Sebastiano del Piombo and the World of Spanish Rome: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sebastiano del Piombo and the World of Spanish Rome

1st Edition

By Piers Baker-Bates


246 pages

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Sebastiano del Piombo (c.1485-1547) was a close associate and rival of the central artistic figures of the High Renaissance, notably Michelangelo and Raphael. After the death of Raphael and the departure of Michelangelo from Rome, Sebastiano became the dominant artistic personality in the city. Despite being one of most significant artistic figures of the period, he remains the last artist of major importance in the western canon about whom no recent work has been published in English. 

In this study, Piers Baker-Bates approaches Sebastiano’s career through analysis of the patrons he attracted following his arrival at Rome. The first half of the book concentrates on Sebastiano’s network of patrons, predominantly Italian, who had strong factional ties to the Imperial camp; the second half discusses Sebastiano’s relationship with his principal Spanish patrons. Sebastiano is a leading example of a transcultural artist in the sixteenth century and his relationship with Spain was fundamental to the development of his career

The author investigates the domination of Sebastiano’s career by patrons who had geographically different origins, but who were all were members of a wider network of Imperial loyalties. Thus Baker-Bates removes Sebastiano from the shadow of his contemporaries, bringing him to life for the reader as an artistic personality in his own right. Baker-Bates’ characterization of the Rome in which Sebastiano made his career differs from previous scholarly accounts, and he describes how Sebastiano was ideally suited to flourish in the environment he depicts.

Sebastiano del Piombo and the World of Spanish Rome thus re-appraises not only Sebastiano’s place in the canon of Renaissance art but, using him as a lens, also the cultural worlds of Early Modern Italy and Spain in which he operated.

Table of Contents

List of Figures viii

Acknowledgements xi

1 Introduction: Sebastiano del Piombo as a historical construct 1

2 Rome: Coda Mundi 15

3 Filippo Sergardi: between Siena and the Empire 35

4 The dual loyalties of the Bishop of Vaison 63

5 Don Jerónimo de Vich: ambassador and art patron 95

6 Don Gonzalo Diez de Lerma: between Burgos and Rome 131

7 Francesco de los Cobos and Ferrante Gonzaga: the paradigm

of Spain and Italy 164

Conclusion 193

Bibliography 201

Index 241

About the Author

Piers Baker-Bates is a Research Associate in Art History at the Open University, UK. He is co-editor of The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy (2015).

About the Series

Visual Culture in Early Modernity

A forum for the critical inquiry of the visual arts in the early modern world, Visual Culture in Early Modernity promotes new models of inquiry and new narratives of early modern art and its history. We welcome proposals for both monographs and essay collections that consider the cultural production and reception of images and objects. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to, painting, sculpture and architecture as well as material objects, such as domestic furnishings, religious and/or ritual accessories, costume, scientific/medical apparata, erotica, ephemera and printed matter. We seek innovative investigations of western and non-western visual culture produced between 1400 and 1800.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / General
ART / History / General
ART / European
ART / History / Renaissance
ART / Individual Artists / General
HISTORY / Europe / Italy
HISTORY / Renaissance