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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

Vincent Mayr

German family of artists. In the late 15th century and the 16th three generations of the family were active as cabinetmakers, sculptors, painters and masons in Konstanz. Simon Haider (d c. 1480) was the most important employer of craftsmen in Konstanz, and his workshop executed commissions for the cathedral. Haider himself prepared the central panel of the high altar (1465; destr.), for which Nicolaus Gerhaert prepared the figure sculptures. The workshop also executed the choir-stalls (stylistic evidence suggests that Gerhaert may have been the designer) and the main doorway (1470), which has 20 reliefs with scenes from the Life of Christ derived from various sources. Haider’s two sons, Hans Haider (d 1519) and Andreas Haider (i), worked with him, and the sculptors Hans Heckel and Heinrich Iselin were his sons-in-law.

Hans Haider, who became a citizen in 1474, remained in the workshop until his father’s death: he is mentioned as independent from ...

Article

Renate Baumgärtel-Fleischmann

(b c. 1430–35; d Bamberg, late 1508).

German painter, draughtsman and designer. He ran a painting and woodcarving workshop in Bamberg from 1465, his main patrons being the town of Bamberg and the bishop’s court. Although he was generally commissioned to supply objects for everyday use, these have not survived; nor have the stained-glass windows for which he made preliminary drawings. Extant works based on his designs include a carved stone coat of arms (1494) on the Alte Hofhaltung in Bamberg, made by a Nuremberg master, and the tomb plaque of Bishop Georg Marschalk von Ebneth (d 1505) in Bamberg Cathedral, cast by Peter Vischer I in Nuremberg. However, both works are more expressive of the masters who executed them than of the designer. Thus the only basis for judging Katzheimer’s style lies in the 22 woodcuts for the Halsgerichtsordnung (Bamberg, 1507), printed by Johann Pfeyll, for which he supplied the preliminary drawings. The compositions are simple, with the figures lined up horizontally, diagonally or in tiers (the traditional way of suggesting depth), and the interior spaces are usually represented in outline only. Two reliefs relating to the ...

Article

Alison Stones

Legends and myths in medieval art are often symbolic rather than narrative, appearing as isolated representations on monuments and portable objects and following the tradition of Greek vase painting where individual subjects are depicted and rely on prior knowledge of the stories for recognition and understanding. World histories celebrated great heroes of the past, starting with Creation and biblical history, then the ancient and medieval world with the exploits of the Trojan heroes, Alexander the Great, King Arthur and the campaigns of Charlemagne and his nephew Roland. Northern gods such as Thor were depicted in cult statues (c. 1000; Reykjavík, N. Mus.) or through such ornamental hammers as those from north Jutland in the Copenhagen Nationalmuseum, and Freya, head of the Valkyries, was painted riding a cat on the walls of Schleswig Cathedral.

The Fall of Troy is most celebrated in the early 13th-century copy of Heinrich von Veldecke’s ...

Article

Pomposa  

Charles B. McClendon

Italian former Benedictine abbey near the mouth of the Po River and 45 km north of Ravenna in the province of Emilia Romagna. Although first documented in ad 874, a monastic settlement probably existed there at least two centuries earlier. Pomposa rose to prominence in the 10th and 11th centuries through the support of the Holy Roman emperors. Over the course of the 14th century, a notable series of wall paintings in three different buildings were sponsored despite the monastery’s waning fortunes. In 1663 the monastic community was suppressed by papal decree. The site was secularized in 1802 and became property of the Italian state after 1870.

The proportions of the wooden-roofed basilican church, along with the polygonal outline of its main apse, reflect influence from nearby Ravenna and Classe and suggest a date in the 8th or 9th century. An elaborate pavement of mosaic and cut stone (opus sectile...

Article

Louise S. Milne

[Jean de Bruxelles]

(fl 1498–1521).

South Netherlandish painter and designer of tapestry cartoons, stained-glass windows, and sculpture. He is first documented in 1498, as a Brother of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, and later became court painter at Mechelen and Brussels to Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Spanish Netherlands. Jan’s widely imitated tapestry designs, filled with graceful, melancholic figures set in a mixture of Late Gothic and Renaissance architecture, helped to create a uniform style in Brussels tapestries in the first quarter of the 16th century. The basis for attributing tapestries to Jan, or his workshop, is the documented series of the Story of Herkinbald (Brussels, Musées Royaux A. & Hist.), which was made for the Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament at Leuven and for the design for which Jan was paid 2.5 Rhenish guilders and some wine in 1513. His collaborators were the painter ‘Philips’ [Maître Phillipe] and the weaver ‘...

Article

[Feyt; Veydt; Vit; Wit]

(b Horb am Neckar, c. 1445–50; d Nuremberg, c. Sept 20, 1533).

German sculptor, engraver, and painter. His work covers the period overlapping the Late Gothic and the Northern Renaissance. He is one of the best-documented and most significant German limewood sculptors of his time. Stoss developed a uniquely expressive and personal style in this material, while also achieving considerable success working in other woods and stone. It is likely that he came from an artistic family as he had at least one brother, Matthias Stoss (b Horb, 1482; d Kraków, 1540), who was a goldsmith, and six of his sons also worked as artists: Florian Stoss (c. 1480/85–c. 1543) was a goldsmith working in Görlitz; Stanislas Stoss (d Kraków, 1527–8), Veit Stoss the younger (b Nuremberg; d Kronstadt, before 1531), and Willibald Stoss (d Schweinfurt, 1573) were sculptors; Johannes Stoss earned his living as a painter and sculptor in Schässburg; while ...