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Giotto, he told him of the pope's intentions, which were to employ him in St. Peter's church at Rome; and desired him to send some design by bim to his holiness. Giotto, who was a pleasant ready man, took a sheet of white paper, and setting his arm close to his hip to keep it steady, he drew with one stroke of his pencil a circle so round and so equal, that “round as Giotto's O” afterwards became proverbial. Then, presenting it to the gentleman, he told him smiling, that “there was a piece of design, which he might carry to his holiness.” The man replied, " I ask for a design :” Giotto answered, “ Go, sir, Í tell you his holiness asks nothing else of me.” The pope, who understood something of painting, easily comprehended by this, how much Giotto in strength of design excelled all the other painters of his time; and accordingly sent for him to Rome. Here he painted many pieces, and amongst the rest a ship of Mosaic work, which is over the three gates of the portico, in the entrance to St. Peter's church, and is known to painters by the name of Giotto's vessel. Pope Benedict was succeeded by Clement V. who transferred the papal court to Avignon; whither, likewise, Giotto was obliged to go. After some stay there, having perfectly satisfied the pope by many fine specimens of bis art, he was largely rewarded, and returned to Florence full of riches and honour in 1316. He was soon invited to Padua, where he painted a new-built chapel very curiously; thence he went to Verona, and then to Ferrara. At the same time the poet Dante, hearing that Giotto was at Ferrara, and being himself then in exile at Ravenna, got him over to Ravenna, where he executed several pieces; and perhaps it might be here that he drew Dante's picture, though the friendship between the poet and the painter was previous to this. In 1322, he was again invited abroad by Castruccio Castrucani, lord of Luca; and, after that, by Robert king of Naples. Giotto painted much at Naples, and chiefly the chapel, where the king was so pleased with him, that he used very often to go and sit by him while he was at work: for Giotto was a man of pleasant conversation and wit. One day, it being very hot, the king said to him, “ If I were you, Giotto, I would leave off working this hot weather ;' « and so would I, Sir,” says Giotto, « if I were you.” He returned from Naples to Rome, and from Rome to Florence, leaving monuments of his art in almost every place through which he passed. There is a
picture of his in one of the churches of Florence, representing the death of the blessed Virgin, with the apostles about her : the attitudes of which story, Michael Angelo used to say, could not be better designed, Giotto, how. ever, did not confine his genius altogether to painting : he was both a sculptor and architect. In 1327 he formed the design of a magnificent and beautiful monument for Guido Tarlati, bishop of Arezzo, who had been the head of the Ghibeline faction in Tuscany: and in 1334 he undertook the famous tower of Sancta Maria del Fiore; for which work, though it was not finished, he was made a citizen of Florence, and endowed with a considerable yearly pension.
His death happened in 1336 : and the city of Florence erected a marble statue over his tomb. He had the esteem and friendship of most of the excellent men of the age in which he lived : and among the rest, of Dante and Petrarch. He drew, as already noticed, the picture of the former; and the latter mentions him in his will, and in one of his familiar epistles.
Giotto is said to have been the inventor of Mosaic work, and of crucifixes. The foriner has been disproved in our Archæologia. The latter rests on a story which we hope has as little foundation. It is thus related : “ Giotto, intending one day to draw a crucifix to the life, wheedled a poor man to suffer himself to be bound to a cross for an hour, at the end of which he was to be released, and receive a considerable reward for it; but instead of this, as soon as he had fastened him, he stabbed him dead, and then fell to drawing : when he had finished his picture, he carried it to the pope, who liked it so well, that he was resolved to place it over the altar of his own chapel : Giotto told him, as he liked the copy so well, he would show him the original. What do you mean, said the pope? Will you show me Jesus Christ on the cross in person? No, said Giotto, but I will show your holiness the original from whence I drew this, if you will absolve me from all punishment. The pope promised this, which Giotto believing, attended him to the place where it was : as soon as they were entered, he drew back a curtain, which hung before the dead man on the cross, and told him what he had done. The pope, troubled at so barbarous an action, repealed his promise, and told Giotto, that he should surely be put to an exemplary death. Giotto, with a seeming resignation, only begged leave to finish the
piece before he died, which was granted him, and a guard set upon him to prevent his escape. As soon as the picture was delivered into his hands, he took a brush, and dipping it into a sort of stuff ready for that purpose, daubed the picture all over with it, so that nothing of the crucifix could be seen. This made his holiness stark mad, and he swore, that Giotto should be put to the most cruel death, unless he drew another equal to the former; if so, he would not only give him his life, but also an ample reward in money. Giotto, as he had reason, desired this under the pope's signet, that he might not be in danger of a second repeal. This was granted to him; and taking a wet spunge, he wiped off all the varnish he had daubed on the picture, so that the crucifix appeared the same in all respects as it did before. Upon this, the pope remitted his punishment.' And they say, that this crucifix is the original, from which the most famous crucifixes in Europe are drawn.”
GIOVIO. See JOVIUS.
GIRALDI (Lilio GREGORIO), in Latin Gyraldus, an ingenious and learned Italian critic, was born at Ferrara in 1479, of an ancient and reputable family. He learned the Latin tongue and polite literature under Baptist Guarini; and afterwards the Greek at Milan under Demetrius Chalcondyles. He retired into the neighbourhood of Albert Picus, prince of Carpi, and of John Francis Picus, prince of Mirandula; and, having by their means access to a large and well-furnished library, he applied himself intensely to study. He afterwards went to Modena, and thence to Rome, but being unfortunately in this city when it was plundered by the soldiers of Charles V. in 1527, he lost his all in the general ruin ; and soon after his patron cardinal Rangone, with whom he had lived some time. H. was then obliged to shelter himself in the house of the prince of Mirandula, a relation of the great Picus, but had the misfortune to lose this protector in 1533, who was assassinated in a conspiracy headed by his nephew. Giraldi was at that time so afflicted with the gout, that he bad great difficulty to save himself from the hands of the conspirators, and lost all which he had acquired since the sacking of Rome. He then returned to his own country, and lived at Ferrara, where he found a refuge from his
Pilkingtop. Vasari.-Aglioaby's Lives of the Painters.- De Piles.
misfortunes. The gout, which he is said to have heightened by intemperance, tormented him so for the six or seven last years of his life, that, as he speaks of bimself, he might be said rather to breathe than to live. He was such a cripple in his hands and feet, that he was incapable of moving himself. He made, however, what use he could of intervals of ease, to read, and even write : and many of his books were composed in those intervals. He died at length of this malady in 1552; and was interred in the cathedral of Ferrara, where an epitaph, composed by himself, was inscribed upon his tomb.
His works consist of seventeen productions, which were first printed separately; but afterwards collected and published in 2 vols. folio, at Basil 1580, and at Leyden 1696, The most valued pieces among them are, “ Historia de Deis Gentium,"-" Historiæ Poetarum tam Græcorum quam Latinorum Dialogi decem,”-and, “ Dialogi duo de Poetis nostrorum.” The first of these books is one of the last he composed, and full of profound erudition. The other two, which make up the history of the ancient and modern poets, are written with great exactness and judgment. Vossius speaks highly of this work, as the production of great judgment and learning, as well as industry, and observes, that though his professed design is to collect memoirs concerning their persons, characters, and writings in general, yet he has occasionally interspersed many things, regarding the art of poetry, which may be useful to those who intend to cultivate it. Joseph Scaliger, indeed, would persuade us, though not very consistently, that nothing can be more contemptible than the judgment he passes on the poets he treats of: for in another place he allows all the works of Giraldus to be very good, and that no man knew better how to temper learning with judgment,
There is a work also by Giraldus, “ De annis & mensibus, cæterisque temporis partibus, una cum Kalendario Romano & Græco," written with a view to the reformation of the kalendar, which was afterwards effected by pope Gregory XIII. about 1582. There are likewise among his works a few poems, the principal of which is entitled, “ Epistola in qua agitur de incommodis, quæ in direptione Urbana passus est; ubi item est quasi catalogus suorum, amicoruin Poetarum, & defleatur interitus Herculis Cardi. nalis Rangonis.” This poem is annexed to the Florentine edition of the two dialogues concerning his contemporary
poets; and contains a curious literary history of that time. To other praises bestowed upon Giraldus by authors of the first name, we may add that of Casaubon, who calls him, “ vir solide doctus, & in scribendo accuratus," a man solidly learned and an accurate writer. Thuanus says, that “ he was excellently skilled in the Greek and Latin tongues, in polite literature, and in antiquity, which he bas illustrated in several works; and that, though highly deserving a better fate, he struggled all his life with illhealth and ill-fortune." His books he bequeathed to his relatives John Baptist Giraldi and Pasetius.
GIRALDI (John Baptist Cintio), an Italian poet, of the same family with the preceding, was born at Ferrara in 1504. His father, being a man of letters, took great care of his education; and placed him under Cælio Cal. cagnini, to study the languages and philosophy. He made an uncommon progress, and then applied himself to the study of physic; in which faculty he was afterwards a doctor. At 21 years of age, he was employed to read public lectures at Ferrara upon physic and polite literature. In 1542, the duke of Ferrara made him his secretary ; which office he held till the death of that prince in 1558. He was continued in it by his successor : but envy having done him some ill offices with his master, he was obliged to quit the court. He left the city at the same time, and removed with his family to Mondovi in Piedmont; where he taught the belles lettres publicly for three years. He then went to Turin; but the air there not agreeing with his constitution, he accepted the professorship of rhetoric at Pavia; which the senate of Milan, hearing of his being about to remove, and apprized of his great merit, freely offered him. This post he filled with great repute; and afterwards obtained a place in the academy of that town. It was here he got the name of Cintio, which he retained ever after, and put in the title-page of his books. The gout, which was hereditary in his family, beginning to attack him severely, he returned to Ferrara ; thinking that his native air might afford him relief. But he was hardly settled there, when he grew extremely ill; and, after languishing about three months, died in 1573.
His works are all written in Italian, except some orations, spoken upon extraordinary occasions, in Latin. They ! Moreri.-Niceron, vol. XXIX. -Roscoe's Leo. --Saxii Onom. in Gyraldus.
death made him polite lice read public