Andrea Fulvio

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Andrea Fulvio (in his Latin publications and correspondence Andreas Fulvius; c. 1470–1527) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, poet and antiquarian active in Rome,[1] who advised Raphael in the reconstructions of ancient Rome as settings for his frescoes. Fulvio was Raphael's companion and cicerone as they explored the ruins, Fulvio showing Raphael what was essential to be drawn and ex temporising on them.[2]

Fulvio published two volumes. One contained the first attempts at identifying famous faces of Antiquity from numismatic evidence, his richly illustrated Illustrium immagines of 1517.[3] The other was a guide to the city's antiquities, Antiquitates Urbis, published in the disastrous year 1527. For a more popular market, his works were collected and translated into Italian in 1543, as Opera di Andrea Fulvio delle antichità della città di Roma (Venice, 1543).[4] It proved so useful as a guidebook that it was updated by Girolamo Ferrucci and reprinted in Venice, 1588, as Antichità di Roma... corretta & amplifiata.

Antiquitates Urbis furnished more than a new guide to the antiquities of Rome seen by a humanist's critical eye, the first of a genre of antiquarian topographical studies that extends to our time. It also remarked upon the introduction of printing to Rome in the previous generation and identified a few collections, such as Angelo Colocci's antiquities in his villa beside the Aqua Virgo and Andrea Cardinal della Valle's Roman coins. Many of the astute observations recorded in Fulvio's Antiquitates Urbis have withstood time's tests: the half-lifesize Roman bronze Camillus, then known as the Zingara ("Gypsy Woman"), he first identified as a young serving lad, and the Marphurius he recognized as a reclining river god, a Roman iconographical type unknown to the previous generations of antiquarians. He remarked upon the pacifying gesture of the equestrian Marcus Aurelius.[5]


  1. Roberto Weiss, "Andrea Fulvio antiquario Romano c 1470-1527", Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa 28.1-4 (1959:1-44
  2. Bette Talvacchia, in Marcia B. Hall, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Raphael (Cambridge University Press) 2005:184.
  3. "Fulvio's book was widely admired, plagiarised and imitated," Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny note (Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900 (Yale University Press) 1981:52.
  4. In full, Opera di Andrea Fulvio delle antichità della città di Roma e delle edificij memorabili di quella. Tradotta nuovamente di Latino in lingua Toscana per Paolo del Rosso cittadino Fiorentino
  5. The observations are noted by Haskell and Penny 1981.