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Abbasid  

Robert Hillenbrand

Islamic dynasty that ruled from several capitals in Iraq between ad 749 and 1258. The Abbasids traced their descent from al-‛Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, and were thus able to claim a legitimacy that their predecessors had lacked (see Umayyad, §1). The Abbasids rose to power in north-east Iran by channelling disaffection with Umayyad rule, but they soon established their capitals in a more central location, founding ...

Article

Tessa Garton

Italian sculptor. His name occurs in inscriptions on a marble pulpit in Canosa Cathedral and on the beams of similar pulpits at S Maria, Siponto, and the Sanctuary of S Michele at Monte Sant’Angelo. The inscription on the Canosa pulpit (per iussionem domini mei guitberti venerabilis presbiteri, ego acceptus peccator archidiaconus feci[?t] hoc opus...

Article

British, 10th – 11th century, male.

Miniaturist.

This artist's signature is found on manuscripts preserved in Oxford and the British Museum.

London (British Mus.): manuscript

Oxford: manuscript

Article

British, 10th – 11th century, male.

Miniaturist.

This artist is worthy of mention because of the stylistic characteristics of his work. He was a monk at Westminster Abbey and one of the most important English miniaturists of the 10th and 11th centuries.

Article

Ai Xuan  

Chinese, 11th century, male.

Born in Nanjing.

Painter. Flowers, animals.

Ai Xuan specialised in flowers and birds and was a member of the academy of painting during the reign of Emperor Shenzong (1068-1085).

Beijing (NM): Aubergines and Cabbages (signed work)

Article

Arab calligrapher and illuminator. He began as a house decorator but turned to calligraphy and refined the ‘proportioned script’ developed a century earlier by Ibn Muqla, in which letters were measured in terms of dots, circles and semicircles. An intimate of court circles in Baghdad, Ibn al-Bawwab was appointed librarian to the Buyid ruler Baha’ al-Dawla (...

Article

Alchi  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery in a small valley on the left bank of the River Indus, c. 64 km west of Leh in Ladakh, India. Tradition attributes the monastery’s origin to the Tibetan scholar and temple-builder Rinchen Sangpo (ad 958–1055), the ‘great translator’, and although its buildings mostly date from the 11th century, the site is replete with his memory, from the ancient tree he planted to his portraits and images in the temples. A treasure-house of art, Alchi has been preserved because of its isolation from trade routes and the decline of its community, the monks of the Dromtön sect of the Kadampa order....

Article

French, 11th century, male.

Active in Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire).

Sculptor.

Aldebertus was the son of Gunsmarus de Maximiaco and Marie. He was Prior of St-Romain-le-Puy (Loire) in 1017, and a pupil of the masters who built the abbey church of St-Martin d'Ainay in Lyons. He is supposed to have built the church of St-Romain-le-Puy....

Article

Giuseppa Z. Zanichelli

Saint, doctor, archbishop of Salerno, and patron. Born of a noble Lombard family in Salerno, Alfanus pursued humanistic and scientific studies, studying at the Medical School in Salerno. In 1058, Leo of Ostia recorded that he was ‘prudentissimus et nobilissimus clericus e miram cantandi peritia, et medicinae artis scientiam non parvam habebat’ (...

Article

Algarve  

Kirk Ambrose

Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in ...