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Andrew Ladis

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[Khwāja ‛Abd al-Ḥayy]

(fl c. 1374; d Samarkand, 1405).

Illustrator and painter. According to the Safavid chronicler Dust Muhammad, ‛Abd al-Hayy trained under Shams al-Din at Baghdad during the reign of the Jalayirid sultan Uways I (reg 1356–74) and became the leading painter under his son Ahmad (reg 1382–1410), who was also ‛Abd al-Hayy’s pupil. When Timur took Baghdad, ‛Abd al-Hayy was sent to Samarkand, either in 1393 or in 1401, where he spent the rest of his life. He seems to have specialized in monochrome ink drawings: Dust Muhammad recorded that ‛Abd al-Hayy’s pupil, Ahmad Jalayir, contributed a black-and-white drawing to a manuscript of the Abūsa‛īdnāma (‘Book of Abu Sa‛id’), and a number of examples attributed to the late 14th century and preserved in various albums (e.g. Berlin, Staatsbib. Preuss. Kultbes., Orientabt. Diez A. 70–73) bear the notation that they were copied from ‛Abd al-Hayy’s drawings by Muhammad ibn Mahmud Shah Khayyam. In his album (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. ...

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Tereza-Irene Sinigalia

(fl second half of the 14th century ad).

Romanian painter. The only works attributed to him are in the narthex of Rîmet monastery church near Alba, in Transylvania province, Romania. One of the jambs of the archway connecting the narthex with the naos of the church shows a full-length St Gregory the Great accompanied by an inscription referring to Mihul, his patron Bishop Ghelasion and the date 1377. Other images include St Basil the Great on the jamb opposite, SS Anthony the Great and Andronicus on the intrados of the arch and a partially preserved Deësis above the arch. On the partitioning wall either side of the archway are SS Nicholas and Procopius, and SS John Chrysostomos and Nestor. In general the paintings reflect the influence of Palaiologan art, but they also contain certain Late Gothic elements found in the Catholic artistic environment of Transylvania. The figures are drawn with firm, expressive lines, while the volume of their bodies is rendered by subtle shading in ochres and browns with white highlights. They are shown in static, fully frontal or three-quarter poses, wearing a variety of fine vestments in ochres, greens, blues and reds. The restoration of these paintings was completed in ...

Article

Eliot W. Rowlands

(di Domenico da Zevio)

(fl 1369; d before April 10, 1393).

Italian painter. He was one of the most important North Italian painters of the 14th century. His style is characterized by an interest in the depiction of space and volume and by a preference for soft colours bathed in suffused light. His narrative paintings have a solemnity and grandeur that is mitigated by the lively realism and animation of the figures, convincingly integrated into settings of architectural complexity.

He is first recorded in Verona, where he witnessed a contract on 2 March 1369. Vasari stated that he was a most trusted member of the household (famigliarissimo) of the della Scala, the rulers of Verona, and his Vita of Carpaccio contains an appreciative, first-hand description of Altichiero’s frescoes in the Sala del Podestà, originally the Sala Grande, of the della Scala palace (c. 1364) in Verona. The subject of the frescoes was taken from Flavius Josephus’s Jewish Wars...

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H. B. J. Maginnis

In 

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Gaudenz Freuler

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Artistic manifestations of Arthurian legends antedate surviving textual traditions and sometimes bear witness to stories that have not survived in written form. Thus the Tristan sculptures (c. 1102–17) carved on a column from the north transept of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela show that the story was in circulation at least a generation before the earliest surviving written text was composed. The one surviving manuscript of Béroul’s Tristan is unillustrated, while the fragments of Thomas’s version include a single historiated initial showing Tristan playing the harp (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Fr. d. 16, fol. 10). Although Eilhart von Oberge’s Tristrant, composed in the late 12th century, is the earliest version of the Tristan story to survive complete, the only surviving illustrated copy dates from the 15th century (c. 1465–75; Heidelberg, UBib., Cpg 346), while the Munich manuscript of Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan was made in south Germany ...

Article

A. Dean McKenzie

(fl c. 1290–1311). Byzantine painter active in Macedonia. ‘Astrapas’ (Gr.: ‘lightning’) is a pseudonym, and some scholars doubt that it refers to a particular artist. Although the name Astrapas appears together with the name Michael on the wall painting (1295) in the church of the Mother of God Peribleptos in Ohrid, it is not clear whether the two names belong to one and the same artist or two different people. It is also not possible to distinguish the style of Astrapas from that of Michael and Eutychios who also painted frescoes there. The signature of ‘Astrapas’ as painter appears in the exonarthex of the church of the Mother of God (Sveta Bogorodica) Ljeviška (1307–9) in Prizren, where his work has been associated with that of the so-called ‘Master of the Prophets’. Astrapas has also been credited with the frescoes (c. 1311) in the church of the Ascension in the monastery of Žića, in Serbia. His style of painting is characterized by dramatic composition and lively, lifelike figures achieved through the use of classicizing three-dimensional techniques and a palette of warm colours against dark blue backgrounds. His nationality has been disputed, some scholars believing him to be an itinerant Greek artist recruited from Thessaloniki into the service of the Serbian king ...

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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

Eliot W. Rowlands

[Jacopo d’Avanzi]

(fl 1363–84).

Italian painter . At least two painters of this name were recorded in Bologna: a Jacopo di Pietro Avanzi, who was dead by 1378, and one who was paid for a small commission on 13 April 1384. This has led to much confusion. The earliest reference is to a Iacobus Avancini depintor, resident in 1363 in the parish of S Cecilia in the Porta Piera quarter of Bologna. On 28 February 1375 a Jacopo Avanzi witnessed a notarial act and on 23 June 1377 a Jacopo Avanzi was one of several craftsmen paid for a bishop’s pallium.

A panel of Christ on the Cross between the Virgin and St John (Rome, Gal. Colonna), which may have been the centre of an altarpiece, is signed Jacobus de avanciis de bononia f. and bears the arms of the Malatesta. The figures are monumental and sharply contoured, and the strong colours betray the painter’s Bolognese origin. The emotional portrayal of the figures is direct and convincing....

Article

Barna  

H. B. J. Maginnis

[Berna] (da Siena)

(fl c.1330–50).

Italian painter. According to I commentari, written by Lorenzo Ghiberti towards the end of his life, a Sienese painter named Barna painted several works in Tuscany, including many stories from the Old Testament in San Gimignano. Giorgio Vasari, in the first edition of his Vite (1550), listed a number of works by the Sienese painter ‘Berna’, including frescoed Old Testament scenes in the ‘Pieve’ of San Gimignano, but in the second edition (1568) he referred only to New Testament scenes in that church, dating them to the very end of Barna’s life, apparently to 1381. On the basis of Vasari’s second text a fresco cycle of the Infancy and Passion of Christ in the Collegiata of San Gimignano has been traditionally attributed to Barna da Siena, and it has been used as a departure point for attributing panel paintings to the artist.

Four major problems attend the ‘Barna question’. The first derives from the combined testimony of Ghiberti and Vasari. The brief account of the artist in the first edition of Vasari’s ...

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(fl c. 1326; bur before 1362).

Italian painter. The only secure basis for reconstructing his oeuvre is the polyptych (1.43×2.21 m; Urbino, Pal. Ducale), inscribed anno dni millo cccxl. qto tpe clementis pp oc opus fecit johannes barontius de arimino, from the Convent of the Friars Minor, Macerata Feltria, the Marches. Four scenes from the Life of Christ and seven pinnacles with figures or narratives frame the central group of the Virgin and Child with SS Francis and Louis of Toulouse and Two Angels. This work shows Baronzio to have been a competent craftsman who worked with a delicate range of colours and followed established Riminese iconography. Unsuccessful attempts to indicate volume, such as the solid, thinly draped cone of the Virgin’s body, suggest an uneasy awareness of Giotto’s concerns, only superficially shared by an artist still solidly anchored in Veneto-Byzantine modes (see fig.). Baronzio’s attention to detail, disciplined chromatic effects and fondness for decorative patterns all define him as a diligent transmitter of the ossified traditions of the local school in its later stages. He seems to have been one of the painters, although not the designer, of the three fresco cycles in the chapel of S Nicola (...

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Gaudenz Freuler

In 

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Angelo Tartuferi

(fl Florence, 1296–1320).

Italian painter. The earliest documentary reference to the artist records the apprenticeship of a certain Nerio di Binduccio to him in 1296, which suggests that Lippo was an established figure by this date. He is further recorded as a member of the Arte dei Medici e Speziali in Florence from 1312 to 1320. No documented works by him are known, however, and a reconstruction of his career was first suggested by Offner. The documented dates make Lippo a contemporary of Giotto, but the works attributed to him show a much stronger response to Sienese rather than Florentine painting, particularly that of the followers of Duccio. The Mocking of Christ (Strasbourg, Mus. B.-A.) shows their influence very clearly in its characteristic emotional content and the rhythmic element in its composition. Panels from two dismembered altarpieces of the Virgin and Child with Saints (Florence, Acton priv. col.; Florence, Uffizi, formerly Alessandri priv. col.; see Fremantle, figs 49, 54, 59) now attributed to Lippo di Benivieni were once assigned on stylistic grounds, and on the basis of the signatures ...

Article

Hans Georg Gmelin

(b ?Minden, fl 1367; d Hamburg, between Feb 20, 1414 and May 13, 1415).

German painter, illuminator, and wood-carver. His major work, the Grabow Altarpiece (Hamburg, Ksthalle), a combination of carved figures and painted scenes, is one of the high points of late 14th-century north German art. In the many documentary references to him in Hamburg, he is referred to as ‘painter’, although he was also responsible for colouring statues. At least the designs of the sculpture of some of his altars have been attributed to him. His lively narrative style, with expressive and forceful gestures, made him one of the most influential of early German artists.

Probably originally from Minden in Westphalia, Bertram is mentioned for the first time in the Hamburg city accounts of 1367, when he was paid for painting a Virgin (untraced), restoring a sculpted angel and painting a letter case. Sixty documents relate to him from his lifetime, an astounding number for a 14th-century artist, and before 1487 he was the only painter mentioned by name in the Hamburg records. In ...

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(fl 1388; d after 1450).

Italian painter and illuminator. Milanese writers from the humanist Uberto Decembrio (1350–1427) to Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo in the 16th century described Michelino as the greatest artist of his time. He was especially praised for his skill and prodigious talent in the naturalistic portrayal of animals and birds. Records of payments made in 1388 to a ‘Michelino pictore’ who painted scenes from the Life of St Augustine in the second cloister of the Augustinian convent of S Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, Pavia, are thought to be the earliest references to the artist. He was still resident in Pavia in 1404, when the Fabbrica (Cathedral Works) of Milan Cathedral decided to consult him as ‘the greatest in the arts of painting and design’. The frescoes in S Pietro in Ciel d’Oro and a panel by Michelino dated 1394 that was in S Mustiola, Pavia, in the 17th century have not survived, but two of the manuscripts with illumination firmly attributed to Michelino date from his time in Pavia: St Augustine’s ...

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H. B. J. Maginnis

A small painted panel, initially created as a cover for official documents of the civic government of Siena between the 13th and 17th centuries. The Italian word derives from the chief financial office of Siena, the Biccherna, a name that first appears at the beginning of the 13th century; it was supposedly inspired by the imperial treasury of the Blachernae Palace in Constantinople. The term has also been extended to designate painted covers and small panels connected with other Sienese civic offices and institutions, such as the tax office (Gabella), the hospital of S Maria della Scala, the Opera del Duomo and various lay confraternities. Most biccherne, however, are from the office of the Biccherna itself.

The officials of the Biccherna comprised a camarlingo, charged with expenditure on behalf of the Comune, and four provveditori, responsible for revenues and for approving disbursements. All officials were appointed for six-month terms, at the end of which the working accounts were transferred to parchment registers to be presented to the Consiglio Generale of Siena for inspection. Initially these were prepared as two distinct volumes: the ...

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Bruno Santi

(b Florence, c. 1350; d Florence, ?second decade of the 15th century or ?1427).

Italian painter. He was the first important artist in a family of artists that ran a workshop that passed from father to son for more than a century. His father was probably also a painter but all that is known of him is the name Bicci, the patronymic of Lorenzo (and probably a nickname for Jacopo). By 1370 Lorenzo had enrolled in the Florentine painters’ guild. His first documented work, datable to shortly after April 1380, is a panel depicting St Martin Enthroned (Florence, Depositi Gal.) painted for the Arte dei Vinattieri (the wine-merchants’ guild), to be mounted in the Florentine church of Orsanmichele on a pilaster assigned to that guild on 30 April 1380. The predella (Florence, Accad.) depicts the episode of St Martin Dividing his Cloak with the Beggar. In 1385, together with the painters Agnolo Gaddi, Corso di Jacopo, and Jacopo di Luca and two goldsmiths, Piero del Migliore and Niccolò de Luca, Lorenzo was called on to value the statues of ...

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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 ...