Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/98

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
82
SIGONIUS—SIGURD

in Umbria—the “Madonna and Child,” with the “Massacre of the Innocents” and other episodes. In 1508 Pope Julius II. determined to readorn the camere of the Vatican, and he summoned to Rome Signorelli, in company with Perugino, Pinturicchio and Bazzi (Sodoma). They began operations, but were shortly all superseded to make way for Raphael, and their work was taken down. Luca now returned to Siena, living afterwards for the most part in Cortona. He continued constantly at work, but the performances of his closing years were not of special mark. In 1520 he went with one of his pictures to Arezzo. Here he saw Giorgio Vasari, aged eight, and encouraged his father to second the boy's bent for art. Vasari tells a pretty story how the wellnigh octogenarian master said to him “Impara, parentino” (“You must study, my little kinsman”), and clasped a jasper round his neck as a preservative against nose-bleeding, to which the child was subject. He was partially paralytic when he began a fresco of the “Baptism of Christ” in the chapel of Cardinal Passerini's palace near Cortona, which (or else a “Coronation of the Virgin” at Foiano) is the last picture of his specified. Signorelli stood in great repute not only as a painter but also as a citizen. He entered the magistracy of Cortona as early as 1488, and in 1524 held a leading position among the magistrates of his native place. In or about the year 1524 he died there.

Signorelli from an early age paid great attention to anatomy,

carrying on his studies in burial grounds. He surpassed all his contemporaries in showing the structure and mechanism of the nude in immediate action; and he even went beyond nature in experiments of this kind, trying hypothetical attitudes and combinations. His drawings in the Louvre demonstrate this and bear a close analogy to the method of Michelangelo. He aimed at powerful truth rather than nobility of form; colour was comparatively neglected, and his chiaroscuro exhibits sharp oppositions of lights and shadows. He had a vast influence over the painters of his own and of succeeding times, but had no pupils or assistants of high mark; one of them was a nephew named Francesco. He was a married man with a family; one of his sons died, seemingly through some sudden casualty, and Luca depicted the corpse with sorrowful but steady self-possession. He is described as full of kindliness and amiability, sincere, courteous, easy with his art assistants, of fine manners, living and dressing well; indeed, according to Vasari, he always lived more like a nobleman than a painter. The Torrigiani Gallery in Florence contains a grand life-sized portrait by Signorelli of a man in a red cap and vest; this is said to be the likeness of the painter hlmself, and corresponds with Vasari's observation. In the National Gallery, London, are the “Circumcision of Jesus” and three other works.

See R. Vischer, Signorelli und die italienische Renaissance (1879); Burlington Fine Arts Club, Exhibition of Work of Signorelli, &c.

(1893); M. Crutwell, Luca Signorelli (1899).

 (W. M. R.) 

SIGONIUS, CAROLUS [Carlo Sigonio or Sigone] (c. 1524-1584), Italian humanist, was born at Modena. Having studied Greek under the learned Franciscus Portus of Candia, he attended the philosophical schools of Bologna and Pavia, and in 1545 was elected professor of Greek in his native place in succession to Portus. In 1552 he was appointed to a professorship at Venice, which he exchanged for the chair of eloquence at Padua in 1560. To this period of his life belongs the famous quarrel with Robertelli, due to the publication by Sigonius of a treatise De nominibus Romanorum, in which he corrected several errors in a work of Robertelli on the same subject. The quarrel was patched up by the intervention of Cardinal Seripando (who purposely stopped on his way to the Council of Trent), but broke out again in 1562, when the two rivals found themselves colleagues at Padua. Sigonius, who was of a peaceful disposition, thereupon accepted (in 1563) a call to Bologna. He died in a country house purchased by him in the neighbourhood of Modena, in August 1584. The last year of his life was embittered by another literary dispute. In 1583 there was published at Venice what purported to be Cicero's Consolatio, written as a distraction from his grief at the death of his daughter Tullia. Sigonius declared that, if not genuine, it was at least worthy of Cicero; those who held the opposite view (Antonio Riccoboni, Justus Lipsius, and others) asserted that Sigonius himself had written it with the object of deceiving the learned world, a charge which he explicitly denied. The work is now universally regarded as a forgery, whoever may have been the author of it. Sigonius's reputation chiefly rests upon his publications on Greek and Roman antiquities, which may even now be consulted with advantage: Fasti consulares (1550; new ed., Oxford, 1802), with commentary, from the regal period to Tiberius, the first work in which the history of Rome was set forth in chronological order, based upon some fragments of old bronze tablets dug up in 1547 on the site of the old Forum; an edition of Livy with the Scholia; De antiquo jure Romanorum, Italiae, provinciarum (1560) and De Romanae jurisprudentiae judiciis (1574); De republica Atheniensium (1564) and De Atheniensium et Lacedaemoniorum temporibus (1565), the first well-arranged account of the constitution, history, and chronology of Athens and Sparta, with which may be mentioned a similar work on the religious, political, and military system of the Jews (De republica Ebraeorum). His history of the kingdom of Italy (De regno Italiae, 1580) from the invasion of the Lombards (568) to the end of the 13th century forms a companion volume to the history of the western empire (De occidental imperio, 1579) from Diocletian to its destruction. In order to obtain material for these works, Sigonius consulted all the archives and family chronicles of Italy, and the public and private libraries, and the autograph MS. of his De regno Italiae, containing all the preliminary studies and many documents not used in print, was discovered in the Ambrosian library of Milan. At the request of Gregory XIII. he undertook to write the history of the Christian Church, but did not live to complete the work.

The most complete edition of his works is that by P. Argelati

(Milan, 1732-1737), which contains his life by L. A. Muratori, the only trust worth authority for the biographer; see also G. Tiraboschi, Storia della letteratura italiana, vii.; Ginguené, Histoire littéraire d'Italie; J. P. Krebs, Carl Sigonius (1840), including some Latin letters of Sigonius and a complete list of his works in chronological order; Franciosi, Della vita e delle opere di Carlo Sigonio (Modena, 1872); Hessel, De regno Italiae libri XX. von Carlo Sigonio, eine quellenkritische Untersuchung (1900); and J. E. Sandys,

History of Classical Scholarship, ii. (1908), p. 143.

SIGOURNEY, LYDIA HUNTLEY (1791-1865), American author, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, on the 1st of September 1791. She was educated in Norwich and Hartford. After conducting a private school for young ladies in Norwich, she conducted a similar school in Hartford from 1814 until 1819, when she was married to Charles Sigourney, a Hartford merchant. She contributed more than two thousand articles to many (nearly 300) periodicals, and wrote more than fifty books. She died in Hartford, on the 10th of June 1865. Her books include Moral Pieces in Prose and Verse (1815); Traits of the Aborigines of America (1822), a poem; A Sketch of Connecticut Forty Years Since (1824); Poems (1827); Letters to Young Ladies (1833), one of her best-known books; Sketches (1834), Poetry for Children (1834); Zinzendorf, and Other Poems (1835); Olive Buds (1836); Letters to Mothers (1838), republished in London; Pocahontas, and Other Poems (1841); Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands (1842), descriptive of her trip to Europe in 1840; Scenes in My Native Land (1844); Letters to My Pupils (1851); Olive Leaves (1851); The Faded Hope (1852), in memory of her only son, who died when he was nineteen years old; Past Meridian (1854); The Daily Counsellor (1858), poems; Gleanings (1860), selections from her verse; The Man of Uz, and Other Poems (1862); and Letters of Life (1866), giving an account of her career. She was one of the most popular writers of her day, both in America and in England, and was called “the American Hemans.” Her writings were characterized by fluency, grace and quiet reflection on nature, domestic and religious life, and philanthropic questions; but they were too often sentimental, didactic and commonplace to have much literary value. Some of her blank verse and pictures of nature suggest Bryant. Among her most successful poems are “Niagara” and “Indian Names.” Throughout her life she took an active interest in philanthropic and educational work.

SIGURD (Sigurðr) or Siegfried (M. H. G. Sîfrit), the hero of the Nibelungenlied, and of a number of Scandinavian poems included in the older Edda, as well as of the prose Volsunga Saga, which is based upon the latter. According to both the