Ghiberti, Vittorio b. 1418 d. 1496 Sculptor, Entrepreneur. The son of pioneer Renaissance artist Lorenzo Ghiberti. Born in Florence, Italy, he studied sculpting and goldsmithing with his father and by 1437 was working as his assistant on the great "Gates of Paradise" for the Florence Baptistery. He was closely involved in the casting and gilding of that masterpiece and Lorenzo made him a partner in the Ghiberti workshop. His bust portrait appears next to his father's on the Gates, on the right-hand central framing strip...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy Plot: Entombed with his father, Lorenzo Ghiberti
Giotto (di Bondone) (Ambrogio) b. 1266 d. January 8, 1337 Artist, Architect. Acknowledged as the most important painter of the 1300s. Giotto's art represented the first stirrings of the Italian Renaissance. He broke with the flat, unrealistic Byzantine style of his day and painted from direct observation of nature. Although he rarely used genuine perspective, he achieved a sense of depth through skillful use of light and shadow and a remarkable gift for composition. Above all he emphasized the human drama in his religious scenes, which still...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Cathedral of Florence*, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy *This location is unconfirmed or in dispute.
Harmon, Sgt. Roy W. b. 1915 d. July 12, 1944 World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. One of six Native Americans to receive the award. Roy W. Harmon enlisted in the army from California and was sent to Europe with Company C, 362nd Infantry Regiment, 91st Division. He was killed in Italy while attacking German firing positions that were pinning down Allied troops. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945 in recognition of his actions. The citation reads: "He was an acting squad leader when heavy machine gun fire...[Read More] (Bio by: Anne Cady) Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy Plot: Plot A Row 4 Grave 37
Isaac, Heinrich b. 1450 d. March 26, 1517 Composer. One of the most gifted of high Renaissance-era musicians, regarded by his contemporaries as second only to Josquin Des Prez. Known facts of Isaac's early life are scant. He claimed he was born in Flanders but the earliest records (1484) show him traveling to Florence to begin his lifelong association with the Medici family. Until 1493 he was organist and singer at the Florence Cathedral and he may have been tutor to Lorenzo the Magnificent's children. In 1497 Isaac was given the non-...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Kochendorfer, SSgt. Robert C b. 1920 d. January 16, 1944 SSgt. U.S. Army Air Corps, World War II-SSgt. Kochendorfer was killed in action on 1-16-1944 while flying as an Aerial Gunner on a B-26 Medium Bomber with the 437th Bomb Squadron, 319th Bomber Group, Medium. There was no recovery of the body from the Mediterranean Sea.
Landini, Francesco b. 1325 d. September 2, 1397 Composer, Organist. Italy's most popular musician of the Ars Nova ("New Art") period. The son of a painter, he was blinded by smallpox as a child but learned to play the organ by ear. He was said to have been particularly skilled at the organetto, a hand-pumped miniature organ, and his two known portraits depict him with this instrument. Apart from visits to Venice and Northern Italy Landini spent most of his life in his native Florence, serving as choirmaster at the Church of San Lorenzo...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy Plot: South Aisle
Landor, Walter Savage b. January 30, 1775 d. September 17, 1864 Author. Walter Savage Landor was born in Warwick, the son of a wealthy doctor. He was educated at Rugby School, from which he was expelled, possibly for writing an indecent poem, and at Trinity College, Oxford, from which he was, again, expelled, this time for firing a gun into the room of a Tory undergraduate. After a quarrel with his father, he moved to Wales, with "one servant and a chest of books." His first volume of poems appeared the following year (1775). His father died in 1805, and...[Read More] (Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine) Cimitero Accatolico, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Leoncavallo, Ruggero b. March 8, 1857 d. August 9, 1919 Composer. His fame rests on one work, the short verismo opera "Pagliacci" (1892). The plot about a jealous clown who murders his wife and her lover during the performance of a play was based on an actual incident Leoncavallo remembered from his youth. (His father was the judge at the criminal trial). It was written under the influence of Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana", and the two operas are almost always performed together on the same bill. Opera enthusiasts refer to this combo as "Cav/...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Cimitero Monumentale Delle Porte Sante, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Machiavelli, Niccolo b. May 3, 1469 d. June 22, 1527 Political Philosopher. Author. Born in Florence, Italy, the second son of Bernardo di Niccolò Machiavelli, a lawyer, and Bartolommea di Stefano Nelli. In 1494, the same year the Medici were toppled from power, Machiavelli entered the Florentine Republican government as a secretary. His position quickly rose, however, and was soon engaging in diplomatic missions. In 1500 he was sent to France to obtain terms from Louis XII for continuing the war against Pisa. On the death of Pope Pius III, in...[Read More] (Bio by: Iola) Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Mead Jr., Larkin Goldsmith b. January 3, 1835 d. October 15, 1910 Sculptor. He is probably best known as the designer of Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Springfield, Illinois, for which he also created a larger than life bronze statue of the President. The work was completed in 1874. Mead's other notable works include "America" (1868 to 1874) for the Soldiers Monument in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and the statue of Ethan Allen (1876) that is displayed in the US Capitol's National Statuary Hall. A native of Brattleboro, Vermont, he settled in Florence, Italy...[Read More] (Bio by: Bill McKern) Cimitero Accatolico, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Michelangelo (de Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) b. March 6, 1475 d. February 18, 1564 Sculptor, architect, painter. His father had close connections with the Medici family. When Michelangelo was 13, he was sent to painter Ghirlandaio. After two years he come at the sculpture school in the Medici gardens. His works "Battle of the Centaurs" and the "Madonna of the Stairs" was made while he was 16 years old. After Medici was temporarily expelled Michelangelo settled in Bologna and then went to Rome where he produced his first large sculpture "Bacchus." Also about same time he...[Read More] (Bio by: Jelena) Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Montale, Eugenio b. October 12, 1896 d. September 12, 1981 Author. Considered one of the founders of contemporary Italian Poetry, he won the 1975 Nobel Prize for Litearture. A member of the "Hermetic" movement during World War I, his complex style mixed archaic words, scientific terms, and slang with varied symbolism to express what he called "the pain of living" in the modern world. His books include "Cuttlefish Bones" (1916), "Occasions" (1939), "The Storm and Other Things" (1956), and "Auto-da-fe" (1966). A reclusive man who shunned publicity...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Chiesa di San Felice, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy Plot: Churchyard
Murat, Caroline b. March 25, 1782 d. May 18, 1839 Sister of Napoleon, Queen of Naples. She was born in Ajaccio, Corsica and moved with her family to France during the Revolution. As her brother was rising to power she fell in love with one of his generals, Joachim Murat, and they married in 1800. Napoleon opposed the match but his wife Josephine convinced him to allow it. They had four children, Achille (2nd Prince Murat, died in Tallahassee, Florida), Marie Letizia, Lucien Charles (3rd Prince Murat), and Louise. Caroline is regarded as...[Read More] (Bio by: Paul S.) Chiesa d'Ognissanti, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Niccolo' (Nicholas) II, Pope b. 1010 d. July 27, 1061 Pope. A Burgundian named Gerard, who at the time of his election was bishop of Florence. In his short pontificate (1058 to 1061) Niccolo' II did much. He renewed the election decrees in 1061. He condemned Berengarius, a Frenchman who denied transubstantiation. He fostered reform by means of energetic legates; and he made Hildebrand, reform's greatest champion, archdeacon of the Roman church. (Bio by: MC) Cathedral of Florence, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Palazzeschi, Aldo b. February 2, 1885 d. August 17, 1974 Italian writer. He is best known for his novel "The Materassi Sisters," a psychological study of the deterioration of two spinsters. For a time he was associated with the Futurist movement, which glorified modern technology and delved into painting, sculpture, and literature of all sorts. Besides novels, he also wrote poetry and short stories and was awarded the Viareggio Prize in 1949. Cimitero di Settignano, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
Peri, Jacopo b. August 20, 1561 d. August 12, 1633 Composer, Singer. Born in Rome, he settled in Florence and was associated with the Medici court and the Cammerata Society. It was for the latter that he wrote the first work to be called an opera today, "Dafne" (1597, now lost), and the first opera that has survived complete to the present, "Euridice" (1600). He sang the lead tenor roles in both productions. Peri created this new genre, which he called "dramma per musica", in an attempt to recapture the spirit of Greek tragedy, and he...[Read More] (Bio by: Robert Edwards) Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Provincia di Firenze, Toscana, Italy