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Article

French, 15th century, male.

Goldsmith. Religious subjects.

Adrien de Tours was paid a sum of 431 pounds and 10 sols in 1492 for the production of a shrine to St Eutrope.

Article

Article

Peter Strieder

In 

Article

Alchemy  

Laurinda Dixon

Ancient science from which modern chemistry evolved. Based on the concept of transmutation—the changing of substances at the elemental level—it was both a mechanical art and an exalted philosophy. Practitioners attempted to combine substances containing the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) in perfect balance, ultimately perfecting them into a fifth, the quintessence (also known as the philosopher’s stone) via the chemical process of distillation. The ultimate result was a substance, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, or ‘elixir of life’, believed capable of perfecting, or healing, all material things. Chemists imitated the Christian life cycle in their operations, allegorically marrying their ingredients, multiplying them, and destroying them so that they could then be cleansed and ‘resurrected’. They viewed their work as a means of attaining salvation and as a solemn Christian duty. As such, spiritual alchemy was sanctioned, legitimized, and patronized by the Church. Its mundane laboratory procedures were also supported by secular rulers for material gain. Metallurgists employed chemical apparatus in their attempts to transmute base metals into gold, whereas physicians and apothecaries sought ultimately to distill a cure-all elixir of life. The manifold possibilities inherent in such an outcome caused Papal and secular authorities to limit and control the practice of alchemy by requiring licences and punishing those who worked without authorization....

Article

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Active in Perugia.

Born 1479 or 1480; died after 1553.

Painter. Religious subjects.

Domenico di Paride was the son of the goldsmith Paride Alfani. He studied with Perugino and was a fellow student of Raphael and Rosso Fiorentino. His son Orazio was his greatest disciple, and for many years a number of his works were attributed to his son....

Article

Antico  

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Born c. 1460; died 1528, in Bózzolo.

Goldsmith, sculptor, medallist, copyist. Statues, statuettes.

Antico was from Mantua and went to Rome in 1495 and 1497. His first commission was in 1479, for a pair of medals commemorating the wedding of Gianfranceso Gonzaga to Antonia del Banzo. His first visit to Rome, in ...

Article

Antico  

Charles Avery

[Alari-Bonacolsi, Pier Jacopo di Antonio]

(b Mantua, c. 1460; d Gazzuolo, 1528).

Italian sculptor. An expert in goldsmith work, bronze sculpture and medals, he earned his nickname ‘Antico’ because of his ‘astonishing penetration of antiquity’ (Nesselrath). He achieved lasting fame through his small-scale re-creations (often also reinterpretations) of famous, but often fragmentary, statues of antiquity (e.g. the Apollo Belvedere, Rome, Vatican, Mus. Pio-Clementino, and the Spinario, Rome, Mus. Conserv.). Most of these bronze statuettes were made for the Gonzaga family, notably for Ludovico, Bishop of Mantua, and for Isabella d’Este, wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, 4th Marchese of Mantua. Antico also restored ancient marble statues and acted as an adviser to collectors.

A birth date of 1460 has been calculated on the basis of Antico’s earliest recorded commission (1479), and he is presumed to have been born in Mantua because his father, a butcher, owned a house there and he himself was granted the privilege of owning a stall in the meat market by Federico I Gonzaga, 3rd Marchese of Mantua. A training as a goldsmith is inferred from the fact that he began as a medallist in relief and in intaglio. In addition, he is documented (see below) as the maker of a pair of silver gilt vases and later demonstrated great skill at casting and chasing bronze statuettes, and at gilding and inlaying them with silver. His restoration of antique marble statues also implies an expertise in working that material, but nothing is known of how he acquired this skill....

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Sculptor (?), goldsmith (?).

Gonzati attributes the Miracle of the Miser on the high altar of S Antonio of Padua to Antonio di Giovanni da Siena.

Article

John N. Lupia

Type of ewer, usually of metal, used for the washing of hands in a liturgical or domestic context. It is often zoomorphic in form and usually has two openings, one for filling with water and the other for pouring. In their original usage aquamanilia expressed the symbolic significance of the lavabo, the ritual washing of the hands by the priest before vesting, before the consecration of the Eucharist and after mass. The earliest production of aquamanilia is associated with Mosan art of the Meuse Valley in northern France, and with Lower Saxony in north-east Germany. The majority of surviving examples are made of a variety of bronze that resembles gold when polished, while nearly all those made of precious metals are known only from church inventories.

Church documents refer to aquamanilia as early as the 5th century, when canon regulations stipulated that on ordination the subdeacon should receive such a vessel. Various documents from the 5th century to the beginning of the 11th sometimes use the term to denote both the ewer and its basin. Sometime after the beginning of the 11th century the term became transferred to a type of vessel, usually in the shape of an animal (e.g. lion, stag, horse; ...

Article

German, 15th century, male.

Goldsmith, engraver (burin).

He is known particularly for a Virgin standing in an interior holding the Infant Jesus (1477).

in Catalogue no. 122, Paul Prouté SA, Paris, June 2003.

Article

Lucy Whitaker

(b ?1436; ? bur Florence, Dec 12, 1487).

Italian goldsmith and engraver . According to Vasari, he was a follower of Maso Finiguerra and engraved a series of 19 prints after designs by Botticelli. These illustrate an edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy published in 1481. A group of prints in the same Fine Manner style is attributed to Baldini. His designs incorporate figures and motifs derived from Botticelli, Piero Pollaiuolo and also German printmakers, such as the Master E.S. and Martin Schongauer, but particularly from Finiguerra. Baldini’s Fine Manner style developed from Finiguerra’s niello print technique; the rendering of spatial recession in the large Judgement Hall of Pilate (435×598 mm) suggests it was designed by Finiguerra. With the other prints, however, it shares the decorative quality and emphasis on pattern characteristic of Baldini.

Prints attributed to Baldini include the series of Planets (c. 1465), based on northern woodcuts, and a series of Prophets and Sibyls (early 1470s), as adapted from the characters in a mystery play; the exotic costumes reflect those worn in festival processions. Antonio Bettini’s ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Active in Florence.

Engraver, goldsmith.

According to Vasari, Baccio Baldini was described as a 15th-century engraver. He is believed to have illustrated sections of Dante's Inferno after Botticelli, but there is no evidence to support this. Among the other works credited to Baldini are three illustrations of the ...

Article

Jill E. Carrington

[Nicolò]

(b Florence; fl 1434; d between 24 and Oct 29, 1453).

Italian sculptor and bronze-caster. According to Vasari, he was a disciple of Filippo Brunelleschi. He is first mentioned on 27 April 1434 as having completed a large wooden Crucifix (destr.) for S Margarita, Vigonza (Padua). Baroncelli is identified with the ‘Nicholo da Fiorenza’, who was paid from 15 December 1436 to 16 March 1437 for two tondi in the Santo, Padua; they are identified with two marble tondi with half-figures of saints, which flank the rear entry to the choir. In 1436 he was commissioned to make the monument to the Santasofia Family (destr.) in the Eremitani, Padua. This comprised statues of 10 professors, the recumbent effigy of Galeazzo Santasofia, 12 statues of pupils and four unspecified statues. It was still unfinished in 1446. On 27 January 1440 Baroncelli was commissioned to execute 25 figures in relief for the monument to Battista Sanguinacci in the Eremitani, but Sanguinacci was instead buried in the tomb of his grandfather Ilario, which was decorated with an equestrian statue and a God the Father (both destr.). On ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Born in Florence; died October 1453, in Ferrara.

Sculptor, medallist.

Niccolò di Giovanni Baroncelli was a Florentine artist and pupil of Brunelleschi. The author of various works, he was a key figure in the development of sculpture at that period in Ferrara, Parma, Modena and Faenza. For the town of Ferrara, Baroncelli executed the ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Sculptor (marble), worker in bronze.

Bartali is mentioned by Zani as working in Siena in 1480.

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Born 1448, in Florence; died December 1502, in Florence.

Painter, miniaturist, architect, Camaldolese monk and abbot.

Bartolomeo della Gatta trained as a goldsmith (his father’s profession) and seems to have had contact with a large network of late 15th-century artists in Florence, Urbino, and Arezzo, including Andrea del Verrocchio, Piero della Francesca, and Luca Signorelli. A monk at the Calmaldolese monastery in Florence since ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Painter.

In 1425, this priest and goldsmith is recorded as working at the Palazzo della Signoria in Siena. Later, in Rome, Pope Eugenius IV commissioned him to paint some pictures for the Vatican.

Article

John R. Melville-Jones

(b Vicenza, c. 1468; d Vicenza, 1546).

Italian gem-engraver, goldsmith and medallist. The most important part of his career was spent in Rome, where he worked for Clement VII and his successor Paul III. He also spent a short period in Venice, returning from there to Vicenza in 1530 and remaining in the latter city for most of the time until his death. In Rome he was a well-established member of artistic and literary circles, associating, for example, with Michelangelo and the humanist scholar Pietro Bembo. No specimens of his work as a goldsmith survive, but he is called ‘aurifex’ in contemporary documents and may have made the settings for his carved gems.

Belli specialized in cutting gems and crystal and in carving dies for coins and medals. Although his work demonstrates technical ability of the highest order, his talent was not an original one. His style followed that of his contemporaries working in the major arts or was governed by his study of ancient coins and gems. His best-known works are those made for his papal patrons, many consisting of or incorporating carvings in rock crystal or semiprecious stones. The most splendid of these is a silver-gilt casket adorned with 24 carvings in crystal showing scenes from the ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Born c. 1420; died 1491, in the Villa Medici at Poggio a Caiano.

Sculptor, medallist.

Florentine School.

A pupil of Donatello, with whom he collaborated, Bertoldo di Giovanni has an important place in art history because he was Michelangelo's master. Under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici from about ...

Article

French, 15th – 16th century, male.

Engraver, medallist.

Lyons School.

This artist was active in Lyons from 1471 and 1524.