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Federico Zuccari, also known as Federigo Zuccaro (c. 1542/1543 - July 20, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad. He 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. He was involved in the following fresco projects: 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, Oratorio del Gonfalone (Rome), Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence).
After Florence 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, where he received commissions to paint the portrait of Queen Elizabeth (drawing), Mary, Queen of Scots, Sir Nicholas Bacon, and others. 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. (He was succeeded by Pellegrino Tibaldi.)
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. Zuccari was raised to the rank of cavaliere not long before his death, which took place at Ancona in 1609.
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