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Battista Pittoni

known as Battista Vicentino, 1520–1583/84, Vicenza

Virtually nothing is known of the first forty years in the life of the Vicenza-born engraver and miniaturist, Battista Pittoni, who was also known as Battista Vicentino. Evidently highly esteemed as an artist during his lifetime, he associated with men of letters, humanists and prominent fellow artists and became a member of the Accademia Olimpica di Vicenza in 1555. The memoirs of the sculptor, Alessandro Vittoria, published in 1558 indicate that Pittoni was active in the city both as a print dealer and – together with his wife Gasparina – as a miniaturist. He definitely stayed in Rome and Naples before settling in Venice in 1558. Pittoni is known primarily for his etched and engraved prints, almost all of which formed part of extensive series and mostly bear a monogram, the initials B. P. V. or the artist’s first name. Apart from a series of arabesques and a well-known series featuring emblems of Italian princes and noblemen, which first appeared in 1562 and were accompanied by poems written by Lodovico Dolce, Nagler records several series of landscape views with Roman ruins and occasional mythological scenes.