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Arab calligrapher and illuminator. He began as a house decorator but turned to calligraphy and refined the ‘proportioned script’ developed a century earlier by Ibn Muqla, in which letters were measured in terms of dots, circles and semicircles. An intimate of court circles in Baghdad, Ibn al-Bawwab was appointed librarian to the Buyid ruler Baha’ al-Dawla (...

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

Charles Buchanan

Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe....

Article

Richard K. Emmerson

Illuminated Ottonian manuscript (205×295 mm; Bamberg, Staatsbibl., MS. Bibl. 140) comprising 106 folios, divided into two halves, the first containing 50 miniatures illustrating the Book of Revelation, the second with 5 full-page miniatures illustrating Gospel readings from the Nativity to Pentecost. Separating the sections are two full-page images each with two registers. On the left St Peter and St Paul crown a young ruler, who is given obeisance by personifications of the four peoples of the empire, depicted below. They recall the personifications bringing gifts to the emperor in the Gospels of Otto III (Munich, Bayer. Staatsbib., Clm. 4453). Facing this imperial scene, on the right, Old Testament figures are paired with four personifications of the victorious virtues they model for the ruler: Abraham/Obedience, Moses/Purity, David/Repentance, and Job/Patience. The Apocalypse miniatures, of varying size and interspersed within the Latin text, are painted on gold grounds. Their iconography, descending from a Roman archetype, is related to the Carolingian Valenciennes Apocalypse (early 9th century; Valenciennes, Bib. Mun., MS. 99) and the contemporary Apocalypse fresco of Novara Baptistery. The vigorous colours and sumptuous execution of the miniatures, including an early detailed ...

Article

Bobbio  

Michael Richter

Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c. ad 613 through the cooperation of the Lombard king Agilulf (reg 590–615) and the Irish abbot and saint Columbanus (c. 540–615). Its nucleus was an older dilapidated church dedicated to St Peter. Columbanus died on 23 November 615, but his name and renown remained alive in the following centuries. Through cooperation with the Lombard monarchs as well as later the Carolingian kings, Bobbio became a very prominent monastery in Northern Italy. In 628 it was granted the earliest monastic exemption from supervision by the local diocesan, the bishop of Tortona. The community of Bobbio apparently lived according to the Rule of Columbanus as well as the Rule of Basil of Caesarea. The presence of the Rule of St Benedict cannot be documented there before the early 9th century. Bobbio became a known not only as a centre of Irish learning but also as a centre of grammatical as well as computational studies. Its early library also contained Classical texts as well as important palimpsests (a ‘catalogue’ survives from the late 9th century). In the late 9th and early 10th centuries (a period of economic decline) important illuminated manuscripts were produced there. The abbatial church was rebuilt under Abbot Agilulf (...

Article

Kathryn B. Gerry

Illuminated Gospel book (210×272 mm; London, BL, Harley MS, 76) made in the first half of the 11th century, probably at Canterbury, Christ Church. This is one of a group of manuscripts associated with the scribe and monk Eadui and several other unnamed scribes; other manuscripts in the group include the Eadui Codex (Hannover, Kestner-Mus., WM XXIa 36) and the Eadui Psalter (London, BL, Arundel MS. 155). The script in the Bury Gospels has not been attributed to these particular scribes, but the style of the remaining ornamental work is similar to others in this group. It is likely that the book was produced at Canterbury for export, either to ...

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

Don Denny

Numerical list of concordant passages in the Gospels, devised in the early 4th century by the historian Eusebios of Caesarea. Such tables indicate passages to be found in all four Gospels, those found in two or three of the Gospels and those unique to a particular Gospel. In medieval manuscripts they appear as a series of pages, varying from seven to as many as nineteen, placed at the front of Gospel books and often included, preceding the Gospels, in full ...

Article

Charter  

James D’Emilio

Legal document typically written in documentary script on a single parchment sheet and authenticated by subscriptions, notarial signs or seals. In archives, originals were sometimes stitched into booklets or rolls. Notarial charters were registered, while deeds of ecclesiastical and civil institutions were copied in cartularies organized by place, date or issuer. Charters include contracts, property transactions, marriage agreements, dispute settlements, official privileges and decrees....

Article

One of the few surviving, early medieval, Latin technical treatises. Its attribution, localization, and dating rest largely on internal evidence variously interpreted and inconclusive. The treatise now comprises three books: it is generally agreed that Books I and II, written in verse by one hand at some time between the 7th and 12th centuries, constitute the original text; Book III, written in prose, was added piecemeal during the 12th and 13th centuries. The treatise is commonly attributed to ...

Article

Eadui  

Janet Backhouse

Scribe and illuminator working in England. He was a monk of Christ Church cathedral priory, Canterbury, and his name (Eaduuius cognomento Basan) appears as that of the scribe in the colophon of a Gospel book (Hannover, Kestner-Mus., MS. WM XXI a 36), which has been in Germany since at least the late 11th century. His characteristic English Caroline minuscule script has been identified in a number of liturgical manuscripts and secular documents, including a charter of Canute (...

Article

Ulrich Kuder

Former monastery in Luxembourg on the Sûre, a tributary of the Moselle. Archaeological finds and excavations have revealed a prehistoric settlement, a Roman villa (c. ad 60–70), and a small fortress (c. ad 260–75, with subsequent reinforcements) on the hill housing the later parish church of SS Peter and Paul. There are documentary records of the donation in ...

Article

German, 11th century, male.

Died 1056.

Illuminator, copyist.

At first an ordinary monk in the monastery of Tegernsee, Ellinger became abbot and encouraged his monks to cultivate the art of calligraphy and illumination. Known to be by him are miniatures in the four gospels, and a painting showing Jesus Christ offering his hand to the Pope that is in a manuscript dated ...

Article

Ende  

Marsha Meskimmon

Spanish illuminator. Probably the earliest European female artist on record, Ende was a nun who lived and worked in Spain in the latter half of the 10th century. While there are questions of attribution surrounding her work, most sources now suggest that it is possible to discern her hand in the painting of the ...

Article

Robert G. Calkins

Long scrolls, usually of parchment, containing the music and words of the liturgical chant for the Easter Vigil. Named after the opening word of the chant announcing Easter, ‘Exultet iam angelica turba coelorum …’, these rolls were used during the ceremony of the blessing and lighting of the Easter Candle, which symbolizes both the Pillar of Fire that led the Israelites through the wilderness and the Resurrection of Christ, the Light of the World, on Easter Day. This liturgy, derived from the Pontifical, is attributed to Bishop ...

Article

Spanish, 11th century, male.

Illuminator.

Madrid (Biblioteca Nacional): miniature

Article

Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the ...

Article

Flemish School, 11th century, male.

Active in Liègec.1081.

Sculptor, illuminator.

This artist was a monk at the abbey of St-Hubert in the Ardennes.

Article

Term traditionally used to refer collectively to four Chinese masters of calligraphy active in the Northern Song period (ad 960–1279) whose influence was profound throughout the succeeding Jin and Southern Song periods. They were Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, Cai Xiang and Mi family...

Article

Spanish, 11th century, male.

Illuminator.

This artist painted miniatures and decorations for a commentary by Beatus on the Apocalypse, and illustrated the Apocalypse of St-Sever.