You are looking at  1-17 of 17 results  for:

  • Religious Art x
  • Architecture and Urban Planning x
  • Renaissance and Mannerism x
Clear All

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

Ludovico Borgo and Margot Borgo

[Porta, Baccio della]

(b Florence, March 28, 1472; d Florence, Oct 31, 1517).

Italian painter and draughtsman. Vasari and later historians agree that Fra Bartolommeo was an essential force in the formation and growth of the High Renaissance. He was the first painter in Florence to understand Leonardo da Vinci’s painterly and compositional procedures. Later he created a synthesis between Leonardo’s tonal painting and Venetian luminosity of colour. Equally important were his inventions for depicting divinity as a supernatural force, and his type of sacra conversazione in which the saints are made to witness and react to a biblical event occurring before their eyes, rather than standing in devout contemplation, as was conventional before. His drawings, too, are exceptional both for their abundance and for their level of inventiveness. Many artists came under his influence: Albertinelli, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Titian, Correggio, Beccafumi, Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino.

Fra Bartolommeo was the son of Paolo, a muleteer and carter. After 1478 he lived in a modest family house outside the Porta S Pier Gattolini in Florence and consequently was dubbed Baccio (a Tuscan diminutive for Bartolommeo) della Porta. In ...

Article

Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

(b Murcia, 1594; d Madrid, May 20, 1679).

Spanish architect. He entered the Jesuit Order at 16 as a lay brother and began his career as a carpenter and assembler of retables. His earliest work included the Mannerist retable in the church of the Jesuit college of Alcalá de Henares and the tabernacle in Juan Gómez de Mora’s Bernadine church (c. 1624–30) in the same city. The latter is an empty, free-standing feature, placed on the altar, quite distinct from the traditional Spanish retable, which rests against the rear wall of the sanctuary. In 1633 he replaced the lay brother Pedro Sánchez (1568–?1633) as master of the works at the church of the Colegio Imperial in Madrid, now the cathedral of S Isidoro. There he built the vaults and the dome over the crossing, the latter being the first instance of the ‘cúpula encamonada’, a dome constructed using a timber frame (‘camón’), roofed in slate and plastered inside, with a brick drum. The ease of construction of this type of dome, its low cost and its structural stability made it the prototype of Madrid domes in the Baroque period. Bautista reduced the height and width of the nave arcades in S Isidoro and replaced the capitals and entablatures of the façade columns and paired pilasters of the nave with others of his own particular invention. The capitals featured Corinthian foliage surmounted by an egg-and-dart moulding, while the entablatures displayed paired triglyph consoles....

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

Fernando Marías

(de)

(b Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Aug 23, 1501; d Trigueros, Huelva, June 21, 1570).

Spanish architect. He began his career as an ecclesiastic in the parish of Caravaña, Madrid. After studying in Alcalá de Henares he served Cardinal Juan Pardo de Tavera as secretary (1534–6) and chaplain (1536–45) and travelled to Italy as his diplomatic envoy (1536). Tavera appointed him Inspector of Works for the archbishopric of Toledo, where he advised on the layout of the Hospital de S Juan Bautista (1541–50), which was founded by Tavera and built to Covarrubias’s designs. As the administrator (and rector) of the project (from 1549), Bustamante’s main responsibility lay with the organization of construction; his criticism of the different schemes confirms his actual absence from the planning process. In 1551 Bustamante left Toledo to join the Jesuit Order, becoming secretary (1552–4) to Francisco Borja (1510–72), Provincial of Andalusia (1555–61), general of the Jesuit Order (...

Article

Fernando Marías

[San Lorenzo el Real de Escorial.]

Royal monastery and palace, c. 50 km north-west of Madrid, Spain.

Emperor Charles V (reg 1516–56) left a final codicil in his will for the establishment of a religious foundation in which he was to be buried beside his wife, Isabella of Portugal (1503–39). His son, Philip II (see Habsburg, House of family, §II, (2)), undertook the task after his return from Flanders in 1559 and appointed Toledo, Juan Bautista de as the royal architect. In 1560 a site was chosen in a farming area at the foot of the Guadarrama Mountains, 2 km from the town of El Escorial, and entrusted to the Hieronymite Order in the following year. The new monastery, which received its foundation charter in 1567, was named S Lorenzo el Real del Escorial, after St Lawrence of Rome, a martyr of supposed Hispanic origin, and was intended to serve as the royal pantheon. Tradition, however, also holds that it was dedicated to S Lorenzo de la Victoria, in fulfilment of a vow made by Philip II to atone for the destruction of a church dedicated to St Lawrence at the Battle of San Quintín (...

Article

Giuseppe Pinna

(Rome)

Giuseppe Pinna

The construction of a worthy seat for the emerging Society of Jesus (see Jesuit Order, §1) was delayed by the opposition of the families (especially the Altieri) who owned the land on which the church was to be built. The first plan for Il Gesù (SS Nome di Gesù), produced in 1549–50 by Nanni di Baccio Bigio, was for a longitudinal scheme with six chapels flanking the nave and a short transept. The work was soon interrupted, however, and the efforts of Cardinal della Cueva to have it resumed had little effect, although he had obtained a new plan free of charge in 1554 from Michelangelo.

In 1568 building began in earnest thanks to the lavish patronage of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who put Jacopo Vignola in charge along with the Jesuit Giovanni Tristano (d 1575). Vignola adopted the longitudinal scheme with stubby transepts and three interconnected chapels at each side of the nave, respecting the wishes of Farnese, who considered the plan most suitable for the devotional requirements of the Counter-Reformation liturgy. Two additional chapels were set into the sides of the apse. The strong spatial unity of the interior (...

Article

(b Verona, 1433; d Rome, July 1, 1515).

Italian engineer, architect, epigraphist, and scholar. He was much sought after for his technical skills, particularly his expertise in hydraulics and military engineering, while his wide-ranging interests in archaeology, theology, urban planning, and philology earned him the regard of his contemporaries; Vasari described him as ‘un uomo rarissimo ed universale’. He was almost certainly a Franciscan friar, but it is not known where he acquired his architectural training. Given his lifelong and profound study of Classical architecture and inscriptions, Vasari’s assertion that he spent time in Rome as a youth is plausible. One of his earliest endeavours was to compile a collection of Latin inscriptions. The first version (1478–c. 1489), which included drawings and was dedicated to Lorenzo de’ Medici, became an important and much-copied reference work; it was also a major source for the Corpus inscriptionum latinarum, the principal 19th-century compilation. A fine copy survives (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 10228), transcribed by Giocondo’s friend and sometime collaborator, the eminent Paduan calligrapher, ...

Article

Julius Fekete

(b Stuttgart, July 1, 1840; d Nuremberg, Nov 19, 1884).

German architect and teacher. He studied at the Stuttgart Polytechnikum under Christian Friedrich Leins (1814–92) and then became a railway engineer in Württemberg (1860–61). His study of Renaissance architecture on a visit to Italy (1861–2) strongly influenced his subsequent work. He spent three years (1863–6) in various architectural offices in Vienna, taught briefly at the Stuttgart Baugewerkschule (1866–7), then moved to London (1867–9) to work for the Arundel Society, preparing a book on the tombs in Venice and Verona.

In 1870 Gnauth became professor at the Stuttgart Polytechnikum as a result of the success of his Villa Siegle (c. 1868; destr.) in Stuttgart, based on the Early Renaissance Villa Carlotta on Lake Como. Gnauth collaborated on the villa’s decoration with the painter Ludwig Lesker (1840–90), with whom he edited the Maler-Journal from 1875. They collaborated on several further commissions, including the Palais Engelhorn (...

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

Jürgen Zimmer

(b Ingolstadt, 1585; d Ebersberg, nr Munich, Oct 16, 1647).

German architect. He trained as a mason in Ingolstadt and, after entering the Jesuit Order in January 1611 as a building consultant and agent, he was subsequently commissioned by the Order (then undergoing a period of great expansion) to work in many different locations. From 1611 he supervised the construction of the east wing of the novitiate at Landsberg am Lech and in 1614 advised on the construction of the Jesuit house at Rheinau (1614; not completed). He was also active in projects at Ensisheim in Alsace (1615; then from 1628). In 1619, 1620–21 and 1623 Kurrer took part in the planning and construction of the Jesuit church in Innsbruck, for which several architects including Johann Matthias Kager from Augsburg had also produced plans; Hans Alberthal from Dillingen acted as foreman.

At Eichstätt, Kurrer is first documented in 1620; from c. 1624 to c. 1627 he supervised the construction there of the Jesuit college church (Schutzengelkirche, begun ...

Article

Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina

[Nuvola, Vincenzo de]

(b Naples, 1570; d Naples, ?1636–7).

Italian architect and Dominican friar. He was active in Naples as an ecclesiastical architect after his training in the principles of Renaissance architecture, which was complemented by a study tour through Italy. His scheme for S Maria della Sanità (1602–13), Naples, takes its place within the context of a number of interrelated churches begun in Italy between 1584 and 1612, the layouts of which are all influenced by the centralized plan of St Peter’s, Rome. S Maria della Sanità has a Greek-cross plan inscribed on the diagonals of a square, with a large central dome covered with multicoloured ceramic tiles, and 12 lesser domes distributed between the triangular zones created by the projection of the transepts. Beside this church Fra Nuvolo built a bell-tower (1614) with superimposed orders, terminating in an octagon, crowned by a small dome with the profile of a dolphin’s back, a sacristy (...

Article

Fernando Marías

[Sp. plateresco, from platero, ‘silversmith’]

Term used to describe the elaborately decorated Late Gothic and early Renaissance architecture of 16th-century Spain. Its characteristically florid decoration employs motifs derived from Gothic, Italian Renaissance and Islamic sources and tends to mask the structure it adorns. The term is also applied, more generally, to the decorative arts of the same period. The comparison between sculpture and architectural decoration and gold- or silverwork in terms of style and skill was commonplace in Spanish literature in the 16th and 17th centuries, including art criticism (from Cristóbal de Villalón in 1539 to Lope de Vega). Contemporary authors did not distinguish between architectural decoration and embroidery or filigree work; there is no reference to specific decorative motifs, only to general forms of handicraft. The term was apparently first used in an anonymous drawing (c. 1580) for the decoration of a frieze in the chapter house of Seville Cathedral. The term ...

Article

Rafael Moreira

(fl 1552–71).

Portuguese architect. A Dominican, he was responsible for the construction of convents in northern Portugal during the Counter-Reformation period, probably more as a supervisor of matters affecting liturgy than as a master mason; this was a forerunner of the tendency of religious orders and the Jesuit rule to use ‘specialist’ members of the Order as architects.

Romero was educated in the monastery at Batalha, where university studies were instituted in 1538, and appears to have fulfilled diplomatic missions on behalf of the Order under the patronage of Don Bartolomeu dos Mártires (d 1590), Archbishop of Braga, a renowned Tridentine theologian. In 1552 Romero went to Rome to urge the beatification of S Gonçalo de Amarante, returning via Lyon on 22 August 1553. He must have become immediately involved in the construction of the Amarante convent of S Gonçalo (founded in 1540), since the sacristy lavabo in the style of Michelangelo bears the date ...

Article

Richard Bösel

(b L’Aquila, Aug 1542; d Naples, July 15, 1596).

Italian architect and painter, active also in Spain, Portugal, Germany and Malta. He was in Rome from the early 1560s and c. 1570 executed the decoration of the Cappella dell’Ascensione, including an altarpiece showing the Ascension, in Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome. His painting style, though provincial, shows the influence of Mannerism and of the successors in Rome of Pellegrino Tibaldi and Michelangelo. Also characteristic is an exaggerated expressiveness and a peculiar imbalance in the depiction of figures and space. He worked partly in collaboration with Scipione Pulzone and Gaspare Celio (1571–1640).

Valeriano, however, is more important for his work as an architect. The first buildings that can be securely attributed to him were designed in Spain, where he went in 1573, becoming a member of the Jesuit Order there the following year. These included the church in Villagarcìa de Campos and projects for the Jesuits at Seville, Granada, Córdoba, Málaga and Trigueros (all unexecuted or only partially executed). He came into contact with Juan de Herrera, whose work on the Escorial, near Madrid, clearly influenced him in his own work on the Collegio Romano in Rome after he returned to Italy in ...

Article

Jonathan Bober

Observant Franciscan foundation and pilgrimage site in Piedmont, Italy.

Situated in the diocese of Novara, the Sacro Monte occupies about 12 wooded ha on top of a spur rising c. 160 m above the town of Varallo. The monument’s primary feature is 44 chapels, in which scenes from or associated with the Life of Christ are rendered as life-size dioramas, consisting of groups of figures in various materials against painted background scenes. These chapels are either free-standing or grouped within secondary structures to suggest their scenes’ shared locations, are evenly distributed around the summit, and are connected in approximately chronological order of their events by a main path. Their sequence concludes at a central piazza and the monument’s secondary feature, a basilica dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption. Reflecting a succession of conceptions and programmes, the whole combines a monastic retreat, a delightful park and a penitential vehicle.

The earliest architecture of the Sacro Monte was designed by Brother ...

Article

J. J. Martín González

Hieronymite monastery, near Plasencia, province of Cáceres, Spain. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor ( see Habsburg, House of family §I, (5) ), retired to Yuste after his abdication in Brussels in 1556, and he lived there from February 1557 until his death on 21 September 1558. The building was begun in 1415 and was built under the patronage of the Condes de Oropesa (Alvarez de Toledo); part of the existing monastery dates from this time. Following the Emperor’s choice of Yuste, he sent plans for a new wing and detailed instructions for his personal requirements, and the enlargement was carried out in 1554–5 by Fray Antonio de Villacastín (1512–1603). It has been said that its style is derived from the house where Charles V was born in Ghent. The palace of Yuste was constructed of brick and masonry in a series of monolithic blocks along simple lines and without decoration. It is built on two floors with similarly disposed rooms, one floor for winter and the other for summer. Each floor contains a central corridor with access to the four rooms. Because of the Emperor’s poor health a ramp connected the ground floor to the first floor. On the first floor the ramp leads to a spacious terrace overlooking the magnificent landscape and valley of La Vera, from which there is access to the choir of the church, which the Emperor used. On the right of the entrance on each floor are an antechamber and chamber communicating with two other small rooms, belvederes resembling those in the towers of the Alhambra in Granada....