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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

Aurora Scotti Tosini

(b Perugia, 1512; d Perugia, Dec 30, 1572).

Italian architect and writer. He was the leading High Renaissance architect in both Genoa and Milan, his villas and town palazzi establishing a definitive pattern for the genre. His greatest sacred building was S Maria Assunta in Carignano, the central planning of which shows the influence of Donato Bramante and Michelangelo.

The Perugia of Alessi’s youth was an important centre of the Papal States, with a lively humanist and philosophical cultural life. Alessi received his early training in the school of the architect and painter Giovan Battista Caporali, whose edition of Vitruvius is notable for its tendency to rationalize the Antique and for its reference to music as a means of further perfecting the study of harmonic proportion in the visual arts. Alessi was also friendly with the architect Giulio Danti (1500–75), who was equally well versed in rhetoric and philosophy.

Alessi’s diverse cultural experience recommended him to the papal court in Rome, where he moved in ...

Article

(b Carpi, nr Modena, c. 1523; d Ferrara, 1573).

Italian architect and writer. He worked intermittently in Rome from 1549 to 1558, probably on the Palazzo Farnese under Michelangelo and on the city fortifications decreed by Pope Paul III. He was in Loreto in 1549, working on the basilica of S Maria, and in 1550, outside Macerata, began the church of S Maria delle Vergini, on which work continued for the rest of his life. The plan is a Greek cross, with a tall, octagonal drum over the crossing, in which are set large rectangular windows that transmit a bright but diffused light to the centre of the church. The interior is impressive in its refined simplicity, with almost all architectural elements reduced to their most essential forms. The great square nave piers, for example, are devoid of decoration other than their simple plinths and cornice-like capitals. The church is built throughout in brick, which is left exposed, with decorative inlaid panels, in the cross-vaulting to the right-hand eastern chapel. The façade (...

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

Adriano Ghisetti Giavarina

(b San Marino, Sept 27, 1506; d Pieve S Paolo, nr Pisa, March 25, 1554).

Italian architect. He was the son of Bartolo di Simone Belluzzi, an important political figure in the Republic of San Marino. He spent his youth in commerce and at the age of 18 was sent by his father to Bologna, where he remained for two years. In 1535 he settled in Rome, entering the service of Ascanio Colonna, whom he followed to Naples to meet Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. At the end of that year he returned to San Marino to marry a daughter of Girolamo Genga. From that time, without abandoning his business interests, he worked with his father-in-law, who was then employed by Francesco Maria I della Rovere, 4th Duke of Urbino, to enlarge the Villa Imperiale at San Bartolo, near Pesaro (for illustration see Genga family, §1), and on other architectural projects for the state. In September 1538 Belluzzi worked with his father-in-law on the fortifications of Pesaro and at the same time began to study Vitruvius. In ...

Article

M. J. T. M. Stompé

(b Lohr, c. 1525).

German architect, engraver and writer. After training as an architect in his native town, Hans Blum left Lohr because two architects were already working there: Peter Volckner (fl 1539–48) and Jost Wenzel (fl 1548–70). He then moved to Zurich, where he married Ragali Kuchymeister in 1550. Their eldest son Christoffel Blum (bapt 21 Jan 1552) was named after the publisher Christoffel Froschauer (?1490–1564), who later published Hans Blum’s treatises on architecture.

Hans Blum is primarily known as the author of Quinque columnarum exacta descriptio atque delinaeatio cum symmetrica (1550), a book on the five orders of architecture. He based his work on the fourth volume of Serlio’s Regole generali di architettura (Venice, 1537), a German edition of which was published in 1542. The second source for Blum’s book was Gualtherus Rivius’s edition of Vitruvius, published in 1548 and illustrated by Peter Flettner (...

Article

Ian Campbell

(b c. 1510; d after 1571).

Italian architect, engineer, theorist and writer. He was the son of Giacopo Cataneo, a stationer from Novara. The earliest secure date for his activity (23 March 1533) occurs in his sketchbook (Florence, Uffizi, U 3275-3391 A), which has the general character of an exercise-book and hence of a youthful work. Virtually every drawing in it is copied from the treatises of Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The first 42 folios include drawings of ornaments and civil architecture from Francesco’s codices Ashburnham (Florence, Bib. Laurenziana) and Saluzziano (Turin, Bib. Reale), while the remaining 64 folios contain drawings of fortifications and machines derived from the Codex Magliabechiano (Florence, Bib. N.). A peculiarity of the drawings of fortifications is their frequent juxtaposition with calligraphic exercises, the intention of which seems primarily decorative. It is as a ‘scrittore’ that Cataneo first appears in Sienese communal records in 1539, and also as ‘computista’, which looks forward to his first publication, ...

Article

Francesco Paolo Fiore

(b 1476–8; d Milan, 1543).

Italian architect, theorist and painter. He was active mainly in Milan and is famous for publishing the first Italian translation, with commentary and illustrations, of Vitruvius (1521). The brief autobiography that this contains is also the principal source of information regarding Cesariano’s own life, education and aims.

Cesariano’s date of birth has been disputed, but it is now thought to be 1476–8, following the documentation from the time of his father’s death in 1482. In 1482 Cesariano was introduced to the court of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, where he came into contact with courtiers and artists and met Bramante, whom he named as his chief teacher. He doubtless observed the preparatory phases and building of S Maria presso S Satiro, the only work by Bramante in Milan to which he refers specifically in his commentary on Vitruvius. He could not have followed Bramante’s subsequent career, for he was forced to leave his home town ...

Article

[Luigi]

(b Venice, 1484; d Padua, May 8, 1566).

Italian architectural theorist, patron, humanist and architect. Inheriting his uncle’s estate in Padua, he combined the activities of a landowner with interests in literature, drama and architecture and became an important figure in the city’s humanist circle, which included Giovanni Maria Falconetto, Andrea Palladio, Giangiorgio Trissino and Barbaro family §(1). He encouraged Falconetto, previously a painter, into architecture, visiting Rome with him in 1522 and commissioning him to design his first works of architecture: two garden structures at his palazzo (now Palazzo Giustiniani) in the Via del Santo, Padua, a loggia for theatrical performances (1524) and the Odeon for musical performances (1530–33), both extant. The buildings derived from ancient Roman prototypes and followed their detailing closely; they formed a ‘forum’ in the courtyard. Although Cornaro may have helped in the design, it is more probable that his humanist interests influenced Falconetto. However, when Cornaro commissioned Falconetto to design the Villa dei Vescovi (now Villa Olcese, ...

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

(b Löcse, Hungary [now Levoča, Slovakia], Sept 3, 1839; d Oct 5, 1910).

Hungarian engineer and art historian. He trained as an engineer and became a senior manager in the Hungarian railways. Following a two-year study trip to Italy (1876–8), he resigned his post and embarked upon a new career as an art historian. He visited Paris and London and in 1880 settled in Stuttgart.

Fabriczy devoted the greater part of his life to the study of Italian, and in particular Florentine, Renaissance art. In 1892 he published a major study of the life and work of the Florentine architect and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi. At the same time, after research in the Biblioteca Nazionale of Florence, most notably on 16th-century documents (the Codice Strozziano and Codice Petrei) containing notes on Florentine artists of considerable art historical value, he published the so-called Libro di Antonio Billi (1891; see Billi, Antonio) and the Codice dell’Anonimo Magliabechiano (1893). Fabriczy’s research had been undertaken in consultation with the Florentine art historian ...

Article

A. E. Werdehausen

[Antonio di Pietro Averlino]

(b c. 1400; d c. 1469).

Italian sculptor, architect and theorist. According to Vasari, he trained in the studio of Lorenzo Ghiberti, but he developed a personal style that was relatively independent of Florentine influence. His Trattato di architettura was the first Renaissance architectural treatise to be written in vernacular Italian and illustrated with drawings and was an important work in the development of Renaissance architectural theory.

Filarete is first recorded in 1433 in Rome, where he attended the coronation of the Emperor Sigismund. Presumably the same year he was commissioned by Pope Eugenius IV to design and execute the bronze door of the main porch of the old St Peter’s (inscribed and dated, 1445). The unsettled political conditions during the pontificate of Eugenius IV (1431–47) and the depiction of events during 1438–42 in the small, friezelike reliefs have led to the supposition (Spencer, 1978) that Filarete was not continuously engaged on the door and at one point was given a change of programme. The two wings of the door each consist of three rectangular fields of different size with large figures (...

Article

(b Bordeaux, Feb 27, 1884; d Paris, Jan 17, 1972).

French historian, archivist, paleographer and writer. He was chief librarian at the Cour de la Cassation. An expert on Renaissance architecture, sculpture and history, he established precise chronologies of events, and revised the generally accepted view of the Italian influence on the French Renaissance. In his Les Châteaux de la Renaissance he refuted the common assumption that the Italianate architecture seen in France during the reigns of Louis XII and Francis I was built by Italians working in France. He argued instead that much of it was the product of French masons, and maintained that the arrival of Sebastiano Serlio at the French court had led to the dispersal of Italian Renaissance styles among French craftsmen, which had reached a peak in the work of the French architect Pierre Lescot, at the end of Francis I’s reign. Under Henry II, a less Italian, more indigenous style was seen. In Les Châteaux de la France...

Article

Liliane Châtelet-Lange

(b Sainte-Menehould, Marne, 1578; d in or after Nov 1623).

French architect, draughtsman, theorist and writer. Around 1600 he worked in the studio of Jacques Androuet Du Cerceau (ii) in Paris. In 1602 he left Paris to work in Troyes and Sedan (Ardennes) and remained from about 1603 to 1610 in Lorraine, where his principal patron was Jean III Du Châtelet, Baron des Thons. At Petit-Thon, Gentillâtre built an important château for him consisting of two wide wings joined by a narrower gallery. The exterior façade is of brick and stone (the brickwork is simulated in paint), and the corners and openings are enhanced by quoins. There is no polychromy on the courtyard façade, which has instead an abundant display of decorative sculpture. The fireplaces are also laden with sculptural motifs.

After staying in Montbéliard (Doubs) and Geneva, he went to Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire) in 1612, staying there until 1622. The Hôtel Virey (1612; now the Sous-préfecture) and the Palais du Bailliage (begun ...

Article

(b Verona, 1433; d Rome, July 1, 1515).

Italian engineer, architect, epigraphist, and scholar. He was much sought after for his technical skills, particularly his expertise in hydraulics and military engineering, while his wide-ranging interests in archaeology, theology, urban planning, and philology earned him the regard of his contemporaries; Vasari described him as ‘un uomo rarissimo ed universale’. He was almost certainly a Franciscan friar, but it is not known where he acquired his architectural training. Given his lifelong and profound study of Classical architecture and inscriptions, Vasari’s assertion that he spent time in Rome as a youth is plausible. One of his earliest endeavours was to compile a collection of Latin inscriptions. The first version (1478–c. 1489), which included drawings and was dedicated to Lorenzo de’ Medici, became an important and much-copied reference work; it was also a major source for the Corpus inscriptionum latinarum, the principal 19th-century compilation. A fine copy survives (Rome, Vatican, Bib. Apostolica, MS. Vat. lat. 10228), transcribed by Giocondo’s friend and sometime collaborator, the eminent Paduan calligrapher, ...

Article

Kai Budde

(b Cologne; fl Strasbourg, 1590s).

German cabinetmaker, writer and engraver. He is recorded as a cabinetmaker and citizen of Strasbourg from 1596. He appears to have been a pupil of the architect Johann Schoch, who designed Schloss Gottesau, near Karlsruhe (c. 1587), and the Friedrichsbau of the Heidelberg Schloss (c. 1601–7). Guckeisen, in collaboration with Veit Eck (fl Strasbourg, 1587), wrote a Kunstbüchlein (Strasbourg, 1596) dedicated to masons and cabinetmakers. He also wrote a similar work, Etlicher Architectischer Portalen, Epitapien, Caminen Und Schweyffen, published in the same year in Cologne. They were followed in 1599 by a series of engraved designs for six chests, also published in Cologne. In collaboration with the cabinetmaker and etcher Hans Jakob Ebelmann, Guckeisen also produced the Schränke (1598), Seilenbuch (1598), Architectura Kunstbuch Darinnen Alerhand Portalen Reisbetten Undt Epitaphien (1599) and Schweyfbuch (1599), the last dedicated to the cabinetmaker Jacob Riedel in Strasbourg. As a designer of ornament, Guckeisen was familiar with the whole repertory of Renaissance decoration, using it in varied combinations....

Article

Catherine Wilkinson-Zerner

(b Mobellán, Santander, c. 1530; d Madrid, Jan 15, 1597).

Spanish architect, theorist and inventor. He was the principal architect to Philip II, King of Spain, from the early 1570s until he retired from official duties c. 1587. He is often credited with replacing the chaotic diversity of Late Gothic and classicizing regional styles of the 1540s and 1550s with a new authoritative classicism that remained a model for Spanish architects until the 18th century. Although his contribution to this process was shared by many other classicizing architects active in Spain towards the end of the 16th century, he was the first Spaniard fully to embody the Renaissance conception of a great architect, as defined by Leon Battista Alberti.

Herrera was born into a hidalgo family of modest means. He studied Latin and philosophy at Valladolid University until 1548 and then joined the retinue of the crown prince Philip on his progress through Italy and Germany to meet Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, in Brussels in ...

Article

Michael Spens

(Alan)

(b London, Oct 8, 1900; d July 16, 1996).

English landscape designer, urban planner, architect and writer. He was educated in London at the Architectural Association School (1919–24). His book Italian Gardens of the Renaissance (with J. C. Shepherd), derived from student research, was published in 1925, the year in which he qualified as an architect. He soon established his practice in London. In the 1930s he was instrumental in developing the Institute of Landscape Architects (now the Landscape Institute) as a professional body. He taught at the Architectural Association School (1928–33), becoming its Principal in 1939. His projects of the 1930s include the village plan (1933) for Broadway, Hereford & Worcs, a model document under the Town and Country Planning Act of 1932, and, with Russell Page (1906–85), a pioneer modernist restaurant and visitors’ centre (1934) at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Important garden designs of these years include Ditchley Park (...