Abbati, Nicolo

[also known as Nicolo dell' Abate]

, an eminent historical painter, was born at Modena in 1512, and was the scholar of Antonio Beggarelli, a Modenese sculptor, whose models Correggio is said to have often made use of for his works. Little is known of his progress at Modena, except that, in partnership with his fellow-scholar Alberto Fontana, he painted the pannels of the Butchers hall in that place; and at the age of thirty-five, for the church of the Benedictines, the celebrated picture of the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul, now in the Dresden gallery: with some fresco paintings, drawn from Ariosto and Virgil, in the palace Scandiano. Of his works at Bologna, tradition has left a very distinguished account, though little or nothing exists of them now but the large symbolic picture in the Via di St. Mamolo; a nativity of Christ, under the portico of the Leoni palace; and four conversation pieces and concertos, of exquisite taste, in the Academical Institute, which have been engraved. Notwithstanding the innate vigour, the genial facility, and independent style of this artist, he owes his fame, in a great measure, to his coalition with Francisco Primaticcio, and to his happy execution of the | designs of that great master, particularly the frescoes he painted in the galleries and apartments at Fountainbleau. These, however, being destroyed in 1738, to make room for a new fabric, nothing remains but a few pictures of the history of Alexander. Some of the others were engraved. The period of his death is not known .1


Pilkington’s Dictionary of Painters by Fuseli, in art Abbati, and p. 684.