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GIROLAMO GENGA (1476-1551)
with the Lives of Bartolommeo Genga (1518-1558)
and G. Battista San Marino (1506-1554)


Vasari's Lives of the Artists





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

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

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

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

At this time, Duke Guido having died, and having been succeeded by Francesco Maria, third Duke of Urbino, Girolamo was recalled from Rome by Francesco Maria, and constrained to return to Urbino at the time when the above-named Duke took to wife and brought into his dominions Leonora Gonzaga, the daughter of the Marquis of Mantua; and he was employed by his Excellency in making triumphal arches, festive preparations, and scenery for comedies, which were all so well arranged and carried into execution by him, that Urbino could be likened to a Rome in triumph; from which he gained very great fame and honor. Afterwards, in due course, the Duke was expelled from his state for the last time, when he went to Mantua, and Girolamo followed him, even as he had already done in his other periods of exile, always sharing one and the same fortune with him; and he retired with his family to Cesena.

There he painted for the high-altar of Sant' Agostino an altarpiece in oils at the top of which is an Annunciation, and below that a God the Father and still lower down a Madonna with the Child in her arms, between the four Doctors of the Church--a work truly beautiful and worthy to be esteemed. He then painted in fresco a chapel on the right hand in S. Francesco at Forli, containing the Assumption of the Madonna, with many Angels and other figures--Prophets, namely, and Apostles around; in this, also, it is evident how admirable was his genius, and this work was judged to be very beautiful. He also painted there the story of the Holy Spirit, which he finished in the year 1512, for Messer Francesco Lombardi, a physician; and other works throughout Romagna, for all which he gained honor and rewards.

The Duke having then returned to his state, Girolamo also returned and was retained by him and employed as architect in restoring an old palace on the Monte dell' Imperiale, above Pesaro, and adding to it another tower. That palace was adorned with scenes in painting from the actions of the Duke, after the directions and designs of Girolamo, by Francesco da Forli and Raffaello dal Borgo, painters of good repute, and by Camillo Mantovano, a very rare master in painting landscapes and verdure; and the young Florentine Bronzino also worked there, among others, as has been related in the Life of Pontormo. Thither, likewise, were summoned the Dossi of Ferrara, and a room was assigned to them to paint; but since, when they had finished that room, it did not please the Duke, he had it thrown down and repainted by the masters mentioned above.

Girolamo then erected the tower there, one hundred and twenty feet in height, with thirteen flights of wooden steps whereby to ascend to the top, so well fitted and concealed in the walls, that they can be withdrawn with ease from story to story, which renders that tower very strong and marvelous. A desire afterwards came to the Duke to fortify Pesaro, and he caused Pier Francesco da Viterbo, a most excellent architect, to be sent for; and Girolamo always taking part in the discussions that arose about the fortifications, his discourse and his opinions were held to be good and full of judgment. Wherefore, if I may be allowed to say it, the design of that fortress came rather from Girolamo than from any other, although that sort of architecture was always little esteemed by him, appearing to him to be of small value and dignity.

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

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

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

Shortly afterwards, the Cardinal of Mantua having written to the Duke that he should send him Girolamo, because he wished to restore the Vescovado of that city. Girolamo went thither and fitted it up very well with lights and with all that the above-named lord desired. Besides this, the Cardinal, wishing to make a beautiful facade for the Duomo, caused him to prepare a model for it, which was executed by him in such a manner, that it may be said that it surpassed all the architectural works of his time, for the reason that in it may be seen grandeur, proportion, grace, and great beauty of composition. Having then returned from Mantua, now an old man, he went to live at a villa of his own, called Le Valle, in the territory of Urbino, in order to rest and enjoy the fruits of his labors; in which place, not wishing to remain idle, he executed in chalk a Conversion of St. Paul with figures and horses of considerable size and in very beautiful attitudes which was finished by him with such patience and diligence, that a greater could be either described or seen, as is evident from the work itself now in the possession of his heirs, by whom it is treasured as a very dear and precious thing.

There, while living with a tranquil mind, he was attacked by a terrible fever, and, after he had received all the Sacrament of the Church, finished the course of his life, to the infinite grief of his wife and children, on the 11th of July in the year 1551, at the age of about seventy-five. Having been carried from that place to Urbino, he was buried with honor in the Vescovado, in front of the Chapel of S. Martino formerly painted by him; and his death caused extraordinary sorrow to his relatives and to all the citizens.

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

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

He painted many works throughout Romagna; and at Venice, also, for the very reverend Patriarch Grimani, he executed four large pictures in oils that were placed in the ceiling of a little hail in his house, round an octagon that Francesco Salviati painted; in which pictures are the stories of Psyche, held to be very beautiful. But the place where he strove to do his utmost and to put forth all his powers, was the Chapel of the most holy Sacrament in the Church of Loreto, in which he painted some Angels round a tabernacle of marble wherein rests the Body of Christ, and two scenes on the walls of that chapel, one of Melchizedek and the other of the Manna raining down, both executed in fresco; and over the vaulting he distributed fifteen little scenes of the Passion of Jesus Christ, nine of which he executed in painting, and six in half relief.

This was a rich work and well conceived, and he won for it such honor, that he was not suffered to depart until he had decorated another chapel of equal size in the same place, opposite to the first, and called the Chapel of the Conception, with the vaulting all wrought with rich and very beautiful stucco-work; in which he taught the art of stucco-work to his son Pietro Paolo, who has since done him honor and has become a well-practiced master in that field. Francesco, then, painted in fresco on the walls the Nativity and the Presentation of Our Lady, and over the altar. he painted St. Anne and the Virgin with the Child in her arms, and two Angels that are crowning her. And, in truth, his works are much extolled by the craftsmen, and likewise his ways and his life, which was that of a true Christian; and he lived in peace, enjoying that which he had gained with his labors.

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

Many others also served Girolamo Genga, of whom, from their not having attained to any great excellence, there is no need to speak. To the above-named Girolamo, at Cesena, in the year 1518, the while that he was accompanying the Duke his master in exile, there was born a son called Bartolommeo, who was brought up by him very decently, and then, when he was well grown, placed to learn grammar, in which he made more than ordinary proficience. Afterwards, when he was eighteen years of age, the father, perceiving that he was inclined more to design than to letters, caused him to study design under his own discipline for about two years: which finished, he sent him to study design and painting in Florence, where he knew that the true study of that art was to be found, on account of the innumerable works by excellent masters that are there, both ancient and modern. Living in that place, and attending to design and to architecture, Bartolommeo formed a friendship with Giorgio Vasari, the painter and architect of Arezzo, and with the sculptor Bartolommeo Ammanati, from whom he learned many things appertaining to art.

Finally, after having been three years in Florence, he returned to his father, who was then attending to the building of San Giovanni Battista at Pesaro. Whereupon, the father having seen the designs of Bartolommeo, it appeared to him that he acquitted himself much better in architecture, for which he had a very good inclination, than in painting; wherefore, keeping him under his own care some months, he taught him the methods of perspective. And afterwards he sent him to Rome, to the end that he might see the marvelous buildings, both ancient and modern, that are there, of which, in the four years that he stayed there, he took the measurements, and made therein very great proficience. Then, on his way back to Urbino, passing through Florence in order to see Francesco San Marino, his brother-in-law, who was living there as engineer to the Lord Duke Cosimo, Signor Stefano Colonna da Palestrina, at that time general to that lord, having heard of his ability, sought to engage him with himself, with a good salary. But he, being much indebted to the Duke of Urbino, would not attach himself to others, and returned to Urbino, where he was received by that Duke into his service, and ever afterwards held very dear.

Not long afterwards, the Duke taking to wife Signora Vittoria Farnese, Bartolommeo received from the Duke the charge of executing the festive preparations for those nuptials, which he did in a truly honorable and magnificent manner. Among other things, he made a triumphal arch in the Borgo di Valbuona, so beautiful and so well wrought, that there is none larger or more beautiful to be seen; whence it became evident how much knowledge of architecture he had acquired at Rome. Then the Duke, having to go into Lombardy, as General to the Signoria of Venice, to inspect the fortresses of that dominion, took with him Bartolommeo, of whom he availed himself much in preparing designs and sites of fortresses, and in particular at the Porta Santa Felice in Verona.

Now, while Bartolommeo was in Lombardy, the King of Bohemia, who was returning from Spain to his kingdom, passed through that province and was received with honor by the Duke at Verona; and he saw those fortresses. And, since they pleased him, after he had become acquainted with Bartolommeo, he wished to take him to his kingdom, in order to make use of him in fortifying his territories, with a good salary; but the Duke would not give him leave, and the matter went no further.

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

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

About that time Genga made the design of the Church of Monte L'Abbate, and also that of the Church of San Piero in Mondavio, which was carried into execution by Don Pier Antonio Genga in such a manner, that, for a small work, I do not believe that there is anything better to be seen. These works finished, no long time passed before, Pope Julius III having been elected, and the Duke of Urbino having been created by him Captain General of Holy Church, his Excellency went to Rome, and Genga with him. There, his Holiness wishing to fortify the Borgo, at the request of the Duke Genga made some very beautiful designs, which, with a number of others, are in the collection of his Excellency at Urbino. For these reasons the fame of Bartolommeo spread abroad, and the Genoese, while he was living with the Duke in Rome, asked for him from his Excellency, in order to make use of him in some fortifications of their own; but the Duke would not grant him to them, either at that time or on another occasion when they again asked for him, after his return to Urbino.

In the end, when he was near the close of his life, there were sent to Pesaro by the Grand Master of Rhodes two knights of that Order of Jerusalem, to beseech his Excellency that he should deign to lend them Bartolommeo, to the end that they might take him to the Island of Malta, in which they wished to construct not only very large fortifications wherewith to defend themselves against the Turks, but also two cities, so as to unite many villages that were there into one or two places. Whereupon the Duke, whom the above-named knights in two months had not been able to induce to grant them Bartolommeo, although they had availed themselves of the good services of the Duchess and others, finally complied with their request for a fixed period, at the entreaty of a good Capuchin father, to whom his Excellency bore a very great affection, and refused nothing that he asked; and the artifice that was used by that holy man, who made it a matter of conscience with the Duke, saying that it was in the interest of the Christian Republic, was not otherwise than highly commendable and worthy of praise.

And thus Bartolommeo, who had never received any favor greater than this, departed with the above-named knights from Pesaro on the 20th of January, 1558; but they lingered in Sicily, being delayed by the fortune of the sea, and they did not reach Malta, where they were received with rejoicing by the Grand Master, until the fifth of March. Having then been shown what he was to do, he acquitted himself so well in those fortifications, that it could not be expressed in words; insomuch that to the Grand Master and all those noble knights it appeared that they had found another Archimedes, and this they proved by making him most honorable presents and holding him, as a rare master, in supreme veneration.

Then, after having made the models of a city, of some churches, and of the palace and residence of the same Grand Master, with most beautiful invention and design, he fell sick of his last illness, for, having set himself one day in the month of July, the heat in that island being very great, between two doors to refresh himself, he had not been there long when he was assailed by insufferable pains of the body and by a cruel flux, which killed him in seventeen days, to the infinite sorrow of the Grand Master and to those most honorable and valiant knights, to whom it appeared that they had found a man after their own hearts, when he was snatched from them by death. The Lord Duke of Urbino, having been advised of this sad news, felt indescribable sorrow, and bewailed the death of poor Genga; and then, having resolved to demonstrate to the five children whom he had left behind him the love that he bore to him, he took them under his particular and loving protection.

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

Giovan Battista Bellucci of San Marino having been the son-in-law of Girolamo Genga, I have judged that it would not be well to withhold what I have to say of him, after the Lives of Girolamo and Bartolommeo Genga, and particularly in order to show that men of fine intellect, if only they be willing, succeed in every thing, even if they set themselves late in life to difficult and honorable enterprises; for study, when added to natural inclination, has often been seen to accomplish marvelous things. Giovan Battista, then, was born in San Marino on the 27th of September, 1506, to Bartolommeo Bellucci, a person of passing good family in that place; and after he had learned the first rudiments of the humanities, when eighteen years of age, he was sent by that same Bartolommeo, his father, to Bologna, to attend to the pursuit of commerce under Bastiano di Ronco, a merchant of the Guild of Wool.

Having been there about two years, he returned to San Marino sick of a quartan fever, which hung upon him two years; of which being finally cured, he set up a wool business of his own, with which he continued up to the year 1535, at which time his father, perceiving that Giovan Battista was in good circumstances, gave him for a wife in Cagli a daughter of Guido Peruzzi, a person of considerable standing in that city. But she died not long afterwards, and Giovan Battista went to Rome to seek out Domenico Peruzzi, his brother-in-law, who was equerry to Signor Ascanio Colonna; and by means of him Giovan Battista lived for two years with that lord as a gentleman. He then returned home; and it came about that, as he frequented Pesaro, Girolamo Genga, having come to know him as an excellent and well-behaved young man, gave him a daughter of his own for wife and took him into his house. Whereupon Giovan Battista, being much inclined to architecture, and giving his attention with much diligence to the architectural works that his wife's father was executing, began to gain a very good grasp of the various manners of building, and to study Vitruvius; and thus, what with that which he acquired by himself and that which Genga taught him, he became a good architect, and particularly in the matter of fortifications and other things relating to war.

Then, in the year 1541, his wife died, leaving him two boys; and he remained until 1543 without coming to any further resolution about his life. At that time, in the month of September, there appeared in San Marino one Signor Gustamante, a Spaniard, sent by his Imperial Majesty to that Republic on some affairs. Giovan Battista was recognized by him as an excellent architect, and at his instance he entered not long afterwards into the service of the most illustrious Lord Duke Cosimo, as engineer. And thus, having arrived in Florence, his Excellency made use of him for all the fortifications of his dominion, according to the necessities that arose every day; and, among other things, the fortress of the city of Pistoia having been begun many years before, San Marino, by the desire of the Duke, completely finished it, with great credit to himself, although it is no great work.

Then, under the direction of the same architect, a very strong bastion was built at Pisa. Wherefore, his method of work pleasing the Duke, his Excellency caused him to construct 9where, as has been related, there had been built on the hill of San Miniato, without Florence, the wall that curves from the Porta San Niccolo to the Porta San Miniato 9the fortification that encloses a gate by means of two bastions, and guards the Church and Monastery of San Miniato; making on the summit of that hill a fortress that dominates the whole city and looks on the outer side towards the east and the south, a work that was vastly extolled. The same Giovan Battista made many designs and ground-plans of various fortifications for places in the states of his Excellency, and also various rough models in clay, which are in the possession of the Lord Duke. And since San Marino was a man of fine genius and very studious, he wrote a little book on the methods of fortifications; which work, a beautiful and useful one, is now in the possession of Messer Bernardo Puccini, a gentleman of Florence, who learned many things with regard to the matters of architecture and fortification from San Marino, who was much his friend.

Giovan Battista, after having designed in the year 1554 many bastions that were to be built round the walls of the city of Florence, some of which were begun in earth, went with the most illustrious lord, Don Garzia di Toledo, to Monte Alcino, where, having made some trenches, he mined under a bastion and so shattered it, that he threw down the breastwork; but as it was falling to the ground a harquebusball struck San Marino in the thigh. Not long afterwards, his wound being healed, he went secretly to Siena and took the ground-plan of that city, and of the earthworks that the people of Siena had made at the Porta Camollia; which plan of fortifications he then showed to the Lord Duke and to the Marchese di Marignano, making it clear to them that the work was not difficult to capture or to secure afterwards on the side towards Siena. That this was rue was proved by the fact, the night that it was taken by the above-named Marquis, with whom Giovan Battista had gone by order and commission of the Duke.

On that account, then, the Marquis, having conceived an affection for him and knowing that he had need of his judgment and ability in the field (that is, in the war against Siena), so went to work with the Duke, that his Excellency sent Giovan Battista off as captain of a strong company of foot-soldiers; whereupon he served from that day onward in the field, as a valiant soldier and an ingenious architect. Finally, having been sent by the Marquis to Aiuola, a fortress in the Chianti, while disposing the artillery he was wounded in the head by a harquebus-ball; wherefore he was taken by his soldiers to the Pieve di San Paolo, which belongs to Bishop da Ricasoli, and died in a few days, and was carried to San Marino, where he received honorable burial from his children.

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




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