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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

Isabel Mateo Gómez

(b ?Toledo; d 1595).

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (d 1565). He worked as painter to Toledo Cathedral from 1565 to 1581 and was painter (Pintor del Rey) to Philip II from 1583. He acted frequently as a valuer for the work of other artists.

Between 1563 and 1564, in collaboration with Luis de Velasco, Hernando de Ávila painted the retable of the church of Miraflores (Madrid Province) with the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (untraced); these are probably among his earliest works. He was commissioned to paint the retables of St John the Baptist and the ...

Article

Ian Campbell

(b c. 1510; d after 1571).

Italian architect, engineer, theorist and writer. He was the son of Giacopo Cataneo, a stationer from Novara. The earliest secure date for his activity (23 March 1533) occurs in his sketchbook (Florence, Uffizi, U 3275-3391 A), which has the general character of an exercise-book and hence of a youthful work. Virtually every drawing in it is copied from the treatises of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The first 42 folios include drawings of ornaments and civil architecture from Francesco’s codices Ashburnham (Florence, Bib. Laurenziana) and Saluzziano (Turin, Bib. Reale), while the remaining 64 folios contain drawings of fortifications and machines derived from the Codex Magliabechiano (Florence, Bib. N.). A peculiarity of the drawings of fortifications is their frequent juxtaposition with calligraphic exercises, the intention of which seems primarily decorative. It is as a ‘scrittore’ that Cataneo first appears in Sienese communal records in 1539, and also as ‘computista’, which looks forward to his first publication, ...

Article

Tadeusz Chrzanowski

(fl 1670; d Jan 30, 1707).

Polish goldsmith, engraver and writer. He produced engraved frontispieces for J. Liberius’s book The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Sea Star (1670) and his own work St Elegius’s Life … (1687). He is noted in the guild records from 1689. Few of his silver pieces have been identified, as he did not use name marks. The impressive monstrance in St Mary’s church in Kraków is attributed to him. Works that are certainly by him include the ‘robes’ on the painting of the Holy Virgin in the Dominican church in Kraków and the small plate from the tabernacle in St Anne’s, Kraków. Ceypler’s most important work is an octagonal reliquary for the head of St Jan Kanty (1695; Kraków, St Anne), signed in Latin. It was designed by King John III’s court painter, Jerzy Eleuter Szymonowicz-Siemiginowski (c. 1660–1711), and was executed by Ceypler with the help of his pupil, ...

Article

Francesco Paolo Fiore and Pietro C. Marani

(Pollaiolo) [Francesco di Giorgio]

(b Siena, bapt Sept 23, 1439; d Siena, bur Nov 29, 1501).

Italian architect, engineer, painter, illuminator, sculptor, medallist, theorist and writer. He was the most outstanding artistic personality from Siena in the second half of the 15th century. His activities as a diplomat led to his employment at the courts of Naples, Milan and Urbino, as well as in Siena, and while most of his paintings and miniatures date from before 1475, by the 1480s and 1490s he was among the leading architects in Italy. He was particularly renowned for his work as a military architect, notably for his involvement in the development of the Bastion, which formed the basis of post-medieval fortifications (see Military architecture & fortification, §III, 2(ii) and 4(ii)). His subsequent palace and church architecture was influential in spreading the Urbino style, which he renewed with reference to the architecture of Leon Battista Alberti but giving emphasis to the purism of smooth surfaces. His theoretical works, which include the first important Western writings on military engineering, were not published until modern times but were keenly studied in manuscript, by Leonardo da Vinci among others; they foreshadowed a number of developments that came to fruition in the 16th century (...

Article

Janet Southorn

[Felix Antiquarius]

(b Verona, Aug 1433; d ?La Storta, nr Rome, after Aug 1479).

Italian calligrapher, writer and antiquary. He was the son of a wine-tax collector but, despite his relative poverty, he received sufficient education to allow him to earn a living copying texts and to develop a lifelong interest in Classical antiquity. He developed a distinctive calligraphic style and his interest in writing extended to the preparation of a treatise on the construction of the Roman alphabet, the Alphabetum Romanum (c. 1460). He also wrote several poems and a novella (c. 1474), which he illustrated with his own miniatures (1474). He is best known, however, as an antiquary, especially as a collector of inscriptions, in which he was inspired by the example of the collector and traveller Ancona, concerning whom Feliciano assembled a number of papers and biographical details (Treviso, Bib. Capitolare). His antiquarian interests were shared by Giovanni Marcanova Antenoreo, the Paduan physician and collector, whose ...

Article

Michael Spens

(Alan)

(b London, Oct 8, 1900; d July 16, 1996).

English landscape designer, urban planner, architect and writer. He was educated in London at the Architectural Association School (1919–24). His book Italian Gardens of the Renaissance (with J. C. Shepherd), derived from student research, was published in 1925, the year in which he qualified as an architect. He soon established his practice in London. In the 1930s he was instrumental in developing the Institute of Landscape Architects (now the Landscape Institute) as a professional body. He taught at the Architectural Association School (1928–33), becoming its Principal in 1939. His projects of the 1930s include the village plan (1933) for Broadway, Hereford & Worcs, a model document under the Town and Country Planning Act of 1932, and, with Russell Page (1906–85), a pioneer modernist restaurant and visitors’ centre (1934) at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Important garden designs of these years include Ditchley Park (...

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

[Kristoffel; Stoffel]

(b Zurich, Feb 1558; d Winterthur, March 27, 1614).

Swiss glass painter, woodcut designer, etcher, book illustrator and writer. He was the son and pupil of the glass painter and councillor Jos Murer (1530–80), founder of a family of artists who lived in Zurich in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1577 he collaborated with his father on a cycle of 13 pairs of panes representing Thirteen Historic Scenes of the Swiss Confederation for the Zisterzienkloster of Wettingen, Aargau. Christoph’s monograms (sm, stm) are on three panes. He probably followed this work with study travels. In 1579 he designed a cycle of panes in Basle for the well-known citizen Leonhard Thurneysser (1531–96), celebrating the adventurous life of this much-travelled goldsmith, alchemist, astrologer and personal physician to the Elector of Brandenburg. Of the original cycle, two paintings, including the Birth of Leonhard Thurneysser of Basle in 1531 (1579; Basle, Öff. Kstsamml.), and two design sketches (?...

Article

Jeffrey Chipps Smith

(b ?Nuremberg, 1497; d ?Nuremberg, 1563).

German writer, calligrapher and mathematician. He was renowned as a strict teacher of arithmetic and geometry. His calligraphic talents were recognized early. Albrecht Dürer, who lived on the same street until 1509, probably used his designs for the scripts in his woodcuts of the Map of the Eastern Hemisphere (1515) and of the portrait of Ulrich Varnbüler (1522), his painting of the Four Apostles (1526; Munich, Alte Pin.) and possibly in the woodcuts of the Triumphal Arch of Emperor Maximilian I (1515) and those illustrating his Etliche Underricht, zu Befestigung der Stett, Schloss und Flecken (Nuremberg, 1527). In 1519 Neudörfer published his Fundament … seinen Schulern zu einer Unterweysung gemacht (Nuremberg), the first writing manual printed in Germany, and in 1538 he completed his finest treatise, Eine gute Ordnung, a catalogue of styles of script, ways of holding a pen and the correct manner of forming letters. He published two other treatises on writing in Nuremberg in ...

Article

Thomas Tolley

[Jean de Paris; Master of Charles VIII]

(b ?1450–60; d Paris, after April 5, 1530).

French painter, illuminator, sculpture designer and architect. The most celebrated and best-documented French artist of his time, Perréal was painter and valet de chambre to three kings of France, Charles VIII, Louis XII and Francis I. In the earliest reliable document to mention him, of 1485, he was a resident of Lyon and painted two escutcheons for use during the celebrations for the entry of Charles of Bourbon into the city. Throughout his career he devoted considerable time to designing props for staging such ceremonial events. Perréal visited Italy on at least four occasions and recorded that he studied ancient remains there. In 1514 he was sent to England to negotiate the marriage of Louis XII and his second wife, Mary Tudor, and to ensure that her wardrobe conformed to French taste. According to Dupont, a portrait of Louis XII in the British Royal Collection (Windsor Castle, Berks) was painted by Perréal and brought to England at this time. Considered by Sterling to be a copy, this portrait is one of few panels that can still be associated with Perréal, who during his lifetime was highly praised for his abilities as a portrait painter....