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Kathleen D. Nolan

Former collegiate church in Seine-et-Oise, France. The church was founded by King Robert II (reg 996–1031), but only the crypt of this building survives. Construction of the existing building extended from the second to the third quarter of the 12th century. The importance of Etampes for sculpture lies in its Early Gothic portal, situated in the second bay on the south side of the nave. It was erected after the nave and aisles were completed but before the construction of the south transept arm, which truncates the portal massif. The south portal combines the newly invented column statue with a strong interest in narrative and a distinctive sculptural style.

The Ascension occupies the tympanum of the portal, with the eleven Apostles and the Virgin flanked by two witnesses to the Ascension on the lintel below. The Elders of the Apocalypse on the inner archivolts introduce a reference to the Second Coming. The outer archivolt bears Old Testament prophets. The angels in the spandrels refer to the Ascension and are reminiscent of the victories of Roman triumphal arches. The column statues, which derive from Saint-Denis, include Old Testament kings, queens, and patriarchs....

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Robert G. Calkins

Long scrolls, usually of parchment, containing the music and words of the liturgical chant for the Easter Vigil. Named after the opening word of the chant announcing Easter, ‘Exultet iam angelica turba coelorum …’, these rolls were used during the ceremony of the blessing and lighting of the Easter Candle, which symbolizes both the Pillar of Fire that led the Israelites through the wilderness and the Resurrection of Christ, the Light of the World, on Easter Day. This liturgy, derived from the Pontifical, is attributed to Bishop Landolfo I of Benevento (reg 957–82) and became widespread among the churches in southern Italy dominated by Montecassino Abbey. As a result, such scrolls were prevalent in the Benevento and around Montecassino from the 10th to the 13th centuries (see Montecassino, §2, (i)).

Although they served a liturgical function, these scrolls were primarily ceremonial display pieces. Decorated with large elaborate interlace initials in the Beneventan style, they also contain miniatures painted in a Byzantinizing style. The miniatures were often painted upside down in relation to the text, so that when the scrolls were draped over the pulpit and the deacon intoned the words of the chant, the congregation could see the succession of illustrations right side up (e.g. Bari, Mus. Dioc., Cod. 1)....

Article

Fatimid  

Jonathan M. Bloom

Islamic dynasty that ruled in Ifriqiya (now Tunisia) from ad 909 to 972 and in Egypt from ad 969 to 1171. The Fatimids were Isma‛ili Shi‛ites who traced their ancestry back to Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, via Isma‛il, the seventh Shi‛ite Imam. They believed that their rightful position as leaders of the Muslim community had been usurped by the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs. The first Fatimid success was the toppling of the Aghlabid rulers of Ifriqiya in 909. The Fatimid leader ‛Ubayd Allah assumed the title of caliph and the regnal name al-Mahdi (reg 909–34). He soon moved his capital from the hostile religious environment of Kairouan to Mahdia on the Mediterranean coast, a base more appropriate for the expected Fatimid conquest of the rest of the Islamic world. The port soon became a centre for Mediterranean commerce, whose revival was one of the cornerstones of Fatimid prosperity. The indigenous Berber population of North Africa rose in repeated rebellions, often fomented by the Fatimids’ Umayyad rivals in Spain. In 947 the caliph ...

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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 ...

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William W. Clark

[Fontevraud]

Former abbey in Loiret, France. It was founded in 1100 by Robert d’Arbrissel (c. 1047–1117) and received a papal charter in 1106. Between 1189 and c. 1250 it was the dynastic burial church of the Plantagenet counts of Anjou (also kings of England). A joint house of monks and nuns, the abbey was suppressed in 1792 and the conventual buildings were mostly destroyed, although the Romanesque octagonal kitchen survives. Remaining buildings were converted to a prison, which closed in 1963. The 12th-century abbey church has a two-bay choir with an apse, ambulatory and three radiating chapels, and a transept with two bays and a chapel on each arm. The eastern parts are vaulted with barrel vaults, but the single-cell nave has four domed bays and a passage in the thickness of the wall.

The church is best known as the repository of the tomb effigies of Henry II, King of England...

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 (...

Article

Francis Woodman

Former Cistercian monastery near Ripon, N. Yorks.

According to Serlo of Kirkstall (fl c. 1205), Fountains Abbey was founded by Benedictine monks of St Mary’s Abbey, York, who were dissatisfied with the discipline of their urban house. Thurstan (reg 1114–40), Archbishop of York, granted a site in Skeldale in 1132–3, and in the same year Fountains was admitted into the Cistercian Order by St Bernard of Clairvaux, who sent Geoffroi d’Ainai to advise the monks (see also Cistercian Order). The land was well watered, both by the River Skell and by six springs, hence the name St Mary of the Springs, latinized to ‘de Fontibus’. A fabric fund existed in 1135, the year that Hugh of York and Serlo joined the house. Their arrival seems to have been a turning-point in the abbey’s fortunes. Grants of land towards the building of the church followed in ...

Article

Louise M. Bourdua

[Order of Friars Minor]

Religious order founded in 1209 by St Francis of Assisi. In its broader sense the name encompasses two other organizations that he founded: the Poor Clares, Order of and the Tertiaries (founded 1221), lay brothers who were affiliated to the Franciscans but usually lived in the world. The Franciscans were active in Italy from the early 13th century, but they spread rapidly and eventually became a worldwide movement; they were wealthy and influential patrons of art and architecture.

St Francis (1181/2–1226), born Giovanni Bernardone, was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant and was encouraged to spend money freely and enjoy a pleasure-seeking life. In 1205 he began experiencing ‘visitations’ and withdrew to meditate and pray. He began to show a keen interest in the poor that went beyond the giving of alms and led to his associating himself with them. According to the legends, another ‘divine visitation’ came to him in the ruined church of S Damiano, just outside Assisi, when a painted wooden crucifix spoke, telling him to repair God’s church, which was crumbling. Francis took these words literally and began raising money by selling bales of cloth from his father’s shop for the purchase of building materials. At the instigation of his father he was summoned before the Bishop of Assisi, where Francis took off his clothes and laid them with all the money he had at the feet of the bishop, declaring that he was not only renouncing earthly goods but his earthly father as well. After this dramatic display Francis wandered alone, enduring much hardship, before returning to Assisi to repair three ruined churches: S Pietro, S Damiano, and the Porziuncola. He financed these repairs and his own subsistence by begging. By ...

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(d Engelberg, Obwalden, March 27, 1178).

?Swabian ecclesiastic, writer and ?illuminator. He took his vows at St Blasien (Swabia) and, probably after a period at Einsiedeln Abbey, went on to Engelberg. From 1147 until his death he was the Abbot of Engelberg, to which he brought spiritual and economic prosperity. He founded the extensive library and the writing school there and himself wrote learned treatises. Despite differences in script, the manuscripts that survive from Frowinus’s period form a unified group, especially in their illustrations; a strict graphic effect, a confident but reserved use of colour, and many original touches are typical of the pen drawings that are preserved, with initials decorated with animals and human figures. It is impossible to ascertain whether Frowinus made a personal contribution to the manuscripts that name him as their originator. Durrer believed that Frowinus was actively involved in the decoration of these manuscripts, suggesting that he worked as a book illuminator; but Bruckner thought this unlikely, as medieval scholars virtually never also worked as scribes or illuminators. He traced the unity back to strictly observed guidelines in the scriptorium and believed that the early work of Frowinus’s period is in keeping with the development of Swabian illumination, suggesting that other monks from St Blasien worked in the Engelberg scriptorium while Frowinus was abbot. Many manuscripts bearing his name or showing the unmistakable signs of his school are preserved, of which about thirty are in Engelberg itself (including the outstanding ...

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Sadako Ohki, Cecil H. Uyehara, Nicole Fabricand-Person and Joan H. O’Mara

Japanese family of Courtiers, regents (sesshō, kanpaku) and artists. They wielded enormous power during much of the Heian period (ad 794–1185) and played a leading role in the regency government (sekkan seiji; ad 967–1068). The years 894–1185 are often referred to as the Fujiwara period. The Fujiwara clan was founded by Nakatomi no Kamatari (614–69), who had assisted Prince Naka no Oe (later Emperor Tenji, reg 661–72) in the coup of 645 that eliminated the rival Soga family. In 669 Tenji bestowed on Nakatomi the name Fujiwara (‘wisteria field’). The Fujiwara reached the height of their power with the regent Fujiwara no Michinaga (966–1028), after whose time Fujiwara dominance at court began to decline. The family also produced a number of skilled calligraphers who were instrumental in establishing or influencing styles of aristocratic Japanese-style (Wayō) calligraphy, such as those of the ...

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Cecil H. Uyehara

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Nicole Fabricand-Person

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