AMONG the countless pupils of Raphael, who mostly became excellent, no one imitated him more closely in style, invention, design and colouring than Giulio Romano, nor was anyone of them more profound, spirited, fanciful, various, prolific and universal; he also was an agreeable companion, jovial, affable, gracious and abounding in excellent qualities, so that Raphael loved him as if he had been his son, and employed him on all his principal works. Thus, when Raphael had designed the building, decoration and scenes for the loggias for Leo X., he charged Giulio 1 to do many of the paintings, and amongst others the creation of Adam and Eve, that of the animals, the building of Noah's ark, the sacrifice, and many others recognisable by the style, such as Pharoah's daughter finding Moses in the ark, a marvellous work with a finely executed landscape. He also helped Raphael to colour many things in the chamber of the Borgia tower containing the burning of the Borgo, notably the bronze-coloured basement, the Countess Matilda, King Pepin, Charlemagne, Godfrey of Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, and other benefactors of the Church, all excellent figures. A part was issued as prints not long ago from Giulio's design. He also did most of the scenes in fresco in the loggia of Agostino Ghigi, and a fine St. Elizabeth in oils, done by Raphael and sent to King Francis of France with another of St. Margaret, almost entirely by Giulio from Raphael's design, who sent to the same king a portrait of the vice-queen of Naples, 2 in which Raphael only did the head, the rest being by Giulio. These works greatly pleased the king, and they are still in the royal chapel at Fontainebleau. In this way Giulio learned the difficulties of art, taught to him with great patience by Raphael, and before long he became skilled in drawing perspectives, measuring buildings and making plans. Sometimes Raphael would sketch his ideas and Giulio would enlarge them for use in architecture, in which he began to take such delight that with practice he became an excellent master. On Raphael's death Giulio and Giovan francesco, called II Fattore, were left his heirs and charged to finish his works, a task which they honourably fulfilled in most cases.
Cardinal Giuliano de' Medici, afterwards Clement VII., acquired a site in Rome under Mt. Mario, with a beautiful view, flowing water, well wooded, and extending along the Tiber from Ponte Molle to the S. Piero gate. Here on the flat ground at the top of the bank he resolved to erect a palace furnished with convenient rooms, loggias, gardens, fountains, woods and other things of beauty, and gave the work to Giulio. He took it readily, and erected the palace then known as the Vigna de' Medici, and now as the Vigna di Madama, with great perfection. Accommodating himself to the site and to the cardinal's wishes, he designed a semicircular facade with niches and windows of the Ionic order, so much admired that many believed Raphael had designed them, and that Giulio had but elaborated his sketches. Giulio decorated the chambers and other parts with pictures, notably a fine loggia beyond the first vestibule, adorned with large and small niches containing a quantity of ancient statues comprising a Jupiter of rare beauty, afterwards sent by the Farnesi to King Francis of France, with many other beautiful statues. The walls and vaulting are, moreover, covered with arabesques by Giovanni da Udine, and the loggia is decorated with stucco. At the top Giulio painted a great Polyphemus in fresco, with infants and satyrs playing about him, for which he won great praise. His other designs there were equally admired, of fisheries, pavements, rustic fountains, woods and other things, all of great beauty and executed with judgment. But the work was interrupted by the death of Leo, as, on the election of Adrian and the departure of the Cardinal de' Medici for Florence, all public works begun by Leo were discontinued. Meanwhile Giuliano and Giovan franceseo finished many of Raphael's incomplete works, and prepared to carry out the cartoons he had done for the great hall of the palace, representing four scenes of the acts of the Emperor Constantine. Before his death Raphael had prepared the surface of one wall to receive the oils. But Adrian, who cared nothing for painting, sculpture, or anything fine, did not want it done. Thus, while Adrian lived, Giulio, Giovanfrancesco, Perino del Vaga, Giovanni da Udine, Bastiano Veniziano and other excellent artists came near dying of hunger. But while the court, nourished on the greatness of Leo, had come to this pass, and the best artists were at their wits' end, their abilities being no longer valued, Adrian died, by God's will, and Cardinal Giulio de' Medici was elected pope as Clement VII. Thus in one day all the arts of design revived with the other talents, and Giulio and Giovanfrencesco immediately and joyfully set about finishing the Hall of Constantine by the Pope's order. They threw down the wall prepared for the oils, leaving, however, two figures, which they had previously painted as a decoration about some popes, of Justice and another virtue. The hall being low, the dispositions had been judiciously arranged by Raphael. At the corners over the doors he put some large niches decorated with infants holding various devices of Leo X., such as lilies, diamonds, feathers and the like. In the niches were seated popes in their pontificals, each one having a shadow. About them were cherubs holding books and other suitable things. On either side of each pope was an appropriate Virtue. Peter had Religion and Charity or Piety, and the others had the like, the popes being Damasus I., Alexander I., Leo III., Gregory, Silvester and some others, all well executed by Giulio, who devoted his best energies to the task. His labour and diligence are shown by a fine drawing of St. Silvester by him, probably more graceful than the painting, for he was always happier in expressing his ideas in drawing than in painting, obtaining more vivacity, vigour and expression, possibly because a design ismade in an hour in heat, while a painting takes months and years. Thus he became tired, losing his first ardour, and it is no wonder that the paintings are inferior.
But to return to the scenes. On one of the walls Giulio painted Constantine addressing his soldiers, a cross appearing in the air with some cherubs, and the letters IN HOC SIGNO VINCEs. A dwarf at Constantine's feet, putting on a helmet, is made with great art. On the largest wall is a cavalry fight near Ponte Molle, where Constantine routs Maxentius, an admirable work for the wounded and dead and the varied and curious attitudes of the infantry and cavalry fiercely engaged. There are also many portraits, and if it did not contain too much black, of which Giulio was always fond, it would be perfect, but this greatly detracts from its beauty. He did the whole landscape of Monte Mario, and Maxentius drowning in the River Tiber on his horse. This scene 3 has proved of great assistance to those who have since represented battles. Giuliano studied the ancient columns of Trajan and Antoninus at Rome, making great use of them for the dresses of the soldiers, the armour, ensigns, bastions, stockades, rams and other implements of war represented there. Below this he painted many admirable things in bronze colour. On the other wall he did St. Silvester the Pope baptising Constantine, representing the very bath made by that emperor, now at St. John Lateran. St. Silvester is a portrait of Pope Clement, and many assistants and others are present. Among the Pope's servants he drew the Pope's favourite, M.Niccolo Vespucci, knight of Rhodes, the little cavalier, and below in bronze colour he painted Constantine building S. Pietro, an allusion to Pope Clement, with portraits of Bramante and Giulian Lemi, who hold the plan of the church, making a very beautiful scene. On the fourth wall over the chimneypiece he represented S. Pietro in perspective, with the papal residence as it stands, the Pope singing Mass with the cardinals and other prelates of the court, and the chapel of the choristers and musicians. The Pope is seated, as St. Silvester, with Constantine kneeling at his feet and presenting to him a golden Rome as it is shown on ancient medals, to indicate the gift which Constantine made to the Church. Giulio here introduced many beautiful women kneeling to view the ceremony, a poor man asking alms, a boy playing with a dog, and the lances of the Pope's guard making the people stand back in the usual way. Among the numerous portraits are those of Giulio himself, his friend Count Baldassare Castiglione, author of Il Cortigiano, Pontano, his great friend, Marullo and many other men of letters, and courtiers. About the windows Giulio painted many designs and poetic fancies of great beauty, greatly delighting the Pope, who richly rewarded him.
While this hall was being painted, Giulio and Gio. Francesco did an Assumption 4 of great beauty, which was sent to Perugia, and placed in the monastery of' the nuns of Montelucci. Giulo alone did a Madonna with a cat, 5 so natural that it was called the picture of the cat. In another large picture he represented Christ at the Column, which was placed over the high altar of S. Prassedia at Rome. Not long after M. Gio. Matteo Giberti, afterwards bishop of Verona, and then datary of Pope Clement, employed his friend Giulio to design some apartments, built of brick, near the door of the Pope's palace, on the piazza of S. Pietro, near where the trumpeters stand when the cardinals go to the consistory, with convenient steps, which can be mounted on horse or foot. For the same friend Giulio did a Stoning of St. Stephen, 6 with remarkable invention, grace and composition, and while the Jews are stoning him young Saul is seated on their clothes. Giulio never did a finer work than this, representing the vigour of the assailants and the patience of Stephen, who really seems to see Christ on the right hand of the Father in a lovely sky. M. Gio. Matteo gave this work to the monks of Monte Oliveto, together with the benefice, which they have converted into a monastery. For Jacopo Fugger, a German, Giulio did a panel for a chapel in S. Maria de Anima at Rome of the Virgin, St. Anne, St. Joseph, St. James, the little St. John, and St. Mark kneeling, with a lion at his feet, and a book. This was a difficult task, as the lion has wings, with soft, plumy feathers, an extraordinary imitation of nature. He also made a building, round like a theatre, with statues of in expressible beauty, finely disposed. Among them is a woman spinning, and looking at a hen with her chickens, wonderfully natural. Above the Virgin are some cherubs, holding a graceful canopy, but unfortunately this picture also contained too much black, which goes far to neutralise the labour bestowed on it, for the black always contains some carbon or other acid which eats into the material. Among the numerous pupils of Giulio who assisted him with this work were Bartolommeo da Castiglione, Tommaso Paparello 7 of Cortona, Benedetto Pagni of Pescia, and Giovanni da Lione and Raffaello dal Colle of Borgo S. Sepolero, both much employed in the Hall of Constantine and the other works mentioned. Being dexterous painters who had carefully observed Giulio's methods, they coloured from his designs the arms of Pope Clement VII., near the old mint in Banchi, with a figure on either side. Not long after Raffaello, from a design of Giulio, painted in fresco, in the lunette of the door of the palace of the Cardinal della Valle, a Virgin covering the sleeping Child, between St. Andrew the Apostle and St. Nicholas, considered an excellent work. Giulio being friendly with M. Baldassarre Turini of Pescia, made a model and built him a palace on Mount Janiculum, 8 where he has a fine view, of the utmost grace and convenience. The rooms were adorned with stucco and painting, as Giulio himself painted stories of Numa Pompilius, who was buried there. In the bath-room Giulio painted stories of Venus and Cupid, Apollo, Hyacinth, being helped by his apprentices, all of which scenes are engraved. On separating from Gio. Francesco, he did various works in architecture at Rome, such as the design for the Alberini house in Banchi, attributed by some to Raphael, and a palace on the Piazzadella Dogana at Rome, since engraved because of its good arrangement.
He also did a fine range of windows at a corner of the Macello de' Corbi where his birthplace was, which, though small, is very graceful. Alter Raphael's death Giulio's excellent qualities gave him the reputation of being the best artist in Italy, and Count Baldassarre Castiglione, then ambassador at Rome of Federigo Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, and his friend, being requested by the marquis to procure him an architect for his palace, he succeeded by prayers and promises in getting Giulio to go if he could obtain the permission of Pope Clement. That done, the count, on .going to Mantua with a message from the Pope to the emperor, took Giulio with him. 9 He presented him to the marquis, who received Giulio graciously, gave him a well-furnished house, and ordained a provision for him and for Benedetto Pagni and another youth. He also sent him several ells of velvet and smooth cloth to dress himself, and, understanding that he had no horse, gave him a favourite one of his own called Ruggieri. On this creature Giulio rode a bow- shot out of the S. Bastiano gate, where the marquis had a place and stables, called the T, in the middle of a meadow, where he kept his stud. When he arrived there, the marquis said that he wanted, without destroying the old building, to have a place where he could resort for amusement and take refreshment. Giulio, after examining the site, set to work and, using the old walls, made the first hall in a larger part, as may be seen on entering, with the chambers on either side. As there is no good stone there for building or carving, he used bricks and tiles, with stucco, and of this material he made columns, bases, Capitals cornices, doors, windows and other things in fine proportion, with new and extraordinary decoration for the vaulting, and richly decorated the interior, and this led to the marquis deciding to make the present fine palace there from a humble beginning. Giulio prepared a fine model in the court of rustic-work, which greatly pleased the marquis, who gave him a provision and, Giulio bringing many builders to the place, the work was speedily completed. 10 The building is rectangular, with an open court in the middle for a piazza, upon which four ways open, in the form of across. The first passes to a large loggia, which leads through another into the garden. Two others lead to various apartments, decorated with stucco and painting. The vaulting of the hall, which is entered from the first, is painted in fresco, and the walls contain representations of all the best horses of the marquis's breed, and the dogs also, which are marked like the horses, each with its name, all being designed by Giulio, and coloured in fresco by his pupils, Benedetto Pagni and Rinaldo Mantovano, so well that they seem alive. From here one enters a room at the corner of the palace, the vaulting of which is finely decorated with stucco and various cornices, gilt in some places. These form four octagons, which surround a square in the highest part, where a cupid stands before Jove, who is surrounded by a celestial light, and espouses Psyche in the presence of the gods, a most graceful design, the figures being so well foreshortened, as seen from beneath, that some, not more than a braccia long, look three; indeed, Giulio has made the illusion complete, the figures are in such relief. The octagons contain the other stories of Psyche, of the wrath of Venus against her, executed with the same beauty and perfection. The other angles contain cupids, and there are others in the windows with various expressions according to the spaces. The ceiling is coloured in oils by Benedetto and Rinaldo.
The remainder of the scenes on the lower walls represent Psyche taking her bath, attended by the cupids, while we see the banquet of Mercury, with the Bacchantae and the Graces beautifully embellishing the picture, and a goat, with two infants sucking her dugs; and near him is Bacchus, with two tigers at his feet; he leans on a sideboard on one arm, and has a camel on one side, and an elephant on the other. This sideboard is semi circular, and covered with festoons and flowers, full of vines and grapes. Beneath are three tiers of curious vases, basins, cups and such things in various forms, and so lustrous that they actually seem silver and gold, though he has used simple yellow colour, an instance of Giulio s genius and ability, which was rich, varied and prolific in invention and art. Not far off is Psyche, surrounded by women serving her, and in the distance is Phoebus guiding the four horses of his chariot, and a naked Zephyr reclining on clouds and blowing soft breezes through a horn, making a pleasant atmosphere about Psyche. These designs were engraved soon after by Battista Franco of Venice, who made them uniform with the large cartoon of Giulio done by Benedetto and Rinaldo, who executed these scenes, except the Bacchus, the Silenus and the two children suckled by the goat. The work was indeed retouched by Giulio, and is therefore his. He learned this method from Raphael, and it is very useful for the young men employed, because they become excellent masters, and although some think they are better than those who direct the work, they soon recognise that without such guidance they would find them- selves blind in a sea of infinite errors. But to return to the rooms of the T. The Psyche room led into another, full of friezes of figures in bas-relief in stucco from Giulio's design, by Francesco Primaticcio of Bologna, 11 then a youth, and by Gio. Battista Mantovano, containing all the soldiers on the Trajan Column at Rome, done in fine style, the ceiling of an ante-chamber being painted in oils, representing Icarus directed by his father Daedalus, who, through wishing to fly too high, comes insight of Cancer and the chariot of the sun, drawn by four horses, near Leo, and is left without wings, the wax being melted by the heat. He is next seen falling, his face deathly pale, a fine idea of Giulio, and very truthful, as we notice the sun's heat withering the wings, the smoke of the fire, the splitting of the feathers and the death agony in the face of Icarus, with passion and grief in that of Daedalus. I have the original design for this beautiful scene in my book. In the same place Giulio did the Months, with the usual occupations of each, a work of delightful imagination, carried out with judgment and diligence.
Passing the great loggia, decorated with stucco, arms and other curious ornaments, we come to some rooms full of such various fancies that the mind is bewildered, for Guilio being very imaginative and ingenious, to show his ability, intended to make a room similar to the Psyche room, the walls of which should‚ correspond with the painting and create an illusion. As the place was marshy he laid the foundations deep and double, building a round room with thick walls so that the four external angles should be strong enough to bear a double barrel-vault. He then made the windows, door and chimneypiece of rustic stone, so twisted that they looked as if they leaned to one side and would fall. In this strangely built place he began to paint the most curious idea imaginable: Jove fulminating the giants. On the vaulting is the throne of Jove foreshortened, and a round Ionic temple on perforated columns, with a canopy over the seat in the middle. His eagle is there, the whole being on the clouds. Lower down angry Joveis fulminating the giants, with Juno assisting; lower still, while the strange-faced winds blow on the earth, the goddess Ops turns at the noise with her lions, as do the other gods and goddesses especially Venus, who is next to Mars and Momus, who with wide-open arms seems to be expecting the heavens to fall, and yet remains immovable. The Graces stand in fear with the Hours near them, and each goddess is fleeing in her chariot. The Moon, with Saturn and Janus, move towards an opening in the clouds to get away from the noise and fury, and so does Neptune, who, with his dolphins, seems to be trying to rest on his trident, while Pallas and the nine Muses wonder what this portends. Pan embraces a nymph who is trembling with fear, and he wishes to take her away from the tumult and lightnings which fill the heavens. Apollo stands on the chariot of the sun and some of the Hours attempt to stop the: horses. Bacchus and Silenus, with satyrs and nymphs, exhibit the utmost fear, and Vulcan, with his huge hammer on his shoulder, looks towards Hercules, who is speaking of the matter to Mercury. Near them stands the trembling Pomona, while Vertumnus and all the other gods exhibit the emotion of fear, which is presented with indescribable force both iii those standing and in those fleeing. On the lower part, that is to say on the walls below the arching of the vault, are the giants, some under mountains and huge rocks, which they are carrying on their strong shoulders to mount to heaven. But Jove fulminates and all heaven is incensed against them, so that it not only strikes terror into the rash daring of the giants, hurling mountains at them, but all the world seems overturned and the end of all things at hand. We see Briareus in a dark cavern almost covered by the huge masses of rock, the other giants lying crushed and some killed under the fragments. Through the cleft of a dark cave many giants may be seen fleeing, struck by the thunders of Jove and about to be crushed like the others. Elsewhere Giulio did other giants with temples, columns and parts of mountains falling, making a great slaughter among them. Between these falling walls is the fireplace, and when a fire is lighted the giants seem to be burning. Pluto in his car is drawn by shrivelled horses, and flees to the centre accompanied by the Furies, and thus Giulio decorated the chimneypiece most beautifully with this idea of fire. To make the work more terrible, he represented huge giants struck in various ways by the lighting and thunder bolts, falling to earthy some killed, some wounded, and some crushed beneath mountains and ruins. No more terrible work of the brush exists, and anyone entering the room and seeing the windows, doors and other things so twisted that they appear about to fall, and the tumbling mountains and ruins, will fear that all is about to come about his ears, especially as he sees the gods fleeing hither and thither.
A marvellous feature is that the painting has neither beginning nor end, and is not interrupted in any way, so that objects near the buildings seem very large, and those in the distant landscape are gradually lost, and the room, which is not more than fifteen braccia long, looks like an open country, and the floor being of small round stones set with a knife and the walls at the junction being painted like them, there seem to be no corner stones, and the place looks extremely large. The judgment and art here displayed by Giulio place artists under a great debt to him. In this work Rinaldo became a perfect colourist, as he completed it from Giulio's designs, as well as the other apartments. If he had not died young he would have brought great honour to Giulio in after years. Besides this palace, in which Giulio did many admirable things, which I pass over in order not to be too long, he restored many rooms of the duke's castle at Mantua, and made two large spiral staircases, richly decorated with stucco throughout. He decorated one hall with the history of the Trojan war, and did twelve scenes in oil in an ante-chamber under the heads of the Roman emperors by Titian, considered rare. At Marmiruolo, five miles from Mantua, he designed a convenient structure and large paintings not less fine than those of the castle and palace of the T. In the Chapel of Signora Isabella Buschetta in S. Andrea, at Mantua, he did an oil-panel of the Virgin adoring the Child Jesus lying on the ground, while Joseph, the ass and the ox are near a manger. On one side is St. John the Evangelist and on the other St. Longinus, larger than life-size. 12 On the walls of the same chapel Rinaldo did two fine scenes from his designs, a Crucifixion with the thieves, some angels in the air, and the executioners, the Maries and many horses below(for he loved to paint horses, and made them marvellously beautiful)and many soldiers in various attitudes. The other was the Finding of the Blood of Christ in the time of the Countess Matilda, a most beautiful work. For Duke Federigo Giulio next did with his own hand a Virgin washing the Christ-child, who is standing in a basin while St. John empties water out of a jug, both figures, which are life-size, being very beautiful. 13 In the distance are half-length figures of women coming on a visit. This picture was afterwards given by the duke to Signora Isabella Buschetta. Giulio made a fine portrait of this lady in a small Nativity, a braccia high, now in the possession of Sig. Vespasiano Gonzaga, with another of Giulio's given him by Duke Federigo, representing a youth and maiden embracing on a bed, 14 while an old woman secretly observes them at a door, the figures being rather less than life-size and very graceful. In the same house there is a very fine St. Jerome by Giulio. Count Niccolo Maffei has a life-size Alexander the Great holding a Victory in his hand, copied from an ancient medal, and a very beautiful thing. Giulio next painted for his friend, M. Girolamo, organist of the Duomo at Mantua, a Vulcan forging arrows, in fresco. He holds the bellows in his hand and grasps a piece of red-hot iron with pincers, while Venus cools some of the arrows in a vase and puts them in Cupid's quiver. 15 This is one of Giulio's most beautiful works, and there is very little else of his infresco. In S. Domenico he did a dead Christ for M. Ludovico da Fermo, and Joseph and Nicodemus preparing to carry him to the tomb, with the Virgin, the Marles and St. John the Evangelist nearby. He did another dead Christ, now at Venice, in the house of Tommaso da Enipoli of Florence. About this time Sig. Giovanni de' Medici, being wounded by a musket, was taken to Mantua, where he died. M. Pietro Aretino, his faithful servant and a friend of Giulio, desired the artist to take a death mask, from which he made a portrait which remained in Aretino's possession for many years. When Charles V. came to Mantua, 16 Giulio, by the duke's order, made many fine arches, scenes for comedies and other things, in which he had no peer, no one being like him for masquerades, and making curious costumes for jousts, feasts, tournaments, which excited great wonder in the emperor and in all present. For the city of Mantua at various times he designed temples, chapels, houses, gardens, facades, and was so fond of decorating them that, by his industry, he rendered dry, healthy and pleasant places previously miry, full of stagnant water, and almost uninhabitable.
While he was serving the duke, the Po one year broke its banks, so that in some parts of Mantua the water was nearly tour braccia deep, and frogs lived there almost all the year. Giulio considered how he would make this good, and he succeeded in restoring the former state and in preventing the recurrence of the accident, causing the streets to be raised on that side, by the duke's command, so that the buildings were above the level of the water. He directed that the small houses there should be pulled down, rebuilding larger and finer ones. When some opponents told the duke that Giulio was destroying too much, he refused to hear them, making Giulio master of the work and directing that no one should build except under him. This led to many complaints and threats, which reached the duke's ears, and he spoke out, letting it be known that he would consider any wrong done to Giulio as an injury to himself. The duke loved the talents of Giulioso that he could not live without him, and Giulio cherished the utmost reverence for the duke. He asked for no favour that he did not receive, and at his death he was found to have an income of over 1000 ducats owing to the duke's liberality. Giulio built himself a house at Mantua opposite S. Barnaba, with a fantastic fade in coloured stucco, the inside being similarly decorated, and furnished with numerous antiquities brought from Rome and received from the duke, to whom he gave many of his own. Giulio designed an incredible number of things for foreign parts and Mantua, for no palaces or other important buildings could be erected there without his designs. He rebuilt the church of S. Benedetto there near the Po, a large and rich house of the black monks, upon the old walls, and he embellished the building with fine paintings and pictures. As his things were highly valued in Lombardy, Gian. Matteo Giberti, bishop of Verona, wished to have the tribune of the Duomo there, painted by Moro Veronese from Giulio's designs. For the Duke of Ferrara Giulio prepared many designs for arras, afterwards executed by Maestro Niccolo and Gio. Battista Rosso, Flemings, in silk and gold. These were engraved by Giovan. Battista Mantovano, who thus treated several of Giulio's designs, and besides three battle-scenes engraved by others, he did a physician putting leeches on a woman's back, a Flight into Egypt, Joseph leading the ass, and angels bending a palm-tree to permit Christ to gather the fruit. He also engraved from Giulio's design the Tiber wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, and four scenes of Pluto, Jove and Neptune dividing the heavens, the earth and the sea by lot. He did the goat Alfea held by Melissa and nourishing Jove, and men tortured in prison, on a large sheet. Other prints were the parley between the armies of Scipio and Hannibal on the banks of a river; the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, engraved by Sebastiano da Reggio,and many others printed in Italy. In Flande is and France also many were printed, which I need not mention, beautiful as they were, as he produced them in the mass. Everything in art came so easy to him, especially design, that no one is known to have done more than he. He was universal and could discuss every- thing, but especially medals, upon which he spent much time and money. Although he spent most of his time on great things, yet he also did the smallest to oblige his patron and friends, and no sooner had they opened their mouth to express an idea than he had grasped it and made a sketch. Among the numerous treasures in his house there was a portrait of Albert Durer, by himself, on fine cambric, sent by him to Raphael, diligently executed in water-colours, and finished without using white lead, the fabric itself serving for the whites and the fine threads being used to represent the hairs of the beard, and when held up to the light it was transparent all over. Giulio, who valued it highly, showed it tome himself as a miracle once when I was on business at Mantua.
The death of Duke Federigo 17 whom Giulio loved beyond all imagining, affected him so deeply that he would have left Mantua if the cardinal, the duke's brother, regent during the minority of Federigo's sons, had not detained him. Giulio, indeed, had there his wife, children, houses, estate, and all the other requirements of a gentleman of position. The cardinal also wished to consult Giulio on the restoration of the Duomo. To this Giulio put his hand, 18 executing it in a beautiful style.
At this time Giorgio Vasari a great friend of Giulio, though they only knew each other by report and by letters, passed through Mantua on his way to Venice to see him and his works. On meeting, they recognised each other as though they had met a thousand times before. Giulio was so delighted that he spent four days in showing Vasari all his works, especially the plans of ancient buildings at Rome, Naples, Pozzuolo, Campagna, and all the other principal antiquities designed partly by him and partly by others. Then, opening a great cupboard, he showed him plans of all the buildings erected from his designs in Mantua, Rome and all Lombardy, so beautiful that I do not believe that more original, fanciful or convenient buildings exist. When the cardinal afterwards asked Giorgio, in Giulio's presence, what he thought of Giulio's work, he answered that he deserved a statue to every corner of the city and half the state would not suffice at reward his labours. The cardinal answered that Giulio was much more the master of the state than himself, and as Giulio was a most amiable man, especially to his friends, he loaded Giorgio with caresses. Vasari left Mantua for Venice, and returned to Rome at the time when Michelagnolo uncovered his Last Judgment. He sent to Giulio by M. Nino Nini of Cortona, secretary of the cardinal of Mantua, three drawings of the seven mortal sins represented in that Judgment, which Giulio greatly welcomed for the author, and because he was about to do a chapel for the cardinal in the palace, and this incited him to greater things than he had purposed. Accordingly he made every effort to produce a fine cartoon, 19 and represented the call of Peter and Andrew to become fishers of men. It was the finest cartoon he ever did, and was executed by Fermo Guisoni, his pupil, now an excellent master. Not long after, the chiefs of the building of S. Petronio at Bologna desired to begin the facade of that church, 20 and sent for Guilio and a Milanese architect called Tofano Lombardino, a man then much esteemed in Lombardy for numerous buildings. They made several designs and, those of Baldass are Peruzzi being lost, one of Giulio's proved so fine that he deserved the greatest praise from that people and a rich reward on returning to Mantua.
Antonio Sangallo having died at Rome, 21 and the trustees of S. Pietro being in no small difficulty, not knowing to whom they should entrust the completion of so great a structure, they thought no one was better fitted than Giulio, whose qualities they all knew. Accordingly they endeavoured to tempt him with a large provision and by means of his friends, but all in vain, for although he would willingly have gone, two things detained him, the cardinal would not let him go, and his wife, friends and relations dissuaded him in every way. Perhaps neither cause would have prevailed, only he was not in good health. He thought of the honour to himself and his children, and began to make preparations, intending to ask the cardinal's permission, but the trouble grew worse. It was decreed that he should not go to Rome, and the end of his life was near, for he died in a few days at Mantua, in grief and pain, not being allowed to adorn his native Rome as he had adorned that city. He was fifty-four and left only one son, named Raffaello, after his master. This boy, having mastered the elements of the arts and shown considerable promise, died not long after, and so did his mother. A daughter named Virginia alone survives as the wife of Ercole Malatesta, and is living at Mantua. The death of Giulio caused deep sorrow to all who knew him. He was buried in S. Barnaba, where they intended to raise an honourable memorial. But his children and wife kept putting it off till at last there remained none. It is a shame that a man who did so much for the city has not received any recognition except from those who made use of him, who often remembered him in their needs. But the talents which adorned him through life and which are displayed in his works form a perpetual memorial which neither time nor years will destroy.
He was of medium stature, rather plump than thin, dark skinned, a handsome face, black and laughing eyes, most amiable, of courtly manners, a small eater, and elegant in his dress and bearing. Among his numerous pupils the best were Gian. dal Lione, Raffaello dal ColleBorghese, Benedetto Pagni of Pescia, Figurino da Faenza, Rinaldo and Cio. Battista Mantovani and Fermo Guisoni, who is still in Mantua and does him honour, being an excellent master. So also has Benedetto, who has done many things in his native Pescia, and a panel in the Opera of the Duomo at Pisa, a picture of the Virgin with a Florence presenting to her the dignity of the Medici house, a picture now owned by Sig. Mondragone, a Spaniard, highly favoured by the illustrious Prince of Florence. Giulio died in 1546 on All Saints' Day, and the following epitaph was placed on his tomb:
Romanus moriens secum tres Julius arteis Abstulit (haud mirum) quatuorunus erat. 1 Giulio Pippi.2 Joan of Aragon, painted 1518, now in the Louvre.3 Begun in 1524.4 In 1525; now in the Vatican Gallery.5 Naples Museum.6 In 1523, in S. Stefano, Genoa.7 Rectius Papacello.8 Villa Lante.9 In 1524.10 Between 1525 and 1535.11 He was at Mantua between 1525 and 1531.12 Now in the Louvre, formerly in the collection of Charles I.13 The Madonna della Catina, Dresden.14 Berlin Gallery.15 Probably the Venus and Vulcan of the Louvre.16 In 153017 In 1540.18 In 1544.19 The original is in the Louvre.20 In 1543.21 In 1546.