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Article

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....

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

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

Debra Higgs Strickland

Richly illustrated bestiary manuscript (275×185mm, 105 fols; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Ashmole 1511), written in Latin and illuminated probably in southern England around 1210. The original patron is unknown. It contains the text and illustrations of a complete bestiary, with prefatory Creation scenes and excerpts from Genesis and part of Hugh de Folieto’s Aviarium (Book of Birds). It is a luxury manuscript with lavish use of gold leaf, sometimes tooled, in the backgrounds of the full-page miniatures and numerous smaller framed animal ‘portraits’. Its images are especially notable for their ornamental qualities, evident in both the pictorial compositions and a wide variety of geometric framing devices. The prefatory cycle includes a full-page miniature of Adam Naming the Animals. The Ashmole Bestiary is considered a ‘sister’ manuscript to the Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24), to which it is iconographically very closely related, but owing to major stylistic differences the two manuscripts have been attributed to different artists. The chronological relationship between the two has been disputed: based on proposed workshop methods, Muratova (...

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

Charles Buchanan

Type of large-format Bible, usually found in pandect (single-volume) form, produced in central Italy and Tuscany from around 1060 to the middle of the 12th century. They came out of the efforts of a reformist papacy intent on wresting control over ecclesiastical investiture from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Giant Bibles were produced in reformed canonries and monasteries and then exported to the same, not only in Italy but throughout Europe.

The term ‘Atlantic’ (from the mythological giant Atlas) is derived from their impressive size; dimensions range from 550 to 600 mms by 300 to 400 mms. Their script, derived from Caroline minuscule, is placed in two columns of around fifty-five lines. The texts are decorated with two initial types, which Edward B. Garrison designated as ‘geometrical’ and ‘full shaft’, both of which are derived from Carolingian and Ottonian exemplars, respectively. The iconography consists of full-length prophets, patriarchs, kings and saints as well as narrative scenes. The last are at times found as full-page cyclical illuminations and preface important textual divisions, especially Genesis. The iconography of the Giant Bibles is a specific Roman iconographical recension with its sources based in part on Early Christian pictorial cycles, such as the wall paintings of Old St Peter’s in Rome. These came from an era considered by the reformers to have been uncorrupted by the abuses that afflicted the Church when these Bibles were being made. While the Giant Bibles were promulgated by the Church of Rome as a symbol of its supreme authority, they also allowed the clergy to perform the liturgy, and the Divine Office in particular, properly....

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

Biduino  

Antonio Caleca

[Biduinus]

(fl c. 1173–94).

Italian sculptor. He was possibly from Bidogno in Val, near Lugano. The lintel above the central portal of S Cassiano a Settimo, near Cascina, representing Christ Healing the Two Blind Men of Jericho, the Raising of Lazarus and the Entry into Jerusalem, bears the date 1180 and the inscription ‘Hoc opus quod cernis Biduinus docte peregit’. Indeed, Biduino is considered responsible for the entire architecture and decoration of the church. The only documented reference to Biduino records him in Lucca on 27 November 1181, and one signed (but undated) work survives there: a lintel with a Miracle of St Nicholas at the Chiesa della Misericordia (formerly S Salvatore). Another lintel in the same church, illustrating the same saint’s life, is also attributed to him. Other signed works include a lintel with St Michael and the Entry into Jerusalem (Lucca, Col. Mazzarosa) from the nearby S Angelo in Campo (destr.) and a strigillated tomb (Pisa, Camposanto), imitating Roman sarcophagi, with reliefs of ...

Article

Paul Williamson

(fl 1195–1201).

Italian sculptor and architect. He is first recorded in an inscription of 1195 set to the right of the main portal of S Silvestro, Bevagna (Umbria). With Rodulfus he signed the portal on the more important church of S Michele in the same square in Bevagna, but the inscription is undated. The portals on both churches have an archivolt with rich foliate decoration, but that at S Michele is further enriched by an inlaid marble guilloche on the outer order and large impost blocks bearing reliefs of flying angels. The portal of the north façade of Foligno Cathedral, which is dated 1201, is still more refined and is again signed by both Binellus and Rodulfus, the last work that can be firmly associated with these sculptors. The portal bears foliate decoration on the archivolt and an inlaid marble motif on the outer order, but it is also decorated with couchant lions at the base of each column, beautifully carved inhabited scroll-work on the jambs and an inner archivolt with panels bearing the Signs of the Zodiac on the outer face and Symbols of the Evangelists, carved almost in the round, projecting from the soffit; reliefs of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (‘Barbarossa’) and Bishop Anselm are set on the inner face of the doorposts. The intricately rendered foliate and figurative relief-carving on these portals seems to be derived from such Umbrian sources as the leaf-carving on the portals of S Salvatore, Spoleto, while the inlaid marble patterns are characteristic of Roman marble-work (...

Article

Joan Stanley-Baker

[ Chao Po-chü ; zi Qianli]

(b Zhuo xian, Hebei Province, before 1123; d 1160–73).

Chinese painter . His paintings of landscapes, figures, flowers, fruit and birds apparently ranged in size and format from large screens to handscrolls, album leaves and fans. The critic Zhao Xigu ( fl 1180–1240) considered Zhao Boju the best of all Southern Song (1127–1279) painters. However, no authentic work by Zhao Boju survives, leaving the question of his style open to interpretation.

Zhao Boju and his younger brother, Zhao Bosu, also a painter, were 7th-generation descendants of the founder of the Song dynasty (960–1279), Emperor Taizu (reg 960–75). When Emperor Gaozong (reg 1127–62) was presented with a fan painting done by Zhao Boju, he was enormously pleased. On meeting Zhao in person and discovering him to be a kinsman, he addressed him as ‘royal cousin’ and assigned him the title of Military Commander of the eastern Zhejiang circuit, an office the short-lived Zhao held until his death. The Emperor commissioned Zhao to paint the screens for the hall called the Jiying dian and is known often to have inscribed Zhao’s works....

Article

Christine Verzar

(fl Verona, 1189–1226).

Italian sculptor. He is mentioned in an inscription now on the interior south wall of S Zeno Maggiore, Verona, and in various Veronese documents between 1189 and 1226. He completed the upper part of the façade of S Zeno, where he was responsible for the rose window and the six figures surrounding the Wheel of Fortune. Although the inscription associates him directly only with the window, he may also have remodelled the portal beneath, adding new framing figures and friezes (see Verona §3, (ii)). Brioloto’s figure style, in which rich, sweeping drapery folds cover elongated, classicizing figures gesturing theatrically, is related to the work of the Campionesi and to Nicholaus, rather than to Benedetto Antelami. Several other works in Verona have been attributed to Brioloto and to his contemporary, Adamino da San Giorgio (fl 1217–25; responsible for the animal frieze of the choir-screen of S Zeno), such as the font for the baptistery of S Giovanni in Fonte, which bears scenes from the ...

Article

Rossella Caruso

[Boschetto; Busketus]

(fl Pisa, c. 1064–1110).

Italian architect. According to the inscription on his tomb (now set in the northernmost arch of the cathedral façade), he was responsible for the construction of Pisa Cathedral. The verses celebrate his art and technical ability, comparing them with those of the mythical Ulysses and Daedalus, and praise the expertise with which he organized the dangerous transport of the enormous columns by sea and by land, avoiding hostile ambushes and using machines of his own invention that could even be operated by two young girls.

Two documents, dated 1104 and 1110, mention Buschetto as one of the Operai (administrators) of Pisa Cathedral. He is considered responsible for its original plan, however, and he must have been active by 1064, when construction work began. The cathedral shows at least two building phases. The eastern sections of the building are built mainly of dark marble, but the walls to the west of the breaks are largely of white stone. Since Buschetto’s epigraph refers to a ‘temple of white marble’, at least some of these walls must have been executed under his direction. He was therefore probably responsible for the modification of the west end and the widening of the new façade, which was executed by ...

Article

Richard Edwards

[ Yang Pu-chih ; zi Wujiu ; hao Taochan Laoren, Qingyi Zhangzhe ]

(b Qingjiang, Jiangxi Province, 1098; d after 1167).

Chinese painter . Although documented primarily as a painter of plum blossom, he is also reported to have specialized in the human figure and to have painted bamboo, pine trees, rocks and narcissus. Xia Wenyan, writing in 1365, noted Yang’s personal integrity in refusing to serve the government of the Song dynasty (960–1279) because of its policy of appeasement towards the Jurchen, a nomadic people who conquered northern China and ruled as the Jin dynasty (1115–1234). Yang was one of the earliest exponents of the tradition of painting plum blossom in monochrome ink, subject-matter approved of by the literati painters whose ideals dominated painting of the following Yuan period (1279–1368). He was preceded by the Chan Buddhist priest Zhongren (d 1123), whose paintings define the shape of the blossoms solely in ink wash. In contrast, Yang created the circled petal (quanban) technique wherein the flexibility of the brush hairs is employed to outline the shape of the whole flower. In placing greater emphasis on control of the brush, Yang brought the genre closer to calligraphy, the most scholarly of the Chinese arts. The only securely attributed example of Yang’s painting that survives is ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Immaculada Lorés-Otzet

[Gatell]

(d Girona, 1221).

Catalan sculptor. Cadell is best known for his work in the building of the cloisters of Girona Cathedral (see Girona §1) and the monastery of Sant Cugat del Vallès. He ran a workshop known for introducing biblical narrative into Catalan art. This was an important innovation especially for Catalan Romanesque cloisters.

His work in the cloister of Sant Cugat is the best documented. He is referred to in two documents from the monastery, which are dated to 1206 and 1207. In these he appears as a witness (Cartulario, vol. 3, pp. 384, 388) and there is no doubt that the cloister was being built during these years. The inscription which is found on the north-east pillar of the cloister—Hec est Arnalli / sculptoris forma Catelli / qui claustrum tale / construxit perpetuale—is also evidence of his presence. Moreover, this inscription is found next to a capital that depicts a sculptor carving a Corinthian capital and a monk carrying a drink to him. This image, a self-portrait of Cadell, is similar to an example in the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse, which originally belonged to the monastery of La Daurade (inv. M. 188). Yet another example of this type of image was also carved on a pillar in the western gallery of the cloister of Girona Cathedral. This pillar also has two friezes with stonemasons and water bearers....

Article

Roberto Coroneo

Term coined by critics in the 19th century to designate a group of sculptors and architects who were active in northern Italy and elsewhere from the mid-12th century to the late 14th; the name derives from their place of origin, Campione (Campigliono) di Lugano, which in documents often appears after their baptismal names. Some of the masters were related. A distinctive style, marked by solid forms and a robust realism, becomes apparent only in the second half of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th; later it merges with the more general manner of north Italian sculptors and builders from Arogno, Bissone, and other places between Lake Como and Lake Lugano.

The earliest document mentioning the masters from Campione is a contract dated 30 November 1244 between Ubaldino, Director (Massaro) of the Cathedral Works of Modena from 1230 to 1263, and Enrico di Ottavio da Campione, who undertook, on behalf of himself and his heirs, to work for the cathedral ...

Article

Alison Manges Nogueira

Monumental, marble paschal Candlestick of the late 12th to early 13th century with reliefs signed by Nicolaus de Angelo and Vassallettus now in S Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome. The imposing column (h. 5.6 m), adorned with six registers of reliefs and surmounted by a fluted candle holder, rests upon a base of sculpted lions, sphinxes, rams and female figures. The upper and lower reliefs bear vegetal and ornamental patterns while the three central registers portray Christ before Caiaphas, the Mocking of Christ, Christ before Pilate, Pilate Washing his Hands, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension. The culminating Easter scenes reflect the paschal candle’s function during the Easter season as a symbol of Christ resurrected, as evoked in an inscription on the base. A second fragmentary inscription refers to the unidentifiable patron’s desire for commemoration. A third inscription identifies Nicolaus de Angelo as the master sculptor and Petrus Vassallettus as playing a secondary role. Both were active in the second half of the 12th to the early 13th century and came from leading families of Roman sculptors: the Vassalletti and Cosmati (Nicolaus’s family). The candlestick is the only work signed by and securely attributed to Nicolaus and the scope of his contribution remains uncertain. A plausible theory attributes the base and first register to Petrus, based upon similarities to works signed by him and ascribed to his family, such as the cloister of S Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and the narthex of S Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. Nicolaus probably executed the Christological scenes, distinguishable for their more dynamic, expressive figures and decorative chisel work, and appropriate for the master sculptor because of their centrality and significance. Early Christian sarcophagi and Carolingian ivories may have provided models for the figural types. This form of paschal candlestick was probably inspired by Roman columnar monuments carved with triumphal scenes....

Article

Charter  

James D’Emilio

Legal document typically written in documentary script on a single parchment sheet and authenticated by subscriptions, notarial signs or seals. In archives, originals were sometimes stitched into booklets or rolls. Notarial charters were registered, while deeds of ecclesiastical and civil institutions were copied in cartularies organized by place, date or issuer. Charters include contracts, property transactions, marriage agreements, dispute settlements, official privileges and decrees.

Besides their value as historical documents, collections of early medieval charters, such as those at St Gall, Lucca or Catalonia, furnish insights into law, literacy and linguistic change. In the mid- to late Middle Ages, the texts, scripts and physical features of papal bulls, charters from monastic or episcopal scriptoria, and the burgeoning output of royal chanceries and civil notaries chart pathways of education and cultural exchange geographically and through social strata. In relation to medieval art, charters have fourfold importance. As historical sources, some document artists, patrons or artworks. Signed and dated originals of known provenance help to date manuscripts and reveal practices of scribes and scriptoria responsible for book production and illumination. In contrast with the dearth of medieval artists’ signatures, signed charters represent a sizeable corpus of securely attributed work with ample contextual information that facilitates study of individual style and artistic careers. Lastly, some are of artistic interest for their execution in a book hand or embellishment with decoration comparable to that in manuscripts: decorated lettering; calligraphic flourishes; the chrismon, cross and other religious symbols; validation signs, monograms and seals; and, rarely, illuminations....