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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

Charles Buchanan

Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.

The term ‘Atlantic’ (from the mythological giant Atlas) is derived from their impressive size; dimensions range from 550 to 600 mms by 300 to 400 mms. Their script, derived from Caroline minuscule, is placed in two columns of around fifty-five lines. The texts are decorated with two initial types, which Edward B. Garrison designated as ‘geometrical’ and ‘full shaft’, both of which are derived from Carolingian and Ottonian exemplars, respectively. The iconography consists of full-length prophets, patriarchs, kings and saints as well as narrative scenes. The last are at times found as full-page cyclical illuminations and preface important textual divisions, especially Genesis. The iconography of the Giant Bibles is a specific Roman iconographical recension with its sources based in part on Early Christian pictorial cycles, such as the wall paintings of Old St Peter’s in Rome. These came from an era considered by the reformers to have been uncorrupted by the abuses that afflicted the Church when these Bibles were being made. While the Giant Bibles were promulgated by the Church of Rome as a symbol of its supreme authority, they also allowed the clergy to perform the liturgy, and the Divine Office in particular, properly....

Article

Greek, 17th century, male.

Died 1632.

Engraver.

This artist was a Roman Catholic monk who came to Europe from Jerusalem, initially to Lemberg (now Lviv) and later to Kiev, where he was employed as an supervisor in a printing works. The wood engravings of religious subjects with which he illustrated works by himself and others have a high standing in Ruthenian art....

Article

Greek, 16th century, male.

Active in Otrantoc.1500.

Painter. Religious subjects.

Berlin: Descent from the Cross

Naples: St George

Article

Greek, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1768, in Zákinthos; died 1834, at Zákinthos.

Painter. Religious subjects, portraits.

Cantunis was the pupil of Nicolas Cutuzis, and also studied in Venice.

Athens (Ethnikí Pinakothíki)

Zakinthos (MA)

Article

Greek, 16th – 17th century, male.

Born c. 1558, in Greece (province of Achaia); died c. 1640, in Naples.

Painter, fresco artist, draughtsman. Religious subjects, allegorical subjects. Murals.

This painter came to Italy at the age of twenty-two, after having studied the rudiments of painting in his own country. He became a pupil of Tintoretto in Venice, where he spent five years. He then settled in Naples, where he spent the rest of his days. He was of a very jealous and uncompromising nature and often persecuted his contemporaries: Domenichino suffered particularly from his unpleasant behaviour....

Article

Greek, 20th century, male.

Born in Athens.

Sculptor.

George Demetriades exhibited a Head of Christ at the Salon de la Société Nationale in Paris in 1932.

Article

Greek, 16th–17th century, male.

Active fromc.1576 in Spain.

Born c. 1541, in Heraklion, Crete; died 7 April 1614, in Toledo.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman. Religious subjects, figures, portraits.

Toledo School.

El Greco (‘The Greek’) trained as an icon painter in the Byzantine tradition in his native Crete and spent 10 years in Italy, first in Venice, then Rome. From Italy he went briefly to Madrid, perhaps in search of commissions at the Escorial, and settled in Toledo in the summer of 1577. While there is little documentation of his workshop, his output while in Toledo implies the existence of a large studio, which was taken over after El Greco’s death by his son, Jorge Manuel Theotocopuli. El Greco was well educated and had a scholar’s library; his annotations in his copy of Giorgio Vasari’s ...

Article

Greek, 19th century, male.

Born 1 March 1842, on Tinos (Cyclades); died 4 January 1901, in Munich.

Painter. Portraits, allegorical subjects, religious subjects, genre scenes, landscapes, still-lifes.

Nikolaos Gysis trained at the Athens school of fine arts and in 1865 at the Piloty school in Munich. He exhibited several times in Paris and was awarded medals in Munich in 1834 and 1892....

Article

Greek, 19th century, male.

Born 1829, in Chania (Crete); died 1869, in Cairo.

Painter. Religious subjects, genre scenes, portraits.

Kunelakis studied in St Petersburg, Rome and Florence.

Athens (Ethnikí Pinakothíki)