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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

German, 15th – 16th century, male.

Born probably in Kaufbeuren.

Sculptor.

Augsburg School.

Some German authorities claim Loy Hering as the first great sculptor of the High Renaissance in that country. There are said to be around 100 of his religious and funerary carvings in churches in Würzburg, Augsburg, Heilsbronn, Kastl, Münden and Vienna....

Article

Marie-Claire Burnand

(fl 1460; d Toul, 1491).

French architect and sculptor. Claims that he was born at Commercy in 1371 are unproven. Owing to the faulty reading of his lost epitaph in the Cordeliers’ church at Toul by Dom Calmet, his Christian name has been wrongly given as Rogier and the date of his death as 1460. From 1460 Jacquemin was engaged by the cathedral chapter of Toul as ‘masson’; in a document of 1474 he is described as ‘maître’. His most important work was for the façade of Toul Cathedral (now St Etienne), designed by Tristan de Hattonchatel (fl 1460). The original plans for the project have disappeared, so it is impossible to evaluate Jacquemin’s contribution to the creation of this magnificent Flamboyant façade, on which he worked until his death.

As a sculptor Jacquemin worked in the service of René II, Duke of Lorraine. In 1480 the latter commissioned an Annunciation (untraced) for the oratory of his palace, and in ...

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Born 21 December 1401, in San Giovanni Val d’Arno, near Florence; died 1428, in Rome.

Painter, fresco artist. Religious subjects, portraits. Murals.

Florentine School.

Masaccio is considered the founding artist of Renaissance painting, his works showing the application of Filippo Brunelleschi’s system of linear perspective, a fascination with both anatomical structure and the art of classical antiquity, and a new dramatic and emotional intensity....