Clovio, Juuus

, justly celebrated for his astonishing miniatures and illuminations in missals and other religious books, was born in Sclavonia in the year 1498. He was originally educated for the church, and took orders, but was afterwards suffered to relinquish the sacerdotal habit by a dispensation from the pope. Soon after the age of eighteen, his love of painting prompted him to travel to Rome, where he was taken into the service of the cardinal Grimani, by whom he was, for the space of three years, employed in making careful pen-drawings from the finest medals. He afterwards became the scholar of Julio Romano, and made considerable advancement in oil-painting; but his master, perceiving the extraordinary talent which he evinced for miniature, succeeded in persuading him to apply himself entirely to that branch of the art; and' it may with justice be said, that we owe to the sagacity of Julio Romano, and the unexampled assiduity of Clovio, the most exquisite and delicately finished performances of that kind in the known world; since he not only far surpassed all who went before him, but to this day stands unrivalled, by all those who have since attempted to walk in his footsteps. In addition to the instruction which our artist received from the favourite scholar of Raffaele, he derived great benefit from the works of Buonarotti, many of which he copied in a most beautiful and finished manner; and he afterwards reaped great advantage from the friendship and experience of Girolamo da 1 Libri, a miniature painter of great note at Verona: the result of all these studies was a style of drawing, partaking of the purity of the Roman, and the grandeur of the Florentine school; united, not unfrequently, to the rich colouring of Titian or the ambient hue of Correggio.

Among the suprising labours of Clovio, described by Vasari, that writer particularly dwells upon an “ufficio | della madonna,” painted for the cardinal Farnese. In this work many portraits were introduced, and the figures, though in some cases no longer than so many ants, were represented with as much distinctness in all their parts, as if they had been drawn the size of life. A beautiful missal, illuminated by Clovio, formerly belonging to Alexander Champernoun, esq. is now in the possession of the Townley family. Several prints from t;;e works of this master, are cited by Heinecken. He died aged 80, in the year 1578. 1

1

Pilkington. Rees’s Cyclopædia.