You are looking at  1-11 of 11 results  for:

  • Renaissance/Baroque Art x
  • Books, Manuscripts, and Illustration x
  • Art History and Theory x
Clear All

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

Patrizia Ferretti

[Vante di Gabriello di Vante Attavanti]

(b Castelfiorentino, 1452; d Florence, 1520–25).

Italian illuminator. He has been praised by art historians since his own times, although many of his autograph works were incorrectly assigned to his workshop. New attributions, supported by archival material, have made it possible to reconstruct his oeuvre and life more accurately. He worked for celebrated patrons and collaborated with the most important illuminators and painters of Florence: Francesco di Antonio del Chierico, the Master of the Hamilton Xenophon, the brothers Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni di Miniato del Foro and Domenico Ghirlandaio, and documents indicate contacts also with Leonardo da Vinci. Attavanti probably trained with del Chierico in 1471–2, while working on the Antiphonary for Florence Cathedral (Florence, Bib. Medicea–Laurenziana, MS. Edili 148). Among the work of late 15th-century illuminators, that of Attavanti is distinguished by his citations from the Antique, his ideas derived from Netherlandish and Florentine panel painting and his illustration of philosophical themes. Recurrent motifs include frontispieces with entablatures on columns, copies of sarcophagi as altar frontals, cameos, allegorical figures within medals and richly dressed figures isolated in framed medallions or symmetrically grouped....

Article

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

Ian Campbell

(b c. 1510; d after 1571).

Italian architect, engineer, theorist and writer. He was the son of Giacopo Cataneo, a stationer from Novara. The earliest secure date for his activity (23 March 1533) occurs in his sketchbook (Florence, Uffizi, U 3275-3391 A), which has the general character of an exercise-book and hence of a youthful work. Virtually every drawing in it is copied from the treatises of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The first 42 folios include drawings of ornaments and civil architecture from Francesco’s codices Ashburnham (Florence, Bib. Laurenziana) and Saluzziano (Turin, Bib. Reale), while the remaining 64 folios contain drawings of fortifications and machines derived from the Codex Magliabechiano (Florence, Bib. N.). A peculiarity of the drawings of fortifications is their frequent juxtaposition with calligraphic exercises, the intention of which seems primarily decorative. It is as a ‘scrittore’ that Cataneo first appears in Sienese communal records in 1539, and also as ‘computista’, which looks forward to his first publication, ...

Article

Libby Karlinger Escobedo

Illustrated manuscript (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, MS. 597/1424) of the Inferno by Dante Alighieri, probably made in Pisa c. 1345. Dante’s Inferno is the first part of his Divine Comedy, written sometime between 1308 and 1321, in which Dante himself, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, travels through the nine circles of Hell, encountering a variety of notable historical figures guilty of the various sins associated with each successive level. The many surviving manuscripts attest to the popularity of the text; more than 600 copies survive from the 14th century alone, including the Chantilly manuscript.

The Chantilly manuscript contains the Inferno as well as a Latin commentary on the text by Guido da Pisa. Most of the manuscript’s 55 miniatures accompany the commentary, though their iconography is drawn from the Inferno itself. The Chantilly manuscript is among the earliest illustrated copies of the Inferno and the only known illustrated copy of Guido da Pisa’s commentary. The manuscript includes the arms of the ...

Article

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

Marco Collareta

(Venice, 1499). Illustrated treatise on Italian art. One of the most mysterious books of the Renaissance, it takes the form of a long romance in two parts, written in a curious Italian language that is rich in rare Latinisms and Graecisms. The first part, strongly allegorical in tone, tells the story of a journey made by Poliphilo to meet Polia. He marries her, and together they go off to worship the statue of Venus, the goddess of love. In the second and shorter part, Polia and Poliphilo recall the story of their love, at first beset by problems but afterwards happy. Although precise references to Treviso and to the 1460s create a sense of actuality, the Hypnerotomachia adopts the literary convention of pure dream. Hence the strange Graecizing title of the work, which means ‘the dream of a battle for love fought by Poliphilo’ (i.e. ‘lover of Polia’).

The initial letters of the 38 chapters of the ...

Article

Michael Spens

(Alan)

(b London, Oct 8, 1900; d July 16, 1996).

English landscape designer, urban planner, architect and writer. He was educated in London at the Architectural Association School (1919–24). His book Italian Gardens of the Renaissance (with J. C. Shepherd), derived from student research, was published in 1925, the year in which he qualified as an architect. He soon established his practice in London. In the 1930s he was instrumental in developing the Institute of Landscape Architects (now the Landscape Institute) as a professional body. He taught at the Architectural Association School (1928–33), becoming its Principal in 1939. His projects of the 1930s include the village plan (1933) for Broadway, Hereford & Worcs, a model document under the Town and Country Planning Act of 1932, and, with Russell Page (1906–85), a pioneer modernist restaurant and visitors’ centre (1934) at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Important garden designs of these years include Ditchley Park (...

Article

(fl c. 1537–57).

Italian writer. The only known work by this anonymous writer is a manuscript (Florence, Bib. N. Cent., MS. Magl. XVII, 17), including biographies of major artists active in Florence from the late 13th century to the 16th, which was discovered in 1755 in the Magliabechiano collection of manuscripts and first published in 1892 (Frey). Its provenance can be traced back to descendants of the Gaddi family of artists, hence its alternative title. The provenance and the accuracy of the accounts of Gaddo, Taddeo, and Agnolo Gaddi suggest that the family was known to the writer who was evidently a Florentine citizen, although probably not an artist. The manuscript begins with a list of artists of Classical antiquity and continues with biographies of artists in Florence from Cimabue to Michelangelo, but not in strict chronological order. There is also a brief section on Sienese artists. It ends with a list of artists’ names, including Raphael and Sebastiano del Piombo, so arranged as to suggest that the work was to be continued. Bound with the main text is an account of buildings and works of art in Rome, written ...

Article

Jeffrey Chipps Smith

(b ?Nuremberg, 1497; d ?Nuremberg, 1563).

German writer, calligrapher and mathematician. He was renowned as a strict teacher of arithmetic and geometry. His calligraphic talents were recognized early. Albrecht Dürer, who lived on the same street until 1509, probably used his designs for the scripts in his woodcuts of the Map of the Eastern Hemisphere (1515) and of the portrait of Ulrich Varnbüler (1522), his painting of the Four Apostles (1526; Munich, Alte Pin.) and possibly in the woodcuts of the Triumphal Arch of Emperor Maximilian I (1515) and those illustrating his Etliche Underricht, zu Befestigung der Stett, Schloss und Flecken (Nuremberg, 1527). In 1519 Neudörfer published his Fundament … seinen Schulern zu einer Unterweysung gemacht (Nuremberg), the first writing manual printed in Germany, and in 1538 he completed his finest treatise, Eine gute Ordnung, a catalogue of styles of script, ways of holding a pen and the correct manner of forming letters. He published two other treatises on writing in Nuremberg in ...

Article

Donata Battilotti

(b Padua, 1478; d Padua, May 29, 1574).

Italian ecclesiastic and historiographer. Educated in Padua, he later entered the clergy and was elected a canon of Padua Cathedral in 1556. He wrote a number of religious works but is best remembered for his book on the antiquities and illustrious men of Padua. This Latin work was granted a licence to print in Venice in 1557 but was published in Basle in 1560. Following the tradition of earlier municipal chronicles, Scardeone described the origins and cultural heritage of Padua, paying considerable attention to its ancient monuments and transcribing many inscriptions from tombs. He also devoted a chapter to the artists of Padua, from the 14th century to his own day, including Andrea Mantegna, Francesco Squarcione, Andrea Riccio and Tiziano Minio. This was the first attempt, outside Florence, to compose a local compendium of artistic biographies. Although the accounts of the lives of individual artists, particularly the earlier ones, often have an anecdotal or legendary quality, they are nevertheless a valuable source for the study of Paduan art, especially that of the 15th century. The frontispiece of this volume is a view of Padua by an anonymous artist: it offers the first accurate compilation of visual data on the city’s buildings....