Francisco de Hollanda completed Da pintura antigua in 1548, eight years after the young Portuguese humanist, painter, and architect had spent two years in Italy. Book I is the first Portuguese treatise on the theory and practice of painting. In contrast to Italian texts on artistic theory, which define painting as the imitation of nature, Hollanda's treatise, influenced by Neoplatonism, develops a theory of the painter as an original creator guided by divine inspiration. Book II, Dialogues in Rome, is a record of three conversations with Michelangelo, Vittoria Colonna, and members of their circle and a fourth with Giulio Clovio. It is the most informative and intimate intellectual portrait of Michelangelo before the biographies by Vasari and Condivi.