Cigoli

Cigoli

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Lodovico Cardi also known as Cigoli, was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 painter and architect of the late Mannerist
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

 and early Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 period, trained and active in his early career in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, and spending the last nine years of his life in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

.

Lodovico Cardi was born at Villa Castelvecchio di Cigoli
San Miniato
San Miniato is a town and comune in the province of Pisa, in the region of Tuscany, Italy.San Miniato sits at an historically strategic location atop three small hills where it dominates the lower Arno valley between the valleys of Egola and Elsa...

, in Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

, whence the name by which he is commonly known. Initially, Cigoli trained in Florence under the fervid mannerist Alessandro Allori
Alessandro Allori
Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Florentine school....

. Later, influenced by the most prominent of the Contra-Maniera painters, Santi di Tito
Santi di Tito
Santi di Tito was an Italian painter of Late-Mannerist or proto-Baroque style, what is sometimes referred to as Contra-Maniera or Counter-Mannerism.-Biography:...

, as well as by Barocci
Federico Barocci
Federico Barocci was an Italian Renaissance painter and printmaker. His original name was Federico Fiori, and he was nicknamed Il Baroccio, which still in northwestern Italian dialects means a two wheel cart drawn by oxen...

, Cigoli shed the shackles of mannerism and infused his later paintings with an expressionism often lacking from 16th century Florentine painting.

For the Roman patron, Massimo Massimi, he painted an Ecce Homo
Ecce Homo
Ecce Homo are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of the , when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. The original Greek is Ἰδοὺ ὁ ἄνθρωπος . The King James Version translates the phrase...

(now in Palazzo Pitti
Palazzo Pitti
The Palazzo Pitti , in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast mainly Renaissance palace in Florence, Italy. It is situated on the south side of the River Arno, a short distance from the Ponte Vecchio...

). Supposedly unbenknownst to any of the painters, two other prominent contemporary painters, Passignano
Domenico Passignano
Domenico Passignano , born Cresti or Crespi, was an Italian painter of a late-Renaissance or Contra-Maniera style that emerged in Florence towards the end of the 16th century.- Biography :...

 and Caravaggio
Caravaggio
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

, had been requested canvases on the same theme. It is unclear if they are completely independent. Cigoli's painting seems to have been made with knowledge of Caravaggio's canvas
Ecce Homo (Caravaggio)
Ecce Homo is a painting by the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio . It is housed in the Palazzo Rosso, Genoa.-Background:...

; however, while Cigoli's work lacks the power of Caravaggio's naturalism, the background shade and sparse foreground shows how much he was moving away from crowded Florentine historical paintings. This work was afterwards taken by Napoleon to the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

, and was restored to Florence in 1815.

One of his early paintings was of Cain slaying Abel. He then gained the employ of the Grand-Duke in some works for the
Pitti Palace, where he painted a Venus and Satyr and a Sacrifice of Isaac.

Other important pictures are St. Peter Healing the Lame Man in St Peter's
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

; Conversion of St. Paul in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura, and a Story of Psyche in a fresco incorporated in the decorative scheme of the Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese may refer to:*The Villa Borghese Pinciana , the villa built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio , developing sketches by Scipione Borghese, who used it as a villa suburbana, a party villa, at the edge of Rome, and to house his art collection.**The Galleria...

; a Martyrdom of Stephen, which earned him the name of the "Florentine Correggio", a Stigmata of St. Francis at Florence. Cigoli was made a Knight of Malta
Knights Hospitaller
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

 at the request of Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...



Cigoli, a close personal friend of Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

, painted a last fresco in the dome of the Pauline chapel of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, depicting the Madonna standing upon a pock-marked lunar orb. This is the first extant example of Galileo's discoveries about the physical nature of the moon (as he himself drew it in Sidereus Nuncius
Sidereus Nuncius
Sidereus Nuncius is a short treatise published in New Latin by Galileo Galilei in March 1610. It was the first scientific treatise based on observations made through a telescope...

) having penetrated the visual arts practice of his day. Until this image, the moon in pictures of the Virgin had always been mythical and smooth, perfectly spherical as described by Platonic & Ptolemaic tradition. The combination of such astronomical scientific realism in a religious painting is a striking symbol of the clash of paradigms of the period, especially when one considers Galileo's later condemnation and imprisonment by the Roman Catholic Church for publishing his astronomical proofs of heliocentricity.

His pupils include Cristofano Allori
Cristofano Allori
Cristofano Allori was an Italian portrait painter of the late Florentine Mannerist school. Allori was born at Florence and received his first lessons in painting from his father, Alessandro Allori, but becoming dissatisfied with the hard anatomical drawing and cold coloring of the latter, he...

 (1577–1621), the Fleming Giovanni Biliverti
Giovanni Biliverti
Giovanni Biliverti was an Italian painter of the late-Mannerism and early-Baroque period, active mainly in his adoptive city of Florence, as well as Rome. His father had been born in was born at Maastricht. Also known as Giovanni Biliverti. He was the son of the Flemish painter in Florence,...

 (1576–1644), Domenico Fetti
Domenico Fetti
Domenico Fetti was an Italian Baroque painter active mainly in Rome, Mantua and Venice.-Biography:...

, Giovanni Antonio Lelli
Giovanni Antonio Lelli
Giovanni Antonio Lelli was an Italian painter of the Baroque period. He was a pupil of the painter Cigoli. In the church of San Matteo in Merulana in Rome , he painted an Annunciation. He painted a Visitation for the Convent della Minerva...

, Aurelio Lomi
Aurelio Lomi
Aurelio Lomi was an Italian painter of the late-Renaissance and early-Baroque periods, active mainly in his native town of Pisa, Tuscany.He may have initially been trained by his father, Giovanni Battista Lomi, but soon he...

, Pietro Medici, Gregorio Pagani
Gregorio Pagani
Gregorio Pagani was an Italian painter of the late Mannerist period, active mainly in Florence. He was the son of the painter Francesco Pagani, then became a pupil of Santi di Tito, then entered the studio of Ludovico Cigoli. He painted the St. Helena finding the Cross for Santa Maria del Carmine,...

, and Andrea Comodi (1560–1638).

Sources