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Jane Geddes

Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in Adam Naming the Animals and Christ in Majesty. A portrait or narrative illustration of each animal precedes every text description.

The manuscript contains the press mark of King Henry VIII’s library, mainly assembled after the dissolution of the monasteries, but its provenance before 1542 is not known. Muratova (1986, pp. 118–144) uses cumulative information from a group of related manuscripts to suggest a provenance in the north-east Midlands; Geddes (...

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Alfonso Rodríguez Ceballos

(b Alava, c. 1480; d Salamanca, Sept 3, 1537).

Spanish architect. After an initial training in Burgos, an important centre of Gothic architecture towards the end of the 15th century, he moved to Salamanca, where his patrons included Alonso de Fonseca, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela and Patriarch of Alexandria, and subsequently his son, Alonso de Fonseca y Acevedo, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela and then of Toledo. Alava worked during a period of transition from the Gothic to the Renaissance style and made a synthesis of the two that was not entirely successful. Even his late churches have a Gothic structure, with rib vaults and buttresses terminating in pinnacles. His façades are embellished with early Renaissance motifs, such as friezes, grotesques and medallion busts. In his use of the orders, he was notably uninhibited by conventional forms and proportions. In 1505 Alava built the sacristy for the chapel of Salamanca University, and he may have contributed to the university façade (...

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Anna Nilsén

[Albertus Pictor]

(fl c. 1460; d after 1509).

Painter and textile designer, active in Sweden. He was probably of German origin. He married in 1473 and was a burgher of Stockholm, where he ran a workshop for liturgical embroidery. Apparently well-to-do, during the years 1501–7 he paid a higher tax than any other painter in Stockholm. About this time he also seems to have delivered an altarpiece to the Brigittine convent of Naantali (Swed. Nådendal) in Finland. He is last mentioned in 1509, when he played an instrument, probably the organ, at the Corpus Christi Guild of Stockholm.

Albert thus had many talents, but his main field must have been wall painting. His earliest works are in Södermanland and include the signed wall paintings in the church at Lid, where he also painted his self-portrait. It has been conjectured that Albert may have been an apprentice of a Master Peter, whose existence is deduced from a presumed signature in the church at Ösmo, but this theory is very tenuous. About 35 churches with paintings by Albert or his workshop are known in the provinces of Södermanland, Västmanland and Uppland. Some of the best-preserved paintings are in the churches at Floda (Södermanland), Kumla (Västmanland), Härkeberga, Härnevi, Almunge and Odensala (Uppland)....

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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....

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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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Emma Packer

(b ?London, c. 1470; d ?London, 1532).

English goldsmith. He was the son of a London goldsmith and was the most successful goldsmith working at the Tudor court; his work bridged the transition between the Gothic and the Renaissance styles. He was an official at the Mint from 1504 to almost the end of his life, his appointment possibly facilitated by his marriage to Elizabeth, granddaughter of Sir Hugh Bryce (d 1496), Court Goldsmith to Henry VIII. In 1524 Amadas became the first working goldsmith to become Master of the Jewel House to Henry VIII, an office he retained until 1532, supplying spangles, wire and ribbons to the court. In the 1520s his orders included a large amount of plate for gifts to foreign ambassadors; he also supplied a number of New Year’s gifts for the court. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was one of Amadas’ most important clients, and Amadas supplied him with a number of lavish objects. Other clients included ...

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Tarq Hoekstra and Kim W. Woods

In 

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Tarq Hoekstra and Kim W. Woods

In 

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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; ...

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[Master of Gerlamoos]

(b Thörl, nr Villach, c. 1435–40; d Villach, 1523–9).

Austrian painter . Known formerly for his frescoes at St George, Gerlamoos (Carinthia), he was identified in 1939–40 by the name Thomas, which during restoration work was found inscribed by a Crucifixion painted by the same hand in St Andreas, Thörl; this name was in turn linked with a Thomas von Villach mentioned in a register of tenants of 1468 and described by the chancellor to the patriarch of Aquileia in 1486 as a ‘second Apelles’ who had painted altar retables in Villach (these are untraced). Further documents indicate he was a town magistrate of Villach in 1520.

Thomas appears to have trained in the workshop of Friedrich of Villach, and his earlier work displays a Carinthian version of the mannered figure poses and cascading drapery of the ‘Soft Style’, which had originated in Bohemia in the late 14th century. His painting, however, perhaps influenced by 14th-century North Italian work and by the ...

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