Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Cento favole morali (One Hundred Moral Tales): The Crow and the Serpent (page 35)
    Author and illustrator: Giovanni Maria Verdizotti (1525–1600)
    Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1570
    Printed book with woodcut illustrations; 8 7/16 x 6 5/16 x 1 1/16 in. (21.4 x 16 x 1.7 cm)
    Gift of Philip Hofer, 1948 (48.165)

    The author of these rhyming fables, Verdizotti, is also identified in the publisher's preface as the designer of its charming illustrations, which he drew directly on the woodblock for the cutter. Little beyond these woodcuts and one signed pen drawing can be securely attributed to Verdizotti, who is mentioned admiringly by Vasari, Ridolfi, and Dolci as an intimate friend and gifted student of Titian—possibly his secretary after the death of Aretino. The noble Venetian practiced poetry and drawing as an amateur and is said to have painted a number of small landscapes enlivened by little figures, which were rare even in his lifetime and can no longer be identified. It is possible to get some idea of what these paintings were like from many of these illustrations, in which landscape plays such an important role.

    In this fable, the crow, driven by hunger, has seized upon the serpent, who twists around and sinks his venomous fangs into the crow's leg. The scene is full of action as the wounded bird rises up in pain and opens his beak to cry out, "What am I come to? The food that I hoped would sustain my life has instead caused my death." The moral is that when acting in one's own interest, it is important to consider the harm that this action may cause others or risk coming to a miserable end.

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  • Cento favole morali (One Hundred Moral Tales): The Crow and the Serpent (page 35)
    Author and illustrator: Giovanni Maria Verdizotti (1525–1600)
    Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1570
    Printed book with woodcut illustrations; 8 7/16 x 6 5/16 x 1 1/16 in. (21.4 x 16 x 1.7 cm)
    Gift of Philip Hofer, 1948 (48.165)

    Cento favole morali (One Hundred Moral Tales): The Reed and the Olive (page 87)
    Author and illustrator: Giovanni Maria Verdizotti (1525–1600)
    Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1570
    Printed book with woodcut illustrations

    8 7/16 x 6 5/16 x 1 1/16 in. (21.4 x 16 x 1.7 cm)
    Gift of Philip Hofer, 1948 (48.165)

    The olive boasted to the reed of its firmness and insulted the reed for its tendency to sway, even to touch the earth, at the slightest breeze. When a great wind came, however, the olive's refusal to bend meant that it was ripped up by its roots and fell to the ground, while the flexible reed returned to its upright position once the wind had passed. The moral here is that the humble one who gives way to his betters will have a brighter future and last longer.

    Cento favole morali (One Hundred Moral Tales): The Bird-Catcher and the Skylark (page 101)
    Author and illustrator: Giovanni Maria Verdizotti (1525–1600)
    Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1570
    Printed book with woodcut illustrations

    8 7/16 x 6 5/16 x 1 1/16 in. (21.4 x 16 x 1.7 cm)
    Gift of Philip Hofer, 1948 (48.165)

    A skylark who observed a bird-catcher laying his twigs on the ground asked him what he was doing. The bird-catcher responded that he was laying the plan for a great city. As soon as the bird-catcher had hidden himself in the shadows, the curious and innocent skylark alighted on the grass and, in order to understand better the design and site of the nine walls of the feigned city, approached the trap and became entangled in it. When the hunter seized his prey, she warned him that the streets of his future city would be empty of citizens. Verdizotti tells us that this tale symbolizes the greed of avaricious lords, who suck the blood of

    Cento favole morali (One Hundred Moral Tales): The Lion in Love and the Peasant (pages 258–259)
    Author and illustrator: Giovanni Maria Verdizotti (1525–1600)
    Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1570
    Printed book with woodcut illustrations

    8 7/16 x 6 5/16 x 1 1/16 in. (21.4 x 16 x 1.7 cm)
    Gift of Philip Hofer, 1948 (48.165)

    A fierce lion once fell in love with a peasant's daughter. He was so smitten that he asked the peasant for the girl's hand. Although the lion spoke courteously, the peasant was dubious. He told the lion that he could wed the girl only if he consented to have his teeth and claws removed. The conditions appeared hard to the lion, but he allowed the peasant to remove his teeth one by one and then his claws. When he requested the bride he so eagerly sought, the peasant raised a club over his head and beat the bewildered beast to death. Although the moral would seem to be the terrible power of love, which leaves even the stronges


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