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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 ...

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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

American historian of Iranian art. While studying mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, Ackerman met and eventually married Arthur Upham Pope, with whom she had taken courses in philosophy and aesthetics. In 1926 she and Pope organized the first ever exhibition of Persian art at the Pennsylvania Museum and helped create the First International Congress of Oriental Art. In ...

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Australian painter, printmaker, book designer, lecturer, collector, gallery director and publisher of limited edition artists’ books, of Irish decent. He worked as a draughtsman before entering war service in the British Admiralty from 1940 to 1949, including five years in Colombo, where he made sketching trips to jungle temples with the Buddhist monk and artist Manjsiro Thero. Between ...

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Margaret Medley

English diplomat, collector and art historian. In 1947, as a member of the British Diplomatic Service, he was posted to Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, then the capital of the Nationalist Chinese government. He became interested in Chinese art and history and began a collection of porcelain, furniture and textiles at a time of political and economic uncertainty, when Chinese collectors were forced to sell. When he moved to the British embassy in Beijing in ...

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Dutch writer, critic and collector. He was raised in a cultivated and artistic merchant family but preferred writing to commerce. In addition to serving as an editor of the Volksalmanak voor Nederlandsche Katholieken, he published the Dietsche Warande. His lifelong advocacy of Roman Catholic emancipation is reflected in many of his short stories (written under the pseudonym Pauwels Foreestier) concerning Catholic life in 17th-century Holland. In ...

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Howard Colvin

English architect and scholar. The son of Henry Aldrich, later auditor to James, Duke of York, he was educated at Westminster School, London, and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated as a BA in 1666 and an MA in 1669. He remained in Oxford for the rest of his life, becoming in ...

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See Castellani family

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French writer and collector. He wrote for a number of journals including Le Figaro, Le Voltaire and L’Evénement. He was the first to use the term Neo-Impressionism in a French publication (L’Evénement, 10 Dec 1886) after its use by Félix Féneon in September in ...

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Spanish ruler and patron. He was a man of wide learning, a legislator and a poet. Although moderately successful in the Reconquest, following the tradition of his father Ferdinand III, King of Castile and León (reg 1217–52), he provoked opposition by raising taxes and seeking election as Holy Roman Emperor (...

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Italian patron, collector and writer. The second son of a wealthy Venetian merchant, he was educated in Bologna, where he studied under the eminent scientists Eustachio Manfredi and the Zanotti brothers. Afterwards he travelled in the Veneto and developed a particular admiration for the works of Veronese, Guido Reni and Andrea Palladio. In Florence in ...

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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Jordanian painter and art patron. She studied history at Beirut University College (formerly Beirut College for Women), receiving a BA in 1961. In 1993 she took a PhD in Islamic Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After serving in the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representing her country at United Nations meetings in Geneva and New York, Ali founded the ...

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Donatella L. Sparti

Italian writer, historian and collector. He produced about 38 novels and several comedies, although his literary works have been little studied. In Perugia he was a member of the Accademia degli Insensati, under the name Tenebroso. He is documented as having been in Rome in the late 16th century as secretary to Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandini (later Pope Clement VIII) and chief Apostolic Notary. At his home on the Pincio hill he accumulated a substantial collection, containing scientific instruments, examples of flora and fauna, a picture gallery, a large collection of ...

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Andrew McClellan

French administrator. His brief but distinguished military career led to the Dauphin Louis, son of Louis XV, by whose side he had served at the Battle of Fontenoy (1745), entrusting him with the education of the royal princes, including the Duc de Berry, the future Louis XVI. Flahaut’s many years of faithful service were rewarded with his appointment as Directeur-Général des Bâtiments du Roi after Louis XVI’s accession in ...

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Olivier Michel

French administrator and patron. He was the son of the Marquis de Montespan, whose wife, Françoise Athénais de Mortemart, became one of the mistresses of Louis XIV. During the prominence of her successor Mme de Maintenon, d’Antin pursued an undistinguished military career, and it was only after his mother’s death in ...

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Norman E. Land

Italian art critic, writer, poet and collector. He was one of the most engaging literary figures of the Italian Renaissance, known not only for his famous Lettere but also for political lampoons, erotic books and religious writings. He was the son of a shoemaker, Luca del Tura. From before ...

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Natividad Sánchez Esteban

Spanish soldier, writer and collector. As a reward for his military achievements, Philip II appointed him Alférez Mayor of Andalusia, and he also received honours from the kings of France, Portugal and Poland. He became royal chronicler, which gave him access to numerous libraries throughout Spain, in which he discovered rare Spanish books dating from the Middle Ages. These were important for his ...

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Roy R. Behrens

American book designer, writer, art collector and impresario . The son of an innovative cattle farmer, Elmer Armitage (the son’s name is an anagram of the father’s), he had a childhood fascination with locomotives and Parkard automobiles, whose sleek and smart advertising he collected. After working briefly in civil engineering and stage design, he became an impresario for world-famous opera, concert and ballet performers, including Anna Pavlova, Feodor Chaliapin, Rosa Ponselle, Amelita Galli-Curci and the Diaghilev Ballet, in New York and then Los Angeles. While living in southern California he became an influential force in the promotion of cultural opportunities as co-founder and manager of the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association, manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium and regional director of the Works Progress Administration. During those years ‘Armitage had more single influence on the arts in Los Angeles than anyone else’ (Dailey)....

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French diplomat, collector and writer . As a diplomat, in Rome, he represented the French royal princes exiled during the Revolution. Later, under the Consulate he was assistant to the diplomat and collector François Cacault in the negotiation of the Concordat with the papacy. From 1804 to 1807...

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Debra Higgs Strickland

Richly illustrated bestiary manuscript (275×185mm, 105 fols; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Ashmole 1511), written in Latin and illuminated probably in southern England around 1210. The original patron is unknown. It contains the text and illustrations of a complete bestiary, with prefatory Creation scenes and excerpts from Genesis and part of Hugh de Folieto’s ...

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David Howarth

English antiquary, collector and writer . He was the son-in-law of William Dugdale and the beneficiary and legatee of the collections of John Tradescant the elder and younger (see Tradescant). The Tradescants were the first in Britain to create a cabinet of curiosities, both natural and artificial, with a European reputation. In ...