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Carlo Roberto Chiarlo

Italian traveller and antiquarian. A self-educated merchant and occasional papal diplomatic agent, he played a central role in the rediscovery of the ancient world during the 15th century, travelling extensively in Italy, Greece and the Near East between 1412 and 1449. He learnt Latin and Greek and became the first great amateur classicist, as well as the undisputed father of modern ...

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Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time....

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French sculptor. Cavalier is thought to have been a Huguenot trained in his native France. His career is obscure until 1684, by which time he was a carver of portraits in ivory of exceptional talent and probably already settled in England. In that year he made the relief of ...

Article

Venetian ruler and patron. He was the longest-serving doge in the history of Venice. His reign was a period of constant warfare, during which Venice consolidated her hold on her mainland possessions and acquired further territory. His only surviving son, Jacopo Foscari (c. 1416–57...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Turkish historian of Islamic architecture. He studied in the faculty of architecture at Istanbul Technical University under Emin Onat, receiving his degree in 1949 for a study of Turkish Baroque architecture. He spent 1954–5 in Italy investigating Renaissance architecture, and 1962–3 in the USA on a Fulbright Fellowship. The following year he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, where he studied Byzantine architecture in Anatolia, and for the next decade he was involved in the study and restoration of the Byzantine church known as Kalenderhane Cami in Istanbul. He taught architectural history and restoration at Istanbul Technical University from ...

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Israeli painter of Polish birth. He first began to draw in 1947 after seeing the Renaissance and Baroque works in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. He emigrated to Israel in 1948 and in 1953 and 1955 attended the summer art courses held at Kibbutz Na’an under ...

Article

Portuguese soldier and patron. He was a kinsman of important noble families and had a distinguished military career in the Middle East and East Africa (1508–11) and later in Brazil. In 1534 he was responsible for the extensive rebuilding of the parish church of ...

Article

Danish draughtsman, engraver, woodcut designer, painter, architect, surveyor and author. Facts about his highly productive career, which ranged from Denmark to Turkey, come primarily from an autobiographical letter of 1 January 1563 (free English trans. in Fischer, 1990) to King Frederick II of Denmark to whom he owed allegiance by birth; also from inscribed works, his letters and mostly unpublished material in archives in Vienna, Hamburg, Antwerp and Copenhagen....

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....

Article

Obelisk  

Erik Iversen

Square or rectangular shaft, usually monolithic, with tapering sides and a pyramidal apex, first developed in Egypt in the 3rd millennium bc but also popular in Europe in Roman times, the Renaissance and the 19th century.

The Egyptian name for the obelisk was tekhen, from a verb meaning ‘pierce’, while its apex, clearly considered as a distinct part, was known as ...