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Article

Abbon  

French, 7th century, male.

Active in Limoges from 600 to 630.

Sculptor.

This artist is thought to be the Master of St Eloysius.

Article

Adelr  

German, 6th – 7th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Sculptor.

On the wall of the chapel of St Anne, in Worms Cathedral, there is an old stone relief of Daniel in the LionsDen by this artist.

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

Donald F. McCallum

[Kuratsukuri no Tori; Shiba Kuratsukuribe no Obito Tori]

(fl early 7th century).

Japanese sculptor. He is associated with the inception of Buddhist image production in Japan and is generally considered to be the first great master of Japanese Buddhist sculpture (see also Japan §V 3., (i)). Tori Busshi is believed to have worked on the most important monumental sculpture of the Asuka period (c. 552–710), the bronze Great Buddha (Jap. Daibutsu) enshrined in the Asukadera (Japan’s first fully fledged temple complex, on the Yamato Plain c. 25 km from Nara). In addition, his name is inscribed on the mandorla of the gilt-bronze Shaka Triad of the Golden Hall (Kondō) at Hōryūji in Nara (623). He may, however, have operated primarily as a supervisor rather than a craftsman. Scholars usually associate most Asuka period images with his studio, which produced work modelled on the stone sculpture of Chinese Buddhist cave temples of the Northern Wei period (386–535). This is termed ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Daniel  

Italian, 5th – 6th century, male.

Active in Ravenna.

Sculptor.

Article

Dimitris Plantzos

[Satra]

Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc–7th century bc).

Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century bc (the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of Greek history) to the late Roman and Byzantine period (6th–7th century bc). Even before that, archaeological finds suggest the existence of a continuous presence on the site from the late Neolithic (4th millennium bc) through to a flourishing Minoan site of the 3rd to 2nd millennia bc. Although later construction all but eliminated traces of prehistoric architecture, there is still significant evidence to confirm unbroken habitation. In historical times (9th century...

Article

Eri  

Japanese, 9th – 10th century, male.

Born 852 or 856; died 20 January or 24 December 935.

Painter, sculptor (wood).

Eri was the abbot of the Toji temple in Kyoto. He was initially bursar to the novices in 915. In August 928, he became assistant ‘master of the law’; in December, second in superior; in 932, ‘master of the law’; and in December, senior assistant to the monks....

Article

Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the Periculoso, a directive issued by Pope Boniface VIII (reg 1294–1303) in 1298. Various architectural solutions developed throughout the Middle Ages to reconcile the necessities of enclosure with the access required by male clerics to celebrate Mass and provide pastoral care. Nuns’ choirs, where the women would gather for their daily prayers, were often constructed as discreet spaces in the church, which allowed women to hear or see the Mass without interacting with the cleric, as in the 10th-century choir in the eastern transept gallery at St Cyriakus in Gernrode, Germany. In some Cistercian examples, the nuns’ choir appeared at the west end of the nave. Dominican and Franciscan architecture was largely varied. Double monasteries, which housed men and women, also required careful construction. A 7th-century text describing the church of St Brigida in ...

Article

Italian, 9th century, male.

Active in Florence.

Sculptor.

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

Fotuh  

Spanish, 10th century, male.

Activec.976.

Sculptor.

In Cordova a façade capital on a house in the Carrera del Puente that has Moorish decoration carries the signature of this artist and the year 366 of the Hejira (976-977).

Article

French, 8th century, male.

Active in Grenoble.

Sculptor.

Article

French, 10th – 11th century, male.

Born 10th century, in Vercelli, into a Swedish family; died 1031, in Fécamp.

Sculptor, architect.

Guillaume was the abbot of Ste-Bénigne, Dijon. In 1001 Guillaume drew the plans of the Ste-Bénigne church, of which now only the porch exists. He had many pupils and built, either with or without their help, the churches of Vézeley, Vermenton, Avallon, and the Benedictine church of Nantua....

Article

Hugo  

French, 10th century, male.

Sculptor, painter.

Active in Châlons-sur-Marne in 999, this artist decorated the city's cathedral. He may have been the abbot of the monastery of Montier-en-Der (Haute Marne).

Article

Jean  

10th – 11th century, male.

Born between 960 and 970, in Italy or in Greece; died 1016, in Liège.

Painter, sculptor, architect. Religious subjects. Church decoration.

Jean was employed by the emperor Otto III in 980 and 1002. He was rewarded for work on the chapel of Charlemagne by the gift of a bishopric in Italy. He returned to Germany, then went to Liège where he became a friend of the bishop Baldéric II, who encouraged him to decorate the choir of St James' Abbey. He built the church of St Andrew in Liège. This may be the same man as the painter Johannes who was working at this period at Nepi....

Article

Kakujo  

Japanese, 10th – 11th century, male.

Died 1077.

Sculptor.

Late Heian period.

Kakujo was the son of the famous sculptor Jocho (d. 1057). He was one of the sculptors who worked for the Fujiwara family and was granted the title Hogen (eye of the law, a title of the Buddhist clergy bestowed as an honorific title on certain artists) in ...

Article

Kang Woo-Bang

(fl c. ad 755).

Korean sculptor. He is the only known sculptor of the Unified Silla period (ad 668–918). The name Kanggonaemal is composed of two elements: Kanggo, the name of the artisan, and naemal, also written nama, which is the title of the 11th of the 17 government ranks of the time and indicates the high position of the artisan. It is probably because of his aristocratic status that his name was recorded.

The 13th-century Samguk yusa (‘Memorabilia of the three kingdoms’) describes a gilt-bronze statue of the healing Buddha, the Yaksa Yorae (Skt: Bhaisajyaguru), made in the 14th year of the reign of Kyŏngdŏk (742–65), that is, 755. The statue was made for Punhwang Temple at Kyŏngju, the Silla capital, one of the seven great temples of Korea. The Samguk yusa states that the weight of the statue was 306,700 kŭn (1 kŭn equals 601.04 g) and its maker was Kanggonaemal. The statue itself has not survived. In estimating the size of the statue, a comparison can be made with the Divine Bell of King Sŏngdŏk (Kyŏngju, N. Mus.), begun during Kyŏngdŏk’s reign but not completed until after Hyegong came to the throne in 765. The ...

Article

Samuel C. Morse

(b c. ad 700; d 774).

Japanese sculptor. He worked in the Buddhist tradition of the Nara period (ad 710–94; see also Japan §V 3., (ii)). Like many artists of that time, Kimimaro was of foreign descent, his grandfather having immigrated from the Korean kingdom of Paekche in the 660s. His original family name was Kuni, but when he was rewarded in 749 with the honorary rank of muraji (a hereditary title granted to government officials), it was changed to Kuninaka after the village where the family resided. Kimimaro directed work on the monumental bronze Great Buddha (Daibutsu) at Tōdaiji (see Nara §III 4.), which became the symbol of Buddhism as state religion. Since his name first appears in a record dated 745 (Tenpyō 17), he may also have worked on the predecessor to the Great Buddha, which was begun in 743 at Kogadera near the Shigaraki Palace to the north of Nara (anc. Heijō). Emperor Shōmu moved the project back to Nara in 745 and appointed Kimimaro chief sculptor in 747. At the same time, Kimimaro is recorded as having requisitioned materials for the mandorla for the statue of ...

Article

Kosho  

Japanese, 10th – 11th century, male.

Activec.990-1020.

Sculptor.

Kosho was one of Japan’s greatest sculptors and created a number of important works for the imperial court on commissions from his patron, Fujiwara Michinaga. His style seems eminently suited to the aristocratic taste of the Hejan period, and it was he who originated the ...