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Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Painter, illuminator. Religious subjects.

Florentine School.

Alexander was the son of Antonio Simeone of Florence. A hermit of the Order of St Augustine, he created the illuminations for a book of prayers for Lorenzo Strozzi.

Cambridge (Fitzwilliam Library): Book of Prayers...

Article

German, 16th century, male.

Active between 1512 and 1561.

Painter, engraver (wood), illustrator. Religious subjects.

Erhard Altdorfer is believed to have been the brother of Albrecht Altdorfer. The latter mentions him in his will, dated 12 February 1538, as a citizen of Schwerin. Erhard was a painter to the court of Prince Henry the Peaceful and accompanied him to a royal wedding in Wittenburg. This occasion is believed to have given him the opportunity to meet Lucas Cranach, whose influence can be detected in some of his works. In 1516 he painted an altarpiece in Sternberg, Germany, which has been lost. In a 1552 letter to the young Duke John-Albert of Mecklenburg, he gives the impression of having been an architect along with his brother. Erhard Altdorfer is known today for his wood engravings, some of which are signed with a monogram formed by an intertwining of the letters ...

Article

Debra Higgs Strickland

Richly illustrated bestiary manuscript (275×185mm, 105 fols; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Ashmole 1511), written in Latin and illuminated probably in southern England around 1210. The original patron is unknown. It contains the text and illustrations of a complete bestiary, with prefatory Creation scenes and excerpts from Genesis and part of Hugh de Folieto’s Aviarium (Book of Birds). It is a luxury manuscript with lavish use of gold leaf, sometimes tooled, in the backgrounds of the full-page miniatures and numerous smaller framed animal ‘portraits’. Its images are especially notable for their ornamental qualities, evident in both the pictorial compositions and a wide variety of geometric framing devices. The prefatory cycle includes a full-page miniature of Adam Naming the Animals. The Ashmole Bestiary is considered a ‘sister’ manuscript to the Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24), to which it is iconographically very closely related, but owing to major stylistic differences the two manuscripts have been attributed to different artists. The chronological relationship between the two has been disputed: based on proposed workshop methods, Muratova (...

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

Charles Buchanan

Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.

The term ‘Atlantic’ (from the mythological giant Atlas) is derived from their impressive size; dimensions range from 550 to 600 mms by 300 to 400 mms. Their script, derived from Caroline minuscule, is placed in two columns of around fifty-five lines. The texts are decorated with two initial types, which Edward B. Garrison designated as ‘geometrical’ and ‘full shaft’, both of which are derived from Carolingian and Ottonian exemplars, respectively. The iconography consists of full-length prophets, patriarchs, kings and saints as well as narrative scenes. The last are at times found as full-page cyclical illuminations and preface important textual divisions, especially Genesis. The iconography of the Giant Bibles is a specific Roman iconographical recension with its sources based in part on Early Christian pictorial cycles, such as the wall paintings of Old St Peter’s in Rome. These came from an era considered by the reformers to have been uncorrupted by the abuses that afflicted the Church when these Bibles were being made. While the Giant Bibles were promulgated by the Church of Rome as a symbol of its supreme authority, they also allowed the clergy to perform the liturgy, and the Divine Office in particular, properly....

Article

German, 15th century, male.

Born c. 1435; died 1504.

Painter, miniaturist, illuminator, writer, printer. Religious subjects.

School of Alsace.

Hans Baemler's name appears for the first time in 1453. He established himself in Augsburg as a printer. His name appears on two miniatures, a Crucifixion...

Article

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Painter, engraver, illustrator. Religious subjects.

Florentine School.

Bartolommeo di Giovanni was a Florentine painter, active from 1483 to 1511. It has been possible to establish firm authorship of only one of his works: in an archive record of a contract dated ...

Article

Italian, 15th century, male.

Active in Orvieto.

Illuminator, mosaicist, fresco artist. Religious subjects.

In 1410, Bartolommeo di Pietro executed a miniature of a crucifix for a cathedral missal produced by Angelo di Pietro. In 1417 he worked with Andrea di Giovanni da Orvieto on the restoration of old mosaics and execution of new ones on the cathedral façade. In ...

Article

German, 16th century, male.

Born c. 1480, in Augsburg; died 1542, in Augsburg.

Painter, engraver, illuminator, illustrator. Religious subjects.

Augsburg School.

Both alone and in collaboration with his son, Leonhard Beck made numerous illuminations and woodcuts. He is believed to have assisted Holbein the Elder. Received as a master in ...

Article

Adam S. Cohen

revised by Shirin Fozi

Illuminated manuscript (292 × 225 mm; London, BL, Add. MS. 49598) containing liturgical prayers recited by the bishop, produced in Winchester between ad 971 and 984 for Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, a leader of Anglo-Saxon monastic reform. It is a sumptuous work, with 28 full-page miniatures (another 15 have been lost) and 2 historiated initials lavishly executed in gold and vibrant colours (see Initial, manuscript). The decoration includes the finest examples of Winchester school borders, consisting of acanthus designs that fill the frame and shoot forth from the corner medallions. An inscription describes the manufacture of the book by the scribe Godeman and refers specifically to the ‘many frames well adorned’. The figural style, like the decorative and iconographic elements, is derived primarily from Carolingian models and is consistent with contemporaneous Anglo-Saxon art; what distinguishes the manuscript is its extremely luxurious illuminations and the complexity of its iconographic programme....

Article

Flemish, 15th – 16th century, male.

Died in Ghent.

Painter, miniaturist, illustrator. Religious subjects.

Bruges School, Flemish School.

The first member of his family to be an artist, Alexander Bening was to be followed by a number of Flemish miniaturists of particular importance in 16th-century Flanders. He entered the Ghent painters' guild on ...

Article

Lucy Freeman Sandler

Group of twelve manuscripts, primarily Psalter and Book of Hours, nearly all illustrated by in-house artists for members of the Bohun family in the second half of the 14th century. The owner–patrons were the successive earls of Essex, Hereford and Northampton: Humphrey de Bohun VI (1309–61), the 6th Earl of Hereford and 5th Earl of Essex and his nephew Humphrey de Bohun VII (1342–73), the 7th earl of Essex and 2nd Earl of Northampton, Humphrey VII’s wife Joan Fitzalan (d 1419) and their daughters Eleanor (1366–99), who married Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester (see Plantagenet, House of family §(5)), son of King Edward III, and Mary (c. 1369–94), who married Henry of Bolingbroke (1366–1413; from 1399 King Henry IV), son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Known to have been active between c. 1360 and ...

Article

Dutch, 16th century, male.

Born 16 December 1534, in Mechelen; died 20 November 1593, in Amsterdam.

Painter (gouache), miniaturist, watercolourist, illuminator, engraver, draughtsman. Religious subjects, mythological subjects, portraits, village scenes, landscapes with figures.

Amsterdam School.

The son of Simon Bol and pupil of his father's brothers, Jean and Jacques Bol, Hans Bol worked initially in Heidelberg and then in Mons. On 10 February 1560, he was admitted to the guild in Mechelen. In 1572, after the sack of Mechelen, he left the town and, quite destitute, journeyed to Antwerp. Here he made the acquaintance of an art lover, Anton Couvreur, who became his patron. In 1574, he was admitted into the Antwerp painters' guild and, on 16 September of the same year, he was granted citizenship. Concerned that other artists were copying his work, he abandoned painting in egg tempera and started to produce small pictures in oil and gouache. In 1584, the war obliged him to flee Antwerp for Bergen-op-Zoom, Holland, where he remained until 1586. He then set up in Amsterdam, having first passed through Dordrecht and Delft. He married a widow whose son, Frans Boch, became his pupil. Other pupils were Jacquaes Savary of Courtrai and Pierre de Kleerck of Antwerp. The usual date given for his death, 1593, seems doubtful because of a miniature on parchment in existence in Berlin in 1883 depicting an ...

Article

German, 16th century, male.

Born between 1475 and 1480, in Augsburg; died 1537, in Augsburg.

Painter, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator. History painting, religious subjects, allegorical subjects, battles, genre scenes, hunting scenes. Murals, designs for stained glass.

Danube School (Augsburg).

Jörg Breu the Elder is mentioned from 1501...

Article

Italian, 16th century, male.

Born 1501, in Carpi (Emilia-Romagna); died 1556, in Ferrara, according to Vasari, in 1569 according to Baruffaldi.

Painter, fresco artist, copyist, draughtsman. Religious subjects, mythological subjects, allegorical subjects, portraits.

Girolamo was the son of Tommaso da Carpi. According to Mariette, who cites Superbi, his date of birth was in fact ...

Article

Flemish School, 16th century, male.

Born c. 1500, in Bruges; died 1576.

Painter, illuminator. Religious subjects, portraits.

Bruges School.

Claessins was a pupil of Adrian Becaert and became a master painter in Bruges in 1530. From his marriage to Petronilla Roelants he had three sons, Gillis, Pieter II and Anthuensis, all painters. He continued the tradition of Gerardt David, Ambrosius Benson and Jan Provost, painted a ...

Article

Flemish School, 16th century, male.

Died after 1575.

Painter, copyist. Religious subjects, portraits.

Antwerp School.

In 1549 he was a Master of the Antwerp Guild; his daughter was also a painter. He made copies of the old masters.

Antwerp: Baptism of Christ

Berlin: Descent from the Cross...

Article

Dutch, 16th century, male.

Born between 1470 and 1477, in Oostsanen; died before 18 October 1533, in Amsterdam.

Painter, copyist, engraver, draughtsman. Religious subjects, portraits.

Amsterdam School.

Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen was the brother of Cornelis I Buys and the father of Dirck Jacobsz. or Jacobszoon, both of whom were painters. He trained in Haarlem, then moved in about 1500 to Amsterdam, where he was the master of Jan van Scoreel from 1512 to 1517....

Article

French, 16th century, male.

Born c. 1522, probably in Sens (Yonne); died c. 1594, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator. History painting, religious subjects, mythological subjects.

Fontainebleau School.

Jean Cousin the Younger was a pupil of his father Jean Cousin the Elder and worked for most of his life in Sens....

Article

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Born 1450; died 1517.

Painter, miniaturist. Religious subjects, portraits.

Guidoccio Cozzarelli was one of the artists who worked on the choir books for Siena cathedral in 1481. Besides these, a large number of portraits and religious paintings are attributed to him, some of which can be seen in the churches of Siena....