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Article

Italian, 12th century, male.

Sculptor, architect.

According to an inscription, this artist worked on the columns of the crypt of S Zeno, Verona.

Article

Algarve  

Kirk Ambrose

Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in 1249. Further excavations could shed much light on this history.

Highlights in the Algarve include remains at Milreu of a villa with elaborate mosaics that rank among the most substantial Roman sites in the region. The site further preserves foundations of a basilica, likely constructed in the 5th century, and traces of what may be a baptistery, perhaps added during the period of Byzantine occupation in the 6th and 7th centuries. The period of Islamic rule, from the 8th century through to the 13th, witnessed the construction of many fortifications, including examples at Aljezur, Loulé and Salir, which were mostly levelled by earthquakes. Silves, a city with origins in the Bronze Age, preserves a substantial concentration of relatively well-preserved Islamic monuments. These include a bridge, carved inscriptions, a castle, cistern and fortified walls, along which numerous ceramics have been excavated. Most extant medieval churches in Algarve date to the period after the Reconquest. These tend to be modest in design and small in scale, such as the 13th-century Vera Cruz de Marmelar, built over Visigothic or Mozarabic foundations. The relatively large cathedrals at Silves and at Faro preserve substantial portions dating to the 13th century, as well as fabric from subsequent medieval campaigns. Renaissance and Baroque churches and ecclesiastical furnishings can be found throughout Algarve....

Article

P. Cornelius Claussen

(fl second half of the 12th century).

Italian architect and sculptor. He was probably a member of the Paulus family of Roman marble workers (see Cosmati) and a son of Angelo de Paolo. His authenticated work lies partly outside the traditional marble-working fields of furnishing and decorating church interiors and includes building. The tower doorway of Gaeta Cathedral, Lazio, bears his signature on the keystone, set on either side of a relief of a flying eagle, the symbol of St John the Evangelist. The monumental architecture of the entrance arch is articulated by rich columns and capitals, retrieved from an earlier building; its details show familiarity both with the Antique and with contemporary Campanian sculpture. The tower was begun after 1148, and probably even after 1160.

There is evidence from drawings (e.g. G. Ciampini: De sacris aedificiis, Rome, 1693) that Nicolaus de Angelo signed the portico (destr. 1732) that once stood against the main façade of ...

Article

Italian, 12th century, male.

Active in Campione during the second half of the 12th century.

Architect, sculptor.

The founding member of a family of artists, Anselmo worked on the building of the Modena Cathedral, and was at the height of his powers about 1180. J. Burckhardt attributes to him (and to Campori and Borghi) a number of reliefs of ...

Article

Christine Verzar

(fl 1178–1233).

Italian sculptor and architect. After Wiligelmo and Nicholaus, Antelami was the last of the great northern Italian sculptors working in the cities of the central Po Valley in the 12th century. Although he is referred to in the inscriptions as a sculptor, it is probable that he was also an architect, and that he belonged originally, as his name implies, to the guild of civic builders known as the ‘Magistri Antelami’, active in the region of Como. He worked mainly in Parma and its surroundings, although his influence was widespread.

His earliest recorded commission is the signed and dated Deposition relief (1178), now set in the south transept of Parma Cathedral, which may originally have formed part of a choir-screen. Other fragments (a badly preserved relief showing Christ in Majesty, several capitals, atlantes and column-supporting lions) are located in the cathedral and in the Galleria Nazionale, Parma. The ...

Article

Italian, 12th century, male.

Active in Piperno.

Sculptor, architect.

According to an inscription dated 1183, this artist built the portico of the cathedral of Piperno. A number of sculptures in this church are also attributed to him.

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, 12th century, male.

Active in Tuscany.

Born to a family originally from Bidogno, near Tesserete.

Sculptor, architect.

Among the works of this artist are two low reliefs above the porch of S Casciano in Pisa that bear his name and the date 1180. These reliefs depict ...

Article

Paul Williamson

(fl 1195–1201).

Italian sculptor and architect. He is first recorded in an inscription of 1195 set to the right of the main portal of S Silvestro, Bevagna (Umbria). With Rodulfus he signed the portal on the more important church of S Michele in the same square in Bevagna, but the inscription is undated. The portals on both churches have an archivolt with rich foliate decoration, but that at S Michele is further enriched by an inlaid marble guilloche on the outer order and large impost blocks bearing reliefs of flying angels. The portal of the north façade of Foligno Cathedral, which is dated 1201, is still more refined and is again signed by both Binellus and Rodulfus, the last work that can be firmly associated with these sculptors. The portal bears foliate decoration on the archivolt and an inlaid marble motif on the outer order, but it is also decorated with couchant lions at the base of each column, beautifully carved inhabited scroll-work on the jambs and an inner archivolt with panels bearing the Signs of the Zodiac on the outer face and Symbols of the Evangelists, carved almost in the round, projecting from the soffit; reliefs of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (‘Barbarossa’) and Bishop Anselm are set on the inner face of the doorposts. The intricately rendered foliate and figurative relief-carving on these portals seems to be derived from such Umbrian sources as the leaf-carving on the portals of S Salvatore, Spoleto, while the inlaid marble patterns are characteristic of Roman marble-work (...

Article

Italian, 12th century, male.

Active in Pisa.

Sculptor, architect.

Article

Italian, 12th century, male.

Active in Pisa.

Architect, sculptor.

Pisan School.

This artist worked from 1174 to 1186. A sculptor and a worker in bronze, he made the bronze decorations of the main entrance of Pisa Cathedral (1180), but unfortunately they were destroyed by a fire in ...

Article

Rossella Caruso

[Boschetto; Busketus]

(fl Pisa, c. 1064–1110).

Italian architect. According to the inscription on his tomb (now set in the northernmost arch of the cathedral façade), he was responsible for the construction of Pisa Cathedral. The verses celebrate his art and technical ability, comparing them with those of the mythical Ulysses and Daedalus, and praise the expertise with which he organized the dangerous transport of the enormous columns by sea and by land, avoiding hostile ambushes and using machines of his own invention that could even be operated by two young girls.

Two documents, dated 1104 and 1110, mention Buschetto as one of the Operai (administrators) of Pisa Cathedral. He is considered responsible for its original plan, however, and he must have been active by 1064, when construction work began. The cathedral shows at least two building phases. The eastern sections of the building are built mainly of dark marble, but the walls to the west of the breaks are largely of white stone. Since Buschetto’s epigraph refers to a ‘temple of white marble’, at least some of these walls must have been executed under his direction. He was therefore probably responsible for the modification of the west end and the widening of the new façade, which was executed by ...

Article

Roberto Coroneo

Term coined by critics in the 19th century to designate a group of sculptors and architects who were active in northern Italy and elsewhere from the mid-12th century to the late 14th; the name derives from their place of origin, Campione (Campigliono) di Lugano, which in documents often appears after their baptismal names. Some of the masters were related. A distinctive style, marked by solid forms and a robust realism, becomes apparent only in the second half of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th; later it merges with the more general manner of north Italian sculptors and builders from Arogno, Bissone, and other places between Lake Como and Lake Lugano.

The earliest document mentioning the masters from Campione is a contract dated 30 November 1244 between Ubaldino, Director (Massaro) of the Cathedral Works of Modena from 1230 to 1263, and Enrico di Ottavio da Campione, who undertook, on behalf of himself and his heirs, to work for the cathedral ...

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

Cosma  

Italian, 12th – 14th century, male.

Sculptors, stonemasons.

These artists, who often worked together, were sometimes artisans of limited artistic ability. Others, such as Cosma di Jacopo or Cosmas I (13th century), and Cosma di Pietro Mellini or Cosmas II (13th century), became famous as sculptors. The genealogy of these artists is much disputed. They can be found in this dictionary under their forenames plus 'di Cosma' (for example: Giovanni di Cosma). They were responsible mainly for geometrical ornamentation in polychrome marbles on the façades of numerous churches in Rome, and for paving and arcading, as well as the decoration of church interiors, thrones and tombs. They also worked at Cività Castellana and on the façade of Florence Cathedral. Some of them were architects....

Article

L. A. S. Butler

(b ?1080–90; d Clairvaux, 1140).

French monk and architect. His reputation as an architect rests on three contemporary records. They show him to be a senior and trusted member of the Clairvaux community of Cistercian monks who had been at the abbey since its early days (see Clairvaux Abbey). In his role as a companion of St Bernard he was given responsibility for assisting new houses to establish themselves in the Cistercian way of life (see Bernard of Clairvaux). The clearest information comes from Fountains Abbey, N. Yorks, to which Geoffroi was sent in 1133 to instruct the monks (none of whom had spent any time within a Cistercian house) in the customs of the Order, its way of life, and disciplined attitude to monastic affairs. Serlo, then of Fountains, stated that Geoffroi had performed this task on many occasions: ‘he was skilled in ordering and establishing new houses’ (see Walbran). Part of these duties included the physical aspects of laying out the buildings, deciding on their disposition, and determining their dimensions, whether in timber as at Fountains or in stone as at Clairvaux. The confidence that Bernard placed in Geoffroi is indicated in his letter to Abbot Richard: ‘All the matters I have no time to write about I leave to Geoffroi; he will deal verbally with the rest’. When the instruction at Fountains was completed, Geoffroi left behind him a group of monks well able to continue the Cistercian tradition. Adam of Meaux, Robert of Newminster, and Alexander of Kirkstall were all monastic founders and, inevitably, builders....

Article

Rossella Caruso

(fl Pisa, 1152).

Italian architect. The name appears in three inscriptions: one on a pilaster in the baptistery at Pisa (‘deotisalvi magister huius operis’), one on the campanile of S Sepolcro, Pisa, and one on the inside north wall of S Cristoforo, Lucca. The last is generally attributed to a different craftsman of the same name.

At the Pisa Baptistery (see), begun in 1152, Diotisalvi presumably worked on the planning, on the execution of the lower storey of the exterior and, inside, on the erection of the monumental granite columns from Elba and Sardinia and of the piers (excluding the capitals). The centralized design is based on the rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which may suggest that Diotisalvi’s original scheme included the arcaded gallery and truncated conical roof. The signed inscription on the campanile of the Pisan church of S Sepolcro probably refers to the whole church. This is characterized by a similar centralized plan with a cupola, but it is smaller than the baptistery. The original octagonal structure—with eight tall pilasters, pointed arches and a dome raised on a drum—has, however, been much altered and restored....

Article

French, 12th century, male.

Died 29 December 1163.

Sculptor. Religious subjects.

Architect and Bishop of Metz, this artist was also known as a sculptor. He decorated the high-altar choir of his cathedral and restored the churches of St-Pierre-aux-Images and Notre-Dame-la-Ronde.

Article

Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the Periculoso, a directive issued by Pope Boniface VIII (reg 1294–1303) in 1298. Various architectural solutions developed throughout the Middle Ages to reconcile the necessities of enclosure with the access required by male clerics to celebrate Mass and provide pastoral care. Nuns’ choirs, where the women would gather for their daily prayers, were often constructed as discreet spaces in the church, which allowed women to hear or see the Mass without interacting with the cleric, as in the 10th-century choir in the eastern transept gallery at St Cyriakus in Gernrode, Germany. In some Cistercian examples, the nuns’ choir appeared at the west end of the nave. Dominican and Franciscan architecture was largely varied. Double monasteries, which housed men and women, also required careful construction. A 7th-century text describing the church of St Brigida in ...

Article

Stephen T. Driscoll

Scottish royal centre in Perthshire, which reached its zenith in the late Pictish period (8th–9th centuries ad) and is the source of an assemblage of high quality ecclesiastical sculpture. Occupying the fertile heart of Strathearn, Forteviot has been more or less in continuous use as a ceremonial centre since the 3rd millennium bc and is the focus of élite burials from the Early Bronze Age (c. 1900 bc) through to the Pictish era. Cinead mac Alpín (Kenneth mac Alpine), the king traditionally identified with the foundation of the Gaelic kingdom of the Scots, died at the palacium (palace) of Forteviot in ad 858. It was eclipsed as a royal centre by Scone in ad 906, but remained a significant royal estate until the 13th century.

The only surviving fabric of the palace is a unique monolithic arch, presumably a chancel arch, carved with three moustached Picts in classical dress flanking a crucifix (now in the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh). Fragments of at least four additional sandstone crosses indicate the presence of a major church, perhaps a monastery. The celebrated Dupplin Cross (now in Dunning Church) originally overlooked Forteviot from the north. This monolithic, free-standing cross (2.5 m tall) bears a Latin inscription naming Constantine son of Fergus, King of the Picts (...