(b Kempen, 1520; d Xanten, 9 Oct 1604). Dutch antiquarian and churchman. He was a nephew of the noted mathematician, theologian and polemicist Albert Pighius. After finishing his studies he began a career in the church and spent eight years in Rome, where he studied ancient monuments and transcribed their inscriptions. On returning to Flanders he was appointed librarian to Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, who encouraged him to undertake what was to be the most important work of his life, a Roman history illustrated with pictures of the ancient monuments. On the death of his patron he went into the service of the Duke of Clèves, who entrusted him with the education of his oldest son. In 1575 Pighius returned to Italy with his pupil, who died of a sudden illness during the journey. Pighius wrote a panegyric to him (Hercules prodicius) which was published in Antwerp in 1587 with an account of the journey to Italy. On returning to his homeland Pighius retired to his villa in Xanten, where the Duke of Clèves had obtained for him the post of canon of the chapter of St Victor. There he spent the last years of his life working on his history of Rome, the second volume of which was completed after his death by Andrée Schott. The writer's other works include a critical edition of the Roman historian Valerius Maximus (Antwerp, 1574–5) and Themis dea, a treatise on some reliefs on a silver vase found near Arras, which belonged to Cardinal de Granvelle.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.