Petrus Martir Vermilius, Theologus.

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Petrus Martir Vermilius, Theologus.
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Petrus Martir Vermilius, Theologus.
(Zurich ? c. 1600)
Copper engraving
135x110mm
£55
A small, early, interesting portrait of the Florentine religious reformer Pietro Martire Vermigli (1500-62). In 1516 the young Vermigli became an Augustinian monk at Fiesole, thereafter moving to Padua, Spoleto, Naples and Lucca, rapidly gaining a reputation as a scholar and dangerously free thinking preacher. In 1542 he was forced to flee from Italy to Strasbourg where he repudiated his vows and married an ex-nun, and in 1547 was invited to London by Cranmer. He became Professor of Divinity at Oxford and his wife is buried in Christ Church Cathedral. After the death of the Protestant Edward VI; with impressive craziness, and in an attempt to curry favour with the devoutly Catholic Queen Mary, the Christchurch authorities exhumed and cast out the remains of Vermigli’s wife (she was later reinterred), and he was forced again to flee. Vermigli found refuge in Strasbourg and subsequently Zurich from where he corresponded with the beleaguered English protestants and where he died. Vermigli is depicted enclosed in an oval frame, wearing a flat cap, small ruff and dark coat, and looking slightly to the right