Federico Zuccari


July 5, 2022

Federico Zuccari, also called Federigo or Zuccaro or Zuccheri (Sant'Angelo in Vado, 1539 - Ancona, July 20, 1609), was an Italian painter, an exponent of mannerism.


He was born in Sant'Angelo in Vado in the Duchy of Urbino, by the painter Ottaviano de Zucharellis, a surname later changed to Zuccaro in 1569, and by Antonia Neri. He was the third child of the eight born of their marriage: Taddeo, Bartolomea, Federico, Iacopo, Lucio, Maurizio, Aloysio, Marco Antonio. His career as a painter is documented since 1550, when he moved to Rome in the workshop of his elder brother Taddeo Zuccari, already an established painter in Rome. Frederick started almost by chance, as his father had taken him to his brother in Rome to start him on law studies. Taddeo instead saw his great predisposition for painting and drawing he kept it with him in his workshop where he grew artistically. Between 1563 and 1565 he was active in Venice with the Grimani family of Santa Maria Formosa. During his Venetian period, he traveled alongside Palladio in Friuli. On 14 October 1565 he was accepted into the Academy of Drawing in Florence. He later joined the Company of San Giovanni di Terrasanta, to which his brother Taddeo had already been associated since November 17, 1560. On December 29, 1573, Federico later became its first life regent, a position held in the future only by Antonio Canova. In 1592 he drew up the foundations of the statute of the Academy of San Luca in Rome, of which he became Prince in 1593. Among his first works, in assistance to his brother, he took part in the completion of the decorations of the casino of Pope Pius IV and of the Villa Farnese in Caprarola. Other works were: Grimani Chapel, Church of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice Monumental staircase, Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa, Venice Pucci Chapel, Trinità dei Monti church, Rome San Marcello al Corso, Rome Orvieto Cathedral (1570) Oratory of the Gonfalone (1573) Internal dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence (after the death of Giorgio Vasari), where he depicted a large part of his family in the section of the People of God Zuccari was also recalled to Rome by Pope Gregory XIII to continue the decoration of the Pauline Chapel in Vatican, begun by Michelangelo, and to redo the frescoes in the Sala dei Chiaroscuri. He visited Brussels, where he made a series of tapestry cartoons. In 1574 he was in England, where he received the commission of some important portraits, such as that of Queen Elizabeth I, Mary of the Queen, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir Francis Walsingham and others. Another painting from the same period should be an Allegory of Calumny, inspired by Lucian of Samosata's description of a work by Apelles. He painted the portrait of Man with two dogs, now in Palazzo Pitti, and the Dead Christ and Angels in the Borghese Gallery in Rome. In 1585 he accepted the offer of Philip II of Spain to decorate the new Escorial for an annual salary of 2,000 crowns. The works lasted from January 1586 to the end of 1588, when he returned to Rome, leaving the job to Pellegrino Tibaldi. In 1595 he founded with the approval of Pope Sixtus V the Academy of San Luca, of which he was the first Prince. Among his first students was Bartolomeo Carducci. In Florence, Federico Zuccari lived in what had been the house of Andrea del Sarto, adjacent to which he built a bizarre building of his own design, the Palazzo Zuccari, where he frescoed the lunettes with scenes of everyday life, representing himself and his family. . His good relations with Guffaia's relatives Fioravanti, well regarded at the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, contributed to obtaining the commission for the fresco of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. Federico Zuccari got married in Urbino with Francesca Genga, daughter of Raffaele, painter of the famous dynasty that gave birth to the designer of the Ducal Palace of Urbino, Gir