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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

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

Marco Collareta

[Foppa, Cristoforo]

(b Mondonico, nr Pavia, c. 1452; d between Dec 6, 1526 and April 1, 1527).

Italian goldsmith, coin- and gem-engraver, jeweller, medallist and dealer. Son of the goldsmith Gian Maffeo Foppa, from 1480 he served at the Milanese court with his father, eventually becoming personal goldsmith and jeweller to Ludovico Sforza (il Moro), Duke of Milan. In 1487 Caradosso was in Florence, where his appraisal of an antique cornelian was highly esteemed. He worked in Hungary in the service of King Matthias Corvinus, probably in August 1489; a later visit to the court was cut short by the King’s death (1490). Between 1492 and 1497 Caradosso travelled to various Italian towns to buy jewels and other precious objects for Ludovico il Moro. He visited Rome, Viterbo and Florence early in 1496, when the Medici family’s possessions were sold off after the expulsion of Piero de’ Medici (1471–1503) from Florence.

After the fall of Ludovico il Moro in 1500, Caradosso remained for some years in Lombardy. In ...

Article

Patrizia Ferretti

(di Domenico)

(b Florence, 1445; d Florence, March 28, 1527).

Italian illuminator and stationer. He was trained in the climate created by such painters and illuminators as Zanobi Strozzi and Apollonio di Giovanni, who were important during the 1450s. Their influence accounts for the dynamism and the sculptural treatment of his figures, which gives them a courtly flavour reminiscent of the work of Andrea del Verrocchio or Antonio del Pollaiuolo. Antonio di Niccolò di Lorenzo’s interest in larger-scale works—frescoes or panel paintings—is apparent from his repeated depiction, especially in border decoration, of metal objects, individually characterized interiors, portraits and contemporary fashions. He took his inspiration from scenes painted on cassoni, and from Apollonio’s late work. Stylistic affinities between Antonio and Francesco di Antonio del Chierico have sometimes led to confusion between their work; however, enough of Antonio’s works have been traced to distinguish him substantially from the del Foro bottega, Giovanni Boccardi and many other illuminators.

The discovery of a catalogue recording the sale in ...

Article

Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the Periculoso, a directive issued by Pope Boniface VIII (reg 1294–1303) in 1298. Various architectural solutions developed throughout the Middle Ages to reconcile the necessities of enclosure with the access required by male clerics to celebrate Mass and provide pastoral care. Nuns’ choirs, where the women would gather for their daily prayers, were often constructed as discreet spaces in the church, which allowed women to hear or see the Mass without interacting with the cleric, as in the 10th-century choir in the eastern transept gallery at St Cyriakus in Gernrode, Germany. In some Cistercian examples, the nuns’ choir appeared at the west end of the nave. Dominican and Franciscan architecture was largely varied. Double monasteries, which housed men and women, also required careful construction. A 7th-century text describing the church of St Brigida in ...

Article

Jutland  

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Mainland peninsula of modern-day Denmark and one of the three provinces (Jutland, Zealand and Skåne, southern Sweden) that constituted medieval Denmark. The conversion of the Danes to Christianity initiated a reorganization of the economic, social and legal structures of Denmark that would change the shape of Jutland dramatically between the 11th and 14th centuries. Under Knut the Great, King of Denmark and England (reg 1019–35), Jutland acquired a stable diocesan system (1060) that enabled a systematic collection of tithes and the growth of religious institutions between 1050 and 1250. During this period, agricultural practices changed as manor houses and landed estates were established, producing wealth for the ruling families. Under Valdemar I (reg 1157–82) and Knut VI (reg 1182–1202), Jutland witnessed a great building activity; on Jutland more than 700 stone churches were constructed, some replacing earlier wooden churches, each needing liturgical furnishings. Workshops, such as that of the renowned sculptor Horder and many others, were actively engaged in carving stone baptismal fonts (e.g. Malt, Skodborg, Ut, Stenild), capitals, reliefs (Vestervig, Aalborg) and tympana (Gjøl, Ørsted, Stjaer, Skibet), wooden cult figures, Jutland’s golden altars (Lisbjerg, Sahl, Stadil, Tamdrup) and wall paintings. Evidence of the earliest wall paintings in Jutland, ...

Article

Pomposa  

Charles B. McClendon

Italian former Benedictine abbey near the mouth of the Po River and 45 km north of Ravenna in the province of Emilia Romagna. Although first documented in ad 874, a monastic settlement probably existed there at least two centuries earlier. Pomposa rose to prominence in the 10th and 11th centuries through the support of the Holy Roman emperors. Over the course of the 14th century, a notable series of wall paintings in three different buildings were sponsored despite the monastery’s waning fortunes. In 1663 the monastic community was suppressed by papal decree. The site was secularized in 1802 and became property of the Italian state after 1870.

The proportions of the wooden-roofed basilican church, along with the polygonal outline of its main apse, reflect influence from nearby Ravenna and Classe and suggest a date in the 8th or 9th century. An elaborate pavement of mosaic and cut stone (opus sectile...

Article

Monica Visioli

(b Cremona; d Cremona, May 19, 1512).

Italian nobleman, patron and ?architect . He belonged to a rich commercial family whose members had held prestigious positions in Cremona from the 13th century. In 1482, as executor of his uncle Andrea Raimondi’s will, he commissioned the master builder Guglielmo de Lera (d 1490), of a noted family of Cremonese builders, to construct the church and oratory of S Monica, Cremona, for the order of Augustinian nuns. In 1508 he commissioned Guglielmo’s brother, Bernardino de Lera ( fl c. 1477–1518), to renovate the choir and two adjacent chapels in the ancient church of S Francesco, Cremona, where he wished to be buried. The documents do not show who actually carried out the project, but some critics have attributed it to Eliseo himself, giving him the reputation of an architect. Two inscriptions (dated 1496) over the portal of Eliseo’s Palazzo Raimondi (completed 1490–99; façade begun 1495) in ...

Article

Anne-Françoise Leurquin

Manual for religious and moral instruction commissioned by Philip III, King of France (reg 1270–85), from his confessor, the Dominican Frère Laurent. The work was finished in 1279–80 and was a literary success. Over 100 manuscript copies have survived, with printed editions appearing in the 15th century, and translations were made into English, Castilian, Catalan, Italian, Dutch and Occitan.

Although the presentation copy is lost, 7 manuscripts have a complete cycle of 15 full-page images and another 20 have selected images. The scenes include representations of the Ten Commandments, the Credo, the Pater noster, the Apocalyptic beast, the Last Judgement and personifications of the virtues and vices paired with moralizing scenes taken mainly from the Old Testament. The images, like the text, are extremely didactic. Nearly all the fully illuminated manuscripts were made for the royal entourage at the turn of the 14th century, often by exceptional artists. Two books were made for the royal family in ...

Article

Patrizia Ferretti

(b Florence, 1410; d Florence, 1479).

Italian illuminator and stationer. He is documented from 1440, when he enrolled in the Arte de’ Medici e Speziali, and began to work for the Badia in Florence with his brother Giovanni. When the latter died, Bartolomeo entered the bottega of his younger brother, Chimenti. Bartolomeo was not an innovator and was of second rank compared to such skilled illuminators as Francesco d’Antonio del Chierico, Gherardo di Giovanni di Miniato del Foro, Monte di Giovanni di Miniato del Foro and Attavante degli Attavanti. His handling of volume, the sculptural quality of his scrolls and his use of large, densely hatched areas in landscapes, beards and hair, are reminiscent of contemporary sculpture; the influence of Donatello’s low reliefs is especially evident in Bartolomeo’s use of the ‘heroic putto’ (e.g. initial S, Florence, Bib. Medicea–Laurenziana, MS. S Marco 616, fol. 4r).

Bartolomeo worked mainly on liturgical manuscripts and Books of Hours, sometimes in collaboration with other artists. For example he came into contact with Battista di Niccolò da Padova and Ser Ricciardo di Nanni while working on the four-volume Lectionary (Florence, Bib. Medicea–Laurenziana, MSS Edili 141–7) for Florence Cathedral. Among his large-scale works are two Missals (Florence, Bib. Medicea–Laurenziana, MSS Edili 103–4), also commissioned by the cathedral authorities, in ...

Article

Yi Sŏng-mi

[cha Ch-ŏngji ; ho Pihaedang , Maejuk-hŏn , Nanggan-kŏsa ]

(b 1418; d 1453).

Korean calligrapher, painter, poet and collector . Also known as Prince Anp’yŏng, he was the third son of King Sejong . His talents in poetry, painting and calligraphy earned him the title of ‘three excellences’. He sponsored many gatherings of scholars, poets and artists in his studio and became the major patron of An Kyŏn , who painted the famous Dream Visit to the Peach Blossom Land (1447; Tenri, Cent. Lib.) based on a dream that Yi Yŏng had related to him. Prince Anp’yŏng’s collection of Korean and Chinese paintings must have served as inspiration for many contemporary painters. Its contents are known thanks to the Hwagi (‘Notes on painting’) section of the statesman Sin Suk-ju’s Pohanjae chip (‘Collected writings of Pohanjae [Sin Suk-ju]’). This is a valuable record, unique in that no other catalogue of painting collections of the Chosŏn period is known. The Hwagi lists 189 paintings and 33 items of calligraphy, mainly by Chinese painters and calligraphers of the Song (...