Painter of Florence

MANY men take an ignoble pleasure in deriding and scorning others though this most frequently recoils upon themselves, just as Cosimo Rosselli 1 returned scorn upon the heads of those who endeavoured to minimise his efforts. This Cosimo, although not a very rare or excellent painter, produced some very meritorious works. In his youth he painted a picture for the church of S. Ambruogio at Florence, 2 on the right as one enters, and three figures over the arch of the nuns of S. Jacopo dalle Murate. In the church of the Servites, also at Florence, he did the altar piece of the chapel of St. Barbara, 3 and in the first courtyard in front of the entrance to the church he painted in fresco the Blessed Philip receiving the habit from Our Lady. For the monks of Cestello he painted the picture of the high altar, and another for another chapel of the same church; as well as the one in as mall church above the Bernardino, beside the entrance of Cestello. He painted the banner for the children of the company of Bernardino and also that of the company of St. George, containing an Annunciation. For the same nuns of S. Ambruogio he did the chapel of the Miracle of the Sacrament, 4 quite a good work, and even greater ones, seeing that they practised them frequently for reward or otherwise.

I will not speak of some candles painted in various guises, but so rudely that they have given a name to common painters, so that bad pictures are called "Candle puppets," things of no account. In the time of Cecca these had nearly gone out of use, being replaced by cars like the triumphal ones used today. The first of those was that of the Mint, which was brought to its present state of perfection, being sent out every year by the masters and lords of the mint with a St. John at the top, and many other saints and angels below represented by living persons. Not long ago it was decided that each district should offer a candle, and as many as ten were made to adorn the feast, but it did not take place on account of the events which supervened. The first then, that of the Mint, was made under Cecca's direction by Domenico, Marco and Giuliano del Tasso, then among the best master joiners in Florence. The lower wheels in particular are especially admirable, being so arranged that the whole structure shall turn easily with the least derangement possible out of consideration for those bound above. He also made a scaffolding for the cleaning and repairing of the mosaics of S. Giovanni. This lowered and directed at will with could be turned, raised, such ease that two men could manage it, and it greatly increased Cecca's reputation.

When the Florentines were besieging Piancaldoli, Cecca contrived a mine by means of which the soldiers entered the city without striking a blow. But when the army proceeded to other places he was killed, as bad fortune would have it, in endeavouring to measure some altitudes from a difficult point. For he put his head out to let down a string, and a priest on the side of the enemy, who were more afraid of Cecca's ingenuity than of all the opposing forces, discharged a quarrel at him, which passed through his head, so that the poor fellow fell dead on the spot. His death was a great loss to the army and to his fellow-citizens, but there being no remedy, they brought the body back to Florence, where he was buried by the sisters in S. Piero Scheraggio. Beneath his portrait in marble the following epitaph was placed:

(1) Fabrum magister Cicca. natus oppidis vet obsidendis vettuendis.hic Jacet. Vixit an. XXHXI. mens. XIV. dies XIV. Obiit propatria telo ictus. Piae sorores monumentum fecerunt MCCCCXCIX.

  • 1 It should be Morazsoni.
  • 2 In 1498.
  • 3 Now in the Accademia.
  • 4 In 1486.

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