Xaviero Manetti Biography

Xaviero Manetti




Xaviero (also spelled Saviero) Manetti (1723-1784) was an Italian physician and naturalist. He was a graduate of the University of Pisa, member of the Royal Society and served as president of the Botanical Society of Florence, as well as being the director of the Florentine Botanical Garden from 1749 to 1782. Manetti edited and wrote the descriptions for the ambitious five-volume work of folio plates called Storia Naturale degli Uccelli (1767-76), commissioned by Maria Luisa, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, who had a passion for ornithology. In the text, Manetti asserted that all the birds were drawn from life or from firsthand study of their skins. Lorenzo Lorenzi and Violante Vanni served as the artists and engravers, creating over 600 individual illustrations in a seven-year period.

Lorenzo Lorenzi was an engraver who was also a Tuscan abbot. In addition to contributing plates to Manetti’s Storia Naturale degli Uccelli, he made engravings after Annibale Caracci, Giovanni Manozzi and other artists. Violante Vanni was an engraver working in her native Florence in the mid 18th century, an unusual occupation for a woman of that era. A student of the British artist Robert Strange, she engraved religious subjects and portraits, as well as contributing natural history plates of birds to Manetti’s Storia Naturale degli Uccelli.

reference: George Glazer Gallery, Antiquarian Gloves, Maps & Prints