived that in the end he took Perino, with the companion, to Toscanella. There Perino began to work and to assist them, and they finished not only the work that Vaga had undertaken, but also many that they undertook afterwards. But Perino complained that the promise of seeing Rome, by which he had been brought from Florence, was not being fulfilled, in consequence of the profit and advantage that Vaga was drawing from his services, and he resolved to go thither by himself; which was the reason that Vaga, leaving all his works, took him to Rome. And there, through the love that he bore to art, Perino returned to his former work of drawing and continued at it many weeks, growing more ardent every day. But Vaga wished to return to Toscanella, and therefore made him known, as one belonging to himself, to many commonplace painters, and also recommended him to all the friends that he had there, to the end that they might assist and favour him in his absence; from which circumstance he was always called from that day onward Perino del Vaga.

The Passage of the Red Sea.

(After the fresco by Perino del Vaga.
Rome: The Vatican, Loggia)
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Thus left in Rome, and seeing the ancient works of sculpture and the marvellous masses of buildings, reduced for the most part to ruins, Perino stood lost in admiration at the greatness of the many renowned and illustrious men who had executed those works. And so, becoming ever more and more aflame with love of art, he burned unceasingly to [Pg 193] attain to a height not too far distant from those masters, in order to win fame and profit for himself with his works, even as had been done by those at whom he marvelled as he beheld their beautiful creations. And while he contemplated their greatness and the depths of his own lowliness and poverty, reflecting that he possessed nothing save the desire to rise to their height, and that, having no one who might maintain him and provide him with the means to live, he was forced, if he wished to remain alive, to labour at work for those ordinary shops, now with one painter and now with another, after the manner of the day-labourers in the fields, a mode of life which so hindered his studies, he felt infinite grief and pain in his heart at not being able to make as soon as he would have liked that proficience to which his mind, his will, and his necessities were urging him. He made the resolve, therefore, to divide his time equally, working half the week at day work, and during the other half devoting his attention to design; and to this second half he added all the feast-days, together with a great part of the nights, thus stealing time from time itself, in order to become famous and to escape from the hands of others so far as it might be possible.

Having carried this intention into execution, he began to draw in the Chapel of Pope Julius, where the vaulting had been painted by Michelagnolo Buonarroti, following both his methods and the manner of Raffaello da Urbino. And then, going on to the ancient works in marble and also to the grotesques in the grottoes under the ground, which pleased him through their novelty, he learned the methods of working in stucco, gaining his bread meanwhile by grievous labour, and enduring every hardship in order to become excellent in his profession. Nor had any long time passed before he became the best and most finished draughtsman that there was among all who were drawing in Rome, for the reason that he had, perhaps, a better knowledge of muscles and of the difficult art of depicting the nude than many others who were held to be among the best masters at that time; which was the reason that he became known not only to the men of his profession, but also to many lords and prelates. And, in particular, Giulio Romano and Giovan Francesco, called Il Fattore, disciples of Raffaello da Urbino, having [Pg 194] praised him not a little to their master, roused in him a desire to know Perino and to see his works in drawing; which having pleased him, and together with his work his manner, his spirit, and his ways of life, he declared that among all the young men that he had known, Perino would attain to the highest perfection in that art.

Meanwhile Raffaello da Urbino had built the Papal Loggie, by the command of Leo X; and the same Pope ordered that Raffaello should also have them adorned with stucco, painted, and gilded, according as it should seem best to him. Thereupon Raffaello placed at the head of that enterprise, for the stucco-work and the grotesques, Giovanni da Udine, who was very excellent and without an equal in such works, but mostly in executing animals, fruits, and other little things. And since he had chosen in Rome and summoned from other parts a great number of masters, he had assembled together a company of men each very able at his own work, one in stucco, another in grotesques, a third in foliage, a fourth in festoons, another in scenes, and others in other things; and according as they improved they were brought forward and paid higher salaries, so that by competing in that work many young men attained to great perfection, who were afterwards held to be excellent in their various fields of art. Among that company Perino was assigned to Giovanni da Udine by Raffaello, to the end that he might execute grotesques and scenes together with the others; and he was told that according as he should acquit himself, so he would be employed by Giovanni. And thus, labouring out of emulation and in order to prove his powers and make proficience, before many months had passed Perino was held to be the first among all those who were working there, both in drawing and in colouring; the best, I say, the most perfect in grace and finish, and he who could execute both figures and grotesques in the most delicate and beautiful manner; to which clear testimony and witness are borne by the grotesques, festoons, and scenes by his hand that are in that work, which, besides surpassing the others, are executed in much more faithful accord with the designs and sketches that Raffaello made for them. This may be seen from a part of those scenes in the centre of the loggia, on the vaulting, where the [Pg 195] Hebrews are depicted crossing over the Jordan with the sacred Ark, and also marching round the walls of Jericho, which fall into ruin; and the other scenes that follow, such as that of Joshua causing the sun to stand still during the combat with the Amorites. Among those painted in imitation of bronze on the base the best are likewise those by the hand of Perino—namely, Abraham sacrificing his son, Jacob wrestling with the Angel, Joseph receiving his twelve brethren, the fire descending from Heaven and consuming the sons of Levi, and many others which there is no need to name, for their number is very great, and they can be distinguished from the rest. At the beginning of the loggia, also, where one enters, he painted scenes from the New Testament, the Nativity and the Baptism of Christ, and His Last Supper with the Apostles, which are very beautiful; besides which, below the windows, as has been said, are the best scenes painted in the colour of bronze that there are in the whole work. These labours cause every man to marvel, both the paintings and the many works in stucco that he executed there with his own hand; and his colouring, moreover, is much more pleasing and more highly finished than that of any of the others.

This work was the reason that he became famous beyond all belief, yet this great praise did not send him to sleep, but rather, since genius grows with praise, inspired him with even more zeal, and made him almost certain that by persisting he would come to win those fruits and honours that he saw every day in the possession of Raffaello da Urbino and Michelagnolo Buonarroti. And he laboured all the more willingly, because he saw that he was held in estimation by Giovanni da Udine and by Raffaello, and was employed in works of importance. He always showed extraordinary deference and obedience towards Raffaello, honouring him in such a manner that he was beloved by Raffaello as a son.

There was executed at this time, by order of Pope Leo, the vaulting of the Hall of the Pontiffs, which is that through which one passes by way of the Loggie into the apartments of Pope Alexander VI, formerly painted by Pinturicchio; and that vaulting was painted by Giovanni da Udine and Perino. They executed in company the stucco-work and all those ornaments, grotesques, and animals that are to be seen [Pg 196] there, in addition to the varied and beautiful inventions that were depicted by them in the compartments of the ceiling, which they had divided into certain circles and ovals to contain the seven Planets of Heaven drawn by their appropriate animals, such as Jupiter drawn by Eagles, Venus by Doves, the Moon by Women, Mars by Wolves, Mercury by Cocks, the Sun by Horses, and Saturn by Serpents; besides the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, and some figures from the forty-eight Constellations of Heaven, such as the Great Bear, the Dog Star, and many others, which, by reason of their number, we must pass over in silence, without recounting them all in their order, since anyone may see the work; which figures are almost all by the hand of Perino. In the centre of the vaulting is a circle with four figures representing Victories, seen foreshortened from below upwards, who are holding the Pope's Crown and the Keys; and these are very well conceived and wrought with masterly art, to say nothing of the delicacy with which he painted their vestments, veiling the nude with certain light draperies that partly reveal the naked legs and arms, a truly graceful and beautiful effect. This work was justly held, as it still is at the present day, to be very magnificent and rich in craftsmanship, and also cheerful and pleasing; worthy, in short, of that Pontiff, who did not fail to reward their labours, which truly deserved some signal remuneration.

Perino decorated a façade in chiaroscuro—a method brought into use at that time by the example of Polidoro and Maturino—which is opposite to the house of the Marchioness of Massa, near Maestro Pasquino, executing it with great boldness of design and with supreme diligence.

In the third year of his pontificate Pope Leo paid a visit to Florence, for which many triumphal preparations were made in that city, and Perino went thither before the Court, partly in order to see the pomps of the city, and partly from a wish to revisit his native country; and on a triumphal arch at S. Trinità he made a large and very beautiful figure, seven braccia high, while another was executed in competition with him by Toto del Nunziata, who had already been his rival in boyhood. But to Perino every hour seemed a thousand years until he could return to Rome, for he perceived that the rules and methods of the [Pg 197] Florentine craftsmen were very different from those that were customary in Rome; wherefore he departed from Florence and returned to Rome, where he resumed his usual course of work. And in S. Eustachio dalla Dogana he painted a S. Peter in fresco, which is a figure that has very strong relief, executed with a simple flow of folds, and yet wrought with much design and judgment.

There was in Rome at this time the Archbishop of Cyprus, a man who was a great lover of the arts, and particularly of painting; and he, having a house near the Chiavica, where he had laid out a little garden with some statues and other antiquities of truly noble beauty, and desiring to enhance their effect with some fine decorations, sent for Perino, who was very much his friend, and they came to the decision that he should paint round the walls of that garden many stories of Bacchantes, Satyrs, Fauns, and other wild things, in reference to an ancient statue of Bacchus, seated beside a tiger, which the Archbishop had there. And so Perino adorned that place with a variety of poetical fancies; and, among other things, he painted there a little loggia with small figures, various grotesques, and many landscapes, coloured with supreme grace and diligence. This work has been held by craftsmen, as it always will be, to be worthy of the highest praise; and it was the reason that he became known to the Fugger family, merchants of Germany, who, having built a house near the Banchi, on the way to the Church of the Florentines, and having seen Perino's work and liked it, caused him to paint there a courtyard and a loggia, with many figures, all worthy of the same praise as the other works by his hand, for in them may be seen much delicacy and grace and great beauty of manner.

At this same time M. Marchionne Baldassini, having caused a house to be built for him near S. Agostino, as has been related, by Antonio da San Gallo, who designed it very well, desired that a hall which Antonio had constructed there should be painted all over; and after passing in review many of the young painters, to the end that it might be well and beautifully done, he finally resolved to give it to Perino. Having agreed about the price, Perino set his hand to it, nor did he turn his attention from that work to any other until he had [Pg 198] brought it to a very happy conclusion in fresco. In that hall he made compartments by means of pilasters which have between them niches great and small; in the larger niches are various figures of philosophers, two in each niche, and in some one only, and in the smaller niches are little boys, partly naked and partly draped in veiling, while above those small niches are some heads of women, painted in imitation of marble. Above the cornice that crowns the pilasters there follows a second series of pictures, separated from the first series below, with scenes in figures of no great size from the history of the Romans, beginning with Romulus and ending with Numa Pompilius. There are likewise various ornaments in imitation of different kinds of marble, and over the beautiful chimney-piece of stone is a figure of Peace burning arms and trophies, which is very lifelike. This work was held in much estimation during the lifetime of M. Marchionne, as it has been ever since by all those who work in painting, and also by many others not of the profession, who give it extraordinary praise.

In the Convent of the Nuns of S. Anna, Perino painted a chapel in fresco with many figures, which was executed by him with his usual diligence. And on an altar in S. Stefano del Cacco he painted in fresco, for a Roman lady, a Pietà with the Dead Christ in the lap of Our Lady, with a portrait from life of that lady, which still has the appearance of a living figure; and the whole work is very beautiful, and executed with great mastery and facility.

In those days Antonio da San Gallo had built at the corner of a house in Rome, which is known as the Imagine di Ponte, a tabernacle finely adorned with travertine and very handsome, in which something beautiful in the way of painting was to be executed; and he received a commission from the owner of that house to give the work to one whom he should consider capable of painting some noble picture there. Wherefore Antonio, who knew Perino to be the best of the young men who were in Rome, allotted it to him. And he, setting his hand to the work, painted there a Christ in the act of crowning the Madonna, and in the background he made a Glory, with a choir of Seraphim and Angels clothed in light and delicate draperies, who are scattering flowers, and other children of great beauty and variety; and on the sides of the [Pg 199] tabernacle he painted Saints, S. Sebastian on one side and S. Anthony on the other. This work was executed truly well, and was equal to the others by his hand, which were always full of grace and charm.

A certain protonotary had erected a chapel of marble on four columns in the Minerva, and, desiring to leave an altar-piece there in memory of himself, even if it were but a small one, he came to an agreement with Perino, whose fame he had heard, and commissioned him to paint it in oils. And he chose that the subject should be the Deposition of Christ from the Cross, which Perino set himself to execute with the greatest possible zeal and diligence. In this picture he represented Him as already laid upon the ground, surrounded by the Maries weeping over Him, in whose gestures and attitudes he portrayed a melting pity and sorrow; besides which there are the Nicodemuses[28] and other figures that are much admired, all woeful and afflicted at seeing the sinless Christ lying dead. But the figures that he painted most divinely were those of the two Thieves, left fixed upon the crosses, which, besides appearing to be real dead bodies, reveal a very good mastery over muscles and nerves, which this occasion enabled him to display; wherefore, to the eyes of him who beholds them, their limbs present themselves all drawn in that violent death by the nerves, and the muscles by the nails and cords. There is, in addition, a landscape wrapped in darkness, counterfeited with much judgment and art. And if the inundation which came upon Rome after the sack had not done damage to this work, covering more than half of it, its excellence would be clearly seen; but the water so softened the gesso, and caused the wood to swell in such sort, that all the lower part that was soaked has peeled off too much for the picture to give any pleasure; nay, it is a grief and a truly heartrending sorrow to behold it, for it would certainly have been one of the most precious things in all Rome.

There was being rebuilt at this time, under the direction of Jacopo Sansovino, the Church of S. Marcello in Rome, a convent of Servite Friars, which still remains unfinished; and when they had carried the [Pg 200] walls of some chapels to completion, and had roofed them, those friars commissioned Perino to paint in one of these, as ornaments for a Madonna that is worshipped in that church, two figures in separate niches, S. Joseph and S. Filippo, a Servite friar and the founder of that Order, one on either side of the Madonna. These finished, he painted above them some little boys that are perfect, and in the centre of the wall he placed another standing upon a dado, who has upon his shoulders the ends of two festoons, which he directs towards the corners of the chapel, where there are two other little boys who support them, being seated upon them, with their legs in most beautiful attitudes. All this he executed with such art, such grace, and so beautiful a manner, and gave to the flesh a tint of colour so fresh and soft, that one might say that it was real flesh rather than painted. And certainly these figures may be held to be the most beautiful that ever any craftsman painted in fresco, for the reason that there is life in their eyes and movement in their attitudes, and with the mouth they make as if to break into speech and say that art has conquered Nature, and that even art declares that nothing more than this can be done in her. This work was so excellent in the sight of all good judges of art, that he acquired a great name thereby, although he had executed many works and what was known of his great genius in his profession was well known; and he was therefore held in much more account and greater estimation than ever before.

For this reason Lorenzo Pucci, Cardinal Santiquattro, who had taken over a chapel on the left hand beside the principal chapel in the Trinità, a convent of Calabrian and French Friars who wear the habit of S. Francis of Paola, allotted it to Perino, to the end that he might paint there in fresco the life of Our Lady. Which having begun, Perino finished all the vaulting and a wall under an arch; and on the outer side, also, over an arch of the chapel, he painted two Prophets four braccia and a half in height, representing Isaiah and Daniel, who in their great proportions reveal all the art, excellence of design, and beauty of colouring that can be seen in their perfection only in a picture executed by a great craftsman. This will be clearly evident to one who shall consider the Isaiah, in whom, as he reads, may be perceived the thoughtfulness that [Pg 201] study infuses in him, and his eagerness in reading new things, for he has his gaze fixed upon a book, with one hand to his head, exactly as a man often is when he is studying; and Daniel, likewise, is motionless, with his head upraised in celestial contemplation, in order to resolve the doubts of his people. Between these figures are two little boys who are upholding the escutcheon of the Cardinal, a shield of beautiful shape: and these boys, besides being so painted as to seem to be of flesh, also have the appearance of being in relief. The vaulting is divided into four scenes, separated one from another by the cross—that is, by the ribs of the vaulting. In the first is the Conception of Our Lady, in the second her Nativity, in the third the scene when she ascends the steps of the Temple, and in the fourth S. Joseph marrying her. On a wall-space equal in extent to the arch of the vaulting is her Visitation, in which are many figures that are very beautiful, but above all some who have climbed on certain socles and are standing in very spirited and natural attitudes, the better to see the ceremonious meeting of those women; besides which, there is something of the good and of the beautiful in the buildings and in every gesture of the other figures. He pursued this work no further, illness coming upon him; and when he was well, there began the plague of the year 1523, which raged so violently in Rome, that, if he wished to save his life, it became expedient for him to make up his mind to depart.

There was in the city of Rome at that time the goldsmith Piloto, who was much the friend and intimate companion of Perino, and he was desirous of departing; and so one morning, as they were breakfasting together, he persuaded Perino to take himself off and go to Florence, on the ground that it was many years since he had been there, and that it could not but bring him great honour to make himself known there and to leave some example of his excellence in that city; saying also that, although Andrea de' Ceri and his wife, who had brought him up, were dead, nevertheless, as a native of that country, if he had no possessions there, he had his love for it. Wherefore, after no long time, one morning Perino and Piloto departed and set out on the way to Florence. And when they had arrived there, Perino took the greatest pleasure in [Pg 202] seeing once again the old works painted by the masters of the past, which had been as a school to him in the days of his boyhood, and likewise those of the masters then living who were the most celebrated and held to be the best in that city, in which, through the interest of friends, a work was allotted to him, as will be related below. It happened one day that many craftsmen having assembled in his presence to do him honour, painters, sculptors, architects, goldsmiths, and carvers in wood and marble, who had gathered together according to the ancient custom, some to see Perino, to keep him company, and to hear what he had to say, many to learn what difference in practice there might be between the craftsmen of Rome and those of Florence, but most of them to hear the praise and censure that craftsmen are wont often to give to one another; it happened, I say, that thus discoursing together of one thing and another, and examining the works, both ancient and modern, in the various churches, they came to that of the Carmine, in order to see the chapel of Masaccio. There everyone gazed attentively at the paintings, and many various opinions were uttered in praise of that master, all declaring that they marvelled that he should have possessed so much judgment as to be able in those days, without seeing anything but the work of Giotto, to work with so much of the modern manner in the design, in the colouring, and in the imitation of Nature, and that he should have solved the difficulties of his art in a manner so facile; not to mention that among all those who had worked at painting, there had not as yet been one who had equalled him in strength of relief, in resoluteness, and in mastery of execution.

This kind of discourse much pleased Perino, and to all those craftsmen who spoke thus he answered in these words: "I do not deny that what you say, and even more, may be true; but that there is no one among us who can equal this manner, that I will deny with my last breath. Nay, I will declare, if I may say it with the permission of the company, not in contempt, but from a desire for the truth, that I know many both more resolute and richer in grace, whose works are no less lifelike in the painting than these, and even much more beautiful. And I, by your leave, I who am not the first in this art, am grieved that there is [Pg 203] no space near these works wherein I might be able to paint a figure; for before departing from Florence I would make a trial beside one of these figures, likewise in fresco, to the end that you might see by comparison whether there be not among the moderns one who has equalled him." Among their number was a master who was held to be the first painter in Florence; and he, being curious to see the work of Perino, and perhaps wishing to lower his pride, put forward an idea of his own, which was this: "Although," said he, "all the space here is full, yet, since you have such a fancy, which is certainly a good one and worthy of praise, there, on the opposite side, where there is the S. Paul by his hand, a figure no less good and beautiful than any other in the chapel, is a space in which you may easily prove what you say by making another Apostle, either beside that S. Peter by Masolino or beside the S. Paul of Masaccio, whichever you may prefer." The S. Peter was nearer the window, and the space beside it was greater and the light better; besides which, it was a figure no less beautiful than the S. Paul. Everyone, therefore, urged Perino to do it, because they had a great desire to see that Roman manner; besides which, many said that he would be the means of taking out of their heads the fancy that they had nursed in their minds for so many decades, and that if his figure should prove to be the best all would run after modern works. Wherefore, persuaded by that master, who told him at last that he ought not to disappoint the entreaties and expectations of so many lofty intellects, particularly since it would not take longer than two weeks to execute a figure in fresco, and they would not fail to spend years in praising his labours, Perino resolved to do it, although he who spoke thus had an intention quite contrary to his words, being persuaded that Perino would by no means execute anything much better than the work of those craftsmen who were considered to be the most excellent at that time. Perino, then, undertook to make this attempt; and having summoned by common consent M. Giovanni da Pisa, the Prior of the convent, they asked him for the space for the execution of the work, which he granted to them with truly gracious courtesy; and thus they took measurements of the space, with the height and breadth, and went away.

[Pg 204] An Apostle was then drawn by Perino in a cartoon, in the person of S. Andrew, and finished with the greatest diligence; whereupon Perino, having first caused the staging to be erected, was prepared to begin to paint it. But before this, on his arrival in Florence, his many friends, who had seen most excellent works by his hand in Rome, had contrived to obtain for him the commission for that work in fresco which I mentioned, to the end that he might leave some example of his handiwork in Florence, which might demonstrate how spirited and how beautiful was his genius for painting, and also to the end that he might become known and perchance be set to work on some labour of importance by those who were then governing. There were at that time certain craftsmen who used to assemble in a company called the Company of the Martyrs, in the Camaldoli at Florence; and they had proposed many times to have a wall that was in that place painted with the story of the Martyrs being condemned to death before two Roman Emperors, who, after they had been taken in battle, caused them to be crucified in the wood and hanged on trees. This story was suggested to Perino, and, although the place was out of the way, and the price small, so much was he attracted by the possibilities of invention in the story and by the size of the wall, that he was disposed to undertake it; besides which, he was urged not a little by those who were his friends, on the ground that the work would establish him in that reputation which his talent deserved among the citizens, who did not know him, and among his fellow-craftsmen in Florence, where he was not known save by report. Having then determined to do the work, he accepted the undertaking and made a small design, which was held to be a thing divine; and having set his hand to making a cartoon as large as the whole work, he never left off labouring at it, and carried it so far that all the principal figures were completely finished. And so the Apostle was abandoned, without anything more being done.

Perino drew this cartoon on white paper, well shaded and hatched, leaving the paper itself for the lights, and executing the whole with admirable diligence. In it were the two Emperors on the seat of judgment, condemning to the cross all the prisoners, who were turned towards [Pg 205] the tribunal, some kneeling, some standing, and others bowed, but all naked and bound in different ways, and writhing with piteous gestures in various attitudes, revealing the trembling of the limbs at the prospect of the severing of the soul from the body in the agony and torment of crucifixion; besides which, there were depicted in those heads the constancy of faith in the old, the fear of death in the young, and in others the torture that they suffer from the strain of the cords on their bodies and arms. And there could also be seen the swelling of the muscles and even the cold sweat of death, all depicted in that design. Then in the soldiers who were leading them there was revealed a terrible fury, most impious and cruel, as they presented them at the tribunal for condemnation and led them to the cross. The Emperors and the soldiers were wearing cuirasses after the ancient manner and garments very ornate and bizarre, with buskins, shoes, helmets, shields, and other pieces of armour wrought with all that wealth of the most beautiful ornamentation to which a craftsman can attain in imitating and reproducing the antique, and drawn with the greatest lovingness, subtlety, and delicacy that the perfection of art can display. When this cartoon was seen by the craftsmen and by other judges of discernment, they declared that they had never seen such beauty and excellence in design since the cartoon drawn by Michelagnolo Buonarroti in Florence for the Council Chamber; wherefore Perino acquired the greatest fame that he could have gained in art. And while he was engaged in finishing that cartoon, he amused himself by causing oil-colours to be prepared and ground in order to paint for his dearest friend, the goldsmith Piloto, a little picture of no great size, containing a Madonna, which he carried something more than half-way towards completion.

For many years past Perino had been intimately acquainted with a certain lame priest, Ser Raffaello di Sandro, a chaplain of S. Lorenzo, who always bore love to the craftsmen of design. This priest, then, persuaded Perino to take up his quarters with him, seeing that he had no one to cook for him or to keep house for him, and that during the time that he had been in Florence he had stayed now with one friend and now with another; wherefore Perino went to lodge with him, and stayed there [Pg 206] many weeks. Meanwhile the plague began to appear in certain parts of Florence, and filled Perino with fear lest he should catch the infection; on which account he determined to go away, but wished first to recompense Ser Raffaello for all the days that he had eaten at his table. But Ser Raffaello would never consent to take anything, only saying: "I would be fully paid by having a scrap of paper from your hand." Seeing him to be determined, Perino took about four braccia of coarse canvas, and, after having it fixed to the wall between two doors in the priest's little room, painted on it in a day and a night a scene coloured in imitation of bronze. On this canvas, which was to serve as a screen for the wall, he painted the story of Moses passing the Red Sea and Pharaoh being submerged with his horses and his chariots; and Perino painted therein figures in most beautiful attitudes, some swimming in armour and some naked, others swimming while clasping the horses round the neck, with their beards and hair all soaked, crying out in the fear of death and struggling with all their power to escape. On the other side of the sea are Moses, Aaron, and all the other Hebrews, male and female, who are thanking God, and a number of vases that he counterfeited, carried off by them from Egypt, varied and beautiful in form and shape, and women with head-dresses of great variety. Which finished, he left it as a mark of lovingness to Ser Raffaello, to whom it was as dear as the Priorate of S. Lorenzo would have been. This canvas was afterwards much extolled and held in estimation, and after the death of Ser Raffaello it passed, together with his other possessions, to his brother Domenico di Sandro, the cheesemonger.

Departing, then, from Florence, Perino abandoned the work of the Martyrs, which caused him great regret; and certainly, if it had been in any other place but the Camaldoli, he would have finished it; but, considering that the officials of health had taken that very Convent of Camaldoli for those infected with the plague, he thought it better to save himself than to leave fame behind him in Florence, being satisfied that he had proved how much he was worth in the design. The cartoon, with his other things, remained in the possession of the goldsmith Giovanni di Goro, his friend, who died in the plague; and after that it [Pg 207] fell into the hands of Piloto, who kept it spread out in his house for many years, showing it readily as a very rare work to every person of intelligence; but I do not know what became of it after the death of Piloto.

Perino stayed for many months in various places, seeking to avoid the plague, but for all this he never spent his time in vain, for he was continually drawing and studying the secrets of art; and when the plague had ceased, he returned to Rome and gave his attention to executing little works of which I shall say nothing more. In the year 1523 came the election of Pope Clement VII, which was the greatest of blessings for the arts of painting and sculpture, which had been so kept down by Adrian VI during his lifetime, that not only had nothing been executed for him, but, as has been related in other places, not delighting in them, or rather, holding them in detestation, he had brought it about that no other person delighted in them, or spent money upon them, or employed a single craftsman. Then, therefore, after the election of the new Pontiff, Perino executed many works.

Afterwards it was proposed that Giulio Romano and Giovan Francesco, called Il Fattore, should be made heads of the world of art in place of Raffaello, who was dead, to the end that they might distribute the various works to the others, according to the previous custom. But Perino, in executing an escutcheon of the Pope in fresco over the door of Cardinal Cesarino, after the cartoon of Giulio Romano, acquitted himself so excellently well, that they doubted whether he would not be preferred to themselves, because, although they were known as the disciples of Raffaello and as the heirs to his possessions, they had not inherited the whole of the art and grace that he used to give to his figures with colours. Giulio and Giovan Francesco therefore made up their minds to attach Perino to themselves; and so in the holy year of Jubilee, 1525, they gave him Caterina, the sister of Giovan Francesco, for wife, to the end that the perfect friendship which had been maintained between them for so long might be converted into kinship. Thereupon, continuing the works that he had in hand, no long time had passed when, on account of the praises bestowed upon him for the first work [Pg 208] executed by him in S. Marcello, it was resolved by the Prior of that convent and by certain heads of the Company of the Crocifisso, which has a chapel there built by its members as a place of assembly, that the chapel should be painted; and so they allotted this work to Perino, in the hope of having some excellent painting by his hand. Perino, having caused the staging to be erected, began the work; and in the centre of the barrel-shaped vaulting he painted the scene when God, after creating Adam, takes his wife Eve from his side. In this scene Adam, a most beautiful naked figure painted with perfect art, is seen lying overcome by sleep, while Eve, with great vivacity, rises to her feet with the hands clasped and receives the benediction of her Maker, the figure of whom is depicted grave in aspect and sublime in majesty, standing with many draperies about Him, which curve round His nude form with their borders. On one side, on the right hand, are two Evangelists, S. Mark and S. John, the first of whom Perino finished entirely, and also the second with the exception of the head and a naked arm. Between these two Evangelists, by way of ornament, he made two little boys embracing a candelabrum, which are truly of living flesh; and the Evangelists, likewise, in the heads, the draperies, the arms, and all that he painted in them with his own hand, are very beautiful.

While he was executing this work, he suffered many interruptions from illness and from other misfortunes, such as happen every day to all who live in this world; besides which, it is said that the men of the Company also ran short of money. And so long did this business drag on, that in the year 1527 there came upon them the ruin of Rome, when that city was given over to sack, many craftsmen were killed, and many works destroyed or carried away. Whereupon Perino, caught in that turmoil, and having a wife and a baby girl, ran from place to place in Rome with the child in his arms, seeking to save her, and finally, poor wretch, was taken prisoner and reduced to paying a ransom, which hit him so hard that he was like to go out of his mind. When the fury of the sack had abated, he was so crushed down by the fear that still possessed him, that all thought of art was worlds away from him, but nevertheless he painted canvases in gouache and other fantasies for [Pg 209] certain Spanish soldiers; and after regaining his composure, he lived like the rest in some poor fashion. Alone among so many, Baviera, who had the engravings of Raffaello, had not lost much; wherefore, moved by the friendship that he had with Perino, and wishing to employ him, he commissioned him to draw some of the stories of the Gods transforming themselves in order to achieve the consummation of their loves. These were engraved on copper by Jacopo Caraglio, an excellent engraver of prints, who acquitted himself so well in the matter of these designs, that, preserving the outlines and manner of Perino, and hatching the work with beautiful facility, he sought also to impart to the engravings that grace and that delicacy which Perino had given to the drawings.

While the havoc of the sack had destroyed Rome and driven away the inhabitants and the Pope himself, who was living at Orvieto, not many remaining in the city, and no business of any kind being done there, there arrived in Rome one Niccola Viniziano, a rare and even unrivalled master of embroidery, the servant of Prince Doria. He, moved by his long-standing friendship with Perino, and being a man who always favoured and wished well to the men of our arts, persuaded him to leave that misery and set out for Genoa, promising that he would so go to work with that Prince, who was a lover of art and delighted in painting, that he would commission Perino to execute some big works, and saying, moreover, that His Excellency had often told him that he would like to have a suite of rooms adorned with handsome decorations. It did not take much to persuade Perino, for he was oppressed by want and burning with desire to leave Rome; and he determined to depart with Niccola. Having therefore made arrangements for leaving his wife and daughter well cared for by relatives in Rome, and having put all his affairs in order, he set off for Genoa. Arriving there, and making himself known to that Prince by means of Niccola, his coming was as welcome to His Excellency as any agreeable experience that he had ever had in all his life. He was received, therefore, with the greatest possible warmth and gladness, and after many conversations and discussions they finally arranged that he should begin the work; and they decided that he should execute a palace adorned with stucco-work and with pictures in fresco, [Pg 210] in oils, and of every kind, which I will strive to describe as briefly as I am able, with all the rooms, pictures, and general arrangement, saying nothing as to where Perino first began to labour, to the end that I may not obscure this work, which is the best of all those by his hand, with words.

I begin, then, by saying that at the entrance of the Prince's Palace there is a marble portal composed in the Doric Order, and built after designs and models by the hand of Perino, with all its appurtenances of pedestals, socles, shafts, capitals, architrave, frieze, cornice and pediment, and with some most beautiful seated figures of women, who are supporting an escutcheon. The masonry and carving of this work were executed by Maestro Giovanni da Fiesole, and the figures were finished to perfection by Silvio, the sculptor of Fiesole, a bold and resolute master. Entering within the portal, one finds over the vestibule a vault covered with stucco-work, varied scenes, and grotesques, and little arches in each of which are scenes of war and various kinds of battles, some fighting on foot and others on horseback, and all wrought with truly extraordinary diligence and art. On the left one finds the staircase, which has decorations of little grotesques after the antique that could not be richer or more beautiful, with various scenes and little figures, masks, children, animals, and other things of fancy, executed with that invention and judgment that always marked his work, insomuch that of their kind they may well be called divine. Having ascended the staircase, one comes into a most beautiful loggia, which has at each end a very handsome door of stone; and over each of these doors, in the pediment, are painted two figures, one male and the other female, represented in directly opposite attitudes, one showing the front view and the other the back. The vaulting has five arches, and is wrought superbly in stucco, and it is also divided by pictures in certain ovals, containing scenes executed with the most perfect beauty that could be achieved; and the walls are painted down to the floor with many seated figures of captains in armour, some drawn from life and some from imagination, and representing all the ancient and modern captains of the house of Doria, and above them are large letters of gold, which run thus—"Magni viri, [Pg 211] maximi duces, optima fecere pro patria." In the first hall, which opens into the loggia and is entered by one of the two doors, that on the left hand, there are most beautiful ornaments of stucco on the corners of the vaulting, and in the centre there is a large scene of the Shipwreck of Æneas in the sea, in which are nude figures, living and dead, in attitudes of infinite variety, besides a good number of ships and galleys, some sound and some shattered by the fury of the tempest; not without beautiful considerations in the figures of the living, who are striving to save themselves, and expressions of terror that are produced in their features by the struggle with the waves, the danger of death, and all the emotions aroused by the perils of the sea. This was the first scene and the first work that Perino began for the Prince. It is said that when he arrived in Genoa, Girolamo da Treviso had already appeared there in advance of him in order to execute certain pictures, and was painting a wall that faced towards the garden. And after Perino had begun to draw the cartoon for the scene of the Shipwreck that has been described above, while he was taking his time about it, amusing himself and seeing Genoa, and labouring only at intervals at the cartoon, although a great part was finished in various ways and those nudes were drawn, some in chiaroscuro, some in charcoal, and others in black chalk, some being drawn in imitation of gradine-work, others shaded, and others again only outlined; while, I say, Perino was going on in this way, without beginning to paint, Girolamo da Treviso murmured against him, saying, "Cartoons, and nothing but cartoons! I have my art at the tip of my brush." Decrying him very often in this or some other similar manner, it came to the ears of Perino, who, taking offence, straightway caused his cartoon to be fixed to the vaulting where the scene was to be painted, and the boards of his staging to be removed in many places, to the end that the work might be seen from below; and then he threw open the hall. Which hearing, all Genoa ran to see it, and, amazed by Perino's grand design, they praised him to the skies. Thither, among others, went Girolamo da Treviso, who saw what he had never thought to see from the hand of Perino; whereupon, dumbfoundered by the beauty of the work, he departed from Genoa without asking leave of Prince Doria, and [Pg 212] returned to Bologna, where he lived. Perino was thus left alone in the service of the Prince, and finished that hall, painting it in oils on the surface of the walls; and it was held to be, as indeed it is, a thing unrivalled in its beauty, with its lovely work in stucco in the centre of the vaulting and all around, even below the lunettes, as I have described. In the other hall, into which one enters by the right-hand door in the loggia, he executed on the vaulting works in stucco almost similar in design to those of the other, and painted pictures in fresco of Jove slaying the Giants with his thunderbolts, in which are many very beautiful nudes, larger than life. In the Heaven, likewise, are all the Gods, who are making gestures of great vivacity and truly appropriate to their natures, amid the terrible uproar of the thunder; besides which, the stucco-work is executed with supreme diligence, and the fresco-colouring could not be more beautiful, seeing that Perino was very able—indeed, a perfect master—in that field. Near this he adorned four chambers, the ceilings of which are all wrought in stucco, and distributed among them, in fresco, are the most beautiful fables from Ovid, which have all the appearance of reality, nor could any one imagine the beauty, the abundance, the variety, and the great numbers of the little figures, animals, foliage, and grotesques that are in them, all executed with lively invention. Beside the other hall, likewise, he adorned four more chambers, but only directing the work, which was carried out by his assistants, although he gave them the designs both of the stucco-decorations and of the scenes, figures, and grotesques, upon which a vast number of them worked, some little and some much; such as Luzio Romano, who did much work in stucco there and many grotesques, and a number of Lombards. Let it suffice to say that there is no room there that has not something by his hand and is not full of ornaments, even to the space below the vaulting, with various compositions full of children, bizarre masks, and animals, which all defies description; not to mention that the little studies, the antechambers, the closets, and all other parts of the palace, are painted and made beautiful. From the palace one passes into the garden and into a low building, which has the most ornate decorations in all the rooms, even below the ceilings, and so also the halls, chambers, [Pg 213] and anterooms, all adorned by the same hand. In this work Pordenone also took a part, as I said in his Life, and likewise Domenico Beccafumi of Siena, a very rare painter, who showed that he was not inferior to any of the others, although the works by his hand that are in Siena are the most excellent among the vast number that he painted.

But to return to the works that Perino executed after those that he did in the Palace of the Prince; he executed a frieze in a room in the house of Giannetin Doria, containing most beautiful women, and he did many works for various gentlemen throughout the city, both in fresco and in oil-colours. He painted a most beautiful altar-piece, very finely designed, for S. Francesco, and another for a church called S. Maria "de Consolatione," at the commission of a gentleman of the house of Baciadonne: in which picture he painted the Nativity of Christ, a work that is much extolled, but it was placed in a position so dark, that, by reason of the light not being good enough, one is not able to recognize its perfection, and all the more because Perino strove to paint it in a dark manner, so that it has need of a strong light. He also made drawings of the greater part of the Æneid, with the stories of Dido, from which tapestries were woven; and he likewise drew beautiful ornaments for the poops of galleys, which were carved and finished to perfection by Carota and Tasso, wood-carvers of Florence, who proved excellently well how able they were in that art. And in addition to all these things he also executed a vast number of works on cloth for the galleys of the Prince, and the largest standards that could be made for their adornment and embellishment. Wherefore he was so beloved by that Prince for his fine qualities, that, if he had continued to serve him, the Prince would have richly rewarded his abilities.

But while he was working in Genoa, the fancy came to him to fetch his wife from Rome, and so he bought a house in Pisa, being pleased with that city and half thinking of choosing it as his place of habitation when old age should come upon him. Now at that time the Warden of the Duomo at Pisa was M. Antonio di Urbano, who had a very great desire to embellish that temple, and had already caused a beginning to be made with some very beautiful ornaments of marble for the chapels of the [Pg 214] church, which had been executed by the hand of Stagio da Pietrasanta, a very able and well practised carver of marble: removing some old, clumsy, and badly proportioned chapels that were there. Having thus made a beginning, the Warden proposed to fill up those ornaments in the interior with altar-pieces in oils, and on the outer side with a series of scenes in fresco and decorations in stucco, by the hands of the best and most excellent masters that he could find, without grudging any expense that might be incurred. He had already set to work on the sacristy, which he had placed in the great recess behind the high-altar, and there the ornamentation of marble was already finished, and many pictures had been painted by the Florentine painter Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, the rest of which, together with the altar-pieces and the chapels that were wanting, were finished many years afterwards by order of M. Sebastiano della Seta, the Warden of the Duomo in those days.

At that time Perino returned from Genoa to Pisa, and, having seen that beginning, at the instance of Battista del Cervelliera, a person well conversant with art and a most ingenious master of wood-carving, perspective, and inlaying, he was presented to the Warden. After they had discoursed together on the subject of the works of the Duomo, Perino was asked to paint an altar-piece for an ornament immediately within the ordinary door of entrance, the ornamental frame being already finished, and above that a scene of S. George slaying the Dragon and delivering the King's Daughter. Perino therefore made a most beautiful design, which included a row of children and other ornaments in fresco between one chapel and the other, and niches with Prophets and scenes of various kinds; and this design pleased the Warden. And so, having made the cartoon for one of them, the first one, that opposite to the door mentioned above, he began to execute it in colour, and finished six children, which are very well painted. He was to have continued this right round, which would have made a very rich and very beautiful decoration; and the whole work together would have proved to be something very handsome. But he was seized with a desire to return to Genoa, where he had involved himself in love affairs and other pleasures, to which he was inclined at certain times: and on his departure he gave [Pg 215] to the Nuns of S. Maffeo a little altar-piece that he had painted for them in oils, which is now in their possession in the convent. Then, having arrived in Genoa, he stayed there many months, executing other works for the Prince.

His departure from Pisa displeased the Warden greatly, and even more the circumstance that the work remained unfinished; wherefore he did not cease to write to him every day that he should return, or to make inquiries from Perino's wife, whom he had left in Pisa. But finally, perceiving that the matter would never end, Perino neither answering nor returning, he allotted the altar-piece of that chapel to Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, who finished it and set it into its place. Not long after this Perino returned to Pisa, and, seeing the work of Sogliani, flew into a rage, and would on no account continue what he had begun, saying that he did not choose that his pictures should serve as ornaments for those of other masters; wherefore, so far as concerned him, that work remained unfinished. Giovanni Antonio carried it on to such purpose that he painted four altar-pieces: but these, at a later date, appeared to Sebastiano della Seta, the new Warden, to be all in the same manner, and somewhat less beautiful than the first, and he allotted to Domenico Beccafumi of Siena—after proving his worth from some pictures that he painted round the sacristy, which are very beautiful—an altar-piece which he executed in Pisa. This not giving as much satisfaction as the first pictures, he caused the two last that were wanting to be painted by Giorgio Vasari of Arezzo; and they were placed at the two doors beside the corner-walls of the main façade of the church. Of these, as well as of many other works, both large and small, that are dispersed throughout Italy and various places abroad, it does not become me to say more, and I will leave the right of free judgment about them to all who have seen or may see them. The loss of this work caused real vexation to Perino, he having already made the designs for it, which gave promise that it would prove to be something worthy of him, and likely to give that temple great fame over and above that of its antiquities, and also to make Perino immortal.

During the many years of his sojourn in Genoa, although he drew [Pg 216] both profit and pleasure from that city, Perino had grown weary of it, as he remembered Rome in the happy days of Leo. But although, during the lifetime of Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici, he had received letters inviting him into his service, and he had been disposed to enter it, the death of that lord brought it about that he hesitated to repatriate himself. While matters stood thus, with his many friends urging his return, himself desiring it infinitely more than any of them, and several letters being exchanged, one morning, in the end, the fancy took him, and without saying a word he set off from Pisa and made his way to Rome. There, after making himself known to the most reverend Cardinal Farnese, and then to Pope Paul, he stayed many months without doing anything; first, because he was put off from one day to another, and then because he was attacked by some infirmity in one of his arms, on account of which he spent several hundreds of crowns, to say nothing of the discomfort, before he could be cured of it. Wherefore, having no one to maintain him, and being vexed by his cold welcome from the Court, he was tempted many times to go away; but Molza and many other friends exhorted him to have patience, telling him that Rome was no longer what she had been, and that now she expected that a man should be exhausted and weary of her before she would choose and cherish him as her own, and particularly if he were pursuing the path of some fine art.

At this time M. Pietro de' Massimi bought a chapel in the Trinità, with the vaulting and the lunettes painted and adorned with stucco, and the altar-piece painted in oils, all by Giulio Romano and Perino's brother-in-law, Giovan Francesco; and that gentleman was desirous to have it finished. In the lunettes were four stories of S. Mary Magdalene in fresco, and in the altar-piece in oils was Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene in the form of a gardener; and M. Pietro first caused a gilt frame of wood to be made for the altar-piece, which had a miserable one of stucco, and then allotted the walls to Perino, who, having caused the staging and the screen to be erected, set his hand to the work, and after many months brought it to completion. He made a design of bizarre and beautiful grotesques, partly in low-relief and partly painted; and he executed two little scenes of no great size, one on each wall, surrounding [Pg 217] them with an ornament in stucco of great variety. In one scene was the Pool of Bethesda, with all the cripples and sick persons, and the Angel who comes to move the waters, the porticoes seen most beautifully foreshortened in perspective, and the movements and vestments of the priests, all painted with great grace and vivacity, although the figures are not very large. In the other, he painted the Raising of Lazarus after he had been dead four days, wherein he is seen newly restored to life, and still marked by the pallor and fear of death: and round him are many who are unswathing him, and not a few who are marvelling, and others struck with awe, besides which the scene is adorned with some little temples that recede into the distance, executed with supreme lovingness, as are also the works in stucco all around. There are likewise four very small scenes, two to each wall, and one on either side of the larger scene; in one of which is the Centurion beseeching Christ that He should heal with a word his son who is dying, in another Christ driving the traders from the Temple, in a third the Transfiguration, and in the last a similar scene. And on the projections of the pilasters within the chapel he painted four figures in the guise of Prophets, which, in their proportions, their excellence, and their beauty, are as well executed and finished as they could well be. In a word, the whole work was carried out with such diligence, and is so delicate, that it resembles miniature rather than painting. In it may be seen much charm and vivacity of colouring, and signs of great patience in its execution, revealing that true love which should be felt for art; and he painted this whole work with his own hand, although he had a great part of the stucco-work executed after his designs by Guglielmo Milanese, whom he had formerly had with him at Genoa, loving him much, and once even offering to give him his daughter in marriage. This Guglielmo, in reward for restoring the antiquities of the house of Farnese, has now been made Friar of the Piombo, in the place of Fra Sebastiano Viniziano.

I must not omit to tell that against one wall of this chapel was a most beautiful tomb of marble, with a dead woman of marble, beautifully carved by the sculptor Bologna, on the sarcophagus, and two little naked boys at the sides. The countenance of that woman was a lifelike [Pg 218] portrait of a very famous courtezan of Rome, who left that memorial of herself, which was removed by the friars because they felt scruples that such a woman should have been laid to rest there with so much honour.

This work, with many designs that he made, was the reason that the very reverend Cardinal Farnese began to give him an allowance and to make use of him in many works. By order of Pope Paul, a chimney-piece that was in the Chamber of the Burning of the Borgo was placed in that of the Segnatura, where there were the panellings with perspective views in wood executed by the hand of the carver Fra Giovanni for Pope Julius. Raffaello had painted both of those chambers; but it became necessary to repaint all the base to the scenes in the Chamber of the Segnatura, which is that in which is the picture of Mount Parnassus. On which account a decorative design in imitation of marble was painted by Perino, with various terminal figures, festoons, masks, and other ornaments; and, in certain spaces, scenes painted to look like bronze, which are very beautiful for works in fresco. In these scenes, even as above them were Philosophers discoursing on Philosophy, Theologians on Theology, and Poets on Poetry, were all the actions of those who have been eminent in those professions. And although he did not execute them all with his own hand, he retouched them so much "a secco," besides making perfectly finished cartoons, that they may almost be said to be entirely by his hand; which method he employed because, being troubled by a catarrh, he was not fit for so much labour. Whereupon the Pope, recognizing that he deserved something both on account of his age and for all his work, and hearing him much recommended, gave him an allowance of twenty-five ducats a month, which lasted up to his death, on the condition that he should have charge of the Palace and of the house of the Farnese family.

By this time Michelagnolo Buonarroti had uncovered the wall with the Last Judgment in the Papal Chapel, and there remained still unpainted the base below, where there was to be fixed a screen of arras woven in silk and gold, like the tapestries that adorn the Chapel. Wherefore, the Pope having ordained that the weaving should be done in [Pg 219] Flanders, it was arranged with the consent of Michelagnolo that Perino should begin to paint a canvas of the same size, which he did, executing in it women, children and terminal figures, holding festoons, and all very lifelike, with the most bizarre things of fancy; but this work, which was truly worthy of him and of the divine picture that it was to adorn, remained unfinished after his death in some apartments of the Belvedere.

After this, Antonio da San Gallo having finished the building of the Great Hall of Kings in front of the Chapel of Sixtus IV in the Papal Palace, Perino divided the ceiling into a large pattern of octagonal compartments, crosses, and ovals, both sunk and in relief; which done, Perino was also commissioned to adorn it with stucco-work, with the richest and most beautiful ornaments that could be produced by all the resources of that art. He thus began it, and in the octagons, in place of rosettes, he made four little boys in full relief, who, with their feet pointing to the centre and their arms forming a circle, make a most beautiful rosette, and in the rest of the compartments are all the devices of the house of Farnese, with the arms of the Pope in the centre of the vaulting. And this work in stucco may be said with truth to have surpassed in mastery of execution, in beauty, and in delicacy, all those that have ever been done by ancients or moderns, and to be truly worthy of the head of the Christian religion. After the designs of the same man, likewise, the glass windows were executed by Pastorino da Siena, an able master of that craft; and Perino caused the walls below to be prepared with very beautiful ornaments in stucco, intending to paint scenes there with his own hand, which were afterwards continued by the painter Daniello Ricciarelli of Volterra, who, if death had not cut short the noble aspirations that he had, would have proved how the moderns have the courage not only to equal the ancients with their works, but perhaps even to surpass them by a great measure.

While the stucco-work of this vaulting was in progress, and Perino was considering the designs for his scenes, the old walls of the Church of S. Pietro at Rome were being pulled down to make way for those of the new building, and the masons came to a wall where there was a Madonna, with other pictures, by the hand of Giotto; which being seen [Pg 220] by Perino, who was in the company of Messer Niccolò Acciaiuoli, a Florentine doctor and much his friend, both of them were moved to pity for that picture and would not allow it to be destroyed; nay, having caused the wall to be cut away around it, they had it well braced with beams and bars of iron and deposited below the organ of S. Pietro, in a place where there was neither altar nor any other consecrated object. And before the wall that had been round the Madonna was pulled down, Perino copied the figure of Orso dell' Anguillara, the Roman Senator who had crowned M. Francesco Petrarca on the Campidoglio, and who was at the feet of that Madonna. Round the picture of the Madonna were to be made some ornaments in stucco and painting, and together with them a memorial to a certain Niccolò Acciaiuoli, who had formerly been a Roman Senator; and Perino, having made the designs, straightway set his hand to the work, and, assisted by his young men and by Marcello Mantovano, his disciple, carried it out with great diligence.

In the same S. Pietro the Sacrament did not occupy, with regard to masonry, a very honourable position; wherefore certain deputies were appointed from the Company of the Sacrament, who ordained that a chapel should be built in the centre of the old church by Antonio da San Gallo, partly with remains in the form of ancient marble columns, and partly with other ornaments of marble, bronze, and stucco, placing in the centre a tabernacle by the hand of Donatello, by way of further adornment; and Perino executed there a very beautiful ceiling with many minute scenes full of figures from the Old Testament, symbolical of the Sacrament. In the middle of it, also, he painted a somewhat larger scene, containing the Last Supper of Christ with the Apostles, and below it two Prophets, one on either side of the body of Christ.

The same master, likewise, caused his young men to paint in the Church of S. Giuseppe, near the Ripetta, the chapel of that church, which was afterwards retouched and finished by himself; and he also had a chapel painted after his designs in the Church of S. Bartolommeo in Isola, which he retouched in like manner, and caused some scenes to be painted at the high-altar of S. Salvatore del Lauro, with some grotesques on the vaulting, and likewise an Annunciation on the façade outside, [Pg 221] which was executed by his pupil, Girolamo Sermoneta. Thus, then, partly because he was not able, and partly because the labour wearied him, liking to design his works rather than to execute them, he pursued the same course that Raffaello da Urbino had formerly followed at the end of his life. How harmful and how blameworthy is this practice, is proved by the Chigi works and by all those carried out by other hands, and is also shown by those that Perino caused to be executed in the same way; besides which, those works of Giulio Romano's that he did not paint with his own hand have not done him much honour. And although this method pleases Princes, giving them their works quickly, and perhaps benefits the craftsmen who labour upon them, yet, if they were the ablest men in the world, they could never feel that love for the works of others which a man feels for his own. Nor, however well drawn the cartoons may be, can they be imitated as exactly and as thoroughly as by the hand of their author, who, seeing the work going to ruin, in despair leaves it to fall into complete destruction. He, then, who thirsts for honour, should do his own painting. This I can say from experience, for after I had laboured with the greatest possible pains on the cartoons for the Hall of the Cancelleria in the Palace of S. Giorgio in Rome, the work having to be executed with great haste in a hundred days, a vast number of painters were employed to paint it, who departed so far from their outlines and their true form, that I made a resolution, to which I have adhered, that from that time onward no one should lay a hand on any works of mine. Whoever, therefore, wishes to ensure long life for his name and his works, should undertake fewer and do them all with his own hand, if he desires to obtain that full meed of honour that a man of exalted genius seeks to acquire.

I say, then, that Perino, by reason of the number of the labours committed to his care, was forced to employ many persons; and he thirsted rather for gain than for glory, considering that he had thrown away his life and had saved nothing in his youth. And it vexed him so much to see young men coming forward to undertake work, that he sought to enroll them all under his own command, to the end that they might not encroach on his position. Now in the year 1546 there came [Pg 222] to Rome the Venetian Tiziano da Cadore, a painter highly celebrated for his portraits, who, having formerly taken a portrait of Pope Paul at the time when His Holiness went to Busseto, without exacting any remuneration either for that or for some others that he had executed for Cardinal Farnese and Santa Fiore, was received by those prelates with the greatest honour in the Belvedere; at which a rumour arose in the Court, and then spread throughout Rome, to the effect that he had come in order to paint scenes with his own hand in the Hall of Kings in the Palace, where Perino was to paint them and the stucco-work was already in progress. This arrival caused much vexation to Perino, and he complained of it to many of his friends, not because he believed that Tiziano was likely to surpass him at painting historical scenes in fresco, but because he desired to occupy himself with that work peacefully and honourably until his death, and, if he was to do it, he wished to do it without competition, the wall and the vaulting by Michelagnolo in the Chapel close by being more than enough for him by way of comparison. That suspicion was the reason that while Tiziano stayed in Rome, Perino always avoided him, and remained in an ill-humour until his departure.

The Castellan of the Castello di S. Angelo, Tiberio Crispo, who was afterwards made a Cardinal, being a person who delighted in our arts, made up his mind to beautify the Castle, and rebuilt loggie, chambers, halls, and apartments in a very handsome manner, in order to be able to receive His Holiness more worthily when he went there. Many rooms and other ornaments were executed from the designs and under the direction of Raffaello da Montelupo, and then in the end by Antonio da San Gallo, and a loggia was wrought in stucco under the supervision of Raffaello, who also made the Angel of marble, a figure six braccia high, which was placed on the summit of the highest tower in the Castle. Tiberio then caused the said loggia, which is the one facing the meadows, to be painted by Girolamo Sermoneta; which finished, the rest of the rooms were entrusted in part to Luzio Romano, and finally the halls and other important apartments were finished partly by Perino with his own hand, and partly by others after his cartoons. The principal hall is very pleasing and beautiful, being wrought in stucco and all filled with [Pg 223] scenes from Roman history, executed for the most part by Perino's young men, and not a few by the hand of Marco da Siena, the disciple of Domenico Beccafumi; and in certain rooms there are most beautiful friezes.

Perino, when he could find young men of ability, was wont to make use of them willingly in his works; but for all that he never ceased to execute any commonplace commission. He very often painted pennons for trumpets, banners for the Castle, and those of the fleet of the Militant Order; and he executed hangings, tabards, door-curtains, and the most insignificant works of art. He began some canvases from which tapestries were to be woven for Prince Doria, and he painted a chapel for the very reverend Cardinal Farnese, and a writing-study for the most illustrious Madama Margherita of Austria. He caused an ornamental frame to be made round the Madonna in S. Maria del Pianto, and also another ornamental frame round the Madonna in Piazza Giudea; and he executed many other works, of which, by reason of their number, I will not now make any further mention, particularly because he was accustomed to accept any sort of work that came to his hand. This disposition of Perino's, which was well known to the officials of the Palace, was the reason that he always had something to do for one or another of them, and he did it willingly, in order to bind them to himself, so that they might be obliged to serve him in the payment of his allowances and in his other requirements. In addition to this, Perino had acquired such authority that all the work in Rome was allotted to him, for the reason that, besides the circumstance that it appeared to be in a certain sense his due, he would sometimes execute commissions for the most paltry prices; whereby he did little good, nay rather, much harm, to himself and to art. That these words are true is proved by this, that if he had undertaken to paint the Hall of Kings in the Palace on his own account, and had worked at it together with his own assistants, he would have saved several hundreds of crowns, which all went to the overseers who had charge of the work and paid the daily wages to those who worked there.

Thus, having undertaken a burden so heavy and so laborious, and [Pg 224] being infirm and enfeebled by catarrh, he was not able to endure such discomforts, having to draw day and night and to meet the demands of the Palace, and, among other things, to make the designs of embroideries, of engravings for banner-makers, and of innumerable ornaments required by the caprice of Farnese and other Cardinals and noblemen. In short, having his mind incessantly occupied, and being always surrounded by sculptors, masters in stucco, wood-carvers, seamsters, embroiderers, painters, gilders, and other suchlike craftsmen, he had never an hour of repose; and the only happiness and contentment that he knew in this life was to find himself at times with some of his friends at a tavern, which was his favourite haunt in all the places where it fell to his lot to live, considering that this was the true blessedness and peace of this world, and the only repose from his labours. And thus, having ruined his constitution by the fatigues of his art and by his excesses in eating and in love, he was attacked by asthma, which, sapping his strength little by little, finally caused him to sink into consumption; and one evening, while talking with a friend near his house, he fell dead of an apoplectic seizure in his forty-seventh year. At this many craftsmen felt infinite sorrow, it being a truly great loss that art suffered; and he received honourable burial from his son-in-law, M. Gioseffo Cincio, the physician of Madama, and from his wife, in the Chapel of S. Giuseppe in the Ritonda at Rome, with the following epitaph:

ANN. CHRIST. 1547.

The place of Perino was filled by Daniello of Volterra, who had worked much with him, and who finished the two other Prophets that are in the Chapel of the Crocifisso in S. Marcello. Daniello has also adorned a chapel in S. Trinità most beautifully with stucco-work and painting, for Signora Elena Orsina; with many other works, of which mention will be made in the proper place.

Perino, then, as may be seen from the works described and from many others that might be mentioned, was one of the most versatile [Pg 225] painters of our times, in that he assisted the craftsmen to work excellently in stucco, and executed grotesques, landscapes, animals, and all the other things of which a painter can have knowledge, using colours in fresco, in oils, and in distemper. Whence it may be said that he was the father of these most noble arts, seeing that his talents live in those who are continually imitating him in every honourable field of art. After Perino's death were published many prints taken from his drawings, such as the Slaying of the Giants that he executed in Genoa, eight stories of S. Peter taken from the Acts of the Apostles, of which he made designs for the embroidering of a cope for Pope Paul III, and many other things, which are known by the manner.

Perino made use of many young men, and taught the secrets of art to many disciples; but the best of them all, and the one of whom he availed himself more than of any other, was Girolamo Siciolante of Sermoneta, of whom there will be an account in the proper place. His disciple, likewise, was Marcello Mantovano, who executed on a wall at the entrance of the Castello di S. Angelo, after the design and under the direction of Perino, a Madonna with many Saints in fresco, which was a very beautiful thing; but of his works as well there will be an account elsewhere.

Perino left many designs at his death, some by his hand and some by others; among the latter, one of the whole Chapel of Michelagnolo Buonarroti, drawn by the hand of Leonardo Cungi of Borgo a San Sepolcro, which was an excellent work. All these designs, with other things, were sold by his heirs; and in our book are many drawings done by him with the pen, which are very beautiful.




Excellent and Well-beloved Brother-Craftsmen—

So great has always been the delight, to say nothing of the profit and honour, that I have derived from practising my hand to the best of my ability in this most noble art of ours, that I have not only had a burning desire to exalt and to celebrate her, and to honour her in every manner open to me, but have also been full of affection for all those who have taken the same pleasure in her and have succeeded in practising her more happily than I, perhaps, have been able to do. And from this my good will, so full of the most sincere affection, it appears to me that I have gathered hitherto fruits that are an ample reward, for I have been always loved and honoured by you all, and we have been united in the most perfect intimacy or brotherhood, I know not which to call it; mutually showing our works to one another, I to you and you to me, and helping one another with counsel and assistance whenever the occasion has presented itself. Wherefore I have always felt myself deeply bound by this loving fellowship, and much more by your excellent abilities, and no less, also, by this my inclination, by nature, and by a most powerful attraction, to assist and serve you in every way and every matter wherein I have considered myself able to bring you pleasure or advantage. To this end I published in the year 1550 the Lives of our best and most famous Craftsmen, moved by a cause that has been mentioned in another place, and also, to tell the truth, by a generous indignation that so much talent should have been for so long a time, and should still remain, buried in oblivion. And this my labour appears not to have [Pg 230] been in any way unwelcome; on the contrary, so acceptable, that, not to mention what has been said and written to me from many quarters, out of the vast number that were printed at that time, there is not one single volume to be found at the booksellers.

Thus, therefore, receiving every day requests from many friends, and understanding no less clearly the unexpressed desires of many others, once more, although in the midst of most important undertakings, I have applied myself to the same labour, with the intention not only of adding those masters who have passed to a better world between that time and the present, thus giving me the opportunity of writing their Lives in full, but also of supplying that which may have been wanting to the perfection of my first work. For since then I have had leisure to come to a better knowledge of many matters, and to re-examine others, not only by the favour of these my most illustrious Lords, whom I serve, the true refuge and protection of all the arts, but also through the facilities that they have given me to search the whole of Italy once again and to see and understand many things which had not before come under my notice. I have been able, therefore, not merely to make corrections, but also to add so many things, that many of the Lives may be said to have been almost written anew; while some, indeed, even of the old masters, which were not there before, have been added. Nor, the better to revive the memory of those whom I so greatly honour, have I grudged the great labour, pains and expense of seeking out their portraits, which I have placed at the head of their Lives. And for the greater satisfaction of many friends not of our profession, who are yet devoted lovers of art, I have included in a compendium the greater part of the works of those who are still living and are worthy to be for ever renowned on account of their abilities; for that scruple which formerly restrained me can have no place here in the opinion of any thoughtful reader, since I deal with no works save those that are excellent and worthy of praise. And this may perchance serve as a spur to make every craftsman continue to labour worthily and advance unceasingly from good to better; insomuch that he who shall write the rest of this history, may be able to give it more grandeur and majesty, having occasion to describe those rarer and [Pg 231] more perfect works which, begun from time to time through the desire of immortality, and finished by the loving care of intellects so divine, the world in days to come shall see issuing from your hands. And the young men who follow with their studies, incited by hope of glory (if hope of gain has not enough force), may perchance be inspired by such an example to attain to excellence.

And to the end that this work may prove to be in every way complete, and that there may be no need to seek anything outside its pages, I have added a great part of the works of the most celebrated craftsmen of antiquity, both Greek and of other nations, whose memory has been preserved down to our own day by Pliny and other writers, without whose pens they would have been buried, like many others, in eternal oblivion. And this consideration, also, may perchance increase the willingness of men in general to labour valiantly, and may impel and inspire us all, as we behold the nobility and greatness of our art, and how she has always been prized and rewarded by all nations, and particularly by the most lofty minds and the most powerful Princes, to leave the world adorned by works infinite in number and unsurpassed in excellence; whence, rendered beautiful by us, it may give to us that rank which it has given to those ever marvellous and celebrated spirits.

Accept, then, with a friendly mind, these my labours, which, whatever they may be, have been lovingly carried to conclusion by me for the glory of art and for the honour of her craftsmen, and take them as a sure token and pledge of my heart, which is desirous of nothing more ardently than of your greatness and glory, in which, seeing that I also have been received by you into your company (for which I render my thanks to you, and congratulate myself not a little on my own account), I shall always consider myself in a certain sense a participator.




That same quality, the pure gift of nature, which has been seen in Giotto and in some others among those painters of whom we have spoken hitherto, has been revealed most recently in Domenico Beccafumi, the painter of Siena, in that he, while guarding some sheep for his father Pacio, the labourer of the Sienese citizen Lorenzo Beccafumi, was observed to practise his hand by himself, child as he was, in drawing sometimes on stones and sometimes in other ways. It happened that the said Lorenzo saw him one day drawing various things with a pointed stick on the sand of a small stream, where he was watching his little charges, and he asked for the child from his father, meaning to employ him as his servant, and at the same time to have him taught. The boy, therefore, who was then called Mecherino, having been given up by his father Pacio to Lorenzo, was taken to Siena, where Lorenzo caused him for a while to spend all the spare time that he had after his household duties in the workshop of a painter who was his neighbour. This painter, who was no great craftsman, caused Mecherino to learn all that he could not himself teach him from designs by eminent painters that he had in his possession, of which he availed himself for his own purposes, as those masters are wont to do who are not very able in design. Exercising his hand, therefore, in this manner, Mecherino gave promise of being destined to become an excellent painter.

During this time Pietro Perugino, then a famous painter, came to Siena, where, as has been related, he painted two altar-pieces; and his manner pleased Domenico greatly, so that he set himself to study it and to copy those altar-pieces, and no long time passed before he had caught [Pg 236] that manner. Then, after the Chapel of Michelagnolo and the works of Raffaello da Urbino had been thrown open in Rome, Domenico, who desired nothing so much as to learn, and knew that he was losing his time in Siena, took leave of Lorenzo Beccafumi, from whom he acquired the family name of Beccafumi, and made his way to Rome. There he placed himself under a painter, who gave him board and lodging, and executed many works in company with him, giving his attention at the same time to studying the works of Michelagnolo, Raffaello, and other eminent masters, and the marvellous statues and sarcophagi of antiquity. No long time passed, therefore, before he became a bold draughtsman, fertile in invention, and a very pleasing colourist; but during this period, which did not exceed two years, he did nothing worthy of record save a façade in the Borgo with an escutcheon of Pope Julius II in colour.

Meanwhile, there had been brought to Siena by a merchant of the Spannocchi family, as will be related in the proper place, the painter Giovanni Antonio of Vercelli, a young man of passing good ability, who was much employed, particularly in making portraits from life, by the gentlemen of that city, which has always been the friend and patron of all men of talent. Domenico, who was very desirous of returning to his own country, having heard this news, made his way back to Siena; and when he saw that Giovanni Antonio was very well grounded in drawing, which he knew to be the essence of the excellence of a craftsman, not resting content with what he had done in Rome, he set himself with the utmost zeal to follow him, devoting himself much to anatomy and to drawing nudes; which helped him so much, that in a short time he began to be greatly esteemed in that most noble city. Nor was he beloved less for his goodness and his character than for his art, for the reason that, whereas Giovanni Antonio was coarse, licentious, and eccentric, being called Il Sodoma because he always mixed and lived with beardless boys, and answering willingly enough to that name, Domenico, on the other hand, was a pattern of good conduct and uprightness, living like a Christian and keeping very much to himself. But such persons as are called merry fellows and good companions are very often more esteemed by men than the virtuous and orderly, and most of the young men of Siena [Pg 237] followed Sodoma, extolling him as a man of originality. And this Sodoma, being an eccentric, and wishing to please the common herd, always kept at his house parrots, apes, dwarf donkeys, little Elba horses, a talking raven, barbs for running races, and other suchlike creatures; from which he had won such a name among the vulgar, that they spoke of nothing but his follies.

Sodoma, then, had painted with colours in fresco the façade of the house of M. Agostino Bardi, and Domenico at the same time, in competition with him, painted the façade of a house of the Borghese, close to the Postierla column, near the Duomo, with which he took very great pains. Below the roof, in a frieze in chiaroscuro, he executed some little figures that were much extolled; and in the spaces between the three ranges of windows of travertine that adorn that palace, he painted many ancient gods and other figures in imitation of bronze, in chiaroscuro and in colour, which were more than passing good, although the work of Sodoma was more extolled. Both these façades were executed in the year 1512.

Domenico afterwards painted for S. Benedetto, a seat of Monks of Monte Oliveto, without the Porta a Tufi, an altar-piece of S. Catharine of Siena in a building receiving the Stigmata, with a S. Benedict standing on her right hand, and on her left a S. Jerome in the habit of a Cardinal; which altar-piece, being very soft in colouring and strong in relief, was much praised, as it still is. In the predella of this picture, likewise, he painted some little scenes in distemper with incredible boldness and vivacity, and with such facility of design, that they could not be more graceful, and yet they have the appearance of having been executed without the slightest effort in the world. In one of these little scenes is the Angel placing in the mouth of that same S. Catharine part of the Host consecrated by the priest; in another is Jesus Christ marrying her, in a third she is receiving the habit from S. Dominic, and there are other stories.

For the Church of S. Martino the same master painted a large altar-piece with Christ born and being adored by the Virgin, by Joseph, and by the Shepherds; and above the hut is a most beautiful choir of Angels [Pg 238] dancing. In this work, which is much extolled by craftsmen, Domenico began to show to those who had some understanding that his works were painted with a different foundation from those of Sodoma. He then painted in fresco, in the Great Hospital, the Madonna visiting S. Elizabeth, in a manner very pleasing and very natural. And for the Church of S. Spirito he executed an altar-piece of the Madonna holding in her arms the Child, who is marrying the above-mentioned S. Catharine of Siena, and at the sides S. Bernardino, S. Francis, S. Jerome, and S. Catharine the Virgin-Martyr, with S. Peter and S. Paul upon some marble steps in front, on the polished surface of which he counterfeited with great art some reflections of the colour of their draperies. This work, which was executed with fine judgment and design, brought him much honour, as did also some little figures painted on the predella of the picture, in which is S. John baptizing Christ, a King causing the wife and children of S. Gismondo to be thrown into a well, S. Dominic burning the books of the heretics, Christ presenting to S. Catharine of Siena two crowns, one of roses and the other of thorns, and S. Bernardino of Siena preaching on the Piazza of Siena to a vast multitude.

S. Catharine before the Crucifix.

(Siena: Pinacoteca, 420. Canvas)
View larger image

Next, by reason of the fame of these works, there was allotted to Domenico an altar-piece that was to be placed in the Carmine, in which he had to paint a S. Michael doing vengeance on Lucifer; and he, being full of fancy, set himself to think out a new invention, in order to display his talent and the beautiful conceptions of his brain. And so, seeking to represent Lucifer and his followers driven for their pride from Heaven to the lowest depths of Hell, he began a shower of nude figures raining down, which is very beautiful, although, from his having taken too great pains with it, it appears if anything rather confused. This altar-piece, which remained unfinished, was taken after the death of Domenico to the Great Hospital and placed at the top of some steps near the high-altar, where it is still regarded with marvel on account of some very beautiful foreshortenings in the nudes. In the Carmine, where this picture was to have been set up, was placed another, in the upper part of which is counterfeited a God the Father above the clouds with many Angels round Him, painted with marvellous grace; and in the centre of [Pg 239] the picture is the Angel Michael in armour, flying, and pointing to Lucifer, whom he has driven to the centre of the earth, where there are burning buildings, rugged caverns, and a lake of fire, with Angels in various attitudes, and nude figures of lost souls, who are swimming with different gestures of agony in that fire. All this is painted with such beauty and grace of manner, that it appears that this marvellous work, in its thick darkness, is illuminated by the fire; wherefore it is held to be a rare picture. Baldassarre Peruzzi of Siena, an excellent painter, could never have his fill of praising it, and I myself, one day that I saw it uncovered in his company, while passing through Siena, was struck with astonishment by it, as I also was by the five little scenes that are in the predella, painted with distemper in a judicious and beautiful manner. For the Nuns of Ognissanti in the same city Domenico painted another altar-piece, in which is Christ on high in the heavens, crowning the Glorified Virgin, and below them are S. Gregory, S. Anthony, S. Mary Magdalene, and S. Catharine the Virgin-Martyr; and in the predella, likewise, are some very beautiful little figures executed in distemper.

In the house of Signor Marcello Agostini Domenico painted some very lovely works in fresco on the ceiling of an apartment, which has three lunettes on each main side and two at each end, with a series of friezes that go right round. The centre of the ceiling is divided into two quadrangular compartments; in the first, where a silken arras is counterfeited as upheld by the ornament, there may be seen, as if woven upon it, Scipio Africanus restoring the young woman untouched to her husband, and in the other the celebrated painter Zeuxis, who is copying several nude women in order to paint his picture, which was to be placed in the Temple of Juno. In one of the lunettes, painted with little figures only about half a braccio high, but very beautiful, are the two Roman Brothers who, having been enemies, became friends for the public good and for the sake of their country. In that which follows is Torquatus,[29] who, in order to observe the laws, when his son has been condemned to lose his eyes, causes one of his son's and one of his own to be put out. In the next is the Petition of ...,[30] who, after hearing the recital of his [Pg 240] crimes against his country and the Roman people, is put to death. In the lunette beside that one is the Roman people deliberating on the expedition of Scipio to Africa; and next to this, in another lunette, is an ancient sacrifice crowded with a variety of most beautiful figures, with a temple drawn in perspective, which has no little relief, for in that field Domenico was a truly excellent master. In the last is Cato killing himself after being overtaken by some horsemen that are most beautifully painted there. And in the recesses of the lunettes, also, are some little scenes very well finished.

The excellence of this work was the reason that Domenico was recognized as a rare painter by those who were then governing, and was commissioned to paint the vaulting of a hall in the Palace of the Signori, to which he devoted all the diligence, study, and effort of which any man is capable, in order to prove his worth and to adorn that celebrated building of his native city, which was honouring him so much. This hall, which is two squares long and one square wide, has the ceiling made not with lunettes, but after the manner of a groined vaulting; wherefore Domenico executed the compartments in painting, thinking that this would give the best result, with friezes and cornices overlaid with gold, and all so beautifully, that, without any stucco-work or other ornaments, they are so well painted and so graceful that they appear to be really in relief. On each of the two ends of this hall there is a large picture with an historical scene, and on each main wall there are two, one on either side of an octagon; and thus the pictures are six and the octagons two, and in each of the latter is a scene. At each corner of the vaulting, where the rib is, there is drawn a round compartment, which extends half on one wall and half on the other, so that these compartments, being divided by the ribs of the vaulting, form eight spaces, in each of which are large seated figures, representing distinguished men who have defended their Republic and have observed her laws. The highest part of the surface of the vaulting is divided into three parts, in such a manner as to form a circular compartment in the centre, immediately above the octagons, and two square compartments over those on the walls.

In one of the octagons, then, is a woman with some children round [Pg 241] her, who holds a heart in her hand, representing the love that men owe to their country. In the other octagon is another woman, with an equal number of children, as a symbol of civic concord. And these are one on either side of a Justice that is in the circle, with the sword and scales in her hands, and seen from below in such bold foreshortening that it is a marvel, for at the feet she is dark both in drawing and in colour, and about the knees she becomes lighter, and so continues little by little towards the torso, the shoulders, and the arms, until she rises into a celestial splendour at the head, which makes it appear as if that figure dissolves gradually in a mist: wherefore it is not possible to imagine, much less to see, a more beautiful figure than this one, or one executed with greater judgment and art, among all that were ever painted to be seen in foreshortening from below.

As for the stories, in the first, at the end of the hall and on the left hand as one enters, are M. Lepidus and Fulvius Flaccus the Censors, who, after being at enmity with one another, as soon as they became colleagues in the office of the Censorship, laid aside their private hatred for the good of their country, and acted in that office like the closest friends. And Domenico painted them on their knees, embracing each other, with many figures round them, and with a most beautiful prospect of buildings and temples drawn in perspective so ingeniously and so well, that one may see in them what a master of perspective was Domenico. On the next wall there follows a picture with the story of the Dictator Postumius Tiburtius, who, having left his only son at the head of his army in place of himself, commanding him that he should do nothing else but guard the camp, put him to death for having been disobedient and having with a fair occasion attacked the enemy and gained a victory. In this scene Domenico painted Postumius as an old man with shaven face, with the right hand on his axe, and with the left showing to the army his son lying dead upon the ground, and depicted very well in foreshortening; and below this picture, which is most beautiful, is an inscription very well composed. In the octagon that follows, in the centre of the wall, is the story of Spurius Cassius, whom the Roman Senate, suspecting that he was plotting to become King, caused to be beheaded, [Pg 242] and his house to be pulled down; and in this scene the head, which is beside the executioner, and the body, which is on the ground in foreshortening, are very beautiful. In the next picture is the Tribune Publius Mucius, who caused all his fellow-tribunes, who were conspiring with Spurius to become tyrants of their country, to be burned; and here the fire that is consuming their bodies is painted very well and with great art.

At the other end of the hall, in another picture, is the Athenian Codrus, who, having heard from the oracle that the victory would fall to that side whose King should be killed by the enemy, laid aside his robes, entered unknown among the enemy, and let himself be slain, thus giving the victory to his people by his own death. Domenico painted him seated, with his nobles round him as he puts off his robes, near a most beautiful round temple; and in the distant background of the picture he is seen dead, with his name in an epitaph below. Then, as one turns to the other long wall, opposite to the two pictures with the octagon in the centre between them, in the first scene one finds Prince Zaleucus, who, in order not to break the law, caused one of his own eyes to be put out, and one of his son's; and here many are standing round him, praying him that he should not do that cruelty to himself and his son, and in the distance is his son offering violence to a maiden, and below is his name in an inscription. In the octagon that is beside that picture is the story of Marcus Manilius being hurled down from the Capitol; and the figure of the young Marcus, who is being thrown down from a kind of balcony, is painted so well in foreshortening, with the head downwards, that it seems to be alive, as also seem some figures that are below. In the next picture is Spurius Melius, who belonged to the Equestrian Order, and was killed by the Tribune Servilius because the people suspected that he was conspiring to become tyrant of his country; which Servilius is seated with many round him, and one who is in the centre points to Spurius lying dead upon the ground, a figure painted with great art.

Then, in the circles at the corners, where there are the eight figures mentioned above, are many men who have been distinguished for their [Pg 243] defence of their country. In the first part is the famous Fabius Maximus, seated and in armour; and on the other side is Speusippus, Prince of the Tegeatæ, who, being exhorted by a friend that he should rid himself of his rival and adversary, answered that he did not wish, at the bidding of his own private interest, to deprive his country of such a citizen. In the circle that is at the next corner, in one part, there is the Prætor Celius, who, for having fought against the advice and wish of the soothsayers, although he had won and had gained a victory, was punished by the Senate; and beside him sits Thrasybulus, who with the aid of some friends valorously slew thirty tyrants, in order to free his country. Thrasybulus is an old man, shaven, with white locks, and has his name written beneath him, as have also all the others. In a circle at one corner of the lower end of the hall is the Prætor Genutius Cippus, who having had a bird with wings in the form of horns miraculously alight on his head, was told by the oracle that he would become King of his country, whereupon, although already an old man, he chose to go into exile, in order not to take away her liberty; and Domenico therefore painted a bird upon his head. Beside him sits Charondas, who, having returned from the country, and having gone straightway into the Senate without disarming himself, in violation of a law which ordained that one who entered the Senate with arms should be put to death, killed himself on perceiving his error. In the second circle on the other side are Damon and Phintias, whose unexampled friendship is so well known, and with them is Dionysius, Tyrant of Sicily; and beside these figures sits Brutus, who from love of his country condemned his two sons to death, because they were conspiring to bring the Tarquins back to their country.

This work, then, so truly extraordinary, made known to the people of Siena the ability and worth of Domenico, who showed most beautiful art, judgment, and genius in all that he did.

The first time that the Emperor Charles V came to Italy, it was expected that he would go to Siena, for he had declared such an intention to the Ambassadors of that Republic; and among other vast and magnificent preparations that were made for the reception of so great [Pg 244] an Emperor, Domenico fashioned a horse eight braccia high and in full relief, all of paste-board and hollow within. The weight of that horse was supported by an armature of iron, and upon it was the statue of the Emperor, armed in the ancient fashion, with a sword in his hand. And below it were three large figures—vanquished by him, as it were—which also supported part of the weight, the horse being in the act of leaping with the front legs high in the air; which three figures represented three provinces conquered and subdued by the Emperor. In that work Domenico showed that he was a master no less of sculpture than of painting; to which it must be added that he had placed the whole work upon a wooden structure four braccia high, with a number of wheels below it, which, being set in motion by men concealed within, caused the whole to move forward; and the design of Domenico was that at the entry of His Majesty this horse, having been set in motion as has been described, should accompany him from the gate as far as the Palace of the Signori, and should then come to rest in the middle of the Piazza. This horse, after being carried by Domenico so near completion that there only remained to gild it, was left in that condition, because His Majesty after all did not at that time go to Siena, but left Italy after being crowned at Bologna; and the work remained unfinished. But none the less the art and ingenuity of Domenico were recognized, and all men greatly praised the grandeur and excellence of that great structure, which stood in the Office of Works of the Duomo from that time until His Majesty, returning from his victorious enterprise in Africa, passed through Messina and then Naples, Rome, and finally Siena; at which time Domenico's work was placed on the Piazza del Duomo, to his great honour.

The fame of the ability of Domenico being thus spread abroad, Prince Doria, who was with the Court, after seeing all the works by his hand that were in Siena, besought him that he should go to Genoa to work in his palace, where Perino del Vaga, Giovanni Antonio of Pordenone, and Girolamo da Treviso had worked. But Domenico could not promise that lord that he would go to serve him at that time, although he engaged himself for another time, for in those days he had set his [Pg 245] hand to finishing a part of the marble pavement in the Duomo, which Duccio, the painter of Siena, had formerly begun in a new manner of work. The figures and scenes were already in great part designed on the marble, the outlines being hollowed out with the chisel and filled with a black mixture, with ornaments of coloured marble all around, and likewise the grounds for the figures. But Domenico, with fine judgment, saw that this work could be much improved, and he therefore took grey marbles, to the end that these, profiled with the chisel and placed beside the brilliancy of the white marble, might give the middle shades; and he found that in this way, with white and grey marble, pictures of stone could be made with great perfection after the manner of chiaroscuro. Having then made a trial, the work succeeded so well in invention, in solidity of design, and in abundance of figures, that he made a beginning after this fashion with the grandest, the most beautiful, and the most magnificent pavement that had ever been made; and in the course of his life, little by little, he executed a great part of it. Round the high-altar he made a border of pictures, in which, in order to follow the order of the stories begun by Duccio, he executed scenes from Genesis; namely, Adam and Eve expelled from Paradise and tilling the earth, the Sacrifice of Abel, and that of Melchizedek. In front of the altar is a large scene with Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac, and this has round it a border of half-length figures, carrying various animals which they seem to be going to sacrifice. Descending the steps, one finds another large picture, which serves to accompany that above, and in it Domenico represented Moses receiving the Laws from God on Mount Sinai; and below this is the scene when, having found the people worshipping the Golden Calf, he is seized with anger and breaks the Tables on which those Laws were written. Below this scene, opposite to the pulpit, and right across the church, is a frieze with a great number of figures, which is composed with so much grace and such design that it defies description; and in this is Moses, who, striking the rock in the desert, causes water to gush out and gives drink to his thirsty people. Here, along the whole length of the frieze, Domenico represented the stream of water, from which the people are drinking in various ways with a vivacity so pleasing, [Pg 246] that it is almost impossible to imagine any effect more lovely, or figures in more graceful and beautiful attitudes than are those in this scene—some stooping to the ground to drink, some kneeling before the rock that is spouting with water, some drawing it in vases and others in cups, and others, finally, drinking with their hands. There are, moreover, some who are leading animals to drink, amid the great rejoicing of that people; and, among other things, most marvellous is a little boy who has taken a little dog by the head and neck and plunges its muzzle into the water, in order to make it drink, after which the dog, having drunk, and not wishing to drink any more, shakes its head so naturally that it seems to be alive. In short, this frieze is so beautiful, that for a work of that kind it could not be executed with greater art, seeing that the various kinds of shadows that may be seen in these figures are not merely beautiful, but miraculous; and although the whole work, on account of the fantastic nature of its craftsmanship, is one of great beauty, this part is held to be the most beautiful and the best. Below the cupola, moreover, there is a hexagonal compartment, which is divided into seven hexagons and six rhombs, of which hexagons Domenico finished four before he died, representing in them the stories and sacrifices of Elijah, and doing all this much at his leisure, because this work was as a school and a pastime to Domenico, nor did he ever abandon it altogether for his other works.

While he was thus labouring now at this work and now elsewhere, he painted a large altar-piece in oils which is in S. Francesco on the right hand as one enters into the church, containing Christ descending in Glory to the Limbo of Hell in order to deliver the Holy Fathers; wherein, among many nudes, is a very beautiful Eve, and a Thief who is behind Christ with the cross is a very well-executed figure, while the cavern of Limbo and the demons and fires of that place are fantastic to a marvel. And since Domenico was of the opinion that pictures painted in distemper preserved their freshness better than those painted in oils, saying that it seemed to him that the works of Luca da Cortona, of the Pollaiuoli, and of the other masters who painted in oils in those days, had suffered from age more than those of Fra Giovanni, Fra Filippo, Benozzo, [Pg 247] and the others before their time who painted in distemper—for this reason, I say, having to paint an altar-piece for the Company of S. Bernardino on the Piazza di S. Francesco, he resolved to do it in distemper; and in this way he executed it excellently well, painting in it Our Lady with many Saints. In the predella, which is very beautiful, and painted by him likewise in distemper, he depicted S. Francis receiving the Stigmata; S. Anthony of Padua, who, in order to convert some heretics, performs the miracle of the Ass, which makes obeisance before the sacred Host; and S. Bernardino of Siena, who is preaching to the people of his city on the Piazza de' Signori. And on the walls of this Company, also, he painted two stories of Our Lady in fresco, in competition with some others that Sodoma had executed in the same place. In one he represented the Visitation of S. Elizabeth, and in the other the Passing of Our Lady, with the Apostles all around; and both of these are much extolled.

Finally, after having been long expected in Genoa by Prince Doria, Domenico made his way there, but with great reluctance, being a man who was accustomed to a life of peace and contented with that which his wants required, and nothing more; besides which, he was not much used to making journeys, for the reason that, having built himself a little house in Siena, and having also a vineyard a mile beyond the Porta a Camollia, which he cultivated with his own hand as a recreation, going there often, it was a long time since he had gone far from Siena. Having then arrived in Genoa, he painted a scene there, beside that of Pordenone, in which he succeeded very well, and yet not in such a manner that it could be counted among his best works. But, since the ways of the Court did not please him, being used to a life of freedom, he did not stay very willingly in that place, and, indeed, appeared as if he were stupefied. Wherefore, having come to the end of that work, he sought leave of the Prince and set out to return home; and passing by Pisa, in order to see that city, he met with Battista del Cervelliera and was shown all the most noteworthy things in the city, and in particular the altar-pieces of Sogliani and the pictures that are in the recess behind the high-altar of the Duomo.

[Pg 248] Meanwhile Sebastiano della Seta, the Warden of Works of the Duomo, having heard from Cervelliera of the qualities and abilities of Domenico, and being desirous to finish the work so long delayed by Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, allotted two of the pictures for that recess to Domenico, to the end that he might execute them at Siena and send them finished to Pisa; and so it was done. In one is Moses, who, having found that the people had sacrificed to the Golden Calf, is breaking the Tables; and in this Domenico painted some nudes that are figures of great beauty. In the other is the same Moses, with the earth opening and swallowing up a part of the people; and in this, also, are some nudes killed by flaming thunderbolts, which are marvellous. These pictures, when taken to Pisa, led to Domenico painting four pictures for the front of that recess—namely, two on each side—of the four Evangelists, which were four very beautiful figures. Whereupon Sebastiano della Seta, who saw that he had been served quickly and well, commissioned Domenico, after these pictures, to paint the altar-piece of one of the chapels in the Duomo, Sogliani having by that time painted four. Settling in Pisa, therefore, Domenico painted in that altar-piece Our Lady in the sky with the Child in her arms, upon some clouds supported by some little Angels, with many Saints both male and female below, all executed passing well, but yet not with that perfection which marked the pictures described above. But he, excusing himself for this to many of his friends, and particularly on one occasion to Giorgio Vasari, said that since he was away from the air of Siena and from certain comforts of his own, he did not seem to be able to do anything.

Having therefore returned home, determined that he would never again go away to work elsewhere, he painted for the Nuns of S. Paolo, near S. Marco, an altar-piece in oils of the Nativity of Our Lady, with some nurses, and S. Anne in a bed that is foreshortened and represented as standing within a door; and in a dark shadow is a woman who is drying clothes, without any other light but that which comes from the blaze of the fire. In the predella, which is full of charm, are three scenes in distemper—the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple, her Marriage, and the Adoration of the Magi. In the Mercanzia, a tribunal in [Pg 249] that city, the officials have a little altar-piece which they say was painted by Domenico when he was young; it is very beautiful, and it contains in the centre a S. Paul seated, and on one side his Conversion, in little figures, and on the other the scene of his Beheading.

Finally, Domenico was commissioned to paint the great recess of the Duomo, which is at the end behind the high-altar. In this he first made a decoration of stucco with foliage and figures, all with his own hand, and two Victories in the vacant spaces in the semicircle; which decoration was in truth a very rich and beautiful work. Then in the centre he painted in fresco the Ascension of Christ into Heaven; and from the cornice downwards he painted three pictures divided by columns in relief, and executed in perspective. In the middle picture, which has above it an arch in perspective, are Our Lady, S. Peter, and S. John; and in the spaces at the sides are ten Apostles, five on each side, all in various attitudes and gazing at Christ, who is ascending into Heaven; and above each of the two pictures of the Apostles is an Angel in foreshortening, the two together representing those two Angels who, after the Ascension, declared that He had risen into Heaven. This work is certainly admirable, but it would have been even more so if Domenico had given beautiful expressions to the heads; as it is, they have something in the expressions that is not very pleasing, and it appears that in his old age he adopted for his countenances an expression of terror by no means agreeable. This work, I say, if there had been any beauty in the heads, would have been so beautiful that there would have been nothing better to be seen. But in this matter of the expressions of the heads, in the opinion of the people of Siena, Sodoma was superior to Domenico, for the reason that Sodoma made them much more beautiful, although those of Domenico had more design and greater force. And, in truth, the manner of the heads in these our arts is of no little importance, and by painting them with graceful and beautiful expressions many masters have escaped the censure that they might have incurred for the rest of their work.

This was the last work in painting executed by Domenico, who, having taken it into his head in the end to work in relief, began to give [Pg 250] his attention to casting in bronze, and went so far with this that he executed, although with extraordinary labour, six Angels of bronze in the round, little less than life-size, for the six columns nearest the high-altar of the Duomo. These Angels, which are very beautiful, are holding tazze, or rather little basins, which support candelabra containing lights, and in the last of them he acquitted himself so well, that he was very highly praised for them. Whereupon, growing in courage, he made a beginning with figures of the twelve Apostles, which were to be placed on the columns lower down, where there are now some of marble, old and in a bad manner; but he did not continue them, for he did not live long after that. And since he was a man of infinite ingenuity, and succeeded well in everything, he engraved wood-blocks by himself in order to make prints in chiaroscuro, and there are to be seen prints of two Apostles engraved by him excellently well, of which we have one in our book of drawings, together with some sheets drawn divinely by his hand. He also engraved copper-plates with the burin, and he executed with aquafortis some very fanciful little stories of alchemy, in which Jove and the other Gods, wishing to congeal Mercury, place him bound in a crucible, and Vulcan and Pluto make fire around him; but when they think that he must be fixed, Mercury flies away and goes off in smoke.

Domenico, in addition to the works described above, executed many others of no great importance, pictures of the Madonna and other suchlike chamber-pictures, such as a Madonna that is in the house of the Chevalier Donati, and a picture in distemper in which Jove changes himself into a shower of gold and rains into the lap of Danaë. Piero Catanei, likewise, has a round picture in oils of a very beautiful Virgin by the hand of the same master. He also painted a most beautiful bier for the Confraternity of S. Lucia, and likewise another for that of S. Antonio; nor should anyone be astonished that I make mention of such works, for the reason that they are beautiful to a marvel, as all know who have seen them.

Finally, having come to the age of sixty-five, he hastened the end of his life by toiling all by himself day and night at his castings in metal, [Pg 251] polishing them himself without calling in any assistance. He died, then, on the 18th of May, 1549, and was given burial by his dearest friend, the goldsmith Giuliano, in the Duomo, where he had executed so many rare works. And he was carried to the tomb by all the craftsmen of his city, which recognized even then the great loss that she had suffered in the death of Domenico, and now, as she admires his works, recognizes it more than ever.

Domenico was an orderly and upright person, fearing God and studious in his art, although solitary beyond measure; wherefore he well deserved to be honourably celebrated by his fellow-citizens of Siena, who have always won great praise by their attention to noble studies and to poetry, with verses both in Latin and in the vulgar tongue.




Rarely does it happen that from an old stock there fails to sprout some good shoot, which, growing with time, revives and reclothes with its leaves that desolate stem, and reveals with its fruits to those who taste them the same savour that was once known in the ancient tree. And that this is true is proved in this present Life of Giovanni Antonio, who, at the death of his father Matteo, who was a painter of passing good repute in his day, was left with a good income under the guardianship of his mother, and lived thus up to the age of twelve. Having come to that period of his life, and not caring to choose any other pursuit than that of painting, to which he was drawn, besides other reasons, by a wish to follow the footsteps of his father in that art, Giovanni Antonio began to learn the first rudiments of design under Domenico Pecori, a painter of Arezzo, who had been, together with his father Matteo, a disciple of Clemente,[31] and who was his first master. Then, after having been some time with him, desiring to make greater proficience than he was making under the discipline of that master and in that place, where he was not able to learn by himself, although he had a strong natural inclination, he turned his thoughts towards the idea of settling in Florence. To this intention, not to mention that he was left alone by the death of his mother, Fortune was favourable enough, for a young sister that he had was married to Leonardo Ricoveri, one of the first and richest citizens that there were at that time in Arezzo; and so he went off to Florence.

There, among the works of many that he saw, the manner of Andrea del Sarto and of Jacopo da Pontormo pleased him more than that of all [Pg 256] the others who had worked at painting in that city. Wherefore he resolved to place himself under one of those two, and was hesitating as to which of them he should choose as his master, when there were uncovered the Faith and Charity painted by Pontormo over the portico of the Nunziata in Florence, and he became fully determined to go to work under Pontormo, thinking that his manner was so beautiful that it might be expected that Jacopo, who was still a young man, was destined to surpass all the young painters of his own age, as, indeed, was the firm belief of everyone at that time. Lappoli, then, although he might have gone to work under Andrea, for the said reasons attached himself to Pontormo, under whose discipline he was for ever drawing, spurred to incredible exertions, out of emulation, by two motives. One of these was the presence of Giovan Maria dal Borgo a San Sepolcro, who was studying design and painting under the same master, and who, always advising him for his own good, brought it about that he changed his manner and adopted the good manner of Pontormo. The other—and this spurred him more strongly—was the sight of Agnolo, who was called Bronzino, being much brought forward by Jacopo on account of his loving submissiveness and goodness and the untiring diligence that he showed in imitating his master's works, not to mention that he drew very well and acquitted himself in colouring in such a manner, that he aroused hopes that he was destined to attain to that excellence and perfection which have been seen in him, and still are seen, in our own day.

Giovanni Antonio, then, being desirous to learn, and impelled by the reasons mentioned above, spent many months in making drawings and copies of the works of Jacopo da Pontormo, which were so well executed, so good, and so beautiful, that it is certain that if he had persevered, what with the assistance that he had from Nature, his wish to become eminent, the force of competition, and the good manner of his master, he would have become most excellent; and to this some drawings in red chalk by his hand, which may be seen in our book, can bear witness. But pleasure, as may often be seen to happen, is in young men generally the enemy of excellence, and brings it about that their intellects are led [Pg 257] astray; wherefore he who is engaged in the studies of any faculty, science, or art whatsoever should have no relations save with those who are of the same profession, and good and orderly besides. Giovanni Antonio, then, in order that he might be looked after, had gone to live in the house of one Ser Raffaello di Sandro, a lame chaplain, in S. Lorenzo, to whom he paid so much a year, and he abandoned in great measure the study of painting, for the reason that the priest was a man of the world, delighting in pictures, music, and other diversions, and many persons of talent frequented the rooms that he had at S. Lorenzo; among others, M. Antonio da Lucca, a most excellent musician and performer on the lute, at that time a very young man, from whom Giovanni learned to play the lute. And although the painter Rosso and some others of the profession also frequented the same place, Lappoli attached himself rather to the others than to the men of his art, from whom he might have learned much, while at the same time amusing himself. Through these distractions, therefore, the love of painting of which Giovanni Antonio had given proof cooled off in great measure; but none the less, being the friend of Pier Francesco di Jacopo di Sandro, who was a disciple of Andrea del Sarto, he went sometimes with him to the Scalzo to draw the pictures and nudes from life. And no long time passed before he applied himself to colouring and executed pictures of Jacopo's, and then by himself some Madonnas and portraits from life, among which were that of the above-mentioned M. Antonio da Lucca and that of Ser Raffaello, which are very good.

In the year 1523, the plague being in Rome, Perino del Vaga came to Florence, and he also settled down to lodge with Ser Raffaello del Zoppo; wherefore Giovanni Antonio having formed a strait friendship with him and having recognized the ability of Perino, there was reawakened in his mind the desire to attend to painting, abandoning all other pleasures, and he resolved when the plague had ceased to go with Perino to Rome. But this design was never fulfilled, for the plague having come to Florence, at the very moment when Perino had finished the scene of the Submersion of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, painted in the colour of bronze in chiaroscuro for Ser Raffaello, during the execution of [Pg 258] which Lappoli was always present, they were forced both the one and the other to fly from Florence, in order not to lose their lives there.

Thereupon Giovanni Antonio returned to Arezzo, and set himself, in order to pass the time, to paint on canvas the scene of the death of Orpheus, killed by the Bacchantes: he set himself, I say, to paint this scene in chiaroscuro of the colour of bronze, after the manner in which he had seen Perino paint the picture mentioned above, and when the work was finished it brought him no little praise. He then set to work to finish an altar-piece that his former master Domenico Pecori had begun for the Nuns of S. Margherita: in which altar-piece, now to be seen in their convent, he painted an Annunciation. And he made two cartoons for two portraits from life from the waist upwards, both very beautiful; one was Lorenzo d' Antonio di Giorgio, at that time a pupil and a very handsome youth, and the other was Ser Piero Guazzesi, who was a convivial person.

The plague having finally somewhat abated, Cipriano d' Anghiari, a rich man of Arezzo, who in those days had caused a chapel with ornaments and columns of grey-stone to be built in the Abbey of S. Fiore at Arezzo, allotted the altar-piece to Giovanni Antonio at the price of one hundred crowns. Meanwhile, Rosso passed through Arezzo on his way to Rome, and lodged with Giovanni Antonio, who was very much his friend; and, hearing of the work that he had undertaken to do, he made at the request of Lappoli a very beautiful little sketch full of nudes. Whereupon Giovanni Antonio, setting his hand to the work and imitating the design of Rosso, painted in that altar-piece the Visitation of S. Elizabeth, and in the lunette above it a God the Father and some children, copying the draperies and all the rest from life. And when he had brought it to completion, he was much praised and commended for it, and above all for some heads copied from life, painted in a good manner and with much profit to himself.

Then, recognizing that if he wished to make greater proficience in his art he must take his leave of Arezzo, he determined, after the plague had ceased entirely in Rome, to go to that city, where he knew that Perino, Rosso, and many others of his friends had already returned and [Pg 259] were employed in a number of important works. While of this mind, a convenient occasion of going there presented itself to him, for there arrived in Arezzo M. Paolo Valdambrini, the Secretary of Pope Clement VII, who, in returning from France in great haste, passed through Arezzo in order to see his brothers and nephews; and when Giovanni Antonio had gone to visit him, M. Paolo, who was desirous that there should be in his native city of Arezzo men distinguished in all the arts, who might demonstrate the genius which that air and that sky give to those who are born there, exhorted him, although there was not much need for exhortation, that he should go in his company to Rome, where he would obtain for him every convenience to enable him to attend to the studies of his art. Having therefore gone with M. Paolo to Rome, he found there Perino, Rosso, and others of his friends; and besides this he was able by means of M. Paolo to make the acquaintance of Giulio Romano, Sebastiano Viniziano, and Francesco Mazzuoli of Parma, who arrived in Rome about that time. This Francesco, delighting to play the lute, and therefore conceiving a very great affection for Giovanni Antonio and consorting continually with him, brought it about that Lappoli set himself with great zeal to draw and paint and to profit by the good fortune that he enjoyed in being the friend of the best painters that there were in Rome at that time. And he had already carried almost to completion a picture containing a Madonna of the size of life, which M. Paolo wished to present to Pope Clement in order to make Lappoli known to him, when, as Fortune would have it, who often sets herself in opposition to the designs of mankind, there took place on the 6th of May, in the year 1527, the accursed sack of Rome. On that miserable day M. Paolo galloped on horseback, and Giovanni Antonio with him, to the Porta di S. Spirito in the Trastevere, in order to prevent the soldiers of Bourbon for a time from entering by that gate; and there M. Paolo was killed and Lappoli was taken prisoner by the Spaniards. And in a short time, everything being given over to sack, the picture was lost, together with the designs executed in the chapel and all that poor Giovanni Antonio possessed. He, after having been much tormented by the Spaniards to induce him to pay a ransom, escaped in his shirt one [Pg 260] night with some other prisoners, and, after suffering desperate hardships and running in great danger of his life, because the roads were not safe, finally made his way to Arezzo, where he was received by M. Giovanni Pollastra, a man of great learning, who was his uncle; but he had all that he could do to recover himself, so broken was he by terror and suffering.

Then in the same year there came upon Arezzo the great plague in which four hundred persons died every day, and Giovanni Antonio was forced once more to fly, all in despair and very loth to go, and to stay for some months out of the city. But finally, when that pestilence had abated to such an extent that people could begin to mix together, a certain Fra Guasparri, a Conventual Friar of S. Francis, who was then Guardian of their convent in that city, commissioned Giovanni Antonio to paint the altar-piece of the high-altar in that church for one hundred crowns, stipulating that he should represent in it the Adoration of the Magi. Whereupon Lappoli, hearing that Rosso, having also fled from Rome, was at Borgo a San Sepolcro, and was there executing an altar-piece for the Company of S. Croce, went to visit him; and after showing him many courtesies and causing some things to be brought for him from Arezzo, of which he knew him to stand in need, since he had lost everything in the sack of Rome, he obtained for himself from Rosso a very beautiful design of the above-mentioned altar-piece that he had to paint for Fra Guasparri. And when he had returned to Arezzo he set his hand to the work, and finished it within a year from the day of the commission, according to the agreement, and that so well, that he was very highly praised for it. That design of Rosso's passed afterwards into the hands of Giorgio Vasari, and from him to the very reverend Don Vincenzio Borghini, Director of the Hospital of the Innocenti in Florence, who has it in his book of drawings by various painters.

Not long afterwards, having become surety for Rosso to the amount of three hundred crowns, in the matter of some pictures that the said Rosso was to paint in the Madonna delle Lagrime, Giovanni Antonio found himself in a very evil pass, for Rosso went away without finishing the work, as has been related in his Life, and Lappoli was constrained [Pg 261] to restore the money; and if his friends had not helped him, and particularly Giorgio Vasari, who valued at three hundred crowns the part that Rosso had left finished, Giovanni Antonio would have been little less than ruined in his effort to do honour and benefit to his native city. These difficulties over, Lappoli painted an altar-piece in oils containing the Madonna, S. Bartholomew, and S. Matthew at the commission of Abbot Camaiani of Bibbiena, for a chapel in the lower church at S. Maria del Sasso, a seat of the Preaching Friars in the Casentino; and he acquitted himself very well, counterfeiting the manner of Rosso. And this was the reason that a Confraternity at Bibbiena afterwards caused him to paint on a banner for carrying in processions a nude Christ with the Cross on His shoulder, who is shedding blood into the Chalice, and on the other side an Annunciation, which was one of the best things that he ever did.

In the year 1534, Duke Alessandro de' Medici being expected in Arezzo, the Aretines, with Luigi Guicciardini, the commissary in that city, wishing to honour the Duke, ordained that two comedies should be performed. The charge of arranging one of those festivals was in the hands of a Company of the most noble young men in the city, who called themselves the Umidi; and the preparations and scenery for this comedy, which had for its subject the Intronati of Siena, were made by Niccolò Soggi, who was much extolled for them, and the comedy was performed very well and with infinite satisfaction to all who saw it. The festive preparations for the other were executed in competition by another Company of young men, likewise noble, who called themselves the Company of the Infiammati. And they, in order to be praised no less than the Umidi, performed a comedy by M. Giovanni Pollastra, a poet of Arezzo, under his management, and entrusted the making of the scenery to Giovanni Antonio, who acquitted himself consummately well; and thus their comedy was performed with great honour to that Company and to the whole city. Nor must I pass over a lovely notion of that poet's, who was certainly a man of beautiful ingenuity. While the preparations for these and other festivals were in progress, on many occasions the young men of the two Companies, out of rivalry and for various other reasons, had come to blows, and several disputes had arisen; wherefore [Pg 262] Pollastra arranged a surprise (keeping the matter absolutely secret), which was as follows. When all the people, with the gentlemen and their ladies, had assembled in the place where the comedy was to be performed, four of those young men who had come to blows with one another in the city on other occasions, dashing out with naked swords and cloaks wound round their arms, began to shout on the stage and to pretend to kill one another: and the first of them to be seen rushed out with one temple as it were smeared with blood, crying out: "Come forth, traitors!" At which uproar all the people rose to their feet, men began to lay hands on their weapons, and the kinsmen of the young men, who appeared to be giving each other fearful thrusts, ran towards the stage; when he who had come out first, turning towards the other young men, said: "Hold your hands, gentlemen, and sheathe your swords, for I have taken no harm; and although we are at daggers drawn and you believe that the play will not be performed, yet it will take place, and I, wounded as I am, will now begin the Prologue." And so after this jest, by which all the spectators and the actors themselves, only excepting the four mentioned above, were taken in, the comedy was begun and played so well, that afterwards, in the year 1540, when the Lord Duke Cosimo and the Lady Duchess Leonora were in Arezzo, Giovanni Antonio had to prepare the scenery anew on the Piazza del Vescovado and have it performed before their Excellencies. And even as the performers had given satisfaction on the first occasion, so at that time they gave so much satisfaction to the Lord Duke, that they were afterwards invited to Florence to perform at the next Carnival. In these two scenic preparations, then, Lappoli acquitted himself very well, and he was very highly praised.

He then made an ornament after the manner of a triumphal arch, with scenes in the colour of bronze, which was placed about the altar of the Madonna delle Chiavi. After a time Giovanni Antonio settled in Arezzo, fully determined, now that he had a wife and children, to go roaming no more, and living on his income and on the offices that the citizens of that city enjoy; and so he continued without working much. Not long, indeed, after these events, he sought to obtain the commissions [Pg 263] for two altar-pieces that were to be painted in Arezzo, one for the Church and Company of S. Rocco, and the other for the high-altar of S. Domenico; but he did not succeed, for the reason that both those pictures were allotted to Giorgio Vasari, whose designs, among the many that were made, gave more satisfaction than any of the others. For the Company of the Ascension in that city Giovanni Antonio painted on a banner for carrying in processions Christ in the act of Resurrection, with many soldiers round the Sepulchre, and His Ascension into Heaven, with the Madonna surrounded by the twelve Apostles, which was all executed very well and with diligence. At Castello della Pieve he painted an altar-piece in oils of the Visitation of Our Lady, with some Saints about her, and in an altar-piece that was painted for the Pieve a San Stefano he depicted the Madonna and other Saints; which two works Lappoli executed much better than the others that he had painted up to that time, because he had been able to see at his leisure many works in relief and casts taken in gesso from the statues of Michelagnolo and from other ancient works, and brought by Giorgio Vasari to his house at Arezzo. The same master painted some pictures of Our Lady, which are dispersed throughout Arezzo and other places, and a Judith who is placing the head of Holofernes in a basket held by her serving-woman, which now belongs to Mons. M. Bernardetto Minerbetti, Bishop of Arezzo, who loved Giovanni Antonio much, as he loves all other men of talent, and received from him, besides other things, a young S. John the Baptist in the desert, almost wholly naked, which is held dear by him, since it is an excellent figure.

Finally, recognizing that perfection in this art consists in nothing else but seeking in good time to become rich in invention and to study the nude continually, and thus to render facile the difficulties of execution, Giovanni Antonio repented that he had not spent in the study of art the time that he had given to his pleasures, perceiving that what can be done easily in youth cannot be done well in old age. But although he was always conscious of his error, yet he did not recognize it fully until, having set himself to study when already an old man, he saw a picture in oils, fourteen braccia long and six braccia and a half high, [Pg 264] executed in forty-two days by Giorgio Vasari, who painted it for the Refectory of the Monks of the Abbey of S. Fiore at Arezzo; in which work are painted the Nuptials of Esther and King Ahasuerus, and there are in it more than sixty figures larger than life. Going therefore at times to see Giorgio at work, and staying to discourse with him, Giovanni Antonio said: "Now I see that continual study and work is what lifts men out of laborious effort, and that our art does not come down upon us like the Holy Ghost."

Giovanni Antonio did not work much in fresco, for the reason that the colours changed too much to please him; nevertheless, there may be seen over the Church of Murello a Pietà with two little naked Angels by his hand, executed passing well. Finally, after having lived like a man of good judgment and one not unpractised in the ways of the world, he fell sick of a most violent fever at the age of sixty, in the year 1552, and died.

A disciple of Giovanni Antonio was Bartolommeo Torri, the scion of a not ignoble family in Arezzo, who, making his way to Rome, and placing himself under Don Giulio Clovio, a most excellent miniaturist, devoted himself in so thorough a manner to design and to the study of the nude, but most of all to anatomy, that he became an able master, and was held to be the best draughtsman in Rome. And it is not long since Don Silvano Razzi related to me that Don Giulio Clovio had told him in Rome, after having praised this young man highly, the very thing that he has often declared to me—namely, that he had turned him out of his house for no other reason but his filthy anatomy, for he kept so many limbs and pieces of men under his bed and all over his rooms, that they poisoned the whole house. Besides this, by neglecting himself and thinking that living like an unwashed philosopher, accepting no rule of life, and avoiding the society of other men, was the way to become great and immortal, he ruined himself completely; for nature will not tolerate the unreasonable outrages that some men at times do to her. Having therefore fallen ill at the age of twenty-five, Bartolommeo returned to Arezzo, in order to regain his health and to seek to build himself up again; but he did not succeed, for he continued his usual studies and the [Pg 265] same irregularities, and in four months, a little after the death of Giovanni Antonio, he died and went to join him.

The loss of this young man was an infinite grief to the whole city, for if he had lived, to judge from the great promise of his works, he was like to do extraordinary honour to his native place and to all Tuscany; and whoever sees any of the drawings that he made when still a mere lad, stands marvelling at them and full of compassion for his untimely death.




Among the many who were disciples of Pietro Perugino, there was not one, after Raffaello da Urbino, who was more studious or more diligent than Niccolò Soggi, whose Life we are now about to write. This master was born in Florence, the son of Jacopo Soggi, a worthy person, but not very rich; and in time he entered the service of M. Antonio dal Monte in Rome, because Jacopo had a farm at Marciano in Valdichiana, and, passing most of his time there, associated not a little with that same M. Antonio dal Monte, their properties being near together.

Jacopo, then, perceiving that this son of his was much inclined to painting, placed him with Pietro Perugino; and in a short time, by means of continual study, he learned so much that it was not long before Pietro began to make use of him in his works, to the great advantage of Niccolò, who devoted himself in such a manner to drawing in perspective and copying from nature, that he afterwards became very excellent in both the one field and the other. Niccolò also gave much attention to making models of clay and wax, over which he laid draperies and soaked parchment: which was the reason that he rendered his manner so dry, that he always held to the same as long as he lived, nor could he ever get rid of it for all the pains that he took.

The first work that this Niccolò executed after the death of his master Pietro was an altar-piece in oils in the Hospital for Women, founded by Bonifazio Lupi, in the Via San Gallo at Florence—that is, the side behind the altar, wherein is the Angel saluting Our Lady, with a building drawn in perspective, in which there are arches and a groined vaulting rising above pilasters after the manner of Pietro. Then, in the year 1512, after having executed many pictures of Our Lady for the [Pg 270] houses of citizens, and other little works such as are painted every day, hearing that great things were being done in Rome, he departed from Florence, thinking to make proficience in art and also to save some money, and went off to Rome. There, having paid a visit to the aforesaid M. Antonio dal Monte, who was then a Cardinal, he was not only welcomed warmly, but also straightway set to work to paint, in those early days of the pontificate of Leo, on the façade of the palace where there is the statue of Maestro Pasquino, a great escutcheon of Pope Leo in fresco, between that of the Roman People and that of the Cardinal. In that work Niccolò did not acquit himself very well, for in painting some nude figures and others clothed that he placed there as ornaments for those escutcheons, he recognized that the study of models is bad for him who wishes to acquire a good manner. Thereupon, after the uncovering of that work, which did not prove to be of that excellence which many expected, Niccolò set himself to execute a picture in oils, in which he painted the Martyr S. Prassedia squeezing a sponge full of blood into a vessel; and he finished it with such diligence that he recovered in part the honour that he considered himself to have lost in painting the escutcheons described above. This picture, which was executed for the above-mentioned Cardinal dal Monte, who was titular of S. Prassedia, was placed in the centre of that church, over an altar beneath which is a well of the blood of Holy Martyrs—a beautiful idea, the picture alluding to the place where there was the blood of those Martyrs. After this Niccolò painted for his patron the Cardinal another picture in oils, three-quarters of a braccio in height, of Our Lady with the Child in her arms, S. John as a little boy, and some landscapes, all executed so well and with such diligence, that the whole work appears to be done in miniature, and not painted; which picture, one of the best works that Niccolò ever produced, was for many years in the apartment of that prelate. Afterwards, when the Cardinal arrived in Arezzo and lodged in the Abbey of S. Fiore, a seat of the Black Friars of S. Benedict, in return for the many courtesies that were shown to him, he presented that picture to the sacristy of that place, in which it has been treasured ever since, both as a good painting and in memory of the Cardinal.

[Pg 271] Niccolò himself went with the Cardinal to Arezzo, where he lived almost ever afterwards. At the time he formed a friendship with the painter Domenico Pecori, who was then painting an altar-piece with the Circumcision of Christ for the Company of the Trinità; and such was the intimacy between them that Niccolò painted for Domenico in that altar-piece a building in perspective with columns and arches supporting a ceiling full of rosettes, according to the custom of those days, which was held at that time to be very beautiful. Niccolò also painted for the same Domenico a round picture of the Madonna with a multitude below, in oils and on cloth, for the baldachin of the Confraternity of Arezzo, which was burned, as has been related in the Life of Domenico Pecori,[32] during a festival that was held in S. Francesco. Then, having received the commission for a chapel in that same S. Francesco, the second on the right hand as one enters the church, he painted there in distemper Our Lady, S. John the Baptist, S. Bernard, S. Anthony, S. Francis, and three Angels in the air who are singing, with God the Father in a pediment; which were executed by Niccolò almost entirely in distemper, with the point of the brush. But since the work has almost all peeled off on account of the strength of the distemper, it was labour thrown away. Niccolò did this in order to try new methods; and when he had recognized that the true method was working in fresco, he seized the first opportunity, and undertook to paint in fresco a chapel in S. Agostino in that city, beside the door on the left hand as one enters the church. In this chapel, which was allotted to him by one Scamarra, a master of furnaces, he painted a Madonna in the sky with a multitude beneath, and S. Donatus and S. Francis kneeling; but the best thing that he did in this work was a S. Rocco at the head of the chapel.

This work giving great pleasure to Domenico Ricciardi of Arezzo, who had a chapel in the Church of the Madonna delle Lagrime, he entrusted the painting of the altar-piece of that chapel to Niccolò, who, setting his hand to the work, painted in it with much care and diligence the Nativity of Jesus Christ. And although he toiled a long time over finishing it, he executed it so well that he deserves to be excused for this, [Pg 272] or rather, merits infinite praise, for the reason that it is a most beautiful work; nor would anyone believe with what extraordinary consideration he painted every least thing in it, and a ruined building, near the hut wherein are the Infant Christ and the Virgin, is drawn very well in perspective. In the S. Joseph and some Shepherds are many heads portrayed from life, such as Stagio Sassoli, a painter and the friend of Niccolò, and Papino della Pieve, his disciple, who, if he had not died when still young, would have done very great honour both to himself and to his country; and three Angels in the air who are singing are so well executed that they would be enough by themselves to demonstrate the talent of Niccolò and the patience with which he laboured at this work up to the very last. And no sooner had he finished it than he was requested by the men of the Company of S. Maria della Neve, at Monte Sansovino, to paint for that Company an altar-piece wherein was to be the story of the Snow, which, falling on the site of S. Maria Maggiore at Rome on the 5th of August, was the reason of the building of that temple. Niccolò, then, executed that altar-piece for the above-mentioned Company with much diligence; and afterwards he executed at Marciano a work in fresco that won no little praise.

Now in the year 1524, after M. Baldo Magini had caused Antonio, the brother of Giuliano da San Gallo, to build in the Madonna delle Carceri, in the town of Prato, a tabernacle of marble with two columns, architrave, cornice, and a quarter-round arch, Antonio resolved to bring it about that M. Baldo should give the commission for the picture which was to adorn that tabernacle to Niccolò, with whom he had formed a friendship when he was working in the Palace of the above-mentioned Cardinal dal Monte at Monte Sansovino. He presented him, therefore, to M. Baldo, who, although he had been minded to have it painted by Andrea del Sarto, as has been related in another place, resolved, at the entreaties and advice of Antonio, to allot it to Niccolò. And he, having set his hand to it, strove with all his power to make a beautiful work, but he did not succeed; for, apart from diligence, there is no excellence of design to be seen in it, nor any other quality worthy of much praise, because his hard manner, with his labours over his models of clay and [Pg 273] wax, almost always gave a laborious and displeasing effect to his work. And yet, with regard to the labours of art, that man could not have done more than he did or shown more lovingness; and since he knew that none ...[33] for many years he could never bring himself to believe that others surpassed him in excellence. In this work, then, there is a God the Father who is sending down the crown of virginity and humility upon the Madonna by the hands of some Angels who are round her, some of whom are playing various instruments. Niccolò made in the picture a portrait from life of M. Baldo, kneeling at the feet of S. Ubaldo the Bishop, and on the other side he painted S. Joseph; and those two figures are one on either side of the image of the Madonna, which worked miracles in that place. Niccolò afterwards painted a picture three braccia in height of the same M. Baldo Magini from life, standing with the Church of S. Fabiano di Prato in his hand, which he presented to the Chapter of the Canons of the Pieve; and this Niccolò executed for that Chapter, which, in memory of the benefit received, caused the picture to be placed in the sacristy, an honour well deserved by that remarkable man, who with excellent judgment conferred benefits on that church, the principal church of his native city, and so renowned for the Girdle of the Madonna, which is preserved there. This portrait was one of the best works that Niccolò ever executed in painting. It is also the belief of some that a little altar-piece that is in the Company of S. Pier Martire on the Piazza di S. Domenico, at Prato, in which are many portraits from life, is by the hand of the same Niccolò; but in my opinion, even if this be true, it was painted by him before any of the other pictures mentioned above.

After these works, Niccolò—under whose discipline Domenico Giuntalodi, a young man of excellent ability belonging to Prato, had learned the rudiments of the art of painting, although, in consequence of having acquired the manner of Niccolò, he never became a great master in painting, as will be related—departed from Prato and came to work in Florence; but, having seen that the most important works in art were given to better and more eminent men than himself, and that his manner was not up to the standard of Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso, and the [Pg 274] others, he made up his mind to return to Arezzo, in which city he had more friends, greater credit, and less competition. Which having done, no sooner had he arrived than he made known to M. Giuliano Bacci, one of the chief citizens of that place, a desire that he had in his heart, which was this, that he wished that Arezzo should become his country, and that therefore he would gladly undertake to execute some work which might maintain him for a time in the practice of his art, whereby he hoped to demonstrate to that city the nature of his talents. Whereupon Messer Giuliano, an ingenious man who desired that his native city should be embellished and should contain persons engaged in the arts, so went to work with the men then governing the Company of the Nunziata, who in those days had caused a great vaulting to be built in their church, with the intention of having it painted, that one arch of the wall-surface of that vaulting was allotted to Niccolò; and it was proposed that he should be commissioned to paint the rest, if the first part, which he had to do then, should please the men of the aforesaid Company. Having therefore set his hand to this work with great diligence, in two years Niccolò finished the half, but not more, of one arch, on which he painted in fresco the Tiburtine Sibyl showing to the Emperor Octavian the Virgin in Heaven with the Infant Jesus Christ in her arms, and Octavian in reverent adoration. In the figure of Octavian he portrayed the above-mentioned M. Giuliano Bacci, and his pupil Domenico in a tall young man draped in red, and others of his friends in other heads; and, in a word, he acquitted himself in this work in such a manner that it did not displease the men of that Company and the other men of that city. It is true, indeed, that everyone grew weary of seeing him take so long and toil so much over executing his works; but notwithstanding all this the rest would have been given to him to finish, if that had not been prevented by the arrival in Arezzo of the Florentine Rosso, a rare painter, to whom, after he had been put forward by the Aretine painter Giovanni Antonio Lappoli and M. Giovanni Pollastra, as has been related in another place, much favour was shown and the rest of that work allotted. At which Niccolò felt such disdain, that, if he had not taken a wife the year before and had a son by her, so that he was settled in Arezzo, he would have [Pg 275] departed straightway. However, having finally become pacified, he executed an altar-piece for the Church of Sargiano, a place two miles distant from Arezzo, where there are Frati Zoccolanti; in which he painted the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven, with many little Angels supporting her, and S. Thomas below receiving the Girdle, while all around are S. Francis, S. Louis, S. John the Baptist, and S. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary. In some of these figures, and particularly in some of the little Angels, he acquitted himself very well; and so also in the predella he painted some scenes with little figures, which are passing good. He executed, likewise, in the Convent of the Nuns of the Murate, who belong to the same Order, in that city, a Dead Christ with the Maries, which is wrought with a high finish for a picture in fresco. In the Abbey of S. Fiore, a seat of Black Friars, behind the Crucifix that is placed on the high-altar, he painted in oils, on a canvas, Christ praying in the Garden and the Angel showing to Him the Chalice of the Passion and comforting Him, which was certainly a work of no little beauty and excellence. And for the Nuns of S. Benedetto, of the Order of Camaldoli, at Arezzo, on an arch above a door by which one enters the convent, he painted the Madonna, S. Benedict, and S. Catharine, a work which was afterwards thrown to the ground in order to enlarge the church.

In the township of Marciano in Valdichiana, where he passed much of his time, living partly on the revenues that he had in that place and partly on what he could earn there, Niccolò began an altar-piece of the Dead Christ and many other works, with which he occupied himself for a time. And meanwhile, having with him the above-mentioned Domenico Giuntalodi of Prato, whom he loved as a son and kept in his house, he strove to make him excellent in the matters of art, teaching him so well how to draw in perspective, to copy from nature, and to make designs, that he was already becoming very able in all these respects, showing a good and beautiful genius. And this Niccolò did, besides being moved by the love and affection that he bore to that young man, in the hope of having one who might help him now that he was nearing old age, and might give him some return in his last years for so much labour and lovingness. Niccolò was in truth most loving with every man, [Pg 276] true by nature, and much the friend of those who laboured in order to attain to something in the world of art; and what he knew he taught to them with extraordinary willingness.

No long time after this, when Niccolò had returned from Marciano to Arezzo and Domenico had left him, the men of the Company of the Corpo di Cristo, in that city, had a commission to give for the painting of an altar-piece for the high-altar of the Church of S. Domenico. Now, Niccolò desiring to paint it, and likewise Giorgio Vasari, then a mere lad, the former did something which probably not many of the men of our art would do at the present day, which was as follows: Niccolò, who was one of the members of the above-mentioned Company, perceiving that many were disposed to have it painted by Giorgio, in order to bring him forward, and that the young man had a very great desire for it, resolved, after remarking Giorgio's zeal, to lay aside his own desire and need and to have the picture allotted by his companions to Giorgio, thinking more of the advantage that the young man might gain from the work than of his own profit and interest; and even as he wished, so exactly did the men of that Company decide.

In the meantime Domenico Giuntalodi, having gone to Rome, found Fortune so propitious that he became known to Don Martino, the Ambassador of the King of Portugal, and went to live with him; and he painted for him a canvas with some twenty portraits from life, all of his followers and friends, with himself in the midst of them, engaged in conversation; which work so pleased Don Martino, that he looked upon Domenico as the first painter in the world. Afterwards Don Ferrante Gonzaga, having been made Viceroy of Sicily, and desiring to fortify the towns of that kingdom, wished to have about his person a man who might draw and put down on paper for him all that he thought of from day to day; and he wrote to Don Martino that he should find for him a young man who might be both able and willing to serve him in this way, and should send him off as soon as possible. Don Martino, therefore, first sent to Don Ferrante some designs by the hand of Domenico, among which was a Colosseum, engraved on copper by Girolamo Fagiuoli of Bologna for Antonio Salamanca, but drawn in perspective by Domenico; an old man [Pg 277] in a child's go-cart, drawn by the same hand and published in engraving, with letters that ran thus, "Ancora imparo"; and a little picture with the portrait of Don Martino himself. And shortly afterwards he sent Domenico, at the wish of the aforesaid lord, Don Ferrante, who had been much pleased with that young man's works. Having then arrived in Sicily, there were assigned to Domenico an honourable salary, a horse, and a servant, all at the expense of Don Ferrante; and not long afterwards he was set to work on the walls and fortresses of Sicily. Whereupon, abandoning his painting little by little, he devoted himself to something else which for a time was more profitable to him; for, being an ingenious person, he made use of men who were well adapted to heavy labour, kept beasts of burden in the charge of others, and caused sand and lime to be collected and furnaces to be set up; and no long time had passed before he found that he had saved so much that he was able to buy offices in Rome to the extent of two thousand crowns, and shortly afterwards some others. Then, after he had been made keeper of the wardrobe to Don Ferrante, it happened that his master was removed from the government of Sicily and sent to that of Milan; whereupon Domenico went with him, and, working on the fortifications of that State, contrived, what with being industrious and with being something of a miser, to become very rich; and what is more, he came into such credit that he managed almost everything in that government.

Hearing of this, Niccolò, who was at Arezzo, now an old man, needy, and without any work to do, went to find Domenico in Milan, thinking that even as he had not failed Domenico when he was a young man, so Domenico should not fail him now, but should avail himself of his services, since he had many in his employ, and should be both able and willing to assist him in his poverty-stricken old age. But he found to his cost that the judgments of men, in expecting too much from others, are often deceived, and that the men who change their condition also change more often than not their nature and their will. For after arriving in Milan, where he found Domenico raised to such greatness that he had no little difficulty in getting speech of him, Niccolò related to him all his troubles, and then besought him that he should help him by making use of his [Pg 278] services; but Domenico, not remembering or not choosing to remember with what lovingness he had been brought up by Niccolò as if he had been his own son, gave him a miserably small sum of money and got rid of him as soon as he was able. And so Niccolò returned to Arezzo very sore at heart, having recognized that with the labour and expense with which, as he thought, he had reared a son, he had formed one who was little less than an enemy.

In order to earn his bread, therefore, he went about executing all the work that came to his hand, as he had done many years before, and he painted among other things a canvas for the Commune of Monte Sansovino, containing the said town of Monte Sansovino and a Madonna in the sky, with two Saints at the sides; which picture was set up on an altar in the Madonna di Vertigli, a church belonging to the Monks of the Order of Camaldoli, not far distant from the Monte, where it has pleased and still pleases Our Lord daily to perform many miracles and to grant favours to those who recommend themselves to the Queen of Heaven. Afterwards, Julius III having been created Supreme Pontiff, Niccolò, who had been much connected with the house of Monte, made his way to Rome, although he was an old man of eighty, and, having kissed the foot of His Holiness, besought him that he should deign to make use of him in the buildings which were to be erected, so men said, at the Monte, a place which the Lord Duke of Florence had given in fief to the Pontiff. The Pope, then, having received him warmly, ordained that the means to live in Rome should be given to him without exacting any sort of exertion from him; and in this manner Niccolò spent several months in Rome, drawing many antiquities to pass the time.

Meanwhile the Pope resolved to increase his native town of Monte Sansovino, and to make there, besides many ornamental works, an aqueduct, because that place suffered much from want of water; and Giorgio Vasari, who had orders from the Pope to cause those buildings to be begun, recommended Niccolò Soggi strongly to His Holiness, entreating him that Niccolò should be given the office of superintendent over those works. Whereupon Niccolò went to Arezzo filled with these hopes, but he had not been there many days when, worn out by the fatigues and [Pg 279] hardships of this world and by the knowledge that he had been abandoned by him who should have been the last to forsake him, he finished the course of his life and was buried in S. Domenico in that city.

Not long afterwards Domenico Giuntalodi, Don Ferrante Gonzaga having died, departed from Milan with the intention of returning to Prato and of passing the rest of his life there in repose. However, finding there neither relatives nor friends, and recognizing that Prato was no abiding place for him, he repented too late that he had behaved ungratefully to Niccolò, and returned to Lombardy to serve the sons of Don Ferrante. But no long time passed before he fell sick unto death; whereupon he made a will leaving ten thousand crowns to his fellow-citizens of Prato, to the end that they might buy property to that amount and form a fund wherewith to maintain continually at their studies a certain number of students from Prato, in the manner in which they maintained certain others, as they still do, according to the terms of another bequest. And this has been carried out by the men of that town of Prato, who, grateful for such a benefit, which in truth has been a very great one and worthy of eternal remembrance, have placed in their Council Chamber the image of Domenico, as that of one who has deserved well of his country.

[Pg 281] INDEX


  • Abacco, Antonio L', 113, 114, 130, 136, 137
  • Abbot of S. Clemente (Don Bartolommeo della Gatta), 255
  • Agnolo, Baccio d' (Baccio Baglioni), Life, 65-68. 69, 72
  • Agnolo, Battista d' (Battista del Moro), Life, 27-28. 108
  • Agnolo, Domenico di Baccio d', 68, 70, 72
  • Agnolo, Filippo di Baccio d', 68, 70
  • Agnolo, Giuliano di Baccio d', Life, 68-72
  • Agnolo, Marco di Battista d', 27, 28
  • Agnolo Bronzino, 118, 256
  • Agostino Viniziano (Agostino de' Musi), Life, 102-103. 106
  • Aimo, Domenico (Il Bologna), 217
  • Alberti, Leon Batista, 45
  • Alberto Monsignori (Bonsignori), 29
  • Albrecht (Heinrich) Aldegrever, 119
  • Albrecht Dürer, Life, 92-98. 99, 102, 119, 165
  • Aldegrever, Albrecht (Heinrich), 119
  • Alessandro Cesati (Il Greco), Life, 85
  • Alessandro Falconetto, 47, 48
  • Alessandro Filipepi (Sandro Botticelli), 91
  • Andrea Contucci (Andrea Sansovino), 66, 133
  • Andrea dal Castagno, 182
  • Andrea de' Ceri, 190-192, 201
  • Andrea del Sarto, 60, 106, 255-257, 272, 273
  • Andrea Mantegna, 15, 29, 30, 91
  • Andrea Palladio, 28, 48
  • Andrea Sansovino (Andrea Contucci), 66, 133
  • Angelico, Fra (Fra Giovanni da Fiesole), 246
  • Anichini, Luigi, 85
  • Anselmo Canneri, 22
  • Antoine Lafrery (Antonio Lanferri), 113
  • Antonio da San Gallo (the elder), 66, 123, 272
  • Antonio da San Gallo (the younger), Life, 123-141. 167, 197, 198, 219, 220, 222
  • Antonio da Trento (Antonio Fantuzzi), 108
  • Antonio del Pollaiuolo, 182, 246
  • Antonio di Giorgio Marchissi, 126
  • Antonio di Marco di Giano (Il Carota), 213
  • Antonio Fantuzzi (Antonio da Trento), 108
  • Antonio l'Abacco, 113, 114, 130, 136, 137
  • Antonio Lanferri (Antoine Lafrery), 113
  • Antonio (or Vittore) Pisano (or Pisanello), 35
  • Antonio Salamanca, 276
  • Antonio Scarpagni (Scarpagnino or Zanfragnino,) 10
  • Aretino, Leone (Leone Lioni), 87
  • Aretusi, Pellegrino degli (Pellegrino da Modena, or de' Munari), 125
  • Avanzi, Niccolò, 79, 80
  • Bacchiacca, Il (Francesco Ubertini), 60
  • Baccio Baglioni (Baccio d' Agnolo), Life, 65-68. 69, 72
  • Baccio Baldini, 91
  • Baccio Bandinelli, 69-71, 103, 105, 111
  • Baccio d' Agnolo (Baccio Baglioni), Life, 65-68. 69, 72
  • Baldassarre Peruzzi, 107, 167, 174, 177, 239
  • Baldini, Baccio, 91
  • Bandinelli, Baccio, 69-71, 103, 105, 111
  • Barile, Giovan, 177
  • Barlacchi, Tommaso, 104, 113
  • Barozzo, Jacopo, 114
  • Bartolommeo da Castiglione, 152
  • Bartolommeo della Gatta, Don (Abbot of S. Clemente), 255
  • Bartolommeo di San Marco, Fra, 66
  • Bartolommeo Ridolfi, 48
  • Bartolommeo Torri, 264, 265
  • Battista d' Agnolo (Battista del Moro), Life, 27-28. 108
  • Battista del Cervelliera, 214, 247, 248
  • Battista del Moro (Battista d' Agnolo), Life, 27-28. 108
  • Battista del Tasso, 213
  • Battista Franco, 108, 114, 156
  • Battista Gobbo, 133, 140
  • Battista of Vicenza (Battista Pittoni), 108
  • Baviera, 100, 101, 109, 209
  • Bazzi, Giovanni Antonio (Il Sodoma), 236-238, 247, 249
  • Beatricio, Niccolò (Nicolas Beautrizet), 114
  • Beccafumi, Domenico (Domenico di Pace), Life, 235-251. 108, 213, 215, 223, 235-251
  • Beham, Hans, 119
  • Belli, Valerio (Valerio Vicentino), Life, 82-84. 76, 79
  • Bellini, Giovanni, 173
  • Bellini, Jacopo, 11, 35
  • Benedetto da Maiano, 66
  • Benedetto Ghirlandajo, 57
  • Benedetto Pagni, 152, 154-156, 169
  • Benozzo Gozzoli, 246
  • Benvenuto Cellini, 86, 87
  • Bernardi, Giovanni (Giovanni da Castel Bolognese), Life, 76-79. 83, 84
  • Bernardino Pinturicchio, 195
  • Bologna, Il (Domenico Aimo), 217
  • Bolognese, Marc' Antonio (Marc' Antonio Raimondi, or de' Franci), Life, 95-96, 99-106. 108, 109, 120
  • Bonasone, Giulio, 114
  • Bonsignori (Monsignori), Alberto, 29
  • Bonsignori (Monsignori), Fra Cherubino, 34
  • Bonsignori (Monsignori), Fra Girolamo, Life, 34-35
  • Bonsignori (Monsignori), Francesco, Life, 29-35
  • Borgo, Raffaello dal (Raffaello dal Colle), 152, 169
  • Borgo a San Sepolcro, Giovan Maria dal, 256
  • Bosch, Hieronymus, 118
  • Botticelli, Sandro (Alessandro Filipepi), 91
  • Boyvin, René (Renato), 115
  • Bramante da Urbino, 6, 124, 126, 136, 138
  • Brescianino (Girolamo Muziano, or Mosciano), 114
  • Bronzino, Agnolo, 118, 256
  • Brunelleschi, Filippo, 68, 71
  • Brusciasorzi, Domenico (Domenico del Riccio), 82
  • Bugiardini, Giuliano, 183
  • Buonaccorsi, Perino (Perino del Vaga, or Perino de' Ceri), Life, 189-225. 78, 109, 125, 129, 139, 148, 177, 189-225, 244, 257-259
  • Buonarroti, Michelagnolo, 57, 59, 60, 66, 68, 78, 79, 85, 92, 107, 111, 113, 114, 129, 135, 136, 139, 140, 167, 174-177, 183, 185, 191, 193, 195, 205, 218, 219, 222, 225, 236, 263
  • Cadore, Tiziano da (Tiziano Vecelli), 109, 111, 114, 161, 183, 222
  • Calcar, Johann of (Jan Stephanus van Calcker), 116
  • Caliari, Paolo (Paolo Veronese), 22, 27
  • Cammei, Domenico de', 76
  • Canneri, Anselmo, 22
  • Caraglio, Gian Jacopo, 109, 110, 209
  • Caravaggio, Polidoro da, 177, 196
  • Carota, Il (Antonio di Marco di Giano), 213
  • Caroto, Giovan Francesco, Life, 15-21. 37
  • Caroto, Giovanni, Life, 21-22. 15
  • Carpi, Ugo da, 106, 107
  • Carrara, Danese da (Danese Cattaneo), 26-28, 54
  • Carrucci, Jacopo (Jacopo da Pontormo), 60, 255-257, 273
  • Castagno, Andrea dal, 182
  • Castel Bolognese, Giovanni da (Giovanni Bernardi), Life, 76-79. 83, 84
  • Castelfranco, Giorgione da, 23, 173, 174
  • Castiglione, Bartolommeo da, 152
  • Catanei, Piero, 250
  • Cattaneo, Danese (Danese da Carrara), 26-28, 54
  • Cavalieri, Giovan Battista de', 113
  • Cavazzuola, Paolo (Paolo Morando), Life, 39-42. 15, 24, 25, 29, 39-42, 50
  • Cellini, Benvenuto, 86, 87
  • Ceri, Andrea de', 190-192, 201
  • Ceri, Perino de' (Perino del Vaga, or Perino Buonaccorsi), Life, 189-225. 78, 109, 125, 129, 139, 148, 177, 189-225, 244, 257-259
  • Cervelliera, Battista del, 214, 247, 248
  • Cesati, Alessandro (Il Greco), Life, 85
  • Cherubino Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra, 34
  • Cicogna, Girolamo, 22
  • Cioli, Simone, 133
  • Clovio, Don Giulio, 51, 54, 111, 264
  • Cock, Hieronymus, Life, 116-120. 108
  • Colle, Raffaello dal (Raffaello dal Borgo), 152, 169
  • Contucci, Andrea (Andrea Sansovino), 66, 133
  • Coriolano, Cristofano, 120
  • Corniole, Giovanni delle, 76, 84
  • Cortona, Luca da (Luca Signorelli), 246
  • Cosimo (Jacopo) da Trezzo, 86
  • Cosini, Silvio, 210
  • Cousin, Jean (Giovanni Cugini), 114
  • Coxie, Michael (Michele), 116, 178
  • Cristofano Coriolano, 120
  • Cristofano Lombardi (Tofano Lombardino), 167
  • Cronaca, Il (Simone del Pollaiuolo), 66, 70
  • Cugini, Giovanni (Jean Cousin), 114
  • Cungi, Leonardo, 225
  • Danese Cattaneo (Danese da Carrara), 26-28, 54
  • Daniello Ricciarelli, 113, 219, 224
  • David Ghirlandajo, 57
  • Dente, Marco (Marco da Ravenna), Life, 102-103. 106
  • Domenico Aimo (Il Bologna), 217
  • Domenico Beccafumi (Domenico di Pace), Life, 235-251. 108, 213, 215, 223, 235-251
  • Domenico Brusciasorzi (Domenico del Riccio), 82
  • Domenico de' Cammei, 76
  • Domenico del Riccio (Domenico Brusciasorzi), 82
  • Domenico di Baccio d' Agnolo, 68, 70, 72
  • Domenico di Pace (Domenico Beccafumi), Life, 235-251. 108, 213, 215, 223, 235-251
  • Domenico di Polo, 84
  • Domenico Ghirlandajo, 57, 58, 191
  • Domenico Giuntalodi, 273-279
  • Domenico Morone, Life, 35-36. 29, 38
  • Domenico Pecori, 255, 258, 271
  • Domenico Poggini, 87
  • Domenico Viniziano, 182
  • Don Bartolommeo della Gatta (Abbot of S. Clemente), 255
  • Don Giulio Clovio, 51, 54, 111, 264
  • Donato (Donatello), 220
  • Duccio, 245
  • Dürer, Albrecht, Life, 92-98. 99, 102, 119, 165
  • Enea Vico, Life, 111-112
  • Faenza, Figurino da, 169
  • Fagiuoli, Girolamo, 87, 276
  • Falconetto, Alessandro, 47, 48
  • Falconetto, Giovan Maria, Life, 43-48. 22, 29, 42, 43-48
  • Falconetto, Giovanni Antonio (the elder), 42
  • Falconetto, Giovanni Antonio (the younger), 42, 43
  • Falconetto, Jacopo, 42, 43
  • Falconetto, Ottaviano, 47, 48
  • Falconetto, Provolo, 47, 48
  • Fantuzzi, Antonio (Antonio da Trento), 108
  • Fattore, Il (Giovan Francesco Penni), 146-148, 150, 151, 153, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216
  • Fermo Ghisoni, 34, 167, 169
  • Fiacco (or Flacco), Orlando, Life, 28
  • Fiesole, Fra Giovanni da (Fra Angelico), 246
  • Fiesole, Maestro Giovanni da, 210
  • Figurino da Faenza, 169
  • Filipepi, Alessandro (Sandro Botticelli), 91
  • Filippino (Filippo Lippi), 66
  • Filippo Brunelleschi, 68, 71
  • Filippo di Baccio d' Agnolo, 68, 70
  • Filippo Lippi (Filippino), 66
  • Filippo Lippi, Fra, 246
  • Filippo Negrolo, 86
  • Finiguerra, Maso, 91
  • Flacco (or Fiacco), Orlando, Life, 28
  • Floris, Franz (Franz de Vrient), 119, 120
  • Fra Angelico (Fra Giovanni da Fiesole), 246
  • Fra Bartolommeo di San Marco, 66
  • Fra Cherubino Monsignori (Bonsignori), 34
  • Fra Filippo Lippi, 246
  • Fra Giocondo, Life, 3-11. 28, 47, 126
  • Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Fra Angelico), 246
  • Fra Giovanni da Verona, 38, 39, 51, 218
  • Fra Girolamo Monsignori (Bonsignori), Life, 34-35
  • Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani), Life, 173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259
  • Francesco Bonsignori (Monsignori), Life, 29-35
  • Francesco da San Gallo, 133, 173
  • Francesco dai Libri (the elder), Life, 49. 29
  • Francesco dai Libri (the younger), Life, 52-54
  • Francesco de' Rossi (Francesco Salviati), 108, 111, 177
  • Francesco dell' Indaco, 126
  • Francesco Francia, 95
  • Francesco Granacci (Il Granaccio), Life, 57-61. 66
  • Francesco Marcolini, 115
  • Francesco Mazzuoli (Parmigiano), 107-109, 114, 259
  • Francesco Monsignori (Bonsignori), Life, 29-35
  • Francesco Morone, Life, 36-39. 29, 36-39, 40, 41, 50
  • Francesco Primaticcio, 115, 157
  • Francesco Salviati (Francesco de' Rossi), 108, 111, 177
  • Francesco Turbido (Il Moro), Life, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28, 40, 50, 164
  • Francesco Ubertini (Il Bacchiacca), 60
  • Franci, Marc' Antonio de' (Marc' Antonio Bolognese, or Raimondi), Life, 95-96, 99-106. 108, 109, 120
  • Francia, Francesco, 95
  • Franco, Battista, 108, 114, 156
  • Franz Floris (Franz de Vrient), 119, 120
  • Gabriele Giolito, 115
  • Galeazzo Mondella, 42, 80
  • Galeotto, Pietro Paolo, 87
  • Gasparo Misuroni (Misceroni), 86
  • Gatta, Don Bartolommeo della (Abbot of S. Clemente), 255
  • Georg Pencz, 119
  • Gherardo, 92
  • Ghirlandajo, Benedetto, 57
  • Ghirlandajo, David, 57
  • Ghirlandajo, Domenico, 57, 58, 191
  • Ghirlandajo, Ridolfo, 191, 192
  • Ghisi (Mantovano), Giorgio, 113, 118
  • Ghisoni, Fermo, 34, 167, 169
  • Gian Jacopo Caraglio, 109, 110, 209
  • Giannuzzi, Giulio Pippi de' (Giulio Romano), Life, 145-169. 20, 24, 103-105, 110, 114, 145-169, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216, 221, 259
  • Giannuzzi, Raffaello Pippi de', 168
  • Giano, Antonio di Marco di (Il Carota), 213
  • Giocondo, Fra, Life, 3-11. 28, 47, 126
  • Giolito, Gabriele, 115
  • Giorgio Mantovano (Ghisi), 113, 118
  • Giorgio Vasari. See Vasari (Giorgio)
  • Giorgione da Castelfranco, 23, 173, 174
  • Giotto, 114, 202, 219, 220, 235
  • Giovan Barile, 177
  • Giovan Battista de' Cavalieri, 113
  • Giovan Battista de' Rossi (Il Rosso), 109, 111, 115, 257-261, 273, 274
  • Giovan Battista Mantovano (Sculptore), 110, 111, 157, 164, 165, 169
  • Giovan Battista Rosso (or Rosto), 164
  • Giovan Battista Sozzini, 87
  • Giovan Francesco Caroto, Life, 15-21. 37
  • Giovan Francesco Penni (Il Fattore), 146-148, 150, 151, 153, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216
  • Giovan Maria dal Borgo a San Sepolcro, 256
  • Giovan Maria Falconetto, Life, 43-48. 22, 29, 42, 43-48
  • Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma), 236-238, 247, 249
  • Giovanni Antonio de' Rossi, 86
  • Giovanni Antonio Falconetto (the elder), 42
  • Giovanni Antonio Falconetto (the younger), 42, 43
  • Giovanni Antonio Lappoli, Life, 255-265
  • Giovanni Antonio Licinio (Pordenone), 213, 244, 247
  • Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, 214, 215, 247, 248
  • Giovanni Battista Veronese, 13
  • Giovanni Bellini, 173
  • Giovanni Bernardi (Giovanni da Castel Bolognese), Life, 76-79. 83, 84
  • Giovanni Caroto, Life, 21-22. 15
  • Giovanni Cugini (Jean Cousin), 114
  • Giovanni da Castel Bolognese (Giovanni Bernardi), Life, 76-79. 83, 84
  • Giovanni da Fiesole, Fra (Fra Angelico), 246
  • Giovanni da Fiesole, Maestro, 210
  • Giovanni da Lione, 152, 169
  • Giovanni da Udine (Giovanni Nanni, or Ricamatori), 147, 148, 180, 194-196
  • Giovanni da Verona, Fra, 38, 39, 51, 218
  • Giovanni delle Corniole, 76, 84
  • Giovanni di Goro, 206
  • Giovanni Ricamatori (Giovanni da Udine, or Nanni), 147, 148, 180, 194-196
  • Girolamo Cicogna, 22
  • Girolamo da Treviso, 211, 212, 244
  • Girolamo dai Libri, Life, 49-52. 29, 37, 49-52, 54
  • Girolamo Fagiuoli, 87, 276
  • Girolamo Misuroni (Misceroni), 86
  • Girolamo Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra, Life, 34-35
  • Girolamo Mosciano (Girolamo Muziano, or Brescianino), 114
  • Girolamo Siciolante (Girolamo Sermoneta), 221, 222, 225
  • Giugni, Rosso de', 87
  • Giuliano Bugiardini, 183
  • Giuliano da Maiano, 131
  • Giuliano da San Gallo, 6, 66, 123, 124, 126
  • Giuliano di Baccio d' Agnolo, Life, 68-72
  • Giuliano (di Niccolò Morelli), 251
  • Giuliano Leno, 130, 150
  • Giulio Bonasone, 114
  • Giulio Clovio, Don, 51, 54, 111, 264
  • Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi de' Giannuzzi), Life, 145-169. 20, 24, 103-105, 110, 114, 145-169, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216, 221, 259
  • Giuntalodi, Domenico, 273-279
  • Giuseppe del Salviati (Giuseppe Porta), 115
  • Giuseppe Niccolò (Joannicolo) Vicentino, 108
  • Giuseppe Porta (Giuseppe del Salviati), 115
  • Gobbo, Battista, 133, 140
  • Goro, Giovanni di, 206
  • Gozzoli, Benozzo, 246
  • Granacci, Francesco (Il Granaccio), Life, 57-61. 66
  • Greco, Il (Alessandro Cesati), Life, 85
  • Guglielmo Milanese, 217
  • Hans Beham, 119
  • Hans Liefrinck, 117
  • Heemskerk, Martin, 116
  • Heinrich (Albrecht) Aldegrever, 119
  • Hieronymus Bosch, 118
  • Hieronymus Cock, Life, 116-120. 108
  • Holland, Lucas of (Luca di Leyden, or Lucas van Leyden), Life, 96-99
  • Il Bacchiacca (Francesco Ubertini), 60
  • Il Bologna (Domenico Aimo), 217
  • Il Carota (Antonio di Marco di Giano), 213
  • Il Cronaca (Simone del Pollaiuolo), 66, 70
  • Il Fattore (Giovan Francesco Penni), 146-148, 150, 151, 153, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216
  • Il Granaccio (Francesco Granacci), Life, 57-61. 66
  • Il Greco (Alessandro Cesati), Life, 85
  • Il Moro (Francesco Turbido), Life, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28, 40, 50, 164
  • Il Rosso (Giovan Battista de' Rossi), 109, 111, 115, 257-261, 273, 274
  • Il Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), 236-238, 247, 249
  • Indaco, Francesco dell', 126
  • Jacomo Melighino, 139, 140
  • Jacopo Barozzo, 114
  • Jacopo Bellini, 11, 35
  • Jacopo da Pontormo (Jacopo Carrucci), 60, 255-257, 273
  • Jacopo da Trezzo, 86
  • Jacopo (Cosimo) da Trezzo, 86
  • Jacopo Falconetto, 42, 43
  • Jacopo Sansovino, 47, 125, 127, 199
  • Jan Stephanus van Calcker (Johann of Calcar), 116
  • Jean Cousin (Giovanni Cugini), 114
  • Joannicolo (Giuseppe Niccolò) Vicentino, 108
  • Johann of Calcar (Jan Stephanus van Calcker), 116
  • Lafrery, Antoine (Antonio Lanferri), 113
  • Lamberto Suave (Lambert Zutmann), 110
  • Lanferri, Antonio (Antoine Lafrery), 113
  • Lappoli, Giovanni Antonio, Life, 255-265
  • Lappoli, Matteo, 255
  • Laureti, Tommaso (Tommaso Siciliano), 186
  • Leno, Giuliano, 130, 150
  • Leon Batista Alberti, 45
  • Leonardo Cungi, 225
  • Leone Aretino (Leone Lioni), 87
  • Leyden, Luca di (Lucas of Holland, or Lucas van Leyden), Life, 96-99
  • Liberale, Life, 11-15. 23, 24, 35, 36, 49
  • Libri, Francesco dai (the elder), Life, 49. 29
  • Libri, Francesco dai (the younger), Life, 52-54
  • Libri, Girolamo dai, Life, 49-52. 29, 37, 49-52, 54
  • Licinio, Giovanni Antonio (Pordenone), 213, 244, 247
  • Liefrinck, Hans, 117
  • Lione, Giovanni da, 152, 169
  • Lioni, Leone (Leone Aretino), 87
  • Lippi, Filippo (Filippino), 66
  • Lippi, Fra Filippo, 246
  • Lodovico Marmita, 84
  • Lombardino, Tofano (Cristofano Lombardi), 167
  • Luca da Cortona (Luca Signorelli), 246
  • Luca di Leyden (Lucas of Holland, or Lucas van Leyden), Life, 96-99
  • Luca Penni, 115
  • Luca Signorelli (Luca da Cortona), 246
  • Lucas of Holland (Luca di Leyden, or Lucas van Leyden), Life, 96-99
  • Luciani, Sebastiano (Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo), Life, 173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259
  • Luigi Anichini, 85
  • Luzio Romano, 212, 222
  • Maestro Giovanni da Fiesole, 210
  • Maestro Niccolò, 164
  • Maestro Salvestro, 87
  • Maiano, Benedetto da, 66
  • Maiano, Giuliano da, 131
  • Manno, 78
  • Mantegna, Andrea, 15, 29, 30, 91
  • Mantovano (Ghisi), Giorgio, 113, 118
  • Mantovano (Sculptore), Giovan Battista, 110, 111, 157, 164, 165, 169
  • Mantovano, Marcello (Marcello Venusti), 220, 225
  • Mantovano, Rinaldo, 155, 156, 160, 161, 169
  • Marc' Antonio Bolognese (Marc' Antonio Raimondi, or de' Franci), Life, 95-96, 99-1 6. 108, 109, 120
  • Marcello Mantovano (Marcello Venusti), 220, 225
  • Marchissi, Antonio di Giorgio, 126
  • Marco da Ravenna (Marco Dente), Life, 102-103. 106
  • Marco da Siena, 223
  • Marco Dente (Marco da Ravenna), Life, 102-103. 106
  • Marco di Battista d' Agnolo, 27, 28
  • Marcolini, Francesco, 115
  • Marmita, 84
  • Marmita, Lodovico, 84
  • Martin Heemskerk, 116
  • Martin Schongauer, Life, 91-92
  • Masaccio, 202, 203
  • Maso Finiguerra, 91
  • Masolino da Panicale, 203
  • Matteo dal Nassaro, Life, 79-82. 76
  • Matteo Lappoli, 255
  • Maturino, 177, 196
  • Mazzuoli, Francesco (Parmigiano), 107-109, 114, 259
  • Melighino, Jacomo, 139, 140
  • Michael (Michele Coxie), 116, 178
  • Michelagnolo Buonarroti, 57, 59, 60, 66, 68, 78, 79, 85, 92, 107, 111, 113, 114, 129, 135, 136, 139, 140, 167, 174-177, 183, 185, 191, 193, 195, 205, 218, 219, 222, 225, 236, 263
  • Michele (Michael Coxie), 116, 178
  • Michele San Michele, 25, 26, 47, 130
  • Michelino, 76
  • Milanese, Guglielmo, 217
  • Minio, Tiziano (Tiziano da Padova), 47
  • Misuroni (Misceroni), Gasparo, 86
  • Misuroni (Misceroni), Girolamo, 86
  • Modena, Pellegrino da (Pellegrino degli Aretusi, or de' Munari), 125
  • Mondella, Galeazzo, 42, 80
  • Monsignori (Bonsignori), Alberto, 29
  • Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra Cherubino, 34
  • Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra Girolamo, Life, 34-35
  • Monsignori (Bonsignori), Francesco, Life, 29-35
  • Montelupo, Raffaello da, 133, 222
  • Morando, Paolo (Paolo Cavazzuola), Life, 39-42. 15, 24, 25, 29, 39-42, 50
  • Morelli, Giuliano di Niccolò, 251
  • Moro, Battista del (Battista d' Agnolo), Life, 27-28. 108
  • Moro, Il (Francesco Turbido), Life, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28, 40, 50, 164
  • Morone, Domenico, Life, 35-36. 29, 38
  • Morone, Francesco, Life, 36-39. 29, 36-39, 40, 41, 50
  • Mosca, Simone, 133
  • Mosciano, Girolamo (Girolamo Muziano, or Brescianino), 114
  • Munari, Pellegrino de' (Pellegrino da Modena, or degli Aretusi), 125
  • Musi, Agostino de' (Agostino Viniziano), Life, 102-103. 106
  • Muziano, Girolamo (Girolamo Mosciano, or Brescianino), 114
  • Nanni, Giovanni (Giovanni da Udine, or Ricamatori), 147, 148, 180, 194-196
  • Nassaro, Matteo dal, Life, 79-82. 76
  • Navarra, Pietro, 126
  • Negrolo, Filippo, 86
  • Niccola Viniziano, 209
  • Niccolò (called Tribolo), 133
  • Niccolò, Maestro, 164
  • Niccolò Avanzi, 79, 80
  • Niccolò Beatricio (Nicolas Beautrizet), 114
  • Niccolò Soggi, Life, 269-279. 261
  • Nicolas Beautrizet (Niccolò Beatricio), 114
  • Nunziata, Toto del, 191, 196
  • Orlando Fiacco (or Fiacco), Life, 28
  • Ottaviano Falconetto, 47, 48
  • Pace, Domenico di (Domenico Beccafumi), Life, 235-251. 108, 213, 215, 223, 235-251
  • Padova, Tiziano da (Tiziano Minio), 47
  • Pagni, Benedetto, 152, 154-156, 169
  • Palladio, Andrea, 28, 48
  • Panicale, Masolino da, 203
  • Paolo Caliari (Paolo Veronese), 22, 27
  • Paolo Cavazzuola (Paolo Morando), Life, 39-42. 15, 24, 25, 29, 39-42, 50
  • Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari), 22, 27
  • Papacello, Tommaso, 152
  • Papino della Pieve, 272
  • Parmigiano (Francesco Mazzuoli), 107-109, 114, 259
  • Pastorino da Siena, 87, 219
  • Pecori, Domenico, 255, 258, 271
  • Pellegrino da Modena (Pellegrino degli Aretusi, or de' Munari), 125
  • Pencz, Georg, 119
  • Penni, Giovan Francesco (Il Fattore), 146-148, 150, 151, 153, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216
  • Penni, Luca, 115
  • Perino del Vaga (Perino Buonaccorsi, or Perino de' Ceri), Life, 189-225. 78, 109, 125, 129, 139, 148, 177, 189- 225, 244, 257-259
  • Perugino, Pietro (Pietro Vannucci), 235, 269
  • Peruzzi, Baldassarre, 107, 167, 174, 177, 239
  • Pescia, Pier Maria da, 76
  • Pier Francesco da Viterbo, 130, 132
  • Pier Francesco di Jacopo di Sandro, 257
  • Pier Maria da Pescia, 76
  • Piero Catanei, 250
  • Piero del Pollaiuolo, 182, 246
  • Pietrasanta, Stagio da, 214
  • Pietro Navarra, 126
  • Pietro Paolo Galeotto, 87
  • Pietro Perugino (Pietro Vannucci), 235, 269
  • Pieve, Papino della, 272
  • Piloto, 201, 205, 207
  • Pinturicchio, Bernardino, 195
  • Piombo, Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del (Sebastiano Luciani), Life, 173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259
  • Pisano (or Pisanello), Vittore (or Antonio), 35
  • Pittoni, Battista (Battista of Vicenza), 108
  • Poggini, Domenico, 87
  • Polidoro da Caravaggio, 177, 196
  • Pollaiuolo, Antonio del, 182, 246
  • Pollaiuolo, Piero del, 182, 246
  • Pollaiuolo, Simone del (Il Cronaca), 66, 70
  • Polo, Domenico di, 84
  • Pontormo, Jacopo da (Jacopo Carrucci), 60, 255-257, 273
  • Pordenone (Giovanni Antonio Licinio), 213, 244, 247
  • Porta, Giuseppe (Giuseppe del Salviati), 115
  • Primaticcio, Francesco, 115, 157
  • Provolo Falconetto, 47, 48
  • Salamanca, Antonio, 276
  • Salvestro, Maestro, 87
  • Salviati, Francesco (Francesco de' Rossi), 108, 111, 177
  • Salviati, Giuseppe del (Giuseppe Porta), 115
  • S. Clemente, Abbot of (Don Bartolommeo della Gatta), 255
  • San Gallo, Antonio da (the elder), 66, 123, 272
  • San Gallo, Antonio da (the younger), Life, 123-141. 167, 197, 198, 219, 220, 222
  • San Gallo, Francesco da, 133, 173
  • San Gallo, Giuliano da, 6, 66, 123, 124, 126
  • San Marco, Fra Bartolommeo di, 66
  • San Michele, Michele, 25, 26, 47, 130
  • Sandro, Pier Francesco di Jacopo di, 257
  • Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro Filipepi), 91
  • Sansovino, Andrea (Andrea Contucci), 66, 133
  • Sansovino, Jacopo, 47, 125, 127, 199
  • Sanzio, Raffaello (Raffaello da Urbino), 6, 38, 66, 69, 99-104, 106-108, 114, 120, 126, 127, 130, 145-148, 153, 156, 165, 174-178, 181, 183, 193-195, 207, 209, 218, 221, 236, 269
  • Sarto, Andrea del, 60, 106, 255-257, 272, 273
  • Sassoli, Stagio, 272
  • Scarpagni, Antonio (Scarpagnino or Zanfragnino), 10
  • Schongauer, Martin, Life, 91-92
  • Sculptore (Mantovano), Giovan Battista, 110, 111, 157, 164, 165, 169
  • Sebastiano da Reggio, 165
  • Sebastiano Luciani (Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo), Life, 173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259
  • Sebastiano Serlio, 113
  • Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo, Fra (Sebastiano Luciani), Life, 173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259
  • Serlio, Sebastiano, 113
  • Sermoneta, Girolamo (Girolamo Siciolante), 221, 222, 225
  • Siciliano, Tommaso (Tommaso Laureti), 186
  • Siciolante, Girolamo (Girolamo Sermoneta), 221, 222, 225
  • Siena, Marco da, 223
  • Siena, Pastorino da, 87, 219
  • Signorelli, Luca (Luca da Cortona), 246
  • Silvio Cosini, 210
  • Simone Cioli, 133
  • Simone del Pollaiuolo (Il Cronaca), 66, 70
  • Simone Mosca, 133
  • Sodoma, Il (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), 236-238, 247, 249
  • Soggi, Niccolò, Life, 269-279. 261
  • Sogliani, Giovanni Antonio, 214, 215, 247, 248
  • Sozzini, Giovan Battista, 87
  • Stagio da Pietrasanta, 214
  • Stagio Sassoli, 272
  • Stefano, Vincenzio di, 11
  • Stefano Veronese (Stefano da Zevio), 35, 42
  • Suave, Lamberto (Lambert Zutmann), 110
  • Tasso, Battista del, 213
  • Tiziano da Cadore (Tiziano Vecelli), 109, 111, 114, 161, 183, 222
  • Tiziano da Padova (Tiziano Minio), 47
  • Tiziano Vecelli (Tiziano da Cadore), 109, 111, 114, 161, 183, 222
  • Tofano Lombardino (Cristofano Lombardi), 167
  • Tommaso Barlacchi, 104, 113
  • Tommaso Laureti (Tommaso Siciliano), 186
  • Tommaso Papacello, 152
  • Tommaso Siciliano (Tommaso Laureti), 186
  • Torri, Bartolommeo, 264, 265
  • Toto del Nunziata, 191, 196
  • Trento, Antonio da (Antonio Fantuzzi), 108
  • Treviso, Girolamo da, 211, 212, 244
  • Trezzo, Cosimo (Jacopo) da, 86
  • Trezzo, Jacopo da, 86
  • Tribolo (Niccolò), 133
  • Turbido, Francesco (Il Moro), Life, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28, 40, 50, 164
  • Zanfragnino (Antonio Scarpagni, or Scarpagnino), 10
  • Zeuxis, 239
  • Zevio, Stefano da (Stefano Veronese), 35, 42
  • Zoppo, 81
  • Zutmann, Lambert (Lamberto Suave), 110




[1] Canal of the slaughter-houses.

[2] Small canal of the corn-magazines.

[3] Scarpagnino.

[4] See note on page 57, Vol. I.

[5] See note on page 57, Vol. I.

[6] See note on page 57, Vol. I.

[7] From "terra," earth.

[8] See note on page 57, Vol. I.

[9] I.e., "of the books."

[10] From the "canti," or "songs," that were sung in them.

[11] The "Potenze" were merry companies composed of the men of the various quarters in costume. Each quarter had its own, representing an Emperor, King, or Prince, and his Court.

[12] Giovanni of the Cornelians.

[13] Domenico of the Cameos.

[14] Luca di Leyden.

[15] Lambert Zutmann.

[16] Jean Cousin.

[17] Nicolas Beautrizet.

[18] René Boyvin.

[19] Michael Coxie.

[20] Albrecht Aldegrever.

[21] Georg Pencz.

[22] Hans Beham.

[23] Cristofano Coriolano.

[24] The "palma" as used here is equal to about nine inches.

[25] The "canna" is equal to four braccia.

[26] Giuliano Leno.

[27] Or Perino.

[28] Vasari sometimes groups under this name all the male figures that appear in a picture of the Deposition from the Cross.

[29] Zaleucus.

[30] Here there is a blank in the text.

[31] Don Bartolommeo della Gatta, Abbot of S. Clemente.

[32] See p. 208, Vol. III.

[33] These words are missing in the text.


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Paintings, Drawings