Pirro Ligorio: The Renaissance Artist, Architect, and Antiquarian

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Overview

Pirro Ligorio (1510–1583), an Italian architect and antiquarian who designed the Casino of Pius IV and large portions of the gardens of the Villa d’Este, has long been a notoriously elusive subject because of his daunting erudition and because his notebooks and drawings are in collections scattered throughout the world. In this book David R. Coffin, one of America’s leading experts on Renaissance architecture and landscape architecture, mobilizes all available published and unpublished materials to offer the first comprehensive account of Ligorio’s life and multifaceted career.

Coffin traces the unfolding of Ligorio’s life from his early years in Naples, to his work in Rome, where he served several popes and pored over Ancient ruins, through his residency in Ferrara as court antiquarian. In addition to illuminating Ligorio’s relationship to his patrons, Coffin sheds new light on Ligorio’s famed map of ancient Rome, a masterpiece that bears witness to Ligorio’s cartographic skills, his erudition, and his lifelong fascination with the eternal city. Copiously illustrated, Coffin’s biography includes a checklist of Ligorio’s drawings. It will be of interest to architectural historians, art historians, and all those involved with the study of Rome and of the classical heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This volume reflects the alpha and the omega of the author’s career.”
—J.K. Dabbs, Choice

“The volume is well produced, with copious black-and-white illustrations integrated with the text.”
—J.K. Dabbs, Choice

“The present volume is the most authoritative exploration of the life and work of one of the Renaissance great figures, the Neapolitan artist and antiquarian Pirro Ligorio.”
—Bruno M. Damiani, Catholic Historical Review

“Coffin's work will not end debate on specific attributions or the quality of Ligorio's artistic work, but this biography should serve as the foundation for any further studies of the artist.”
—Robert E. Roemer, Renaissance Quarterly

“Coffin's work will not end debate on specific attributions or the quality of Ligorio's artistic work, but this biography should serve as the foundation for any further studies of the artist.”
—Robert E. Roemer, Renaissance Quarterly

“As the first biography of Ligorio, David Coffin’s book is much welcome, even if it has been a long time in the making.”
—Giles Worsley, Apollo

“The wide range of Ligorio’s activities has created a diffuse bibliography across several disciplines, many of its sources in publications which are not easily found in most libraries. Professor Coffin has admirably synthesized this large body of work . . . and he has added new observations as well. It is both a genial and learned perusal of one of the challenging figures of the 16th century, and what results is a unique and significant multidisciplinary contribution.”
—Leon Satkowski, University of Minnesota

“Coffin's work will not end debate on specific attributions or the quality of Ligorio's artistic work, but this biography should serve as the foundation for any further studies of the artist.”
—Robert E. Roemer, Renaissance Quarterly

“David Coffin's biography is a welcome addition to the relatively thin literature on Ligorio. His study draws on a lifetime of distinguished work on and around Ligorio, whose voluminous manuscripts have been mined by scholars. The learning displayed by this densely documented study and the associated collection of imagery is most admirable, worthy of the immensely erudite subject himself.”
—Charles Burroughs, Binghamton University

“As the first biography of Ligorio, David Coffin’s book is much welcome, even if it has been a long time in the making.”
—Giles Worsley, Apollo

“Coffin’s book serves as a helpful master narrative to a figure that had previously seemed difficult to approach. . . . The breadth of Ligorio’s achievements make him undoubtedly one of the most daunting sixteenth-century figures to fully capture in print. We are fortunate that Coffin, whose own intellectual biography was so inexorably intertwined with that of his subject, found the chance to complete this book before his death.”
—Mark Rosen, CAA Reviews

“This volume reflects the alpha and the omega of the author’s career.”

—J.K. Dabbs, Choice

“The volume is well produced, with copious black-and-white illustrations integrated with the text.”

—J.K. Dabbs, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271022932
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

David R. Coffin passed away in October 2003. He was Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of the History of Architecture, Emeritus, at Princeton University.

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Abbreviations

Introduction

1. Early Years in Rome

2. Ligorio in Papal Employ

The Papacy of Paul IV (1555–1559)

The Papacy of Pius IV (1559–1565)

The Papacy of Pius V (1566–1572)

3. The Villa d’Este at Tivoli

4. Ligorio in Ferrara

Epilogue

Appendixes

I. House Facades at Rome Painted by Ligorio

II. Documents

III. The So-Called Palazzetto di Pirro Ligorio

IV. Figural and Ornamental Drawings of Pirro Ligorio

Checklist of Figural and Ornamental Drawings of Pirro Ligorio

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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