Martino Rota

Martino Rota, also Martin Rota and Martin Rota Kolunić (c. 1520–1583) was an artist, now mainly known for his printmaking, from Dalmatia.[1][2]

Martino Rota was born in about the year 1520 in Sebenico, Dalmatia. Little is known of Rota's early life or where he trained as an engraver, but most of his documented career was spent working in Venice, Rome, and Vienna.[2][3]

Ferdinand I by Martin Rota
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, by Rota, dated 1575; Ferdinand was Master of the Order of the Golden Fleece, which he wears here


In about 1540, Rota appears in Rome, working as a reproductive engraver in the style of Marcantonio, and employed by, or collaborating with, Cornelis Cort. At some point he left Rome and after a period in Florence was in Venice from 1558, where it has been argued that he substituted for Cort, absent from Venice from 1566-1571, as Titian's reproductive engraver - always a difficult and demanding role - although this is controversial, as none of his prints after Titian mention below the image the 15 year copyright "privilege" granted to Titian by the Senate and referred to on Cort's prints after Titian.[4] He also produced several maps and views of Venice and other cities.[5]

Perhaps with Titian's recommendation, he moved to the Imperial court in Vienna, where he arrived by 1568,[6][7] and by 1573 he was established as the court portrait engraver. From this time he made fewer reproductive prints, and concentrated on portraiture of the Imperial family, often using assistants as not all the later prints show the fine technical quality of his earlier work.[8] He served the Habsburgs in Vienna during the reigns of Maximilian II and Rudolph II, the second of whom became Emperor in 1576. Rudolf moved the Habsburg capital from Vienna to Prague in 1583, where Rota died the same year.[3][9]


Martino Rota Archduke Ernest of Austria
Portrait of Archduke Ernest of Austria, oil on canvas, by Martino Rota c. 1580

Rota has been described as one of the most significant graphic artists of the second half of the 16th century,[3] though few if any of his prints were original compositions.

Chiefly an engraver of portraits, which he also painted, his drafting of the human figure is very correct, and he pays particular attention to extremities. He engraved plates entirely with the graving tool.[2] Rota showed Durerian naturalism and a Venetian feeling for material.[9] Like many printmakers of the period, he combined etching and engraving on the same plates, but in an unusually sensitive manner, exploiting the differences between the two techniques.[10]

He also engraved paintings by masters of the Renaissance, in particular Titian, whose very important destroyed altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St. Peter Martyr is now best known from Rota's engraving;[11] he also made engravings after work by Michelangelo and Dürer. His known work includes more than one hundred and seventy engravings and etchings on a variety of subjects, including maps, vedutes, portraits, illustrations for pamphlets, coats of arms, and depictions of the saints. He added to the fame of Sebenico and of his compatriot Antun Vrančić, called Antonius Verantius.[3][9]

The art collector George Cumberland wrote in 1827 that[12]

...if such men as Martin Rota, Cort, Bloemart,[13] or Goltzius, did not often adhere to the style and character of head of the Artist they copied, yet they always gave enough to enable us to comprehend the principles of the composition; and we often have well drawn figures to make us some amends for the loss of sentiment in the heads, expression of hands, or local colouring.

Rota's portrait of the Emperor Ferdinand I (1503–1564), pictured, may have been engraved from Deschler's medallion of 1561.[3] Other portraits he engraved include the Emperors Maximilian II and Rudolf II and King Henry IV of France.[2]

His masterpiece is considered to be an engraving after Michelangelo's The Last Judgment.[2]

Rota was active until his death in 1583, leaving a small number of plates incomplete, which were completed by his pupil Anselmus de Boodt.[14]


Rota usually signed his plates with his name, sometimes adding the names Sebenico and Venice,[15] but he sometimes used a monogram consisting of a capital 'M' and a pictogram of a wheel (Rota means 'wheel' in Latin).[2] The monogram is illustrated in Stefano Ticozzi's monumental Dizionario of 1830–1833.[16]


From March to April 2003, an exhibition in the Print Department of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, focussed on works by Rota and by another native of Sebenico, Natale Bonifacio, held in Croatian collections.[9]


Carolus Clusius by Martin Rota
Carolus Clusius


  1. ^ Getty Union Artist Name List
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bryan, Michael, (revised by George Stanley) A Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, from the revival of the art under Cimabue, and the alleged discovery of engraving by Finiguerra, to the present time (London, H G. Bohn, 1849), page 662 online at (accessed 4 March 2008)
  3. ^ a b c d e Treasures — National and University Library, Zagreb online at (accessed 4 March 2008)
  4. ^ Bury, 190-91
  5. ^ Concise Grove, and Reed and Wallace
  6. ^ Reed & Wallace, 58
  7. ^ Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe, Copyright in the Renaissance: Prints and the Privilegio in sixteenth-century Venice and Rome 2004.
  8. ^ Reed and Wallace, op & page cit
  9. ^ a b c d Three Engravers from Šibenik Archived 2004-05-23 at at, accessed 15 July 2008
  10. ^ Reed and Wallace, 60
  11. ^ Catalogue entry at Bury, 191
  12. ^ Cumberland, George, An Essay on the Utility of Collecting the Best Works of the Ancient Engravers of the Italian School (London, Payne and Foss, 1827) page 6 online at, accessed 12 July 2008
  13. ^ Either Abraham Bloemaert or Cornelis Bloemaert may have been intended.
  14. ^ Martino Rota (Sebenico 1520 – Vienna 1583), Il riposo dalla Fuga in Egitto, in: Grafica Antica catalogo n° 49, p. 36.
  15. ^ Reed & Wallace
  16. ^ Ticozzi, Stefano, Dizionario degli architetti, scultori, pittori, intagliatori in rame ed in pietra, coniatori di medaglie, musaicisti, niellatori, intarsiatori d'ogni età e d'ogni nazione (3 volumes, Milan, 1830–1833)


  • Bury, Michael; The Print in Italy, 1550-1620, 2001, British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-2629-2
  • Reed, Sue Welsh & Wallace, Richard (eds), Italian Etchers of the Renaissance and Baroque, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 1989,pp 58–60,ISBN 0-87846-306-2 or 304-4 (pb)
  • Bergquist, Stephen A, "Some Early States by Martino Rota," Print Quarterly, XXIX, no. 1, 2012, pp.33-36.
1520 in art

The year 1520 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1583 in art

The year 1583 in art involved some significant events and new works.

Anselmus de Boodt

Anselmus de Boodt or Anselmus Boëtius de Boodt (Bruges, 1550 - Bruges, 21 June 1632) was a Flemish humanist, mineralogist, physician and naturalist. Along with the German known as Georgius Agricola, de Boodt was responsible for establishing modern mineralogy. De Boodt was an avid mineral collector who travelled widely to various mining regions in Germany, Bohemia and Silesia to collect samples. His definitive work on the subject was the Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia (1609).

De Boodt was also a gifted draughtsman who made many natural history illustrations and developed a natural history taxonomy.

Antonio Abondio

Antonio Abondio (1538–1591) was an Italian sculptor, best known as a medallist and as the pioneer of the coloured wax relief portrait miniature.

Born in Riva del Garda, he worked in Italy between 1552 and 1565, and thereafter mainly for the Habsburgs. His son Alessandro followed in his father's footsteps, also specializing in mythological reliefs, and marrying the widow of another court artist, Hans von Aachen.

Thirteen of Abondio's wax portraits survive, and about sixty medals. He also made the dies for the first coinage of Emperor Rudolf II. Initially his style in metal followed that of Leone Leoni, for the facade of whose house in Milan he carved eight large atlantes in stone, but later included many other influences.

He died at Vienna in 1591.

Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement that took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, led by the Venetian Republic and the Spanish Empire, inflicted a major defeat on the fleet of the Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras. The Ottoman forces were sailing westward from their naval station in Lepanto (the Venetian name of ancient Naupactus Ναύπακτος, Ottoman İnebahtı) when they met the fleet of the Holy League which was sailing east from Messina, Sicily. The Holy League was a coalition of European Catholic maritime states which was arranged by Pope Pius V and led by John of Austria. The league was largely financed by Philip II of Spain, and the Venetian Republic was the main contributor of ships.In the history of naval warfare, Lepanto marks the last major engagement in the Western world to be fought almost entirely between rowing vessels, namely the galleys and galeasses which were the direct descendants of ancient trireme warships. The battle was in essence an "infantry battle on floating platforms". It was the largest naval battle in Western history since classical antiquity, involving more than 400 warships. Over the following decades, the increasing importance of the galleon and the line of battle tactic would displace the galley as the major warship of its era, marking the beginning of the "Age of Sail".

The victory of the Holy League is of great importance in the history of Europe and of the Ottoman Empire, marking the turning-point of Ottoman military expansion into the Mediterranean, although the Ottoman wars in Europe would continue for another century. It has long been compared to the Battle of Salamis, both for tactical parallels and for its crucial importance in the defense of Europe against imperial expansion. It was also of great symbolic importance in a period when Europe was torn by its own wars of religion following the Protestant Reformation, strengthening the position of Philip II of Spain as the "Most Catholic King" and defender of Christendom against Muslim incursion. Historian Paul K. Davis writes that, "More than a military victory, Lepanto was a moral one. For decades, the Ottoman Turks had terrified Europe, and the victories of Suleiman the Magnificent caused Christian Europe serious concern. The defeat at Lepanto further exemplified the rapid deterioration of Ottoman might under Selim II, and Christians rejoiced at this setback for the infidels. The mystique of Ottoman power was tarnished significantly by this battle, and Christian Europe was heartened."


A crescent shape (, British English also ) is a symbol or emblem used to represent the lunar phase in the first quarter (the "sickle moon"), or by extension a symbol representing the Moon itself.

It is used as the astrological symbol for the Moon, and hence as the alchemical symbol for silver. It was also the emblem of Diana/Artemis, and hence represented virginity. In Roman Catholic Marian veneration, it is associated with the Virgin Mary.

From its use as roof finial in Ottoman era mosques, it has also become associated with Islam, and the crescent was introduced as chaplain badge for Muslim chaplains in the US military in 1993.

Giulio Bonasone

Giulio Bonasone (c. 1498 – after 1574) (or Giulio de Antonio Buonasone or Julio Bonoso) was an Italian painter and engraver born in Bologna. He possibly studied painting under Lorenzo Sabbatini, and painted a Purgatory for the church of San Stefano, but all his paintings have been lost. He is better known as an engraver and is believed to have trained with Marcantonio Raimondi. He worked mainly in Mantua, Rome and Venice and with great success, producing etchings and engravings after the old masters and his own designs. He signed his plates B., I.B., Julio Bonaso, Julio Bonasone, Juli Bonasonis, Julio Bolognese Bonahso.He has been regarded an engraver with extraordinary skills in reproducing, as he could accurately convey the sources' compositions, colours, and essence. Moreover, he expressed his understanding about the controversies about religion and culture in his time through his prints. He is considered among the most important and productive engravers of the sixteenth century.

List of painters in the Web Gallery of Art

The List of painters in the Web Gallery of Art is a list of the named painters in the Web Gallery of Art (WGA). The online collection contains roughly 34,000 images by 4,000 artists, but only named artists with oil paintings in the database are listed alphabetically here. The painter's name is followed by a title of one of their paintings and its location, which is hosted on the WGA website. For painters with more than one painting in the WGA collection, or for paintings by unnamed or unattributed artists, see the Web Gallery of Art website or the corresponding Wikimedia Commons painter category. Of the 2,463 painters in the WGA database, over a quarter are Italians and about a third were born in the 17th-century, and they are mostly men. There are only 44 women, including Sofonisba Anguissola, Rosa Bonheur, Artemisia Gentileschi, Catharina van Hemessen, Angelica Kauffmann, Judith Leyster, Louise Moillon, Clara Peeters, Rachel Ruysch, and Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.

For the complete list of artists and information about their artworks in the WGA collection, the database can be downloaded as a compressed file from the website.

List of people by city in Croatia

This is a list of notable people who were born or have lived in various cities in Croatia.

List of printmakers

Key to Techniques: En = Engraver (includes Drypoint), Et = Etcher, Wo = Mezzotint, Mo = Monotype, Aq = Aquatint, Li = Lithography, We = Wood engraving, Sc = Screen-printing, St = Stipple, Di = digital.

Natale Bonifacio

Natale Bonifacio

Natale Bonifacio de Sebenico (1537/38 in Šibenik – 23 February 1592 in Šibenik) where he was born and died) was a producer of engravings and woodcuts in Rome, where he lived and worked for most of his life. His plates are principally etchings. In 1590, he engraved for a book composed by Domenico Fontana, architect to Pope Sixtus V, concerning the laborious engineering of the moving and erection of the Vatican obelisks.

Rota (surname)

Rota is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alfredo Rota

Anthony Rota (born 1961), Canadian Member of Parliament

Carlo Rota (born 1961), Canadian chef and actor

Cristina Rota

Darcy Rota

Gian-Carlo Rota (1932–1999), Italian-born American mathematician and philosopher

Jerome Rota

Marco Rota (born 1942), Italian Disney comic artist

Martino Rota (c. 1520–1583), artist

Nino Rota (1911–1979), Italian composer

Randy Rota

Sal Rota

Simone Rota

Stefano Ticozzi

Stefano Ticozzi (1762-1836) was an Italian art historian.

He was born in Pasturo, near Como, he wrote the three volumes published in Milan during 1830-1833 of the encyclopedic Dizionario degli architetti, scultori, pittori, intagliatori in rame ed in pietra, coniatori di medaglie, musaicisti, niellatori, intarsiatori d'ogni età e d'ogni nazione (Dictionary of the architects, sculptors, painters, engravers in wood and stone, minters of medallions, mosaicists, jewelers of niello, and makers of intarsio work). The work was a then up-to-date assembly of biographical data and works of artists from Europe of the prior four centuries to the contemporary time, who were known to the author through exposure or the work of previous authors.

Ticozzi was an honorary member of the Accademia Carrara and the Atheneum of Venice. Ticozzi also published Giovanni Battista Armenini's sixteenth century treatise on painting: De veri precetti della pittura.


Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (pronounced [titˈtsjaːno veˈtʃɛlljo]; c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian , was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno, then in the Republic of Venice). During his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, taken from the place of his birth.

Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars" (recalling the famous final line of Dante's Paradiso), Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of colour, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the late Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.His career was successful from the start, and he became sought after by patrons, initially from Venice and its possessions, then joined by the north Italian princes, and finally the Habsburgs and papacy. Along with Giorgione, he is considered a founder of the Venetian School of Italian Renaissance painting.

During the course of his long life, Titian's artistic manner changed drastically, but he retained a lifelong interest in colour. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone were without precedent in the history of Western painting.


Šibenik (Croatian pronunciation: [ʃîbeniːk] (listen); Italian: Sebenico) is a historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Šibenik is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist center of Šibenik–Knin County and also the third-largest city in the historic region of Dalmatia. It is the oldest native Croatian town on the shores of the sea.

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