Of Drawing, Limning, and Painting: with the liues of the famous Italian Painters.
SInce Aristotle numbreth Graphice generally taken, for whatsoeuer is done with the Pen or Pencill (as writing faire, Drawing, Limning and Painting) a∣mongst those his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or generous practises of youth in a well gouerned Common-wealth; I am bound Page 105 also to giue it you in charge for your exercise at leasure, it being a quality most commendable, and so many waies vsefull to a Gentleman. For should you (if necessitie re∣quired) be employed for your Countries seruice in fol∣lowing the warre, you can describe no plot, manner of fortification, forme of Battaglia, Situation of Towne, Castle, Fort, Hauen, Iland, course of Riuer, passage through Wood, Marish, ouer Rocke, Mountaine, &c. (which a discreete Generall doth not alwayes commit to the eye of another) without the helpe of the same. In all Mathematicall Demonstrations nothing is more required in our trauaile in forraine regions.* It bring∣eth home with vs from the farthest pa• of the world in our bosomes, whatsoeuer is rare and worthy the obser∣vance, as the generall Mappe of the Country, the Ri∣uers, harbours, hauens, promontories, &c. within the Landscap, of faire hils, fruitfull vallies: the formes and colours of all fruites, seuerall beauties of their floures, of medicinable Simples neuer before seene or heard of: the orient colours, and liuely pictures of their Birdes, the shape of their beasts, fishes, wormes, flyes, &c. It presents our eyes with the complexion, manner, and their attire. It shewes vs the rites of their Religion, their houses, their weapons, and man∣ner of warre. Beside, it preserueth the memory of a dea∣rest friend, or fairest Mistresse. And since it is onely the imitation of the surface of nature, by it as in a book• of golden and rare-limmed letters, the chiefe ende of it, wee reade a continuall Lecture of the wise∣dome of the Almightie Creator,* by beholding euen in the feather of the Peacocke a* miracle, as Aristotle saith.
And that you should not esteeme basely of the practise thereof, let me tell you that in ancient times painting was admitted into the first place among the liberall arts, & throughout all Greece taught only to the children of Page 106 Noble men in the schooles, and altogether forbidden to be taught to seruants or slaues.
In no lesse honour and esteeme was it held among the Romanes, as we finde in Plinie and many others who euery where advance the professors; and the dignity of the practise thereof nothing base or seruile, since one of the most Noble families in Rome, the Fabij thought themselues much honoured by the addition of that Sir∣name Pictor. For the first of that name, although he was most honourably descended, honoured with many Ti∣tles, Consulships and Triumphs, excellently learned in the lawes, and beside accounted in the number of the O∣rators of his time; yet he thought his skill in painting ad∣ded to these Honors, and his memory would heare the better of posteritie, for that he was endued with so excel∣lent & quality: for after with his owne hand he had pain∣ted the Temple of Salus round about within, and finished his worke, he wrote in faire letters in an eminent place, Quintus Fabius pinxi.
Neither was it the exercise of Nobilitie among the ancients onely, but of late dayes and in our times we see it practised by the greatest princes of Europe, without praeiudice to their Honors. Francis the first, king of France, was very excellent with his pencill; and the vertu∣ous Margaret Queene of Navarre beside her excellent veine in Poesie could draw and limne excellently; the like is reported of 〈◊〉 Duke of Savois.*
Nor can I ouerpasse the ingenuitie and excellency of many Noble and Gentlemen of our owne nation herein, of whom I know many; but none in my opinion, who de∣serueth more respect and admiration for his skill and practise herein then Master Nathaniel Bacon of Broome in Suffolke (younger sonne to the most Honourable and bountifull minded Sir Nicholas Bacon, Knight, and eldest Barronet,) not inferiour in my iudgement to our skilful∣lest Masters. But certainely I know not what fauoura∣ble Page 107 aspect of Heauen that right noble and ancient family, which produceth like delicate fruites from one Stemme so many excellent in seuerall qualities, that no one name or family in England can say the like.
Painting is a quality I loue (I confesse) and admire in others, because euer naturally from a child, I haue beene addicted to the practise hereof; yet when I was young, I haue beene cruelly beaten by ill and ignorant schoole∣masters, when I haue beene taking, in white and blacke, the countenance of some one or other (which I could do at thirteene and fourteene yeares of age: beside the mappe of any towne according to Geometricall Propor∣tion, as I did of Cambridge when I was of Trinitie Col∣ledge, and a Iunior Sophister,) yet could they neuer beate it out of me. I remember one Master I had (and yet li∣uing not farre from S. Athanes) took me one time draw∣ing out with my pen that peare-tree and boyes throw∣ing at it, at the end of the Latine Grammar• which he per∣ceiuing, in a rage strooke mee with the great end of the rodde, and rent my paper, swearing it was the onely way to teach mee to robbe Orchard as beside, that I was pla∣ced with him to bee made a scholler and not a painte•, which I was very likely to doe; when I well remember he construed vnto me the beginning of the first Ode in Ho∣race, Edite, set ye forth, 〈◊〉, the sportes, atavit R•∣gib••, of our ancient kings; but leauing my ingenious Ma∣ster, to our purpose.
For your first beginning and entrance in draught, make your hand as ready as you can (without the helpe of your compasses) in those generall figures of the Circle, o∣vall, square, triangle, cylinder, &c. for these are the foun∣dation of all other proportions. As for example, your o∣vall directs you in giuing a iust proportion to the face. Your Square or Cube for all manner of ground plots, formes of fortification, wherein you haue no vse of the Circle at all. Your Circle againe directs you in all orbi∣cular Page 108 formes whatsoeuer, and so forth of the rest.
Hauing made your hand fit and ready in generall pro∣portion, learne to giue all bodies their true shaddowes according to their eminence and concauity, and to heig∣then or deepe as your body appeareth neerer or farther from the light; which is a matter of great iudgment, and indeede the soule (as I may say) of a picture.
Then learne all manner of draperie, that is, to giue garments and all manner of stuffes, as cloth, silke, and linnen their naturall and proper soldes; which at the first will seeme strange and difficult vnto you, but by imita∣ting the choisest printes and peeces of the most iudicious masters, with your owne obseruance you will very easily attaine the skill. But since I haue already published a booke of Drawing and Limming; wherein I haue discoue∣red whatsoeuer I haue thought necessa•ie to perfection herein, I will referre you for farther instruction to it, and onely here giue you the principall Authors for your Imitation.
Since, as I said, proportion is the principall and chiefe thing you are first to learne, I commend vnto you that Prince of Painters and Graund-master Albert Durer,* who beside that his peeces for proportion and draperie are the best that are, hee hath written a very learned booke of Symmetrie and proportions, which hath beene since translated out of high Dutch into Latine. And though his peeces haue beene long since worne out of presse, yet you may happen vpon them among our skil∣full painters, which if you can get reasonably keep them as iewels, since I beleeue you shall neuer see their like: they seeme old, and commonly are marked with a great D in an A.
For a bold touch,* varietie of posture, curious and true shaddow: imitate Goliziu•, his printes are commonly to be had in Popes head alley. Himselfe was liuing at my last being in the low Countries at Harl••; but by reason of Page 109 the losse of one of his eyes, he hath giuen ouer a Hinge in copper, and altogether exerciseth his pencill in oyle.
The peeces of Michael Angelo* are rare and very hard to be comeby. Himselfe liued in Rome, and was while hee liued esteemed the best painter in Europe, as verily it seemeth by that his famous peece, of the last iudg∣ment in the Popes Chappell, being accounted one of the best in the world.
Hans Holben* was likewise an excellent Master, hee li∣ued in the time of King Henry the eight, and was emploi∣ed by him against the comming of the Emperor Charles the 5. into England.a I haue seene many peeces of his in oile, and once of his owne draught with a penne a most curious chimney-peece K.Henry had bespoke for his new built pallace at Bridewell.
Of later times and in our age the workes of Shadan, Witrix,* and my honest louing friend Crispin de Pas* of V∣trecht are of most price; these cut to the life, a thing pra∣ctised but of late yeares: their pieces will best instruct you in the countenance, for the naturall and 〈◊〉 dowes therof, the cast and forme of the eie, the touch of the mouth, the true fall, turning & curling of the haire, for ruffes, Armour, &c.
When you are somewhat ready in your draught (for which you must prouide pens made of rauens quils, black lead, dry pencils made of what color you please by grin∣ding it with strong wort, & then rowling it vp pencilwise and so let it dry) get my booke, entituled the Gentlemans Exercise, which will teach you the vse and ordering of all manner of colours for limning, as how to make any one colour what you please by the composition of many, as a scarlet, carnation, flame colour, all manner of greenes for leaues or banckes, purples for the breake of the morning, the violet, the hyacinth, &c. all manner of changeable co∣lors in garments of silke; brownes & blackes for haire co∣lours, the colours of barks of trees, the sea, foūtains, rocks, flesh colours or carnations for the face & complexiō, with the manner of preparing your card, & inbriefe whatsoe∣uer Page 100 is needfull to be knowne of a practitioner. Now ha∣uing your colors in their shels finely ground and washed, and varietie of pencills great and small, beginne first to wash ouer some plaine printes, then after to imitate to the life (according vnto my directions in that booke:) wherein by degrees you will take incredible delight, and furnish your conceipts and deuices of Emblems, Ana∣grams, and the like with bodies at your pleasure, without being beholden to some deare and nice professed Artist.
Painting in Oyle* is done I confesse with greater iudg∣ment, and is generall of more esteeme then working in water colours; but then it is more Mechanique and will robbe you of ouer much time from your more excellent studies, it being sometime a fortnight or a month ere you can finish an ordinary peece. I haue knowne Michael lanss of Delf in Holland, the most excellent painter of all the Low Countries, to haue beene (at times,) a whole halfe yeare about a picture, yet in the end to haue blur∣red it out (as it is his manner) for some small disresem∣blance, eyther in the eye or mouth; so curious is the workemanshippe to doe it well: beside oyle nor oyle co∣lours, if they drop vpō apparell, will not out; when water colours will with the least washing. But lest you should think me ignorant or enuious, I wil not conceale frō you the manner of working herein, and though it may bee you shall not practise it, it may profit others.*
First for your table whereupon to draw your picture, plane it very euen, and with Size (made of glue sodden long in faire water, till the glue be quite dissolued) min∣gled and heat with Spanish white finely ground, white it ouer; then let it dry, then white it ouer againe, and so the third time, when being dry, scrape it very euen with a sharpe knife till it be smooth, then prime it with red lead or some other colour, which being drie, draw your pi∣cture out vpon it with a peece of chalke, pencill of coale, lastly, with black lead; so lay on your colours.
Hauing all your colours ready ground, with your pal∣let on the thumbe of your left hand, & pencills for euery colour, in the same lay your colours vpon your pallet thus: first, your white Lead, then Lake, Iuorie, blacke, Seacoale blacke (as you see the complexion) lampe blacke, vmber for the haire, red lead, yealow oaker, ver∣digreace; then your blewes, Masticot and Pinke, the rest at your pleasure, mixing them on the other side of the pallet at your pleasure.
To begin a picture, first drawe the Eye, the white thereof make of white lead with as little char-coale black; hauing finished it, leaue from the other Eye the distance of an Eye, then draw the proportion of the nose, the compasse of the face, after that make the mouth, the eare, the haire, &c.
After you haue made the white of the eyes and pro∣portion of the nose, &c. lay your carnation or flesh co∣lour ouer the face, casting in here and there some sha∣dowes which worke in with the flesh colour by degrees. Your flesh colour is commonly compounded of white lead, lake, and vermilion, but you may heighthen or dec∣pen it at your pleasure.
Then shadow the face all ouer as you see cause, and fi∣nish the nose, compassing the tippe of it with some darke or light reddish shadow.
The shaddowes for your face are compounded com∣monly, of Iuory, blacke, white lead, vermilion, lake, Sea-coale blacke, &c.
Then shaddow your cheekes and lippes (with the mouth stroke, which make of lake onely) with vermilion and lake as you list mixed together.
Now make the Circles of the Eyes. For the gray eye, take charcoale blacke and white lead heighthened or deepened at your pleasure.
For the blacke Circle of the Eye, take Vmber, Sea-cole-blacke, Page 112 and a little white, and mixe them as you thinke fit.
For the round ball in the eye take lampe-blacke and verd-greace, for lampe-blacke will hardly dry without it.
For the hands and the shaddowes betweene the fingers vse the same flesh-colours and shaddowes as in the face for heighthening or deepening.
If you would make a flesh-colour of a swarthy com∣plexion, mingle white Lead, Lake, and yealow oker to∣gether, and in the shadodwes, put in some vmber and Sea-coale blacke.
For blacke haire, take lampe• blacke onely, and when you will haue it brighter, mixe it with a little vmber, white, and red Lead.
For flaxen haire, take vmber, and white lead; the brow∣ner you will haue it, put in the more vmber, the whiter more white; but if darker, yet adde to a little sea-coale blacke.
For yealow haire, take masticote, vmber, yealow oker, and a little red lead; if you will haue it redder, put in the more red lead and vmber.
For a white haire, take halfe Iuorie blacke, and halfe of vmber, and with your knife temper them well vpon your pallet with white lead, with more white, or vmber, or I∣•ory, raising or deepening it at your pleasure.
For the teeth, take white Lead, and shaddow it with char-coale blacke.
For Ruffes, Lawnes, and Linnen.
For Linnen, take white Lead mingled with char-coale black, so making it whiter or darker at your pleasure; for your sine Lawnes, put a little oyle smalt in amongst it, and with a fine little bagge of Taffata stuffed with wooll or the like, take vp the colour and presse it hard downe where you would haue it.
For Veluets of all colours.
For blacke-veluet, take Lampe-blacke and verdigreace, Page 113 for your first ground; but when it is dry, lay it ouer with Iuory blacke and Verdigreace, (to help it to dry) and for the shaddow vse white Lead, with a little Lampe blacke.
For Greene Veluet, take Lamp blacke, and white Lead, and worke it ouer like a Russet Veluet; then being dry, draw it onely ouer with Verdigreace, and a little Pinke, and it will be a perfect Greene Veluet.
For a Sea-Water Greene Veluet, lay on the aforesaid mingled Russet Verdigreace onely, if you will haue it more grassy, put to more Pinke.
For a Yellowish Greene, put a little Masticot among your Verdigreace at your pleasure: but note this, al your shaddowing must be in the Russet, and these Greens one∣ly drawne lightly ouer.
For Red Veluet, take Vermilion, and shaddow it with Browne of Spaine, and where you will haue it darkest, take Sea-cole blacke mingled with Spanish Browne, and shaddow where you will, letting it dry, then glaze it ouer with Lake, and it will be a perfect Red Veluet.
For a Crimson or Carnation Veluet, put the more or lesse white Lead to the Vermilion, as you shall see cause.
For Blew Veluet, take Oyle Smalt, and temper it with white Lead; •he brighter you will haue it, put in the more White; the sadder, the more Smalt.
For Yellow Veluet, take Masticot and yellow Oker, and deepen it for the shaddow with Vmber.
For Tauny Veluet, take Browne of Spaine, white Lead, and Lampe blacke, mixed with a little Verdigreace to shaddow it, where you see occasion; and when it is dry, glaze it ouer with a little Lake, and red Veluet added vn∣to it.
For Purple Veluet, take Oyle Smalt, and temper it with Lake, halfe Lake, halfe Smalt; then take white Lead and order it as bright or as sad as you list.
For Ash-coloured Veluet, take Char-cole blacke, and Page 114 white Lead, and make a perfect Russet of the same, deep∣ning it with the black, or heigthening it with your white at your pleasure.
For Haire-coloured Veluet, grinde Vmber by it selfe with Oyle, and lay it on your picture, and heigthen with white Lead and the same Vmber.
For Sattens in Oyle Colours.
For Blacke Satten, grinde Lamp black with Oyle, then mixe it with some white Lead; where you will haue it shine most, mingle some Lake with your white Lead.
For White Satten, take white Lead ground with Oyle, then grinde Iuorie black by it selfe, and where you will haue it sad, adde more of the blacke.
For Greene Satten, take Verdigreace and grinde it by it selfe, then mixe some white Lead with it; and where you will haue it bright, adde some Pinke: if more incli∣ning to a Popingiay, adde more Pinke to your white Lead; and to deepen it more, adde more Verdigreace.
For yellow Satten, grinde Masticot by it selfe, yellow Oker by it selfe, and Vmber by it selfe; where you will haue it lightest, let the Masticot serue; where a light shaddow, let the Oker serue, where the darkest or sad∣dest, Vmber onely.
For Blew Satten, take Oyle, Smalt, and white Lead, ground by themselues; white Lead for the heigthening, and Smalt for your deepening, or darkest shaddow.
For Purple Satten, mixe Oyle, Smalt, with Lake, and white Lead: heigthening with white Lead.
For Orenge Tauny Satten, take red Lead and Lake, where you will haue it brightest take red Lead by it selfe, and where made sad, Lake.
For Red Satten, grinde Browne of Spaine by it selfe, mingling Vermilion with the same; where you would haue it light, put in a little white Lead.
For Haire coloured Satten, take Vmber and white Page 115 Lead; heigthen with your white Lead, and for the darke shaddow of the cuts, adde to your Vmber a little Sea-cole blacke.
Make your Taffata's all one as you doe your Sattens, but you must obserue the shaddowing of Taffata's; for they fall more fine with the solds, and are thicker by much.
For changeable Taffata's take sundry colours, what you please, and lay them vpon your garment or picture one by another; first casting out the solds, then with your Pencill driuing and working them finely one into another.
Cloth likewise is as your Sattens, but that you must not giue so shining and suddaine a glosse vnto it.
As Buffe, take yellow Oker, and some white Lead mixed with it: and where you will haue it darker by de∣grees, mixe Vmber with it, and when you haue wrought it ouer, take a broad Pencill and frieze it ouer with Vm∣ber and a little Sea-coale blacke.
For yellow Leather, take Masticot and yellow Oker, shaddow it with Vmber at your pleasure.
For blacke Leather for shooes, Lampe blacke, shaddo∣wed with white Lead.
For white Leather, white Lead, shaddowed with Iuo∣rie blacke.
To expresse Gold and Siluer.
To expresse Gold vpon Armour, or the hilt of a Sword or Rapier, take Vmber, Red Lead, and Masticot; lay your ground onely Red Lead, if you please, mixed with a Page 116 little Pinke, and where you will haue the shaddow darke, vse Vmber, where the light, Masticot.
For Siluer, take Char-coale blacke and white Lead; where you will haue it darke, vse more Char-coale, and for the light, giue it a bold and suddaine stroke with your white. And thus you make your Pearle. Note, that you must grind your Sea-coale and Char-coale (of a sallow, if you can get it) in faire water first, and when it is dry, grind it in Oyle.
For Skie and Landscape.
For a Sky or Landscaps, that seeme a great way off, take Oyle Smalt, or Bice if you will, and with Linseed Oyle onely temper it on your pallet (for in grinding Smalt or Bice, they vtterly lose their colour) with white Lead, and where it looketh redde as the morning, vse Lake, &c.
Of Wood colours, Barkes of Trees, &c.
Your Wood colours are compounded either of Vm∣ber and White, Char-coale and White, Sea-coale and White, Vmber blacke and white, or with some greene added. Sometime adde a little Lake or Vermilion.
Of sundry Greenes in Oyle.
For a deepe and sad Greene, as in the in-most leaues of trees, mingle Indico and Pinke.
For a light Greene, Pinke and Masticot: for a middle and Grasse-greene, Verdigreace and Pinke.
Remember euer to lay on your Yellowes, Blewes, Reds, and Greenes, vpon a white ground which giueth them their life.
To make cleane your Pencils, rub Soape hard into them, and lay them by a while, after wash them in warme water.
To make cleane your grinding stone and Mullar, rub it ouer with crums of bread.
Page 117To keepe your Colours from drying in the heate of Summer, set them in the bottome of a bason of water.
If you would get farther experience, acquaint your selfe with some of our excellent Masters about London, where there are many passing iudicious and skilfull.
The onely and most esteemed Peece in the world for Iudgement and Art, is the battaile (commonly called, the Battaile of Doomes day) fought in the night be∣tweene S•lym the first, Emperour of the Turkes, and Ish∣ma•l Sophi King of Persia. It is a night peece done by Bellino, the famous Venetian Painter, by the commande∣ment of S•lym, after his victorie, and sent as a present to the Duke and State of Venice, where it yet hangeth in their Counsell Chamber.
There is likewise a very rare and admirable peece in And warpe, done by a Blacksmith vpon this occasion. This Smith falling in loue with a Painters Daughter, (who vowed neuer to marrie any, but of her fathers profession) gaue ouer his Trade of a Smith, and sell to painting some foure or fiue yeares: in which time, the hope of gaining a faire maid guiding his hand, hee be∣came so cunning, that he not onely obtained his Wench, but a masse of wealth by his Pencill; there being offe∣red for this one peece alone, seauen thousand Crownes. It hangeth in one of the great Churches there, S. Georges or our Ladies, I remember not well which. But thus much of Drawing and Painting in generall.
Now it shal not be amisse, for the aduancement of this excellent skill, which none can loue or admire more then my selfe (that I may omit the liues of the ancient Grae∣cian and Romane Painters) to come neerer our times, and acquaint you with the best Masters Italy alone hath affoorded.
Italy being ouer-runne, and miserably wasted with warres, what time all good learning and Arts lay negle∣cted, Page 118 about the yeare 1240. Painting and Painters were there so rare, that they were faine to send into Greece for men skilfull herein. Of whom the Italians learned the rudiments and principles of this Art, in a manner quite lost amongst them. So that while certaine Graecian Pain∣ters, sent for by some of the Nobilitie of Florence, were painting a Church in Florence, one Ioannes Cimabus a young man, and naturally affecting this Art, grew so farre into familiar acquaintance with them, that he lear∣ned the manner of their draught, and mingling colours, that in a short time he excelled the best Masters among them; and was the first that I can find among the Itali∣ans, that brought Painting into credit, and got a name by his skill herein. For some of his peeces for the raritie, were carried out of his house into the new Church in Florence, with Musicall Instruments of all sorts, and so∣lemne procession• others being vttered at great rates ouer all France and Italy; in so much, as Charles the French King moued with his fame, came to Florence to see his Worke. He died in the yeare 1300. leauing be∣hind him his Scholler Giotto, who by the opinion of Dantes in his Purgatorie farre surpassed him: He was so humorous, saith the Interpreter of Dantes, that if him∣selfe or any other espyed any fault in his work, he would (like Mishael Ianss, now liuing at Delft in Holland) deface and breake it in peeces, though he had bestowed a tweluemoneths paines thereon.
About this time also, the Graecians brought the Art of working in Musiue, or Mosaique to Venice, where in S. Markes Church they wrought it; with whom Taffi falling acquainted, hee drew one of the best Masters among them, named Apoll•••m, to Florence, who taught him to bake Mosaique Glasses, and to temper the size for them: so they wrought together; but the rudenesse of that age Page 119 was such, that neither they nor their workes were in that esteeme as they deserued.
About this time also liued Gadde Gaddi, a very rare Master, a Florentine borne (for the fine and subtile aire of Florence, hath produced men of more sharpe and excel∣lent spirits, then any other place of Italy) who excelled in Mosaique, and wrought it with better iudgement then any before him; insomuch as hee was sent for to Rome, Anno. 1308 the yeare after the great fire, and burning of the Church of S. Iohn Lateran•, and the Pallace of Pope Clement the fifth: whence well rewarded, he retur∣ned backe into Tuscane, where he dyed Anno 1312.
Margarit•n•• was borne in Arezz•, a very skilfull Master: he was the first that deuised laying Gold or gil∣ding vpon Bole Armoniacke to be burnished, as we see it in knops now adaies vpon the Valences and Canopics of beds; and to make a Glew for Picture Tables, that should neuer decay.
Giotto was not onely a rare Painter, but also an excel∣lent Architect, for all manner of curious conceipt in buil∣ding: and to say truth, was the first who of latter times in Italy brought picture into admiration, and her true height. He was borne at Vespign•••, a village fourete•ne Italian miles from Florence: his father was an husband∣man, and Gi•tt• being a Boy of some twelue yeares of age, was set by him to keepe sheepe: but Nature hauing ordained him for another end; the Boy while hee was tending his sheepe, would be practising with a sticke vp∣on the sand, or dustie high-way, or vpon void places vp∣on walls with a Coale, to draw whatsoeuer sorted with his fancie. It fortuned on a time, while he was drawing Page 120 the picture of one of his sheepe, Cimabus to passe by, who admiring such Art in the Boyes draught, (who had neuer any other direction saue out of his naturall incli∣nation) demanded of him if he would dwell with him: who answered, Yea, if his father were so contented. The father agreed, and placed him with Cimabus, who in short time so excelled, that he farre surpassed the rusticke Greeke manner of working, bringing forth a better Mo∣derne Art, and the true working by the life, which had not beene knowne in two hundred yeares before. He was very inward and familiar with Dantes the Poet, whose picture he drew: he was of all others famous for his skill and conceipt in expressing affections, and all manner of gesture, so that he might be truly called Natures Schol∣ler. His workmanship is especially seene at Acesi, a Citie of Vmbria, in the Cloisters of S. Francis, where the bo∣dy of S. Francis lyeth buried: where among other rare inuentions of his, is to be seene a Monke kneeling before Obedience, who putteth a yoake vpon his necke, he hol∣ding vp both his hands to heauen, and shee laying her forefinger vpon her mouth, casteth vp her eyes towards Christ, from whose side the blood issueth in great abun∣dance. On either hand of her stand wisedome and humili∣ty, to shew where true obedience is, there is wisedome and humility, which helpe to finish euery good worke: on the other side is an historie where chastity standeth vpon a strong and high rocke, as not to be won, or mooued by the force of kings, though they seeme to offer Crownes, Scepters, and Palmes. At her feete lyeth purity, in the shape of a childe washing it selfe, and by chastity standeth pennance, hauing diuen away with her discipline win∣ged Loue: in a third place standeth pouerty barefooted, treading vpon thornes, a dogge barking at her; at one side, a child throwing stones at her, on the other, another child with a sticke putting the thornes towards her legs. This pouerty is marryed to Saint Francis, whom Christ Page 121 giueth by ioying their hands: in a fourth place is Saint Francis, praying with such great deuotion, and inward affection expressed in his countenance, that it detaineth the beholder with singular admiration. From thence re∣turning toward Florence, he wrought in distemper (as we call it) or wet with size, sixe histories of patient I•b, wherein are many excellent figures: among others the positures and countenances of the messengers bringing the sorrowfull newes vnto him, which are not to be men∣ded: withall a seruant, with one hand keeping off the slies from his sore master, and with the other stopping his nose: the countenances and draperies of the standers by done with such grace and iudgement, that the same here∣of presently went ouer all Italy. Insomuch that Pope Benedict sent a messenger from Rome into Tuscany to know what manner of man Giotto was, and what his workes were; beeing purposed to beautifie Saint Peters Church with sacred Histories by the hand of some excel∣lent master. This Messenger or Courtier from the Pope, taking his iourney to Florence, passed by Siena, and still en∣quiring out the best masters, tooke a draught of some∣thing from euery one of them to carry back to the Pope, to choose as he thought best: comming to Florence in a morning betimes, he came to the shop of Giotto, desiring (as he had done of others) to giue him a touch with his pencill, or some peece to show his Holinesse. Giotto being merily disposed, tooke a sheete of paper, vpon which, with a pencill (setting one arme vnder his side) hee drew so absolute a Circle, that by no co•∣passe a truer could be drawne; hauing done, smiling he gaue it to the Cour••ier, saying, There is my draught. The Cour•ier imagining he had flouted him, said, is this all? Giotto replyed, it is all, and more then enough. When the Pope with others of iudgement saw it, and heard the manner how carelesly he did it, he admired and confessed, he passed all men of his time in excellency it this being knowne, it grew a pro∣uerbe Page 122 in Italy, M•re round then Giotto's Circle. The Pope after this, did him much honour, and very liberally re∣warded him. Hee had painted vpon a certaine wall the picture of the Virgin Mary, and when this wall was to be mended, such care (by reason of the excellency of his Art) was had of this picture, that it was cut square and taken downe whole out of the wall with a great deale of paine and cost. He made in Mosai•••, in the fore court of Saint Peter, the ship wherein Peter and the Apostles were in danger of drowning, their actions and gestures full of feare, the sailes full of wind, with the behauiour of Fisher∣men in such extremitie. At Avag•••, hee wrought for Pope Cle•••• the fift; & in many other places of France his workes are yet remaining. Anno 1316. he was at last sent for by Robert king of Naples, for whom there (in the Church of the Cloyster of Saint Clare) he made ma∣ny histories both of the old and new Testament, with the whole historie of the Reuelation: it is said that herein his invention was admirable, and that he was much holpen by his deare and ingenious friend Dan•es the Poet. The King was not onely pleased with the excellencie of his hand, but with his many witty answers and conceipts; wherefore sometime he would sit by him halfe a day to∣gether to see him worke. Once the King said vnto him, Giotto I will make thee the foremost man of my Court; I beleeue it (quoth Giotto) and that (I thinke) is the reason why I am lodged in the Porters lodge at your Court gate. Another time also the King said thus vnto him, Giotto, if I were as thou, the weather is so exceeding hot, I would giue ouer Painting for a while; whereunto Giotto replyed, Indeed Sir, if I were as you, I would let it rest indeed. Another time, being at worke in the great Hall of the Court, the King merily requested him, to paint him out his kingdome; Giotto made no more adoe, but presently painted an Affe with a Saddle on his backe, and smelling at another new saddle that lay before him Page 123 at his feet, as if he had had a mind to that, rather then the other vpon his backe; and vpon each saddle a crowne and a Scepter: the King demanded what he meant there∣by; Giotto replyed, Such is your Kingdome and Subiects, for they desire new Lords daily. In his returning to Fl•∣rence, he made very many rare peeces by the way, deui∣sed many excellent Models for building; beside other his workes in Caruing, Plaistique, &c. The Citie of Flo∣rence not onely Roially rewarded him, but gaue him and his posteritie a Pension of an hundred crownes a yeare, which was a great summe in those times.
He died to the griefe of many, in the yeare 1336. and was buried at Florence, vpon whom Angelus Politia∣nus wrote this Epitaph worthy so excellent a man.
This Stephano beeing Giotto's scholler, what with his masters furtherance, and his owne industry, became not onely equall to his master, but in some respects excelled him, as many of his works doe manifest, namely the Vir∣gin Mary in the Church called Camp• Sante at Pisa, which to say truth, excelled that of his Masters in the Cloister of Sant• Spirit• in Florence. He painted the trans∣figuration of our blessed Sauiour in the Mount with Mo∣ses and Elias, where the light was seene to shine downe vpon the Apostles, who with such a faire action lay so Page 124 wrapped in their mantles that ye might perceiue all the foldings vpon the ioints, and made the nakednes to shine through their thinne cloathes, which was neuer seene be∣fore or vsedby Giotto. In another Chappell he made the fall of Luci•er, wherein hee shewed many excellent fore∣shortnings of bodies, armes, and legges; wherefore by the Artists of his time. He was named Occhi• di Natura, the eye of nature, he wrought at Rome, Milane, and many other places: Many excellent pieces of his are yet to bee seene in Florence, which for breuity I omit the dyed Anno 1350.
Petro Laurati of Siena.
Petro Laurati was famous in his time, especially for making of Glories, wherein he surpassed all others before him. At Arezze with excellent skill hee painted vpon a •eeling Angels dancing as in a ring about Mary, seeming to sing and play on instruments; where in their eyes and countenances you may see expressed a true godly ioy: another troope of Angels with various and delicate a∣ction carrying her vp into heauen. He dyed, 1350.
Buffalmacco was scholler to Taffi, and as excellent in his profession, so was he merry and of pleasant conceit: wherefore hee was familiar with Brun• and Calandrin•, rare Artists and of his owne humour, many of whose iestes are recorded by Boccace. Buffalmacco being a young youth while he dwelt with Taffi, was called vp by his master by two or three of the clocke in winter mornings to his worke, grinding of colours or the like, which grie∣ued him much; and bethinking himselfe how to make his master keepe his bed, he got vp in the fields some thirty or forty Dorres or Beetles, and a little before his master should rise, fastning little waxe candles vpon their backs, Page 129 puts them in lighted, one by one into his masters cham∣ber; who seeing the lights moouing vp and downe, began to quake for feare, committing himselfe to God with hattie prayer, and couered himselfe ouer head and eares in his bed, hauing no mind to worke or awake Buffalmac∣co. In the morning •ee asked Buffalmacco if hee had not seene a thousand Diuels as he had; who answered no, for he was asleepe, and wondered he called him not: Called? saide Taffi, I had other things to thinke of then to paint, I am fully resolued to goe dwell in a∣nother house. The night following though Buffalmacco had put in but onely three lights into his chamber, yet could he not sleep for feare al that night: it was no sooner day but Taffi, left his house with intēt neuer to come into it againe. Buffalmacco hereupon went to the priest of the parish to desire his aduice, telling him that in his con∣science the Diuell next vnto God hated none more then painters, for that, said Buffalmacco, we make him odious in the peoples eyes by painting him terrible and in the vgliest shape we can deuise; and more to spight him, wee paint nothing but Saints in Churches to make the peo∣ple more deuout then otherwise they would, wherefore the diuels are very angry with vs, and hauing more power by night then by day, they play these prankes, and I feare they will doe worse except we gine ouer this wor∣king by candle light. This he spake so confidently, and in so deniure a manner to the priest, that the priest anou∣ched it to be true, and with great reasons perswaded Taffi euer after to keepe his bed; which beeing published about, working by candle-light was left through the towne euer after. The first proofe of his skill he shewed at a Nunnery neere Pisa now wholly ruined, being the birth of Christ, where Herod killed the children of Beth∣lem; where the affections and lookes of the murtherers, Mothers, Nurses resisting with biting, scratching, tea∣ring, pulling, &c. are excellently expressed. Moreouer, he Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]Page 130 drew the foure Patriarkes, and the foure Euangelists, where he expressed Saint Luke with great art, blowing the inke in his pen to make it runne. He was in his time one of the merriest and finest companions of the world: he di∣ed, Anno 1340.
Ambrosio Lorenzetti of Siena.
This Ambrosio was a painter of Siena, he was chiefely commended for that grace he had in contrining postures and accidents of History: he was the first that most liue∣ly could resemble tempests, stormes, raine, &c. He was very moderate, and went rather like a Philosopher then a painter. He dyed at Siena.
Petro Cavallini of Rome.
This was scholler vnto Gi•tt•, and wrought with him in the ship of Mosaique in the front of Saint Peters in Rome. There is yet a Crucifixe of his yet to bee seene at Arezzo, and another in the Church of Saint Paul in Rome, of admirable life and skill. He was wondrous de∣uout and Religious. He dyed 1363. and lyeth buryed at Pauls without Rome with this Epitaph.
Simon of Siena.
Simon of Siena was a rare Artist, and liued in the time of the famous and Laur•ate Poet Francis Petrarch, in whose verses he liueth eternally, for his rare art & iudge∣ment showne, in drawing his Laura to the life. For invention and variety he was accounted the best of his time.
Andreas Orgagna was a Fl•rentine, and both a Pain∣ter, Poet, Architect and Caruer, though hee began first with caruing. One of his best peeces he wrought in Pisa, which was all sorts of worldly and sensuall Epicures, rio∣ting and banquetting vnder the shaddow of an Orenge tree, within the branches and bowes whereof, sly• little Amorettos or Cupids, shooting at sundry Ladies lasciui∣ously dancing and dallying amongst them; which Ladies were then liuing, and all discerned by their seuerall coun∣tenances: as also many Gallants and Princes of that time drawne in the same table. On the other side of the table, he made an hard Rocke, full of people, that had left the world, as being Eremites, seruing of God, and doing di∣uers actions of pietie, with exceeding life; as here one prayeth, there another readeth, some other are at worke to get their liuing, and among the rest, there is with ad∣mirable art and iudgment, an Eremite milking of a Goat. Withall, Saint Macharius, who sheweth the miserable estate of man to three Kings riding on, hunting in great state with their Queenes, and sheweth the• a graue wherein lie three dead Kings, whose bodies are almost rotten; whereon they looke with a great feare, liuely ex∣pressed in their countenances, and one wishly looking downe into the graue, stoppeth his nose, &c. Ouer this flyeth death in blacke with a Sith in his hand: all about on the earth lye people along of all ages, sexe, and condi∣tion, slaine, and dying by sundry meanes. He also painted the Iudgement, where hee placed in hell most of his foes that had molested him, and among the rest a Scrive∣ner, whose name was Cecehode Ascol•, and knowne for a notable knaue in his profession, and a Coniurer be∣side, who had many wayes molested him: He was by chil∣dren and boyes discerned to be the same man, so well had Page 132 he exprest him to the life. He dyed aged 60. yeares, 1389. and lyeth buryed at Florence.
This Thomas, sirnamed Masaccio or the Slouen (for that he neuer cared how hee went in his cloathes) was borne in the Castle of Saint Iohn de Valderno; and being a youth, so much addicted his mind vnto painting, that hee cared in a manner for nothing, not so much as to demand money of his debters where it was due, but when meere necessitie draue him thereunto; yet was he curteous vnto all. He excelled in Perspectiue, and aboue all other ma∣sters laboured in Nakeds, and to get the perfection of foreshortning, and working ouer head to bee viewed standing vnder. Amongst other his workes, that of Saint Peter taking a penny out of the fishes mouth, and when he payeth it for tole, is famous. In briefe, he brake the Ice to all painters that succeeded for Action in Nakeds and foreshortnings, which before him were knowne but of few. For by his peeces and after his practise, wrought Fryer Iohn of Ficsole, Frier Phillip Phillipine, Alessan: Baldovinetti, Andrea del Caslagna, Verochio Dominico de Grillandaio, di Botticello, Leonarde de Vinci, Pedro di Peru∣gia, Frier Bartholome • of Saint Marks, Mariotte, Alberti∣nell, the rare and euer admired Michael Angelo, Bonarotti, Raphael d' V•bine, and sundry others. He dyed it was sus∣pected of poison in the 26. yeare of his age. His Epitaph was written in Italian by Hannibal Coro.
Leon Baptista Alberti.
This Alberti was an excellent linguist, hauing his La∣tine tongue very exactly. He was borne in Florence, and was both an excellent Painter and Architect; hee wrote tenne bookes of Architecture in Latine, which he publi∣shed Page 133 in print, Anno. 1481. Moreouer hee wrote three bookes of the Art of Painting, a Treatise of measuring heigthes, besides certaine bookes of Policy, with many other discourses. He was descended of a Noble house, and was very inward with pope Nicholas the fi•t. He was ex∣cellent for the descriptions of Battailes, night workes, glittering of weapons, and the like.
Frier Phillipo Lippi.
Phillipo Lippi borne in Florence, was a poore Childe, and left fatherlesse and motherlesse, was brought vp by an Aunt; at eight yeares of age, placed in a Monasterie of the ••cobines, where out of his naturall inclination, he practised Drawing and Painting; and in short time grew to that excellence, that he was admired of all: making in his Cloyster many Histories in we•, after Masaccio's manner. At seuenteene yeares of age he forsooke his or∣der. Being in La Marcad' Ancona, he put himselfe with some friends to Sea, but were in short time taken by the Pirats of Barbaris, and sold into the Country for slaues, wearing heauie chaines about their legges. In this estate liued Phillipo eighteene moneths, but growing familiar with his Master, one day, when he saw his time and his Master in a good humour, tooke a coale, and vpon a white wall drew him from head to foot: this being seene of his fellow slaues, and shewed vnto his Master, who had neuer seene a picture before, was cause of his deliue∣ance: for making his escape, or at least his Master wink∣ing thereat, he made shift to come to Naples, where hee wrought in colours a most curious Altar-table for King Alphonsus. Hence hee went to Florence, and made ano∣ther Altar-table, which pleased Cosmo de Medicis won∣drous well; whereupon hee was employed by Cosmo in making many small Pictures, whereof some were sent vn∣to Eugenius the fourth, whereupon he grew in great fa∣uour Page 134 with the Pope. He was so addicted vnto Women, that what euer he got, hee bestowed and spent it among them: whereupon Cosmo shut him vp into a Chamber in his house, that he might follow his worke close; but ha∣uing beene thus mewed vp by the space of two daies, the humou• of gadding tooke him againe in the head; and one euening cutting his sheets, made ropes of them, and so gat out at a window. But shortly after, found and brought to Cosmo againe, he had libertie to go and come at his pleasure, and was better attended and serued then before. For said Cosmo. The excellence of rare Spirits are heauenly formes, and no burden-bearing Mules. Many ex∣cellent peeces he made in Florence, admired and applau∣ded by the best Masters. At Pr•t•o by Florence, where hee was acquainted, the Nunnes of Sancta Margarita procured him to make their high Altar-table, where be∣ing at worke, hee espied a beautifull virgin, a Citizens daughter of Florence, whose name was Francisco Bati: This maid was there kept to be made a Nunne; she was most beautifull, her name was Lucretia, & so he wrought with the Nunnes, that he obtained leaue to draw her Pi∣cture; but by continuall gazing vpon her countenance, he became so enamoured of her, that what by close mes∣sengers and other meanes, he got her out of the Nunne∣rie: he got her away and married her, and by her he had a sonne, named also Phillip, who became an excellent Painter. This Frier Phillips workes are to bee seene at Prato. And amongst other S. Bernard layed out dead, his brethren mourning about him, and many Cripples and diseased persons, which (as it was said) with touching the Herse and his body, were healed. Then hee most ex∣cellently wrought the Martyrdome of S. Stephen, the be∣heading of S. Iohn Baptist, with many others. He died aged fiftie seuen, Anno 1438. Hee had a stately Monu∣ment of Marble erected ouer him; his Epitaph was writ∣ten by Angelus Politianus, which for the elegancy I will set downe.
Antonello de Messino.
Antonello borne at Messino, ought not to be forgot∣ten, who was the first that brought painting in Oyle into Italy. For certaine Oyle peeces being sent by the Mer∣chants out of Flanders to Alphonsus, the first King of Naples, which the King had in great admiration, for that they could not be washed out with water: comming to the view of Antonello, Antonello could neuer be in qui∣et vntill he had found out the Inuentor, whose name was Iohn Van Eyck, who entertained Antonello very curte∣ously, and shewed him his Art what he could; but at last, Iohn van Eyck dying, Antonello returned vnto Venice, where his workes of the Magnifici were much admired, and for that he brought the working in Oyle the first in∣to Italy; he was honored with this Epitaph.
D. O. M.
Antonius pict•r, pracipuum Messan• & t•tius Siciliae ornam•ntum, hac hum• contegitur, non sol•m suis picturis in quibus singulare artificium, & venustas fi•t, sed & quod coloribus el•• miscendis splendorem & perpetuitatem primus Italica pictura con•ulit, summo semper artificum, •••di• celebratus.
This Dominico was a Florentine, by profession at the first a Gold-smith, but falling to Painting, hee became a Page 136 great Master therein. His first worke was a Chappell for the family of the Vespucci, wherein hee drew in his Sea habit, and standing vpon an vnknowne shoare, Americus Vesputius, who gaue America her name. His best peeces are to be seene at S. Maria N•vella in Florence. He died Anno 1493.
I ouerpasse for breuitie sake, many other excellent and famous Artists of Italie, equalling the former, as Bellino, Pallaiuoli, Botticello, Verrocchio, Andreas Mantegna of Mantua, so highly esteemed and honoured of Duke Luduvico Gonzaga; Francesco Francia, Michael Angelo: and will comprise them in the excellencie of one onely Raphaell D'Vrbine, who was borne at Vrbine; whose fa∣thers name was Gi•vanni de Santi, a Painter also. This Raphaell was brought vp vnder Petro Perusini in Perusia, where he so gaue his mind from a child vnto Drawing and Painting, that in short time hee contended for the Palme with the greatest Masters of Europe, and was for his admirable inuention, sirnamed the Wonderfull. There was a great aemulation betweene Raphaell and the afore named Francesco Francia, who liued and wrought at B•∣logna, till at the last through meere admiration, by report of each others skill, they grew most louing friends, gree∣ting each either by letters continually; yet had Francia neither seene Raphaell Vrbine, nor any of his workes (by reason he was old and could not trauaile, abiding alwaies in Bologna) vntill it fortuned that Raphaell Vrbine hauing made a S. Cicilia in a faire Altar-table, for the Cardinall De Pucci Santi quatro, which was to be set at Bologna, at S. Giovanni Sopra Monte (or on the Hill:) which Table he shut in a Case, and sent it to Francia, as vnto a deare friend, that if any thing were amisse, or it happened to be defaced or iniured in the carriage, hee would amend it: and beside, so much befriend him, as to set it vp in the Page 137 place appointed, and to see it want nothing fitting. When he vnderstood thus much by Raphaels Letter, hee opened the Case with great ioy, and set the peece in a good and faire light; which when he had throughly view∣ed, he was so amazed, and grew so out of conceipt of himselfe and his owne worke, confessing his worke to be nothing, in respect of Raphaell Vrbines: which so strucke him to the heart, that he died (presently after he had set the peece in his place) Anno 1518. The fame of Raphael Vibine at this time was so great, that he was sought for and employed by the greatest Princes of Europe, as namely, the Popes Adrian and Leo; Francis the first, King of France, Henry the eight, King of England; the Dukes of Florence, Vrbane, Mantu•, and diuers others. Those stately hangings of Arras, containing the Historie of S. Paul out of the Acts (than which, eye neuer be∣held more absolute Art, and which long since you might haue seene in the banquecting house at White-hall) were wholly of his inuention, bought (if I be not deceiued) by King Henrie the eight of the State of Venice, where Raphaell Vrbine dyed. I haue no certainty, but sure I am, his memorie and immortall Fame, are like to liue in the world for euer. If you would reade the 〈◊〉 at large of the most excellent Painters, as well Ancient as Modern, I refer you vnto the two volumes of Vasari, well written in Italian (which I haue not seene, as being hard to come by; yet in the Libraries of two my especiall and worthy friends, M. Doctor Mountford, late Prebend of Pauls, and M. Inigo lones, Surueyer of his Maiesties workes for building) and Caluin Mander in high Dutch; vnto whom I am beholden, for the greater part of what I haue heere written, of some of their liues.