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Title: Lives of the most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol 07 (of 10) Tribolo to Il Sodoma
Author: Vasari, Giorgio, 1511-1574
Language: English
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[Illustration: 1511-1574]

ST. LONDON, W. 1912-14



    NICCOLÒ, CALLED TRIBOLO                                            1

    PIERINO [PIERO] DA VINCI                                          39

    BACCIO BANDINELLI                                                 53

    GIULIANO BUGIARDINI                                              105

    CRISTOFANO GHERARDI, CALLED DOCENO                               115

    JACOPO DA PONTORMO                                               145

    SIMONE MOSCA                                                     183

      MARINO                                                         197

    MICHELE SAN MICHELE                                              215

    GIOVANNI ANTONIO BAZZI, CALLED IL SODOMA                         243

    INDEX OF NAMES                                                   259



                                                             FACING PAGE

        Portrait of a Lady
            Florence: Pitti, 140                                     106

        Portrait of an Engraver
            Paris: Louvre, 1241                                      174

            Venice: Doges' Palace, Sala Anticollegio                 216

        The Vision of S. Catharine
            Siena: S. Domenico                                       244


        The Hercules Fountain
            Florence: Villa Reale di Castello                         24

        The Assumption of the Virgin
            Bologna: S. Petronio                                     [1]

         [Footnote 1: Illustrated with _Two Angels_, by Madonna
         Properzia de' Rossi, vol. v., p. 126.]

        Ugolino della Gherardesca and his Sons in the Tower of Famine
            Oxford: Ashmolean Museum                                  48

        The Martyrdom of S. Lorenzo
            Hereford: W. J. Davies' Collection                        64

        Statue of Hercules and Cacus
            Florence: Piazza della Signoria                           72

        Statue of Giovanni delle Bande Nere
            Florence: Piazza di S. Lorenzo                            80

        Reliefs from the Choir Screen
            Florence: Duomo                                           88

        The Martyrdom of S. Catharine
            Florence: S. Maria Novella, Rucellai Chapel              110

        Detail: The Supper of S. Gregory the Great
            Bologna: Accademia, 198                                  122

        The Adoration of the Magi
            Siena: S. Agostino                                       146

        Duke Cosimo I. de' Medici
            Florence: Uffizi, 1270                                   152

        The Visitation
            Florence: SS. Annunziata, Cloister                       154

        Joseph and his Kindred in Egypt
            London: N. G., 1131                                      158

        Detail: Vertumnus Fresco
            Poggio a Caiano: Villa Reale                             160

        Detail: Vertumnus Fresco
            Poggio a Caiano: Villa Reale                             162

        The Descent From the Cross
            Florence: S. Felicita                                    168

        The Martyrdom of the Forty Saints
            Florence: Pitti, 182                                     170

        The Altar of the Three Kings
            Orvieto: Duomo                                           190

        The Salutation
            Orvieto: Duomo                                           192

        Madonna and Child with Saints
            Milan: Brera, 202                                        200

        Porta del Palio
            Verona                                                   222

        Cappella de' Pellegrini
            Verona: S. Bernardino                                    224

     _See also at p. 190 above_
        Palazzo Grimani
            Venice                                                   230

        The Feast in the House of Levi
            Venice: Accademia, 203                                   238

        Venice Enthroned, with Justice and Peace
            Venice: Ducal Palace                                     240

        Scene from the Life of S. Benedict
            Monte Oliveto Maggiore                                   246

        Scene from the Life of S. Benedict
            Monte Oliveto Maggiore                                   246

        Detail: the Marriage of Alexander and Roxana
            Rome: Villa Farnesina                                    248

        S. Sebastian
            Florence: Uffizi, 1279                                   250

        S. Ansano
            Siena: Palazzo Pubblico                                  252

        S. Francis
            Siena: S. Bernardino, Oratory                            252

        The Adoration of the Magi
            Siena: S. Agostino                                       254

        The Sacrifice of Isaac
            Pisa: Duomo                                              256




Raffaello the carpenter, surnamed Il Riccio de' Pericoli, who lived
near the Canto a Monteloro in Florence, had born to him in the year
1500, as he used to tell me himself, a male child, whom he was pleased
to call at baptism, like his own father, Niccolò; and having perceived
that the boy had a quick and ready intelligence and a lofty spirit, he
determined, although he was but a poor artisan, that he should begin
straightway by learning to read and write well and cast accounts.
Sending him to school, therefore, it came about, since the child was
very vivacious and so high-spirited in his every action, that he was
always cramped for room and was a very devil both among the other boys
at school and everywhere else, always teasing and tormenting both
himself and others, that he lost his own name of Niccolò and acquired
that of Tribolo[2] to such purpose, that he was called that ever
afterwards by everyone.

         [Footnote 2: Teasel.]

Now, Tribolo growing, his father, in order both to make use of him and
to curb the boy's exuberance, took him into his workshop and taught
him his own trade; but having seen in a few months that he was ill
suited for such a calling, being somewhat delicate, thin, and feeble
in health, he came to the conclusion that if he wished to keep him
alive, he must release him from the heavier labours of his craft and
set him to wood-carving. Having heard that without design, the father
of all the arts, the boy could not become an excellent master therein,
Raffaello resolved that he should begin by devoting all his time to
design, and therefore made him draw now cornices, foliage, and
grotesques, and now other things necessary to such a profession. And
having seen that in doing this the boy was well served both by his
head and by his hand, and reflecting, like a man of judgment, that
with him Niccolò could at best learn nothing else but to work by the
square, Raffaello first spoke of this with the carpenter Ciappino, who
was the very familiar friend of Nanni Unghero; and with his advice and
assistance, he placed Niccolò for three years with the said Nanni, in
whose workshop, where both joiner's work and carving were done, there
were constantly to be found the sculptor Jacopo Sansovino, the painter
Andrea del Sarto, and others, who afterwards became such able masters.
Now Nanni, who had in those days a passing good reputation for
excellence, was executing many works both in joinery and in carving
for the villa of Zanobi Bartolini at Rovezzano, without the Porta alla
Croce, for the palace of the Bartolini, which Giovanni, the brother of
that Zanobi, was having built at that time on the Piazza di S.
Trinita, and for the house and garden of the same man in Gualfonda;
and Tribolo, who was made to work by Nanni without discretion, always
having to handle saws, planes, and other common tools, and not being
capable, by reason of the feebleness of his body, of such exertions,
began to feel dissatisfied and to say to Riccio, when he asked for the
cause of his discontent, that he did not think that he could remain
with Nanni in that craft, and that therefore Raffaello should see to
placing him with Andrea del Sarto or Jacopo Sansovino, whom he had
come to know in Unghero's workshop, for the reason that with one or
the other of them he hoped to do better and to be sounder in health.
Moved by these reasons, then, and again with the advice and assistance
of Ciappino, Riccio placed Tribolo with Jacopo Sansovino, who took him
willingly, because he had known him in the workshop of Nanni Unghero,
and had seen that he worked well in design and even better in relief.

Jacopo Sansovino, when Tribolo, now restored to health, went to work
under him, was executing in the Office of Works of S. Maria del Fiore,
in competition with Benedetto da Rovezzano, Andrea da Fiesole, and
Baccio Bandinelli, the marble statue of S. James the Apostle which is
still to be seen at the present day at that place together with the
others. And thus Tribolo, with these opportunities of learning, by
working in clay and drawing with great diligence, contrived to make
such proficience in that art, for which he felt a natural inclination,
that Jacopo, growing to love him more and more every day, began to
encourage him and to bring him forward by making him execute now one
thing and now another. Whereupon, although Sansovino had in his
workshop at that time Solosmeo da Settignano and Pippo del Fabro,
young men of great promise, seeing that Tribolo, having added skill in
the use of chisels to his good knowledge of working in clay and in
wax, not only equalled them but surpassed them by a great measure, he
began to make much use of him in his works. And after finishing the
Apostle and a Bacchus that he made for the house of Giovanni Bartolini
in Gualfonda, and undertaking to make for M. Giovanni Gaddi, his
intimate friend, a chimney-piece and a water-basin of hard sandstone
for his house on the Piazza di Madonna, he caused some large figures
of boys in clay, which were to go above the great cornice, to be made
by Tribolo, who executed them so extraordinarily well, that M.
Giovanni, having seen the beautiful manner and the genius of the young
man, commissioned him to execute two medallions of marble, which,
finished with great excellence, were afterwards placed over certain
doors in the same house.

Meanwhile there was a commission to be given for a tomb, a work of great
magnitude, for the King of Portugal; and since Jacopo had been the
disciple of Andrea Contucci of Monte Sansovino, and had the reputation
not only of having equalled his master, a man of great renown, but of
having a manner even more beautiful, that work, through the good offices
of the Bartolini, was allotted to him. Whereupon Jacopo made a most
superb model of wood, all covered with scenes and figures of wax, which
were executed for the most part by Tribolo; and these proving to be very
beautiful, the young man's fame so increased that Matteo di Lorenzo
Strozzi--Tribolo having now left Sansovino, thinking that he was by that
time able to work by himself--commissioned him to make some children of
stone, and shortly afterwards, being much pleased with them, two of
marble that are holding a dolphin which pours water into a fish-pond, a
work that is now to be seen at San Casciano, a place eight miles distant
from Florence, in the villa of that M. Matteo.

While these works were being executed by Tribolo in Florence, M.
Bartolommeo Barbazzi, a Bolognese gentleman who had gone there on some
business, remembered that a search was being made in Bologna for a
young man who could work well, to the end that he might be set to
making figures and scenes of marble for the façade of S. Petronio, the
principal church of that city. Wherefore he spoke to Tribolo, and
having seen some of his works, which pleased him, as also did the
young man's ways and other qualities, he took him to Bologna, where
Tribolo, with great diligence and with much credit to himself, in a
short time made the two Sibyls of marble that were afterwards placed
in the ornament of that door of S. Petronio which leads to the Della
Morte Hospital. These works finished, arrangements were being made to
give him greater things to do, and he was receiving many proofs of
love and affection from M. Bartolommeo, when the plague of the year
1525 began in Bologna and throughout all Lombardy; whereupon Tribolo,
in order to avoid that plague, made his way to Florence. After living
there during all the time that this contagious and pestilential
sickness lasted, he departed as soon as it had ceased, and returned,
in obedience to a summons, to Bologna, where M. Bartolommeo, not
allowing him to set his hand to any work for the façade, resolved,
seeing that many of his friends and relatives had died, to have a tomb
made for himself and for them. And so Tribolo, after finishing the
model, which M. Bartolommeo insisted on seeing completed before he did
anything else, went in person to Carrara to have the marbles
excavated, intending to rough-hew them on the spot and to lighten them
in such a manner, that they might not only be easier to transport, as
indeed they were, but also that the figures might come out larger. In
that place, in order not to waste his time, he blocked out two large
children of marble, which were taken to Bologna with beasts of burden,
unfinished as they were, together with the rest of the work; and after
the death of M. Bartolommeo, which caused such grief to Tribolo that
he returned to Tuscany, they were placed, with the other marbles, in
a chapel in S. Petronio, where they still are.

Having thus departed from Carrara, Tribolo, on his way back to
Florence, stayed in Pisa to visit the sculptor Maestro Stagio da
Pietrasanta, his very dear friend, who was executing in the Office of
Works of the Duomo in that city two columns with capitals of marble
all in open work, which were to stand one on either side of the
high-altar and the Tabernacle of the Sacrament; and each of these was
to have upon the capital an Angel of marble one braccio and three
quarters in height, with a candelabrum in the hand. At the invitation
of the said Stagio, having nothing else to do at that time, he
undertook to make one of those Angels: which being finished with all
the perfection that could be given to a delicate work of that size in
marble, proved to be such that nothing more could have been desired,
for the reason that the Angel, with the movement of his person, has
the appearance of having stayed his flight in order to uphold that
light, and the nude form has about it some delicate draperies which
are so graceful in their effect, and look so well on every side and
from every point of view, that words could not express their beauty.
But, having consumed much time in executing this work, since he cared
for nothing but his delight in art, and not having received for it
from the Warden the payment that he expected, he resolved that he
would not make the other Angel, and returned to Florence. There he met
with Giovan Battista della Palla, who at that time was not only
causing all the sculptures and pictures that he could to be executed
for sending to King Francis I in France, but was also buying antiques
of all sorts and pictures of every kind, provided only that they were
by the hands of good masters; and every day he was packing them up and
sending them off. Now, at the very moment when Tribolo returned,
Giovan Battista had an ancient vase of granite, of a very beautiful
shape, which he wished to arrange in such a manner that it might serve
for a fountain for that King. He therefore declared his mind to
Tribolo, and what he proposed to have done; and he, setting to work,
made him a Goddess of Nature, who, raising one arm, holds that vase,
the foot of which she has upon her head, with the hands, the first row
of breasts being adorned with some boys standing out entirely detached
from the marble, who are in various most beautiful attitudes, holding
certain festoons in their hands, while the next range of breasts is
covered with quadrupeds, and at her feet are many different kinds of
fishes. That figure was finished with such diligence and such
perfection, that it well deserved, after being sent to France together
with other works, to be held very dear by the King, and to be placed,
as a rare thing, in Fontainebleau.

Afterwards, in the year 1529, when preparations were being made for
the war against Florence and the siege, Pope Clement VII, wishing to
study the exact site of the city and to consider in what manner and in
what places his forces could be distributed to the best advantage,
ordained that a plan of the city should be made secretly, with all the
country for a mile around it--the hills, mountains, rivers, rocks,
houses, churches, and other things, and also the squares and streets
within, together with the walls and bastions surrounding it, and the
other defences. The charge of all this was given to Benvenuto di
Lorenzo della Volpaia, an able maker of clocks and quadrants and a
very fine astrologer, but above all a most excellent master in taking
ground-plans. This Benvenuto chose Tribolo as his companion, and that
with great judgment, for the reason that it was Tribolo who suggested
that this plan, for the better consideration of the height of the
mountains, the depth of the low-lying parts, and all other
particulars, should be made in relief; the doing of which was not
without much labour and danger, in that, staying out all night to
measure the roads and to mark the number of braccia between one place
and another, and also to measure the height of the summits of the
belfries and towers, drawing intersecting lines in every direction by
means of the compass, and going beyond the walls to compare the height
of the hills with that of the cupola, which they had marked as their
centre, they did not execute such a work save after many months; but
they used great diligence, for they made it of cork, for the sake of
lightness, and limited the whole plan to the space of four braccia,
and measured everything to scale. Having then been finished in this
manner, and being made in pieces, that plan was packed up secretly and
smuggled out of Florence in some bales of wool that were going to
Perugia, being consigned to one who had orders to send it to the
Pope, who made use of it continually during the siege of Florence,
keeping it in his chamber, and seeing from one day to another, from
letters and despatches, where and how the army was quartered, where
skirmishes took place, and, in short, all the incidents, arguments,
and discussions that occurred during that siege; all greatly to his
satisfaction, for it was in truth a rare and marvellous work.

The war finished--during the progress of which Tribolo executed some
works in clay for his friends, and for Andrea del Sarto, his dearest
friend, three figures of wax in the round, of which Andrea availed
himself in painting in fresco, on the Piazza, near the Condotta,
portraits from nature of three captains who had fled with the
pay-chests, depicted as hanging by one foot--Benvenuto, summoned by
the Pope, went to Rome to kiss the feet of his Holiness, and was
placed by him in charge of the Belvedere, with an honourable salary.
In that office, having often conversations with the Pope, Benvenuto,
when the occasion arose, did not fail to extol Tribolo as an excellent
sculptor and to recommend him warmly; insomuch that, the siege
finished, Clement made use of him. For, designing to give completion
to the Chapel of Our Lady at Loreto, which had been begun by Leo and
then abandoned on account of the death of Andrea Contucci of Monte
Sansovino, he ordained that Antonio da San Gallo, who had the charge
of executing that fabric, should summon Tribolo and set him to
complete some of those scenes that Maestro Andrea had left unfinished.
Tribolo, then, thus summoned by San Gallo by order of Clement, went
with all his family to Loreto, whither there likewise went Simone,
called Mosca, a very rare carver of marble, Raffaello da Montelupo,
Francesco da San Gallo the younger, Girolamo Ferrarese the sculptor, a
disciple of Maestro Andrea, Simone Cioli, Ranieri da Pietrasanta, and
Francesco del Tadda, all invited in order to finish that work. And to
Tribolo, in the distribution of the labours, there fell, as the work
of the greatest importance, a scene in which Maestro Andrea had
represented the Marriage of Our Lady.

Thereupon Tribolo made an addition to that scene, and had the notion
of placing among the many figures that are standing watching the
Marriage of the Virgin, one who in great fury is breaking his rod,
because it had not blossomed; and in this he succeeded so well, that
the suitor could not display with greater animation the rage that he
feels at not having had the good fortune that he desired. Which work
finished, and also that of the others, with great perfection, Tribolo
had already made many models of wax with a view to executing some of
those Prophets that were to go in the niches of that chapel, which was
now built and completely finished, when Pope Clement, after seeing
those works and praising them much, and particularly that of Tribolo,
determined that they should all return without loss of time to
Florence, in order to finish under the discipline of Michelagnolo
Buonarroti all those figures that were wanting in the sacristy and
library of S. Lorenzo, and the rest of the work, after the models of
Michelagnolo and with his assistance, with the greatest possible
speed, to the end that, having finished the sacristy, they might all
together be able, thanks to the proficience made under the discipline
of so great a man, also to finish the façade of S. Lorenzo. And in
order that there might be no manner of delay in doing this, the Pope
sent Michelagnolo back to Florence, and with him Fra Giovanni Angelo
de' Servi, who had executed some works in the Belvedere, to the end
that he might assist him in carving the marbles and might make some
statues, according as he should receive orders from Michelagnolo, who
caused him to make a S. Cosimo, which was to stand on one side of the
Madonna, with a S. Damiano, allotted to Montelupo, on the other.

These commissions given, Michelagnolo desired that Tribolo should make
two nude statues, which were to be one on either side of that of Duke
Giuliano, which he himself had already made; one was to be a figure of
Earth crowned with cypress, weeping with bowed head and with the arms
outstretched, and lamenting the death of Duke Giuliano, and the other
a figure of Heaven with the arms uplifted, all smiling and joyful, and
showing her gladness at the adornment and splendour that the soul and
spirit of that lord conferred upon her. But Tribolo's evil fortune
crossed him at the very moment when he was about to begin to work on
the statue of Earth; for, whether it was the change of air, or his
feeble constitution, or because he had been irregular in his way of
living, he fell ill of a grievous sickness, which, ending in a
quartan fever, hung about him many months, to his infinite vexation,
since he was tormented no less by his grief at having had to abandon
the work, and at seeing that the friar and Raffaello had taken
possession of the field, than by the illness itself. However, wishing
to conquer that illness, in order not to be left behind by his rivals,
whose name he heard celebrated more and more every day, feeble as he
was, he made a large model of clay for the statue of Earth, and, when
he had finished it, began to execute the work in marble, with such
diligence and assiduity, that the statue could be seen already all cut
out in front, when Fortune, who is always ready to oppose herself to
any fair beginning, by the death of Clement at a moment when nothing
seemed less likely, cut short the aspirations of all those excellent
masters who were hoping to acquire under Michelagnolo, besides
boundless profits, immortal renown and everlasting fame.

Stupefied by this misfortune and robbed of all his spirit, and being
also ill, Tribolo was living in utter despair, seeming not to be able
either in Florence or abroad to hit upon anything that might be to his
advantage; but Giorgio Vasari, who was always his friend and loved him
from his heart, and helped him all that he could, consoled him, saying
that he should not lose heart, because he would so contrive that Duke
Alessandro would give him something to do, by means of the favour of
the Magnificent Ottaviano de' Medici, into whose service Giorgio had
introduced him on terms of no little intimacy. Wherefore Tribolo,
having regained a little courage, occupied himself, while measures
were being taken to assist him, with copying in clay all the figures
of marble in the Sacristy of S. Lorenzo which Michelagnolo had
executed--namely, Dawn, Twilight, Day, and Night. And he succeeded in
doing them so well, that M. Giovan Battista Figiovanni, the Prior of
S. Lorenzo, to whom he presented the Night in return for having the
sacristy opened for him, judging it to be a rare work, presented it to
Duke Alessandro, who afterwards gave it to Giorgio Vasari, who was
living with his Excellency, knowing that Giorgio gave his attention to
such studies; which figure is now in his house at Arezzo, with other
works of art. Having afterwards copied, likewise in clay, the Madonna
made by Michelagnolo for the same sacristy, Tribolo presented it to
the above-named M. Ottaviano de' Medici, who had a most beautiful
ornament in squared work made for it by Battista del Cinque, with
columns, cornices, brackets, and other carvings very well executed.

Meanwhile, by the favour of him who was Treasurer to his Excellency,
and at the commission of Bertoldo Corsini, the proveditor for the
fortress which was being built at that time, out of three escutcheons
that were to be made by order of the Duke for placing on the bastions,
one on each, one four braccia in height was given to Tribolo to
execute, with two nude figures representing Victories; which
escutcheon, finished by him with great diligence and promptitude, with
the addition of three great masks that support the escutcheon and the
figures, so pleased the Duke, that he conceived a very great love for
Tribolo. Now shortly afterwards the Duke went to Naples to defend
himself before the Emperor Charles V, who had just returned from
Tunis, against many calumnies that had been laid upon him by some of
his citizens; and, having not only defended himself, but also obtained
from his Majesty his daughter Signora Margherita of Austria for wife,
he wrote to Florence that four men should be appointed who might cause
vast and splendid decorations to be prepared throughout the city, in
order to receive the Emperor, who was coming to Florence, with proper
magnificence. And I, having to distribute the various works at the
commission of his Excellency--who ordained that I should act in
company with the said four men, who were Giovanni Corsi, Luigi
Guicciardini, Palla Rucellai, and Alessandro Corsini--gave the
greatest and most difficult labours for that festival to Tribolo to
execute, which were four large statues. The first was a Hercules that
has just killed the Hydra, six braccia in height, in the round and
overlaid with silver, which was placed at that corner of the Piazza di
S. Felice that is at the end of the Via Maggio, with the following
inscription in letters of silver on the base: UT HERCULES LABORE ET
others were colossal figures eight braccia high, one representing the
River Bagrada, which was resting upon the skin of the serpent that was
brought to Rome, and the other representing the Ebro, with the horn of
Amaltheia in one hand and in the other the helm of a ship; both
coloured in imitation of bronze, with inscriptions on the bases; below
the Ebro, HIBERUS EX HISPANIA, and below the other, BAGRADAS EX
AFRICA. The fourth was a statue five braccia in height, on the Canto
de' Medici, representing Peace, who had in one hand an olive branch
and in the other a lighted torch, with which she was setting fire to a
pile of arms heaped up on the base on which she was placed; with the
following words: FIAT PAX IN VIRTUTE TUA. He did not finish, as he had
hoped to do, the horse seven braccia in length that was set up on the
Piazza di S. Trinita, upon which was to be placed the statue of the
Emperor in armour, because Tasso the wood-carver, who was much his
friend, did not show any promptitude in executing the base and the
other things in the way of wood-carving that were to be included in
the work, being a man who let time slip through his fingers in arguing
and jesting; and there was only just time to cover the horse alone
with tin-foil laid upon the still fresh clay. On the base were to be
read the following words:


His Majesty having departed from Florence, a beginning was made with
the preparations for the nuptials, in expectation of his daughter, and
to the end that she and the Vice-Queen of Naples, who was in her
company, might be commodiously lodged according to the orders of his
Excellency in the house of M. Ottaviano de' Medici, an addition was
made to his old house in four weeks, to the astonishment of everyone;
and Tribolo, the painter Andrea di Cosimo, and I, in ten days, with
the help of about ninety sculptors and painters of the city, what with
masters and assistants, completed the preparations for the wedding in
so far as appertained to the house and its decorations, painting the
loggie, courtyards, and other spaces in a manner suitable for nuptials
of such importance. Among these decorations, Tribolo made, besides
other things, two Victories in half-relief that were one on either
side of the principal door, supported by two large terminal figures,
which also upheld the escutcheon of the Emperor, pendent from the
neck of a very beautiful eagle in the round. The same master also made
certain boys, likewise in the round, and large in size, which were
placed on either side of some heads over the pediments of various
doors; and these were much extolled.

Meanwhile, as the nuptials were in progress, Tribolo received letters
from Bologna, in which Messer Pietro del Magno, his devoted friend,
besought him that he should consent to go to Bologna, in order to make
for the Madonna di Galliera, where a most beautiful ornament of marble
was already prepared, a scene likewise of marble three braccia and a
half in extent. Whereupon Tribolo, happening to have nothing else to
do at that time, went thither, and after making a model of a Madonna
ascending into Heaven, with the Apostles below in various attitudes,
which, being very beautiful, gave great satisfaction, he set his hand
to executing it; but with little pleasure for himself, since the
marble that he was carving was that Milanese marble, saline, full of
emery, and bad in quality; and it seemed to him that he was wasting
his time, without feeling a particle of that delight that men find in
working those marbles which are a pleasure to carve, and which in the
end, when brought to completion, show a surface that has the
appearance of the living flesh itself. However, he did so much that it
was already almost finished, when I, having persuaded Duke Alessandro
to recall Michelagnolo from Rome, and also the other masters, in order
to finish the work of the sacristy begun by Clement, was arranging to
give him something to do in Florence; and I would have succeeded, but
in the meantime, by reason of the death of Alessandro, who was
murdered by Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici, not only was this
design frustrated, but the greatness and prosperity of art were thrown
into utter ruin.

Having heard of the Duke's death, Tribolo condoled with me in his
letters, beseeching me, after he had exhorted me to bear with
resignation the death of that great Prince, my gracious master, that
if I went to Rome, as he had heard that I, being wholly determined to
abandon Courts and to pursue my studies, was intending to do, I should
obtain some commission for him, for the reason that, if assisted by my
friends, he would do whatever I told him. But it so chanced that it
became in no way necessary for him to seek commissions in Rome. For
Signor Cosimo de' Medici, having been created Duke of Florence, as
soon as he had freed himself from the troubles that he had in the
first year of his rule by routing his enemies at Monte Murlo, began to
take some diversion, and in particular to frequent not a little the
villa of Castello, which is little more than two miles distant from
Florence. There he began to do some building, in order that he might
be able to live there comfortably with his Court, and little by
little--being encouraged in this by Maestro Pietro da San Casciano,
who was held to be a passing good master in those days, and was much
in the service of Signora Maria, the mother of the Duke, and had also
always been the master-builder and the former servant of Signor
Giovanni--he resolved to conduct to that place certain waters that he
had desired long before to bring thither. Whereupon a beginning was
made with building an aqueduct that was to receive all the waters from
the hill of Castellina, which was at a distance of a quarter of a mile
or more from Castello; and the work was pursued vigorously with a good
number of men. But the Duke recognizing that Maestro Pietro had
neither invention nor power of design enough to make in that place a
beginning that might afterwards in time receive that ornamentation
which the site and the waters required, one day that his Excellency
was on the spot, speaking of this with such men as Messer Ottaviano
de' Medici and Cristofano Rinieri, the friend of Tribolo and the old
servant of Signora Maria and of the Duke, they extolled Tribolo in
such a manner, as a man endowed with all those parts that were
requisite in the head of such a fabric, that the Duke gave Cristofano
a commission to make him come from Bologna. Which having been
straightway done by Rinieri, Tribolo, who could not have received any
better news than that he was to serve Duke Cosimo, set out immediately
for Florence, and, arriving there, was taken to Castello, where his
most illustrious Excellency, having heard from him what he thought
should be done in the way of decorative fountains, gave him a
commission to make the models. Whereupon he set his hand to these, and
was engaged upon them, while Maestro Pietro da San Casciano was
executing the aqueduct and bringing the waters to the place, when the
Duke, who meanwhile had begun, for the security of the city, to
surround with a very strong wall the bastions erected on the hill of
San Miniato at the time of the siege after the designs of
Michelagnolo, ordained that Tribolo should make an escutcheon of hard
stone, with two Victories, for an angle of the summit of a bastion
that faces Florence. But Tribolo had scarcely finished the escutcheon,
which was very large, and one of those Victories, a figure four
braccia high, which was held to be a very beautiful thing, when he was
obliged to leave that work incomplete, for the reason that, Maestro
Pietro having carried well on the making of the aqueduct and the
bringing of the waters, to the full satisfaction of the Duke, his
Excellency wished that Tribolo should begin to put into execution, for
the adornment of that place, the designs and models that he had
already shown to him, ordaining him for the time being a salary of
eight crowns a month, the same that was paid to San Casciano.

Now, in order that I may not become confused in describing the
intricacies of the aqueducts and of the ornaments of the fountains, it
may be well to say briefly some few words about the site and position
of Castello. The villa of Castello stands at the roots of Monte
Morello, below the Villa della Topaia, which is halfway up the slope;
it has before it a plain that descends little by little, for the space
of a mile and a half, down to the River Arno, and exactly where the
ascent of the mountain begins stands the palace, which was built in
past times by Pier Francesco de' Medici, after a very good design. The
principal front faces straight towards the south, overlooking a vast
lawn with two very large fish-ponds full of running water, which comes
from an ancient aqueduct made by the Romans in order to conduct water
from Valdimarina to Florence, and provided with a vaulted cistern
under the ground; and so it has a very beautiful and very pleasing
view. The fish-ponds in front are divided in the middle by a bridge
twelve braccia wide, which leads to an avenue of the same width,
bounded at the sides and covered above by an unbroken vault of
mulberry-trees, ten braccia in height, thus making a covered avenue
three hundred braccia in length, delightful for its shade, which opens
on to the high road to Prato by a gate placed between two fountains
that serve to give water to travellers and animals. On the eastern
side the same palace has a very beautiful pile of stable-buildings,
and on the western side a private garden into which one goes from the
courtyard of the stables, passing straight through the ground-floor of
the palace by way of the loggie, halls, and chambers on the level of
the ground; from which private garden one can enter by a door on the
west side into another garden, very large and all filled with
fruit-trees, and bounded by a forest of fir-trees that conceals the
houses of the labourers and others who live there, engaged in the
service of the palace and of the gardens. Next, that part of the
palace which faces north, towards the mountain, has in front of it a
lawn as long as the palace, the stables, and the private garden
altogether, and from this lawn one climbs by steps to the principal
garden, a place enclosed by ordinary walls, which, rising in a gentle
slope, stretches so well clear of the palace as it rises, that the
mid-day sun searches it out and bathes it all with its rays, as if
there were no palace in front; and at the upper end it stands so high
that it commands a view not only of the whole palace, but also of the
plain that is in front and around it, and likewise about the city. In
the middle of this garden is a forest of very tall and thickly-planted
cypresses, laurels, and myrtles, which, laid out in a circular shape,
have the form of a labyrinth, all surrounded by box-hedges two braccia
and a half in height, so even and grown with such beautiful order that
they have the appearance of a painting done with the brush; in the
centre of which labyrinth, at the desire of the Duke, Tribolo, as will
be described below, made a very beautiful fountain of marble. At the
principal entrance, where there is the first-mentioned lawn with the
two fish-ponds and the avenue covered with mulberry-trees, Tribolo
wished that the avenue should be so extended that it might stretch for
a distance of more than a mile, covered and shaped in like manner, and
might reach as far as the River Arno, and that the waters which ran
away from all the fountains, flowing gently in pleasant channels at
the sides of the avenue, and filled with various kinds of fishes and
crayfish, might accompany it down to that river.

As for the palace--to describe what has still to be done as well as
that which has been finished--he wished to make a loggia in front of
it, which, passing by an open courtyard, was to have on the side
where the stables are another palace as large as the old one, with the
same proportion of apartments, loggie, private garden, and the rest;
which addition would have made it a vast palace, with a most beautiful
façade. After passing the court from which one enters into the large
garden of the labyrinth, at the main entrance, where there is a vast
lawn, after climbing the steps that lead to that labyrinth, there came
a level space thirty braccia square, on which there was to be--and has
since been made--a very large fountain of white marble, which was to
spout upwards above ornaments fourteen braccia in height, while from
the mouth of a statue at the highest point was to issue a jet of water
rising to the height of six braccia. At either end of the lawn was to
be a loggia, one opposite to the other, each thirty braccia in length
and fifteen in breadth; and in the middle of each loggia was to be
placed a marble table twelve braccia in length, and on the outside a
basin of eight braccia, which was to receive the water from a vase
held by two figures. In the middle of the above-mentioned labyrinth
Tribolo had thought to achieve the most decorative effect with water
by means of jets and a very beautiful seat round the fountain, the
marble basin of which was to be, even as it was afterwards made, much
smaller than that of the large principal fountain; and at the summit
it was to have a figure of bronze spouting water. At the end of this
garden, in the centre, there was to be a gate with some children of
marble on both sides spouting water, with a fountain on either side,
and in the corners double niches in which statues were to be placed,
as in the others that are in the walls at the sides, at the opposite
ends of the avenues that cross the garden, which are all covered with
greenery distributed in various ways.

Through the above-mentioned gate, which is at the upper end of this
garden, above some steps, one enters into another garden, as wide as
the first, but of no great depth in the direct line, in comparison
with the mountain beyond. In this garden were to be two other loggie,
one on either side, and in the wall opposite to the gate, which
supports the soil of the mountain, there was to be in the centre a
grotto with three basins, with water playing into them in imitation of
rain. The grotto was to be between two fountains placed in the same
wall, and opposite to these, in the lower wall of the garden, were to
be two others, one on either side of the gate; so that the fountains
of this garden would have been equal in number to those of the other,
which is below it, and receives its water from the first, which is
higher. And this garden was to be all full of orange-trees, which
would have had--and will have, whenever that may be--a most favourable
situation, being defended by the walls and by the mountain from the
north wind and other harmful winds.

From this garden one climbs by two staircases of flint, one on either
side, to a forest of cypresses, fir-trees, holm-oaks, laurels, and
other evergreen trees, distributed with beautiful order, in the middle
of which, according to Tribolo's design, there was to be a most lovely
fish-pond, which has since been made. And because this part, gradually
narrowing, forms an angle, that angle, to the end that it might be
made flat, was to be blunted by the breadth of a loggia, from which,
after climbing some steps, might be seen in front the palace, the
gardens, the fountains, and all the plain below and about them, as far
as the Ducal Villa of Poggio a Caiano, Florence, Prato, Siena, and all
that is around for many miles.

Now the above-named Maestro Pietro da San Casciano, having carried his
work of the aqueduct as far as Castello, and having turned into it all
the waters of Castellina, was overtaken by a violent fever, and died
in a few days. Whereupon Tribolo, undertaking the charge of directing
all the building by himself, perceived that, although the waters
brought to Castello were in great abundance, nevertheless they were
not sufficient for all that he had made up his mind to do; not to
mention that, coming from Castellina, they did not rise to the height
that he required for his purposes. Having therefore obtained from the
Lord Duke a commission to conduct thither the waters of Petraia, a
place more than one hundred and fifty braccia above Castello, which
are good and very abundant, he caused a conduit to be made, similar to
the other, and so high that one can enter into it, to the end that
thus those waters of Petraia might come to the fish-pond through
another aqueduct with enough fall for the fish-pond and the great

This done, Tribolo began to build the above-mentioned grotto,
proposing to make it with three niches, in a beautiful architectural
design, and likewise the two fountains that were one on either side of
it. In one of these there was to be a large statue of stone,
representing Monte Asinaio, which, pressing its beard, was to pour
water from its mouth into a basin that was to be in front of it; from
which basin the water, issuing by a hidden channel, and passing under
the wall, was to flow to the fountain that there is at the present day
behind the wall, at the end of the slope of the garden of the
labyrinth, pouring into the vase on the shoulder of the figure of the
River Mugnone, which is in a large niche of grey-stone decorated with
most beautiful ornaments, and all covered with sponge-stone. This
work, if it had been finished in all its perfection, even as it is in
part, would have had great similarity to the reality, since the
Mugnone rises from Monte Asinaio.

For the Mugnone, then, to describe that which has been done, Tribolo
made a figure of grey-stone, four braccia in length, and reclining in
a very beautiful attitude, which has upon one shoulder a vase that
pours water into a basin, and rests the other on the ground, leaning
upon it, with the left leg crossed over the right. And behind this
river is a woman representing Fiesole, wholly naked, issuing from
among the sponge-stones and rocks in the middle of the niche, and
holding in the hand a moon which is the ancient emblem of the people
of Fiesole. Below this niche is a very large basin supported by two
great Capricorns, which are one of the devices of the Duke; from which
Capricorns hang some festoons and masks of great beauty, and from
their lips issues the water from that basin, which is convex in the
middle, and has outlets at the sides; and all the water that overflows
pours away from the sides through the mouths of the Capricorns, and
then, after falling into the hollow base of the vase, flows through
the herb-beds that are round the walls of the garden of the labyrinth,
where there are fountains between the niches, and between the
fountains espaliers of oranges and pomegranates.

In the second garden described above, where Tribolo had intended that
there should be made the Monte Asinaio that was to supply water to the
Mugnone, there was to be on the other side, beyond the gate, a similar
figure of the Monte della Falterona; and even as this mountain is the
source of the River Arno, so the statue representing that river in the
garden of the labyrinth, opposite to the Mugnone, was to receive the
water from the Falterona. But since neither the figure of that
mountain nor its fountain has ever been finished, let us speak of the
fountain and figure of the River Arno, which were completed by Tribolo
to perfection. This river, then, holds its vase upon one thigh, lying
down and leaning with one arm on a lion, which holds a lily in its
paw, and the vase receives its water through the perforated wall,
behind which there was to be the Falterona, exactly in the manner in
which, as has been described, the statue of the River Mugnone also
receives its water; and since the long basin is in every way similar
to that of the Mugnone, I shall say no more about it, save this, that
it is a pity that the art and excellence of these works, which are
truly most beautiful, are not embodied in marble.

Then, continuing the work of the conduit, Tribolo caused the water
from the grotto to pass under the orange-garden and then under the
next garden, and thus brought it into the labyrinth, where, forming a
circle round all the middle of the labyrinth, in a good circumference
round the centre, he laid down the central pipe, through which the
fountain was to spout water. After which, taking the waters from the
Arno and the Mugnone, and bringing them together under the level of
the labyrinth by means of certain bronze pipes that were distributed
in beautiful order throughout that space, he filled that whole
pavement with very fine jets, in such a manner that it was possible by
turning a key to drench all those who came near to see the fountain.
Nor is one able to escape either quickly or with ease, because Tribolo
made round the fountain and the pavement, in which are the jets, a
seat of grey-stone supported by lion's paws, between which are sea
monsters in low-relief; which was a difficult thing to do, because he
chose, since the place was sloping and the square lay on the slant, to
make it level, and the same with the seat.

Having then set his hand to the fountain of the labyrinth, he made on
the shaft, in marble, an interwoven design of sea monsters cut out in
full relief, with tails intertwined so well, that nothing better of
that kind could be done. And this finished, he executed the tazza
with a piece of marble brought long before to Castello, together with
a large table, also of marble, from the Villa dell'Antella, which M.
Ottaviano de' Medici formerly bought from Giuliano Salviati. By reason
of this opportunity, then, Tribolo made that tazza sooner than he
might otherwise have done, fashioning round it a dance of little
children attached to the moulding which is beside the lip of the
tazza; which children are holding festoons of products of the sea, cut
out of the marble with beautiful art. And so also the shaft which he
made over the tazza, he executed with much grace, with some very
beautiful children and masks to spout water. Upon that shaft it was
the intention of Tribolo to place a bronze statue three braccia high,
representing Florence, in order to signify that from the above-named
Mounts Asinaio and Falterona the waters of the Arno and Mugnone come
to Florence; of which figure he had made a most beautiful model which,
pressing the hair with the hands, caused water to pour forth. Then,
having brought the water as far as the space thirty braccia square,
below the labyrinth, he made a beginning with the great fountain,
which, made with eight sides, was to receive all the above-mentioned
waters into its lowest basin--namely, those from the waterworks of the
labyrinth, and likewise those of the great conduit. Each of these
eight sides, then, rises above a step one-fifth of a braccio in
height, and each angle of the eight sides has a projection, as have
also the steps, which, thus projecting, rise at each angle in a great
step of two-fifths of a braccio, in such a way that the central face
of the steps withdraws into the projections, and their straight line
is thus broken, which produces a bizarre effect, and makes the ascent
very easy. The edges of the fountain have the shape of a vase, and the
body of the fountain--that is, the inner part where the water
is--curves in the form of a circle. The shaft begins with eight sides,
and continues with eight seats almost up to the base of the tazza,
upon which are seated eight children of the size of life, all in the
round and in various attitudes, who, linked together with the legs and
arms, make a rich adornment and a most beautiful effect. And since the
tazza, which is round, projects to the extent of six braccia, the
water of the whole fountain, pouring equally over the edge on every
side, sends a very beautiful rain, like the drippings from a roof,
into the octagonal basin mentioned above, and those children that are
on the shaft of the tazza are not wetted, and they appear to be there
in order not to be wetted by the rain, almost like real children, full
of delight and playing as they shelter under the lip of the tazza,
which could not be equalled in its simplicity and beauty. Opposite to
the four paths that intersect the garden are four children of bronze
lying at play in various attitudes, which are after the designs of
Tribolo, although they were executed afterwards by others. Above this
tazza begins another shaft, which has at the foot, on some
projections, four children of marble in the round, who are pressing
the necks of some geese that spout water from their mouths; and this
water is that of the principal conduit coming from the labyrinth, and
rises exactly to this height. Above these children is the rest of the
shaft of this pedestal, which is made with certain cartouches which
spurt forth water in a most bizarre manner; and then, regaining a
quadrangular form, it rises over some masks that are very well made.
Above this, then, is a smaller tazza, on the lip of which, on all four
sides, are fixed by the horns four heads of Capricorns, making a
square, which spout water through their mouths into the large tazza,
together with the children, in order to make the rain which falls, as
has been told, into the first basin, which has eight sides. Still
higher there follows another shaft, adorned with other ornaments and
with some children in half-relief, who, projecting outwards, form at
the top a round space that serves as base to the figure of a Hercules
who is crushing Antæus, which was designed by Tribolo and executed
afterwards by others, as will be related in the proper place. From the
mouth of this Antæus he intended that, instead of his spirit, there
should gush out through a pipe water in great abundance, as indeed it
does; which water is that of the great conduit of Petraia, which comes
with much force, and rises sixteen braccia above the level where the
steps are, and makes a marvellous effect in falling back into the
greater tazza. In that same aqueduct, then, come not only those waters
from Petraia, but also those that go to the fish-pond and the grotto,
and these, uniting with those from Castellina, go to the fountains of
the Falterona and Monte Asinaio, and thence to the fountains of the
Arno and Mugnone, as has been related; after which, being reunited at
the fountain of the labyrinth, they go to the centre of the great
fountain, where are the children with the geese. From there, according
to the design of Tribolo, they were to flow through two distinct and
separate conduits into the basins of the loggie, where the tables are,
and then each into a separate private garden. The first of these
gardens--that towards the west--is all filled with rare and medicinal
plants; wherefore at the highest level of that water, in that garden
of simples, in the niche of the fountain, and behind a basin of
marble, there was to be a statue of Æsculapius.

The principal fountain described above, then, was completely finished
in marble by Tribolo, and carried to the finest and greatest
perfection that could be desired in a work of this kind. Wherefore I
believe that it may be said with truth that it is the most beautiful
fountain, the richest, the best proportioned, and the most pleasing
that has ever been made, for the reason that in the figures, in the
vases, in the tazze, and, in short, throughout the whole work, are
proofs of extraordinary diligence and industry. After this, having
made the model of the above-mentioned statue of Æsculapius, Tribolo
began to execute it in marble, but, being hindered by other things, he
did not finish that figure, which was completed afterwards by the
sculptor Antonio di Gino, his disciple.


(_After =Niccolò [Tribolo]=. Florence: Villa Reale di Castello_)]

On the side towards the east, in a little lawn without the garden,
Tribolo arranged an oak in a most ingenious manner, for, besides the
circumstance that it is so thickly covered both above and all around
with ivy intertwined among the branches, that it has the appearance of
a very dense grove, one can climb up it by a convenient staircase of
wood similarly covered with ivy, at the top of which, in the middle of
the oak, there is a square chamber surrounded by seats, the backs of
which are all of living verdure, and in the centre is a little table
of marble with a vase of variegated marble in the middle, from which,
through a pipe, there flows and spurts into the air a strong jet of
water, which, after falling, runs away through another pipe. These
pipes mount upwards from the foot of the oak so well hidden by the
ivy, that nothing is seen of them, and the water can be turned on or
off at pleasure by means of certain keys; nor is it possible to
describe in full in how many ways that water of the oak can be turned
on, in order to drench anyone at pleasure with various instruments of
copper, not to mention that with the same instruments one can cause
the water to produce various sounds and whistlings.

Finally, all these waters, after having served so many different
purposes, and supplied so many fountains, are collected together, and
flow into the two fish-ponds that are without the palace, at the
beginning of the avenue, and thence to other uses of the villa.

Nor will I omit to tell what was the intention of Tribolo with regard
to the statues that were to be as ornaments in the great garden of the
labyrinth, in the niches that may be seen regularly distributed there
in various spaces. He proposed, then--acting in this on the judicious
advice of M. Benedetto Varchi, who has been in our times most
excellent as poet, orator, and philosopher--that at the upper and
lower ends there should be placed the four Seasons of the
year--Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter--and that each should be set
up in that part where its particular season is most felt. At the
entrance, on the right hand, beside the Winter, and in that part of
the wall which stretches upwards, were to go six figures that were to
demonstrate the greatness and goodness of the house of Medici, and to
denote that all the virtues are to be found in Duke Cosimo; and these
were Justice, Compassion, Valour, Nobility, Wisdom, and Liberality,
which have always dwelt in the house of Medici, and are all united
together at the present day in the most excellent Lord Duke, in that
he is just, compassionate, valorous, noble, wise, and liberal. And
because these qualities have made the city of Florence, as they still
do, strong in laws, peace, arms, science, wisdom, tongues, and arts,
and also because the said Lord Duke is just in the laws, compassionate
in peace, valorous in arms, noble through the sciences, wise in his
encouragement of tongues and other culture, and liberal to the arts,
Tribolo wished that on the other side from the Justice, Compassion,
Valour, Nobility, Wisdom, and Liberality, on the left hand, as will be
seen below, there should be these other figures: Laws, Peace, Arms,
Sciences, Tongues, and Arts. And it was most appropriately arranged
that in this manner these statues and images should be placed, as
they would have been, above the Arno and Mugnone, in order to signify
that they do honour to Florence. It was also proposed that in the
pediments there should be placed portrait-busts of men of the house of
Medici, one in each--over Justice, for example, the portrait of his
Excellency, that being his particular virtue, over Compassion that of
the Magnificent Giuliano, over Valour Signor Giovanni, over Nobility
the elder Lorenzo, over Wisdom the elder Cosimo or Clement VII, and
over Liberality Pope Leo. And in the pediments on the other side it
was suggested that there might be placed other heads from the house of
Medici, or of persons of the city connected with that house. But since
these names make the matter somewhat confused, they have been placed
here in the following order:


  ARTS.      L                                L  LIBERALITY.
  TONGUES.   O                                O  WISDOM.
  SCIENCES.  G                                G  NOBILITY.
  ARMS.      G                                G  VALOUR.
  PEACE.     I                                I  COMPASSION.
  LAWS.      A                                A  JUSTICE.


All these ornaments would have made this in truth the richest, the
most magnificent, and the most ornate garden in Europe; but these
works were not carried to completion, for the reason that Tribolo was
not able to take measures to have them finished while the Duke was in
the mind to continue them, as he might have done in a short time,
having men in abundance and the Duke ready to spend money, and not
suffering from those hindrances that afterwards stopped him. The Duke,
indeed, not being contented at that time with the great quantity of
water that is to be seen there, was thinking of trying to obtain the
water of Valcenni, which is very abundant, in order to join it with
the rest, and then to conduct it from Castello by an aqueduct similar
to the one which he had made to the Piazza in front of his Palace in
Florence. And of a truth, if this work had been pressed forward by a
man with greater energy and more desire of glory, it would have been
carried at least well on; but since Tribolo, besides that he was much
occupied with various affairs of the Duke's, had not much energy,
nothing more was done. And in all the time that he worked at Castello,
he did not execute with his own hand anything save the two fountains,
with the two rivers, the Arno and the Mugnone, and the statue of
Fiesole; this arising from no other cause, so far as one can see, but
his being too much occupied, as has been related, with the many
affairs of the Duke.

Among other things, the Duke caused him to make a bridge over the
River Mugnone on the high road that goes to Bologna, without the Porta
a S. Gallo. This bridge, since the river crosses the road obliquely,
Tribolo caused to be built with an arch likewise oblique, in
accordance with its oblique line across the river, which was a new
thing, and much extolled, above all because he had the arch put
together of stones cut on the slant on every side in such a manner
that it proved to be very strong and very graceful; in short, this
bridge was a very beautiful work.

Not long before, the Duke had been seized with a desire to make a tomb
for Signor Giovanni de' Medici, his father, and Tribolo, being eager
to have the commission, made a very beautiful model for it, in
competition with one that had been executed by Raffaello da Montelupo,
who had the favour of Francesco di Sandro, the master of arms to his
Excellency. And then, the Duke having resolved that the one to be put
into execution should be Tribolo's, he went off to have the marble
quarried at Carrara, where he also caused to be quarried the two
basins for the loggie at Castello, a table, and many other blocks of
marble. Meanwhile, Messer Giovan Battista da Ricasoli, now Bishop of
Pistoia, being in Rome on business of the Lord Duke's, he was sought
out by Baccio Bandinelli, who had just finished the tombs of Pope Leo
X and Clement VII in the Minerva; and he was asked by Baccio to
recommend him to his Excellency. Whereupon Messer Giovan Battista
wrote to the Duke that Bandinelli desired to serve him, and his
Excellency wrote in reply that on his return he should bring him in
his company. And Bandinelli, having therefore arrived in Florence, so
haunted the Duke in his audacity, making promises and showing him
designs and models, that the tomb of the above-named Signor Giovanni,
which was to have been made by Tribolo, was allotted to him; and so,
taking some pieces of marble of Michelagnolo's, which were in the Via
Mozza in Florence, he hacked them about without scruple and began the
work. Wherefore Tribolo, on returning from Carrara, found that in
consequence of his being too leisurely and good-natured, the
commission had been taken away from him.

In the year when bonds of kinship were formed between the Lord Duke
Cosimo and the Lord Don Pedro di Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca, at
that time Viceroy of Naples, the Lord Duke taking Don Pedro's
daughter, Signora Leonora, to wife, preparations were made in Florence
for the nuptials, and Tribolo was given the charge of constructing a
triumphal arch at the Porta al Prato, through which the bride, coming
from Poggio, was to enter; which arch he made a thing of beauty, very
ornate with columns, pilasters, architraves, great cornices, and
pediments. That arch was to be all covered with figures and scenes, in
addition to the statues by the hand of Tribolo; and all those
paintings were executed by Battista Franco of Venice, Ridolfo
Ghirlandajo, and Michele, his disciple. Now the principal figure that
Tribolo made for this work, which was placed at the highest point in
the centre of the pediment, on a dado wrought in relief, was a woman
five braccia high, representing Fecundity, with five little boys,
three clinging to her legs, one on her lap, and another in her arms;
and beside her, where the pediment sloped away, were two figures of
the same size, one on either side. Of these figures, which were lying
down, one was Security, leaning on a column with a light wand in her
hand, and the other was Eternity, with a globe in her arms, and below
her feet a white-haired old man representing Time, and holding in his
arms the Sun and Moon. I shall say nothing as to the works of painting
that were on that arch, because everyone may read about them for
himself in the description of the festive preparations for those
nuptials. And since Tribolo had particular charge of all decorations
for the Palace of the Medici, he caused many devices to be executed in
the lunettes of the vaulting of the court, with mottoes appropriate to
the nuptials, and all those of the most illustrious members of the
house of Medici. Besides this, he had a most sumptuous decoration made
in the great open court, all full of stories; on one side of the
Greeks and Romans, and on the other sides of deeds done by illustrious
men of that house of Medici, which were all executed under the
direction of Tribolo by the most excellent young painters that there
were in Florence at that time--Bronzino, Pier Francesco di Sandro,
Francesco Il Bacchiacca, Domenico Conti, Antonio di Domenico, and
Battista Franco of Venice.

On the Piazza di S. Marco, also, upon a vast pedestal ten braccia in
height (in which Bronzino had painted two very beautiful scenes of the
colour of bronze on the socle that was above the cornices), Tribolo
erected a horse of twelve braccia, with the fore-legs in the air, and
upon it an armed figure, large in proportion; and this figure, which
had below it men dead and wounded, represented the most valorous
Signor Giovanni de' Medici, the father of his Excellency. This work
was executed by Tribolo with so much art and judgment, that it was
admired by all who saw it, and what caused even greater marvel was the
speed with which he finished it; among his assistants being the
sculptor Santi Buglioni, who was crippled for ever in one leg by a
fall, and came very near dying.

Under the direction of Tribolo, likewise, for the comedy that was
performed, Aristotile da San Gallo executed marvellous scenery, being
truly most excellent in such things, as will be told in his Life; and
for the costumes in the interludes, which were the work of Giovan
Battista Strozzi, who had charge of the whole comedy, Tribolo himself
made the most pleasing and beautiful inventions that it is possible to
imagine in the way of vestments, buskins, head-dresses, and other
wearing apparel. These things were the reason that the Duke afterwards
availed himself of Tribolo's ingenuity in many fantastic masquerades,
as in that of the bears, in a race of buffaloes, in the masquerade of
the ravens, and in others.

In like manner, in the year when there was born to the said Lord Duke
his eldest son, the Lord Don Francesco, there was to be made in the
Temple of S. Giovanni in Florence a very magnificent decoration which
was to be marvellous in its grandeur, and capable of accommodating one
hundred most noble young maidens, who were to accompany the Prince
from the Palace as far as the said temple, where he was to receive
baptism. The charge of this was given to Tribolo, who, in company with
Tasso, adapting himself to the place, brought it about that the
temple, which in itself is ancient and very beautiful, had the
appearance of a new temple designed very well in the modern manner,
with seats all round it richly adorned with pictures and gilding. In
the centre, beneath the lantern, he made a great vase of carved
woodwork with eight sides, the base of which rested on four steps, and
at the corners of the eight sides were some large caulicoles, which,
springing from the ground, where there were some lions' paws, had at
the top of them certain children of large size in various attitudes,
who were holding with their hands the lip of the vase, and supporting
with their shoulders some festoons which hung like a garland right
round the space in the middle. Besides this, Tribolo had made in the
middle of the vase a pedestal of wood with beautiful things of fancy
round it, upon which, to crown the work, he placed the S. John the
Baptist of marble, three braccia high, by the hand of Donatello, which
was left by him in the house of Gismondo Martelli, as has been related
in the Life of Donatello himself. In short, this temple was adorned
both within and without as well as could possibly be imagined, and the
only part neglected was the principal chapel, where there is an old
tabernacle with those figures in relief that Andrea Pisano made long
ago; by reason of which it appeared that, every other part being made
new, that old chapel spoilt all the grace that the other things
together displayed. Wherefore the Duke, going one day to see those
decorations, after praising everything like a man of judgment, and
recognizing how well Tribolo had adapted himself to the situation and
to every other feature of the place, censured one thing only, but that
severely--that no thought had been given to the principal chapel. And
then he ordained on the spot, like a person of resolute character and
beautiful judgment, that all that part should be covered with a vast
canvas painted in chiaroscuro, with S. John the Baptist baptizing
Christ, and the people standing all around to see them or to be
baptized, some taking off their clothes, and others putting them on
again, in various attitudes; and above this was to be a God the Father
sending down the Holy Spirit, with two fountains in the guise of
river-gods, representing the Jor and the Dan, which, pouring forth
water, were to form the Jordan. Jacopo da Pontormo was requested to
execute this work by Messer Pier Francesco Riccio, at that time
major-domo to the Duke, and by Tribolo, but he would not do it, on the
ground that he did not think that the time given, which was only six
days, would be enough for him; and the same refusal was made by
Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, Bronzino, and many others. Now at this time
Giorgio Vasari, having returned from Bologna, was executing for Messer
Bindo Altoviti the altar-piece of his chapel in S. Apostolo at
Florence, but he was not held in much consideration, although he had
friendship with Tribolo and Tasso, because certain persons had formed
a faction under the protection of the above-named Messer Pier
Francesco Riccio, and whoever was not of that faction had no share in
the favours of the Court, although he might be able and deserving.
This was the reason that many who, with the aid of so great a Prince,
would have become excellent, found themselves neglected, none being
employed save those chosen by Tasso, who, being a gay person, got
Riccio so well under his thumb with his jokes, that in certain affairs
he neither proposed nor did anything save what was suggested by Tasso,
who was architect to the Palace and did all the work. These men, then,
having a sort of suspicion of Giorgio, who laughed at their vanities
and follies, and sought to make a position for himself rather by means
of the studies of art than by favour, gave no thought to his claims;
but he was commissioned by the Lord Duke to execute that canvas, with
the subject described above. This work he executed in chiaroscuro, in
six days, and delivered it finished in the manner known to those who
saw what grace and adornment it conferred on the whole decoration, and
how much it enlivened that part of the temple that stood most in need
of it, amid the magnificence of that festival. Tribolo, then (to
return to the point whence, I know not how, I digressed), acquitted
himself so well, that he rightly won the highest praise; and the Duke
commanded that a great part of the ornaments that he placed between
the columns should be left there, where they still are, and

For the Villa of Cristofano Rinieri at Castello, while he was occupied
with the fountains of the Duke, Tribolo made for a niche over a
fish-pond which is at the head of a fowling-place, a river-god of
grey-stone, of the size of life, which pours water into a very large
basin of the same stone; which figure is made of pieces, and put
together with such diligence and art, that it appears to be all of one
block. Tribolo then set his hand, at the command of his Excellency, to
attempting to finish the staircase of the library of S. Lorenzo--that,
namely, which is in the vestibule before the door; but after he had
placed four steps in position, not finding either the plan or the
measurements of Michelagnolo, by order of the Duke he went to Rome,
not only to hear the opinion of Michelagnolo with regard to that
staircase, but also to make an effort to bring him to Florence. But he
did not succeed either in the one object or in the other, for
Michelagnolo, not wishing to leave Rome, excused himself in a handsome
manner, and as for the staircase he declared that he remembered
neither the measurements nor anything else. Tribolo, therefore, having
returned to Florence, and not being able to continue the work of that
staircase, set himself to make the pavement of the said library with
white and red bricks, after the manner of some pavements that he had
seen in Rome; but he added a filling of red clay to the white clay
mixed with bole, in order to produce various effects of carving in
those bricks; and thus he made in that pavement a copy of the ceiling
and coffered work above--a notion that was highly extolled. He then
began, but did not finish, a work that was to be placed on the main
tower of the defences of the Porta a Faenza, for Don Giovanni di Luna,
the castellan at that time--namely, an escutcheon of grey-stone, and a
large eagle in full relief with two heads, which he made in wax to the
end that it might be cast in bronze, but nothing more was done with
it, and of the escutcheon only the shield was finished.

Now it was the custom in the city of Florence to have almost every
year on the principal piazza, on the evening of the festival of S.
John the Baptist, towards nightfall, a girandola--that is, a
contrivance full of fire-trumpets, rockets, and other fireworks; which
girandola had the form now of a temple, now of a ship, sometimes of
rocks, and at times of a city or of an inferno, according as it
pleased the designer; and one year the charge of making one was given
to Tribolo, who, as will be described below, made it very
beautifully. Of the various manners of these fireworks, and
particularly of set pieces, Vannoccio of Siena and others give an
account, and on this subject I shall enlarge no further; but I must
say something as to the nature of these girandole. The whole
structure, then, is of wood, with broad compartments radiating
outwards from the foot, to the end that the rockets, when they have
been lighted, may not set fire to the other fireworks, but may rise in
due order from their separate places, one after another, filling the
heavens in proper succession with the fire that blazes in the
girandola both above and below. They are distributed, I say, at wide
intervals, to the end that they may not burn all at once, and may
produce a beautiful effect; and the same do the mortars, which are
bound to the firm parts of the girandola, and make the most beautiful
and joyous noises. The fire-trumpets, likewise, are fitted in among
the ornaments, and are generally contrived so as to discharge through
the mouths of masks and other suchlike things. But the most important
point is to arrange the girandola in such a manner that the lights
that burn in certain vases may last the whole night, and illuminate
the piazza; wherefore the whole work is connected together by a simple
match of tow steeped in a mixture of powder full of sulphur and
aquavitæ, which creeps little by little with its fire to every part
which it has to set alight, one after another, until it has kindled
the whole. Now, as I have said, the things represented are various,
but all must have something to do with fire, and must be subject to
its action; and long before this there had been counterfeited the city
of Sodom, with Lot and his daughters flying from it, at another time
Geryon, with Virgil and Dante on his back, according as Dante himself
relates in the _Inferno_, and even earlier Orpheus bringing Eurydice
with him from those infernal regions, with many other inventions. And
his Excellency ordained that the work should not be given to any of
the puppet-painters, who for many years past had made a thousand
absurdities in the girandole, but that an excellent master should
produce a work that might have in it something of the good; wherefore
the charge of this was given to Tribolo, who, with the ingenuity and
art wherewith he had executed all his other works, made one in the
form of a very beautiful octagonal temple, rising with its ornaments
to the total height of twenty braccia. This temple he represented as
the Temple of Peace, placing on the summit an image of Peace, who was
setting fire to a great pile of arms which she had at her feet; and
these arms, the statue of Peace, and all the other figures that made
this structure one of great beauty, were made of pasteboard, clay, and
cloth steeped in glue, put together with extraordinary art. They were,
I say, of these materials, to the end that the whole work might be the
lighter, since it was to be suspended at a great height from the
ground by a double rope that crossed the Piazza high in the air. It is
true, indeed, that the fireworks having been placed in it too thickly,
and the fuses of tow being too near one to another, when they were set
alight, such was the fury of the conflagration, and so great and so
violent the blaze, that everything caught fire all at once, and was
burned in a flash, whereas it should have continued to burn for an
hour at least; and what was worse, the fire seizing on the woodwork
and on all that should have been preserved, the ropes and every other
thing were consumed in a moment, which was no small loss, and gave
little pleasure to the people. But with regard to workmanship, it was
more beautiful than any other girandola that had ever been made up to
that time.

The Duke, then, resolving to erect the Loggia of the Mercato Nuovo for
the convenience of his citizens and merchants, did not wish to lay a
greater burden than he could bear on Tribolo, who, as chief engineer
to the Capitani di Parte and the commissioners of the rivers and the
sewers of the city, was always riding through the Florentine
dominions, engaged in bringing back to their proper beds many rivers
that did damage by breaking away from them, in repairing bridges, and
in other suchlike works; and he gave the charge of this enterprise to
Tasso, at the advice of the above-mentioned Messer Pier Francesco, his
major-domo, in order to change that Tasso from a carpenter into an
architect. This was certainly against the wishes of Tribolo, although
he did not show it, and even acted as the close friend of Tasso; and a
proof that this is true is that Tribolo perceived many errors in
Tasso's model, but, so it is believed, would by no means tell him of
them. Such an error, for example, was that of the capitals of the
columns that are beside the pilasters, whereby, the columns not
leaving enough space, when everything had been drawn up, and the
capitals had to be set into position, the corona above those capitals
would not go in, so that it was found necessary to cut away so much
that the order of the architecture was ruined; besides many other
errors, of which there is no need to speak. For the above-named Messer
Pier Francesco the same Tasso executed the door of the Church of S.
Romolo, and a window with knee-shaped brackets on the Piazza del Duca,
in an order of his own, substituting capitals for bases, and doing so
many other things without measure or order, that it might have been
said that the German Order had begun to return to life in Tuscany by
means of this man; to say nothing of the works that he did in the
Palace in the way of staircases and apartments, which the Duke has
been obliged to have destroyed, because they had no sort of order,
measure, or proportion, and were, on the contrary, all shapeless, out
of square, and without the least convenience or grace. All these
things were not done without some responsibility falling on Tribolo,
who, having considerable knowledge in such matters, should not, so it
seemed, have allowed his Prince to throw away his money and to do him
such an affront to his face; and, what was even more serious, he
should not have permitted such things to Tasso, who was his friend.
Well did men of judgment recognize the presumption and madness of the
one in seeking to exercise an art of which he knew nothing, and the
dissimulation of the other, who declared that he was pleased with that
which he certainly knew to be bad; and of this a proof may be found in
the works that Giorgio Vasari has had to pull down in the Palace, to
the loss of the Duke and the great shame of those men.

But the same thing happened to Tribolo as to Tasso, in that, even as
Tasso abandoned wood-carving, a craft in which he had no equal, but
never became a good architect, and thus won little honour by deserting
an art in which he was very able, and applying himself to another of
which he knew not one scrap, so Tribolo, abandoning sculpture, in
which it may be said with truth that he was most excellent and caused
everyone to marvel, and setting himself to attempt to straighten out
rivers, ceased to win honour by pursuing the one, while the other
brought him blame and loss rather than honour and profit. For he did
not succeed in his tinkering with rivers, and he made many enemies,
particularly in the district of Prato, on account of the Bisenzio, and
in many places in the Val di Nievole.

Duke Cosimo having then bought the Palace of the Pitti, of which there
has been an account in another place, and his Excellency desiring to
adorn it with gardens, groves, fountains, fish-ponds, and other
suchlike things, Tribolo executed all the distribution of the hill in
the manner in which it still remains, accommodating everything in its
proper place with beautiful judgment, although various things in many
parts of the garden have since been changed. Of this Pitti Palace,
which is the most beautiful in Europe, mention will be made in another
place with a more suitable occasion.

After these things, Tribolo was sent by his Excellency to the island
of Elba, not only that he might see the city and port that the Duke
had caused to be built there, but also that he might make arrangements
for the transport of a round piece of granite, twelve braccia in
diameter, from which was to be made a tazza for the great lawn of the
Pitti Palace, which might receive the water of the principal fountain.
Tribolo, therefore, went thither and caused a boat to be made on
purpose for transporting the tazza, and then, after giving the
stone-cutters directions for the transportation, he returned to
Florence; where he had no sooner arrived, than he found the whole
country full of murmurings and maledictions against him, since about
that time floods and inundations had done infinite havoc in the
neighbourhood of those rivers that he had patched up, although it was,
perhaps, not altogether through his fault that this had happened.
However that may have been, whether it was the malignity of some of
his assistants, or perchance envy, or that the accusation was indeed
true, the blame for all that damage was laid on Tribolo, who, being a
man of no great spirit, and rather wanting in resolution than
otherwise, and doubting that the malice of some enemy might make him
lose the favour of the Duke, was in a state of great despondency,
when, being of a feeble habit of body, on the 20th of August in the
year 1550, there came upon him a most violent fever. At that time
Giorgio Vasari was in Florence, for the purpose of having sent to Rome
the marbles for the tombs that Pope Julius III caused to be erected in
S. Pietro a Montorio; and he, as one who sincerely esteemed the
talents of Tribolo, visited and comforted him, beseeching him that he
should think of nothing save his health, and that, when cured, he
should return to finish the work of Castello, letting the rivers go
their own way, for they were more likely to drown his fame than to
bring him any profit or honour. This, which he promised to attempt to
do, he would, I believe, have done at all costs, if he had not been
prevented by death, which closed his eyes on the 7th of September in
the same year. And so the works of Castello, begun and carried well
forward by him, remained unfinished; for although some work has been
done there since his day, now in one part and now in another,
nevertheless they have never been pursued with the diligence and
resolution that were shown when Tribolo was alive and when the Lord
Duke was hot in the undertaking. Of a truth, he who does not press
great works forward while those who are having them done are spending
money willingly and devoting their best attention to them, brings it
about that those works are put on one side and left unfinished, which
zeal and solicitude could have carried to perfection. And thus, by the
negligence of the workers, the world is left without its adornment,
and they without their honour and fame, for the reason that it rarely
happens, as it did to this work of Castello, that on the death of the
first master he who succeeds to his place is willing to finish it
according to his design and model with that modesty with which Giorgio
Vasari, at the commission of the Duke, has caused the great fish-pond
of Castello to be finished after the directions of Tribolo, even as he
will do with the other things according as his Excellency may desire
from time to time to have them done.

Tribolo lived sixty-five years, and was interred by the Company of the
Scalzo in their place of burial. He left behind him a son called
Raffaello, who has not taken up art, and two daughters, one of whom is
the wife of David, Tribolo's assistant in building all the works at
Castello, who, being a man of judgment and capable in such matters, is
now employed on the aqueducts of Florence, Pisa, and all the other
places in the dominion, according as it may please his Excellency.




Although those men are generally the most celebrated who have executed
some work excellently well, nevertheless, if the works already
accomplished by any man foreshadow those that he did not achieve as
likely to have been numerous and much more rare, if some accident,
unforeseen and out of the common use, had not happened to interrupt
him, it is certain that such a man, wherever there may be one willing
to be just in his appreciation of the talent of another, will be
rightly extolled and celebrated both on the one count and on the
other, and as much for what he would have done as for what he did. The
sculptor Vinci, therefore, should not suffer on account of the short
duration of his life, or be robbed thereby of the praise due to him
from the judgment of those who shall come after us, considering that
he was only in the first bloom both of his life and of his studies at
the time when he produced and gave to the world that which everyone
admires, and was like to bring forth fruits in greater abundance, if a
hostile tempest had not destroyed both the fruits and the tree.

I remember having said in another place that in the township of Vinci,
in the lower Valdarno, there lived Ser Piero, the father of Leonardo
da Vinci, most famous of painters. To this Ser Piero, after Leonardo,
there was born, as his youngest son, Bartolommeo, who, living at Vinci
and attaining to manhood, took for his wife one of the first maidens
of that township. Bartolommeo was desirous of having a male child, and
spoke very often to his wife of the greatness of the genius with which
his brother Leonardo had been endowed, praying God that He should make
her worthy that from her there might be born in his house another
Leonardo, the first being now dead. In a short time, therefore,
according to his desire, there was born to him a gracious boy, to whom
he wished to give the name of Leonardo; but, being advised by his
relatives to revive the memory of his father, he gave him the name of
Piero. Having come to the age of three years, the boy had a most
beautiful countenance, with curly locks, and showed great grace in
every movement, with a quickness of intelligence that was marvellous;
insomuch that Maestro Giuliano del Carmine, an excellent astrologer,
and with him a priest devoted to chiromancy, who were both close
friends of Bartolommeo, having arrived in Vinci and lodged in
Bartolommeo's house, looking at the forehead and hand of the boy,
revealed to the father, both the astrologer and the chiromancer
together, the greatness of his genius, and predicted that in a short
time he would make extraordinary proficience in the mercurial arts,
but that his life would also be very short. And only too true was
their prophecy, for both in the one part and in the other (when one
would have sufficed), in his life as well as in his art, it needs must
be fulfilled.

Then, continuing to grow, Piero had his father as his master in
letters, but of himself, without any master, giving his attention to
drawing and to making various little puppets in clay, he showed that
the divine inclination of his nature recognized by the astrologer and
the chiromancer was already awakening and beginning to work in him. By
reason of which Bartolommeo judged that his prayer had been heard by
God; and, believing that his brother had been restored to him in his
son, he began to think of removing Piero from Vinci and taking him to
Florence. Having then done this without delay, he placed Piero, who
was now twelve years of age, with Bandinelli in Florence, flattering
himself that Baccio, having been once the friend of Leonardo, would
take notice of the boy and teach him with diligence; besides which, it
seemed to him that Piero delighted more in sculpture than in painting.
But afterwards, coming very often to Florence, he recognized that
Bandinelli was not answering with deeds to his expectations, and was
not taking pains with the boy or showing interest in him, although he
saw him to be willing to learn. For which reason Bartolommeo took him
away from Bandinelli, and entrusted him to Tribolo, who appeared to
him to make more effort to help those who were seeking to learn,
besides giving more attention to the studies of art and bearing even
greater affection to the memory of Leonardo.

Tribolo was executing some fountains at Castello, the villa of his
Excellency; and thereupon Piero, beginning once more his customary
drawing, through having there the competition of the other young men
whom Tribolo kept about him, set himself with great ardour of spirit
to study day and night, being spurred by his nature, which was
desirous of excellence and honour, and being even more kindled by the
example of the others like himself whom he saw constantly around him.
Wherefore in a few months he made such progress, that it was a marvel
to everyone; and, having begun to gain some experience with the
chisels, he sought to see whether his hand and his tools would obey in
practice the thoughts within him and the designs formed in his brain.
Tribolo, perceiving his readiness, and having had a water-basin of
stone made at that very time for Cristofano Rinieri, gave to Piero a
small piece of marble, from which he was to make for that water-basin
a boy that should spurt forth water from the private part. Piero,
taking the marble with great gladness, first made a little model of
clay, and then executed the work with so much grace, that Tribolo and
the others ventured the opinion that he would become one of those who
are counted as rare in that art. Tribolo then gave him a Ducal
Mazzocchio[3] to make in stone, to be placed over an escutcheon with
the Medici balls, for Messer Pier Francesco Riccio, the major-domo of
the Duke; and he made it with two children with their legs intertwined
together, who are holding the Mazzocchio in their hands and placing it
upon the escutcheon, which is fixed over the door of a house that the
major-domo then occupied, opposite to S. Giuliano, near the Priests of
S. Antonio. When this work was seen, all the craftsmen of Florence
formed the same judgment that Tribolo had pronounced before.

         [Footnote 3: See note on p. 132, Vol. II.]

After this, he carved a boy squeezing a fish that is pouring water
from its mouth, for the fountains of Castello. And then, Tribolo
having given him a larger piece of marble, Piero made from it two
children who are embracing each other and squeezing fishes, causing
water to spout from their mouths. These children were so graceful in
the heads and in their whole persons, and executed with so beautiful a
manner in the legs, arms, and hair, that already it could be seen that
he would have been able to execute the most difficult work to
perfection. Taking heart, therefore, and buying a piece of grey-stone,
two braccia and a half in length, which he took to his house on the
Canto alla Briga, Piero began to work at it in the evenings, after
returning from his labours, at night, and on feast-days, insomuch that
little by little he brought it to completion. This was a figure of
Bacchus, who had a Satyr at his feet, and with one hand was holding a
cup, while in the other he had a bunch of grapes, and his head was
girt with a crown of grapes; all after a model made by himself in
clay. In this and in his other early works Piero showed a marvellous
facility, which never offends the eye, nor is it in any respect
disturbing to him who beholds it. This Bacchus, when finished, was
bought by Bongianni Capponi, and his nephew Lodovico Capponi now has
it in a courtyard in his house.

The while that Piero was executing these works, few persons as yet
knew that he was the nephew of Leonardo da Vinci; but his labours
making him well known and renowned, by this means his parentage and
his birth were likewise revealed. Wherefore ever afterwards, both from
his connection with his uncle and from his own happy genius, wherein
he resembled that great man, he was called by everyone not Piero, but

Now Vinci, while occupied in this manner, had often heard various
persons speaking of the things connected with the arts to be seen in
Rome, and extolling them, as is always done by everyone; wherefore a
great desire had been kindled in him to see them, hoping to be able to
derive profit by beholding not only the works of the ancients, but
also those of Michelagnolo, and even the master himself, who was then
alive and residing in Rome. He went thither, therefore, in company
with some friends; but after seeing Rome and all that he wished, he
returned to Florence, having reflected judiciously that the things of
Rome were as yet too profound for him, and should be studied and
imitated not so early in his career, but after a greater acquaintance
with art.

At that time Tribolo had finished a model for the shaft of the
fountain in the labyrinth, in which are some Satyrs in low-relief,
four masks in half-relief, and four little boys in the round, who are
seated upon certain caulicoles. Vinci having then returned, Tribolo
gave him this shaft to do, and he executed and finished it, making in
it some delicate designs not employed by any other but himself, which
greatly pleased all who saw them. Then, having had the whole marble
tazza of that fountain finished, Tribolo thought of placing on the
edge of it four children in the round, lying down and playing with
their arms and legs in the water, in various attitudes; and these he
intended to cast in bronze. Vinci, at the commission of Tribolo, made
them of clay, and they were afterwards cast in bronze by Zanobi
Lastricati, a sculptor and a man very experienced in matters of
casting; and they were placed not long since around the fountain,
where they make a most beautiful effect.

There was in daily intercourse with Tribolo one Luca Martini, the
proveditor at that time for the building of the Mercato Nuovo, who,
praising highly the excellence in art and the fine character of Vinci,
and desiring to help him, provided him with a piece of marble
two-thirds of a braccio in height and one and a quarter in length.
Vinci, taking the marble, made with it a Christ being scourged at the
Column, in which the rules of low-relief and of design may be seen to
have been well observed; and in truth it made everyone marvel,
considering that he had not yet reached the age of seventeen, and had
made in five years of study that proficience in art which others do
not achieve save after length of life and great experience of many

At this time Tribolo, having undertaken the office of superintendent
of the drains in the city of Florence, ordained in that capacity that
the drain in the old Piazza di S. Maria Novella should be raised from
the ground, in such a way that, becoming more capacious, it might be
better able to receive all the waters that ran into it from various
quarters. For this work, then, he commissioned Vinci to make the model
of a great mask of three braccia, which with its open mouth might
swallow all the rain-water. Afterwards, by order of the Ufficiali
della Torre, the work was allotted to Vinci, who, in order to execute
it more quickly, summoned to his aid the sculptor Lorenzo Marignolli.
In company with this master he finished it, making it from a block of
hard-stone; and the work is such that it adorns the whole Piazza, with
no small advantage to the city.

It now appeared to Vinci that he had made such proficience in art,
that it would be a great benefit to him to see the principal works in
Rome, and to associate with the most excellent craftsmen living there;
wherefore, an occasion to go there presenting itself, he seized it
readily. There had arrived from Rome an intimate friend of
Michelagnolo Buonarroti, Francesco Bandini, who, having come to know
Vinci by means of Luca Martini, and having praised him highly, caused
him to make a model of wax for a tomb of marble that he wished to
erect in his chapel in S. Croce; and shortly afterwards, on returning
to Rome, Vinci having spoken his mind to Luca Martini, Bandini took
him in his company. There Vinci remained a year, studying all the
time, and executed some works worthy of remembrance. The first was a
Christ on the Cross in low-relief, rendering up His spirit to His
Father, which was copied from a design done by Michelagnolo. For
Cardinal Ridolfi he added to an antique head a breast in bronze, and
made a Venus of marble in low-relief, which was much extolled. For
Francesco Bandini he restored an ancient horse, of which many pieces
were wanting, and made it complete. And in order to give some proof of
gratitude, where he could, to Luca Martini, who was writing to him by
every courier, and continually recommending him to Bandini, it seemed
good to Vinci to make a copy in wax, in the round and two-thirds (of a
braccio) in height, of the Moses of Michelagnolo that is on the tomb
of Pope Julius II in S. Pietro in Vincula, than which there is no more
beautiful work to be seen; and so, having made the Moses of wax, he
sent it as a present to Luca Martini.

At the time when Vinci was living in Rome and executing the works
mentioned above, Luca Martini was made by the Duke of Florence
proveditor of Pisa, and in his office he did not forget his friend,
and therefore wrote to him that he was preparing a room for him and
was providing a block of marble of three braccia, so that he might
return from Rome at his pleasure, seeing that while with him he should
want for nothing. Vinci, attracted by this prospect and by the love
that he bore to Luca, resolved to depart from Rome and to take up his
abode for some time in Pisa, where he looked to find opportunities of
practising his hand and making trial of his ability. Having therefore
gone to Pisa, he found that the marble was already in his room,
prepared according to the orders of Luca; but, on proceeding to begin
to carve from it an upright figure, he perceived that the marble had
in it a crack that diminished it by a braccio. Wherefore, having
resolved to change it into a recumbent figure, he made a young River
God holding a vase that is pouring out water, the vase being upheld by
three children, who are assisting the River God to pour the water
forth; and beneath his feet runs a copious stream of water, in which
may be seen fishes darting about and water-fowl flying in various
parts. This River God finished, Vinci made a present of it to Luca,
who presented it to the Duchess, to whom it was very dear; and then,
her brother Don Garzia di Toledo being at that time in Pisa, whither
he had gone by galley, she gave it to that brother, who accepted it
with much pleasure for the fountains of his garden in the Chiaia at

In those days Luca Martini was writing some observations on the
Commedia of Dante, and he pointed out to Vinci the cruelty described
by Dante, which the Pisans and Archbishop Ruggieri showed towards
Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, causing him to die of hunger with his
four sons in the tower that is therefore called the Tower of Hunger;
whereby he offered to Vinci the occasion for a new work and the idea
of a new design. Wherefore, while he was still working at the River
God described above, he set his hand to making a scene in wax more
than a braccio in height and three-quarters in breadth, to be cast in
bronze, in which he represented two of the Count's sons already dead,
one in the act of expiring, and the fourth overcome by hunger and near
his end, but not yet reduced to the last breath; with the father in a
pitiful and miserable attitude, blind and heavy with grief, and
groping over the wretched bodies of his sons stretched upon the
ground. In this work Vinci displayed the excellence of design no less
than did Dante the perfection of poetry in his verses, for no less
compassion is stirred by the attitudes shaped in wax by the sculptor
in him who beholds them, than is roused in him who listens to the
words and accents imprinted on the living page by the poet. And in
order to mark the place where the event happened, he made at the foot
of the scene the River Arno, which occupies its whole width, for the
above-named tower is not far distant from the river in Pisa; while
upon that tower he placed an old woman, naked, withered, and fearsome,
representing Hunger, much after the manner wherein Ovid describes her.
The wax model finished, he cast the scene in bronze, and it gave
consummate satisfaction, being held by the Court and by everyone to be
no ordinary work.

Duke Cosimo was then intent on enriching and beautifying the city of
Pisa, and he had already caused the Piazza del Mercato to be built
anew, with a great number of shops around it, and had placed in the
centre a column ten braccia high, upon which, according to the design
of Luca, was to stand a statue representing Abundance. Martini,
therefore, having spoken to the Duke and presented Vinci to his
notice, easily obtained for him from his Excellency the commission for
that statue, the Duke being always eager to assist men of talent and
to bring fine intellects forward. Vinci executed a statue of
travertine, three braccia and a half in height, which was much
extolled by everyone; for at the feet of the figure he placed a little
child, who assists her to support the Cornucopia, carved with much
softness and facility, although the stone is rough and difficult to


(_After the wax relief by =Pierino [Piero] da Vinci=. Oxford: Ashmolean

_Reproduced by permission of the Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum._]

Luca afterwards sent to Carrara to have a block of marble quarried
five braccia in height and three in breadth, from which Vinci, who had
once seen some sketches by Michelagnolo of Samson slaying a Philistine
with the jawbone of an ass, proposed to make two figures of five
braccia from his own fancy, after that subject. Whereupon, while the
marble was on its way, he set himself to make several models, all
varying one from another, and then fixed on one of them; and after the
block had arrived he began to carve it, and carried it well on,
imitating Michelagnolo in cutting his conception and design little
by little out of the stone, without spoiling it or making any sort of
error. He executed all the perforation in this work, whether undercut
or at an easy angle, with great facility, laborious as it was, and the
manner of the whole work was very delicate. But since the labour was
very fatiguing, he sought to distract himself with other studies and
works of less importance; and thus he executed during the same time a
little tablet of marble in low-relief, in which he represented Our
Lady with Christ, S. John, and S. Elizabeth, which was held, as it
still is, to be a rare work. This came into the hands of the most
illustrious Duchess, and it is now among the choice things in the
study of the Duke.

He then set his hand to a scene of marble, one braccio high and one
and a half wide, partly in half-relief and partly in low-relief, in
which he represented the restoration of Pisa by the Duke, who is in
the work present in person at the restoration of that city, which is
being pressed forward by his presence. Round the Duke are figures of
his virtues; in particular a Minerva representing his wisdom and also
the arts revived by him in that city of Pisa, who is surrounded by
many evils and natural defects of the site, which besiege her on every
side, and afflict her in the manner of enemies; but from all these
that city has since been delivered by the above-mentioned virtues of
the Duke. All these virtues round the Duke, with all the evils round
Pisa, were portrayed by Vinci in his scene with most beautiful
gestures and attitudes; but he left it unfinished, to the great regret
of those who saw it, on account of the perfection of the things in it
that were completed.

The fame of Vinci having grown and spread abroad by reason of these
works, the heirs of Messer Baldassarre Turini da Pescia besought him
that he should make a model of a marble tomb for Messer Baldassarre;
which finished, it pleased them, whereupon they made an agreement that
the tomb should be executed, and Vinci sent Francesco del Tadda, an
able master of marble-carving, to have the marble quarried at Carrara.
And when that master had sent him a block of marble, Vinci began a
statue, and carved out of the stone a figure blocked out in such a
manner that one who knew not the circumstances would have said that
it was certainly blocked out by Michelagnolo.

The name of Vinci was now very great, and his genius was admired by
all, being much more perfect than could have been expected in one so
young, and it was likely to grow even more and to become greater, and
to equal that of any other man in his art, as his own works bear
witness, without any other testimony; when the term prescribed for him
by Heaven, being now close at hand, interrupted all his plans, and
caused his rapid progress to cease at one blow, not suffering that he
should climb any higher, and depriving the world of many excellent
works of art with which, had Vinci lived, it would have been adorned.
It happened at this time, while Vinci was intent on the tomb of
another, not knowing that his own was preparing, that the Duke had to
send Luca Martini to Genoa on affairs of importance; and Luca, both
because he loved Vinci and wished to have him in his company, and also
in order to give him some diversion and recreation, and to enable him
to see Genoa, took him with him on his journey. There, while Martini
was transacting his business, at his suggestion Messer Adamo
Centurioni commissioned Vinci to execute a figure of S. John the
Baptist, of which he made the model. But soon he was attacked by
fever, and, to increase his distress, at the same time his friend was
also taken away from him; perchance to provide a way in which fate
might be fulfilled in the life of Vinci. For it became necessary that
Luca, in the interests of the business entrusted to him, should go to
Florence to find the Duke; wherefore he parted from his sick friend,
to the great grief of both the one and the other, leaving him in the
house of the Abate Nero, to whom he straitly recommended him, although
Piero was very unwilling to remain in Genoa. But Vinci, feeling
himself growing worse every day, resolved to have himself removed from
Genoa; and, having caused an assistant of his own, called Tiberio
Cavalieri, to come from Pisa, with his help he had himself carried to
Livorno by water, and from Livorno to Pisa in a litter. Arriving in
Pisa at the twenty-second hour in the evening, all exhausted and
broken by the journey, the sea-voyage, and the fever, during the night
he had no repose, and the next morning, at the break of day, he passed
to the other life, not having yet reached the age of twenty-three.

The death of Vinci was a great grief to all his friends, and to Luca
Martini beyond measure; and it grieved all those who had hoped to see
from his hands such works as are not often seen. And Messer Benedetto
Varchi, who was much the friend of his abilities and of those of every
master, afterwards wrote the following sonnet in memory of his fame:

  Come potrò da me, se tu non presti
    O forza, o tregua al mio gran duolo interno,
    Soffrirlo in pace mai, Signor superno,
    Che fin quì nuova ognor pena mi desti?
  Dunque de' miei più cari or quegli, or questi,
    Verde sen voli all'alto Asilo eterno,
    Ed io canuto in questo basso inferno
    A pianger sempre e lamentarmi resti?
  Sciolgami almen tua gran bontade quinci,
    Or che reo fato nostro, o sua ventura,
    Ch' era ben degno d' altra vita, e gente,
  Per far più ricco il cielo, e la scultura
    Men bella, e me col buon Martin dolente,
    N' ha privi, o pietà, del secondo Vinci.




In the days when the arts of design flourished in Florence by the
favour and assistance of the elder Lorenzo de' Medici the Magnificent,
there lived in the city a goldsmith called Michelagnolo di Viviano of
Gaiuole, who worked excellently well at chasing and incavo for enamels
and niello, and was very skilful in every sort of work in gold and
silver plate. This Michelagnolo had a great knowledge of jewels, and
set them very well; and on account of his talents and his versatility
all the foreign masters of his art used to have recourse to him, and
he gave them hospitality, as well as to the young men of the city,
insomuch that his workshop was held to be, as it was, the first in
Florence. Of him the Magnificent Lorenzo and all the house of Medici
availed themselves; and for the tourney that Giuliano, the brother of
that Magnificent Lorenzo, held on the Piazza di S. Croce, he executed
with subtle craftsmanship all the ornaments of helmets, crests, and
devices. Wherefore he acquired a great name and much intimacy with the
sons of the Magnificent Lorenzo, to whom his work was ever afterwards
very dear, and no less useful to him their acquaintance and
friendship, by reason of which, and also by the many works that he
executed throughout the whole city and dominion, he became a man of
substance as well as one of much repute in his art. To this
Michelagnolo the Medici, on their departure from Florence in the year
1494, entrusted much plate in silver and gold, which was all kept in
safe hiding by him and faithfully preserved until their return, when
he was much extolled by them for his fidelity, and afterwards
recompensed with rewards.

In the year 1487 there was born to Michelagnolo a son, whom he called
Bartolommeo, but afterwards, according to the Florentine custom, he
was called by everyone Baccio. Michelagnolo, desiring to leave his son
heir to his art and connection, took him into his own workshop in
company with other young men who were learning to draw; for that was
the custom in those times, and no one was held to be a good goldsmith
who was not a good draughtsman and able to work well in relief.
Baccio, then, in his first years, gave his attention to design
according to the teaching of his father, being assisted no less to
make proficience by the competition of the other lads, among whom he
chose as his particular companion one called Piloto, who afterwards
became an able goldsmith; and with him he often went about the
churches drawing the works of the good painters, but also mingling
work in relief with his drawing, and counterfeiting in wax certain
sculptures of Donato and Verrocchio, besides executing some works in
clay, in the round.

While still a boy in age, Baccio frequented at times the workshop of
Girolamo del Buda, a commonplace painter, on the Piazza di S.
Pulinari. There, at one time during the winter, a great quantity of
snow had fallen, which had been thrown afterwards by the people into a
heap in that piazza; and Girolamo, turning to Baccio, said to him
jestingly: "Baccio, if this snow were marble, could we not carve a
fine giant out of it, such as a Marforio lying down?" "We could so,"
answered Baccio, "and I suggest that we should act as if it were
marble." And immediately, throwing off his cloak, he set his hands to
the snow, and, assisted by other boys, taking away the snow where
there was too much, and adding some in other places, he made a rough
figure of Marforio lying down, eight braccia in length. Whereupon the
painter and all the others stood marvelling, not so much at what he
had done as at the spirit with which he had set his hand to a work so
vast, and he so young and so small.

Baccio, indeed, having more love for sculpture than for goldsmith's
work, gave many proofs of this; and when he went to Pinzirimonte, a
villa bought by his father, he would often plant himself before the
naked labourers and draw them with great eagerness, and he did the
same with the cattle on the farm. At this time he continued for many
days to go in the morning to Prato, which was near the villa, where he
stayed the whole day drawing in the Chapel of the Pieve from the work
of Fra Filippo Lippi, and he did not cease until he had drawn it all,
imitating the draperies of that master, who did them very well. And
already he handled with great skill the style and the pen, and also
chalk both red and black, which last is a soft stone that comes from
the mountains of France, and with it, when cut to a point, drawings
can be executed with great delicacy.

These things making clear to Michelagnolo the mind and inclination of
his son, he also changed his intention, like the boy himself, and,
being likewise advised by his friends, placed him under the care of
Giovan Francesco Rustici, one of the best sculptors in the city, whose
workshop was still constantly frequented by Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo, seeing the drawings of Baccio and being pleased with them,
exhorted him to persevere and to take to working in relief; and he
recommended strongly to him the works of Donato, saying also that he
should execute something in marble, such as a head or a low-relief.
Baccio, encouraged by the comforting advice of Leonardo, set himself
to copy in marble an antique head of a woman, of which he had shaped a
model from one that is in the house of the Medici. This, for his first
work, he executed passing well, and it was held very dear by Andrea
Carnesecchi, who received it as a present from Baccio's father and
placed it in his house in the Via Larga, over that door in the centre
of the court which leads into the garden. Now, Baccio continuing to
make other models of figures in clay in the round, his father, wishing
not to fail in his duty towards the praiseworthy zeal of his son, sent
for some blocks of marble from Carrara, and caused to be built for
him, at the end of his house at Pinti, a room with lights arranged for
working, which looked out upon the Via Fiesolana. Whereupon he set
himself to block out various figures in those marbles, and one, among
others, he carried well on from a piece of marble of two braccia and a
half, which was a Hercules that is holding the dead Cacus beneath him,
between his legs. These sketches were left in the same place in memory
of him.

At this time was thrown open to view the cartoon of Michelagnolo
Buonarroti, full of nude figures, which Michelagnolo had executed at
the commission of Piero Soderini for the Great Council Chamber, and,
as has been related in another place, all the craftsmen flocked
together to draw it on account of its excellence. Among these came
Baccio, and no long time passed before he outstripped them all, for
the reason that he understood nudes, and outlined, shaded, and
finished them, better than any of the other draughtsmen, among whom
were Jacopo Sansovino, Andrea del Sarto, Il Rosso, who was then very
young, and Alfonso Berughetta the Spaniard, together with many other
famous craftsmen. Baccio frequented the place more than any of the
others, and had a counterfeit key; and it happened that, Piero
Soderini having been deposed from the government about this time, in
the year 1512, and the house of Medici having been restored to power,
during the confusion caused in the Palace by the change of government,
Baccio entered in secret, all by himself, and tore the cartoon into
many pieces. Of which not knowing the reason, some said that Baccio
had torn it up in order to have some pieces of the cartoon in his
possession for his own convenience, some declared that he wished to
deprive the other young men of that advantage, so that they might not
be able to profit by it and make themselves a name in art, others said
that he was moved to do this by his affection for Leonardo da Vinci,
from whom Michelagnolo's cartoon had taken much of his reputation, and
others, again, perhaps interpreting his action better, attributed it
to the hatred which he felt against Michelagnolo and afterwards
demonstrated as long as he lived. The loss of the cartoon was no light
one for the city, and very heavy the blame that was rightly laid upon
Baccio by everyone, as an envious and malicious person.

Baccio then executed some pieces of cartoon with lead-white and
charcoal, among which was a very beautiful one of a nude Cleopatra,
which he presented to the goldsmith Piloto. Having already acquired a
name as a great draughtsman, he was desirous of learning to paint in
colours, having a firm belief that he would not only equal Buonarroti,
but even greatly surpass him in both fields of art. Now he had
executed a cartoon of a Leda, in which Castor and Pollux were issuing
from the egg of the swan embraced by her, and he wished to colour it
in oils, in such a way as to make it appear that the methods of
handling the colours and mixing them together in order to make the
various tints, with the lights and shades, had not been taught to him
by others, but that he had found them by himself, and, after pondering
how he could do this, he thought of the following expedient. He
besought Andrea del Sarto, who was much his friend, that he should
paint a portrait of him in oils, flattering himself that he would
thereby gain two advantages in accordance with his purpose; one was
that he would see the method of mixing the colours, and the other was
that the painted picture would remain in his hands, which, having seen
it executed and understanding it, would assist him and serve him as a
pattern. But Andrea perceived Baccio's intention as he made his
request, and was angry at his want of confidence and astuteness, for
he would have been willing to show him what he desired, if Baccio had
asked him as a friend; wherefore, without making any sign that he had
found him out, and refraining from mixing the colours into tints, he
placed every sort of colour on his palette and mingled them together
with the brush, and, taking some now from one and now from another
with great dexterity of hand, counterfeited in this way the vivid
colouring of Baccio's face. The latter, both through the artfulness of
Andrea and because he had to sit still where he was if he wished to be
painted, was never able to see or learn anything that he wished: and
it was a fine notion of Andrea's, thus at the same time to punish the
deceitfulness of his friend and to display with this method of
painting, like a well-practised master, even greater ability and
experience in art.

For all this, however, Baccio did not abandon his determination, in
which he was assisted by the painter Rosso, whom he afterwards asked
more openly for the help that he desired. Having thus learned the
methods of colouring, he painted a picture in oils of the Holy Fathers
delivered from the Limbo of Hell by the Saviour, and also a larger
picture of Noah drunk with wine and revealing his nakedness in the
presence of his sons. He tried his hand at painting on the wall, on
fresh plaster, and executed on the walls of his house heads, arms,
legs, and torsi, coloured in various ways; but, perceiving that this
involved him in greater difficulties than he had expected, through
the drying of the plaster, he returned to his former study of working
in relief. He made a figure of marble, three braccia in height, of a
young Mercury with a flute in his hand, with which he took great
pains, and it was extolled and held to be a rare work; and afterwards,
in the year 1530, it was bought by Giovan Battista della Palla and
sent to France to King Francis, who held it in great estimation.

Baccio devoted himself with great study and solicitude to examining
and reproducing the most minute details of anatomy, persevering in
this for many months and even years. And certainly one can praise
highly in this man his desire for honour and excellence in art, and
for working well therein; spurred by which desire, and by the most
fiery ardour, with which, rather than with aptitude or dexterity in
art, he had been endowed by nature from his earliest years, Baccio
spared himself no fatigue, never relaxed his efforts for a moment, was
always intent either on preparing for work or on working, always
occupied, and never to be found idle, thinking that by continual work
he would surpass all others who had ever practised his art, and
promising this result to himself as the reward of his incessant study
and endless labour. Continuing, therefore, his zealous study, he not
only produced a great number of sheets drawn in various ways with his
own hand, but also contrived to get Agostino Viniziano, the engraver
of prints, to engrave for him a nude Cleopatra and a larger plate
filled with various anatomical studies, in order to see whether this
would be successful; and the latter plate brought him great praise.

He then set himself to make in wax, in full-relief, a figure one braccio
and a half in height of S. Jerome in Penitence, lean beyond belief,
which showed on the bones the muscles all withered, a great part of the
nerves, and the skin dry and wrinkled; and with such diligence was this
work executed by him, that all the craftsmen, and particularly Leonardo
da Vinci, pronounced the opinion that there had never been seen a better
thing of its kind, nor one wrought with greater art. This figure Baccio
carried to Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici and to his brother the
Magnificent Giuliano, and by its means he made himself known to them as
the son of the goldsmith Michelagnolo; and they, besides praising the
work, showed him many other favours. This was in the year 1512, when
they had returned to their house and their government. At this same time
there were being executed in the Office of Works of S. Maria del Fiore
certain Apostles of marble, which were to be set up within the marble
tabernacles in those very places in that church where there are the
Apostles painted by the painter Lorenzo di Bicci. At the instance of the
Magnificent Giuliano there was allotted to Baccio a S. Peter, four
braccia and a half in height, which after a long time he brought to
completion; and, although it has not the highest perfection of
sculpture, nevertheless good design may be seen in it. This Apostle
remained in the Office of Works from the year 1513 down to 1565, in
which year Duke Cosimo, in honour of the marriage of Queen Joanna of
Austria, his daughter-in-law, was pleased to have the interior of S.
Maria del Fiore whitewashed, which church had never been touched from
the time of its erection down to that day, and to have four Apostles set
up in their places, among which was the S. Peter mentioned above.

Now in the year 1515, Pope Leo X passing through Florence on his way
to Bologna, the city, in order to do him honour, ordained, among many
other ornaments and festive preparations, that there should be made a
colossal figure of nine braccia and a half, which was to be placed
under an arch of the Loggia in the Piazza near the Palace; and this
was given to Baccio. This colossal figure was a Hercules, and from the
premature words of Baccio men expected that it would surpass the David
of Buonarroti, which stood there near it; but the act did not
correspond to the word, nor the work to the boast, and it robbed
Baccio of much of the estimation in which he had previously been held
by the craftsmen and by the whole city.

Pope Leo had allotted the work of the ornamentation in marble that
surrounds the Chamber of Our Lady at Loreto, with the statues and
scenes, to Maestro Andrea Contucci of Monte Sansovino, who had already
executed some of these with great credit to himself, and was then
engaged on others. Now at this time Baccio took to Rome, for the Pope,
a very beautiful model of a nude David who was holding Goliath under
him and was cutting off his head; which model he intended to execute
in bronze or in marble for that very spot in the court of the house of
the Medici in Florence where there once stood the David of Donato,
which, at the spoiling of the Medici Palace, was taken to the Palace
that then belonged to the Signori. The Pope, having praised Baccio,
but not thinking that the time had come to execute the David, sent him
to Loreto to Maestro Andrea, to the end that Andrea might give him one
of those scenes to do. Having arrived in Loreto, he was received
lovingly by Maestro Andrea and shown much kindness, both on account of
his fame and because the Pope had recommended him, and a piece of
marble was assigned to him from which he should carve the Nativity of
Our Lady. Baccio, after making the model, began the work; but, being a
person who was not able to endure a colleague or an equal, and had
little praise for the works of others, he also began to speak hardly
before the other sculptors who were there of the works of Maestro
Andrea, saying that he had no design, and he said the same of the
others, insomuch that in a short time he made himself disliked by them
all. Whereupon, all that Baccio had said of Maestro Andrea having come
to his ears, he, like a wise man, answered him lovingly, saying that
works are done with the hands and not with the tongue, that good
design is to be looked for not in drawings but in the perfection of
the work finished in stone, and, finally, that in future Baccio should
speak of him in a different tone. But Baccio answering him arrogantly
with many abusive words, Maestro Andrea could endure no more, and
rushed upon him in order to kill him; but Bandinelli was torn away
from him by some who intervened between them. Being therefore forced
to depart from Loreto, Baccio had his scene carried to Ancona; but he
grew weary of it, although it was near completion, and he went away
leaving it unfinished. This work was finished afterwards by Raffaello
da Montelupo, and placed together with the others of Maestro Andrea;
but it is by no means equal to them in excellence, although even so it
is worthy of praise.

Baccio, having returned to Rome, obtained a promise from the Pope,
through the favour of Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, always ready to
assist the arts and their followers, that he should be commissioned to
execute some statue for the court of the Medici Palace in Florence.
Having therefore come to Florence, he made an Orpheus of marble, who
with his playing and his singing is charming Cerberus, and moving Hell
itself to compassion. He imitated in this work the Apollo of the
Belvedere at Rome, and it was very highly praised, and rightly,
because, although the Orpheus of Baccio is not in the attitude of the
Apollo Belvedere, nevertheless it reproduces very successfully the
manner of the torso and of all the members. The statue, when finished,
was carried by order of Cardinal Giulio, while he was governing
Florence, into the above-mentioned court, and placed on a carved base
executed by the sculptor Benedetto da Rovezzano. But since Baccio
never paid any attention to the art of architecture, he took no heed
of the genius of Donatello, who had made for the David that was there
before a simple column on which rested a cleft base in open-work, to
the end that one entering from without might see from the street-door
the inner door, that of the other court, opposite to him; and, not
having such foresight, he caused his statue to be placed on a broad
and wholly solid base, of such a kind that it blocks the view of him
who enters and covers the opening of the inner door, so that in
passing through the first door one does not see whether the palace
extends farther inwards or finishes in the first court.

Cardinal Giulio had caused a most beautiful villa to be erected below
Monte Mario at Rome, and wished to set up two giants in this villa;
and he had them executed in stucco by Baccio, who was always delighted
to make giants. These figures, eight braccia in height, stand one on
either side of the gate that leads into the wood, and they were held
to be reasonably beautiful. While Baccio was engaged on these works,
never abandoning his practice of drawing, he caused Marco da Ravenna
and Agostino Viniziano, the engravers of prints, to engrave a scene
drawn by him on a very large sheet, in which was the Slaughter of the
Innocents, so cruelly done to death by Herod. This scene, which was
filled by him with a quantity of nudes, both male and female, children
living and dead, and women and soldiers in various attitudes, made
known the fine draughtsmanship that he showed in figures and his
knowledge of muscles and of all the members, and it won him great
fame over all Europe. He also made a most beautiful model of wood,
with the figures in wax, of a tomb for the King of England, which in
the end was not carried out by Baccio, but was given to the sculptor
Benedetto da Rovezzano, who executed it in metal.


(_After the painting by =Baccio Bandinelli=. Hereford: W. J. Davies'


There had recently returned from France Cardinal Bernardo Divizio of
Bibbiena, who, perceiving that King Francis possessed not a single
work in marble, whether ancient or modern, although he much delighted
in such things, had promised his Majesty that he would prevail on the
Pope to send him some beautiful work. After this Cardinal there came
to the Pope two Ambassadors from King Francis, and they, having seen
the statues of the Belvedere, lavished all the praise at their command
on the Laocoon. Cardinals de' Medici and Bibbiena, who were with them,
asked them whether the King would be glad to have a work of that kind;
and they answered that it would be too great a gift. Then the Cardinal
said to them: "There shall be sent to his Majesty either this one or
one so like it that there shall be no difference." And, having
resolved to have another made in imitation of it, he remembered
Baccio, whom he sent for and asked whether he had the courage to make
a Laocoon equal to the original. Baccio answered that he was confident
that he could make one not merely equal to it, but even surpassing it
in perfection. The Cardinal then resolved that the work should be
begun, and Baccio, while waiting for the marble to come, made one in
wax, which was much extolled, and also executed a cartoon in
lead-white and charcoal of the same size as the one in marble. After
the marble had come and Baccio had caused an enclosure with a roof for
working in to be erected for himself in the Belvedere, he made a
beginning with one of the boys of the Laocoon, the larger one, and
executed this in such a manner that the Pope and all those who were
good judges were satisfied, because between his work and the ancient
there was scarcely any difference to be seen. But after setting his
hand to the other boy and to the statue of the father, which is in the
middle, he had not gone far when the Pope died. Adrian VI being then
elected, he returned with the Cardinal to Florence, where he occupied
himself with his studies in design. After the death of Adrian and
the election of Clement VII, Baccio went post-haste to Rome in order
to be in time for his coronation, for which he made statues and scenes
in half-relief by order of his Holiness. Then, having been provided by
the Pope with rooms and an allowance, he returned to his Laocoon, a
work which was executed by him in the space of two years with the
greatest excellence that he ever achieved. He also restored the right
arm of the ancient Laocoon, which had been broken off and never found,
and Baccio made one of the full size in wax, which so resembled the
ancient work in the muscles, in force, and in manner, and harmonized
with it so well, that it showed how Baccio understood his art; and
this model served him as a pattern for making the whole arm of his own
Laocoon. This work seemed to his Holiness to be so good, that he
changed his mind and resolved to send other ancient statues to the
King, and this one to Florence; and to Cardinal Silvio Passerino of
Cortona, his Legate in Florence, who was then governing the city, he
sent orders that he should place the Laocoon at the head of the second
court in the Palace of the Medici. This was in the year 1525.

This work brought great fame to Baccio, who, after finishing the
Laocoon, set himself to draw a scene on a sheet of royal folio laid
open, in order to carry out a design of the Pope, who wished to have
the Martyrdom of S. Cosimo and S. Damiano painted on one wall of the
principal chapel of S. Lorenzo in Florence, and on the other that of
S. Laurence, when he was put to death by Decius on the gridiron.
Baccio then drew with great subtlety the story of S. Laurence, in
which he counterfeited with much judgment and art figures both clothed
and nude, different attitudes and gestures in the bodies and limbs,
and various movements in those who are standing about S. Laurence,
engaged in their dreadful office, and in particular the cruel Decius,
who with threatening brow is urging on the fiery death of the innocent
Martyr, who, raising one arm to Heaven, recommends his spirit to God.
With this scene Baccio so satisfied the Pope, that he took steps to
have it engraved on copper by Marc'Antonio Bolognese, which was done
by Marc'Antonio with great diligence; and his Holiness created Baccio,
in order to do honour to his talents, a Chevalier of S. Pietro.

After these things Baccio returned to Florence, where he found that
Giovan Francesco Rustici, his first master, was painting a scene of
the Conversion of S. Paul; for which reason he undertook to make in a
cartoon, in competition with his master, a nude figure of a young S.
John in the desert, who is holding a lamb with the left arm and
raising the right to Heaven. Then, having caused a panel to be
prepared, he set himself to colour it, and when it was finished he
exposed it to view in the workshop of his father Michelagnolo,
opposite to the descent that leads from Orsanmichele to the Mercato
Nuovo. The design was praised by the craftsmen, but not so much the
colouring, because it was somewhat crude and painted in no beautiful
manner. But Baccio sent it as a present to Pope Clement, who had it
placed in his guardaroba, where it may still be found.

As far back as the time of Leo X there had been quarried at Carrara,
together with the marbles for the façade of S. Lorenzo in Florence,
another block of marble nine braccia and a half high and five braccia
wide at the foot. With this block of marble Michelagnolo Buonarroti
had thought of making a giant in the person of Hercules slaying Cacus,
intending to place it in the Piazza beside the colossal figure of
David formerly made by him, since both the one and the other, David
and Hercules, were emblems of the Palace. He had made several designs
and various models for it, and had sought to gain the favour of Pope
Leo and of Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, saying that the David had many
defects caused by the sculptor Maestro Andrea, who had first blocked
it out and spoiled it. But by reason of the death of Leo the façade of
S. Lorenzo was for a time abandoned, and also this block of marble.
Now afterwards, Pope Clement having conceived a desire to avail
himself of Michelagnolo for the tombs of the heroes of the house of
Medici, which he wished to have constructed in the Sacristy of S.
Lorenzo, it became once more necessary to quarry marbles; and the head
of these works, keeping the accounts of the expenses, was Domenico
Buoninsegni. This man tried to tempt Michelagnolo to make a secret
partnership with him in the matter of the stone-work for the façade of
S. Lorenzo; but Michelagnolo refused, not consenting that his genius
should be employed in defrauding the Pope, and Domenico conceived such
hatred against him that he went about ever afterwards opposing his
undertakings, in order to annoy and humiliate him, but this he did
covertly. He thus contrived to have the façade discontinued and the
sacristy pushed forward, which two works, he said, were enough to keep
Michelagnolo occupied for many years. And as for the marble for the
making of the giant, he urged the Pope that it should be given to
Baccio, who at that time had nothing to do; saying that through the
emulation of two men so eminent his Holiness would be served better
and with more diligence and promptitude, rivalry stimulating both the
one and the other in his work. The counsel of Domenico pleased the
Pope, and he acted in accordance with it. Baccio, having obtained the
marble, made a great model in wax, which was a Hercules who, having
fixed the head of Cacus between two stones with one knee, was
constraining him with great force with the left arm, holding him
crouching under his legs in a distorted attitude, wherein Cacus
revealed his suffering and the strain of the weight of Hercules upon
him, which was rending asunder every least muscle in his whole body.
Hercules, likewise, with his head bent down close against his enemy,
grinding and gnashing his teeth, was raising the right arm and with
great vehemence giving him another blow with his club, in order to
dash his head to pieces.

Michelagnolo, as soon as he had heard that the marble had been given
to Baccio, was very much displeased; but, for all the efforts that he
made in this matter, he was never able to turn the Pope from his
purpose, so completely had he been satisfied by Baccio's model; to
which reason were added his promises and boasts, for he boasted that
he would surpass the David of Michelagnolo, and he was also assisted
by Buoninsegni, who said that Michelagnolo desired everything for
himself. Thus was the city deprived of a rare ornament, such as that
marble would undoubtedly have been when shaped by the hand of
Buonarroti. The above-mentioned model of Baccio is now to be found in
the guardaroba of Duke Cosimo, by whom it is held very dear, and by
the craftsmen as a rare work.

Baccio was sent to Carrara to see this marble, and the Overseers of
the Works of S. Maria del Fiore were commissioned to transport it by
water, along the River Arno, as far as Signa. The marble having been
conveyed there, within a distance of eight miles from Florence, when
they set about removing it from the river in order to transport it by
land, the river being too low from Signa to Florence, it fell into the
water, and on account of its great size sank so deep into the sand,
that the Overseers, with all the contrivances that they used, were not
able to drag it out. For which reason, the Pope wishing that the
marble should be recovered at all costs, by order of the Wardens of
Works Pietro Rosselli, an old builder of great ingenuity, went to work
in such a manner that, having diverted the course of the water into
another channel and cut away the bank of the river, with levers and
windlasses he moved it, dragged it out of the Arno, and brought it to
solid ground, for which he was greatly extolled. Tempted by this
accident to the marble, certain persons wrote verses, both Tuscan and
Latin, ingeniously ridiculing Baccio, who was detested for his
loquacity and his evil-speaking against Michelagnolo and all the other
craftsmen. One among them took for his verses the following subject,
saying that the marble, after having been approved by the genius of
Michelagnolo, learning that it was to be mangled by the hands of
Baccio, had thrown itself into the river out of despair at such an
evil fate.

While the marble was being drawn out of the water, a difficult process
which took time, Baccio found, on measuring it, that it was neither
high enough nor wide enough to enable him to carve the figures of his
first model. Whereupon he went to Rome, taking the measurements with
him, and made known to the Pope how he was constrained by necessity to
abandon his first design and make another. He then made several
models, and out of their number the Pope was most pleased with one in
which Hercules had Cacus between his legs, and, grasping his hair, was
holding him down after the manner of a prisoner; and this one they
resolved to adopt and to carry into execution. On returning to
Florence, Baccio found that the marble had been conveyed into the
Office of Works of S. Maria del Fiore by Pietro Rosselli, who had
first placed on the ground some planks of walnut-wood planed square,
and laid lengthways, which he kept changing according as the marble
moved forward, under which and upon those planks he placed some round
rollers well shod with iron, so that by pulling the marble with three
windlasses, to which he had attached it, little by little he brought
it with ease into the Office of Works. The block having been set up
there, Baccio began a model in clay as large as the marble and shaped
according to the last one which he had made previously in Rome; and he
finished it, working with great diligence, in a few months. But with
all this it appeared to many craftsmen that there was not in this
model that spirited vivacity that the action required, nor that which
he had given to his first model. Afterwards, beginning to work at the
marble, Baccio cut it away all round as far as the navel, laying bare
the limbs in front, and taking care all the time to carve the figures
in such a way that they might be exactly like those of the large model
in clay.

At this same time Baccio had undertaken to execute in painting an
altar-piece of considerable size for the Church of Cestello, and for
this he had made a very beautiful cartoon containing a Dead Christ
surrounded by the Maries, with Nicodemus and other figures; but, for a
reason that we shall give below, he did not paint the altar-piece. He
also made at this time, in order to paint a picture, a cartoon in
which was Christ taken down from the Cross and held in the arms of
Nicodemus, with His Mother, who was standing, weeping for Him, and an
Angel who was holding in his hands the Nails and the Crown of Thorns.
Setting himself straightway to colour it, he finished it quickly and
placed it on exhibition in the workshop of his friend Giovanni di
Goro, the goldsmith, in the Mercato Nuovo, in order to hear the
opinions of men and particularly what Michelagnolo said of it.
Michelagnolo was taken by the goldsmith Piloto to see it, and, after
he had examined every part, he said that he marvelled that so good a
draughtsman as Baccio should allow a picture so crude and wanting in
grace to leave his hands, that he had seen the most feeble painters
executing their works in a better manner, and that this was no art for
Baccio. Piloto reported Michelagnolo's judgment to Baccio, who, for
all the hatred that he felt against him, recognized that he spoke the
truth. Certainly Baccio's drawings were very beautiful, but in colours
he executed them badly and without grace, and he therefore resolved to
paint no more with his own hand; but he took into his service one who
handled colours passing well, a young man called Agnolo, the brother
of the excellent painter Franciabigio, who had died a few years
before. To this Agnolo he desired to entrust the execution of the
altar-piece for Cestello, but it remained unfinished, the reason of
which was the change of government in Florence, which took place in
the year 1527, when the Medici left Florence after the sack of Rome.
For Baccio did not think himself safe, having a private feud with a
neighbour at his villa of Pinzirimonte, who was of the popular party;
and after he had buried at that villa some cameos and little antique
figures of bronze, which belonged to the Medici, he went off to live
in Lucca. There he remained until the time when the Emperor Charles V
came to receive his crown at Bologna; whereupon he presented himself
before the Pope and then went with him to Rome, where he was given
rooms in the Belvedere, as before.

While Baccio was living there, his Holiness resolved to fulfil a vow
that he had made when he was shut up in the Castello di S. Angelo;
which vow was that he would place on the summit of the great round
tower of marble, which is in front of the Ponte di Castello, seven
large figures of bronze, each six braccia in length, and all lying
down in different attitudes, as it were vanquished by an Angel that he
wished to have set up on the centre of the tower, upon a column of
variegated marble, the Angel being of bronze with a sword in the hand.
By this figure of the Angel he wished to represent the Angel Michael,
the guardian and protector of the Castle, whose favour and assistance
had delivered him and brought him out of that prison; and the seven
recumbent figures were to personify the seven Mortal Sins,
demonstrating that with the help of the victorious Angel he had
conquered and thrown to the ground his enemies, evil and impious men,
who were represented by those seven figures of the seven Mortal Sins.
For this work his Holiness caused a model to be made; which having
pleased him, he ordained that Baccio should begin to make the figures
in clay of the size that they were to be, in order to have them cast
afterwards in bronze. Baccio began the work, and finished in one of
the apartments in the Belvedere one of those figures in clay, which
was much extolled. At the same time, also, in order to divert himself,
and wishing to see how he would succeed in casting, he made many
little figures in the round, two-thirds of a braccio in height, as of
Hercules, Venus, Apollo, Leda, and other fantasies of his own, which
he caused to be cast in bronze by Maestro Jacopo della Barba of
Florence; and they succeeded excellently well. He presented them
afterwards to his Holiness and to many lords; and some of them are now
in the study of Duke Cosimo, among a collection of more than a hundred
antique figures, all very choice, and others that are modern.

At this same time Baccio had made a scene of the Deposition from the
Cross with little figures in low-relief and half-relief, which was a
rare work; and he had it cast with great diligence in bronze. When
finished, he presented it in Genoa to Charles V, who held it very
dear; and a sign of this was that his Majesty gave Baccio a Commandery
of S. Jago, and made him a Chevalier. From Prince Doria, also, he
received many courtesies; and from the Republic of Genoa he had the
commission for a statue of marble six braccia high, which was to be a
Neptune in the likeness of Prince Doria, to be set up on the Piazza in
memory of the virtues of that Prince and of the extraordinary benefits
that his native country of Genoa had received from him. This statue
was allotted to Baccio at the price of a thousand florins, of which he
received five hundred at that time; and he went straightway to Carrara
to block it out at the quarry of Polvaccio.

While the popular government was ruling Florence, after the departure
of the Medici, Michelagnolo Buonarroti was employed on the
fortifications of the city; and there was shown to him the marble that
Baccio had blocked out, together with the model of the Hercules and
Cacus, the intention being that if the marble had not been cut away
too much Michelagnolo should take it and carve from it two figures
after his own design. Michelagnolo, having examined the block, thought
of a different subject; and, abandoning the Hercules and Cacus, he
chose the subject of Samson holding beneath him two Philistines whom
he had cast down, one being already dead, and the other still alive,
against whom he was aiming a blow with the jawbone of an ass, seeking
to kill him. But even as it often happens that the minds of men
promise themselves at times certain things the opposite of which is
determined by the wisdom of God, so it came to pass then, for, war
having arisen against the city of Florence, Michelagnolo had other
things to think about than polishing marble, and was obliged from fear
of the citizens to withdraw from the city. Afterwards, the war being
finished and peace made, Pope Clement caused Michelagnolo to return to
Florence in order to finish the Sacristy of S. Lorenzo, and sent
Baccio to see to the completion of the giant. Baccio, while engaged in
this, took up his abode in the Palace of the Medici; and, writing
almost every week to his Holiness in order to make a show of devotion,
he entered, besides dealing with matters of art, into particulars
relating to the citizens and those who were administering the
government, with an odious officiousness likely to bring upon him even
more ill-will than he had awakened before. Whereupon, when Duke
Alessandro returned from the Court of his Majesty to Florence, the
citizens made known to him the sinister policy that Baccio was
pursuing against them; from which it followed that his work of the
giant was hindered and retarded by the citizens by every means in
their power.


(_After the marble by =Baccio Bandinelli=. Florence: Piazza della


At this time, after the war of Hungary, Pope Clement and the Emperor
Charles held a conference at Bologna, whither there went Cardinal
Ippolito de' Medici and Duke Alessandro; and it occurred to Baccio to
go and kiss the feet of his Holiness. He took with him a panel, one
braccio high and one and a half wide, of Christ being scourged at the
Column by two nude figures, which was in half-relief and very well
executed; and he gave this panel to the Pope, together with a
portrait-medal of his Holiness, which he had caused to be made by
Francesco dal Prato, his familiar friend, the reverse of the medal
being the Flagellation of Christ. This gift was very acceptable to his
Holiness, to whom Baccio described the annoyances and impediments that
he had experienced in the execution of his Hercules, praying him that
he should prevail upon the Duke to give him the means to carry it to
completion. He added that he was envied and hated in that city; and,
being a very devil with his wit and his tongue, he persuaded the Pope
to induce the Duke to see that his work should be brought to
completion and set up in its place in the Piazza.

Death had now snatched away the goldsmith Michelagnolo, the father of
Baccio, who during his lifetime had undertaken to make for the Wardens
of Works of S. Maria del Fiore, by order of the Pope, a very large
cross of silver, all covered with scenes in low-relief of the Passion
of Christ. This cross, for which Baccio had made the figures and
scenes in wax, to be afterwards cast in silver, Michelagnolo had left
unfinished at his death; and Baccio, having the work in his hands,
together with many libbre of silver, sought to persuade his Holiness
to have it finished by Francesco dal Prato, who had gone with him to
Bologna. But the Pope, perceiving that Baccio wished not only to
withdraw from his father's engagements, but also to make something out
of the labours of Francesco, gave Baccio orders that the silver and
the scenes, those merely begun as well as those finished, should be
given to the Wardens of Works, that the account should be settled, and
that the Wardens should melt all the silver of that cross, in order to
make use of it for the necessities of the church, which had been
stripped of its ornaments at the time of the siege; and to Baccio he
caused one hundred florins of gold and letters of recommendation to be
given, to the end that he might return to Florence and finish the work
of the giant.

While Baccio was at Bologna, Cardinal Doria, having heard that he was
about to depart, went to the pains of seeking him out, and threatened
him with many reproaches and abusive words, for the reason that he had
broken his pledge and failed in his duty by neglecting to finish the
statue of Prince Doria and leaving it only blocked out at Carrara,
after taking five hundred crowns in payment; on which account, said
the Cardinal, if Andrea could get Baccio into his hands, he would make
him pay for it at the galleys. Baccio defended himself humbly and with
soft words, saying that he had been delayed by a sufficient hindrance,
but that he had in Florence a block of marble of the same height, from
which he had intended to carve that figure, and that when he had
carved and finished it he would send it to Genoa. And so well did he
contrive to speak and to excuse himself that he succeeded in escaping
from the presence of the Cardinal. After this he returned to Florence,
and caused the base for the giant to be taken in hand; and, himself
working continuously at the figure, in the year 1534 he finished it
completely. But Duke Alessandro, on account of the hostile reports of
the citizens, did not take steps to have it set up in the Piazza.

The Pope had returned to Rome many months before this, and desired to
erect two tombs of marble in the Minerva, one for Pope Leo and one for
himself; and Baccio, seizing this occasion, went to Rome. Thereupon
the Pope resolved that Baccio should make those tombs after he had
succeeded in setting up the giant on the Piazza; and his Holiness
wrote to the Duke that he should give Baccio every convenience for
placing his Hercules in position there. Whereupon, after an enclosure
of planks had been made all round, the base was built of marble, and
at the foot of it they placed a stone with letters in memory of Pope
Clement VII, and a good number of medals with the heads of his
Holiness and of Duke Alessandro. The giant was then taken from the
Office of Works, where it had been executed; and in order to convey it
with greater ease, without damaging it, they made round it a
scaffolding of wood, with ropes passing under the legs and cords
supporting it under the arms and at every other part; and thus,
suspended in the air between the beams in such a way that it did not
touch the wood, little by little, by means of compound pulleys and
windlasses and ten pairs of oxen, it was drawn as far as the Piazza.
Great assistance was rendered by two thick, semi-cylindrical beams,
which were fixed lengthways along the foot of the scaffolding, in the
manner of a base, and rested on other similar beams smeared with soap,
which were withdrawn and replaced by workmen in succession, according
as the structure moved forward; and with these ingenious contrivances
the giant was conveyed safely and without much labour to the Piazza.
The charge of all this was given to Baccio d'Agnolo and the elder
Antonio da San Gallo, the architects to the Office of Works, who
afterwards with other beams and a double system of compound pulleys
set the statue securely on its base.

It would not be easy to describe the concourse and multitude that for
two days occupied the whole Piazza, flocking to see the giant as soon
as it was uncovered; and various judgments and opinions were heard
from all kinds of men, every one censuring the work and the master.
There were also attached round the base many verses, both Latin and
Tuscan, in which it was pleasing to see the wit, the ingenious
conceits, and the sharp sayings of the writers; but they overstepped
all decent limits with their evil-speaking and their biting and
satirical compositions, and Duke Alessandro, considering that, the
work being a public one, the indignity was his, was forced to put in
prison some who went so far as to attach sonnets openly and without
scruple to the statue; which proceeding soon stopped the mouths of the

When Baccio examined his work in position, it seemed to him that the
open air was little favourable to it, making the muscles appear too
delicate. Having therefore caused a new enclosure of planks to be made
around it, he attacked it again with his chisels, and, strengthening
the muscles in many places, gave the figures stronger relief than they
had before. Finally, the work was uncovered for good; and by everyone
able to judge it has always been held to be not only a triumph over
difficulties, but also very well studied, with every part carefully
considered, and the figure of Cacus excellently adapted to its
position. It is true that the David of Michelagnolo, which is beside
Baccio's Hercules, takes away not a little of its glory, being the
most beautiful colossal figure that has ever been made; for in it is
all grace and excellence, whereas the manner of Baccio is entirely
different. But in truth, considering Baccio's Hercules by itself, one
cannot but praise it highly, and all the more because it is known that
many sculptors have since tried to make colossal statues, and not one
has attained to the standard of Baccio, who, if he had received as
much grace and facility from nature as he took pains and trouble by
himself, would have been absolutely perfect in the art of sculpture.

Desiring to know what was being said of his work, he sent to the
Piazza a pedagogue whom he kept in his house, telling him that he
should not fail to report to him the truth of what he might hear said.
The pedagogue, hearing nothing but censure, returned sadly to the
house, and, when questioned by Baccio, answered that all with one
voice were abusing the giants, and that they pleased no one. "And
you," asked Baccio, "what do you say of them?" "I speak well of them,"
he replied, "and say, may it please you, that they please me." "I will
not have them please you," said Baccio, "and you, also, must speak ill
of them, for, as you may remember, I never speak well of anyone; and
so we are quits." Thus Baccio concealed his vexation, and it was
always his custom to act thus, pretending not to care for the censure
that any man laid on his works. Nevertheless, it is likely enough that
his resentment was considerable, because when a man labours for
honour, and then obtains nothing but censure, one cannot but believe,
although that censure may be unjust and undeserved, that it afflicts
him secretly in his heart and torments him continually. He was
consoled in his displeasure by an estate, which was given to him in
addition to his payment, by order of Pope Clement. This gift was
doubly dear to him, first because it was useful for its revenue and
was near his villa of Pinzirimonte, and then because it had previously
belonged to Rignadori, his mortal enemy, who had just been declared an
outlaw, and with whom he had always been at strife on account of the
boundary of this property.

At this time a letter was written to Duke Alessandro by Prince Doria,
asking that he should prevail upon Baccio to finish his statue, now
that the giant was completely finished, and saying that he was ready
to revenge himself on Baccio if he did not do his duty; at which
Baccio was so frightened that he would not trust himself to go to
Carrara. However, having been reassured by Cardinal Cibo and Duke
Alessandro, he went there, and, working with some assistants,
proceeded to carry the statue forward. The Prince had himself informed
every day as to how much Baccio was doing; wherefore, receiving a
report that the statue was not of that excellence which had been
promised, he gave Baccio to understand that, if he did not serve him
well, he would make him smart for it. Baccio, hearing this, spoke very
ill of the Prince; which having come to the Prince's ears, he
determined to get him into his hands at all costs, and to take
vengeance upon him by putting him in wholesome fear of the galleys.
Whereupon Baccio, seeing certain persons spying and keeping a watch
upon him, became suspicious, and, being a shrewd and resolute man,
left the work as it was and returned to Florence.

About this time a son was born to Baccio from a woman whom he kept in
his house, and to this son, Pope Clement having died in those days, he
gave the name of Clemente, in memory of that Pontiff, who had always
loved and favoured him. After the death of Pope Clement, he heard that
Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici, Cardinal Innocenzio Cibo, Cardinal
Giovanni Salviati, and Cardinal Niccolò Ridolfi, together with Messer
Baldassarre Turini da Pescia, being the executors of the Pope's will,
had commissions to give for the two marble tombs of Leo and Clement,
which were to be placed in the Minerva. For these tombs Baccio in the
past had already made the models; but the work had been promised
recently to the Ferrarese sculptor Alfonso Lombardi through the favour
of Cardinal de' Medici, whose servant he was. This Alfonso, by the
advice of Michelagnolo, had changed the design of the tombs, and he
had already made the models for them, but without any contract for the
commission, relying wholly on promises, and expecting every day to
have to go to Carrara to quarry the marble. While the time was
slipping away in this manner, it happened that Cardinal Ippolito died
of poison on his way to meet Charles V. Baccio, hearing this, went
without wasting any time to Rome, where he was first received by the
sister of Pope Leo, Madonna Lucrezia Salviati de' Medici, to whom he
strove to prove that no one could do greater honour to the remains of
those great Pontiffs than himself, with his ability in art, adding
that Alfonso was a sculptor without power of design and without skill
and judgment in the handling of marble, and that he was not able to
execute so honourable an undertaking save only with the help of
others. He also used many other devices, and so went to work in
various ways and by various means that he succeeded in changing the
purpose of those lords, who finally entrusted to Cardinal Salviati the
charge of making an agreement with Baccio.

At this time the Emperor Charles V had arrived in Naples, and in Rome
Filippo Strozzi, Anton Francesco degli Albizzi, and the other exiles
were seeking to arrange with Cardinal Salviati to go and set his
Majesty against Duke Alessandro; and they were with the Cardinal at
all hours. Baccio was also all day long in Salviati's halls and
apartments, waiting to have the contract made for the tombs, but not
able to bring matters to a head, because of the Cardinal's
preoccupation with the affairs of the exiles; and they, seeing Baccio
in those rooms morning and evening, grew suspicious of this, and,
fearing lest he might be there to spy upon their movements and give
information to the Duke, some of the young men among them agreed to
follow him secretly one evening and put him out of the way. But
Fortune, coming to his aid in time, brought it about that the two
other Cardinals, with Messer Baldassarre da Pescia, undertook to
finish Baccio's business. Knowing that Baccio was worth little as an
architect, they had caused a design to be made by Antonio da San
Gallo, which pleased them, and had ordained that all the mason's work
to be done in marble should be executed under the direction of the
sculptor Lorenzetto, and that the marble statues and scenes should be
allotted to Baccio. Having arranged the matter in this way, they
finally made the contract with Baccio, who therefore appeared no more
about the house of Cardinal Salviati, withdrawing himself just in
time; and the exiles, the occasion having passed by, thought nothing
more about him.

After these things Baccio made two models of wood, with the statues
and scenes in wax. These models had the bases solid, without
projections, and on each base were four fluted Ionic columns, which
divided the space into three compartments, a large one in the middle,
where in each there was a Pope in full pontificals seated upon a
pedestal, who was giving the benediction, and smaller spaces, each
with a niche containing a figure in the round and standing upright,
four braccia high; which figures, representing Saints, stood on either
side of those Popes. The order of the composition had the form of a
triumphal arch, and above the columns that supported the cornice was a
marble tablet three braccia in height and four braccia and a half in
width, in which was a scene in half-relief. In the scene above the
statue of Pope Leo, which statue had on either side of it in the
niches S. Peter and S. Paul, was his Conference with King Francis at
Bologna, and this story of Leo in the middle, above the columns, was
accompanied by two smaller scenes, in one of which, that above S.
Peter, was the Saint restoring a dead man to life, and in the other,
that above S. Paul, that Saint preaching to the people. In the scene
above Pope Clement, which corresponded to that mentioned above, was
that Pontiff crowning the Emperor Charles at Bologna, and on either
side of it are two smaller scenes, in one of which is S. John the
Baptist preaching to the people, and in the other S. John the
Evangelist raising Drusiana from the dead; and these have below them
in the niches the same Saints, four braccia high, standing on either
side of the statue of Pope Clement, as with that of Leo.

In this structure Baccio showed either too little religion or too much
adulation, or both together, in that he thought fit that the first
founders--after Christ--of our religion, men deified and most dear to
God, should give way to our Popes, and placed them in positions
unworthy of them and inferior to those of Leo and Clement. Certain it
is that this design of his, even as it was displeasing to God and to
the Saints, so likewise gave no pleasure to the Popes or to any other
man, for the reason, it appears to me, that religion--and I mean our
own, the true religion--should be placed by mankind before all other
interests and considerations. And, on the other hand, he who wishes to
exalt and honour any other person, should, I think, be temperate and
restrained, and confine himself within certain limits, so that his
praise and honour may not become another thing--I mean senseless
adulation, which first disgraces the praiser, and also gives no
pleasure to the person praised, if he has any proper feeling, but does
quite the contrary. Baccio, in doing what I have described, made known
to everyone that he had much goodwill and affection indeed towards the
Popes, but little judgment in exalting and honouring them in their

The models described above were taken by Baccio to the garden of
Cardinal Ridolfi at S. Agata on Monte Cavallo, where his lordship was
entertaining Cibo, Salviati, and Messer Baldassarre da Pescia to
dinner, they having assembled together there in order to settle all
that was necessary in the matter of the tombs. While they were at
table, then, there arrived the sculptor Solosmeo, an amusing and
outspoken person, who was always ready to speak ill of anyone, and
little the friend of Baccio. When the message was brought to those
lords that Solosmeo was seeking admittance, Ridolfi ordered that he
should be ushered in, and then, turning to Baccio, said to him: "I
wish that we should hear what Solosmeo says of our bestowal of these
tombs. Raise that door-curtain, Baccio, and stand behind it." Baccio
immediately obeyed, and, when Solosmeo had entered and had been
invited to drink, they then turned to the subject of the tombs
allotted to Baccio; whereupon Solosmeo reproached the Cardinals for
having made a bad choice, and went on to speak all manner of evil
against Baccio, taxing him with ignorance of art, avarice, and
arrogance, and going into many particulars in his criticisms. Baccio,
who stood hidden behind the door-curtain, was not able to contain
himself until Solosmeo should have finished, and, bursting out
scowling and full of rage, said to Solosmeo: "What have I done to you,
that you should speak of me with such scant respect?" Dumbfounded at
the appearance of Baccio, Solosmeo turned to Ridolfi and said: "What
tricks are these, my lord? I want nothing more to do with priests!"
and took himself off. The Cardinals had a hearty laugh both at the one
and at the other; and Salviati said to Baccio: "You hear the opinion
of your brothers in art. Go and give them the lie with your work."


(_After the marble by =Baccio Bandinelli=. Florence: Piazza di S.


Baccio then began the work of the statues and scenes, but his
performances by no means corresponded to his promises and his duty
towards those Pontiffs, for he used little diligence in the figures
and scenes, and left them badly finished and full of defects, being
more solicitous about drawing his money than about working at the
marble. Now his patrons became aware of Baccio's procedure, and
repented of what they had done; but the two largest pieces of marble
remained, those for the two statues that were still to be executed,
one of Leo seated and the other of Clement, and these they ordered him
to finish, beseeching him that he should do better in them. But
Baccio, having already drawn all the money, entered into negotiations
with Messer Giovan Battista da Ricasoli, Bishop of Cortona, who was in
Rome on business of Duke Cosimo's, to depart from Rome and go to
Florence in order to serve Cosimo in the matter of the fountains of
his villa of Castello and the tomb of his father, Signor Giovanni.
The Duke having answered that Baccio should come, he set off for
Florence without a word, leaving the work of the tombs unfinished and
the statues in the hands of two assistants. The Cardinals, hearing of
this, allotted those two statues of the Popes, which still remained to
be finished, to two sculptors, one of whom was Raffaello da Montelupo,
who received the statue of Pope Leo, and the other Giovanni di Baccio,
to whom was given the statue of Clement. They then gave orders that
the masonry and all that was prepared should be put together, and the
work was erected; but the statues and scenes were in many parts
neither pumiced nor polished, so that they brought Baccio more
discredit than fame.

Arriving in Florence, Baccio found that the Duke had sent the sculptor
Tribolo to Carrara to quarry the marble for the fountains of Castello
and the tomb of Signor Giovanni; and he so wrought upon the Duke that
he wrested the tomb of Signor Giovanni from the hands of Tribolo,
demonstrating to his Excellency that the marbles for such a work were
already in great measure in Florence. Thus, little by little, he
penetrated into the confidence of the Duke, insomuch that both for
this reason and for his arrogance everyone was afraid of him. He then
proposed to the Duke that the tomb of Signor Giovanni should be
erected in the Chapel of the Neroni, a narrow, confined, and mean
place, in S. Lorenzo, being too ignorant or not wishing to suggest
that for so great a Prince it was proper that a new chapel should be
built on purpose. He also prevailed on the Duke to demand from
Michelagnolo, on Baccio's behalf, many pieces of marble that he had in
Florence; and when the Duke had obtained them from Michelagnolo, and
Baccio from the Duke, among those marbles being some blocked out
figures and a statue carried well on towards completion by
Michelagnolo, Bandinelli, taking them all over, hacked and broke to
pieces everything that he could find, thinking that by so doing he was
avenging himself on Michelagnolo and causing him displeasure. He
found, moreover, in the same room in S. Lorenzo wherein Michelagnolo
worked, two statues in one block of marble, representing Hercules
crushing Antæus, which the Duke was having executed by the sculptor
Fra Giovanni Agnolo. These were well advanced; but Baccio, saying to
the Duke that the friar had spoilt that marble, broke it into many

In the end, he constructed all the base of the tomb, which is an
isolated pedestal about four braccia on every side, and has at the
foot a socle with a moulding in the manner of a base, which goes right
round, and with a fillet at the top, such as is generally made for
pedestals; and above this a cyma three-quarters of a braccio in
height, which goes inwards in a concave curve, inverted, after the
manner of a frieze, on which are carved some horse's skulls bound one
to another with draperies; and above the whole was to be a smaller
pedestal, with a seated statue of four braccia and a half, armed in
the ancient fashion, and holding in the hand the baton of a
condottiere captain of armies, which was to represent the person of
the invincible Signor Giovanni de' Medici. This statue was begun by
him from a block of marble, and carried well on, but never finished or
placed on the base built for it. It is true that on the front of that
base he finished entirely a scene of marble in half-relief, with
figures about two braccia high, in which he represented Signor
Giovanni seated, to whom are being brought many prisoners, soldiers,
women with dishevelled hair, and nude figures, but all without
invention and without revealing any feeling. At the end of the scene,
indeed, there is a figure with a pig on the shoulder, which is said to
have been made by Baccio to represent Messer Baldassarre da Pescia, in
derision; for Baccio looked upon him as his enemy, since about this
time Messer Baldassarre, as has been related above, had allotted the
two statues of Leo and Clement to other sculptors, and, moreover, had
so gone to work in Rome that Baccio had perforce to restore at great
inconvenience the money that he had received beyond his due for those
statues and figures.

During this time Baccio had given his attention to nothing else but
demonstrating to Duke Cosimo how much the glory of the ancients had
lived through their statues and buildings, saying that his Excellency
should seek to obtain in the same way immortality for himself and his
actions in the ages to come. Then, after he had brought the tomb of
Signor Giovanni near completion, he set about planning to make the
Duke begin some great and costly work, which might take a very long
time. Duke Cosimo had ceased to inhabit the Palace of the Medici, and
had returned with his Court to live in the Palace in the Piazza, which
was formerly occupied by the Signoria; and this he was daily
rearranging and adorning. Now he had said to Baccio that he had a
desire to make a public audience-chamber, both for the foreign
Ambassadors and for his citizens and the subjects of the State; and
Baccio, with Giuliano di Baccio d'Agnolo, went about thinking how to
suggest to him that he should erect an ornamental work of Fossato
stone and marble, thirty-eight braccia in width and eighteen in
height. This ornamental work, they proposed, should serve as the
audience-chamber, and should be in the Great Hall of the Palace, at
that end which looks towards the north. The audience-chamber was to
have a space of fourteen braccia in depth, the ascent to which was to
be by seven great steps; and it was to be closed in front by a
balustrade, excepting the entrance in the middle. At the end of the
hall were to be three great arches, two of which were to serve for
windows, being divided up by columns, four to each, two of Fossato
stone and two of marble; and above this was to curve a round arch with
a frieze of brackets, which were to form on the outer side the
ornament of the façade of the Palace, and on the inner side to adorn
in the same manner the façade of the hall. The arch in the middle,
forming not a window, but a niche, was to be accompanied by two other
similar niches, which were to be at the ends of the audience-chamber,
one on the east and the other on the west, and adorned with four round
Corinthian columns, which were to be ten braccia high and to form a
projection at the ends. In the central façade were to be four
pilasters, which were to serve as supports between one arch and
another to the architrave, frieze, and cornice running right round
both above the arches and above the columns. These pilasters were to
have between one and another a space of about three braccia, and in
each of these spaces was to be a niche four braccia and a half in
height, to contain statues, by way of accompaniment to the great niche
in the middle of the façade and the two at the sides; in each of which
niches Baccio wished to place three statues.

Baccio and Giuliano had in mind, in addition to the ornament of the
inner façade, another larger ornament of extraordinary cost and
grandeur for the outer façade. The hall being awry and out of square,
this ornament was to reduce that outer side to a square form; and
there was to be a projection of six braccia right round the walls of
the Palazzo Vecchio, with a range of columns fourteen braccia high
supporting other columns, between which were to be arches, forming a
loggia below, right round the Palace, where there are the Ringhiera
and the Giants. Above this, again, was to be another range of
pilasters, with arches between them in the same manner, running all
the way round the windows of the Palazzo Vecchio, so as to make a
façade right round the Palace; and above these pilasters was to be yet
another range of arches and pilasters, after the manner of a theatre,
with the battlements of that Palace, finally, forming a cornice to the
whole structure.

Knowing that this was a work of vast expense, Baccio and Giuliano
consulted together that they should not reveal their conception to the
Duke, save only with regard to the ornament of the audience-chamber
within the hall, and that of the façade of Fossato stone on the side
towards the Piazza, stretching to the length of twenty-four braccia,
which is the breadth of the hall. Designs and plans of this work were
made by Giuliano, and with these in his hand Baccio spoke to the Duke,
to whom he pointed out that in the large niches at the sides he wished
to place statues of marble four braccia high, seated on
pedestals--namely, Leo X in the act of restoring peace to Italy, and
Clement VII crowning Charles V, with two statues in smaller niches
within the large ones, on either side of the Popes, which should
represent the virtues practised and put into action by them. For the
niches four braccia high between the pilasters, in the central façade,
he wished to make upright statues of Signor Giovanni, Duke Alessandro,
and Duke Cosimo, together with many decorations of various fantasies
in carving, and a pavement all of variegated marbles of different

This ornament much pleased the Duke, thinking that with this
opportunity it should be possible in time to bring to completion, as
has since been done, the body of that hall, with the rest of the
decorations and the ceiling, in order to make it the most beautiful
hall in Italy. And so great was his Excellency's desire that this work
should be done, that he assigned for its execution such a sum of money
as Baccio wished and demanded every week. A beginning was made with
the quarrying and cutting of the Fossato stone, in order to make the
ornamentation in the form of the base, columns, and cornices; and
Baccio required that all should be done and carried to completion by
the stone-cutters of the Office of Works of S. Maria del Fiore. This
work was certainly executed by those masters with great diligence; and
if Baccio and Giuliano had urged it on, they would have finished and
built in all the ornaments of stone very quickly. But Baccio gave his
attention to nothing save to having the statues blocked out, finishing
few of them entirely, and to drawing his salary, which the Duke gave
him every month, besides paying for his assistants and meeting every
sort of expense that he incurred in the work, and giving him five
hundred crowns for one of the statues finished by him in marble;
wherefore the end of this work was never in sight.

Even so, if Baccio and Giuliano, being engaged on a work of such
importance, had brought the head of that hall into square, as they
could have done, instead of putting right only half of the eight
braccia by which it was awry, and leaving several parts badly
proportioned, such as the central niche and the two large ones at the
sides, which are squat, and the members of the cornices, which are too
slight for so great a body; if, as they might have done, they had gone
higher with the columns, thus giving greater grandeur, a better
manner, and more invention to that work; and if, also, they had
brought the uppermost cornice into touch with the level of the
original old ceiling above, they would have shown more art and
judgment, nor would all that labour have been spent in vain and wasted
so thoughtlessly, as has since been evident to those to whom, as will
be related, it has fallen to put it right and finish it. For, in spite
of all the pains and thought afterwards devoted to it, there are many
defects and errors in the door of entrance and in the relation of the
niches in the side-walls, in which it has since been seen to be
necessary to change the form of many parts, although it has never yet
been found possible, without demolishing the whole, to correct the
divergence from the square or to prevent this from being revealed in
the pavement and the ceiling. It is true that in the manner in which
they arranged it, even as it now stands, there is proof of great
craftsmanship and pains, and it deserves no little praise for the many
stones worked with the bevel-square, which slant away obliquely by
reason of the hall being awry; and as for diligence and excellence in
the working, laying, and joining together of the stones, nothing
better could be seen or done. But the whole work would have succeeded
much better if Baccio, who never held architecture in any account, had
availed himself of some judgment more able than that of Giuliano, who,
although he was a good master in wood and had some knowledge of
architecture, was yet not the sort of man to be suitable for such a
work as that was, as experience has proved. For this reason the work
was pursued over a period of many years, without much more than half
being built. Baccio finished and placed in the smaller niches the
statue of Signor Giovanni and that of Duke Alessandro, both in the
principal façade, and on a pedestal of bricks in the great niche the
statue of Pope Clement; and he also brought to completion the statue
of Duke Cosimo. In the last he took no little pains with the head, but
for all this the Duke and the gentlemen of the Court said that it did
not resemble him in the least. Wherefore Baccio, having already made
one of marble, which is now in one of the upper apartments in the same
Palace, and which looked very well and was the best head that he ever
made, defended himself and sought to cover up the defects and
worthlessness of the new head with the excellence of the old. However,
hearing that head censured by everyone, one day in a rage he knocked
it off, with the intention of making another and fixing it in its
place; but in the end he never made it at all. It was a custom of
Baccio's to add pieces of marble both small and large to the statues
that he executed, feeling no annoyance in doing this, and making light
of it. He did this with one of the heads of Cerberus in the group of
Orpheus; in the S. Peter that is in S. Maria del Fiore he let in a
piece of drapery; in the case of the Giant of the Piazza, as may be
seen, he joined two pieces--a shoulder and a leg--to the Cacus, and
in many other works he did the same, holding to such ways as generally
damn a sculptor completely.

Having finished these statues, he set his hand to the statue of Pope
Leo for this work, and carried it well forward. Then, perceiving that
the work was proving very long, that he was now never likely to attain
to the completion of his original design for the façades right round
the Palace, that a great sum of money had been spent and much time
consumed, and that for all this the work was not half finished and
gained little approval from the people, he set about thinking of some
new fantasy, and began to attempt to remove from the Duke's mind the
thought of the Palace, believing that his Excellency also was weary of
that work. Thus, then, having made enemies of the proveditors and of
all the stone-cutters in the Office of Works of S. Maria del Fiore,
which was under his authority, while the statues that were destined
for the audience-chamber were, after his fashion, some only blocked
out and others finished and placed in position, and the ornamentation
in great part built up, wishing to conceal the many defects that were
in the work and little by little to abandon it, he suggested to the
Duke that the Wardens of Works of S. Maria del Fiore were throwing
away his money and no longer doing anything of any importance. He said
that he had therefore thought that his Excellency would do well to
divert all that useless expenditure of the Office of Works into making
the octagonal choir of the church and the ornaments of the altar, the
steps, the daïses of the Duke and the magistrates, and the stalls in
the choir for the canons, chaplains, and clerks, according as was
proper for so honourable a church. Of this choir Filippo di Ser
Brunellesco had left the model in that simple framework of wood which
previously served as the choir in the church, intending in time to
have it executed in marble, in the same form, but more ornate. Baccio
reflected, besides the considerations mentioned above, that in this
choir he would have occasion to make many statues and scenes in marble
and in bronze for the high-altar and all around the choir, and also
for two pulpits of marble that were to be in the choir, and that the
base of the outer side of the eight faces might be adorned with many
scenes in bronze let into the marble ornamentation. Above this he
thought to place a range of columns and pilasters to support the
cornice right round, and four arches distributed according to the
cross of the church; of which arches one was to form the principal
entrance, opposite to another rising above the high-altar, and the two
others were to be at the sides, one on the right hand and another on
the left, and below these last two were to be placed the pulpits. Over
the cornice was to be a range of balusters, curving right round above
the eight sides, and over the balusters a garland of candelabra, in
order, as it were, to crown the choir with lights according to the
seasons, as had always been the custom while the wooden model of
Brunelleschi was there.


(_After =Baccio Bandinelli=. Florence: Duomo_)


Pointing out all this to the Duke, Baccio said that his Excellency,
with the revenues of the Office of Works--namely, of S. Maria del
Fiore and of its Wardens--and with that which his liberality might
add, in a short time could adorn that temple and give great grandeur
and magnificence to the same, and consequently to the whole city, of
which it was the principal temple, and would leave an everlasting and
honourable memorial of himself in such a structure; and besides all
this, he said, his Excellency would be giving him an opportunity of
exerting his powers and of making many good and beautiful works, and
also, by displaying his ability, of acquiring for himself name and
fame with posterity, which should be pleasing to his Excellency, since
he was his servant and had been brought up by the house of the Medici.
With these designs and these words Baccio so moved the Duke, that,
consenting that such a structure should be erected, his Excellency
commissioned him to make a model of the whole choir. Departing from
the Duke, then, Baccio went to his architect, Giuliano di Baccio
d'Agnolo, and discussed the whole matter with him; and, after they had
gone to the place and examined everything with diligence, they
resolved not to depart from the form of Filippo's model, but to follow
it, adding only other ornaments in the shape of columns and
projections, and enriching it as much as they could while preserving
the original design and form. But it is not the number of parts and
ornaments that renders a fabric rich and beautiful, but their
excellence, however few they may be, provided also that they are set
in their proper places and arranged together with due proportion; it
is these that give pleasure and are admired, and, having been executed
with judgment by the craftsman, afterwards receive praise from all
others. This Giuliano and Baccio do not seem to have considered or
observed, for they chose a subject involving much labour and endless
pains, but wanting in grace, as experience has proved.

The design of Giuliano, as may be seen, was to place at the corners of
all the eight sides pilasters bent round the angles, the whole work
being composed in the Ionic Order; and these pilasters, since in the
ground-plan they were made, with all the rest of the work, to diminish
towards the centre of the choir and were not even, necessarily had to
be broad on the outer side and narrow on the inner, which is a breach
of proportionate measurement. And since each pilaster was bent
according to the inner angles of the eight sides, the extension-lines
towards the centre so diminished it that the two columns that were one
on either side of the pilaster at the corner caused it to appear too
slender, and produced an ungraceful effect both in it and in the whole
work, both on the outer side and likewise on the inner, although the
measurements there are correct. Giuliano also made the model of the
whole altar, which stood at a distance of one braccio and a half from
the ornament of the choir. For the upper part of this Baccio
afterwards made in wax a Christ lying dead, with two Angels, one of
whom was holding His right arm and supporting His head on one knee,
and the other was holding the Mysteries of the Passion; which statue
of Christ occupied almost the whole altar, so that there would
scarcely have been room to celebrate Mass, and Baccio proposed to make
this statue about four braccia and a half in length. He made, also, a
projection in the form of a pedestal behind the altar, attached to it
in the centre, with a seat upon which he afterwards placed a seated
figure of God the Father, six braccia high and giving the benediction,
and accompanied by two other Angels, each four braccia high, kneeling
at the extreme corners of the predella of the altar, on the level on
which rested the feet of God the Father. This predella was more than a
braccio in height, and on it were many stories of the Passion of Jesus
Christ, which were all to be in bronze, and on the corners of the
predella were the Angels mentioned above, both kneeling and each
holding in the hands a candelabrum; which candelabra of the Angels
served to accompany eight large candelabra placed between the Angels,
and three braccia and a half in height, which adorned that altar; and
God the Father was in the midst of them all. Behind God the Father was
left a space of half a braccio, in order that there might be room to
ascend to kindle the lights.

Under the arch that stood opposite to the principal entrance of the
choir, on the base that ran right round, on the outer side, Baccio had
placed, directly under the centre of that arch, the Tree of the Fall,
round the trunk of which was wound the Ancient Serpent with a human
face, and two nude figures were about the Tree, one being Adam and the
other Eve. On the outer side of the choir, to which those figures had
their faces turned, there ran lengthways along the base a space about
three braccia long, which was to contain the story of their Creation,
either in marble or in bronze; and this was to be pursued along the
faces of the base of the whole work, to the number of twenty-one
stories, all from the Old Testament. And for the further enrichment of
this base he had made for each of the socles upon which stood the
columns and pilasters, a figure of some Prophet, either draped or
nude, to be afterwards executed in marble--a great work, truly, and a
marvellous opportunity, likely to reveal all the art and genius of a
perfect master, whose memory should never be extinguished by any lapse
of time. This model was shown to the Duke, and also a double series of
designs made by Baccio, which, both from their variety and their
number, and likewise from their beauty--for the reason that Baccio
worked boldly in wax and drew very well--pleased his Excellency, and
he ordained that the masonry-work should be straightway taken in hand,
devoting to it all the expenditure administered by the Office of
Works, and giving orders that a great quantity of marble should be
brought from Carrara.

Baccio, on his part, also set to work to make a beginning with the
statues; and among the first was an Adam who was raising one arm, and
was about four braccia in height. This figure was finished by Baccio,
but, since it proved to be narrow in the flanks and somewhat defective
in other parts, he changed it into a Bacchus, and afterwards gave it
to the Duke, who kept it in his Palace many years, in his chamber; and
not long ago it was placed in a niche in the ground-floor apartments
which his Excellency occupies in summer. He had also made a seated
figure of Eve of the same size, which he had half finished: but it was
abandoned on account of the Adam, which it was to have accompanied.
For, having made a beginning with another Adam, in a different form
and attitude, it became necessary for him to change also the Eve, and
the original seated figure was converted by him into a Ceres, which he
gave to the most illustrious Duchess Leonora, together with an Apollo,
which was another nude that he had executed; and her Excellency had
them placed in the ornament in front of the fish-pond, the design and
architecture of which are by Giorgio Vasari, in the gardens of the
Pitti Palace. Baccio worked at these two figures with very great zeal,
thinking to satisfy the craftsmen and all the world as well as he had
satisfied himself; and he finished and polished them with all the
diligence and lovingness that were in him. He then set up these
figures of Adam and Eve in their place, but, when uncovered, they
experienced the same fate as his other works, and were torn to pieces
with savage bitterness in sonnets and Latin verses, one going to the
length of suggesting that even as Adam and Eve, having defiled
Paradise by their disobedience, deserved to be driven out, so these
figures, defiling the earth, deserved to be expelled from the church.
Nevertheless the statues are well-proportioned, and beautiful in many
parts; and although there is not in them that grace which has been
spoken of in other places, and which he was not able to give to his
works, yet they display so much art and design, that they deserve no
little praise. A lady who had set herself to examine these statues,
being asked by some gentlemen what she thought of these naked bodies,
answered, "About the man I can give no judgment;" and, being pressed
to give her opinion of the woman, she replied that in the Eve there
were two good points, worthy of considerable praise, in that she was
white and firm; whereby she contrived ingeniously, while seeming to
praise, covertly to deal a shrewd blow to the craftsman and his art,
giving to the statue the praise proper to the female body, which it is
also necessary to apply to the marble, the material, and which is
true of it, but not of the work or of the craftsmanship, for by such
praise the craftsmanship is not praised. Thus, then, that shrewd lady
hinted that in her opinion nothing could be praised in that statue
save the marble.

Baccio afterwards set his hand to the statue of the Dead Christ, which
likewise not succeeding as he had expected, he abandoned it when it
was already well advanced, and, taking another block of marble, began
another Christ in an attitude different from the first, and together
with that the Angel who supports the head of Christ on one leg and
with one hand His arm; and he did not rest until he had finished
entirely both the one figure and the other. When arrangements were
made to set it up on the altar, it proved to be so large that it
occupied too much space, and there was no room left for the
ministrations of the priest; and although this statue was passing
good, and even one of Baccio's best, nevertheless the people--the
ordinary citizens no less than the priests--could never have their
fill of speaking ill of it and picking it to pieces. Recognizing that
to uncover unfinished works injures the reputation of a craftsman in
the eyes of all those who are not of the profession, or have no
knowledge of art, or have not seen the models, Baccio resolved, in
order to accompany the statue of Christ and to complete the altar, to
make the statue of God the Father, for which a very beautiful block of
marble had come from Carrara. And he had already carried it well
forward, making it half nude after the manner of a Jove, when, since
it did not please the Duke and appeared to Baccio himself to have
certain defects, he left it as it was, and even so it is still to be
found in the Office of Works.

Baccio cared nothing for the words of others, but gave his attention
to making himself rich and buying property. He bought a most beautiful
farm, called Lo Spinello, on the heights of Fiesole, and another with
a very beautiful house called Il Cantone, in the plain above San
Salvi, on the River Affrico, and a great house in the Via de' Ginori,
which he was enabled to acquire by the moneys and favours of the Duke.
Having thus secured his own position, Baccio thenceforward cared
little to work or to exert himself; and although the tomb of Signor
Giovanni was unfinished, the audience-chamber of the Great Hall only
begun, and the choir and altar behindhand, he paid little attention
to the words of others or to the censure that was laid upon him on
that account. However, having erected the altar and set into position
the marble base upon which was to stand the statue of God the Father,
he made a model for this and finally began it, and, employing
stone-cutters, proceeded to carry it slowly forward.

There came from France in those days Benvenuto Cellini, who had served
King Francis in the matter of goldsmith's work, of which he was the
most famous master of his day; and he had also executed some castings
in bronze for that King. Benvenuto was introduced to Duke Cosimo, who,
desiring to adorn the city, showed also to him much favour and
affection, and commissioned him to make a statue of bronze about five
braccia high, of a nude Perseus standing over a nude woman
representing Medusa, whose head he had cut off; which work was to be
placed under one of the arches of the Loggia in the Piazza. While he
was executing the Perseus, Benvenuto also did other things for the
Duke. Now, even as it happens that the potter is always the jealous
enemy of the potter, and the sculptor of the sculptor, Baccio was not
able to endure the various favours shown to Benvenuto. It appeared to
him a strange thing, also, that Benvenuto should have thus changed in
a moment from a goldsmith into a sculptor, nor was he able to grasp in
his mind how a man who was used to making medals and little things,
could now execute colossal figures and giants. Baccio could not
conceal his thoughts, but expressed them freely, and he found a man
able to answer him; for, Baccio saying many of his biting words to
Benvenuto in the presence of the Duke, Benvenuto, who was no less
proud than himself, took pains to be even with him. And thus, arguing
often on the matters of art and their own works, and pointing out each
other's defects, they would utter the most slanderous words of one
another in the presence of the Duke, who, because he took pleasure in
this and recognized true genius and acuteness in their biting phrases,
had given them full liberty and licence to say whatever they pleased
about one another before him, provided that they did not remember
their quarrel elsewhere.

This rivalry, or rather, enmity, was the reason that Baccio pressed
forward his statue of God the Father; but he was no longer receiving
from the Duke those favours to which he had been accustomed, and he
consoled himself for this by paying court and doing service to the
Duchess. One day, among others, that they were railing at one another
as usual and laying bare many of each others' actions, Benvenuto,
glaring at Baccio and threatening him, said: "Prepare yourself for
another world, Baccio, for I mean to send you out of this one." And
Baccio answered: "Let me know a day beforehand, so that I may confess
and make my will, and may not die like the sort of beast that you
are." By reason of which the Duke, who for many months had found
amusement in their quarrels, bade them be silent, fearing some evil
ending, and caused them to make a portrait-bust of himself from the
girdle upwards, both to be cast in bronze, to the end that he who
should succeed best should carry off the honours.

Amid this rivalry and contention Baccio finished his figure of God the
Father, which he arranged to have placed in the church on the base
beside the altar. This figure was clothed and six braccia high, and he
erected and completely finished it. But, in order not to leave it
unaccompanied, he summoned from Rome the sculptor Vincenzio de' Rossi,
his pupil, wishing to execute in clay for the altar all that remained
to be done in marble; and he caused Vincenzio to assist him in
finishing the two Angels who are holding the candelabra at the
corners, and the greater part of the scenes on the predella and the
base. Having then set everything upon the altar, in order to see how
his work, when finished, was to stand, he strove to prevail on the
Duke to come and see it, before he should uncover it. But the Duke
would never go, and, although entreated by the Duchess, who favoured
Baccio in this matter, he would never let himself be shaken, and did
not go to see it, being angered because among so many works Baccio had
never finished one, even after his Excellency had made him rich and
had won odium among the citizens by honouring him highly and doing him
many favours. For all this his Excellency was disposed to assist
Clemente, the natural son of Baccio--a young man of ability, who had
made considerable proficience in design--because it was likely to fall
to him in time to finish his father's works.

At this same time, which was in the year 1554, there came from Rome,
where he had been working for Pope Julius III, Giorgio Vasari of
Arezzo, in order to serve his Excellency in many works that he was
intending to execute, and in particular to decorate the Palace on the
Piazza, and to renovate it with new constructions, and to finish the
Great Hall, as he was afterwards seen to do. In the following year
Giorgio Vasari summoned from Rome and engaged in the Duke's service
the sculptor Bartolommeo Ammanati, to the end that he might execute
the other façade in the above-named Hall, opposite to the
audience-chamber begun by Baccio, and a fountain in the centre of that
façade; and a beginning was straightway made with executing a part of
the statues that were to go into that work. Baccio, perceiving that
the Duke was employing others, recognized that he did not wish to use
his services any longer; at which, feeling great displeasure and
vexation, he had become so strange and so irritable that no one could
have any dealings with him either in his house or out of it, and to
his son Clemente he behaved very strangely, keeping him in want of
everything. For this reason Clemente, who had made a large head of his
Excellency in clay, in order to execute it in marble for the statue of
the audience-chamber, sought leave of the Duke to depart and go to
Rome, on account of his father's strangeness; and the Duke said that
he would not fail him. Baccio, at the departure of Clemente, who had
asked leave of him, would not give him anything, although the young
man had been a great help to him in Florence, and, indeed, Baccio's
right hand in every matter; nevertheless, he thought nothing of
getting rid of him. The young man, having arrived in Rome at an
unfavourable season, died in the same year both from over-study and
from wild living, leaving in Florence an example of his handiwork in
an almost finished head of Duke Cosimo in marble, which is very
beautiful, and was afterwards placed by Baccio over the principal door
of his house in the Via de' Ginori. Clemente also left well advanced a
Dead Christ who is supported by Nicodemus, which Nicodemus is a
portrait from life of Baccio; and these statues, which are passing
good, Baccio set up in the Church of the Servites, as we shall relate
in the proper place. The death of Clemente was a very great loss to
Baccio and to art, and Bandinelli recognized this after he was dead.

Baccio uncovered the altar of S. Maria del Fiore, and the statue of
God the Father was criticized. The altar has remained as was described
above, nor has anything more been done to it since; but the work of
the choir has been continued.

Many years before, there had been quarried at Carrara a great block of
marble ten braccia and a half in height and five braccia in width, of
which having received notice, Baccio rode to Carrara and made a
contract for it with him to whom it belonged, giving him fifty crowns
as earnest-money. He then returned to Florence and so pestered the
Duke, that, by the favour of the Duchess, he obtained the commission
to make from it a giant, which was to be placed in the Piazza, at the
corner where the Lion was; on which spot was to be made a great
fountain to spout water, in the middle of which was to be a Neptune in
his chariot, drawn by sea-horses, and this figure was to be carved out
of the above-mentioned block of marble. For this figure Baccio made
more than one model, and showed them to his Excellency; but the matter
stood thus, without anything more being done, until the year 1559, at
which time the owner of the marble, having come from Carrara, asked to
be paid the rest of the money, saying that otherwise he would give
back the fifty crowns and break it into several pieces, in order to
sell it, since he had received many offers. Orders were given by the
Duke to Giorgio Vasari that he should have the marble paid for; which
having been heard throughout the world of art, and also that the Duke
had not yet made a free gift of the marble to Baccio, Benvenuto, and
likewise Ammanati, bestirring themselves, each besought the Duke that
he should be allowed to make a model in competition with Baccio, and
that his Excellency should deign to give the marble to him who had
shown the greatest ability in his model. The Duke did not deny to
either of them the right to make a model, or deprive them of the hope
that he who should acquit himself the best might be chosen to execute
the statue. His Excellency knew that in ability, judgment, and design
Baccio was still better than any of the sculptors who were in his
service, if only he would consent to take pains, and he welcomed this
competition, in order to incite Baccio to acquit himself better and
to do the most that he could. Bandinelli, having seen this competition
on his shoulders, was greatly troubled by it, fearing the loss of the
Duke's favour more than any other thing, and once more he set himself
to making models. He was most assiduous in waiting on the Duchess, and
so wrought upon her, that he obtained leave to go to Carrara in order
to make arrangements for having the marble brought to Florence. Having
arrived in Carrara, he had the marble so reduced in size--as he had
planned to do--that he made it a sorry thing, and robbed both himself
and the others of a noble opportunity and of the hope of ever making
from it a beautiful and magnificent work. On returning to Florence,
there was a long contention between Benvenuto and him, Benvenuto
saying to the Duke that Baccio had spoilt the marble before it had
been assigned to him. Finally the Duchess so went to work that the
marble became Baccio's; and orders were given that it should be taken
from Carrara to the sea-shore, and a boat was made ready with the
proper appliances, which was to convey it up the Arno as far as Signa.
Baccio also caused a room to be built up in the Loggia of the Piazza,
wherein to work at the marble.

In the meantime he had set his hand to executing cartoons, in order to
have some pictures painted which were to adorn the apartments of the
Pitti Palace. These pictures were painted by a young man called Andrea
del Minga, who handled colour passing well. The stories painted in the
pictures were the Creation of Adam and Eve, and their Expulsion from
Paradise by the Angel, a Noah, and a Moses with the Tables; which
finished, he then presented them to the Duchess, seeking to obtain her
favour in his difficulties and contentions. And, in truth, if it had
not been for that lady, who loved him for his abilities and held him
on his feet, Baccio would have fallen headlong down and would have
lost completely the favour of the Duke. The Duchess also made much use
of Baccio in the Pitti garden, where she had caused to be constructed
a grotto full of tufa and sponge-stone formed by the action of water,
and containing a fountain; and for this Baccio had caused his pupil,
Giovanni Fancelli, to execute in marble a large basin and some goats
of the size of life, which spout forth water, and likewise, for a
fish-pond, after a model made by himself, a countryman who is
emptying a barrel full of water. For these reasons the Duchess was
constantly helping and favouring Baccio with the Duke, who finally
gave him leave to begin the great model of the Neptune; on which
account he once more sent to Rome for Vincenzio de' Rossi, who had
previously departed from Florence, with the intention of making him
help to execute it.

While these preparations were in progress, Baccio was seized with a
desire to finish the statue of the Dead Christ supported by Nicodemus,
which his son Clemente had carried well forward; for he had heard that
Buonarroti was finishing one in Rome that he had begun to carve from a
large block of marble, containing five figures, which was to be placed
on his tomb in S. Maria Maggiore. Out of emulation with him Baccio set
to work on his group with the greatest assiduity, with assistants,
until he had finished it. And meanwhile he was going about among the
principal churches of Florence, seeking for a place where he might set
up that work and also make a tomb for himself; but for long he found
no place for the tomb that could content him, until he resolved on a
chapel in the Church of the Servites which belongs to the family of
the Pazzi. The owners of this chapel, at the request of the Duchess,
granted the place to Baccio, without divesting themselves of the
rights of ownership and of the devices of their house that were there;
and they granted him only this, that he should erect an altar of
marble and place upon it the statues mentioned above, and make his
tomb at the foot of it. Afterwards, also, he came to an agreement with
the friars of that convent with regard to the other matters
appertaining to the celebration of Mass. During this time, then,
Baccio was causing the altar and the marble base to be built, in order
to place upon it the above-named statues; and, when he had finished
it, he proposed to lay in that tomb, in which he wished to be laid
himself together with his wife, the bones of his father Michelagnolo,
which, at his death, he had caused to be placed in a vault in the same
church. These bones of his father he chose to lay piously in that tomb
with his own hands; whereupon it happened that either because he felt
sorrow and a shock to his mind in handling his father's bones, or
because he exerted himself too much in transferring those bones with
his own hands and in rearranging the marbles, or from both reasons
together, he was so overcome that he felt ill and had to go home, and,
his malady growing daily worse, in eight days he died, at the age of
seventy-two, having been up to that time robust and vigorous, and
without having ever suffered much illness during the whole of his
life. He was buried with honourable obsequies, and laid beside his
father's bones in the above-mentioned tomb constructed by himself, on
which is this epitaph:--

             D. O. M.

He left behind him both sons and daughters, who were the heirs to his
many possessions in lands, houses, and money, which he bequeathed to
them; and to the world he left the works in sculpture described by us,
and designs in great numbers, which are in the possession of his
family, and in our book there are some executed with the pen and with
chalk, than which it is certain that nothing better could be done.

The marble for the giant was left more in dispute than ever, because
Benvenuto was always about the Duke, and wished, in virtue of a little
model that he had made, that the Duke should give it to him. On the
other hand, Ammanati, being a sculptor of marbles and more experienced
in such works than Benvenuto, considered for many reasons that this
work belonged to him. Now it happened that Giorgio Vasari had to go to
Rome with the Cardinal, the son of the Duke, when he went to receive
his hat, and Ammanati gave to Vasari a little model of wax showing the
shape in which he desired to carve that figure from the marble, and a
piece of wood reproducing the exact proportions--the length, breadth,
thickness, and inclination from the straight--of the marble, to the
end that Giorgio might show them in Rome to Michelagnolo Buonarroti
and persuade him to declare his opinion in the matter, and so move the
Duke to give him the marble. All this Giorgio did most willingly, and
it was the reason that the Duke gave orders that an arch should be
partitioned off in the Loggia of the Piazza, and that Ammanati should
make a great model as large as the giant was to be. Having heard this.
Benvenuto rode in a great fury to Pisa, where the Duke was, and said
to him that he could not suffer that his genius should be trampled
underfoot by one who was inferior to himself, and that he desired to
make a great model in competition with Ammanati, in the same place;
and the Duke, wishing to pacify him, granted him leave to have another
arch of the Loggia partitioned off, and caused to be given to him
materials for making, as he desired, a large model in competition with

While these masters were engaged in making their models, after having
made fast their enclosures in such a manner that neither the one nor
the other could see what his rival was doing, although these
enclosures were attached to each other, there rose up the Flemish
sculptor Maestro Giovan Bologna, a young man not inferior in ability
or in spirit to either of the others. This master, being in the
service of the Lord Don Francesco, Prince of Florence, asked his
Excellency to enable him to make a giant which might serve as a model,
of the same size as the marble; and the Prince granted him this
favour. Maestro Giovan Bologna had as yet no thought of having the
giant to execute in marble, but he wished at least to display his
ability and to make himself known for what he was worth; and, having
received permission from the Prince, he, also, began a model in the
Convent of S. Croce. Nor was Vincenzio Danti, the sculptor of Perugia,
a younger man than any of the others, willing to fail to compete with
these three masters, not in the hope of obtaining the marble, but in
order to demonstrate his spirit and genius. And so, having set to work
on his own account in the house of Messer Alessandro, the son of M.
Ottaviano de' Medici, he executed a model good in many parts and as
large as the others.

The models finished, the Duke went to see those of Ammanati and of
Benvenuto; and, being more pleased with that of Ammanati than with
that of Benvenuto, he resolved that Ammanati should have the marble
and make the giant, because he was younger than Benvenuto and more
practised in marble. The disposition of the Duke was strengthened by
Giorgio Vasari, who did many good offices with his Excellency for
Ammanati, having perceived that, in addition to his knowledge, he was
ready to endure any labour, and hoping that from his hands there would
issue an excellent work finished in a short time. The Duke would not
at that time see the model of Maestro Giovan Bologna, because, not
having seen any work by him in marble, it did not seem to him that he
could entrust to that master, as his first work, so great an
undertaking, although he heard from many craftsmen and other men of
judgment that Giovan Bologna's model was in many parts better than the
others. But if Baccio had been alive, there would not have been all
that contention among those masters, because without a doubt it would
have fallen to him to make the model of clay and the giant of marble.
This work, then, was snatched from Baccio by death, but the same
circumstance brought him no little glory, in that it revealed by means
of those four models--the reason of the making of which was that
Baccio was not alive--how much better were the design, judgment and
ability of him who placed on the Piazza the Hercules and Cacus, as it
were living in the marble; the excellence of which work has been made
evident and brought to light even more by the works that have been
executed since Baccio's death by those others, who, although they have
acquitted themselves in a manner worthy of praise, have yet not been
able to attain to the beauty and excellence that he placed in his

Afterwards Duke Cosimo, for the marriage of Queen Joanna of Austria,
his daughter-in-law, seven years after the death of Baccio, caused the
audience-chamber in the Great Hall, begun by Baccio, of which we have
spoken above, to be finished; and he chose that the head of this work
of completion should be Giorgio Vasari, who has sought with all
diligence to put right the many defects that would have been in it if
it had been continued and finished after the original design followed
in the beginning by Baccio. Thus that imperfect work has now been
carried with the help of God to completion, and is enriched on its
side faces by the addition of niches and pilasters, and statues set in
their places. Moreover, since it was laid out awry and out of square,
we have taken pains to make it even in so far as has been possible,
and have raised it considerably with a corridor of Tuscan columns at
the top; and as for the statue of Leo begun by Baccio, his pupil
Vincenzio de' Rossi has finished it. Besides this, that work has been
adorned with friezes full of stucco-work, with many figures large and
small, and with devices and other ornaments of various kinds, and
under the niches and in the partitions of the vaulting have been made
many and various designs in stucco and many beautiful inventions in
carving; all which things have enriched the work in such a manner,
that it has changed its form and has gained not a little in beauty and
grace. For whereas, according to the first design, the ceiling of the
Hall being twenty-one braccia above the floor, the audience-chamber
did not rise higher than eighteen braccia, so that between it and the
old ceiling there was a space of only three braccia; now, after our
design, the ceiling of the Hall has been raised so much that it has
risen twelve braccia above the old ceiling and fifteen above the
audience-chamber of Baccio and Giuliano, so that the ceiling is now
thirty-three braccia above the floor of the Hall. And it certainly
showed great spirit in his Excellency, that he should resolve to cause
to be finished in the space of five months for the above-named
nuptials the whole of a work of which more than a third still remained
to do, although it had taken more than fifteen years to arrive at the
condition in which it was at that time; so eager was he to carry it to
completion. But it was not only Baccio's work that his Excellency
caused to be completely finished, but also all the rest of what
Giorgio Vasari had designed; beginning again from the base that runs
over the whole of that work, with a border of balusters in the open
spaces, which forms a corridor that passes above the work in the Hall,
and commands a view on the outer side of the Piazza and on the inner
side of the whole Hall. Thus the Princes and other lords will be able
to see, without being seen, all the festivals that may be held there,
with much pleasure and convenience for themselves, and then to retire
to their apartments, passing by the private and public staircases
through all the rooms in the Palace. Nevertheless, to many it has
caused dissatisfaction that in a work of such beauty and grandeur that
structure was not made square, and many would have liked to have it
pulled down and then rebuilt true to square. But it has been judged to
be better to continue the work in that way, in order not to appear
presumptuous and malign towards Baccio, and also because otherwise we
would have seemed not to have the power to correct the errors and
defects found by us but committed by others.

But, returning to Baccio, we must say that his abilities were always
recognized during his lifetime, yet will be recognized and regretted
much more now that he is dead. And even more would he have been
acknowledged for what he was, when alive, and beloved, if he had been
so favoured by nature as to be more amiable and more courteous,
because his being the contrary, and very rough with his tongue, robbed
him of the goodwill of other persons, obscured his talents, and
brought it about that his works were regarded with ill will and a
prejudiced eye, and therefore could never please anyone. And although
he served one nobleman after another, and was enabled by his talent to
serve them well, nevertheless he rendered his services with such bad
grace, that there was no one who felt grateful to him for them.
Moreover, his always decrying and maligning the works of others
brought it about that no one could endure him, and, whenever another
was able to pay him back in his own coin, it was returned to him with
interest; and before the magistrates he spoke all manner of evil
without scruple about the other citizens, and received from them as
good as he gave. He brought suits and went to law about everything
with the greatest readiness, living in one long succession of
law-suits, and appearing to triumph in them. But since his drawing, to
which it is evident that he gave his attention more than to any other
thing, was of such a kind and of such excellence that it atones for
his every natural defect and makes him known as a rare master of our
art, we therefore not only count him among the greatest craftsmen, but
also have always paid respect to his works, and have sought not to
destroy but to finish them and do them honour, for the reason that it
appears to us that Baccio was in truth one of those who deserve
honourable praise and everlasting fame.

We have deferred to the end the mention of his family name, because it
was not always the same, but varied, Baccio having himself called now
De' Brandini, and now De' Bandinelli. In his early prints the name De'
Brandini may be seen engraved after that of Baccio; but afterwards he
preferred the name De' Bandinelli, which he retained to the end and
still retains, and he used to say that his ancestors were of the
Bandinelli of Siena, who once removed to Gaiuole, and from Gaiuole to



(_Florence: Pitti, 140. Panel_)]



Before the siege of Florence the population had multiplied in such
great numbers that the widespread suburbs which lay without every
gate, together with the churches, monasteries, and hospitals, formed
as it were another city, inhabited by many honourable persons and by
good craftsmen of every kind, although for the most part they were
less wealthy than those of the city, and lived there with less expense
in the way of customs-dues and the like. In one of these suburbs,
then, without the Porta a Faenza, was born Giuliano Bugiardini, who
lived there, even as his ancestors had done, until the year 1529, when
all the suburbs were pulled down. But before that, when still a mere
lad, he began his studies in the garden of the Medici on the Piazza di
S. Marco, in which, attending to the study of art under the sculptor
Bertoldo, he formed such strait friendship and intimacy with
Michelagnolo Buonarroti, that he was much beloved by Buonarroti ever
afterwards; which Michelagnolo did not so much because of any depth
that he saw in Giuliano's manner of drawing, as on account of the
extraordinary diligence and love that he showed towards art. There was
in Giuliano, besides this, a certain natural goodness and a sort of
simplicity in his mode of living, free from all envy and malice, which
vastly pleased Buonarroti; nor was there any notable defect in him
save this, that he loved too well the works of his own hand. For,
although all men are wont to err in this respect, Giuliano in truth
passed all due bounds, whatever may have been the reason--either the
great pains and diligence that he put into executing them, or some
other cause. Wherefore Michelagnolo used to call him blessed, since
he appeared to be content with what he knew, and himself unhappy, in
that no work of his ever fully satisfied him.

After Giuliano had studied design for some time in the above-named
garden, he worked, together with Buonarroti and Granacci, under
Domenico Ghirlandajo, at the time when he was painting the chapel in
S. Maria Novella. Then, having made his growth and become a passing
good master, he betook himself to work in company with Mariotto
Albertinelli in Gualfonda; in which place he finished a panel-picture
that is now at the door of entrance of S. Maria Maggiore in Florence,
containing S. Alberto, a Carmelite friar, who has under his feet the
Devil in the form of a woman, a work that was much extolled.

It was the custom in Florence before the siege of 1530, at the burial
of dead persons of good family and noble blood, to carry in front of
the bier a string of pennons fixed round a panel that a porter bore on
his head; which pennons were afterwards left in the church in memory
of the deceased and of his family. Now, when the elder Cosimo Rucellai
died, Bernardo and Palla, his sons, in order to have something new,
thought of having not pennons, but in place of them a quadrangular
banner four braccia wide and five braccia high, with some pennons at
the foot containing the arms of the Rucellai. These men therefore
giving this work to Giuliano to execute, he painted on the body of the
said banner four great figures, executed very well--namely, S. Cosimo,
S. Damiano, S. Peter, and S. Paul, which were truly most beautiful
paintings, and done with more diligence than had ever been shown in
any other work on cloth.

These and other works of Giuliano's having been seen by Mariotto
Albertinelli, he recognized how careful Giuliano was in following the
designs that were put before him, without departing from them by a
hair's breadth, and, since he was preparing in those days to abandon
art, he gave him to finish a panel-picture that Fra Bartolommeo di San
Marco, his friend and companion, had formerly left only designed and
shaded with water-colours on the gesso of the panel, as was his
custom. Giuliano, then, setting his hand to this work, executed it
with supreme diligence and labour, and it was placed at that time in
the Church of S. Gallo, without the gate of that name. The church and
convent were afterwards pulled down on account of the siege, and the
picture was carried into the city and placed in the Priests' Hospital
in the Via di S. Gallo, and then from there into the Convent of S.
Marco, and finally into S. Jacopo tra Fossi on the Canto degli
Alberti, where it stands at the present day on the high-altar. In this
picture is the Dead Christ, with the Magdalene, who is embracing His
feet, and S. John the Evangelist, who is holding His head and
supporting it on one knee. There, likewise, are S. Peter, who is
weeping, and S. Paul, who, stretching out his arms, is contemplating
his Dead Master; and, to tell the truth, Giuliano executed this
picture with so much lovingness and so much consideration and
judgment, that he will be always very highly extolled for it, even as
he was at that time, and that rightly. And after this he finished for
Cristofano Rinieri a picture with the Rape of Dina that had been
likewise left incomplete by the same Fra Bartolommeo; and he painted
another picture like it, which was sent to France.

Not long afterwards, having been drawn to Bologna by certain friends,
he executed some portraits from life, and, for a chapel in the new
choir of S. Francesco, an altar-piece in oils containing Our Lady and
two Saints, which was held at that time in Bologna, from there not
being many masters there, to be a good work and worthy of praise.
Then, having returned to Florence, he painted for I know not what
person five pictures of the life of Our Lady, which are now in the
house of Maestro Andrea Pasquali, physician to his Excellency and a
man of great distinction.

Messer Palla Rucellai having commissioned him to execute an
altar-piece that was to be placed on his altar in S. Maria Novella,
Giuliano began to paint in it the Martyrdom of S. Catharine the
Virgin. Mountains in labour! He had it in hand for twelve years, but
never carried it to completion after all that time, because he had no
invention and knew not how to paint the many various things that had a
part in that martyrdom; and, although he was always racking his brain
as to how those wheels should be made, and how he should paint the
lightning and the fire that consumed them, constantly changing one
day what he had done the day before, in all that time he was never
able to finish it. It is true that in the meantime he executed many
works, and among others, for Messer Francesco Guicciardini--who had
returned from Bologna and was then living in his villa at Montici,
writing his history--a portrait of him, which was a passing good
likeness and pleased him much. He took the portrait, likewise, of
Signora Angela de' Rossi, the sister of the Count of Sansecondo, for
Signor Alessandro Vitelli, her husband, who was then on garrison-duty
in Florence. For Messer Ottaviano de' Medici he painted in a large
picture, copied from one by Fra Sebastiano del Piombo, two full-length
portraits, Pope Clement seated and Fra Niccolò della Magna standing;
and in another picture, likewise, with incredible pains and patience,
he portrayed Pope Clement seated, and before him Bartolommeo Valori,
who is kneeling and speaking to him.


(_After the painting by =Giuliano Bugiardini=. Florence: S. Maria
Novella, Rucellai Chapel_)


Next, the above-named Messer Ottaviano de' Medici having besought
Giuliano privately that he should take for him the portrait of
Michelagnolo Buonarroti, he set his hand to it; and, after he had kept
Michelagnolo, who used to take pleasure in his conversation, sitting
for two hours, Giuliano said to him: "Michelagnolo, if you wish to see
yourself, get up and look, for I have now fixed the expression of the
face." Michelagnolo, having risen and looked at the portrait, said to
Giuliano, laughing: "What the devil have you been doing? You have
painted me with one of my eyes up in the temple. Give a little thought
to what you are doing." Hearing this, Giuliano, after standing pensive
for a while and looking many times from the portrait to the living
model, answered in serious earnest: "To me it does not seem so, but
sit you down again, and I shall see a little better from the life
whether it be true." Buonarroti, who knew whence the defect arose and
how small was the judgment of Bugiardini, straightway resumed his
seat, grinning. And Giuliano looked many times now at Michelagnolo and
now at the picture, and then finally, rising to his feet, declared:
"To me it seems that the thing is just as I have drawn it, and that
the life is in no way different." "Well, then," answered Buonarroti,
"it is a natural deformity. Go on, and spare neither brush nor art."
And so Giuliano finished the picture and gave it to Messer
Ottaviano, together with the portrait of Pope Clement by the hand of
Fra Sebastiano, as Buonarroti desired, who had sent to Rome for it.

Giuliano afterwards made for Cardinal Innocenzio Cibo a copy of the
picture in which Raffaello da Urbino had formerly painted portraits of
Pope Leo, Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, and Cardinal de' Rossi; but in
place of Cardinal de' Rossi he painted the head of Cardinal Cibo, in
which he acquitted himself very well, and he executed the whole
picture with great diligence and labour. At that time, likewise, he
took the portrait of Cencio Guasconi, who was then a very beautiful
youth. And after this he painted at the villa of Baccio Valori, at
Olmo a Castello, a tabernacle in fresco, which, although it had not
much design, was well and very carefully executed.

Meanwhile Palla Rucellai was pressing him to finish his altar-piece,
of which mention has been made above, and Giuliano resolved to take
Michelagnolo one day to see it. And so, after he had brought him to
the place where he kept it, and had described to him with what pains
he had executed the lightning-flash, which, coming down from Heaven,
shivers the wheels and kills those who are turning them, and also a
sun, which, bursting from a cloud, delivers S. Catharine from death,
he frankly besought Michelagnolo, who could not keep from laughing as
he heard poor Bugiardini's lamentations, that he should tell him how
to make eight or ten principal figures of soldiers in the foreground
of this altar-piece, drawn up in line after the manner of a guard, and
in the act of flight, some being prostrate, some wounded, and others
dead; for, said Giuliano, he did not know for himself how to
foreshorten them in such a manner that there might be room for them
all in so narrow a space, in the fashion that he had imagined, in
line. Buonarroti, then, having compassion on the poor man and wishing
to oblige him, went up to the picture with a piece of charcoal and
outlined with a few strokes, lightly sketched in, a line of marvellous
nude figures, which, foreshortened in different attitudes, were
falling in various ways, some backward and others forward, with some
wounded or dead, and all executed with that judgment and excellence
that were peculiar to Michelagnolo. This done, he went away with the
thanks of Giuliano, who not long afterwards took Tribolo, his dearest
friend, to see what Buonarroti had done, telling him the whole story.
But since, as has been related, Buonarroti had drawn his figures only
in outline, Bugiardini was not able to put them into execution,
because there were neither shadows in them nor any other help;
whereupon Tribolo resolved to assist him, and thus made some
sketch-models in clay, which he executed excellently well, giving them
that boldness of manner that Michelagnolo had put into the drawing,
and working them over with the gradine, which is a toothed instrument
of iron, to the end that they might be somewhat rough and might have
greater force; and, thus finished, he gave them to Giuliano. However,
since that manner did not please the smooth fancy of Bugiardini, no
sooner had Tribolo departed than he took a brush and, dipping it from
time to time in water, so smoothed them that he took away the
gradine-marks and polished them all over, insomuch that, whereas the
lights should have served as contrasts to make the shadows stronger,
he contrived to destroy all the excellence that made the work perfect.
Which having afterwards heard from Giuliano himself, Tribolo laughed
at the foolish simplicity of the man; and Giuliano finally delivered
the work finished in such a manner that there is nothing in it to show
that Michelagnolo ever looked at it.

In the end, being old and poor, and having very few works to do,
Giuliano applied himself with extraordinary and even incredible pains
to make a Pietà in a tabernacle that was to go to Spain, with figures
of no great size, and executed it with such diligence, that it seems a
strange thing to think of an old man of his age having the patience to
do such a work for the love that he bore to art. On the doors of that
tabernacle, in order to depict the darkness that fell at the death of
the Saviour, he painted a Night on a black ground, copied from the one
by the hand of Michelagnolo which is in the Sacristy of S. Lorenzo.
But since that statue has no other sign than an owl, Giuliano, amusing
himself over his picture of Night by giving rein to his fancy, painted
there a net for catching thrushes by night, with the lantern, and one
of those little vessels holding a candle, or rather, a candle-end,
that are carried about at night, with other suchlike things that have
something to do with darkness and gloom, such as night-caps, coifs,
pillows, and bats; wherefore Buonarroti was like to dislocate his jaw
with laughing when he saw this work and considered with what strange
caprices Bugiardini had enriched his Night.

Finally, after having always been that kind of man, Giuliano died at
the age of seventy-five, and was buried in the Church of S. Marco at
Florence, in the year 1556.

Giuliano once relating to Bronzino how he had seen a very beautiful
woman, after he had praised her to the skies, Bronzino said, "Do you
know her?" "No," answered Giuliano, "but she is a miracle of beauty.
Just imagine that she is a picture by my hand, and there you have




While Raffaello dal Colle of Borgo San Sepolcro, who was a disciple of
Giulio Romano and helped him to paint in fresco the Hall of
Constantine in the Papal Palace at Rome, and the apartments of the Te
in Mantua, was painting, after his return to the Borgo, the
altar-piece of the Chapel of SS. Gilio e Arcanio (in which, imitating
Giulio and Raffaello da Urbino, he depicted the Resurrection of
Christ, a work that was much extolled), with another altar-piece of
the Assumption for the Frati de' Zoccoli without the Borgo, and some
other works for the Servite Friars at Città di Castello; while, I say,
Raffaello was executing these and other works in the Borgo, his native
place, acquiring riches and fame, a young man sixteen years of age,
called Cristofano, and by way of by-name, Doceno, the son of Guido
Gherardi, a man of honourable family in that city, was attending from
a natural inclination and with much profit to painting, drawing and
colouring so well and with such grace, that it was a marvel. Wherefore
the above-named Raffaello, having seen some animals by the hand of
this Cristofano, such as dogs, wolves, hares, and various kinds of
birds and fishes, executed very well, and perceiving that he was most
agreeable in his conversation and very witty and amusing, although he
lived a life apart, almost like a philosopher, was well pleased to
form a friendship with him and to have him frequent his workshop in
order to learn.

Now, after Cristofano had spent some time drawing under the discipline
of Raffaello, there arrived in the Borgo the painter Rosso, with whom
he contracted a friendship, and received some of his drawings; and
these Doceno studied with great diligence, considering, as one who had
seen no others but those by the hand of Raffaello, that they were very
beautiful, as indeed they were. But these studies were broken off by
him, for, when Giovanni de' Turrini of the Borgo, at that time Captain
of the Florentines, went with a band of soldiers from the Borgo and
from Città di Castello to the defence of Florence, which was besieged
by the armies of the Emperor and of Pope Clement, Cristofano went
thither among the other soldiers, having been led away by his many
friends. It is true that he did this no less in the hope of having
some occasion to study the works in Florence than with the intention
of fighting; but in this he failed, for his captain, Giovanni, had to
guard not a place within the city, but the bastions on the hill
without. That war finished, and the guard of Florence being commanded
not long afterwards by Signor Alessandro Vitelli of Città di Castello,
Cristofano, drawn by his friends and by his desire to see the pictures
and sculptures of the city, enlisted as a soldier in that guard. And
while he was in that service, Signor Alessandro, having heard from
Battista della Bilia, a painter and soldier from Città di Castello,
that Cristofano gave his attention to painting, and having obtained a
beautiful picture by his hand, determined to send him with that same
Battista della Bilia and with another Battista, likewise of Città di
Castello, to decorate with sgraffiti and paintings a garden and loggia
that he had begun at Città di Castello. But the one Battista having
died while that garden was being built up, and the other Battista
having taken his place, for the time being, whatever may have been the
reason, nothing more was done.

Meanwhile Giorgio Vasari had returned from Rome, and was passing his
time with Duke Alessandro in Florence, until his patron Cardinal
Ippolito should return from Hungary; and he had received rooms in the
Convent of the Servites, that he might make a beginning with the
execution of certain scenes in fresco from the life of Cæsar in the
chamber at the corner of the Medici Palace, where Giovanni da Udine
had decorated the ceiling with stucco-work and pictures. Now
Cristofano, having made Giorgio's acquaintance at the Borgo in the
year 1528, when he went to see Rosso in that place, where he had
shown him much kindness, resolved that he would attach himself to
Vasari and thus find much more opportunity for giving attention to art
than he had done in the past. Giorgio, then, after a year's
intercourse with him as his companion, finding that he was likely to
make an able master, and that he was pleasant and gentle in manners
and a man after his own heart, conceived an extraordinary affection
for him. Wherefore, having to go not long afterwards, at the
commission of Duke Alessandro, to Città di Castello, in company with
Antonio da San Gallo and Pier Francesco da Viterbo (who had been in
Florence to build the castle, or rather, citadel, and on their return
were taking the road by Città di Castello), in order to repair the
walls of the above-mentioned garden of Vitelli, which were threatening
to fall, he took Cristofano with him, to the end that after Vasari
himself had designed and distributed in their due order the friezes
that were to be executed in certain apartments, and likewise the
scenes and compartments of a bath-room, and other sketches for the
walls of the loggia, Gherardi and the above-named Battista might carry
the whole to completion. All this they did so well and with such
grace, and particularly Cristofano, that a past master in art, well
practised in his work, could not have done so much; and, what is more,
experimenting in that work, he became facile and able to a marvel in
drawing and colouring.

Then, in the year 1536, the Emperor Charles V coming to Italy and to
Florence, as has been related in other places, the most magnificent
festive preparations were ordained, among which Vasari, by order of
Duke Alessandro, received the charge of the decorations of the Porta a
S. Piero Gattolini, of the façade at S. Felice in Piazza, at the head
of the Via Maggio, and of the pediment that was erected over the door
of S. Maria del Fiore; and, in addition, of a standard of cloth for
the castle, fifteen braccia in depth and forty in length, into the
gilding of which there went fifty thousand leaves of gold. Now the
Florentine painters and others who were employed in these
preparations, thinking that Vasari was too much in favour with Duke
Alessandro, and wishing to leave him disgraced in that part of the
decorations--a part truly great and laborious--which had fallen to
him, so went to work that he was not able to enlist the services of
any master of architectural painting, whether young or old, among all
those that were in the city, to assist him in any single thing. Of
which having become aware, Vasari sent for Cristofano, Raffaello dal
Colle, and Stefano Veltroni of Monte Sansovino, his kinsman; and with
their assistance and that of other painters from Arezzo and other
places, he executed the works mentioned above, in which Cristofano
acquitted himself in such a manner, that he caused everyone to marvel,
doing honour to himself and also to Vasari, who was much extolled for
those works. After they were finished, Cristofano remained many days
in Florence, assisting the same Vasari in the preparations that were
made in the Palace of Messer Ottaviano de' Medici for the nuptials of
Duke Alessandro; wherein, among other things, Cristofano executed the
coat of arms of the Duchess Margherita of Austria, with the balls,
upheld by a most beautiful eagle, with some boys, very well done.

Not long afterwards, when Duke Alessandro had been assassinated, a
compact was made in the Borgo to hand over one of the gates of the
city to Piero Strozzi, when he came to Sestino, and letters were
therefore written to Cristofano by some soldiers exiled from the
Borgo, entreating him that he should consent to help them in this:
which letters received, although Cristofano did not grant their
request, yet, in order not to do a mischief to the soldiers, he chose
rather to tear them up, as he did, than to lay them, as according to
the laws and edicts he should have done, before Gherardo Gherardi, who
was then Commissioner for the Lord Duke Cosimo in the Borgo. When the
troubles were over and the matter became known, many citizens of the
Borgo were exiled as rebels, and among them Doceno; and Signor
Alessandro Vitelli, who knew the truth of this affair and could have
helped him, did not do so, to the end that Cristofano might be as it
were forced to serve him in the work of his garden at Città di
Castello, of which we have spoken above.

After having consumed much time in this service, without any profit or
advantage, Cristofano finally took refuge, almost in despair, with
other exiles, in the village of S. Giustino in the States of the
Church, a mile and a half distant from the Borgo and very near the
Florentine frontier. In that place, although he stayed there at his
peril, he painted for Abbot Bufolini of Città di Castello, who has
most beautiful and commodious apartments there, a chamber in a tower,
with a pattern of little boys and figures very well foreshortened to
be seen from below, and with grotesques, festoons, and masks, the most
lovely and the most bizarre that could be imagined. This chamber, when
finished, so pleased the Abbot that he caused him to do another, in
which, desiring to make some ornaments of stucco, and not having
marble to grind into powder for mixing it, for this purpose he found a
very good substitute in some stones from a river-bed, veined with
white, the powder from which took a good and very firm hold. And
within these ornaments of stucco Cristofano then painted some scenes
from Roman history, executing them so well in fresco that it was a

At that time Giorgio Vasari was painting in fresco the upper part of
the tramezzo[4] of the Abbey of Camaldoli, and two panel-pictures for
the lower part; and, wishing to make about these last an ornament in
fresco full of scenes, he would have liked to have Cristofano with
him, no less to restore him to the favour of the Duke than to make use
of him. But, although Messer Ottaviano de' Medici pleaded strongly
with the Duke, it proved impossible to bend him, so ugly was the
information that had been given to him about the behaviour of
Cristofano. Not having succeeded in this, therefore, Vasari, as one
who loved Cristofano, set himself to contrive to remove him at least
from S. Giustino, where he, with other exiles, was living in the
greatest peril. In the year 1539, then, having to execute for the
Monks of Monte Oliveto, for the head of a great refectory in the
Monastery of S. Michele in Bosco without Bologna, three panel-pictures
in oils with three scenes each four braccia in length, and a frieze in
fresco three braccia high all round with twenty stories of the
Apocalypse in little figures, and all the monasteries of that Order
copied from the reality, with partitions of grotesques, and round each
window fourteen braccia of festoons with fruits copied from nature,
Giorgio wrote straightway to Cristofano that he should go from S.
Giustino to Bologna, together with Battista Cungi of the Borgo, his
compatriot, who had also served Vasari for seven years. These men,
therefore, having gone to Bologna, where Giorgio had not yet
arrived--for he was still at Camaldoli, where, having finished the
tramezzo, he was drawing the cartoon for a Deposition from the Cross,
which was afterwards executed by him and set up on the high-altar in
that same place--set themselves to prime the said three panels with
gesso and to lay on the ground, until such time as Giorgio should

         [Footnote 4: See note on p. 57, Vol. I.]

Now Vasari had given a commission to Dattero, a Jew, the friend of
Messer Ottaviano de' Medici, who was then a banker in Bologna, that he
should provide Cristofano and Battista with everything that they
required. And since this Dattero was very obliging and most courteous,
he did them a thousand favours and courtesies; wherefore those two at
times went about Bologna in his company in very familiar fashion, and,
Battista having prominent eyes and Cristofano a great speck in one of
his, they were thus taken for Jews, as Dattero was in fact. One
morning, therefore, a shoemaker, who had to bring a pair of new shoes
at the commission of the above-named Jew to Cristofano, arriving at
the monastery, said to Cristofano himself, who was standing at the
gate looking on at the distribution of alms, "Sir, could you show me
the rooms of those two Jew painters who are working in there?" "Jews
or no Jews," said Cristofano, "what have you to do with them?" "I have
to give these shoes," he answered, "to one of them called Cristofano."
"I am he," replied Cristofano, "an honest man and a better Christian
than you are." "You may be what you please," answered the shoemaker.
"I called you Jews, because, besides that you are held and known as
Jews by everyone, that look of yours, which is not of our country,
convinced me of it." "Enough," said Cristofano, "you shall see that we
do the work of Christians."


(_After the panel by =Giorgio Vasari=, with details by =Cristofano
Gherardi [Doceno]=. Bologna: Accademia, 198_)


But to return to the work: Vasari having arrived in Bologna, not a
month had passed before, Giorgio designing, and Cristofano and
Battista laying in the panels in colour, all three were completely
laid in, with great credit to Cristofano, who acquitted himself in
this excellently well. The laying in of the panels being finished,
work was begun on the frieze, in which Cristofano had a companion,
although he was to have executed it all by himself; for there came
from Camaldoli to Bologna the cousin of Vasari, Stefano Veltroni of
Monte Sansovino, who had laid in the panel-picture of the Deposition,
and the two executed that work together, and that so well, that it
proved a marvel. Cristofano painted grotesques so well, that there was
nothing better to be seen, but he did not give them that particular
finish that would have made them perfect; and Stefano, on the
contrary, was wanting in resolution and grace, for the reason that his
brush-strokes did not fix his subjects in their places at one sweep,
but, since he was very patient, in the end, although he endured
greater labour, he used to execute his grotesques with more neatness
and delicacy. Labouring in competition, then, at the work of this
frieze, these two took such pains, both the one and the other, that
Cristofano learned to finish from Stefano, and Stefano learned from
Cristofano to be more resolute and to work like a master.

Work being then begun on the broad festoons that were to run in
clusters round the windows, Vasari made one with his own hand, keeping
real fruits in front of him, that he might copy them from nature. This
done, he ordained that Cristofano and Stefano should go on with the
rest, holding to the same design, one on one side of the window, and
the other on the other side, and should thus, one by one, proceed to
finish them all; promising to him who might prove at the end of the
work to have acquitted himself best a pair of scarlet hose. And so,
competing lovingly for both honour and profit, they set themselves to
copy everything, from the large things down to the most minute, such
as millet-seed, hemp-seed, bunches of fennel, and the like, in such a
manner that those festoons proved to be very beautiful; and both of
them received from Vasari the prize of the scarlet hose.

Giorgio took great pains to persuade Cristofano to execute by himself
part of the designs for the scenes that were to go into the frieze,
but he would never do it. Wherefore, the while that Giorgio was
drawing them himself, Gherardi executed the buildings in two of the
panel-pictures, with much grace and beauty of manner, and such
perfection, that a master of great judgment, even if he had had the
cartoons before him, could not have done what Cristofano did. And, in
truth, there never was a painter who could do by himself, and without
study, the things that he contrived to do. After having finished the
execution of the buildings in the two panel-pictures, the while that
Vasari was carrying to completion the twenty stories from the
Apocalypse for the above-mentioned frieze, Cristofano, taking in hand
the panel-picture in which S. Gregory (whose head is a portrait of
Pope Clement VII) is eating with his twelve poor men, executed the
whole service of the table, all very lifelike and most natural. Then,
a beginning having been made with the third panel-picture, while
Stefano was occupied with the gilding of the ornamental frames of the
other two, a staging was erected upon two trestles of wood, from
which, while Vasari was painting on one side, in a glory of sunlight,
the three Angels that appeared to Abraham in the Valley of Mamre,
Cristofano painted some buildings on the other side. But he was always
making some contraption with stools and tables, and at times with
basins and pans upside down, on which he would climb, like the casual
creature that he was; and once it happened that, seeking to draw back
in order to look at what he had done, one of his feet gave way under
him, the whole contraption turned topsy-turvy, and he fell from a
height of five braccia, bruising himself so grievously that he had to
be bled and properly nursed, or he would have died. And, what was
worse, being the sort of careless fellow that he was, one night there
slipped off the bandages that were on the arm from which the blood had
been drawn, to the great danger of his life, so that, if Stefano, who
was sleeping with him, had not noticed this, it would have been all up
with him; and even so Stefano had something to do to revive him, for
the bed was a lake of blood, and he himself was reduced almost to his
last gasp. Vasari, therefore, taking him under his own particular
charge, as if he had been his brother, had him tended with the
greatest possible care, than which, indeed, nothing less would have
sufficed; and with all this he was not restored until that work was
completely finished. After that, returning to S. Giustino, Cristofano
completed some of the apartments of the Abbot there, which had been
left unfinished, and then executed at Città di Castello, all with his
own hand, an altar-piece that had been allotted to Battista, his
dearest friend, and a lunette that is over the side-door of S.
Fiorido, containing three figures in fresco.

Giorgio being afterwards summoned to Venice at the instance of Messer
Pietro Aretino, in order to arrange and execute for the nobles and
gentlemen of the Company of the Calza the setting for a most sumptuous
and magnificent festival, and the scenery of a comedy written by that
same Messer Pietro Aretino for those gentlemen, Giorgio, I say,
knowing that he was not able to carry out so great a work by himself
alone, sent for Cristofano and the above-mentioned Battista Cungi. And
they, having finally arrived in Venice after being carried by the
chances of the sea to Sclavonia, found that Vasari not only had
arrived there before them, but had already designed everything, so
that there was nothing for them to do but to set hand to painting. Now
the said gentlemen of the Calza had taken at the end of the Canareio a
large house which was not finished--it had nothing, indeed, save the
main walls and the roof--and in a space forming an apartment seventy
braccia long and sixteen braccia wide, Giorgio caused to be made two
ranges of wooden steps, four braccia in height from the floor, on
which the ladies were to be seated. The walls at the sides he divided
each into four square spaces of ten braccia, separated by niches each
four braccia in breadth, within which were figures, and these niches
had each on either side a terminal figure in relief, nine braccia
high; insomuch that the niches on either side were five and the
terminal figures ten, and in the whole apartment there were altogether
ten niches, twenty terminal figures, and eight square pictures with
scenes. In the first of these pictures (which were all in
chiaroscuro), that on the right hand, next the stage, there was,
representing Venice, a most beautiful figure of Adria depicted as
seated upon a rock in the midst of the sea, with a branch of coral in
the hand. Around her stood Neptune, Thetis, Proteus, Nereus, Glaucus,
Palæmon, and other sea gods and nymphs, who were presenting to her
jewels, pearls, gold, and other riches of the sea; and besides this
there were some Loves that were shooting arrows, and others that were
flying through the air and scattering flowers, and the rest of the
field of the picture was all most beautiful palms. In the second
picture were the Rivers Drava and Sava naked, with their vases. In the
third was the Po, conceived as large and corpulent, with seven sons,
representing the seven branches which, issuing from the Po, pour into
the sea as if each of them were a kingly river. In the fourth was the
Brenta, with other rivers of Friuli. On the other wall, opposite to
the Adria, was the Island of Candia, wherein was to be seen Jove being
suckled by the Goat, with many Nymphs around. Beside this, and
opposite to the Drava, were the River Tagliamento and the Mountains of
Cadore. Beyond this, opposite to the Po, were Lake Benacus and the
Mincio, which were pouring their waters into the Po; and beside them,
opposite to the Brenta, were the Adige and the Tesino, falling into
the sea. The pictures on the right-hand side were divided by these
Virtues, placed in the niches--Liberality, Concord, Compassion, Peace,
and Religion; and opposite to these, on the other wall, were
Fortitude, Civic Wisdom, Justice, a Victory with War beneath her, and,
lastly, a Charity. Above all, then, were a large cornice and
architrave, and a frieze full of lights and of glass globes filled
with distilled waters, to the end that these, having lights behind
them, might illuminate the whole apartment. Next, the ceiling was
divided into four quadrangular compartments, each ten braccia wide in
one direction and eight braccia in the other; and, with a width equal
to that of the niches of four braccia, there was a frieze which ran
right round the cornice, while in a line with the niches there came in
the middle of all the spaces a compartment three braccia square. These
compartments were in all twenty-three, without counting one of double
size that was above the stage, which brought the number up to
twenty-four; and in them were the Hours, twelve of the night, namely,
and twelve of the day. In the first of the compartments ten braccia in
length, which was above the stage, was Time, who was arranging the
Hours in their places, accompanied by Æolus, God of the Winds, by
Juno, and by Iris. In another compartment, at the door of entrance,
was the Car of Aurora, who, rising from the arms of Tithonus, was
scattering roses, while the Car itself was being drawn by some Cocks.
In the third was the Chariot of the Sun; and in the fourth was the
Chariot of Night, drawn by Owls, and Night had the Moon upon her head,
some Bats in front of her, and all around her darkness.

Of these pictures Cristofano executed the greater part, and he
acquitted himself so well, that everyone stood marvelling at them:
particularly in the Chariot of Night, wherein he did in the way of
oil-sketches that which was, in a manner of speaking, not possible.
And in the picture of Adria, likewise, he painted those monsters of
the sea with such beauty and variety, that whoever looked at them was
struck with astonishment that a craftsman of his rank should have
shown such knowledge. In short, in all this work he bore himself
beyond all expectation like an able and well-practised painter, and
particularly in the foliage and grotesques.

After finishing the preparations for that festival, Vasari and
Cristofano stayed some months in Venice, painting for the Magnificent
Messer Giovanni Cornaro the ceiling, or rather, soffit, of an
apartment, into which there went nine large pictures in oils. Vasari
being then entreated by the Veronese architect, Michele San Michele,
to stay in Venice, he might perhaps have consented to remain there for
a year or two; but Cristofano always dissuaded him from it, saying
that it was not a good thing to stay in Venice, where no account was
taken of design, nor did the painters in that city make any use of it,
not to mention that those painters themselves were the reason that no
attention was paid there to the labours of the arts; and he declared
that it would be better to return to Rome, the true school of noble
arts, where ability was recognized much more than in Venice. The
dissuasions of Cristofano being thus added to the little desire that
Vasari had to stay there, they went off together. But, since
Cristofano, being an exile from the State of Florence, was not able to
follow Giorgio, he returned to S. Giustino, where he did not remain
long, doing some work all the time for the above-mentioned Abbot,
before he went to Perugia on the first occasion when Pope Paul III
went there after the war waged with the people of that city. There, in
the festive preparations that were made to receive his Holiness, he
acquitted himself very well in several works, and particularly in the
portal called after Frate Rinieri, where, at the wish of Monsignore
della Barba, who was then governor there, Cristofano executed a large
Jove in Anger and another Pacified, which are two most beautiful
figures, and on the other side he painted an Atlas with the world on
his back, between two women, one of whom had a sword and the other a
pair of scales. These works, with many others that Cristofano executed
for those festivities, were the reason that afterwards, when the
citadel had been built in Perugia by order of the same Pontiff, Messer
Tiberio Crispo, who was governor and castellan at that time, when
causing many of the rooms to be painted, desired that Cristofano, in
addition to that which Lattanzio, a painter of the March, had executed
in them up to that time, should also work there. Whereupon Cristofano
not only assisted the above-named Lattanzio, but afterwards executed
with his own hand the greater part of the best works that are painted
in the apartments of that fortress, in which there also worked
Raffaello dal Colle and Adone Doni of Assisi, an able and
well-practised painter, who has executed many things in his native
city and in other places. Tommaso Papacello also worked there; but the
best that there was among them, and the one who gained most praise
there, was Cristofano, on which account he was recommended by
Lattanzio to the favour of the said Crispo, and was ever afterwards
much employed by him.

Meanwhile, that same Crispo having built in Perugia a new little
church known as S. Maria del Popolo, but first called Del Mercato,
Lattanzio had begun for it an altar-piece in oils, and in this
Cristofano painted with his own hand all the upper part, which is
indeed most beautiful and worthy of great praise. Then, Lattanzio
having been changed from a painter into the Constable of Perugia,
Cristofano returned to S. Giustino, where he stayed many months, again
working for the above-named Lord Abbot Bufolini.

After this, in the year 1543, Giorgio Vasari, having to execute a
panel-picture in oils for the Great Cancelleria by order of the most
illustrious Cardinal Farnese, and another for the Church of S.
Agostino at the commission of Galeotto da Girone, sent for Cristofano,
who went very willingly, as one who had a desire to see Rome. There he
stayed many months, doing little else but go about seeing everything;
but nevertheless he thus gained so much, that, after returning once
more to S. Giustino, he painted in a hall some figures after his own
fancy which were so beautiful, that it appeared that he must have
studied at them twenty years. Then, in the year 1545, Vasari had to go
to Naples to paint for the Monks of Monte Oliveto a refectory
involving much more work than that of S. Michele in Bosco at Bologna,
and he sent for Cristofano, Raffaello dal Colle, and Stefano, already
mentioned as his friends and pupils; and they all came together at the
appointed time in Naples, excepting Cristofano, who remained behind
because he was ill. However, being pressed by Vasari, he made his way
to Rome on his journey to Naples; but he was detained by his brother
Borgognone, who was likewise an exile, and who wished to take him to
France to enter the service of the Colonel Giovanni da Turrino, and so
that occasion was lost. But when Vasari returned from Naples to Rome
in the year 1546, in order to execute twenty-four pictures that were
afterwards sent to Naples and placed in the Sacristy of S. Giovanni
Carbonaro, in which he painted stories from the Old Testament, and
also from the life of S. John the Baptist, with figures of one braccio
or little more, and also in order to paint the doors of the organ of
the Piscopio, which were six braccia in height, he availed himself of
Cristofano, who was of great assistance to him and executed figures
and landscapes in those works excellently well. Giorgio had also
proposed to make use of him in the Hall of the Cancelleria, which was
painted after cartoons by his hand, and entirely finished in a hundred
days, for Cardinal Farnese, but in this he did not succeed, for
Cristofano fell ill and returned to S. Giustino as soon as he had
begun to mend. And Vasari finished the Hall without him, assisted by
Raffaello dal Colle, the Bolognese Giovan Battista Bagnacavallo, the
Spaniards Roviale and Bizzerra, and many others of his friends and

After returning from Rome to Florence and setting out from that city
to go to Rimini, to paint a chapel in fresco and an altar-piece in the
Church of the Monks of Monte Oliveto for Abbot Gian Matteo Faettani,
Giorgio passed through S. Giustino, in order to take Cristofano with
him: but Abbot Bufolini, for whom he was painting a hall, would not
let him go for the time being, although he promised Giorgio that he
should send Cristofano to him soon all the way to Romagna. But,
notwithstanding such a promise, the Abbot delayed so long to send
him, that Cristofano, when he did go, found that Vasari had not only
finished all the work for the other Abbot, but had also executed an
altar-piece for the high-altar of S. Francesco at Rimini, for Messer
Niccolò Marcheselli, and another altar-piece in the Church of Classi,
belonging to the Monks of Camaldoli, at Ravenna, for Don Romualdo da
Verona, the Abbot of that abbey.

In the year 1550, not long before this, Giorgio had just executed the
story of the Marriage of Esther in the Black Friars' Abbey of S.
Fiore, that is, in the refectory, at Arezzo, and also, at Florence,
for the Chapel of the Martelli in the Church of S. Lorenzo, the
altar-piece of S. Gismondo, when, Julius III having been elected Pope,
he was summoned to Rome to enter the service of his Holiness.
Thereupon he thought for certain that by means of Cardinal Farnese,
who went at that time to stay in Florence, he would be able to
reinstate Cristofano in his country and restore him to the favour of
Duke Cosimo. But this proved to be impossible, so that poor Cristofano
had to stay as he was until 1554, at which time, Vasari having been
invited into the service of Duke Cosimo, there came to him an
opportunity of delivering Cristofano. Bishop da' Ricasoli, who knew
that he would be doing a thing pleasing to his Excellency, had set to
work to have the three façades of his palace, which stands on the
abutment of the Ponte alla Carraja, painted in chiaroscuro, when
Messer Sforza Almeni, Cup-bearer as well as first and favourite
Chamberlain to the Duke, resolved that he also would have his house in
the Via de' Servi painted in chiaroscuro, in emulation of the Bishop.
But, not having found in Florence any painters according to his fancy,
he wrote to Giorgio Vasari, who had not then arrived in Florence, that
he should think out the inventions and send him designs of all that it
might seem to him best to paint on that façade of his. Whereupon
Giorgio, who was much his friend, for they had known each other from
the time when they were both in the service of Duke Alessandro, having
thought out the whole according to the measurements of the façade,
sent him a design of most beautiful invention, which embellished the
windows and joined them together with a well-varied decoration in a
straight line from top to bottom, and filled all the spaces in the
façade with rich scenes. This design, I say, which contained, to put
it briefly, the whole life of man from birth to death, was sent by
Vasari to Messer Sforza; and it so pleased him, and likewise the Duke,
that, in order that it might have all its perfection, they resolved
that they would not have it taken in hand until such time as Vasari
himself should have arrived in Florence. Which Vasari having at last
come and having been received by his most illustrious Excellency and
by the above-named Messer Sforza with great friendliness, they began
to discuss who might be the right man to execute that façade.
Whereupon Giorgio, not allowing the occasion to slip by, said to
Messer Sforza that no one was better able to carry out that work than
Cristofano, and that neither in that nor in the works that were to be
executed in the Palace, could he do without Cristofano's aid. And so,
Messer Sforza having spoken of this to the Duke, after many inquiries
it was found that Cristofano's crime was not so black as it had been
painted, and the poor fellow was at last pardoned by his Excellency.
Which news having been received by Vasari, who was at Arezzo,
revisiting his native place and his friends, he sent a messenger
expressly to Cristofano, who knew nothing of the matter, to give him
that good news; and when he heard it, he was like to faint with joy.
All rejoicing, therefore, and confessing that no one had ever been a
better friend to him than Vasari, he went off next morning from Città
di Castello to the Borgo, where, after presenting his letters of
deliverance to the Commissioner, he made his way to his father's
house, where his mother and also his brother, who had been recalled
from exile long before, were struck with astonishment. Then, after
passing two days there, he went off to Arezzo, where he was received
by Giorgio with more rejoicing than if he had been his own brother,
and recognized that he was so beloved by Vasari that he resolved that
he would spend the rest of his life with him.

They then went from Arezzo to Florence together, and Cristofano went
to kiss the hands of the Duke, who received him readily and was struck
with amazement, for the reason that, whereas he had thought to see
some great bravo, he saw the best little man in the world. Cristofano
was likewise made much of by Messer Sforza, who conceived a very great
affection for him; and he then set his hand to the above-mentioned
façade. In that work, Giorgio, because it was not yet possible to
work in the Palace, assisted him, at his own request, to execute some
designs for the scenes in the façade, also designing at times during
the progress of the work, on the plaster, some of the figures that are
there. But, although there are in it many things retouched by Vasari,
nevertheless the whole façade, with the greater part of the figures
and all the ornaments, festoons, and large ovals, is by the hand of
Cristofano, who in truth, as may be seen, was so able in handling
colours in fresco, that it may be said--and Vasari confesses it--that
he knew more about it than Giorgio himself. And if Cristofano, when he
was a lad, had exercised himself continuously in the studies of
art--for he never did a drawing save when he had afterwards to carry
it into execution--and had pursued the practice of art with spirit, he
would have had no equal, seeing that his facility, judgment and memory
enabled him to execute his works in such a way, without any further
study, that he used to surpass many who in fact knew more than he. Nor
could anyone believe with what facility and resolution he executed his
labours, for, when he set himself to work, no matter how long a time
it might take, he so delighted in it that he would never lift his eyes
off his painting; wherefore his friends might well expect the greatest
things from him. Besides this, he was so gracious in his conversation
and his jesting as he worked, that Vasari would at times stay working
in his company from morning till night, without ever growing weary.

Cristofano executed this façade in a few months, not to mention that
he sometimes stayed away some weeks without working there, going to
the Borgo to see and enjoy his home. Now I do not wish to grudge the
labour of describing the distribution and the figures of this work,
which, from its being in the open air and much exposed to the vagaries
of the weather, may not have a very long life; scarcely, indeed, was
it finished, when it was much injured by a terrible rain and a very
heavy hail-storm, and in some places the wall was stripped of plaster.
In this façade, then, there are three compartments. The first, to
begin at the foot, is where the principal door and the two windows
are; the second is from the sill of those windows to that of the
second range of windows; and the third is from those last windows to
the cornice of the roof. There are, besides this, six windows in each
range, which give seven spaces; and the whole work was divided
according to this plan in straight lines from the cornice of the roof
down to the ground. Next to the cornice of the roof, then, there is in
perspective a great cornice, with brackets that project over a frieze
of little boys, six of whom stand upright along the breadth of the
façade--namely, one above the centre of the arch of each window; and
these support with their shoulders most beautiful festoons of fruits,
leaves, and flowers, which run from one to another. Those fruits and
flowers are arranged in due succession according to the seasons,
symbolizing the periods of our life, which is there depicted; and on
the middle of the festoons, likewise, where they hang down, are other
little boys in various attitudes. This frieze finished, between the
upper windows, in the spaces that are there, there were painted the
seven Planets, with the seven celestial Signs above them as a crown
and an ornament. Beneath the sill of these windows, on the parapet, is
a frieze of Virtues, who, two by two, are holding seven great ovals;
in which ovals are seven distinct stories representing the Seven Ages
of Man, and each Age is accompanied by two Virtues appropriate to her,
and beneath the ovals in the spaces between the lower windows there
are the three Theological and the four Moral Virtues. Below this, in
the frieze that is above the door and the windows supported by
knee-shaped brackets, are the seven Liberal Arts, each of which is in
a line with the oval in which is the particular story of the Life of
Man appropriate to it; and in the same straight lines, continued
upwards, are the Moral Virtues, Planets, Signs, and other
corresponding symbols. Next, between the windows with knee-shaped
brackets, there is Life, both the active and the contemplative, with
scenes and statues, continued down to Death, Hell, and our final

In brief, Cristofano executed almost all by himself the whole cornice,
the festoons, the little boys, and the seven Signs of the Planets.
Then, beginning on one side, he painted first the Moon, and
represented her by a Diana who has her lap full of flowers, after the
manner of Proserpine, with a moon upon her head and the Sign of Cancer
above her. Below, in the oval wherein is the story of Infancy, there
are present at the Birth of Man some nurses who are suckling infants,
and newly-delivered women in bed, executed by Cristofano with much
grace; and this oval is supported by Will alone, who is a half-nude
young woman, fair and beautiful, and she is sustained by Charity, who
is also suckling infants. And beneath the oval, on the parapet, is
Grammar, who is teaching some little boys to read.

Beginning over again, there follows Mercury with the Caduceus and with
his Sign, who has below him in the oval some little boys, some of whom
are going to school and some playing. This oval is supported by Truth,
who is a nude little girl all pure and simple, who has on one side a
male figure representing Falsehood, with a variety of girt-up garments
and a most beautiful countenance, but with the eyes much sunken.
Beneath the oval of the windows is Faith, who with the right hand is
baptizing a child in a conch full of water, and with the left hand is
holding a cross; and below her, on the parapet, is Logic covered by a
veil, with a serpent.

Next follows the Sun, represented by an Apollo who has the lyre in his
hand, with his Sign in the ornament above. In the oval is Adolescence,
represented by two boys of equal age, one of whom, holding a branch of
olive, is ascending a mountain illumined by the sun, and the other,
halting halfway up to admire the beauties that Fraud displays from the
middle upwards, without perceiving that her hideous countenance is
concealed behind a smooth and beautiful mask, is caused by her and her
wiles to fall over a precipice. This oval is supported by Sloth, a
gross and corpulent man, who stands all sleepy and nude in the guise
of a Silenus; and also by Toil, in the person of a robust and
hard-working peasant, who has around him the implements for tilling
the earth. These are supported by that part of the ornament that is
between the windows, where Hope is, who has the anchors at her feet;
and on the parapet below is Music, with various musical instruments
about her.

There follows in due order Venus, who has clasped Love to her bosom,
and is kissing him; and she, also, has her Sign above her. In the oval
that she has beneath her is the story of Youth; that is, in the centre
a young man seated, with books, instruments for measuring, and other
things appertaining to design, and in addition maps of the world and
cosmographical globes and spheres; and behind him is a loggia, in
which are young men who are merrily passing the time away with
singing, dancing, and playing, and also a banquet of young people all
given over to enjoyment. On one side this oval is supported by
Self-knowledge, who has about her compasses, armillary spheres,
quadrants, and books, and is gazing at herself in a mirror; and, on
the other side, by Fraud, a hideous old hag, lean and toothless, who
is mocking at Self-knowledge, and in the act of covering her face with
a smooth and beautiful mask. Below the oval is Temperance, with a
horse's bridle in her hand, and beneath her, on the parapet, is
Rhetoric, who is in a line with the other similar figures.

Next to these comes Mars in armour, with many trophies about him, and
with the Sign of the Lion above him. In his oval, which is below him,
is Virility, represented by a full-grown man, standing between Memory
and Will, who are holding before him a basin of gold containing a pair
of wings, and are pointing out to him the path of deliverance in the
direction of a mountain; and this oval is supported by Innocence, who
is a maiden with a lamb at her side, and by Hilarity, who, all smiling
and merry, reveals herself as what she really is. Beneath the oval,
between the windows, is Prudence, who is making herself beautiful
before a mirror; and she has below her, on the parapet, a figure of

Next there follows Jove, with his thunderbolt and his bird, the Eagle,
and with his Sign above him. In the oval is Old Age, who is
represented by an old man clothed as a priest and kneeling before an
altar, upon which he is placing the basin of gold with the two wings;
and this oval is supported by Compassion, who is covering some naked
little boys, and by Religion, enveloped in sacerdotal vestments. Below
these is a Fortitude in armour, who, planting one of her legs in a
spirited attitude on a fragment of a column, is placing some balls in
the mouth of a lion; and beneath her, on the parapet, she has a figure
of Astrology.

The last of the seven Planets is Saturn, depicted as an old man heavy
with melancholy, who is devouring his own children, with a great
serpent that is seizing its own tail with its teeth; which Saturn has
above him the Sign of Capricorn. In the oval is Decrepitude, and here
is depicted Jove in Heaven receiving a naked and decrepit old man,
kneeling, who is watched over by Felicity and Immortality, who are
casting his garments into the world. This oval is supported by
Beatitude, who is upheld by a figure of Justice in the ornament below,
who is seated and has in her hand the sceptre and upon her shoulders
the stork, with arms and laws around her; and on the parapet below is

In the lowest part at the foot, which is about the windows with
knee-shaped brackets and the door, is Leah in a niche, representing
the Active Life, and on the other side of the same place is Industry,
who has a Cornucopia and two goads in her hands. Near the door is a
scene in which many masters in wood and stone, architects, and
stone-cutters have before them the gate of Cosmopolis, a city built by
the Lord Duke Cosimo in the island of Elba, with a representation of
Porto-Ferrajo. Between this scene and the frieze in which are the
Liberal Arts, is Lake Trasimene, round which are Nymphs who are
issuing from the water with tench, pike, eels, and roach, and beside
the lake is Perugia, a nude figure holding with her hands a dog, which
she is showing to a figure of Florence corresponding to her, who
stands on the other side, with a figure of Arno beside her who is
embracing and fondling her. And below this is the Contemplative Life
in another scene, in which many philosophers and astrologers are
measuring the heavens, appearing to be casting the horoscope of the
Duke; and beside this, in the niche corresponding to that of Leah, is
her sister Rachel, the daughter of Laban, representing the
Contemplative Life. The last scene, which is likewise between two
niches and forms the conclusion of the whole invention, is Death, who,
mounted on a lean horse and holding the scythe, and accompanied by
War, Pestilence, and Famine, is riding over persons of every kind. In
one niche is the God Pluto, and beneath him Cerberus, the Hound of
Hell; and in the other is a large figure rising again from a sepulchre
on the last day. After all these things Cristofano executed on the
pediments of the windows with knee-shaped brackets some nude figures
that are holding the devices of his Excellency, and over the door a
Ducal coat of arms, the six balls of which are upheld by some naked
little boys, who twine in and out between each other as they fly
through the air. And last of all, in the bases at the foot, beneath
all the scenes, the same Cristofano painted the device of M. Sforza;
that is, some obelisks, or rather triangular pyramids, which rest upon
three balls, with a motto around that reads--Immobilis.

This work, when finished, was vastly extolled by his Excellency and by
Messer Sforza himself, who, like the courteous gentleman that he was,
wished to reward with a considerable present the art and industry of
Cristofano; but he would have none of it, being contented and fully
repaid by the goodwill of that lord, who loved him ever afterwards
more than I could say. While the work was being executed, Vasari had
Cristofano with him, as he had always done in the past, in the house
of Signor Bernardetto de' Medici, who much delighted in painting;
which having perceived, Cristofano painted two scenes in chiaroscuro
in a corner of his garden. One was the Rape of Proserpine, and in the
other were Vertumnus and Pomona, the deities of agriculture; and
besides this Cristofano painted in this work some ornaments of
terminal figures and children of such variety and beauty, that there
is nothing better to be seen.

Meanwhile arrangements had been made for beginning to paint in the
Palace, and the first thing that was taken in hand was a hall in the
new apartments, which, being twenty braccia wide, and having a height,
according as Tasso had constructed it, of not more than nine braccia,
was raised three braccia with beautiful ingenuity by Vasari, that is,
to a total height of twelve braccia, without moving the roof, which
was half a pavilion roof.

But because in doing this, before it could become possible to paint,
much time had to be devoted to reconstructing the ceilings and to
other works in that apartment and in others, Vasari himself obtained
leave to go to Arezzo to spend two months there together with
Cristofano. However, he did not succeed in being able to rest during
that time, for the reason that he could not refuse to go in those days
to Cortona, where he painted in fresco the vaulting and the walls of
the Company of Jesus with the assistance of Cristofano, who acquitted
himself very well, and particularly in the twelve different sacrifices
from the Old Testament which they executed in the lunettes between the
spandrels of the vaulting. Indeed, to speak more exactly, almost the
whole of this work was by the hand of Cristofano, Vasari having done
nothing therein beyond making certain sketches, designing some parts
on the plaster, and then retouching it at times in various places,
according as it was necessary.

This work finished, which is not otherwise than grand, worthy of
praise, and very well executed, by reason of the great variety of
things that are in it, they both returned to Florence in the month of
January of the year 1555. There, having taken in hand the Hall of the
Elements, while Vasari was painting the pictures of the ceiling,
Cristofano executed some devices that bind together the friezes of the
beams in perpendicular lines, in which are heads of capricorns and
tortoises with the sail, devices of his Excellency. But the works in
which he showed himself most marvellous were some festoons of fruits
that are in the friezes of the beams on the under side, which are so
beautiful that there is nothing better coloured or more natural to be
seen, particularly because they are separated one from another by
certain masks, that hold in their mouths the ligatures of the
festoons, than which one would not be able to find any more varied or
more bizarre; in which manner of work it may be said that Cristofano
was superior to any other who has ever made it his principal and
particular profession. This done, he painted some large figures on
that part of the walls where there is the Birth of Venus, but after
the cartoons of Vasari, and many little figures in a landscape, which
were executed very well. In like manner, on the wall where there are
the Loves as tiny little children, fashioning the arrows of Cupid, he
painted the three Cyclopes forging thunderbolts for Jove. Over six
doors he executed in fresco six large ovals with ornaments in
chiaroscuro and containing scenes in the colour of bronze, which were
very beautiful; and in the same hall, between the windows, he painted
in colours a Mercury and a Pluto, which are likewise very beautiful.

Work being then begun in the Chamber of the Goddess Ops, which is
next to that described above, he painted the four Seasons in fresco on
the ceiling, and, in addition to the figures, some festoons that were
marvellous in their variety and beauty, for the reason that, even as
those of Spring were filled with a thousand kinds of flowers, so those
of Summer were painted with an infinite number of fruits and cereals,
those of Autumn were of leaves and bunches of the grape, and those of
Winter were of onions, turnips, radishes, carrots, parsnips, and dried
leaves, not to mention that in the central picture, in which is the
Car of Ops, he coloured so beautifully in oils four lions that are
drawing the Car, that nothing better could be done; and, in truth, in
painting animals he had no equal.

Then in the Chamber of Ceres, which is beside the last-named, he
executed in certain angles some little boys and festoons that are
beautiful to a marvel. And in the central picture, where Vasari had
painted Ceres seeking for Proserpine with a lighted pine torch, upon a
car drawn by two serpents, Cristofano carried many things to
completion with his own hand, because Vasari was ill at that time and
had left that picture, among other things, unfinished.

Finally, when it came to decorating a terrace that is beyond the
Chamber of Jove and beside that of Ops, it was decided that all the
history of Juno should be painted there; and so, after all the
ornamentation in stucco had been finished, with very rich carvings and
various compositions of figures, wrought after the cartoons of Vasari,
the same Vasari ordained that Cristofano should execute that work by
himself in fresco, desiring, since it was a work to be seen from near,
and of figures not higher than one braccio, that Gherardi should do
something beautiful in this, which was his peculiar profession.
Cristofano, then, executed in an oval on the vaulting a Marriage with
Juno in the sky, and in a picture on one side Hebe, Goddess of Youth,
and on the other Iris, who is pointing to the rainbow in the heavens.
On the same vaulting he painted three other quadrangular pictures, two
to match the others, and a larger one in a line with the oval in which
is the Marriage, and in the last-named picture is Juno seated in a car
drawn by peacocks. In one of the other two, which are on either side
of that one, is the Goddess of Power, and in the other Abundance with
the Cornucopia at her feet. And in two other pictures on the walls
below, over the openings of two doors, are two other stories of
Juno--the Transformation of Io, the daughter of the River Inachus,
into a Cow, and of Callisto into a Bear.

During the execution of that work his Excellency conceived a very
great affection for Cristofano, seeing him zealous and diligent in no
ordinary manner at his work; for the morning had scarcely broken into
day when Cristofano would appear at his labour, of which he had such a
love, and it so delighted him, that very often he would not finish
dressing before setting out. And at times, nay, frequently, it
happened that in his haste he put on a pair of shoes--all such things
he kept under his bed--that were not fellows, but of two kinds; and
more often than not he had his cloak wrong side out, with the hood on
the inside. One morning, therefore, appearing at an early hour at his
work, where the Lord Duke and the Lady Duchess were standing looking
at it, while preparations were being made to set out for the chase,
and the ladies and others of the Court were making themselves ready,
they noticed that Cristofano had as usual his cloak wrong side out and
the hood inside. At which both laughing, the Duke said: "What is your
idea in always wearing your cloak inside out?" "I know not, my Lord,"
answered Cristofano, "but I mean to find some day a kind of cloak that
shall have neither right side nor wrong side, and shall be the same on
both sides, for I have not the patience to think of wearing it in any
other way, since in the morning I generally dress and go out of the
house in the dark, besides that I have one eye so feeble that I can
see nothing with it. But let your Excellency look at what I paint, and
not at my manner of dressing." The Duke said nothing in answer, but
within a few days he caused to be made for him a cloak of the finest
cloth, with the pieces sewn and drawn together in such a manner that
there was no difference to be seen between outside and inside, and the
collar worked with braid in the same manner both inside and out, and
so also the trimming that it had round the edges. This being finished,
he sent it to Cristofano by a lackey, commanding the man that he
should give it to him on the part of the Duke. Having therefore
received the cloak very early one morning, Cristofano, without making
any further ceremony, tried it on and then said to the lackey: "The
Duke is a man of sense. Tell him that it suits me well."

Now, since Cristofano was thus careless of his person and hated
nothing more than to have to put on new clothes or to go about too
tightly constrained and confined in them, Vasari, who knew this humour
of his, whenever he observed that he was in need of any new clothes,
used to have them made for him in secret, and then, early one morning,
used to place these in his chamber and take away the old ones; and so
Cristofano was forced to put on those that he found. But it was
marvellous sport to stand and hear him raging with fury as he dressed
himself in the new clothes. "Look here," he would say, "what
devilments are these? Devil take it, can a man not live in his own way
in this world, without the enemies of comfort giving themselves all
this trouble?" One morning among others, Cristofano having put on a
pair of white hose, the painter Domenico Benci, who was also working
in the Palace with Vasari, contrived to persuade him to go with
himself, in company with other young men, to the Madonna
dell'Impruneta. There they walked, danced, and enjoyed themselves all
day, and in the evening, after supper, they returned home. Then
Cristofano, who was tired, went off straightway to his room to sleep;
but, when he set himself to take off his hose, what with their being
new and his having sweated, he was not able to pull off more than one
of them. Now Vasari, having gone in the evening to see how he was,
found that he had fallen asleep with one leg covered and the other
bare; whereupon, one servant holding his leg and the other pulling at
the stocking, they contrived to draw it off, while he lay cursing
clothes, Giorgio, and him who invented such fashions as--so he
said--kept men bound in chains like slaves. Nay, he grumbled that he
would take leave of them all and by hook or by crook return to S.
Giustino, where he was allowed to live in his own way and had not all
these restraints; and it was the devil's own business to pacify him.

It pleased him to talk seldom, and he loved that others also should
be brief in speaking, insomuch that he would have gone so far as to
have men's proper names very short, like that of a slave belonging to
M. Sforza, who was called "M." "These," said Cristofano, "are fine
names, and not your Giovan Francesco and Giovanni Antonio, which take
an hour's work to pronounce;" and since he was a good fellow at heart,
and said these things in his own jargon of the Borgo, it would have
made the Doleful Knight himself laugh. He delighted to go on
feast-days to the places where legends and printed pictures were sold,
and he would stay there the whole day; and if he bought some, more
often than not, while he went about looking at the others, he would
leave them at some place where he had been leaning. And never, unless
he was forced, would he go on horseback, although he was born from a
noble family in his native place and was rich enough.

Finally, his brother Borgognone having died, he had to go to the
Borgo; and Vasari, who had drawn much of the money of his salary and
had kept it for him, said to him: "See, I have all this money of
yours, it is right that you should take it with you and make use of it
in your requirements." "I want no money," answered Cristofano, "take
it for yourself. For me it is enough to have the luck to stay with you
and to live and die in your company." "It is not my custom," replied
Vasari, "to profit by the labour of others. If you will not have it, I
shall send it to your father Guido." "That you must not do," said
Cristofano, "for he would only waste it, as he always does." In the
end, he took the money and went off to the Borgo, but in poor health
and with little contentment of mind; and after arriving there, what
with his sorrow at the death of his brother, whom he had loved very
dearly, and a cruel flux of the reins, he died in a few days, after
receiving the full sacraments of the Church and distributing to his
family and to many poor persons the money that he had brought. He
declared a little before his death that it grieved him for no other
reason save that he was leaving Vasari too much embarrassed by the
great labours to which he had set his hand in the Palace of the Duke.
Not long afterwards, his Excellency having heard of the death of
Cristofano, and that with true regret, he caused a head of him to be
made in marble and sent it with the underwritten epitaph from Florence
to the Borgo, where it was placed in S. Francesco:

                D. O. M.
              IN EXORNANDO
             OBIIT A.D. MDLVI.
       VIXIT AN. LVI, M. III, D. VI.



(_After the painting by =Jacopo da Pontormo=. Siena: S. Agostino_)




The ancestors--or rather, the elders of Bartolommeo di Jacopo di
Martino, the father of Jacopo da Pontormo, whose Life we are now about
to write--had their origin, so some declare, in Ancisa, a township in
the Upper Valdarno, famous enough because from it the ancestors of
Messer Francesco Petrarca likewise derived their origin. But, whether
it was from there or from some other place that his elders came, the
above-named Bartolommeo, who was a Florentine, and, so I have been
told, of the family of the Carrucci, is said to have been a disciple
of Domenico Ghirlandajo, and, after executing many works in the
Valdarno, as a painter passing able for those times, to have finally
made his way to Empoli to carry out certain labours, living there and
in the neighbouring places, and taking to wife at Pontormo a most
virtuous girl of good condition, called Alessandra, the daughter of
Pasquale di Zanobi and of his wife Monna Brigida. To this Bartolommeo,
then, there was born in the year 1493 our Jacopo. But the father
having died in the year 1499, the mother in the year 1504, and the
grandfather in the year 1506, Jacopo was left to the care of his
grandmother, Monna Brigida, who kept him for several years at
Pontormo, and had him taught reading, writing, and the first rudiments
of Latin grammar; and finally, at the age of thirteen, he was taken by
the same guardian to Florence, and placed with the Pupilli, to the end
that his small property might be safeguarded and preserved by that
board, as is the custom. And after settling the boy himself in the
house of one Battista, a shoemaker distantly related to him, Monna
Brigida returned to Pontormo, taking with her a sister of Jacopo's.
But not long after that, Monna Brigida herself having died, Jacopo
was forced to bring that sister to Florence, and to place her in the
house of a kinsman called Niccolaio, who lived in the Via de' Servi;
and the girl, also, following the rest of her family, died in the year
1512, before ever she was married.

But to return to Jacopo; he had not been many months in Florence when
he was placed by Bernardo Vettori with Leonardo da Vinci, and shortly
afterwards with Mariotto Albertinelli, then with Piero di Cosimo, and
finally, in the year 1512, with Andrea del Sarto, with whom, likewise,
he did not stay long, for the reason that, after Jacopo had executed
the cartoons of the little arch for the Servites, of which there will
be an account below, it appears that Andrea never again looked
favourably upon him, whatever may have been the reason. The first
work, then, that Jacopo executed at that time was a little
Annunciation for one his friend, a tailor; but the tailor having died
before the work was finished, it remained in the hands of Jacopo, who
was at that time with Mariotto, and Mariotto took pride in it, and
showed it as a rare work to all who entered his workshop. Now
Raffaello da Urbino, coming in those days to Florence, saw with
infinite marvel the work and the lad who had done it, and prophesied
of Jacopo that which was afterwards seen to come true. Not long
afterwards, Mariotto having departed from Florence and gone to Viterbo
to execute the panel-picture that Fra Bartolommeo had begun there,
Jacopo, who was young, solitary, and melancholy, being thus left
without a master, went by himself to work under Andrea del Sarto, at
the very moment when Andrea had finished the stories of S. Filippo in
the court of the Servites, which pleased Jacopo vastly, as did all his
other works and his whole manner and design. Jacopo having then set
himself to make every effort to imitate him, no long time passed
before it was seen that he had made marvellous progress in drawing and
colouring, insomuch that from his facility it seemed as if he had been
many years in art.

Now Andrea had finished in those days a panel-picture of the
Annunciation for the Church of the Friars of S. Gallo, which is now
destroyed, as has been related in his Life; and he gave the predella
of that panel-picture to Jacopo to execute in oils. Jacopo painted in
it a Dead Christ, with two little Angels who are weeping over Him and
illuminating Him with two torches, and, in two round pictures at the
sides, two Prophets, which were executed by him so ably, that they
have the appearance of having been painted not by a mere lad but by a
practised master; but it may also be, as Bronzino says, that he
remembers having heard from Jacopo da Pontormo himself that Rosso
likewise worked on this predella. And even as Andrea was assisted by
Jacopo in executing the predella, so also was he aided by him in
finishing the many pictures and works that Andrea continually had in

In the meantime, Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici having been elected
Supreme Pontiff under the title of Leo X, there were being made all
over Florence by the friends and adherents of that house many
escutcheons of the Pontiff, in stone, in marble, on canvas, and in
fresco. Wherefore the Servite Friars, wishing to give some sign of
their service and devotion to that house and Pontiff, caused the arms
of Leo to be made in stone, and placed in the centre of the arch in
the first portico of the Nunziata, which is on the piazza; and shortly
afterwards they arranged that it should be overlaid with gold by the
painter Andrea di Cosimo, and adorned with grotesques, of which he was
an excellent master, and with the devices of the house of Medici, and
that, in addition, on either side of it there should be painted a
Faith and a Charity. But Andrea di Cosimo, knowing that he was not
able to execute all these things by himself, thought of giving the two
figures to some other to do; and so, having sent for Jacopo, who was
then not more than nineteen years of age, he gave him those two
figures to execute, although he had no little trouble to persuade him
to undertake to do it, seeing that, being a mere lad, he did not wish
to expose himself at the outset to such a risk, or to work in a place
of so much importance. However, having taken heart, although he was
not as well practised in fresco as in oil-painting, Jacopo undertook
to paint those two figures. And, withdrawing--for he was still working
with Andrea del Sarto--to draw the cartoons at S. Antonio by the Porta
a Faenza, where he lived, in a short time he carried them to
completion; which done, one day he took his master Andrea to see
them. Andrea, after seeing them with infinite marvel and amazement,
praised them vastly; but afterwards, as has been related, whether it
was from envy or from some other reason, he never again looked with a
kindly eye on Jacopo; nay, Jacopo going several times to his workshop,
either the door was not opened to him or he was mocked at by the
assistants, insomuch that he retired altogether by himself, beginning
to live on the least that he could, for he was very poor, and to study
with the greatest assiduity.

[Illustration: DUKE COSIMO I. DE' MEDICI

(_After the painting by =Jacopo da Pontormo=. Florence: Uffizi, 1270_)


When Andrea di Cosimo, then, had finished gilding the escutcheon and
all the eaves, Jacopo set to work all by himself to finish the rest;
and being carried away by the desire to make a name, by his joy in
working, and by nature, which had endowed him with extraordinary grace
and fertility of genius, he executed that work with incredible
rapidity and with such perfection as could not have been surpassed by
an old, well-practised, and excellent master. Wherefore, growing in
courage through this experience, and thinking that he could do a much
better work, he took it into his head that he would throw to the
ground all that he had done, without saying a word to anyone, and
paint it all over again after another design that he had in his brain.
But in the meantime the friars, having seen that the work was finished
and that Jacopo came no more to his labour, sought out Andrea, and so
pestered him that he resolved to uncover it. Having therefore looked
for Jacopo, in order to ask him whether he wished to do any more to
the work, and not finding him, for the reason that he stayed shut up
over his new design and would not answer to anyone, Andrea had the
screen and scaffolding removed and the work uncovered. The same
evening Jacopo, having issued from his house in order to go to the
Servite convent, and, when it should be night, to throw to the ground
the work that he had done, and to put into execution the new design,
found the scaffolding taken away and everything uncovered, and a
multitude of people all around gazing at the work. Whereupon, full of
fury, he sought out Andrea, and complained of his having uncovered it
without his consent, going on to describe what he had in mind to do.
To which Andrea answered, laughing: "You are wrong to complain,
because the work that you have done is so good that, if you had it
to do again, you may take my word for it that you would not be able
to do it better. You will not want for work, so keep these designs for
another occasion." That work, as may be seen, was of such a kind and
so beautiful, what with the novelty of the manner, the sweetness in
the heads of those two women, and the loveliness of the graceful and
lifelike children, that it was the most beautiful work in fresco that
had ever been seen up to that time; and, besides the children with the
Charity, there are two others in the air holding a piece of drapery
over the escutcheon of the Pope, who are so beautiful that nothing
better could be done, not to mention that all the figures have very
strong relief and are so executed in colouring and in every other
respect that one is not able to praise them enough. And Michelagnolo
Buonarroti, seeing the work one day, and reflecting that a youth of
nineteen had done it, said: "This young man, judging from what may be
seen here, will become such that, if he lives and perseveres, he will
exalt this art to the heavens." This renown and fame being heard by
the men of Pontormo, they sent for Jacopo, and commissioned him to
execute in their stronghold, over a gate placed on the main road, an
escutcheon of Pope Leo with two little boys, which was very beautiful;
but already it has been little less than ruined by rain.

[Illustration: THE VISITATION

(_After the fresco by =Jacopo da Pontormo=. Florence: SS. Annunziata,


At the Carnival in the same year, all Florence being gay and full of
rejoicing at the election of the above-named Leo X, many festive
spectacles were ordained, and among them two of great beauty and
extraordinary cost, which were given by two companies of noblemen and
gentlemen of the city. One of these, which was called the Diamante,[5]
had for its head the brother of the Pope, Signor Giuliano de' Medici,
who had given it that name because the diamond had been a device of
his father, the elder Lorenzo; and the head of the other, which had as
name and device the Broncone,[6] was Signor Lorenzo, the son of Piero
de' Medici, who had for his device a Broncone--that is, a dried trunk
of laurel growing green again with leaves, as it were to signify that
he was reviving and restoring the name of his grandfather.

         [Footnote 5: Diamond.]

         [Footnote 6: Trunk or branch.]

By the Company of the Diamante, then, a commission was given to M.
Andrea Dazzi, who was then lecturing on Greek and Latin Letters at the
Studio in Florence, to look to the invention of a triumphal
procession; whereupon he arranged one similar to those that the Romans
used to have for their triumphs, with three very beautiful cars
wrought in wood, and painted with rich and beautiful art. In the first
was Boyhood, with a most beautiful array of boys. In the second was
Manhood, with many persons who had done great things in their manly
prime. And in the third was Old Age, with many famous men who had
performed great achievements in their last years. All these persons
were very richly apparelled, insomuch that it was thought that nothing
better could be done. The architects of these cars were Raffaello
delle Vivole, Il Carota the wood-carver, the painter Andrea di Cosimo,
and Andrea del Sarto; those who arranged and prepared the dresses of
the figures were Ser Piero da Vinci, the father of Leonardo, and
Bernardino di Giordano, both men of beautiful ingenuity; and to Jacopo
da Pontormo alone it fell to paint all the three cars, wherein he
executed various scenes in chiaroscuro of the Transformations of the
Gods into different forms, which are now in the possession of Pietro
Paolo Galeotto, an excellent goldsmith. The first car bore, written in
very clear characters, the word "Erimus," the second "Sumus," and the
third "Fuimus"--that is, "We shall be," "We are," and "We have been."
The song began, "The years fly on...."

Having seen these triumphal cars, Signor Lorenzo, the head of the
Company of the Broncone, desiring that they should be surpassed, gave
the charge of the whole work to Jacopo Nardi, a noble and most learned
gentleman, to whom, for what he afterwards became, his native city of
Florence is much indebted. This Jacopo prepared six triumphal cars, in
order to double the number of those executed by the Diamante. The
first, drawn by a pair of oxen decked with herbage, represented the
Age of Saturn and Janus, called the Age of Gold; and on the summit of
the car were Saturn with the Scythe, and Janus with the two heads and
with the key of the Temple of Peace in the hand, and at his feet a
figure of Fury bound, with a vast number of things around appertaining
to Saturn, all executed most beautifully in different colours by the
genius of Pontormo. Accompanying this car were six couples of
Shepherds, naked but for certain parts covered by skins of marten and
sable, with footwear of various kinds after the ancient manner, and
with their wallets, and on their heads garlands of many kinds of
leaves. The horses on which these Shepherds sat were without saddles,
but covered with skins of lions, tigers, and lynxes, the paws of
which, overlaid with gold, hung at their sides with much grace and
beauty. The ornaments of their croups and of the grooms were of gold
cord, the stirrups were heads of rams, dogs, and other suchlike
animals, and the bridles and reins made with silver cord and various
kinds of verdure. Each Shepherd had four grooms in the garb of
shepherd-boys, dressed more simply in other skins, with torches
fashioned in the form of dry trunks and branches of pine, which made a
most beautiful sight.

Upon the second car, drawn by two pairs of oxen draped in the richest
cloth, with garlands on their heads and great paternosters hanging
from their gilded horns, was Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome,
with the books of religion and all the sacerdotal instruments and the
things appertaining to sacrifices, for the reason that he was the
originator and first founder of religion and sacrifices among the
Romans. This car was accompanied by six priests on most beautiful
she-mules, their heads covered with hoods of linen embroidered with
silver and gold in a masterly pattern of ivy-leaves; and on their
bodies they had sacerdotal vestments in the ancient fashion, with
borders and fringes of gold all round, and in the hands one had a
thurible, another a vase of gold, and the rest other similar things.
At their stirrups they had attendants in the guise of Levites, and the
torches that these had in their hands were after the manner of ancient
candelabra, and wrought with beautiful artistry.

The third car represented the Consulate of Titus Manlius Torquatus,
who was Consul after the end of the first Carthaginian war, and
governed in such a manner, that in his time there flourished in Rome
every virtue and every blessing. That car, upon which was Titus
himself, with many ornaments executed by Pontormo, was drawn by eight
most beautiful horses, and before it went six couples of Senators clad
in the toga, on horses covered with cloth of gold, accompanied by a
great number of grooms representing Lictors, with the fasces, axes,
and other things appertaining to the administration of justice.

The fourth car, drawn by four buffaloes disguised as elephants,
represented Julius Cæsar in Triumph for the victory gained over
Cleopatra, the car being all painted by Pontormo with his most famous
deeds. That car was accompanied by six couples of men-at-arms clad in
rich and brightly shining armour all bordered with gold, with their
lances on their hips; and the torches that the half-armed grooms
carried had the form of trophies, designed in various ways.

The fifth car, drawn by winged horses that had the form of gryphons,
bore upon it Cæsar Augustus, the Lord of the Universe, accompanied by
six couples of Poets on horseback, all crowned, as was also Cæsar,
with laurel, and dressed in costumes varying according to their
provinces; and these were there because poets were always much
favoured by Cæsar Augustus, whom they exalted with their works to the
heavens. And to the end that they might be recognized, each of them
had across his forehead a scroll after the manner of a fillet, on
which was his name.

On the sixth car, drawn by four pairs of heifers richly draped, was
Trajan, that just Emperor, before whom, as he sat on the car, which
was painted very well by Pontormo, there rode upon beautiful and
finely caparisoned horses six couples of Doctors of Law, with togas
reaching to their feet and with capes of miniver, such as it was the
ancient custom for Doctors to wear. The grooms who carried their
torches, a great number, were scriveners, copyists, and notaries, with
books and writings in their hands.

After these six came the car, or rather, triumphal chariot, of the Age
or Era of Gold, wrought with the richest and most beautiful artistry,
with many figures in relief executed by Baccio Bandinelli, and very
beautiful paintings by the hand of Pontormo; among those in relief the
four Cardinal Virtues being highly extolled. From the centre of the
car rose a great sphere in the form of a globe of the world, upon
which there lay prostrate on his face, as if dead, a man clad in
armour all eaten with rust, who had the back open and cleft, and from
the fissure there issued a child all naked and gilded, who
represented the new birth of the age of gold and the end of the age of
iron, from which he was coming forth into that new birth by reason of
the election of that Pontiff; and this same significance had the dry
trunk putting forth new leaves, although some said that the matter of
that dry trunk was an allusion to the Lorenzo de' Medici who became
Duke of Urbino. I should mention that the gilded boy, who was the son
of a baker, died shortly afterwards through the sufferings that he
endured in order to gain ten crowns.

The chant that was sung in that masquerade, as is the custom, was
composed by the above-named Jacopo Nardi, and the first stanza ran

  Colui che da le leggi alla Natura
  E i varii stati e secoli dispone,
  D'ogni bene è cagione;
  E il mal, quanto permette, al Mondo dura;
  Onde questa figura
  Contemplando si vede,
  Come con certo piede
  L'un secol dopo l'altro al Mondo viene
  E muta il bene in male, e 'l male in bene.

From the works that he executed for this festival Pontormo gained,
besides the profit, so much praise, that probably few young men of his
age ever gained as much in that city; wherefore, Pope Leo himself
afterwards coming to Florence, he was much employed in the festive
preparations that were made, for he had attached himself to Baccio da
Montelupo, a sculptor advanced in years, who made an arch of wood at
the head of the Via del Palagio, at the steps of the Badia, and
Pontormo painted it all with very beautiful scenes, which afterwards
came to an evil end through the scant diligence of those who had
charge of them. Only one remained, that in which Pallas is tuning an
instrument into accord with the lyre of Apollo, with great grace and
beauty; from which scene one is able to judge what excellence and
perfection were in the other works and figures. For the same
festivities Ridolfo Ghirlandajo had received the task of fitting up
and embellishing the Sala del Papa, which is attached to the Convent
of S. Maria Novella, and was formerly the residence of the Pontiffs in
the city of Florence; but being pressed for time, he was forced to
avail himself in some things of the work of others, and thus, after
having adorned all the other rooms, he laid on Jacopo da Pontormo the
charge of executing some pictures in fresco in the chapel where his
Holiness was to hear Mass every morning. Whereupon, setting his hand
to the work, Jacopo painted there a God the Father with many little
Angels, and a Veronica who had the Sudarium with the image of Jesus
Christ; which work, thus executed by Jacopo in so short a time, was
much extolled.

He then painted in fresco, in a chapel of the Church of S. Ruffillo,
behind the Archbishop's Palace in Florence, Our Lady with her Son in
her arms between S. Michelagnolo and S. Lucia, and two other Saints
kneeling; and, in the lunette of the chapel, a God the Father with
some Seraphim about Him. Next, having been commissioned by Maestro
Jacopo, a Servite friar, as he had greatly desired, to paint a part of
the court of the Servites, because Andrea del Sarto had gone off to
France and left the work of that court unfinished, he set himself with
much study to make the cartoons. But since he was poorly provided with
the things of this world, and was obliged, while studying in order to
win honour, to have something to live upon, he executed over the door
of the Hospital for Women--behind the Church of the Priest's Hospital,
between the Piazza di S. Marco and the Via di S. Gallo, and exactly
opposite to the wall of the Sisters of S. Catharine of Siena--two most
beautiful figures in chiaroscuro, with Christ in the guise of a
pilgrim awaiting certain women in order to give them hospitality and
lodging; which work was deservedly much extolled in those days, as it
still is, by all good judges. At this same time he painted some
pictures and little scenes in oils for the Masters of the Mint, on the
Carro della Moneta, which goes every year in the procession of S.
John; the workmanship of which car was by the hand of Marco del Tasso.
And over the door of the Company of Cecilia, on the heights of
Fiesole, he painted a S. Cecilia with some roses in her hand, coloured
in fresco, and so beautiful and so well suited to that place, that,
for a work of that kind, it is one of the best paintings in fresco
that there are to be seen.

These works having been seen by the above-named Servite friar, Maestro
Jacopo, he became even more ardent in his desire, and he determined at
all costs to cause Jacopo to finish the work in that court of the
Servites, thinking that in emulation of the other masters who had
worked there he would execute something of extraordinary beauty in the
part that remained to be painted. Having therefore set his hand to it,
from a desire no less of glory and honour than of gain, Jacopo painted
the scene of the Visitation of the Madonna, in a manner a little freer
and more lively than had been his wont up to that time; which
circumstance gave an infinite excellence to the work, in addition to
its other extraordinary beauties, in that the women, little boys,
youths, and old men are executed in fresco with such softness and such
harmony of colouring, that it is a thing to marvel at, and the
flesh-colours of a little boy who is seated on some steps, and,
indeed, those likewise of all the other figures, are such that they
could not be done better or with more softness in fresco. This work,
then, after the others that Jacopo had executed, gave a sure earnest
of his future perfection to the craftsmen, comparing them with those
of Andrea del Sarto and Franciabigio. Jacopo delivered the work
finished in the year 1516, and received in payment sixteen crowns and
no more.

Having then been allotted by Francesco Pucci, if I remember rightly,
the altar-piece of a chapel that he had caused to be built in S.
Michele Bisdomini in the Via de' Servi, Jacopo executed the work in so
beautiful a manner, and with a colouring so vivid, that it seems
almost impossible to credit it. In this altar-piece Our Lady, who is
seated, is handing the Infant Jesus to S. Joseph, in whose countenance
there is a smile so animated and so lifelike that it is a marvel; and
very beautiful, likewise, is a little boy painted to represent S. John
the Baptist, and also two other little children, naked, who are
upholding a canopy. There may be seen also a S. John the Evangelist, a
most beautiful old man, and a S. Francis kneeling, who is absolutely
alive, for, with the fingers of one hand interlocked with those of the
other, and wholly intent in contemplating fixedly with his eyes and
his mind the Virgin and her Son, he appears really to be breathing.
And no less beautiful is the S. James who may be seen beside the
others. Wherefore it is no marvel that this is the most beautiful
altar-piece that was ever executed by this truly rare painter.

I used to believe that it was after this work, and not before, that
the same Jacopo had painted in fresco the two most lovely and graceful
little boys who are supporting a coat of arms over a door within a
passage on the Lungarno, between the Ponte S. Trinita and the Ponte
alla Carraja, for Bartolommeo Lanfredini; but since Bronzino, who may
be supposed to know the truth about these matters, declares that they
were among the first works that Jacopo executed, we must believe that
this is so without a doubt, and praise Pontormo for them all the more,
seeing that they are so beautiful that they cannot be matched, and yet
were among the earliest works that he did.

But to resume the order of our story: after these works, Jacopo
executed for the men of Pontormo an altar-piece wherein are S.
Michelagnolo and S. John the Evangelist, which was placed in the
Chapel of the Madonna in S. Agnolo, their principal church. At this
time one of two young men who were working under Jacopo--that is,
Giovan Maria Pichi of Borgo a S. Sepolcro, who was acquitting himself
passing well, and who afterwards became a Servite friar, and executed
some works in the Borgo and in the Pieve a S. Stefano--while still
working, I say, under Jacopo, painted in a large picture a nude S.
Quentin in martyrdom, in order to send it to the Borgo. But since
Jacopo, like a loving master to his disciple, desired that Giovan
Maria should win honour and praise, he set himself to retouch it, and
so, not being able to take his hands off it, and retouching one day
the head, the next day the arms, and the day after the body, the
retouching became such that it may almost be said that the work is
entirely by his hand. Wherefore it is no marvel that this picture,
which is now in the Church of the Observantine Friars of S. Francis in
the Borgo, is most beautiful.


(_After the painting by =Jacopo da Pontormo=. London: National Gallery,


The second of the two young men, who was Giovanni Antonio Lappoli of
Arezzo, of whom there has been an account in another place, like a
vain fellow had taken a portrait of himself with a mirror, also while
he was working under Jacopo. But his master, thinking that the
portrait was a poor likeness, took it in hand himself, and executed
a portrait that is so good that it has the appearance of life; which
portrait is now at Arezzo, in the house of the heirs of that Giovanni

Pontormo also portrayed in one and the same picture two of his dearest
friends--one the son-in-law of Beccuccio Bicchieraio, and another,
whose name likewise I do not know; it is enough that the portraits are
by the hand of Pontormo. He then executed for Bartolommeo Ginori, in
anticipation of his death, a string of pennons, according to the
custom of the Florentines; and in the upper part of all these, on the
white taffeta, he painted a Madonna with the Child, and on the
coloured fringe below he painted the arms of that family, as is the
custom. For the centre of the string, which was of twenty-four
pennons, he made two all of white taffeta without any fringe, on which
he painted two figures of S. Bartholomew, each two braccia high. The
size of all these pennons and their almost novel manner caused all the
others that had been made up to that time to appear poor and mean; and
this was the reason that they began to be made of the size that they
are at the present day, with great grace and much less expense for

At the head of the garden and vineyard of the Friars of S. Gallo,
without the gate that is called after that Saint, in a chapel that is
in a line with the central entrance, he painted a Dead Christ, a
Madonna weeping, and two little Angels in the air, one of whom was
holding the Chalice of the Passion in his hands, and the other was
supporting the fallen head of Christ. On one side was S. John the
Evangelist, all tearful, with the arms stretched out, and on the other
S. Augustine in episcopal robes, who, leaning with the left hand on
the pastoral staff, stood in an attitude truly full of sorrow,
contemplating the Dead Saviour. And for Messer Spina, the familiar
friend of Giovanni Salviati, he executed in a courtyard, opposite to
the principal door of his house, the coat of arms of that Giovanni
(who had been made a Cardinal in those days by Pope Leo), with the red
hat above and two little boys standing--works in fresco which are very
beautiful, and much esteemed by Messer Filippo Spina, as being by the
hand of Pontormo.

Jacopo also worked, in competition with other masters, on the
ornamentation in wood that was formerly executed in a magnificent
manner, as has been related elsewhere, in some apartments of Pier
Francesco Borgherini; and, in particular, he painted there with his
own hand on two coffers some stories from the life of Joseph in little
figures, which were truly most beautiful. And whoever wishes to see
the best work that he ever did in all his life, in order to consider
how able and masterly was Jacopo in giving liveliness to heads, in
grouping figures, in varying attitudes, and in beauty of invention,
let him look at a scene of some size, likewise in little figures, in
the corner on the left hand as one enters through the door, in the
chamber of Borgherini, who was a nobleman of Florence; in which scene
is Joseph in Egypt, as it were a Prince or a King, in the act of
receiving his father Jacob with all his brethren, the sons of that
Jacob, with extraordinary affection. Among these figures he portrayed
at the foot of the scene, seated upon some steps, Il Bronzino, who was
then a boy and his disciple--a figure with a basket, which is lifelike
and beautiful to a marvel. And if this scene were on a greater scale,
on a large panel or a wall, instead of being small, I would venture to
say that it would not be possible to find another picture executed
with the grace, excellence, and even perfection wherewith this one was
painted by Jacopo; wherefore it was rightly regarded by all craftsmen
as the most beautiful picture that Pontormo ever executed. Nor is it
to be wondered at that Borgherini should have prized it as he did, and
should have been besought to sell it by great persons as a present for
mighty lords and princes.


(_After =Jacopo da Pontormo=. Poggio a Caiano: Villa Reale_)


On account of the siege of Florence Pier Francesco retired to Lucca,
and Giovan Battista della Palla, who desired to obtain, together with
other things that he was transporting into France, the decorations of
this chamber, so that they might be presented to King Francis in the
name of the Signoria, received such favours, and went to work so
effectively with both words and deeds, that the Gonfalonier granted a
commission that they should be taken away after payment to the wife of
Pier Francesco. Whereupon some others went with Giovan Battista to
execute the will of the Signori; but, when they arrived at the house
of Pier Francesco, his wife, who was in the house, poured on Giovan
Battista the greatest abuse that was ever spoken to any man. "So you
make bold, Giovan Battista," said she, "you vile slop-dealer, you
little twopenny pedlar, to strip the ornaments from the chambers of
noblemen and despoil our city of her richest and most honoured
treasures, as you have done and are always doing, in order to
embellish with them the countries of foreigners, our enemies! At you I
do not marvel, you, a base plebeian and the enemy of your country, but
at the magistrates of this city, who aid and abet you in these
shameful rascalities. This bed, which you would seize for your own
private interest and for greed of gain, although you keep your evil
purpose cloaked with a veil of righteousness, this is the bed of my
nuptials, in honour of which my husband's father, Salvi, made all
these magnificent and regal decorations, which I revere in memory of
him and from love for my husband, and mean to defend with my very
blood and with life itself. Out of this house with these your
cut-throats, Giovan Battista, and go to those who sent you with orders
that these things should be removed from their places, for I am not
the woman to suffer a single thing to be moved from here. If they who
believe in you, a vile creature of no account, wish to make presents
to King Francis of France, let them go and strip their own houses, and
take the ornaments and beds from their own chambers, and send them to
him. And you, if you are ever again so bold as to come to this house
on such an errand, I will make you smart sorely for it, and teach you
what respect should be paid by such as you to the houses of noblemen."
Thus spoke Madonna Margherita, the wife of Pier Francesco Borgherini,
and the daughter of Ruberto Acciaiuoli, a most noble and wise citizen;
and she, a truly courageous woman and a worthy daughter of such a
father, with her noble ardour and spirit, was the reason that those
gems are still preserved in that house.

Giovan Maria Benintendi, about this same time, had adorned an
antechamber in his house with many pictures by the hands of various
able men; and after the work executed for Borgherini, incited by
hearing Jacopo da Pontormo very highly praised, he caused a picture to
be painted by him with the Adoration of the Magi, who went to
Bethlehem to see Christ; which work, since Jacopo devoted to it much
study and diligence, proved to be well varied and beautiful in the
heads and in every other part, and to be truly worthy of all praise.
Afterwards he executed for Messer Goro da Pistoia, then Secretary to
the Medici, a picture with the portrait of the Magnificent Cosimo de'
Medici, the elder, from the knees upwards, which is indeed worthy to
be extolled; and this portrait is now in the house of Messer Ottaviano
de' Medici, in the possession of his son, Messer Alessandro, a young
man--besides the distinction and nobility of his blood--of most
upright character, well lettered, and the worthy son of the
Magnificent Ottaviano and of Madonna Francesca, the daughter of Jacopo
Salviati and the maternal aunt of the Lord Duke Cosimo.

By means of this work, and particularly this head of Cosimo, Pontormo
became the friend of Messer Ottaviano; and the Great Hall at Poggio a
Caiano having then to be painted, there were given to him to paint the
two ends where the round openings are that give light--that is, the
windows--from the vaulting down to the floor. Whereupon, desiring to
do himself honour even beyond his wont, both from regard for the place
and from emulation of the other painters who were working there, he
set himself to study with such diligence, that he overshot the mark,
for the reason that, destroying and doing over again every day what he
had done the day before, he racked his brains in such a manner that it
was a tragedy; but all the time he was always making new discoveries,
which brought credit to himself and beauty to the work. Thus, having
to execute a Vertumnus with his husbandmen, he painted a peasant
seated with a vine-pruner in his hand, which is so beautiful and so
well done that it is a very rare thing, even as certain children that
are there are lifelike and natural beyond all belief. On the other
side he painted Pomona and Diana, with other Goddesses, enveloping
them perhaps too abundantly with draperies. However, the work as a
whole is beautiful and much extolled; but while it was being executed
Leo was overtaken by death, and so it remained unfinished, like many
other similar works at Rome, Florence, Loreto, and other places; nay,
the whole world was left poor, being robbed of the true Mæcenas of men
of talent.


(_After =Jacopo da Pontormo=. Poggio a Caiano: Villa Reale_)


Having returned to Florence, Jacopo painted in a picture a seated
figure of S. Augustine as a Bishop, who is giving the benediction,
with two little nude Angels flying through the air, who are very
beautiful; which picture is over an altar in the little Church of the
Sisters of S. Clemente in the Via di S. Gallo. He carried to
completion, likewise, a picture of a Pietà with certain nude Angels,
which was a very beautiful work, and held very dear by certain
merchants of Ragusa, for whom he painted it; but most beautiful of all
in this picture was a landscape taken for the most part from an
engraving by Albrecht Dürer. He also painted a picture of Our Lady
with the Child in her arms, and some little Angels about her, which is
now in the house of Alessandro Neroni; and for certain Spaniards he
executed another like it--that is, of the Madonna--but different from
the one described above and in another manner, which picture, being
for sale in a second-hand dealer's shop many years after, was bought
by Bartolommeo Panciatichi at the suggestion of Bronzino.

Then, in the year 1522, there being a slight outbreak of plague in
Florence, and many persons therefore departing in order to avoid that
most infectious sickness and to save themselves, an occasion presented
itself to Jacopo of flying the city and removing himself to some
distance, for a certain Prior of the Certosa, a place built by the
Acciaiuoli three miles away from Florence, had to have some pictures
painted in fresco at the corners of a very large and beautiful
cloister that surrounds a lawn, and Jacopo was brought to his notice;
whereupon the Prior had him sought out, and he, having accepted the
work very willingly at such a time, went off to Certosa, taking with
him only Bronzino. There, after a trial of that mode of life, that
quiet, that silence, and that solitude--all things after the taste and
nature of Jacopo--he thought with such an occasion to make a special
effort in the matters of art, and to show to the world that he had
acquired greater perfection and a different manner since those works
that he had executed before. Now not long before there had come from
Germany to Florence many sheets printed from engravings done with
great subtlety with the burin by Albrecht Dürer, a most excellent
German painter and a rare engraver of plates on copper and on wood;
and, among others, many scenes, both large and small, of the Passion
of Jesus Christ, in which was all the perfection and excellence of
engraving with the burin that could ever be achieved, what with the
beauty and variety of the vestments and the invention. Jacopo, having
to paint at the corners of those cloisters scenes from the Passion of
the Saviour, thought to avail himself of the above-named inventions of
Albrecht Dürer, in the firm belief that he would satisfy not only
himself but also the greater part of the craftsmen of Florence, who
were all proclaiming with one voice and with common consent and
agreement the beauty of those engravings and the excellence of
Albrecht. Setting himself therefore to imitate that manner, and
seeking to give to the expressions of the heads of his figures that
liveliness and variety which Albrecht had given to his, he caught it
so thoroughly, that the charm of his own early manner, which had been
given to him by nature, all full of sweetness and grace, suffered a
great change from that new study and labour, and was so impaired
through his stumbling on that German manner, that in all these works,
although they are all beautiful, there is but a sorry remnant to be
seen of that excellence and grace that he had given up to that time to
all his figures.

At the entrance to the cloister, then, in one corner, he painted
Christ in the Garden, counterfeiting so well the darkness of night
illumined by the light of the moon, that it appears almost like
daylight; and while Christ is praying, not far distant are Peter,
James, and John sleeping, executed in a manner so similar to that of
Dürer, that it is a marvel. Not far away is Judas leading the Jews,
likewise with a countenance so strange, even as the features of all
those soldiers are depicted in the German manner with bizarre
expressions, that it moves him who beholds it to pity for the
simplicity of the man, who sought with such patience to learn that
which others avoid and seek to lose, and all to lose the manner that
surpassed all others in excellence and gave infinite pleasure to
everyone. Did not Pontormo know, then, that the Germans and Flemings
came to these parts to learn the Italian manner, which he with such
effort sought to abandon as if it were bad?

Beside this scene is one in which is Christ led by the Jews before
Pilate, and in the Saviour he painted all the humility that could
possibly be imagined in the Person of Innocence betrayed by the sins
of men, and in the wife of Pilate that pity and dread for themselves
which those have who fear the divine judgment; which woman, while she
pleads the cause of Christ before her husband, gazes into His
countenance with pitying wonder. Round Pilate are some soldiers so
characteristic in the expressions of the faces and in the German
garments, that one who knew not by whose hand was that work would
believe it to have been executed in reality by ultramontanes. It is
true, indeed, that in the distance in this scene there is a cup-bearer
of Pilate's that is descending some steps with a basin and a ewer in
his hands, carrying to his master the means to wash the hands, who is
lifelike and very beautiful, having in him something of the old manner
of Jacopo.

Having next to paint the Resurrection of Christ in one of the other
corners, the fancy came to Jacopo, as to one who had no steadfastness
in his brain and was always cogitating new things, to change his
colouring; and so he executed that work with a colouring in fresco so
soft and so good, that, if he had done the work in another manner than
that same German, it would certainly have been very beautiful, for in
the heads of those soldiers, who are in various attitudes, heavy with
sleep, and as it were dead, there may be seen such excellence, that
one cannot believe that it is possible to do better.

Then, continuing the stories of the Passion in another of the corners,
he painted Christ going with the Cross upon His shoulder to Mount
Calvary, and behind Him the people of Jerusalem, accompanying Him; and
in front are the two Thieves, naked, between the ministers of justice,
who are partly on foot and partly on horseback, with the ladders, the
inscription for the Cross, hammers, nails, cords, and other suchlike
instruments. And in the highest part, behind a little hill, is the
Madonna with the Maries, who, weeping, are awaiting Christ, who has
fallen to the ground in the middle of the scene, and has about Him
many Jews that are smiting Him, while Veronica is offering to Him the
Sudarium, accompanied by some women both young and old, all weeping at
the outrage that they see being done to the Saviour. This scene,
either because he was warned by his friends, or perhaps because Jacopo
himself at last became aware, although tardily, of the harm that had
been done to his own sweet manner by the study of the German, proved
to be much better than the others executed in the same place, for the
reason that certain naked Jews and some heads of old men are so well
painted in fresco, that it would not be possible to do more, although
the same German manner may be seen constantly maintained in the work
as a whole.

After these he was to have gone on with the Crucifixion and the
Deposition from the Cross in the other corners; but, putting them
aside for a time, with the intention of executing them last, he
painted in their stead Christ taken down from the Cross, keeping to
the same manner, but with great harmony of colouring. In this scene,
besides that the Magdalene, who is kissing the feet of Christ, is most
beautiful, there are two old men, representing Joseph of Arimathæa and
Nicodemus, who, although they are in the German manner, have the most
beautiful expressions and heads of old men, with beards feathery and
coloured with marvellous softness, that there are to be seen.

Now Jacopo, besides being generally slow over his works, was pleased
with the solitude of the Certosa, and he therefore spent several years
on these labours; and, after the plague had finished and he had
returned to Florence, he did not for that reason cease to frequent
that place constantly, and was always going and coming between the
Certosa and the city. Proceeding thus, he satisfied those fathers in
many things, and, among others, he painted in their church, over one
of the doors that lead into the chapels, in a figure from the waist
upwards, the portrait of a lay-brother of that monastery, who was
alive at that time and one hundred and twenty years old, executing it
so well and with such finish, such vivacity, and such animation, that
through it alone Pontormo deserves to be excused for the strange and
fantastic new manner with which he was saddled by that solitude and by
living far from the commerce of men.

Besides this, he painted for the Prior of that place a picture of the
Nativity of Christ, representing Joseph as giving light to Jesus
Christ in the darkness of the night with a lantern, and this in
pursuit of the same notions and caprices which the German engravings
put into his head. Now let no one believe that Jacopo is to blame
because he imitated Albrecht Dürer in his inventions, for the reason
that this is no error, and many painters have done it and are
continually doing it; but only because he adopted the unmixed German
manner in everything, in the draperies, in the expressions of the
heads, and in the attitudes, which he should have avoided, availing
himself only of the inventions, since he had the modern manner in all
the fullness of its beauty and grace. For the Stranger's Apartment of
the same monks he painted a large picture on canvas and in
oil-colours, without straining himself at all or forcing his natural
powers, of Christ at table with Cleophas and Luke, figures of the size
of life; and since in this work he followed the bent of his own
genius, it proved to be truly marvellous, particularly because he
portrayed among those who are serving at that table some lay-brothers
of the convent, whom I myself have known, in such a manner that they
could not be either more lifelike or more animated than they are.

Bronzino, meanwhile (that is, while his master was executing the works
described above in the Certosa), pursuing with great spirit the
studies of painting, and encouraged all the time by Pontormo, who was
very loving with his disciples, executed on the inner side over an
arch above the door of the cloister that leads into the church,
without having ever seen the process of painting in oil-colours on the
wall, a nude S. Laurence on the gridiron, which was so beautiful that
there began to be seen some indication of that excellence to which he
has since attained, as will be related in the proper place; which
circumstance gave infinite satisfaction to Jacopo, who already saw
whither that genius would arrive.

Not long afterwards there returned from Rome Lodovico di Gino Capponi,
who had bought that chapel in S. Felicita, on the right hand of the
entrance into the church, which the Barbadori had formerly caused to
be built by Filippo di Ser Brunellesco; and he resolved to have all
the vaulting painted, and then to have an altar-piece executed for it,
with a rich ornament. Having therefore consulted in the matter with M.
Niccolò Vespucci, knight of Rhodes, who was much his friend, the
knight, who was also much the friend of Jacopo, and knew, into the
bargain, the talent and worth of that able man, did and said so much
that Lodovico allotted that work to Pontormo. And so, having erected
an enclosure, which kept that chapel closed for three years, he set
his hand to the work. On the vaulted ceiling he painted a God the
Father, who has about Him four very beautiful Patriarchs; and in the
four medallions at the angles he depicted the four Evangelists, or
rather, he executed three of them with his own hand, and Bronzino one
all by himself. And with this occasion I must mention that Pontormo
used scarcely ever to allow himself to be helped by his assistants, or
to suffer them to lay a hand on that which he intended to execute with
his own hand; and when he did wish to avail himself of one of them,
chiefly in order that they might learn, he allowed them to do the
whole work by themselves, as he allowed Bronzino to do here.

In the works that Jacopo executed in the said chapel up to this point,
it seemed almost as if he had returned to his first manner; but he did
not follow the same method in painting the altar-piece, for, thinking
always of new things, he executed it without shadows, and with a
colouring so bright and so uniform, that one can scarcely distinguish
the lights from the middle tints, and the middle tints from the darks.
In this altar-piece is a Dead Christ taken down from the Cross and
being carried to the Sepulchre. There is the Madonna who is swooning,
and the Maries, all executed in a fashion so different from his first
work, that it is clearly evident that his brain was always busy
investigating new conceptions and fantastic methods of painting, not
being content with, and not fixing on, any single method. In a word,
the composition of this altar-piece is altogether different from the
figures on the vaulting, and likewise the colouring; and the four
Evangelists, which are in the medallions on the spandrels of the
vaulting, are much better and in a different manner.


(_After the painting by =Jacopo da Pontormo=. Florence: S. Felicita_)


On the wall where the window is are two figures in fresco, on one side
the Virgin, and on the other the Angel, who is bringing her the
Annunciation, but so distorted, both the one and the other, that it is
evident that, as I have said, that bizarre and fantastic brain was
never content with anything. And in order to be able to do as he
pleased in this, and to avoid having his attention distracted by
anyone, all the time that he was executing this work he would never
allow even the owner of the chapel himself to see it, insomuch that,
having painted it after his own fancy, without any of his friends
having been able to give him a single hint, when it was finally
uncovered and seen, it amazed all Florence. For the same Lodovico he
executed a picture of Our Lady in that same manner for his chamber,
and in the head of a S. Mary Magdalene he made the portrait of a
daughter of Lodovico, who was a very beautiful young woman.

Near the Monastery of Boldrone, on the road that goes from there to
Castello, and at the corner of another that climbs the hill and goes
to Cercina (that is, at a distance of two miles from Florence), he
painted in fresco in a shrine Christ Crucified, Our Lady weeping, S.
John the Evangelist, S. Augustine, and S. Giuliano; all which figures,
his caprice not being yet satisfied, and the German manner still
pleasing him, are not very different from those that he executed at
the Certosa. He did the same, also, in an altar-piece that he painted
for the Nuns of S. Anna, at the Porta a S. Friano, in which
altar-piece is Our Lady with the Child in her arms, and S. Anne behind
her, with S. Peter, S. Benedict, and other Saints, and in the predella
is a small scene with little figures, which represent the Signoria of
Florence as it used to go in procession with trumpeters, pipers,
mace-bearers, messengers, and ushers, with the rest of the household;
and this he did because the commission for that altar-piece was given
to him by the Captain and the household of the Palace.

The while that Jacopo was executing this work, Alessandro and Ippolito
de' Medici, who were both very young, having been sent to Florence by
Pope Clement VII under the care of the Legate, Silvio Passerini,
Bishop of Cortona, the Magnificent Ottaviano, to whom the Pope had
straitly recommended them, had the portraits of both of them taken by
Pontormo, who served him very well, and made them very good
likenesses, although he did not much depart from the manner that he
had learned from the Germans. In the portrait of Ippolito he also
painted a favourite dog of that lord, called Rodon, and made it so
characteristic and so natural, that it might be alive. He took the
portrait, likewise, of Bishop Ardinghelli, who afterwards became a
Cardinal; and for Filippo del Migliore, who was much his friend, he
painted in fresco in his house on the Via Larga, in a niche opposite
to the principal door, a woman representing Pomona, from which it
appeared that he was beginning to seek to abandon in part his German

Now Giovan Battista della Palla perceived that by reason of many works
the name of Jacopo was becoming every day more celebrated; and, since
he had not succeeded in sending to King Francis the pictures executed
by that same master and by others for Borgherini, he resolved, knowing
that the King had a desire for them, at all costs to send him
something by the hand of Pontormo. Whereupon he so went to work that
he persuaded Jacopo to execute a most beautiful picture of the Raising
of Lazarus, which proved to be one of the best works that he ever
painted and that was ever sent by Giovan Battista, among the vast
number that he sent, to King Francis of France. For, besides that the
heads were most beautiful, the figure of Lazarus, whose spirit as he
returned to life was re-entering his dead flesh, could not have been
more marvellous, for about the eyes he still had the hue of
corruption, and the flesh cold and dead at the extremities of the
hands and feet, where the spirit had not yet come.


(_After the panel by =Jacopo da Pontormo=. Florence: Pitti, 182_)


In a picture of one braccio and a half he painted for the Sisters of
the Hospital of the Innocenti, with an infinite number of little
figures, the story of the eleven thousand Martyrs who were condemned
to death by Diocletian and all crucified in a wood. In this Jacopo
represented a battle of horsemen and nude figures, very beautiful, and
some most lovely little Angels flying through the air, who are
shooting arrows at the ministers of the crucifixion; and in like
manner, about the Emperor, who is pronouncing the condemnation, are
some most beautiful nude figures who are going to their death. This
picture, which in every part is worthy to be praised, is now held in
great price by Don Vincenzio Borghini, the Director of that Hospital,
who once was much the friend of Jacopo. Another picture similar to
that described above he painted for Carlo Neroni, but only with the
Battle of the Martyrs and the Angel baptizing them; and then the
portrait of Carlo himself. He also executed a portrait, at the time
of the siege of Florence, of Francesco Guardi in the habit of a
soldier, which was a very beautiful work; and on the cover of this
picture Bronzino afterwards painted Pygmalion praying to Venus that
his statue, receiving breath, might spring to life and become--as,
according to the fables of the poets, it did--flesh and blood. At this
time, after much labour, there came to Jacopo the fulfilment of a
desire that he had long had, in that, having always felt a wish to
have a house that might be his own, so that he should no longer live
in the house of another, but might occupy his own and live as pleased
himself, finally he bought one in the Via della Colonna, opposite to
the Nuns of S. Maria degli Angeli.

The siege finished, Pope Clement commanded Messer Ottaviano de' Medici
that he should cause the hall of Poggio a Caiano to be finished.
Whereupon, Franciabigio and Andrea del Sarto being dead, the whole
charge of this was given to Pontormo, who, after having the staging
and the screens made, began to execute the cartoons; but, for the
reason that he went off into fantasies and cogitations, beyond that he
never set a hand to the work. This, perchance, would not have happened
if Bronzino had been in those parts, who was then working at the
Imperiale, a place belonging to the Duke of Urbino, near Pesaro; which
Bronzino, although he was sent for every day by Jacopo, nevertheless
was not able to depart at his own pleasure, for the reason that, after
he had executed a very beautiful naked Cupid on the spandrel of a
vault in the Imperiale, and the cartoons for the others, Prince
Guidobaldo, having recognized the young man's genius, ordained that
his own portrait should be taken by him, and, seeing that he wished to
be portrayed in some armour that he was expecting from Lombardy,
Bronzino was forced to stay with that Prince longer than he could have
wished. During that time he painted the case of a harpsichord, which
much pleased the Prince, and finally Bronzino executed his portrait,
which was very beautiful, and the Prince was well satisfied with it.

Jacopo, then, wrote so many times, and employed so many means, that in
the end he brought Bronzino back; but for all that the man could never
be induced to do any other part of this work than the cartoons,
although he was urged to it by the Magnificent Ottaviano and by Duke
Alessandro. In one of these cartoons, which are now for the most part
in the house of Lodovico Capponi, is a Hercules who is crushing
Antæus, in another a Venus and Adonis, and in yet another drawing a
scene of nude figures playing football.

In the meantime Signor Alfonso Davalos, Marchese del Vasto, having
obtained from Michelagnolo Buonarroti by means of Fra Niccolò della
Magna a cartoon of Christ appearing to the Magdalene in the garden,
moved heaven and earth to have it executed for him in painting by
Pontormo, Buonarroti having told him that no one could serve him
better than that master. Jacopo then executed that work to perfection,
and it was accounted a rare painting by reason both of the grandeur of
Michelagnolo's design and of Jacopo's colouring. Wherefore Signor
Alessandro Vitelli, who was at that time Captain of the garrison of
soldiers in Florence, having seen it, had a picture painted for
himself from the same cartoon by Jacopo, which he sent to Città di
Castello and caused to be placed in his house. It thus became evident
in what estimation Michelagnolo held Pontormo, and with what diligence
Pontormo carried to completion and executed excellently well the
designs and cartoons of Michelagnolo, and Bartolommeo Bettini so went
to work that Buonarroti, who was much his friend, made for him a
cartoon of a nude Venus with a Cupid who is kissing her, in order that
he might have it executed in painting by Pontormo and place it in the
centre of a chamber of his own, in the lunettes of which he had begun
to have painted by Bronzino figures of Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio,
with the intention of having there all the other poets who have sung
of love in Tuscan prose and verse. Jacopo, then, having received this
cartoon, executed it to perfection at his leisure, as will be related,
in the manner that all the world knows without my saying another word
in praise of it. These designs of Michelagnolo's were the reason that
Pontormo, considering the manner of that most noble craftsman, took
heart of grace, and resolved that by hook or by crook he would imitate
and follow it to the best of his ability. And then it was that Jacopo
recognized how ill he had done to allow the work of Poggio a Caiano to
slip through his hands, although he put the blame in great measure on
a long and very troublesome illness that he had suffered, and finally
on the death of Pope Clement, which brought that undertaking
completely to an end.

Jacopo having executed after the works described above a picture with
the portrait from life of Amerigo Antinori, a young man much beloved
in Florence at that time, and that portrait being much extolled by
everyone, Duke Alessandro had him informed that he wished to have his
portrait taken by him in a large picture. And Jacopo, for the sake of
convenience, executed his portrait for the time being in a little
picture of the size of a sheet of half-folio, and with such diligence
and care, that the works of the miniaturists do not in any way come up
to it; for the reason that, besides its being a very good likeness,
there is in that head all that could be desired in the rarest of
paintings. From that little picture, which is now in the guardaroba of
Duke Cosimo, Jacopo afterwards made a portrait of the same Duke in a
large picture, with a style in the hand, drawing the head of a woman;
which larger portrait Duke Alessandro afterwards presented to Signora
Taddea Malespina, the sister of the Marchesa di Massa. Desiring at all
costs to reward liberally the genius of Jacopo for these works, the
Duke sent him a message by Niccolò da Montaguto, his servant, that he
should ask whatever he wished, and it would be granted to him. But
such was the poor spirit or the excessive respect and modesty of the
man, I know not which to call it, that he asked for nothing save as
much money as would suffice him to redeem a cloak that he had pledged;
which having heard, the Duke, not without laughing at the character of
the man, commanded that fifty gold crowns should be given and a salary
offered to him; and even then Niccolò had much ado to make him accept

Meanwhile Jacopo had finished painting the Venus from the cartoon
belonging to Bettini, which proved to be a marvellous thing, but it
was not given to Bettini at the price for which Jacopo had promised it
to him, for certain tuft-hunters, in order to do Bettini an injury,
took it almost by force from the hands of Jacopo and gave it to Duke
Alessandro, restoring the cartoon to Bettini. Which having heard,
Michelagnolo felt much displeasure for love of the friend for whom he
had drawn the cartoon, and he bore a grudge against Jacopo, who,
although he received fifty crowns for it from the Duke, nevertheless
cannot be said to have defrauded Bettini, seeing that he gave up the
Venus at the command of him who was his lord. But of all this some say
that Bettini himself was in great measure the cause, from his asking
too much.


(_Paris: Louvre, 1241. Panel_)]

The occasion having thus presented itself to Pontormo, by means of
these moneys, to set his hand to the fitting up of his house, he made
a beginning with his building, but did nothing of much importance.
Indeed, although some persons declare that he had it in mind to spend
largely, according to his position, and to make a commodious dwelling
and one that might have some design, it is nevertheless evident that
what he did, whether this came from his not having the means to spend
or from some other reason, has rather the appearance of a building
erected by an eccentric and solitary creature than of a well-ordered
habitation, for the reason that to the room where he used to sleep and
at times to work, he had to climb by a wooden ladder, which, after he
had gone in, he would draw up with a pulley, to the end that no one
might go up to him without his wish or knowledge. But that which most
displeased other men in him was that he would not work save when and
for whom he pleased, and after his own fancy; wherefore on many
occasions, being sought out by noblemen who desired to have some of
his work, and once in particular by the Magnificent Ottaviano de'
Medici, he would not serve them; and then he would set himself to do
anything in the world for some low and common fellow, at a miserable
price. Thus the mason Rossino, a person of no small ingenuity
considering his calling, by playing the simpleton, received from him
in payment for having paved certain rooms with bricks, and for having
done other mason's work, a most beautiful picture of Our Lady, in
executing which Jacopo toiled and laboured as much as the mason did in
his building. And so well did the good Rossino contrive to manage his
business, that, in addition to the above-named picture, he got from
the hands of Jacopo a most beautiful portrait of Cardinal Giulio de'
Medici, copied from one by the hand of Raffaello, and, into the
bargain, a very beautiful little picture of a Christ Crucified, which,
although the above-mentioned Magnificent Ottaviano bought it from
the mason Rossino as a work by the hand of Jacopo, nevertheless is
known for certain to be by the hand of Bronzino, who executed it all
by himself while he was working with Jacopo at the Certosa, although
it afterwards remained, I know not why, in the possession of Pontormo.
All these three pictures, won by the industry of the mason from the
hands of Jacopo, are now in the house of M. Alessandro de' Medici, the
son of the above-named Ottaviano.

Now, although this procedure of Jacopo's and his living solitary and
after his own fashion were not much commended, that does not mean that
if anyone wished to excuse him he would not be able, for the reason
that for those works that he did we should acknowledge our obligation
to him, and for those that he did not choose to do we should not blame
or censure him. No craftsman is obliged to work save when and for whom
he pleases; and, if he suffered thereby, the loss was his. As for
solitude, I have always heard say that it is the greatest friend of
study; and, even if it were not so, I do not believe that much blame
is due to him who lives in his own fashion without offence to God or
to his neighbour, dwelling and employing his time as best suits his

But to return, leaving these matters on one side, to the works of
Jacopo: Duke Alessandro had caused to be restored in some parts the
Villa of Careggi, formerly built by the elder Cosimo de' Medici, at a
distance of two miles from Florence, and had carried out the
ornamentation of the fountain and the labyrinth, which wound through
the centre of an open court, into which there opened two loggie, and
his Excellency ordained that those loggie should be painted by Jacopo,
but that company should be given him, to the end that he might finish
them the quicker, and that conversation with others, keeping him
cheerful, might be a means of making him work without straying so much
into vagaries and distilling away his brains. Nay, the Duke himself
sent for Jacopo and besought him that he should strive to deliver that
work completely finished as soon as possible. Jacopo, therefore,
having summoned Bronzino, caused him to paint a figure on each of five
spandrels of the vaulting, these being Fortune, Justice, Victory,
Peace, and Fame; and on the other spandrel, for they are in all six,
Jacopo with his own hand painted a Love. Then, having made the design
for some little boys that were going in the oval space of the
vaulting, with various animals in their hands, and all foreshortened
to be seen from below, he caused them all, with the exception of one,
to be executed in colour by Bronzino, who acquitted himself very well.
And since, while Jacopo and Bronzino were painting these figures, the
ornaments all around were executed by Jacone, Pier Francesco di
Jacopo, and others, the whole of that work was finished in a short
time, to the great satisfaction of the Lord Duke. His Excellency
wished to have the other loggia painted, but he was not in time, for
the reason that the above-named work having been finished on the 13th
of December in the year 1536, on the 6th of the January following that
most illustrious lord was assassinated by his kinsman Lorenzino; and
so this work and others remained without their completion.

The Lord Duke Cosimo having then been elected, and the affair of
Montemurlo having passed off happily, a beginning was made with the
works of Castello, according as has been related in the Life of
Tribolo, and his most illustrious Excellency, in order to gratify
Signora Donna Maria, his mother, ordained that Jacopo should paint the
first loggia, which one finds on the left hand in entering the Palace
of Castello. Whereupon, setting to work, Jacopo first designed all the
ornaments that were to be painted there, and had them executed for the
most part by Bronzino and the masters who had executed those of
Careggi. Then, shutting himself up alone, he proceeded with that work
after his own fancy and wholly at his leisure, studying with all
diligence, to the end that it might be much better than that of
Careggi, which he had not executed entirely with his own hand. This he
was able to do very conveniently, having eight crowns a month for it
from his Excellency, whom he portrayed, young as he was, in the
beginning of that work, and likewise Signora Donna Maria, his mother.
Finally, after that loggia had been closed for five years, no one
being able to have even a glance at what Jacopo had done, one day the
above-named lady became enraged against him, and commanded that the
staging and the screen should be thrown to the ground. But Jacopo,
having begged for grace and having obtained leave to keep it covered
for a few days more, first retouched it where it seemed to him to be
necessary, and then caused a cloth of his own contriving to be made,
which should keep that loggia covered when those lords were not there,
to the end that the weather might not, as it had done at Careggi, eat
away those pictures, which were executed in oils on the dry plaster;
and at last he uncovered it, amid the lively expectation of everyone,
all thinking that in that work Jacopo must have surpassed himself and
done something altogether stupendous. But the effect did not
correspond completely to the expectations, for the reason that,
although many parts of the work are good, the general proportion of
the figures appears very poor in form, and certain distorted attitudes
that are there seem to be wanting in measure and very strange. But
Jacopo excused himself by saying that he had never worked very
willingly in that place, for the reason that, being without the city,
it seemed much exposed to the fury of the soldiery and to other
suchlike dangers; but there was no need for him to be afraid of that,
seeing that time and the weather, from the work having been executed
in the manner already described, are eating it away little by little.

In the centre of the vaulting, then, he painted a Saturn with the Sign
of Capricorn, and a Hermaphrodite Mars in the Sign of the Lion and of
the Virgin, and some little Angels who are flying through the air,
like those of Careggi. He then painted in certain gigantic women,
almost entirely nude, Philosophy, Astrology, Geometry, Music,
Arithmetic, and a Ceres; with some little scenes in medallions,
executed with various tints of colour and appropriate to the figures.
Although this work, so fatiguing and so laboured, did not give much
satisfaction, or, if a certain measure of satisfaction, much less than
was expected, yet his Excellency declared that it pleased him, and
availed himself of Jacopo on every occasion, chiefly because that
painter was held in great veneration by the people on account of the
very good and beautiful works that he had executed in the past.

The Lord Duke then brought to Florence the Flemings, Maestro Giovanni
Rosso and Maestro Niccolò, excellent masters in arras-tapestries, to
the end that the art might be learned and practised by the
Florentines, and he ordained that tapestries in silk and gold should
be executed for the Council Hall of the Two Hundred at a cost of
60,000 crowns, and that Jacopo and Bronzino should make the cartoons
with the stories of Joseph. But, when Jacopo had made two of them, in
one of which is the scene when the death of Joseph is announced to
Jacob and the bloody garments are shown to him, and in the other the
Flight of Joseph from the wife of Potiphar, leaving his garment
behind, they did not please either the Duke or those masters who had
to put them into execution, for they appeared to them to be strange
things and not likely to be successful when executed in woven
tapestries. And so Jacopo did not go on to make any more cartoons, but
returned to his usual labours and painted a picture of Our Lady, which
was presented by the Duke to Signor Don ..., who took it to Spain.

Now his Excellency, following in the footsteps of his ancestors, has
always sought to embellish and adorn his city; and he resolved, the
necessity having come to his notice, to cause to be painted all the
principal chapel of the magnificent Temple of S. Lorenzo, formerly
built by the great Cosimo de' Medici, the elder. Whereupon he gave the
charge of this to Jacopo da Pontormo, either of his own accord, or, as
was said, at the instance of Messer Pier Francesco Ricci, his
major-domo; and Jacopo was very glad of that favour, for the reason
that, although the greatness of the work, he being well advanced in
years, gave him food for thought and perhaps dismayed him, on the
other hand he reflected how, in a work of such magnitude, he had a
fair field to show his ability and worth. Some say that Jacopo,
finding that the work had been allotted to him notwithstanding that
Francesco Salviati, a painter of great fame, was in Florence and had
brought to a happy conclusion the painting of that hall in the Palace
which was once the audience-chamber of the Signoria, must needs
declare that he would show the world how to draw and paint, and how to
work in fresco, and, besides this, that the other painters were but
ordinary hacks, with other words equally insolent and overbearing. But
I myself always knew Jacopo as a modest person, who spoke of everyone
honourably and in a manner proper to an orderly and virtuous
craftsman, such as he was, and I believe that these words were
imputed to him falsely, and that he never let slip from his mouth any
such boastings, which are for the most part the marks of vain men who
presume too much upon their merits, in which manner of men there is no
place for virtue or good breeding. And, although I might have kept
silent about these matters, I have not chosen to do so, because to
proceed as I have done appears to me the office of a faithful and
veracious historian; it is enough that, although these rumours went
around, and particularly among our craftsmen, nevertheless I have a
firm belief that they were the words of malicious persons, Jacopo
having always been in the experience of everyone modest and
well-behaved in his every action.

Having then closed up that chapel with walls, screens of planks, and
curtains, and having given himself over to complete solitude, he kept
it for a period of eleven years so well sealed up, that excepting
himself not a living soul entered it, neither friend nor any other. It
is true, indeed, that certain lads who were drawing in the sacristy of
Michelagnolo, as young men will do, climbed by its spiral staircase on
to the roof of the church, and, removing some tiles and the plank of
one of the gilded rosettes that are there, saw everything. Of which
having heard, Jacopo took it very ill, but took no further notice
beyond closing up everything with greater care; although some say that
he persecuted those young men sorely, and sought to make them regret

Imagining, then, that in this work he would surpass all other
painters, and perchance, so it was said, even Michelagnolo, he painted
in the upper part, in a number of scenes, the Creation of Adam and
Eve, the Eating of the Forbidden Fruit, their Expulsion from Paradise,
the Tilling of the Earth, the Sacrifice of Abel, the Death of Cain,
the Blessing of the Seed of Noah, and the same Noah designing the plan
and the measurements of the Ark. Next, on one of the lower walls, each
of which is fifteen braccia in each direction, he painted the
inundation of the Deluge, in which is a mass of dead and drowned
bodies, and Noah speaking with God. On the other wall is painted the
Universal Resurrection of the Dead, which has to take place on the
last and final day; with such variety and confusion, that the real
resurrection will perhaps not be more confused, or more full of
movement, in a manner of speaking, than Pontormo painted it. Opposite
to the altar and between the windows--that is, on the central
wall--there is on either side a row of nude figures, who, clinging to
each other's bodies with hands and legs, form a ladder wherewith to
ascend to Paradise, rising from the earth, where there are many dead
in company with them, and at the end, on either side, are two dead
bodies clothed with the exception of the legs and also the arms, with
which they are holding two lighted torches. At the top, in the centre
of the wall, above the windows, he painted in the middle Christ on
high in His Majesty, who, surrounded by many Angels all nude, is
raising those dead in order to judge them.

But I have never been able to understand the significance of this
scene, although I know that Jacopo had wit enough for himself, and
also associated with learned and lettered persons; I mean, what he
could have intended to signify in that part where there is Christ on
high, raising the dead, and below His feet is God the Father, who is
creating Adam and Eve. Besides this, in one of the corners, where are
the four Evangelists, nude, with books in their hands, it does not
seem to me that in a single place did he give a thought to any order
of composition, or measurement, or time, or variety in the heads, or
diversity in the flesh-colours, or, in a word, to any rule,
proportion, or law of perspective; for the whole work is full of nude
figures with an order, design, invention, composition, colouring, and
painting contrived after his own fashion, and with such melancholy and
so little satisfaction for him who beholds the work, that I am
determined, since I myself do not understand it, although I am a
painter, to leave all who may see it to form their own judgment, for
the reason that I believe that I would drive myself mad with it and
would bury myself alive, even as it appears to me that Jacopo in the
period of eleven years that he spent upon it sought to bury himself
and all who might see the painting, among all those extraordinary
figures. And although there may be seen in this work some bit of a
torso with the back turned or facing to the front and some attachments
of flanks, executed with marvellous care and great labour by Jacopo,
who made finished models of clay in the round for almost all the
figures, nevertheless the work as a whole is foreign to his manner,
and, as it appears to almost every man, without proportion, the torsi
for the most part being large and the legs and arms small, to say
nothing of the heads, in which there is not a trace to be seen of that
singular excellence and grace that he used to give to them, so greatly
to the satisfaction of those who examine his other pictures. Wherefore
it appears that in this work he paid no attention to anything save
certain parts, and of the other more important parts he took no
account whatever. In a word, whereas he had thought in this work to
surpass all the paintings in the world of art, he failed by a great
measure to equal his own works that he had executed in the past;
whence it is evident that he who seeks to strive beyond his strength
and, as it were, to force nature, ruins the good qualities with which
he may have been liberally endowed by her. But what can we or ought we
to do save have compassion upon him, seeing that the men of our arts
are as much liable to error as others? And the good Homer, so it is
said, even he sometimes nods; nor shall it ever be said that there is
a single work of Jacopo's, however he may have striven to force his
nature, in which there is not something good and worthy of praise.

He died shortly before finishing the work, and some therefore declare
that he died of grief, ending his life very much dissatisfied with
himself; but the truth is that, being old and much exhausted by making
portraits and models in clay and labouring so much in fresco, he sank
into a dropsy, which finally killed him at the age of sixty-five.
After his death there were found in his house many designs, cartoons,
and models in clay, all very beautiful, and a picture of Our Lady
executed by him excellently well and in a lovely manner, to all
appearance many years before, which was sold by his heirs to Piero
Salviati. Jacopo was buried in the first cloister of the Church of the
Servite Friars, beneath the scene of the Visitation that he had
formerly painted there; and he was followed to the grave by an
honourable company of the painters, sculptors, and architects.

Jacopo was a frugal and sober man, and in his dress and manner of life
he was rather miserly than moderate; and he lived almost always by
himself, without desiring that anyone should serve him or cook for
him. In his last years, indeed, he kept in his house, as it were to
bring him up, Battista Naldini, a young man of fine spirit, who took
such care of Jacopo's life as Jacopo would allow him to take; and
under his master's discipline he made no little proficiency in design,
and became such, indeed, that a very happy result is looked for from
him. Among Pontormo's friends, particularly in this last period of his
life, were Pier Francesco Vernacci and Don Vincenzio Borghini, with
whom he took his recreation, sometimes eating with them, but rarely.
But above all others, and always supremely beloved by him, was
Bronzino, who loved him as dearly, being grateful and thankful for the
benefits that he had received from him.

Pontormo had very beautiful manners, and he was so afraid of death,
that he would not even hear it spoken of, and avoided having to meet
dead bodies. He never went to festivals or to any other places where
people gathered together, so as not to be caught in the press; and he
was solitary beyond all belief. At times, going out to work, he set
himself to think so profoundly on what he was to do, that he went away
without having done any other thing all day but stand thinking. And
that this happened to him times without number in the work of S.
Lorenzo may readily be believed, for the reason that when he was
determined, like an able and well-practised craftsman, he had no
difficulty in doing what he desired and had resolved to put into




From the times of the ancient Greek and Roman sculptors to our own, no
modern carver has equalled the beautiful and difficult works that they
executed in their bases, capitals, friezes, cornices, festoons,
trophies, masks, candelabra, birds, grotesques, or other carved
cornice-work, save only Simone Mosca of Settignano, who in our own
days has worked in such a manner in those kinds of labour, that he has
made it evident by his genius and art that all the diligence and study
of the modern carvers who had come before him had not enabled them up
to that time to imitate the best work of those ancients or to adopt
the good method in their carvings, for the reason that their works
incline to dryness, and the turn of their foliage to spikiness and
crudeness. He, on the other hand, has executed foliage with great
boldness, rich and abundant in new curves, the leaves being carved in
various manners with beautiful indentations and with the most lovely
flowers, seeds and creepers that there are to be seen, not to speak of
the birds that he has contrived to carve so gracefully in various
forms among his foliage and festoons, insomuch that it may be affirmed
that Simone alone--be it said without offence to the others--has been
able to remove from the marble that hardness which craftsmen are wont
very often to leave in their sculptures, and has brought his works by
his handling of the chisel to such a point that they have the
appearance of things real to the touch, and the same may be said of
the cornices and other suchlike labours, executed by him with most
beautiful grace and judgment.

This Simone, having given his attention to design in his childhood
with much profit, and having then become well-practised in carving,
was taken by Maestro Antonio da San Gallo, who recognized his genius
and noble spirit, to Rome, where he caused him to execute, as his
first works, some capitals and bases and several friezes of foliage
for the Church of S. Giovanni de' Fiorentini, and some works for the
Palace of Alessandro, the first Cardinal Farnese. Simone meanwhile
devoting himself, particularly on feast-days, and whenever he could
snatch the time, to drawing the antiquities of that city, no long time
passed before he was drawing and tracing ground-plans with more grace
and neatness than did Antonio himself, insomuch that, having applied
himself heart and soul to the study of designing foliage in the
ancient manner, of giving a bold turn to the leaves, and of
perforating his works in such a way as to make them perfect, taking
the best from the best examples, one thing from one and one from
another, in a few years he formed a manner of composition so beautiful
and so catholic, that afterwards he did everything well, whether in
company or by himself. This may be seen in some coats of arms that
were to be placed in the above-named Church of S. Giovanni in the
Strada Giulia; in one of which coats of arms, making a great lily, the
ancient emblem of the Commune of Florence, he carved upon it some
curves of foliage with creepers and seeds executed so well that they
made everyone gasp with wonder. Nor had any long time passed when
Antonio da San Gallo--who was directing for Messer Agnolo Cesis the
execution of the marble ornaments of a chapel and tomb for himself and
his family, which were afterwards erected in the year 1550 in the
Church of S. Maria della Pace--caused part of certain pilasters and
socles covered with friezes, which were going into that work, to be
wrought by Simone, who executed them so well and with such beauty,
that they make themselves known among the others, without my saying
which they are, by their grace and perfection; nor is it possible to
see any altars for the offering of sacrifices after the ancient use
more beautiful and fanciful than those that he made on the base of
that work. Afterwards the same San Gallo, who was superintending the
execution of the mouth of the well in the cloister of S. Pietro in
Vincula, caused Mosca to make the borders with some large masks of
great beauty.

Not long afterwards he returned one summer to Florence, having a good
name among craftsmen, and Baccio Bandinelli, who was making the
Orpheus of marble that was placed in the court of the Medici Palace,
after having the base for that work carried out by Benedetto da
Rovezzano, caused Simone to execute the festoons and other carvings
therein, which are very beautiful, although one festoon is unfinished
and only worked over with the gradine. Having then done many works in
grey sandstone, of which there is no need to make record, he was
planning to return to Rome, when in the meantime the sack took place,
and he did not go after all. But, having taken a wife, he was living
in Florence with little to do: wherefore, being obliged to support his
family, and having no income, he was occupying himself with any work
that he could obtain. Now in those days there arrived in Florence one
Pietro di Subisso, a master-mason of Arezzo, who always had under him
a good number of workmen, for the reason that all the building in
Arezzo passed through his hands; and he took Simone, with many others,
to Arezzo. There he set Simone to making a chimney-piece of grey
sandstone and a water-basin of no great cost, for a hall in the house
of the heirs of Pellegrino da Fossombrone, a citizen of Arezzo; which
house had been formerly erected by M. Piero Geri, an excellent
astrologer, after the design of Andrea Sansovino, and had been sold by
his nephews. Setting to work, therefore, and beginning with the
chimney-piece, Simone placed it upon two pilasters, making two niches
in the thickness of the wall, in the direction of the fire, and laying
upon those pilasters architrave, frieze, and great cornice, and over
all a pediment with festoons and with the arms of that family. And
thus, proceeding with it, he executed it with carvings of such a kind
and so well varied, and with such subtle craftsmanship, that, although
that work was of grey sandstone, under his hands it became more
beautiful than if it had been of marble, and more astounding; which,
indeed, came to pass the more readily because that stone is not as
hard as marble and, if anything, rather sandy. Putting extraordinary
diligence, therefore, into the work, he executed on the pilasters
trophies in half-relief and low-relief, than which nothing more
bizarre or more beautiful could be done, with helmets, buskins,
shields, quivers, and various other arms; and he likewise made there
masks, sea monsters, and other graceful fantasies, all so well figured
and cut out that they have the appearance of silver. The frieze that
is between the architrave and the great cornice, he made with a most
beautiful turn of foliage, all pierced through and full of birds that
are executed so well, that they seem to be flying through the air; and
it is a marvellous thing to see their little legs, no larger than
life, and yet completely in the round and detached from the stone in
such a way as one cannot believe to be possible; and, in truth, the
work seems rather a miracle than a product of human art. Besides all
this, he made there in a festoon some leaves and fruits so well cut
out, and wrought with such delicacy and care, that in a certain sense
they surpass the reality. Lastly, the work is finished off by some
great masks and candelabra, which are truly most beautiful. Although
Simone need not have given such care to a work of that kind, for which
he was to be but poorly paid by those patrons, who could not afford
much, yet, drawn by the love that he bore to art and by the pleasure
that a man feels in working well, he chose to do so; but he did not do
the same with the water-basin for the same patrons, for he made it
beautiful enough, but simple.

At the same time he assisted Pietro di Subisso, who did not know much,
to make many designs of buildings and plans of houses, doors, windows,
and other things appertaining to that profession. On the Canto degli
Albergotti, below the school and university of the Commune, there is a
window of considerable beauty constructed after his design; and there
are two of them in the house of Ser Bernardino Serragli in the
Pelliceria. On the corner of the Palazzo de' Priori there is a large
escutcheon of Pope Clement VII in grey sandstone, by the hand of the
same master; and under his direction, and partly by his hand, was
executed for Bernardino di Cristofano da Giuovi a chapel of grey
sandstone in the Corinthian Order, which was erected in the Abbey of
S. Fiore, a passing handsome monastery of Black Friars in Arezzo. For
this chapel the patron wished to have the altar-piece painted by
Andrea del Sarto, and then by Rosso, but in this he never succeeded,
seeing that, being hindered now by one thing and now by another, they
were not able to serve him. Finally Bernardino turned to Giorgio
Vasari, but with him also he had difficulties, and there was much
trouble in finding a way of arranging the matter, for the reason that,
the chapel being dedicated to S. James and S. Christopher, he wished
to have in the picture Our Lady with the Child in her arms, and also
the giant S. Christopher with another little Christ on his shoulder;
which composition, besides that it appeared monstrous, could not be
accommodated, nor was it possible to paint a giant of six braccia in
an altar-piece of four braccia. Giorgio, then, being desirous to serve
Bernardino, made him a design in this manner: he placed Our Lady upon
some clouds, with a sun behind her back, and on the ground he painted
S. Christopher kneeling on one side of the picture, with one leg in
the water, and with the other in the act of moving in order to rise,
while Our Lady is placing upon his shoulders the Infant Christ with
the globe of the world in His hands. In the rest of the altar-piece,
also, were to be S. James and the other Saints, accommodated in such a
manner that they would not have been in the way; and this design,
pleasing Bernardino, would have been put into execution, but
Bernardino in the meantime died, and the chapel was left in that
condition to his heirs, who have not done anything more.

Now, while Simone was labouring at that chapel, there passed through
Arezzo Antonio da San Gallo, who was returning from the work of
fortifying Parma and was going to Loreto to finish the work of the
Chapel of the Madonna, to which he had sent Tribolo, Raffaello da
Montelupo, the young Francesco da San Gallo, Girolamo da Ferrara,
Simone Cioli, and other carvers, masons, and stone-cutters, in order
to finish that which Andrea Sansovino at his death had left
incomplete; and he contrived to take Simone to work there. He ordained
that Simone should have charge not only of the carvings, but also of
the architecture and of the other ornaments of that work; in which
commissions Mosca acquitted himself very well, and, what is more,
executed many things perfectly with his own hands, particularly some
little boys of marble in the round, which are on the pediments of the
doors; and although there are also some by the hand of Simone Cioli,
the best--and rare indeed they are--are all by Mosca. He made,
likewise, all the festoons of marble that are around all that work,
with most beautiful artistry and carvings full of grace and worthy of
all praise; wherefore it is no marvel that these works are so esteemed
and admired, that many craftsmen from distant parts have set off in
order to go to see them.

Antonio da San Gallo, then, recognizing how much Mosca was worth, made
use of him in any undertaking of importance, with the intention of
remunerating him some day when the occasion might present itself, and
of giving him to know how much he loved him for his abilities. When,
therefore, after the death of Pope Clement, a new Supreme Pontiff had
been elected in Paul III of the Farnese family, who ordained that, the
mouth of the well at Orvieto having remained unfinished, Antonio
should have charge of it, Antonio took Mosca thither, to the end that
he might carry that work to completion, which presented some
difficulties, and particularly in the ornamentation of the doors, for
the reason that, the curve of the mouth being round, convex without
and concave within, those two circles conflicted with each other and
caused a difficulty in accommodating the squared doors with the
ornaments of stone. But the virtue of that singular genius of Simone's
solved every difficulty, and executed the whole work with such grace
and perfection, that no one could see that there had ever been any
difficulty. He finished off the mouth and border of the well in grey
sandstone, filled in with bricks, together with some very beautiful
inscriptions on white stone and other ornaments, making the doors
correspond with one another. He also made there in marble the arms of
the above-named Pope Paul Farnese, or rather, where they had
previously been made of balls for Pope Clement, who had carried out
that work, Mosca was forced--and he succeeded excellently well--to
make lilies out of the balls in relief, and thus to change the arms of
the Medici into those of the house of Farnese; notwithstanding, as I
have said (for so do things go in this world), that the author of that
vast, regal, and magnificent work was Pope Clement VII, of whom in
this last and most imposing part no mention whatever was made.


(_After =Simone Mosca= and =Michele San Michele=. Orvieto: Duomo_)


While Simone was engaged in finishing this well, the Wardens of Works
of S. Maria, the Duomo of Orvieto, desiring to give completion to
the chapel of marble that had been carried as far as the socle under
the direction of Michele San Michele of Verona, with some carvings,
besought Simone, whom they had come to know as a master of true
excellence, that he should attend to it. Whereupon they came to terms,
and Simone, liking the society of the people of Orvieto, brought his
family thither, in order to live in greater comfort; and then he set
himself to work with a quiet and composed mind, being greatly honoured
by everyone in that place. When, therefore, as it were by way of
sample, he had made a beginning with some pilasters and friezes, the
excellence and ability of Simone were recognized by those men, and
there was assigned to him a salary of two hundred crowns of gold a
year, and with this, continuing to labour, he carried that work well
forward. Now in the centre, to fill up the ornaments, there was to go
a scene of marble in half-relief, representing the Adoration of the
Magi; and there was summoned at the suggestion of Simone his very dear
friend Raffaello da Montelupo, the Florentine sculptor, who, as has
been related, executed half of that scene in a very beautiful manner.
In the ornamentation of this chapel, then, are certain socles, each
two and a half braccia in breadth, which are on either side of the
altar, and upon these are pilasters five braccia high, two on either
side, between which is the story of the Magi; and on the pilasters
next to the story, of which two of the faces are seen, are carved some
candelabra, with friezes of grotesques, masks, little figures, and
foliage, which are things divine. In the predella at the foot, which
runs right over the altar from pilaster to pilaster, is a little
half-length Angel who is holding an inscription with his hands, with
festoons over all, between the capitals of the pilasters, where the
architrave, frieze and great cornice project to the extent of the
depth of the pilasters. Above those in the centre, in a space equal to
their breadth, curves an arch that serves as an ornament to the
above-named story of the Magi, and in this, namely, in the lunette,
are many Angels; and above the arch is a cornice, which runs from one
pilaster to another, that is, from those on the outside, which form a
frontispiece to the whole work. In this part is a God the Father in
half-relief; and at the sides, where the arch rises over the
pilasters, are two Victories in half-relief. All this work, then, is
so well composed, and executed with such a wealth of carvings, that
one cannot have enough of examining the minute details of the
perforations and the excellence of all the things that are in the
capitals, cornices, masks, festoons, and candelabra in the round,
which form the completion of a work truly worthy to be admired as
something rare.

Simone Mosca thus dwelling in Orvieto, a son of his called Francesco,
and as a bye-name Il Moschino, a boy fifteen years of age, who had
been produced by nature with chisels in his hand, as it were, and with
so beautiful a genius, that he did with supreme grace whatsoever thing
he desired to do, executed in this work under the discipline of his
father, miraculously, so to speak, the Angels that are holding the
inscriptions between the pilasters, then the God the Father in the
pediment, as well as the Angels that are in the lunette of that work,
above the Adoration of the Magi executed by Raffaello da Montelupo,
and finally the Victories at the sides of the lunette; by which works
he caused everyone to wonder and marvel. All this was the reason that,
when the chapel was finished, Simone was commissioned by the Wardens
of Works of the Duomo to make another similar to it, on the other
side, to the end that the space of the Chapel of the High-Altar might
be suitably set off, on the understanding that the figures should be
varied without varying the architecture, and that in the centre there
should be the Visitation of Our Lady, which was allotted to the
above-named Moschino. Then, having made an agreement about every
matter, the father and son set their hands to the work; and, while
they were engaged upon it, Mosca was very helpful and useful to that
city, making for many citizens architectural designs of houses and
many other edifices. Among other things, he executed in that city the
ground-plan and façade of the house of Messer Raffaello Gualtieri,
father of the Bishop of Viterbo, and of Messer Felice, both noblemen
and lords of great excellence and reputation; and likewise the
ground-plans of some houses for the honourable Counts della Cervara.
He did the same in many places near Orvieto, and made, in particular,
the models of many structures and buildings for Signor Pirro Colonna
da Stripicciano.

[Illustration: THE SALUTATION

(_After =Simone Mosca=. Orvieto: Duomo_)


The Pope then causing the fortress to be built in Perugia where
there had stood the houses of the Baglioni, Antonio da San Gallo,
having sent for Mosca, gave him the charge of making the ornaments;
where there were executed after his designs all the doors, windows,
chimney-pieces, and other suchlike things, and in particular two large
and very beautiful escutcheons of his Holiness. In that work Simone
formed a connection with M. Tiberio Crispo, who was Castellan there;
and he was sent by M. Tiberio to Bolsena, where, on the highest point
of that stronghold, overlooking the lake, he arranged a large and
beautiful habitation, partly on the old structure and partly founding
anew, with a very handsome flight of steps and many ornaments of
stone. Nor did any long time pass before Messer Tiberio, having been
made Castellan of the Castello di S. Angelo, caused Mosca to go to
Rome, where he made use of him in many matters in renovating the
apartments of that castle; and, among other things, he caused him to
make over the arches that rise over the new loggia, which faces
towards the meadows, two escutcheons of the above-named Pope in
marble, which are so well wrought and perforated in the mitre, or
rather, triple crown, in the keys, and in certain festoons and little
masks, that they are marvellous.

Having then returned to Orvieto in order to finish the work of the
chapel, he laboured there continuously all the time that Pope Paul was
alive, executing it in such a manner that it proved to be, as may be
seen, no less excellent than the first, and perhaps even better. For
Mosca, as has been said, bore such love to art, and took such pleasure
in working, that he could never have enough of it, almost striving
after the impossible, and that rather from a desire for glory than
from any wish to accumulate gold, for he was more pleased to work well
at his profession than to acquire property.

Finally, Julius III having been elected Pope in the year 1550, and all
men thinking that work would be begun in earnest on the building of S.
Pietro, Mosca went off to Rome and sought to obtain at a fixed price
from the superintendents of that building the commission for some
capitals of marble, but more to accommodate Gian Domenico, his
son-in-law, than for any other reason. Now Giorgio Vasari, who always
bore love to Mosca, found him in Rome, whither he also had been
summoned to the service of the Pope, and he thought that without fail
he would have some work to offer him, for the reason that the old
Cardinal dal Monte, when he died, had left directions with his heirs
that a tomb of marble should be built for him in S. Pietro a Montorio,
and the above-named Pope Julius, his nephew and heir, had ordained
that this should be done, and had given the charge of the matter to
Vasari; and Giorgio wished that in that tomb Mosca should execute some
extraordinary work in carving. But, after Giorgio had made some models
for that tomb, the Pope discussed the whole matter with Michelagnolo
Buonarroti before he would make up his mind; whereupon Michelagnolo
told his Holiness that he should not involve himself with carvings,
saying that, although they enrich a work, they confuse the figures,
whereas squared work, when it is well done, is much more beautiful
than carving and is a better accompaniment for the figures, for the
reason that figures do not brook other carvings about them: and even
so did his Holiness order the work to be done. Wherefore Vasari was
not able to give Mosca anything to do in that work, and he was
dismissed; and the tomb was finished without any carvings, which made
it much better than it would have been with them.

Simone having then returned to Orvieto, arrangements were made to
erect after his designs, in the cross at the head of the church, two
great tabernacles of marble, works truly graceful, beautiful, and
well-proportioned, for one of which Raffaello da Montelupo made in
marble a nude Christ with the Cross on His shoulder in a niche, and
for the other Moschino made a S. Sebastian, likewise nude. Work being
then continued on the execution of the Apostles for the church,
Moschino made a S. Peter and a S. Paul of the same size, which were
held to be creditable statues. Meanwhile the work of the
above-mentioned Chapel of the Visitation was not abandoned, and it was
carried so far forward during the lifetime of Mosca, that there was
nothing left to do save two birds, and even these would not have been
wanting, had not M. Bastiano Gualtieri, Bishop of Viterbo, as has been
related, kept Simone occupied with an ornament of marble in four
pieces, which, when finished, he sent to France to the Cardinal of
Lorraine, who held it very dear, for it was beautiful to a marvel, all
full of foliage and wrought with such diligence, that it is believed
to have been one of the best that Simone ever executed.

Not long after he had finished that work, in the year 1554, Simone
died, at the age of fifty-eight, to the no small loss of that church
of Orvieto, in which he was buried with honour.

Francesco Moschino was then elected to his father's place by the
Wardens of Works of that same Duomo, but, thinking nothing of it, he
left it to Raffaello da Montelupo, and went to Rome, where he finished
for M. Ruberto Strozzi two very graceful figures in marble, the Mars
and Venus, namely, which are in the court of his house in the Banchi.
Afterwards he executed a scene with little figures, almost in
full-relief, in which is Diana bathing with her Nymphs, who changes
Actæon into a stag, and he is devoured by his own hounds; and then
Francesco came to Florence, and gave the work to the Lord Duke Cosimo,
whom he much desired to serve. Whereupon his Excellency, having
accepted and much commended it, did not disappoint the desire of
Moschino, even as he has never disappointed anyone who has sought to
work valiantly in any calling. For he was attached to the Works of the
Duomo at Pisa, and has laboured up to the present day with great
credit to himself in the Chapel of the Nunziata, formerly built by
Stagio da Pietrasanta, executing the Angel and the Madonna in figures
of four braccia, together with the carvings and every other thing; in
the centre, Adam and Eve, who have the apple-tree between them; and a
large God the Father with certain little boys on the vaulting of that
chapel, which is all of marble, as are also the two statues, which
have gained for Moschino no little fame and honour. And since that
chapel is little less than finished, his Excellency has given orders
that the chapel opposite to it should be taken in hand, which is
called the Chapel of the Incoronata and stands immediately at the
entrance of the church, on the left hand. The same Moschino, in
connection with the nuptial festivities of her most serene Majesty
Queen Joanna and the most illustrious Prince of Florence, has
acquitted himself very well in those works that were given him to do.



Girolamo Genga, who was of Urbino, was apprenticed by his father at
the age of ten to the wool trade, but he followed it with the greatest
ill-will, and, according as he could find time and place, he was for
ever drawing in secret with charcoal or an ordinary pen. Which
circumstance being observed by some friends of his father, they
exhorted him to remove the boy from that trade and to set him to
painting; wherefore he placed Girolamo with certain masters of little
reputation in Urbino. But, having seen his beautiful manner, and that
he was like to make proficience, when the boy was fifteen years of age
the father apprenticed him to Maestro Luca Signorelli of Cortona, an
excellent master in painting of that time; with whom he stayed many
years, following him to the March of Ancona, to Cortona, and to many
other places where he executed works, and in particular to Orvieto, in
the Duomo of which city, as has been related, Luca painted a chapel of
Our Lady with an infinite number of figures. At this our Girolamo
worked continually, and he was always one of the best disciples that
Luca had.

Then, having parted from Signorelli, he placed himself with Pietro
Perugino, a much esteemed painter, with whom he stayed about three
years, giving considerable attention to perspective, which was so well
grasped and understood by him, that it may be said that he became very
excellent therein, even as is evident from his works in painting and
architecture. This was at the same time that there was with Pietro the
divine Raffaello da Urbino, who was much the friend of Girolamo.

After leaving Pietro, he went off to live in Florence, where he
studied for some considerable time. Then, having gone to Siena, he
stayed there for months and even years with Pandolfo Petrucci, in
whose house he painted many rooms, which, from their being very well
designed and coloured in a pleasing manner, were rightly admired and
praised by all the people of Siena, and particularly by the
above-named Pandolfo, by whom he was always looked upon with great
favour and cherished most dearly. Pandolfo having died, he then
returned to Urbino, where Guidobaldo, the second Duke, retained him
for a considerable time, causing him to paint horse's caparisons, such
as were used in those times, in company with Timoteo da Urbino, a
painter of passing good name and much experience, together with whom
he painted a chapel of S. Martino in the Vescovado for Messer Giovan
Piero Arrivabene of Mantua, then Bishop of Urbino. In this, both the
one and the other of them gave proof of very beautiful genius, as the
work itself demonstrates, in which is a portrait of the above-named
Bishop, which has all the appearance of life. Genga was also
particularly employed by the same Duke to execute scenery and settings
for comedies, which, since he had a very good understanding of
perspective and was well-grounded in architecture, he made
marvellously beautiful.

He then departed from Urbino and went to Rome, where he executed in
painting, in S. Caterina da Siena on the Strada Giulia, a Resurrection
of Christ, wherein he made himself known as a rare and excellent
master, having done it with good design and with figures foreshortened
in beautiful attitudes and well coloured, to which those who are of
the profession and have seen it are able to bear ample testimony.
While living in Rome, he gave much attention to measuring the
antiquities there, as is proved by writings in the possession of his


(_After the painting by =Girolamo Genga=. Milan: Brera, 202_)


At this time, Duke Guido having died, and having been succeeded by
Francesco Maria, third Duke of Urbino, Girolamo was recalled from Rome
by Francesco Maria, and constrained to return to Urbino at the time when
the above-named Duke took to wife and brought into his dominions Leonora
Gonzaga, the daughter of the Marquis of Mantua; and he was employed by
his Excellency in making triumphal arches, festive preparations, and
scenery for comedies, which were all so well arranged and carried into
execution by him, that Urbino could be likened to a Rome in triumph;
from which he gained very great fame and honour. Afterwards, in due
course, the Duke was expelled from his state for the last time, when he
went to Mantua, and Girolamo followed him, even as he had already done
in his other periods of exile, always sharing one and the same fortune
with him; and he retired with his family to Cesena. There he painted for
the high-altar of S. Agostino an altar-piece in oils, at the top of
which is an Annunciation, and below that a God the Father, and still
lower down a Madonna with the Child in her arms, between the four
Doctors of the Church--a work truly beautiful and worthy to be esteemed.
He then painted in fresco a chapel on the right hand in S. Francesco at
Forlì, containing the Assumption of the Madonna, with many Angels and
other figures--Prophets, namely, and Apostles--around; in this, also, it
is evident how admirable was his genius, and the work was judged to be
very beautiful. He also painted there the story of the Holy Spirit,
which he finished in the year 1512, for Messer Francesco Lombardi, a
physician; and other works throughout Romagna, for all which he gained
honour and rewards.

The Duke having then returned to his state, Girolamo also returned,
and was retained by him and employed as architect in restoring an old
palace on the Monte dell'Imperiale, above Pesaro, and adding to it
another tower. That palace was adorned with scenes in painting from
the actions of the Duke, after the directions and designs of Girolamo,
by Francesco da Forlì and Raffaello dal Borgo, painters of good
repute, and by Camillo Mantovano, a very rare master in painting
landscapes and verdure; and the young Florentine Bronzino also worked
there, among others, as has been related in the Life of Pontormo.
Thither, likewise, were summoned the Dossi of Ferrara, and a room was
assigned to them to paint; but since, when they had finished that
room, it did not please the Duke, he had it thrown down and repainted
by the masters mentioned above. Girolamo then erected the tower there,
one hundred and twenty feet in height, with thirteen flights of wooden
steps whereby to ascend to the top, so well fitted and concealed in
the walls, that they can be withdrawn with ease from story to story,
which renders that tower very strong and marvellous. A desire
afterwards came to the Duke to fortify Pesaro, and he caused Pier
Francesco da Viterbo, a most excellent architect, to be sent for; and
Girolamo always taking part in the discussions that arose about the
fortifications, his discourse and his opinions were held to be good
and full of judgment. Wherefore, if I may be allowed to say it, the
design of that fortress came rather from Girolamo than from any other,
although that sort of architecture was always little esteemed by him,
appearing to him to be of small value and dignity.

The Duke, then, perceiving how rare a genius he had at his command,
determined to build on the above-named Monte dell'Imperiale, near the
old palace, a new palace; and so he built that to be seen there at the
present day, which being a very beautiful and well-planned fabric, and
full of apartments, colonnades, courts, loggie, fountains, and most
delightful gardens, there is no Prince passes that way that does not
go to see it. Wherefore it was right fitting that Pope Paul III, on
his way to Bologna with all his Court, should go to see it and find it
entirely to his satisfaction. From the design of this same master, the
Duke caused the Palace at Pesaro to be restored, and also the little
park, making within it a house representing a ruin, which is a very
beautiful thing to see. Among other things, there is a staircase
similar to that of the Belvedere in Rome, which is very handsome. By
means of him the Duke had the fortress of Gradara restored, and
likewise the Palace at Castel Durante, insomuch that all that is good
in those works came from that admirable genius. Girolamo also built
the corridor of the Palace at Urbino, above the garden, and he
enclosed a courtyard on one side with perforated stone-work executed
with great diligence.

From the design of the same master, likewise, were begun the Convent
of the Frati Zoccolanti at Monte Baroccio and S. Maria delle Grazie at
Sinigaglia, which in the end remained unfinished by reason of the
death of the Duke. And about the same time was begun after his
directions and design the Vescovado of Sinigaglia, of which the model,
made by him, is still to be seen. He also executed some works in
sculpture and figures of clay and wax in the round, beautiful enough,
which are in the house of his family at Urbino. For the Imperiale he
made some Angels in clay, which he afterwards caused to be cast in
bronze and placed over the doors of the rooms decorated with
stucco-work in the new palace; and these are very beautiful. For the
Bishop of Sinigaglia he executed some fantasies in wax in the form of
drinking-cups, which were afterwards to be made in silver; and with
greater diligence he made some others, most beautiful, for the Duke's
credence. He showed fine invention in masquerades and costumes, as was
seen in the time of the above-named Duke, by whom he was passing well
rewarded, as he deserved, for his rare parts and good qualities.

His son, Guidobaldo, who reigns at the present day, having then
succeeded him as Duke, caused a beginning to be made by the
above-named Genga with the Church of S. Giovan Battista at Pesaro,
which, having been carried out according to the model of Girolamo by
his son Bartolommeo, is of very beautiful architecture in every part,
for he imitated the antique considerably, and made it in such a manner
that it is the most beautiful temple that there is in those parts, as
the work itself clearly demonstrates, being able to challenge
comparison with the most famous buildings in Rome. After his designs
and directions, likewise, there was executed in S. Chiara at Urbino by
the Florentine sculptor Bartolommeo Ammanati, who was then very young,
the tomb of Duke Francesco Maria, which, for a simple work of little
cost, proved to be very beautiful. In like manner, the Venetian
painter Battista Franco was summoned by him to paint the great chapel
of the Duomo at Urbino, at the time when there was being made after
his design the ornament of the organ of that Duomo, which is not yet

Shortly afterwards, the Cardinal of Mantua having written to the Duke
that he should send him Girolamo, because he wished to restore the
Vescovado of that city, Girolamo went thither and fitted it up very
well with lights and with all that the above-named lord desired.
Besides this, the Cardinal, wishing to make a beautiful façade for the
Duomo, caused him to prepare a model for it, which was executed by him
in such a manner, that it may be said that it surpassed all the
architectural works of his time, for the reason that in it may be seen
grandeur, proportion, grace, and great beauty of composition.

Having then returned from Mantua, now an old man, he went to live at a
villa of his own, called Le Valle, in the territory of Urbino, in
order to rest and enjoy the fruits of his labours; in which place, not
wishing to remain idle, he executed in chalk a Conversion of S. Paul
with figures and horses of considerable size and in very beautiful
attitudes, which was finished by him with such patience and diligence,
that no greater could be either described or seen, as is evident from
the work itself, now in the possession of his heirs, by whom it is
treasured as a very dear and precious thing. There, while living with
a tranquil mind, he was attacked by a terrible fever, and, after he
had received all the Sacraments of the Church, finished the course of
his life, to the infinite grief of his wife and children, on the 11th
of July in the year 1551, at the age of about seventy-five. Having
been carried from that place to Urbino, he was buried with honour in
the Vescovado, in front of the Chapel of S. Martino formerly painted
by him; and his death caused extraordinary sorrow to his relatives and
to all the citizens.

Girolamo was always an excellent man, insomuch that nothing was ever
heard of any bad action committed by him. He was not only a painter,
sculptor, and architect, but also a good musician and a fine talker,
and his society was very agreeable. He was full of courtesy and
lovingness towards his relatives and friends; and, what entitles him
to no little praise, he laid the foundation of the house of Genga at
Urbino with his good name and property. He left two sons, one of whom
followed in his footsteps and gave his attention to architecture, in
which, if he had not been hindered by death, he was like to become
most excellent, as his beginnings demonstrate; and the other, who
devoted himself to the cares of the family, is still alive at the
present day.

A disciple of Girolamo, as has been related, was Francesco Menzochi of
Forlì, who first began to draw by himself when still a child,
imitating and copying an altar-piece in the Duomo of Forlì, by the
hand of Marco Parmigiano[7] of Forlì, containing a Madonna, S. Jerome,
and other Saints, and held at that time to be the best of the modern
pictures; and he occupied himself likewise with imitating the works
of Rondinino[8] da Ravenna, a painter more excellent than Marco, who a
little time before had placed on the high-altar of the above-named
Duomo a most beautiful altar-piece, in which was painted Christ giving
the Communion to the Apostles, and in a lunette above it a Dead
Christ, and in the predella of that altar-piece very graceful scenes
with little figures from the life of S. Helen. These works brought him
forward in such a manner, that, when Girolamo Genga went, as we have
said, to paint the chapel in S. Francesco at Forlì for M. Bartolommeo
Lombardino, Francesco at that time went to live with Genga, seizing
that opportunity of learning, and did not cease to serve him as long
as he lived. There, and also at Urbino and in the work of the
Imperiale at Pesaro, he laboured continually, as has been related,
esteemed and beloved by Genga, because he acquitted himself very well,
as many altar-pieces by his hand bear witness that are dispersed
throughout the city of Forlì, and particularly three of them which are
in S. Francesco, besides that there are some scenes of his in fresco
in the hall of the Palace.

         [Footnote 7: Palmezzani.]

         [Footnote 8: Rondinello.]

He painted many works throughout Romagna; and at Venice, also, for the
very reverend Patriarch Grimani, he executed four large pictures in
oils that were placed in the ceiling of a little hall in his house,
round an octagon that Francesco Salviati painted; in which pictures
are the stories of Psyche, held to be very beautiful. But the place
where he strove to do his utmost and to put forth all his powers, was
the Chapel of the most holy Sacrament in the Church of Loreto, in
which he painted some Angels round a tabernacle of marble wherein
rests the Body of Christ, and two scenes on the walls of that chapel,
one of Melchizedek and the other of the Manna raining down, both
executed in fresco; and over the vaulting he distributed fifteen
little scenes of the Passion of Jesus Christ, nine of which he
executed in painting, and six in half-relief. This was a rich work and
well conceived, and he won for it such honour, that he was not
suffered to depart until he had decorated another chapel of equal size
in the same place, opposite to the first, and called the Chapel of the
Conception, with the vaulting all wrought with rich and very beautiful
stucco-work; in which he taught the art of stucco-work to his son
Pietro Paolo, who has since done him honour and has become a
well-practised master in that field. Francesco, then, painted in
fresco on the walls the Nativity and the Presentation of Our Lady, and
over the altar he painted S. Anne and the Virgin with the Child in her
arms, and two Angels that are crowning her. And, in truth, his works
are much extolled by the craftsmen, and likewise his ways and his
life, which was that of a true Christian; and he lived in peace,
enjoying that which he had gained with his labours.

A pupil of Genga, also, was Baldassarre Lancia of Urbino, who, having
given his attention to many ingenious matters, has since practised his
hand in fortifications, at which he worked on a salary for the
Signoria of Lucca, in which place he stayed for some time. He then
attached himself to the most illustrious Duke Cosimo de' Medici, whom
he came to serve in the fortifications of the states of Florence and
Siena; and the Duke has employed and still employs him in many
ingenious works, in which Baldassarre has laboured valiantly and with
honour, winning remunerations from that grateful lord.

Many others also served Girolamo Genga, of whom, from their not having
attained to any great excellence, there is no need to speak.

To the above-named Girolamo, at Cesena, in the year 1518, the while
that he was accompanying the Duke his master in exile, there was born
a son called Bartolommeo, who was brought up by him very decently, and
then, when he was well grown, placed to learn grammar, in which he
made more than ordinary proficience. Afterwards, when he was eighteen
years of age, the father, perceiving that he was inclined more to
design than to letters, caused him to study design under his own
discipline for about two years: which finished, he sent him to study
design and painting in Florence, where he knew that the true study of
that art was to be found, on account of the innumerable works by
excellent masters that are there, both ancient and modern. Living in
that place, and attending to design and to architecture, Bartolommeo
formed a friendship with Giorgio Vasari, the painter and architect of
Arezzo, and with the sculptor Bartolommeo Ammanati, from whom he
learned many things appertaining to art. Finally, after having been
three years in Florence, he returned to his father, who was then
attending to the building of S. Giovanni Battista at Pesaro.
Whereupon, the father having seen the designs of Bartolommeo, it
appeared to him that he acquitted himself much better in architecture,
for which he had a very good inclination, than in painting; wherefore,
keeping him under his own care some months, he taught him the methods
of perspective. And afterwards he sent him to Rome, to the end that he
might see the marvellous buildings, both ancient and modern, that are
there, of which, in the four years that he stayed there, he took the
measurements, and made therein very great proficience. Then, on his
way back to Urbino, passing through Florence in order to see
Francesco[9] San Marino, his brother-in-law, who was living there as
engineer to the Lord Duke Cosimo, Signor Stefano Colonna da
Palestrina, at that time general to that lord, having heard of his
ability, sought to engage him with himself, with a good salary. But
he, being much indebted to the Duke of Urbino, would not attach
himself to others, and returned to Urbino, where he was received by
that Duke into his service, and ever afterwards held very dear.

         [Footnote 9: Giovan Battista.]

Not long afterwards, the Duke taking to wife Signora Vittoria Farnese,
Bartolommeo received from the Duke the charge of executing the festive
preparations for those nuptials, which he did in a truly honourable
and magnificent manner. Among other things, he made a triumphal arch
in the Borgo di Valbuona, so beautiful and so well wrought, that there
is none larger or more beautiful to be seen; whence it became evident
how much knowledge of architecture he had acquired at Rome. Then the
Duke, having to go into Lombardy, as General to the Signoria of
Venice, to inspect the fortresses of that dominion, took with him
Bartolommeo, of whom he availed himself much in preparing designs and
sites of fortresses, and in particular at the Porta S. Felice in
Verona. Now, while Bartolommeo was in Lombardy, the King of Bohemia,
who was returning from Spain to his kingdom, passed through that
province and was received with honour by the Duke at Verona; and he
saw those fortresses. And, since they pleased him, after he had become
acquainted with Bartolommeo, he wished to take him to his kingdom, in
order to make use of him in fortifying his territories, with a good
salary; but the Duke would not give him leave, and the matter went no

When they had returned to Urbino, no long time passed before Girolamo,
the father, came to his death; whereupon Bartolommeo was set by the
Duke in the place of his father over all the buildings of the state,
and sent to Pesaro, where he continued the building of S. Giovanni
Battista, after the model of Girolamo. During that time he built in
the Palace of Pesaro, over the Strada de' Mercanti, a suite of rooms
which the Duke now occupies; a fine work, with most beautiful
ornaments in the form of doors, staircases, and chimney-pieces, of
which things he was an excellent architect. Which having seen, the
Duke desired that in the Palace of Urbino as well he should make
another suite of apartments, almost entirely on the façade that faces
towards S. Domenico; and this, when finished, proved to be the most
beautiful suite in that court, or rather, palace, and the most ornate
that is there. Not long afterwards, the Signori of Bologna having
asked for him for some days from the Duke, his Excellency granted him
to them very readily; and he, having gone, served them in what they
desired in such a manner, that they remained very well satisfied and
showed him innumerable courtesies.

He then made for the Duke, who desired to construct a sea-port at
Pesaro, a very beautiful model; and this was taken to Venice, to the
house of Count Giovan Giacomo Leonardi, at that time the Duke's
Ambassador in that place, to the end that it might be seen by many of
the profession who often assembled, with other choice spirits, to hold
discussions and disputations on various matters in the house of the
above-named Count, who was a truly remarkable man. There, then, after
that model had been seen and the fine discourse of Genga had been
heard, the model was held by all without exception to be masterly and
beautiful, and the master who had made it a man of the rarest genius.
But, when he had returned to Pesaro, the model after all was not
carried into execution, because new circumstances of great importance
drove that project out of the Duke's mind.

About that time Genga made the design of the Church of Monte
L'Abbate, and also that of the Church of S. Piero in Mondavio, which
was carried into execution by Don Pier Antonio Genga in such a manner,
that, for a small work, I do not believe that there is anything better
to be seen.

These works finished, no long time passed before, Pope Julius III
having been elected, and the Duke of Urbino having been created by him
Captain General of Holy Church, his Excellency went to Rome, and Genga
with him. There, his Holiness wishing to fortify the Borgo, at the
request of the Duke Genga made some very beautiful designs, which,
with a number of others, are in the collection of his Excellency at
Urbino. For these reasons the fame of Bartolommeo spread abroad, and
the Genoese, while he was living with the Duke in Rome, asked for him
from his Excellency, in order to make use of him in some
fortifications of their own; but the Duke would not grant him to them,
either at that time or on another occasion when they again asked for
him, after his return to Urbino.

In the end, when he was near the close of his life, there were sent to
Pesaro by the Grand Master of Rhodes two knights of that Order of
Jerusalem, to beseech his Excellency that he should deign to lend them
Bartolommeo, to the end that they might take him to the Island of
Malta, in which they wished to construct not only very large
fortifications wherewith to defend themselves against the Turks, but
also two cities, so as to unite many villages that were there into one
or two places. Whereupon the Duke, whom the above-named knights in two
months had not been able to induce to grant them Bartolommeo, although
they had availed themselves of the good services of the Duchess and
others, finally complied with their request for a fixed period, at the
entreaty of a good Capuchin father, to whom his Excellency bore a very
great affection, and refused nothing that he asked; and the artifice
that was used by that holy man, who made it a matter of conscience
with the Duke, saying that it was in the interest of the Christian
Republic, was not otherwise than highly commendable and worthy of
praise. And thus Bartolommeo, who had never received any favour
greater than this, departed with the above-named knights from Pesaro
on the 20th of January, 1558; but they lingered in Sicily, being
delayed by the fortune of the sea, and they did not reach Malta, where
they were received with rejoicing by the Grand Master, until the 11th
of March. Having then been shown what he was to do, he acquitted
himself so well in those fortifications, that it could not be
expressed in words; insomuch that to the Grand Master and all those
noble knights it appeared that they had found another Archimedes, and
this they proved by making him most honourable presents and holding
him, as a rare master, in supreme veneration. Then, after having made
the models of a city, of some churches, and of the palace and
residence of the same Grand Master, with most beautiful invention and
design, he fell sick of his last illness, for, having set himself one
day in the month of July, the heat in that island being very great,
between two doors to refresh himself, he had not been there long when
he was assailed by insufferable pains of the body and by a cruel flux,
which killed him in seventeen days, to the infinite sorrow of the
Grand Master and all those most honourable and valiant knights, to
whom it appeared that they had found a man after their own hearts,
when he was snatched from them by death. The Lord Duke of Urbino,
having been advised of this sad news, felt indescribable sorrow, and
bewailed the death of poor Genga; and then, having resolved to
demonstrate to the five children whom he had left behind him the love
that he bore to him, he took them under his particular and loving

Bartolommeo showed beautiful invention in masquerades, and was a rare
master in making scenic settings for comedies. He delighted to write
sonnets and other compositions in verse and prose, and in none was he
better than in the ottava rima, in which manner of writing he was an
author of passing good renown. He died at the age of forty, in the
year 1558.

Giovan Battista Bellucci of San Marino having been the son-in-law of
Girolamo Genga, I have judged that it would not be well to withhold
what I have to say of him, after the Lives of Girolamo and Bartolommeo
Genga, and particularly in order to show that men of fine intellect,
if only they be willing, succeed in everything, even if they set
themselves late in life to difficult and honourable enterprises; for
study, when added to natural inclination, has often been seen to
accomplish marvellous things. Giovan Battista, then, was born in San
Marino on the 27th of September, 1506, to Bartolommeo Bellucci, a
person of passing good family in that place; and after he had learned
the first rudiments of the humanities, when eighteen years of age, he
was sent by that same Bartolommeo, his father, to Bologna, to attend
to the pursuit of commerce under Bastiano di Ronco, a merchant of the
Guild of Wool. Having been there about two years, he returned to San
Marino sick of a quartan fever, which hung upon him two years; of
which being finally cured, he set up a wool business of his own, with
which he continued up to the year 1535, at which time his father,
perceiving that Giovan Battista was in good circumstances, gave him
for a wife in Cagli a daughter of Guido Peruzzi, a person of
considerable standing in that city. But she died not long afterwards,
and Giovan Battista went to Rome to seek out Domenico Peruzzi, his
brother-in-law, who was equerry to Signor Ascanio Colonna; and by
means of him Giovan Battista lived for two years with that lord as a
gentleman. He then returned home; and it came about that, as he
frequented Pesaro, Girolamo Genga, having come to know him as an
excellent and well-behaved young man, gave him a daughter of his own
for wife and took him into his house. Whereupon Giovan Battista, being
much inclined to architecture, and giving his attention with much
diligence to the architectural works that his wife's father was
executing, began to gain a very good grasp of the various manners of
building, and to study Vitruvius; and thus, what with that which he
acquired by himself and that which Genga taught him, he became a good
architect, and particularly in the matter of fortifications and other
things relating to war.

Then, in the year 1541, his wife died, leaving him two boys; and he
remained until 1543 without coming to any further resolution about his
life. At that time, in the month of September, there appeared in San
Marino one Signor Gustamante, a Spaniard, sent by his Imperial Majesty
to that Republic on some affairs. Giovan Battista was recognized by
him as an excellent architect, and at his instance he entered not
long afterwards into the service of the most illustrious Lord Duke
Cosimo, as engineer. And thus, having arrived in Florence, his
Excellency made use of him for all the fortifications of his dominion,
according to the necessities that arose every day; and, among other
things, the fortress of the city of Pistoia having been begun many
years before, San Marino, by the desire of the Duke, completely
finished it, with great credit to himself, although it is no great
work. Then, under the direction of the same architect, a very strong
bastion was built at Pisa. Wherefore, his method of work pleasing the
Duke, his Excellency caused him to construct--where, as has been
related, there had been built on the hill of S. Miniato, without
Florence, the wall that curves from the Porta S. Niccolò to the Porta
S. Miniato--the fortification that encloses a gate by means of two
bastions, and guards the Church and Monastery of S. Miniato; making on
the summit of that hill a fortress that dominates the whole city and
looks on the outer side towards the east and the south, a work that
was vastly extolled. The same Giovan Battista made many designs and
ground-plans of various fortifications for places in the states of his
Excellency, and also various rough models in clay, which are in the
possession of the Lord Duke. And since San Marino was a man of fine
genius and very studious, he wrote a little book on the methods of
fortifications; which work, a beautiful and useful one, is now in the
possession of Messer Bernardo Puccini, a gentleman of Florence, who
learned many things with regard to the matters of architecture and
fortification from San Marino, who was much his friend.

Giovan Battista, after having designed in the year 1554 many bastions
that were to be built round the walls of the city of Florence, some of
which were begun in earth, went with the most illustrious lord, Don
Garzia di Toledo, to Monte Alcino, where, having made some trenches,
he mined under a bastion and so shattered it, that he threw down the
breastwork; but as it was falling to the ground a harquebus-ball
struck San Marino in the thigh. Not long afterwards, his wound being
healed, he went secretly to Siena and took the ground-plan of that
city, and of the earthworks that the people of Siena had made at the
Porta Camollia; which plan of fortifications he then showed to the
Lord Duke and to the Marchese di Marignano, making it clear to them
that the work was not difficult to capture or to secure afterwards on
the side towards Siena. That this was true was proved by the fact, the
night that it was taken by the above-named Marquis, with whom Giovan
Battista had gone by order and commission of the Duke. On that
account, then, the Marquis, having conceived an affection for him and
knowing that he had need of his judgment and ability in the field
(that is, in the war against Siena), so went to work with the Duke,
that his Excellency sent Giovan Battista off as captain of a strong
company of foot-soldiers; whereupon he served from that day onward in
the field, as a valiant soldier and an ingenious architect. Finally,
having been sent by the Marquis to Aiuola, a fortress in the Chianti,
while disposing the artillery he was wounded in the head by a
harquebus-ball; wherefore he was taken by his soldiers to the Pieve di
S. Paolo, which belongs to Bishop da Ricasoli, and died in a few days,
and was carried to San Marino, where he received honourable burial
from his children.

Giovan Battista deserves to be highly extolled, for the reason that,
besides having been excellent in his profession, it is a marvellous
thing that, having set himself to give attention to it late in life,
at the age of thirty-five, he should have made in it the proficience
that he did make; and it may be believed that if he had begun younger,
he would have become a very rare master. Giovan Battista was something
obstinate, so that it was a serious undertaking to move him from any
opinion. He took extraordinary pleasure in reading stories, and turned
them to very great advantage, writing down with great pains the most
notable things in them. His death much grieved the Duke and his
innumerable friends; wherefore his son Gian Andrea, coming to kiss his
Excellency's hands, was received kindly by him and welcomed most
warmly with very generous offers, on account of the ability and
fidelity of the father, who died at the age of forty-eight.



(_Venice: Doges' Palace, Sala Anticollegio. Ceiling Painting_)]



Michele San Michele, who was born at Verona in the year 1484, and
learned the first principles of architecture from his father Giovanni
and his uncle Bartolommeo, both excellent architects, went off at
sixteen years of age to Rome, leaving his father and two brothers of
fine parts, one of whom, called Jacopo, devoted himself to letters,
and the other, named Don Camillo, was a Canon Regular and General of
that Order. Having arrived there, he studied the ancient remains of
architecture in such a manner, and with such diligence, observing and
measuring everything minutely, that in a short time he became renowned
and famous not only in Rome, but throughout all the places that are
around that city. Moved by his fame, the people of Orvieto summoned
him as architect to their celebrated temple, with an honourable
salary; and while he was employed in their service, he was summoned
for the same reason to Monte Fiascone, as architect for the building
of their principal temple; and thus, serving both the one and the
other of these places, he executed all that there is to be seen in
these two cities in the way of good architecture. Among other works, a
most beautiful tomb was built after his design in S. Domenico at Monte
Fiascone--I believe, for one of the Petrucci, a nobleman of
Siena--which cost a great sum of money, and proved to be marvellous.
Besides all this, he made an infinite number of designs for private
houses in those places, and made himself known as a man of great
judgment and excellence.

Thereupon Pope Clement VII, proposing to make use of him in the most
important operations of the wars that were stirring at that time
throughout all Italy, gave him as a companion to Antonio da San
Gallo, with a very good salary, to the end that they might go together
to inspect all the places of greatest importance in the States of the
Church, and, wherever necessary, might see to the construction of
fortifications; above all, at Parma and Piacenza, because those two
cities were most distant from Rome, and nearest and most exposed to
the perils of war. Which duty having been executed by Michele and
Antonio to the full satisfaction of the Pontiff, there came to Michele
a desire, after all those years, to revisit his native city and his
relatives and friends, and even more to see the fortresses of the
Venetians. Wherefore, after he had been a few days in Verona, he went
to Treviso to see the fortress there, and then to Padua for the same
purpose; but the Signori of Venice, having been warned of this, became
suspicious that San Michele might be going about inspecting those
fortresses with a hostile intent. Having therefore been arrested at
Padua at their command and thrown into prison, he was examined at
great length; but, when it was found that he was an honest man, he was
not only liberated by them, but also entreated that he should consent
to enter the service of those same Signori of Venice, with honourable
rank and salary. He excused himself by saying that he was not able to
do that for the present, being engaged to his Holiness; but he gave
them fair promises, and then took his leave of them. Now he had not
been away long, when he was forced to depart from Rome--to such
purpose did those Signori go to work in order to secure him--and to
go, with the gracious leave of the Pope, whom he first satisfied in
full, to serve those most illustrious noblemen, his natural lords.
Abiding with them, he gave soon enough a proof of his judgment and
knowledge by making at Verona (after many difficulties which the work
appeared to present) a very strong and beautiful bastion, which gave
infinite satisfaction to those Signori and to the Lord Duke of Urbino,
their Captain General. After these things, the same Signori, having
determined to fortify Legnago and Porto, places most important to
their dominion, and situated upon the River Adige, one on one side and
the other on the opposite side, but joined by a bridge, commissioned
San Michele to show them by means of a model how it appeared to him
that those places could and should be fortified. Which having been
done by him, his design gave infinite satisfaction to the Signori and
to the Duke of Urbino. Whereupon, arrangements having been made for
all that had to be done, San Michele executed the fortifications of
those two places in such a manner, that among works of that kind there
is nothing better to be seen, or more beautiful, or more carefully
considered, or stronger, as whoever has seen them well knows.

This done, he fortified in the Bresciano, almost from the foundations,
Orzinuovo, a fortress and port similar to Legnago. San Michele being
then sought for with great insistence by Signor Francesco Sforza, last
Duke of Milan, the Signori consented to grant him leave, but for three
months only. Having therefore gone to Milan, he inspected all the
fortresses of that State, and gave directions in every place for all
that it seemed to him necessary to do, and that with such credit and
so much to the satisfaction of the Duke, that his Excellency, besides
thanking the Signori of Venice, presented five hundred crowns to San
Michele. And with this occasion, before returning to Venice, Michele
went to Casale di Monferrato, in order to see that very strong and
beautiful fortress and city, the architecture of which was the work of
Matteo San Michele, an excellent architect, his cousin; and also an
honoured and very beautiful tomb of marble erected in S. Francesco in
the same city, likewise under the direction of Matteo.

Having then returned home, he had no sooner arrived than he was sent
with the above-named Duke of Urbino to inspect La Chiusa, a fortress
and pass of much importance, above Verona, and then all the places in
Friuli, Bergamo, Vicenza, Peschiera, and others, of all which, and of
what seemed to him to be required, he gave minute information in
writing to the Signori. Having next been sent by the same Signori to
Dalmatia, to fortify the cities and other places of that province, he
inspected everything, and carried out restorations with great
diligence wherever he saw the necessity to be greatest; and, since he
could not himself despatch all the work, he left there Gian Girolamo,
his kinsman, who, after fortifying Zara excellently well, erected from
the foundations the marvellous fortress of S. Niccolò, over the mouth
of the harbour of Sebenico.

Meanwhile Michele was sent in great haste to Corfu, and restored the
fortress there in many parts; and he did the same in all the places in
Cyprus and Candia. Even so, not long afterwards--on account of a fear
that the island might be lost, by reason of the war with the Turks,
which was imminent--he was forced to return there, after having
inspected the fortresses of the Venetian dominion in Italy, to
fortify, with incredible rapidity, Canea, Candia, Retimo, and Settia,
but particularly Canea and Candia, which he rebuilt from the
foundations and made impregnable. Napoli di Romania being then
besieged by the Turks, what with the diligence of S. Michele in
fortifying it and furnishing it with bastions, and the valour of
Agostino Chisoni of Verona, a very valiant captain, in defending it
with arms, it was not after all taken by the enemy or forced to

These wars finished, San Michele went with the Magnificent M. Tommaso
Mozzenigo, Captain General of the Fleet, to fortify Corfu once again;
and they then returned to Sebenico, where the diligence of Gian
Girolamo, shown by him in constructing the above-mentioned fortress of
S. Niccolò, was much commended. San Michele having then returned to
Venice, where he was much extolled for the works executed in the
Levant in the service of that Republic, the Signori resolved to build
a fortress on the Lido, at the mouth of the port of Venice. Wherefore,
giving the charge of this to San Michele, they said to him that, if he
had done such great things far away from Venice, he should think how
much it was his duty to do in a work of such importance, which was to
lie for ever under the eyes of the Senate and of so many great lords;
and that in addition, besides beauty and strength in the work, there
was expected of him particular industry in founding truly and well in
a marshy spot, which was surrounded on all sides by the sea and
exposed to the ebb and flow of the tide, a pile of such importance.
San Michele having therefore not only made a very beautiful and solid
model, but also considered the method of laying the foundations and
carrying it into effect, orders were given to him that he should set
his hand to the work without delay. Whereupon, after receiving from
those Signori all that was required, he prepared the materials for
filling in the foundations, and, besides this, caused great numbers of
piles to be sunk in double rows, and then, with a vast number of
persons well acquainted with those waters, he set himself to make the
excavations, and to contrive by means of pumps and other instruments
to keep the water pumped out, which was seen continually rising from
below, because the site was in the sea. One morning, finally,
resolving to make a supreme effort to begin the foundations, and
assembling as many men fit for the purpose as could be obtained, with
all the porters of Venice, and many of the Signori being present, in a
moment, with incredible assiduity and promptitude, the waters were
mastered for a little to such purpose, that the first stones of the
foundations were thrown instantly upon the piles already driven in;
which stones, being very large, took up much space and made an
excellent foundation. And so, continuing to keep the water pumped out
without losing any time, almost in a flash those foundations were
laid, contrary to the expectation of many who had looked upon that
work as absolutely impossible. The foundations, when finished, were
allowed sufficient time to settle, and then Michele erected upon them
a mighty and marvellous fortress, building it on the outer side all in
rustic work, with very large stones from Istria, which are of an
extreme hardness and able to withstand wind, frost, and the worst of
weather. Wherefore that fortress, besides being marvellous with regard
to the site on which it is built, is also, from the beauty of the
masonry and from its incredible cost, one of the most stupendous that
there are in Europe at the present day, rivalling the grandeur and
majesty of the most famous edifices erected by the greatness of the
Romans; for, besides other things, it appears as if made all from one
block, and as though a mountain of living rock had been carved and
given that form, so large are the blocks of which it is built, and so
well joined and united together, not to speak of the ornaments and
other things that are there, seeing that one would never be able to
say enough to do them justice. Within it Michele afterwards made a
piazza, divided by pilasters and arches of the Rustic Order, which
would have proved to be a very rare work, if it had not been left

This vast pile having been carried to the condition that has been
described, some malign and envious persons said to the Signoria that,
although it was very beautiful and built with every possible
consideration, nevertheless it would be useless for any purpose, and
perhaps even dangerous, for the reason that on discharging the
artillery--on account of the great quantity and weight of artillery
that the place required--it was almost inevitable that the edifice
should split open and fall to the ground. It therefore appeared to
those prudent Signori that it would be well to make certain of this,
the matter being one of great importance; and they caused to be taken
there a vast quantity of artillery, the heaviest that could be found
in the Arsenal. Then, all the embrasures both above and below having
been filled with cannon, and the cannon charged more heavily than was
usual, they were all fired off together; whereupon such were the
noise, the thunder, and the earthquake that resulted, that it seemed
as if the world had burst to pieces, and the fortress, with all those
flaming cannon, had the appearance of a volcano and of Hell itself.
But for all that the building stood firm in its former strength and
solidity, whereby the Senate was convinced of the great worth of San
Michele, and the evil-speakers were put to scorn as men of little
judgment, although they had put such terror into everyone, that the
ladies then pregnant, fearing some great disaster, had withdrawn from

Not long afterwards a place of no little importance on the coast near
Venice, called Marano, having returned under the dominion of the
Venetians, was restored and fortified with promptitude and diligence
under the direction of San Michele. And about the same time, the fame
of Michele and of his kinsman, Gian Girolamo, spreading ever more
widely, they were requested many times, both the one and the other, to
go to live with the Emperor Charles V and with King Francis of France;
but, although they were invited under most honourable conditions, they
would not leave their own masters to enter into the service of
foreigners. Indeed, continuing in their offices, they went about
inspecting and restoring every year, wherever it was necessary, all
the cities and fortresses of the State of Venice.

[Illustration: PORTA DEL PALIO

(_After =Michele San Michele=. Verona_)


But more than all the rest did Michele fortify and adorn his native
city of Verona, making there, besides other things, those most
beautiful gates of the city, which have no equal in any other place.
One was the Porta Nuova, all in the Dorico-rustic Order, which in
its solidity and massive firmness corresponds to the strength of the
site, being all built of tufa and pietra viva,[10] and having within
it rooms for the soldiers who mount guard there, and many other
conveniences, never before added to that kind of building. That
edifice, which is quadrangular and open above, serving with its
embrasures as a cavalier, defends two great bastions, or rather,
towers, which stand one on either side of the gate at proper
distances; and all is done with so much judgment, cost, and
magnificence, that no one thought that for the future there could be
executed any work of greater grandeur or better design, even as none
such had been seen in the past. But a few years afterwards the same
San Michele founded and carried upwards the gate commonly called the
Porta dal Palio, which is in no way inferior to that described above,
but equally beautiful, grand, and magnificent, or even more so, and
designed excellently well. And, in truth, in these two gates the
Signori of Venice may be seen to have equalled, by means of the genius
of this architect, the edifices and fabrics of the ancient Romans.

         [Footnote 10: Any kind of stone that is easily split.]

This last gate, then, is on the outer side of the Doric Order, with
immense projecting columns, all fluted according to the manner of that
Order; and these columns, which are eight in all, are placed in pairs.
Four serve to enclose the gate, with the arms of the Rectors of the
city, between one and another, on either side, and the other four,
likewise in pairs, make a finish to the angles of the gate, the façade
of which is very wide and all of bosses, or rather, blocks, not rough,
but made smooth, with very beautiful ornamentation; and the opening,
or rather passage, through the gate, is left quadrangular, but of an
architecture that is new, bizarre, and most beautiful. Above it is a
great and very rich Doric cornice, with all its appurtenances, over
which, as may be seen from the model, was to go a fronton with all its
ornaments, forming a parapet for the artillery, since this gate, like
the other, was to serve as a cavalier. Within the gate are very large
rooms for the soldiers, with other apartments and conveniences. On the
front that faces towards the city, San Michele made a most beautiful
loggia, all of the Dorico-rustic Order on the outer side, and on the
inner all in rustic work, with very large piers. that have as
ornaments columns round on the outside and on the inside square and
projecting to the half of their thickness, and all made of pieces in
rustic masonry, with Doric capitals without bases; and at the top is a
great cornice, likewise Doric, and carved, passing along the whole
loggia, which is of great length, both within and without. In a word,
this work is marvellous; wherefore it was well and truly spoken by the
most illustrious Signor Sforza Pallavicino, Captain General of the
Venetian forces, when he said that there was not to be found in all
Europe any structure that could in any way compare with it. This was
the last of Michele's marvels, for the reason that he had scarcely
erected the whole of the first range described above, when he finished
the course of his life. Wherefore the work remained unfinished, nor
will it ever be finished at all, for there are not wanting certain
malignant persons--as always happens with great works--who censure it,
striving to diminish the glory of others by their malignity and
evil-speaking, since they fail by a great measure to achieve similar
things with their own powers.

The same master built another gate at Verona, called the Porta di S.
Zeno, which is very beautiful; in any other place, indeed, it would be
marvellous, but in Verona its beauty and artistry are obscured by the
two others described above. A work of Michele's, likewise, is the
bastion, or rather rampart, that is near this gate, and also another
that is lower down, opposite to S. Bernardino, and another between
them, called Dell'Acquaio, which is opposite to the Campo Marzio; and
also that surpassing all the others in size, which is placed by the
Chain, where the Adige enters the city.


(_After =Michele San Michele=. Verona: S. Bernardino_)


At Padua he built the bastion called the Cornaro, and likewise that of
S. Croce, which are both of marvellous size, and constructed in the
modern manner, according to the order invented by Michele himself. For
the method of making bastions with angles was the invention of
Michele, and before his day they were made round; and whereas that
kind of bastion was very difficult to defend, at the present day,
having an obtuse angle on the outer side, they can be defended with
ease, either from the cavalier erected between the two bastions and
near to them, or, indeed, from the other bastion, provided that it
be near the one attacked and the ditch wide. His invention, also, was
the method of making bastions with three platforms, whereby the two at
the sides guard and defend the ditch and the curtains, with their open
embrasures, and the merlon in the centre defends itself and attacks
the enemy in front. This method of fortification has since been
imitated by everyone, causing the abandonment of the ancient fashion
of subterranean embrasures, called casemates, in which, on account of
the smoke and other impediments, the artillery could not be well
handled; not to mention that they often weakened the foundations of
the towers and walls.

The same Michele built two very beautiful gates at Legnago. He
directed at Peschiera the work of the first foundation of that
fortress, and likewise many works at Brescia; and he always did
everything with such diligence and such good foundations, that not one
of his buildings ever showed a crack. Finally, he restored the
fortress of La Chiusa above Verona, making it possible for persons to
pass by without entering the fortress, but yet in such a manner that,
on the raising of a bridge by those who are within, no one can pass by
against their will, or even show himself on the road, which is very
narrow and cut out of the rock. He also built at Verona, just after he
had returned from Rome, the very beautiful bridge over the Adige,
called the Ponte Nuovo, doing this at the commission of Messer
Giovanni Emo, at that time Podestà of that city; which bridge was on
account of its strength, as it still is, a marvellous thing.

Michele was excellent not only in fortifications, but also in private
buildings and in temples, churches, and monasteries, as may be seen
from many buildings at Verona and other places, and particularly from
the most ornate and beautiful Chapel of the Guareschi in S.
Bernardino, which is round after the manner of a temple, and in the
Corinthian Order, with all the ornaments which that manner admits.
That chapel, I say, he built all of that white pietra viva, which,
from the sound that it makes when it is being worked, is called in
that city "Bronzo"; and, in truth, that kind of stone, after fine
marble, is the most beautiful that has been found down to our own
times, being absolutely solid and without holes or spots that might
spoil it. Since that chapel, then, is built on the inside all of that
most beautiful stone, and wrought by excellent masters of carving, and
put together very well, it is considered that among works of that kind
there is at the present day no other more beautiful in all Italy. For
Michele made the whole work curve in a circle in such a manner, that
three altars which are in it, with their pediments and cornices, and
likewise the space of the door, all turn in a perfect round, almost
after the likeness of the entrances that Filippo Brunelleschi made in
the Chapels of the Temple of the Angeli in Florence; which is a very
difficult thing to do. Michele then made therein a gallery over the
first range of columns, which circles right round the chapel, and
there are to be seen most beautiful carvings in the form of columns,
capitals, foliage, grotesques, little pilasters, and other things,
carved with incredible diligence. The door of that chapel he made
quadrangular on the outer side, of the Corinthian Order and very
beautiful, and similar to an ancient door that he saw, so he used to
say, in some place at Rome. It is true, indeed, that this work, after
having been left unfinished by Michele, I know not for what reason,
was given, either from avarice or from lack of judgment, to certain
others to be finished, who spoiled it, to the infinite vexation of
Michele, who in his lifetime saw it ruined before his very eyes,
without being able to prevent it; wherefore he used to complain at
times to his friends, but only on this account, that he had not
thousands of ducats wherewith to buy it from the avaricious hands of a
woman who, by spending less than she was able, was shamefully spoiling

A work of Michele's was the design of the round Temple of the Madonna
di Campagna, near Verona, which was very beautiful, although the
parsimony, weakness, and little judgment of the Wardens of that
building have since disfigured it in many parts; and even worse would
they have done, if Bernardino Brugnuoli, a kinsman of Michele, had not
had charge of it and made a complete model, after which the building
of that temple, as well as of many others, is now being carried
forward. For the Friars of S. Maria in Organo, or rather, the Monks of
Monte Oliveto in Verona, he made a design of the Corinthian Order,
which was most beautiful, for the façade of their church. This
façade, after being carried to a certain height by Paolo San Michele,
was left not long since in that condition, on account of many expenses
that were incurred by those monks in other matters, but even more by
reason of the death of him who had begun it, Don Cipriano of Verona, a
man of saintly life and of much authority in that Order, of which he
was twice General. At S. Giorgio in Verona, a convent of the Regular
Priests of S. Giorgio in Alega, the same Michele directed the building
of the cupola of that church, which was a very beautiful work, and
succeeded against the expectations of many who did not think that the
structure would ever remain standing, on account of the weakness of
its supports; but these were then so strengthened by Michele, that
there is no longer anything to fear. In the same convent he made the
design and laid the foundations of a very beautiful campanile of hewn
stone, partly tufa and partly pietra viva, which was carried well
forward by him, and is now being continued by the above-mentioned
Bernardino, his nephew, who is employed in carrying it to completion.

Monsignor Luigi Lippomani, Bishop of Verona, having resolved to carry
to completion the campanile of his church, which had been begun a
hundred years before, caused a design for this to be made by Michele,
who did it very beautifully, taking into consideration the preserving
of the old part and the expense that the Bishop was able to incur. But
a certain Messer Domenico Porzio, a Roman, and his vicar, a person
with little knowledge of building, although otherwise a worthy man,
allowed himself to be imposed upon by one who also knew little about
it, and gave him the charge of carrying on that fabric. Whereupon that
person built it of unprepared stone from the mountains, and made the
stairs in the thickness of the walls, doing all this in such a manner,
that everyone who was even slightly conversant with architecture
foretold that which afterwards happened--namely, that the structure
would not remain standing. And, among others, the very reverend Fra
Marco de' Medici of Verona, who, in addition to his other more serious
studies, has always delighted in architecture, as he still does,
predicted what would happen to such a building; but he was answered
thus: "Fra Marco counts for much in his own profession of letters,
philosophy, and theology, wherein he is public lecturer, but in
architecture he does not fish so deeply as to command belief."
Finally, that campanile, having risen to the level where the bells
were to be, opened out in four parts in such a manner, that, after
having spent many thousands of crowns in building it, they had to give
three hundred crowns to the builders to throw it to the ground, lest
it should fall by itself, as it would have done in a few days, and
destroy everything all around. And it is only right that this should
happen to those who desert good and eminent masters, and mix
themselves up with bunglers. The above-named Monsignor Luigi having
afterwards been chosen Bishop of Bergamo, Monsignor Agostino Lippomani
was made Bishop of Verona in his place, and he commissioned Michele to
reconstruct almost anew the model of that campanile, and to set to
work. And after him, according to the same model, Monsignor Girolamo
Trivisani, a friar of S. Dominic, who succeeded the last-named
Lippomani in the bishopric, has caused that work to be continued,
which is now progressing passing slowly. The model is very beautiful,
and the stairs are being accommodated within the tower in such a
manner, that the fabric remains stable and very strong.

For the noble Counts della Torre of Verona, Michele built a very
beautiful chapel in the manner of a round temple, with the altar in
the centre, at their villa of Fumane. And in the Church of the Santo,
at Padua, a very handsome tomb was built under his direction for
Messer Alessandro Contarini, Procurator of S. Mark, who had been
Proveditor to the Venetian forces; in which tomb it would seem that
Michele sought to show in what manner such works should be done,
departing from a kind of commonplace method which, in his opinion, had
in it more of the altar or chapel than of the tomb. This work, which
is very rich in ornamentation, solid in composition, and warlike in
character, has as ornaments a Thetis and two prisoners by the hand of
Alessandro Vittoria, which are held to be good figures, and a head, or
rather, effigy from life of the above-named lord, with armour on the
breast, executed in marble by Danese da Carrara. There are, in
addition, other ornaments in abundance; prisoners, trophies, spoils of
war, and others, of which there is no need to make mention.

In Venice he made the model of the Convent of the Nuns of S. Biagio
Catoldo, which was much extolled. It was then resolved at Verona to
rebuild the Lazzaretto, a dwelling, or rather, hospital, which serves
for the sick in times of plague, the old one having been destroyed
together with other edifices that had been in the suburbs; and Michele
was commissioned to make a design for this (which proved to be
beautiful beyond all expectations), to the end that it might be put
into execution on a spot near the river, at some distance from the
city and beyond the esplanade. But this design, truly most beautiful
and excellently well considered in every part, which is now in the
possession of the heirs of Luigi Brugnuoli, Michele's nephew, was not
carried completely into execution by certain persons, by reason of
their little judgment and poverty of spirit, but much restricted,
curtailed, and reduced to mean proportions by those persons, who used
the authority that they had received in the matter from the public in
disfiguring the work, in consequence of the untimely death of some
gentlemen who were in charge of it at the beginning, and who had a
greatness of spirit equal to their nobility of blood.

A work of Michele's, likewise, was the very beautiful palace that the
noble Counts of Canossa have at Verona, which was built at the
commission of the very reverend Monsignor di Bajus, who once was Count
Lodovico Canossa, a man so much celebrated by all the writers of his
time. For the same Monsignor Michele built another magnificent palace
in the Villa of Grezzano, in the Veronese territory. Under the
direction of the same architect the façade of the Counts Bevilacqua
was reconstructed, and all the apartments were restored in the castle
of those lords, called La Bevilacqua. And at Verona, likewise, he
built the house and façade of the Lavezzoli, which were much extolled.

In Venice he built from the foundations the very rich and magnificent
palace of the Cornaro family, near S. Polo, and restored another
palace, also of the Cornaro family, which is by S. Benedetto
all'Albore, for M. Giovanni Cornaro, of whom Michele was much the
friend; and this led to Giorgio Vasari painting nine pictures in oils
for the ceiling of a magnificent apartment, all adorned with woodwork
carved and richly overlaid with gold, in that palace. In like manner,
he restored the house of the Bragadini, opposite to S. Marina, and
made it very commodious and ornate. And in the same city he founded
and raised above the ground after a model of his own, at incredible
cost, the marvellous palace of the most noble M. Girolamo Grimani,
near S. Luca, on the Grand Canal; but Michele, being overtaken by
death, was not able to carry it to completion himself, and the other
architects chosen in his stead by that nobleman altered his design and
model in many parts.

Near Castelfranco, on the borders of the territories of Padua and
Treviso, there was built under the direction of the same Michele the
most famous Palace of the Soranzi, called by that family La Soranza;
which palace is held to be, for a country residence, the most
beautiful and the most commodious that had been built in those parts
up to that time. He also built the Casa Cornara at Piombino, in that
territory, and so many other private houses, that it would make too
long a story to attempt to speak of them all; let it be enough to have
made mention of the most important. I will not, indeed, refrain from
recording that he made most beautiful gates for two palaces, one of
which was that of the Rectors and of the Captain, and the other that
of the Palazzo del Podestà, both in Verona and worthy of the highest
praise, although the latter, which is in the Ionic Order, with double
columns and very ornate intercolumniations, and some Victories at the
angles, has a somewhat dwarfed appearance by reason of the lowness of
the site where it stands, particularly because it is without pedestals
and very wide on account of the double columns; but such was the wish
of Messer Giovanni Delfini, who had it made.

While Michele was enjoying a tranquil ease in his native place, and
the reputation and renown that his honourable labours had brought him,
there came to him a piece of news that so afflicted him, that it
finished the course of his life. But to the end that the whole may be
better understood, and that all the beautiful works of the San Michele
family may be made known in this Life, I shall say something of Gian
Girolamo, the kinsman of Michele.

[Illustration: PALAZZO GRIMANI

(_After =Michele San Michele=. Venice_)


This Gian Girolamo, then, was the son of Paolo, the cousin of
Michele, and, being a young man of very beautiful genius, was
instructed with such diligence by Michele in the matters of
architecture, and so beloved by him, that he would always have the
young man with him in all undertakings of importance, and particularly
in fortifications. Having therefore become in a short time so
excellent, with the help of such a master, that the most difficult
work of fortification could be entrusted to him, in which manner of
architecture he took particular delight, his ability was recognized by
the Signori of Venice, and he was placed with a good salary among the
number of their architects, although he was very young, and then sent
now to one place and now to another, to inspect and restore the
fortresses of their dominion, and at times to carry into execution the
designs of his kinsman Michele. And, among other places, he took part
with much judgment and labour in the fortification of Zara, and in the
marvellous fortress of S. Niccolò at Sebenico, placed, as has been
mentioned, at the mouth of the port; which fortress, erected by him
from the very foundations, is held to be, for a private fortress, one
of the strongest and best designed that there are to be seen. He also
reconstructed after his own designs, with the advice of his kinsman,
the great fortress of Corfu, which is considered the key of Italy on
that side. In this fortress, I say, Gian Girolamo rebuilt the two
great towers that face towards the land, making them much larger and
stronger than they were before, with open embrasures and platforms
that flank the ditch in the modern manner, after the invention of his
kinsman. He then caused the ditches to be made much wider than they
were before, and had a hill levelled, which, being near the fortress,
appeared to command it. But, besides the many other works that he did
there with great consideration, what gave most satisfaction was that
in one corner of the fortress he made a place of great size and
strength, in which in time of siege the people of that island can stay
in safety without any danger of being captured by the enemy.

On account of these works Gian Girolamo came into such credit with the
above-named Signori, that they ordained him a salary equal to that of
his kinsman, judging him to be not inferior to Michele, and even
superior in that work of fortification: which gave the greatest
contentment to San Michele, who saw his own art advancing in the
person of his relative in proportion as old age was taking away from
himself the power to go further. Gian Girolamo, besides his great
judgment in recognizing the nature of different sites, showed much
industry in having them represented by designs and models in relief,
insomuch that he enabled his patrons to see even the most minute
details of his fortifications in very beautiful models of wood that he
would cause to be made; which diligence pleased them vastly, for
without leaving Venice they saw every day how matters were proceeding
in the most distant parts of their State. In order that they might be
the more readily seen by everyone, these models were kept in the
Palazzo del Principe, in a place where the Signori could examine them
at their convenience; and to the end that Gian Girolamo might continue
to pursue that course, they not only reimbursed him the expenses that
he incurred in making the above-mentioned models, but also showed him
many other courtesies.

Gian Girolamo could have gone to serve many lords, with large
salaries, but he would never leave his Venetian Signori; nay, at the
advice of his father and his kinsman Michele, he took a wife in
Verona, a noble young woman of the Fracastoro family, with the
intention of always living in those parts. But he had been not more
than a few days with his beloved bride, who was called Madonna
Ortensia, when he was summoned by his patrons to Venice, and thence
sent in great haste to Cyprus to inspect every place in that island,
orders having been given to all the officials that they should provide
him with all that he might require for any purpose. Having then
arrived in that island, in three months Gian Girolamo went all round
it and diligently inspected everything, putting every detail into
writing and drawing, in order to be able to give an account of the
whole to his masters. But, while he was attending with too much care
and solicitude to his office, paying little regard to his own life, in
the burning heat which prevailed at that time in the island he fell
sick of a pestilential fever, which robbed him of life in six days;
although some said that he had been poisoned. However that may have
been, he died content in being in the service of his masters and
employed by them in works of importance, knowing that they had trusted
more in his fidelity and his skill in fortification than in those of
any other man. The moment that he fell sick, knowing that he was
dying, he gave all the drawings and writings that he had prepared on
the works in that island into the hands of the architect Luigi
Brugnuoli, his kinsman by marriage (who was then engaged in the
fortification of Famagosta, which is the key of that kingdom), to the
end that he might carry them to his masters.

When the news of Gian Girolamo's death arrived in Venice, there was
not one of the Senate who did not feel indescribable sorrow at the
loss of such a man, who had been so devoted to that Republic. Gian
Girolamo died at the age of forty-five, and received honourable burial
from his above-named kinsman in S. Niccolò at Famagosta. Then, having
returned to Venice, Brugnuoli presented Gian Girolamo's drawings and
writings; which done, he was sent to give completion to the
fortifications of Legnago, where he had spent many years in executing
the designs and models of his uncle. But he had not been long in that
place when he died, leaving two sons, who are men of passing good
ability in design and in the practice of architecture. Bernardino, the
elder, has now many undertakings on his hands, such as the building of
the campanile of the Duomo, that of S. Giorgio, and that of the church
called the Madonna di Campagna, in which and other works that he is
directing at Verona and other places, he is succeeding excellently
well; and particularly in the ornamental work of the principal chapel
of S. Giorgio at Verona, which is of the composite order, and such
that in size, design, and workmanship, the people of Verona declare
that they do not believe that there is one equal to it to be found in
Italy. This work, which follows the curve of the recess, is of the
Corinthian Order, with composite capitals and double columns in full
relief, and pilasters behind. In like manner, the frontispiece which
surmounts the whole also curves in very masterly fashion according to
the shape of the recess, and has all the ornaments which that Order
embraces. Wherefore Monsignor Barbaro, Patriarch-elect of Aquileia, a
man with a great knowledge of the profession, who has written of it,
on his return from the Council of Trent saw not without marvel all
that had been done in that work, and that which was being done every
day; and, after considering it several times, he had to say that he
had never seen the like, and that nothing better could be done. And
let this suffice as a proof of what may be expected from the genius of
Bernardino, who was born on the mother's side from the San Michele

But let us return to Michele, from whom we digressed, not without
reason, some little time back. He was struck by such grief at the
death of Gian Girolamo, in whom he saw the house of San Michele become
extinct, since his kinsman left no children, that, although he strove
to conquer or conceal it, in a few days he was overcome by a malignant
fever, to the inconsolable sorrow of his country and of his most
illustrious patrons. Michele died in the year 1559, and was buried in
S. Tommaso, a church of Carmelite Friars, where there is the ancient
burial-place of his forefathers; and at the present day Messer Niccolò
San Michele, a physician, has set his hand to erecting him an
honourable tomb, which is even now being carried into execution.

Michele was a man of most upright life, and most honourable in his
every action. He was a cheerful person, yet with an admixture of
seriousness. He feared God, and was very religious, insomuch that he
would never set himself to do anything in the morning without having
first heard Mass devoutly and said his prayers; and at the beginning
of any undertaking of importance, in the morning, before doing any
other thing, he would always have the Mass of the Holy Spirit or of
the Madonna solemnly chanted. He was very liberal, and so courteous
with his friends, that they were as much masters of his possessions as
he was himself. And I will not withhold a proof of his great loyalty
and goodness, which I believe few others know besides myself. When
Giorgio Vasari, of whom, as has been told, he was much the friend,
parted from him for the last time in Venice, Michele said to him: "I
would have you know, Messer Giorgio, that, when I was in my youth at
Monte Fiascone, I became enamoured, as fortune would have it, of the
wife of a stone-cutter, and received from her complaisance all that I
desired; but no one ever heard of it from me. Now, having heard that
the poor woman has been left a widow, with a daughter ready for a
husband, whom she says she conceived by me, I wish--although it may
well be that this is not true, and such is my belief--that you should
take to her these fifty crowns of gold and give them to her on my
part, for the love of God, to the end that she may use them for her
advantage and settle her daughter according to her station." Giorgio,
therefore, going to Rome, and arriving at Monte Fiascone, although the
good woman freely confessed to him that the girl was not the daughter
of Michele, insisted, in obedience to Michele's command, on paying her
the fifty crowns, which were as welcome to that poor woman as five
hundred would have been to another.

Michele, then, was courteous beyond the courtesy of any other man,
insomuch that he no sooner heard of the needs and desires of his
friends, than he sought to gratify them, even to the spending of his
life; nor did any person ever do him a service that was not repaid
many times over. Giorgio Vasari once made for him in Venice, with the
greatest diligence at his command, a large drawing in which the proud
Lucifer and his followers, vanquished by the Angel Michael, could be
seen raining headlong down from Heaven into the horrible depths of
Hell; and at that time Michele did not do anything but thank Giorgio
for it when he took leave of him. But not many days after, returning
to Arezzo, Giorgio found that San Michele had sent long before to his
mother, who lived at Arezzo, a quantity of presents beautiful and
honourable enough to be the gifts of a very rich nobleman, with a
letter in which he did her great honour for love of her son.

Many times the Signori of Venice offered to increase his salary, but
he refused, always praying that they should increase his kinsmen's
salaries instead of his own. In short, Michele was in his every action
so gentle, courteous, and loving, that he made himself rightly beloved
by innumerable lords; by Cardinal de' Medici, who became Pope Clement
VII, while he was in Rome; by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who became
Paul III; by the divine Michelagnolo Buonarroti; by Signor Francesco
Maria, Duke of Urbino; and by a vast number of noblemen and senators
of Venice. At Verona he was much the friend of Fra Marco de' Medici, a
man of great learning and infinite goodness, and of many others of
whom there is no need at present to make mention.

Now, in order not to have to turn back in a short time to speak of the
Veronese, taking the opportunity presented by the masters mentioned
above, I shall make mention in this place of some painters from that
country, who are still alive and worthy to be named, and by no means
to be passed over in silence. The first of these is Domenico del
Riccio, who has painted in fresco, mostly in chiaroscuro and partly in
colour, three façades of the house of Fiorio della Seta at Verona, on
the Ponte Nuovo--that is, the three that do not look out upon the
bridge, the house standing by itself. In one, over the river, are
battles of sea-monsters, in another the battles of the Centaurs and
many rivers, and in the third two pictures in colour. In the first of
these, which is over the door, is the Table of the Gods, and in the
other, over the river, is the fable of the nuptials between the
Benacus, called the Lake of Garda, and the Nymph Caris, in the person
of Garda, from whom is born the River Mincio, which in fact issues
from that lake. In the same house is a large frieze wherein are some
Triumphs in colour, executed in a beautiful and masterly manner. In
the house of Messer Pellegrino Ridolfi, also at Verona, the same
master painted the Coronation of the Emperor Charles V, and the scene
when, after being crowned in Bologna, he rides with the Pope through
the city in great pomp. In oils he has painted the principal
altar-piece of the church that the Duke of Mantua has built recently
near the Castello, in which is the Beheading and Martyrdom of S.
Barbara, painted with much diligence and judgment. And what moved the
Duke to have that altar-piece executed by Domenico was his having seen
and much liked his manner in an altar-piece that Domenico had painted
long before for the Chapel of S. Margherita in the Duomo of Mantua, in
competition with Paolino,[11] who painted that of S. Antonio, with
Paolo Farinato, who executed that of S. Martino, and with Battista del
Moro, who painted that of the Magdalene; all which four Veronese had
been summoned thither by Cardinal Ercole of Mantua, in order to adorn
that church, which had been reconstructed by him after the design of
Giulio Romano. Other works has Domenico executed in Verona, Vicenza,
and Venice, but it must suffice to have spoken of those named. He is
an honest and excellent craftsman, and, in addition to his painting,
he is a very fine musician, and one of the first in the most noble
Philharmonic Academy of Verona.

         [Footnote 11: Paolo Caliari or Veronese.]

Not inferior to him will be his son Felice, who, although still young,
has proved himself a painter out of the ordinary in an altar-piece
that he has executed for the Church of the Trinita, in which are the
Madonna and six other Saints, all of the size of life. Nor is this any
marvel, for the young man learned his art in Florence, living in the
house of Bernardo Canigiani, a Florentine gentleman and a crony of his
father Domenico.

In the same Verona, also, lives Bernardino, called L'India, who,
besides many other works, has painted the Fable of Psyche in most
beautiful figures on the ceiling of a chamber in the house of Count
Marc'Antonio del Tiene. And he has painted another chamber, with
beautiful inventions and a lovely manner of painting, for Count
Girolamo of Canossa.

A much extolled painter, also, is Eliodoro Forbicini, a young man of
most beautiful genius and of considerable skill in every manner of
painting, but particularly in making grotesques, as may be seen in the
two chambers mentioned above and in other places where he has worked.

In like manner Battista da Verona, who is called thus, and not
otherwise, out of his own country, after having learned the first
rudiments of painting from an uncle at Verona, placed himself with the
excellent Tiziano in Venice, under whom he has become a very good
painter. When a young man, this Battista painted in company with
Paolino a hall in the Palace of the Paymaster and Assessor Portesco at
Tiene in the territory of Vicenza; where they executed a vast number
of figures, which acquired credit and repute for both the one and the
other. With the same Paolino he executed many works in fresco in the
Palace of the Soranza at Castelfranco, both having been sent to work
there by Michele San Michele, who loved them as his sons. And with
him, also, he painted the façade of the house of M. Antonio Cappello,
which is on the Grand Canal in Venice; and then, still together, they
painted the ceiling, or rather, soffit in the Hall of the Council of
Ten, dividing the pictures between them. Not long afterwards, having
been summoned to Vicenza, Battista executed many works there, both
within and around the city; and recently he has painted the façade of
the Monte della Pietà, wherein he has executed an infinite number of
nude figures in various attitudes, larger than life, with very good
design, and all in so few months, that it has been a marvel. And if he
has done so much at so early an age (for he is not yet past thirty),
everyone may imagine what may be expected of him in the course of his

A Veronese, likewise, is one Paolino, a painter who is in very good
repute in Venice at the present day, in that, although he is not yet
more than thirty years of age, he has executed many works worthy of
praise. This master, who was born at Verona to a stone-cutter, or, as
they say in those parts, a stone-hewer, after having learned the
rudiments of painting from Giovanni Caroto of Verona, painted in
fresco, in company with the above-named Battista, the hall of the
Paymaster and Assessor Portesco at Tiene, in the Vicentino; and
afterwards at the Soranza, with the same companion, many works
executed with good design and judgment and a beautiful manner. At
Masiera, near Asolo in the Trevisano, he has painted the very
beautiful house of Signor Daniello Barbaro, Patriarch-elect of
Aquileia. At Verona, for the Refectory of S. Nazzaro, a monastery of
Black Friars, he has painted in a large picture on canvas the supper
that Simon the Leper gave to Our Lord, when the woman of sin threw
herself at His feet, with many figures, portraits from life, and very
rare perspective-views; and under the table are two dogs so beautiful
that they appear real and alive, and further away certain cripples
executed excellently well.


(_After the painting by =Paolo Veronese [Paolino _or_ Caliari]=. Venice:
Accademia, 203_)


By the hand of Paolino, in the Hall of the Council of Ten at Venice,
in an oval that is larger than certain others that are there, placed,
as the principal one, in the centre of the ceiling, is a Jove who is
driving away the Vices, in order to signify that that supreme and
absolute tribunal drives away vice and chastises wicked and vicious
men. The same master painted the soffit, or rather, ceiling of the
Church of S. Sebastiano, which is a very rare work, and the
altar-piece of the principal chapel, together with some pictures that
serve to adorn it, and likewise the doors of the organ; which are all
pictures truly worthy of the highest praise. In the Hall of the Grand
Council he painted a large picture of Frederick Barbarossa presenting
himself to the Pope, with a good number of figures varied in their
costumes and vestments, all most beautiful and representing worthily
the Court of a Pope and an Emperor, and also a Venetian Senate, with
many noblemen and Senators of that Republic, portrayed from life. In
short, this work is such in its grandeur and design, and in the beauty
and variety of the attitudes, that it is rightly extolled by everyone.
After this scene, Paolino painted the ceilings of certain chambers,
which are used by that Council of Ten, with figures in oils, which are
much foreshortened and very rare.

In like manner, he painted in fresco the façade of the house of a
merchant, which was a very beautiful work, on the road from S.
Maurizio to S. Moisè; but the wind from the sea is little by little
destroying it. For Camillo Trevisani, at Murano, he painted a loggia
and an apartment in fresco, which were much extolled. And in S.
Giorgio Maggiore at Venice, at the head of a large apartment, he
painted in oils the Marriage of Cana in Galilee, which was a
marvellous work for its grandeur, the number of figures, the variety
of costumes, and the invention; and, if I remember right, there are to
be seen in it more than one hundred and fifty heads, all varied and
executed with great diligence.

The same Paolino was commissioned by the Procurators of S. Mark to
paint certain angular medallions that are in the ceiling of the Nicene
Library, which was left to the Signoria by Cardinal Bessarion, with a
vast treasure of Greek books. Now the above-named lords, when they had
the painting of that library begun, promised a prize of honour, in
addition to the ordinary payment, to him who should acquit himself
best in painting it; and the pictures were divided among the best
painters that there were at that time in Venice. When the work was
finished and the pictures painted had been very well considered, a
chain of gold was placed round the neck of Paolino, he being the man
who was judged to have done better than all the others. The picture
that gave him the victory and the prize of honour was that wherein he
painted Music, in which are depicted three very beautiful young women,
one of whom, the most beautiful, is playing a great bass-viol, looking
down at the fingerboard of the instrument, the attitude of her person
showing that her ear and her voice are fixed intently on the sound;
and of the other two, one is playing a lute, and the other singing
from a book. Near these women is a Cupid without wings, who is playing
a harpsichord, signifying that Love is born from Music, or rather,
that Love is always in company with Music; and, because he never parts
from her, Paolino made him without wings. In the same picture he
painted Pan, the God, according to the poets, of shepherds, with
certain pipes made of the bark of trees, as it were consecrated to him
as votive offerings by shepherds who have been victorious in playing
them. Two other pictures Paolino painted in the same place; in one is
Arithmetic, with certain Philosophers dressed in the ancient manner,
and in the other is Honour, seated on a throne, to whom sacrifices are
being offered and royal crowns presented. But, seeing that this young
man is at this very moment at the height of his activity and not yet
in his thirty-second year, I shall say nothing more of him for the


(_After the painting by =Paolo Veronese [Paolino _or_ Caliari]=. Venice:
Ducal Palace_)


Likewise a Veronese is Paolo Farinato, an able painter, who, after
having been a disciple of Niccolò Ursino,[12] has executed many works
at Verona. The most important are a hall in the house of the
Fumanelli, which he filled with various scenes in fresco-colours at
the desire of Messer Antonio, a gentleman of that family, most famous
as physician over all Europe, and two very large pictures in the
principal chapel of S. Maria in Organo. In one of these is the story
of the Innocents, and in the other is the scene when the Emperor
Constantine causes a number of children to be brought before him,
intending to kill them and to bathe in their blood, in order to cure
himself of his leprosy. Then in the recess of that chapel are two
pictures, large, but smaller than the others, in one of which is
Christ receiving S. Peter, who is walking towards Him on the water,
and in the other the dinner that S. Gregory gives to certain poor men.
In all these works, which are much to be extolled, is a vast number
of figures, executed with good design, study, and diligence. By the
hand of the same master is an altar-picture of S. Martino that was
placed in the Duomo of Mantua, which he executed in competition with
others his compatriots, as has just been related.

         [Footnote 12: Giolfino.]

And let this be the end of the Lives of the excellent Michele San
Michele and of those other able men of Verona, so truly worthy of all
praise on account of their excellence in the arts and their great



(_Siena: S. Domenico. Fresco_)]



If men were to recognize their position when Fortune presents to them
the opportunity to become rich, obtaining for them the favour of great
persons, and were to exert themselves in their youth to make their
merit equal to their good fortune, marvellous results would be seen to
issue from their actions; whereas very often the contrary is seen to
happen, for the reason that, even as it is true that he who trusts
only in Fortune generally finds himself deceived, so it is very clear,
as experience teaches us every day, that merit alone, likewise, if not
accompanied by Fortune, does not do great things. If Giovanni Antonio
of Vercelli, even as he had good fortune, had possessed an equal dower
of merit, as he could have done if he had studied, he would not have
been reduced to madness and miserable want in old age at the end of
his life, which was always eccentric and beastly.

Now Giovanni Antonio was taken to Siena by some merchants, agents of
the Spannocchi family, and his good fortune, or perhaps his bad
fortune, would have it that, not finding any competition for a time in
that city, he should work there alone; which, although it was some
advantage to him, was in the end injurious, for the reason that he
went to sleep, as it were, and never studied, but did most of his work
by rule of thumb. And, if he did study a little, it was only in
drawing the works of Jacopo della Fonte, which were much esteemed, and
in little else. In the beginning he executed many portraits from life
with that glowing manner of colouring which he had brought from
Lombardy, and he thus made many friendships in Siena, more because
that people is very kindly disposed towards strangers than because he
was a good painter; and, besides this, he was a gay and licentious
man, keeping others entertained and amused with his manner of living,
which was far from creditable. In which life, since he always had
about him boys and beardless youths, whom he loved more than was
decent, he acquired the by-name of Sodoma; and in this name, far from
taking umbrage or offence, he used to glory, writing about it songs
and verses in terza rima, and singing them to the lute with no little
facility. He delighted, in addition, to have about the house many
kinds of extraordinary animals; badgers, squirrels, apes, marmosets,
dwarf asses, horses, barbs for running races, little horses from Elba,
jays, dwarf fowls, Indian turtle-doves, and other suchlike animals, as
many as he could lay his hands on. But, besides all these beasts, he
had a raven, which had learned from him to speak so well, that in some
things it imitated exactly the voice of Giovanni Antonio, and
particularly in answering to anyone who knocked at the door, doing
this so excellently that it seemed like Giovanni Antonio himself, as
all the people of Siena know very well. In like manner, the other
animals were so tame that they always flocked round anybody in the
house, playing the strangest pranks and the maddest tricks in the
world, insomuch that the man's house looked like a real Noah's Ark.


(_After the fresco by =Giovanni Antonio Bazzi [Il Sodoma]=. Monte
Oliveto Maggiore_)


Now this manner of living and his eccentric ways, with his works and
pictures, wherein he did indeed achieve something of the good, caused
him to have such a name among the people of Siena--that is, among the
populace and the common herd, for the people of quality knew him
better--that he was held by many to be a great man. Whereupon, Fra
Domenico da Lecco, a Lombard, having been made General of the Monks of
Monte Oliveto, Sodoma went to visit him at Monte Oliveto di Chiusuri,
the principal seat of that Order, distant fifteen miles from Siena;
and he so contrived with his persuasive words, that he was
commissioned to finish the stories of the life of S. Benedict, part of
which had been executed on a wall by Luca Signorelli of Cortona. This
work he finished for a small enough price, besides the expenses that
he incurred, and those of certain lads and colour-grinders who
assisted him; nor would it be possible to describe the amusement
that he gave while he was labouring at that place to those fathers,
who called him Il Mattaccio,[13] in the mad pranks that he played.

         [Footnote 13: Madcap or buffoon.]


(_After the fresco by =Giovanni Antonio Bazzi [Il Sodoma]=. Monte
Oliveto Maggiore_)


But to return to the work. Having executed there certain scenes, which
he hurried over mechanically and without diligence, and the General
complaining of this, Mattaccio said that he worked as he felt
inclined, and that his brush danced to the tune of money, so that, if
the General consented to spend more, he was confident that he could do
much better. The General having therefore promised that he would pay
him better for the future, Giovanni Antonio painted three scenes,
which still remained to be executed in the corners, with so much more
study and diligence than he had shown in the others, that they proved
to be much finer. In one of these is S. Benedict departing from Norcia
and from his father and mother, in order to go to study in Rome; in
the second, S. Mauro and S. Placido as children, presented to him and
offered to God by their fathers; and in the third, the Goths burning
Monte Cassino. For the last, in order to do despite to the General and
the Monks, he painted the story of the priest Fiorenzo, the enemy of
S. Benedict, bringing many loose women to dance and sing around the
monastery of that holy man, in order to tempt the purity of those
fathers. In this scene Sodoma, who was as shameless in his painting as
in his other actions, painted a dance of nude women, altogether lewd
and shameful; and, since he would not have been allowed to do it, as
long as he was at work he would never let any of the monks see it.
Wherefore, when the scene was uncovered, the General wished by hook or
by crook to throw it to the ground and utterly destroy it; but
Mattaccio, after much foolish talk, seeing that father in anger,
clothed all the naked women in that work, which is one of the best
that are there. Under each of these scenes he painted two medallions,
and in each medallion a friar, to represent all the Generals who had
ruled that congregation. And, since he had not their portraits from
life, Mattaccio did most of the heads from fancy, and in some he
portrayed old friars who were in the monastery at that time, and in
the end he came to paint the head of the above-named Fra Domenico da
Lecco, who was their General in those days, as has been related, and
was causing him to execute that work. But, after some of those heads
had lost the eyes, and others had been damaged, Fra Antonio
Bentivogli, the Bolognese, caused them all to be removed, for good

Now, while Mattaccio was executing these scenes, there had gone
thither, to assume the habit of a monk, a Milanese nobleman, who had a
yellow cloak trimmed with black cords, such as was worn at that time;
and, after he had put on the monk's habit, the General gave that cloak
to Mattaccio, who, by means of a mirror, painted a portrait of himself
with it on his back in one of the scenes, wherein S. Benedict, still
almost a child, miraculously puts together and mends the corn-measure,
or rather, tub, of his nurse, which she had broken. At the feet of the
portrait he painted a raven, an ape, and others of his animals. This
work finished, he painted the story of the five loaves and two fishes,
with other figures, in the Refectory of the Monastery of S. Anna, a
seat of the same Order, distant five miles from Monte Oliveto; which
work completed, he returned to Siena. There, at the Postierla, he
painted in fresco the façade of the house of M. Agostino de' Bardi of
Siena, in which were some things worthy of praise, but for the most
part they have been consumed by time and the weather.


(_Detail, after the fresco by =Giovanni Antonio Bazzi [Il Sodoma]=.
Rome: Villa Farnesina_)


During this time there arrived in Siena Agostino Chigi, a very rich
and famous merchant of that city, and he became acquainted with
Giovanni Antonio, both on account of his follies and because he had
the name of a good painter. Wherefore he took him in his company to
Rome, where Pope Julius II was then causing the Papal apartments in
the Palace of the Vatican, which Pope Nicholas V had formerly erected,
to be painted; and Chigi so went to work with the Pope, that some
painting was given also to Sodoma. Now Pietro Perugino, who was
painting the ceiling of an apartment that is beside the Borgia Tower,
was working at his ease, like the old man that he was, and was not
able to set his hand to anything else, as he had been at first
commanded to do: and there was given to Giovanni Antonio to paint
another apartment, which is beside the one that Perugino was painting.
Having therefore set his hand to it, he made the ornamentation of that
ceiling with cornices, foliage, and friezes; and then, in some large
medallions, he executed certain passing good scenes in fresco. But
this animal, devoting his attention to his beasts and his follies,
would not press the work forward; and therefore, after Raffaello da
Urbino had been brought to Rome by the architect Bramante, and it had
become known to the Pope how much he surpassed the others, his
Holiness ordained that neither Perugino nor Giovanni Antonio should
work any more in the above-named apartments; indeed, that everything
should be thrown to the ground. But Raffaello, who was goodness and
modesty in person, left standing all that had been done by Perugino,
who had once been his master; and of Mattaccio's he destroyed nothing
save the inner work and the figures of the medallions and scenes,
leaving the friezes and the other ornaments, which are still round the
figures that Raffaello painted there, which were Justice, Universal
Knowledge, Poetry, and Theology.

But Agostino, who was a gentleman, without paying any attention to the
affront that Giovanni Antonio had received, commissioned him to paint
in one of his principal apartments, which opens into the great hall in
his Palace in the Trastevere, the story of Alexander going to sleep
with Roxana. In that work, besides other figures, he painted a good
number of Loves, some of whom are unfastening Alexander's cuirass,
some are drawing off his boots, or rather, buskins, some are removing
his helmet and dress, and putting them away; others scattering flowers
over the bed, and others, again, doing other suchlike offices. Near
the chimney-piece he painted a Vulcan forging arrows, which was held
at that time to be a passing good and praiseworthy work; and if
Mattaccio, who had beautiful gifts and was much assisted by Nature,
had given his attention, after that reversal of fortune, to his
studies, as any other man would have done, he would have made very
great proficience. But he had his mind always set on his amusements,
and he worked by caprice, caring for nothing so earnestly as for
dressing in pompous fashion, wearing doublets of brocade, cloaks all
adorned with cloth of gold, the richest caps, necklaces, and other
suchlike fripperies only fit for clowns and charlatans; in which
things Agostino, who liked the man's humour, found the greatest
amusement in the world.

Julius II having then come to his death, and Leo X having been
elected, who took pleasure in eccentric and light-headed figures of
fun such as our painter was, Mattaccio felt the greatest possible joy,
particularly because he had an ill-will against Julius, who had done
him that affront, wherefore, having set to work in order to make
himself known to the new Pontiff, he painted in a picture the Roman
Lucrece, nude, who was stabbing herself with a dagger; and, since
Fortune takes care of madmen and sometimes aids the thoughtless, he
succeeded in executing a most beautiful female body, and a head that
was breathing. Which work finished, at the instance of Agostino Chigi,
who was on terms of strait service with the Pope, he presented it to
his Holiness, by whom he was made a Chevalier and rewarded for so
beautiful a picture. Whereupon Giovanni Antonio, believing that he had
become a great man, began to be disinclined to work any more, save
when he was driven by necessity. But, after Agostino had gone on some
business to Siena, taking Giovanni Antonio with him, while staying
there he was forced, being a Chevalier without an income, to set
himself to painting; and so he painted an altar-piece containing a
Christ taken down from the Cross, on the ground Our Lady in a swoon,
and a man in armour who, having his back turned, shows his front
reflected in a helmet that is on the ground, bright as a mirror. This
work, which was held to be, as it is, one of the best that he ever
executed, was placed in S. Francesco, on the right hand as one enters
the church. Then in the cloister that is beside the above-named
church, he painted in fresco Christ scourged at the Column, with many
Jews around Pilate, and with a range of columns drawn in perspective
after the manner of wing-walls; in which work Giovanni Antonio made a
portrait of himself without any beard--that is, shaven--and with the
hair long, as it was worn at that time.

Not long afterwards he executed some pictures for Signor Jacopo VI of
Piombino, and, while living with him at that place, some other works
on canvas. Wherefore by his means, besides many courtesies and
presents that he received from him, Giovanni Antonio obtained from his
island of Elba many little animals such as that island produces, all
of which he took to Siena.

[Illustration: S. SEBASTIAN

(_After the painting by =Giovanni Antonio [Il Sodoma]=. Florence:
Uffizi, 1279_)


Arriving next in Florence, a monk of the Brandolini family, Abbot of
the Monastery of Monte Oliveto, which is without the Porta a S.
Friano, caused him to paint some pictures in fresco on the wall of the
refectory; but since, like a careless fellow, he did them without
study, they proved to be such that he was derided and mocked at for
his follies by those who were expecting that he would do some
extraordinary work. Now, while he was engaged on that work, having
taken a Barbary horse with him to Florence, he set it to run in the
race of S. Barnaba; and, as fortune would have it, the horse ran so
much better than the others, that it won. Whereupon, the boys having,
as is the custom, to call out the name or by-name of the owner of the
horse that had won, after the running of the race and the fanfare of
trumpets, Giovanni Antonio was asked what name they were to call out;
and, after he had replied, "Sodoma, Sodoma," the boys called out that
name. But some honest old men, having heard that filthy name, began to
protest against it and to say, "What filthy thing is this, and what
ribaldry, that so vile a name should be cried through our city?"
Insomuch that, a clamour arising, poor Sodoma came within an ace of
being stoned by the boys and the populace, with his horse and the ape
that he had with him on the crupper. Having in the space of many years
got together many prizes, won in the same way by his horses, he took
the greatest pride in the world in them, and showed them to all who
came into his house; and very often he made a show of them at his

But to return to his works: he painted for the Company of S. Bastiano
in Camollia, beyond the Church of the Umiliati, on a banner of cloth
which is carried in processions, in oils, a nude S. Sebastian, bound
to a tree, who is standing on the right leg, with the left in
foreshortening, and raises the head towards an Angel who is placing a
crown upon it. This work is truly beautiful, and much to be praised.
On the reverse side is Our Lady with the Child in her arms, and below
her are S. Gismondo, S. Rocco, and some Flagellants kneeling on the
ground. It is said that some merchants of Lucca offered to give three
hundred crowns of gold to the men of that Company for that picture,
but did not obtain it, because the others did not wish to deprive
their Company and the city of so rare a painting. And, in truth, in
certain works--whether it was study, or good fortune, or
chance--Sodoma acquitted himself very well; but of such he did very
few. In the Sacristy of the Friars of the Carmine is a picture by the
hand of the same master, wherein is a very beautiful Nativity of Our
Lady, with some nurses; and on the corner near the Piazza de' Tolomei
he painted in fresco, for the Guild of Shoemakers, a Madonna with the
Child in her arms, S. John, S. Francis, S. Rocco, and S. Crispino, the
Patron Saint of the men of that Guild, who has a shoe in his hand. In
the heads of these figures, and in all the rest, Giovanni Antonio
acquitted himself very well.

In the Company of S. Bernardino of Siena, beside the Church of S.
Francesco, he executed some scenes in fresco in competition with
Girolamo del Pacchia, a Sienese painter, and Domenico Beccafumi--namely,
the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple, when she goes to visit S.
Elizabeth, her Assumption, and when she is crowned in Heaven. In the
angles of the same Company he painted a Saint in episcopal robes, S.
Louis, and S. Anthony of Padua; but the best figure of all is a S.
Francis, who, standing on his feet and raising his head, is gazing at a
little Angel, who appears to be in the act of speaking to him; the head
of which S. Francis is truly marvellous. In the Palazzo de' Signori at
Siena, likewise, in a hall, he painted some little tabernacles full of
columns and little children, with other ornaments; and within these
tabernacles are various figures. In one is S. Vittorio armed in the
ancient fashion, with the sword in his hand; near him, in the same
manner, is S. Ansano, who is baptizing certain persons; in another is S.
Benedict; and all are very beautiful. In the lower part of that Palace,
where salt is sold, he painted a Christ who is returning to life, with
some soldiers about the Sepulchre, and two little Angels, held to be
passing beautiful in the heads. Farther on, over a door, is a Madonna
with the Child in her arms, painted by him in fresco, and two Saints.

[Illustration: S. ANSANO

(_After the fresco by =Giovanni Antonio Bazzi [Il Sodoma]=. Siena:
Palazzo Pubblico_)


In S. Spirito he painted the Chapel of S. Jacopo, which he did at the
commission of the men of the Spanish colony, who have their place of
burial there; depicting there an image of the Madonna after the
ancient manner, with S. Nicholas of Tolentino on the right hand, and,
on the left, the Archangel S. Michael, who is slaying Lucifer. Above
these, in a lunette, he painted Our Lady placing the sacerdotal
habit upon a Saint, with some Angels around. Over all these figures,
which are in oils on panel, there is painted in fresco, in the
semicircle of the vaulting, a S. James in armour on a galloping horse,
who has grasped his sword with a fiery gesture, and below him are many
Turks, dead and wounded. Below all this, on the sides of the altar,
are painted in fresco S. Anthony the Abbot and a nude S. Sebastian at
the Column, which are held to be passing good works.

[Illustration: S. FRANCIS

(_After the fresco by =Giovanni Antonio Bazzi [Il Sodoma]=. Siena: S.
Bernardino, Oratory_)


In the Duomo of the same city, on the right hand as one enters the
church, there is upon an altar a picture in oils by his hand, in which
there are Our Lady with the Child on her knee, S. Joseph on one side,
and S. Calixtus on the other; which work is likewise held to be very
beautiful, because it is evident that in colouring it Sodoma showed
much more diligence than he used to devote to his works. He also
painted for the Company of the Trinity a bier for carrying the dead to
burial, which was very beautiful; and he executed another for the
Company of Death, which is held to be the most beautiful in Siena; and
I believe that the latter is the finest that there is to be seen, for,
besides that it is indeed much to be extolled, it is very seldom that
such works are executed at much cost or with much diligence. In the
Church of S. Domenico, in the Chapel of S. Caterina da Siena, where
there is in a tabernacle the head of that Saint, enclosed in one of
silver, Giovanni Antonio painted two scenes, which are one on either
side of that tabernacle. In one, on the right hand, is that Saint
when, having received the Stigmata from Jesus Christ, who is in the
air, she lies half-dead in the arms of two of her sisters, who are
supporting her; of which work Baldassarre Peruzzi, the painter of
Siena, after considering it, said that he had never seen anyone
represent better the expression of persons fainting and half-dead, or
with more similitude to the reality, than Giovanni Antonio had
contrived to do. And in truth it is so, as may be seen, apart from the
work itself, from the design by Sodoma's own hand which I have in my
book of drawings. On the left hand, in the other picture, is the scene
when the Angel of God carries to the same Saint the Host of the most
Holy Communion, and she, raising her head to Heaven, sees Jesus
Christ and Mary the Virgin, while two of her sisters, her companions,
stand behind her. In another scene, which is on the wall on the right
hand, is painted the story of a criminal, who, going to be beheaded,
would not be converted or commend himself to God, despairing of His
mercy; when, the above-named Saint praying for him on her knees, her
prayers were so acceptable to the goodness of God, that, when the
felon's head was cut off, his soul was seen ascending to Heaven; such
power with the mercy of God have the prayers of those saintly persons
who are in His grace. In this scene is a very great number of figures,
as to which no one should marvel if they are not of the highest
perfection, for the reason that I have heard as a fact that Giovanni
Antonio had sunk to such a pitch in his negligence and slothfulness,
that he would make neither designs nor cartoons when he had any work
of that kind to execute, but would attack the work by designing it
with the brush directly on the plaster, which was a strange thing; in
which method it is evident that this scene was executed by him. The
same master also painted the arch in front of that chapel, making
therein a God the Father. The other scenes in that chapel were not
finished by him, partly from his own fault, he not choosing to work
save by caprice, and partly because he had not been paid by him who
was having the chapel painted. Below this is a God the Father, who has
beneath Him a Virgin in the ancient manner, on panel, with S. Dominic,
S. Gismondo, S. Sebastian, and S. Catharine.


(_After the painting by =Giovanni Antonio Bazzi [Il Sodoma]=. Siena: S.


For S. Agostino, in an altar-piece that is on the right hand at the
entrance into the church, he painted the Adoration of the Magi, which
was held to be, and is, a good work, for the reason that, besides the
Madonna, which is much extolled, the first of the three Magi, and
certain horses, there is a head of a shepherd between two trees which
has all the appearance of life. Over a gate of the city, called the
Porta di S. Viene, he painted in fresco, in a large tabernacle, the
Nativity of Jesus Christ, with some Angels in the air; and on the arch
of that gate a child in foreshortening, very beautiful and in strong
relief, which is intended to signify that the Word has been made
Flesh. In this work Sodoma made a portrait of himself, with a beard,
being now old, and with a brush in his hand, which is pointing to a
scroll that says "Feci."

He painted likewise in fresco the Chapel of the Commune at the foot of
the Palace, in the Piazza, representing there Our Lady with the Child
in her arms, upheld by some little Angels, S. Ansano, S. Vittorio, S.
Augustine, and S. James; and above this, in a triangular lunette, he
painted a God the Father with some Angels about Him. From this work it
is evident that when he executed it he was beginning, as it were, to
have no more love for art, having lost that certain quality of
excellence that he used to have in his better days, by means of which
he gave a certain air of beauty to his heads, which made them graceful
and lovely. And this is manifestly true, for some works that he
executed long before this one have quite another grace and another
manner, as may be seen above the Postierla, from a wall in fresco over
the door of the Captain Lorenzo Mariscotti, where there is a Dead
Christ in the lap of His Mother, who has a marvellous divinity and
grace. In like manner, a picture in oils of Our Lady, which he painted
for Messer Enea Savini della Costerella, is much extolled, and also a
canvas that he executed for Assuero Rettori of S. Martino, in which is
the Roman Lucrece stabbing herself, while she is held by her father
and her husband, all painted with much beauty of attitude and
marvellous grace in the heads.

Finally, perceiving that the devotion of the people of Siena was all
turned to the talents and excellent works of Domenico Beccafumi, and
possessing neither house nor revenues in Siena, and having by that
time consumed almost all his property and become old and poor,
Giovanni Antonio departed from Siena almost in despair and went off to
Volterra. And there, as his good fortune would have it, chancing upon
Messer Lorenzo di Galeotto de' Medici, a rich and honoured nobleman,
he proceeded to live under his protection, with the intention of
staying there a long time. And so, dwelling in the house of that
nobleman, he painted for him on a canvas the Chariot of the Sun,
which, having been badly guided by Phaëthon, is falling into the Po;
but it is easy to see that he did that work to pass the time, and
hurried through it by rule of thumb, without giving any thought to it,
so entirely commonplace is it and so ill-considered. Then, having
grown weary of living at Volterra and in the house of that nobleman,
as one who was accustomed to being free, he departed and went off to
Pisa, where, at the instance of Battista del Cervelliera, he executed
two pictures for Messer Bastiano della Seta, the Warden of Works of
the Duomo, which were placed in the recess behind the high-altar of
that Duomo, beside those of Sogliani and Beccafumi. In one is the Dead
Christ with Our Lady and the other Maries, and in the other Abraham
sacrificing his son Isaac; but since these pictures did not succeed
very well, the Warden, who had intended to make him paint some
altar-pieces for the church, dismissed him, knowing that men who do
not study, once they have lost in old age the quality of excellence
that they had in their youth from nature, are left with a kind of
facility of manner that is generally little to be praised. At that
same time Giovanni Antonio finished an altar-piece that he had
previously begun in oils for S. Maria della Spina, painting in it Our
Lady with the Child in her arms, with S. Mary Magdalene and S.
Catharine kneeling before her, and S. John, S. Sebastian, and S.
Joseph standing at the sides; in all which figures he acquitted
himself much better than in the two pictures for the Duomo.

Then, having nothing more to do at Pisa, he made his way to Lucca,
where, at S. Ponziano, a seat of the Monks of Monte Oliveto, an Abbot
of his acquaintance caused him to paint a Madonna on the ascent of a
staircase that leads to the dormitory. That work finished, he returned
weary, old, and poor to Siena, where he did not live much longer; for
he fell ill, through not having anyone to look after him or any means
of sustenance, and went off to the Great Hospital, and there in a few
weeks he finished the course of his life.


(_After the painting by =Giovanni Antonio Bazzi [Il Sodoma]=. Pisa:


Giovanni Antonio, when young and in good repute, took for his wife in
Siena a girl born of a very good family, and had by her in the first
year a daughter. But after that, having grown weary of her, because he
was a beast, he would never see her more; and she, therefore,
withdrawing by herself, lived always on her own earnings and on the
interest of her dowry, bearing with great and endless patience the
beastliness and the follies of that husband of hers, who was truly
worthy of the name of Mattaccio which, as has been related, the Monks
of Monte Oliveto gave him.

Riccio of Siena, the disciple of Giovanni Antonio, a passing able and
well-practised painter, having taken as his wife his master's
daughter, who had been very well and decently brought up by her
mother, became the heir to all the possessions connected with art of
his wife's father. This Riccio, I say, has executed many beautiful and
praiseworthy works at Siena and elsewhere, and has decorated with
stucco and pictures in fresco a chapel in the Duomo of the above-named
city, on the left hand as one enters the church; and he now lives at
Lucca, where he has done, as he still continues to do, many beautiful
works worthy to be extolled.

A pupil of Giovanni Antonio, likewise, was a young man who was called
Giomo del Sodoma; but, since he died young, and was not able to give
more than a small proof of his genius and knowledge, there is no need
to say more about him.

Sodoma lived seventy-five years, and died in the year 1554.



  Adone Doni, 128

  Agnolo, Baccio d', 74

  Agnolo, Battista d' (Battista del Moro), 236

  Agnolo Bronzino, 29, 31, 113, 149, 158, 160, 163, 167, 168, 171, 172,
    175, 176, 178, 182, 201

  Agnolo di Cristofano, 70

  Agnolo, Giuliano di Baccio d', 83-86, 88, 89, 102

  Agostino Viniziano, 60, 63

  Albertinelli, Mariotto, 108, 148

  Albrecht Dürer, 163, 164, 166

  Alessandro Vittoria, 228

  Alfonso Berughetta (Alonzo Spagnuolo), 58

  Alfonso Lombardi, 77

  Alonzo Spagnuolo (Alfonso Berughetta), 58

  Ammanati, Bartolommeo, 95, 96, 99, 100, 203, 206

  Andrea, Maestro, 66

  Andrea Contucci (Andrea Sansovino), 5, 9, 61, 62, 187, 189

  Andrea da Fiesole (Andrea Ferrucci), 4

  Andrea del Minga, 97

  Andrea del Sarto, 4, 58, 59, 148-150, 152, 156, 157, 171, 188

  Andrea di Cosimo Feltrini, 13, 149-152

  Andrea Ferrucci (Andrea da Fiesole), 4

  Andrea Pisano, 30

  Andrea Sansovino (Andrea Contucci), 5, 9, 61, 62, 187, 189

  Andrea Verrocchio, 56

  Antonio da San Gallo (the elder), 74

  Antonio da San Gallo (the younger), 9, 78, 119, 186, 189, 190, 193,
    217, 218

  Antonio di Domenico (Antonio di Donnino Mazzieri), 29

  Antonio di Gino Lorenzi, 24

  Antonio di Giovanni (Solosmeo da Settignano), 5, 79, 80

  Antonio di Marco di Giano (Il Carota), 152

  Aristotile (Bastiano) da San Gallo, 29

  Bacchiacca, Il (Francesco Ubertini), 29

  Baccio, Giovanni di (Nanni di Baccio Bigio), 81

  Baccio Bandinelli (Baccio de' Brandini), _Life_, 55-103. 4, 27, 28,
    42, 43, 55-103, 154, 187

  Baccio d'Agnolo, 74

  Baccio da Montelupo, 155

  Baccio de' Brandini (Baccio Bandinelli), _Life_, 55-103. 4, 27, 28,
    42, 43, 55-103, 154, 187

  Bagnacavallo, Giovan Battista, 129

  Baldassarre Lancia, 206

  Baldassarre Peruzzi, 253

  Bandinelli, Baccio (Baccio de' Brandini), _Life_, 55-103. 4, 27, 28,
    42, 43, 55-103, 154, 187

  Bandinelli, Clemente, 77, 94, 95, 98

  Barba, Jacopo della, 71

  Bartolommeo Ammanati, 95, 96, 99, 100, 203, 206

  Bartolommeo di Jacopo di Martino, 147

  Bartolommeo di San Marco, Fra, 108, 109, 148

  Bartolommeo Genga, _Life_, 206-210. 203, 204

  Bartolommeo Neroni (Riccio), 257

  Bartolommeo San Michele, 217

  Bastiano (Aristotile) da San Gallo, 29

  Battista Cungi, 121, 122, 124, 125

  Battista d'Agnolo (Battista del Moro), 236

  Battista da Verona (Battista Farinati), 237, 238

  Battista del Cervelliera, 256

  Battista del Cinque, 12

  Battista del Moro (Battista d'Agnolo), 236

  Battista del Tasso, 13, 30, 31, 34, 35, 137

  Battista della Bilia, 118

  Battista Dossi, 201

  Battista Farinati (Battista da Verona), 237, 238

  Battista Franco, 28, 29, 203

  Battista Naldini, 181, 182

  Battista of Città di Castello, 118, 119

  Bazzi, Giovanni Antonio (Il Sodoma), _Life_, 245-257

  Beccafumi, Domenico, 252, 255, 256

  Beceri, Domenico (Domenico Benci), 141

  Bellucci, Giovan Battista (Giovan Battista San Marino),
    _Life_, 210-213. 207

  Benci, Domenico (Domenico Beceri), 141

  Benedetto da Rovezzano, 4, 63, 64, 187

  Benvenuto Cellini, 93, 94, 96, 97, 99, 100

  Bernardino Brugnuoli, 226, 227, 233, 234

  Bernardino India, 237

  Bersuglia, Gian Domenico, 193

  Bertoldo, 107

  Berughetta, Alfonso (Alonzo Spagnuolo), 58

  Bicci, Lorenzo di, 61

  Bigio, Nanni di Baccio (Giovanni di Baccio), 81

  Bilia, Battista della, 118

  Bizzerra, 129

  Bologna, Giovan, 100, 101

  Bolognese, Marc'Antonio, 65

  Borgo, Raffaello dal (Raffaello dal Colle), 117, 118, 120, 128, 129,

  Bramante da Urbino, 249

  Brandini, Baccio de' (Baccio Bandinelli), _Life_, 55-103. 4, 27, 28,
    42, 43, 55-103, 154, 187

  Bronzino, Agnolo, 29, 31, 113, 149, 158, 160, 163, 167, 168, 171,
    172, 175, 176, 178, 182, 201

  Brugnuoli, Bernardino, 226, 227, 233, 234

  Brugnuoli, Luigi, 229, 233

  Brunelleschi, Filippo, 87, 88, 167, 226

  Brusciasorzi, Domenico (Domenico del Riccio), 236, 237

  Brusciasorzi, Felice (Felice del Riccio), 237

  Buda, Girolamo del, 56

  Bugiardini, Giuliano, _Life_, 107-113

  Buglioni, Santi, 29

  Buonarroti, Michelagnolo, 10, 11, 14, 16, 28, 32, 44, 46, 48, 49, 57,
    58, 61, 66-68, 71, 72, 75, 77, 81, 98, 99, 107, 108, 110-113, 151,
    172, 173, 179, 194, 235

  Cadore, Tiziano da (Tiziano Vecelli), 237

  Caliari, Paolino or Paolo (Paolo Veronese), 236-240

  Camillo Mantovano, 201

  Carota, Il (Antonio di Marco di Giano), 152

  Caroto, Giovanni, 238

  Carrara, Danese da (Danese Cattaneo), 228

  Carrucci, Jacopo (Jacopo da Pontormo), _Life_, 147-182. 31, 201

  Cattaneo, Danese (Danese da Carrara), 228

  Cavalieri, Tiberio, 50

  Cellini, Benvenuto, 93, 94, 96, 97, 99, 100

  Cervelliera, Battista del, 256

  Cinque, Battista del, 12

  Cioli, Simone, 9, 10, 189

  Clemente Bandinelli, 77, 94, 95, 98

  Colle, Raffaello dal (Raffaello dal Borgo), 117, 118, 120, 128, 129,

  Conti, Domenico, 29

  Contucci, Andrea (Andrea Sansovino), 5, 9, 61, 62, 187, 189

  Cosimo, Piero di, 148

  Cristofano, Agnolo di, 70

  Cristofano Gherardi (Doceno), _Life_, 117-143

  Cungi, Battista, 121, 122, 124, 125

  Danese da Carrara (Danese Cattaneo), 228

  Danti, Vincenzio, 100

  David Fortini, 37

  Doceno (Cristofano Gherardi), _Life_, 117-143

  Domenico, Antonio di (Antonio di Donnino Mazzieri), 29

  Domenico Beccafumi, 252, 255, 256

  Domenico Beceri (Domenico Benci), 141

  Domenico Brusciasorzi (Domenico del Riccio), 236, 237

  Domenico Conti, 29

  Domenico del Riccio (Domenico Brusciasorzi), 236, 237

  Domenico Ghirlandajo, 108, 147

  Donato (Donatello), 30, 56, 57, 62

  Doni, Adone, 128

  Dossi, Battista, 201

  Dossi, Dosso, 201

  Dürer, Albrecht, 163, 164, 166

  Eliodoro Forbicini, 237

  Fabro, Pippo del, 5

  Fancelli, Giovanni, 97

  Farinati, Battista (Battista da Verona), 237, 238

  Farinato, Paolo, 236, 240, 241

  Felice del Riccio (Felice Brusciasorzi), 237

  Feltrini, Andrea di Cosimo, 13, 149-152

  Ferrarese, Girolamo (Girolamo da Ferrara), 9, 10, 189

  Fiesole, Andrea da (Andrea Ferrucci), 4

  Filippo Brunelleschi, 87, 88, 167, 226

  Filippo Lippi, Fra, 57

  Fonte, Jacopo della (Jacopo della Quercia), 245

  Forbicini, Eliodoro, 237

  Forlì, Francesco da (Francesco Menzochi), 201, 204-206

  Fortini, David, 37

  Fra Bartolommeo di San Marco, 108, 109, 148

  Fra Filippo Lippi, 57

  Fra Giovanni Agnolo Montorsoli, 10, 11, 81, 82

  Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo, 110, 111

  Francesco da Forlì (Francesco Menzochi), 201, 204-206

  Francesco da San Gallo (the younger), 9, 10, 189

  Francesco de' Rossi (Francesco Salviati), 178, 205

  Francesco del Tadda, 9, 10, 49

  Francesco di Girolamo dal Prato, 72, 73

  Francesco Granacci, 108

  Francesco Menzochi (Francesco da Forlì), 201, 204-206

  Francesco Moschino, 192, 194, 195

  Francesco Salviati (Francesco de' Rossi), 178, 205

  Francesco Ubertini (Il Bacchiacca), 29

  Franciabigio, 70, 157, 171

  Franco, Battista, 28, 29, 203

  Galeotto, Pietro Paolo, 152

  Genga, Bartolommeo, _Life_, 206-210. 203, 204

  Genga, Girolamo, _Life_, 199-206. 207, 208, 210, 211

  Gherardi, Cristofano (Doceno), _Life_, 117-143

  Ghirlandajo, Domenico, 108, 147

  Ghirlandajo, Michele di Ridolfo, 28

  Ghirlandajo, Ridolfo, 28, 31, 155, 156

  Gian Domenico Bersuglia, 193

  Gian Girolamo San Michele, 219, 220, 222, 230-234

  Giano, Antonio di Marco di (Il Carota), 152

  Giolfino, Niccolò (Niccolò Ursino), 240

  Giomo del Sodoma, 257

  Giorgio Vasari. See Vasari (Giorgio)

  Giovan Battista Bagnacavallo, 129

  Giovan Battista Bellucci (Giovan Battista San Marino),
    _Life_, 210-213. 207

  Giovan Battista de' Rossi (Il Rosso), 58, 59, 117, 118, 149, 188

  Giovan Battista San Marino (Giovan Battista Bellucci),
    _Life_, 210-213. 207

  Giovan Bologna, 100, 101

  Giovan Francesco Rustici, 57, 66

  Giovan Maria Pichi, 158

  Giovanni, Antonio di (Solosmeo da Settignano), 5, 79, 80

  Giovanni Agnolo Montorsoli, Fra, 10, 11, 81, 82

  Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma), _Life_, 245-257

  Giovanni Antonio Lappoli, 158, 159

  Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, 256

  Giovanni Caroto, 238

  Giovanni da Udine, 118

  Giovanni di Baccio (Nanni di Baccio Bigio), 81

  Giovanni di Goro, 69

  Giovanni Fancelli, 97

  Giovanni Rosso (or Rosto), Maestro, 177

  Giovanni San Michele, 217

  Girolamo da Ferrara (Girolamo Ferrarese), 9, 10, 189

  Girolamo del Buda, 56

  Girolamo del Pacchia, 252

  Girolamo Ferrarese (Girolamo da Ferrara), 9, 10, 189

  Girolamo Genga, _Life_, 199-206. 207, 208, 210, 211

  Giuliano Bugiardini, _Life_, 107-113

  Giuliano di Baccio d'Agnolo, 83-86, 88, 89, 102

  Giulio Romano, 117, 236

  Goro, Giovanni di, 69

  Granacci, Francesco, 108

  Il Bacchiacca (Francesco Ubertini), 29

  Il Carota (Antonio di Marco di Giano), 152

  Il Rosso (Giovan Battista de' Rossi), 58, 59, 117, 118, 149, 188

  Il Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), _Life_, 245-257

  India, Bernardino, 237

  Jacone (Jacopo), 176

  Jacopo da Pontormo (Jacopo Carrucci), _Life_, 147-182. 31, 201

  Jacopo della Barba, 71

  Jacopo della Fonte (Jacopo della Quercia), 245

  Jacopo Sansovino, 4, 5, 58

  Lancia, Baldassarre, 206

  Lappoli, Giovanni Antonio, 158, 159

  Lastricati, Zanobi, 45

  Lattanzio di Vincenzio Pagani, 128

  Leonardo da Vinci, 41-44, 57, 58, 60, 148, 152

  Lippi, Fra Filippo, 57

  Lombardi, Alfonso, 77

  Lorenzetto, 78

  Lorenzi, Antonio di Gino, 24

  Lorenzo di Bicci, 61

  Lorenzo Marignolli, 46

  Luca Signorelli, 199, 246

  Luigi Brugnuoli, 229, 233

  Maestro Andrea, 66

  Maestro Giovanni Rosso (or Rosto), 177

  Maestro Niccolò, 177

  Mantovano, Camillo, 201

  Marc'Antonio Bolognese, 65

  Marco da Ravenna, 63

  Marco del Tasso, 156

  Marco Palmezzani (Marco Parmigiano), 204, 205

  Marignolli, Lorenzo, 46

  Mariotto Albertinelli, 108, 148

  Martino, Bartolommeo di Jacopo di, 147

  Matteo San Michele, 219

  Mazzieri, Antonio di Donnino (Antonio di Domenico), 29

  Menzochi, Francesco (Francesco da Forlì), 201, 204-206

  Menzochi, Pietro Paolo, 205, 206

  Michelagnolo Buonarroti, 10, 11, 14, 16, 28, 32, 44, 46, 48, 49, 57,
    58, 61, 66-68, 71, 72, 75, 77, 81, 98, 99, 107, 108, 110-113, 151,
    172, 173, 179, 194, 235

  Michelagnolo di Viviano, 55-57, 60, 66, 73, 98, 99

  Michele di Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, 28

  Michele San Michele, _Life_, 217-235. 127, 191, 217-235, 237, 241

  Minga, Andrea del, 97

  Montelupo, Baccio da, 155

  Montelupo, Raffaello da, 9-11, 27, 62, 81, 189, 191, 192, 194, 195

  Montorsoli, Fra Giovanni Agnolo, 10, 11, 81, 82

  Moro, Battista del (Battista d'Agnolo), 236

  Mosca, Simone, _Life_, 185-195. 9, 10

  Moschino, Francesco, 192, 194, 195

  Naldini, Battista, 181, 182

  Nanni di Baccio Bigio (Giovanni di Baccio), 81

  Nanni Unghero, 4

  Neroni, Bartolommeo (Riccio), 257

  Niccolò, Maestro, 177

  Niccolò (called Tribolo), _Life_, 3-37. 43-45, 81, 112, 176, 189

  Niccolò Giolfino (Niccolò Ursino), 240

  Niccolò Rondinello (Rondinino da Ravenna), 204, 205

  Niccolò Ursino (Niccolò Giolfino), 240

  Pacchia, Girolamo del, 252

  Pagani, Lattanzio di Vincenzio, 128

  Palmezzani, Marco (Marco Parmigiano), 204, 205

  Paolino or Paolo Caliari (Paolo Veronese), 236-240

  Paolo Farinato, 236, 240, 241

  Paolo San Michele, 227, 230, 232

  Paolo Veronese (Paolino or Paolo Caliari), 236-240

  Papacello, Tommaso, 128

  Parmigiano, Marco (Marco Palmezzani), 204, 205

  Perugino, Pietro, 199, 248, 249

  Peruzzi, Baldassarre, 253

  Pichi, Giovan Maria, 158

  Pier Francesco da Viterbo, 119, 202

  Pier Francesco di Jacopo di Sandro, 29, 176

  Pierino (Piero) da Vinci, _Life_, 41-51

  Piero di Cosimo, 148

  Pietrasanta, Ranieri da, 9, 10

  Pietrasanta, Stagio da, 7, 195

  Pietro da San Casciano, 15, 16, 19

  Pietro di Subisso, 187, 188

  Pietro Paolo Galeotto, 152

  Pietro Paolo Menzochi, 205, 206

  Pietro Perugino, 199, 248, 249

  Pietro Rosselli, 68, 69

  Piloto, 56, 58, 69

  Piombo, Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del, 110, 111

  Pippo del Fabro, 5

  Pisano, Andrea, 30

  Pontormo, Jacopo da (Jacopo Carrucci), _Life_, 147-182. 31, 201

  Prato, Francesco di Girolamo dal, 72, 73

  Quercia, Jacopo della (Jacopo della Fonte), 245

  Raffaello da Montelupo, 9-11, 27, 62, 81, 189, 191, 192, 194, 195

  Raffaello da Urbino (Raffaello Sanzio), 111, 117, 148, 174, 199, 249

  Raffaello dal Colle (Raffaello dal Borgo), 117, 118, 120, 128, 129,

  Raffaello delle Vivole, 152

  Raffaello Sanzio (Raffaello da Urbino), 111, 117, 148, 174, 199, 249

  Ranieri da Pietrasanta, 9, 10

  Ravenna, Marco da, 63

  Ravenna, Rondinino da (Niccolò Rondinello), 204, 205

  Riccio (Bartolommeo Neroni), 257

  Riccio, Domenico del (Domenico Brusciasorzi), 236, 237

  Riccio, Felice del (Felice Brusciasorzi), 237

  Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, 28, 31, 155, 156

  Romano, Giulio, 117, 236

  Rondinino da Ravenna (Niccolò Rondinello), 204, 205

  Rosselli, Pietro, 68, 69

  Rossi, Francesco de' (Francesco Salviati), 178, 205

  Rossi, Giovan Battista de' (Il Rosso), 58, 59, 117, 118, 149, 188

  Rossi, Vincenzio de', 94, 98, 101

  Rosso, Il (Giovan Battista de' Rossi), 58, 59, 117, 118, 149, 188

  Rosto (or Rosso), Maestro Giovanni, 177

  Rovezzano, Benedetto da, 4, 63, 64, 187

  Roviale, 129

  Rustici, Giovan Francesco, 57, 66

  Salviati, Francesco (Francesco de' Rossi), 178, 205

  San Casciano, Pietro da, 15, 16, 19

  San Gallo, Antonio da (the elder), 74

  San Gallo, Antonio da (the younger), 9, 78, 119, 186, 189, 190, 193,
    217, 218

  San Gallo, Bastiano (Aristotile) da, 29

  San Gallo, Francesco da (the younger), 9, 10, 189

  San Marco, Fra Bartolommeo di, 108, 109, 148

  San Marino, Giovan Battista (Giovan Battista Bellucci),
    _Life_, 210-213. 207

  San Michele, Bartolommeo, 217

  San Michele, Gian Girolamo, 219, 220, 222, 230-234

  San Michele, Giovanni, 217

  San Michele, Matteo, 219

  San Michele, Michele, _Life_, 217-235. 127, 191, 217-235, 237, 241

  San Michele, Paolo, 227, 230, 232

  Sandro, Pier Francesco di Jacopo di, 29, 176

  Sansovino, Andrea (Andrea Contucci), 5, 9, 61, 62, 187, 189

  Sansovino, Jacopo, 4, 5, 58

  Santi Buglioni, 29

  Sanzio, Raffaello (Raffaello da Urbino), 111, 117, 148, 174, 199, 249

  Sarto, Andrea del, 4, 58, 59, 148-150, 152, 156, 157, 171, 188

  Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo, Fra, 110, 111

  Settignano, Solosmeo da (Antonio di Giovanni), 5, 79, 80

  Signorelli, Luca, 199, 246

  Simone Cioli, 9, 10, 189

  Simone Mosca, _Life_, 185-195. 9, 10

  Sodoma, Giomo del, 257

  Sodoma, Il (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), _Life_, 245-257

  Sogliani, Giovanni Antonio, 256

  Solosmeo da Settignano (Antonio di Giovanni), 5, 79, 80

  Spagnuolo, Alonzo (Alfonso Berughetta), 58

  Stagio da Pietrasanta, 7, 195

  Stefano Veltroni, 120, 123, 124, 129

  Subisso, Pietro di, 187, 188

  Tadda, Francesco del, 9, 10, 49

  Tasso, Battista del, 13, 30, 31, 34, 35, 137

  Tasso, Marco del, 156

  Tiberio Cavalieri, 50

  Timoteo da Urbino (Timoteo della Vite), 200

  Tiziano Vecelli (Tiziano da Cadore), 237

  Tommaso Papacello, 128

  Tribolo (Niccolò), _Life_, 3-37. 43-45, 81, 112, 176, 189

  Ubertini, Francesco (Il Bacchiacca), 29

  Udine, Giovanni da, 118

  Unghero, Nanni, 4

  Urbino, Bramante da, 249

  Urbino, Raffaello da (Raffaello Sanzio), 111, 117, 148, 174, 199, 249

  Urbino, Timoteo da (Timoteo della Vite), 200

  Ursino, Niccolò (Niccolò Giolfino), 240

  Vasari, Giorgio--
    as art-collector, 11, 99, 253
    as author, 3, 11, 12, 14, 16, 21, 24, 25, 28, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37,
      41, 79, 95, 96, 99-101, 103, 109, 117-125, 127-132, 137-139, 141,
      142, 147, 155, 157-160, 167, 168, 172, 173, 175, 178-180, 186,
      190, 202, 209, 210, 217, 225, 226, 230, 231, 234-236, 239, 240,
      253, 254, 257
    as painter, 13, 31, 95, 118-132, 137-139, 141-143, 188, 189, 206,
      229, 230, 235
    as architect, 35, 37, 85, 91, 95, 101, 102, 119, 137, 193, 194,

  Vecelli, Tiziano (Tiziano da Cadore), 237

  Veltroni, Stefano, 120, 123, 124, 129

  Verona, Battista da (Battista Farinati), 237, 238

  Veronese, Paolo (Paolino or Paolo Caliari), 236-240

  Verrocchio, Andrea, 56

  Vincenzio Danti, 100

  Vincenzio de' Rossi, 94, 98, 101

  Vinci, Leonardo da, 41-44, 57, 58, 60, 148, 152

  Vinci, Pierino (Piero) da, _Life_, 41-51

  Viniziano, Agostino, 60, 63

  Vite, Timoteo della (Timoteo da Urbino), 200

  Viterbo, Pier Francesco da, 119, 202

  Vitruvius, 211

  Vittoria, Alessandro, 228

  Viviano, Michelagnolo di, 55-57, 60, 66, 73, 98, 99

  Vivole, Raffaello delle, 152

  Zanobi Lastricati, 45



*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lives of the most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol 07 (of 10) Tribolo to Il Sodoma" ***

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we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.