1-20 of 29 results  for:

  • 1300–1400 x
Clear all

Article

J. M. Rogers

[Muh‛ammad ibn al-Zayn; Ibn al-Zayn]

(fl early 14th century).

Arab metalworker. He is known from signatures on two undated inlaid wares, the Baptistère de St Louis (Paris, Louvre, LP 16, signed in six places) and the Vasselot Bowl (Paris, Louvre, MAO 331, signed once). His style is characterized by bold compositions of large figures encrusted with silver plaques on which details are elaborately chased. His repertory develops themes characteristic of later 13th-century metalwork from Mosul (see Islamic art, §IV, 3(ii) and (iii))—mounted or enthroned rulers, bands of running or prowling animals, an elaborate Nilotic composition, courtiers bearing insignia of office, and battle scenes on scroll grounds with strikingly naturalistic fauna. His work is marked by a realism of facial expression, in which Turco-Mongolian physiognomy, dress, headgear and even coiffure are prominent, and a vigour of movement, gesture or stance that enlivens and transforms even the running animals and rows of standing courtiers, some in Frankish costume. The technique and style of these pieces allow their attribution to the Bahri Mamluk period in Egypt and Syria (...

Article

Matthew Woodworth

(b Walsingham, Norfolk; d Ely, Cambs, 1363).

English cleric, architect, and goldsmith. Already an accomplished goldsmith when first recorded as monk of Ely Cathedral in 1314, Walsingham was appointed sub-prior of Ely in 1316, sacrist in 1321, and served as prior from 1341 until his death. As sacrist, Alan of Walsingham was responsible for the building fabric, particularly finances and general repair. He also supervised new construction projects, organized and paid the labour force, and arranged for delivery of materials. During his tenure, Walsingham oversaw the building of a new sacristy (1322–5), the spacious Lady Chapel (1321–49), Prior Crauden’s Chapel (1322–8), guest quarters (1330), and Bishop Hotham’s partly remodelled choir (1338–50). Walsingham’s most ambitious project at Ely was the soaring Octagon and central lantern (1322–49), built to replace the original Romanesque crossing tower after it collapsed in 1322. Surviving Sacrist Rolls hold Alan himself responsible for the Octagon’s design, specifying that he measured out the locations of its eight supports, secured their foundations, and carried the walls up to their full height. Scholarship is divided as to Walsingham’s precise role in the Octagon’s final appearance, but, whether as architect or industrious layman, he brought to completion one of the most innovative and spatially complex structures of the 14th century....

Article

Alchemy  

Laurinda Dixon

Ancient science from which modern chemistry evolved. Based on the concept of transmutation—the changing of substances at the elemental level—it was both a mechanical art and an exalted philosophy. Practitioners attempted to combine substances containing the four elements (fire, water, earth, and air) in perfect balance, ultimately perfecting them into a fifth, the quintessence (also known as the philosopher’s stone) via the chemical process of distillation. The ultimate result was a substance, the ‘philosopher’s stone’, or ‘elixir of life’, believed capable of perfecting, or healing, all material things. Chemists imitated the Christian life cycle in their operations, allegorically marrying their ingredients, multiplying them, and destroying them so that they could then be cleansed and ‘resurrected’. They viewed their work as a means of attaining salvation and as a solemn Christian duty. As such, spiritual alchemy was sanctioned, legitimized, and patronized by the Church. Its mundane laboratory procedures were also supported by secular rulers for material gain. Metallurgists employed chemical apparatus in their attempts to transmute base metals into gold, whereas physicians and apothecaries sought ultimately to distill a cure-all elixir of life. The manifold possibilities inherent in such an outcome caused Papal and secular authorities to limit and control the practice of alchemy by requiring licences and punishing those who worked without authorization....

Article

John N. Lupia

Type of ewer, usually of metal, used for the washing of hands in a liturgical or domestic context. It is often zoomorphic in form and usually has two openings, one for filling with water and the other for pouring. In their original usage aquamanilia expressed the symbolic significance of the lavabo, the ritual washing of the hands by the priest before vesting, before the consecration of the Eucharist and after mass. The earliest production of aquamanilia is associated with Mosan art of the Meuse Valley in northern France, and with Lower Saxony in north-east Germany. The majority of surviving examples are made of a variety of bronze that resembles gold when polished, while nearly all those made of precious metals are known only from church inventories.

Church documents refer to aquamanilia as early as the 5th century, when canon regulations stipulated that on ordination the subdeacon should receive such a vessel. Various documents from the 5th century to the beginning of the 11th sometimes use the term to denote both the ewer and its basin. Sometime after the beginning of the 11th century the term became transferred to a type of vessel, usually in the shape of an animal (e.g. lion, stag, horse; ...

Article

(fl 1324–38).

Italian goldsmith. A native of Antella (near Florence), he had moved to Florence by 16 August 1324, when he was registered in the goldsmiths’ guild. His sole extant autograph work, incorrectly attributed by Vasari to Cione Aretino, is the reliquary bust of St Zenobius (Florence, S Maria del Fiore), which is inscribed: andreas arditi de florentia me fecit. An inventory of the sacristy of S Reparata, compiled in 1418, describes the bust and dates it to 1331. It was restored in 1704 and 1812 and has lost much of its original enamel. The figure’s mitre (detachable) and collar are decorated with quatrefoil plaques of basse-taille (translucent) enamel on silver relief depicting Angels, winged Virtues and Saints. The plaques are among the earliest examples of the use of this technique, of which Andrea appears to have been a leading exponent, by a Florentine goldsmith.

Five other works by Andrea are recorded. The inventory of ...

Article

Malcolm W. Norris

A term used to describe any inscription, figure, shield of arms, or other device engraved for a commemorative purpose in flat sheet brass. It is found as early as 1486 in the will of William Norreys of Ash-next-Sandwich, Kent. Such memorials became established in 13th-century Europe as a very satisfactory form of inlay for a grave slab. They recorded the death and status of the deceased and, particularly important, attracted prayers for the soul in Purgatory. Monumental brasses are therefore usually found in churches.

Brasses were manufactured almost exclusively in north-western and central Europe, although they were exported as far south as Madeira. This form of monument was, as with tomb effigies, initially patronized by the higher clergy, although very occasionally royalty chose to be so represented. Examples are the brasses of Philip and John (destr.), sons of Louis VIII of France, formerly at Notre-Dame, Poissy, of Queen Margaret (...

Article

G. Kreytenberg

(fl 1300–34).

Italian sculptor and goldsmith. He is documented in Siena, Massa Marittima, and Messina. He was the son of Goro di Guccio Ciuti (d before 1311), a Florentine sculptor who, with Lapo and Donato, assistants of Nicola Pisano, was granted citizenship in Siena in 1271. Goro di Guccio Ciuti’s sons Neri and Ambrogio, of whom nothing further is known, followed in their father’s footsteps, as did Goro.

Goro’s earliest works are probably the monumental busts on the interior of the north portal of the main façade of the cathedral in Siena, dating from around 1300. One of the two lions on the interior of the main portal also dates from around this time. Goro must have made the sculptural figures, chased in silver, on the shepherd’s staff in the Museo Capitolare in Città di Castello during the first decade of the 14th century. He probably made a statue of a ...

Article

Barbara Drake Boehm

(fl Siena, 1322–8).

Italian goldsmith. He was the most important goldsmith in Siena in the first half of the 14th century after Guccio di Mannaia, to whom he may possibly have been apprenticed. Despite the fact that many contemporary Sienese translucent enamels have been attributed to Tondino, there is supporting evidence for only three objects. A chalice (London, BM) bears his name and that of an associate, Andrea Riguardi, on its knop. A paten representing the Resurrection in S Domenico, Perugia, is cited in the church’s inventory of 1458 as the mate to a chalice also signed by the two artists. A second paten representing St James with a Pilgrim (Perugia, G.N. Umbria), found in 1954 under the choir-stalls of the church (with the Resurrection paten), probably corresponds to a second paten mentioned in the inventory of 1458, which is also linked to a chalice signed by the two men; conflicting evidence in an earlier inventory of ...

Article

(fl c. 1286–1317).

Italian goldsmith. His earliest documented work dates from 1286, when together with his brother Tallino he made a chalice, identified by Gai (1988) with the chalice of S Atto (Pistoia, Mus. Dioc.), for the Opera di S Jacopo; he was paid 48 lire for this work on 29 April 1286. The following year the Opera di S Jacopo commissioned a silver retable, decorated with high reliefs of the Virgin and Child Enthroned and the Twelve Apostles, for the altar of S Jacopo in Pistoia Cathedral. This retable was restored in March–April 1293 and again in 1314. In 1316 it was enlarged, and the added silver antependium was signed andrea di jacopo d’ognabene, although it is unclear whether Andrea was the author of both the antependium and the earlier retable. Most scholars consider the two parts to be stylistically distinct and thus by two different artists. Ragghianti, however, gave the authorship of both parts to another goldsmith, whom he identified as the ...

Article

[Malnaia; Malnaggia; Manaie; Mannaie]

(fl 1288–1318).

Italian goldsmith. One of the most important goldsmiths of the period, he is first documented on 5 July 1292 in a payment for a seal, in which he is referred to as ‘Guccio Mannaie aurifici’. A further three payments for seals are recorded on 1 January 1294, 4 September 1298, and 7 July 1318. In 1311 he enrolled in the Sienese goldsmiths’ guild. His only signed work is the chalice (silver gilt and translucent enamel; h. 220 mm; Assisi, Tesoro Mus. Basilica S Francesco) made in 1288–92 for Pope Nicholas IV and donated to S Francesco, Assisi. The stem is inscribed guccius manaie de senis fecit and niccho[l]aus papa quartus. The chalice is first described in an inventory of 1370 and is mentioned in successive inventories: that of 1430 refers to a paten (lost) decorated with an enamel of the Last Supper. The chalice is the earliest dated example of ...

Article

(da Firenze)

(fl 1358–71).

Italian goldsmith. Trained in the workshop of the Florentine goldsmith Francesco di Niccolò, he matriculated in the goldsmiths’ guild, the Arte della Seta, in 1358. In 1361 Francesco was commissioned to execute nine narrative reliefs of episodes from the Old Testament for the antependium of the silver altar of S Jacopo in Pistoia (for further discussion of the altar see Andrea di Jacopo d’Ognabene). Documents of 13 April 1363 and 30 June 1364 indicate that Leonardo assisted with this work, which was completed in 1364. The relief panels were originally to the left of the scenes on the main face of the antependium, to which they relate chronologically and iconographically: the altarpiece was dismantled in 1381, and the two lateral faces were transposed. Francesco was the principal author of the reliefs, but in the last two panels depicting the Birth of the Virgin and Betrothal of the Virgin a different hand has been identified, possibly that of Leonardo (Gai). On ...

Article

Helen Geddes

(fl 1329 d 1380–85).

Italian goldsmith. The first reference to Ugolino is in 1329 when he and his sons, Ugolino the younger and Giovanni, sold a house. In 1332, Ugolino received compensation in connection with the commission of a chalice that the Comune of Siena was to give to the condottiere Guidoriccio da Foligno. In 1337–8 Ugolino produced his most important work, the magnificent reliquary of the Santo Corporale (Orvieto Cathedral). The inscription on the reliquary states that it was commissioned by Bishop Tramo Monaldeschi and the canons of Orvieto Cathedral during the pontificate of Benedict XII. It was probably manufactured in Siena; payments date from 7 May 1337 to 27 December 1339, and the total cost was 1374 and a half gold florins.

The reliquary is double-sided and resembles an altarpiece in form, its triple-gabled profile repeating the architectural silhouette of the façade of Orvieto Cathedral (see fig.). The form was unprecedented and ran counter to the traditional circular or polygonal reliquaries but may have been dictated by the fact that it had to contain a square of linen fabric, the relic of the Santo Corporale. A total of 23 gilded silver statuettes adorn the reliquary, but its most notable decoration consists of 32 narrative scenes rendered in ...

Article

Cordelia Warr

(b ?Sárospatak, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, 1207; d Marburg, Nov 17, 1231; can May 27, 1235; fd 17 Nov).

Hungarian saint and patron. She was the daughter of the Árpád King Andrew II of Hungary (reg 1205–35) and Gertrude of Andechs-Meran (1185–1213) and married Ludwig IV, Landgrave of Thuringia (reg 1217–27) in 1221. After Ludwig’s death (11 September 1227) whilst on crusade, Elizabeth made vows of obedience and chastity in the Franciscan church in Eisenach and later moved to Marburg where she founded a hospital. She died on 17 November 1231 and was canonized on 27 May 1235. Her relics were preserved in the Marburg, Elisabethkirche (begun 1235, dedicated 1283) having been translated there on 1 May 1236 in the presence of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.

Elizabeth’s cult was promoted through a number of royal houses with connections to the saint, including those of Naples and Castile, and she was also strongly supported by the Franciscan Order. An early 14th-century fresco cycle in the Clarissan church of S Maria Donna Regina in Naples, was commissioned by Mary of Hungary, Queen of Naples (...

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

Cristina De Benedictis

(fl 1288–1324).

Italian painter and illuminator. He was the son of the goldsmith Filippuccio (fl 1273–93). In 1948 Longhi attributed a fresco of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with SS James and John the Evangelist in the church of S Jacopo, San Gimignano, and others in the tower of the Palazzo del Popolo there to Memmo, who is documented as having lived and worked in the town from 1303 to 1317. A document of 1303 also records him as having worked in the upper church of S Francesco, Assisi, and Longhi suggested this might have been on the frescoes of the St Francis cycle, which would account for the Giottesque influence he had noted in the frescoes in San Gimignano. Previtali (1962) further attributed to Memmo the frescoes of Carlo d’Angio Administering Justice (1292; San Gimignano, Pal. Pop., Sala dell’Udienza), an altarpiece of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints...

Article

(d c. 1417–20).

Goldsmith, sculptor, and painter, probably of German origin. None of his works is known to have survived, but he is mentioned twice in mid-15th-century texts: in the second book of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Commentarii and in the manuscript of the Anonimo Magliabecchiano. Both texts relate that Gusmin died during the reign of Pope Martin (i.e. Martin V, reg 1417–31), in the year of the 438th Olympiad (i.e. between 1415 and 1420). He worked in the service of the Duke of Anjou, who was forced to destroy Gusmin’s greatest work, a golden altar, in order to provide cash for his ‘public needs’. Gusmin consequently retired to a hermitage where he led a saintly life, painting and teaching young artists. Although it is clear from his account that Ghiberti never knew the master or saw any of his original works, he stated that he had seen casts of his sculptures, which, he said, were as fine as the work of the ancient Greeks, although the figures were rather short. There have been numerous attempts to identify Gusmin with artists, both German and Italian, fitting the account of Ghiberti and the Anonimo Magliabecchiano. Swarzenski first named Gusmin as the author of the alabaster Rimini altar (Frankfurt am Main, Liebieghaus), but this has now been demonstrated to be of Netherlandish workmanship. Krautheimer proposed a convincing reconstruction of Gusmin’s career, suggesting that his Angevin patron was ...

Article

Barbara Drake Boehm

(fl Paris, 1298; d ?Paris, c. 1316).

French goldsmith. He is documented principally in the royal accounts of Philip IV, but no authenticated work by him survives. His atelier was on the Grand Pont in Paris, and his sons may also have been active there because they became proprietors after his death. In 1298 he was paid for a reliquary of St Louis (destr. after 1392) for the Sainte-Chapelle, Paris. Payments for the head reliquary of St Louis (destr. 1791) began the following year. The frontispiece engraving to Du Cange’s edition of Jean de Joinville’s Histoire de S Louys IX (1688), the only visual record of a work by Guillaume Julien to survive, shows the crowned and jewelled bust of repoussé gold only to the shoulders. Inventory descriptions show, however, that it was supported by four silver-gilt angels, holding attributes and standing on a base decorated with rosettes framing images of the 32 kings of France from Clovis to Philip IV. Champlevé inscriptions recorded their names at the top and ...

Article

Jutland  

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Mainland peninsula of modern-day Denmark and one of the three provinces (Jutland, Zealand and Skåne, southern Sweden) that constituted medieval Denmark. The conversion of the Danes to Christianity initiated a reorganization of the economic, social and legal structures of Denmark that would change the shape of Jutland dramatically between the 11th and 14th centuries. Under Knut the Great, King of Denmark and England (reg 1019–35), Jutland acquired a stable diocesan system (1060) that enabled a systematic collection of tithes and the growth of religious institutions between 1050 and 1250. During this period, agricultural practices changed as manor houses and landed estates were established, producing wealth for the ruling families. Under Valdemar I (reg 1157–82) and Knut VI (reg 1182–1202), Jutland witnessed a great building activity; on Jutland more than 700 stone churches were constructed, some replacing earlier wooden churches, each needing liturgical furnishings. Workshops, such as that of the renowned sculptor Horder and many others, were actively engaged in carving stone baptismal fonts (e.g. Malt, Skodborg, Ut, Stenild), capitals, reliefs (Vestervig, Aalborg) and tympana (Gjøl, Ørsted, Stjaer, Skibet), wooden cult figures, Jutland’s golden altars (Lisbjerg, Sahl, Stadil, Tamdrup) and wall paintings. Evidence of the earliest wall paintings in Jutland, ...

Article

Hungarian family of sculptors and bronze-casters. The only sources for the activity (before 1372 to 1390) of Martin [Martón] and George [György] Kolozsvár are the unreliable inscriptions on copies of their mostly lost works. Their names are always given in the same order, which may either be a mark of seniority or reflect their perceived artistic ranking. One may have specialized in modelling, the other in casting. The 17th-century copies of the full-size statues (originals destr. 1660) of the canonized Hungarian kings Stephen, Emeric and László from the cathedral of Nagyvárad (now Oradea, Romania) were inscribed per Martinum et Georgium filios magistri Nicolai pictoris de Colosvar. This inscription, now lost, gives the most detailed information; the accompanying date, although this may well have been false, has been variously read as 1364, 1366 or 1371, indicating that the figures were cast during the reign of King Louis I (...

Article

Josep Bracons i Clapés

(fl 1358; d before 1388).

Catalan sculptor and goldsmith. He is first documented in 1358 in Barcelona, where he executed some wooden sculptures (untraced). A wooden Virgin and Child in the church of La Merced, Barcelona, has been attributed to him and linked to a commission for this church in 1361. In 1366 Moragues received a royal commission to make seven stone crosses (destr.) for the monastery of Montserrat, near Barcelona; he was still working for Montserrat in 1373. In 1379 he was in Saragossa where he made his most important work in sculpture, the tomb of Archbishop Lope Fernández de Luna in the Capilla de S Miguel of the cathedral. Executed during the Archbishop’s lifetime, the tomb was probably completed c. 1382, the year in which King Peter IV commissioned him to make tombs for several members of his family in S Francisco, Saragossa (destr.). The tombs of Ramón Serra el Vell in S María, Cervera, and ...