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[Æthelwold; Ethelwold]

(b Winchester, c. ad 908; d Beddington, Surrey, 1 Aug 984; fd 1 Aug). Anglo-Saxon saint, Church leader, reformer and patron. With Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury (reg 959–88), and Oswald, Archbishop of York (reg 972–92), he was the moving spirit behind the English monastic revival of the late 10th century.

Aethelwold’s career began at the court of King Athelstan (reg 924–39). After ordination he joined Dunstan’s reformed monastic community at Glastonbury. About 954 he established his own monastic house at Abingdon. According to later tradition, he was a skilled worker in metals and personally contributed to the embellishment of the abbey church. Appointed Bishop of Winchester in 963, he introduced reformed communities into both Old and New Minsters and established a regular monastic life in several other centres, notably Ely, Peterborough and Thorney. He was an enthusiastic patron: the masterpiece of the Winchester School of illumination, the ...


Paula Hutton

[Fournier, Jacques ]

(b Saverdun, c. 1280; elected 1334; d Avignon, April 24, 1342).

French pope and patron. He was the third of the Avignon popes and is known for his energetic attempts at Church reform and for the building of the new palace of the popes in Avignon. Born into a humble family, he entered a Cistercian monastery at an early age. He had a distinguished university career and succeeded his uncle as Abbot of Fontfroide (Aude). Later, while Bishop of Pamiers and then of Mirepoix in south-western France, he prosecuted accused heretics with a determination so zealous that he was named Cardinal in 1327. His election as Pope was somewhat of a surprise; he supposedly greeted the news of his election with the remark, ‘You have elected an ass’ (Villani).

In many endeavours, especially with Europe’s secular rulers, Benedict followed a less aggressive policy than his predecessor John XXII, but he was firm in his efforts to curb some of the worst abuses of clerical power. He tried to stop the practices of nepotism and simony and attempted to reform and regulate the mendicant orders. His most lasting legacy was the ...


(b Torrelaguna, 1436; d Roa, Nov 8, 1517).

Spanish archbishop and patron. He came from a minor family of the nobility, studied at Salamanca and went to Rome. As a priest he was curate to Cardinal Pedro Salazar de Mendoza in Sigüenza. He joined the Franciscan Order in 1484 and, through Mendoza’s influence, became confessor to Isabella, Queen of Castile and León, in 1492. He became General of his order in 1494 and, with royal support, began a vigorous reform of the monastic orders. As Archbishop of Toledo from 1495 he developed a hard-line policy against the Granada moriscos that led to the uprising of the Albaicín quarters of the city and the subsequent rebellion in the Alpujarras region, which was harshly suppressed and was followed by the first expulsion of the Moors (1502). This crusading spirit led him to make two military campaigns into Africa, which resulted in the conquests of Mers el Kébir (...


Paula Hutton

[Beaufort, Pierre Roger de]

(b Corrèze, c. 1291; elected 1342; d Avignon, Dec 6, 1352).

French pope and patron. He was in every sense a ‘prince of the Church’, with a court that rivalled all others in Europe. When criticized for his unprecedented lavish spending he replied, ‘None of my predecessors knew how to be popes’. A younger son of impoverished nobility, he entered the Benedictine abbey of La Chaise-Dieu (Haute Loire) and then went on to a brilliant academic career. Renowned for his oratorical and diplomatic skills, he became Archbishop of Sens (1329) and Rouen (1330) and was named a cardinal in 1337; he also served as Chancellor to Philip VI of France. Considered the most outstanding French cleric of his time, he was unanimously elected pope.

Clement VI’s papacy was much rougher than his path to the papal throne. Despite his good relations with the kings of France and England, he was unable to resolve the war between them. His efforts to launch crusades in the East and in the Papal States met with frustration. As civil strife continued in Rome, Clement remained in Avignon. His worst crisis occurred during the Black Death of ...


(b Montefiore dell’Aso, nr Ascoli Piceno, c. 1240–50; d Lucca, Oct 27, 1312).

Italian cardinal and patron. A Franciscan, he graduated in theology from Paris University by c. 1295 and in 1296 was made lector at the Papal Curia. The earliest evidence of Gentile’s lavish patronage is found in his account book (Rome, Vatican, Archv Segreto, 313 A), which records payments for embroidery and enamels and (22 Sept 1306) for work by the Sienese goldsmith, Toro. From 1307 Gentile was papal legate in Hungary. One of his earliest important commissions is the funerary monument (1310) to his parents, in S Francesco, Montefiore dell’Aso. It is unique for being both a double tomb (unknown in Italy before this date) and a secular one, directly emulating papal tomb designs.

Gentile arrived at Assisi in 1312, and the principal works associated with him are found in two chapels in the Lower Church, S Francesco. Only one document can be related to his patronage there: a transaction in his account book, dated ...


Stephen Brindle

(b Burgos, c. 1385; d Burgos, 1455).

Spanish bishop, patron and builder. He was the son of an eminent Jewish banker, who converted to Christianity and became a bishop. Alonso, as Dean of Compostela, led Castile’s delegation to the Council of Basle, and he travelled in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Bohemia from 1434 to 1439. On his return he became Bishop of Burgos. He worked on a funerary chapel (Capilla de la Visitación; 1440–44) in Burgos Cathedral and on spires of openwork tracery (1442–58) on the cathedral’s 13th-century western towers. Both are the work of Juan de Colonia, who was very probably brought to Castile by Alonso for this express purpose. The spires are based closely on German models, in particular the early 15th-century design for the spires at Cologne Cathedral. Don Alonso was a key figure in the introduction of Late Gothic architecture into Castile, for Juan de Colonia founded an energetic school of Late Gothic design based at the Burgos Cathedral workshops....


Neil Stratford

(fl c.1083–8).

Monk. Apart from two versions of the Life of St Hugh, Abbot of Cluny (1049–1109), no document records Gunzo’s abbacy of Baume-les-Messieurs (Jura), but there is a suitable gap in the list of its abbots between 1083 and 1089. Of the extant versions of the Life, five give differing accounts of a vision or dream recounted by Gunzo when he was elderly and sick; in the dream the project for the great church of Cluny III (see Cluniac Order §III 1., (ii)) was revealed to him by St Peter. Building began shortly afterwards, in 1088. None of the sources dates from before 1120–21. The most elaborate account of Gunzo’s dream survives in a late 12th-century manuscript from St-Martin-des-Champs, the Anonymus secundus, in which the sick monk, lying paralysed in the infirmary in Cluny, is given detailed instructions as to the plan and dimensions of the building. An illumination shows SS Peter, Paul, and Stephen laying out the church with a grid of ropes, an image that has influenced the way in which architectural historians envisage the medieval architect’s method of proportional construction (...


Jeffrey West

(b 1099; d Aug 8, 1171).

Anglo-Norman bishop and patron. The grandson of William, King of England, he was educated at Cluny Abbey and held, among other offices, the abbacy of Glastonbury (1126–71) and the bishopric of Winchester (1129–71). He greatly extended his power and influence as papal legate (1139–43) and, during the reign of his brother Stephen (reg 1135–54), was a central figure in affairs of state and an active participant in the civil war. He was a leading patron of architecture and the arts in 12th-century England.

Of Henry’s six castles and three palaces, only Wolvesey (ruined), the bishop’s palace at Winchester, remains as testimony. From the extensive suite of monastic buildings that he erected at Glastonbury only a few capitals (c. 1150) in blue lias have survived; the choice of material was without precedent and may reflect the search for local substitutes for imported marbles. Both black Tournai marble and grey-green Purbeck ‘marble’ had been used in the refurbishment (...



(fl 1358; d ?Avignon, 1402).

French cardinal and patron. A Benedictine monk, he was Abbot of Fécamp (1358–73) and then Bishop of Amiens (1373–5). He served as finance minister to Charles V and undertook a number of diplomatic missions for the King. He became cardinal in 1375 and in 1380 took up residence in Avignon, where he was one of the most prominent members of the Schism Curia, giving advice and financial support to the first antipope Clement VII (reg 1342–94) in his efforts to end the Schism. La Grange played an active part in establishing the Benedictine monastery and school of St Martial, Avignon. He built the apse of the church and had a magnificent tomb erected within it. In his will he made provision for the furnishings for both to be completed after his death, but the tomb was probably begun between 1388 and 1394 and completed by ...


Jacqueline Colliss Harvey

[Girolamo MasciJerome of Ascoli]

(b Lisciano, nr Ascoli, Piceno, Sept 30, 1227; elected Feb 1288; d ?1292).

Italian pope and patron. He was the first Franciscan pope. The son of a clerk, he was an early convert to the Order. He succeeded St Bonaventura as its Master-General from 1274 to 1279, when he was known as Jerome of Ascoli. His candidature for the Papacy was supported by the Orsini family, and he was elected after a conclave of 11 months, during which six cardinals died as a result of the intense summer heat. As Pope, Nicholas IV was unsuccessfully involved in the affairs of the houses of Aragon, Anjou, Naples and Sicily in Italy; while his favouring of the Colonna family was so pronounced that a popular artistic lampoon of the period showed him enclosed in a pillar (the punning emblem of the Colonna) with only his tiara’d head left visible. In his patronage of the arts he was more successful, however, attracting such figures as Arnolfo di Cambio, ...


Anna Bentkowska and Jack Lohman

Polish dynasty of rulers and patrons. The name Piast is derived from a legendary ancestor and was not adopted until the 17th century. Mieszko I, Prince of Poland (reg AD 960–92), created the Polish state, and in 966 converted to Christianity. His son Bolesłav I the Brave, Prince of Poland (reg 992–1024), was the first crowned king (reg 1024–5). He consolidated the state, which stretched from the Baltic to the Carpathians and was located between the rivers Oder and Bug, and strengthened the organization of the Church. Kasimir I, King of Poland (reg 1034–58), established Kraków as the capital (1040) and brought to Poland Benedictine monks from the Lower Rhineland, who greatly influenced the architecture, arts, and crafts of that period. During the reigns of the first Piasts a number of strongholds were constructed along the main trade routes, and the first ecclesiastical and secular stone structures were built in the pre-Romanesque style. These included cathedrals in the form of basilicas (e.g. Poznań, after 968), Benedictine abbeys (e.g. Trzemeszno, before ...



Charles B. McClendon

Italian former Benedictine abbey near the mouth of the Po River and 45 km north of Ravenna in the province of Emilia Romagna. Although first documented in ad 874, a monastic settlement probably existed there at least two centuries earlier. Pomposa rose to prominence in the 10th and 11th centuries through the support of the Holy Roman emperors. Over the course of the 14th century, a notable series of wall paintings in three different buildings were sponsored despite the monastery’s waning fortunes. In 1663 the monastic community was suppressed by papal decree. The site was secularized in 1802 and became property of the Italian state after 1870.

The proportions of the wooden-roofed basilican church, along with the polygonal outline of its main apse, reflect influence from nearby Ravenna and Classe and suggest a date in the 8th or 9th century. An elaborate pavement of mosaic and cut stone (opus sectile...



David Parsons


(d 6 Dec ?sd 820).

Abbot and architect. He was Abbot of Fulda from 802 to 817. Ratgar is described in a near-contemporary source as ‘skilful architect’ and is regarded by some authorities as second only to Einhard as a master builder of the Carolingian revival. A pupil of Sturm, the first Abbot (744–79), he took charge of the rebuilding of the monastery church in the 790s under Abbot Baugulf (779–802). Following his unanimous election, the early years of Ratgar’s abbacy were peaceful, but his rule became autocratic and he punished harshly monks who were disobedient or who protested against his policies. His building projects were regarded by some of the community as superfluous. Of these the most significant was the westward extension of the Abbey Church at Fulda (see Fulda §1). This grandiose scheme sought to imitate Old St Peter’s and other churches in Rome and produced one of the largest churches in the Carolingian empire, more than doubling the size of the building reconstructed under Baugulf. The building works diverted the monks from their other duties and impoverished the community. Ratgar’s solution to the financial problem was to build proprietorial churches on the Abbey’s estates in order to claim their tithes. This further alienated the monks, who complained to Charlemagne in 812 and finally revolted in 817. They appealed to Louis the Pious who banished Ratgar. He died at a daughter house near Fulda....


Anne-Françoise Leurquin

Manual for religious and moral instruction commissioned by Philip III, King of France (reg 1270–85), from his confessor, the Dominican Frère Laurent. The work was finished in 1279–80 and was a literary success. Over 100 manuscript copies have survived, with printed editions appearing in the 15th century, and translations were made into English, Castilian, Catalan, Italian, Dutch and Occitan.

Although the presentation copy is lost, 7 manuscripts have a complete cycle of 15 full-page images and another 20 have selected images. The scenes include representations of the Ten Commandments, the Credo, the Pater noster, the Apocalyptic beast, the Last Judgement and personifications of the virtues and vices paired with moralizing scenes taken mainly from the Old Testament. The images, like the text, are extremely didactic. Nearly all the fully illuminated manuscripts were made for the royal entourage at the turn of the 14th century, often by exceptional artists. Two books were made for the royal family in ...


A. M. Koldeweij

(b 1098; d Monastir [now Bitolj], 1158)

South Netherlandish abbot and patron. He was professed as a Benedictine monk on 19 March 1117 and rose to become Abbot of Stavelot and Malmédy (1130), Montecassino (1137), and Corvey (1146). A zealous supporter of monastic reform, he participated in a number of councils (Pisa, 1137, and Reims, 1148) and was adviser to the bishops of Liège. Politically he played an influential role as adviser and envoy to three Holy Roman Emperors: Lothair II (reg 1125–37), Conrad III (reg 1138–52), and Frederick I Barbarossa (reg 1152–90). He was sent to Italy and elsewhere, took part in the Second Crusade, and twice travelled to the court of Manuel I (reg 1143–80) in Constantinople for Frederick I Barbarossa. The purpose of his first journey there—during the winter of 1155–6—was to negotiate Frederick’s marriage to Manuel I’s cousin. On the way back from his second journey (...


Peter Kidson

(b c. 1081; d Saint-Denis, 1151).

French ecclesiastic, patron, and writer. He was born of an obscure and perhaps humble family, and at the age of ten he was presented as an oblate to Saint-Denis Abbey, around which his entire life and career revolved. As his competence and flair for business were recognized he was promoted secretary to the abbot, provost of outlying properties, and envoy to the papal court. In 1122 he became abbot. While in statu pupillari he formed a lifelong friendship with the future King Louis VI of France (reg 1108–37). During the Second Crusade he was Regent in the King’s absence.

As a man of affairs and adviser to kings, Suger was not fundamentally different from other eminent 12th-century ecclesiastics, but under his abbacy the administration of the resources of Saint-Denis was completely overhauled, monastic life in some sense ‘reformed’, and the abbey church itself partially rebuilt and refurbished. It is the fact that he wrote about the building operations that makes Suger a subject of interest to art historians. Contemporary accounts of medieval buildings are rare, and sufficient in themselves to make the buildings historically interesting, but Suger’s texts are exceptionally important because the west portals of Saint-Denis had perhaps the earliest ...