Pirro Ligorio c.1512-1583

This article contains a concise biographical timeline for Pirro Ligorio.

He writes: “From the summit to the lowest part, there is no fire whatsoever, but wild bush, such that, except for this lower part, all that remained of the ridge, even to the circumstances of the mount itself, is transformed into ashes by the aforesaid burning [that of 79 A.D.], and so it was then and even today, as from such burning and consuming of time the summit is made concave in the way of an amphitheater; and around this summit there are beautiful vines and shrubs, which, lying beyond the large belt created a very great distance from the fire, make its fruit delicious.”
“This abyss effuses smoke by day and fire by night, whereupon one feels certain odors evaporate as if sacrifices were being made here, ceasing neither by day nor by night to emit either small or large vapors, at times more and at times less, but very often, ash; and sometimes, being obliged by some great violence and force, it expels stones, which today we call pumice-stones; at other times, being attacked by a certain spirit and by the wind, it lets out a great billowing and a certain great screaming, but not being obliged by any of these causes, it breathes with some vents it has hidden, and this is the nature and the essence of Mount Vesuvius, which for a long time and many years has been doing such things.”
“Nonetheless, although such things as have occurred seem both very great and unusual to everyone, they were but small occurrences in comparison with the things we shall be speaking of.”

Vatican Library: 12 MSS
Barberini: 10 MSS
Library at Turin: 30 MSS (pre-fire)

CIL. VI, part 5, contains 2,995 spurious inscriptions from Ligorio.

Many of his forgeries he pretended to have found in the gardens or libraries of well-known houses in Rome…, and as a rule he mentions the exact location…” – F. F. Abbot (1908), page 27.

Sometimes he based his productions on a single authentic inscription…; sometimes he combined two authentic inscriptions…, but more frequently he forged outright.” – F. F. Abbot (1908), page 27-28.

He treats a great variety of subjects, combines Greek and Latin…, composes a fragmentary inscription…, imitates the illiterate…, and indulges in such paleographical novelties as ligatures… or heart-shaped separation points….” – F. F. Abbot (1908), page 28.

His inscriptions had been suspected by a number of scholars, but their spurious character was first clearly shown by Olivieri at a meeting of a learned society in Ravenna in 1764….” – F. F. Abbot (1908), page 28.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

c.1512 – He is born in Naples, Italy.

1542 – His first documented contract is signed and he works on the palace of Benevento.

1550 – He is hired by the Cardinal of Ferrara to join him on a trip to Tivoli.

1553 – He publishes Delle antichità di Roma.

1557-1563 – He practices cartography and draws multiple maps of Rome.

1558 – He is hired as the Architetto Fabricae Palatinae by Pope Paul IV.

1560 – He remodels the Vatican Library. He works on the Casino of Pius IV. He is awarded with honorary Roman citizenship for his contributions.

1561 – He publishes Antiquae urbis imago. He begins restoring the Acqua Vergine.

1564 – He is appointed as the architect of the San Pietro church.

1565 – He completes an open air theatre. He is assigned a job to design a structure to organize the Vatican archives. He is imprisoned for a week due to accusations of theft.

1568 – He serves under Duke Alfonso II d’Este of Ferrara as the Ducal Antiquarian.

1570-1571 – He experiences earthquakes in Ferrara. He writes about these in the codex Ja II 15 (preserved in the State Archives of Turin), 28th volume of the Antichità Romane (Roman Antiquity). [2]

1580 – He is awarded with honorary citizenship in Ferrara.

1583 – He dies in Ferrara.

1642 – Giovanni Baglioni publishes the first biography of Ligorio.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~


[1] – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirro_Ligorio

[2] – Vesuvius Before the 1631 Eruption

[3] – Abbott, Frank Frost. “Some Spurious Inscriptions and Their Authors.” Classical Philology, vol. 3, no. 1, 1908, pp. 22–30. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/262031. Accessed 6 June 2020.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Become a Ctruth Patron today @

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: