Cesare Ripa (fl. 1593)
Little is known of Ripa apart from the fact that he was probably born in Perugia between 1555 and 1560 and is next recorded in the service of Cardinal Antonio Maria Salviati, for whom he acted as controller of the household in Rome. His Iconologia was first published in 1593 to great acclaim and included descriptions of over 1,250 personifications ranging from Abondanza (I, 1 Abundance) to Zelo (V, 417 Zealousness), each of which is described in detail as a manual for writers, artists, and illustrators of the period. The personifications are always described in terms of human forms with their attributes and poses clearly delineated. This dictionary of visual imagery is highly subjective; Ripa not only drew widely on existing representations but, when such precedents did not exist, created structures showing how they should be depicted. The modern iconographic research into nonvisual material is very much in keeping with Ripa's focus, which was intended to encompass all of the arts, visual and otherwise.