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Article

Writer, active in Paris. Between 1382 and 1410 he travelled to Italy on a number of occasions, where he collected recipes for the manufacture of pigments and other techniques from the artists that he met. He also borrowed manuals or handbooks on the washing, purifying and grinding of colours to assist him in his research. In ...

Article

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....

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ...

Article

Italian, 14th century, male.

Painter.

Early art historians attribute the frescoes decorating the vault of Cremona Cathedral to Polidoro Casella and Francesco Somenzo.

Article

Libby Karlinger Escobedo

Illustrated manuscript (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 597/1424) of the Inferno by Dante Alighieri, probably made in Pisa c. 1345. Dante’s Inferno is the first part of his Divine Comedy, written sometime between 1308 and 1321, in which Dante himself, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, travels through the nine circles of Hell, encountering a variety of notable historical figures guilty of the various sins associated with each successive level. The many surviving manuscripts attest to the popularity of the text; more than 600 copies survive from the 14th century alone, including the Chantilly manuscript....

Article

A. Wallert

Medieval treatise and the most important source on the techniques of manuscript illumination (see Manual, manuscript). The manuscript (Naples, Bib. N., MS. XII.E.27) has no title or signature and was entitled De arte illuminandi by its first editor, Demetrio Salazaro. Containing recipes for the making, preparation and mixing of pigments and colorants, it is a simple and well-organized manual, clearly composed for teaching the illuminator’s craft. It describes consecutively the colours, gold, the temperas and various applications. Unlike most other medieval technical sources, ...

Article

Catherine Harding

Italian parish priest, manuscript illuminator and scholar. His drawings explored the connections between vision, reason and spirituality. In particular, he was drawn to the idea of training the ‘inner eye’ of reason, and he hoped that his images would provide tools for spiritual discernment. He worked as a schoolmaster and priest until ...

Article

Qingli Wan and Chu-Tsing Li

Chinese painter. He was designated one of the Four Masters of the Yuan, together with Ni Zan, Wu Zhen and Wang Meng. Born into a family named Lu, he was orphaned when very young. The impoverished Lu family had him adopted when he was seven or eight by a Mr Huang of Yongjia, Zhejiang Province, who was living in Changshu at the time. Since Huang was about 90 years old and without male offspring, the names Huang Gongwang and Zijiu were chosen, which together mean ‘Mr Huang has desired a son for a long time’....

Article

Huesca  

Daniel Rico

Spanish provincial capital, to the north of Saragossa in Aragón. Known in pre-Roman Iberia as Bolskan and as Osca under the Romans, it was the seat of the Quintus Sertorius government, a municipium (free town) since the time of Augustus and a bishopric under the Visigoths. During the period of Muslim domination from the 8th to the 11th centuries, the town, known as Wasqa, became a defensive settlement with a city wall stretching for more than 1.8 km, of which some sections still remain. Although the city was recovered by the Christians in ...

Article

Jutland  

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Mainland peninsula of modern-day Denmark and one of the three provinces (Jutland, Zealand and Skåne, southern Sweden) that constituted medieval Denmark. The conversion of the Danes to Christianity initiated a reorganization of the economic, social and legal structures of Denmark that would change the shape of Jutland dramatically between the 11th and 14th centuries. Under Knut the Great, King of Denmark and England (...

Article

Alison Stones

Legends and myths in medieval art are often symbolic rather than narrative, appearing as isolated representations on monuments and portable objects and following the tradition of Greek vase painting where individual subjects are depicted and rely on prior knowledge of the stories for recognition and understanding. World histories celebrated great heroes of the past, starting with Creation and biblical history, then the ancient and medieval world with the exploits of the Trojan heroes, Alexander the Great, King Arthur and the campaigns of Charlemagne and his nephew Roland. Northern gods such as Thor were depicted in cult statues (...

Article

Lian An  

Chinese, 14th – 15th century, male.

Died at the beginning of the 15th century.

Art theorist.

Lian An is known above all for a brief but famous passage on aesthetic theory in his Jinchuan Yuxie Ji, a posthumous collection of his writings. The passage is a commentary on the distinction made by Su Dongpo (...

Article

Kate Wilson

Lineage of Chinese landscape painting defined in the late 16th century and early 17th by the critics and theorists Dong Qichang, Chen Jiru and Mo Shilong (c.1538–87). The Northern school is seen as opposed to the Southern school. Dong Qichang and his contemporaries sought to rejuvenate painting by studying correct ancient models and identified the two schools as the main painting traditions, positioning major artists of the past within one or the other. The terms Northern and Southern relate not to geographical areas but to a division in Chan (Jap. Zen) Buddhism. Thus artists of the Northern school are associated with the Northern division of Chan, which holds that enlightenment is gradual and achieved through diligent application. This is not to suggest that Northern school artists were necessarily followers of Chan Buddhism; rather, their approach to painting was, in the opinion of the theorists, analogous with the courtly, instructional teaching of Northern Chan. The analogy applies both to the artists’ manner of working and to their style of painting....

Article

Ravello  

Antonio Milone

Italian cathedral city in the province of Salerno, Campania. Ravello has been documented as an urban centre since the 10th century and as a bishopric since 1087. The centre, near the Toro quarter, is high up between the two rivers that separate the city from ...

Article

Scala  

Antonio Milone

Italian cathedral city in the province of Salerno, Campania. According to the 10th-century Chronicon Salernitanum, where it is referred to as Cama, Scala is the oldest centre along the entire Amalfi coast and has its origins in Late Antiquity. However, documentary proof that the city existed is only available from the beginning of the 10th century. Throughout history it has been home to a commercial aristocracy with commercial and political power throughout the entire Kingdom of Sicily. The Sasso and d’Afflitto families stood out from others in this group. Monasteries have been recorded in the city from the 10th century and it was under the control of the Duchy of Amalfi for the entire medieval period....

Article

Jan Białostocki

[Ger.: ‘special Gothic’]. Term first used by some German art historians to describe Late Gothic German art, mostly architecture. In 1913 the German art historian Kurt Gerstenberg published Deutsche Sondergotik, in which he considered the Late Gothic style in architecture as the German version of Gothic. In his concept this German ‘special’ Gothic was chiefly characterized by the widespread use of the ...

Article

Kate Wilson

Lineage of Chinese landscape painting defined in the late 16th century and the early 17th by the critics and theorists Dong Qichang, Chen Jiru and Mo Shilong (c. 1538–87). The Southern school is seen as opposed to the Northern school. Dong Qichang and his contemporaries positioned major artists of the past within one or the other school. The artists of the Southern school are associated with the Southern Chan (Jap. Zen) Buddhist concept of the individual self as the key to sudden and intuitive enlightenment. This is not to suggest that Southern school artists were necessarily followers of Chan Buddhism, but that their approach to the creative process of painting and the styles they adopted were in keeping with the Southern Chan emphasis on direct personal experience. Dong Qichang advocated the Southern school as the ‘correct line of transmission’ in painting, and this view has acted as a filter for subsequent Chinese art history. In the Qing period (...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

Persian calligrapher. He is acknowledged as the inventor of nasta‛līq, a fluid, rhythmic and curvilinear script, but his life and identity are shrouded in confusion. In a treatise by the Timurid calligrapher Sultan ‛Ali Mashhadi, Mir ‛Ali is mentioned as a contemporary of the poet Khwaju Khujandi (...

Article

Chinese, 14th century, male.

Active during the first third of the 14th century.

Art historian, art theorist, art critic.

Tang Hou was the author of two works, the Gu Jin Hua Jin, a critical assessment of the work of some 60 artists from the period of the Three Kingdoms (...

Article

Doris Fletcher

Italian historian, lawyer, and administrator. He was Chancellor of the Commune of Perugia from 1376 to 1381. He gave public lectures (1401–4) on Dante in Florence and wrote a Latin commentary on Inferno i. After the death of his father, Matteo Villani (...