Antonio Billi was a Florentine merchant who lived from the end of the fifteenth century into the first half of the sixteenth century. He was an educated man, with an interest in books, and had contact with Florentine literary circles. Although the manuscript bears his name, it was probably not written by him. Nonetheless, it was certainly in his possession. Dated between 1487 and 1537, it is a valuable account of Florentine artists from Cimabue to Pollaiolo, with an appendix on contemporary artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The content is arranged according genre, including painting, architecture and sculpture, and within each genre, the artists are listed chronologically. The manuscript seems to rely on many different sources available at the time. The author’s own understanding of art does not appear to be important. This work became one of the the main sources for art in the Middle Ages and the Florentine Renaissance before Giorgio Vasari, and Vasari himself consulted it, picking up on various errors and inaccuracies. / SB

Edition: Il libro di Antonio Billi esistente in due copie nella Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze, ed. Carl Frey (Berlin: G. Grote, 1892).


13.1. Taddeo Gaddi

“A Pisa in campo santo molte historie di Job.” (8)

13.2. Stefano Fiorentino

“Dipinse in campo santo di Pisa l’assumptione dj Nostra Donna.” (10)

13.3. Benozzo Gozzoli

“Bonorio Fiorentino dipinse im Pisa in campo santo […]” (50)


In the Camposanto in Pisa, [he painted] many stories of Job.


He painted the Assumption of Mary in the Camposanto in Pisa.


Bonorio Fiorentino painted in Pisa in the Camposanto.