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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

Italian, 14th – 15th century, male.

Born 1373, probably in Florence; died 6 May 1452, in Florence.

Painter, fresco artist, sculptor. Religious subjects.

Florentine School.

From 1420 onwards, Bicci di Lorenzo undertook many commissions for noble families and frescoes and decorations for chapels in S Lucia dei Bardi, S Marco and the Trinità. In ...

Article

Italian, 14th century, male.

Painter, fresco artist, sculptor. Religious subjects.

Maso di Banco's personality, long confused with that of Giottino and a Stefano, has become disentangled from these artists thanks in particular to the work of art historians such as Offner and Pietro Longhi. He studied under Giotto and proved, according to Villani, a most dedicated student: 'pinxit mirabili and incredibili venustate' (he painted things of a wonderful and unbelievable beauty). Present in Florence ...

Article

Italian, 14th century, male.

Died 1365.

Painter, fresco artist, sculptor, architect. Religious subjects.

Nardo di Cione was probably the father of Mariotto di Nardo, and definitely the elder brother of Orcagna Andrea di Cione. He is mentioned in Florence, where he worked with his brother on the Strozzi chapel in the church of S Maria Novella, executing scenes on ...

Article

Pomposa  

Charles B. McClendon

Italian former Benedictine abbey near the mouth of the Po River and 45 km north of Ravenna in the province of Emilia Romagna. Although first documented in ad 874, a monastic settlement probably existed there at least two centuries earlier. Pomposa rose to prominence in the 10th and 11th centuries through the support of the Holy Roman emperors. Over the course of the 14th century, a notable series of wall paintings in three different buildings were sponsored despite the monastery’s waning fortunes. In 1663 the monastic community was suppressed by papal decree. The site was secularized in 1802 and became property of the Italian state after 1870.

The proportions of the wooden-roofed basilican church, along with the polygonal outline of its main apse, reflect influence from nearby Ravenna and Classe and suggest a date in the 8th or 9th century. An elaborate pavement of mosaic and cut stone (opus sectile...