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Abbasid  

Robert Hillenbrand

[‛Abbasid]

Islamic dynasty that ruled from several capitals in Iraq between ad 749 and 1258. The Abbasids traced their descent from al-‛Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, and were thus able to claim a legitimacy that their predecessors had lacked (see Umayyad, §1). The Abbasids rose to power in north-east Iran by channelling disaffection with Umayyad rule, but they soon established their capitals in a more central location, founding Baghdad in 762. Although they initially encouraged the support of Shi‛ites, the Abbasids quickly distanced themselves from their erstwhile allies to become champions of orthodoxy. Upon accession, each caliph adopted an honorific title, somewhat like a regnal name, by which he was later known. For the first two centuries, the Abbasids’ power was pre-eminent, and their names were invoked from the Atlantic to western Central Asia. From the middle of the 10th century, however, real power was transferred to a succession of Persian and Turkish dynasts (...

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[Alfonso, King of Germany]

(b Toledo, Nov 23, 1221; reg 1252–84; d Seville, April 4, 1284).

Spanish ruler and patron. He was a man of wide learning, a legislator and a poet. Although moderately successful in the Reconquest, following the tradition of his father Ferdinand III, King of Castile and León (reg 1217–52), he provoked opposition by raising taxes and seeking election as Holy Roman Emperor (1256).

Alfonso sponsored translations of Arab writings on astronomy and astrology. He himself composed works of history, poetry and law. His Cantigas de Santa María, a collection of over 400 poems, which survive in four manuscripts (Madrid, Escorial, Real Bib. Monasterio S Lorenzo, MSS B.I.2 and T.I.1; Madrid, Bib. N., MS. 10069; Florence, Bib. N. Cent., MS. B.R.20), were written in Galician over a period of 25 years ending in 1279. The songs of the Virgin are accompanied by an important and extensive series of over 1000 small genre scenes ‘structured like a modern comic-strip to tell the song’s narrative visually’ (Burns). Bullfights and street scenes are shown; battles depict both Christians and Muslims, and several pictures reveal Alfonso himself (he considered himself to be a troubadour of the Virgin Mary, ...

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Almohad  

Karl-Heinz Golzio

[al-Muwaḥḥidūn]

Islamic dynasty that ruled parts of north-west Africa and Spain from 1130 to 1269. Muhammad ibn Tumart (d 1130), a Masmuda Berber, preached a faith based on the Koran and the Sunna, stressing above all the oneness of God (Arab. tawḥīd), a doctrine from which the movement took the name al-Muwaḥḥidūn (‘believers in the oneness of God’). Ibn Tumart, who declared himself also as the infallible Mahdí, was able to unite disparate groups of Berbers and in 1121 began an insurrection against the Almoravid rulers with the help of the Berbers of the Atlas Mountains. After the conquest of the Anti-Atlas and Sus region, he emigrated to Tinmal (Tinmallal), south of Marrakesh in the High Atlas, an event likened to the Prophet’s Hegira from Mecca to Medina in ad 622. A defeat near Marrakesh temporarily stopped the rise of the Almohads, and even Ibn Tumart’s lieutenant and successor, ‛Abd al-Mu’min (...

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Joan Isobel Friedman, Ernő Marosi, Patrick M. de Winter, A. Demarquay Rook and Christian de Mérindol

French dynasty of rulers, patrons, and collectors. The first House of Anjou (see §I below) was founded by Charles of Anjou (1266–85) and was active mainly in Italy, notably as kings of Naples and Jerusalem. Members of the second House of Anjou (see §II below) lost Naples to the house of Aragon, House of family but continued to style themselves as kings of Naples, Sicily, and Jerusalem until the death of Charles, 5th Duke of Anjou, in 1481, when the titular kingdom passed to Louis XI, King of France.

L’Europe des Anjou: aventure des princes Angevins du XIIIe au XVe siècle (exh. cat. by S. Palmieri and others, Fontevrault Abbay, 2001) [includes several lengthy sections on Angevin Naples]

Joan Isobel Friedman

In 1266 Charles of Anjou (1226–85), brother of Louis IX, King of France (see Capet family, §2), defeated Manfred, King of Naples and Sicily (...

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Artuqid  

[Ortukid]

Islamic dynasty that ruled in south-east Anatolia from 1098 to 1408. The Artuqids were descendants of a Turkoman military commander in the service of the Saljuq dynasty; his family settled in Diyarbakır and carved out two principalities, one in Diyarbakır and the other in Mardin and Mayyafariqin. The branch in Diyarbakır fell to the Ayyubid dynasty in 1232, but the other branch survived, sometimes in vassalage, until it was extinguished by the Qaraqoyunlu dynasty. In the 12th century the Artuqids battled against the crusader County of Edessa; it was an Artuqid who took captive Baldwin at Harran in 1104.

Four large Artuqid congregational mosques survive, at Diyarbakır, Mardin, Mayyafariqin (now Silvan) and Dunaysir (now Kızıltepe), all with plans based on that of the Great Mosque of Damascus (see Islamic art, §II, 5(ii)(e)). The one at Diyarbakır (12th century) has a courtyard in the Classical revival style then in vogue in Syria, but the other buildings, of the late 12th century and early 13th, show a synthesis of Syrian and Anatolian decoration, as does the architectural style of the Saljuq dynasty of Anatolia. This style is continued at Mardin in the Sultan ‛Isa Madrasa (...

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Meredith J. Gill

A religious order of mendicants brought together under the Rule of St Augustine (see Augustinian Canons) by the papal bull Licet Ecclesiae of 1256. The Order spread throughout urbanized western Europe, and included lay people in addition to priests and nuns. Its primary goals remain the ministry of souls, the pursuit of learning and the formulation of church policy. The growth of Observant reform congregations from the mid-14th century and during the Reformation (Martin Luther was an Augustinian hermit) threatened the original unity of the Order.

The Order’s rapid and widespread expansion and its exclusive cultivation of the Augustinian way of life, particularly from the 14th century, favoured an emphasis on the life and cult of St Augustine of Hippo (ad 354–430). The saint’s Confessions, life and teachings inspired numerous cycles and individual episodes. Three episodes within the 14th-century cycles are specific to the Order: Augustine’s baptism and the donning of his monastic robes, Augustine visiting the hermits of Tuscany before returning to Africa, and the saint asking Simplician for 12 hermits to accompany him to Africa. The Order’s artistically inventive interpretations should not, however, be considered in isolation from works connected to other Augustinian groups, such as the earliest known cycle, in stained glass, in the ...

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Ayyubid  

Islamic dynasty that ruled 1169–1252 in Egypt, 1180s–1260 in Syria and south-east Anatolia, and 1174–1229 in the Yemen, with minor branches continuing until the end of the 15th century. The Ayyubids were the Kurdish clan brought to power in 1169 by Salah al-Din (Saladin; reg 1169–93) and his nephew Shirkuh when they occupied Egypt on behalf of the Zangid family ruler of Damascus, Nur al-Din (reg 1146–74). Shirkuh soon died, and Salah al-Din became master of Egypt. He ended the Shi‛ite Fatimid dynasty of Egypt in 1171 and brought Aleppo and Damascus under his control in 1183 and 1186. Salah al-Din is best known in both East and West as a tireless foe of the crusaders, and for his liberation of Jerusalem in 1187. The Ayyubid lands were governed by leading members of his family. The sultan ruling in Cairo was paramount, and Damascus was the second capital, but Ayyubid possessions extended to the Yemen and into Anatolia. The counter-crusade continued throughout the Ayyubid period; notable is the failed treaty between al-Malik al-Kamil (...

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[Badr al-Dīn Lu’lu’]

Ruler of Mosul from 1222 to 1259. He was a freed slave, as his name Lu’lu’ (‘Pearl’) indicates, and became regent (Turk. atabeg) for the last members of the Zangid family dynasty in Mosul in 1210. After the last Zangid died in 1222, the Abbasid caliph recognized Badr al-Din as ruler with the title al-Malik al-Rahim. Throughout his reign he sided with the Ayyubid princes in wars against his local rivals, but he died shortly after the Mongol invasion. Badr al-Din fortified Mosul and built religious structures and caravanserais throughout his domain. The Sinjar Gate, bearing his blazon and inscription, survived until the early 20th century, and remains of his palace in Mosul, known as Qara Saray (1233–59), existed until the 1980s. Built in traditional brick techniques, its rich stucco interior decoration featured muqarnas, large inscriptions in cursive script, arabesques and friezes of busts alternating with spread-winged eagles. The shrines of ‛Awn al-Din (...

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R. K. Morris

(b Acton Burnell, Salop, c. 1230; d Berwick-upon-Tweed, 1292).

Bishop of Bath and Wells, Chancellor of England and patron. He was the younger son of a minor Shropshire landowner. After entering the Church and training as a lawyer, he became attached to the household of the future King Edward I (reg 1272–1307), with whom he built up a close relationship in the 1260s. After Edward’s accession he rapidly became the chief figure in the political life of the kingdom: appointed Chancellor in 1274 and elected Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1275. He used his wealth to create a great estate centred on his birthplace, which he rebuilt as Acton Burnell ‘Castle’ (1284–6), and added a great chapel and aisled hall (40×21 m) to the Bishop’s Palace at Wells (c. 1280–92). Both works, though partly ruined, are remarkable survivals of courtier houses of the late 13th century; battlemented more for display than fortification and with elegant windows that are early examples of ecclesiastical tracery applied to secular buildings. The style indicates that Burnell employed masons familiar with the latest Rayonnant works in London (e.g. Old St Paul’s Cathedral) and with Edward I’s castles in North Wales. The style also relates to contemporary cathedral works at Wells and Exeter, and his craftsmen were probably responsible for introducing a more refined version of early Decorated style to south-west England. His career is an outstanding early example of a churchman who, like his contemporaries bishops Merton of Rochester and Kirkby of Ely, rose through royal favour to become a major patron of architecture and a forerunner of the great courtier–prelates of the 14th century, such as William of Wykeham....

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In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

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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....

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C. Bruzelius, Patrick M. de Winter and Pippa Shirley

French dynasty of rulers, collectors, and patrons. Hugh Capet, Duke of the Franks, succeeded the last Carolingian ruler, Louis V (reg ad 986–7), as King of France (reg ad 987–96). There were no outstanding patrons until the 13th century, when (1) Blanche of Castile became Queen of France as a consequence of her marriage (1200) to Louis VIII (reg 1223–6). Her patronage is sometimes difficult to distinguish from that of her son (2) Louis IX, particularly during his minority, when they were jointly involved in the foundation and endowment of several monastic institutions and the rebuilding of Saint-Denis Abbey. Nevertheless, their individual tastes are evident: for instance in Blanche’s patronage of manuscript illumination and her preference for Cistercian foundations. Among Louis IX’s architectural projects, his foundation and embellishment of the Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, is outstanding. His grandson (3) Philip IV was particularly active as a patron in Paris, his interests ranging from manuscript illumination, goldsmithswork, and ivory-carving to more monumental projects; he also employed Italian artists. ...