BILIVERT, Jacopo
(b. 1550, Delft, d. 1603, Firenze)

Biography

Jacopo Bilivert (Jacques Bijlivert), Dutch goldsmith, active in Italy. He served his apprenticeship in Delft or Augsburg and travelled to Florence in 1573 to head the workshops of Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici, supervising small groups of goldsmiths from various countries. It is said that he received his first commission, a pendant (untraced) for the Duke, six days after his arrival. In 1576 he married Fiametta Mazzafiri who was probably related to the goldsmith Michele Mazzafiri of the Medici workshops.

In 1577 Bijlivert began work on the new Medici ducal crown (destroyed), completed in 1583: a gold circlet with 17 gem-set rays and the red fleur-de-lis of Florence at its centre. It is depicted in several Medici portraits, including Scipione Pulzone's portrait of Cristina di Lorena (1590; Florence, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi), and an 18th-century drawing, perhaps by Giovanni Cassini, inscribed Corona di Casa Medici (London, Victoria and Albert Museum). The Rospigliosi Cup (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art), previously attributed not only to Bilivert but to Benvenuto Cellini, has been identified as a 19th-century fake. Bilivert is known to have created the gold mounts for the sculpted lapis lazuli urn (c. 1583; Florence, Palazzo Pitti), which was designed by Bernardo Buontalenti. The neck of the urn is flanked by two attenuated human necks of enamelled gold, terminating in female grotesque heads. The foot, neck and lid are also ornamented with enamelled gold bands.



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