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Article

Persian School, 14th – 15th century, male.

Active at the end of the 14th and at the beginning of the 15th century.

Painter.

Abd al Havy was a pupil of Shams al Din. In 1393, Tamburlaine (Timur) took him to Samarkand, where it is believed that he ran the city’s artistic workshops. No work has been attributed to him with any certainty....

Article

Persian School, 16th century, male.

Active at the end of the 16th century.

Born to a family originally from Shiraz.

Painter, draughtsman.

Abdous Samad worked at the Persian court and while there was chosen by the Mogul Emperor Humayun to teach drawing both to himself and to his son Akbar, the heir to the throne. He took over from Mir Sayid Ali and completed the illumination of the poet Amir-Hamzah, who recounted the adventures of the uncle of Mohammed. He ended his days as head of the royal treasury....

Article

Persian School, 15th – 16th century, male.

Active in Tabriz.

Miniaturist.

Aga-Mirek acquired a considerable reputation at the same time as the master Behzad, who like Aga-Mirek, was responsible for the distinctive style regarded as the flowering of Persian miniature painting.

London (British Mus.): 1539-1543, five miniatures, attributed...

Article

Syrian, 13th century, male.

Metal worker.

Ahmad ibn Umar al Dhaki is thought to have come from Mosul, and had a famous workshop and numerous apprentices. Three leather objects, one in Cleveland Museum, one at the Louvre and one in a private collection in Switzerland, are signed by him and dated between ...

Article

Persian School, 14th century, male.

Painter.

Ahmad Mousa worked as an artist between 1317 and 1335, and is considered to be the founder of classical Persian painting. There are a number of manuscripts preserved in Istanbul featuring paintings attributed to him.

Article

Egyptian, 10th century, male.

Painter. Historical subjects, landscapes.

Al-Kutami was a member of the Kutama tribe and was brought up by Banu-el-Muallim, who painted the mosque situated high up in the Karafa mountains, near Cairo in 976 AD. He painted a work entitled Joseph at the Fountain...

Article

Persian School, 13th century, male.

Active at the beginning of the 13th century.

Born probably, in Wasit.

Painter.

Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti was a painter and calligrapher. He provided illustrations for a manuscript of al-Hariri’s Assemblies ( Maqamat) dated 1237 and now in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. The stylistic discrepancies between the different miniatures that appear in this manuscript make it difficult to discern the originality of al-Wasiti....

Article

Thomas E. Russo

(b Tralles; fl early 6th century ad). Greek architect, scientist and mathematician. Together with Isidoros of Miletus he was engaged by Justinian I (reg ad 527–565) to design Hagia Sophia (see Istanbul, §III, 1, (ii), (a)). Prokopios (Buildings, I.i.24) called him ‘the most learned man in the skilled craft which is known as the art of building’ and described the dome of Hagia Sophia as ‘suspended from heaven’ (...

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

Persian School, 15th – 16th century, male.

Active in Herat from 1468 to 1506, then in Tabriz.

Born between 1450 and 1460; died, in 1536 according to some sources, in 1537 according to others.

Miniaturist, writer.

Bahzad became the first truly famous Persian miniature painter and is the first known painter to have signed his work. The Louvre has a painting by him in grisaille, dated circa ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Alison Manges Nogueira

Monumental, marble paschal Candlestick of the late 12th to early 13th century with reliefs signed by Nicolaus de Angelo and Vassallettus now in S Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome. The imposing column (h. 5.6 m), adorned with six registers of reliefs and surmounted by a fluted candle holder, rests upon a base of sculpted lions, sphinxes, rams and female figures. The upper and lower reliefs bear vegetal and ornamental patterns while the three central registers portray Christ before Caiaphas, the Mocking of Christ, Christ before Pilate, Pilate Washing his Hands, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension. The culminating Easter scenes reflect the paschal candle’s function during the Easter season as a symbol of Christ resurrected, as evoked in an inscription on the base. A second fragmentary inscription refers to the unidentifiable patron’s desire for commemoration. A third inscription identifies Nicolaus de Angelo as the master sculptor and Petrus Vassallettus as playing a secondary role. Both were active in the second half of the 12th to the early 13th century and came from leading families of Roman sculptors: the Vassalletti and Cosmati (Nicolaus’s family). The candlestick is the only work signed by and securely attributed to Nicolaus and the scope of his contribution remains uncertain. A plausible theory attributes the base and first register to Petrus, based upon similarities to works signed by him and ascribed to his family, such as the cloister of S Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and the narthex of S Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. Nicolaus probably executed the Christological scenes, distinguishable for their more dynamic, expressive figures and decorative chisel work, and appropriate for the master sculptor because of their centrality and significance. Early Christian sarcophagi and Carolingian ivories may have provided models for the figural types. This form of paschal candlestick was probably inspired by Roman columnar monuments carved with triumphal scenes....

Article

Persian School, 16th century, male.

Active at the end of the 16th century.

Born to a family originally from Shiraz or in Sebzevar.

Miniaturist.

There is confusion about the identity of this artist. He has been occasionally mistaken for Mohammed Ali, Mohammedi ibn Mirza Ali and even with Sultan Mohammed. Cheikh Mohammed worked at the Savavit imperial library and ended his life as a decorative artist in a palace built by Shah Abbas at Qazvin. His name is often mentioned in rather contradictory terms: some say that he was influenced by Chinese painting, while others claim that, on the contrary, his work was heavily influenced by European painting. Only a few of his works are known, despite the fact that he enjoyed a considerable reputation in his lifetime. Works include a manuscript at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington and a number of his drawings....

Article

Katrin Kogman-Appel

Hebrew Bible (Jerusalem, National.. Library of Israel., MS. Heb 4°790, and a single page in Toledo, El Transito Synagogue and Sephardic Museum), copied c. 1260, perhaps in Toledo by Menachem ben Abraham ibn Malikh for Isaac bar Abraham Hadad, both members of known and documented Toledan families. At some later stage further decorations were added, apparently in Burgos. The Damascus Keter is an outstanding exemplar out of approximately 120 decorated Bibles from Iberia and belongs to a group of three very similar codices from the middle of the 13th century, produced in Toledo. It thus represents a rich tradition of Jewish art flourishing between the 13th and the 15th centuries. These Bibles were used either by scholars for private study, or for biblical readings during synagogue services.

Typical of numerous Bibles from the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula, the decoration consists of numerous carpet pages executed in Micrography and enriched by painted embellishments. This is a technique typically used in Hebrew decorated books and harks back to Middle Eastern manuscripts of the 10th century. Apart from the carpet pages, the Damascus ...

Article

Persian School, 16th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 16th century.

Painter, calligrapher.

As is the case for the painter Bizhad, we have an unusual amount of information about the career of this painter who worked at the court of the Safavid ruler Shah Tahmasp I. He contributed to the Shah’s great ...

Article

Persian School, 14th – 15th century, male.

Born at the end of the 14th century, in Sebzevar; died 1453.

Calligrapher, illuminator, miniaturist.

Article

Persian School, 16th century, male.

Born in the 16th century, in Esfahan.

Painter, calligrapher.

This artist was ordered in 1575 by Shah Tahmasp to copy a Qu’ran intended as a gift for Sultan Mourah III. He was part of a mission to China, during which he made notes on everything interesting that he observed....

Article

Hadji  

Turkish, 12th century, male.

Born to a family originally from Akhlat.

Sculptor (wood).

Hadji sculpted the minbar (stepped pulpit) in the mosque of Ala-ed Din in Konya in 1155.

Article

Turkish, 16th century, male.

Painter.

Haidar Bey worked at the court of Selim I and Suleiman I, where he enjoyed something of a reputation. He painted portraits in the European style of Clouet and other artists.

Paris (BNF): Portrait of Selim I (attributed)...

Article

Persian School, 16th century, male.

Active in Persia.

Illuminator.

This illuminator was one of the artists at the court of Shah Tahmasp.