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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

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Iranian librarian and scholar of Persian manuscripts. Bayani spent his early career as a teacher of Persian language and literature and as head of the public library of the Ministry of Education. He then directed the transferral of this library to the new National Library, which he founded and directed. He received his doctorate from Tehran University in ...

Article

British writer and traveller. His travels in Greece in 1925–7 resulted in two books, The Station and The Byzantine Achievement, in which he presented readers brought up on the culture of Classical antiquity with a novel view of the importance of the civilization of Byzantium and the seminal influence of its art on the later development of European painting. In ...

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

Daoji  

Wen Fong

Chinese painter and calligrapher. In modern Western writing he is most commonly referred to as Daoji or Shitao, although he himself preferred the name Yuanji. He was a descendant of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) imperial Zhu family. In 1645, in the face of invading Manchu troops, a family servant fled with Daoji to nearby Quanzhou, Guangxi Province, and in ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

Chinese painter, calligrapher, collector and forger . From an artistic family, he began to paint under the tutelage of his mother, Ceng Yi, and did his first paid painting for the local fortune-teller when he was 12 years old. Zhang’s elder sister gave him his first lessons in the classics. At 15 he embarked on three years of schooling at the Qiujing Academy in Chongqing. In ...

Article

Roger Goepper

Chinese calligrapher, theorist and scholar–official. The only reliable source about his life is a memorial text by his friend, the poet Chen Zi’ang (ad 656–95), which reports that Sun lived in poor circumstances and died young. It is known that he served in minor positions at the court of the Tang empress Wu (...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

(b Nanhai, Guangdong Province, 19 March 1858; d Qingdao, Shandong Province, 31 March 1927). Chinese reformer, scholar and calligrapher. He is best known as the instigator of the Hundred Days Reform, which lasted from 16 June to 21 September 1898, when the Guangxu emperor (...

Article

Herbert Kessler

Israeli art historian of Jewish art. Educated first at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he moved to London and earned an MA in art history at the Courtauld Institute (1959) and a PhD at the Warburg Institute (1962). Returning to Jerusalem, Narkiss rose steadily through the ranks from ...

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Celia Carrington Riely

Chinese painter, calligrapher, connoisseur, theoretician, collector and high official.

At the age of 12 Dong Qichang, the son of a local school-teacher, passed the prefectural civil-service examination to qualify as a Government Student (shengyuan) and was awarded a coveted place in the prefectural school. Mortified, however, at being ranked below his younger kinsman Dong Chuanxu because of his clumsy calligraphy, from ...

Article

Pyŏn Yŏng-Sŏp

Korean painter, calligrapher and critic. He was born into a prominent literati family in Seoul and became the most influential connoisseur and critic of his time. At the age of 31 he moved to Ahnsan, near Seoul, where he lived for about 30 years. During this time he developed and completed his artistic identity, concentrating on producing various works of art–poetry, calligraphy and paintings. At the age of 61 he took up a civil service post for the first time. This presumably caused him to move back to Seoul, where he lived until his death. While he was in the service he did not lose his enthusiasm for creating art. His late works show a greater refinement and nobleness. In ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

Chinese art historian, calligrapher and minor civil servant . He was born into an impoverished family of scholars and was sent to school in Nanjing, where he studied military tactics and administration. His first job was as an adviser in tactics to the governor of Anhui Province, Zhu Gui (...

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, 17th century, male.

Born 1584; died 1644.

Art historian.

Wen Zhenheng was a civil servant, aesthete and art historian and the author of Changwu Zhi, an important work in 12 books on the life of an aesthete. Book V is devoted to painting seen from the point of view mainly of the collector, and also to calligraphy. It is an acknowledged source of information....

Article

Stephen B. Little

Chinese calligrapher, theorist and scholar–official (see fig.). Born into a distinguished Yangzhou family, Ruan passed the civil-service examination to gain the title of jinshi in 1790. Thereafter he held many important official posts, including compiler at the Hanlin Academy, Supervisor of Imperial Instruction (...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

Chinese writer, collector and calligrapher. He is particularly well known for his studies of oracle bone script (jiagu wen), the earliest Chinese writing, so called because it was found on animal bones and shells used for divination (see China, People’s Republic of, §IV, 2, (i), (a)...