Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Giovanni Battista Piranesi, an Italian engraver, born Oct. 4, 1720, died in Rome, Nov. 9, 1778. He completed his studies in Rome, where he resided for many years. He has been called "the Rembrandt of architecture" on account of his skill in designing and engraving architectural subjects and ancient ruins. Piranesi drew at once on the plate, and finished it by etching, hardly using the graver. For spirit and vigor of execution and bold effect his works are unique. The most celebrated of them relate to the antiquities, public buildings, and views of Rome. His son Francesco published in Paris a complete collection of his plates, comprising nearly 2,000 subjects, in 30 vols. fol. The most recent edition is in 29 vols. fol. (1836). Both Francesco and his sister Laura inherited to some extent their father's genius.

Giovanni Battista Riccioli

Giovanni Battista Riccioli, an Italian astronomer, born in Ferrara, April 17, 1598, died in Bologna, June 25, 1671. He was a member of the society of Jesus, taught in the Jesuit colleges of Parma and Bologna, and finally devoted himself to astronomy and geography. He undertook, though in a friendly spirit, to refute Copernicus in the Almagestum Novum (2 vols. fol, Bologna, 1651). His Astronomia Reformata (2 vols., 1665) is a completion of the former work. Mädler says that Riccioli's work "would have been forgotten had he not been led by vanity to find a place for his own name on the moon, an arrangement which he only achieved by displacing all the names used by Hevelius, at the risk of causing perplexity and confusion to later astronomers." He also published Geographoe et Hydrographioe Reformatoe Libri XII. (fol., 1661) and Chronologia Reformata (1669).

Giovanni Battista Rubini

Giovanni Battista Rubini, an Italian singer, born at Romano, near Bergamo, in 1795, died there, March 2,1854. In his boyhood his teacher reported that he had no talent for singing; but he persevered in his studies, and after an obscure career of several years in Lombardy made his debut at Brescia in 1815 with great success. He first appeared at Paris in 1825 as Ramiro in Rossini's Cenerentola, and speedily rose to the first place in his profession as a tenor singer. From 1831 to 1846 he sang principally in London, Paris, and St. Petersburg, and in the latter year retired with a large fortune to a villa near Bergamo, where he passed the remainder of his life. His voice, a tenor of remarkable sweetness, extended from E to F above the staff, a compass of two octaves and one note, and has been known to reach as high as G above the staff. He excelled in the music of Bellini, and was almost unrivalled in the expression of sorrow and tenderness. He was an indifferent actor.

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglioxe

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglioxe, called Il GRECHETTO, a Genoese painter and engraver, born in Genoa in 1616, died in Mantua in 1670. He was a pupil of Paggi and of Ferrari, and according to some of Vandyke, and gained a high reputation as a historical, landscape, find portrait painter, and also as an engraver. His specialty, however, was animal painting. Many of his pictures are in the museum at Florence, and in the Louvre at Paris; and some have found their way to Venice, Milan, Munich, and Dresden.