The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance

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U

Uccello, Paolo (ADOPTED NAME OF PAOLO DI DONO) (1397-1475)

Florentine painter. He was one of the first to experiment with perspective, though his love of detail, decorative colour, and graceful line remains traditional. His works include St George and the Dragon ( c.1460, National Gallery, London) and A Hunt ( c.1460, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).

Uccello used perspective, though he used it imaginatively rather than with scientific accuracy or consistency. His works in fresco include his painting (in imitation of an equestrian statue) of the English condottiereSir John Hawkwood ( 1436), in Florence Cathedral, and a series in the Chiostro Verde (Green Cloister) of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, the principal composition being the Deluge of about 1445. He is, however, more celebrated for his panel pictures, notably the Battle of San Romano (c. 1455), three pictures of the battle between the Florentines and the Sienese in 1432 painted for the Medici (Uffizi, Florence; Louvre, Paris; and National Gallery, London). They were intended to be framed together, but each gives an effect of completeness and is wonderfully rich in design.

Trained as a goldsmith, Uccello was apprenticed to Ghiberti about 1407-12, when the latter was working on the doors of the Florentine Baptistry. In 1415 he entered the Physicians' Guild in Florence as a painter. He worked mainly in Florence, with an interlude from 1425 in Venice, where he is said to have produced a mosaic for the façade of St Mark's. He bought a house in Florence in 1442 and evidently prospered for a time, though his old age was reputedly spent in poverty and isolation.


Udall, Nicholas (c. 1505-1556)

English schoolmaster and dramatist. He was the author of Ralph Roister Doister dated by various scholars around 1540/53, printed 1566-67. It is the first known English comedy and is based on the plays of the Roman comic dramatists Plautus and Terence.


Ugolino di Nerio (DIED 1327)

Italian painter, active in Siena. A signed work by him is the high altarpiece of Sta Croce, Florence, a polyptych, his only authenticated painting (fragments are in the National Gallery, London; in Berlin; and in private collections). A follower of Duccio, he worked in the highly cultivated Byzantine style.


Ugolino of Orvieto (c. 1380-1457)

Italian composer and theorist. His Declaratio Musicae Discipline ( 1435) is mainly a practical handbook for the performing musician of his day.


Urfé, Honore d' (1567-1625)

French writer. His main work was a vast and influential pastoral romance, L'Astrée/Astrea, the first part of which was published in 1607 and the fifth posthumously in 1627. The final section was completed by his secretary, Balthazar Baro, on the basis of Urfe's notes. This tale of shepherds and shepherdesses in love was inspired by earlier Spanish and Italian works; for example, Torquato Tasso Arcadian drama L'Aminta ( 1581).


Usper, Francesco (ADOPTED NAME OF FRANCESCO SPONGA) (BEFORE 157-1641)

Italian priest, organist, and composer. In 1614 he became organist at the Church of San Salvatore at Venice, in 1621 he deputized for Giovanni Battista Grillo (died 1622) as organist at St Mark's, and in 1627 he became principal of the school of St John the Evangelist.


Works include:

Masses, motets, psalms for voices with instruments, vesper psalms for four to eight voices and bass, some for double choir; La battaglia for voices and instruments, madrigals; ricercari and arie francesi in four parts.


Utopia

Political fiction, part dialogue, part description of an imaginary country (Utopia, Greek 'no place'), by Thomas More. Written in Latin probably in 1515, it

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The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps vi
  • List of Genealogies vii
  • Introduction ix
  • A 1
  • B 31
  • C 72
  • D 121
  • E 141
  • F 156
  • G 175
  • H 206
  • I 225
  • J 228
  • K 235
  • L 239
  • M 259
  • N 295
  • O 303
  • P 307
  • Q 340
  • R 342
  • S 355
  • T 382
  • U 395
  • V 397
  • W 409
  • X 415
  • Z 416
  • Thematic Index 419
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