ALTISSIMO, Cristofano dell'
(b. ca. 1530, d. 1605, Firenze)


Italian painter. He was a pupil of Pontormo and Bronzino. In July 1552 he was sent to Como by Cosimo I de' Medici to copy the portraits of famous men in Paolo Giovio's museum. By the end of May 1553, Cristofano had sent 24 finished portraits to Florence, followed by 26 more by September 1554 and another 25 by October 1556. The following month Cristofano received 100 scudi from Cosimo. By 1591 the works had been transferred to the corridors of the Uffizi, where they form part of the museum's large collection of portraits. During his stay in Como, Cristofano travelled to Milan to execute two portraits of the Duchess Ippolita Gonzaga in competition with Bernardino Campi, who was declared the winner. (One of the portraits went eventually to her father, Giuliano Groselino.)

In November 1562 Cristofano was noted as treasurer of the Accademia del Disegno in Florence, which received its official recognition in January 1563. On 18 January 1564 Vasari wrote to Angelo Riffoli, the ducal treasurer, requesting payment for ten portraits executed by Cristofano for Cosimo. On 5 April 1565 Vincenzo Borghini recommended Cristofano to Cosimo for employment in connection with the preparations for the marriage of Cosimo's son Francesco (later Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany) to Joanna of Austria. On 22 February 1567 Cristofano enrolled in the Arte dei Medici e Speziali. Between 1587 and 1589 he sent another group of works to Florence from the Giovio museum. The following year he was back in Florence, and in 1596 his lawsuit against Donato Bandinelli, concerning a portrait and drawing depicting Francesco Ferrucci, was submitted to a tribunal of the Accademia.