Benedictine abbey on the River Enns in Styria, Austria. It was founded in the mid-11th century by Bishop Gebhard from Salzburg, endowed by St Henna von Gurk, Gräfin von Friessach (d 1045), and settled by Benedictine monks from St Peter’s, Salzburg under Abbot Isingrin. The Romanesque minster (consecrated 1074), which was dedicated to St Blaise, was famous for its marble columns and was rebuilt after a fire in 1152; a Gothic choir was added in 1276–86. The present church incorporates Romanesque side doors as well as other fragments. The abbey became an important cultural centre with a renowned scriptorium. Amongst the many famous scholars there was Abbot Engelbert of Admont (reg 1297–1327). From 1121 to the 16th century a convent was attached to the abbey. Under the abbots Mathias Preininger (reg 1615–28) and Urban Weber (reg 1628–59) the whole establishment was transformed in the Baroque style, and the church was rebuilt (...
Italian, 15th century, male.
Painter, illuminator. Religious subjects.
Alexander was the son of Antonio Simeone of Florence. A hermit of the Order of St Augustine, he created the illuminations for a book of prayers for Lorenzo Strozzi.
Cambridge (Fitzwilliam Library): Book of Prayers...
French, 12th century, male.
Miniaturist, illuminator. Religious subjects.
A monk, this artist illustrated a manuscript of St Augustine's City of God.
Boulogne-sur-Mer (Bibliothèque municipale): The City of God
German, 16th century, male.
Active between 1512 and 1561.
Painter, engraver (wood), illustrator. Religious subjects.
Erhard Altdorfer is believed to have been the brother of Albrecht Altdorfer. The latter mentions him in his will, dated 12 February 1538, as a citizen of Schwerin. Erhard was a painter to the court of Prince Henry the Peaceful and accompanied him to a royal wedding in Wittenburg. This occasion is believed to have given him the opportunity to meet Lucas Cranach, whose influence can be detected in some of his works. In 1516 he painted an altarpiece in Sternberg, Germany, which has been lost. In a 1552 letter to the young Duke John-Albert of Mecklenburg, he gives the impression of having been an architect along with his brother. Erhard Altdorfer is known today for his wood engravings, some of which are signed with a monogram formed by an intertwining of the letters ...
Illuminated manuscript of the first five books of the Old Testament (now incomplete), dating from the late 6th or early 7th century (Paris, Bib.N., MS. nouv. acq. lat. 2334) and named after the English collector Bertram Ashburnham. Also known as the Pentateuch of Tours, the Ashburnham Pentateuch is one of the oldest surviving pre-Carolingian Vulgate manuscripts of the Old Testament. In its present condition, it lacks the last verses of Numbers and all of Deuteronomy; while 18 pages of illustration and 1 frontispiece survive from the original 65 pages with illustrations. The illustrated pages comprise several scenes generally arranged in two or three bands, although some pages have one or two large scenes, others combine illustration and text. Painted tituli that follow the Vulgate accompany the miniatures; however, beneath the painted titutli are preliminary inscriptions penned in ink that follow the Vetus latina text.
Based upon stylistic, iconographical and codicological evidence, the Pentateuch appears to have been made in a late 6th- to early 7th-century Italian scriptorium. Twelve pages were added in the 8th century by scribes from Fleury; an additional restored page (fol. 33) was added in the 7th century by a Touronian scribe. The illustrations often deviate from the exact retelling of the biblical text. The column of smoke and fire, for example, in the story of the Crossing of the Red Sea is depicted as a large candle held in two hands, a reference to Easter Vigil liturgical ceremonies (fol. 68...
Debra Higgs Strickland
Richly illustrated bestiary manuscript (275×185mm, 105 fols; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Ashmole 1511), written in Latin and illuminated probably in southern England around 1210. The original patron is unknown. It contains the text and illustrations of a complete bestiary, with prefatory Creation scenes and excerpts from Genesis and part of Hugh de Folieto’s Aviarium (Book of Birds). It is a luxury manuscript with lavish use of gold leaf, sometimes tooled, in the backgrounds of the full-page miniatures and numerous smaller framed animal ‘portraits’. Its images are especially notable for their ornamental qualities, evident in both the pictorial compositions and a wide variety of geometric framing devices. The prefatory cycle includes a full-page miniature of Adam Naming the Animals. The Ashmole Bestiary is considered a ‘sister’ manuscript to the Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24), to which it is iconographically very closely related, but owing to major stylistic differences the two manuscripts have been attributed to different artists. The chronological relationship between the two has been disputed: based on proposed workshop methods, Muratova (...
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....
Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.
The term ‘Atlantic’ (from the mythological giant Atlas) is derived from their impressive size; dimensions range from 550 to 600 mms by 300 to 400 mms. Their script, derived from Caroline minuscule, is placed in two columns of around fifty-five lines. The texts are decorated with two initial types, which Edward B. Garrison designated as ‘geometrical’ and ‘full shaft’, both of which are derived from Carolingian and Ottonian exemplars, respectively. The iconography consists of full-length prophets, patriarchs, kings and saints as well as narrative scenes. The last are at times found as full-page cyclical illuminations and preface important textual divisions, especially Genesis. The iconography of the Giant Bibles is a specific Roman iconographical recension with its sources based in part on Early Christian pictorial cycles, such as the wall paintings of Old St Peter’s in Rome. These came from an era considered by the reformers to have been uncorrupted by the abuses that afflicted the Church when these Bibles were being made. While the Giant Bibles were promulgated by the Church of Rome as a symbol of its supreme authority, they also allowed the clergy to perform the liturgy, and the Divine Office in particular, properly....
German, 15th century, male.
Born c. 1435; died 1504.
Painter, miniaturist, illuminator, writer, printer. Religious subjects.
School of Alsace.
Hans Baemler's name appears for the first time in 1453. He established himself in Augsburg as a printer. His name appears on two miniatures, a Crucifixion...
Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.
Painter, engraver, illustrator. Religious subjects.
Bartolommeo di Giovanni was a Florentine painter, active from 1483 to 1511. It has been possible to establish firm authorship of only one of his works: in an archive record of a contract dated ...
Italian, 15th century, male.
Active in Orvieto.
Illuminator, mosaicist, fresco artist. Religious subjects.
In 1410, Bartolommeo di Pietro executed a miniature of a crucifix for a cathedral missal produced by Angelo di Pietro. In 1417 he worked with Andrea di Giovanni da Orvieto on the restoration of old mosaics and execution of new ones on the cathedral façade. In ...
German, 16th century, male.
Born c. 1480, in Augsburg; died 1542, in Augsburg.
Painter, engraver, illuminator, illustrator. Religious subjects.
Both alone and in collaboration with his son, Leonhard Beck made numerous illuminations and woodcuts. He is believed to have assisted Holbein the Elder. Received as a master in ...
Adam S. Cohen
revised by Shirin Fozi
Illuminated manuscript (292 × 225 mm; London, BL, Add. MS. 49598) containing liturgical prayers recited by the bishop, produced in Winchester between
Flemish, 15th – 16th century, male.
Died in Ghent.
Painter, miniaturist, illustrator. Religious subjects.
Bruges School, Flemish School.
The first member of his family to be an artist, Alexander Bening was to be followed by a number of Flemish miniaturists of particular importance in 16th-century Flanders. He entered the Ghent painters' guild on ...
Robert G. Calkins
Book that describes and draws Christian moralizations from the characteristics and habits of animals, birds, fish, reptiles, and even minerals, real and imaginary. It was especially popular during the Middle Ages in western Europe. Its core early Christian text, partly informed by Indian, Hebrew, and Egyptian legends and known as the Physiologus (often translated as ‘The Naturalist’ or ‘Natural Historian’, but perhaps more appropriately understood as the ‘Philosopher of Natural History’), was originally composed in Greek, probably in Alexandria during the first half of the 2nd century AD. Ethiopian, Syrian, and Armenian translations of the Greek text appeared by the 5th century. A Latin translation, possibly available in the 4th century, was circulating by the early 6th. A fragmentary Old English poetic text dates from the first half of the 8th century. In the earliest Latin Bestiaries (12th century), the Physiologus text is interpolated with excerpts from the De animalibus...
Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c.
Lucy Freeman Sandler
Group of twelve manuscripts, primarily Psalter and Book of Hours, nearly all illustrated by in-house artists for members of the Bohun family in the second half of the 14th century. The owner–patrons were the successive earls of Essex, Hereford and Northampton: Humphrey de Bohun VI (1309–61), the 6th Earl of Hereford and 5th Earl of Essex and his nephew Humphrey de Bohun VII (1342–73), the 7th earl of Essex and 2nd Earl of Northampton, Humphrey VII’s wife Joan Fitzalan (d 1419) and their daughters Eleanor (1366–99), who married Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester (see Plantagenet, House of family §(5)), son of King Edward III, and Mary (c. 1369–94), who married Henry of Bolingbroke (1366–1413; from 1399 King Henry IV), son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Known to have been active between c. 1360 and ...
Dutch, 16th century, male.
Born 16 December 1534, in Mechelen; died 20 November 1593, in Amsterdam.
Painter (gouache), miniaturist, watercolourist, illuminator, engraver, draughtsman. Religious subjects, mythological subjects, portraits, village scenes, landscapes with figures.
The son of Simon Bol and pupil of his father's brothers, Jean and Jacques Bol, Hans Bol worked initially in Heidelberg and then in Mons. On 10 February 1560, he was admitted to the guild in Mechelen. In 1572, after the sack of Mechelen, he left the town and, quite destitute, journeyed to Antwerp. Here he made the acquaintance of an art lover, Anton Couvreur, who became his patron. In 1574, he was admitted into the Antwerp painters' guild and, on 16 September of the same year, he was granted citizenship. Concerned that other artists were copying his work, he abandoned painting in egg tempera and started to produce small pictures in oil and gouache. In 1584, the war obliged him to flee Antwerp for Bergen-op-Zoom, Holland, where he remained until 1586. He then set up in Amsterdam, having first passed through Dordrecht and Delft. He married a widow whose son, Frans Boch, became his pupil. Other pupils were Jacquaes Savary of Courtrai and Pierre de Kleerck of Antwerp. The usual date given for his death, 1593, seems doubtful because of a miniature on parchment in existence in Berlin in 1883 depicting an ...
Christopher de Hamel
Late medieval prayerbook containing, as its principal text, psalms, and devotions (primarily invoking the Virgin Mary) for the eight canonical hours of the day: Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline. They were intended for private reading and meditation by the laity, forming a shorter version of the cycle of daily prayers and psalms recited from the Breviary by members of religious orders. Each office is usually no more than a few pages long, and the books are generally small and portable, often of octavo size. Most surviving Books of Hours were made in the 15th century and early 16th, and they were produced in such numbers that they still form the most common surviving group of European illuminated manuscripts.
The offering of psalms eight times a day can be traced back to early monasticism, and parallel forms of worship are found in lay devotions (see Service book...
German, 16th century, male.
Born between 1475 and 1480, in Augsburg; died 1537, in Augsburg.
Painter, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator. History painting, religious subjects, allegorical subjects, battles, genre scenes, hunting scenes. Murals, designs for stained glass.
Danube School (Augsburg).
Jörg Breu the Elder is mentioned from 1501...