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Werner Broda

[Hans von Ulm]

(fl Ulm, 1413–61).

German painter. He belonged to an artist family of which several generations were documented in 15th-century Ulm. According to municipal tax lists, ‘Ackerlin, painter’ was a master by 1413. He received payments from the masons’ lodge of Ulm Cathedral from 1415. In 1441 the cathedral lodge in Berne paid ‘Master Hans of Ulm’ for the production and delivery of stained-glass windows: this Hans is identified with Acker (see also Gothic, §VIII, 5). The Berne Passion window (1441; Berne Cathedral, chancel), his only surviving documented work, demonstrates the capabilities of mid-15th-century German glass painting in dealing with box-shaped hall-church interiors. Its Apostle figures still belong to the tradition of the ‘Soft style’, inspired by Bohemian art, while the style of their robes is reminiscent of those in the chancel windows of Ulm Cathedral. The appearance of a landscape background reveals the influence of the glass paintings (c....

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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 ...

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Gennaro Toscano

(b Sassoferrato, c. 1470; d Cupramontana, c. 1540).

Italian painter and possible woodcutter. He spent his early years in Sassoferrato, where his family owned a ceramics workshop. Around 1497 he probably visited the Veneto region, since his Virgin and Child with Saints (Padua, Mus. Civ.) painted that year shows the strong influence of painters active there such as Cima da Conegliano. The painting also reflects the Bolognese style of Francesco Francia and that of the Romagnian Marco Palmezzano. In Venice, Agabiti may have made woodcuts after the illustrations for Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Venice, 1499). By 1502 he had returned to the Marches, where he executed a painting (untraced) for S Rocco, Jesi, the town where in 1507 he is documented as residing. After 1510 he was again in Sassoferrato, where in 1511 he signed and dated both the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints (Sassoferrato, Gal. A. Mod. & Contemp.) and the Nativity in S Maria del Piano. In ...

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Riccardo Passoni

[Alladio, Gian Giacomo d’]

(b Alba; fl 1495–1515; d before 1528).

Italian painter. Inscriptions on his altarpieces indicate he was born in Alba. He probably trained elsewhere; his early works, with the exception of the portrait of Andrea Novelli, Bishop of Alba (Isola Bella, Mus. Borromeo), cannot be traced to a precise location. His patrons were mainly from the Paleologo court at Casale Monferrato, where he was the official painter. His earliest signed and dated work is the triptych of the Virgin Enthroned between SS John the Evangelist, James the Greater, John the Baptist and Thomas Aquinas and Two Donors (1495; Turin, Mus. Civ. A. Ant.), and it and the Virgin and Child between SS Nicholas and Martin (Rome, Pin. Capitolina) show the influence of Lombard painters, particularly Ambrogio Bergognone; some writers have suggested that this may indicate a journey through central Italy, perhaps to Rome.

By 1496 Alba’s Virgin Enthroned between SS Hugh and Anselm had been placed in the Certosa di Pavia (...

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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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Maria Cristina Chiusa

(di Guido)

(b ?Ferrara, ?1390s; d before 1449).

Italian painter. His early career is hard to determine; Vasari improbably described him as a pupil of Agnolo Gaddi. He must have been well known in Ferrara before working for the condottiere Braccio Fortebraccio at Montone in Umbria, where he is documented in either 1420 or 1423. Frescoes at S Francesco in Montone depicting the Life of St Francis are almost certainly by him. In the same year he was in Urbino, where Vasari reported that he was working on frescoes (destr.) at S Francesco. The frescoes in the chapel of S Martino in S Maria, Carpi (the Sagra di Carpi), are of a similar date. They show a style in which formal elements deriving from Serafino Serafini are put into a Late Gothic context, under the influence of work by Gentile da Fabriano seen in central Italy. Other work by Alberti from between 1419 and 1431 includes the triptych of the ...

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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....

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Peter Strieder

In 

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Mathieu Hériard Dubreuil

[Gil Master]

(b ?Mallorca; fl 1408–47).

Spanish painter. First documented in Valencia in 1408, he was active as a painter in Barcelona in 1415, in Mallorca in 1420 (described as ‘painter of Majorca’), in Valencia between 1421 and 1432 and in Mallorca from 1433; he is last recorded in Mallorca in 1447. Of his documented commissions, only two fragmentary works can be identified: the wings of an altarpiece of St Michael (Lyon, Mus. B.-A.), painted in 1421 for the town of Jérica (Valencia), and two predella panels of the Death of the Virgin and St Thomas Receiving the Virgin’s Girdle from an altarpiece of the Virgin executed in 1442 in Mallorca (Alcudia, Mus. Parroq.). Other works have been attributed to Alcanyis on the basis of stylistic comparisons with these panels, and he has been identified as the Gil Master, an artist named after the fragmentary altarpiece—consisting of an Ascension and St Vincent (both New York, Hisp. Soc. America) and a ...

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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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(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 ...

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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 ...

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Jeannette Towey

(b Göttweich, Austria, c. 1430; d Ascoli Piceno, the Marches, between Sept 18, 1497 and Nov 22, 1498).

Italian painter of Austrian birth. He is first documented in 1477 in his adopted home of Ascoli Piceno. A badly preserved fresco of the Virgin and Child with Saints in the church of the Madonna delle Rose in Torre San Patrizio, near Ascoli, has been attributed to him; it is dated 1466, providing possible evidence of his presence in the area two years before his master, Carlo Crivelli, was first documented there. Alemanno’s style was based on Crivelli’s work of the 1470s and hardly evolved at all throughout his career. His expressionistic, anatomical distortion may be derived from Giorgio Schiavone. The Virgin and Child Enthroned and the St Lucy (both Montefortino, Pin. Com.), which formed part of a dismembered polyptych dating from c. 1470, are typical of his work, with their dark outlines and strong hatching in both shadows and highlights.

Alemanno produced mostly polyptychs with the Virgin and Child enthroned, framed by standing saints on separate panels, or small-scale, half-length Virgin and Child pictures, ultimately deriving in form from similar compositions by Donatello. An exception is the ...

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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...

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Cecilia Alessi

(b ?Montalcino, 1421; d Siena, after 1491).

Italian painter. In 1453 he was living in Siena in the district called the Chompagnia di Realto et Chartagine, where he had a painter’s studio (‘buttiba de l’arte de dipentori’; Siena, Pal. Piccolomini, Archv Stato, Lira, MS. 139.c.50). He was chiefly employed by the Sienese Republic but also worked for Pope Pius II in 1460 (see Müntz), for the diplomat Leonardo Benvoglienti, for the Ottieri della Ciaia family and for Sinolfo di Castellottieri. In 1455 Alfei was paid by the magistrates of Siena for his painting of Monte Argentario near Orbetello (Siena, Pal. Piccolomini, Archv Stato, Balia, MS. 1.c.215), work that Alessi suggests may be recognized in the Town by the Sea and the Castle by the Sea (both Siena, Pin. N.), previously attributed to Ambrogio Lorenzetti and to Sassetta. In 1473 the Sienese Republic recommended Alfei to the papal legate, Cardinal Roverella, on the occasion of the artist’s visit to the Marches; the Cardinal’s reply confirms that Alfei executed works there. Alessi and Scapecchi have proposed that the anonymous ...

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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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[Khwāja ‛Alī Tabrīzī]

(fl Herat, 1420–45).

Persian illustrator. Khwaja ‛Ali of Tabriz is named as illuminator and illustrator in the colophon to a fine copy (Istanbul, Tokapı Pal. Lib., H. 781) of Nizami’s Khamsa (‘Five poems’), completed in 1445–6 for Ismat al-Dunya, the wife of the Timurid prince Muhammad Juki. The artist is probably to be identified with the ‘portraitist’ of that name who, according to Dust Muhammad, was brought by Muhammad Juki’s half-brother Baysunghur to Herat from Tabriz in 1420. Khwaja ‛Ali’s paintings in the Khamsa are distinguished by round-headed snub-nosed figures, refined and meticulous architecture and interiors, fresh and verdant foliage, and a palette of primary colours with much green and purple. Many of his compositions repeat those used in earlier manuscripts. His style can be identified in several other manuscripts produced at Herat: a copy (1431; Istanbul, Mus. Turk. & Islam. A., MS. 1954) of Nizami ‛Arudi’s Chahār maqāla (‘Four discourses’) made for ...

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Sheila R. Canby

[Qāsim ibn ‛Alī Chihra-gushāy: ‘portrait painter’]

(fl c. Herat, 1475–c. 1526).

Iranian illustrator. He was one of the most renowned painters at the court of the Timurid sultan Husayn Bayqara (see Timurid family §II, (8)) and his associate ‛Alishir Nava’i (see also Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(d)). The chronicler Mīrzā Muhammad Haydar Dughlāt (1500–51) described him as a portrait painter and pupil of Bihzad and said that Qasim ‛Ali’s works came close to Bihzad’s but were rougher. The historian Khwāndamīr (d 1535–6) noted that Qasim ‛Ali worked in the library of ‛Alishir Nava’i, the poet, bibliophile and major patron, but that by the 1520s, having made the pilgrimage to Mecca and moved to Sistan, he apparently had ceased painting. His style is difficult to define because many works are falsely ascribed to him. The four paintings most convincingly attributed to him are in the style of Bihzad and illustrate a copy (divided, Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Elliott 287, 317, 339 and 408; Manchester, John Rylands U. Lib., Turk. MS. 3) of ‛Alishir’s ...

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