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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

Robin A. Branstator

[Morten]

(d Copenhagen, 1553).

Danish sculptor and architect. His sculptural work shows a precocious awareness of early Renaissance art, suggesting that he trained in the workshop of Claus Berg in Odense. He first served Christian II, King of Denmark (reg 1512–23), as architect and sculptor and had settled in Copenhagen by 1523. His tombstone sculptures equal or surpass his architectural successes. The first in his series of gravestone reliefs was of Elisabeth of Habsburg (c. 1523; Copenhagen, Nmus.), Christian II’s queen, a pendant to an earlier representation of King John (1503; Copenhagen, Nmus.), sculpted by Adam van Düren. The limestone high relief had a conventional Gothic framework but hinted at Bussaert’s mature work in the more naturalistic folds of Elisabeth’s gown. After Christian II fled to the Netherlands in 1523, Bussaert elected to remain in Copenhagen in the employ of the newly crowned Frederick I (reg 1523–34). Frederick rewarded Bussaert well, naming him master builder in ...

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 ...