The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance

By David Rundle | Go to book overview

A

Aachen, Hans von (1552-1615)

German painter, born in Cologne. He lived in Italy about 1574 to 1588 and returned to Germany, working in Augsburg and Munich mainly on portraits, which showed both Italian and Flemish influences. He was appointed court painter to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II in 1592, a position he also held under Rudolf's successor, Matthias.

Like many German artists of the period -- for example, Bartholomeus Spranger, who was later his colleague at the imperial court -- von Aachen spent the early part of his career in Italy, living in Venice but also paying extended visits to Rome (where he studied the antiquities) and Florence.

Though he did also paint historical and religious scenes, his output in both Italy and Germany consisted mainly of portraits, being patronized, for example, by the Fugger family. After his appointment to the imperial court (and his eventual move to Prague in 1597, when he married the daughter of Roland di Lassus), he was also called upon to paint mythological and allegorical compositions, such as The Triumph of Truth ( 1598, Alte Pinakothek, Munich).


Abbate, Niccolò dell' (1509-1571)

Italian painter, from Modena. After an early career in Italy, he travelled to France in 1552 and assisted with the decoration of the chateau at Fontainebleau.

Partly trained by his father, Abbate worked first in Modena, producing a series of frescoes based on Virgil Aeneid for the Boiardo castle at nearby Scandiano (c. 1540). He then moved to Bologna, where his work included another fresco cycle, this time based on Ludovico Ariosto Orlando furioso, for the Palazzo Zucchini-Solomei (c. 1547). His work reflected the influence of recent trends in Italian art, especially as represented by Correggio and Parmigianino. Called to France by Henry II, he worked alongside Francesco Primaticcio at Fontainebleau. Abbate had other French patrons, including Anne, Duke of Montmorency.


Abravanel (ABARBANEL), Isaac (1437-1508)

Portuguese Jewish scholar and statesman, born in Lisbon. He was the father of Leone Hebreo. He held high office at the court of Afonso V of Portugal, but was suspected of treason on Afonso's death in 1 481 and fled to Toledo, where he wrote Old Testament commentaries. In 1483 he became treasurer to Ferdinand of Aragon, but was forced to leave for Naples when Ferdinand expelled the Jews in 1492 (despite Abravanel's attempts to alter royal policy with an offer of 30,000 ducats). He served Ferrante I and then Alfonso II of Naples; when Alfonso died in Sicily in 1495, Abravanel returned to Italy, settling in Venice. His works include an intellectual analysis of the Kabbala in his Roshemuna/Principles of the Faith ( 1502).

Abravanel wrote throughout his peripatetic life, but only saw two of his works published: his Sacrificio Pascual/Easter Sacrifice, written in Naples and printed in 1496, and a commentary on the Book of Daniel, the Maʹayenê yesuʹah/Sources of Salvation, possibly printed in 1497. Many of his other works of biblical commentary were published in Latin and in Hebrew in the second half of the 16th century.


Academia secretorum naturae (LATIN 'THE ACADEMY OF THE SECRETS OF NATURE')

A group of scholars with a shared interest in the natural sciences who met at the Neapolitan house of the writer and scientist Giambattista della Porta from 1560. The first true scientific academy in Europe, it was condemned by the Catholic Church in 1580 and closed soon after.

Membership was open to those who had made some contribution to the natural sciences, which members discussed at their meetings. The Church was suspicious of its activities both because science seemed to be threatening its intellectual authority, and also because della Porta's interests often strayed into magic and alchemy.

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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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