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Article

Carlo Roberto Chiarlo

[Ciriaco d’Ancona; Ciriaco di Filippo de’ Pizzicolli]

(b Ancona, 1391; d Cremona, ?1455).

Italian traveller and antiquarian. A self-educated merchant and occasional papal diplomatic agent, he played a central role in the rediscovery of the ancient world during the 15th century, travelling extensively in Italy, Greece and the Near East between 1412 and 1449. He learnt Latin and Greek and became the first great amateur classicist, as well as the undisputed father of modern archaeology and epigraphy. His explorations in Greece and the Levant resulted in the recovery of a number of manuscripts by ancient authors, though his most important contributions to the study of ancient art were his detailed notes on the antiquities he observed during his travels. Among the monuments of greatest interest to him were the antiquities of Athens, where he drew the Parthenon, the Philopappos Monument and the Temple of Olympian Zeus when it had 21 columns. He also recorded the Temple of Artemis at Didyma in Turkey before it was toppled by an earthquake, the ruins of Kyzikos on the Sea of Marmara, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the monuments of ancient Egypt. He devoted himself as well to searching for and recording the antiquities of Italy, assembling a substantial corpus of drawings of ancient monuments and inscriptions. His relatively analytical and precise approach to antiquity sets him apart from late medieval tradition, especially in regard to the exactness with which he copied inscriptions. While he made use of historical texts, Cyriac preferred to study monuments and inscriptions directly, thus laying the foundations of the antiquarian approach to ...

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

(fl 1684; d ?Persia, May 12, 1699).

French sculptor. Cavalier is thought to have been a Huguenot trained in his native France. His career is obscure until 1684, by which time he was a carver of portraits in ivory of exceptional talent and probably already settled in England. In that year he made the relief of Charles II on Horseback, signed on the verso ‘i. cavalier. f. 1684’ (h. 150 mm; Leeds, C.A.G.). This is a magnificent and unusually ambitious work incorporating on the verso a delicately chiselled tree and flower as a test of the suitability of the material. The relief itself shows the King dressed in Classical armour and cloak, holding a baton in his outstretched hand, riding a noble horse caparisoned with an elaborately embroidered saddle-cloth in a landscape of rolling, grassy hills strewn with flowers. The curving grain of the ivory is used convincingly to suggest the glossy sweat of the beast’s hind quarters. The rather dry, linear treatment of this relief, which it shares with Cavalier’s other carvings of the same period, gave way to softer, more fluid modelling and an even more exquisite rendering of detail in such works as the portrait of ...

Article

(b Venice, 1373; reg 15 April 1423–23 Oct 1457; d Nov 1, 1457).

Venetian ruler and patron. He was the longest-serving doge in the history of Venice. His reign was a period of constant warfare, during which Venice consolidated her hold on her mainland possessions and acquired further territory. His only surviving son, Jacopo Foscari (c. 1416–57), a celebrated humanist, was three times disgraced for alleged corruption. After his son’s final banishment and death, Francesco was persuaded by the Council of Ten to abdicate. He died a week later and was given a full ducal burial in the church of S Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice. His tomb monument (for illustration see Bregno, (1)) in the same church, probably executed either by Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino or by members of the Bregno family, was erected at the instigation of the doge’s grandson Niccolò Foscari. Its mixture of Gothic and Renaissance elements echoes the hybrid character of public art and architecture during his reign....

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Paris, 1926).

Turkish historian of Islamic architecture. He studied in the faculty of architecture at Istanbul Technical University under Emin Onat, receiving his degree in 1949 for a study of Turkish Baroque architecture. He spent 1954–5 in Italy investigating Renaissance architecture, and 1962–3 in the USA on a Fulbright Fellowship. The following year he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, where he studied Byzantine architecture in Anatolia, and for the next decade he was involved in the study and restoration of the Byzantine church known as Kalenderhane Cami in Istanbul. He taught architectural history and restoration at Istanbul Technical University from 1958 until his retirement in 1993 and was dean of the architecture faculty from 1974 to 1977. From 1978 to 1983 he served on the first Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and in 1980–81 he was Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His voluminous scholarship combines a thorough knowledge of European architectural history and theory with a close and intimate reading of Turkish and Islamic buildings and their structure....

Article

(b Jaroslav, Galicia, Aug 12, 1926; d Tel Aviv, June 21, 2003).

Israeli painter of Polish birth. He first began to draw in 1947 after seeing the Renaissance and Baroque works in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. He emigrated to Israel in 1948 and in 1953 and 1955 attended the summer art courses held at Kibbutz Na’an under Yossef Zaritsky and Avigdor Stematsky. Under the influence of the lyrical abstract style of these artists his work became increasingly abstract by the late 1950s, as in Painting (1959; see 1984 exh. cat., p. 16). In 1960 he had his first one-man show at the Chemerinsky Gallery in Tel Aviv, and the following year he travelled in Europe.

In 1963 Kupferman exhibited at the New Horizons show at the Museum of Art in Ein Harod, and the same year ‘basic forms’ appeared in his work. These were abstract, geometrical elements such as X and Y shapes and grids; the works of the 1960s, while including these forms, are very expressive and often created in an uncontrolled manner, as in ...

Article

(d Trofa do Vouga, nr Aveiro, June 27, 1558).

Portuguese soldier and patron. He was a kinsman of important noble families and had a distinguished military career in the Middle East and East Africa (1508–11) and later in Brazil. In 1534 he was responsible for the extensive rebuilding of the parish church of Trofa do Vouga, widening and restructuring the chapel, which he intended to become his family’s mausoleum. The remodelling of the ceiling is attributed to Diogo de Castilho, who gave it ribbed star vaulting, the central boss of which bears the coat of arms of the Lemos family. The group of tombs by João de Ruão was carved in the local white limestone and is arranged along the sides in four arcosolia, those on the right separated by a Corinthian pilaster and those on the left by two double columns. The structures, resting on high bases and surmounted by entablatures, are carved in the early Renaissance style popular in Coimbra and are profusely decorated at the corners with grotesques and with medallions carved with heads. A large figure in the round (...

Article

(b Flensburg, 1526/27; d ?Silesia, after Dec 31, 1588).

Danish draughtsman, engraver, woodcut designer, painter, architect, surveyor and author. Facts about his highly productive career, which ranged from Denmark to Turkey, come primarily from an autobiographical letter of 1 January 1563 (free English trans. in Fischer, 1990) to King Frederick II of Denmark to whom he owed allegiance by birth; also from inscribed works, his letters and mostly unpublished material in archives in Vienna, Hamburg, Antwerp and Copenhagen.

With some effort Lorck persuaded his well-connected parents to let him become an artist: he became apprenticed to a Lübeck goldsmith, whom he accompanied on business voyages in the Baltic and western Scandinavia. His earliest works are two engravings, one dated 1543, copying engravings by Heinrich Aldegrever. Prompted by the goldsmith, Lorck continued his training in South Germany and Italy. Engravings such as the Pope as a Wild Man (1545; Hollstein, no. 44), St Jerome in the Desert (...

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

Obelisk  

Erik Iversen

[Gr.: ‘little spit’]

Square or rectangular shaft, usually monolithic, with tapering sides and a pyramidal apex, first developed in Egypt in the 3rd millennium bc but also popular in Europe in Roman times, the Renaissance and the 19th century.

The Egyptian name for the obelisk was tekhen, from a verb meaning ‘pierce’, while its apex, clearly considered as a distinct part, was known as ben or benben. The interpretation of this term is controversial: according to one theory, it derived from the verb ben, which originally meant ‘shine’, ‘radiate’ or ‘reflect’. Thus, like the capstone of a pyramid, the function of the apex would have been to reflect or absorb the rays of the sun, charging the obelisk with solar energy and reviving the person whose name was inscribed on its shaft. In the case of the truncated obelisks placed in sun temples, such as that at Abu Ghurab, this pyramidion would guarantee the physical presence of the sun god in his sanctuary; in this context, it is significant that, in ancient representations of obelisks, the sun disc is often seen resting on or emerging from the apex....

Article

John Pinto

(b Rome, Aug 6, 1697; d Rome, Feb 9, 1751).

Italian architect. A contemporary of Luigi Vanvitelli, Ferdinando Fuga and Giovanni Battista Piranesi, he participated in the architectural embellishment of Rome that transformed its appearance in the early and middle decades of the 18th century. His reputation is largely tied to a single work, however: the Trevi Fountain.

Salvi showed an early interest in philosophy and mathematics, as well as studying medicine and anatomy and writing poetry. In 1717 he was admitted to the Accademia degli Arcadi, the prestigious literary society founded in Rome by Christina, Queen of Sweden. The influence of the Arcadians encouraged Salvi to value Renaissance models and to explore irregular, picturesque compositions in his designs; he also esteemed 17th-century Roman architecture, from which he learnt how to use the Classical orders to achieve bold sculptural effects. His biographer Niccolò Gabburri recorded that Salvi spent nine years deciding which career to pursue. During this time he attended classes at the Accademia di S Luca given by the painter ...

Article

C. A. Keller

(reg c. 1290–c. 1279 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron, second ruler of the 19th Dynasty. The inclusion in his own titulary of the expression wehem–meswt (Egyp.: ‘renaissance’) explicitly stated the rationale for his vigorous political and architectural activity: in his aggressive military policy he sought to emulate the achievements of Tuthmosis III (reg c. 1479–c. 1426 bc) by re-establishing Egyptian power in Nubia and north Syria, and in his extensive building programme he attempted to restore monuments defaced during the Amarna period by iconoclastic followers of the sun god Aten. His repairs were frequently accompanied by a text, such as ‘a renewal of this monument that Sethos I made’.

His own monuments were fashioned on a large scale, possibly in imitation of the massive projects of Amenophis III (reg c. 1390–c. 1353 bc), and were decorated with characteristically fine reliefs. At Thebes, his most significant accomplishment was the completion of the ‘...

Article

(b Udine, 1540; d Venice, Dec 15, 1559).

Italian painter. Reputed to have studied for two years with Titian in Venice, she painted portraits as well as historical and religious subjects (e.g. the Flight into Egypt, ex-Count F. di Maniago col.), but few works have been identified. Lanzi wrote that her majestic figures, soft gradations of colour and use of glazing were reminiscent of Titian (Ellet). A three-quarter-length portrait of her sister, Emilia di Spilimbergo (Washington, DC, N.G.A.), with a landscape background, has been attributed to her. A pendant portrait of Irene di Spilimbergo (Washington, DC, N.G.A.) is thought to be by Titian. After her death, at 19, a volume of eulogies in her praise by poets including Lodovico Dolce and Torquato Tasso was published in 1561.

E. F. L. Ellet: Women Artists in All Ages and Countries (New York, 1859) F. Heinemann: ‘La bottega di Tiziano’, Tiziano e Venezia: Convegno internazionale di studi: Venice, 1976, p. 438...

Article

(b Augsburg, April 10, 1655; bur; Augsburg, June 25, 1734).

German goldsmith, draughtsman and engraver. He was the son of Israel Thelott (1616–96), a goldsmith and member of a French family of artists documented in Augsburg from 1585. As early as 1670 Thelott executed a relief of the Trinity (London, BM), a copy of a work by Paulus van Vianen. His years in Italy as a journeyman are attested by his relief panel Majestas and Amor (1687; Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.), inscribed ‘Roma’. Also from that period are a panel entitled Triumph of Two Roman Generals (1684; London, V&A), resembling antique reliefs, and a panel depicting the Baptism of Christ (1685; London, V&A). Notable among his various vessels and containers are those with embossed work, often serving as a casing, such as the Deckel-Portal goblet (1689; Augsburg, Städt. Kstsamml.), its decoration including the stories of Oedipus and Jason and the feats of Hercules. He also worked on clocks (Moscow, Hist. Mus.; example dated ...