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Article

Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

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François Quiviger

(b Faenza, c. 1525; d Faenza, April 1609).

Italian painter and writer. He probably began his apprenticeship at Faenza and at the beginning of the 1550s settled in Rome, where he worked as a copyist of ancient and modern works. Around 1556 he made a series of journeys across Italy before settling in Faenza in 1564, where he took orders. Of his artistic works, which he himself held in low esteem, we know only an Ascension of the Virgin (Faenza, Pin. Com.) and a few leaves from an album of drawings, dating from the 1550s, which show Raphael’s Logge. His most important contribution to the history of art is his treatise entitled De’ veri precetti della pittura (1587).

With this book Armenini wished to revive painting, which he felt had declined. He attributed its downfall to three main causes: the indifference of the great masters of the early 16th century to teaching, the lack of artists of sufficient stature to succeed them and a general depreciation of the art of painting. The ...

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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....

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Isabel Mateo Gómez

(b ?Toledo; d 1595).

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (d 1565). He worked as painter to Toledo Cathedral from 1565 to 1581 and was painter (Pintor del Rey) to Philip II from 1583. He acted frequently as a valuer for the work of other artists.

Between 1563 and 1564, in collaboration with Luis de Velasco, Hernando de Ávila painted the retable of the church of Miraflores (Madrid Province) with the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (untraced); these are probably among his earliest works. He was commissioned to paint the retables of St John the Baptist and the ...

Article

Janet Cox-Rearick

[Agniolo di Cosimo di Mariano Tori]

(b Monticelli, nr Florence, Nov 17, 1503; d Florence, Nov 23, 1572).

Italian painter and poet. He dominated Florentine painting from the 1530s to the 1560s. He was court artist to Cosimo I de’ Medici, and his sophisticated style and extraordinary technical ability were ideally suited to the needs and ideals of his ducal patron. He was a leading decorator, and his religious subjects and mythological scenes epitomize the grace of the high maniera style; his cool and highly disciplined portraits perfectly convey the atmosphere of the Medici court and of an intellectual élite.

Bronzino was the pupil first of the conservative Raffaellino del Garbo and then of Jacopo Pontormo, who portrayed him c. 1518 in the foreground of Joseph in Egypt (London, N.G.). Pontormo’s Mannerist style was the major formative influence on Bronzino’s art. He worked with Pontormo in 1523–6 in the cloister at the Certosa di Galluzzo, near Florence, where he painted lunettes (damaged) of the Martyrdom of St Lawrence...

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Trinidad de Antonio Sáenz

(b ?Alcolea de Torote, Toledo, before1548; d Córdoba, July 26, 1608).

Spanish painter and writer. He is the most representative figure of the Córdoban school of the last third of the 16th century. Of Toledan origin, he studied arts and theology at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares c. 1556, acquiring a broad humanistic education and a knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Three years later he was in Rome, where he completed his artistic training and came under the influence of Raphael and Michelangelo. He became friends with, and studied with, Federico Zuccaro. He returned to Córdoba in 1577 and the same year became a prebendary in the cathedral, whose authorities sent him again to Rome, where he lived from 1583 to 1585. On returning to Spain he stayed for more than a year in Seville, a city that he visited on several further occasions, doubtless attracted by its rich cultural and artistic environment. In style Céspedes’s painting clearly shows Italian influence, and he developed a concept of the religious image totally dependent on Italian Mannerism. He was influenced by the formal grandeur of Michelangelo, and he faithfully also perpetuated those features of the work of Michelangelo adopted by Daniele da Volterra, being particularly interested in anatomy and precise draughtsmanship. Few works survive that can be securely attributed to Céspedes. His earliest documented work is the fresco decoration of one of the nave chapels in ...

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Francesco Paolo Fiore and Pietro C. Marani

(Pollaiolo) [Francesco di Giorgio]

(b Siena, bapt Sept 23, 1439; d Siena, bur Nov 29, 1501).

Italian architect, engineer, painter, illuminator, sculptor, medallist, theorist and writer. He was the most outstanding artistic personality from Siena in the second half of the 15th century. His activities as a diplomat led to his employment at the courts of Naples, Milan and Urbino, as well as in Siena, and while most of his paintings and miniatures date from before 1475, by the 1480s and 1490s he was among the leading architects in Italy. He was particularly renowned for his work as a military architect, notably for his involvement in the development of the Bastion, which formed the basis of post-medieval fortifications (see Military architecture & fortification, §III, 2(ii) and 4(ii)). His subsequent palace and church architecture was influential in spreading the Urbino style, which he renewed with reference to the architecture of Leon Battista Alberti but giving emphasis to the purism of smooth surfaces. His theoretical works, which include the first important Western writings on military engineering, were not published until modern times but were keenly studied in manuscript, by Leonardo da Vinci among others; they foreshadowed a number of developments that came to fruition in the 16th century (...

Article

Michèle-Caroline Heck

[Grapp, Wendling]

(b Pfullendorf, nr Konstanz, 1550–51; d Strasbourg, 1599).

German painter, draughtsman and engraver. He was the son of a Protestant pastor and spent his childhood in Lissenheim before moving to Strasbourg with his widowed mother. On 12 November 1570 he married Catherina Sprewer, and in 1571 he obtained Strasbourg citizenship. In 1575 he painted frescoes on the façade of the Brüderhof (destr. 1769). He was at Hagenau in 1583 and at Oberkirch in 1589. Also in 1589, he worked on the decoration of the Neu Bau (now Chambre de Commerce) in Strasbourg; the frescoes, known from engravings of the building (e.g. by Jean-Martin Weiss) and from descriptions, combined mythological and biblical scenes in an interesting iconographical relationship and emphasized the architectural structure of the façade. Dietterlin’s only authenticated easel painting is the signed and dated Raising of Lazarus (?1582 or ?1587; Karlsruhe, Staatl. Ksthalle), which has the characteristics of northern Mannerism: the centre of the composition, towards which the figures look, is deliberately brought out of symmetry to the right; the scene is viewed from below, and the ample gestures of the figures cause them to mingle and intertwine, creating arbitrary rhythmic connections. The intensity of these deliberately complicated movements and tensions is not accentuated by contrasted effects of light. The painting as a whole shows the influence of the Netherlands, while the bright colours are typically German, although some of the figures reveal an Italian influence, probably mediated through German art; others are taken directly from earlier German paintings or inspired by Tobias Stimmer. The only figure looking at the viewer may be a self-portrait (see Martin)....

Article

(b Nantes, c. 1606–9; d Rome, May 25, 1689).

French painter, draughtsman, architect and writer, active also in Italy. He first studied under Charles Errard le père (c. 1570–1630), a Mannerist portrait painter and engineer. From 1627 he was in Rome, working under the protection of François de Créqui, French Ambassador to the papal court. There he came into contact with an influential circle of scholars, artists and patrons, including Joachim von Sandrart, Paul Fréart, Sieur de Chantelou, secretary to the French Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi, François Sublet des Noyers and Giovanni Pietro Bellori. During this period he made copies after paintings by Titian and Annibale Carracci and drawings of Roman antiquities, while learning the idealized, classicizing style that was upheld in academic circles. In 1633 he became a member of the Accademia di S Luca.

In 1643 Errard returned to Paris as a Peintre Ordinaire du Roi and became one of the most fashionable painters in the capital. Over the next two decades he undertook a series of commissions for the crown and for wealthy bourgeois patrons. In ...

Article

[de’ Franceschi]

(b Borgo San Sepolcro [now Sansepolcro], c. 1415; bur Borgo San Sepolcro, Oct 12, 1492).

Italian painter and theorist. His work is the embodiment of rational, calm, monumental painting in the Italian early Renaissance, an age in which art and science were indissolubly linked through the writings of Leon Battista Alberti. Born two generations before Leonardo da Vinci, Piero was similarly interested in the scientific application of the recently discovered rules of perspective to narrative or devotional painting, especially in fresco, of which he was an imaginative master; and although he was less universally creative than Leonardo and worked in an earlier idiom, he was equally keen to experiment with painting technique. Piero was as adept at resolving problems in Euclid, whose modern rediscovery is largely due to him, as he was at creating serene, memorable figures, whose gestures are as telling and spare as those in the frescoes of Giotto or Masaccio. His tactile, gravely convincing figures are also indebted to the sculpture of Donatello, an equally attentive observer of Classical antiquity. In his best works, such as the frescoes in the Bacci Chapel in S Francesco, Arezzo, there is an ideal balance between his serene, classical compositions and the figures that inhabit them, the whole depicted in a distinctive and economical language. In his autograph works Piero was a perfectionist, creating precise, logical and light-filled images (although analysis of their perspective schemes shows that these were always subordinated to narrative effect). However, he often delegated important passages of works (e.g. the Arezzo frescoes) to an ordinary, even incompetent, assistant....

Article

(von)

(b Augsburg, May 7, 1563; d Prague, Oct 16, 1613).

German draughtsman, painter and antiquary. He was a significant figure in the Prague court of Emperor Rudolf II. The son of an Augsburg advocate, by 1580 he is documented as a fully trained miniaturist. He may have worked for Ulisse Aldrovandi in Bologna before taking service (1597–1604) with the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1601 he was summoned to the court of Rudolf II in Prague on the recommendation of Hans von Aachen, and he was confirmed in the post of miniaturist there on 28 December 1601. After returning to Italy he continued to work for Rudolf II and was eventually appointed court miniaturist in 1603, though he does not seem to have settled in Prague until 1604. In 1607 Fröschl was appointed court antiquary: between then and 1611 he drew up the inventory (Vaduz, Samml. Liechtenstein) of Rudolf II’s Kunstkammer, listing works belonging to the categories of nature (...

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Anthony Hughes

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Olimpia Theodoli

(b Bologna, April 17, 1518; d May 8, 1578).

Italian painter and art historian. He described himself as a pupil of Innocenzo da Imola and is documented working in the church of S Francesco and in the cloister of the Santa Trinità, where he is buried. In 1571 he joined the painters’ guild in Bologna. He is known to posterity not as a painter, however, but as the author of the earliest guide to the city: Graticola di Bologna …, which was probably written in the 1560s but not published until 1844, although it was already circulating in manuscript copies.

The published version is probably based on a manuscript that was revised by A. M. Biancori (Bologna, Bib. U. MS. 74, busta II, n. 19); there is an unrevised MS in the library of the Archiginnasio, Bologna (MS.B. 3198). The title of the book derives from the author’s division of the city into sections, like those of a ‘graticola’ (grid), as a means of structuring his description. The work is dedicated to Messer Pastorino, to whom the author acts as guide, showing him buildings, monuments and paintings. His cautious attributions made Lamo’s guide a fairly reliable source of information, and it is especially interesting on contemporary events....

Article

Martin Kemp

(b Anchiano, nr Vinci, April 15, 1452; d Amboise, nr Tours, May 2, 1519).

Italian painter, sculptor, architect, designer, theorist, engineer and scientist. He was the founding father of what is called the High Renaissance style and exercised an enormous influence on contemporary and later artists. His writings on art helped establish the ideals of representation and expression that were to dominate European academies for the next 400 years. The standards he set in figure draughtsmanship, handling of space, depiction of light and shade, representation of landscape, evocation of character and techniques of narrative radically transformed the range of art. A number of his inventions in architecture and in various fields of decoration entered the general currency of 16th-century design.

Although he brought relatively few works to completion, and even fewer have survived, Leonardo was responsible for some of the most influential images in the history of art. The ‘Mona Lisa’ (Paris, Louvre) may fairly be described as the world’s most famous painting. When the extent of his writings on many branches of science became increasingly apparent during the 19th century, he appeared to epitomize the idea of the universal genius and was hailed as one of the prophets of the modern era. More recent assessments of his intellectual achievements have recognized the medieval and Classical framework on which his theories were constructed but have done nothing to detract from the awesome range and intensity of his thought....

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David R. Coffin

(b Naples, c. 1513; d Ferrara, Oct 26, 1583).

Italian architect, painter, draughtsman and antiquary. He is best known for his designs for the Casino of Pius IV in the Vatican and his gardens for the Villa d’Este at Tivoli, which greatly influenced Renaissance garden design. His work reflects his interest in the reconstruction of Classical antiquity, although this was sometimes based on fragmentary information, and his painting and architecture are closely dependent on classicism with a richness of detail associated with Roman Imperial art.

He was presumably born into a noble family and probably moved to Rome in 1534. At first he was active producing decorative paintings for palaces: Giovanni Baglione recorded numerous houses in Rome with façades frescoed by Ligorio in a distinctive yellow monochrome in the manner of Polidoro da Caravaggio or Baldassare Peruzzi. The only extant example of his figurative painting is a fresco depicting the Dance of Salome (c. 1544; Rome, Oratory of S Giovanni Decollato). In ...

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Martin Kemp

[Gianpaolo]

(b Milan, April 26, 1538; d Milan, Jan 27, 1592).

Italian writer, painter and draughtsman. He is best known for his writings, which include metaphysical discussions of the philosophy of artistic creation at levels of complexity to rival those from any period. He was a conspicuous figure in artistic and intellectual circles in northern Italy and a painter of some reputation beyond Milan, but those of his works that survive do not suggest a talent of a higher order than that of a skilled late Mannerist working in an eclectic version of the Lombard style.

Born to a family of some social status, Lomazzo appears to have received a better education than most painters. Early indications of his artistic abilities led to his studying with the little-known Giovanni Battista della Cerva (fl ?1540–48), an assistant of Gaudenzio Ferrari (whom Lomazzo appears to have regarded as his real master). Lomazzo’s autobiography, published with his Rime in 1587, indicates that he received a steady stream of commissions for murals and altarpieces, once he became an independent master. His many connections, among whom was Giuliano Goselini (...

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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....