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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

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[‛Alī Wijdān; Wijdan]

(b Baghdad, Aug 29, 1939).

Jordanian painter and art patron. She studied history at Beirut University College (formerly Beirut College for Women), receiving a BA in 1961. In 1993 she took a PhD in Islamic Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After serving in the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representing her country at United Nations meetings in Geneva and New York, Ali founded the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Jordan in 1979 and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in 1980 (see Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of). In 1988 she organized in Amman the Third International Seminar on Islamic Art, entitled ‘Problems of Art Education in the Islamic World’, and in 1989 she organized the exhibition Contemporary Art from the Islamic World at the Barbican Centre, London. In 2001 she founded the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan, and has received numerous awards in recognition of her work in the arts....

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

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 June 1931, in Eatonton (Georgia).

Painter, draughtsman (including ink), collage artist, print artist, sculptor, collector, art historian. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, figure compositions, scenes with figures, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

David C. Driskell earned a BFA at Howard University in ...

Article

German, 19th century, male.

Born 1802, in Amorbach; died 7 September 1846, in Aschaffenburg.

Painter, sculptor, engraver, collector. Church decoration.

He studied a wide range of subjects in Munich. Among other things, he decorated the Catholic church in Nördlingen (Bavaria).

Article

Toru Asano

(b Tokyo, June 23, 1891; d Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Dec 20, 1929).

Japanese painter and collector. Son of the progressive journalist Ginkō Kishida (1833–1905), he decided to leave school when he was 15, became a Christian and devoted himself to church activities. At the same time he painted and struggled with the decision of whether to live as a Christian or as a painter. In 1908 he entered the Aoibashi Western Painting Study Centre and studied plein-air painting under Seiki Kuroda (1866–1924), exhibiting two years later at the fourth Bunten, a show sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education. From the end of 1911 to early 1912 he was inspired by the work of modern French painters, which he discovered through the magazine Shirakaba (‘White birch’) and through illustrated books. The Self-portrait Wearing a Coat (1912; Tokyo, priv. col., see Hijikata, ed., 1980, pl. 1) was clearly painted under the influence of Vincent van Gogh and Tsukiji Settlement...

Article

Kōmyō  

Samuel C. Morse

(b ad 701; d 760).

Japanese empress, Buddhist patron and calligrapher. She was the consort of Shōmu, her half-brother and the 45th emperor of Japan (reg 724–49). Kōmyō was the daughter of Fujiwara no Fubito (659–720), a powerful aristocrat who was also the father of Shōmu’s mother, and Agata Inukai no Tachibana no Michiyo (d 733). Kōmyō and Shōmu, who married in 716, were two of the most fervent Buddhist patrons in the history of Japanese art. They and their family are said to have commissioned 24 complete sets of the Buddhist canon of texts (Jap. issaikyō or daizōkyō), at that time numbering 5048 volumes, and they frequently took up the brush to copy sūtras and the Chinese classics themselves. No extant works can be firmly attributed to Kōmyō, but a copy of the Luoyi lun (Jap. Gakkiron; Nara, Shōsōin) in the style of the 4th-century master Wang Xizhi (...

Article

Dutch, 17th century, male.

Born c. 1620, in Rotterdam; died 31 August 1676, in Rotterdam.

Painter, architect, collector. Religious subjects, portraits.

Lois married Eva van Mismebeck on 31 August 1649. He was captain of the civil guard from 1652 to 1653, and in 1664 was made an alderman....

Article

Illuminated manuscript (Paris, Bib. N., MS. n.a.fr. 16251) made in Cambrai depicting 87 of an original set of 90 full-page illustrations of the Life of Christ and a Litany of the Saints accompanied by a Cistercian Calendar, a subject-list and captions to the illustrations. Comprised of 107 folios, the work was made c. 1285. Two artists participated: the assistant, traceable as Master Henri, who painted a compendium of Richard de Fournival’s Bestiaire d’amour and a Vies de saints with tiny historiated initials, in 1285 (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 412), and many other books; and the major painter, otherwise untraced, who probably worked in monumental art, wall painting or stained glass. The book was made for a lady identified in the subject list as ‘Madame Marie’ and the pictures originally showed her kneeling before her ten favourite saints: Michael, John the Baptist, Paul, John the Evangelist, James the Greater, Christopher, Francis, Catherine, Margaret (now missing) and Agnes. All but one of these portraits were painted out, probably when the book came into Cistercian possession. SS Gertrude of Nivelles and Waudru of Mons at the end of the litany indicate where Madame Marie lived—the city of ...

Article

Islamic School, 12th century, male.

Active in Herat.

Engraver.

Masud ibn Ahmad was responsible for the design and creation of the famous bronze Bobrinski Bucket (named after the Russian collector who acquired it in 1885), on which he collaborated with the inlayer Muhammad ibn al-Wahid. Dated to ...

Article

Dutch, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1649, in Dordrecht; died c. 1727.

Painter, collector. Religious subjects, portraits.

Jakob Moelart studied with Nicolas Moos, and became well known as an excellent portrait painter and a painter of historical subjects. Houbraken singles out several of his works for praise, especially his ...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born c. 1849; died 1919, in London.

Painter, watercolourist, art dealer, collector. Religious subjects, portraits, genre scenes.

Charles Fairfax Murray was a pupil of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He worked as a studio assistant to Burne-Jones and was later sent to Italy to make copies of Old Masters for Ruskin. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery from 1867 onward. He was also an art collector....

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...

Article

Ratgar  

David Parsons

[Radger]

(d 6 Dec ?sd 820).

Abbot and architect. He was Abbot of Fulda from 802 to 817. Ratgar is described in a near-contemporary source as ‘skilful architect’ and is regarded by some authorities as second only to Einhard as a master builder of the Carolingian revival. A pupil of Sturm, the first Abbot (744–79), he took charge of the rebuilding of the monastery church in the 790s under Abbot Baugulf (779–802). Following his unanimous election, the early years of Ratgar’s abbacy were peaceful, but his rule became autocratic and he punished harshly monks who were disobedient or who protested against his policies. His building projects were regarded by some of the community as superfluous. Of these the most significant was the westward extension of the Abbey Church at Fulda (see Fulda §1). This grandiose scheme sought to imitate Old St Peter’s and other churches in Rome and produced one of the largest churches in the Carolingian empire, more than doubling the size of the building reconstructed under Baugulf. The building works diverted the monks from their other duties and impoverished the community. Ratgar’s solution to the financial problem was to build proprietorial churches on the Abbey’s estates in order to claim their tithes. This further alienated the monks, who complained to Charlemagne in 812 and finally revolted in 817. They appealed to Louis the Pious who banished Ratgar. He died at a daughter house near Fulda....

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

Saga  

Samuel C. Morse

(b ad 786; reg 809–23; d 842).

Japanese emperor, poet, calligrapher and patron of the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism. Along with Kūkai and Tachibana no Hayanari, he is regarded as one of the Sanpitsu (Three Brushes; master calligraphers) of the Heian period (ad 794–1185) (see Japan §VII 2., (ii)). He was the second son of Emperor Kanmu (reg 781–806), who founded the capital Heian (now Kyoto) in 794, and Empress Otomuro (ad 760–90). In 809 he succeeded his half-brother, Emperor Heizei (reg 806–9), to the throne as the 52nd emperor of Japan, and although he abdicated in 823, Saga remained the most powerful figure at court until his death. Politically the most significant event of his career occurred in 810 when Heizei attempted to return the centre of government to the old capital of Heijō (now Nara). Saga and his allies quickly crushed the rebellion, thereby assuring a pre-eminent cultural role for Kyoto in subsequent Japanese history. Saga had a deep passion for Chinese culture. He actively promoted the use of Chinese modes of dress and the adoption of Chinese nomenclature for the various structures of the imperial palace. He wrote accomplished poetry in Chinese and was responsible for the compilation of two imperial anthologies, the ...

Article

Shōmu  

Samuel C. Morse

(b Heijō [now Nara], ad 701; reg 724–49; d Nara, 756).

Forty-fifth emperor of Japan, patron of Buddhism and calligrapher. He was the eldest son of Emperor Monmu (reg 697–707) and Fujiwara no Miyako [Kyūshi] (d 754), daughter of Fujiwara no Fuhito (659–720), a powerful aristocrat who was also the father of Shōmu’s consort, Empress Kōmyō. His reign, which almost coincided with the Tenpyō era (729–49), was marked by a flowering of culture and religion, dominated by the emperor and his consort. Fine Buddhist paintings were created, as were sculptures, made not only of wood and gilt bronze but also of new materials such as clay and dry lacquer (kanshitsu). Shōmu and Kōmyō established a scriptorium within the imperial palace and frequently commissioned sets of the Buddhist texts to be disseminated throughout the country. Skilled calligraphers themselves, they also copied sūtras and the Chinese classics. No extant works can be firmly attributed to Shōmu, but a small number of objects long associated with him reflect his familiarity with the styles of the great 4th-century Chinese master Wang Xizhi (...

Article

John T. Carpenter

(b Asuka, ad 574; d Asuka, 622).

Japanese crown prince (taishi), statesman, patron of Buddhism and the arts and calligrapher. He was known during his lifetime by various nicknames reflecting the circumstances of his birth and his personal attributes. Although historical evidence has been obscured by legend, the Nihon shoki (‘Chronicle of Japan’; 720) suggests that Shōtoku wielded political power by serving as regent for his aunt, Empress Suiko (reg 593–628), after an intense six-year power struggle over the imperial succession. He is said to have instituted reforms of the court rank system, initiated diplomatic relations with China and helped frame the Seventeen-Article Constitution (Jūshichijō no kenpō; 604), an early statement of Japanese universalist philosophy, consisting of moral injunctions for government officials. More significantly, he was a fervent patron of Buddhism who helped foster closer religious and cultural ties with the continent. He is believed to have lectured on three Buddhist sūtras, the ...

Article

Dutch, 18th century, male.

Born 1694 or 1695, in Haarlem; died 10 May 1731, in Haarlem.

Painter, engraver (etching), collector. Religious subjects, figures.

Nicolaus Six was a pupil of Carel de Moor. In 1715 he entered the guild of Haarlem and was deputy mayor of that town. The museum of Bremen has a canvas by him entitled ...

Article

Anne-Françoise Leurquin

Manual for religious and moral instruction commissioned by Philip III, King of France (reg 1270–85), from his confessor, the Dominican Frère Laurent. The work was finished in 1279–80 and was a literary success. Over 100 manuscript copies have survived, with printed editions appearing in the 15th century, and translations were made into English, Castilian, Catalan, Italian, Dutch and Occitan.

Although the presentation copy is lost, 7 manuscripts have a complete cycle of 15 full-page images and another 20 have selected images. The scenes include representations of the Ten Commandments, the Credo, the Pater noster, the Apocalyptic beast, the Last Judgement and personifications of the virtues and vices paired with moralizing scenes taken mainly from the Old Testament. The images, like the text, are extremely didactic. Nearly all the fully illuminated manuscripts were made for the royal entourage at the turn of the 14th century, often by exceptional artists. Two books were made for the royal family in ...