- Also known as
primary name: Tibaldi, Pellegrino
other name: Pellegrini, Pellegrino De'
- individual; architect; painter/draughtsman; Bolognese; Roman; Italian; Male
- Life dates
- Architect and painter: worked in Milan, Bologna and Rome. Pellegrino Tibaldi, also known as Pellegrino de' Pellegrini, b. Puria in Valsolda, near Lugano, 1527/8 (P. Morigi, 'La nobiltà di Milano', Milan, 1595, p. 279); d. Milan 27 May 1596 (G. Merzario, 'I maestri comacini', Milan, 1893, I, p. 606). Record of birth not found, but that of his death describes him as in his 69th year, and in the inscription on the Borghese 'Adoration of the Shepherds' apparently dated 1549 (see Pp,2.187), he refers to himself as being in his 22nd year. He there signs himself "Bononiensis", and it seems that he spent most of his early life in Bologna where his father, Tibaldo, practised as an architect. Of the paintings generally considered early, the two with the best claim, both traditionally attributed to Tibaldi, are the 'Mystic Marriage of St Catherine' (Bologna Gallery), a sedate composition influenced by the Bolognese Raphaelisers, and the 'Adoration of the Shepherds' (Cento Pinacoteca), more complex and Mannerist in style, and tending to support Vasari's claim that his own paintings in S. Michele in Bosco in Bologna were studied by the young T. (Both paintings are attributed to the younger Bagnacavallo by C. Bernardini in 'Prospettiva', 18 (1979), pp. 20ff, though with a question-mark in the case of the 'Adoration'.) Vasari gives the dates of T.'s Roman activity as 1547-50. The earlier date is regarded by some (e.g. Bodmer, Briganti, etc.) as at least two years too early. Bodmer's emphatic 'Noch 1549 arbeitet er ... zu Bologna' (Thieme-Becker) is based on nothing more precise than the testimony of a witness in a lawsuit in 1557 that he had worked there with T. "sono sette o otto anni" (Gualandi, 2nd ser., 1841, pp. 183ff.). Davidson ('Art Bulletin', lviii (1976), pp. 408ff.) argues that T. was already established in Rome by 1543 and that though aged only 15/16 was already a sufficiently prominent member of Perino del Vaga's studio to be entrusted with the design of subsidiary decorative details of the Sala Regia. This argument depends on the acceptance as by T. of a drawing in Frankfurt (554; Davidson, op. cit., fig. 25) and four cartoon fragments in the Uffizi (998Ea-b and 999Ea-b; ibid. figs. 26-9). The earliest known documentary references to his presence in Rome are payments of 13 and 23 Nov. 1549 for decorations for the funeral of Paul III (Bertolotti, 'Bolognesi', pp. 39ff.). As late as 25 Nov. 1553 he received a payment for work in S. Andrea in Via Flaminia (Lanciani, iii, p. 26): 'St Andrew' and 'St Peter', according to Baglione (1642) destroyed by a flood which left only the lunette over the altarpiece.
T.'s works in Rome include: Castel Sant'Angelo, continuation of part of decoration left unfinished at Perino's death on 19 Oct. 1547 (Vasari), including Sala Paolina (see Gere, 'Burlington', cii (1960), pp. 14ff. and Hirst, ibid., cvii (1965), pp. 569ff.) and apparently at least part of the vault of the Sala di Apollo (see Gaudioso, p. 35 and figs. 90-3); SS. Trinità dei Monti, vault of Della Rovere Chapel, on Daniele da Volterra's designs and in collaboration with Marco Pino (Vasari, vii, pp.59f), probably included in that part of the work valued on 19 Jan. 1553 (Bertolotti, 'Bolognesi', pp. 41f); 'Adoration of the Shepherds', s. and d. apparently 1549 (Borghese Gallery; see 1963,0420.4; Pp,2.187; 1962,0714.2-3), which shows his assimilation of the Michelangelesque Roman 'maniera' in its most exaggerated form; S. Luigi dei Francesi, vault of 4th chapel on right (Vasari; one scene repr., as Michele Grechi, 'Art Bulletin', xlvi (1964), opp. p. 560, fig. 13). This last led to T.'s commission, probably not later than 1551, for decoration of façade and in loggia of Cardinal Giovanni Poggi's villa outside the Porta del Popolo sometimes wrongly identified with the present Villa Giulia (Vasari; destroyed: see Gere, 'Burlington', cvii (1965), p. 201; Bufalini's 1551 map, publ. A.P. Frutaz, 'Le piante di Roma', Rome, 1962, ii, pl. 195, shows 'Vinea Episcopi Bononiae beside Vinea ... Papae Julii III'); façade decoration in courtyard of house in Vicolo Savelli (Vasari; destroyed: see H. Voss, 'Prussian Jahrbuch', xxxiv (1913), p. 299, fig. 2); Vatican, Belvedere, paintings for Julius III (1550-5), including Grotesque decoration on staircase vault and lunette with two figures supporting papal arms (Vasari; see Barolsky, 'Paragone', 237 (1969), pls. 25 -32), also friezes in adjoining rooms (Baglione; destroyed: see 1946,0713.1366).
From 1553/4 to 1561 T. divided his time between Loreto, Bologna and Ancona. Document (see F. da Morrovalle, 'Arte Antica e Moderna', 27 (1964), pp. 356ff.) dated 22 Nov. 1553 records initial payment for decoration of a chapel in the Basilica at Loreto commissioned by Cardinal Otto Truchses, from which detached lateral frescoes of 'Preaching' and 'Decollation of Baptist' (idem, pls. 96a-b; a drawing related to the former with Lucien Goldschmidt, in 1961) are in Museo della Santa Casa. Payments to T. in Loreto 1553-5, the last on 2 July 1555 being "pittura fatta in le tre cappelle delle confessioni arme delli pontefici et altro depinto" (idem, p. 358).
Documents establishing his presence in Ancona are dated 31 Dec. 1554 (ibid.) and 26 Aug. 1558 (Briganti, p. 111, n. 98). Works there included a chapel in S. Agostino (Vasari), destroyed but for altarpiece of 'Baptism', now in gallery, and predella panels, 'Visitation' (Urbino), 'Birth of Baptist' (private coll.), 'Decollation of Baptist' (Brera), all repr. Briganti, figs. 146-9; decoration of Loggia dei Mercanti (contract 26 Nov. 1558, final payment 5 Dec. 1561, according to Bodmer in Thieme-Becker); decoration of two rooms in Palazzo Ferretti (see 1954,0219.8; two further details, Gaudioso, I-II, figs. 87 and 89).
During this period 1554-61 T. also worked for Cardinal Poggi in Bologna. In Palazzo Poggi, now dell'Università: scenes from 'Odyssey' on vaults of two ground-floor rooms (a drawing for the ceiling of the 'Sala delle Adunanze' is in Los Angeles County Museum, repr. 'Bulletin of the Art Division', xiii, 2 (1961), pp. 3ff.); designed for larger ground-floor room stained-glass windows with scenes from Odyssey (now Museo Civico: repr. Fanti, 'Arte Antica e Moderna', pls. 97-8); 'Fall of Phaethon' on vault of room on ground floor (repr. with study in MFA, Boston, D. McTavish, Burlington, cxxii (1980), pp. 186ff); frieze of scenes from life of St Paul in room on first floor, perhaps assisted ('Bollettino', xlii (1957), p. 345, figs. 1-2). The decoration of the palace must have been begun well before 1552 (Niccolò dell'Abbate, who was responsible for the friezes in at least four rooms, arrived in France 'shortly before' 25 May of that year). The ceiling of another first-floor room, not one of those decorated by Tibaldi, has in the centre the arms of Marcellus II whose pontificate began and ended in April 1555. The palace was still not finished in Aug. 1560, when Poggi's heirs sold some property for the specific purpose of completing the 'sala' (Guidicini, 'Cose notabili della città di Bologna', Bologna, 1869, ii, p. 60). T. is traditionally credited with the architecture of the palace (which would seem to be ruled out by the date of Niccolò dell' Abbate's activity there) and of the Cappella Poggi in S. Giacomo Maggiore. In the chapel (see Zamboni in 'Il Tempio di San Giacomo Maggiore di Bologna', ed. Volpe, Bologna, 1967, pp. 147ff., figs. 179-98, pls. xlvii-l): 'Prediction of Baptist's Birth' (study for St Elizabeth, Musée Atger, Montpellier, no. 265) and 'Baptist Preaching' (composition y for lower half in Metropolitan Museum, Walter C. Baker Bequest), 'trompe-l'oeil' niches on side walls of chapel with figures of the Cardinal and his household. P. Lamo, writing as early as 1560 ('Gratinati di Bologna', 1841 ed., pp. 36f.) attributes execution of small scenes from life of Baptist on vault to Prospero Fontana (q.v.); were it not for this near-contemporary testimony, we should have no hesitation in following Malvasia in attributing them to T.
Altarpiece of 'Baptism' finished by Fontana and by him s. and d. 1561 (for what may be a study by T. see Uffizi 1790°, as Parmigianino). No documents have been found for T.'s activity in Bologna, but as early as 1552 Cardinal Poggi was making gifts of relics to S. Giacomo (Zamboni, op. cit., nn. 4,5) apparently destined for his chapel. The Cardinal died in 1556 and was buried in the chapel, which Lamo's evidence suggests was completed, but for the altarpiece, in 1560.
In Dec. 1561 T. was appointed official architect of the City of Milan, jointly with Giacomo Soldati, and for the next 25 years devoted himself mainly to architecture under the patronage of the Archbishop, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo. Appointed architect of Milan Cathedral, 7 July 1567, with stipulation that he should also make designs for stained glass when required (cartoons for glass in Ambrosiana). For his buildings in Milan and elsewhere in N.-W. Italy see Venturi, xi3, pp. 710ff.
Fresco of 'Vigilance and Silence', dated 1569, painted for Palazzo Comunale, Bologna (now Museo Civico).
Resigned post of Cathedral Architect 2 Dec. 1585 on being invited by Philip II of Spain to complete decoration of Escoriai. His arrival in Spain announced by the King in a letter dated 9 Aug. 1586 (J. Zarco Cuevas, 'Pintores italianos en ... el Escorial' (1575-1613), Madrid, 1932, pp. 233f.). Advance payment 18 Aug. 1586 for decoration of Library, completed 1592 (see 1846,0509.176) and principal cloister ('El Escorial 1563-1963', Ediciones patrimonio nacional, Madrid, 1963, ii, p. 382; G. de Andres, 'Inventario ...', p.150). Payments for cloister, where there are frescoes of life of Christ and of the Virgin (see 1946,0713.608) and triptychs of 'Crucifixion' and 'Resurrection', not recorded after 1590. In the church itself, frescoes in the sanctuary; also five oil-paintings, valued 30 Nov.1592: three panels of main retable, 'Martyrdom of St Lawrence', 'Adoration of the Shepherds' and 'Adoration of the Magi' ('El Escorial 1563-1963', ii, p. 386; Andres, op. cit., pp.198, 200) and altarpieces of 'St Michael' and 'St Ursula'. Frescoes on main staircase: 'Noli Me tangere', 'Christ appearing to the Marys' and the 'Road to Emmaus', valued 24 July 1593 ('El Escorial 1563-1963', ii, p.386; Andres, op. cit., p. 204; repr. J.A. Gaya Nuno, 'El Escorial', Madrid, n.d., p.77).
T.'s will dated Madrid, 24 April 1594 (Zarco Cuevas, op. cit., p.219, n. 1). Merzario mentions, but does not give the exact date of, a letter said to establish his presence in Spain as late as 1595, and quotes a legal document showing that he was back in Milan by 6 March 1596 (op. cit., p.605).
- Gere & Pouncey 1983, whence following bibliography:
H. Bodmer in Thieme-Becker (1939), s.v. Tibaldi, with previous bibliography; G. Briganti, Il Manierismo e Pellegrino Tibaldi, Rome, 1945; L. Grassi, 'Due disegni di Pellegrino Tibaldi', Paragone 61 (1955), pp. 47ff.; F. Bologna, 'Inediti di Pellegrino Tibaldi', Paragone 73 (1956), pp. 26ff.; I. Toesca, 'Un disegno di Pellegrino Tibaldi', Paragone 87 (1957), pp. 65ff.; P. Rotondi, 'Ipotesi sui rapporti Cambiaso-Tibaldi', Bollettino, xliii (1958), pp. 164ff.; M. Gregori, 'Osservazioni a proposito degli abbozzi del Pellegrini', Paragone 131 (1960), pp. 65ff. ; M. Valsecchi, 'Schede lombarde, i: Un altare nel Duomo di Milano', Paragone 133 (1961), pp. 57ff.;J.A. Gere, 'Some drawings by Pellegrino Tibaldi', BMQ, xxvi (1962-3), pp. 40ff.; M. Fanti, 'Una vetrata di Pellegrino Tibaldi', Arte Antica e Moderna, 27 (1964), pp. 315ff.; S. Bottari, 'Per Pellegrino Tibaldi', Arte Antica e Moderna, 27 (1964), pp. 355f.; P. Rotondi-Briasco, 'Contributo a Pellegrino Tibaldi', Arte lombarda (1964), pp. 112ff.; Davidson, Perino, 1966; G. de Andrés, Inventario de documentos sobre la construcción y ornato del monasterio del Escoriai existentes en el archiva de su real biblioteca, Madrid, 1972; J. Winkelmann, 'Sul problema Nosadella-Tibaldi', Paragone 317-319 (1976), pp. 101ff., E. Gaudioso, 'I lavori farnesiani a Castel Sant'Angelo: precisazioni ed ipotesi', Bollettino, lxi (1976), I-II, pp. 21ff. and '... documenti contabili (1544-8), ibid. III-IV, pp. 228ff.