Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 63 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
PIETRO TORRIGIANO (1472-1522), Florentine sculptor, was, according to Vasari, one of the group of talented youths who studied art under the patronage of Lorenzo the Magnificent in Florence. Benvenuto Cellini, reporting a conversation with Torrigiano, relates that he and Michelangelo, while both young, were copying the frescoes in the Carmine chapel, when some slighting remark made by Michelangelo so enraged Torrigiano that he struck him on the nose, and thus caused that disfigurement which is so conspicuous in all the portraits of Michelangelo. Soon after this Torrigiano visited Rome, and helped Pinturicchio in modelling the elaborate stucco decorations in the Apartamenti Borgia for Alexander VI. After some time spent as a hired soldier in the service of different states, Torrigiano was invited to England to execute the magnificent tomb for Henry VII. and his queen, which still exists in the lady chapel of Westminster Abbey. This appears to have been begun before the death of Henry VII. in 1509, but was not finished till 1517. The two effigies are well modelled, and have lifelike but not too realistic portraits. After this Torrigiano received the commission for the altar, retable and baldacchino which stood at the west, outside the screen of Henry VII.'s tomb. The altar had marble pilasters at the angles, two of which still exist, and below the mensa was a life-sized figure of the dead Christ in painted terra-cotta. The retable consisted of a large relief of the Resurrection. The baldacchino was of marble, with enrichments of gilt bronze; part of its frieze still exists, as do also a large number of fragments of the terra-cotta angels which surmounted the baldacchino and parts of the large figure of Christ. The whole of this work was destroyed by the Puritans in the 17th century.' Henry VIII. also commissioned Torrigiano to make him a magnificent tomb, somewhat similar to that of Henry VII., but one-fourth larger, to be placed in a chapel at Windsor; it was, however, never completed, and its rich bronze was melted by the Commonwealth, together with that of Wolsey's tomb. The indentures for these various works still exist, and are printed by Neale, Westminster Abbey, i. 54-59 (London, 1818). These interesting documents are written in English, and in them the Florentine is called " Peter Torrysany." For Henry VII.'s tomb he contracted to receive £1500, for the altar and its fittings £i000, and £2000 for Henry VIII.'s tomb. Other works attributed from internal evidence to Torrigiano are the tomb of Margaret of Richmond, mother of Henry VII., in the south aisle of his chapel, and a terra-cotta effigy in the chapel of the Rolls. While these royal works were going on Torrigiano visited Florence in order to get skilled assistants. He tried to induce Benvenuto Cellini to come to England to help him, but Cellini refused partly from his dislike to the brutal and swaggering manners of Torrigiano, and also because he did not wish to live among " such beasts as the English." The latter part of Torrigiano's life was spent in Spain, especially at Seville, where, besides the painted figure of St Hieronymus in the museum, some terra-cotta sculpture by him still exists. His violent temper got him into difficulties with the authorities, and he ended his life in 1522 in the prisons of the Inquisition. See Wilhelm Bode, Die italienische Plastik (Berlin, 1902). TORRINGTON, ARTHUR HERBERT, EARL of (1647-1716), British admiral, was the son of a judge, Sir Edward Herbert (c. 1591-1657). He entered the navy in 1663, and served in the Dutch wars of the reign of Charles II., as well as against the Barbary pirates. From i68o to 1683 he commanded in the Mediterranean. His career had been honourable, and he had been wounded in action. The known Royalist sentiments of his family combined with his reputation as a naval officer to point him out to the favour of the king, and James II. appointed him rear-admiral of England and master of the robes. The king no doubt counted on his support of the repeal of the Test Acts, as the admiral was member for Dover. Herbert refused, and was dismissed from his places. He now entered into communication with the agents of the prince of Orange, and promised to use his influence with the fleet to forward a revolution. After the acquittal of the seven bishops in 1688 he carried the invitation to William of Orange. The Revolution brought him ample amends for his losses. He was named first lord, and took the command of the fleet at home. In 1689 he was at sea attempting to prevent the French admiral Chateau-Renault (q.v.) from landing the troops sent by the king of France to the aid of King James in Ireland. Though he fought an action with ' An old drawing still exists showing this elaborate work; it is engraved in the Hierurgia anglicana, p. 267 (London, 1848). Many hundreds of fragments of this terra-cotta sculpture were found a few years ago hidden under the floor of the triforium in the 'abbey; they are .infortunately too much broken and imperfect to be fitted together.. the French in Bantry Bay on the loth of May he failed to baffle panions of the Bath upon the revival of that order in 1725. In 1727 George II. on his accession made him first lord of the admiralty, and his administration was distinguished by the establishment of the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth. He died on the 17th of January 1733, and was buried at Southill, in Bedfordshire. Two of his eleven sons, Pattee (1699–1747) and George (1701-1750), became respectively the 2nd and 3rd viscounts. The title is still held by the descendants of Vie latter. See Memoirs relating to Lord Torrington, Camden Soc., new series 46, and A True Account of the Expedition of the British Fleet to Sicily 1718-1720, published anonymously, but known to be by Thomas Corbett of the admiralty in 1739. Forbin's Memoirs contain the French side of the expedition to Scotland in 1708.
End of Article: PIETRO TORRIGIANO (1472-1522)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.