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Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

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Samo Štefanac

[Aleši, Andrija; Alexii, Andreas; Andrea di Niccolò da Durazzo]

(b Dürres, c. 1425; d Split, 1504).

Dalmatian sculptor and architect of Albanian birth. Although he is recorded in 1435 at Zadar as a pupil of Marco di Pietro da Troia, his most important artistic influence was the Late Gothic style of Giorgio da Sebenico, with whom he worked in 1445 on Šibenik Cathedral and in 1452 at Ancona on the Loggia dei Mercanti. Between 1448 and 1460 Alessi also controlled his own workshop at Split and Rab. In 1466 he began work on his masterpiece, the baptistery at Trogir, which was finished in 1467. The chapel is rectangular in plan, covered with a barrel vault with acute angled coffers; its richly decorated interior is an eclectic blend of Late Gothic and Renaissance elements. The sculpture shares these characteristics: the Baptism of Christ over the entrance, with its elongated figures and complex drapery patterns, derives from Giorgio da Sebenico’s mannered style, while St Jerome in the Desert...

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Algarve  

Kirk Ambrose

Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in 1249. Further excavations could shed much light on this history.

Highlights in the Algarve include remains at Milreu of a villa with elaborate mosaics that rank among the most substantial Roman sites in the region. The site further preserves foundations of a basilica, likely constructed in the 5th century, and traces of what may be a baptistery, perhaps added during the period of Byzantine occupation in the 6th and 7th centuries. The period of Islamic rule, from the 8th century through to the 13th, witnessed the construction of many fortifications, including examples at Aljezur, Loulé and Salir, which were mostly levelled by earthquakes. Silves, a city with origins in the Bronze Age, preserves a substantial concentration of relatively well-preserved Islamic monuments. These include a bridge, carved inscriptions, a castle, cistern and fortified walls, along which numerous ceramics have been excavated. Most extant medieval churches in Algarve date to the period after the Reconquest. These tend to be modest in design and small in scale, such as the 13th-century Vera Cruz de Marmelar, built over Visigothic or Mozarabic foundations. The relatively large cathedrals at Silves and at Faro preserve substantial portions dating to the 13th century, as well as fabric from subsequent medieval campaigns. Renaissance and Baroque churches and ecclesiastical furnishings can be found throughout Algarve....

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Antonio Fernández-Puertas and D. Fairchild Ruggles

(Granada)

The palaces of the Alhambra and Generalife in Granada, Spain, form the most important architectural ensemble to survive from the Nasrid period (1232–1492). Art created under the Nasrid dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula (see Islamic art, §II, 6(iv)(e) ) provided the spark of originality for art in the neighbouring Christian kingdoms and for Marinid and Abd al-Wādid art in Morocco and Algeria. By the 9th century the citadel on the Sabīka spur of the Sierra Nevada overlooking Granada was called al-ḥamrā’ (Arab.: ‘the red’) because its ageing white stuccoed walls, probably belonging to a Visigothic fortress, were already stained red with ferruginous dust. In the 11th century the Zirids built defensive walls that linked this fortress with Albaycín Hill to the north and Torres Bermejas to the south. In 1238 the first Nasrid sultan, Muhammad I, organized the supply of water by canal, which allowed the building of a royal city on the Sabīka from the 13th to the 15th century. Enlarged and embellished by his descendants, the walled Alhambra city comprised the Alcazaba (...

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Richard Schofield and Janice Shell

(b Pavia, c. 1447; d Milan, Aug 28, 1522).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was principally active in Bergamo, Cremona, Milan and Pavia. His professional success, in terms of the architectural and sculptural commissions and official appointments that he received, was far greater than that of any of his contemporaries in Lombardy in the late 15th century, including Bramante. Amadeo’s influence in both fields, for example in his use of all’antica ornament of local origin, was considerable.

He was trained as a sculptor and evidently apprenticed to Francesco Solari (fl 1464–71) in Milan and at the Certosa di Pavia (see Pavia, §2, (i)). In 1466 Amadeo assisted in the decoration of the large cloister of the Certosa and was apparently responsible for the terracotta lavabo in the small cloister. His first signed work, directly influenced by the Late Gothic style of Solari, is the carved portal in the small cloister with a lunette of the ...

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Hanno-Walter Kruft

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Shelley E. Zuraw

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Krista de Jonge

(b Antwerp, before 1373; d Antwerp, May 15, 1434).

South Netherlandish architect. He was the son of Jan Appelmans (d Antwerp, between 1 April and 28 Sept 1395), who worked on the St Joriskerk, Antwerp. Peter was one of the most important representatives of Brabantine Gothic. His known career was confined to Antwerp Cathedral (see Antwerp, §IV, 1): in 1406 he was among its leading masons, and he became Master of the Works before 1419, a post he held until his death. The west façade (1419), which, with its two towers (only the north of which was completed) and portals, follows the French model, must be attributed to him. Its design may be compared with the virtually contemporary west façade of Brussels Cathedral. He designed the nave, the foundations of which were begun in 1431, and also made some additions to the cathedral choir; the present St Jozefskapel on the north side and the sacristy, robing room and library on the south side of the choir entrance were begun in ...

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Basilio Pavón Maldonado

Spanish term for a type of intricately joined wooden ceiling in which supplementary laths are interlaced into the rafters supporting the roof to form decorative geometric patterns (see fig.). Artesonado ceilings were popular in the Islamic architecture of North Africa and Spain from the 13th to the 15th century and were also used widely in Jewish and Christian architecture. They continued to be popular into the 16th century when they were effectively integrated with Renaissance motifs.

Artesonado ceilings developed from horizontal coffered ceilings, which were used in Spanish Islamic architecture as early as the 10th century ad (see Islamic art, §II, 5(iv)). The Umayyad caliph al-Hakam II (reg 961–76) ordered a carved and painted coffered ceiling for the Great Mosque of Córdoba (see Córdoba, §3, (i), (a)). It was suspended from the ceiling joists and tie-beams of the pitched roofs covering the aisles. The halls of ...

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Phyllis Pray Bober

(b Bologna, 1474–5; d Bologna, Nov 19, 1552).

Italian painter, sculptor, illuminator, printmaker and draughtsman . He was born into a family of painters, and his youthful facility reportedly astonished his contemporaries. His work developed in the Emilian–Ferrarese tradition of Ercole de’ Roberti, Lorenzo Costa the elder and, above all, Francesco Francia. Until the re-evaluation by Longhi, critical assessment of Amico’s oeuvre was over-reliant on literary sources, especially Vasari’s unsympathetic account of an eccentric, half-insane master working so rapidly with both hands (the ‘chiaro’ in one, the ‘scuro’ in the other) that he was able to finish decorating an entire house façade in one day.

Longhi presented Amico as a creative master whose expressive intensity and sensitive use of colour rescued Bolognese painting of the early 16th century from sterile echoes of Raphael. Today Aspertini is viewed as an influential precursor of Mannerism, and his highly individual study of antiquity has been brought to the fore by the publication of his sketchbooks. Amico was not a mere imitator of ancient artists, but their imaginative rival, whether in his grotesques derived from the decorations of Nero’s Domus Aurea in Rome (e.g. the Parma sketchbook and the borders of his ...

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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....

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Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

Spanish family of architects. Juan de Badajoz (i) (b ?Badajoz; d León, 31 Aug 1522) probably came from the region of Extremadura. He worked in León virtually all his life, and his works are exclusively Late Gothic in style. In 1498 he was appointed master builder of León Cathedral, where his most individual work was the chapter library (1505; now St James’s Chapel), an extremely flamboyant example of the Gothic style. In 1508 he was called to Oviedo Cathedral to design the elegant tower (executed by local builders). In 1513 he replaced the semicircular presbytery of the Romanesque church of S Isidoro el Real, León, with a rectangular chapel of more ample proportions, and similar in style to his cathedral library. His son Juan de Badajoz (ii) [el Mozo] (b León, c. 1498; d León, c. 1560) assisted him at León Cathedral, and succeeded him as chief master builder in ...

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David Hemsoll

(d’Antonio)

(b Milan; fl c. 1471; d 1520).

[Ambrogio da Milano; Ambrogio da Urbino] Italian architect and sculptor. He was one of the most able and prolific of the late 15th-century peripatetic Lombard masons and was recorded by Giovanni Santi in La vita…di Federico da Montefeltro duca d’Urbino (1484–7) as being among the great artists of the period. His career has, however, sometimes been confused with that of other artists named Ambrogio da Milano, in particular the sculptor who signed the tomb (executed in collaboration with Antonio Rossellino) of Bishop Lorenzo Roverella (1475; Ferrara, S Giorgio), and his oeuvre may still not have been fully defined.

Barocci was probably involved in the sculptural decoration of Pietro Lombardo’s enlargement (begun c. 1471) of S Giobbe, Venice. By c. 1475 he was in Urbino, where, under the direction of Luciano Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini, he executed numerous designs for stonework for the Palazzo Ducale. Some of this work (e.g. the portals of the Sala del Trono and the fireplace in the Salotto della Duchessa) is notable for the extremely fine low relief carvings of foliage enlivened with birds and other naturalistic details, a characteristic of Barocci’s work that Santi singled out for special praise. It is closely related in style and quality to the carvings in S Giobbe and S Maria dei Miracoli, Venice (where Barocci may have worked with ...

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Wolfgang Wolters

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Francesco Quinterio

(b Florence, 1396; d Florence, Oct 7, 1472).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was both an extremely talented sculptor and one of the pioneers of Renaissance architecture. He was extensively employed by the Medici family, especially Cosimo I de’ Medici (see Medici, de’ family, §14), becoming in effect his personal architect. His success can be attributed to an enthusiasm for innovation and a willingness to tailor his designs to his clients’ wishes. Characteristic of his work is the variety of styles, sometimes with medieval and Renaissance elements placed together in the same design.

Michelozzo was the son of Bartolomeo di Gherardo Borgognone, a tailor of French origin but a Florentine citizen for 20 years, who lived in the Via Larga. Michelozzo must have trained as a workshop apprentice, because in 1410 he is recorded in the registers of the Fiorinaio (coinmakers’ guild) as an engraver working for the Florentine mint. His apprenticeship in metalwork would have qualified him to assist ...

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Ludovico Borgo and Margot Borgo

[Porta, Baccio della]

(b Florence, March 28, 1472; d Florence, Oct 31, 1517).

Italian painter and draughtsman. Vasari and later historians agree that Fra Bartolommeo was an essential force in the formation and growth of the High Renaissance. He was the first painter in Florence to understand Leonardo da Vinci’s painterly and compositional procedures. Later he created a synthesis between Leonardo’s tonal painting and Venetian luminosity of colour. Equally important were his inventions for depicting divinity as a supernatural force, and his type of sacra conversazione in which the saints are made to witness and react to a biblical event occurring before their eyes, rather than standing in devout contemplation, as was conventional before. His drawings, too, are exceptional both for their abundance and for their level of inventiveness. Many artists came under his influence: Albertinelli, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Titian, Correggio, Beccafumi, Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino.

Fra Bartolommeo was the son of Paolo, a muleteer and carter. After 1478 he lived in a modest family house outside the Porta S Pier Gattolini in Florence and consequently was dubbed Baccio (a Tuscan diminutive for Bartolommeo) della Porta. In ...