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Article

(b Cologne, 1552; d Prague, March 4, 1615).

German painter and draughtsman, active also in Italy and Bohemia. One of the foremost painters of the circle gathered at the Prague court of Emperor Rudolf II (see Habsburg, House of family, §I, (10)), he synthesized Italian and Netherlandish influences in his portraits and erudite allegories.

Hans’s surname is derived from his father’s native town. According to Karel van Mander, he probably studied c. 1567–73 with the portrait painter Georg Jerrigh, who had trained in Antwerp. Von Aachen subsequently became a member of the Cologne guild of painters. He travelled to Italy c. 1574, first working in Venice as a copyist and for the painter Gaspar Rem (1542–1615/17), before going in 1575 to Rome, where he copied antique sculptures and the works of Italian masters; he also painted an Adoration of the Shepherds for the church of Il Gesù in Rome (1580s; untraced, but known from an engraving (...

Article

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.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

[Luigi]

(b Venice, 1484; d Padua, May 8, 1566).

Italian architectural theorist, patron, humanist and architect. Inheriting his uncle’s estate in Padua, he combined the activities of a landowner with interests in literature, drama and architecture and became an important figure in the city’s humanist circle, which included Giovanni Maria Falconetto, Andrea Palladio, Giangiorgio Trissino and Barbaro family §(1). He encouraged Falconetto, previously a painter, into architecture, visiting Rome with him in 1522 and commissioning him to design his first works of architecture: two garden structures at his palazzo (now Palazzo Giustiniani) in the Via del Santo, Padua, a loggia for theatrical performances (1524) and the Odeon for musical performances (1530–33), both extant. The buildings derived from ancient Roman prototypes and followed their detailing closely; they formed a ‘forum’ in the courtyard. Although Cornaro may have helped in the design, it is more probable that his humanist interests influenced Falconetto. However, when Cornaro commissioned Falconetto to design the Villa dei Vescovi (now Villa Olcese, ...

Article

Jürgen Zimmer

(b Lugano, May 1, 1544; d Dresden, Sept 20, 1620).

Swiss sculptor, architect, painter, writer and collector, active in Germany. He was the son of Bernardinus Zamelinus Nosseni and Lucia Verda. His move to Dresden, via Florence, was organized by the intermediary Johann Albrecht von Sprintzenstein, and in 1575 he was appointed court sculptor, architect, painter and decorative artist on an annual salary of 400 taler. He was commissioned to exploit the sources of alabaster and marble in Saxony for the Electors Augustus and Christian I (reg 1586–91). In the following years Nosseni worked in the fields of sculpture and painting (including portraiture), made furniture and other stone and wooden objects for the royal art collection and designed buildings. He also devised triumphal processions, masked celebrations, allegorical plays and tournaments. The precious and semi-precious stones that he acquired were used for epitaphs, monuments, altars, sculptures and other works. It appears that he designed or conceived all these works but actually executed only a few of them. He created his own workshop, in which he employed Italian artists and craftsmen, whom he had engaged during a trip to Italy at the end of ...

Article

Monica Visioli

(b Cremona; d Cremona, May 19, 1512).

Italian nobleman, patron and ?architect . He belonged to a rich commercial family whose members had held prestigious positions in Cremona from the 13th century. In 1482, as executor of his uncle Andrea Raimondi’s will, he commissioned the master builder Guglielmo de Lera (d 1490), of a noted family of Cremonese builders, to construct the church and oratory of S Monica, Cremona, for the order of Augustinian nuns. In 1508 he commissioned Guglielmo’s brother, Bernardino de Lera ( fl c. 1477–1518), to renovate the choir and two adjacent chapels in the ancient church of S Francesco, Cremona, where he wished to be buried. The documents do not show who actually carried out the project, but some critics have attributed it to Eliseo himself, giving him the reputation of an architect. Two inscriptions (dated 1496) over the portal of Eliseo’s Palazzo Raimondi (completed 1490–99; façade begun 1495) in ...

Article

Malcolm Airs

(b Kingscliffe, Northants, c. 1565; d ?London, ?1655).

English surveyor and collector. Both his father and his grandfather were masons and he was brought into contact at an early age with the world of country house builders. A record that as a child in 1570 he laid the first stone in the rebuilding of Kirby Hall, Northants, suggests that his father, Thomas Thorpe, was Sir Humphrey Stafford’s principal mason for this important house. John’s younger brother, Thomas, also became a successful mason employed by the Office of Works and was the major contractor for the stonework at Blickling Hall, Norfolk (1619–23).

In 1582 John Thorpe entered the Royal Works, and for the next 19 years he served either as a clerk or as a storekeeper at various royal palaces in and around London. During this time he cultivated connections at court and developed his skills as a draughtsman. In 1601 he left the public service to set up on his own as a land- and building-surveyor. He enjoyed the patronage of numerous eminent clients. In addition to his private work he was engaged on various royal surveys from ...

Article

(b Vicenza, 1478; d Vicenza, 1550).

Italian writer, scholar, amateur architect, patron and teacher. He was an active and well-known man of letters who did much to promote the new learning and the principles of Renaissance architecture in the Veneto region, running an informal residential school mostly for the sons of the local aristocracy at his home near Vicenza, where his most famous pupil was Andrea Palladio. Trissino was a keen scholar of linguistics and rhetoric and was very familiar with both Greek and Latin texts. He attempted to revive the Greek epic and introduced Greek tragedy into Italy through his Sofonisba of 1514–15. Later he drew on Plautus and Pindar respectively for his comedy I Simillimi (1548) and his Canzoni. His interest in Greek forms of language culminated in his attempt to hellenize Italian spelling and pronunciation.

Trissino also produced books on grammar and an Ars Poetica and even tried to develop a common language in Italy. He also translated Horace and wrote pastoral and other poems in Latin. These include the heroic epic poem ...