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Topic review Peer-reviewed
Updated time: 23 Dec 2021
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Definition: Alphonse II King of Aragon (1164–1196). He was the first king of the Crown of Aragon and son of the Queen Petronila of Aragon (1157–1164) and the count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer IV (1137–1162). Aware of the new political reality that he embodied as King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona, Alphonse II made significant changes to his iconography. Among the most important of these is the binomial that he incorporated to his pendent seals; that is, a portrayal of Alphonse enthroned as king on the obverse and Alphonse as count and mounted on a horse on the reverse. As a known bibliophile and as a result of his desire to reorganise his chancellery following the union of various political entities, he ordered the compilation of the Liber Feudorum Maior, the folios of which demonstrate his potestas regia through their lavish iconography. He was no less innovative in his coinage, on which he included, for the first time, the image of his head wearing the crown.
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Topic review
Updated time: 01 Nov 2021
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Definition: Aragonite is a mineralogical form of calcium carbonate, mainly of biogenic origin. Historical sources report its use in Roman times as an aggregate in mortars, and in the literature it has only been shown in Roman wall paintings. Thus, its use in 16thcentury wall paintings of the church of Santo Stefano in Selva (Cerignale, Apennines of central Italy) is surprising.
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Topic review Peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Medieval Royal Iconography
Updated time: 23 Dec 2021
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Definition: Ferdinand II king of Aragon (1479–1516). He was the fourth king of the Trastámara dynasty, which had first come to power after the Compromise of Caspe, reached after Martin I died with no living descendants in 1410. Although in terms of artistic patronage Ferdinand II was not as active as his wife Elisabeth I, he was still aware that the wise use of artistic commissions in reinforcing ideas and concepts favourable to the institution of the monarchy. He is a highly important figure in the history of Spain because, along with Elisabeth, he was one of the Catholic Monarchs and thus represents a new conception of power based on their joint governance, a fact that is reflected in the iconography found in his artistic commissions across all genres. All of the images are evidence of how King Ferdinand, at the end of the Middle Ages, wanted to be recognised by his subjects, who also used his image for legitimising and propagandistic purposes. Nobody else in the history of the Hispanic kingdoms had their image represented so many times and on such diverse occasions as did the Catholic Monarchs.
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Topic review Peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Fungi
Updated time: 12 Aug 2021
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Definition: Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily (1208–1250). Frederick II of Hohenstaufen was the second king of the Swabian dynasty to sit on the throne of Sicily. He was crowned in 1198, but, in consideration of his young age, he only ruled independently from 1208 to 1250 (the year of his death). He not only held the title of King of Sicily but also was the King of Germany (or of the Romans), the King of Jerusalem, and, above all, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. His most relevant and innovative iconographic representations were in Southern Italy. For this reason, we focus on the images in this geographical context. In particular, we have nine official (that is, those commissioned directly by him or his entourage) representations of him: the bull (in three main versions), the seal (in three main versions), five coins (four denari and one augustale), the statue of the Capua Gate, and the lost image of the imperial palace in Naples.
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Topic review Peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Medieval Royal Iconography
Updated time: 14 Jul 2021
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Definition: Frederick III of Aragon, King of Sicily (1296–1337). Frederick III of Aragon was the third king of the Aragonese dynasty on the throne of Sicily. He ruled from 1296 to 1337 and he was the only Aragonese king of Sicily who made a significant use of his image. In particular, we have four official (namely, commissioned directly by him or his entourage) representations of him: the royal seal, the billon silver denaro coin, the lost mosaic from the Church of Santa Maria della Valle (known as Badiazza) near Messina, and the mosaic in the Cathedral of Messina.
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Topic review
Updated time: 25 May 2021
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Definition: Conservation of wooden artefacts that are exposed outdoors, mainly in open-air museums, is a very complex and difficult issue that aims to preserve both the integrity and aesthetics of valuable objects. Unceasingly subjected to several factors, such as alternating weather conditions and the activities of microorganisms, algae, and insects, they undergo continuous changes and inevitable deterioration. Their biological and physical degradation often results in the formation of gaps and cracks in the wooden tissue, which creates a need not only for wood consolidation, but also for using specialist materials to fill the holes and prevent further degradation of an object. A variety of substances, both organic and inorganic, have been used for conservation and gap filling in historic wooden objects. The filling compounds typically consist of two components, of which one is a filler, and the second a binder.
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Topic review Peer-reviewed
Updated time: 12 Jan 2022
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Definition: Queen Helen Nemanjić (?–Brnjaci near Zubin Potok, February 8, 1314) was a Serbian medieval queen and consort of King Stefan Uroš I (r. 1243–1276), the fifth ruler of the Serbian Nemanide dynasty. She was the mother of the kings Stefan Dragutin and Stefan Uroš II Milutin. Today, she is known as Helen of Anjou (Jelena Anžujska in Serbian) although her real name was most probably Heleni Angelina (Ελένη Aγγελίνα). She was the founder of the Serbian Orthodox monastery of Gradac as well as four Franciscan abbeys in Kotor, Bar, Ulcinj, and Shkodër. Together with her sons, Kings Stefan Dragutin and Stefan Uroš II Milutin she helpedrenovation of Benedictine abbey of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus near Shkodër on Boyana river in present-day Albania. After the death of her husband, she ruled Zeta and Travunija until 1306. She was known for her religious tolerance and charitable and educational endeavors. She was elevated to sainthood by the Serbian Orthodox Church. Along with Empress Helen, the wife of Serbian Emperor Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, Queen Helen was the most frequently painted woman of Serbian medieval art. Six of her portraits can be found in the monumental painting ensembles of the Serbian medieval monasteries of Sopoćani, Gradac, Arilje, Đurđevi Stupovi (Pillars of St. George), and Gračanica, as well as on two icons and one seal. Queen Helen is also the only female Serbian medieval ruler whose vita was included in the famous collection of the “Lives of Serbian Kings and Archbishops” by Archbishop Danilo II, a prominent church leader, warrior, and writer.
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Topic review
Updated time: 24 Jan 2022
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Definition: Henry II of Castile, also known as Henry of Trastámara, from the Latin “Tras Tamaris” (or beyond the Tambre River), King of Castile and León (1366–1367, 1369–1379) was the first king of the Trastámara Dynasty. In summary, it was a minor branch of the house of Burgundy (or an “Iberian extension” of it), with presence in the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and Naples. Most notably, it began playing an essential role in the kingdom of Castile, but after the Compromise of Caspe, its power extended decisively to the kingdom of Aragon (1412). Henry II was the illegitimate son of Alfonso XI and his lover Leonor de Guzmán. He waged a civil war against his stepbrother, Peter I, legitimate heir to the throne, as the son of Alfonso XI and Maria of Portugal, Queen of Castile. Henry’s determination to be recognized as king led him to employ the arts in a campaign to discredit his stepbrother and tarnish his image, portraying himself as a defender of the faith with the right to rule. He built the Royal Chapel (1371) in the main church of Córdoba (today’s Mosque/Cathedral) for the burial of his father and grandfather, Ferdinand IV, in order to underscore his connection to the royal line, and refurbished the Puerta del Perdón (Gate of Forgiveness) in 1377, the main entrance to the church, for use as a dramatic stage for public events.
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Topic review
Updated time: 19 Nov 2021
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Definition: Drawing has increasingly been proposed as an enrichment activity for captive primates in zoological parks and research institutes. The monkeys and apes are free to use the materials at their disposal and are not constrained or conditioned to show this behaviour. This provides a good opportunity to collect drawings by non-human primates and allows for comparative studies between hominids.
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Topic review Peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Medieval Royal Iconography
Updated time: 23 Dec 2021
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Definition: James I, King of Aragon (1213–1276). He was the third king of the Crown of Aragon, which had come into existence through the union between Queen Petronila of Aragon (1157-1164) and the Count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer IV (1137–1162). James I represents a milestone in the iconography of the Kings of Aragon, although this is due more to his successors’ promotion of him rather than to his own efforts. In order to organise and unify his dominions after the conquests of Mallorca and Valencia, he immersed himself in legal work that consolidated his legislative power whilst still allowing his territories to retain a certain degree of autonomy. He carried out an essential monetary reorganisation in which his coinage retained its obverse but altered its reverse according to the place of issue. He never succeeded in being crowned, although he featured the crown prominently in his stamps and seals and, on some coins, he added the term rex gratia Dei. In addition, he revived the sword as a royal insignia, having proclaimed the right of conquest as the basis of his sovereignty.
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