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Title: Lives of the most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 06 (of 10) Fra Giocondo to Niccolo Soggi
Author: Vasari, Giorgio, 1511-1574
Language: English
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[Illustration: 1511-1574]

ST. LONDON, W. 1912-14



    FRA GIOCONDO, LIBERALE, AND OTHERS                                 1

    FRANCESCO GRANACCI [IL GRANACCIO]                                 55

    BACCIO D' AGNOLO                                                  63


    MARC' ANTONIO BOLOGNESE, AND OTHERS                               89

    ANTONIO DA SAN GALLO                                             121

    GIULIO ROMANO                                                    143

    FRA SEBASTIANO VINIZIANO DEL PIOMBO                              171

    PERINO DEL VAGA                                                  187

    GIORGIO VASARI, TO THE CRAFTSMEN IN DESIGN                       227

    DOMENICO BECCAFUMI                                               233

    GIOVANNI ANTONIO LAPPOLI                                         253

    NICCOLÒ SOGGI                                                    267

    INDEX OF NAMES                                                   281



                                                             FACING PAGE
        Elisabetta Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua
            Florence: Uffizi, 1121                                    16

        Portrait of a Gentleman
            London: N.G., 736                                         28

        Madonna and Child
            London: N.G., 285                                         32

        Madonna and Child, with S. Anne
            London: N.G., 748                                         48

        The Holy Family
            Florence: Pitti, 199                                      58

        Portrait of a Lady
            Florence: Uffizi, 1123                                   174

        S. Catharine before the Crucifix
            Siena: Pinacoteca, 420                                   238


        S. Mary Magdalene with Saints
            Verona: S. Anastasia                                      10

            Siena: Duomo Library                                      14

        Madonna and Child, with S. Anne and Saints
            Verona: S. Fermo Maggiore                                 18

        Portrait of a Man
            Munich: Pinacothek, 1125                                  24

        S. Sebastian
            Berlin: Kaiser Friedrich Museum, 46c                      30

        The Crucifixion
            Verona: S. Bernardino                                     34

        The Deposition
            Verona: Museo Civico, 392                                 40

        Palazzo del Capitanio
            Padua                                                     46

        Madonna and Child, with Saints
            Verona: Museo Civico, 290                                 50

        The Madonna giving the Girdle to S. Thomas
            Florence: Uffizi, 1280                                    62

        Cassetta Farnese
            Naples: Museo Nazionale                                   78

        Casket of Rock Crystal
            Florence: Uffizi                                          82

            London: British Museum                                    84

            London: British Museum                                    84

        Christ and the Virgin Enthroned
            London: British Museum, B. 71                             92

            London: British Museum, B. 73                             92

        Christ taking leave of His Mother
            London: British Museum, B. 92                             94

        S. Jerome in his Study
            London: British Museum, B. 60                             96

        "Ecce Homo" of 1510
            London: British Museum                                    98

        The Death of Lucretia
            London: British Museum, B. 192                           102

        The Martyrdom of S. Lawrence (engraving)
            London: British Museum                                   104

        Palazzo Farnese
            Rome                                                     138

        Detail: The Battle of Constantine
            Rome: The Vatican                                        146

        The Marriage Banquet of Cupid and Psyche
            Mantua: Palazzo del Tè                                   154

        The Destruction of the Giants by the Thunderbolts of Jove
            Mantua: Palazzo del Tè, Sala dei Giganti                 160

        The Flagellation
            Rome: S. Pietro in Montorio                              176

        Andrea Doria
            Rome: Palazzo Doria                                      182

        The Passage of the Red Sea
            Rome: The Vatican, Loggia                                192



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After the painting by =Liberale da Verona=. Verona: S. Anastasia_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: MINIATURE

(_After_ Liberale da Verona. _Siena: Duomo Library_)


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

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

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

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


(_Florence: Uffizi, 1121. Panel_)]

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

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

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

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


(_After the painting by =Giovan Francesco Caroto=. Verona: S. Fermo


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF A MAN

(_After the painting by =Francesco Turbido [Il Moro]=. Munich:
Pinacoteca, 1125_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_London: National Gallery, 736. Tempera Panel_)]

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: S. SEBASTIAN

(_After the painting by =Francesco Monsignori [Bonsignori]=. Berlin:
Kaiser Friedrich Museum, 46 c_)


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

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


(_London: National Gallery, 285. Panel_)]

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: THE CRUCIFIXION

(_After the painting by =Giovan Francesco Morone=. Verona: S.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: THE DEPOSITION

(_After the panel by =Paolo Cavazzuola=. Verona: Museo Civico, 392_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After_ Falconetto. _Padua_)


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

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

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

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

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


(_London: National Gallery, 748. Canvas_)]

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

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

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

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


(_After the painting by =Girolamo dai Libri=. Verona: Museo Civico,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[1] Canal of the slaughter-houses.

[2] Small canal of the corn-magazines.

[3] Scarpagnino.

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

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

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

[7] From "terra," earth.

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

[9] _I.e._, "of the books."




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

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

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

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

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

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


(_Florence: Pitti, 199. Panel_)]

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After the panel by =Francesco Granacci=. Florence: Uffizi, 1280_)



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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After_ Giovanni da Castel Bolognese (Giovanni Bernardi). _Naples:
Museo Nazionale_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After_ Valerio Vincentino (Valerio Belli). _Florence; Uffizi, Cabinet
of Gems_)


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

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

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

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

[Illustration: MEDALS

(_London: British Museum_)

  (_After_ Alessandro Cesati)

  (_After_ Benvenuto Cellini)]

[Illustration: MEDALS

(_London: British Museum_)

  (_After_ Pastorino of Siena)

  (_After_ Domenico Poggini)]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[12] Giovanni of the Cornelians.

[13] Domenico of the Cameos.



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

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


(_After the engraving by =Martin Schongauer=. London: British Museum, B.


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

[Illustration: HERCULES

(_After the engraving by =Albrecht Dürer=. London: British Museum, B.


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


(_After the woodcut by =Albrecht Dürer=. London: British Museum, B. 92_)


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

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

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

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

[Illustration: S. JEROME IN HIS STUDY

(_After the engraving by =Albrecht Dürer=. London: British Museum, B.


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

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

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

[Illustration: THE _ECCE HOMO_ OF 1610

(_After the engraving by =Lucas van Leyden=. London: British Museum_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After the engraving by =Marcantonio Bolognese=. London: British
Museum, B. 192_)


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

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

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

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

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


(_Engraved after Bandinelli by =Marcantonio Bolognese=. London: British


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[14] Luca di Leyden.

[15] Lambert Zutmann.

[16] Jean Cousin.

[17] Nicolas Beautrizet.

[18] René Boyvin.

[19] Michael Coxie.

[20] Albrecht Aldegrever.

[21] Georg Pencz.

[22] Hans Beham.

[23] Cristofano Coriolano.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: PALAZZO FARNESE

(_After_ Antonio di San Gallo (_with_ Michelangelo). _Rome_.)


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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




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

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


(_Detail, after the fresco by =Giulio Romano=. Rome: The Vatican_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After the fresco by =Giulio Romano=. Mantua: Palazzo del Tè_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(_After the fresco by =Giulio Romano=. Mantua: Palazzo del Tè, Sala dei


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



[26] Giuliano Leno.




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

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


(_Florence; Uffizi, 1123. Canvas_)]

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

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


(_After the oil fresco by =Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo=. Rome:
S. Pietro in Montorio_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: ANDREA DORIA

(_After the painting by =Fra Sebastiano del Piombo=. Rome: Palazzo


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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


(_After the fresco by =Perino del Vaga=. Rome: The Vatican, Loggia_)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     ANN. CHRIST. 1547.

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

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

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

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


[27] Or Perino.

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





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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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


(_Siena_: _Pinacoteca_, 420. _Canvas_)]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[29] Zaleucus.

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[33] These words are missing in the text.




    Abacco, Antonio L', 113, 114, 130, 136, 137

    Abbot of S. Clemente (Don Bartolommeo della Gatta), 255

    Agnolo, Baccio d' (Baccio Baglioni), _Life_, 65-68. 69, 72

    Agnolo, Battista d' (Battista del Moro), _Life_, 27-28. 108

    Agnolo, Domenico di Baccio d', 68, 70, 72

    Agnolo, Filippo di Baccio d', 68, 70

    Agnolo, Giuliano di Baccio d', _Life_, 68-72

    Agnolo, Marco di Battista d', 27, 28

    Agnolo Bronzino, 118, 256

    Agostino Viniziano (Agostino de' Musi), _Life_, 102-103. 106

    Aimo, Domenico (Il Bologna), 217

    Alberti, Leon Batista, 45

    Alberto Monsignori (Bonsignori), 29

    Albrecht (Heinrich) Aldegrever, 119

    Albrecht Dürer, _Life_, 92-98. 99, 102, 119, 165

    Aldegrever, Albrecht (Heinrich), 119

    Alessandro Cesati (Il Greco), _Life_, 85

    Alessandro Falconetto, 47, 48

    Alessandro Filipepi (Sandro Botticelli), 91

    Andrea Contucci (Andrea Sansovino), 66, 133

    Andrea dal Castagno, 182

    Andrea de' Ceri, 190-192, 201

    Andrea del Sarto, 60, 106, 255-257, 272, 273

    Andrea Mantegna, 15, 29, 30, 91

    Andrea Palladio, 28, 48

    Andrea Sansovino (Andrea Contucci), 66, 133

    Angelico, Fra (Fra Giovanni da Fiesole), 246

    Anichini, Luigi, 85

    Anselmo Canneri, 22

    Antoine Lafrery (Antonio Lanferri), 113

    Antonio da San Gallo (the elder), 66, 123, 272

    Antonio da San Gallo (the younger), _Life_, 123-141. 167, 197,
      198, 219, 220, 222

    Antonio da Trento (Antonio Fantuzzi), 108

    Antonio del Pollaiuolo, 182, 246

    Antonio di Giorgio Marchissi, 126

    Antonio di Marco di Giano (Il Carota), 213

    Antonio Fantuzzi (Antonio da Trento), 108

    Antonio l'Abacco, 113, 114, 130, 136, 137

    Antonio Lanferri (Antoine Lafrery), 113

    Antonio (or Vittore) Pisano (or Pisanello), 35

    Antonio Salamanca, 276

    Antonio Scarpagni (Scarpagnino or Zanfragnino,) 10

    Aretino, Leone (Leone Lioni), 87

    Aretusi, Pellegrino degli (Pellegrino da Modena, or de' Munari), 125

    Avanzi, Niccolò, 79, 80

    Bacchiacca, Il (Francesco Ubertini), 60

    Baccio Baglioni (Baccio d' Agnolo), _Life_, 65-68. 69, 72

    Baccio Baldini, 91

    Baccio Bandinelli, 69-71, 103, 105, 111

    Baccio d' Agnolo (Baccio Baglioni), _Life_, 65-68. 69, 72

    Baldassarre Peruzzi, 107, 167, 174, 177, 239

    Baldini, Baccio, 91

    Bandinelli, Baccio, 69-71, 103, 105, 111

    Barile, Giovan, 177

    Barlacchi, Tommaso, 104, 113

    Barozzo, Jacopo, 114

    Bartolommeo da Castiglione, 152

    Bartolommeo della Gatta, Don (Abbot of S. Clemente), 255

    Bartolommeo di San Marco, Fra, 66

    Bartolommeo Ridolfi, 48

    Bartolommeo Torri, 264, 265

    Battista d' Agnolo (Battista del Moro), _Life_, 27-28. 108

    Battista del Cervelliera, 214, 247, 248

    Battista del Moro (Battista d' Agnolo), _Life_, 27-28. 108

    Battista del Tasso, 213

    Battista Franco, 108, 114, 156

    Battista Gobbo, 133, 140

    Battista of Vicenza (Battista Pittoni), 108

    Baviera, 100, 101, 109, 209

    Bazzi, Giovanni Antonio (Il Sodoma), 236-238, 247, 249

    Beatricio, Niccolò (Nicolas Beautrizet), 114

    Beccafumi, Domenico (Domenico di Pace), _Life_, 235-251. 108,
      213, 215, 223, 235-251

    Beham, Hans, 119

    Belli, Valerio (Valerio Vicentino), _Life_, 82-84. 76, 79

    Bellini, Giovanni, 173

    Bellini, Jacopo, 11, 35

    Benedetto da Maiano, 66

    Benedetto Ghirlandajo, 57

    Benedetto Pagni, 152, 154-156, 169

    Benozzo Gozzoli, 246

    Benvenuto Cellini, 86, 87

    Bernardi, Giovanni (Giovanni da Castel Bolognese), _Life_, 76-79.
      83, 84

    Bernardino Pinturicchio, 195

    Bologna, Il (Domenico Aimo), 217

    Bolognese, Marc' Antonio (Marc' Antonio Raimondi, or de' Franci),
      _Life_, 95-96, 99-106. 108, 109, 120

    Bonasone, Giulio, 114

    Bonsignori (Monsignori), Alberto, 29

    Bonsignori (Monsignori), Fra Cherubino, 34

    Bonsignori (Monsignori), Fra Girolamo, _Life_, 34-35

    Bonsignori (Monsignori), Francesco, _Life_, 29-35

    Borgo, Raffaello dal (Raffaello dal Colle), 152, 169

    Borgo a San Sepolcro, Giovan Maria dal, 256

    Bosch, Hieronymus, 118

    Botticelli, Sandro (Alessandro Filipepi), 91

    Boyvin, René (Renato), 115

    Bramante da Urbino, 6, 124, 126, 136, 138

    Brescianino (Girolamo Muziano, or Mosciano), 114

    Bronzino, Agnolo, 118, 256

    Brunelleschi, Filippo, 68, 71

    Brusciasorzi, Domenico (Domenico del Riccio), 82

    Bugiardini, Giuliano, 183

    Buonaccorsi, Perino (Perino del Vaga, or Perino de' Ceri),
      _Life_, 189-225. 78, 109, 125, 129, 139, 148, 177, 189-225,
      244, 257-259

    Buonarroti, Michelagnolo, 57, 59, 60, 66, 68, 78, 79, 85, 92,
      107, 111, 113, 114, 129, 135, 136, 139, 140, 167, 174-177, 183,
      185, 191, 193, 195, 205, 218, 219, 222, 225, 236, 263

    Cadore, Tiziano da (Tiziano Vecelli), 109, 111, 114, 161, 183, 222

    Calcar, Johann of (Jan Stephanus van Calcker), 116

    Caliari, Paolo (Paolo Veronese), 22, 27

    Cammei, Domenico de', 76

    Canneri, Anselmo, 22

    Caraglio, Gian Jacopo, 109, 110, 209

    Caravaggio, Polidoro da, 177, 196

    Carota, Il (Antonio di Marco di Giano), 213

    Caroto, Giovan Francesco, _Life_, 15-21. 37

    Caroto, Giovanni, _Life_, 21-22. 15

    Carpi, Ugo da, 106, 107

    Carrara, Danese da (Danese Cattaneo), 26-28, 54

    Carrucci, Jacopo (Jacopo da Pontormo), 60, 255-257, 273

    Castagno, Andrea dal, 182

    Castel Bolognese, Giovanni da (Giovanni Bernardi), _Life_, 76-79.
      83, 84

    Castelfranco, Giorgione da, 23, 173, 174

    Castiglione, Bartolommeo da, 152

    Catanei, Piero, 250

    Cattaneo, Danese (Danese da Carrara), 26-28, 54

    Cavalieri, Giovan Battista de', 113

    Cavazzuola, Paolo (Paolo Morando), _Life_, 39-42. 15, 24, 25, 29,
      39-42, 50

    Cellini, Benvenuto, 86, 87

    Ceri, Andrea de', 190-192, 201

    Ceri, Perino de' (Perino del Vaga, or Perino Buonaccorsi),
      _Life_, 189-225. 78, 109, 125, 129, 139, 148, 177, 189-225, 244,

    Cervelliera, Battista del, 214, 247, 248

    Cesati, Alessandro (Il Greco), _Life_, 85

    Cherubino Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra, 34

    Cicogna, Girolamo, 22

    Cioli, Simone, 133

    Clovio, Don Giulio, 51, 54, 111, 264

    Cock, Hieronymus, _Life_, 116-120. 108

    Colle, Raffaello dal (Raffaello dal Borgo), 152, 169

    Contucci, Andrea (Andrea Sansovino), 66, 133

    Coriolano, Cristofano, 120

    Corniole, Giovanni delle, 76, 84

    Cortona, Luca da (Luca Signorelli), 246

    Cosimo (Jacopo) da Trezzo, 86

    Cosini, Silvio, 210

    Cousin, Jean (Giovanni Cugini), 114

    Coxie, Michael (Michele), 116, 178

    Cristofano Coriolano, 120

    Cristofano Lombardi (Tofano Lombardino), 167

    Cronaca, Il (Simone del Pollaiuolo), 66, 70

    Cugini, Giovanni (Jean Cousin), 114

    Cungi, Leonardo, 225

    Danese Cattaneo (Danese da Carrara), 26-28, 54

    Daniello Ricciarelli, 113, 219, 224

    David Ghirlandajo, 57

    Dente, Marco (Marco da Ravenna), _Life_, 102-103. 106

    Domenico Aimo (Il Bologna), 217

    Domenico Beccafumi (Domenico di Pace), _Life_, 235-251. 108,
      213, 215, 223, 235-251

    Domenico Brusciasorzi (Domenico del Riccio), 82

    Domenico de' Cammei, 76

    Domenico del Riccio (Domenico Brusciasorzi), 82

    Domenico di Baccio d' Agnolo, 68, 70, 72

    Domenico di Pace (Domenico Beccafumi), _Life_, 235-251. 108,
      213, 215, 223, 235-251

    Domenico di Polo, 84

    Domenico Ghirlandajo, 57, 58, 191

    Domenico Giuntalodi, 273-279

    Domenico Morone, _Life_, 35-36. 29, 38

    Domenico Pecori, 255, 258, 271

    Domenico Poggini, 87

    Domenico Viniziano, 182

    Don Bartolommeo della Gatta (Abbot of S. Clemente), 255

    Don Giulio Clovio, 51, 54, 111, 264

    Donato (Donatello), 220

    Duccio, 245

    Dürer, Albrecht, _Life_, 92-98. 99, 102, 119, 165

    Enea Vico, _Life_, 111-112

    Faenza, Figurino da, 169

    Fagiuoli, Girolamo, 87, 276

    Falconetto, Alessandro, 47, 48

    Falconetto, Giovan Maria, _Life_, 43-48. 22, 29, 42, 43-48

    Falconetto, Giovanni Antonio (the elder), 42

    Falconetto, Giovanni Antonio (the younger), 42, 43

    Falconetto, Jacopo, 42, 43

    Falconetto, Ottaviano, 47, 48

    Falconetto, Provolo, 47, 48

    Fantuzzi, Antonio (Antonio da Trento), 108

    Fattore, Il (Giovan Francesco Penni), 146-148, 150, 151, 153,
      177, 193, 194, 207, 216

    Fermo Ghisoni, 34, 167, 169

    Fiacco (or Flacco), Orlando, _Life_, 28

    Fiesole, Fra Giovanni da (Fra Angelico), 246

    Fiesole, Maestro Giovanni da, 210

    Figurino da Faenza, 169

    Filipepi, Alessandro (Sandro Botticelli), 91

    Filippino (Filippo Lippi), 66

    Filippo Brunelleschi, 68, 71

    Filippo di Baccio d' Agnolo, 68, 70

    Filippo Lippi (Filippino), 66

    Filippo Lippi, Fra, 246

    Filippo Negrolo, 86

    Finiguerra, Maso, 91

    Flacco (or Fiacco), Orlando, _Life_, 28

    Floris, Franz (Franz de Vrient), 119, 120

    Fra Angelico (Fra Giovanni da Fiesole), 246

    Fra Bartolommeo di San Marco, 66

    Fra Cherubino Monsignori (Bonsignori), 34

    Fra Filippo Lippi, 246

    Fra Giocondo, _Life_, 3-11. 28, 47, 126

    Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Fra Angelico), 246

    Fra Giovanni da Verona, 38, 39, 51, 218

    Fra Girolamo Monsignori (Bonsignori), _Life_, 34-35

    Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani),
      _Life_, 173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259

    Francesco Bonsignori (Monsignori), _Life_, 29-35

    Francesco da San Gallo, 133, 173

    Francesco dai Libri (the elder), _Life_, 49. 29

    Francesco dai Libri (the younger), _Life_, 52-54

    Francesco de' Rossi (Francesco Salviati), 108, 111, 177

    Francesco dell' Indaco, 126

    Francesco Francia, 95

    Francesco Granacci (Il Granaccio), _Life_, 57-61. 66

    Francesco Marcolini, 115

    Francesco Mazzuoli (Parmigiano), 107-109, 114, 259

    Francesco Monsignori (Bonsignori), _Life_, 29-35

    Francesco Morone, _Life_, 36-39. 29, 36-39, 40, 41, 50

    Francesco Primaticcio, 115, 157

    Francesco Salviati (Francesco de' Rossi), 108, 111, 177

    Francesco Turbido (Il Moro), _Life_, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28, 40,
      50, 164

    Francesco Ubertini (Il Bacchiacca), 60

    Franci, Marc' Antonio de' (Marc' Antonio Bolognese, or Raimondi),
      _Life_, 95-96, 99-106. 108, 109, 120

    Francia, Francesco, 95

    Franco, Battista, 108, 114, 156

    Franz Floris (Franz de Vrient), 119, 120

    Gabriele Giolito, 115

    Galeazzo Mondella, 42, 80

    Galeotto, Pietro Paolo, 87

    Gasparo Misuroni (Misceroni), 86

    Gatta, Don Bartolommeo della (Abbot of S. Clemente), 255

    Georg Pencz, 119

    Gherardo, 92

    Ghirlandajo, Benedetto, 57

    Ghirlandajo, David, 57

    Ghirlandajo, Domenico, 57, 58, 191

    Ghirlandajo, Ridolfo, 191, 192

    Ghisi (Mantovano), Giorgio, 113, 118

    Ghisoni, Fermo, 34, 167, 169

    Gian Jacopo Caraglio, 109, 110, 209

    Giannuzzi, Giulio Pippi de' (Giulio Romano), _Life_, 145-169.
      20, 24, 103-105, 110, 114, 145-169, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216,
      221, 259

    Giannuzzi, Raffaello Pippi de', 168

    Giano, Antonio di Marco di (Il Carota), 213

    Giocondo, Fra, _Life_, 3-11. 28, 47, 126

    Giolito, Gabriele, 115

    Giorgio Mantovano (Ghisi), 113, 118

    Giorgio Vasari. See Vasari (Giorgio)

    Giorgione da Castelfranco, 23, 173, 174

    Giotto, 114, 202, 219, 220, 235

    Giovan Barile, 177

    Giovan Battista de' Cavalieri, 113

    Giovan Battista de' Rossi (Il Rosso), 109, 111, 115, 257-261, 273, 274

    Giovan Battista Mantovano (Sculptore), 110, 111, 157, 164, 165, 169

    Giovan Battista Rosso (or Rosto), 164

    Giovan Battista Sozzini, 87

    Giovan Francesco Caroto, _Life_, 15-21. 37

    Giovan Francesco Penni (Il Fattore), 146-148, 150, 151, 153, 177,
      193, 194, 207, 216

    Giovan Maria dal Borgo a San Sepolcro, 256

    Giovan Maria Falconetto, _Life_, 43-48. 22, 29, 42, 43-48

    Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma), 236-238, 247, 249

    Giovanni Antonio de' Rossi, 86

    Giovanni Antonio Falconetto (the elder), 42

    Giovanni Antonio Falconetto (the younger), 42, 43

    Giovanni Antonio Lappoli, _Life_, 255-265

    Giovanni Antonio Licinio (Pordenone), 213, 244, 247

    Giovanni Antonio Sogliani, 214, 215, 247, 248

    Giovanni Battista Veronese, 13

    Giovanni Bellini, 173

    Giovanni Bernardi (Giovanni da Castel Bolognese), _Life_, 76-79. 83, 84

    Giovanni Caroto, _Life_, 21-22. 15

    Giovanni Cugini (Jean Cousin), 114

    Giovanni da Castel Bolognese (Giovanni Bernardi), _Life_, 76-79. 83, 84

    Giovanni da Fiesole, Fra (Fra Angelico), 246

    Giovanni da Fiesole, Maestro, 210

    Giovanni da Lione, 152, 169

    Giovanni da Udine (Giovanni Nanni, or Ricamatori), 147, 148, 180,

    Giovanni da Verona, Fra, 38, 39, 51, 218

    Giovanni delle Corniole, 76, 84

    Giovanni di Goro, 206

    Giovanni Ricamatori (Giovanni da Udine, or Nanni), 147, 148, 180,

    Girolamo Cicogna, 22

    Girolamo da Treviso, 211, 212, 244

    Girolamo dai Libri, _Life_, 49-52. 29, 37, 49-52, 54

    Girolamo Fagiuoli, 87, 276

    Girolamo Misuroni (Misceroni), 86

    Girolamo Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra, _Life_, 34-35

    Girolamo Mosciano (Girolamo Muziano, or Brescianino), 114

    Girolamo Siciolante (Girolamo Sermoneta), 221, 222, 225

    Giugni, Rosso de', 87

    Giuliano Bugiardini, 183

    Giuliano da Maiano, 131

    Giuliano da San Gallo, 6, 66, 123, 124, 126

    Giuliano di Baccio d' Agnolo, _Life_, 68-72

    Giuliano (di Niccolò Morelli), 251

    Giuliano Leno, 130, 150

    Giulio Bonasone, 114

    Giulio Clovio, Don, 51, 54, 111, 264

    Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi de' Giannuzzi), _Life_, 145-169. 20,
      24, 103-105, 110, 114, 145-169, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216, 221,

    Giuntalodi, Domenico, 273-279

    Giuseppe del Salviati (Giuseppe Porta), 115

    Giuseppe Niccolò (Joannicolo) Vicentino, 108

    Giuseppe Porta (Giuseppe del Salviati), 115

    Gobbo, Battista, 133, 140

    Goro, Giovanni di, 206

    Gozzoli, Benozzo, 246

    Granacci, Francesco (Il Granaccio), _Life_, 57-61. 66

    Greco, Il (Alessandro Cesati), _Life_, 85

    Guglielmo Milanese, 217

    Hans Beham, 119

    Hans Liefrinck, 117

    Heemskerk, Martin, 116

    Heinrich (Albrecht) Aldegrever, 119

    Hieronymus Bosch, 118

    Hieronymus Cock, _Life_, 116-120. 108

    Holland, Lucas of (Luca di Leyden, or Lucas van Leyden), _Life_, 96-99

    Il Bacchiacca (Francesco Ubertini), 60

    Il Bologna (Domenico Aimo), 217

    Il Carota (Antonio di Marco di Giano), 213

    Il Cronaca (Simone del Pollaiuolo), 66, 70

    Il Fattore (Giovan Francesco Penni), 146-148, 150, 151, 153, 177,
      193, 194, 207, 216

    Il Granaccio (Francesco Granacci), _Life_, 57-61. 66

    Il Greco (Alessandro Cesati), _Life_, 85

    Il Moro (Francesco Turbido), _Life_, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28, 40,
      50, 164

    Il Rosso (Giovan Battista de' Rossi), 109, 111, 115, 257-261, 273, 274

    Il Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), 236-238, 247, 249

    Indaco, Francesco dell', 126

    Jacomo Melighino, 139, 140

    Jacopo Barozzo, 114

    Jacopo Bellini, 11, 35

    Jacopo da Pontormo (Jacopo Carrucci), 60, 255-257, 273

    Jacopo da Trezzo, 86

    Jacopo (Cosimo) da Trezzo, 86

    Jacopo Falconetto, 42, 43

    Jacopo Sansovino, 47, 125, 127, 199

    Jan Stephanus van Calcker (Johann of Calcar), 116

    Jean Cousin (Giovanni Cugini), 114

    Joannicolo (Giuseppe Niccolò) Vicentino, 108

    Johann of Calcar (Jan Stephanus van Calcker), 116

    Lafrery, Antoine (Antonio Lanferri), 113

    Lamberto Suave (Lambert Zutmann), 110

    Lanferri, Antonio (Antoine Lafrery), 113

    Lappoli, Giovanni Antonio, _Life_, 255-265

    Lappoli, Matteo, 255

    Laureti, Tommaso (Tommaso Siciliano), 186

    Leno, Giuliano, 130, 150

    Leon Batista Alberti, 45

    Leonardo Cungi, 225

    Leone Aretino (Leone Lioni), 87

    Leyden, Luca di (Lucas of Holland, or Lucas van Leyden), _Life_, 96-99

    Liberale, _Life_, 11-15. 23, 24, 35, 36, 49

    Libri, Francesco dai (the elder), _Life_, 49. 29

    Libri, Francesco dai (the younger), _Life_, 52-54

    Libri, Girolamo dai, _Life_, 49-52. 29, 37, 49-52, 54

    Licinio, Giovanni Antonio (Pordenone), 213, 244, 247

    Liefrinck, Hans, 117

    Lione, Giovanni da, 152, 169

    Lioni, Leone (Leone Aretino), 87

    Lippi, Filippo (Filippino), 66

    Lippi, Fra Filippo, 246

    Lodovico Marmita, 84

    Lombardino, Tofano (Cristofano Lombardi), 167

    Luca da Cortona (Luca Signorelli), 246

    Luca di Leyden (Lucas of Holland, or Lucas van Leyden), _Life_, 96-99

    Luca Penni, 115

    Luca Signorelli (Luca da Cortona), 246

    Lucas of Holland (Luca di Leyden, or Lucas van Leyden), _Life_, 96-99

    Luciani, Sebastiano (Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo), _Life_,
      173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259

    Luigi Anichini, 85

    Luzio Romano, 212, 222

    Maestro Giovanni da Fiesole, 210

    Maestro Niccolò, 164

    Maestro Salvestro, 87

    Maiano, Benedetto da, 66

    Maiano, Giuliano da, 131

    Manno, 78

    Mantegna, Andrea, 15, 29, 30, 91

    Mantovano (Ghisi), Giorgio, 113, 118

    Mantovano (Sculptore), Giovan Battista, 110, 111, 157, 164, 165, 169

    Mantovano, Marcello (Marcello Venusti), 220, 225

    Mantovano, Rinaldo, 155, 156, 160, 161, 169

    Marc' Antonio Bolognese (Marc' Antonio Raimondi, or de' Franci),
      _Life_, 95-96, 99-106. 108, 109, 120

    Marcello Mantovano (Marcello Venusti), 220, 225

    Marchissi, Antonio di Giorgio, 126

    Marco da Ravenna (Marco Dente), _Life_, 102-103. 106

    Marco da Siena, 223

    Marco Dente (Marco da Ravenna), _Life_, 102-103. 106

    Marco di Battista d' Agnolo, 27, 28

    Marcolini, Francesco, 115

    Marmita, 84

    Marmita, Lodovico, 84

    Martin Heemskerk, 116

    Martin Schongauer, _Life_, 91-92

    Masaccio, 202, 203

    Maso Finiguerra, 91

    Masolino da Panicale, 203

    Matteo dal Nassaro, _Life_, 79-82. 76

    Matteo Lappoli, 255

    Maturino, 177, 196

    Mazzuoli, Francesco (Parmigiano), 107-109, 114, 259

    Melighino, Jacomo, 139, 140

    Michael (Michele Coxie), 116, 178

    Michelagnolo Buonarroti, 57, 59, 60, 66, 68, 78, 79, 85, 92, 107,
      111, 113, 114, 129, 135, 136, 139, 140, 167, 174-177, 183, 185,
      191, 193, 195, 205, 218, 219, 222, 225, 236, 263

    Michele (Michael Coxie), 116, 178

    Michele San Michele, 25, 26, 47, 130

    Michelino, 76

    Milanese, Guglielmo, 217

    Minio, Tiziano (Tiziano da Padova), 47

    Misuroni (Misceroni), Gasparo, 86

    Misuroni (Misceroni), Girolamo, 86

    Modena, Pellegrino da (Pellegrino degli Aretusi, or de' Munari), 125

    Mondella, Galeazzo, 42, 80

    Monsignori (Bonsignori), Alberto, 29

    Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra Cherubino, 34

    Monsignori (Bonsignori), Fra Girolamo, _Life_, 34-35

    Monsignori (Bonsignori), Francesco, _Life_, 29-35

    Montelupo, Raffaello da, 133, 222

    Morando, Paolo (Paolo Cavazzuola), _Life_, 39-42. 15, 24, 25, 29,
      39-42, 50

    Morelli, Giuliano di Niccolò, 251

    Moro, Battista del (Battista d' Agnolo), _Life_, 27-28. 108

    Moro, Il (Francesco Turbido), _Life_, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28, 40,
      50, 164

    Morone, Domenico, _Life_, 35-36. 29, 38

    Morone, Francesco, _Life_, 36-39. 29, 36-39, 40, 41, 50

    Mosca, Simone, 133

    Mosciano, Girolamo (Girolamo Muziano, or Brescianino), 114

    Munari, Pellegrino de' (Pellegrino da Modena, or degli Aretusi), 125

    Musi, Agostino de' (Agostino Viniziano), _Life_, 102-103. 106

    Muziano, Girolamo (Girolamo Mosciano, or Brescianino), 114

    Nanni, Giovanni (Giovanni da Udine, or Ricamatori), 147, 148, 180,

    Nassaro, Matteo dal, _Life_, 79-82. 76

    Navarra, Pietro, 126

    Negrolo, Filippo, 86

    Niccola Viniziano, 209

    Niccolò (called Tribolo), 133

    Niccolò, Maestro, 164

    Niccolò Avanzi, 79, 80

    Niccolò Beatricio (Nicolas Beautrizet), 114

    Niccolò Soggi, _Life_, 269-279. 261

    Nicolas Beautrizet (Niccolò Beatricio), 114

    Nunziata, Toto del, 191, 196

    Orlando Fiacco (or Fiacco), _Life_, 28

    Ottaviano Falconetto, 47, 48

    Pace, Domenico di (Domenico Beccafumi), _Life_, 235-251. 108, 213,
      215, 223, 235-251

    Padova, Tiziano da (Tiziano Minio), 47

    Pagni, Benedetto, 152, 154-156, 169

    Palladio, Andrea, 28, 48

    Panicale, Masolino da, 203

    Paolo Caliari (Paolo Veronese), 22, 27

    Paolo Cavazzuola (Paolo Morando), _Life_, 39-42. 15, 24, 25, 29,
      39-42, 50

    Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari), 22, 27

    Papacello, Tommaso, 152

    Papino della Pieve, 272

    Parmigiano (Francesco Mazzuoli), 107-109, 114, 259

    Pastorino da Siena, 87, 219

    Pecori, Domenico, 255, 258, 271

    Pellegrino da Modena (Pellegrino degli Aretusi, or de' Munari), 125

    Pencz, Georg, 119

    Penni, Giovan Francesco (Il Fattore), 146-148, 150, 151, 153, 177,
      193, 194, 207, 216

    Penni, Luca, 115

    Perino del Vaga (Perino Buonaccorsi, or Perino de' Ceri), _Life_,
      189-225. 78, 109, 125, 129, 139, 148, 177, 189-225, 244, 257-259

    Perugino, Pietro (Pietro Vannucci), 235, 269

    Peruzzi, Baldassarre, 107, 167, 174, 177, 239

    Pescia, Pier Maria da, 76

    Pier Francesco da Viterbo, 130, 132

    Pier Francesco di Jacopo di Sandro, 257

    Pier Maria da Pescia, 76

    Piero Catanei, 250

    Piero del Pollaiuolo, 182, 246

    Pietrasanta, Stagio da, 214

    Pietro Navarra, 126

    Pietro Paolo Galeotto, 87

    Pietro Perugino (Pietro Vannucci), 235, 269

    Pieve, Papino della, 272

    Piloto, 201, 205, 207

    Pinturicchio, Bernardino, 195

    Piombo, Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del (Sebastiano Luciani), _Life_,
      173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259

    Pisano (or Pisanello), Vittore (or Antonio), 35

    Pittoni, Battista (Battista of Vicenza), 108

    Poggini, Domenico, 87

    Polidoro da Caravaggio, 177, 196

    Pollaiuolo, Antonio del, 182, 246

    Pollaiuolo, Piero del, 182, 246

    Pollaiuolo, Simone del (Il Cronaca), 66, 70

    Polo, Domenico di, 84

    Pontormo, Jacopo da (Jacopo Carrucci), 60, 255-257, 273

    Pordenone (Giovanni Antonio Licinio), 213, 244, 247

    Porta, Giuseppe (Giuseppe del Salviati), 115

    Primaticcio, Francesco, 115, 157

    Provolo Falconetto, 47, 48

    Raffaello da Montelupo, 133, 222

    Raffaello da Urbino (Raffaello Sanzio), 6, 38, 66, 69, 99-104,
      106-108, 114, 120, 126, 127, 130, 145-148, 153, 156, 165,
      174-178, 181, 183, 193-195, 207, 209, 218, 221, 236, 269

    Raffaello dal Colle (Raffaello dal Borgo), 152, 169

    Raffaello Pippi de' Giannuzzi, 168

    Raffaello Sanzio (Raffaello da Urbino), 6, 38, 66, 69, 99-104,
      106-108, 114, 120, 126, 127, 130, 145-148, 153, 156, 165,
      174-178, 181, 183, 193-195, 207, 209, 218, 221, 236, 269

    Raimondi, Marc' Antonio (Marc' Antonio Bolognese, or de' Franci),
      _Life_, 95-96, 99-106. 108, 109, 120

    Ravenna, Marco da (Marco Dente), _Life_, 102-103. 106

    Reggio, Sebastiano da, 165

    Renato (René Boyvin), 115

    Ricamatori, Giovanni (Giovanni da Udine, or Nanni), 147, 148, 180,

    Ricciarelli, Daniello, 113, 219, 224

    Riccio, Domenico del (Domenico Brusciasorzi), 82

    Ridolfi, Bartolommeo, 48

    Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, 191, 192

    Rinaldo Mantovano, 155, 156, 160, 161, 169

    Romano, Giulio (Giulio Pippi de' Giannuzzi), _Life_, 145-169. 20,
      24, 103-105, 110, 114, 145-169, 177, 193, 194, 207, 216, 221, 259

    Romano, Luzio, 212, 222

    Rossi, Francesco de' (Francesco Salviati), 108, 111, 177

    Rossi, Giovan Battista de' (Il Rosso), 109, 111, 115, 257-261, 273, 274

    Rossi, Giovanni Antonio de', 86

    Rosso (or Rosto), Giovan Battista, 164

    Rosso, Il (Giovan Battista de' Rossi), 109, 111, 115, 257-261, 273, 274

    Rosso de' Giugni, 87

    Rosto (or Rosso), Giovan Battista, 164

    Salamanca, Antonio, 276

    Salvestro, Maestro, 87

    Salviati, Francesco (Francesco de' Rossi), 108, 111, 177

    Salviati, Giuseppe del (Giuseppe Porta), 115

    S. Clemente, Abbot of (Don Bartolommeo della Gatta), 255

    San Gallo, Antonio da (the elder), 66, 123, 272

    San Gallo, Antonio da (the younger), _Life_, 123-141. 167, 197,
      198, 219, 220, 222

    San Gallo, Francesco da, 133, 173

    San Gallo, Giuliano da, 6, 66, 123, 124, 126

    San Marco, Fra Bartolommeo di, 66

    San Michele, Michele, 25, 26, 47, 130

    Sandro, Pier Francesco di Jacopo di, 257

    Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro Filipepi), 91

    Sansovino, Andrea (Andrea Contucci), 66, 133

    Sansovino, Jacopo, 47, 125, 127, 199

    Sanzio, Raffaello (Raffaello da Urbino), 6, 38, 66, 69, 99-104,
      106-108, 114, 120, 126, 127, 130, 145-148, 153, 156, 165,
      174-178, 181, 183, 193-195, 207, 209, 218, 221, 236, 269

    Sarto, Andrea del, 60, 106, 255-257, 272, 273

    Sassoli, Stagio, 272

    Scarpagni, Antonio (Scarpagnino or Zanfragnino), 10

    Schongauer, Martin, _Life_, 91-92

    Sculptore (Mantovano), Giovan Battista, 110, 111, 157, 164, 165, 169

    Sebastiano da Reggio, 165

    Sebastiano Luciani (Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo), _Life_,
      173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259

    Sebastiano Serlio, 113

    Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo, Fra (Sebastiano Luciani), _Life_,
      173-186. 108, 139, 148, 173-186, 217, 259

    Serlio, Sebastiano, 113

    Sermoneta, Girolamo (Girolamo Siciolante), 221, 222, 225

    Siciliano, Tommaso (Tommaso Laureti), 186

    Siciolante, Girolamo (Girolamo Sermoneta), 221, 222, 225

    Siena, Marco da, 223

    Siena, Pastorino da, 87, 219

    Signorelli, Luca (Luca da Cortona), 246

    Silvio Cosini, 210

    Simone Cioli, 133

    Simone del Pollaiuolo (Il Cronaca), 66, 70

    Simone Mosca, 133

    Sodoma, Il (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), 236-238, 247, 249

    Soggi, Niccolò, _Life_, 269-279. 261

    Sogliani, Giovanni Antonio, 214, 215, 247, 248

    Sozzini, Giovan Battista, 87

    Stagio da Pietrasanta, 214

    Stagio Sassoli, 272

    Stefano, Vincenzio di, 11

    Stefano Veronese (Stefano da Zevio), 35, 42

    Suave, Lamberto (Lambert Zutmann), 110

    Tasso, Battista del, 213

    Tiziano da Cadore (Tiziano Vecelli), 109, 111, 114, 161, 183, 222

    Tiziano da Padova (Tiziano Minio), 47

    Tiziano Vecelli (Tiziano da Cadore), 109, 111, 114, 161, 183, 222

    Tofano Lombardino (Cristofano Lombardi), 167

    Tommaso Barlacchi, 104, 113

    Tommaso Laureti (Tommaso Siciliano), 186

    Tommaso Papacello, 152

    Tommaso Siciliano (Tommaso Laureti), 186

    Torri, Bartolommeo, 264, 265

    Toto del Nunziata, 191, 196

    Trento, Antonio da (Antonio Fantuzzi), 108

    Treviso, Girolamo da, 211, 212, 244

    Trezzo, Cosimo (Jacopo) da, 86

    Trezzo, Jacopo da, 86

    Tribolo (Niccolò), 133

    Turbido, Francesco (Il Moro), _Life_, 22-28. 14, 15, 21, 22-28,
      40, 50, 164

    Ubertini, Francesco (Il Bacchiacca), 60

    Udine, Giovanni da (Giovanni Nanni, or Ricamatori), 147, 148, 180,

    Ugo da Carpi, 106, 107

    Urbino, Bramante da, 6, 124, 126, 136, 138

    Urbino, Raffaello da (Raffaello Sanzio), 6, 38, 66, 69, 99-104,
      106-108, 114, 120, 126, 127, 130, 145-148, 153, 156, 165,
      174-178, 181, 183, 193-195, 207, 209, 218, 221, 236, 269

    Vaga, 191, 192

    Vaga, Perino del (Perino Buonaccorsi, or Perino de' Ceri), _Life_,
      189-225. 78, 109, 125, 129, 139, 148, 177, 189-225, 244, 257-259

    Valerio Vicentino (Valerio Belli), _Life_, 82-84. 76-79

    Valverde, 116

    Vannucci, Pietro (Pietro Perugino), 235, 269

    Vasari, Giorgio--
      as art-collector, 3, 22, 54, 60, 120, 157, 175, 225, 230, 250,
        256, 260, 263
      as author, 3, 6, 10, 11, 13, 15, 22, 23, 27, 28, 32, 35, 39, 42,
        46, 48, 53, 54, 57-59, 65, 75, 76, 79, 82, 84-87, 91, 93-95,
        105-107, 112, 113, 120, 123, 133, 152, 153, 159, 161, 165-167,
        175, 176, 178, 190, 194, 196, 202, 204, 207, 210-213, 215, 217,
        221, 223, 229-231, 235, 239, 246, 248-250, 258, 261, 264, 269,
      as painter, 22, 72, 120, 215, 221, 263, 264, 276
      as architect, 70, 139, 278

    Vecelli, Tiziano (Tiziano da Cadore), 109, 111, 114, 161, 183, 222

    Venusti, Marcello (Marcello Mantovano), 220, 225

    Verese, 118

    Verona, Fra Giovanni da, 38, 39, 51, 218

    Veronese, Giovanni Battista, 13

    Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Caliari), 22, 27

    Veronese, Stefano (Stefano da Zevio), 35, 42

    Vicentino, Joannicolo (Giuseppe Niccolò), 108

    Vicentino, Valerio (Valerio Belli), _Life_, 82-84. 76, 79

    Vicenza, Battista of (Battista Pittoni), 108

    Vico, Enea, _Life_, 111-112

    Vincenzio di Stefano, 11

    Viniziano, Agostino (Agostino de' Musi), _Life_, 102-103. 106

    Viniziano, Domenico, 182

    Viniziano, Niccola, 209

    Viterbo, Pier Francesco da, 130, 132

    Vitruvius, 5, 45, 140

    Vittore (or Antonio) Pisano (or Pisanello), 35

    Vrient, Franz de (Franz Floris), 119, 120

    Zanfragnino (Antonio Scarpagni, or Scarpagnino), 10

    Zeuxis, 239

    Zevio, Stefano da (Stefano Veronese), 35, 42

    Zoppo, 81

    Zutmann, Lambert (Lamberto Suave), 110



*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lives of the most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 06 (of 10) Fra Giocondo to Niccolo Soggi" ***

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