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Article

Claire Baines

(b Dec 12, 1479; d ?Bologna, c. April 1552).

Italian historian, topographer, writer and patron. He was a friar and first entered the Dominican Order at Forlì but was in Bologna from 1495 and was officially transferred to the monastery there in 1500. Alberti received an extensive grounding in humanist studies under the Bolognese rhetorician Giovanni Garzoni. After acting as companion to the head of the order, Tomaso de Vio Cajetan, Alberti was made Provinciale di Terra Santa in Rome in 1520. This included the role of travelling companion to Tomaso’s successor, Fra Silvestri da Ferrara (‘il Ferrariense’). His travels with Silvestri throughout Italy, including the islands, laid the foundations for his most important work, the Descrittione di tutta l’Italia (1550), modelled on the Italia illustrata of Flavio Biondo. It was reprinted many times: the Venice edition of 1561 was the first to include Alberti’s sections on the islands of Italy, which were not covered by Biondo; the Venice edition of ...

Article

Alessandro Conti

(b Florence, before March 12, 1446; d Lucca, 1496).

Italian painter and illuminator. He was a Camaldolite monk; his appointment, from 1470, as Abbot of Agnano, Arezzo, and Val di Castro, Fabriano, was disputed, since he never resided at either abbey. His work is known from a signed triptych of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints (1460–67) in SS Martino e Bartolomeo at Tifi, Arezzo (in situ). It shows the influence of the most fashionable Florentine artists of the time, such as Neri di Bicci, and such artists from the Marches as Giovanni Boccati and Gerolamo di Giovanni da Camerino. The most noteworthy aspect of the altarpiece, however, is its chromatic quality. This undoubtedly derives from the work of Piero della Francesca and has made it possible to identify Amedei as the collaborator to whom Piero entrusted the small predella scenes and pilaster figures of the polyptych of the Misericordia (Sansepolcro, Pin.), a work that can be dated by the final payments made in ...

Article

William Hood

[Fra Giovanni da Fiesole; Guido di Piero da Mugello]

(b nr Vicchio, c. 1395–1400; d Rome, Feb 18, 1455).

Italian painter, illuminator and Dominican friar. He rose from obscure beginnings as a journeyman illuminator to the renown of an artist whose last major commissions were monumental fresco cycles in St Peter’s and the Vatican Palace, Rome. He reached maturity in the early 1430s, a watershed in the history of Florentine art. None of the masters who had broken new ground with naturalistic painting in the 1420s was still in Florence by the end of that decade. The way was open for a new generation of painters, and Fra Angelico was the dominant figure among several who became prominent at that time, including Paolo Uccello, Fra Filippo Lippi and Andrea del Castagno. By the early 1430s Fra Angelico was operating the largest and most prestigious workshop in Florence. His paintings offered alternatives to the traditional polyptych altarpiece type and projected the new naturalism of panel painting on to a monumental scale. In fresco projects of the 1440s and 1450s, both for S Marco in Florence and for S Peter’s and the Vatican Palace in Rome, Fra Angelico softened the typically astringent and declamatory style of Tuscan mural decoration with the colouristic and luminescent nuances that characterize his panel paintings. His legacy passed directly to the second half of the 15th century through the work of his close follower Benozzo Gozzoli and indirectly through the production of Domenico Veneziano and Piero della Francesca. Fra Angelico was undoubtedly the leading master in Rome at mid-century, and had the survival rate of 15th-century Roman painting been greater, his significance for such later artists as Melozzo da Forlì and Antoniazzo Romano might be clearer than it is....

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

Annick Benavides

[Bitti, Aloisio Bernardino Giovanni Demócrito]

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on 2 May 1568 at the age of 20. The General of the Society of Jesus, Everardo Mecurián, assigned Bitti to the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1573 at the request of the Jesuit Provincial in Peru, Diego Bracamante, who believed religious imagery would facilitate the Catholic indoctrination of indigenous Andeans at missions. After spending 14 months in Seville, Bitti arrived in Lima on 31 May 1575 and worked there for 8 years. He subsequently embarked on a peripatetic career decorating the interiors of Jesuit sites in Cuzco, Juli, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí, Arequipa, and Ayacucho.

Bitti created the main and lateral altarpieces of the Jesuit provisional church of S Pedro in Lima with the assistance of the Andalusian Jesuit artist Pedro de Vargas (...

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

Dagoberto L. Markl

(fl 1517–35).

South Netherlandish painter, active in Portugal. He is the most obviously Flemish of the artists working in Portugal during the first half of the 16th century. His earliest-known work may have been painted before he went to Portugal: the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (London, N.G.), clearly influenced by the triptych of the same subject by Hans Memling (1479; Bruges, Memlingmus.). This affinity with the Bruges school and with Memling is apparent in all of Frei Carlos’s work, which is close to that of other painters then working in Évora, such as Francisco Henriques. Their marked Netherlandish characteristics derive in part from the panels of the great altarpiece dedicated to the Life of the Virgin (c. 1500; Évora, Mus. Évora), painted for Évora Cathedral by Netherlandish artists, which recalls the art of Hugo van der Goes, Gerard David and Quinten Metsys. Between 1510 and 1512 Carlos collaborated with the ...

Article

Lucinda Hawkins

[Giorgio; Klovic, Juraj]

(b Grisone [Grizane], Croatia, 1498; d Rome, Jan 3, 1578).

Italian painter and illuminator of Croatian birth. The most important illuminator of the 16th century, he was a ‘Michelangelo of small works’, according to Vasari. Many of his documented works are dispersed or untraced, and some attributions are controversial, but his secure oeuvre gives a clear idea of his stylistic influences and development. Although much of his inspiration came from Raphael and Michelangelo, he developed his own visual language, brilliantly translating their monumental forms for work on the smallest scale.

Educated in his native Croatia, Clovio came to Italy at the age of 18 to study art. He began his training in Venice and spent several years there in the service of Cardinal Domenico Grimani and his nephew Marino Grimani. During this period he visited Rome, where he met Giulio Romano and studied with him. This stay in Rome, as well as his experience of the art collections of the Grimani, which included many works by northern artists, notably Dürer, strongly influenced his artistic development. Around ...

Article

Eliot W. Rowlands

(b Terranuova, Val d’Arno, c. 1430; d after 1492).

Italian painter. He was brought up in the Carmelite convent in Prato and first worked as garzone for the Carmelite painter Fra Filippo Lippi. On 17 July 1447 he was paid for gilding a temporary predella for Lippi’s Coronation of the Virgin (Florence, Uffizi). At Prato he assisted Lippi on his fresco cycle in the choir of the parish church (now the cathedral) between 1452 and 1466. In July 1460 Diamante received payment on Lippi’s behalf for the latter’s completion of Pesellino’s Trinity with Saints (London, N.G.), and in the same month he is recorded as a Vallombrosan monk. At this time he probably executed the frescoes of St John Gualbertus and St Albert of Trapani beside the window of the choir of Prato Cathedral.

In 1463 Diamante was imprisoned in Florence for an undisclosed crime. His absence from Prato coincided with a halt on Lippi’s fresco project, and in ...

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

Patrick M. de Winter

(b Reggio Emilia, c. 1440; d before Jan 15, 1495).

Italian scribe, illuminator and Franciscan friar. Between 1477 and 1487 he wrote three, and partially decorated six, large Antiphonaries for the cathedral of Ferrara (Ferrara, Mus. Duomo). In a series of eleven Antiphonaries and six Graduals commissioned in 1490 for the convent of S Francesco, Brescia (Brescia, Pin. Civ. Tosio–Martinengo, MSS 1–17), he illuminated initials as well as border decoration. In both enterprises Fra Evangelista probably had a controlling hand and used Jacopo Filippo d’Argenta as a close collaborator. Attributions of cuttings in Berlin (Kupferstichkab.) and a miniature with St Jerome (Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.) are inconclusive.

Fra Evangelista emulated the styles of Guglielmo Giraldi, Martino da Modena and Jacopo Filippo d’Argenta, all three active on the two series of choir-books. Like most contemporary painters in Ferrara, he was greatly influenced by the works of Cosimo Tura. His own style is characterized by a geometrically structured, balanced page layout that includes strong acanthus decoration bound within frames, and wooded or rocky scenes with large figures draped in bulky garments and with smallish heads. When working directly with Jacopo Filippo d’Argenta (best exemplified in Ferrara, Mus. Duomo, MS. Corale VI), he tended to be more inventive, his acanthus leaves stylishly framing medallions....

Article

Lucas Wüthrich

(b Fribourg, c. 1460–62; d ?Berne, after 1518).

Swiss painter and draughtsman. The most important painter of religious art in early Renaissance Switzerland, he was a product of the late 15th-century school of the Bernese carnation masters (see Masters, anonymous, and monogrammists family, §I), a school that operated within the Late Gothic tradition of South Germany. The son of a Fribourg baker and town councillor, Fries presumably trained as a painter in Berne with the ‘Carnation Master’ Heinrich Bichler (Büchler; fl 1466–97). He may well have substantially contributed to Bichler’s Battle of Morat (1480; ex-Fribourg Town Hall, until 1563). When this picture—commissioned by the town of Fribourg to commemorate a Swiss victory over the Burgundians—was handed over, he was presented with an expensive garment. In 1487–8 and 1497 he is recorded as living in Basle, but he most probably also travelled about during these years, presumably visiting Alsace (Colmar) and almost certainly Augsburg and the Tyrol. His landscape work is influenced by Netherlandish painters, his figure work by Augsburg painters (Hans Holbein the elder and Hans Burgkmair) as well as by Michael Pacher....

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

German, 15th – 16th century, male.

Born probably in Kaufbeuren.

Sculptor.

Augsburg School.

Some German authorities claim Loy Hering as the first great sculptor of the High Renaissance in that country. There are said to be around 100 of his religious and funerary carvings in churches in Würzburg, Augsburg, Heilsbronn, Kastl, Münden and Vienna....

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 ...