Italian priest who wrote the first serious biographical account of artists of Ferrara, beginning in 1704, and other histories of art. Baruffaldi was the son of the collector and scholar Nicolò Baruffaldi (1645-1748). He initially attended the Jesuit seminary in Ferrara before studying under his father. He was ordained a priest, then a doctor of philosophy, joining the literary Colonia Ferrarese dell'Arcadia. He wrote historical treatises and poetry under the pseudonym "Cluento Nettunio." After publishing a history of the city of Ferrara in 1700, he began working on a biography of Ferrara artists, Vite de' pittori e scultori ferraresi, in 1704, based on the popular model of Giorgio Vasari and more closely Giovanni Baglione. However, he was exiled to the Veneto for political reasons in 1711, and on his return in 1713, other works caught his attention. In addition to poetry and histories, he publish art titles such as Museo Volpiano: baccanale in 1720 and a work on the art of the stations of the cross with Giovanni Andrea Barotti (1701-1772), which appeared in 1732. His history of the University of Ferrara, co-authored with Ferrante Borsetti Ferranti Bolani (1682-1764) was published in 1735. He held a number of university and church appointments. In his capacity as arch-priest of Cento, Baruffaldi became a protector of artists. A project to rebuild the collegiate church together with Alfonso Torreggiani was completed in 1744. However, Baruffaldi died without completing his most important work for art, his Lives, along with over 200 other manuscripts. The first volume of his project had to wait nearly one hundred years after his death to be issued.Vite de' pittori e scultori ferraresi is the first Ferrara art history and remains an important primary source. Like his forerunners of artistic biography, Baruffaldi's work contained errors and bias against other artists, e.g., Cosimo Tura.
Baruffaldi, Girolamo Cluento Nettunio
Dell'istoria di Ferrara. Ferrara: Per Bernardino Pomatelli, 1700; and Zanotti, Giampietro. Dialogo di Gio. Pietro Cavazzoni Zanotti pittore bolognese in difesa di Guido Reni steso in una lettera al sig. dottor Girolamo Baruffaldi. Venice: A. Bortoli, 1710; Museo Volpiano: baccanale. Ferrara : Per Bernardino Pomatelli, 1720; and Barotti, Giovanni Andrea. La via della croce: rime sacre. Con le considerazioni di Giovannandrea Barotti. Bologna: Stamperìa di Lelio dalla Volpe, 1732; and Borsetti Ferranti Bolani, Ferrante. Historia almi Ferrariæ gymnasü in duas partes divisa. 2 vols. Ferrara: typis Bernadini Pomatelli, 1735; Vite de' pittori e scultori ferraresi. 2 vols. Ferrara: D. Taddei, 1844-1846.
"Vita dell' autore." in, Baruffaldi, Girolamo. Vite de' pittori e scultori ferraresi. vol. 1. Ferrara: D. Taddei, 1844, pp. ix-xx; Barbon, D. La vita, i tempi e le oper di Girolamo Baruffaldi, ferrarese erudito del secolo XVIII. Feltre: Tip. P. Castaldi, 1904; Girolamo Baruffaldi (1675-1755): convegno nazionale di studi nel terzo centenario della nascita, sotto l'alto patronato del Presidente della Repubblica. Cento: Centro studi Girolamo Baruffaldi, 1977, specifically, Mezzetti, Amalia. and Mattaliano, Emanuele. "Un indice ragionato per le Vite del Baruffaldi." pp. 459-68, and Cecchelli, Marco. "Girolamo Baruffaldi, iconografia, bibliografia, araldica." pp. 937-1192; Zannini, Gian Lodovico Masetti. "Baruffaldi, Girolamo." Dictionary of Art.