The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance

By David Rundle | Go to book overview

I

India, Sigismondo d' (c. 1582-1629)

Italian composer. His highly chromatic madrigals have been valued as second only to those of Monteverdi.

He left his native Sicily to work as director of music at the Turin court of the Duke of Savoy ( 1611-23). His madrigal collections were published in eight books ( 1606-24) at Milan and Venice. In 1625 his sacred drama Sant' Eustachio was produced in Cardinal Maurizio's palace at Rome. The following year he moved to Modena. Other important influences on his style came from Luca Marenzio and the chromaticism of Gesualdo.


Innocent VIII (BORN GIOVANNI BATTISTA CIBÒ) (1432-1492)

Pope from 1484. Elected with the support of the future Julius II, the latter played a leading role in his pontificate. These years saw a decline in papal hold over Rome with the two noble families, the Colonna and the Orsini, taking control into their own warring hands. Meanwhile, Innocent concentrated on trying to undermine the power of Ferrante of Naples, inciting a revolt against him -- which failed.

As a patron, Innocent's largest project was the building of the Villa Belvedere on the Vatican Hill, the interior of which imitated ancient art, with the vaults echoing those in the recently refound Golden House of Nero. The frescoes, by Pinturicchio, also imitated Classical decoration. For this project, Innocent also attracted Andrea Mantegna to Rome; Mantegna painted the altarpiece of the Baptism (destroyed) for Belvedere's chapel.

Of symbolic importance for Innocent was the arrival in Rome in 1492 of the Holy Lance, which was claimed to have pierced Christ on the Cross. It was presented to him by the Sultan Bayezid II, and to house it, Innocent had a tabernacle built with a fresco by Pinturrichio. It was for this relic's arrival that Innocent wished to be remembered: his tomb, by Antonio Pollaiuolo, depicts him holding the lance.


Innocenzo da Imola (c. 1490-c. 1545)

Italian painter. Based in Bologna from 1517, he produced a series of religious frescoes and altarpieces, strongly influenced by the style of Raphael. He also trained other artists, including Francesco Primaticcio and Prospero Fontana.


Inquisition

Tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church established in 1233 to suppress heresy originally by excommunication. The Inquisition operated in France, Italy, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire, and was especially active after the Reformation; it was later extended to the Americas. Its trials were conducted in secret, under torture, and penalties ranged from fines, through flogging and imprisonment, to death by burning.

During the course of the Spanish Inquisition, until its abolition in 1834, some 60,000 cases were tried. The Roman Inquisition was established in 1542 to combat the growth of Protestantism. Despite bare statistics, however, it is unclear how thorough or effective the Inquisition ever was.


Institutes

The familiar name for Christianae Religionis Institutio/Institutes of the Christian Religion ( 1536), the principal text of Calvinism. Written by the French religious reformer John Calvin, it is the clearest and ablest systematic exposition of the ideals that inspired the second generation of Protestant reformers and their followers.

The first edition, published in Basel, Switzerland, was a brief manual of six chapters based on the framework of the catechism and intended as a short textbook of reformed orthodoxy. Its success prompted Calvin to expand it considerably, so that by the time of the definitive edition of 1559 it was five times its original length.

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