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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

Maria Cristina Chiusa

[de Fesulis]

(fl c. 1393; d 1427).

Italian sculptor and architect, sometimes confused with Andrea (di Piero) Ferrucci (1465–1526), who was also known as Andrea da Fiesole. The only work that can definitely be attributed to the earlier of the two sculptors is the tomb of Bartolomeo da Saliceto (1412; ex-S Domenico, Bologna; Bologna, Mus. Civ. Med.), which is dated and signed opus Andreae de Fesulis. Saliceto was a reader in law at Bologna University, and the tomb sculpture represents him among his pupils. Motifs and facial types are borrowed directly from the tombs in the Bolognese tradition of Giovanni di Legnano (1383) by Pierpaolo dalle Masegne and of Carlo, Roberto, and Riccardo Saliceto (1403; both Bologna, Mus. Civ. Med.), a work indebted to Masegne, but despite this Andrea’s Tuscan origins remain apparent. Gnudi was of the opinion that Andrea da Fiesole was in Florence until c. 1410. However, Andrea subsequently moved away from the Tuscan Renaissance tradition towards a northern Gothic style, following his contact with Venetian–Emilian sculpture. This can be seen in the tomb of ...

Article

Steven Bule

(b Siena, fl 1392; d ?Perugia, after July 27, 1434).

Italian sculptor and architect. First mentioned in 1392, he was paid for executing a frieze in Siena Cathedral in 1398. Between 1407 and 1425 he served as capomaestro of the workshop at Orvieto Cathedral. He made the octagonal cover for the baptismal font and also worked on the Cappella Nuova in the cathedral. Sano’s individual style is difficult to isolate, since he often worked in collaboration with other Sienese masters. On 10 November 1413 he contracted with Jacopo della Quercia to carve marble elements for the Fonte Gaia in Siena, and in 1416, while still documented as working on the Fonte Gaia, he was also working on the baptismal font in the Baptistery in Siena together with Nanni da Lucca and Giacomo di Corso (c. 1382–after 1427), colleagues with whom he seems to have collaborated on many projects. Sano is also documented in 1428 as one of many masters who assisted in the decoration of the Loggia di S Paolo in Siena. The precise nature of his contribution to these commissions, however, is not specified. As architect and engineer, Sano was involved with the construction of the façade of S Fortunato, Todi, during the early 1430s, and was also responsible for the building of canals and wells in Perugia in ...

Article

Franz Bischoff

(b Frankfurt am Main, c. 1360; d Frankfurt am Main, 1430/31).

German architect and sculptor. He was one of the most important architects of the generation following the Parler family. His work in Frankfurt and the middle Rhine Valley exerted a lasting influence on the Late Gothic architecture and architectural sculpture of the early 15th century, extending over a wide area. His style was influenced by the formal vocabulary of the Parlers, and he ranks as an important exponent of the Schöne Stil c. 1400. He was born into a respected family of stone masons: with his father, Johann, he occupies the second place among stone masons on a list of inhabitants of Frankfurt dated 1387. Presumably he trained in his father’s workshop, and as there is no evidence that he was in Frankfurt between 1387 and 1391 he may have gained wider experience through travel during those years. He probably visited the workshops in Nuremberg, Prague, Ulm, and Vienna, all closely associated with the Parlers. His eventual contact with the art of the Burgundian court is now considered less significant....

Article

David Young Kim

[Fr.: ‘rebirth’]

Term generally used to designate a historical period of cultural revival. In art historical scholarship, the Renaissance refers to the pivotal era of artistic production in creative imitation of classical models and values which began in the late 14th century in Italy and spread over the course of the 16th century throughout Europe and beyond. Historiographically, the concept of the Renaissance has defined itself against the Middle Ages (see Carolingian art, §I) with its negative connotations of ignorance, economic decline, and, in the arts, lack of naturalism and depth. Even so, Romanesque , Gothic, and Byzantine (see Early Christian and Byzantine art) formats, iconography, and styles established in previous centuries continued to provide prototypes for Renaissance artists such that art making in this period can be seen as an act of exchange and interaction with the medieval past. While drawing upon medieval strategies and attitudes towards images and image-making, Renaissance artists placed emphasis on certain modes of composition, aesthetic effect, and self-conception. In addition to the renewed interest in antiquity, these included the formulation of perspective, naturalistic depiction of the human figure and landscape, emphasis on proportional architectural forms, and the growing self-consciousness of artists as prominent creative individuals and intellectuals. More than a hermetically sealed epoch with clearly defined geographic and temporal boundaries, the Renaissance and its art continues to raise questions about the possibilities of representation, art making, and selfhood which confront artists and scholars in the present day: how do images forge a relation with the physical remains of the past, and, by extension, ideas about heritage, political legitimacy, and the state? How do reproducible media impact notions of authorship and originality? What role do works of art and representational strategies play in the individual and collective understanding of the world, in both temporal and spiritual dimensions?...