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Article

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....

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

Isabel Mateo Gómez

(b ?Toledo; d 1595).

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (d 1565). He worked as painter to Toledo Cathedral from 1565 to 1581 and was painter (Pintor del Rey) to Philip II from 1583. He acted frequently as a valuer for the work of other artists.

Between 1563 and 1564, in collaboration with Luis de Velasco, Hernando de Ávila painted the retable of the church of Miraflores (Madrid Province) with the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (untraced); these are probably among his earliest works. He was commissioned to paint the retables of St John the Baptist and the ...

Article

Francesco Paolo Fiore and Pietro C. Marani

(Pollaiolo) [Francesco di Giorgio]

(b Siena, bapt Sept 23, 1439; d Siena, bur Nov 29, 1501).

Italian architect, engineer, painter, illuminator, sculptor, medallist, theorist and writer. He was the most outstanding artistic personality from Siena in the second half of the 15th century. His activities as a diplomat led to his employment at the courts of Naples, Milan and Urbino, as well as in Siena, and while most of his paintings and miniatures date from before 1475, by the 1480s and 1490s he was among the leading architects in Italy. He was particularly renowned for his work as a military architect, notably for his involvement in the development of the Bastion, which formed the basis of post-medieval fortifications (see Military architecture & fortification, §III, 2(ii) and 4(ii)). His subsequent palace and church architecture was influential in spreading the Urbino style, which he renewed with reference to the architecture of Leon Battista Alberti but giving emphasis to the purism of smooth surfaces. His theoretical works, which include the first important Western writings on military engineering, were not published until modern times but were keenly studied in manuscript, by Leonardo da Vinci among others; they foreshadowed a number of developments that came to fruition in the 16th century (...

Article

(b Nantes, c. 1606–9; d Rome, May 25, 1689).

French painter, draughtsman, architect and writer, active also in Italy. He first studied under Charles Errard le père (c. 1570–1630), a Mannerist portrait painter and engineer. From 1627 he was in Rome, working under the protection of François de Créqui, French Ambassador to the papal court. There he came into contact with an influential circle of scholars, artists and patrons, including Joachim von Sandrart, Paul Fréart, Sieur de Chantelou, secretary to the French Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi, François Sublet des Noyers and Giovanni Pietro Bellori. During this period he made copies after paintings by Titian and Annibale Carracci and drawings of Roman antiquities, while learning the idealized, classicizing style that was upheld in academic circles. In 1633 he became a member of the Accademia di S Luca.

In 1643 Errard returned to Paris as a Peintre Ordinaire du Roi and became one of the most fashionable painters in the capital. Over the next two decades he undertook a series of commissions for the crown and for wealthy bourgeois patrons. In ...

Article

Martin Kemp

(b Anchiano, nr Vinci, April 15, 1452; d Amboise, nr Tours, May 2, 1519).

Italian painter, sculptor, architect, designer, theorist, engineer and scientist. He was the founding father of what is called the High Renaissance style and exercised an enormous influence on contemporary and later artists. His writings on art helped establish the ideals of representation and expression that were to dominate European academies for the next 400 years. The standards he set in figure draughtsmanship, handling of space, depiction of light and shade, representation of landscape, evocation of character and techniques of narrative radically transformed the range of art. A number of his inventions in architecture and in various fields of decoration entered the general currency of 16th-century design.

Although he brought relatively few works to completion, and even fewer have survived, Leonardo was responsible for some of the most influential images in the history of art. The ‘Mona Lisa’ (Paris, Louvre) may fairly be described as the world’s most famous painting. When the extent of his writings on many branches of science became increasingly apparent during the 19th century, he appeared to epitomize the idea of the universal genius and was hailed as one of the prophets of the modern era. More recent assessments of his intellectual achievements have recognized the medieval and Classical framework on which his theories were constructed but have done nothing to detract from the awesome range and intensity of his thought....

Article

Antonio Manno

(b Verona, 1506 or 1510; d after 1594).

Italian painter, cartographer, engineer and theorist. The son of Giovanni Antonio, an engineer in the service of Bernardo Cles, Cardinal-Bishop of Trent, he learnt painting in childhood and furthered his education at the court of the Gonzaga in Mantua. According to his own account in the Osservazioni nella pittura (written in February 1573, and published in 1580), he refined his knowledge of foreshortening under the guidance of Giulio Romano while engaged in a commission from Federico Gonzaga, 1st Duke of Mantua, to fresco a room in the Palazzo Ducale overlooking the lake of the city. None of his paintings is known to survive, but this concise treatise contains sufficient detailed information to place him within the tradition of late Mannerism. It explains the techniques of watercolour, gouache, fresco and oil painting, also giving recipes for colours and dealing with stylistic questions involved in landscape painting; examples of subject-matter are derived from the repertory of Classical mythology and, true to the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, there are also allusions to the theme of divine light with emphatic reference to the Bible....

Article

Richard J. Tuttle

[Giacomo] (Barozzi da)

(b Vignola, Oct 1, 1507; d Rome, July 7, 1573).

Italian painter, architect and theorist . Following three decades of diversified and mainly collaborative artistic activity, he emerged in the 1550s as the leading architect in Rome after Michelangelo and was in papal service for over three decades. His masterpieces (notably the Villa Farnese at Caprarola and the church of Il Gesù in Rome) were produced as house architect to the wealthy and powerful Farnese family. In an era of experimental and sometimes dramatically personal styles, his palaces, villas and churches manifested a cool and methodically reductive classicism that became a model of orthodoxy for a generation of architects during the Counter-Reformation. His Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura (1562), a concise illustrated tract on the five orders, enjoyed immense popular and academic success throughout Europe and was the most influential book on classical architecture until the advent of Modernism.

Vignola was born to a family of artisans: although the occupation of his father Bartolomeo is unknown, one brother, ...

Article

Madeleine Van De Winckel

[Jan] [Frisio, Johan]

(b Leeuwarden, 1527; d ?Antwerp, ?1606).

Dutch designer, architect and painter, active in the southern Netherlands and throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Though an artist of many talents, it was through his engravings that he most influenced his contemporaries. The distribution of his works by the publishers of Antwerp made him one of the leading and best-known exponents of Mannerist decoration and the instigator of a new urban vision in northern and central Europe.

He first studied drawing in his native Leeuwarden in Friesland for five years with Reijer Gerritsz., a glass painter from Amsterdam, who moved to Leuven c. 1544. Vredeman de Vries then spent two years in Kampen, before moving to Mechelen, where he learnt to paint in watercolour on canvas, a technique typical of that town. In 1549 he assisted Pieter Coecke van Aelst on the decoration of the triumphal arches constructed for the ceremonial entry into Antwerp of Charles V and his son, the future Philip II. On Vredeman de Vries’s return to Friesland, he was briefly in Kollum, where he is reported to have applied himself ‘night and day’ to copying the works of Sebastiano Serlio and Vitruvius from editions published and translated by Coecke van Aelst. Vredeman de Vries returned to Mechelen to stay with the painter and art dealer ...