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Article

Jane Geddes

Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in ...

Article

German, 10th century, male.

Illuminator.

This Tegernsee monk is mentioned as the writer of a psalter made for an aristocratic lady called Heilwich. The work has not been preserved, but the dedicatory verses by Froumund von Tegernsee are still in Munich. A miniature in a collection of the national library, Munich, is attributed to an Adalpertus and dates from the 11th century, but it is not improbable that it is by this monk....

Article

A. Gerhardt

Benedictine abbey on the River Enns in Styria, Austria. It was founded in the mid-11th century by Bishop Gebhard from Salzburg, endowed by St Henna von Gurk, Gräfin von Friessach (d 1045), and settled by Benedictine monks from St Peter’s, Salzburg under Abbot Isingrin. The Romanesque minster (consecrated ...

Article

Spanish, 15th century, male.

Active in Valencia.

Illuminator.

In documents dated 1438 and 1467, the advocates Miguel Bataller and Juan Carcino have details of Domingo Adzuara's life and work.

Article

French, 16th century, male.

Active in Bordeaux.

Born in Bordeaux.

Illuminator.

Article

French, 14th century, male.

Illuminator.

Albertus was a monk in the abbey of Ste-Bénigne in Dijon.

Article

French, 12th century, male.

Illuminator.

Burgundy School.

A certain Albertus, a native of Trier (Trèves), is mentioned among the abbots of the monastery of Cluny between 1109 and 1122 under the name of Pontius, and between 1122 and 1157 as Pierre. He worked at the same time as Opizon on an extraordinary Bible, the binding of which was encrusted with precious stones and which was kept in the library of Cluny. This magnificent book is no longer in existence, but we can assume that it was one of the masterpieces of this highly original school of which Cluny was the centre in the 12th century....

Article

German, 15th century, male.

Active in Leipzig at the end of the 15th century.

Illuminator.

Article

Alchemy  

Laurinda Dixon

Ancient science from which modern chemistry evolved. Based on the concept of transmutation—the changing of substances at the elemental level—it was both a mechanical art and an exalted philosophy. Practitioners attempted to combine substances containing the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) in perfect balance, ultimately perfecting them into a fifth, the quintessence (also known as the philosopher’s stone) via the chemical process of distillation. The ultimate result was a substance, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, or ‘elixir of life’, believed capable of perfecting, or healing, all material things. Chemists imitated the Christian life cycle in their operations, allegorically marrying their ingredients, multiplying them, and destroying them so that they could then be cleansed and ‘resurrected’. They viewed their work as a means of attaining salvation and as a solemn Christian duty. As such, spiritual alchemy was sanctioned, legitimized, and patronized by the Church. Its mundane laboratory procedures were also supported by secular rulers for material gain. Metallurgists employed chemical apparatus in their attempts to transmute base metals into gold, whereas physicians and apothecaries sought ultimately to distill a cure-all elixir of life. The manifold possibilities inherent in such an outcome caused Papal and secular authorities to limit and control the practice of alchemy by requiring licences and punishing those who worked without authorization....

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Painter, illuminator. Religious subjects.

Florentine School.

Alexander was the son of Antonio Simeone of Florence. A hermit of the Order of St Augustine, he created the illuminations for a book of prayers for Lorenzo Strozzi.

Cambridge (Fitzwilliam Library): Book of Prayers...

Article

French, 12th century, male.

Miniaturist, illuminator. Religious subjects.

A monk, this artist illustrated a manuscript of St Augustine's City of God.

Boulogne-sur-Mer (Bibliothèque municipale): The City of God

Article

French, 15th century, male.

Illuminator.

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Died in Naples.

Miniaturist.

Aloyse da Napoli was employed by Matteo da Terranova to assist him in the execution of choir books in Naples, Monte Cassino, Perugia, etc. They appear to have travelled together from one monastery to another. Caravita gives considerable detail about their lives and work and tells us that Aloyse died in poverty while still very young after leading a dissolute life....

Article

German, 16th century, male.

Active between 1512 and 1561.

Painter, engraver (wood), illustrator. Religious subjects.

Erhard Altdorfer is believed to have been the brother of Albrecht Altdorfer. The latter mentions him in his will, dated 12 February 1538, as a citizen of Schwerin. Erhard was a painter to the court of Prince Henry the Peaceful and accompanied him to a royal wedding in Wittenburg. This occasion is believed to have given him the opportunity to meet Lucas Cranach, whose influence can be detected in some of his works. In 1516 he painted an altarpiece in Sternberg, Germany, which has been lost. In a 1552 letter to the young Duke John-Albert of Mecklenburg, he gives the impression of having been an architect along with his brother. Erhard Altdorfer is known today for his wood engravings, some of which are signed with a monogram formed by an intertwining of the letters ...

Article

Alvarus  

Portuguese, 16th century, male.

Miniaturist.

Alvarus embellished the Reform books of King John III. Book XI, Extremadura, bears the date 1527 and the name P. Alvarus on the title page. The artist is possibly the same as Pires Alvaro, painter to Emmanuel and John III, who is mentioned by Cyrillo Machado....

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the 16th century.

Miniaturist.

Alvise da Napoli assisted the painter Matteo da Terranova. He accompanied Terranova from convent to convent where they embellished choir books. They visited Naples, Monte Cassino and Perugia. Illuminations by Alvise can be seen in the convent of S Pietro in Perugia....

Article

Amandus  

9th century, male.

Miniaturist.

Identified in the dedication to the Vivian Bible (now preserved in Paris) as a co-illustrator along with Sigvaldus and Aregarius.

Article

Sarit Shalev-Eyni

Thirteenth-century Ashkenazi illuminated Bible (Milan, Ambrosiana, MSS. B.30–32 INF). One of the earliest illuminated Hebrew manuscripts originating in Germany, it is a giant manuscript in three volumes, containing the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible. As attested by a colophon at the end of the first volume, the Bible was commissioned by Joseph ben Moses from Ulmana, possibly referring to Ulm in Swabia or to Nieder-Olm in the Rhineland. The Bible was copied by Jacob ben Samuel and was massorated and vocalized by Joseph ben Kalonymus in collaboration with another masorete. The first part was completed between ...

Article

Swiss, 16th century, male.

Active in Germany from 1560.

Born 1539, in Zurich; died 15 March 1591, in Nuremberg.

Painter, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator.

Nuremberg School.

Like his great predecessors Dürer, Aldegrever and Beham, Jost Amman devoted his artistic efforts to engraving. Little is known of his paintings. He produced remarkable stained glass windows with brilliant colours, as did many other Swiss artists. It is reasonable to suppose that before leaving Zurich for Nuremberg he had the opportunity to work with some of the accomplished stained glass painters who enjoyed a privileged social position in 16th-century Switzerland. It is not known who taught him. In 1560 he settled in Nuremberg where he spent the rest of his life, honourably continuing the tradition of his great artistic predecessors. Judging by his production (540 works), he was very successful....

Article

Ancelet  

French, 14th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the 14th century.

Illuminator.

Ancelet worked with Jean Pucelle and Jacquet Maci on the decoration of the two most beautiful manuscripts of his time: a Latin Bible dated 1327 and the Breviary of Belleville.

Paris (BNF): ...