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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

(fl 1684; d ?Persia, May 12, 1699).

French sculptor. Cavalier is thought to have been a Huguenot trained in his native France. His career is obscure until 1684, by which time he was a carver of portraits in ivory of exceptional talent and probably already settled in England. In that year he made the relief of Charles II on Horseback, signed on the verso ‘i. cavalier. f. 1684’ (h. 150 mm; Leeds, C.A.G.). This is a magnificent and unusually ambitious work incorporating on the verso a delicately chiselled tree and flower as a test of the suitability of the material. The relief itself shows the King dressed in Classical armour and cloak, holding a baton in his outstretched hand, riding a noble horse caparisoned with an elaborately embroidered saddle-cloth in a landscape of rolling, grassy hills strewn with flowers. The curving grain of the ivory is used convincingly to suggest the glossy sweat of the beast’s hind quarters. The rather dry, linear treatment of this relief, which it shares with Cavalier’s other carvings of the same period, gave way to softer, more fluid modelling and an even more exquisite rendering of detail in such works as the portrait of ...

Article

(b Jaroslav, Galicia, Aug 12, 1926; d Tel Aviv, June 21, 2003).

Israeli painter of Polish birth. He first began to draw in 1947 after seeing the Renaissance and Baroque works in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. He emigrated to Israel in 1948 and in 1953 and 1955 attended the summer art courses held at Kibbutz Na’an under Yossef Zaritsky and Avigdor Stematsky. Under the influence of the lyrical abstract style of these artists his work became increasingly abstract by the late 1950s, as in Painting (1959; see 1984 exh. cat., p. 16). In 1960 he had his first one-man show at the Chemerinsky Gallery in Tel Aviv, and the following year he travelled in Europe.

In 1963 Kupferman exhibited at the New Horizons show at the Museum of Art in Ein Harod, and the same year ‘basic forms’ appeared in his work. These were abstract, geometrical elements such as X and Y shapes and grids; the works of the 1960s, while including these forms, are very expressive and often created in an uncontrolled manner, as in ...

Article

(b Flensburg, 1526/27; d ?Silesia, after Dec 31, 1588).

Danish draughtsman, engraver, woodcut designer, painter, architect, surveyor and author. Facts about his highly productive career, which ranged from Denmark to Turkey, come primarily from an autobiographical letter of 1 January 1563 (free English trans. in Fischer, 1990) to King Frederick II of Denmark to whom he owed allegiance by birth; also from inscribed works, his letters and mostly unpublished material in archives in Vienna, Hamburg, Antwerp and Copenhagen.

With some effort Lorck persuaded his well-connected parents to let him become an artist: he became apprenticed to a Lübeck goldsmith, whom he accompanied on business voyages in the Baltic and western Scandinavia. His earliest works are two engravings, one dated 1543, copying engravings by Heinrich Aldegrever. Prompted by the goldsmith, Lorck continued his training in South Germany and Italy. Engravings such as the Pope as a Wild Man (1545; Hollstein, no. 44), St Jerome in the Desert (...

Article

Michael Curschmann

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....

Article

John Pinto

(b Rome, Aug 6, 1697; d Rome, Feb 9, 1751).

Italian architect. A contemporary of Luigi Vanvitelli, Ferdinando Fuga and Giovanni Battista Piranesi, he participated in the architectural embellishment of Rome that transformed its appearance in the early and middle decades of the 18th century. His reputation is largely tied to a single work, however: the Trevi Fountain.

Salvi showed an early interest in philosophy and mathematics, as well as studying medicine and anatomy and writing poetry. In 1717 he was admitted to the Accademia degli Arcadi, the prestigious literary society founded in Rome by Christina, Queen of Sweden. The influence of the Arcadians encouraged Salvi to value Renaissance models and to explore irregular, picturesque compositions in his designs; he also esteemed 17th-century Roman architecture, from which he learnt how to use the Classical orders to achieve bold sculptural effects. His biographer Niccolò Gabburri recorded that Salvi spent nine years deciding which career to pursue. During this time he attended classes at the Accademia di S Luca given by the painter ...

Article

(b Udine, 1540; d Venice, Dec 15, 1559).

Italian painter. Reputed to have studied for two years with Titian in Venice, she painted portraits as well as historical and religious subjects (e.g. the Flight into Egypt, ex-Count F. di Maniago col.), but few works have been identified. Lanzi wrote that her majestic figures, soft gradations of colour and use of glazing were reminiscent of Titian (Ellet). A three-quarter-length portrait of her sister, Emilia di Spilimbergo (Washington, DC, N.G.A.), with a landscape background, has been attributed to her. A pendant portrait of Irene di Spilimbergo (Washington, DC, N.G.A.) is thought to be by Titian. After her death, at 19, a volume of eulogies in her praise by poets including Lodovico Dolce and Torquato Tasso was published in 1561.

E. F. L. Ellet: Women Artists in All Ages and Countries (New York, 1859) F. Heinemann: ‘La bottega di Tiziano’, Tiziano e Venezia: Convegno internazionale di studi: Venice, 1976, p. 438...

Article

(b Augsburg, April 10, 1655; bur; Augsburg, June 25, 1734).

German goldsmith, draughtsman and engraver. He was the son of Israel Thelott (1616–96), a goldsmith and member of a French family of artists documented in Augsburg from 1585. As early as 1670 Thelott executed a relief of the Trinity (London, BM), a copy of a work by Paulus van Vianen. His years in Italy as a journeyman are attested by his relief panel Majestas and Amor (1687; Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.), inscribed ‘Roma’. Also from that period are a panel entitled Triumph of Two Roman Generals (1684; London, V&A), resembling antique reliefs, and a panel depicting the Baptism of Christ (1685; London, V&A). Notable among his various vessels and containers are those with embossed work, often serving as a casing, such as the Deckel-Portal goblet (1689; Augsburg, Städt. Kstsamml.), its decoration including the stories of Oedipus and Jason and the feats of Hercules. He also worked on clocks (Moscow, Hist. Mus.; example dated ...