The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....
(b Nimo, April 30, 1933).
Nigerian painter, sculptor, illustrator and poet. After attending Bishop Shanahan Secondary School, Orlu (1950–53), he received a degree in Fine Arts from the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (1957–61). In 1958 he founded the Asele Institute in Kafanchan for research in Nigerian art and culture. In the 1960s he was a member of the Ibadan Mbari Club, and a few years later formed the Enugu branch of Mbari that became a centre for artists of the Eastern region. His interest in Nigerian visual culture, especially that of his own Ibgo people, was most evident in his attention to and use of uli patterns (see Africa §V 3.) in his works, such as Oja Suite (1962; Nimo, Asele Inst.). He employed these organic, gestural lines to depict Igbo folktales as well as to produce the later Munich Suite (1963) during his travels in Germany. He was a founding member of the Zaria Art Society, which sought to create a Nigerian artistic expression based on a synthesis of indigenous and foreign art traditions. In ...
(b Onitsha, June 4, 1946).
Nigerian painter, graphic artist, illustrator and poet. After studying at Central Art School, Onitsha, and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1965–6), he received his BA (1972) and MFA (1977) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he studied with Uche Okeke. He worked as a commercial artist and graphic designer for the Ministry of Agriculture, Enugu, and the Ministry of Information, Aba. Among his many honours are the Department of Fine Arts Prize (University of Nigeria, Nsukka), the T. A. Fasuyi Prize for painting, the Commercial Art Cup, the Shell d’Arcy Cup for painting, and the 1990 Association of Nigerian Authors Cadbury Poetry Prize. His interest in artistic communities was a major factor in the foundation of the AKA Circle of Exhibiting Artists (1986). The Biafran Civil War (1967–70) greatly impacted his life and art. At that time he abandoned mimetic naturalism as a style, turning instead to the linear forms and symbols of ...