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Claire Baines

Italian historian, topographer, writer and patron. He was a friar and first entered the Dominican Order at Forlì but was in Bologna from 1495 and was officially transferred to the monastery there in 1500. Alberti received an extensive grounding in humanist studies under the Bolognese rhetorician ...

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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...

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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....

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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....

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Ludovico Borgo and Margot Borgo

Italian painter and draughtsman. Vasari and later historians agree that Fra Bartolommeo was an essential force in the formation and growth of the High Renaissance. He was the first painter in Florence to understand Leonardo da Vinci’s painterly and compositional procedures. Later he created a synthesis between Leonardo’s tonal painting and Venetian luminosity of colour. Equally important were his inventions for depicting divinity as a supernatural force, and his type of ...

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Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

He entered the Jesuit Order at 16 as a lay brother and began his career as a carpenter and assembler of retables. His earliest work included the Mannerist retable in the church of the Jesuit college of Alcalá de Henares and the tabernacle in Juan Gómez de Mora’s Bernadine church (...

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Annick Benavides

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on ...

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Robin A. Branstator

Danish sculptor and architect. His sculptural work shows a precocious awareness of early Renaissance art, suggesting that he trained in the workshop of Claus Berg in Odense. He first served Christian II, King of Denmark (reg 1512–23), as architect and sculptor and had settled in Copenhagen by ...

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Fernando Marías

Spanish architect. He began his career as an ecclesiastic in the parish of Caravaña, Madrid. After studying in Alcalá de Henares he served Cardinal Juan Pardo de Tavera as secretary (1534–6) and chaplain (1536–45) and travelled to Italy as his diplomatic envoy (...

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Dagoberto L. Markl

South Netherlandish painter, active in Portugal. He is the most obviously Flemish of the artists working in Portugal during the first half of the 16th century. His earliest-known work may have been painted before he went to Portugal: the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (London, N.G.), clearly influenced by the triptych of the same subject by Hans Memling (...

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Lucinda Hawkins

Italian painter and illuminator of Croatian birth. The most important illuminator of the 16th century, he was a ‘Michelangelo of small works’, according to Vasari. Many of his documented works are dispersed or untraced, and some attributions are controversial, but his secure oeuvre gives a clear idea of his stylistic influences and development. Although much of his inspiration came from Raphael and Michelangelo, he developed his own visual language, brilliantly translating their monumental forms for work on the smallest scale....

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Eliot W. Rowlands

Italian painter. He was brought up in the Carmelite convent in Prato and first worked as garzone for the Carmelite painter Fra Filippo Lippi. On 17 July 1447 he was paid for gilding a temporary predella for Lippi’s Coronation of the Virgin (Florence, Uffizi). At Prato he assisted Lippi on his fresco cycle in the choir of the parish church (now the cathedral) between ...

Article

Fernando Marías

Royal monastery and palace, c. 50 km north-west of Madrid, Spain.

Emperor Charles V (reg 1516–56) left a final codicil in his will for the establishment of a religious foundation in which he was to be buried beside his wife, Isabella of Portugal (...

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Patrick M. de Winter

Italian scribe, illuminator and Franciscan friar. Between 1477 and 1487 he wrote three, and partially decorated six, large Antiphonaries for the cathedral of Ferrara (Ferrara, Mus. Duomo). In a series of eleven Antiphonaries and six Graduals commissioned in 1490 for the convent of S Francesco, Brescia (Brescia, Pin. Civ. Tosio–Martinengo, MSS 1–17), he illuminated initials as well as border decoration. In both enterprises Fra Evangelista probably had a controlling hand and used ...

Article

Giuseppe Pinna

Giuseppe Pinna

The construction of a worthy seat for the emerging Society of Jesus (see Jesuit Order, §1) was delayed by the opposition of the families (especially the Altieri) who owned the land on which the church was to be built. The first plan for Il Gesù (SS Nome di Gesù), produced in ...

Article

Italian engineer, architect, epigraphist, and scholar. He was much sought after for his technical skills, particularly his expertise in hydraulics and military engineering, while his wide-ranging interests in archaeology, theology, urban planning, and philology earned him the regard of his contemporaries; Vasari described him as ‘un uomo rarissimo ed universale’. He was almost certainly a Franciscan friar, but it is not known where he acquired his architectural training. Given his lifelong and profound study of Classical architecture and inscriptions, Vasari’s assertion that he spent time in Rome as a youth is plausible. One of his earliest endeavours was to compile a collection of Latin inscriptions. The first version (...

Article

Julius Fekete

German architect and teacher. He studied at the Stuttgart Polytechnikum under Christian Friedrich Leins (1814–92) and then became a railway engineer in Württemberg (1860–61). His study of Renaissance architecture on a visit to Italy (1861–2) strongly influenced his subsequent work. He spent three years (...

Article

Marie-Claire Burnand

French architect and sculptor. Claims that he was born at Commercy in 1371 are unproven. Owing to the faulty reading of his lost epitaph in the Cordeliers’ church at Toul by Dom Calmet, his Christian name has been wrongly given as Rogier and the date of his death as ...

Article

Jane Campbell Hutchison

South Netherlandish glass painter and religious sect leader. First mentioned in Delft, where he married and settled in 1524, Jorisz. was trained as a painter of stained glass. A convert first to Lutheranism and later to Anabaptism, he was arrested for blasphemy in 1528 and was fined, whipped and had a hole bored in his tongue. He was then banished from Holland and sentenced (...

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Eva de la Fuente Pedersen

Danish sculptor and carver. He was the most prominent maker of church carvings in Skåne (now in Sweden) during the reign of Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway (reg 1588–1648). In 1603, when buying 500 engravings, he was described as being ‘from Lund’. He moved to Lund presumably in the mid-1590s and stayed there for the rest of his life. The engravings that he purchased served as models for his sculptures, relief-cycles and ornamentation. In his youth he probably worked for the ...