Ludovico il Cigoli
* 1559 Castelvecchio (Empoli)
† 1613 Rom
Ludovico Cigoli, whose paintings are a prime example of the transition from Mannerism to a clear classic Baroque, counts among the biggest artists between the 16th and the 17th century. Ludovico Cardi da Cigoli was born in Villa Castelvecchio near Cigoli, today part of San Miniato al Tedesco/Pisa, in 1559.
Lodovico Cardi da Cigoli was raised by a priest in Empoli and sent to Florence between 1568 and 1570. There he was trained in the studio of Alessandro Allori in the style of Mannerism in 1572/73. The master builder Bernardo Buontalenti taught il Cigoli lessons in architecture, together with Giovanni de' Medici he studied mathematics and perspective. As early as in 1578 il Cigoli was accepted by the Accademia del Disegno, and around 1580 he painted his first public commission ("Noli me tangere", Convento di Santa Chiara in San Miniato al Tedesco).
In 1588 his application for Florentine civil rights was supported. In 1603 Lodovico Cigoli was accepted into the Florentine Accademia della Crusca and received the sobriquet "l'Innominato Cigoli".
Lodovico Cigoli was active in both Florence and Rome. He was a remarkably versatile and highly educated artist, who was not only painter, architect and art theorist (e.g. "Trattato di prospettiva pratica"), additionally, he made theater-, costume- and stage designs. In 1600 il Cigoli staged the wedding of Maria de' Medici and Henry IV of France, in 1608 he made triumphal arches and a ship for a staged sea battle on the Arno on occasion of the wedding of Cosimo II de' Medici and Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria.
After a proposal of pope Paul V and cardinal Scipione Borghese, Lodovico Cigoli, was ennobled to be Cavaliere Milite in 1613. However, shortly after he had received these honors, il Cigoli feel extremely ill with an unknown disease and died after just two weeks in Rome.