Help Now >
Count Leopoldo Cicognara
FREE Catholic Classes
Politician, writer on art, and collector of Italian antiquities, born at Ferara 26 November, 1767; died at Venice, 5 March, 1834. He was thirty years old when pressure of cicumstances, Bonaparte's campaigns in Italy, and the hope of a risorgimento in his country drove him in public life. An ardent supporter of the Cisalpine Republic, he was a member of the legislative body at Milan (1798), minister to Turin (1799), deputy to the Congress of Lyons (1801), and also Councillor of State. Being subsequently implicated in the Ceroni conspiracy, Count Cicognara was held prisoner at Milan and exiled to Como and Florence, but was finally restored to his functions and sent to Bologna on a diplomatic mission. However, at the beginning of the Empire he retired from the public career in which he had experienced such changes of fortune, being then only thirty-eight.
From that time on he devoted himself unreserved to the fine arts . A friend from childhood of Canova, a pupil of Corvi and of the landscape-painter Hackert, he combined extensive knowledge and a highly cultivated taste with practical knowledge, and his dissertations on the beautiful "Del Bello, ragiomenti sette", (Florence, 1808) attracted attention. The Academy of Fine Arts had just been founded in Venice, and Cicognara was appointed its director, a post which he held until 1827. It was during this long administration, which must ever redound to his glory, that the admirable museum was established, about as it is today. Meanwhile he finished his great history of sculpture (Storia delta scultura, Venice, 1813-1818, 3 vols. fol. with 131 plates), work designed to complete those of Winckelmann and Seroux d'Agincourt, and won its author foreign member's seat in the Institute of France. It is, however, less valuable than his masterful publication on the manufactures and monuments of Venice (2 vols. fol. 1815-20; a new, augmented edition, 1833-40 with 250 plates, Italian and French text), in which Cicognara showed himself a learned historian of the city's antiquities, and the worthy and indispensable precursor of Ruskin and his "Stones of Venice ".
Help Now >
The analytical catalogue ("Catalogo ragionato dei libri d'arte", Pisa, 1821), which he made of his library and sold to the pope in 1824, is still a model of biblography. Towards the close his life Cicognara became an enthusiast for niello, and wrote a memoir which has since remained a classic (Memorie spettanti alla storia della calcognafia, Prato, 1831, with atlas). The appearance of this treatise created such a demand for this kind of enamel that many spurious pieces were manufactured and sold as part of the Count's collection, and Cicognara himself was, in consequence, accused of counterfeiting. But modern critics have exonerated him. His last enthusiasm had for its object rare engravings, with which his curio-hunting had made him singularly familiar; he collected over 3000 belonging to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and after his death they were catalogued by his nephew, Count Nanetti, and Ch. Albrizzi, under the title, "The First Century of Calcography" (Venice, 1837).
Help Now >
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Saint of the Day for Saturday, Jan 28th, 2023
Mysteries of the Rosary
Saints & Angels
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Female / Women Saints
Patron Saints A-Z
St. Thomas Aquinas
The Apostles' Creed
- Daily Readings for Sunday, January 29, 2023
- Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea: Saint of the Day for Sunday, January 29, 2023
- Prayer for the Sick: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, January 29, 2023
- Daily Readings for Saturday, January 28, 2023
- St. Thomas Aquinas: Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 28, 2023
- Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, January 28, 2023
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.