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Sheila S. Blair

[Muẓaffar ‛Alī ibn Haydar ‛Alī al-Tabrīzī]

(fl late 1520s–70s; d Qazvin, c. 1576).

Persian calligrapher, illustrator, painter and poet. He was a versatile artist who belonged to the second generation working for Tahmasp I (reg 1524–76) at the Safavid court in north-west Iran (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(a)). His career has been reconstructed by Dickson and Welch on the basis of brief notices by Safavid artists and historians, signed calligraphies and ascribed paintings. He studied calligraphy with the master Rustam ‛Ali, and several folios in the album compiled for Bahram Mirza in 1544–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2154) are signed jointly by Rustam ‛Ali for the writing and Muzaffar ‛Ali for the découpage (Arab. qat‛). He was a master of nasta‛lıq script, and two examples in the album prepared for Amir Ghayb Beg in 1564–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2161) are signed by him. In the introduction to this album, Malik Daylami wrote of his skill in calligraphic decoration and gold illumination, and the chronicler Qazi Ahmad reported that he also excelled in gold-flecking, gilding and varnished painting. Muzaffar ‛Ali reportedly studied painting with the renowned master ...


[Iñigo López de Loyola]

(b Castle of Loyola, Guipúzcoa, Spain, 1491; d Rome, 31 July 1556; can 1622; fd 31 July). Spanish saint. The founder of the Jesuit Order, he came from a noble Basque family and began his career as a soldier. He was wounded at the siege of Pamplona in 1521 and thereafter resolved to become a soldier of Christ. After a year in retreat near Manresa (1522) he embarked on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where the local Franciscans prevented him from preaching; he returned to Spain in 1524. Still concerned with the conversion of others, he studied at the universities of Barcelona, Alcalá, Salamanca, and for seven years, from 1528, in Paris. There, among his fellow Spanish students, he found the true disciples he sought. With a committed band of six men he vowed to complete his mission to Jerusalem (1534). They travelled to Venice, but war made the Holy Land inaccessible and Ignatius directed his energies to the founding of a new order, the Society of Jesus, which was recognized by Pope Paul III in ...


Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....


Esin Atil

[Naṣūḥ al-Silāḥī al-Matrāqī; Naṣūḥ ibn Qaragöz ibn ‛Abdallāh al-Būsnawī]

(b Visoko, Bosnia; fl 1517; d April 28, 1564).

Ottoman soldier, writer, copyist and illustrator. He initiated the topographical style of painting that became characteristic of the illustrated histories produced at the Ottoman court in the 1550s (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(e)). As a youth he was recruited into the imperial service in a forced levy (devşirme) and was trained as a page in the household of Sultan Bayezid II (reg 1481–1512). He later served as an officer in the Ottoman army, where he was noted as a swordsman. He was also celebrated as the inventor of new forms of the game of matrak, played by throwing sticks or weapons as a form of military training.

Nasuh was a prolific writer on mathematics, swordsmanship and history. In 1520 he began the translation from Arabic into Turkish of al-Tabari’s Majura‛ al-tawārīkh (‘Compendium of histories’), to which he added a section covering the history of the Ottomans to ...


Peter Boutourline Young

[ Luca di Borgo ; Fra Luca di Borgo ]

(b Borgo San Sepolcro, c. 1445; d ?Rome, c. 1514).

Italian monk, scientist and writer . At an early age he settled in Venice, where he studied mathematics with Domenico Bragadino. Sometime between 1470 and 1476 he joined the Franciscan Order. In 1471 he was in Rome, staying with Leon Battista Alberti, while between 1472 and 1474 he was in Urbino, where he came into contact with Piero della Francesca, who depicted Pacioli, and perhaps other eminent artists and architects, in the S Bernardino altarpiece (Milan, Brera). Throughout his life he taught mathematics, in various universities including Perugia (from 1477), Florence, Rome and Naples. As a Franciscan, in 1493 he was summoned to Assisi by his religious superiors and threatened with excommunication because of his attitude as a free-thinker. However, he left almost immediately for Urbino, where, according to Bernardino Baldi, he received a particularly warm welcome.

Between 1496 and 1499 Pacioli was in Milan, where he met artists and scholars, including ...


Clare Robertson

(b Verona, Feb 23, 1530; d Palermo, 7–8 April 1568).

Italian antiquarian and artistic adviser. He became an Augustinian monk at the age of 11. He was sent by Girolamo Seripando, General of the Order, to study in Naples between 1547 and 1549 before moving to Rome, where his precocious gifts as a historical writer and epigrapher recommended him to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. The Cardinal gave him a monthly retainer for the rest of his life and provided assistance for his antiquarian studies. Panvinio was particularly interested in portraiture and collected images to accompany his biographies of the popes (Venice, 1563). His own portrait (Rome, Gal. Colonna) was for many years attributed to Titian, but it has been suggested that it was an early work by Tintoretto. Like Annibal Caro and Fulvio Orsini, Panvinio was on occasion required to produce iconographic programmes for Cardinal Farnese’s fresco cycles, though he did so with less confidence than his fellow advisers. The only scheme by Panvinio to have survived is for an allegorical title-page, with many rather conventional personifications. He devised the scheme for the Stanza della Solitudine at the Villa Farnese, Caprarola, with considerable assistance from ...


Marco Collareta

(b Mantua, July 10, 1533; d Ferrara, Feb 26, 1611).

Italian writer. He entered the Jesuit Order in 1559, and was an energetic teacher, diplomat and campaigner against heretics. He also wrote a great many books, the outstanding works being the Moscovia (1586), important for information on the Russia of that time, and the Bibliotheca selecta (1593), a broad and systematic treatise on divine and human sciences. The 17th book of the Bibliotheca selecta deals with poetry and painting. Like other parts of the work, it was published on its own (1595), with additions and under the title Tractatio de poesi et pictura ethnica, humana et fabulosa collata cum vera, honesta et sacra. Possevino was convinced of the close affinity between poetry and painting and believed that painters must have a wide literary and scientific education. He referred to the major ancient and modern writers on painting, providing the first attempt at a critical bibliography on the subject. The theological and moral correctness of images interested him intensely. The ...


Esin Atil

[Haydār Ra’īs; Haydar Reis; Nigari; Reis Haydar]

(b ?1492; d Istanbul, 1572).

Ottoman painter, poet and naval captain. He is often known by the pseudonym Nigari (Ott. nigārī, ‘the portraitist’), with which he signed several paintings of Ottoman sultans and court officials. His couplets are frequently included on his paintings. He seems to have painted portraits from life of the sultans Süleyman (reg 1520–66) and Selim II (reg 1566–74) and the grand admiral of the Ottoman fleet, Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha (d 1546). These single-leaf portraits were later incorporated into albums (e.g. Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H 2134). The portraits reveal a realistic approach and depict the physical characteristics of the subjects, employing large figures painted in bold colours on a dark-green ground with minimal settings. In contrast to works by members of the imperial painting studio (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(e)), Nigari’s portraits are less refined and lack technical finesse: the sheets are not polished and the pigments are rapidly applied. Nevertheless, they display an individual style and a personal approach. His work helped to establish the genre of portraiture in Ottoman court circles that had been introduced in the 1480s. Although late 15th-century portraits show the impact of European art, Nigari’s works are purely in the Ottoman tradition and his style remained untouched by outside influences, even though he copied prints of European rulers, including Francis I and Charles V (e.g. Cambridge, MA, Sackler Mus., 85.214a and b)....


Olimpia Theodoli

(b c. 1527; d 1611).

Italian monk, writer and scholar. His first dated works are comedies: La Checca (Venice, 1556), La balia (Florence, 1560), La Gostanza (Florence, 1565) and La Gismonda (Florence, 1569). After he joined the Camaldolese Order he concentrated on writing on religious subjects, though he also wrote Vite di conque uomini illustri...



S. J. Vernoit

[Ṡādiqī; Ṡādiqī Beg; Ṡādiqī Beg Afshār]

(b Tabriz, 1533–4; d Isfahan, 1609–10).

Persian calligrapher, painter, poet and chronicler. He came from a notable family of the Khudabandalu Turkmen tribe. At the age of 32 he turned to art, studying under the poet–calligrapher Mir San‛i at Tabriz; in 1568 Sadiqi moved to the Safavid capital at Qazvin, where he studied painting with Muzaffar ‛Ali. Sadiqi rose quickly in the royal atelier. The last major manuscript produced for the Safavid ruler Tahmasp (reg 1524–76), a copy (London, BL, Or. MS. 12985) of Asadi’s Garshāspnāma (‘Book of Garshasp’), dated 1573–4, has one painting (fol. 85v) attributed to Sadiqi, and he played a leading role in illustrating the incomplete copy (dispersed) of the Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’) made for Isma‛il II (reg 1576–8). The seven paintings ascribed to Sadiqi show such characteristics of his early style as distinct colouring, hard contours, flat architecture and rigid figure drawing. During the reign of Muhammad Khudabanda (...


A. Bustamante García

(b Chinchón, ?1535; d San Lorenzo, El Escorial, June 3, 1591).

Spanish painter and writer. He was a Hieronymite monk, originally at the former monastery in Guisando (Ávila), and one of the founder-members of the royal monastery at San Lorenzo el Real, El Escorial (1561–84), founded by Philip II. There he was community treasurer (arquero) and archivist, and was charged with the care of relics and the library. He assisted Benito Arias Montano, who taught him Greek and Hebrew, to organize the royal library. Fray San Jerónimo was an expert in practical perspective and illumination, and he painted a series of plants and animals from Historia natural de Indias (pubd Rome, 1628–48) by Dr Francisco Hernández, which hung in Philip II’s private quarters at the monastery. He also painted devotional subjects in gouache for the monastery (untraced). He was commissioned to write Memorias del monasterio de El Escorial (MSS, Madrid, Escorial, Bib. Monasterio S Lorenzo), the first written account of its foundation, which details the progress of the construction and decoration from ...


Annie Cloulas

(b Sigüenza, c. 1544; d El Escorial, 1606).

Spanish Hieronymite monk, writer and critic. In the third part of the Historia de la Orden de San Jerónimo (1605) he recorded his thoughts on the building and decoration of the Escorial (see Escorial §2), where he had taken his vows on 4 May 1590. Sigüenza had to devise an artistic vocabulary to describe the innovations he witnessed at the Escorial. His writings represent a very early awareness of a specifically Spanish Renaissance in which art is subject to a spiritual and moral order and is not an end in itself but created to the glory of God and to enlighten the faithful.

Sigüenza considered that through his great undertaking of the Escorial (1563–84) Philip II (see Habsburg, House of family §II, (2)) had re-established the arts in Spain after centuries of barbarity and had revived ideals that had been lost since Antiquity, namely proportion, symmetry, measure and reason, which, he said, made the royal creation comparable to the Temple of Solomon, although not in any formal way. While Sigüenza’s views on the architecture of the Escorial are related mainly to Antiquity, his account of the paintings it contained shows a consideration of contemporary art. He approved of the paintings of ...


(b Cesena, bapt April 12, 1574; d Rome, July 13, 1630).

Italian painter and writer . After studying optics and perspective in Cesena with the scientist Scipione Chiaramonti, he established himself in Rome from 1599 as a specialist in perspective. He painted the fictive architecture and decorative borders for Baldassare Croce’s frescoes (1598–1600) of scenes from the life of the saint in the nave of S Susanna, Rome. In collaboration with Giuseppe Agellio (c. 1570–after 1650), a pupil of Cristofano Roncalli, he painted the rear choir vault of S Silvestro al Quirinale, Rome, in 1602 with an illusionistic opening to the sky, revealing his interest in the contemporary ceiling decorations of Cherubino Alberti and his brother Giovanni Alberti, who had decorated the front choir vault. After joining the Theatine Order in 1605, he worked exclusively for its monasteries and churches, including spending some time in Naples (c. 1621–3). He is known for a four-volume treatise on ...