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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

Anne Prache

(b Paris, April 9, 1884; d Paris, Dec 28, 1962).

French art historian. The son of an architect, he graduated from the Ecole des Chartes in Paris in 1907 and became a DLitt in 1921. He was a curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale, then in the department of sculpture at the Louvre, of which he became chief curator in 1940. He taught at the Ecole des Chartes, the Ecole du Louvre, and at the universities of Harvard and Yale in the USA. He presided over the Société Française d’Archéologie for 25 years and was a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres from 1934. A specialist in the Middle Ages, Aubert particularly studied the cathedrals of Senlis and Notre-Dame, Paris, Cistercian architecture, and French sculpture and stained glass. He trained a generation of medievalists and above all influenced the study of medieval architecture, especially in his precise analysis of the details of a building in order to establish its chronology. His work on sculpture was more limited, however, because he was interested only in the development of style, not in sources or iconography. Aubert was editor of the ...

Article

Betsy L. Chunko

(b Le Mans, Nov 1, 1908; d Brisbane, Australia, July 7, 1995).

French architectural historian, active also in America. Bony was educated at the Sorbonne, receiving his agregation in geography and history in 1933. In 1935, converted to art history by Henri(-Joseph) Focillon, he travelled to England under a research grant from the Sorbonne, after which time he became Assistant Master in French at Eton College (1937–9 and 1945–6). He returned to France in 1939 as an infantry lieutenant in World War II in the French Army, was taken as a prisoner of war and spent the years 1940–43 in an internment camp in Germany. After the war he returned to England, first to Eton, then as Lecturer in the History of Art at the French Institute in London (1946–61), Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art (1948–58), and Slade Professor of Fine Art at St John’s College, Cambridge (1958–61). From 1961 to 1962...

Article

Stephen Murray

(b New York, Jan 13, 1927; d New York, Nov 26, 1973).

American scholar of Gothic architecture. He majored in classics at Yale University and served in the US Army in Europe (1945–6), where he encountered the great monuments of Gothic architecture. He completed his doctoral degree at Yale, also studying medieval architecture and archaeology at the Ecole des Chartes and the Institut d’Art et Archéologie in Paris, and engaging in excavations at Bourges Cathedral (1950–52). His doctoral dissertation on Bourges was directed by Sumner McKnight Crosby.

Branner taught for a year at Yale (1952) before accepting a teaching position at the University of Kansas (1954). Between 1957 and his death he taught in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, New York, with a brief spell at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. As a teacher, Robert Branner energized the study of medieval art in a vital and lasting way.

Although he is remembered principally as a most prolific scholar of Gothic architecture, Branner’s considerable list of publications includes topics in medieval manuscript production, architectural drawing, painting, luxury arts, and monumental sculpture. Each of Branner’s three great books on Gothic architecture brought a different approach. ...

Article

[CESCM]

French organization founded in Poitiers in 1953. The Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CECSM) is affiliated with the Université de Poitiers, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. The founders, among them historian Edmond-René Labande and art historian René Crozet, began CESCM as a month-long interdisciplinary study of medieval civilization, inviting foreign students to participate. CESCM has since developed into a permanent organization but maintains the international and interdisciplinary focus of its founders.

CESCM continues to hold its formative summer session, known as ‘Les Semaines d’études médiévales’, and invites advanced graduate students of all nationalities. The summer session spans two weeks and includes sessions on a variety of topics, each conducted by a member or affiliate of CESCM. CESCM supports collaborative research groups and regularly holds colloquia attended by the international scholarly community.

Since 1958 CECSM has published ...

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Born 1483, in Milan; died 1546, in 1543 according to Lanzi.

Architect, painter, writer.

Cesare di Lorenzo Cesariano studied architecture with Bramante. At the same time, he was drawing and painting in the studio of Leonardo da Vinci. Documents indicate that he produced a number of paintings, chiefly in Reggio and Milan, at various times throughout his somewhat turbulent life. Some art historians believe that he also painted miniatures. He published a translation of Vitruvius' treatise on architecture in ...

Article

Luc Verpoest

(b Feluy, Jan 10, 1849; d Ghent, Jan 11, 1920).

Belgian architect and writer. He trained as a civil engineer under Adolphe Pauli at the Ecole Spéciale de Génie Civil of the State University of Ghent. As a student he came into contact with the Belgian Gothic Revival movement centred on Jean-Baptiste Bethune and the St Luke School in Ghent, founded by Bethune in 1862. From 1874 Cloquet worked with the publishers Desclée. His early architectural work was similar to that of Bethune, Joris Helleputte and the first generation of St Luke architects. His most important projects were built around the turn of the century: the University Institutes (1896–1905), Ghent, and the Central Post Office (1897–1908), Ghent, the latter with Etienne Mortier (1857–1934), a pupil of Helleputte. In them Cloquet adopted a more eclectic though still predominantly medieval style, also introducing Renaissance motifs. Between 1904 and 1911 he designed a redevelopment plan for the historic centre of Ghent, between the early 14th-century belfry and the 15th-century church of St Michael, known as the Kuip, which was realized before the Ghent World Fair of ...

Article

Flemish School, 16th century, male.

Born 14 August 1502, in Aelst, or 4 July 1507 according to other sources; died 1550, in Brussels.

Painter, sculptor, architect, draughtsman, writer. Designs for tapestries.

Brussels School.

A pupil of Barent van Orley in Brussels from 1517 to 1521, he went to Italy in about 1521 and became a Master of the Antwerp Guild in 1527. He had two sons, Pieter and Michel, and when widowed, two illegitimate sons, Pauweel and Antoon. He later married the miniaturist Maria Verhulst, by whom he had three children, Pauwel, Katelyne and Maria - this latter married Pieter Bruegel the Elder. He travelled to Constantinople in 1533 to make cartoons of tapestries for the Sultan, but since the representation of human beings and animals was forbidden by Islam the journey came to nothing. It has been suggested that he went to discover the secrets of making oriental carpets, but he returned with studies of type, costumes and a book, ...

Article

Joseph R. Kopta

(b Neenah, WI, June 28, 1894; d Bedford, MA, March 4, 1984).

American architectural historian. Conant was the leading 20th-century American architectural historian specializing in Romanesque architecture, and was the primary archaeologist of the monastic complex at Cluny. He earned his degrees from Harvard, including a BA in Fine Arts in 1915, an MArch. in 1919, and a PhD with a dissertation on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, supervised by Arthur Kingsley Porter, in 1926. He trained in archaeological practices in 1926 at the excavations of Chichén Itzá and Pueblo Bonito before directing excavations in earnest at Cluny starting in 1928. He was Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Harvard University, retiring from teaching in 1954.

An active member of the Medieval Academy of America (which funded his excavations after initial funding from the Guggenheim Foundation), Conant published frequent field reports documenting the excavations of Cluny as articles in Speculum. Additionally, Conant published a monograph on the sum of the excavations in ...

Article

Douglass Shand-Tucci

(b Hampton Falls, NH, Dec 16, 1863; d Boston, Sept 22, 1942).

American architect and writer. Cram was the leading Gothic Revival architect in North America in the first half of the 20th century, at the head of an informal school known as the Boston Gothicists, who transformed American church design.

In 1881 Cram was apprenticed to the firm of Rotch & Tilden in Boston. His letters on artistic subjects to the Boston Transcript led to his appointment as the journal’s art critic by the mid-1880s. In 1886 he began his first European tour. In 1888 he founded the firm of Cram & Wentworth with Charles Wentworth (1861–97). With the arrival of Bertram Goodhue, the firm became Cram, Wentworth & Goodhue in 1892, and in 1899 Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, with Frank Ferguson (1861–1926) having joined the office as business and engineering partner following the death of Wentworth.

Cram was strongly influenced both by the philosophies of John Ruskin...

Article

Stephen T. Driscoll

Scottish royal centre in Perthshire, which reached its zenith in the late Pictish period (8th–9th centuries ad) and is the source of an assemblage of high quality ecclesiastical sculpture. Occupying the fertile heart of Strathearn, Forteviot has been more or less in continuous use as a ceremonial centre since the 3rd millennium bc and is the focus of élite burials from the Early Bronze Age (c. 1900 bc) through to the Pictish era. Cinead mac Alpín (Kenneth mac Alpine), the king traditionally identified with the foundation of the Gaelic kingdom of the Scots, died at the palacium (palace) of Forteviot in ad 858. It was eclipsed as a royal centre by Scone in ad 906, but remained a significant royal estate until the 13th century.

The only surviving fabric of the palace is a unique monolithic arch, presumably a chancel arch, carved with three moustached Picts in classical dress flanking a crucifix (now in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh). Fragments of at least four additional sandstone crosses indicate the presence of a major church, perhaps a monastery. The celebrated Dupplin Cross (now in Dunning Church) originally overlooked Forteviot from the north. This monolithic, free-standing cross (2.5 m tall) bears a Latin inscription naming Constantine son of Fergus, King of the Picts (...

Article

Paul Crossley

(b Prague, 1879; d Princeton, NJ, Jan 30, 1962).

American art historian. He first trained as an architect but, in his early thirties, he turned to the study of art history and in 1911 submitted his doctoral dissertation at Munich University on 15th-century stained glass in southern Germany. Under the influence of his teacher, Heinrich Wölfflin, Frankl soon attempted a systematic definition of the formal principles underlying Renaissance and post-Renaissance architecture. His first theoretical work, Die Entwicklungsphasen der neueren Baukunst (1914), was strongly influenced by the visual formalism and philosophical idealism of German art history in the decades before World War I. It isolated four main categories of analysis, which were fundamental to much of his later investigations: spatial composition, treatment of mass and surface (‘corporeal form’), treatment of light, colour and other optical effects (‘visible form’), and the relation of design to social function (‘purposive intention’). His emphasis on spatial analysis as a determinant of style relied heavily on August Schmarsow’s works on Baroque and Rococo architecture. His concept of ‘visible form’ (sometimes called ‘optical form’), which presupposes that viewers derive their experience of a building kinetically, as the mental synthesis of many images from different viewpoints, owed much to late 19th-century theories of perception, in particular to Konrad Fiedler’s and Adolf von Hildebrand’s emphasis on the physiological and psychological processes of seeing, and to Alois Riegl’s notion of ‘haptic’ and ‘optic’ forms. Frankl’s principal debt, however, lay in his adoption of Wölfflin’s quasi-Hegelian model of style as a predetermined, supra-individual force, impelled onwards by its own immanent laws, and evolving from one art-historical period to another through the action and counter-action of ‘polar opposites’: the underlying formal principles of a style are diametrically antithetical to those of the styles preceding and succeeding it....

Article

Alice Dugdale

(b Naples, May 14, 1718; d Naples, March 8, 1785).

Italian architect and theorist. He began his training in 1732 with the architect Martino Buoncore, whose style he later dismissed as ‘Gothic’. However, Buoncore had a good architectural library, in which Gioffredo studied the writings of Palladio, Vitruvius and Vincenzo Scamozzi. During the same period he studied with the painter Francesco Solimena, believing an understanding of the human body to be an essential part of architecture.

Gioffredo qualified as an architect in 1741, after being examined by Giovanni Antonio Medrano (b 1703), one of the kingdom’s engineers. Unfortunately his technical education was somewhat neglected, and he earned for himself the sobriquet ‘l’imprudente architetto napoletano’ after Luigi Vanvitelli was called in to work on his Villa Campolieto (1762), Resina, and the Palazzo Casacalenda (c. 1766), Naples, both of which were in danger of collapse.

Gioffredo’s architectural knowledge was largely acquired from books and from the direct study of ancient buildings. In the preface to his ...

Article

(b Stuttgart, Feb 2, 1789; d Hassfurt, Sept 28, 1865).

German architect, painter, sculptor, printmaker and writer. He belonged to a large family of artists descended from Franz Joseph (Ignatz Anton) Heideloff (1676–1772), who was a sculptor and possibly also a painter. He was trained by the architect Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret, the sculptor Johann Heinrich von Dannecker and the painter Johann Baptist Seele. He also studied mural painting as assistant to his father, Victor (Wilhelm Peter) Heideloff (1757–1817). As a young man he became interested in Gothic and Romanesque architecture, and while he was in Mainz in 1814 he made the acquaintance of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (reg 1826–44), who employed him as his architect until 1821. In 1822, having settled in Nuremberg, he was appointed curator of the city’s historical monuments; he used this position to encourage widespread interest in early German art and to rescue many examples from destruction. He also taught at the local Polytechnische Schule from its foundation in ...

Article

16th century, male.

Died 1550.

Architect, painter, writer.

Pierre Kouc often worked for Charles V and was one of Bruegel the Elder's masters.

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Painter, architect, scholar. Decorative schemes.

Antonio Maria Lari worked on the decoration of Siena for the triumphal entry of Charles V into the city in 1536.

Article

Lon R. Shelby

(b c. 1460; d after 1516).

German architect, sculptor, and military engineer.

On 23 June 1489 the Milan City Council rejected a recommendation from Simon Brunus, German, that ‘Master Laurentius, engineer’ should come to Milan for the task of completing the tiburium (?ciborium, baldacchino) for the cathedral. It has generally been thought that this letter referred to Lorenz Lechler, for on 25 August 1489 the City Council of Esslingen (near Stuttgart) also recommended Lechler to the Milanese for the completion of their cathedral. Lechler had constructed the sacrament house and choir-screen for St Dionysius, Esslingen, and he was commended to the Milanese for his ‘ingenuity, industry, and art’.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that Lechler may have been involved with the construction of the sacrament house and choir-screen at Speyer Cathedral in the late 1490s. In 1509 he was called back to Speyer to supervise the completion of the Mount of Olives located just outside and south of the cathedral nave, which had been begun by ...

Article

Paul Williamson

(Helen)

(b Aug 5, 1882; d Aldbourne, Wilts, Jan 26, 1958).

English museum curator and art historian. She started voluntary work in the Department of Architecture and Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum after World War I. Although she had no formal education, by the time she joined the staff officially in 1926 she was already known as an authority on medieval sculpture, in particular ivory carvings, and a stream of important publications followed her appointment. She pioneered the study of English medieval ivory carvings and published numerous new discoveries, such as the walrus ivory Virgin and Child from Dorchester (c. 1150; London, V&A), producing her classic survey of English ivories in 1926. Her other major interest was in Italian medieval and Renaissance sculpture; together with Eric Maclagan she published a catalogue of the Italian sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum; her corpus on Italian monuments of the 12th to 16th centuries was left unfinished. She was also the first woman keeper of a department in any British national museum (...

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Born 6 March 1475, in Caprese, near Arezzo; died 18 February 1564, in Rome.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, architect, engineer, poet. Religious subjects, mythological subjects, nudes, portraits.

At the time of Michelangelo’s birth, his father, Ludovico, son of Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni, was resident magistrate for the Republic of Florence in the small, fortified town of Caprese, but soon after the family returned to Florence. Michelangelo lost his mother when he was six years old, and the family’s financial situation was poor, though previous generations of Buonarroti had been rich and powerful and among the ‘priori’, or governing councillors, of Florence. Michelangelo’s father would therefore have preferred a business career for his son, but Michelangelo was encouraged by his friend Francesco Granacci in his artistic ambitions. He prevailed over his father, and on 1 April 1488, at the age of 13, he joined the large workshop of the painters Domenico and Davide Ghirlandaio. His apprenticeship agreement bound him to them for three years....

Article

Sebastian Wormell

(b St Louis, Senegal, 1867; d Paris, May 8, 1953).

French art and architectural historian. His main interest was in Byzantine art of the medieval period, and he was one of the first Western European scholars to take a serious interest in the art of the Palaiologan period (1261–1453). Most of his original research was based on field work undertaken between 1890 and 1914 in Trebizond, Greece and Serbia. This resulted in the publication (1916) of two major works, one relating medieval paintings in Greece to liturgical sources and the other an attempt to develop a classification of regional schools and chronology in Byzantine architecture. Although some of the methodology is now outdated, these pioneering works are still of value, as are his study of the monastery of Dafni and his albums of illustrative material on the Byzantine monuments at Mystras and Mt Athos. Another major contribution to Byzantine studies was the large photographic library he assembled at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris. His interests led him to the art and architecture of other regions influenced by Constantinople, especially in the Balkans and the Slavic countries. His study of medieval Serbian churches is still fundamental, and he edited an important collection of papers on the impact of Byzantine art on the Slavs. Millet’s work in this field was of particular interest to art historians in the countries of south-eastern Europe who were seeking the roots of their national artistic traditions....