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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

(b Flensburg, 1526/27; d ?Silesia, after Dec 31, 1588).

Danish draughtsman, engraver, woodcut designer, painter, architect, surveyor and author. Facts about his highly productive career, which ranged from Denmark to Turkey, come primarily from an autobiographical letter of 1 January 1563 (free English trans. in Fischer, 1990) to King Frederick II of Denmark to whom he owed allegiance by birth; also from inscribed works, his letters and mostly unpublished material in archives in Vienna, Hamburg, Antwerp and Copenhagen.

With some effort Lorck persuaded his well-connected parents to let him become an artist: he became apprenticed to a Lübeck goldsmith, whom he accompanied on business voyages in the Baltic and western Scandinavia. His earliest works are two engravings, one dated 1543, copying engravings by Heinrich Aldegrever. Prompted by the goldsmith, Lorck continued his training in South Germany and Italy. Engravings such as the Pope as a Wild Man (1545; Hollstein, no. 44), St Jerome in the Desert (...