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Kay Sutton, E. S. Welch and Janet Southorn

Italian dynasty of rulers and patrons. As Lords and later Dukes of Milan, they dominated the politics of North Italy from the mid-14th century to the mid-15th, when the related Sforza family dynasty succeeded to the duchy. From 1311 Matteo I Visconti (d 1322) held the joint offices of Captain General and Imperial Vicar of Milan and gained control of most of western Lombardy. In 1327 his son Galeazzo I Visconti (reg 1322–8) was expelled from Milan by Ludwig of Bavaria. Galeazzo’s son (1) Azzo Visconti recovered the Imperial Vicariate in 1329 and subsequently regained control of the surrounding cities. Azzo was succeeded by his uncles Lucchino Visconti (reg 1339–49) and Giovanni Visconti, Archbishop of Milan (reg 1349–54).

In 1349 the heirs of Matteo I the Great were granted the perpetual hereditary right to the title Lord of Milan. This provided surety for the position of the family but did not prevent rivalry and dispute between different family members. A balance was kept by exile, occasional murder, and various agreed divisions of responsibility. After the death of Archbishop Giovanni, the lordship of Milan passed to three of his nephews; when one of them, Matteo II (...


Vittorio Natale

(fl Genoa, 1394–1417).

Italian painter. He was the most important Ligurian painter in a period when the region was dominated by foreign, especially Tuscan, artists. His early development took place, probably in the 1370s, in the circle of Barnaba da Modena, who was active in Liguria between 1361 and 1383. On iconographic and stylistic grounds most scholars assign the Virgin and Child (Genoa, S Rocco) to this early period. Soon Nicolò became interested in Sienese painting, particularly that of Taddeo di Bartolo, who was in Liguria between 1393 and 1398. Records show that the two were in direct contact in 1394. Taddeo’s influence is apparent in the signed Virgin and Child (Genoa, S Donato). In 1401, while working in Genoa on a tabernacle (untraced) for Nice Cathedral, Nicolò signed and dated the polyptych of the Annunciation (ex-S Maria delle Vigne, Genoa; Rome, Pin. Vaticana). The signed St George and the Dragon (?1402–4...


Michael Stuhr

[Einbek; Einbeke]

(b Einbeck, Lower Saxony, c. 1360; d Halle an der Saale, c. 1428).

German architect and sculptor. In the Halle Bergschoeffenbuch of 1415 he is named as ‘master builder to St Moritz’, and in the Necrologium ecclesiae S. Mauricii in Hallis he is named specifically as magister lapicidarum. His principal stylistic sources are the sculpture of Peter Parler in Prague and contemporary Bohemian panel painting. In 1388 he joined the masons’ guild of the parish and collegiate church of St Moritz at Halle, where he directed the first phase of building at the east end, possibly until his death; an inscription on a south choir buttress reads Conrad in Einbek natus.

The earliest evidence of Conrad’s work as a sculptor dates from 1411. Altogether there are only five stone sculptures, all life-size or larger, now found inside St Moritz, although not in their original locations: four of them bear the master’s inscription and three also bear the date of completion. The first authenticated work is the statue of ...


Brigitte Corley and Jochen Luckhardt

(b c. 1360; d after 1422).

German painter. One of the most significant German painters of the late Middle Ages, he played a pivotal role in the diffusion of the International Courtly style in northern Europe. A plausible description of his life can be pieced together from his signatures on two altarpieces, from documentary and historical evidence and from stylistic considerations.

It is reasonable to suggest that the name von Soest denotes the painter’s family rather than his place of origin. References to a family of this name in Dortmund occur from 1331, when a ‘Wernerus pictor de Sosato’ was first granted citizenship. Whether this was Conrad’s father or grandfather and taught the artist his trade remains doubtful. However, a number of Westphalian family workshops can be traced over several generations, and a painter named Johann von Soest is still recorded in Münster in 1487. Iconographic and stylistic evidence suggests that, following his apprenticeship, Conrad travelled in Westphalia before he joined the workshop of the ...


J. M. Maddison

[de Ambresbury; Herford]

(fl 1277; d 1309).

English architect. He was an important royal master mason during the period when the architecture of the English court led Europe in the development from High to Late Gothic. From 1277 to 1290 he directed the construction of Edward I’s Vale Royal Abbey, Cheshire, the largest Cistercian church built in Britain. In the following year he contracted with the abbot of Winchcombe, Glos, to complete the Abbey’s ‘new work’. In 1295 he became master mason of Caernarfon Castle , a post that he held until his death. He may have designed the tomb of Edward I’s mother, Eleanor of Provence, at Amesbury, Wilts, in 1291 (destr.). In 1304 he took part in Edward’s Scottish war, directing the production of stone ammunition at the siege of Stirling Castle and fortifying Perth. The Franciscan church in the City of London (destr.), founded by Queen Margaret in 1306, is also credited to him. The subsequent destruction of most of his work inhibits our understanding of the early Decorated style, although the masonry details of Caernarfon and surviving fragments from Vale Royal indicate his importance in the early development of Decorated mouldings. The plan of the London ...


Ernst Ullmann

Castle near Eisenach, Germany. It represents the claims to power and the self-assurance of the medieval landgraves of Thuringia. A centre of court culture in the 13th century—a legendary contest for the Minnesänger, or singers of courtly love, is supposed to have taken place in 1206–7—it was also the home from 1211 to 1227 of St Elizabeth , wife of the Landgrave Ludwig IV. In 1262 the castle passed to the House of Wettin, and it belonged to the Electors of Saxony from 1423 to 1547. Martin Luther lived there from 1521 to 1522, translating the New Testament into German. In 1741 the castle came into the ownership of the Dukes of Saxe-Weimar and became a symbol of German history and culture, inspiring the work of Goethe, Liszt, and Wagner. The Wartburgfest of German student fraternities took place there in 1817.

Founded by Ludwig der Springer, the castle is first mentioned in ...



Nigel J. Morgan

A sumptuous six-volume Bible in German (530×565 mm; Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., Cods 2759–64), made c. 1390–95 for Wenceslas IV, King of Bohemia (see Luxembourg, House of family §(4)). It is one of the most fully illustrated medieval Bibles even though the decoration extends only as far as the book of Nehemiah, just over halfway through the Old Testament. In contrast to the more usual scheme of a single illustration at the beginning of each book, found in most Gothic Bibles, the Wenceslas Bible has miniatures for almost every chapter, and occasionally more than one in a chapter. The total number of completed illustrations is almost 600, and would have been over 1000 had it been finished. Framed miniatures, often with scenes in two registers, are placed within the columns of text. The same illustrative system is used in the Antwerp Bible (1401–3; Antwerp, Mus. Plantin–Moretus, M15.1–2), probably made for ...


Brigitte Corley

[? Wilhelm von Herle ]

( fl 1358–72; d before 1378).

German painter . In 1380 the chronicler of Limburg extolled the ability of Master Wilhelm of Cologne, ‘the best painter in the German lands’, who was much admired for depicting the human figure ‘as if it were alive’. If, as is frequently asserted, the author did refer to the prosperous Wilhelm von Herle, the only painter named Wilhelm documented in Cologne during the preceding decades, the news of Wilhelm’s death had not reached him at the time of writing.

Wilhelm von Herle was first mentioned in the town records in 1358, when he purchased a residence in the painters’ quarter. In 1368 he was admitted into the Wine Confraternity; recorded property purchases of 1370, 1371 and 1372 suggest that he presided over a thriving workshop. A document settling a dispute over his will shows that by 1378 he had died, and suggests that his widow had agreed to marry his pupil, ...




(b Wickham, Hants, 1324; d Bishop’s Waltham, Hants, 1404).

English ecclesiastic, statesman, and patron. William used to be thought of as an architect, even as the inventor of the Perpendicular style, and it is no doubt because of this misapprehension that there are statues of him on the façades of the Royal Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He was born into a peasant family in Hampshire and educated in Winchester. By 1350 he was in the employment of the Bishop of Winchester, and by 1356 in that of Edward III. That year he became clerk of works at Windsor Castle, and there he came in contact with William Wynford, Master of the King’s Works at Windsor; Wynford was later employed on all William of Wykeham’s major building projects.

William’s success at Windsor established him in his career. By 1363 he was Lord Privy Seal and the King’s factotum, and in 1366 he became Bishop of Winchester and thus one of the richest men in England. Edward III then made him his Chancellor, a position he held until ...


Dillian Gordon

Portable diptych (London, NG), painted on both sides (each wing 475×292 mm, egg tempera on oak), made c. 1395–9. The Wilton Diptych is named after Wilton House, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, its location from 1705 until 1929 when it was acquired by the National Gallery, London. Its subject-matter is straightforward, but its meaning enigmatic, its purpose and patron a matter of debate, and its painter and his nationality unknown.

The interior of the left wing depicts King Richard II (reg 1377–99) with SS Edmund, Edward the Confessor, and John the Baptist, while the exterior has the royal arms of England and France impaled with the arms of Edward the Confessor, with a helmet, cap of maintenance, and lion statant guardant. The right wing is painted with the Virgin and Child with angels on the interior and the exterior has a white hart lodged, chained, and gorged with a crown.

In the interior of the left wing Richard II kneels; he wears his personal emblem of the white hart, and a collar of double broomcods. He is presented by St Edward the Confessor, King of England (...


Christopher Wilson and Mark Stocker

English castle and royal residence in Berkshire.

One of a series of castles that William I (reg 1066–87) established around London, Windsor occupied the nearest strong point in the Thames Valley to the west of the city. From William’s reign date the motte and also the distinctive elongated arrangement of lower, middle, and upper baileys that exploits the lie of the land at the top of a great chalk cliff south of the river. By the reign of Henry I (reg 1100–35) the creation of a large hunting forest, together with the proximity of London, made this a favoured royal residence as well as a fortress. The Round Tower, the stone shell-keep on the motte, may date from this time. The systematic replacement of timber defences by stone walls with rectangular interval towers was begun by Henry II in 1165, but work on the lower bailey was unfinished at his death in ...


Dieter J. Weiss, Gregor M. Lechner, Doris Kutschbach, Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Josef Strasser, Andrea M. Kluxen, Jürgen Zimmer, Martina Sitt, Ingrid Sattel Bernardini, Hans Ottomeyer and Eberhard Ruhmer

Dynasty of German rulers, patrons, and collectors. The Bavarian branch of the family (see §I below) was helped in its rise to power by an alliance with the House of Hohenstaufen. The acquisition by marriage of the Rhineland Palatinate in the early 13th century brought division of the inheritance (see §II below). However, the division gave rise to cultural diversity by scattering a number of residences throughout the country. In 1329 the dynastic treaty of Pavia with the Palatinate branch provided for reciprocal inheritance and (until 1356) the alternation of the electorship between the lines. Following a decree on primogeniture (1506) by Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria (reg 1463–1508), Bavaria remained undivided. The Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld branch (see §III below) was a collateral line. On the extinction of the Bavarian and Palatinate branches in the 18th century, however, the Zweibrücken house provided the last kings of Bavaria....



Peter Kidson, Michael T. Davis, Paul Crossley, Dany Sandron, Kathryn Morrison, Andreas Bräm, Pamela Z. Blum, V. Sekules, Phillip Lindley, Ulrich Henze, Joan A. Holladay, G. Kreytenberg, Guido Tigler, R. Grandi, Anna Maria D’Achille, Francesco Aceto, J. Steyaert, Pedro Dias, Jan Svanberg, Angela Franco Mata, Peta Evelyn, Peter Tångeberg, Carola Hicks, Marian Campbell, Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye, A. M. Koldeweij, G. Reinheckel, Judit Kolba, Lennart Karlsson, Barbara Drake Boehm, Danielle Gaborit-Chopin, Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Yvette Vanden Bemden, Nigel J. Morgan, Daniel Kletke, Erhard Drachenberg and Scot McKendrick



[Wurmser, Mikuláš ]

(flmid-14th century).

German painter. A document of 1357 refers to him as court painter to Emperor Charles IV and as a citizen of Strasbourg. In 1360 he was granted exemption for life from taxes on an estate in Mořina, but the only specific reference to his work occurs in a document of 1359, which mentions ‘places and castles’ in which he was to work. Work began in 1348 on Karlštejn Castle, one of the major projects of Charles IV’s reign. As a painter high in Charles’s esteem, Nicholas must have been involved in the first phase of decoration, including the Luxemburg Genealogy (begun c. 1356; destr. before 1597; see Karlštejn Castle §2), a wall painting in the main hall, depicting c. 60 figures from Noah to Charles IV; watercolour copies of the Genealogy (Prague, N.G., Convent of St George, Codex Heidelbergensis; Vienna, Österreich. Nbib., MS. 8330) made for Emperor Maximilian II between ...


( fl 1360; d 1405).

English architect . He was employed as warden of masons’ work at Windsor Castle in 1360, under the direction of John de Sponlee ( fl 1350–?86). In April 1361 he was promoted to joint ‘disposer of the works’, and in the same year he is referred to as Master. Only in 1365–6, however, the date at which the Great Gate and the royal lodgings in the upper ward were constructed, did he receive a full year’s wages. In 1365 Wynford was appointed consultant architect of Wells Cathedral ( see Wells §1, (i) ), where he remained until his death and executed his most influential projects. The south-west tower, built c. 1390, set the fashion for the spireless, square-topped towers of the parish churches of Somerset. By 1372 work at Windsor Castle was nearly complete and Wynford was free to develop his private practice. From 1379 he worked for Bishop of Winchester William of Wykeham...


(b ?nr Yeaveley, Derbys, c. 1320–30; d London, Aug 21, 1400).

English architect. He is first recorded in 1353, when he was granted the freedom of the City of London. He quickly rose to prominence and c. 1357 he was appointed mason to Edward, Prince of Wales (1330–76). The title of King’s Deviser of Masonry, which he held from 1360 to his death, indicates that he was recognized as an architect in the modern sense, with responsibility for design, erection, and maintenance of all Crown works, such as Queenborough Castle (1361–7; destr. 1650; see also Plantagenet, House of family §(4)) and Rochester Castle (repaired 1367–8). Stylistic evidence, including characteristically Perpendicular mouldings, indicates that he was responsible for the Black Prince’s chantry (from 1363) in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral. In 1371 he contracted to build the first cell and the cloister of the London Charterhouse. The Neville screen (1372–6) in Durham Cathedral has been attributed to Yevele’s London workshop (...