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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

Italian, 16th century, male.

Born 1509, in Gandino near Bergamo; died 1579, in Madrid, in 1569 according to the Larousse Dictionary.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman (including wash), architect, decorative artist, art restorer. Religious subjects, historical subjects, mythological subjects. Wall decorations, frescoes.

After a study trip to Rome, paid for by his protector Tobia Pallavicini, Giovanni Battista Castello (Il Bergamasco) produced a series of works in Genoa and Bergamo. His best-known works in Bergamo include the fresco ...

Article

French, 15th century, male.

Sculptor, painter. Religious subjects. Decorative schemes.

From 1462 to 1481 Jacquet Cordonnier II worked for Troyes Cathedral, carving, among other things, Cain and Abel for the porch, and figures of angels, St Peter, and a crucifix for a reliquary. In 1486...

Article

German, 15th century, male.

Engraver, painter. Religious subjects. Religious furnishings (altars).

He worked in Bamberg at the end of the 15th century. He was previously presumed to have been the same artist as Lucas Cranach, but today this assumption is contested. He was, however, certainly influenced by the art of Franconia....

Article

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Active from 1515 in France.

Born 15 April 1452, in Anchiano, near Vinci; died 2 May 1519, in Clos-Lucé, near Amboise, France.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, architect, engineer. Religious subjects, mythological subjects, portraits, topographic subjects, anatomical studies.

Leonardo da Vinci was the illegitimate son of the Florentine notary Ser Piero da Vinci, who married Albiera di Giovanni Amadori, the daughter of a patrician family, in the year Leonardo was born. Little is known about the artist’s natural mother, Caterina, other than that five years after Leonardo’s birth she married an artisan from Vinci named Chartabriga di Piero del Veccha. Leonardo was raised in his father’s home in Vinci by his paternal grandfather, Ser Antonio. Giorgio Vasari discusses Leonardo’s childhood at length, noting his aptitude for drawing and his taste for natural history and mathematics. Probably around 1470, Leonardo’s father apprenticed him to Andrea del Verrocchio; two years later, Leonardo’s name appears in the register of Florentine painters. Although officially a painter in his own right, Leonardo remained for a further five years or so in Verrocchio’s workshop, where Lorenzo di Credi and Pietro Perugino numbered among his fellow students....

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....