Giovanni Battista Pignatelli
|Giovanni Battista Pignatelli|
|Years active||sixteenth century|
|Notable works||L'Arte Veterale|
Giovanni Battista Pignatelli (circa 1525 – before 1600) was a Neapolitan nobleman and riding master.:xix He influenced the development of alta scuola, or classical dressage, both in the Italian peninsula and in France.
Life and work
Pignatelli was born in about 1525, into a Neapolitan noble family originally from Calabria. He was a pupil of Giannetto Conestabile. While some modern sources report him also to have studied under Federico Grisone – also a nobleman of Naples – or Cesare Fiaschi of Ferrara, there is no documentary proof that he did so.:xviii
Pignatelli taught in Naples, where gentlemen came from all over Europe to learn the art of riding. His teaching was innovative: he was among the first to teach the style called a la brida, which was not as severe as the traditional Baroque Spanish a la jineta style.:xxi Among his pupils were Salomon de La Broue, who spent five years under him, Antoine de Pluvinel, who studied with him for six years,:257 and de Pluvinel's patron the Chevalier de Saint-Antoine.
Influence and reception
Unlike his many of his contemporaries or successors – Grisone, Fiaschi, Pasquale Caracciolo, Claudio Corte, Pirro Antonio Ferraro, Giovanni Paolo d'Aquino, Paolo de' Pavari – who published treatises on various aspects of horsemanship, many of which were soon translated and circulated through much of Europe, Pignatelli never had any work published. A manuscript of his treatise on the veterinary care and treatment of the horse in the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris was described in 1838. It was divided into three hundred and seventy-six chapters,:391 and included sections on cures for parasites and disease, on bridling and on horse management.:392 A manuscript with the title L'arte veterale is conserved in Verona; a transcription was published in 2001.:xxxi
Through his influence on de La Broue and de Pluvinel – who became riding-instructor to the king of France and in 1594 started the first riding academy in the country – Pignatelli shaped the development of the art of classical dressage, which diffused through Italy and France, but also to England, to the German-speaking world, to Scandinavia, and eventually to the Iberian peninsula.:xxii
In 1576 Prospero d'Osma, who had been a pupil and a collaborator of Pignatelli, was commissioned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to prepare a report on the state of Queen Elizabeth's royal stables; d'Osma later opened a riding school in the Mile End district of London.:xxiv:160
- Mario Gennero (2001). Introduction (in Italian). In: Patrizia Arquint, Mario Gennero (editors), Giovanni Battista Pignatelli (2001). L'arte veterale: sopra il medicare et altri secreti bellissimi de' cavalli (in Italian). Bracciano: Equilibri. ISBN 9788887978018.
- Jean Balsamo (1999). Montaigne, le style (du) cavalier, et ses modèles italiens (in French). Nouvelle Revue du XVIe Siècle 17 (2): 253–267. (subscription required)
- Monica Mattfeld (2017). Becoming Centaur: Eighteenth-Century Masculinity and English Horsemanship. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 9780271075778.
- Antonio Marsand (1835–1838). I manoscritti italiani della Regia Biblioteca parigina, descritti ed illustrati dal dottore Antonio Marsand (volume II, in Italian). Parigi: Dalla Stamperia Reale.
- Max Meredith Reese (1976). The Royal Office of Master of the Horse. London: Threshold Books. ISBN 9780901366900.