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Jane Geddes

Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in Adam Naming the Animals and Christ in Majesty. A portrait or narrative illustration of each animal precedes every text description.

The manuscript contains the press mark of King Henry VIII’s library, mainly assembled after the dissolution of the monasteries, but its provenance before 1542 is not known. Muratova (1986, pp. 118–144) uses cumulative information from a group of related manuscripts to suggest a provenance in the north-east Midlands; Geddes (...


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....


A. C. de la Mare

(b ?Florence, c. 1421; bur Florence, July 1498).

Italian bookseller, stationer (cartolaio) and writer. He was one of six children of Filippo (d 1426), a wool chandler, the eldest of whom, Jacopo (d 1468), became a successful doctor after partnering Bernardo Cennini (b 1415) as a goldsmith until c. 1446. Vespasiano himself recorded that he had no formal education in Latin; by 1434 he was already working for the stationer and binder Michele Guarducci, whose double shop was on the corner of the Via del Proconsolo, the centre of the Florentine book trade, opposite the Palazzo del Podestà (now the Bargello). Humanists such as Niccolò Niccoli, the avid book collector, frequented the shop and encouraged Vespasiano in his studies. By the 1440s he was acting as a bookseller in his own right, although he did not become a partner in the shop until shortly before Guarducci’s death in 1451. He exploited the commercial possibilities of manuscripts, especially of the classics and the Church Fathers, written and decorated in the new ‘humanistic’ style developed in Florence by Niccoli, Poggio Bracciolini and their circle. This was the result of having seen how much demand there had been for such books among the dignitaries and scholars who had assembled in Florence from all over Europe for the Council of Reunion between ...


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 ...


Jeremy Griffiths

(b c. 1415; d Aug 1483).

English writer and collector. He was the nephew of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln and founder of Lincoln College, Oxford. Robert is recorded at University College, Oxford, in 1430 and was elected Proctor in 1438, but he left Oxford in 1443 to pursue his studies abroad; in 1444 he matriculated at Cologne University, where he may have met the humanist William Gray, later Bishop of Ely. In 1446 he gained a degree in divinity at Padua, where he transcribed a copy of Cicero’s De officiis, in a script influenced by humanist manuscripts. He attended the lectures of Guarino da Verona at Ferrara, gaining some knowledge of Greek. On his return to England he became Dean of Lincoln College in 1452 and chaplain to Henry VI by 1453. He was appointed to several posts in Rome from 1455, although he is not recorded there until the autumn of 1458. From 1462 to 1472...


Basil Gray

[‛Alīshīr Navā’ī; Mīr ‛Alī Shīr; Alisher Navoi]

(b Herat, Feb 9, 1441; d Herat, Jan 3, 1501).

Islamic poet and patron. He was active at the court of the Timurid ruler Husayn Bayqara (see Timurid family §II, (8)). Born into a cultured family of Uighur chancellery scribes that had long been in service to the Timurids, ‛Alishir joined his foster brother Sultan Husayn at Herat after studying in Mashhad and Samarkand. Briefly governor of Herat in the Sultan’s absence, ‛Alishir established himself as an intimate of the Sultan without specific duties. As one of the wealthiest men of his time, he joined the Sultan as a major patron of the arts. Together they supported the poet and mystic ‛Abd al-Rahman Jami (d 1492), who initiated ‛Alishir to membership in the Naqshbandi order of mystics. He was a patron of the lutenist Husayn and the flautist Shaykhi, as well as many historians, poets and littérateurs. Under the pen-name Nava’i, which referred to his musical interests, ‛Alishir himself composed nearly 30 literary works in all the major contemporary genres, and he is universally recognized as the greatest practitioner of Chaghatay (eastern) Turkish literature. A standing portrait of ‛Alishir in old age signed by ...


Andreas Stolzenburg

(b Eichstätt, Dec 5, 1470; d Nuremberg, Dec 22, 1530).

German humanist and writer. From 1478 to 1488 he was tutored and prepared for university by his father, Johann Pirckheimer (c. 1440–1501), who himself had had a humanist education. After a period of courtly and military instruction in Eichstätt (c. 1488–9), he studied jurisprudence in Italy (1489–95). During this time he pursued humanist studies and began to take an interest in art and antique architecture, as shown by a sketchbook with drawings after Roman monuments and antique inscriptions (London, BL, Cod. Egerton 1926). On his return to Germany he became a member of Nuremberg council, on which he served almost continuously from 1496 until 1523; it was at his instigation that the council founded a school of poetry in 1496. Pirckheimer and his wife lived in Nuremberg at Hauptmarkt 19, just across from the Schöner Brunnen, where they played host to the most learned men of the day, humanists, artists and historians alike. In ...


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 ...


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 (...