Portrait bust of Michelangelo. Bronze. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.
Vasari's Lives of the Artists
DANIELLO, when he was a lad, learned to draw a little from Giovanni Antonio Sodoma, who went at that time to execute certain works in the city of Volterra ; and when Sodoma had gone away he made much greater and better proficience under Baldassarre Peruzzi than he had done under the discipline of the other. But to tell the truth, for all that, he achieved no great success at that time, for the reason that in proportion as he de- voted great effort and study to seeking to learn, being urged by a strong desire, even so, on the other hand, did his brain and hand fail him. Where- fore in his first works, which he executed at Volterra, there is evidence of very great, nay, infinite labour, but not yet any promise of a grand or beautiful manner, nor any grace, charm, or invention, such as have been seen at an early hour in many others who have been born to be painters, and who, even in their first beginnings, have shown facility, boldness, and some indication of a good manner. His first works, indeed, seem in truth as if done by a melancholic, being full of effort and executed with much patience and expenditure of time.
But let us come to his works, leaving aside those that are not worthy of attention; in his youth he painted in fresco at Volterra the facade of M. Mario Maffei, in chiaroscuro, which gave him a good name and won him much credit. But after he had finished it, perceiving that he had there no competition that might spur him to seek to rise to greater heights, and that there were no works in that city, either ancient or modern, from which he could learn much, he determined at all costs to go to Rome, where he heard that there were not at that time many who were engaged in painting, excepting Perino del Vaga. Before departing, he resolved that he would take some finished work that might make him known ; and so, having painted a canvas in oils of Christ Scourged at the Column, with many figures, to which he devoted all possible diligence, availing himself of models and portraits from life, he took it with him. And, having arrived in Rome, he had not been long there before he contrived by means of friends to show that picture to Cardinal Triulzi, whom it satisfied in such a manner that he not only bought it, but also conceived a very great affection for Daniello ; and a short time afterwards he sent him to work in a village without Rome belonging to himself, called Salone, where he had built a very large house, which he was having adorned with fountains, stucco-work, and paintings, and in which at that very time Gian Maria da Milano and others were decorating certain rooms with stucco and grotesques. Arriving there, then, Daniello, both out of emulation and from a desire to serve that lord, from whom he could hope to win much honour and profit, painted various things in many rooms and loggie in company with the others, and in particular executed many grotesques, full of various little figures of women. But the work that proved to be more beautiful than all the rest was a story of Phaethon, executed in fresco with figures of the size of life, and a very large River God that he painted there, which is a very good figure ; and all these works, since the above- named Cardinal went often to see them, and took with him now one and now another of the Cardinals, were the reason that Daniello formed a friendship and bonds of service with many of them.
Afterwards, Perino del Vaga, who at that time was painting the Chapel of M. Agnolo de' Massimi in the Trinita, having need of a young man who might help him, Daniello, desiring to make proficience, and drawn by his promises, went to work with him and assisted him to execute certain things in the work of that chapel, which he carried to completion with much diligence. Now, before the sack of Rome Perino had painted on the vaulting of the Chapel of the Crocifisso in S. Marcello, as has been related, the Creation of Adam and Eve in figures of the size of life, and in much larger figures two Evangelists, S. John and S. Mark, which were not yet completely finished, since the figure of S. John was wanting from the middle upwards; and the men of that Company resolved, when the affairs of Rome had finally become settled again, that the same Perino should finish the work. But he, having other work to do, made the cartoons and had it finished by Danielle, who completed the S. John that had been left unfinished, painted all by himself the two other Evangelists, S. Luke and S. Matthew, between them two little boys that are holding a candelabrum, and, on the arch of the wall that contains the window, two Angels standing poised on their wings in the act of flight, who are holding in their hands the Mysteries of the Passion of Jesus Christ; and he adorned the arch richly with grotesques and little naked figures of great beauty. In short, he acquitted himself marvellously well in all that work, although he took a considerable time over it.
The same Perino having then caused Daniello to execute a frieze in the hall of the Palace of M. Agnolo Massimi, with many divisions in stucco and other ornaments, and stories of the actions of Fabius Maximus, he bore himself so well, that Signora Elena Orsina, having seen that work and hearing the ability of Daniello much extolled, commissioned him to paint her chapel in the Church of the Trinita in Rome, on trie hill, where the Friars of S. Francesco di Paola have their seat. Wherefore Daniello, putting forth all possible effort and diligence, in order to produce a rare work which might make him known as an excellent painter, did not shrink from devoting to it the labour of many years. From the name of that lady, the title given to the chapel being that of the Cross of Christ Our Saviour, the subject chosen was that of the actions of S. Helen; and so in the principal altar-piece Daniello painted Jesus Christ taken down from the Cross by Joseph, Nicodemus, and other disciples, and the Virgin Mary in a swoon, supported on the arms of the Magdalene and the other Maries, in all which he showed very great judgment, and gave proof of very rare ability, for the reason that, besides the composition of the figures, which has a very rich effect, the figure of Christ is very fine and most beautifully foreshortened, with the feet coming forward and the rest backwards. Very beautiful and difficult, likewise, are the fore- shortenings in the figures of those who, having removed Him from the Cross, support Him with some bands, standing on some ladders and re- vealing in certain parts the nude flesh, executed with much grace. Around that altarpiece he made an ornament in stucco-work of great beauty and variety, full of carvings, with two figures that support the pediment with their heads, while with one hand they hold the capital, and with the other they seek to place the column, which stands at the foot on the base, below the capital to support it; which work is done with extraordinary care. In the arch above the altarpiece he painted two Sibyls in fresco, which are the best figures in the whole work; and those Sibyls are one on either side of the window, which is above the centre of the altarpiece, giving light to the whole chapel.
The vaulting of the chapel is divided into four compartments by bizarre, well varied, and beautiful partitions of stucco-work and grotesques made with new fantasies of masks and festoons; and in those compartments are four stories of the Cross and of S. Helen, the mother of Constantine. In the first is the scene when, before the Passion of the Saviour, three Crosses are constructed; in the second, S. Helen commanding certain Hebrews to reveal those Crosses to her; in the third, the Hebrews not consenting to reveal them, she causes to be cast into a well him who knows where they are; and in the fourth he reveals the place where all three are buried. Those four scenes are beautiful beyond belief, and executed with great care. On the side-walls are four other scenes, two to each wall, and each is divided off by the cornice that forms the impost of the arch upon which rests the groined vaulting of the chapel. In one is S. Helen causing the Holy Cross and the two others to be drawn up from a well; and in the second is that of the Saviour healing a sick man. Of the pictures below, in that on the right hand is the same S. Helen recognizing the Cross of Christ because it restores to life a corpse upon which it is laid ; to the nude flesh of which corpse Daniello devoted extraordinary pains, searching out all the muscles and seeking to render correctly all the parts of the body, as he also did in those who are placing the Cross upon it, and in the bystanders, who are all struck with amaze- ment by the sight of that miracle. And, in addition, there is a bier of bizarre shape painted with much diligence, with a skeleton embracing it, executed with great care and with beautiful invention. In the other picture, which is opposite to the first, he painted the Emperor Heraclius walking barefoot and in his shirt, and carrying the Cross of Christ through adoring it, many lords in his train, and a groom who is holding his horse. Below each scene, forming a kind of base, are two most beautiful women in chiaroscuro, painted in imitation of marble, who appear to be support- ing those scenes. And under the first arch, on the front side, he painted on the flat surface, standing upright, two figures as large as life, a S. Fran- cesco di Paola, the head of the Order that administers the above-named church, and a S. Jerome robed as a Cardinal, which are two very good figures, even as are those of the whole work, which Danielle executed in seven years, with incalculable labor and study.
But, since pictures that are executed in that way have always a certain hard and labored quality, the work is wanting in the grace and facility that give most pleasure to the eye. Wherefore Daniello, himself confessing the fatigue that he had endured in the work, and fearing the fate that did come upon him (namely, that he would be censured), made below the feet of those two Saints, to please himself, and as^ it were in his own defence, two little scenes of stucco in low-relief, in which he sought to show that, although he worked slowly and with effort, nevertheless, since Michelagnolo Buonarroti and Fra Sebastiano del Piombo were his friends, and he was always imitating their works and observing their precepts, his imitation of those two men should be enough to defend him from the biting words of envious and malignant persons, whose evil nature must perforce be revealed, although they may not think it. In one of these scenes, then, he made many figures of Satyrs that are weigh- ing legs, arms, and other members of figures with a steelyard, in order to put on one side those that are correct in weight and satisfactory, and to give those that are bad to Michelagnolo and Fra Sebastiano, who are holding conference over them ; and in the other is Michelagnolo looking at himself in a mirror, the significance of which is clear enough. At two angles of the arch, likewise, on the outer side, he painted two nudes in chiaroscuro, which are of the same excellence as the other figures in that work. When it was all uncovered, which was after a very long time, it was much extolled, and held to be a very beautiful work and a triumph over difficulties, and the painter a most excellent master.
After that chapel, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese caused him to execute in a room in his Palace namely, at the corner, under one of those very rich ceilings made under the direction of Maestro Antonio da San Gallo for three large chambers that are in a line a very beautiful frieze in painting, with a scene full of figures on each wall, the scenes being a very beautiful triumph of Bacchus, a Hunt, and others of that kind. These much pleased the Cardinal, who caused him to paint, in addition, in several parts of that frieze, the Unicorn in various forms in the lap of a Virgin, which is the device of that most illustrious family. Which work was the reason that that lord, who has ever been the friend of all talented and distinguished men, always favoured him, and even more would he have done it, if Daniello had not been so dilatory over his work ; but for that Daniello was not to blame, seeing that such was his nature and genius, and he was content to do little well rather than much not so well. Now, in addition to the affection that the Cardinal bore him, Signer Annibale Caro worked on his behalf in such a manner with his patrons, the Farnesi, that they always assisted him. And for Madama Margherita of Austria, the daughter of Charles V, he painted in eight spaces in the study of which mention has been made in the Life of Indaco, in the Palace of the Medici on the Piazza Navona, eight little stories of the actions and illustrious deeds of the above-named Emperor Charles V, with such diligence and excellence, that it would be almost impossible to do better in that kind of work.
In the year 1547 Perino del Vaga died, leaving unfinished the Hall of Kings, which, as has been related, is in the Papal Palace, in front of the Sistine and Pauline Chapels; and by the mediation of many friends and lords, and in particular of Michelagnolo Buonarroti, Daniello was set in his place by Pope Paul III, with the same salary that Perino had received, and was commanded to make a beginning with the ornaments of the walls that were to be executed in stucco, with many nudes in the round over certain pediments. Now, since the walls of that Hall are broken by six large doors in variegated marble, and only one wall is left unbroken, Daniello made over each door what is almost a tabernacle in stucco, of great beauty. In each of these he intended to execute in painting one of those Kings who have defended the Apostolic Church, and then to con- tinue on the walls with stories of those Kings who have benefited the Church with tributes or victories, so that in all there were to be six stories and six niches. After those niches, or rather, tabernacles, Daniello with the aid of many assistants executed all the other very rich decorations in stucco that are to be seen in that Hall, studying at the same time over the cartoons for all that he had proposed to do in that place in the way of painting. Which done, he made a beginning with one of the stories, but he did not paint more than about two braccia of it, and two of the Kings in the tabernacles of stucco over the doors. For, although he was pressed by Cardinal Farnese and by the Pope, not reflecting that death very often spoils the designs of men, he carried on the work so slowly that when in the year 1549 tne death of the Pope took place, there was nothing done save what has been described; and then, the Conclave having to be held in the Hall, which was full of scaffolding and wood-work, it became neces- sary to throw everything to the ground and uncover the work. The whole being thus seen by everyone, the works in stucco were vastly extolled, as they deserved, but not so the two Kings in painting, for it was thought that they were not equal in excellence to the work at the Trinita, and that with all those fine allowances and advantages he had gone rather backward than forward.
Julius III having been created Pontiff in the year 1550, Daniello put himself forward by means of friends and interests, hoping to obtain the same salary and to continue the work of that Hall, but the Pope, not having any inclination in his favour, always put him off ; indeed, sending for Giorgio Vasari, who had been his servant from the time when he was Archbishop of Siponto, he made use of him in all matters concerned with design. Nevertheless, his Holiness having determined to make a fountain at the head of the corridor of the Belvedere, and not liking a design by Michelagnolo (in which was Moses striking the rock and causing water to flow from it) because it was a thing that could not be carried out without a great expenditure of time, since Michelagnolo wished to make it of marble; his Holiness, I say, preferring the advice of Giorgio, which was that the Cleopatra, a divine figure made by the Greeks, should be set up in that place, the charge of that work was given by means of Buonarroti to Danielle, with orders that he should make in the above-named place a grotto in stucco-w r ork, within which that Cleopatra was to be placed. Danielle, then, having set his hand to that work, pursued it so slowly, although he was much pressed, that he finished only the stucco-work and the paintings in that room, but as for the many other things that the Pope wished to have done, seeing them delayed longer than he had expected, he lost all desire for them, so that nothing more was done and everything was left in the condition that is still to be seen.
In a chapel in the Church of S. Agostino Daniello painted in fresco, with figures of the size of life, S. Helen causing the Cross to be found, and in two niches at the sides S. Cecilia and S. Lucia, which work was painted partly by him and partly, after his designs, by the young men who worked with him, so that it did not prove as perfect as his others. At this same time there was allotted to him by Signora Lucrezia della Rovere a chapel in the Trinita, opposite to that of Signora Elena Orsina. In that chapel, having divided it into compartments with stucco-work, he had the vaulting painted with stories of the Virgin, after his own cartoons, by Marco da Siena and Pellegrino da Bologna; on one of the walls he caused the Nativity of the Virgin to be painted by the Spaniard Bizzerra, and on the other, by Giovan Paolo Rossetti of Volterra, his disciple, the Presentation of Jesus Christ to Simeon; and he caused the same Giovan Paolo to execute two scenes that are on the arches above, Gabriel bringing the Annunciation to the Virgin and the Nativity of Christ. On the outer side, at the angles, he painted two large figures, and on the pilasters, at the foot, two Prophets. On the altar-front Daniello painted with his own hand the Madonna ascending the steps of the Temple, and on the principal wall the same Virgin ascending into Heaven, borne by many most beautiful Angels in the forms of little boys, and the twelve Apostles below, gazing on her as she ascends. And since the place would not hold so many figures, and he desired to use a new invention in the work, he made it appear as if the altar of that chapel were the sepulchre, and placed the Apostles around it, making their feet rest on the floor of the chapel, where the altar begins; which method of Daniello' s has pleased some, but others, who form the greater and better part, not at all. And although Daniello toiled fourteen years over executing that work, it is not a whit better than the first. On the last wall of the chapel that remained to be finished, on which there was to be painted the Massacre of the Innocents, having himself made the cartoons, he had the whole executed by the Florentine Michele Alberti, his disciple.
The Florentine Monsignor M. Giovanni della Casa, a man of great learning (to which his most pleasing and learned works, both in Latin and in the vulgar tongue, bear witness), having begun to write a treatise on the matters of painting, and wishing to enlighten himself as to certain minute particulars with the help of men of the profession, commissioned Daniello to make with all possible care a finished model of a David in clay. And then he caused him to paint, or rather, to copy in a picture, the same David, which is very beautiful, from either side, both the front and the back, which was a fanciful notion; and that picture now belongs to M. Annibale Rucellai. For the same M. Giovanni he executed a Dead Christ with the Maries; and, on a canvas that was to be sent to France, ^Eneas disrobing in order to go to sleep with Dido, and interrupted by Mercury, who is represented as speaking to him in the manner that may be read in the verses of Virgil. And he painted for the same man in another picture, likewise in oils, a most beautiful S. John in Penitence, of the size of life, which was held very dear by that lord as long as he lived; and also a S. Jerome, beautiful to a marvel.
Pope Julius III having died, and Paul IV having been elected Supreme Pontiff, the Cardinal of Carpi sought to persuade his Holiness to give the above-mentioned Hall of Kings to Daniello to finish, but that Pope, not delighting in pictures, answered that it was much better to fortify Rome than to spend money on painting it. And so he caused a beginning to be made with the great portal of the Castle, after the design of Salustio, the son of Baldassarre Peruzzi of Siena and his architect, and ordained that in that work, which was being executed all in travertine, after the manner of a sumptuous and magnificent triumphal arch, there should be placed in niches five statues, each of four braccia and a half; whereupon Daniello was commissioned to make an Angel Michael, the other statues having been allotted to other craftsmen. Meanwhile Monsignor Giovanni Riccio, Cardinal of Montepulciano, resolved to erect a chapel in S. Pietro a Montorio, opposite to that which Pope Julius had caused to be built under the direction of Giorgio Vasari, and he allotted the altarpiece, the scenes in fresco and the statues of marble that were going into it, to Danielle ; and Danielle, by that time completely determined that he would abandon painting and devote himself to sculpture, went off to Carrara to have the marble quarried both for the S. Michael and for the statues that he was to make for the chapel in S. Pietro a Montorio. With that occasion, coming to see Florence and the works that Vasari was executing in the Palace for the Duke, and the other works in that city, he received many courtesies from his innumerable friends, and in particular from Vasari himself, to whom Buonarroti had recommended him by letter. Abiding in Florence, then, and perceiving how much the Lord Duke delighted in all the arts of design, Daniello was seized with a desire to attach himself to the service of his most illustrious Excellency. Many means being therefore employed, the Lord Duke replied to those who were recommending him that he should be introduced by Vasari, and so it was done ; and Daniello offering himself as the servant of his Excellency, the Duke answered graciously that he accepted him most willingly, and that after he had fulfilled the engagements that he had in Rome, he should come when he pleased, and he would be received very gladly.
Daniello stayed all that summer in Florence, where Giorgio lodged him in the house of Simon Botti, who was much his friend. There, during that time, he cast in gesso nearly all the figures of marble by the hand of Michelagnolo that are in the new sacristy of S. Lorenzo; and for the Fleming Michael Fugger he made a Leda, which was a very beautiful figure. He then went to Carrara, and from there, having sent the marble that he desired in the direction of Rome, he returned once again to Florence, for the following reason. Daniello had brought with him, when he first came from Rome to Florence, a young disciple of his own called Orazio Pianetti, a talented and very gentle youth ; but no sooner had he arrived in Florence, whatever may have been the reason, than he died. At which feeling infinite grief and sorrow, Daniello, as one who much loved the young man for his fine qualities, and was not able to show his affection for him in any other way, returning that last time to Florence, made a portrait of him in marble from the breast upwards, which he copied excellently well from one moulded from his dead body. And when it was finished, he placed it with an epitaph in the Church of S. Michele Berteldi on the Piazza degli Antinori ; in which Danielle proved himself, by that truly loving office, to be a man of rare goodness, and a different sort of friend to his friends from the kind that is generally seen at the present day, when there are very few to be found who value anything in friend- ship beyond their own profit and convenience.
After these things, it being a long time since he had been in his native city of Volterra, he went there before returning to Rome, and was warmly welcomed by his relatives and friends. Being besought to leave some memorial of himself in his native place, he executed the story of the Innocents in a small panel with little figures, which was held to be a very beautiful work, and placed it in the Church of S. Piero. Then, thinking that he would never return, he sold the little that he possessed there by way of patrimony to Leonardo Ricciarelli, his nephew, who, having been with him in Rome, and having learned very well how to work in stucco, afterwards served Giorgio Vasari for three years, in company with many others, in the works that were executed at that time in the Palace of the Duke.
When Daniello had finally returned to Rome, Pope Paul IV having a desire to throw to the ground the Judgment of Michelagnolo on account of the nudes, which seemed to him to display the parts of shame in an unseemly manner, it was said by the Cardinals and by men of judgment that it would be a great sin to spoil them, and they found a way out of it, which was that Daniello should paint some light garments to cover them; and the business was afterwards finished in the time of Pius IV by repainting the S. Catherine and the S. Biagio, which were thought to be unseemly.
In the meantime he began the statues for the Chapel of the above- named Cardinal of Montepulciano, and the S. Michael for the great portal; but none the less, being a man who was always going from one notion to another, he did not work with the promptitude that he could and should have used. About this time, after King Henry of France had been killed in a tournament, Signor Ruberto Strozzi being about to come to Italy and to Rome, Queen Caterina de' Medici, having been left Regent in that kingdom, and wishing to erect some honourable memorial to her dead husband, commanded the said Ruberto to confer with Buonarroti and to contrive to have her desire in that matter fulfilled. Wherefore, having arrived in Rome, he spoke long of the matter with Michelagnolo, who, not being able, because he was old, to accept that undertaking himself, advised Signor Ruberto to give it to Danielle, saying that he would not fail to give him all the counsel and assistance that he could. To that offer Strozzi attached great importance, and, after they had considered with much deliberation what should be done, it was resolved that Daniello should make a horse of bronze all in one piece, twenty palms high from the head to the feet, and about forty in length, and that upon it there should then be placed the statue of King Henry in armor, likewise of bronze. Daniello having then made a little model of clay after the advice and judgment of Michelagnolo, which much pleased Signor Ruberto, an account of everything was written to France, and in the end an agreement was made between him and Daniello as to the method of executing that work, the time, the price, and every other thing. Whereupon Daniello, setting to work with much study on the horse, made it in clay exactly as it was to be, without ever doing any other work; and then, having made the mould, he was proceeding to prepare to cast it, and, the work being of such importance, was taking advice from many founders as to the method that he ought to pursue, to the end that it might come out well, when Pius IV, who had been elected Pontiff after the death of Paul, gave Daniello to understand that he desired, as has been related in the Life of Salviati, that the work of the Hall of Kings should be finished, and that therefore every other thing was to be put on one side. To which Daniello answered that he was fully occupied and pledged to the Queen of France, but would make the cartoons and have the work carried forward by his young men, and, in addition, would also do his own part in it. The Pope, not liking that answer, began to think of allotting the whole to Salviati; wherefore Daniello, seized with jealousy, so went to work with the help of the Cardinal of Carpi and Michelagnolo, that the half of that Hall was given to him to paint, and the other half, as we have related, to Salviati, although Danielle did his utmost to obtain the whole, in order to proceed with it at his leisure and convenience, without competition. But in the end the matter of that work was handled in such a manner, that Daniello did not do there one thing more than what he had done before, and Salviati did not finish the little that he had begun, and even that little was thrown to the ground for him by certain malicious persons.
Finally, after four years, Daniello was ready, so far as concerned him, to cast the above-mentioned horse, but he was obliged to wait many months more than he would otherwise have done, for want of the supplies of iron instruments, metal, and other materials that Signor Ruberto was to give him. But in the end, all these things having been provided, Daniello embedded the mould, which was a vast mass, between two furnaces for founding in a very suitable room that he had at Monte Cavallo. The material being melted and the orifices unstopped, for a time the metal ran well enough, but at length the weight of fhe metal burst the mould of the body of the horse, and all the molten material flowed in a wrong direction. At first this much troubled the mind of Daniello, but none the less, having thought well over everything, he found a way to remedy that great misfortune; and so after two months, casting it a second time, his ability prevailed over the impediments of Fortune, so that he executed the casting of that horse (which is a sixth, or more, larger than that of Antoninus which is on the Campidoglio) perfectly uniform and equally delicate throughout, and it is a marvellous thing that a work so large should not weigh more than twenty thousand (libbre).
But such were the discomforts and fatigues that were endured in the work by Daniello, who was rather feeble in constitution and melancholy than otherwise, that not long afterwards there came upon him a cruel catarrh, which much reduced him ; indeed, whereas Daniello should have been happy at having surmounted innumerable difficulties in so rare a casting, it seemed that he never smiled again, no matter what good fortune might befall him, and no long time passed before that catarrh, after an illness of two days, robbed him of his life, on the 4th of April, 1566. But before that, having foreseen his death, he confessed very devoutly, and demanded all the Sacraments of the Church; and then, making his will, he directed that his body should be buried in the new church that had been begun at the Baths by Pius IV for the Carthusian Monks, ordaining also that at his tomb, in that place, there should be set up the statue of the Angel that he had formerly begun for the great portal of the Castle. And of all this he gave the charge to the Florentine Michele degli Alberti and to Feliciano of San Vito in the district of Rome, making them executors of his will in those matters, and leaving them two hundred crowns for the purpose. Which last wishes of Daniello' s the two of them executed with diligence and love, giving him honourable burial in that place, according as he had directed. To the same men he left all his property pertaining to art, moulds in gesso, models, designs, and all the other materials and implements of his work; wherefore they offered themselves to the Ambassador of France, saying that they would deliver completely finished, within a fixed time, the work of the horse and the figure of the King that was to go upon it. And, in truth, both of them having practised many years under the instruction and discipline of Daniello, the greatest things may be expected from them.
Disciples of Daniello, likewise, have been Biagio da Carigliano of Pistoia, and Giovan Paolo Rossetti of Volterra, who is a very diligent person and of most beautiful genius; which Giovan Paolo, having retired to Volterra many years ago, has executed, as he still does, works worthy of much praise. Another who also worked with Daniello, and made much proficience, was Marco da Siena, who, having made his way to Naples and chosen that city as his home, lives there and is constantly at work. And Giulio Mazzoni of Piacenza has likewise been a disciple of Daniello; which Giulio received his first instruction from Vasari, when Giorgio was executing in Florence an altarpiece for M. Biagio Mei, which was sent to Lucca and placed in S. Piero Cigoli, and when the same Giorgio was painting the altarpiece of the high altar and a great work in the refectory of Monte Oliveto at Naples, besides the Sacristy of S. Giovanni Carbonaro and the doors of the organ in the Piscopio, with other altarpieces and pictures. Giulio, having afterwards learned from Daniello to work in stucco, in which he equalled his master, has adorned with his own hand all the interior of the Palace of Cardinal Capodiferro, executing there marvellous works not only in stucco, but also of scenes in fresco and in oils, which have won him infinite praise, and that rightly. The same master has made a head of Francesco del Nero in marble, copying it so well from the life, that I do not believe that it is possible to do better ; wherefore it may be hoped that he is destined to achieve a very fine result, and to attain to the greatest excellence and perfection that a man can reach in these our arts.
Danielle was an orderly and excellent man, but so intent on the studies of art, that he gave little thought to the other circumstances of his life. He was a melancholy person, and very solitary; and he died at about the age of fifty-seven. A request for his portrait was made to those disciples of his, who had taken it in gesso, and when I was in Rome last year they promised it to me; but, for all the messages and letters that I have sent to them, they have refused to give it, thus showing little affection for their dead master. However, I have been unwilling to be hindered by that ingratitude on their part, seeing that Daniello was my friend, and I have included the portrait given above, which, although it is little like him, must serve as a proof of my diligence and of the little care and lovingness of Michele degli Alberti and Feliciano da San Vito.