An Italian painter and architect of the late Mannerist and early Baroque style, Lodovico Cardi, called Cigoli was active in Florence and Rome. Taking his surname from Villa Castelvecchi di Cigoli in Tuscany, he first trained in Florence with Alessandro Allori (1535 – 1607). Allori was an important painter of the late Mannerist style, having trained with his so-called uncle, the influential Mannerist, Il Bronzino (1503 – 1572). Though, Cigoli developed a style under the influence of Santi Di Tito (1536 – 1603), whose style was referred to as Contra-Maniera (Counter-Mannerism). Along with the influence of the proto-Baroque artist, Federico Barocci (1528 – 1612, Cigoli’s style loosens from the shackles of mannerism and infuses his later paintings with an expressionism often lacking from 16th century Florentine painting.
Cigoli’s painting, Ecce Homo, executed for the Roman nobleman Massimo Massimi, shows clear visual similarities with the Baroque art of Caravaggio (1571 – 1610). Cigoli's, Ecce Homo seems to have been made with knowledge of Caravaggio's work; however, Cigoli's work lacks the power of Caravaggio's naturalism, but the background shade and sparse foreground shows how much he was moving away from crowded Florentine historical paintings.
Hi other important pictures are St. Peter Healing the Lame Man in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, Conversion of St. Paul in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura and, a Story of Psyche in a fresco incorporated in the decorative scheme of the Villa Borghese. His Martyrdom of Stephen earned him the name of the "Florentine Correggio," after the dynamic Parma artist, Antonio da Correggio (1489 – 1534). There is also his, Venus and Satyr, a Sacrifice of Isaac, St. Francis Receives the Stigmata, (now in the Uffizi) at Florence. Cigoli was made a Knight of Malta at the request of Pope Paul III (1468 – 1549).
Cigoli had a number of prominent pupils including, Cristofano Allori (1577 – 1621) – son of Alessandro, the Flemish born painter Giovanni Biliverti (1585 – 1644) and the Florentine Gregorio Pagani (1558 – 1605).
(This text was taken from the www.wikipedia.org entry on Cigoli, under the GNU Free Documentation license.)