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Alessandro Conti

Italian painter and illuminator. He was a Camaldolite monk; his appointment, from 1470, as Abbot of Agnano, Arezzo, and Val di Castro, Fabriano, was disputed, since he never resided at either abbey. His work is known from a signed triptych of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints...

Article

William Hood

Italian painter, illuminator and Dominican friar. He rose from obscure beginnings as a journeyman illuminator to the renown of an artist whose last major commissions were monumental fresco cycles in St Peter’s and the Vatican Palace, Rome. He reached maturity in the early 1430s, a watershed in the history of Florentine art. None of the masters who had broken new ground with naturalistic painting in the 1420s was still in Florence by the end of that decade. The way was open for a new generation of painters, and Fra Angelico was the dominant figure among several who became prominent at that time, including Paolo Uccello, Fra Filippo Lippi and Andrea del Castagno. By the early 1430s Fra Angelico was operating the largest and most prestigious workshop in Florence. His paintings offered alternatives to the traditional polyptych altarpiece type and projected the new naturalism of panel painting on to a monumental scale. In fresco projects of the 1440s and 1450s, both for S Marco in Florence and for S Peter’s and the Vatican Palace in Rome, Fra Angelico softened the typically astringent and declamatory style of Tuscan mural decoration with the colouristic and luminescent nuances that characterize his panel paintings. His legacy passed directly to the second half of the 15th century through the work of his close follower Benozzo Gozzoli and indirectly through the production of Domenico Veneziano and Piero della Francesca. Fra Angelico was undoubtedly the leading master in Rome at mid-century, and had the survival rate of 15th-century Roman painting been greater, his significance for such later artists as Melozzo da Forlì and Antoniazzo Romano might be clearer than it is....

Article

Phyllis Pray Bober

Italian painter, sculptor, illuminator, printmaker and draughtsman . He was born into a family of painters, and his youthful facility reportedly astonished his contemporaries. His work developed in the Emilian–Ferrarese tradition of Ercole de’ Roberti, Lorenzo Costa the elder and, above all, Francesco Francia. Until the re-evaluation by Longhi, critical assessment of Amico’s oeuvre was over-reliant on literary sources, especially Vasari’s unsympathetic account of an eccentric, half-insane master working so rapidly with both hands (the ‘chiaro’ in one, the ‘scuro’ in the other) that he was able to finish decorating an entire house façade in one day....

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....

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Patrizia Ferretti

Italian illuminator. He has been praised by art historians since his own times, although many of his autograph works were incorrectly assigned to his workshop. New attributions, supported by archival material, have made it possible to reconstruct his oeuvre and life more accurately. He worked for celebrated patrons and collaborated with the most important illuminators and painters of Florence: ...

Article

Don Denny

The representation of an author in a volume of his or her writings, usually at the front of the book. Such portraits were made throughout the history of European manuscript illumination, from antiquity to the early Renaissance, and the custom continued, with decreasing artistic significance, into the era of printed books. Compositions similar to those of author portraits were also used to represent translators, especially St Jerome, and scribes. Except for certain works from later periods, manuscript illuminators were seldom aware of the actual appearance of the authors and the term ‘portrait’ is merely a convention....

Article

Isabel Mateo Gómez

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (...

Article

Ailsa Turner

Italian painter. Belonging to the generation of Florentine painters that followed Domenico Veneziano and Fra Filippo Lippi, he worked all his life in Florence and kept a notebook of commissions. He experimented with painting techniques, sometimes with unfortunate results. His sense of pattern and decoration was particularly suited to the design of mosaic, intarsia and stained glass....

Article

Sheila Edmunds

German illuminator and printer . He is listed in the Augsburg tax rolls from 1453 as a scribe and from 1477 as a printer. Bämler belonged to the guild of painters, glassmakers, woodcut-makers and goldbeaters, eventually achieving the rank of Zwollfer (director). Examples of his youthful work are two signed miniatures dated ...

Article

Italian master builder and architect. During 1465 and 1466 his name appears in the wages book of the Ospedale Maggiore of Lodi, for which he produced doors, oculi and windows in terracotta. In 1479 he was appointed engineer of the city of Milan, and in ...

Article

Fiorella Sricchia Santoro

Italian painter, sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker and illuminator. He was one of the protagonists, perhaps even the most precocious, of Tuscan Mannerism, which he practised with a strong sense of his Sienese artistic background but at the same time with an awareness of contemporary developments in Florence and Rome. He responded to the new demand for feeling and fantasy while retaining the formal language of the early 16th century. None of Beccafumi’s works is signed or dated, but his highly personal ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Active in Venice,c. 1443–1490.

Painter, manuscript illuminator.

Leonardo Bellini was the nephew of Jacopo Bellini and cousin of his sons Giovanni and Gentile, all three of whom were painters. A contract dated 1443 documents Leonardo as an apprentice to Jacopo, with whom he lived. Although a few panel paintings have been attributed to him, Leonardo was primarily active as an illuminator. He seems to have specialised in adding miniatures to ...

Article

He settled in Venice c. 1480 and in 1483 was running a bookshop at the sign of St Jerome in the Merceria and published the Supplementum chronicarum of Jacobus Philippus Foresti (Bergomensis; 1434–1520). Between then and 1543, the year of the publication of Girolamo Savonarola’s ...

Article

Italian painter and illuminator. Milanese writers from the humanist Uberto Decembrio (1350–1427) to Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo in the 16th century described Michelino as the greatest artist of his time. He was especially praised for his skill and prodigious talent in the naturalistic portrayal of animals and birds. Records of payments made in ...

Article

Italian illuminator and engraver. In 1894 he was tentatively associated with his principal work, the Hours of Bona Sforza (London, BL, Add. MSS 34294, 45722 and 62997), and became known as the Master of the Sforza Book of Hours or the Pseudo-Antonio da Monza; in ...

Article

A. C. de la Mare

Italian bookseller, stationer (cartolaio) and writer. He was one of six children of Filippo (d 1426), a wool chandler, the eldest of whom, Jacopo (d 1468), became a successful doctor after partnering Bernardo Cennini (b 1415) as a goldsmith until ...

Article

Patrizia Ferretti

Italian illuminator. His activity is documented through Florentine records of payment by the Badia, the Opera del Duomo and the church of S Lorenzo. From payments dated 1477, 1479 and 1480, it appears that Boccardi was enrolled in the Compagnia della Purificazione e di S Zanobi. In ...

Article

Italian illuminator. He almost certainly studied under Giulio Clovio in Rome and later worked at the papal court, probably from 1523 to 1572; his name is entered in the Archivio di Stato Romano for the year 1568–9. A detached leaf from a choir-book, now in a book of cuttings, some of which are signed (London, BL, Add. MS. 21412, fols 36–43), bears the date ...

Article

Italian illuminator, printmaker and writer. He is first mentioned in Padua as an illuminator in 1488. He has been identified as the Benedetto Padovano who signed the Digestum novum (benedi[cti] patav[ini]) and the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX (be[nedicti] pa[tavini]), published by ...

Article

Christoph Luitpold Frommel

Italian architect, illuminator and papal functionary. He is first mentioned in 1450 as a member of the financial staff of the Apostolic Chamber and of the secret treasury of Nicholas V, and he rose quickly through the levels of the financial bureaucracy at the papal court. He is known to have illustrated manuscripts of Latin translations of Archimedes, Euclid, Ptolemy and Muhammad al-Qazwini [Kazwini], some of which were decorated at his behest in ...