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Article

Tessa Garton

(fl Apulia, c. 1039–41).

Italian sculptor. His name occurs in inscriptions on a marble pulpit in Canosa Cathedral and on the beams of similar pulpits at S Maria, Siponto, and the Sanctuary of S Michele at Monte Sant’Angelo. The inscription on the Canosa pulpit (per iussionem domini mei guitberti venerabilis presbiteri, ego acceptus peccator archidiaconus feci[?t] hoc opus) identifies Acceptus as an archdeacon who made the pulpit on the orders of the priest Guitbertus. The inscription on the beam at Siponto refers to Acceptus (dmitte crimina accepto) and gives the date 1039; the lectern at Monte Sant’Angelo is dated 1041, and the inscription on one of the beams identifies Acceptus as sculptor ([sc]ulptor et acceptus bulgo). The workshop evidently included more than one sculptor, since another beam at Siponto is signed david magister. Fragments of choir screens at Monte Sant’Angelo and Siponto, and the lion support and crossbeam of a throne at Siponto, indicate that the Acceptus workshop made several kinds of liturgical furniture....

Article

Maria Adelaide Miranda

(fl first half of the 15th century).

Portuguese sculptor. He probably trained in the workshops of Batalha Abbey, where he absorbed the traditions of Coimbra, and he was the leading Portuguese sculptor of his time. In 1439–40 he worked on the tomb of Fernão de Góis in the church at Oliveira do Conde, where a Gothic inscription says that the work was carried out in 12 months by João Afonso, mestre de Sinos. The tomb is in the 14th-century tradition of Mestre Pêro and somewhat archaic in structure, comprising a chest borne by lions, with a recumbent figure on the cover and figures within aedicules at the sides. The treatment is more delicate than in most carving of the time; the arches and columns are slender and elegant, while the figures, with their animated poses and gracefully arranged drapery, are well modelled and show individual character. The same movement is found in the serene angels bearing the chalice in the ...

Article

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

[Aakirkeby]

Ornately carved baptismal font in church of St Hans, Åkirkeby, on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, dating to c. 1200–25 (see Åkirkeby, Å kirke). It is one of more than 25 baptismal fonts attributed to the Sighraf workshop, which was active on the Swedish island of Gotland in the late 12th century and early 13th, and made architectural reliefs, graveslabs, reliquaries, and baptismal fonts for local use and for export to regions in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the northern villages of Germany. Made from Gotland sandstone, the two-piece font stands 845 mm high (without a plinth) and the diameter of the upper basin (including the outside rim) is 795–805 mm.

The remarkable condition of the Åkirkeby font, despite having been whitewashed during the Reformation and carved from a soft stone that easily erodes, demonstrates that this font was carved by a highly skilled stone mason. A sophisticated pictorial cycle ornaments the sides of the upper basin accompanied by a runic inscription that identifies the name of the artist, Sighraf. Runes, in addition to Latin inscriptions, are found on several Scandinavian baptismal fonts, but this is one of the longest known runic verses and is written in a Gotlandic dialect (Wimmer, ...

Article

(b c. 1398; d c. 1468).

Sculptor, possibly of Netherlandish or German origin (Sp. alemán: ‘German’), active in Spain. He worked on the Puerta de los Leones on the south transept of Toledo Cathedral, which was begun in 1452 under the direction of the Master of the Works, Hanequin de Bruselas. The portal is important because it establishes Netherlandish influence in Toledo from the middle of the 15th century. Juan Alemán collaborated on the portal with Egas Cueman and Francisco de la Cuevas, but he was given the commission for the most important sculptures: the statues of four Apostles, the three Marys and Nicodemus (for the embrasures) and twenty-four angel groups (for the archivolts). His style shows strong German influence, seen in the accentuated, metallic drapery folds, which impart strong chiaroscuro effects and add to the nobility of the stylized figures. The tympanum of the inner portal, depicting the Tree of Jesse, must also be by Juan Alemán; it includes the original iconographic motif of the tree sprouting from Jesse’s cheek. He probably carved the ...

Article

José María Azcárate Ristori

(fl 1485; d before 1512).

Spanish wood-carver. He was the most important wood-carver in Toledo in the last decade of the 15th century. His family name was probably Duque, because he is named Rodrigo Duque in a document of Sigüenza Cathedral (Guadalajara). He is first recorded in 1485 in connection with the lower choir-stalls of Toledo Cathedral, which were completed in 1495. The ornamental detail is carefully executed and shows Lower Rhenish stylistic characteristics. The unusual iconography of the 52 stalls represents events in the reconquest of Granada from the Moors, according to accounts of contemporary chroniclers (notably Fernando del Pulgar). The narrative is brisk and lively and enriched by the inclusion of realistic incidents. Alemán was next commissioned to execute the central section of the base of the high altar retable in Toledo Cathedral, which bears fine ornamental carving.

From 1497 Alemán worked simultaneously on the magnificent choir-stalls in the cathedrals of Plasencia (Cáceres) and Ciudad Rodrigo (Salamanca). The former include portraits of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and animated biblical scenes, while the latter are dominated by tracery. Alemán probably also provided designs or contributed to the initial stages of work on the choir-stalls of Zamora Cathedral. In ...

Article

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...

Article

Phillip Lindley

(fl 1291–1317).

English sculptor. His first recorded works are in connection with the funerary monuments for Queen Eleanor of Castile (d 1290), the first wife of King Edward I. Alexander of Abingdon supplied wax models for three small images cast by William of Suffolk for the heart tomb in the Dominican church of the Blackfriars, London, as well as a painted cloth and ironwork to stand round the tomb (all destr.). From 1291 to 1294 he was also employed with Dymenge de Legeris on carving the Purbeck marble tomb-chest for the bronze effigy (both destr.) of Eleanor in Lincoln Cathedral. From William Sedgwick’s drawing of c. 1641, which is included in Sir William Dugdale’s Book of Monuments (London, BL, Loan MS. 38, fol. 98v), it appears to have been very similar to that still surviving at Westminster Abbey, London. Alexander supplied seven images at a cost of 5 marks each for the Charing Mews Eleanor Cross (destr.; ...

Article

P. Cornelius Claussen

(fl second half of the 12th century).

Italian architect and sculptor. He was probably a member of the Paulus family of Roman marble workers (see Cosmati) and a son of Angelo de Paolo. His authenticated work lies partly outside the traditional marble-working fields of furnishing and decorating church interiors and includes building. The tower doorway of Gaeta Cathedral, Lazio, bears his signature on the keystone, set on either side of a relief of a flying eagle, the symbol of St John the Evangelist. The monumental architecture of the entrance arch is articulated by rich columns and capitals, retrieved from an earlier building; its details show familiarity both with the Antique and with contemporary Campanian sculpture. The tower was begun after 1148, and probably even after 1160.

There is evidence from drawings (e.g. G. Ciampini: De sacris aedificiis, Rome, 1693) that Nicolaus de Angelo signed the portico (destr. 1732) that once stood against the main façade of ...

Article

Christine Verzar

(fl Milan, 1171).

Italian sculptor. He signed, with Girardus, the reliefs of the Porta Romana in Milan (now Milan, Castello Sforzesco); he is described as Dedalus alter, while Girardus is mentioned as pollice docto. The reliefs, dated 1171, show contemporary scenes of warfare between the Milanese and inhabitants of Brescia, Cremona and Bergamo. Fra Jacobo holds a crusading standard; St Ambrose is fighting the Arians and Jews. These sculptures, relating both to the patron saints of the city-state and to contemporary life, are typical of civic commissions. The narrative style depends somewhat on that of Nicholaus, but the reliefs also show influences from Provençal Romanesque and the school of Wiligelmo, seen in the monumentality of the figures, the classicizing facial features and the complex relief technique. The sculptors formed part of the larger school of Campionesi masters, and according to some scholars the Anselmus active in Milan should be identified with Anselmo da Campione, who worked at Modena Cathedral (...

Article

Christine Verzar

(fl 1178–1233).

Italian sculptor and architect. After Wiligelmo and Nicholaus, Antelami was the last of the great northern Italian sculptors working in the cities of the central Po Valley in the 12th century. Although he is referred to in the inscriptions as a sculptor, it is probable that he was also an architect, and that he belonged originally, as his name implies, to the guild of civic builders known as the ‘Magistri Antelami’, active in the region of Como. He worked mainly in Parma and its surroundings, although his influence was widespread.

His earliest recorded commission is the signed and dated Deposition relief (1178), now set in the south transept of Parma Cathedral, which may originally have formed part of a choir-screen. Other fragments (a badly preserved relief showing Christ in Majesty, several capitals, atlantes and column-supporting lions) are located in the cathedral and in the Galleria Nazionale, Parma. The ...

Article

G. Kreytenberg

(fl 1351–64).

Italian sculptor. He was one of the most important sculptors in Florence of his day. According to the contemporary poet Sacchetti, Arnoldi was in Milan for a long period, but there is no other evidence for this. He is first mentioned in 1351 in the cathedral works in Florence, where he was working as a mason on marble inlay for the campanile. In 1355 and 1358 he was listed as one of the advisers for the construction of the cathedral. There were two other principal master builders in the cathedral works, and Arnoldi was briefly promoted to be a third, with responsibility for executing the decorative work. On the basis of his documented work, however, he cannot be described as an architect.

Between 1359 and 1364 Arnoldi made the near-life-size statues of the Virgin and Child and two angels above the altar in the oratory of the Bigallo, Florence, and in ...

Article

Elisabetta Scirocco

[Alberto Arnoldi]

(fl 1351–64).

Italian sculptor. Alberto was one of the chief artists in Trecento Florence. His name is first recorded in 1351, when he was paid to work on the marble windows of the campanile of the Cathedral. He is generally ascribed (Becherucci) the rhomboid tiles with bas-reliefs depicting the Seven Sacraments on the second order of the campanile’s north side (originals in Florence, Mus. Opera Duomo). These may have been based on a design by di Maso Banco, who according to some scholars (Kreytenberg, 1979) also sculpted them. In 1355 and 1357–9 Arnoldi was given important jobs, such as the direction of works of the Cathedral with Talenti family §(1). His only documented works are those he executed for the oratory of the Bigallo in Florence: the life-size statues of the Virgin and Child and the two Angels holding the candelabra on the altar (1359–64), and the sculpted relief depicting the half-length ...

Article

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

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

Marjorie Trusted

(b ?Palencia, 1488–93; d ?Palencia, after 1561).

Spanish sculptor. He is first recorded assisting Giralte de Bruselas (fl 1511–23) on the retable of the high altar of Oviedo Cathedral from 1516 to 1518 and is documented as carving one of the reliefs, the Incredulity of Thomas. In 1519 Balmaseda completed a Calvary group to surmount Felipe Vigarny’s retable in Palencia Cathedral. Late Gothic in style, the expressionistic figures are fine examples of the anti-classical tradition that continued late into the 16th century in Spanish sculpture. The angular folds of drapery and twisted locks of hair are characteristic of Balmaseda’s work. Connected to this group stylistically are a Crucifixion group completed for León Cathedral and a pair of figures of the Mater dolorosa and St John (Madrid, Mus. Lázaro Galdiano), for all of which no dates are known. In 1520 Balmaseda was in Burgos, where he was influenced by the work of Diego de Siloe, and where wooden reliefs on the doors of the Hospital del Rey have been attributed to him. Between about ...

Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

David A. Walsh

(fl 1179).

Italian sculptor. Three pairs of bronze doors made from a common set of moulds are identified with the maker Barisanus of Trani: the doors of the west portals of the cathedrals of Ravello (Campania) and Trani (Apulia) and the north portal of Monreale Cathedral in Sicily. The door at Ravello is dated 1179; analysis of the use and reuse of moulds shows this composition to be the earliest of the three. Each of the three doors is composed of a series of panels cast in low relief. The junctures between the panels are covered by strips, which act as ornamental borders, all of the cast components of the assembly being fastened to a wooden core.

The doors display an extensive series of subjects. Although restoration and rearrangement of the panels make a precise determination of the original compositions difficult, it is nonetheless possible to suggest the intended arrangement. The selection of subjects of the earliest doors, at Ravello, best approaches a programme. At the top of this composition, ...

Article

(fl 1277–95).

Catalan sculptor . He is documented as working on the west portal of Tarragona Cathedral between 1277 and 1282, and his activity there has traditionally been identified with the main, central portal of the façade, although the documents could equally well refer to the lateral, Adoration of the Magi portal. The sculpture of the central doorway (the trumeau Virgin and Child, various Apostles on the embrasures, the corbel angels and other related sculpture; reorganized by the Cascalls workshop from 1375) is executed in a refined and elegant Gothic style showing both Italian and French influences, with reminiscences of classicizing sculpture at Reims Cathedral. This work is stylistically related to the tomb of Bishop Bernat de Olivella (d 1287), the prelate who commissioned the portal, in S Tecla la Vella, Tarragona, and to a series of works in the region of Girona (Sp. Gerona): a Calvary (Girona, Mus. A.), some historiated capitals (Perelada, Mus. Castillo-Pal.), the ...

Article

Patrick M. de Winter

[Biauneveu, Andrieu]

(b Valenciennes, c. 1335; d ?Bourges, 1401–3).

South Netherlandish sculptor, painter, and illuminator. He possibly trained with, or in the circle of, Jean Pépin de Huy. He is presumably the ‘Master Andrieu the painter’ mentioned in the accounts of Yolande, Duchesse de Bar, as working intermittently between 1359 and 1362 in the chapel of her castle at Nieppe (destr.). In 1361–2 ‘Master Andrieu the carver’ restored the console of a statue (both destr.) in the aldermen’s hall in Valenciennes. By October 1364 and until June 1366 he is recorded in Paris, working with assistants for King Charles V, who spoke of him as ‘our esteemed Andrieu Biauneveu, our sculptor’. The monarch commissioned from him four tombs for Saint-Denis Abbey, for which he paid 4700 gold francs: tombs for his paternal grandparents Philip VI (reg 1328–50) and Joan of Burgundy (1294–1348); for his father, John II; and for himself (first mentioned on 12 December 1364...

Article

Vincent Mayr

[Beirlin; Beuerlein; Beurlin; Päuerlin; Peierlin; Peuerlin; Peurlin]

German family of sculptors. Liedke (1987) has established that there were three Augsburg sculptors of the same name, of whom Hans Beierlein the elder (c. 1460–1508) was the most important. He probably took over the workshop of his father, Hanns Peurlin (b c. 1436; d 1482), who made the monument (1467) for Cardinal Petrus of Schaumberg in Augsburg Cathedral. Hans Beierlein the younger (d 1523–4) became a master craftsman in 1511 and made several tomb slabs in Augsburg.

Like such Late Gothic sculptors as Conrat Sifer, Veit Stoss and Adam Kraft, towards the end of the 15th century Hans Beierlein the elder showed renewed interest in the monumentality of stone, as opposed to the freedom for carving provided by wood. The durability of stone represented an association with the eternity of death, commemorated by tomb slabs. Beierlein in particular favoured the precious surface of polished red marble. His mark appears on several tomb slabs: those of ...