Federico Zuccari, also known as Federigo Zuccaro (c. 1540/1541 – July 20, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad.
Zuccari was born at Sant'Angelo in Vado, near Urbino (Marche).
His documented career as a painter began in 1550, when he moved to Rome to work under Taddeo, his elder brother. He went on to complete decorations for Pius IV, and help complete the fresco decorations at the Villa Farnese at Caprarola.
Federico and Taddeo Zuccaro both became highly successful artists, receiving multiple commissions from the Pope and from great Roman families. Working together until Taddeo's death at age 37, the brothers painted frescoes (wall paintings on wet plaster) for palace interiors and house facades, chapels, and pleasure villas outside Rome. Taddeo and Federico had similar styles but distinctive approaches: Taddeo was a free-spirited and spontaneous draftsman, while Federico created clearer, more carefully considered compositions.
The Vision of Saint Eustace, Federico Zuccaro, 1542–1609
Red and black chalk with watercolor and white heightening; squared in black chalk
13 7/16 x 7 15/16 in.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1962 (62.76)
Taddeo helped Federico win his first major commission, to paint a facade fresco in Piazza Sant'Eustachio in Rome. In this preparatory drawing, identical to the final fresco, Eustace comes across a white stag with a crucifix between its antlers, a vision that inspired his conversion to Christianity. Federico places Eustace in an angled pose through which he shares his vision with the viewer.
When Federico began to execute the fresco, Taddeo interfered by retouching it without permission. Federico exploded and destroyed Taddeo's work; they reconciled on the understanding that Taddeo could retouch Federico's drawings and cartoons, but never his works in fresco, oil, or any other medium.
Federico Zuccari was involved in the following fresco projects:
* Decoration of the Casina Pio IV, Rome
* Grimani Chapel, San Francesco della Vigna, Venice
* Pucci Chapel in the church of Trinità dei Monti, Rome
* San Marcello al Corso, Rome
* Cathedral of Orvieto (1570)
* Oratorio del Gonfalone, Rome (1573)
* Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence (previously started by Vasari)
Another picture in the same collection appears to be a replica of his painting of the "Allegory of Calumny", as suggested by Lucian's description of a celebrated work by Apelles; the satire in the original painting, directed against some of his courtier enemies, was the immediate cause of Zuccari's temporary exile from Rome. Zuccari was recalled to Rome by Pope Gregory XIII to continue in the Pauline chapel of the Vatican. He visited Brussels, and there made a series of cartoons for the tapestry-weavers. In 1574 he passed over to England, were he received commission from Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester to portray himself and Queen Elizabeth. He also painted Mary, Queen of Scots, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir Francis Walsingham, Lord High Admiral Howard.
He painted a portrait of a Man with Two Dogs, in the Pitti Palace (Florence), and the Dead Christ and Angels in the Galleria Borghese (Rome). In 1585, he accepted an offer by Philip II of Spain to decorate the new Escorial at a yearly salary of 2,000 crowns. He worked at the palace from January 1586 to end of 1588, when he returned to Rome. His paintings (like those of El Greco before him) were disliked by Philip II and many were painted over. However the parting was amicable: "We must not blame him, but those who sent him to us", said Philip.He was succeeded by Pellegrino Tibaldi. He there founded in 1595, under a charter confirmed by Pope Sixtus V, the Accademia di San Luca, of which he was the first president. Bartolomeo Carducci is said to have studied with him.
Like his Giorgio Vasari a generation before, Zuccari aimed at being an art critic and historian. His chief book, L'idea de' Pittori, Scultori, ed Architetti (1607), was far less popular.