Francisco de Holanda


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(b Lisbon, 1517; d Lisbon, 19 June 1584).

Portuguese draughtsman, miniaturist, painter, architect, and writer on art, the son of a Netherlandish miniaturist, Antoniode Holanda (d1557), who spent part of his career in Lisbon. In 1538–40 Francisco visited Italy, where he produced a volume of drawings (now in the Escorial, near Madrid) documenting various sights he saw there, including fortifications and antiquities. Although he became court painter in Lisbon, his influence in propagating the Italianate style in Portugal was exercised mainly through his writings. In 1548 he completed a manuscript entitled Da pintura antigua (Of Ancient Painting); this was the first treatise on painting written in the Iberian peninsula, but it was not published until 1890–6. It contains four dialogues (Eng. trans., 1928) in which Holanda purportedly discusses theories of art with Michelangelo, the miniaturist Giulio Clovio, and others. As an appendage Holanda completed in 1549 ten dialogues entitled Do tirar polo natural (On Drawing from Nature).

Subjects: Art.

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